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.

Budget Planning for Your Wedding

Regardless of the amount set aside in your budget, there is no need to be overwhelmingly stressed about finances when planning your wedding.  Instead, gather an understanding of how your funds should be allocated and begin breaking down each cost one step at a time. This simple process can help you take control of your money, your planning, and your sanity.  Here are a few tips to help you effectively manage your money through the planning process.

Ask for Help
Before you allocate funds into specific categories, find out exactly who plans to pay for what. While the conversation may be tricky, ask your family members if they plan to help and how. Have an open and honest discussion about what you need and be grateful for any amount they are willing to donate. It is important they commit to the amount offered before you begin planning specifics. If you are weary of their willingness to follow through, play it safe and start the process as if they were unable to take part financially.

Smart Allocation is Key
Gathering a broad idea of the amount to allocate in certain categories is essential before you commit to vendors. For example, roughly half of your budget will be designated for the wedding venue and catering. When you meet venue representatives, gather a cost breakdown of what is included and make sure it aligns with your financial plan. If not, no need to stress. Instead, find a venue more compatible with your savings. In the end, staying inside your budget creates less angst than spending more than you can actually afford. Here is how to start creating a practical wedding budget.

Manage Your Guest List Appropriately
Controlling the size of your guest list is an easy way to manage the overall cost of your wedding. Less people means less food and alcohol alongside a smaller venue space. This will also lead to savings on stationary, décor, and favors. Here are tips to keeping your guest list small.

Keep Track of What You Spend
Whether you have a wedding budget calculator or just love to create spreadsheets, keeping track of your spending is essential. Be sure to have a “miscellaneous” fund available for any unexpected cost that may arise and don’t forget gratuities and service fees. Here are some hidden wedding costs that catch people off guard.  If you have your heart set on something that you can DIY, give it a shot! You may open up funds to allocate in areas that were otherwise neglected.

Organizing a Backyard Wedding: Here’s How to Get Started

Backyard weddings are more popular than ever. Venues are postponing events due to the pandemic, travel restrictions are in place, and safety requirements for small gatherings have created a challenge. So, brides who are still eager to tie the knot are bringing things right into their very own backyard. If you are considering a wedding at home, here are tips to consider.

Organize your rental supply checklist.
While wedding venues have rooms set up and ready to entertain, it may be a challenge knowing exactly what you should order to create the same atmosphere.  Here is a checklist to get you started:

  • Tables
  • Tablecloths and linens
  • Chairs – for the ceremony and meal
  • Chair draperies
  • Table décor – centerpieces
  • Plates, cutlery, glassware
  • Lighting
  • Bars tables to serve food
  • Beverage station supplies – beverages and pitchers, ice bucket, beverage glasses
  • Floral arrangements and greenery
  • Lighting
  • Tents
  • Guest book
  • Arch for the ceremony
  • Trash bins
  • Serving utensils
  • Extension cords, power strips

Order appropriate food conducive to a backyard gathering.
Perhaps you had dreamed of a formal sit-down dinner indoors. You can still enjoy your favorite dishes; just modify how you serve them to suit your ambiance. When people think backyard wedding, comfort food typically comes to mind. So, include your upscale finger foods and side dishes while mixing them with your classic backyard selections. If you had your heart set on lobster as an entrée, consider serving it in a pastry or handheld appetizer instead. Pig roasts, hamburgers, and easy to serve buffet options have historically been a hit.

Create a unique beverage station.
Stock your bar with the typical favorites, but also include a specialty cocktail exclusive to your event. Think seasonal or original. If you have an innovation cocktail creation, this is the best time to share it with your favorite people.  Ordering a keg from a local brewery or cidery to serve is a also great way to make your ceremony intimate. Anything that makes your wedding memorable is key.

Add a place for games and entertainment.
Backyard games such as cornhole, tetherball, horseshoes, Canjam, and so on are perfect entertainment to mix with the DJ and wedding festivities. It also creates a casual, fun, and intimate setting that fits the ambiance of an outdoor wedding.

Make restrooms accessible.
Be sure to have clean restrooms available and easy to access. Allowing traffic inside to use the powder room can create unnecessary traffic and chaos. An outdoor setup can eliminate congestion for the caterer who is preparing food indoors. Here are some upscale options to consider: Luxury Restroom Trailers – Edmunds Waste Removal.

Gorgeous and Unique Floral Ideas for Your Wedding

Sure, flowers are a staple at weddings. But brides are going outside of the box these days with unique floral arrangement ideas. We still love the classic look but here are some ideas with a fresh perspective.

 Take it down a notch
It may be hard to imagine, but small and simple is in and less is more! Brides are highlighting gorgeous aspects of their venue by using flowers as an accessory. If you have an elaborate indoor space, use small arrangements as an accent to draw attention to your favorite details. Many brides are incorporating alternative décor such as signs, lighting, and candles where flowers were once a staple. Surround these elements with simple greenery to tie it all together nicely.

Going simple with flowers also works as an alternative to an elaborate bridal bouquet. Make a grand entrance with a single stem rose (or your flower of choice) that blends with your ambiance and color scheme. Let your dress and accessories make a statement instead.

Photo credit: Pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suspend your flowers
Centerpieces are brilliant, but you can open table space by hanging your flowers overhead. Tie in the colors with pedals on the table and on or two stems scattered throughout, but letting your statement suspend overhead with draw the attention of your guests to the space around you. Blending your arrangement with overhead lighting will also create and bright and elegant space.

