Archive for August, 2011
I was speaking to my wife the other day about our wedding and the topic of invitations came up. Our wedding invitations had Calla Lilies on them and my wife had decided to continue on with that “theme” and incorporated Calla Lilies into our centerpieces as well.
Wedding invitations can be classic, fun, themed or even humorous to you and your guests. The wedding invitation sets the tone for the event and we often see that our Wedding Couples decide to incorporate some element of their invitation into their overall celebration.
For example, if your wedding invitations incorporate some element of the beach, which is a common theme in Southern California…
Then you could keep this theme going for your wedding favors and send your guests off with individual bottles of sea salt.
One crafty bride even created a personalized card box for her ceremony.
Or if you are more of a Wine Connoisseur and plan on incorporating that passion into your invitations
You could then carry the theme into your escort cards by using wine corks to hold them in place
Or again into your wedding favors with a gift that guests will use over and over again!
For those couples who have always dreamed of a Winter Wonderland Wedding
It becomes easy to incorporate this element in your Wedding Cake, Cupcakes or Dessert Station for a look that is flawless from start to finish!
And who could forget those that are “Kids at Heart” and envision a Carnival Theme for their big day?
One bride decided to carry this theme out in a customized candy station that brought out the inner child in everyone!
Or you could always bring the carnival to your celebration by tray passing elegant mini versions of carnival fare such as fries, hot dogs, cotton candy and funnel cakes!
There are thousands of wedding invitations out there, so it might be overwhelming when you first start looking! Be sure that the invitation you select reflects both the bride and groom and the type of celebration you envision for your special day. From there the possibilities are endless!
Once you select your invitations please share with us if you plan on incorporating any ideas into your celebration. We would love to hear from you!
Traditionally, the Father Daughter Dance represents the father relinquishing his daughter to his new son-in-law. Historically, there was a sense of “ownership” that came with transferring the power dynamic from father to husband. However, in modern times where women are as independent as men, it has transcended into a special wedding tradition and can be very emotional and memorable. Not all weddings have a father-daughter dance, though. In situations where a father is not available, many may choose to substitute with a man of an older generation, such as a grandfather, an uncle or a close friend of the family.
For many brides, the Father Daughter dance is a cherished tradition to honor their fathers and share a few intimate moments alone with them. For others, it can be a source of anxiety if they feel it is awkward to slow dance with their dad for an entire song. For these brides, I have the perfect solution! I was recently a guest at a wedding where the Bride and her Father danced alone for the first minute (so they were still able to get ample photo opportunities) and then their DJ invited any other fathers and daughters to join them on the dance floor. This broke the ice for the rhythmically challenged dad and was a delight for their guests to be a part of their celebration. This is especially fun if you are expecting a lot of families to be in attendance at your wedding. And, of course, the same thing can be done with the Mother Son dance as well!
Choice of music for the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances are very important and play a key role in the tone of the event. It is usually ideal to find a song that the parent recognizes and likes and/or has a special meaning to both partners. Typically, these dances are slower tempo. However, if you want something more unique, it is not uncommon to see dances of a more upbeat nature. Many even take dancing lessons to prepare for the series of isolated dances a wedding can bring.
Below are some popular song choices.
For Father/Daughter specific Dances:
- “Butterfly Kisses”, Bob Carlisle
- “She’s Leaving Home”, The Beatles
- “Thank Heaven For Little Girls”, Maurice Chevalier
- “Unforgettable”, Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole (I love that this one is a duet by a real father daughter duo!)
