#TipTuesday: A Perfect Southern Style Country Wedding: The Essentials

Cowboy boots? Check. Hanging mason jars? Check. Country barn with all the trimmings? Absolutely. Here's our guide to the essential bits and pieces you'll need for your country chic wedding. The country-themed wedding is by far one of the most novel-wedding aesthetics. It's down-to-earth, its simplicity is elegant and it is usually held in the great outdoors; what is there not to like? An outdoor country wedding is the perfect summer setting for a blooming romance.

Open woodland spaces and rustic barnyards can host an entire evening of drinking and dancing as the lovebirds usher in the latest chapter in their lives cloaked by warm summer evening air. To be sure that your country wedding goes off without a hitch, here are a few of the most important considerations that you should take when planning the wedding.

This is merely a suggested framework for your event, and you should expound, improvise and elaborate as much as you can until it fits your taste perfectly.

Location

The most important consideration for any wedding is going to be the location of both the service and the reception. Some people have to reserve a venue for their nuptials almost a year in advance, which sometimes postpones a wedding for longer than many couples would like. Being the country boy and girl however, you know that resourcefulness is one of your greatest qualities. You don't need to exchange your vows in a swanky venue. Your wedding is validated by the love of your family, friends and spouse-to-be. You want your wedding to simultaneously illustrate your lofty affections and your down-to-earth roots.

Barn wedding ceremony

Image courtesy of http://www.robholley.net

An outdoor location for one or both of your wedding events is going to be a high priority. This means that weather considerations are very important, since you don't want your guests shivering in their seats and cursing your ill-advised winter wonderland wedding. Once you've decided on a date, you need to find an area that can host your estimated party attendance and give them room to roam about while enjoying the conversation and delicacies that will be had at your reception.

Barns are the ultimate symbolism for a country lifestyle, so if you can find a preserved one ready for such an occasion as a wedding, it will really boost the overall effectiveness of your country theme. For a daytime service in particular, slivers of sunlight peeking through the old barnyard walls and falling on the wedding couple can be romantic and, quite frankly, exciting for all of your guests to see. The bottom line is that your location is going to function as the canvas for your dream country wedding, so make sure that it will be something that will look good when accented with country-style decoration.

southern themed weddings

Image courtesy of http://www.carpenteroak.com

Attire

If you've been thinking about having a country wedding, chances are that you've already thought about walking down the aisle in your favorite pair of boots. This is a wonderful idea since boots are obligatory country footwear. Cowboy boots are the most iconic element of western culture heritage and they can't be neglected if you are taking a comprehensive approach to country-style nuptials. Although the bride will most likely still be wearing white, she doesn't have to adhere to tradition when it comes to her footwear. In fact, a straightforward pair of neutral Justin Boots may be the best way to bridge the gap between a white wedding gown and an earthy rustic wonderland. Bridesmaids can follow suit, or they can wear a brown slouch variation to complement their colorful bridesmaids' dresses. You should also decide whether or not you would enforce a dress code. An entire wedding party that participates in your down-south festivities can only enhance what will already be a pretty fabulous event. Let everyone know in the invitations if western-oriented styles of dress are suggested or encouraged.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Seating

Fortunately for you, a cowboy country wedding theme doesn't require that you have consistency in terms of furniture. Instead, the outdoor country wedding should be reminiscent of the days when a rural community would come together and the growing crowd of locals would have to improvise seating when they needed a rest from the activity. You're obviously excited to spend your reception dancing the night away with all of your loved ones, but the older invitees will want you to have ample seating at your event. One of the most ingenious ideas for seating that has been used is covering hay bales with burlap or lightly colored sheets secured by twine or thin rope. Hay bales are essentially building blocks that can be stacked and scattered in any way that you think would look best or be most convenient. They offer that quintessential country touch while still providing you with flexibility. A single bale can seat multiple guests like a farmhouse love seat, and they can be scattered throughout the reception space for easy access to everyone in attendance.

country themed wedding

Image courtesy of http://www.indulgy.com

At the dinner tables wooden seating is a must, so don't worry about deploying an army of folding aluminum chairs to accommodate everyone. A hodgepodge of mismatched wooden seating, maybe even a bench or two gives your dining setting a lot of character, while adding to the underlying casualness of the event. It can also make your seating arrangement pop against the background, and can reflect the diversity of the newly-combined families coming together in celebration of a single event. Abundant seating should be an important consideration, so any surface that is relatively comfortable and thematically consistent can be used to help your guests take a load off. In fact, if you can somehow acquire a rusty old pickup, just pop down the tailgate to open up seating for about half a dozen of your guests: it will create conversation and be a prime picture location for the entire evening.

country wedding venues

Image courtesy of http://www.homemydesign.com

Decor

The part of your country wedding that will really distinguish you from others is going to be how you decorate the landscape. If you wanted, you could go with the 'southern social elite' vibe, but the creative, more accessible 'rustic romance' approach will be much more interesting to your invitees and less alienating to your casual guests. The rustic aesthetic is really a beautiful juxtaposition between the antiquated southern lifestyle and modern-day country living. Your decoration will need to reflect the resourcefulness of the simple country folk, but be highlighted by the traditional trimmings of a romantic wedding. On paper this might sound odd, but anything that rusts or rots could make for some very rich thematic decoration for your wedding background. Think of how great the scenery would look with the occasional cartwheel leaning against a hay bale or a wheelbarrow used as a cooler.

country wedding decorations

Image courtesy of http://www.etsy.com

Table centerpieces are a great opportunity to really seize the country theme and make for an almost anachronistic dining experience. Old milk or cream cans can be used to contain a daisy arrangement at the center of each guest table. Smaller hors d'oeuvres stations around the area?s perimeter might be made of upright wine barrels with a single baby?s breath bouquet sitting in a polished aluminium soup can. Nametags or table assignments can be hanging from horseshoes or etched on circular wood slabs. The country wedding is all about taking easy-to-access items and refurbishing them for a simply elegant wedding event.

Country wedding decoration ideas

Image courtesy of http://www.robholley.net

One other suggestion would be to buy a ton of mason jars. Mason jars are the most versatile country wedding accessory, as they can be used for fancy drinks, floral arrangements, they can hold candles, or be used as gift containers. You can even hang them from a barn ceiling as decoration. When it comes to country weddings, you can never have too many mason jars.

country wedding accesories

Image courtesy of http://www.etsy.com

Themed weddings are becoming increasingly prominent in our culture, and reasonably so. Couples are not willing to spend their big day (and their money) going through the motions the way that their parents, and their grandparents probably did in the past. People today want their wedding day to be expressions of the unique personalities that are being united in marriage, and they want their guests to have a genuine impression of who they really are. Themed weddings allow couples to impart a statement about their romantic story on the people whom they share their big day with.

The key to a southern-themed wedding is to relax. After months (and maybe years) of planning, this is going to be the evening where everyone unwinds and enjoys the company of an enthusiastic couple taking their first steps on a lifelong journey together. Whether they?re on hay bales or rocking chairs, your guests will share in your excitement as they marvel at the wonderful wedding that they are now a part of. Use these suggestions to help you create the perfect country styled wedding.

Source: weddzilla.com

#TipTuesday: Five Tips That May Save Your Wedding (and Your Sanity)

wedding-rings-wallpaper1 1. Give in to the chaos

The ice swan may melt, the sound system could go on the fritz, it might rain toads -- you'll still be just as married as you would have been had everything gone according to plan.

2. Remember that they're all rooting for you

Say something does go off kilter -- you trip on your hem and faceplant into the cake, the wedding elephant has an accident on the floor or you fumble the name of your beloved. If people laugh, it's because it's all part of the grand story that's unfolding -- not because they're gleeful about a screw-up. They're there because they're on your side and are grateful to be part of this momentous occasion, and if they're not, why the heck are they at your wedding? Seriously, take a look at that guest list and snip, snip, snip.

3. Let your loved ones help -- but on your terms

My husband and I had a fairly DIY wedding -- both to cut down on costs and to put our own stamp on the ceremony that would mark the beginning of our married life. We also didn't have a wedding party, because it was a small-ish event and we didn't want people to feel left out.

