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The traditional wedding dinner can be the ideal choice for many couples; however, it is far from the only option. If the standard “chicken or fish” wedding meal does not seem like it would suit you and your spouse-to-be, here are three other alternatives that you may want to consider. 

Potluck – Although this “down home” dinner may not seem classy enough for a wedding, it can be a fun choice for a casual coupling. Have your guests bring a favorite dish and everyone will enjoy many family favorites. Encourage guests to write down their recipes and share them with the bride-to-be as an extra gift.
Food Trucks – The food truck craze is at an all-time high. Why not bring in a couple of local favorites and let them cater your wedding on the spot? This affordable option can deliver a lot of fun. If your wedding is especially big, you can bring in a variety of trucks to cover all kinds of tastes.
Salad Bar – A bit “greener” than the typical buffet, a salad bar is affordable, classy and healthy. Choosing a salad bar is one way to keep costs down without forgoing the meal altogether. With the addition of bread and perhaps soups, you can make a meal that is still memorable.

As you can see, you do not have to go with the same old meal for your wedding! Do not be afraid to try something different, and you will create a day that the couple and their guests will never forget.

wedding reception places

Up until now, there have been an average of 2.4 million weddings per year in the United States. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on June 26 legalizing same sex marriages, the number of U.S. weddings may be in for a considerable boost. According to The Street, there are currently 4.5 million gay and lesbian couples who may take advantage of the ruling, and, in doing so, give new business to wedding planners, bakers, florists, and wedding reception places.

What To Expect From Same Sex Weddings
While it is monumentally important that lesbian and gay partners can now 100% legally say “I do,” there aren’t as many differences between heterosexual and homosexual weddings as you might think. The most obvious difference, the Auburn Journal duly and accurately notes, is that there are two grooms or two brides. Other than that, all inclusive weddings and all inclusive event packages for same sex couples look pretty much the same. There are some slight adjustments to be made here and there. The Knot showcases cute signs bearing the words “Here Comes The Brides,” there are gay marriage-specific webpages for couples to refer to when making wedding plans (sites like engayedweddings.com), and, yes, the wedding cake topper will undoubtedly reflect the likeness of the couple getting married, with two grooms or two brides.

The Biggest Differences
The biggest differences, according to married couples and experienced planners, are: the rules. As for the rules, there pretty much are none. When it comes to same sex marriages, there are relatively few established rules — and that can be a wonderful thing. It’s up to you to determine your wedding etiquette, like what exactly your wedding party will look like. Do you want all bridesmaids, all groomsmen, or a combination? How will they walk down the aisle, and how will they line up during the ceremony? Will one or both partners walk down the aisle? Will they walk down the aisle with a parent or their parents? Choose friendly and welcoming wedding reception places, set up a few rules with your partner, and enjoy the freedom and convenience of making your own rules.

Over one-third (35%) of weddings take place outdoors. Forty-eight percent of couples will look at venues online first. Thanks to the Supreme Court, gay and lesbian couples can now do all of these things — and more.

Putting Together A WeddingIn many cases, putting together a wedding is something that takes months or even years to plan; however, there are occasions where time simply isn’t on your side. If you find yourself planning a wedding in a hurry, these five tips will help you avoid burnout and get the event going as quickly as possible.

1. Consider a Planner: While you may want to do all the planning yourself, working with a wedding planner or consultant is a great time saver. Not only will it take some of the pressure off planning, you will have access to connections you may not have otherwise had.

2. Work with a Venue: Along the same lines, many wedding venues will help you save time and effort. A venue gives you a “home base” something very important when you are trying to get things going quickly.

3. Think about a Destination Wedding: Instead of trying to do it all at home, sometimes a destination wedding can be a good solution if you need to rush. Many top wedding destinations (such as Miami, Las Vegas or the Caribbean) offer package deals to help move things along quickly.

4. Keep the Guest List Small: Putting together a wedding for 40 guests is much different than one for 400. When possible, keep the guest list as small as you can to reduce the workload.