For Mother/Son specific Dances:
- “The Lady in My Life”, Paul Todd
- “Youre Always a Woman to Me”, Billy Joel
- “In Your Eyes (Son to his Mother)”, David Chamberlin
- “A Song for Mama”, Boyz II Men
Gender Neutral Songs that will work for both Father/Daughter and Mother/Son:
- “Because You Loved Me”, Celine Dion
- “Always and Forever”, Heatwave
- “Greatest Love of All”, Whitney Houston
- “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, Elton John
- “Circle of Life”, Elton John
- “I Just Called to Say I Love You”, Stevie Wonder
- “Have I Told You Lately”, Van Morrison
- “Landslide”, Fleetwood Mac
- “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World”, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
- “The Way You Look Tonight”, Frank Sinatra
- “Wind Beneath My Wings”, Bette Midler
- “You’re the Inspiration”, Chicago
- “Hero”, Mariah Carey
- “You Raise Me Up”, Josh Groban
- “In My Life”, Beatles
- “Wonderful World”, Louis Armstrong
- “Blessed”, Elton John
- “How Sweet it is to be Loved by You”, James Taylor
When you’re looking for trends and cutting edge designs in tabletops, the “end all” is the Grace Ormonde, Wedding Style tabletop collection. Grace and her talented staff put together members of her Platinum List from around the globe to design tabletop vignettes that will make you swoon! Go immediately to your local bookstore (I noticed they even carry her publication at my local CVS) and pick up her Fall/Winter 2011 issue today to see the amazing tabletops. I guarantee you will be inspired!
Here are a few of the tabletop designs that were shot at our hotel:
Tip: Provide over the top décor for your bridal table with custom furnishings, designer linens and florals. Then coordinate the florals and décor with a more minimalistic look for your guest tables to conserve costs.
The Grace Ormonde Platinum List is a resource for cutting edge professionals in floral and event design, stunning linen specialists, tabletop accoutrement rentals and the latest in event furnishings and venues. We are honored to be listed on their Platinum List for Reception Sites & Resorts! Check out the rest of the list on www.weddingstylemagazine.com or in their latest issue!
One of my favorite little tips to share with my brides is something most people forget about – the guest arrival at your ceremony. Since you should invite your guests at least a half hour earlier than the actual ceremony start time, it’s nice to add a few little touches to make that wait time pass by quickly. Music playing in the background is always a great touch, along with a butler or two passing champagne, mimosas and lemonade garnished with mint (for those warm days).
For the cold days, you could offer hot chocolate with cinnamon sticks or hot apple cider. This will certainly get your guests in the mood for your wedding celebration and help them unwind a bit before the ceremony begins.
Cake Pops have taken the world by storm and have been showing up at special events everywhere!
Cake Pops are one of the trendiest new desserts around. These bite sized balls of yummy goodness are sure to be a crowd pleaser! These decadent little treats can be customized to any event.
You can add Cake Pops into your customized dessert station…
Or have them gift wrapped as a favor for your guests to take home after the celebration…
Or have them customized after the Bride and Groom…
Although, just remember with the endless possibilities of flavors, it might be hard to stop at just one!!
In case you haven’t seen it yet, Kate Moss’ wedding in the Cotswolds is the cover story of Vogue’s September 2011 issue!
Her wedding looked absolutely amazing! Visit www.vogue.com/magazine for the full article and more pictures!
This past June I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer and Edward, who celebrated their special day in The Georgian Ballroom. One thing I found really unique about their wedding was that Jennifer handmade the Table Number Menus and Invitations herself!
Speaking of handmade touches, I found these photos of some amazing Thank You’s! This is a great way to thank everyone for coming to your wedding without having a traditional favor. The little boxes and lunch bags would be great at a dessert station! And you can personalize the message to make everyone feel that they were a part of your special day.
Here are a few more amazing photo’s of Jennifer and Edward’s wedding, photographed by Harvard Photography:
I was speaking with one of my brides about her upcoming reception, when we started talking about ways she could add an element of surprise or shock to her choreographed dance. I told her that I’ve been hearing more and more about flash mobs at weddings, so we pulled up some videos online. Flash mobs are when someone breaks out a song and a group of people begin a choreographed dance that no one was aware would be happening.
Here’s a video of a wedding flash mob from last year:
There are many times you can do this, from walking out after your ceremony, to the entrance of your reception or during one of the dances through dinner. Big, open venues or large dance floors are great for this, such as a large ballroom or even a garden like our Horseshoe Garden. Joe Diamond Enterprises first suggested this idea to me. Although I have never worked with them, I thought it was an interesting and innovative way to surprise and delight your guests.
Here’s another one of my favorite wedding flash mobs:
What is your favorite dance song?
Nowadays, weddings are very customizable. Gone are the days when generic items are to be expected. This applies down to the very smallest of wedding details, such as the table numbers. One simple thing I love to suggest to brides that adds a very unique touch is to customize their table names rather than leaving them as numbers. It’s such an easy thing to do and can make such a huge difference!