So we asked people if they'd like to help in ways that didn't cost them anything, celebrated their talents in ways they were happy to share, and where we provided supplies and general guidelines. Two musician friends sang as we walked down the aisle, an artist friend carved pumpkins to decorate outside, my sister-in-law rallied willing guests to arrange the flowers we'd bought and picked, and some writers crafted a ritual that celebrated our communal love of food.

My best friend from college looked after our mutually-beloved whippet dog, another surprised me with a piece from my favorite poet (Frank O'Hara). My husband's best friend officiated the ceremony, and we let our musically-inclined friends pick the songs they'd most like to dance to. People were also free to simply eat, drink and be merry.

The upshot is that our loved ones felt like they had a stake in our wedding -- and in our marriage -- and that feeling continues to this very day.

4. Stay awake and pay attention

Ask just about any married person if they can remember every detail of their wedding and reception and chances are that it's riddled with big, blurry chunks. It's a joyous, often overwhelming day -- and it's only going to happen once.

5. There's a letdown -- and that's OK

After our post-wedding day brunch, I sat down in a walk-in closet and cried. This had nothing to do with regret, second-guessing or sadness; I'd just married my favorite man on Earth and I was happier in my life than I'd ever been before.

But we'd just spent the vast majority of our time over the previous months focusing our energy on planning the joyous event, and the last guests had just said their goodbyes. All those wedding guests we adore were never again going to be in the same place at the same time, the spotlight was off me, and I was no longer a single woman, girlfriend or bride-to-be. I was someone's wife -- a wonderful, but slightly scary new role. And it was time to step into it.

I cried a little more and spent a moment saying goodbye to the single self I'd always known. Then I took a deep breath, stood up, walked out of that closet and went to find my new husband.

Source: CNN.com By By Kat Kinsman

#ThrowbackThursday: Wedding Trends Then and Now

The 1990′s The 1990′s was another decade of fashion change. The early 1990′s held onto some of the same styles, but as the years progressed, the styles became a little sexier and less traditional. Rock & Roll was the primary influence that changed this time period, slowly doing away with the big veil and long sleeved, modest wedding dress.

The early 2000′s

This is where personality prevails. The idea of making your wedding day your own has become more acceptable, and for good reason; it’s your day! As the years progress, creativity and using inspiration from years past, and future, has become more acceptable. Whether your invasion of the perfect wedding day is with all of the glitz and glamour or a casual picnic in the park, make it your own!

Here are some top trends shaping weddings now.

dramatic-opulence

Dramatic Opulence

Professionals are predicting a return to formality and dramatic opulence. “Say goodbye to Mason jars and burlap, and say hello to caviar and elegance,” says South Florida-based party planner Sara Renee Lowell . “Wedding vendors are sick of couples bringing in the same rustic, vintage inspiration photos. Opulence is in.”

Which means the return of dramatic floral arrangements on pedestals, gleaming candelabras, and loads of professional lighting (translation: no more simple strands of café lights). For a recent wedding, New York event designer David Stark created a luxurious reception with a formal French garden theme: Sculpted hedges around the perimeter of the venue and structured dinner table centerpieces were juxtaposed against a lush, romantic canopy of flowers and glowing lanterns suspended overhead.

Pictured: David Stark created a formal French garden theme for a recent wedding reception.

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Social Media Bans

With a smartphone in nearly every guest’s purse or pocket, wedding-day photos are almost guaranteed to appear in real time on social media sites. But more and more couples are politely restricting smartphone usage during the ceremony using cleverly worded signage (displayed at the venue’s entrance or printed in the ceremony program), as well as verbal reminders from the officiant.

“We’re going to see more and more ‘unplugged’ ceremonies in 2014,” says Renny Pedersen, Chicago wedding planner.. “Nothing is worse than seeing a beautiful photograph of the bride walking down the aisle marred by a bunch of cameras and iPhones. This way, the wedding photographer is able to get the most important shots, without any unobstructed views.” Bonus: Guests will also be more present during the ceremony. 

Pictured: A printed chalkboard sign by DesignSmithPaperArts asked guests to keep their smartphones and cameras in check. 

tapas (1)

Tapas-Style Tasting Plates

Family-style dinners were a huge trend last year, but they’re actually quite expensive to pull off, and the platters of food require significant table real estate, says Calder Clark of South Carolina-based Calder Clark Designs. So, what’s next? Bar-height tasting stations, where guests receive artfully plated, fork-friendly miniature meals prepared on the spot by stationside chefs. Experts say guests love the variety.

“Today’s couples are serious foodies, and they come bearing recipes and resolute memories from their favorite restaurants,” Clark says. “They want to include them in the reception, and there’s no easier way to do that than with the tasting plate—it’s petite, going back for seconds is totally kosher, and guests are able to be more experimental with unfamiliar foods.”

Pictured: For a wedding designed by Calder Clark, chef Johannes Klapdohr created an elegant tasting plate of Southern fried tomatoes drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and accented with edible nasturtiums.

hugefocalpoints1

Large Focal Points

Rather than decorating the reception with a slew of blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em D.I.Y. details, couples are more interested in decor that makes a statement. “The 2014 bride is ditching contrivances for oversize ‘wow’ factors like custom dance floors, vast patterned wall installations, and Versailles-worthy furnishings and lighting,” says Clark. “Our client is tired of littering seated tables with tchotchkes and is favoring the mantra ‘go big or go home’—in good taste, of course.”

As a result, couples are asking, “What will catch my guests’ attention when they walk in our tent?” Clark says. “Savvy couples realize that very few will remember custom-colored confetti packets at each place setting, but everyone will remember a nighttime ceremony lit only by 500 luminaries.”

Pictured: For recent wedding, Calder Clark designed an installation that served as a focal point: The 3-D wall was inlaid with boxwood topiaries arranged in a geometric pattern.

Source: Bizbash.com                                                                                                                                                                 Source: weddingsbylily.com

#WeddingWednesday: Best United States Destination Wedding Spots

Ditch the passport and go domestic with one of these mainland United States destination wedding locales.

Napa Valley, California

Why: The Napa region is filled with stunning landscapes -- rolling hills, lush valleys, and acre upon acre of vineyards. Of course, the main thing that draws pleasure seekers to the area is the abundance of delicious wine produced here, and the world-class restaurants that make food worthy of accompanying it. In the rare moments when you and your wedding guests aren't savoring all that food and wine, explore the charming towns in Napa Valley (filled with chic boutiques, galleries, and gourmet stores), indulge in spa treatments, play golf, or even take a hot-air balloon ride.

When to go: Summer and October are the best times to visit the region. September can be beautiful, but you may have problems with availability, and rates will be at their peak because it's harvest season. Even though you're in California, temperatures can drop at night (mid-50s in the summer -- good for grape growth), so be sure your guests know to bring sweaters and wraps for the evenings.

Guest activities: You can't visit Napa without touring vineyards, sampling their products, and, more than likely, ordering a case or two to be shipped back home. The sheer number of vineyards in the area is totally overwhelming, so give guests an info packet filled with suggestions. One of the most popular wineries to visit is Rubicon Estate (owned by Francis Ford Coppola), which contains memorabilia from the famous director's movies as well as a store selling gourmet goodies and stylish home accessories.

Best Spots for Weddings:

Meadowood (Meadowood.com) Hidden on 250 private acres, this resort has eighty-five rooms in a variety of sizes, including freestanding cottages. And the hotel takes pride in their top-quality food, much of which (including the heirloom tomatoes, olives, and honey) is grown or produced on the premises.

Applewood Inn (ApplewoodInn.com) Lush gardens and sunny terraces abound at this historic bed-and-breakfast. Many couples opt to get married at the site's beautiful gazebo, tucked away in an enchanted "fairy circle," surrounded by whimsical statues and flowing fountains.

Maine

Why: The East Coast’s northernmost state is bursting with natural beauty -- a rugged, winding coastline complete with sheltered coves and wildlife-packed state and national parks. It also boasts lots of charming New England towns filled with antique stores, classic roadside diners, and an impressive selection of art museums and galleries. If you dream of swapping vows in an old-fashioned country church, you’re certain to be able to find one here.

When to go: Summer is when the state attracts the most visitors, especially in July and August, when the weather is warmest (average highs are in the high 70s, average lows in the high 50s), but you should consider having your wedding in September instead, when it’s less crowded and the crisp fall weather (highs around 67, nighttime lows in the 50s) lights up the foliage.

