Hottest New Wedding Trends for 2016
Recent years have seen brides rush to recreate their version of a royal wedding or something straight off a Pinterest board. But as we greet 2016, it’s clear brides are much more interested in going down the aisle their own way. “Couples today want a wedding that showcases who they are, that’s a fun experience for their guests and that won’t look or feel dated — ever,” says event planner Alison Laesser-Keck, of VLD Events in southeast Michigan. Here, top wedding pros share some key elements to this personal spin on romance and fun.
Bright on. Metallics are surprisingly versatile, says New York City event-planning guru Harriette Rose Katz. “Depending on how and where you bring them into your celebration,” she says, “they can be elegant, whimsical, ethereal or even very natural.” (Think glitzy golds to pop out room decor at a black-tie wedding, copper lanterns at an outdoor reception or on a rustic tablescape.) No matter the venue or theme, designers across the country say rose gold will show up on everything from rings to table linens. Even the food and drink get in on the trend, with shiny blush icings on desserts and rose-hued cocktails. One metallic that is on the wane, however, is silver.
Photo Credit: Allyson Magda Photography
For more trends and to read the full article: http://bridalguide.com/planning/the-details/reception/wedding-trends-2016
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Tips and Trends from Chauncey's Catering Expert, Cathy Geer
Cathy Geer, Catering Manager of the Chauncey Hotel & CC, highly recommends the following tips to pull off the wedding of your dreams: Hire and experienced wedding planner
Get referrals for venue, flowers, music, caterers, wedding cake
Have activities for the Groom and groomsmen day of wedding to keep them busy while the bride is getting ready
When booking a venue, think about a location that is either a hotel or is near a hotel..give options to guests with 3 price points. Breathe and enjoy the experience..keep it light and fun!
Daytime Rustic Weddings ending early enough to catch your flight for your honeymoon or for guests to drive home for those that don't want to spend additional money to stay overnight
Childhood favorite foods with a grownup twist, such as Grilled Gruyere Cheese Triangles with a Tomato Bisque Shooter
Progressive Weddings at the same location - moving about from Ceremony in the Gazebo to Cocktail Hour under the Tented Pavilion followed by an intimate dinner in the Dining Room ending with the Dance Party in a altogether separate space to allow for each component to stand on its own, allowing the guests to choose they want to participate in dancing and often loud music or mingle with guests in a more serene environment.
Flashy is really in this year..the glitzier the better
Bands are in, bubbles are out!
DJ's will always offer a great value, and usually work with the bride and groom to play their favorites..dance party music is the standard. Jazz trios for ceremony or cocktail hour are always a nice touch
The Reveal! The day of the groom first laying eyes on his beloved as she walks down the aisle are a thing of the past..the Reveal happens before the ceremony, still capturing that first look but in a more private setting.
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Choosing the Perfect Jewelry for Your Wedding Day
Choosing the perfect jewelry for your wedding day can be a fun and exciting task. While it’s the wedding dress which generally gets all of the spotlight leading up to the wedding, the wedding jewels you ultimately select can have a big impact in setting the tone for your entire wedding day look. While most brides are clear on what flatters them, accessorizing can be a lot less cut and dry.
There are a number of ways of approaching this. First, bear in mind that unlike your wedding dress which is worn for the day itself only, your wedding day jewelry is “recyclable”. This means that, if you pick wisely, you can get numerous uses from these pieces for a number of years. Another option is to select different jewelry styles for different parts of the day and evening, allowing you to transition your look as your wedding progresses so you can showcase a variety of different looks, even with the same dress. Another option still, is to have your wedding day jewelry customized to create something completely unique.
Whichever route you choose, it’s advisable to leave yourself sufficient time to try on your wedding jewelry with your wedding dress to make sure you’ve achieved an overall look you feel happy with. The right jewelry should ideally highlight your wedding dress and make you feel beautiful without overpowering your overall look. It should express your personality, but also complement your dress.
As a rough guideline, gold jewelry goes well with champagne and gold-hue wedding dresses, while silver compliments white and ivory wedding dresses. You should also try to have all of your metal colors match. Remember that less is more, and if opting for a statement piece, play down additional pieces.
Follow these simple guidelines for maximizing the effect of your wedding day accessories. Feel free to try on a variety of different jewelry styles, you may end up falling in love with something completely unexpected. If you thought finding your wedding dress was fun, you’re in for a treat – it’s time to accessorize!
PICK THE PERFECT NECKLACE
The right necklace can create the effect of literally lighting up a bride’s face and is often one of the first accessories a bride will choose. While there are numerous options, it’s important to choose wisely. There are essentially two points to consider: first, which type of necklace will look best with your wedding dress, and second, which type of necklace will best flatter your neckline. A good rule of thumb is that you don’t want your necklace competing with the neckline of the gown.
