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Just about every wedding you attend will have some form of floral or candlelit centerpiece adorning each of the tables. While these offer a classy look for your special day, you don’t have to choose the same thing as everyone else. These creative wedding centerpiece ideas can help you create a unique atmosphere for your wedding that will have people talking.
An Edible Arrangement

When people arrive at your wedding reception, chances are they’re already hungry. One way to satisfy their need is to place edible arrangements made from fruit. Your guests will love the look and can snack on a healthy treat while they wait for the food to be served. This is the perfect alternative to real flowers.

A Unique Ambiance

Instead of choosing the typical candles, you can create a similar ambiance with the use of battery-operated LED lights. Purchase martini glasses and place a light in the bottom of each one. After you light them, fill the martini glasses with clear decorative stones or marbles. The LED lights will shine through and create a glow in the center of your tables.

Comment Jars

It seems everyone has something to say to the new couple. To help them say it, place decorated mason jars at the center of each table. Put a pile of paper slips on each table along with a few pens, and your guests can write down their best advice, share a memory or leave a message. Use these slips of paper for your scrapbook or read through them every year on your anniversary.

A Beach Theme

If you’re being married on the beach or just love the beach, creating beach-themed centerpieces will stand apart. Purchase round fish bowls, fill them with shells, and add some water. Everyone will love the effect these centerpieces have on the mood of your wedding.

Wedding centerpieces can match your overall theme or create the atmosphere you want. Choosing something out of the ordinary will have your guests talking and will make your event one to remember.

best destination wedding place

Many brides and grooms-to-be are asking, what are the best destination wedding places? While important, this is not the only question to consider. For those mulling over far-off places and faraway outdoor wedding venues for their big day, it is also necessary to consider a number of other details — details that many people forget. Here are just a few:

Get Creative With Transportation
Every year, Americans spend up to $72 billion on weddings — and a large portion of that undoubtedly comes from destination weddings. While transportation is a concern no matter where you get married, it’s a lot more complicated when everyone is flying to a remote location. Remember that you’ll have to factor in the expense of transportation to and from the hotel and any places you may go before and after the wedding. As for the day of the wedding, many industry experts recommend fun — but sophisticated — beach buggies, if you opt for a tropical, Carribbean, or beach wedding.

Carefully Consider What To Wear
Let’s say that, as with some of the most popular and the very best destination wedding places, you land on a beach-side wedding. Beach weddings can be enviably beautiful, but there are some practicalities to think about. One of the biggest challenges can be deciding what the bride — and everyone else — should wear. Most industry experts seem to agree that a dress with a short hem and light fabric is best. Keep in mind that it will be just about impossible to walk in heels on the sand. Opt for flats, sandals, or wedges. “The more surface area the sole of your shoes have, the easier it will be to walk,” Lori Conley, a senior buyer at David’s Bridal, recommends. Men, feel free to wear flip flops, and choose lighter colored suits (or light-colored button downs or polos for a more informal event). At any rate, more people equate “nice wedding places” with the outdoors. Plan ahead when it comes to attire, and make sure to adequately warn guests — so they will know what to wear or what not to wear, too.

Destination weddings take a little bit of extra planning. Don’t forget about all of the nuances of transportation, and wear appropriate attire, even if it’s a little less formal.

As you’re planning your wedding, you know you need flowers for the bouquet. However, flowers are such a great way to add color, style and character to your big day, why not use them in other ways, too? You may want to think about also utilizing flowers in one of these unique ways.

 

Here are the Six Unique Ways to Use flowers in a wedding:

* Hair Styles – Using flower crowns or just braiding a long stem into an updo is a classy way to add beauty to the bride’s or her attendant’s hair.

* Centerpieces – When it comes to decorating for the reception, why not use centerpieces that match the bride’s bouquet? This can be an excellent way to tie the reception in with the ceremony.

* Boutonniere – Let the groom match his bride by adding a simple boutonniere to his jacket. These are a beautiful way to give the groom a touch of flower power too.

* Drapes – If you have a gazebo or archway, why not drape the space with flowers? This can be very dramatic and a gorgeous way to add character to your space.

* Gifts – A small corsage or flower pin is a nice way to show your guests you care without spending too much money on the gift.

* An Alternative to Rice – Instead of tossing rice at the bride and groom when they leave the ceremony, consider flower petals. These are all-natural and are less dangerous to birds than rice is.

Now that you have some great ideas for flowers, it’s time to start talking with your florist to make sure you’ll have the blooms you need for the big day – don’t wait for the last minute.

Wedding planning is a big job. Why not enlist the help of your best friend? No, not your college roommate or your friend from the office… your smartphone! Here are four apps that will make planning your wedding much easier.