Guest activities: In the summer, the state offers the perfect chance to enjoy water sports such as sailing, canoeing, and kayaking. Nature lovers will want to hit the hiking trails in one of Maine’s many parks and nature preserves, such as Acadia National Park, a 35,000-acre spread of mountains, woodlands, lakes and oceanfront that contains 120 miles of hiking trails. Culture vultures will want to check out local art landmarks, such as Winslow Homer’s studio in Prout’s Neck, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland (which is chock full of work by the Wyeth family), and Portland’s Museum of Art. Everyone should dine on lobster rolls and blueberry pie, two of Maine’s scrumptious signature dishes.

Best Spots for Weddings:

White Barn Inn (WhiteBarnInn.com) New England charm at its most quaint and elegant, both the individually decorated rooms in the inn and the waterfront cottages two-tenths of a mile away from the main property are charming. The kitchen here is also a real foodie mecca in Maine.

Spruce Points Inn (SprucePointInn.com) Sitting on 57 acres of green lawns and gardens overlooking Boothbay Harbor, this lodge offers accommodations for more than one hundred couples. Whatever outdoor venue you choose as your ceremony location, the breathtaking Atlantic Ocean serves as your backdrop.

Newport, Rhode Island

Why: Newport offers the perfect mix of New England charm and old-fashioned glamour. This seaside community was the playground of the fabulously wealthy at the turn of the last century, when captains of industry from Boston and New York built huge mansions meant to rival the castles of Europe on Newport's cliffs. Today, Newport is still a favorite summer destination of the well-heeled, and it offers a plethora of activities -- from sailing to high-end shopping -- for wedding guests young and old.

When to go: As with Maine and most of the Atlantic coast, it's warmest, and busiest, during the summer months, when the highs average near 80. But the shoulder season months of May and September are beautiful times to visit as well. (In May, the average high is 63 and the average low is 48; in September, the high is 71 and the low is 58.) For a few days each August, the Newport Jazz Festival fills the town with musicians and music lovers -- which means you and your guests will have lots of great music to listen to, but the town will be more crowded than usual.

Guest activities: History and architecture bugs will want to tour some of Newport's historic mansions, such as the Breakers and the Astor's Beechwood. Outdoorsy types can take to the water in a sailboat or a motor yacht, or arrange to go fishing, sea kayaking, or windsurfing. And all of your friends and family will love Newport's evening scene, which involves sipping sunset cocktails while watching boats return to the harbor, dining on lobster and other seafood taken from the water just hours before it reaches your plate, and listening to live blues, jazz, or rock at one of Newport's many music-centered bars and lounges.

Best Spots for Weddings:

The Chanler at Cliff Walk, (TheChanler.com) Built in 1865 as the first mansion on the famed Cliff Walk, the hotel offers an oceanfront ceremony and a tented reception in its Japanese gardens, with catering by the highly-rated Spiced Pear restaurant.

Vanderbilt Hall Hotel (VanderbiltHall.com) This building -- a 1908 Georgian Revival mansion donated to the city by the Vanderbilt family -- features rooms decorated with antiques, armoires, and fabrics with period patterns. Your reception dinner at the hotel's restaurant is served on Wedgwood china, but this place is anything but stuffy -- the menu includes chicken potpie and macaroni and cheese.

Florida

Why: With its sunny weather and beautiful beaches, Florida competes with the Caribbean and Mexico in beach appeal and is likely to be cheaper and easier for your guests to travel to. In addition to sand and surf, it boasts world-famous amusement parks and great access to golf and other outdoor sports. Each Florida location is a unique experience: Head to Palm Beach for a preppy country club-style affair, Miami for an event with international flavor, and the Keys to soak up a laid-back island vibe.

When to go: North Florida’s high season runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, while southern Florida’s high season is December through April. The summer months are also beautiful and may be less expensive (although it can be very hot). Be sure to keep hurricane season in mind (officially June through November). And you may want to avoid spring break destinations such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale during February and March, when those cities tend to be overrun with partying college kids.

Guest activities: Coastal Florida is all about the beach, so guests can lie on it lazily or head into the water for waterskiing, fishing, sailing, and parasailing. Golf addicts will have plenty of greens to choose from, and the area surrounding Orlando is theme-park central, perfect if you have lots of little kids in your family and circle of friends. With its big-city sophistication and lengthy beaches, Miami has it all. The tropical setting is lush and the sunsets are romantic. From shopping to snorkeling, this famous honeymoon destination has you covered.

Best Spots for Weddings:

Delano Hotel, Miami (Delano-Hotel.com) For seekers of hip, chic surroundings, it doesn’t get more South Beach Miami than the Ian Schrager-designed Hotel Delano. Case in point: the underwater music piped into the pool, the all-white decor (how bridal), and the state-of-the-art David Barton gym.

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Little Torch Key (LittlePalmIsland.com) Arrive by boat to this beautiful, secluded island, which can accommodate weddings with up to 40 guests. After an afternoon on the beach or in the Indonesian-themed spa, retire to your private bungalow suite to witness breathtaking views of the setting sun.

 

Las Vegas, Nevada

Why: Drive-through chapels, Elvis impersonators as officiants, your first wedded moments spent at a blackjack table -- Las Vegas offers all of that, but there’s a whole other side to Sin City. You’ll also find elegant ballrooms, a destination your guests will love, and sophisticated, traditional receptions too.

When to go: You and your guests can have a ball just about any time, but try to avoid the hottest summer months (June, July, and August); spring and fall, however, are gorgeous. Prices spike and availability plummets on holiday weekends, big-deal sports weekends (like the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four), and times when there are giant conventions or events scheduled.

Guest activities: Hit the Strip. (New York-New York, Paris Las Vegas, the Bellagio, and Caesars Palace are all centrally located resorts.) Casino buffets are a staple, so dig in before you head out for a show (Bally’s is the only one with the old-school feather girls), and on your way out, sacrifice some small change to one-armed bandits. Beyond the casinos are Elvis and Liberace museums and the roller coasters at the Stratosphere Tower. Vegas’ version of laid-back is found poolside.

Best Spots for Weddings:

Bellagio (Bellagio.com) Bellagio was one of the first hotel casinos to understand that Vegas needed more wedding options than the Little Church of the West and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” on a boom box. The amenities are vast, and the accommodations luxe. This is a place for a very grown-up Vegas wedding.

The Mirage (Mirage.com)

The exotic South Seas, complete with a regularly exploding volcano, have found a stateside home in Las Vegas. The hotel and casino are top-notch, the location is convenient for guests, and there’s an entire company within the resort devoted to event planning -- they sweat the details so you don’t have to.

Massachusetts

Why: Due to its popularity and prime location, Cape Cod in Massachusetts offers a plethora of resources, from elegant catering to yacht clubs, clambakes, resorts, and gardens. This region can easily play host to small private gatherings, large elegant affairs, and everything in between. The Berkshires is home to several sophisticated, low-key mountain towns and some of the best regional music and theater that the country has to offer.

Guest activities: In coastal towns sampling a little authentic clam chowder and lobster is a must. Each of the Cape’s islands and towns has its own attractions, from the art scene in Provincetown to the Salty Dog Oceanfront Cottages near Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket ferries. The Freedom Trail in Boston is a walk through both history and the city. Inland hiking and biking and other outdoor activities take priority, and there’s almost always something worth seeing at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox.

Best Spots for Weddings:

Wheatleigh, Lenox (Wheatleigh.com) With a grand staircase, lit by Tiffany windows, and out-of-this-world service, the architecture of this mountain getaway was inspired by a French country chateau. Between the setting and the service, you’ll feel like a worldly princess.

Winnetu Oceanside Resort, Edgartown (Winnetu.com) This new (for Martha’s Vineyard) hotel opened in 2000 and has been gaining rave reviews ever since. The charming seaside location and staff that’s ready and able to create a custom reception will make for a headache-free wedding weekend.

Aspen, Colorado

Why: This Rocky Mountain town possesses the perfect mix of natural beauty, rustic charm, and posh amenities. Aspen’s gorgeous mountains and valleys will thrill any outdoors enthusiast, while its ample selection of high-end shops and swank restaurants can keep indoors types more than entertained.