Strapless Wedding Gowns
Strapless gowns are a popular wedding dress choice, showing off the bride’s neckline and shoulders. This style is also one of the most versatile, successfully accommodating a number of necklace options and making it great fun to accessorize! Accent this look by choosing a necklace length no longer than the height of your collarbone. For gowns with a simple style or fabric add some interest with a statement necklace, bold either in choice of metals or colors, to draw attention upwards. For more ornate and elaborate gowns, a single-strand necklace or low-key necklace and pendant work well. You can add a splash of color by making this your something blue or by choosing one of the dominant flower colors from your bridal bouquet.
Single Shoulder Gowns
Choosing the correct necklace for this neckline will depend on the dress. If the dress style is simple and understated, it can be treated the same as a strapless wedding gown, as detailed above. For more ornate single shoulder wedding dresses, opt for a simple, choker-style necklace and focus more attention on an eye catching pair of earrings or bracelet.
Spaghetti Strap Wedding Gowns
For simple spaghetti strap style-dresses, a necklace which is longer in the middle section, dipping towards the cleavage works best. For ornate or embellished styles, a necklace is likely to make the look too busy, in which case forgo a necklace and opt for earrings and a bracelet.
Rounded and Slash-Neck Wedding Gowns
Necklace choice for these styles, in which fabric is close to the face, should be kept simple and elegant, so as not to create an overly busy effect. The optimal choice is a longer length necklace.
V- Shaped Front Wedding Gowns
An increasingly popular choice with brides. For deep V-necks, a thin chain with a simple, medium-sized pendant works well. For halter necklines, the halter portion of the dress already draws a lot of attention, so you can either opt for a choker or forgo the necklace option and opt for mid-length earrings and a matching bracelet.
Whichever option you ultimately choose, remember to enjoy the process. Happy hunting!
Lisa Shiner is a Partner at BE Group TLV, a premier wedding planner in Israel. The company offers tailored event planning and production for international clients looking to hold an elegant celebration in Israel. Lisa combines a background in law with over six years of experience in the luxury events industry. A certified member of both the UK and Israel Bar, she has pioneered well-drafted vendor agreements, in both English and Hebrew, for BE Group clients. The special day itself is meticulously monitored and supervised start-to-finish by a professional on-site team for optimal results.
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10 Ways to Save Money Without Sacrificing Style With Your Wedding Reception
1. If your heart is set on an evening celebration, host your wedding on a weeknight instead of a Friday or Saturday. You’ll be able to negotiate a better rate with everyone from your caterer to florist and band, and the venue will be more negotiable.
2. Hire a DJ instead of a band. Be sure to ask your DJ to bring appropriate background music for dining and not just dance music for the party.
3. Host a daytime wedding instead of an evening reception. Consider a luncheon or brunch, with a late night dance party that same evening or a few weeks later when you return from your honeymoon.
4. Offer a signature cocktail instead of an open bar. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll hear your friends say "I’d love one of those, it’s been ages since I’ve had X, Y or Z!"
5. If your heart is set on serving caviar, there’s no need to set up a caviar bar for guests to help themselves. Serve what I call cosmetic caviar; a delicious potato topped with a few eggs, a wonderful deviled egg topped with a few eggs or even a delicious round of white bread with smoked salmon topped with a few eggs will do the trick.
6. No need to serve costly champagne. Try a sparkling wine cocktail, such as a Kir Royale or Bellini. If you’re a purist and champagne cocktail isn’t your fancy, save the chilled bubbly for your cake cutting only.
7. Don’t try to be fancy with your meal; opt for a delicious, juicy and succulent chicken dish versus a more expensive veal, beef or lamb. Trust that no one will be offended, and in fact, most of your guests will delight in a delicious chicken with crispy potatoes prepared right and served beautifully.
8. A traditional wedding reception with a sit down dinner and three course meal can get costly. Instead, host a chic and elegant black tie cocktail party. Great drinks, delicious tray-passed foods and a cake cutting will delight your friends. Hire a DJ if you love to dance and have a great party. Done right, your wedding reception can easily be a favorite night out on the town.
9. Instead of working with an expensive invitation company, print your own invitations at home. Take some extra time to personalize each one; add an embellishment such as a colored semi-precious stone or store bought crystal. For a country wedding, add a sprig of lavender to the invitation. Or place a layer of gorgeous tissue, cut to measure inside the envelope.
10. There are no rules when it comes to the type of celebration you host. Instead of a seated dinner, consider hosting a Sunday brunch with Champagne Bellini’s. Delicious omelets made to order, fresh fruit and chilled white wine would certainly do the trick. One thing to be careful of: don’t serve alcohol before the meal or you’ll have everyone smashed before food is served. And be extra careful if it’s a hot day and you’re outdoors. It’s amazing how a little alcohol goes right to the head on an empty stomach.