* Evernote – Evernote is NOT a wedding app. It allows you to share information from one device to another, make lists and get organized. All of these benefits are useful for wedding planning, of course! (Available on all devices http://www.evernote.com)

* The Knot Wedding Planner – This free app is available on iTunes and in the Google Play store. The Knot app offers a full-function wedding planner. You have access to calendars, checklists, vendors and much more. This is a good place to start when you first start planning a wedding, since it has so much wedding-related information available. (The Knot on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/knot-wedding-planner-ideas/id457941553?mt=8)

* Cozi – Cozi is a shared calendar app that can make planning much easier for you, especially if your spouse-to-be is involved. You will both be able to access the calendar and make sure you never miss an appointment. (Available for all devices – http://www.cozi.com/)

* Zola-Zola is a simple way to take the wedding gift registry to the next level. Manage your registry on the go, and send gifts to others, too. It makes giving those bridesmaids’ gifts a snap! (Available on iTunes – https://www.zola.com/iphone)

While planning a wedding may seem like a low-tech process, there is no reason not to give it a high-tech kick! Check out these apps, and use your smartphone to its fullest!


Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful things imaginable. After all, not only are you getting ready for a big step (marriage) but you are also putting together one of the largest parties of your life. However, if you approach the planning process in the right way, you can reduce this stress and relax as much as possible. Keep in mind these stress-reduction tips, and you may find that the wedding planning process is less complicated than you imagined.

* Manage the Expectations of Others – You have your own plans and hopes. Do not let others (your mom, grandparents or friends) change your expectations. Trying to live up to everyone’s desires will leave you feeling stressed.

* Control the Guest List – You do not have to invite everyone you have ever met. Fewer guests means less stress. See if you can cut that back and watch your stress diminish.

* Work with the Best Sometimes, it is worth it to do your research and find the best reception hall and vendors. The cost and effort will pay off when you are not stressing over details later.

* Communicate about the Budget- Make sure your spouse-to-be and anyone else involved in the planning process knows your budget and knows where you currently stand. Communication goes a long way.

* Take time for You and Your Spouse-to-be – Do not let the wedding take over every bit of free time you have. You and your spouse-to-be need to take time and connect with each other over the things you love. This will keep stress at bay.

As you can see, there are many ways to work on the stress that is building up as you plan your big day. If things get bad, just remember, it will all be over soon, and you’ll be relaxing on that special honeymoon you have planned!

Many couples turn to vow-renewal ceremonies as a way to reaffirm their love and commitment to one another – and also as a way to kick back with friends and family and party. If you’re considering renewing your vows, here are a few tips on how to Renew Your Vows and help make your event extra special.

* Include your kids. Renewing vows is about your commitment to each other, and it’s also about your commitment to family. Ask your kids to take part, either as wedding party members or behind the scenes – wherever they’re most comfortable.

* Incorporate mementos from your first ceremony. Wear your old veil or carry a bouquet (or for men, wear a boutonniere) using the same flowers as you had in your first ceremony. Decorate with wedding photos or have your wedding video playing in a continuous loop on a big screen.

* Base favors on before-and-after. Use photos from your first wedding to decorate favors or give guests dual photo frames with a picture of you then and now.

* Consider writing your own vows. A lot has happened since your first wedding ceremony, and you’ve probably learned to appreciate your partner on entirely new levels.

* Use your renewal ceremony as a time to express your love and thanks to your life partner.

* Ditch the cake. If you had a traditional cake the first time around, consider something different this time, like a sundae bar, a cookie bar or decorated cupcakes.

* Donate your gifts. If you’ve been married for awhile, chances are you have plenty of stuff. Instead of gifts, make your wedding really special by asking guests to bring items such as canned goods or pet food that can be donated to local charities, or request that donations be sent to an organization that’s near and dear to your hearts.

At Renaissance, our event planners have lots of experience helping couples plan their special days. Schedule a consultation and learn all the ways you can make your vow-renewal ceremony a memorable and meaningful day for all.

banquet hallThe results of The Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study are in after a year of collecting data from 16,000 newly wed couples across the U.S. Here is an overview of the results.

What’s Changing ($), And What’s Not
Perhaps the most notable change is how much brides and grooms-to-be are spending on wedding celebrations. The average wedding now costs $31,213 — and that’s before the honeymoon! Of course, there are also distinct trends governing how exactly couples spend this money. “Spending is on the rise across reception categories, and couples are spending more on their catering, musicians and cake in 2014,” according to a March 12 news release. “Spending for cocktail hours also rose to 76% from 69% in 2010.” More couples (61%) are using mobile phones to make wedding plans and browse the best wedding places and event venues.

What isn’t changing? Many brides and grooms continue to throw wedding receptions in fairly traditional venues. Twenty-two percent choose banquet halls, 11% pick country clubs, and 11% celebrate wedding receptions in hotel venues. (The remainder select different types of venues. About 15% throw weddings outdoors, for example.)

Start A New Trend
With upwards of $72 billion spent on weddings every year, more Americans are urging newly weds to consider the less fortunate. Instead of stowing wedding dresses at the back of the closet and never wearing them again, more brides are choosing to donate their dress. Whether your dress is white, ivory, or another color altogether (10% of brides choose a non-traditional color), several organizations accept and donate dresses to women who are struggling with cancer. There is another opportunity to be charitable when clearing the wedding reception area or banquet hall: donating food. More caterers are donating remaining food to those in need. Ask if your caterer has a donation program in place.

The Knot’s annual survey makes one thing clear: Americans are spending more and more on their wedding day. With this in mind, it is also wise for brides and grooms-to-be to consider being charitable and donating wedding dresses or food to the less fortunate.