When to go: While many couples book their event sometime in November through early March to create the winter wonderland wedding of their dreams, keep in mind that summer and fall are also gorgeous times of year here also.

Guest activities: The main focus of the winter and early spring months in Aspen is skiing and snowboarding, though the daring can try more extreme activities, like paragliding and even dog sledding (and everyone can enjoy toasty après-ski drinks at the famous Ajax Tavern). But the less-crowded summer season actually offers a broader range of options -- cycling, horseback riding, hiking, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, and just about any other al fresco activity you can think of. At any time of year, your guests will love Aspen’s nightlife options, especially the J-Bar, a Western-style saloon at the Hotel Jerome.

Best Spots for Weddings:

Hotel Jerome (HotelJerome.com) Located right on Main Street in the heart of town, this is Aspen’s ultimate old-school hotel. The ballroom accommodates 250 for dinner, and the adjacent garden terrace makes the perfect spot for your cocktail reception (it can be tented and heated during the winter months).

The Little Nell (TheLittleNell.com) This posh Relais & Chateaux property is situated right at the base of Aspen Mountain, but its biggest attraction for brides and grooms may be that it offers you the chance to say your vows at 11,200 feet.

Source: theknot.com

#TipTuesday: 31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

1. Wake up refreshed.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Get to bed at a decent hour the night before so you can be your best. For this reason it’s wise to plan bachelor and bachelorette parties at least a week ahead of time.

2. Eat a breakfast that is high in protein and complex carbs.

Eat a breakfast that is high in protein and complex carbs.

Bonita Suraputra / Flickr: 21185968@N00

This food will take a while to break down in your body and keep you going, which is important since brides and grooms can go long periods without eating.

3. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready.

You want to be able to relax and have a good time with your bridesmaids, not stress over whether you’ll finish in time.

4. Wear a dress shirt when getting your hair styled.

Wear a dress shirt when getting your hair styled.

Brides often wear T-shirts that have to be pulled over their freshly coiffed hair at the end. Dress shirts, however, can be unbuttoned without doing any damage to your beautifully done hair.

5. Grooms should make a list of all the things they need to do on the morning of the wedding.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Bridesmaids are great at helping a bride remember everything. Groomsmen are less helpful in this regard, though they are more likely to bring beer.

6. Speaking of groomsmen, it’s a good idea for the groom to discuss expectations for behavior.

Speaking of groomsmen, it's a good idea for the groom to discuss expectations for behavior.

Guys can get pretty crazy at a reception. If you want a level of decorum it’s best to spell that out before someone tries to do a body shot off your grandma.

7. If you bought new shoes for the big day, be sure to break them in ahead of time.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Otherwise you’re liable to feel awkward in them and have sore feet.

8. Don’t overdo the perfume.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Heavy perfume can make you feel nauseous and even attract bugs.

9. This goes for you too, grooms.

Remember, a little cologne goes a long way.

10. Hire a wedding coordinator if possible.

Hire a wedding coordinator if possible.

Couples often decide to cut this expense, but coordinators let you enjoy your day by keeping drama at bay. Favored by Yodit Events can take care of all your wedding needs! Choose from day of coordination, partial planning or full planning.

11. If you can’t hire a wedding coordinator, let your bridesmaids handle some of the day-of logistics.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
Universal Pictures / Via cosmopolitan.com

They’re literally falling over themselves to help.

12. Don’t forget a wedding day survival kit.

Don't forget a wedding day survival kit.

Colleen Melarkey-Beattie / Flickr: 107771213@N02

A typical one includes a first aid kit, tampons, a Tide To Go stain remover pen, and anything else that might fix a minor emergency.

13. Take a few selfies.

Take a few selfies.

These candid shots make a fun counterpoint to your photographer’s stylized professional shots.

14. But other than that, put your phone away.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
Fog and Smog / youtube.com

Nothing is happening that’s more important than your wedding, OK?

15. Get loose before you walk down the aisle.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Do some light stretching to release tension and get your blood flowing so that you don’t — gasp — pass out. Hey, it happens. Check YouTube.

16. Stop to take it all in during the ceremony.

Stop to take it all in during the ceremony.

Ask your officiant to include a “deep breath” moment so you can look over the audience, gaze at your spouse, and burn the memory into your brain.

17. Make a five-minute dinner date.

Make a five-minute dinner date.

Taking the time to enjoy a full meal is almost impossible with so many guests clamoring for your attention, but a five-minute dinner date — where you grab a few bites and enjoy your new spouse’s company — is more manageable.

18. If five minutes is too much, get your food to go.

If five minutes is too much, get your food to go.

Arrange with the caterers to send a couple to-go boxes of food with you when you leave the venue. They’ll be glad to do it.

19. Be magnanimous.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Greet everyone with a smile even if it’s your second cousin whom you haven’t spoken to in a couple years because she said that thing (you know what I’m talking about). No one likes an angry bride, and you won’t like being one either.

20. Similarly, stay poised during the best man and bridesmaid’s speeches.

If something inappropriate is said it’s best to let it pass without having a big reaction. Many people will have missed it, but they won’t miss you screaming at the best man.

21. Give a thank you speech with your spouse.

Give a thank you speech with your spouse.

It’ll feel good to thank your parents, grandparents, and guests (especially those who traveled great distances) for making such a momentous occasion in your life possible.

22. Arrange for group photos at the reception.

Arrange for group photos at the reception.

Have the DJ call over college friends, co-workers, and teammates for a few quick group photos. Your photographer may suggest doing these before the reception, but save the more formal, time-consuming shots for the wedding party and family only.

23. Be careful with alcohol.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
HBO / Via reactiongifs.com

This is a day you’ll want to remember clearly for the rest of your life, so make sure you don’t drink too much (that’s for doing at your friends’ weddings). One tip is to drink a full glass of water between each alcoholic drink.

24. Pack flats for the reception.

Pack flats for the reception.

Sophisticated ballet-style slippers look great with a wedding dress, so bring a pair to put on when you want to cut loose.

25. Appoint someone to save you from chatty guests.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Inevitably someone, whether it’s your great aunt from Poughkeepsie or the dad of your old college roommate, will talk your ear off seemingly unaware it’s your wedding day. That’s why having someone to politely pull you away is a must.

26. Have a moment with each of your parents.

Have a moment with each of your parents.

Brides dance with their fathers and grooms dance with their mothers, but there’s no moment on the schedule for your other parent. Make one.

27. Don’t do the cake smash.

Brides, you still have people to see and photos to take, so you don’t want to get cake in your hair and on your dress (nor do you want to reapply makeup). Grooms, this is not how you want to start married life. Trust me on this one.

28. Give the DJ a list of songs you want to hear.

Give the DJ a list of songs you want to hear.

This way you’re more likely to hear your jam than “Y.M.C.A.”

29. Make sure you dance.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
Paramount Pictures / Via hotukdeals.com

Your favorite tunes are playing, the dance floor is packed with people you love, and you have reason to celebrate! With conditions like that even grooms who “don’t dance” will regret it if they don’t let their inner Bacon loose.

30. Have a relaxed attitude about the wedding night.

31 Tips To Make Sure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day
Warner Bros. / Via zimbio.com

If fireworks explode, awesome. But after a long day many brides and grooms collapse in exhaustion. Don’t worry… there’ll be plenty of time for fireworks later.

31. Remember why you’re there.

Remember why you're there.

Amid all of the fun and celebration be sure to take a moment to look over at the person you’re pledging your life to and reflect on the incredible journey that lies ahead of you both.

Source: Buzzfeed.com

#TipTuesday Checklist: 8 Things to Ask Your Rental Vendor Before an Event

Rental items are essential to almost every event or meeting, but aside from knowing which pieces your rental house is supplying, you'll want to discuss other issues that could impact your budget, planning, and setup. cortevents_04

1. What other fees can I expect? You may know the stated cost of each item on your list, but don’t drop that number into the budget until you know what it really includes—or excludes. “Some delivery companies have additional fees like card processing fees, transportation or facility-to-facility transfer fees, separate labor and delivery fees, and after-hours or weekend fees,” says AFR Furniture Rental & Event Furnishings Southeast sales manager Lindsay Masterson. “When comparing prices, ensure you compare a whole quote to a whole quote.”