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Stocking the Bar at Your Reception
Weddings are famous for toasts and the raising of glasses -- a few drinks of bubbly are essential for most couples and guests. But where does all that liquor come from? Setting up the bar takes planning, and we're here to show you your options.
How much liquor will you need for 100 guests? Talk to your bartender; in the meantime, here are some averages:
- Beer: 5 to 6 cases
- Whiskey: 1 liter
- Bourbon: 1 liter
- Gin: 2 to 3 liters
- Scotch: 2 liters
- Light rum: 1 liter
- Vodka: 5 liters
- Tequila: 1 liter
- Champagne: 1 to 1 1/2 cases
- Red wine: 2 cases
- White wine: 3 1/2 cases
- Dry vermouth: 1 bottle
- Sweet vermouth: 1 bottle
Ask if your beverage catering service will take back any unused alcohol.
The Open Bar
An open bar is the most gracious approach -- no guest should pay for anything at the wedding -- but it's also the most expensive. Guests can order any drink on the planet, and you'll have to pick up the hefty tab when the party's done. Because there’s no limit, people may drink like guppies. Know anyone who tends to imbibe too much? Tell the bartender in advance.
The Limited Bar
You offer a selection of drinks -- beer, wine, and mixed vodka drinks, for example -- and set specific consumption times, such as the cocktail hour, the toasts, and an hour after dinner. Consider hiring waiters to pass drinks on trays rather than letting guests go up to the bar. You'll have to pay for the waiters, but you'll probably save money on alcohol, and fewer guests will go overboard. If you limit the amount of time the bar is open, make sure the waiters circulate during dinner to refill glasses of water and soda.
The Cash Bar
Don't have a cash bar without a great reason (there really isn't one). After all, you don't invite people to your house for dinner and then charge them for the butter. Trust us on this one. It's not a good cost-cutting solution and is way too controversial.
A Dry House
If you, your families, and most of your guests don't drink alcohol, skip it. Serve sparkling water, soda, and nonalcoholic mixed drinks instead. If you want some bubbly for toasting, go for some token champagne or sparkling cider.
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Wedding Party Responsibilities
Each of the members of your wedding party has specific responsibilities to perform at the wedding. All members of the wedding party, including children, should be present at the wedding rehearsal. However, the children do not have to attend the rehearsal dinner. If they are invited to the dinner, their parents should be invited also. All adult members of the wedding party and their spouses should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. If someone in the party is engaged or seriously involved, their fiancé or significant other can be invited as well.
All members of the wedding party should be present when the wedding pictures are taken. This may be either before or after the ceremony, or both.
Following are the general duties of the individual members of the wedding party. The bride and groom may ask their attendants to assist in other ways as well, depending on the situation.
Responsibilities of: The Maid of Honor/Matron of Honor
When accepting the honor of being the bride's primary attendant, the maid/matron of honor should be prepared to pay for her dress and shoes, unless the bride indicates otherwise. She may also need to pay for her own transportation and lodging if she is coming from out of town.
If the maid/matron of honor lives near the bride, she should take an active role in helping the bride plan the wedding, including helping make decorations and decorating the wedding and/or reception sites. It is also appropriate for the maid/matron of honor to host a bridal shower if she chooses to do so, but it is not required. If the female attendants' dresses are rented, the maid/matron of honor may be asked to pick them up the day before the wedding and return them after the wedding. The maid/matron of honor should be well acquainted with the details of the wedding plans so that she can handle any last-minute problems that occur. In order to fully understand the plans, she may want to attend at least one of the bride's meetings with the wedding coordinator. She should also work closely with the best man at the rehearsal and on the wedding day to see that everything goes smoothly.
On the day of the wedding, the maid/matron of honor will be expected to do the following:
• Help the bride dress
• Precede the bride down the aisle
• Arrange the bride's train during the ceremony, if needed
• Hold the bride's bouquet during the ceremony
• Carry the groom's ring, or get it from the ring-bearer's pillow, and hand it to the bride at the appropriate time (unless the best man holds both rings)
• After the ceremony, she may stand in the receiving line, but she does not have to
• Oversee reception activities and generally assist as a hostess while the bride and groom are occupied with the receiving line
• Communicate closely with the wedding coordinator on any necessary matters
• Sign the marriage license
After the wedding, the maid/matron of honor should assist in clean-up and removal of decorations. She should collect and return any rented dresses or other items, and do anything else that the bride might request.
