Unique Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Rehearsal dinners are coordinated for a purpose. Tradition states that the groom’s family plans and covers the cost of this event. Held the evening before your wedding and following a brief practice of your wedding ceremony, this dinner allows time for the wedding party, close friends, and family to celebrate the couple in an intimate setting. There is more time to toast, share stories or videos, and wish the couple a lifetime of happiness prior to the big event. If you are searching for unique ideas for your rehearsal dinner, here are a few that will inspire.

Host a backyard barbeque. For a casual atmosphere, consider a backyard barbeque. Whether the dinner is potluck or catered, this environment will keep things easy going and stress-free so the couple can unwind from months of hectic planning.

Enjoy a night of fine dining. Some couples prefer a more upscale rehearsal dinner. If you want to dress up and enjoy a luxurious night out at a popular restaurant, this is the time to do it!

Host a cocktail party. Set up like a wedding, some couple like the idea of serving fancy appetizers, cocktails, and even a sit-down dinner or buffet. If you really want to splurge, hire someone to provide background music to enhance the celebration.

Create a theme. Sure, everyone is gathered for one central purpose, but spruce up the excitement and serve your guest with a theme in mind. Provide food, cocktails, and décor that match your motif.

Add in the extras. Outside of dinner and toasting, add an element of fun that everyone can enjoy. Bring in a photo booth and save the pictures for your album, hire a magician to entertain the crowd, or even play some silly games that involve everyone there. The sky is the limit!

 

Amazing Spring Wedding Ideas

Spring is such a beautiful time of year, and a great time to tie the knot!   The flowers are in bloom and love is certainly in the air. If you are planning…or hoping for… a Spring wedding, here are a few ideas to get you inspired.

Bright colors
Spring is all about colors. Flowers are in bloom and bright hues are everywhere you turn. This is the perfect time of year to compliment nature and spruce up your wedding with some color pops of your own. Whether you have a color theme in mind, or just want to add flare, you can’t go wrong with mixing all things bright.

Flowers everywhere
When you think of spring , more than likely you think of new life. Take advantage of nature and incorporate floral arrangements in untraditional places.

Cool refreshments
When the sun is shining, a cool refreshment is always nice to help you enjoy your surroundings. Jazz up your reception with unique cocktails (or mocktails) that compliment your theme. Anything infused with fruit will do the trick!

Hanging Decorations
Décor that hangs from the ceiling are always a beautiful way to fill space and add elegance to a spring wedding. Lanterns, decorated chandeliers, ribbon, and florals are beautiful accents to an outdoor or indoor space.

How to Choose the Right Reception Venue

Choosing your reception venue is one of the highlights of planning a wedding. As you begin your search for the perfect spot, take this list of factors and consider which location satisfies the “must-haves.” With some careful searching and deliberation, you will find the place best suited for you.

Does it fall in your budget? It is best to discover your reception venue after completing a detailed budget. Venues vary in price and will undoubtably take a large portion of your finances. If you select a venue at a high price point, be sure you leave room for food and beverages along with music and the rest. Many locations require a deposit and commitment to hold your day of choice so make sure you have estimated the cost for other vendors before you sign on the dotted line.

Is the setting right? When you walk in a space, can you picture your wedding celebration there? Do you have an automatic feeling of comfort and happiness, or do you feel uncomfortable and on edge? Pay attention to the energy of the room and see if it suits your personality.

Prior to checking out a location be sure it checks your must-have boxes. If you always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, don’t commit to an indoor reception hall simply because the price is right or you like their menu. Imagine your perfect day and narrow down locations that fit the scenery you’ve always dreamed of. A gorgeous view can be your best backdrop and help to make a reception unforgettable.

Do they cater? Food is essential at a wedding reception. If you want a venue that serves food, narrow your search to only those with an in-house caterer. If your place of choice does not handle this in-house, make sure they will work with outside vendors or even provide recommendations for preferred merchants.

Will it suit your guest list? Be sure that the venue you select will comfortably hold the number of guests you plan to invite. With that in mind, verify there is also plenty of space for toasting, dancing, food and evacuation in case of an emergency.

Is there ample parking? Unless you have valet help, it is imperative to find a location that allows your guest to easily join and exit your reception. Make sure they do not have to walk too far…especially when they are dolled up for your celebration. If you find a place where parking is a concern, plan for a shuttle to run through the night and assist your guest to a parking area close by.

Romantic Valentine’s Day Wedding Ideas

Valentine’s Day is all about LOVE. If you plan to get hitched on the most romantic day of the year, here are a few dreamy ideas to inspire your special day.

