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unique wedding placesOutdoor wedding venues and unique wedding places are rapidly gaining popularity — and with good reason. Getting a little creative with your wedding plans (including the ceremony and party venues!) will help make your big day unforgettable, and you are much more likely to capture some breathtaking and/or one-of-a-kind wedding photos, too. What are some of the most bizarre places to wed?

Nothing Says Romance Like Turkey
Some of the best wedding places may also be the most unlikely — or, in this case, the most personal. One Minnesota couple literally spent one of the biggest days of their lives exchanging their marriage vows in front of a giant turkey. Why would anyone do that? As crazy as it might seem, the couple met, and fell in love, in front of the world’s largest turkey statue.

When Destination Weddings Get Extreme
Destination weddings do not necessarily have to take place on the beach. Research shows 15% of all weddings take place outside, and another 25% of newlyweds choose themes for their wedding receptions, whether they are indoors or outdoors. Some couples are taking even one step further, tying the knot in an hot air balloon, on top of a mountain peak or a ski slope, or — in one memorable case — even underwater.

If All Else Fails, Fake It Until You Make It
Actor Jeff Goldblum is making internet history with a viral wedding photo. What is so special about it? TheJurassic Park actor posed with his bride — and the entire bridal party — running away from one of the film’s dinosaurs. Of course, he had a little help from Photoshop. If you want to make outdoor venues slightly more exciting or bizarre, or you can’t quite make it to some of the most unique wedding places, you can always edit in the details later.

Are you inspired by Goldblum’s viral photo? Do you want get married under the sea? The options are endless, and — with U.S. weddings bringing in $72 billion per year — chances are, you’re willing to splurge a little for the perfect wedding and the perfect location, too.

 

Sweet SixteenYour daughter’s sixteenth birthday is right around the corner and she is starting to pester you about her Sweet 16 party. Okay, so you know Sweet 16 parties are a big deal, but does she really need one? Won’t she be fine with a small sleepover or a girl’s day at the spa? Well, she’s your daughter, and of course you have the final say, but here are three very worthy reasons why she deserves the Sweet 16 party of her dreams.

It’s Her Time to Shine

Sixteen is the perfect age. She’s old enough that she is through the awkward pre-teen stage that everybody goes through, but she’s still young enough to enjoy dressing up and playing princess. Her Sweet 16 party will be her gateway into adulthood, and her time to really shine. Let her.

She’ll Never Forget It

Something else very valuable about a Sweet 16 party is that your daughter will always remember it (unlike that first birthday you spent a small fortune on). In fact, it may even become one of her favorite teenage memories, and wouldn’t you love to be the person behind it?

Her Friends Will Be Jealous

Do you remember when you were in high school? Wouldn’t you have done anything to make your arch-enemy seethe with jealousy? Well, a sensational Sweet 16 party is a very worthy contender to help your daughter get this satisfaction.

Your daughter only turns 16 once. Before long, she will be out on her own, and you will be lucky if you even get a weekly phone call. So spoil her. She deserves it. And when you see the smile on her face, you definitely won’t regret it.

 

For the mother-to-be, the baby shower is the best day of her pregnancy (well, besides the day of the birth, of course). It is her day to be spoiled and she surely deserves it. If you are the one in charge of planning this important occasion, you don’t want to screw up. So what can you do to make it memorable? You can create baby shower games like these that will leave the guests talking for months:

Name the Number Two

If there’s one thing every new mom is dreading it is changing poopy diapers. Nobody enjoys it, so why not capitalize on this hatred with an entertaining game? Choose a selection of miniature candy bars and place them inside some clean baby diapers. Microwave them just enough for the chocolate to melt (about 10 seconds), and squish them together to make them really look like baby poo (it’s cute if it’s from a baby, right?). For the game, have the guests sniff each diaper and try to figure out what the secret candy bar is inside.

Pass the Puree

Baby food is another new-mom staple that is a prime target for a baby shower game. For this one, gather up ten different baby food jars (the more obscure the better) and have each guest taste them. Whoever can guess the most correctly wins. And if you give them little baby spoons to sample the concoctions, you will be serving up even more laughs.

Decorate the Dress

It’s no secret that babies go through a lot of clothes, so why not provide the mom-to-be with a decorative wardrobe laden with memories? Stock up on some plain bodysuits, dresses, or t-shirts in several different sizes and then provide the guests with fabric paints and iron-ons galore. Let each attendee create her own custom outfit for the baby of the hour.

banquet hallAmerican spend $72 billion on their weddings annually. It should not come as a surprise that more couples are willing to depart from tradition — and truly make their ceremonies and receptions their own. One way that they are doing that is by choosing increasingly creative places to say their vows and/or to celebrate with friends and family. What are some of the most surprising and often best wedding places?