Responsibilities of: The Best Man
If the best man is from out of town, he may need to pay for his own transportation to the wedding and for lodging while there. He may also be asked to pay for the rental of his tuxedo. If the best man lives near the groom, he should take an active role in helping the groom with any pre-wedding planning that needs to be done. If requested to do so, the best man should pick up the tuxedos from the rental shop the day before the wedding and distribute them to the appropriate people, then return them after the wedding (only if the groom paid for all of the tuxes). The best man may also be in charge of planning the bachelor party if one is held.
On the day of the wedding the best man will have a number of responsibilities, including the following:
• Assist the groom in dressing
• Run last minute errands for the groom
• Work with the maid/matron of honor and wedding coordinator to handle any last minute details or problems that occur
• Assist with ushering if needed.
• Escort the maid/matron of honor out of the sanctuary at the end of the ceremony. If the bride chooses, the best man may also escort the maid/matron of honor down the aisle when the ceremony begins.
• Hand the bride's ring to the groom during the ceremony. The best man may either carry the ring, or retrieve it from the ring bearer's pillow. He may also be asked to carry the groom's ring if the bride chooses.
• Pay the minister, organist, soloist, and any others that need to be paid for services rendered during the ceremony if they have not already been paid. The groom or the person responsible for the payments should give the best man an envelope with a check enclosed for each service provider. (The wedding coordinator may do this instead of the best man.)
• If the reception is being held at a separate location, the best man may be asked to drive the bride and groom or other members of the wedding party to the site if they did not rent a limo.
• Sign the marriage license
Unless the best man is also serving as an usher, he and the groom should retire to their dressing room after the pictures have been taken and while guests are arriving and being seated, generally 30 minutes before the ceremony begins. It is tempting to mingle with the guests, but that is best left for the reception.
After the wedding, the best man is not required to stand in the receiving line. After the reception ends, the best man should collect all the tuxedos and return them to the rental shop at the designated time, unless the groom has made other arrangements. (Don't forget the shoes.) He should also assist with any post-wedding clean-up, removal of decorations, and transporting of the wedding gifts if the groom requests.
Note: It is acceptable for the groom to choose a female to serve as "best man." She is then called the honor attendant. If there is an honor attendant, she should dress with the ladies, but join the men for photos. She should wear a black dress, or even a tuxedo, rather than dressing like the bride¹s attendants. She would not assist the groom in dressing, nor would she escort the maid of honor out, though they may walk together. She should wear a corsage rather than carrying a bouquet.
Responsibilities of: Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, and Ushers
G R O O M S M E N
If the groomsmen are from out of town, they may be requested to pay for their own transportation to the wedding and for their lodging while there.
Groomsmen often serve as ushers, seating the guests before the ceremony. If they are not serving as ushers, they should stay in their dressing room with the groom and best man after the pictures have been taken, out of sight of the arriving guests. It is tempting to mingle with the guests, but don't give in to temptation. Everyone can mingle at the reception.
Groomsmen act as escorts for the bridesmaids and stand near the best man during the wedding ceremony. The groomsmen should attend the reception and remain in their tuxedoes for a reasonable length of time before changing, preferably until most of the guests have left. After changing, their tuxedos should be given to the best man, or another designated individual, who will see that the tuxes are returned to the rental shop. (If the groomsmen paid for the rental of their tuxes, rather than the groom, it is their responsibility to return them, not the best man's.)
The groomsmen should help with clean-up and removal of decorations after the reception, if requested to do so. If the ceremony and reception are being held at the same location, the groomsmen may be asked to move chairs from one area to another, set up tables, and do anything else needed to quickly prepare for the reception. Groomsmen do not stand in the receiving line at the reception.
B R I D E S M A I D S
During the ceremony, the bridesmaids walk down the aisle, either alone or with the groomsmen, and before the maid/matron of honor. After the ceremony, they will be escorted by a groomsman as they follow the maid/matron of honor and best man up the aisle and out of the sanctuary. They then proceed to the site of the reception as quickly as possible. They should plan on remaining at the reception until most of the guests have left before leaving or changing out of their wedding clothes. If needed, they should help with clean-up and removal of decorations after the reception. The bridesmaids do not stand in the receiving line at the reception.
The bridesmaids may be asked to pay for their dresses and shoes, depending on the bride's budget. They may also need to pay for transportation and lodging if they come from out of town.
U S H E R S
The groomsmen may serve as ushers, or the groom may choose other individuals to serve as ushers. Plan on having one usher for every 50 guests. If people other than groomsmen serve as ushers, they should be dressed in tuxedos that are similar to those worn by the groomsmen, or in matching suits. Ushers should not be dressed in casual shirts and slacks unless the wedding is casual. The primary responsibility of the ushers is to seat the wedding guests before the ceremony. Ushers will be given instructions at the rehearsal about where honored guests, such as mothers of the bride and groom and grandparents, are to be seated.
