Rehearsal Dinner Guide

Traditionally, a rehearsal dinner takes place the night before your wedding. This is a perfect time to gather with your wedding party, close friends, and family to intimately celebrate your upcoming nuptials. If you are planning to have a rehearsal dinner party, here are a few tips to get the preparation underway.

Who is the host?
It is customary for the groom’s family is plan, organize, and pay for the rehearsal dinner. Today, some couples choose to share the responsibility and host this event on their own. Whichever route you choose, the person that oversees the event will send invitations, book the venue, plan the food, and pay.

Where should it take place?
Some rehearsal dinners are formal and take place in a ballroom with a seated dinner included, while others take place in the backyard with barbeque. The possibilities are endless. First consider if you want a formal or informal event and recognize that the price will vary depending on the location and size of your party. If your wedding is formal, you may choose to keep the festivities in line with a proper setting.  If your wedding has a more causal and laid-back atmosphere, stick with a relaxed and warm party.

Who should be invited?
When organizing your rehearsal dinner guest list, begin with parents of the bride and groom along with immediate family members, the wedding party, and the officiant. Then it is time to branch out to spouses and potentially their children (depending on how large your event will be). Ring bearers, flower girls, and junior bride’s maids should be included and, depending on their age, possibly their parents. Once this list is finalized, reach out to close friends or out of town guests that you want to be a part of this intimate gathering too.

For unique rehearsal dinner ideas, click here.

Summer Wedding Tips

Summer is just around the corner and is a great time to get married outdoors! If you are tying the knot in the sun, here are some tips to keep you and your guests cool and comfortable.

Provide plenty of shade.
If your outdoor venue does not provide an abundance of natural shade, have tents available to keep your guests from overheating and overexposure to direct sunlight. Consider fun sunglasses and parasols on each seat for extra protection. These items can even double as a party favor.

Consider the menu.
Summer is not the time for heavy hors d’ oeuvres or big meals. Stick with lighter food options instead. Load your food tables with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and meat from the grill. Keep the beverages and extra desserts light too. Think of refreshing cocktails, white wine, and an abundance of cold water, lemonade, and tea selections. Any dessert that cools your guests will be a hit. Add ice cream, popsicles, and mini-light cakes or pies that are easy to create in smaller portion sizes. For more refreshment ideas to keep your guests cool and happy, click here.

Provide sunscreen.
It is likely that some of your guests will forget to apply sunscreen or will need reapplication during your festivities. Consider adding sunscreen stations throughout. Offer a selection with a high SPF that can easily be applied. We recommend sprays for sharing outdoors.

Provide save-the dates for preparation.
While wedding invitations will contain fewer words and focus on event details, you can add information to your save the date cards. Let your guests know that your wedding will take place outdoors and suggest breathable attire. These cards will also help your guests plan around vacation schedules too.

Beauty Skin Tips for Your Wedding Day

Wedding planning takes a lot of time and thought. The few weeks leading up to your ceremony, give yourself a little TLC too. Here are some tips to help you look and feel your best when you walk down the aisle and say, “I do!”.

Exfoliate
When it comes to exfoliating, you have options. Find a gentle salt or sugar scrub and rub in a circular motion for 30 seconds to eliminate dead skin and to clear your pores. Exfoliating tools are also available and work just as well. Do this once a day leading up to your wedding but be gentle on your skin to prevent abrasions or redness. Don’t forget to prevent flaking lipstick. Remember to exfoliate your lips too!

Tanning
While we can all agree there is beauty in glowing skin, don’t overdo the tan before your nuptials. Wear sunscreen with UVA protection outdoors and choose safe tanning alternatives. There are now a variety of streak-free self-tanners on the market that do not give an orange finish. Spray tans are also a great alternative. We recommend you choose a shade close to your natural color and tan two to three days prior to the big day to give it time to set and look natural.

Prevent Shine
Use a light foundation to hold your makeup in place and keep the powder close. Find a light-weight option that will not build-up with reapplication through the festivities. When convenient, use a tissue to lightly dab your skin to remove excess oil and sweat.

Waterproof Makeup
Wearing waterproof eye makeup on your wedding day can prevent mascara and liner from running. It can also help with your tears of joy! If you are not accustomed to waterproof options, we suggest you test the product 2 weeks prior for any unwanted reactions. If waterproof makeup is not an option for you, try concealer and powder under they eye area to hold your makeup in place and finish with a setting spray. Always use a primer before application.

Wedding Dessert Trends for 2021

Your wedding cake is a staple, right? As dessert tables, mini cakes, and individual sweets are creeping into receptions everywhere, you will be pleased to know that traditional wedding cakes are still a hit. So, before you ditch the baker, here are a few ways you can add to your dessert repertoire and wow your guests with sugar.

Keeping safety in mind.
If you are holding an intimate celebration and contemplating safety guidelines for COVID-19, consider offering your guests small cakes or table cakes to reduce the spread of germs. Families and friends that travel together can sit at reserved tables with an individual “table cake” for sharing.