I worked with a couple who were both National Park Rangers (that’s actually how they met!) and chose a different National Park to represent each table instead of numbers. To add an even more personal touch, they added frames on the escort card table which told the story behind each National Park and the connection it had with the couple.
The ideas with table names are limitless! If you’re a golf fanatic, each table could be a different golf course. If you met in college, each table could represent the different dormitory buildings from your college campus. Or each table could represent different places that you’ve travelled together, like the picture below from Samantha & Robert’s wedding.
They could even be pictures from your favorite movies together or celebrities you both love.
Your wedding guests are coming together to celebrate your relationship, so they would be delighted to see these personalized details that represent who you are as a couple!
Last June I had the pleasure of witnessing Jennifer & Jeffrey say “I Do” in front of 200 of their closest friends and family members in The Horseshoe Garden. Jennifer & Jeffrey had a traditional Persian wedding, which included a beautiful sofreh table created by Teraneh Ajdar of Elegant Sofreh Design.
The Sofreh table is the main focus of a traditional Persian ceremony and includes many symbolic items which represent the couple and their future, such as:
- A Mirror “Aayeneh” (representing light) and Candelabras “shamdoon” (representing the bride and groom and brightness in their future), which are placed on either side of the mirror. The mirror and two candelabras are symbols of light and fire, two very important elements in the Zoroastrian culture. As the bride is seated beside the bridegroom, the mirror ensures that the first thing the bridegroom sees is the reflection of his wife-to-be.
- Bread “Noon-e Sangak” symbolizes prosperity for the feasts and for the couple’s life thereafter. Sometimes a special blessing is written on the bread, usually with either saffron or cinnamon. A separate platter of this flat bread, feta cheese and fresh herbs are sometimes presented to guests after the ceremony, bringing the new couple happiness and prosperity.
- Decorated Eggs and Shelled Nuts, which symbolize fertility.
- Pomegranates and/or Apples, which symbolize a joyous future. These fruits are considered heavenly and represent the divine creation of mankind.
- Rose Water “Gol-e Mohammadi” is placed to perfume the air.
- Crystallized Sugar “Nabaat” to sweeten life for the newlyweds.
- A Brazier “Manghal” holding hot coal and sprinkled with wild rue “Espand” is an essential element. Wild rue is used in many Zoroastrian ceremonies, rituals and purification rites. It is believed to keep the evil eye away and ensure good health.
- Gold coins also represent wealth and prosperity.
- A scarf made of silk or fine fabric to be held over the bride and bridegroom’s head throughout the ceremony by various happily married female relatives, most of which are close family members of the bride.
- Two sugar cones “Kalleh Ghand” made out of hardened sugar to be used during the ceremony. These sugar cones are grinded together above the bride and bridegroom’s head (over the scarf) throughout the ceremony to shower them in sugar, symbolizing sweetness and happiness.
- A cup of honey to sweeten life. While still seated at the Sofreh, after the couple is married they each dip one pinky finger in the cup of honey and feed their mate.
- A needle and seven strands of colored thread to figuratively sew up the mother-in-law’s lips from speaking unpleasant words to the bride! The shawl that is held above the couple’s head throughout the ceremony is sewed in one corner by the needle and threads.
- A prayer carpet/kit is placed in the center of Sofreh-ye Aghd to remind the couple of importance of prayer both at blissful times and times of hardship. This prayer kit would include a prayer rosary or a cross & Holy Bible or a small rug “Sajjaadeh” and a strand of prayer beads “Tasbih,” often provided by the family as gift.
- A copy of the couple’s Holy Book is placed on the spread. This book could be any holy book of your choice. The book symbolizes God’s blessing for the couple. Traditionally “Avesta,” the ancient Zoroastrian holy book, was used by the majority of Iranians. Some couples use a poetry book such as “Hafiz” collection of love poems to be read during the ceremony.
In addition to the sofreh table, an assortment of sweets and pastries are to be shared with the guests after the ceremony.
Jennifer & Jeffrey’s wedding had such a beautiful and elaborate setup, which made for a special and very memorable evening. “Mobarak” to Jennifer & Jeffrey!
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