Having kids at your wedding and reception can provide a lively element, but unless you take a few extra steps to provide kid-friendly options, that lively element can turn bored and cranky in a heartbeat. If you plan on including kids at your celebration, here are some steps you can take to make sure they stay happy throughout the event with a captivating Kid-Friendly Reception.

* Ask the caterer about adding some kid-friendly foods such as chicken fingers or sliders, or offer a buffet instead of a sit-down menu to appeals to even the pickiest appetites.

* Don’t leave them out of the toasting fun. They may not be old enough to indulge in champagne, but offering a special option such as sparkling punch lets them feel that they’re part of the action.

* Provide fun activities that can be done right at the table. Crayons and coloring pages of the bride and groom, wedding-themed word searches or pocket-sized mazes and games help keep boredom at bay.

* Hire a babysitter to keep kids entertained and provide supervision, so parents can enjoy themselves as well.

* Let the DJ know you want some of the entertainment to appeal to kids.

* Schedule your wedding for the morning or early afternoon. Generally speaking, the later it gets, the more tired kids will be – and the easier it will be for boredom and crankiness to sneak into your festivities.

* Ask your venue about ideas for making kids feel at home. The Renaissance staff has plenty of experience helping guests of all ages have fun.

* Don’t forget the favors. Make sure you have favors especially geared to kids. Snacks are great options, or add a cookie or candy bar and let kids fill their own goody bags.

It might take a little extra effort, but when it comes to avoiding crankiness and meltdowns, adding a few kid-friendly options to your celebration is well worth the investment.

Prom Trends 2015

March 16th, 2015

Whether the prom is at the school gym or at a large banquet hall and ballroom facility, this event is likely the biggest of the year for high school students. As such, it is important to stay abreast of the latest trends and fashions so you can look your best. For the 2015 prom season, keep in mind these hot looks for the year.

* High Necklines — The trend has been hot during awards season and on the runways; high necklines are super hot. Halter necks, wide necklines covered with illusion fabrics and other options are particularly fashionable.

* Timeless Looks — Greek and roman styles as well as throwback looks to the 50′s and 60′s are all popular. Taking a page from history is a great way to show off your own personal style while keeping up with the latest trends.

* Metallic Eyes — Metallic looks are especially in for the eyes. Going with a strong look for the eyes means that you can take it easy on your lips–making it easier to keep your makeup looking its best for the night.

* Loose, Simple Hair — Luckily for your pocketbook, fancy updos are not a must this year. Many girls will be wearing loose, simple locks. Whether you wear your hair down or in a low ponytail accented with sparkles and shine, going simple is a sure way to stay in trend.

As you can see, the prom looks this year are sure to be fun. Luckily, each of the trends offers enough flexibility to give every girl a chance to be themselves–even as they stay in touch with what’s hot!

corporate events

Whether you’re launching a new company or celebrating a milestone, a great party is always an excellent way to celebrate and spur further progress. Unfortunately, creating these great corporate events almost always requires a significant amount of planning to create a good atmosphere, avoid problems and keep things fun. But this planning process isn’t limited to choosing between different corporate event venues and selecting a theme; instead, you will need to consider everything from transportation and timing to the comfort of your attendees. By following the tips below, however, you are sure to approach this challenge head on. Read on to learn how you can avoid unexpected issues and pull off a great corporate event for your company!

Meet With Your Event Planner in Person
If you plan to hire an event planner, meet them in person first to make sure your goals, perspectives and personalities mesh; after all, you are going to be spending a lot of time together as you work on the event, a feat that can exacerbate even the smallest issues. Meet your prospective event planner for coffee and discuss your different corporate event planning ideas. A good event planner will not only be able to offer useful recommendations and tips, but will also plan on being on site for the party itself to help you handle any problems that occur during the party.

Consider Potential Complications
You may have found the perfect theme or picked the best entertainment, but before you move ahead, make sure that your party venue will allow these features without charging extra. For example, some ideas might need extra time for set up, or might have restrictions against loud music after a certain hour, stipulations that can throw a wrench into your plans. Banquet halls are a good choice for corporate events for this reason: not only are these locations large, comfortable, visually pleasing spaces that are sure to impress your clients and employees, but they also often take care of cleaning duties and help make sure everyone is comfortable. Unfortunately, the location isn’t the only thing that can get complicated: make sure the event time won’t interfere with a holiday or other major event, that the location is accessible to your guests, and that all activities help your guests relax instead of making them uncomfortable.

Be Careful About Food and Alcohol
Lots of corporate events feature an open bar. If you are going to choose this route, make sure your party has safe transportation to and from the party, and that your bartender knows to keep people from crossing certain boundaries. Additionally, make sure you have enough food to balance out the alcohol, including a wide variety for people with different dietary restrictions. To make sure you are aware of what this might entail, consider asking your guests to list any allergies or other restrictions when they respond to your invitation.

Planning corporate events that are both professional and fun can be a challenge. However, by carefully considering your choices and planning accordingly, you are sure to create an event everyone will remember. Keep these tips in mind and start planning your corporate event today!

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