Decorate with plenty of red. Red is the color of love! Therefore, Valentine’s Day is marked with all the red flowers, boxes of chocolate, and teddy bears you can imagine. But, why red? Psychologists have found both sexes to be more attracted to a mate when they are wearing this brilliant color. So, bring it on and don’t be shy. Show it off with bridesmaid’s dresses, flowers, tablecloths, centerpieces, and anything else you want symbolize love.  Be sure to also accessorize with red so your hubby-to-be will be in awe as you walk down the aisle.

Incorporate hearts. The main theme of Valentine’s Day…and your wedding… is love. And what symbolizes love more than a heart? Along with the red accents, use hearts throughout your décor to create a focus on your theme. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Heart shaped cakes, balloons, and table decorations are just a start. Sprinkle your reception tables with candy hearts and even create an oversized heart backdrop for the dance floor.

Watch out for cupid! According to classic mythology, Cupid is the god of love who carries an arrow filled with lovestruck desire. If you are hit with his infamous arrow, you will surely fall in love on the spot. He is portrayed as an adorable, chubby boy armed and ready to send his love arrow flying. If you want your Valentine’s Day wedding to symbolize love at its finest, hang cupid in all four corners of your venue. Perhaps he will even create a new match at your reception!

Light it up with candles.  Have you ever imagined a romantic, dim evening surrounded by the glow of beautiful candles? This is the perfect setting to bring on the romance at your wedding.  Use it to light up the aisle before you make your appearance and set one on each table at your reception. With a brilliant balance of candles and mood lighting, romance will surely fill the air.

 

5 Unique Ideas to Decorate Your Reception Tables

College themed. Sport your favorite college team at your wedding by decorating to show your spirit.  Use tablecloths, colored flowers, signs, and even add foam fingers on each chair to show your pride and support your Alma Mater.
Photo credit: Mackyhouse.com

Go bold with centerpiece. Many wedding reception tables are adorned with flowers.  While they are a lovely detail, try making a statement and going in a unique direction.   If you are having a country wedding or getting married in the Fall, try a rustic piece. If you are tying the knot in Spring, choose a tall flourishing spring bouquet.
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Colorful and vibrant. While it is a good idea to stay within your color scheme, go bold and bright when decorating your tables. Soft, subdued colors are beautiful for the ceremony, yet making your reception hall vibrant is a good way to lift spirits.
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Add photos of the bride and groom. Take personal candid photos of the two of you doing things you love together. Take lots of selfies and ask a passerby to capture special moments. Print the photos and place them on your tables to add personal flare.
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Add quotes. When you run across a quote about love that inspires you, add it to a centerpiece. Use lines from songs, poems, stories, or even your own words to add romance to your table décor.
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Ringing in the New Year with Your Wedding

If you are planning to start the new year off at your wedding, here are some great tips and ideas to create a memorable night.

Plan early. If you have a venue or caterer in mind, book them as quickly as possible. Not only are most vendors busy with weddings, they may also be planning other functions for the holiday.

While it is customary to send save the date cards four months before your wedding, plan to send them eight months prior instead. This is a popular time of year for festivities and plans, so you want to let your guests hold the date in advance.

Plenty of Bubbly. Everyone will be excited to celebrate at midnight so stock the bar with plenty of champagne. After you allow time to toast the bride and groom, chill more bottles for the countdown. This celebration will keep your guests partying longer and excited to ring in the new year with romance.

Dance the night away. Most weddings are filled with smiles, laughter, and love. Let your New Year’s Eve celebration take the party to another level.  This is an evening where many guests will arrive in a happy spirit and ready to have a good time. It’s a great night to turn the music up a little and get rowdy for hours on the dance floor.

Decorate and honor the holiday. Remember that you are sharing your wedding night with a major holiday. Do not feel blue if ringing in the New Year shares the same amount of joy through the evening. Celebrate both by decorating, tying in festive music, and hosting a memorable countdown celebration.

What to do Right After You Become Engaged

Congratulations on your engagement! This is a very exciting time and you may be eager to get the planning underway. If you wondering where you need to begin, here are the first items to check off your list to get your planning off to a solid start.