2. What is your damage policy? It’s a simple question, but an important one—and could end up making a big difference to an event’s bottom line. And make sure you know not only the damage policy, Masterson says, but specifically what constitutes damage for which the vendor will charge.

3. What design and planning assistance do you provide? Cort Event Furnishings' director of marketing and product development Kevin Dana advises finding out how much design assistance your vendor provides, and who is responsible for the task of planning the layout ahead of the event. He suggests asking, “Does the rental company provide 2-D and 3-D models of all their products to create plans that assure everything fits into the event space?”

Masterson recommends organizers ask if the rental house can provide scale floor plans or design assistance, or offer CAD renderings of its furniture that can be used to get an accurate depiction of spacing. “Your rep likely has some great creative thoughts that you may not have considered,” she says, so keep the vendor in mind as a resource if design consultation is an available service.

4. What can be customized? Many hosts want every part of their event to match the message or overall theme, so knowing which items can be personalized for the occasion in advance can save time and money later. If pieces can be customized, be sure to ask whether or not a proof will be provided for review.

5. How much access will I have to trained rental staff—and when? Aside from load in and out, you’ll probably want access to your rental staff for any time-sensitive needs that may come up during the event. So find out whether—and when—your rental vendor will be available to meet on site with other relevant vendors, like the florist, lighting team, or caterer.

It's also worth asking who’s providing the labor for your event—whether it's trained employees or outside temporary labor. “Experienced delivery staff should be able to work efficiently, fix a mishap that occurs in delivery like a broken leg, and can even help with preferred placement of the items,” says Masterson.

Once you know, adds Choura Events C.E.O. Ryan Choura, “Make sure you double check your rental contract for any phone numbers you may need during your setup.”

6. Do you have what I need nationwide? If you’re planning an event as part of a larger series across the country, check to make sure your rental house can supply the same or similar pieces for the entire series. “If doing multiple events nationwide, ask if the rental company can provide the same furniture in every major market in the U.S. for a consistent brand message,” suggests.

7. What’s new in stock? Fritz Williams, the owner of FormDecor, advises always asking what’s new in the rental provider’s inventory—even if it’s not what you need for the event at hand, it may spark ideas for the next big project in the pipeline. “We welcome clients into our warehouse to view our collection,” he says. “It can be beneficial to see the furniture in person for the current event you’re planning, but it also gives you the opportunity to mentally catalog items for future events as well.”

8. What’s your style specialty? If you’re specifically looking for a certain aesthetic or niche design style, make sure you ask up front if your rental company has a solid inventory of the kind of pieces you’ll need. Williams suggests, “Oftentimes boutique furniture rental organizations collect and curate around a certain aesthetic. If you’re looking for mid-century or modern furniture, for instance, you’ll want to check with specialty firms.”

Source: BizBash.com

 

Wedding Wednesday - All White Wedding Inspiration!

Hello Bride! (And Groom) Today we are clearing the color palette and going all white. Here is some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing. Click the items at the bottom of the post to find out where you can purchase pieces to achieve this fab look! Black-and-white-Rhode-Island-wedding-8

 

Transform your wedding dinner with these whimsical paper lanterns. Lightning is everything ladies!

pearl vase flowers

Using pearls instead of water in your floral centerpieces adds an elegant touch to the decor of your reception.

White-and-silver-wedding-theme_elegant-outdoor-wedding-ceremony

If you're having an outdoor ceremony, you might want to consider offering guests folding fans to keep cool.

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Source: Koyalwholesale.com 

 

Tip Tuesday: 20 TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS

centerpiece

There are (literally!) thousands of types of flowers, and infinite combinations of colors and arrangements that you can create with them. So how do you narrow it down to the perfect blooms for your wedding? Start with these basic, must-know tips.

First, Know Your Budget

Have a good idea of what you're ready to spend on flowers before getting your heart set on specific blooms or arrangements. The cost of wedding flowers ranges widely (typically between $2,000 and $6,000) depending on the types of flowers you choose, how delicate those flowers are and, of course, how many arrangements you'll need and how elaborate they'll be. So set your budget, then look for inspiration -- not vice versa.

Then, Spend Wisely

Focus your flower budget on the areas of your wedding that will be in the spotlight. Your bouquet, a signature element at the ceremony (like the huppah or pedestal arrangements) and reception centerpieces should top your list of priorities. Use leftover cash on the extras like decor for the cake table, guest book table and cocktail hour.

Visit a Flower Shop...

There's more to wedding flowers than roses and peonies, so don't miss out on the blooms you didn't even know existed. (Some lesser-known types not to miss: craspedia, proteas, scabiosa and gloriosa lilies.) Find out what's out there in person by taking a walk through the biggest nursery or flower depot near you. Ideally, you'll go exactly one year before your wedding date so you'll see what colors and flowers are in season and will be readily available to you.

...Then Home Depot (Seriously!)

For color inspiration, visit the paint aisle of the local hardware store. Pick up a few swatches that you love and bring them to your meeting with your florist to get each of your creative juices flowing. Other good sources of color: Visit a fabric store, which can drum up ideas for both color and texture, or simply take a look around your apartment to see what colors you loved enough to choose for your home.

Prioritize, Then Plan

Think about how important flowers are to you in the grand scheme of your wedding. If the answer is "very!" then consider planning elements of the day around your dream flowers. For example, if you know you want lots of peonies, pick a date in late spring (when they're in season) and a classic venue to complement them.

Complement What You Love

Speaking of prioritizing, your wedding flowers should enhance whatever element of the day you want to emphasize most. Are you big on food? Plan to have centerpieces that fit in with the dishes on the table, like low, long centerpieces in wooden containers. Want your wedding party to be the stars of the show? Spend extra effort planning individualized bouquets and boutonnieres for them.

Look to Your Dress

As one of the first major purchases you're bound to make, your dress can inspire the style of your entire wedding and your flowers -- especially your bouquet. Choose a floral design that will photograph well with your gown. If you buy a sleek, sheath dress, a simple bouquet of calla lilies and similar arrangements will accent it well, while a loose, just-picked bunch of wildflowers looks great with a romantic, lacy gown. Also something to take into consideration: your height! If you're petite, ask for a smaller bouquet that won't overwhelm your frame.

Complement Your Venue

Once you book your reception site, choose flowers that will look like they belong there (wild, rustic flowers might look odd in a formal ballroom, while glam arrangements decked out with crystals might not fit with a garden venue). Take into consideration the height of the ceilings (high rafters call for taller centerpieces, which might look cramped in a space with low ceilings). If your florist isn't familiar with the venue, plan a site visit so you both know what you're working with.

Think in Seasons

Don't make decisions about flowers or colors before knowing what blooms are available for your wedding date. Spring and summer have the biggest selection of flower types and colors, while you'll be more restricted in fall and winter. Peonies, cherry blossoms, ranunculus, lilacs and anemones are popular blooms that have limited peak seasons. Some top flowers that are available year-round: roses, calla lilies, hydrangeas and cymbidium orchids.

Pick a Personality

Still stumped about your flower style? Rummage through your closet. Who's your favorite fashion designer? If it's Kate Spade, maybe your flowers will be monochromatic, but bold and bright. If your drawers are filled with J. Crew, a preppy, streamlined look might be for you. Consider putting together an inspiration board of a few things you love -- a photo of your favorite dress, a vintage postcard and a swatch of fabric, for example -- to show your florist your style.

Don't Expect Exact Colors

You might be able to find table linens in that perfect shade of pink, but flowers are a different story. Color-matching with a natural living thing like a flower can be frustrating, if not impossible -- flower colors vary vastly, even if they came from the same plant! Instead, think in terms of color families (think: light greens or pale pinks) rather than precise shades picked out of a Pantone book (like cerulean blue or lavender).

Go Classic for Your Ceremony...

Your ceremony flowers -- the bouquets, boutonnieres and those at the actual site of your vows -- will probably be the most photographed flowers of the day. Keep your ceremony arrangements on the clean and classic side so your pictures will stand the test of time.

...But Creative for Your Reception

For the party, there's much more room for creativity (that's right -- your ceremony and reception flowers don't have to match). If you're itching to experiment with funky colors or unusual arrangements, the reception centerpieces and other decor are the place to do it.