Another possibility is to offer individually packaged desserts for each guest. This will reduce contact from sharing and can double as a party favor! Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, macaroons, or even a mix of all can be individualized and dispersed after the meal. Be sure to add a personal and creative touch to the wrapping.

Have your cake…and ice cream too.
If you are keeping things traditional, cut and share your cake with an ice cream bar on the side. A few flavor selections are great, but the joy is in the toppings. Whether you set up a toppings bar so guests can help themselves or create grab-and-go options, the bigger the selection the better.

Dessert beverages are a success.
Cookies and cakes will always be a hit, but dessert cocktails are making a comeback! Offer a few options for differing taste palates. Fruity cocktails, chocolate martinis, hot toddies, or cocktails mixed with cinnamon and spice are sure to be a hit! Here are a few cocktail ideas for you to consider.

Beautiful Beach Wedding Inspiration

There are so many benefits to tying the knot seaside, where do we even begin? Mother nature is your backdrop, the sunshine lights your space, and crashing waves create a calming ambience…and this is just a start.  If you are taking your nuptials to the shore, here are a few reasons why we are on board!

You can make it a destination wedding.
People are ready to travel again after a year of quarantine at home. Planning a beach wedding is a great excuse to take that long-awaited vacation. For those who may still have anxiety in group gatherings, the open air can help ease some angst. Follow these tips to create a safe environment for you and your guests.

A beach wedding provides a getaway for everyone, but it can also double as your honeymoon. No need to plan a separate vacation, just stay an extra week and celebrate in the sun.

Easy Planning.
Most resorts have a wedding coordinator on staff who can plan and sort details for your ceremony. There may be a few chairs, floral arrangements, or an archway to decorate the space; but a beach wedding allows the laid-back couple to relax. Your ceremony can be beautiful, memorable, and low-key. Many resorts even have an outdoor space for you to host the reception only steps away from the ocean.

Keep Things Intimate.
While you may have a surprise “Yes” from the co-worker who needed a reason to travel, a beach wedding typically involves close friends and family. Many people are unable or willing to travel for a destination wedding. Chances are that your wedding day will be spent with those who are the closest and most valuable to you.

If you are sold on the idea of getting married in the sand, here are a few planning tips to help.

 

Formal or Informal Wedding Invitations?

Wedding invitations are one of the first items you will select for your wedding. There are a few steps involved and some details to consider when finding the right fit. If you have begun your search, you have probably noticed there are thousands of options out there and it can seem a bit overwhelming!  Here is a guide to helping you select and personalize the right set for you.

The first question you need to ask is…are you hosting a formal or an informal wedding? Formal wedding invitations are considered to have a “proper” look and the wording is remarkably different from the casual invite. If you are moving in the formal direction, choose invitations that use a tissue liner in the center with an exterior envelope to protect the invitation itself. While a few physical characteristics may vary, the key distinction is in the verbiage.  Here are a few wording details that may diverge in a formal invitation:

  • They are sent by the “host” of the event using a formal or proper name and a title.
  • Middle names are included.
  • “Request the honour of your presence” is often used over statements such as, “please join us”.
  • The time and date are spelled out such as, “Saturday, the twenty-fifth of May at seven o’clock in the evening.”
  • The city and state are included and fully spelled out.

A casual wedding invitation creates a canvas for creativity and character. These invitations may appear more simple or imaginative and allow the use of informal wording such as:

  • We are saying “I do!”
  • “We have found our happily ever after. Join us in celebrating!”
  • The date and time do not need to be spelled out in a formal way.
  • You can include the name of a particular host or just let your guest know they are invited in any creative form.

If you are unsure about which invitation best suits your wedding motif, click here for your wedding invitation guide

Keeping Everyone Safe From COVID-19 at Your Wedding

It has been a year since our world changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As things slowly shift to the “new normal” you may be considering how to move forward with your wedding ceremony. Here is some advice as to how you can create a safe environment for you and your guests.

Host an outdoor wedding.
Now that spring it here, there is no excuse! The flowers are in bloom and the air is warm. An outdoor wedding will allow space for a greater number guests with the ability to maintain safe social distancing practices. According to the Mayo Clinic, “When you are outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So, you’re less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected.” Set up your space by spreading chairs apart at six feet of distance or more. You can allow families or parties from the same household to sit together, which will create a more enjoyable experience for them. Consider pre-reserving clusters of seats for these groups to minimize reshuffling prior to your ceremony.

Wear masks.
Let everyone know in advance that masks are required for attendance. If your guests are uncomfortable in a mask, give them the option to livestream your ceremony. Provide an assortment of new or disposable options at the entrance for those who still show up without a face covering.

Provide Hand Sanitizer Stations.
Purchase large bottles of hand sanitizer and place them in different areas of your wedding space. Feel free to have your bottles monogramed, decorated, or glamorized in any way that seems fun or suits your theme. Although handwashing is the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19, sanitizer stations can prevent unwanted spread through touching contaminated surfaces.