If the reception is being held at the same location as the ceremony, one of the ushers may be asked to accept gifts at the door, then give them to a person who has been designated to take gifts to the reception area. At the end of the ceremony, after the wedding party has exited the sanctuary, the ushers will return to escort the mothers out and to dismiss the guests, unless the bride and groom choose to do it themselves. The ushers should be able to direct guests to the location of the reception, whether it is being held in another room in the same building or at another location. They should also be familiar with the location of coat racks, rest rooms, nursery, and any other areas that guests might inquire about. If the reception is being held in the same location as the ceremony, the ushers may be asked to assist in moving chairs, setting up tables, putting out centerpieces, and other necessary activities to quickly prepare for the reception.
The ushers do not stand in the receiving line at the reception. Ushers should remain in their tuxedos for a reasonable period of time during the reception before changing. After changing, the tuxedos should be given to the best man or another designated individual, who will return them.
Responsibilities of: Ring Bearer, Flower Girl, and Candle Lighters
R I N G B E A R E R
The ring bearer is often a boy, though a girl may also serve as a ring bearer. It is also acceptable to have more than one ring bearer, if desired, or none at all. On the day of the wedding, the ring bearer will walk down the aisle after the bridesmaids and either before the flower girl or with her. He/she will carry a pillow that has either the bride and groom's rings attached to it, or plastic rings attached.
The child who is chosen to be the ring bearer should be old enough to understand what is happening and to cooperate with people who may be strangers without becoming frightened. If the ceremony isn't too long, the ring bearer should stand with the groomsmen. If the child is young, or the ceremony is long, the child may take a seat on the front pew after he/she has given the rings to both the bride and the groom. After the ceremony, the child may be more comfortable if he/she is able to change into other clothing. Children do not stand in the receiving line at the reception.
Depending on the clothing that the bride chooses for the ring bearer to wear, the ring bearer's parents may be asked to purchase the clothing, or he/she may wear rented clothing. Who pays for the cost of the clothing should be agreed upon with the bride and groom at the time the child is asked to participate in the wedding.
F L O W E R G I R L
Though either a girl or a boy can be a ring bearer, only a girl can be a flower girl. It is acceptable to have more than one flower girl, if desired, or none at all. Dress the flower girl like a child, rather than in a miniature formal. The bride will decide what the flower girl wears and it may be up to the child's parents to pay for the clothing.
During the wedding, the flower girl precedes the bride down the aisle and sprinkles flower petals for the bride to walk on (if the church or ceremony location allows it). During the ceremony, she will stand beside the bridesmaids. The child or children who act as flower girls should be old enough to understand what is happening and to cooperate with people who may be strangers without becoming frightened. If the child is young, or the ceremony is long, it is acceptable for the flower girl to be seated on the front pew or with her parents if they are seated near the front of the room. The flower girl does not stand in the receiving line at the reception.
C A N D L E L I G H T E R S
Older children or young adults should be chosen to act as candle lighters. If there are numerous candles, you might choose two candle lighters. If there are only a few candles, one candle lighter can probably handle them all. If the candle lighters are male, they should be dressed in tuxedos similar to those worn by the groomsmen. In fact, the groomsmen or bridesmaids, or one of each, may act as candle lighters, if you prefer. If the candle lighters are female, they should wear dresses that coordinate with those worn by the bridesmaids, but they do not need to match exactly. Be certain that the persons chosen to light the candles are tall enough to reach the top-most candles in the tallest candelabra.
The candle lighters will be the first members of the wedding party to go down the aisle. If there are candles on the ends of the pews, those should be lighted first, then the candles at the front of the room. The candle lighters do not light the unity candle and may be requested not to light the two side candles if the mothers of the bride and groom are going to do so. After lighting the candles, the candle lighters should retreat back up the aisle. They may then be seated with their parents or the other guests. After all of the wedding party has left the sanctuary and the mothers of the bride and groom and grandmothers have been ushered out, the candle lighters may return to extinguish the candles. The candle lighters do not stand in the receiving line at the reception.
Candle lighters or their parents may be asked to pay for their own clothing for the wedding.
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Honeymoon Planning Checklist
You’re thinking about flowers, dresses, and invitations?but what about plane tickets, passports, and flip-flops? Right, the honeymoon. Keep the planning stress-free with this guide.
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Wedding Day Details Not to Miss
The perfect groom? Check. Dress, cake, and band? Check, check, and check. While you may have the big parts covered, a few often-overlooked details will truly make your day memorable. We take you from the ceremony programs to the exit with a list of particulars longing for attention.
1. Directions & Signage
You don't want your guests getting lost on the way to the chapel. If you spell it out for them, they're more likely to be on time, and your entire wedding day has a better chance of running smoothly.