5. Don’t Worry, Be Happy:  Finally, and most importantly, don’t worry about the little details. The most important thing about the wedding is that two people who love one another will be getting married! Try not to let the stress distract from the fun and beauty of the big day ahead.

 

Wedding Seating ChartDesigning a seating chart is one of those hassles you’d like to put off until the last minute, but it doesn’t have to be a headache:

1. Get started ASAP. As soon as you know who is atteding, start planning the seating arrangement. Don’t leave it to the day before your wedding (or worse the day itself)  you’ll have plenty of other things to occupy your every waking moment.

2. Divvy ‘em up. Make a list that’s divided into the bride’s family and friends (and friends of the family), and then do the same for the groom. Seeing it all on paper (or a computer spreadsheet) can make it easier to determine natural seating partners.

3. Go low tech. Break out the sticky notes and paper and start trying out different arrangements (the sticky notes make it easy to rearrange guests).

4.  Dive in head first. The head table is a cinch  bride and groom at the center, best man, next to the bride, maid of honor, next to the groom, then fill in the rest following a boy-girl arrangement. Or if you prefer, seat the bride’s party on one side and the groom’s on the other. You’re in charge. Flower girls and ring bearers are seated elsewhere with their parents.

5. Parental guidance suggested. Parents of both the bride and groom usually sit together along with other close family members and the officiant. But if your parents are divorced, you’ll probably want to have a different arrangement. Ask your parents what makes them comfortable.

6. Squash feuds: If you know some relatives just don’t get along, seat them at a distance to keep the peace.

7. Scrap it all: If you’re having a very casual event, you may not even want a seating chart. Let guests seat themselves an provide an extra table or two for overflow.

You know all those times your mom nagged you about being prepared and planning ahead? Well, your wedding day is when that advice is going to really come in handy. With just a little careful planning, and a quick run to the store, you can put together a wedding day emergency kit that can help you handle just about anything that comes your way.

Wondering what to pack in your wedding day kit? Here’s a quick list of 35 items to consider:

1. Sewing kit

2. Hem tape

3. Safety pins

4. Clear nail polish (for pantyhose runs or to affix a loose button)

5. Nail polish in your shade in case of chips

6. Spare pantyhose

7. Stain pen (like Tide to Go)

8. Super glue

9. White chalk

10. Bobby pins

11. Small scissors

12. Lint roller

13. Spare earring backs

14. Nail file

15. Oil absorbing sheets

16. Tissue

17. Tampons (stress can mess with your cycle) 18. Mini first aid kit

19. Mints

20. Aspirin

21. Mouthwash

22. Protein or granola bar

23. Drinking straws (to preserve your perfect lips) 24. Toothbrush

25. Toothpaste

26. Dental floss

27. Hand wipes

28. Pocket mirror

29. Hand sanitizer

30. Hand lotion

31. Antacids

32. Allergy pills

33. Eye drops

34. Deodorant

35. Fake ring (in case the best man forgets!)

If your ceremony is outdoors, or you plan to take pictures in an outdoor setting, add some sunscreen and a small bottle of insect repellent as well.

All it takes is a little planning “and a printout of this list” to avoid hundreds of little mishaps, and focus all your attention on the day ahead of you.

 

nice wedding places

It’s wedding season. That means it’s the perfect time for you to get a little inspiration for when you ultimately plan your own (i.e., your nuptials, big day, or whatever else you would like to call it). While over a third (35%) of receptions are now outdoor affairs, there are plenty of nice wedding places — inside and out — that will set your day apart and make your wedding truly unique. Here are just a few:

Say “I Do” Inside Of A Yurt
Take a page out of Matthew McConaughey’s book. While the Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective star didn’t get married right inside a yurt, he and his wife, Camila Alves, chose a luxury camping (“glamping”) theme for the reception and overnight after party. Thanks to the new glamorous camping trend, wedding receptions in a camping or outdoor setting can be outdoorsy and sophisticated.