When A Gas Station Spells Romance
It may not sound romantic to get married in a gas station, but just you wait. One Greek couple was so determined to get married and to share their love with friends and family, they tied the knot in a gas station. The gas station was owned by the duo, and — in spite of their humble surroundings — everyone danced, drank, and partied the night away. A family member adds that financial troubles could not get in the way of their love, according to Bridal Guide.

Who Wants To Get Married In An Abandoned Insane Asylum?
After 25 years of marriage, one couple famously skipped renewing their vows in a traditional venue, such as a church or banquet hall. Where did they renew their vows instead? The couple chose one of the most unusual wedding venues yet: an abandoned mental hospital. “They told us 25 years ago that we were crazy, and here we are,” Alesia Conover explains.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Most rock climbers are pretty passionate about the sport, and some brides and grooms even incorporate their love of climbing into their wedding plans. That’s exactly what happened 900 foot in the air, at the summit on South Peak of Seneca Rocks in West Virginia. The couple tied the knot on the top of the peak (instead of in a banquet hall), and the groom proposed in the very same location as well.

Banquet halls afford couples privacy, convenience, and a guaranteed time slot, which can be an advantage for many brides and grooms. Nevertheless, more couples are choosing to mark the end of their engagement (the average engagement lasts 16 months) with a reception in a truly spectacular — and unique — venues.

best wedding placesSome wedding traditions never change. Nearly 20% of couples still ask guests to adhere to conventionally formal (or black tie) attire, and 70% of American brides still take their husband’s names following the wedding ceremony. Today’s brides and grooms-to-be, however, are mixing it up — and in some surprising ways. Newlyweds are more likely to celebrate in unusual wedding venues. What are some of the craziest wedding venues yet?

True Story — One Couple Tied The Knot In a Gas Station
The best wedding places is a pretty loose term — and can mean very different things to different people. One couple in Greece, for example, celebrated their big day in a gas station, according to Bridal Guide. “To cut costs, Anna and Christos Karalis held their reception at the station owned by the groom, where they danced the night away with their friends and family,” Bridal Guide writes. One family member explains that financial troubles did not get in the way of love, dancing, and festivities.

Make It Memorable: Climb a 900 Foot Summit For Your Wedding
One of the most unique wedding places was on top of a 900 foot summit. One memorable couple said their vows on the South Peak of Seneca Rocks in West Virginia. “Seneca Rocks is our absolute favorite place in the whole world,” the groom says. “It’s the perfect place to spend the weekend: breathtaking views, good-hearted people, fantastic climbing, and no cell phone reception.” The groom proposed on the mountain as well.

Where The Truly Crazy Go To Marry
Americans are getting increasingly creative with wedding plans and receptions. In fact, Alesia and Rob Conover renewed their marriage vows after 25 years — in an abandoned mental hospital. Why an abandoned insane asylum? “They told us 25 years ago that we were crazy, and here we are,” Alesia comments.

At least 25% of brides and grooms opt to throw themed weddings, and some take creativity to even greater extremes. The best wedding places can be traditional or decidedly unusual; it’s up to the couple on their special day.

wedding dress shoppingNow that you are engaged, you can’t wait to go wedding dress shopping. You have been dreaming about seeing yourself in the stunning white gown for years now, and it’s your time to shine. But first, it’s crucial that you keep in mind these DOs and DON’Ts to help you find the wedding dress of your dreams.

DO focus on the top of your dress.

While the long train and perfectly placed ruffles will be admired by your friends and family on the big day, the majority of the pictures taken will be from the waist up.

DON’T worry about what anyone else thinks.

It’s your wedding day, and your opinion is all that matters. You may even want to limit which friends you take with you to the bridal shop to ensure you aren’t battling too many conflicting thoughts.

DO consider the wedding reception venue.

When it comes to Miami weddings, you clearly have a lot of choices. Whether you are getting married in one of the many South Florida banquet halls or planning on a beachfront ceremony, you want to make sure the vibe of your dress matches the vibe of the venue.

DON’T forget your camera.

Sure, the mirror is great, but only a camera will let you know how your dream dress really looks. Plus, you will have the photos to refer to as you plan the other details of your wedding.

DO schedule your appointment early.

The sooner in the day you can get there, the better. Your saleslady will have more energy, and the store will be less busy, so you can get the attention you deserve.

DON’T worry about the sizing.

Wedding dresses use a different sizing system than almost every other type of clothing. You can plan on needing a size three times bigger than what you normally buy. It’s just the way it is, so try to forget about it and focus on the fit.

 

You are already planning on sending your wedding invitations out six weeks in advance, so why is your wedding planner recommending you also send out Save the Date announcements? Isn’t six weeks enough time for people to make arrangements to attend the big event? Well, that all depends how bad you actually want them there.

People Have Lives

Sure, maybe you can live your life on a whim, but not everyone is as flexible. Perhaps your guests have jobs that require them to submit all their time off requests at the beginning of the year, or maybe there are some families with kids that need to figure out who is going to babysit while they are away. Even the locals will appreciate the extra time for planning.