How to do it
First, include a map or add a link to Google Maps on your wedding website so that guests have an idea of where they're going. As a safeguard, consider including a map from the ceremony site to the reception venue in your programs or your invites. For the day-of, create signage for each wedding spot (the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception) directing guests where to go. If it's an outdoor wedding, make or buy a wooden sign and paint it with an arrow. For a more sophisticated soiree, consider using printed black-and-white-framed signage in a scripted font.
2. The Entrance
No matter where you wed, first impressions are essential. A personalized entryway will make your site more welcoming and help guests feel at home almost immediately.
How to do it
If you're having an outdoor wedding, hang leis of orchids or sun-catching glass ornaments on the surrounding trees. For a ballroom, have your florist create an escort card table arrangement with plenty of height so it's the first thing guests see. A rustic affair calls for tons of lanterns lining the pathways.
3. The Escort Cards
When the seating is assigned ahead of time, you save guests the pressure of searching for a seat at the wedding reception
. You also guarantee that your guests of honor (grandparents and close relatives) get a quiet spot while your rowdy friends from college sit closest to the dance floor.
How to do it
Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
4. The Guest Book
It takes more than setting out a couple of pens to make a guest book enticing enough to get all your guests to sign in. The trick is to show off your creativity in an inviting way.
How to do it
Ask guests to contribute to a scrapbook by providing a Polaroid camera. Make a backdrop by hanging an attractive piece of fabric and then ask each guest, couple, or family to stand in front of it and pose. Have a close friend man the camera. When their picture is ready, they can pop it into the guest book and sign their names next to it. Or get your videographer involved and go for a live guest book reel by having each of your guests express all of their sentiments on camera.
5. The Lighting
The right lighting can help flatter any space and make you and your guests look great.
How to do it
Use colored lighting to punch up a drab hallway. Pick a different yet complementary hue for the rest of the reception (use blue for a white wedding, amber for a pink celebration). Decorative hanging lights, lamps with patterned shades, or crystal chandeliers will transform a space from plain to extravagant.
6. A Game Plan For the Kids
Even if you love children, you won't want them disrupting the ceremony or reception. Have a plan to keep little ones at their best.
How to do it
At the ceremony, have an usher hand out coloring books and crayons. At mealtime, seat little ones with their parents so they'll be in top form while eating. If lots of kids will be attending, setting up a nearby room with games, craft supplies, and DVDs guarantees that they'll have a good time during the reception (as will their eternally grateful parents).
7. The Loo
The restroom is an often-overlooked space that, when given a little tender love and care, creates an unexpected wow. It doesn't take much either -- even the slightest bit of decor will perk up and personalize this space.
How to do it
Add small bud vases of flowers, give the bathroom new "Ladies" and "Gents" signs, or splurge on some monogrammed towels in your wedding colors. To really impress your guests, scan childhood pictures of the two of you through the years, laminate them, and post them on the bathroom walls.
8. The Bar
Let's face it: The bar is a spot where most of your guests will probably spend a significant amount of time, which is precisely why it's a great place to add a burst of color, which will boost the look of the room.
How to do it
Serve some unique bar snacks like vodka-soaked watermelon balls in antique ice cream glasses, Grand Marnier-infused apricots, or ice cubes with a berry or another piece of fruit frozen inside. Consider printing your signature cocktail recipe right on your coasters or beverage napkins. Also, think about giving the bar itself a facelift: Ask your wedding planner to use bamboo, Lucite, or even laser-cut wood in a bold pattern for the front of the bar and use backlighting to create a stunning centerpiece for the room.
9. The Menu Cards
Menu cards designed to complement your wedding day stationery and coordinate with your signature colors will add a stylish extra touch to each of your place settings.
How to do it
The menu cards can be as formal or informal as your reception. Place round menu cards in the center of each charger to suit a decidedly formal reception. A more laid-back wedding might call for the menu to be written on a chalkboard set up near the entrance. If you plan on serving a multicourse meal, consider giving guests mini menu booklets. They can even double as place cards.
10. The Cake Table
The cake table is often a main focal point of the reception space where many of your guests will congregate to take pictures. Keep in mind that an inadequately decorated display table can make or break your photos.
How to do it
Create the perfect setting for your cake by keeping décor low to the table so you don't detract from your main dessert. Consider using a monogrammed table linen in a complementary color. Or have your florist sprinkle small flowers in your wedding hues, such as bells of Ireland or freesias. To give it the royal treatment, set your cake on a riser at a ballroom wedding or cover it with a fabric-draped canopy if you're having an outdoor party.
11. The Chairs
The right chairs and chair treatments can transform what was a hodgepodge room into something that's elegant and refined.