If you are organizing a safe outdoor wedding in your very own backyard, here are some tips to get your planning underway.

 

 

Works Cited

Safe Outdoor Activities During The COVID-19 Pandemic [Blog Post]”.  The Mayo Clinic,
www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385. Accessed March 14, 2021

How to Have a Safe Wedding During the COVID Pandemic

It has been almost a year since our world changed due to COVID-19. Important events have been put on hold or canceled to keep us safe and healthy. However, we understand that the excitement surrounding your wedding did not change with a national slowdown. Wedding plans may just need to be adjusted or postponed to allow safe social distancing practices. If you are considering ways to still get hitched and keep others healthy, here are some ideas that will allow you to have both.

Go Virtual
Many brides are holding a small, socially distanced wedding with a virtual option for those who are uncomfortable or unable to attend. There are terrific platforms available to allow your guests to sign in and never miss a beat, right from the comfort of their own home. If you choose this path, send a link in advance and inform your virtual guests they may need to download software or an app in advance to participate.  Place your camera at an angle that allows the most coverage of you and the venue.  That way your online guests to capture the full essence of your event.

Stay Small
Whether you add an online option or not, micro-weddings are a safe alternative for in-person weddings. First, include those already in your close circle to eliminate exposure with people you have not seen in a while. You can also ask your guest to get tested prior to your wedding and wear a mask while socially distancing. Weather permitting, take the festivities outdoors and spread out. Open air is a safer alternative to indoor gatherings. A small intimate ceremony can make your nuptials feel romantic and sweet with those you love the most. Here are some ideas for small backyard gatherings if you want to keep things close to home.

Postpone the Celebration
If you have a dream wedding in mind, there is no reason to kiss it goodbye. Instead, consider getting married with just a witness or small gathering of loved ones and host a large event on a later date. This alternative will allow time for wedding venues to re-open at full capacity and people to celebrate without anxiety. If you need tips for sending postponement announcements, click here.

Photography Tips for Your Wedding

Your wedding photos tell an important story. They capture the romance, laughter, and joy shared on your wedding day. Work in sync with your photographer to create the perfect timeline for your album by following these easy tips.

Commination is key.
Before your wedding day, meet with your photographer to clearly communicate your vision. Do you imagine photos full of guests celebrating on the dance floor with you? Would you rather focus on the romance and the sweet moments shared with your new hubby? Perhaps you prefer a mix of both. Some brides choose candid shots over the formally staged moments. Wherever your preferences lie, be clear in your communication. It helps when all parties are on the same page.

Focus on the big moments.
While it is important to capture small moments throughout the day (like the ten-year-old romance that bloomed on the dance floor) let your photo album highlight the big events. Determine the top four or five elements where you want your photographer to shift focus. It could be saying your vows, cutting the cake, the first dance, throwing the bouquet, or the heart-felt toast before dinner. Whatever moments you choose, assign a feature page in your album to showcase these actions. Forming a fluid story is easier to follow than a book of scattered photos.

Mix it up.
Wherever your preferences lie, be sure to include a little variety. Even if you prefer the candid shots, do not miss the opportunity to incorporate a formal family picture while everyone is together.  Your photographer is a professional with the knowledge and experience to catch the irreplaceable moments of your day. Trust their creative abilities. You will be pleased with an assortment of memories.

Choosing The Best Look for Your Wedding Day

Hair up or down? Natural nails or flashy pink? Choosing your wedding day look does not have to be daunting.  If you are in the process of finding the right style, here are some tips to get the creative beauty juices flowing.

Think about how you want to be remembered in your photos.
When choosing your best look, this should be the most important question.  You will return to your wedding album to spark joyful memories for years to come. Take time to over the next week to reminisce with old photos and make beauty decisions based on your reaction to various looks.  Consider makeup, hairstyles, clothing choices, and so on. Then start asking questions like, “Do I photo better with an updo or a more natural, flowing hairstyle?” “Do I prefer pictures with makeup that creates a statement or more subtle tones?” If you find it hard to settle, grab a trusted friend and a camera to create your own photo shoot. Take as many photos as possible with as many looks as you can create. Have fun!

Let your venue be a guide.
If you are tying the knot in an upscale ballroom, opt for a formal hairstyle with accessories and makeup that suit the ambiance. However, if you have opted for a beach wedding, a fancy updo may not hold up well with wind and humidity (no matter how much hairspray you use). An outdoor wedding in the summer heat is also not the best place to layer heavy makeup. Consider the elements of your surroundings before each beauty decision you make.

Consider the time of day.
Yes, the time of day you tie the knot should make a difference in your look.  Bright lights in the morning or midday may not be the best time for a bold makeup statement. However, dim lighting through the evening hours is perfect for adding an extra touch.  Bold makeup or hair may also seem out of place for an early ceremony. A good rule of thumb is to air on the lighter side early in the day.

If you are interested in getting help from the professionals, here is a list of beauty appointments you may want to schedule before the big day.