Mind Mother Nature

For an outdoor wedding, your flowers will probably be delivered and installed several hours before the event starts, meaning they might be sitting in the sun. Not all flowers can withstand heat or wind, so work with your florist to choose flowers that'll stay fresh for your venue. The same goes for boutonnieres and fresh flowers for your hair.

Envision Your Tables

When planning your centerpieces, visualize what else will be on the dinner tables. Don't let candles and favors upstage your tall, glam centerpieces. On the other hand, a minimalist arrangement might look too spare if there aren't other accents nearby.

Don't Forget About Your Guests

Don't let your flowers get in the way (literally) of your guests' having a good time. Be sure that centerpieces aren't so large that they'll block conversation across the table. If you opt for tall arrangements, display them in thin vases or clear glass containers so guests can see each other.

Think About Flower Alternatives

Nonbotanical decor can be gorgeous, especially for your reception. For a vintage wedding, a pile of old, meaningful books can make a great centerpiece (not to mention conversation piece) or arrangements of colorful veggies might be just the thing for a barn setting.

Personalize It

Making your wedding flowers extra meaningful can be as simple as adding your grandmother's brooch to your bouquet or carrying the same flowers down the aisle that your mom did -- or it can be as complex as using a photo of your family's home garden to inspire your entire floral vision.

Trust Your Florist

We've heard it over and over: The happiest brides are the ones who picked a florist they loved, then let them do their thing. Most likely, your expert has experience from hundreds of weddings and knows those little secrets about everything from choosing your flowers to last-minute adjustments. So trust her instincts as well as your own.

Show Them Off

After your flowers are set, make sure to show them in their best possible light. Plan for lighting that will enhance their beauty, like pink pin spots to highlight fuchsia centerpieces or amber room lighting to complement romantic all-white flowers. And choose simple, not-too-busy linens that will enhance your flowers, not detract attention from them.

Source:http://weddings.weddingchannel.com/wedding-planning-ideas/wedding-flowers/slideshows/tips-for-choosing-your-wedding-flowers.aspx

Calling All Grooms! Tips for After You Say I Do.

So you just got married! Your wedding (planned by Favored by Yodit Events of course) is over. Cake tastings, tuxedo fittings and table settings are a thing of the past. Its now time to start your new life with your new wife! Here are some tips on how to insure a smooth transition into married life. Always remember boys, happy wife, happy life!

 “Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.” — Oscar Wilde (poet)

What You Say

What You Say

  1. Build a foundation of trust. Agree that if either of you ever say “do you promise” after a questions is asked that nothing but the truth will follow… no matter how tough the question is. You both need to agree that it’s okay to share even the hardest things with each other.
  2. Know the power of your words. The way you phrase things to her can make all the difference. Try to focus on the positive aspects of a difficult situation, and build from there.
  3. Make communication a conversation. Don’t just dump information on her. Be sure to provide opportunities for her to ask questions (ex. One of my co-workers mentioned something really interesting to me today…)
  4. Don’t talk like you’re placing an order. Phrase your communication in a way that not only tells her what you want, but does it in a way that also asks for her permission.
  5. Discuss the importance of time with friends. It’s healthy to have some relationships and activities that are not shared. Spending time with other people and doing other things helps you appreciate the time you do spend together.
  6. Share why you need some alone time. Make it VERY clear that you’re not making excuses to spend time apart from her. Before scheduling this kind of time, have a conversation about how important it is for both of you to have this, and the best way to ask for it.
  7. Never lie to avoid a fight. Doing this will just make you distant, and potentially create a future disagreement that gets blown way out of proportion due to unresolved feelings.
  8. Don’t just apologize after an argument. Instead of feeling good about being the bigger person just because you were the first one to say “I’m sorry”, try asking her why she was frustrated. Knowing this should help to alleviate everything instead of just sweeping it under the rug.
  9. Ask really good questions. Don’t just limit it to work, but include questions about what’s been on her mind. Make time for this every day.
  10. Discuss how to handle working with opposite sex co-workers. This includes working late hours, traveling or even working over lunch. These are all very common, so let your wife know when these activities will be happening. Also, talk about the steps you plan to take in order to keep it “strictly business”. This will build a lot of trust in the relationship.
  11. Share all your mistakes with her, and genuinely ask for forgiveness. This shows her that you can recognize and openly admit your faults, which will enable your relationship to continue in a positive direction.
  12. Establish your married relationship as a “new” family. Talk over the details together, and communicate your feelings right away with each of your parents. This will help establish necessary boundaries with them, and show how serious you are about making your relationship a top priority.
  13. Share what you’re in charge of managing. Be sure to share what you feel needs to be done to effectively manage each task, as well as including her when any major decisions need to be made.
  14. Talk each night. Each of you should take the time to share your day, what’s on your mind (especially the intimate details) and include some talk about a fun activity you will be doing together in the future. Try to do this when you first get home, or on a walk after dinner. It’s really important to reconnect this way.
  15. Maintain a healthy level of interest. If the interest level of the listener is fading, it’s probably because they don’t know the point of the conversation. If you both try to share the main point of your story first (then offer the supporting details), it should increase the listener’s level of interest.

What You Do

  1. Don’t be a coach or umpire; be her fan. Life is the big game, and being in the position to root her on will score you the biggest points. This will build her confidence, and at the same time put you in her cheering section and not the one calling the game (you know how people in those positions can make you mad).
  2. Just listen. Generally, she just wants someone to listen. If she does want advice, she’ll ask for it. By waiting for her to ask, your response will more than likely be appreciated. Just be sure to ask enough questions, so that you fully understand the situation before sharing your thoughts.
  3. Plan activities that build your friendship. The more interactive activities you do together, the more you’ll have to talk about.
  4. Hug your wife at least three times a day. While you do this, tell her how much you love her and how wonderful or beautiful she is. This should increase her emotional connection and deepen her level of trust with you.
  5. Make sure the timing is right. Certain times of day are going to be better for communication. If she’s not a morning person, let her initiate the conversation. If it’s an emotional topic, she may just need some time before she’s ready to open up.
  6. Focus on the issue during a fight. Don’t attack each other’s character. Instead, focus on the problem when venting your frustration. Try to see the other person’s point of view, and work from there to resolve everything.
  7. Agree that it’s okay to disagree. Acknowledging where she’s coming from doesn’t mean you agree with her. Just respect any differences you many have.
  8. Pick the right environment for an emotional conversation. If she’s comfortable, not threatened and in a private place… then the chance of your conversation going well drastically improves.
  9. Develop a plan for reconnecting. It’s hard to figure out what to do when you’re already feeling distant, so already having a plan in place will make it a lot easier to get close again.
  10. Be silly with each other. We all need to stay pretty serious at work, so it’s important to relax in this way with her.
  11. Pray for one another, as a couple, every day. Whether it’s part of your faith or not, this simple act will help you dedicate some time to really focusing your minds on each other – strengthening your marital bond.

Source: thegroomslist.com

Wedding Wednesday Inspiration: Diamond Blue Decor!

Diamond Blue is a unique, vibrant color, characterized by class and elegance. Take advantage of that and dazzle your guests with our wide variety of diamond blue decor! Look to inspire readers with blue items like satin chair sasheschevron table runners and round table covers and more.satin chair sashtable cloth
Table runner
blue cake blue ring Diamond blue decore
Your cake is an important part of your wedding and decor so choose wisely. Keep it simple and elegant with a solid blue cake. Add a little flair with a large white bow! Whether you decide to go with an eternity blue and transparent diamond wedding band, whether with a solitaire blue diamond wedding ring paved with white diamond stone accents, the final look is going to be absolutely amazing. Not only brides can opt for a beautiful and outstanding wedding ring with blue diamonds but a modern groom too! It all depends on the setting you choose for the blue diamond/diamonds. For guys, perhaps a scatter or a flush set type of blue diamond wedding band can make a more suitable selection. Hang blue paper lantern from the ceiling and create an enchanting atmosphere for your guests!
Source: koyalwholesale.com

Source:http://weddingandrings.com/wedding-rings-with-blue-diamonds/

 

Tip Tuesday: 15 Cheap Wedding Ceremony Decoration Ideas on a Budget

Whether your wedding is in a big, elegant church, or a rustic, old garden, or at a white, sandy beach, the backdrop and decorations of a wedding ceremony can really make a lasting impression. And luckily, a pretty ceremony doesn't have to cost a fortune. When it comes to ceremony decorating, less tends to be more. Additionally, you can save some money by being creative and keeping it simple. Here are 15 ideas for decorating your ceremony while sticking to your budget.