Photo credit: Pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create a pedal aisle
Imagine walking down a floral line pedal aisle to meet your hubby-to-be. This is a brilliant way to add color to your venue and feel like royalty. Pedals sprinkled by an adorable flower girl is classic and sweet, but an aisle of pedals brings your grand entrance to a whole new level. (Yes, we still think you should find a role for your flower girl!)

Photo credit: Pinterest.com

 

Must-Ask Questions Before Booking Your Wedding Venue

Selecting the venue for your wedding is one of the most important (and expensive) decisions you will make during wedding planning. Perhaps you already have the perfect place in mind. Or maybe you are on the hunt for the space that suits you both. Either way, here are some things to consider and questions to ask the before signing on the dotted line.

Is there enough space?
Even if your guest list is not finalized, gather an idea of how many people you plan to invite. Find a reception space that allows everyone enough room to spread out comfortably without too much extra space. Most venues charge a minimum fee. So, consider the 15-20% of your guest list that will not be able to make it.   Here are also some tips for keeping your list small.

What is included in the package?
It is important to obtain package details in writing so you can evaluate it against other venues. Do they include catering, or will you need to bring in an outside vendor? Is there staff available to serve food and work the bar, or do you need to ask your caterer to provide this service? Are there clean restrooms nearby that your guests can access? Make a list of the important items and have it ready for your meeting. Anything you need to take care of independently should be carefully considered before you make the final decision.

Is it in a convenient location?
Consider where your overnight guest will stay before you make the call.  While there may be the perfect space in the middle of the country, it may be difficult for some guests to commute. Research suitable hotels nearby and find a reception hall close to the ceremony location. Ideally, you will select a venue where both can take place on site. There is no need for your guest spending precious time driving across town!

What about alcohol?
Be sure to ask the venue if the carry the proper licensing before you decide to stock the bar. If you choose to bring in your own supply, ask if they charge a cork fee. There may be a significant cost difference between the purchase of alcohol on site versus the per bottle opening charge you find on your bill at the end of the night.

 

How to Store Your Wedding Dress

Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most exciting days out during wedding planning. This is the time to dress up and feel like a princess!  But, if you have already purchased your dress and it is now waiting at home for the big day (alterations and all), here are some storage tips to keep it looking its best.

Let it Breathe
While you may consider and airtight box after you say “I do”, storing a wedding dress for a future date is different. Your dress needs to breathe. Cloth garment bags will protect the material from outside elements while allowing proper ventilation. If you do not have a bag, simply place your dress between a flat bedsheet that fully covers the material. Cut a hole at the top of the sheet to allow your dress to hang with the sheet equally covering both sides. Feel free to use safety pins to carefully secure the sheet around the sides of your dress. Just make sure you do not pin the dress fabric, only the sheet surrounding your garment.

Let it hang
Hanging your dress tall will keep the fresh pressed look you received from the dress shop or alterations boutique. Once your dress is carefully placed inside the garment bag, hang it in a closet on a tall rack where the bottom is not bundled on the floor to prevent wrinkling. Try to select a location to hang it away from crowded spaces. If other clothes are shoved around your wedding dress, there is a chance more wrinkling will occur.

Find the best place
If you are debating which closet is best, choose the space that is opened rarely to protect your dress from overexposure to the sun. Also try to keep the dress in a cool, temperature-controlled room with low humidity. If you are storing your dress in a tropical environment, purchase a small humidifier from a local hardware store to keep your space cool and dry.

Leave it be
This may be the hardest part! Once you have safely stored your dress, try your best to leave it alone. Removing it frequently increases your change of spills, oils from your skin, new wrinkles, makeup, and other elements that can change the integrity of your new dress.

Once you are finally close to your wedding day, carefully remove your dress and have it professionally steamed.

Winter Wedding Tips

What is there not to love about a romantic winter wedding? Imagine your cozied up by the fire and saying your “I do’s” with a blanket of snow in the background. Winter weddings are increasingly becoming more popular. If getting hitched this time of year sounds appealing to you, here are some tips for planning.

Create a Comfortable Space

Whether you are celebrating under the tent outdoors with a wood burning fire or remaining inside with the heater running, create a cozy and inviting space for your guests to lounge. Place a couch with decorative blankets in front of a coffee table for people to sit and create conversation. Or, arrange decorative camping chairs fireside with a smore’s kit to keep your guests interreacting and entertained. It is important to have a warm place to gather, especially for those who cannot handle cold temperatures.

Warm cocktails

A winter wedding is the perfect time to serve hot toddies. Hot coffee mixed with Kalua or Bailey’s Irish Cream is a fantastic way to stay warm. Consider hot apple cider cocktails or a warm Old-Fashioned to give your party a twist. Also, stick with full bodied red wines that pair well with heavy hors d’oeuvres or the dinner you serve.

Coat Check

A coat check is extremely helpful at a winter wedding reception. Most of your guests will show up wearing a heavy coat but are not interested in carting it around throughout the evening. Allowing them to arrive and safely hand off that added layer will free them up to participate fully without focusing on where they laid their belongings. This will also allow you to open up space for dining and dancing.

Dress for the Season

While you may not choose to stick with a winter theme, be sure to keep the season in mind. Deep, dark colors are beautiful over the winter months. If your dress is made of a light fabric, carry a shawl or fur wrap to keep you warm; especially if you plan to venture outdoors. That added shawl or set of hand warmers will be easy to shed while toasting or dancing and is easy to pick up for outdoor photos or congregating.

Still searching for more winter wedding tips? Here are more ideas to help with your planning. Also, check out our floral ideas for getting married over the cold months.