Why Not Propose And Tie The Knot In The Same Place?
It is not altogether uncommon for men and women to propose in a stadium setting. Why not work stadiums into your wedding plans? You can book a stadium for your wedding on an off day — or just a portion of it when a sporting event is taking place. Your wedding will easily stand out among the 2.4 million U.S. weddings that take place every year if you throw the ceremony and/or reception in a stadium setting.

Become “At One With Nature”
Why not embrace nature on your big day? The majority of brides (30%) say they plan their wedding day celebrations in seven to 12 months — and that gives you plenty of time to decide what nature-filled venue best reflects your personality. Brides- and grooms-to-be are getting increasingly creative, tying the knot in caves, on mountainsides, overlooking canyons, or even in zoos and aquariums.

When it comes to nice wedding places and unique wedding places, the sky is the limit. Choose a venue that reflects who you are and makes your big day truly special.

Weddings Go Hi-Tech

June 5th, 2015

wedding plans

Emerging technologies may change the future of wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions. There are an average of 2.4 million U.S. weddings every year — and in years to come, the best wedding places (35% throw wedding parties outdoors, for example) and the number of guests to invite (136 on average) may be the least of your concerns. Here are just a few technologies you may want to incorporate into future wedding plans:

Snap One-Of-A-Kind Wedding Photos
Two relatively new technologies are changing the way Americans are taking wedding photos. Drones are capturing never before seen aerial and/or long-distance shots. And drones aren’t just suitable for wedding pictures; couples can also use drones in place of a videographer. Similarly, some brides are hiding a GoPro camera inside of their bouquet and using the camera to snap unique, candid photos all night long.

Bringing Something New To The Wedding Cake
The cake may be one of the most important decisions that you make during your wedding plans. Now, brides and grooms have more options than ever before. New technology allows couples to 3D print cake decorations. It is possible to use edible materials, like sugar, to do it all, too — and it’s generally cheaper to design and print sugar and edible toppers and decorations than it is to have bakeries produce them by hand.

Another way to add something extra to cakes is to do it with realistic projections. Couples start with a white cake (or one that is simple and typically just one color). Prior to cutting the cake, there is a display of elaborate light projections. The Huffington Post elaborates: “You can map literally anything you want onto your cake — from pretty flowers to old-school photos and even meaningful song lyrics.”

Wedding ceremonies and receptions are changing, thanks to new technologies. Don’t be surprised if you see drones, GoPros standing in for or supplementing the wedding photographer, and/or cakes with 3D printed decorations.

Many brides still choose the standby wedding favors of candy, matchbooks and other useless trinkets individuals either leave behind or discard once they arrive home. Instead of wasting your money, consider choosing more interesting wedding favors that stand out and give your guests something they can use for years to come. Your guests will appreciate it!

Flower Bulbs

Flowers are one of the best parts of springtime, especially when you have beautiful bulbs that come up year after year. Either package your favorite bulbs in a small burlap sack or plant them into small pots and attach a tag that tells your guests to plant their bulbs at home to watch them bloom, just as your love has. Your guests will love it and will think of your wedding each spring when the flowers bloom. Irises, lilies, daffodils and tulips are all great choices.

Kitchen Gadgets

You’re starting your life together and likely need new household items. However, you can share with your guests by choosing wedding-themed kitchen gadgets to use as favors. For instance, consider a heart-shaped tea infuser, a bottle stopper or bottle openers. As long as your favors are something your guests can use, they are much more likely to take them home and appreciate them.

Something to Eat

While most people enjoy candy at least some of the time, most people get tired of the typical mints, chocolate-covered almonds and other candies typically offered at weddings. Mix things up by putting together unique baskets with lemonade or hot cocoa mix, a jar filled with cookie ingredients, or a jar of local honey.

Choosing wedding favors can be overwhelming. However, you don’t have to settle for the typical. There are many functional, unique options from which you can choose. These favors are worth your money because there is a greater chance your guests will take them home and enjoy them, rather than leaving them behind or throwing them away.

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.

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