How to do it
Match your chair treatments to your wedding style. If it's a black-tie wedding, cover every chair in rich, silk fabric and add a coordinating sash. For a wedding that's outdoors, consider using simple chiavari chairs instead of the plastic folding kind. For a fresh twist, get colorful, patterned chair cushions in lieu of monochromatic ones. You can also use your chairs to highlight the season. Pay tribute to the time of year by decorating every one of the chairs with a miniature wreath for a winter wedding, or tie fresh blooms to each of the chair backs if you're having a springtime affair.
12. The Exit
A stylish exit is the exclamation point to a great wedding day, not to mention your last chance to drive home your personal style. Take full advantage of this opportunity.
How to do it
Rose petals are pretty but often overdone, so to end the night with a bang (literally), hire professionals to shoot off fireworks. If pyrotechnics are not in your budget, have your guests shower you with light from sparklers. When it comes to your getaway transportation, get creative: Drive away in a vintage car decorated with bright flowers; toss your hair into the wind on a moped; or jump into a sleek, stylish sports car. And don't forget that "Just Married" sign.
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10 Wedding Mistakes To Avoid
10. Don't Rock the Cash Bar
When it comes to alcohol at your reception, what you serve is entirely up to you. Whether you choose to serve a full bar, limited cocktails, Beer and Wine, or no alcohol at all will be based on various factors including budget. The one option that is not recommended is a Cash Bar. Your guests should be gracious enough to accept what is being offered to them. If however a guest feels the need for a drink selection that is not offered, chances are that he or she will be resourceful enough to find it.
Also, request that bartenders not put out tip jars. If you are hosting the bar, tell your catering contact that you are happy to pay gratuity to the bartender(s) but that you do not want your guests to feel obligated to tip.
9. Go flat!
A huge number of brides give feedback that they wish they had worn flats, having kicked off their heels during the reception. As a bride you can expect to be standing for 8-12 hours on your wedding day. Be sure to break in your shoes well in advance. Even when wearing flats, unexpected blisters can form after a few hours on your feet.
8. Have a little faith.
D.J.'s are perhaps the wedding vendor most micromanaged by couples. Too many song requests may actually impede the flow of your party. You hire your D.J. to judge when to play what music. You wouldn't instruct your Caterer step by step on how to prepare food, or your Photographer on what angles and lenses to use. Limit your D.J. request list to a few favorites and a do-not-play list of only the songs you cannot stand. Do not get carried away and have some trust.
7. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
What really matters most to you, the photographer, the music and dancing, the food and wine, the decorations, or being able to accommodate a large guest list? Put your money towards what you care about. You will have regrets if you skimp on what really counts. When you, the Bride and Groom are not footing the bill yourselves however, you may have to forfeit some financial decision-making. If this is the case you will need to compromise on certain priorities or if you really want that pricey photographer offer to pay for one yourself.
6. Bibbity Bobbity Boo.
Wedding Dress shops are notorious for having your dress shipped in at the last minute. Think about it, if you owned a Wedding Dress Boutique you wouldn't want every brides dress held at your shop for nine+ months before their weddings. Schedule your first fitting well before your wedding. Your final dress fitting should be no less than 1 week prior to your wedding so that alterations can still be made.
Tuxedo rentals for all attendants must be tried on, that includes Dad. Whether the Tailor seemed to take precise measurements or not, too many men still show up at weddings with high waters or baggy tuxes.
5. Don't hit the road, Jack.
Your wedding day is one of the biggest, most important days of your life. You will be exhausted and a bit disorderly the following day. Going away is the last thing you will want to worry about. Wait at least a couple of days before venturing on your honeymoon. Your wits will thank you.
4. Last night of single life.
DO NOT hold your Bachelor or Bachelorette party the night before your wedding! This may seem like a no-brainer but many brides and grooms still practice the archaic ritual of drinking all night on that fatal evening. It is simply not worth it, as the Bride/Groom and your attendants will no doubt feel tired, look tired, have a hangover, or worse be sick walking down the aisle. If necessary, request that any out of town attendants arrive a day earlier to help you to prepare and celebrate a different night.
3. No Guidance.
With no Director there are too many details left to too many people at your ceremony. Having a Wedding Coordinator allows for one person to coordinate your wedding party processional, music, minister, seating guests and to resolve any unexpected last minute complications. A Coordinator will ease the stress level of everyone, including you, tremendously on your wedding day. So if your location does not include a Wedding Day Coordinator who also directs your rehearsal, hire your own. A Wedding Coordinator may be much more affordable than you think.
2. Stretching yourself too thin.
As the bride you will make everyone around you crazy by waiting until the last minute in planning and finalizing details. If you have a hard time planning and prioritizing on your own then get help. You don't want to be remembered as “one of those brides” that put everything off and then expected her friends and family to pick up the pieces, do you?
Do not commit yourself to social events the day before your wedding. This day is meant for you to wrap up loose ends, beautify yourself, attend your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner in many cases, and most importantly get some amount of rest for the day ahead. You are going to need it!