Especially During Peak Times

If your wedding is taking place on a holiday weekend or during the summer, you need to give ample time so reservations can be made before the hotels overbook and the flights double in price. And if you are having a destination wedding, you better give them more than six weeks notice.

Send Them Out As Soon As Possible

Unless you are having an extraordinarily long engagement, you should send out the Save the Date announcements as soon as you have all of the details ironed out, with at least six months being the goal. But don’t worry; you don’t have to go all fancy on them. You can create a simple picture postcard with the pertinent details and call it a day. The important thing is that your guests have plenty of time to make any arrangements, travel or otherwise, that they need to attend your wedding.

Your Sweet Sixteen party is kind of a big deal. Your friends will gather to unofficially welcome you into adulthood and you don’t want to let them down. Choosing a theme is always the first step of the planning process, and if you go with one of these Sweet Sixteen party ideas, you will definitely make a statement.

Red Carpet Affair

Who doesn’t wish they could attend a red carpet event in Hollywood? With this theme, you can make all of your friends’ dreams come true. With a little help from one of the ballrooms in Miami, a red carpet, and some hired photographers, you can re-enact even the swankiest red carpet affair. Plus, it gives you an excuse to get a new gown.

Soak Up the Stars

For this theme, you and your friends get to enjoy the great outdoors on a warm summer’s night. Rent a giant inflatable movie screen, play your favorite flick, serve up some pizza, popcorn and soda, and you are good to go. Just make sure to ask your guests to bring blankets and lawn chairs so they have somewhere cozy to watch the film.

Party Like a Rock Star

Do you love to sing? Is dancing your thing? Then this theme may be for you. One of the ballrooms in Miami will serve as the ideal backdrop for your event, and then you just need to decide if you want to provide karaoke options or a DJ (or both if you want to go all out). Whichever route you take, your friends will have a grand time as they party the night away.

When it comes to corporate event venues, you clearly have a lot of options. From indoor affairs to outdoor excursions, there are plenty of different ways for your team to bond while boosting morale. So which one is the best for you? Ask yourself these three questions to find out.

What do I want to accomplish?

First, you have to consider what your goal is. Is your main objective to relay information or raise money? Then you probably want an indoor venue that will allow you to effectively communicate with the masses. However, if your main purpose is to boost morale, the endless space the outdoors provides might be more appropriate.

How much do I want to spend?

Obviously, a venue that provides you with indoor amenities and catering options (like many corporate and fundraiser venues) will cost more than hosting your event under the open sky. However, this money does provide you with a guarantee that you won’t get rained on, clean restroom facilities, and many more choices when it comes to the food you want to serve.

How many people will it hold?

Finally, you will want to consider the capacity of the corporate event venues you are considering. Clearly, you are going to need a banquet hall or ballroom that will allow everyone to attend. Even outdoor locations have limitations, so make sure you have an accurate head count before putting down your deposit.

When you are planning your next Miami corporate event, the first thing you will need to ask yourself is, “Where can I organize an event in Miami?” Once you have figured out the ideal location for your needs, the rest will fall into place.

 

In addition to the food and a DJ, what other wedding reception ideas do you have? A wedding cake is probably one of your necessities. The cake has been a tradition for centuries and continues to be an essential part of wedding receptions today.

Cake Ensures Good Fortune and Prosperity

Since ancient times, wedding cake has ensured the couple enjoys good fortune and prosperity. Romans guaranteed these two traits when they broke unsweetened barley bread over the bride’s head. Medieval English couples gained the same well wishes when they kissed over a high stack of cakes known today as a croquembouche.

Bride Cakes Paved the Way for Modern Cakes

Eventually, couples began serving cake to each other and to guests. The first bride cakes included a ring in the couple’s portion and symbolized the bride’s acceptance of the marriage proposal. By the 1600s to 1800s, fruit or plum bride cakes promised prosperity and fertility, especially when the bride served a piece to each guest. These bride cakes also included a single glass ring, which signaled marriage for the lucky guest who found it.

The early 1800s saw an increase in white pound cakes and white icing, thanks to accessible refined sugar. Those cakes became a symbol for purity, a tradition that stands today. Meanwhile, dark and sweet groom cakes decreased in popularity as the bride cake became taller, heavier and more prominent.

Introduction of Tiered Cakes

Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, solidified the tiered cake as a wedding showpiece in 1882. Completely edible, his wedding cake featured hardened, dense icing between multiple cake layers. Layered cakes symbolized status and wealth and remain popular in modern wedding receptions.

Will you break a piece of cake over the bride’s head or choose from the ballrooms in Miami based on your cake design? Probably not, but you will choose a wedding cake that looks beautiful, tastes delicious and continues ancient traditions.

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