  1. Celebrate! Even before you pick up the phone and call your family and friends, be sure you take a few minutes together to soak up the excitement. Now is a great time to pop a bottle of champagne with your new fiancé.
  2. Call your friends and family and tell them the good news! Perhaps your parents or close friends know it is coming, but they are likely eager to get a phone call from you with good news.
  3. Get your engagement ring appraised and add it to your insurance policy. Be sure to do this as quickly as you can. You want peace of mind that your ring is covered from loss, theft, or damage so you can wear it proud.
  4. Talk about the kind of wedding you want to have with your fiancé and don’t leave out any detail. Consider these sorts of items: Do you want a band or a DJ? Do you want a sit-down dinner or a buffet? Do you want to get married close to home or at a destination?
  5. Organize your budget. Before you dive into planning the details you must organize your finances. Have an honest and open conversation with your finance about how much you are willing to spend. Also consider the areas where you are willing to splurge. Now is also the time to find out if one or both sets of parents are willing to help with the costs. Once you have a budget in mind you can start considering where you want to get married and how many people to include on the guest list.
  6. Once you know how large or small your wedding will be, it is time to start drafting a guest list. The easiest way to tackle this project is to include everyone you know and start eliminating based on the size of wedding you can afford.
  7. Individually ask your wedding party to stand with you at the altar.
  8. Decide when you want to get married. This piece is important for planning. If you are eager to tie the knot soon, you need to coordinate a location fast. Many popular venues book quickly and may not have your ideal date available.
  9. Have an engagement party. Now that everyone knows the good news it is time to have a party in your honor. Some couples hold a stock the bar party, which is a great way to fill your bar for the wedding reception. This is also a good time for guests to shower you with wedding gifts.
  10. Create and send a Save the Date card. People will start asking when you planned to get married so they can organize their calendars. If you are planning a destination wedding, it is imperative that you send these early, even as early as 12 months prior to your wedding date.

Getting Healthy for the Big Day

All brides want to look their best when they walk down the aisle. Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or not, here are some practical tips to help you feel your best on your wedding day.

Start early. If you have decided to begin a new diet or fitness routine, the earlier you dive in the better. While you may feel great initially, it may take a little time to see visible results. This is normal. Do plenty of research on the plan you choose and set realistic goals. Avoid overworking yourself and trying to reach a goal too quickly. You want to feel great AND take good care of yourself.

Have an accountability partner. Whether your fiancé or a good friend steps in as your cheerleader, have a trusted companion help track your goals, keep you motivated, and celebrate your victories. Someone by your side holding you accountable makes it easier to stay on track.

Do it in a healthy way. It is imperative that the diet and fitness plan you choose is good for your body and mind. Crash dieting is never a good idea. Even if you are seeing quick results, the last thing you want on your wedding day is a blood sugar crash down the aisle. If you choose a fad diet or starve yourself to lose weight quickly, you may find yourself in a worse place as your body starts to store fat and recover itself from lost calories.

If you have decided on a health/fitness plan to prepare for your wedding, congratulations! Just don’t stop there. Once you finally tie the knot, keep things going. The hard part is already done.

How to Check Out and In During Your Honeymoon

There are many details to cover when planning a wedding. You meet vendors, budget, and organize until you feel like you have taken on an extra part-time job. Just keep in mind that after your perfect day is over, you get to relax on a much-needed vacation with your partner. The key word here is RELAX. Here is how to balance time away with the reality of life at home.

Set aside time. For some of us it may be easy to power off your cell phone and detach for a week or two. If you are one of those fortunate people, be grateful. If you have kids, a business, or family at home that make it difficult to go MIA. Just be sure you find a way to balance your time. Remember, the purpose of your honeymoon is to celebrate a new chapter with your spouse. Here are a few tips to help you stay engaged and keep your peace of mind:

1. Let your partner know in advance that you need to take a block of time on certain days to check in. If you disappear unannounced, they may feel neglected.
2. Honor the time you set aside and get back to your romantic getaway as quickly as you can. Make short phone calls and keep your business interactions efficient.
3. Put the phone, computer, or tablet aside and power it off when it is not in use so you can stay fully engaged during your honeymoon activities.
4. Give a trusted family member and friend your hotel information just in case they need to reach out in an emergency. This will give you peace of mind when you power off your electronics.
5. Keep the social media posting at a minimum. If you want to share photos, consider waiting until you return home.

Photo Ideas for Fall

Fall is a popular time of year to tie the knot, or just take scenic photos for your upcoming wedding. Now, the summer heat has finally subsided, and nature has created its very own picturesque backdrop. No doubt this is the best time of year to get outdoors and create those fantastic photo memories.

Engagement Ideas

If you and your beau are planning to take engagement photos, this is the best time of year to catch a few lighthearted candid moments. Yes, romantic photos are perfect for the album, but the memories of the two of you playing in nature is sure to spark extra joy. Roll around in the leaves and climb a tree together. Just spend a day having fun and let the photographer do the work. The best photo opportunities happen when you aren’t thinking about the camera.

Save the Date

It makes no difference what time of year you plan to get hitched; Fall is the perfect time of year to create a romantic and sweet Save the Date card. The crisp air gives you an excuse to cozy up together and be romantic. Once you snap the perfect photo, print them onto a save the date card and send them off!

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Wedding Memories

If you are getting married during the Fall months, take your wedding party outside for posed pictures. Most photographers allow time before the reception for this to take place. You may want some indoors or at the altar, but if you mix them in with outdoor shots your wedding album will have an amazing mix.  

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