1. High demands.
Try to keep in mind that although your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen may offer you extra help, these friends can become taken advantage of. The only "official obligations" of wedding party members are emotional support, the financial expense of wedding attire and travel, participation in the rehearsal and the obvious role on your wedding day. In the case of the MOH or BM, reception toasts are traditional as well. Other help that these individuals may offer should not be viewed as duties, but rather as acts of kindness including: setting up/tearing down, transporting ceremony goods, throwing a bridal shower or other party, distributing gratuities, and any other help that is offered.
Remember to be thoughtful towards your attendants. Bridesmaids may not be comfortable in 4 inch heels, purchasing new jewelry or paying to have their hair or makeup professionally styled. Do not forget to personally thank any bridal party members for taking part in your wedding, as well as family members who gave you assistance. A small thank you gift is always appreciated.
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Writing Your Own Wedding Vows
Wedding vows are indeed an integral part of any wedding. These are the words that truly let those in attendance know the couple has consummated their relationship with one another. Making it difficult for any couple to put in words the feeling they have for their soon-to-be spouse.
One would think that they must be blessed with literary skills, or should at least be an aspiring writer, to write their own vows. Neither of these is required. Remember the words wrote reflect personal feelings, and do not have to be complex. Wording for wedding vows are not supposed to be written with the intensity of writing an essay, nor is it meant to impress people. They are words that are intended to solidify love for each other.
When commencing wedding vows, it should be done the moment a wedding date has be decided on and planning has begun. This will allow for tweaking, editing, and additions to the script. It would also give ample time to rehearse it to a level of perfection.
Writing wedding vows are a joint effort. Pick a day of the week to discuss feelings for each other, with notebooks and pens on-hand to take notes. These notes can consist of the following: memorable moments shared together, dreams for the future, how he/she makes the sun shine, thoughtful things he/she done in the past, and promises of faithfulness.
Of course, there are those who would write their wedding vows based upon religious values. If this were the case, a included scriptural quote would work great. The Bible has a lot of verses pertaining to love and honor that are definitely worth adding.
After reading what each other has written, decide if the vows wrote will be read by both, or will separate vows be read. Whether you choose to make your words informal or formal, laced with religious values or cultural slant, remember to keep it short but sweet, tasteful and meaningful.
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Tips For Wedding Toasts
The only one required to propose a Wedding Toast is the Best Man, but watch out for some competition...many weddings are now including a toast from the Maid of Honor as well!
10 Tips For Toasting
1. Plan to speak from 1 to 4 minutes. No one wants to be bored with an extraordinarily long toast covering the entirety of your friendship. With wedding toasts, even a short toast will do if delivered with feeling and sincerity.
2. Make sure all other glasses are full before beginning. You may want to announce to the guests, or have the MC announce to the guests, to fill their glasses because toasting will commence shortly. Then give guests 3 - 5 minutes to fill their glasses.
3. Stand to give a toast (sit to receive one) and hold your glass with your right hand as you toast. After the toast, it is tradition to then clink the glasses together before sipping.
4. Start with something personal. How the bride and groom met is always a favorite. You can also use humor or quotes to get started.
5. Always use humor in good taste. While poking fun at the bride and groom can add the touch of humor you're looking for, poking too much fun will only gain you a disapproving audience.
6. Speak in your normal voice, and avoid unnatural hand gestures or fake accents. Wedding audiences want to hear what you have to say, not watch a drama unfold. Just remember you were chosen to be you, not someone else.
7. Practice your toast. Unless you are an accomplished public speaker, just 'winging it' for the wedding toast is always a bad idea.
8. Look around the room at the audience and to the bride and groom as you toast. Eye contact is an important characteristic of a good speaker.
9. Speak clearly and don't rush. Take your time and take a deep breath, because if you speak too fast, no one is going to understand you.
10. And finally, finish your toast with a wish, blessing, congratulations, or cheers.
The 5 Biggest Mistakes To Avoid
1. Having more than one drink to calm nerves beforehand. It may seem like a good idea, but besides calming your nerves, too much alcohol will also keep you from speaking clearly and hinder your good judgment of appropriate speech material.
2. Swearing and/or lying.
3. Apologizing for being a bad speaker - Never apologize for being a bad speaker, and don't say you really didn't want to speak. It's a rule for all speeches and all occasions, not just weddings.
4. Mentioning previous girlfriends, past marriages, or past relationships. Not only could it be potentially embarrassing, but it's inappropriate at a wedding. Leave this for the stag party.
5. Stories about the Bride and Groom that aren't rated PG. Remember, Grandma, Grandpa and possibly even children will be present at the wedding. Make sure your stories are appropriate for the audience.
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