Save Money on Ceremony Decorations at a Church

1. Use Your Venue’s Decorations If you’re getting married in a church, see what decorations they have for you to use. Many have candelabras which can add sophistication to your ceremony. Also, you may not have to decorate at all if you plan to get married during Christmas or Easter time when churches are already adorned with flowers and greenery.

2. Use Candles Instead of Flowers Candles are a lot cheaper than wedding flower arrangements, and can often be more romantic. Use them at the altar, to line the aisle (make sure they’re in fireproof bags or enclosed in glass to prevent fire hazards), or even in place of bouquets.

3. Get Some Potted Plants In the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, they lined the aisle of the beautiful Westminster Abbey with big, potted trees creating an English garden atmosphere. You can do something similar by bringing some potted plants from home or borrowing a few from a friend.

4. Buy Lots of Tulle There are so many fun things that you can do with tulle to decorate, but here are two of my favorites. The first thing you can do is create a canopy effect with the tulle. Have a few friends hang some from the center of the ceiling and then drape it down to the corners of the altar or stage. To complement the tulle canopy, use tulle to make bows to put on the pews or rows of chairs.

5. Decorate the Altar Only If you have a beautiful wedding venue already, there is no need to go overboard with your decorations. Perhaps all you need is a simple arrangement at the altar.

6. Decorate Your Own Unity Candle This is a fun and easy project that can be done in less than one hour. Go to a craft store and buy a plain, white candle that is at least two inches in diameter. You will also need to buy a ribbon (at least two inches wide) and some sequins. To assemble your own unity candle, glue the ribbon around the bottom of the candle and then glue the sequins on the front of the candle so that they spell the first letter of the groom’s last name.

7. Go Shelling                                                                                                                                                                                   If you live by the beach and have access to free shells, put them in clear vases or hurricanes to be used as wedding decorations. Although shells would be a great addition to a wedding near the ocean, they would also be a beautiful added surprise to a landlocked wedding as well.

8. Throw Down Some Flower Petals Even if you do not have a flower girl, you can still throw down some flower petals along the aisle. This can be done as part of the decorating process before the guests arrive. Flower petals are inexpensive to buy compared to actual flower arrangements, so if you really want flowers but don’t want to spend the money, this is a great way to add them into the decoration of your ceremony.

Save Money on Ceremony Decorations Outdoors

9. Pick a Naturally Beautiful Setting Outdoor garden, beach, or mountain weddings are already decorated for you. For example, if you’re getting married at a farm, throw down some hay bales for seating and you’ve got a rustic, but romantic aisle to walk down. If you want a garden wedding, make sure you get married in the spring when all the flowers are in full bloom.

10. Have a Focal Point There needs to be some sort of focal point that you and your spouse-to-be meet at to be wedded. The focal point will act as a frame around the event. Some of the most common options are arches and gazebos. First check to see if you will have one provided to you by your venue. If not, you can buy one, rent one, or make one. Unless you are a carpenter or a handyman, you should probably opt to rent one. I suggest renting an arch since they are typically cheaper than gazebos and look just as nice.

11. Hang Some Christmas Lights If you are getting wed in the evening, white Christmas lights are a must. And if you’re renting an archway, it would be the perfect place for the lights. Also consider hanging lights in some of the trees if you will be in an outdoor setting.

12. Mow the Lawn This may seem obvious, but if you are getting married in a backyard, start working on the lawn early to ensure that it will be ready in time for the big day. If the yard is kept up with regularly, it will look better for the wedding. Also, start early to plan out what flowers and plants you want to feature. Planting bulbs months in advance will save you from buying more expensive flowers to plant the week before the wedding.

13. Use a Theme to Guide You I went to a wedding not too long ago that had an amazing “Zen” theme throughout. Some of the decorations included paper parasols, lanterns, and bonsai trees. They even had rock gardens as the wedding reception centerpieces to complete the theme. What’s great about using a theme is that you only need a few elements to make a big impact on the overall impression of the ceremony.

14. Light It Up In addition to white Christmas lights or candles, other ways to light up your evening are to use luminaries, torches, and lanterns. Use what is most appropriate given your particular wedding venue. Also, keep in mind whether or not children will be at your wedding and if it would cause any issues to have open flames.

15. Blow Bubbles Although this may sound childish, bubbles can actually add an elegant touch if done correctly. If you’re going to use a bubble machine, make sure that the machine is out of sight and that the bubbles are not coming out too quickly or too slowly. Also make sure that the bubble machine is not too noisy.

The key to successful wedding ceremony decor is simplicity. Clean, elegant flower arrangements, a few strategically placed candles or some potted plants to add a little greenery are all you need to create a romantic and memorable ceremony. Less is more – which ultimately means more money in your wallet.

christmas church wedding wedding-centerpiece-2 tulle Potted plantsseashell-centerpiece

petaled_aisle Christmas_Wedding_LightsHow did you decorate for your wedding ceremony? Were you able to keep the cost of decorations low? Send us pictures of your big day at helen@favoredbyyodit.com

Source: http://www.moneycrashers.com/cheap-wedding-ceremony-decoration-ideas-budget/

Wedding Wednesday Chalk Inspired Wedding Trends!

Anyone planning on bringing in some chalk details for their day

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love the idea of incorporating chalk details in your wedding – such a modern + whimsical accent for your day! This super pretty shoot styled by Vintage My Wedding + photographed by Love Is A Big Deal is full of lots of ideas to bring this artistic trend into your wedding. I think it would look perfect for a loft or warehouse venue, right? Love the idea of using placemats instead of guest cards! A chalkboard backdrop allows for lots of fun options! From photo booth backdrops to leaving sweet messages to your dessert table backdrop, the options are endless!

Source: http://greenweddingshoes.com/chalk-inspired-wedding-ideas/

Inspiration: Scrabble Theme Wedding Ideas

There are so many brides and grooms opting to use scrabble letters for their wedding these days. Whether it is for their "Save the Date" cards or place settings, brides and grooms have come up with creative ways of incorporating their most loved game into their wedding. capclassique.wordpress.com engagementlovepicturesringloveyourselfscrabble-6406126e1a27b9eb38b39851d8d8d7be_h scrabble-letters-used-at-wedding scrabble-place-setting-wedding

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capclassique.wordpress.com3 (1)  Source: http://justbeefashion.blogspot.com/2012/06/scrabble-decor.html

Tip Tuesday: How to Throw a St. Patrick's Day Themed Party or Wedding

Are you thinking of throwing a St. Patrick's Day themed party? Looking for a little inspiration? Well look no further!

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Here are some fun and festive menu ideas for your St. Patty's day soiree! Deviled Eggs are an easy and popular appetizer. Add a twist to your classic recipe by adding a couple drops of green food coloring! If throwing a children's party, satisfy the little one's sweet tooth with a candy bar. Spice up an adult candy bar by adding some lime Jello shots. And for the more health conscious host, substitute the sweets with green fruit kabobs. Kiwis, grapes and green apples are all you need to make this delicious and nutritious snack. If you're thinking of tying the knot on St. Patrick's Day, green is definitely the wedding color to go with. Keep the decor simple and elegant with light centerpieces and white table linens. You can make a statement with your cake by going green with a lucky leprechaun hat or opt for a more subtle and traditional cake. We saved the best for last! Whats St. Patrick's Day without a drink or two? Follow the link below for recipes  that are sure to please!      http://valuablejunkurbancowgirl.wordpress.com/?s=St+Patricks+day+drinks+&submit=Search

#MCM Tips on How to Dress Your Groom to the Teeth

Man Crush Monday bachelor of the week Cam Newton looking awfully handsome in his suit. Get your groom wedding ready by following some of these great tips on how to pick the perfect suit.

CamIts important to make sure that the suit is properly tailored to your man. The chart below illustrates how the right suit should fit. Suit guide

Next is neck wear. You can choose to go with either a tie or bow tie.

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Whichever one you choose make sure its done right. Bow ties get at little tricky, follow these steps below and your sure to have the perfect bow!

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And lets not forget about the always classy pocket square.

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Stick to these guidelines and your groom is sure to impress! Make sure to send us your pictures of the final product and be featured on our blog!

#ThrowbackThursday Taking it Back to the 1930s

We’re taking way back this week for Throwback Thursday; back to the 1930s!

        vintage style wedding gown

This vintage style wedding gown is sure to be a show stopper. Just look at those Jewels! All eyes will defiantly be on the bride when she walks down the aisle in this stunning piece.

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Add a little bling to the bride with this gorgeous brooch bouquet.

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Lets not forget about the bridal party! These ladies look stunning in their gowns.

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Photo by Jess Kornacki 

Capture the glamour of the 1930s with sleek and simple table settings. Mirrors, gold and crystal scream elegance!

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reception decor

You can go with either circular or rectangular guest tables for the reception. Round tables create a more intimate atmosphere where long tables create an open feeling. And don’t forget, lighting is everything! Placing candles on each table gives a space a more romantic vibe.

Flower purl cake

And what’s a party without cake? This beautifully crafted cake can serve as more than just a delicious desert. The elegant flowers and shimmering pearls can add to the decor of the wedding. Instead of having one large cake, try placing one of these as the center of each guest table. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Favors

These vintage dictionary word necklaces make the perfect party favor. You can customize each one by selecting your own word or phrase.

Now here are some tips on how to create your own 1930s themed dream wedding.

The Dress 

            If your thinking early 30’s then you need to be looking for a fitting flowing gown, and be considering slippery higher sheen fabrics. Cowl Necklines, curved trains and even medieval sleeves can be a major part of the overall look.              The most exciting thing about planning a 1930s wedding is choosing the clothing. You can either find genuine vintage pieces, or have reproductions made. Many bridal shops have brilliant selections of vintage style gowns, and you can find some specialists online that actually reproduce vintage wedding clothing.

 

Groom

Okay, so the bride is now perfectly dressed and ready to dazzle come the wedding day. What's left to complete the stunning vintage picture? Why, the groom of course!Making a comeback, popular tuxedo can be thought of as a much more modern wedding choice. In fact, during the 1920s and 1930s, the morning suit was the usual choice for weddings. It wasn't until the 1930s that the tuxedo began to work its way into acceptable wedding attire.Go trendy and pick up a tuxedo; they’re making a comeback anyway! The original vintage suits of this era are truly spectacular as well; if you can find one in your size, snap it up!

Venue/Entertainment

Use the entertainment of that era as inspiration to create a 1930s-themed wedding. The 30s was the golden era of the lindy hop, a type of swing dancing popular from 1935 to 1945. This exciting partner dance that features slides, jumps and throws is entertaining to watch, so if you are feeling adventurous you could hire professional lindy hop dancers as the entertainment for your wedding reception. Other popular dances from the 1930s include the foxtrot and the rumba. Take lessons to learn either of those dances and perform it as the first dance. Another option is to invite the wedding guests to join a conga line during the reception. Conga lines were popular in nightclubs in the 1930s so if it was ever time for a conga, it’s definitely at your 1930s wedding.

RECAP: ZAAF Launch Event at Barcelona Wine Bar on Superbowl Sunday!

MDC_3550Favored by Yodit Events had the pleasure of planning the Official Launch event for ZAAF™, a new collection of luxury apparel and leather accessories produced by highly skilled artisans in Ethiopia. The event was helped at the NEW! Barcelona Wine Bar in Washington, D.C. and guest enjoyed complimentary cocktails, food & Georgetown Cupcakes! Congrats to Founder & CEO Abai on the new venture and continued success!

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Barcelona's brunch cocktails, bellini's & mimosas and yummy mini empanadas were some of the tasty items on the event menu!

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Guests loved the handbags!

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How cute were these Georgetown Cupcakes with the ZAAF Logo???

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Abai & I (Yodit)  take a quick picture in front of the ZAAF Step and Repeat! Love her!

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Abai gives the ZAAF story and why she started the company to guests!

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Ethiopian Artist Wayna & friends take a photo with Abai!

The main goal of the event was to introduce fans to the brand, the founder and each piece which is made to exacting standards and showcases beautiful craftsmanship and natural resources unique to the region it draws its inspiration from. ZAAF™ is a word that means “tree” in the ancient and noble Amharic language. More information can be found on http://zaafcollection.com/.

Need help planning an event? Contact us at www.favoredbyyodit.com/contact. Let us take care of the details!

Photo credit: Malik Photography

DIY Hot Cocoa Favors & Hot Cocoa Bar Party Inspiration

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For my 28th Birthday I wanted to do something "sweet" to celebrate with my closet friends and decided to host a brunch & ice skating soiree! Since my birthday is January 21st its always freezing so I wanted to give guest a favor that would keep them warm in the cold! Below are some photographs of the hot cocoa mix favors I made and the easy to do hot cocoa bar at the ice rink for my guest to indulge in at the event.

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I recommend putting out a few different toppings as part of your hot chocolate bar, so that guests can mix and match their favorites. I also used hot cocoa flags to dress up my home made marshmallow and brownie bites which are great when you dip them in your hot cocoa!

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The hot cocoa mix favors were also used as place cards for guest to find their seat :)

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Brunch without a signature mimosa is not a fun brunch in my eyes so I was thankful to find that Sequoia Restaurant in DC had a great unlimited mimosa option for my guest to be happy!

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See more photos on our Favored by Yodit Events (Yodit Gebreyes) facebook page here. Make sure to "Like Us"!

Photography by Our Story Photography | Printables by Tom Kat and Party Blog | Styling by Favored by Yodit Events 

 

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Giveaway: Win a ZAAF Amadeus Laptop Case at The ZAAF Launch Event!

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In honor of the Official Launch Event, ZAAF is giving away a FREE Amadeus Laptop Case, which retails for $300 to one lucky fan!

To enter to win, follow the simple steps below:
  • You must follow @zaaf_collection on Twitter & @zaafcollection on Instagram.
  • Attend & Purchase a $10 raffle ticket at the #ZAAFLaunch on 2/2/2014 at Barcelona Wine Bar!
  • We will select the winner during the event! 
  • Note: You must be present at the #ZAAFLaunch to to win.
Enjoy Complimentary Cocktails & Passed Brunch Inspired Hors d'oeuvres and 20% Off of ZAAF Products during this Stylish Shopping Soiree. 
We invite Press & Media to attend & cover the #ZAAFLaunch!

 

Event Details:

ZAAF Official Launch Event

Date: Sunday, February 2nd 2014

Time: 12:00pm-4:00pm

Location: Barcelona Wine Bar - 1622 14th St NW Washington, DC 20005

RSVP: zaaflaunchdc.eventbrite.com

Dress: Brunch Chic Attire Requested

Street Parking Available

Event Hashtag: #ZAAFLaunch

Social Media: @Zaafcollection (Instagram)

 

 

{Purple + Gray + Yellow Inspiration} Habesha Garden Romance Styling Shoot at Meridian Hill Park!

  Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot In 2013 I had the opportunity to plan and coordinate over ten weddings, twenty special events and my very first styling shoot! This shoot was inspired by my love for gardens and the 2013 trend of outdoor weddings that was very popular among couples everywhere so what better place than Meridian Hill Park.

A couple of months ago I had the idea to do the "Garden Romance" Styling Shoot with some great vendors at Meridian Hill Park, a structured urban park located in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Columbia Heights. The place is filled with beautiful areas like a cascading fountain, overlooking ledges, gorgeous landscape and much more! I wanted to photograph a young Ethiopian couple so my team and I enlisted in the talents of up and coming models, Alem & Samuel who were great to work with!

Our amazing stylist, Erica Joi from Distinctiv Style knew my color palette and vision and found the perfect bridal boutique in Old Town Alexandria named Ellie's Bridal to pick out a stunning long & lace gown which was very popular all over the bridal salons last year. The gown was also accompanied by long, traditional veil, which we also saw popular with our Favored Brides! The groom's attire was from Savvy Formalwear who has also dressed some of my past clients with great attention to detail and I think they hit the mark with this modern light gray suit and vest combination. The purple tie and handkerchief were the perfect palette addition to finish the look.

Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot

Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot

Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot

Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot

Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot

Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot

Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot

Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot

Favored by Yodit Events | Garden Romance Styling Shoot Photo shoot

Creative Team: