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April 14th, 2017

Your Wedding’s Personal Soundtrack: Making the Perfect Selections

The wedding reception is a time to celebrate! The right music choices are very important if you want guests of all ages to relax and have a wonderful time. While it may be tempting to just create a playlist using your own iPod’s lists, don’t. You must consider your audience and welcome them into your fabulous fete by playing music they recognize and love.

One recent trend is to allow guests to request one favorite dance song on their reply cards. This is an easy way to figure out what might get your crowd moving (or at least keep them in a good mood).

Another option is to select key songs for your reception and just trust your band or DJ to make the rest of the selections. If you hired an experienced, trained professional, this should absolutely not be a problem!

(Photo Credit: bridalguide.com)

Here are some of the key reception moments for which you will need to select special songs.

I have listed a few of my personal suggestions, but, of course, you should personalize these choices to suit your specific tastes!

First dance: The bride and groom’s first public dance.
You can’t go wrong with: “Always and Forever” by Luther Vandross.

Cake cutting: Everyone loves dessert; set the tone with a fun song.
You can’t go wrong with: “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard, “Sugar” by Maroon 5, “Sweetest Thing” by U2, or “The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani.

Mother/son dance: The groom dances with his mother. Obviously this one should be based upon her taste in music.
You can’t go wrong with: “A Song For Mama” by Boys II Men.

Father/daughter dance: The bride dances with her father. This selection should also be based upon musical tastes or message.
You can’t go wrong with: “My Girl” by The Temptations.

Anniversary dance: It is trendy now to invite married couples to enjoy a dance that celebrates their long-lasting union.
You can’t go wrong with: “Grow Old with You” by Adam Sandler.

Bouquet toss: A fun song is needed here to encourage the unmarried female guests to participate in this fun tradition.
You can’t go wrong with: “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé.

Garter toss: The song needed here needs to be one that will inspire the single men to join in the garter catching festivities.
You can’t go wrong with: “Whatta Man” by Salt n Pepa.

Last dance: You could take this one in many different directions. One option is a final, emotional slow song to send guests on their way. Another idea is to be playful and select a song that brings closure to the festivities by indicating that it is time to go.
You can’t go wrong with: “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day or “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.

 

April 6th, 2017

Cheers! Selecting Champagne for Your Wedding     

The champagne toast is a traditional part of most wedding receptions. It is a time to honor the newly married couple and celebrate their official union with an elegant and luxurious bit of the bubbly.

But do you truly understand how to select a champagne for the toast? Here are some basics. There are 4 basic types of champagne.

NV means the champagne is a nonvintage and is blended from several vineyards and harvests. For a champagne to be considered vintage, at least 80% of the grapes in the blend must have been harvested in the same season at a single vineyard.

Rosè means that the champagne blend contains a bit of red wine or macerated red grape skins, giving it a pink color.

Blanc de blancs are champagnes made only from chardonnay grapes, giving it a light and delicate taste.

Blanc de noirs are champagnes made only from black grapes and are more robust.

Once you have selected the type of bubbly you wish to offer your wedding guests, you will need to consider if you would prefer a dry champagne (for example extra brut, brut, or extra dry) or a sweeter variety (sec, demi-sec, or sweet). Most couples choose something in the middle, such as a slightly sweet and fruity extra dry containing 1.2-2% sugar. 

Be sure to sample different types of champagne until you find the one which will be most enjoyable for your guests! For a simple toast, most guests will require a half-glass of champagne, which could certainly be garnished with fruit.

Cheers!

 

March 29th, 2017

Take 1! Organizing Your Wedding Rehearsal Effectively

We all know that a couples need to plan a rehearsal prior to the wedding. In most instances, a wedding planner or officiant usually guides everyone through this process, but couples should still be very aware of what should be accomplished at this wedding practice session!

Start by lining up the wedding party as they will be during the ceremony. This will give everyone an immediate visual of their exact position during the ceremony. In most ceremonies, the bride stands on the left facing the altar, groom on the right, though it’s reversed for Jewish ceremonies. The bridesmaids and groomsmen stand on the respective sides facing the guests. Parents sit directly behind their respective children.

Briefly run through the order of events of the ceremony. Depending on your religious affiliation, there will be different events within the ceremony. Briefly run through the events so everyone understands the general flow of the ceremony.

Practice the recessional. This is how the wedding party will leave AFTER the ceremony. The recessional starts with the couple, followed by the paired up members of the wedding party, and then the parents. The recessional is fairly simple, but sets the tone for the rest of the guests exiting in an orderly fashion after the wedding.

Practice the processional. Once the wedding party has left during the recessional, regroup and line up for the processional (the entrance). Since everyone is now familiar with where they are going, the processional should not be too confusing.

Remind members of the wedding party not to sprint down the aisle or walk too slowly. If possible, have them practice with the appropriate music playing.

Explain where the wedding party will go after the recessional. Will there be a receiving line? Should they gather somewhere to begin the picture-taking process? They need to know exactly what is expected of them once the ceremony has ended.

 

March 22nd, 2017

Styling Your Wedding Décor with Bride and Joy

Bride and Joy, one of our favorite local vendors, buys, sells and rents all wedding decor, flatware and accessories to make your big day the most beautiful and affordable day of your life. They were featured at our last bridal tasting and open house. I spoke with Joy Orr about her unique business and her advice to brides and grooms. 

“As a glowing newlywed, after spending upwards of $10,000 on my own wedding, I sat in my
room with the aftermath of all the things I had bought and bargained for and thought, ‘what am I going to do with all of this stuff?’ Even though I had been extremely frugal and had spent countless hours going to thrift stores, shopping online and buying things from friends, I had cut it very close with my budget. And now, after it was all said and done, I had so much stuff that I had no idea what to do with. It was all in great condition. It was all beautiful. Some of it I hadn’t even been opened! But I didn’t need any of it now that my wedding was done. I was thankful for the thousands I had saved by shopping smart, but I could not make back the time or money on any of those items by simply selling the lot on Craigslist,” Joy explained when I asked her about the inspiration for her business venture.

Here began her idea for Bride and Joy.

“Bride and Joy seeks to give the everyday bride with grand ideas the wedding of her dreams by
making high quality décor, flatware, and accessories affordable to all. The purpose of Bride and Joy is two-fold. One, to allow local brides the chance to find high quality products at an affordable price and secondly, to allow brides who have already had the best day of their lives recoup some of the thousands that they spent making their fantastic day happen. 

Recent brides can either donate or put on consignment the various items leftover from their weddings i.e. vases, candles, mason jars, plates, napkins, glasses, silverware, garters, veils, bow ties etc. New brides will come in to the shop and find beautiful, gently used pieces at affordable prices that help them stay in budget. The recent brides recover some of their money and the new brides get great prices on things that would typically be out of their price range. Everyone wins!” she added.

As a wedding professional, Joy, of course, has words of wisdom for couples in the process of wedding planning.

“I'd say my tip for selecting a vendor is to remember that you, the bride and groom, are the customers and that vendors should treat you as such. A lot of times, vendors take advantage of brides and grooms because they don't read through contracts and end up regretting it when their big day comes around. Read everything, question everything, and above all else, make sure the vendor is someone you are comfortable with and you feel you can trust. Let vendors work and do the jobs you pay them to do!” she advised.

For more information about this fabulous business, visit their website at http://brideandjoyweddings.com/.

 

March 16th, 2017

Now Trending: Top Wedding Planning Ideas from the Experts at Bowtie Gourmet Events

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming with all the choices in the wedding industry today. On average, it takes over 200 hours to plan a wedding. The goal of one of our favorite vendors, Bowtie Gourmet Events, is to bring the vision of your dream day to life, a wedding that reflects your unique personality and style.

“We believe the planning process should be a memorable experience that is stress-free and affordable. With our passion and creativity, Bowtie Gourmet Events can guide you to save time and money. We will lead you through the planning process with plentiful resources, expertise and dedication to make your dream day a reality,” stated Barrett Tucker of Bowtie Gourmet Events.

We spoke to Barrett about some of the top trends for weddings in 2017. Here is what he shared with us:

Greenery:  The 2017 Pantone Color of the year is “greenery” so I am anticipating neutral tones (cream, mauve, light pink and white) with the heavy use of greenery (lemon leaves, Eucalyptus, boxwood, Italian ruscus and myrtle).  I anticipate that many event designers will use big potted plants, boxwood walls and greenery suspended from the ceiling to incorporate bringing the outdoors into indoor event design.

Asymmetrical flower arrangements for both centerpieces and bouquets will also be popular this year. This was a trend for 2016 that will continue to be popular in 2017.

Metallic bridesmaid dresses: brides will create a unique look using metallic tones, which are considered a fresh neutral.

Evening ceremonies: I have noticed that many of my clients in 2017 have been interested in evening ceremonies. Evening ceremonies allow event designers to use an abundance of candles. I can’t think of a more romantic setting than having an evening ceremony followed by a candlelight dinner under the stars.

Creative Food Stations: I think French macaron towers, croquembouche displays and donut walls will continue to be popular for 2017.

For more information on Bowtie Gourmet Events, visit their website at www.bowtiegourmet.com

 

March 8th, 2017

The Road to Happiness: A Guide to Wedding Transportation

Prime Time Limousine is another local business that was featured at our last open house and tasting. Guests had a fabulous time checking out the limousine on site and learning about all of the transportation options available to engaged couples. 

I spoke to Rachel Gravett from Prime Time Limousine about her top tips for planning details about wedding day transportation. Here is what she suggested.

“Make sure you ask about fees other than the hourly price. Transportation companies all give you an hourly rate, but most also then charge fees on top. Often there is a 20% service fee, sometimes fuel charges, late night charges, extra stop charges, red carpet charges; the list goes on. We offer one flat hourly fee that is all inclusive and then leaving tipping up to the client’s discretion. So make sure when you get quotes that you get the whole quote.

Make sure you are specific with what vehicle you are getting. Often we hear about a client thinking they are getting a limo and then getting something completely different then what they paid for. Get the make, model and seating capacity. Make sure you have seen a picture of the vehicle that will be picking you up.

Who will be driving you? All of our drivers are CDL licensed drivers who pass random drug and alcohol screening. They all speak English, do not smoke, and have years of experience.

Read the reviews. This goes for any vendor, but always read the reviews. And when you have an experience with a vendor, whether good or bad, write a review.

Go local. If you select a limousine company who isn't local you will pay for the extra hours of travel to come get you and to go back to their garage. This goes back to the full quote and knowing what you are paying for. Those extra hours can really add up so go local and save yourself the travel to you cost.”

Prime Time Limousine offers clients limousines, limo buses, party buses, and shuttles. Contact them to discuss your wedding day transportation needs! www.primetime-limos.com 

 

March 3rd, 2017

Sweet Wedding Cake Trends for 2017

Fauquier Springs Country Club featured some of the area’s best wedding vendors at their bridal open house and tasting on February 19. One vendor that most certainly delighted guests was Gateau Distinctive Cakes.

This local bakery is known for its custom cakes made from organic ingredients. I spoke to Lora Gookin of Gateau about current trends in wedding cakes. She offered some fabulous ideas!

Here are the top five trends Lora mentioned.

Textured buttercream cakes: this look is classic, but the addition of texture adds a depth and richness to the look of a classically designed wedding cake.

Metallic designs, especially gold: the addition of gold or silver accents to a cake takes the elegance up a notch or two! A little bling is always welcome on the cake table, right?

No cake toppers - only fresh flowers: couples who are going for a natural or simple vibe are avoiding the traditional cake toppers and opting for beautiful fresh flowers.

Elaborate Groom's cake designs: the groom’s cake is no longer a minor addition to the dessert table. Grooms are expressing their interests (maybe a favorite sports team or a hobby) through this special cake! Additionally, grooms are selecting their favorite cake and icing flavors for this dessert.

Naked drip cake designs: on-trend couples creating a boho-chic wedding are still loving this trend. Cakes are iced, but in a unique drip style that allows the cake itself to show through. These cakes are often garnished with flowers or leaves to keep with the concept of simplicity.

For more information on Gateau Distinctive Cakes, check out their website at 1gateau.com.

 

February 24th, 2017

Wedding Flower Trends: Advice from Shelley

Fauquier Springs Country Club held a Bridal Open House and Tasting on Sunday, February 19. The event was well-attended by many engaged couples looking to learn about the latest trends in wedding planning. To assist with this idea gathering, many local wedding vendors were on-site and ready to guide brides and grooms through the wedding planning process.

One of our favorite local wedding experts is Shelley Campbell. Shelley’s area of expertise is wedding flowers. She strives to creatively use colorful combinations of flowers to create bouquets, arrangements, and centerpieces to perfectly accent wedding festivities.

Obviously keeping up with wedding décor trends is critical to Shelley’s success. “We're seeing everything from shades of purples, blues and plums to soft neutrals including whites, ivory, blue-green to green foliage and blush colored flowers such as the wonderful Mother of Pearl (Blush Pink/Taupe) Rose and Amnesia (Antique Lavender) Rose,” Shelley explained.

Many of these on-trend options were featured at the Open House event at Fauquier Springs last week, and were admired by all who attended. For a personalized consultation regarding your wedding flower choices, contact Shelley at info@shelleysfloral.com.

Photos featured in this week’s blog are courtesy of Stephanie Messick Photography.

February 17th, 2017

Fresh Ideas for Your Bridal Shower 

Bridal showers are a traditional and fun part of any bride’s wedding preparations.

The typical shower involves a ladies’ luncheon and lots of shower gifts, but some hostesses are going the extra mile and come up with more creative and interesting ideas for their parties. Here are a few ideas to make things both fresh and fun.

Go retro! Ok, maybe you like the typical formula for an old-school bridal shower. Go with it! Plan lots of fun games, serve retro cocktails (whiskey sours, anyone?), and serve classic appetizers like meatballs and mini-quiches. Looking for a place to purchase the perfect bridal shower games or favors? Check out http://www.beau-coup.com/

 

Go somewhere fun! Bridal showers do not have to be held in Mom’s living room! A restaurant or country club can offer a “mini-getaway” for the guests. Another idea is to do a spa trip, visit a winery, see a show, tour a museum, or even visit a fun outdoor attraction like a zoo. All of these offbeat locations will usually offer space to accommodate your gathering once the activities are over.

Learn something new! Everyone loves to learn something new, but few people actually make the time to do it. Why not incorporate a learning activity into your shower plan? Your friends could learn to scrapbook from a pro, learn to mix your wedding’s signature drink from a bartender, learn new recipes from a chef and cook a meal together, or even do flower arranging or calligraphy. Be creative and give shower guests a new skill.

Bring your best dish! Potluck parties may sound like a dull idea, but if every guest brings her best dish and provides the bride with the recipe (and maybe the wine that best goes with the dish, or some kitchen tools to help her make it), everyone will have an amazing time.

Regardless of what style of shower you are planning, just be sure everyone knows what is planned so they can dress appropriately.

February 9th, 2017

Entertaining the Littles at Your Wedding

The decision of whether or not to include children in your wedding celebration is a very personal one. Many couples choose to exclude them altogether, while others invite children without actually considering their needs. This mistake can lead to situations where both parents and children become cranky, not exactly the ideal atmosphere for a day of celebrating!

Photo credit: Huffington Post

If you do decide to include children in the festivities, be sure to cater to their needs. Couples can hire an on-site nanny to keep the children occupied, or they can leave it to the parents to care for the children. In any event, the bride and groom can make the job a bit easier by considering a few fun ideas.

  1. Provide kid-friendly foods and drinks. While you may be super-excited about the mini-crab cakes at cocktail hour, a five year old may strongly disagree. A simple fruit and cheese plate will provide recognizable foods for the little ones without disturbing the vibe of the event. Check with your caterer about ideas for children’s meals. Be sure the bartender is stocked with juices and has some child-safe cups on hand as well.
  2. Provide an activity for the children. One popular idea is to give each child a disposable camera and a simple “scavenger hunt” style list of images to find and capture. For example, they could photograph the pretty cake, a brightly wrapped gift, a display of beautiful flowers, dancing bridesmaids, etc. Allow the parents to develop the film so each child has a collection of photo memories from the big day. For those about to point out that the children could just take pictures using a phone or tablet, childcare experts disagree! The excitement of collecting the images on a disposable camera (to develop and view at a later time) will prolong a child’s interest in the project.
  3. Invite the children to dance together. Perhaps request a song they would recognize and enjoy so they feel like a part of the party!
  4. If children are over the age of 6, consider a special children’s table. Younger children will probably not want to stray far from their parents, but older children could enjoy the opportunity to socialize with other young guests. Perhaps pay a teen guest to supervise the table during dinner if you are nervous about safety issues.

February 2nd, 2017

A Pretty Path of Petals

One of the most beautiful and natural ways to add color and drama to a wedding ceremony is to incorporate a flower petal aisle runner. Although most churches have a clearly defined center aisle for the bride’s traditional entrance, other locations may lack this structured path.

Fabric runners, usually in white or ivory, were the norm for many decades, but creative brides and planners have upped the ante in recent years. Runners are no longer limited to simple fabric edged with flower petals or candles. The option to create an artistic statement with colorful flower petals is now trendy for all types of weddings: from bohemian to traditional.

How to make this beautiful idea a reality? If your wedding is planned for outdoors, make sure it is not during a windy season! Also check with your venue to be sure that a flower petal runner is allowed. Your florist or planner may need to access the area a few hours earlier than normal to create the runner, so be sure to mention this to your venue coordinator.

Once you have cleared this idea with your venue coordinator, chat with your florist about this option. Many florists are experienced in creating flower petal runners, but others recruit assistants or even wedding planners to help create this dramatic touch. Be sure to consider your wedding color scheme as well as the color of the floor or ground upon which the path will be created. White flower petals may not sound dramatic, but actually create a visual pop when placed on bright, fresh, green spring grass.

Remember, that even the most meticulously created flower paths will become displaced as the bride walks down the aisle. This will not take away from the natural beauty and dramatic effect of the flower petal aisle runner.

January 27th, 2017

Wedding Correspondence: When to Send 

Planning a wedding is an exciting time, and you most likely cannot wait to share your plans with friends and family members! An appropriate way to do this is to send save the date notifications and, of course, formal wedding invitations. But when exactly is the correct time to send each piece of correspondence?

The first step is to actually confirm all details. Be sure that your venue is available on the date you desire and that a contract is signed. If you will include information about your wedding website, be sure that it is finalized and that the web address is accurate!

Once you have these details, it is safe to begin ordering and then sending save the date notifications.

On average, these are usually sent 6-12 months prior to the wedding date.

Save the dates should be sent to potential guests, members of the wedding party, and even vendors.

Keep in mind that save the dates should be sent earlier (closer to 12 months prior to the wedding) in the following situations:  weekday weddings, holiday weddings, destination weddings. These situations sometimes require a bit more advanced planning for guests and vendors, so it is courteous to notify them earlier.

The actual wedding invitations should be ordered 6-8 months before the wedding. This will allow time for assembling and addressing the invitations. The invitations are typically sent 2-3 months prior to the wedding date.

Take your time when designing your save the dates and invitations, as these items should reflect the look, style, and theme of your event. Most couples order around 25 extra invitations to accommodate last minute additions and to use as keepsakes.

January 18th, 2017

Say My Name, Say My Name: Changing Your Name After the Wedding

Changing your name after the wedding is a personal choice. If you do decide to make the traditional change, it is important to be organized and thorough in this endeavor. Where to start?

Step one: Get your marriage license.
An original, or certified, copy of your marriage license will be required before you speak to other agencies. Call the clerk’s office where your license was filed to get copies.

Step two: Change your social security card.
Fill out the Social Security Administration’s application for a new card. Take or mail your application and required documents to your local SSA office.

Step three: Update your driver’s license.
In most states, this must be done in person, so prepare yourself for a trip to the DMV. Bring your original license, your marriage certificate, and your new Social Security card.

Step four: Update your bank accounts.
Request the change in person at your local branch (bring your new driver’s license and marriage certificate). Ask for new checks and debit and credit cards, as well.

Step five: Apply for a new passport.
The fees and process change depending on whether your current passport was issued within the last year. Except to wait 4-6 weeks for processing.

What else? Additional details vary by person, but you should update records for your payroll. Email accounts, insurance policies, utilities, legal documents, doctors’ offices, school alumni offices, credit cards, checking account, loans, and social media accounts.

If this seems overwhelming, use these suggestions to create a checklist. Tackle a few items each week until everything is updated. 

January 12, 2017

Meeting the Maids and Men

 The wedding party is a cherished group of friends and family members who make the wedding day special. At a larger wedding, guests may not personally know each member of this elite group. While tradition dictates that party members should be introduced upon their arrival to the reception, many couples have decided to go one step further.

Creating cute but informative “meet the maids and men” displays is a stylish way to educate your guests about these special people.

One idea is to create tables topped with framed pictures and stories about each party member. Stories should be sweet and simple, describing how the party member met the bride or groom, and a bit about his or her personality. For a more rustic look, the framed pictures could be affixed to a door or window panel.

Be sure that the party members approve of the displayed pictures and stories. Better yet, get them involved in writing their own introductions and selecting their favorite photos! Your guests will thank you for helping them to learn about your treasured maids and men!

 

January 5, 2017 

Fresh New Wedding Trends For 2017

Happy New Year! Ready to embrace the latest in wedding trends? Of course you are. Here are our favorite three trends for 2017.

Color! For a few seasons, neutral or even all white weddings were trendy, but color is back! This trend may have been kicked off by Pantone’s selection of a crisp, clear green as color of the year. Brides in 2017 will be choosing to be the only one in a neutral toned dress. Bridesmaids’ dresses, flowers, linens, and cakes will pop with color. Males in the wedding party will opt to accessorize with color. Get ready to select a perfect palette of hues to reflect your wedding’s vibe!

Interesting icebreakers! Couples are becoming more focused on truly engaging their wedding guests. They are striving to provide not just a wedding, but a memorable social experience. Whether it is fun lawn games during the cocktail hour, interactive food stations during the reception, or a selfie station stocked with wedding-themed props, guests will have something to entertain them in 2017!

Charitable registries! Couples are focusing less on collecting “things” and more on doing good. Instead of creating an endless registry of random gifts, kind couples are instead creating charity registries and requesting that guests simply donate in honor of the happy new union. Everyone wins with this thoughtful idea.

 

December 28, 2016 

Wedding Gown Trains: Understanding Lengths and Styles 

Gowns by Justin Alexander Bridal.

Shopping for wedding gowns can be stressful, and selecting a train length is just one more decision that a bride will need to make.  Brides can, however, breathe a sigh of relief. This decision is all about common sense and personal preference.

Obviously, a longer, more regal train length equals a super-formal look. If that is truly the style of your wedding, go for a long train! Just be sure to have a plan regarding what to do with the long train later in the day (for instance, when you want to dance)! In most cases, a seamstress can add hooks to the gown to allow the train to be bustled, or lifted off the floor. There are a few different bustle styles, and an experienced seamstress should be able to guide you through the process of selecting the right one for your wedding gown.

If your wedding is on the other end of the formality spectrum, for instance a beach wedding or a casual backyard wedding, you may forgo a train completely, or wear a dress with a very short train.

If your event falls somewhere in the middle of the formality spectrum, the train length is truly just a matter of preference.

Here are some of the most common train lengths available:

Brush or Sweep: reaches just to the floor beneath your dress hem, “brushing” the floor as you walk. Perfect for beach, outdoor, or casual weddings. This train length is easiest to move in.

Court: a short train that extends only one to two feet behind gown.

Chapel: formal to semi-formal style and extends three to four feet behind gown.

Cathedral: extends dramatically for six to eight feet behind the gown. Often chosen for ultra-formal weddings.

Castillion: a French-inspired very long train of at least ten feet.

Royal: also sometimes called a “Monarch” train, since this look is popular in royal weddings. This train extends 10 or more feet from its attachment position at the waist.

Panel: this type of train isn’t part of the dress, but rather a separate panel of fabric about a foot wide that trails behind the dress. Usually detachable, panel trains can be made into any length desired. Some brides who buy their dress and later decide they want a train can have a professional create a customized panel train for them.

Watteau: worn from the shoulders and draping down to the bottom hem of the dress, the Watteau train dramatically alters a bride’s silhouette and can lend an almost Grecian feel to the dress. This unconventional choice is a good alternative to a veil for brides who don’t want to cover up their hairstyle but still have the look of a long, flowing veil. Bridesmaids’ dresses with Watteau trains are also very pretty.

 

December 20, 2016 

Selecting the Perfect Wedding Shoes

Shoes: Badgley Mischka- Photo Courtesy of StyleMePretty

Almost every fashionista loves a fabulous shoe. Selecting shoes for your wedding day should simply be one more opportunity to add an amazingly stylish touch to your look.

Shoes for your wedding day should not be a last-minute decision. The shoe should be coordinated with your gown color (it could even be a unique contrast), your jewelry, your bouquet and your basic style. They must be selected carefully. Talk to the style consultants at your bridal boutique for ideas.

Once you have found the correct pair of wedding-day shoes, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

In order to prevent blisters and discomfort, start wearing your shoes about a month before the wedding to break them in a bit. Even just walking around in your shoes for 15 minutes each evening will help your comfort level.

Be absolutely sure that you have your shoes (and all of your wedding day accessories and undergarments) before your first appointment with your seamstress. Your wedding gown alterations will not be accurate unless the seamstress has a full vision of your complete look. So shop early.

Avoid the whole “dyed to match” concept. Allow your bridesmaids to select a metallic shoe instead. These are neutral and can be worn again. If you absolutely insist upon dying the bridesmaid shoes, treat the girls to a second shoe makeover and dye their colorful shoes black.

Remember- if everyone in the wedding party loves their shoes, it won’t be necessary to distribute flip-flops or slippers at the reception. Simply don’t do it! Your wedding is your one day to be stylish and fabulous, so keep the standards high. An exception may be made to this rule if your wedding and reception are literally on the beach.

If you love dancing, consider shopping for a brand that actually specializes in well-structured, comfortable shoes. One great company that designs dance-floor friendly shoes is Angela Nuran.

The final tip: you will almost be guaranteed to have blisters and pain if you grab a cheap pair of shoes at the last minute. Take your time and purchase fabulous shoes for your big day.

December 15, 2016

Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows

Writing wedding vows can be a daunting task for even the most meticulous couples. For many, it is the most important writing assignment they will ever complete, since it will be shared in front of so many important loved ones! Here are some helpful tips for getting started.

Start one month before the wedding. By then, all your planning and decision-making will be nearly finished, and you can focus on your feelings for your spouse-to-be. This is your rough draft, so relax and brainstorm!

Begin the writing process separately. Allow each other the time and ability to ponder. Your vows should not be identical anyway, so do not try to create a group writing project. See what each of you naturally come up with!

If you get stuck, think about some simple questions. How did you fall in love? What do you admire about your future partner? What do you hope for your future together? Why have you chosen to spend the rest of your life with this person? What do you love most about him or her? Your vows are present within these answers!

If you love literature (even a children’s book counts), look to words, phrases, and ideas from your favorite pieces. While some couples incorporate the words of Shakespeare, others may opt for a quote from a Harry Potter book. Be true to your own style!

Check with your officiant to see if you should write words indicating the moment of the ring exchange into your personal vows. This is important in terms of the flow and structure of your ceremony!

Now that you have done lots of reflecting, brainstorming, and investigating, write the final copy of your vows. Be sure to share this step with your future spouse to be sure that you are each creating vows with a similar tone.

Of course, the final step is to practice. It may be a good idea to provide backup notecards to the maid of honor and best man, just in case they are needed during the ceremony! 

 

December 9, 2016 

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017: Greenery: Will It Work For Your Wedding?

For 2016, Pantone selected two colors of the year: Serenity and Rose Quartz; and this week, we finally got a look at the 2017 Color of The Year: Greenery—a pretty significant departure from this year's pretty pastel hues.

So, what does this announcement mean to those planning a wedding? Simply that Pantone sets the trends industry-wide regarding which colors will be on-trend. This means that fabric, paper, and paint manufacturers will tap into this trend and focus on making this fresh hue (and coordinating tones) readily available. Florists and event designers and fashion designers will incorporate this color into their work as well, which means you will be seeing a lot of this color in wedding, fashion, and home décor magazines.

According to Pantone, the bright yellow-green shade of Greenery symbolizes the "reconnection we seek with nature and all." The color company went on to state that the hue seeks to "revive, restore, and renew"—which certainly sounds like an awesome idea!

Tempted to be a trendy bride and incorporate this hue into your wedding color scheme? Start by thinking about the direction of your entire palette.

The color works well with neutral medium tones, vivid brights, or cool and refreshing blues and greens. A few sample palettes are shown above. Looking at a complete palette allows you to think about mixing tones as you layer table linens, create bouquet ideas, and decide upon bridesmaid dresses. And don’t be afraid to consider wedding day makeup, cake design, and wedding stationery as well as you brainstorm about your wedding colors.

November 30, 2016

Wedding Gown Bargains In Haymarket

In the next few weeks, the Haymarket location of Blush Bridal Boutique will be closing due to the owner’s retirement. As she celebrates this exciting new chapter of her career, Maureen invites local brides to enjoy wonderful discounts on in-stock wedding gowns.

Blush currently has a large collection of in-stock wedding gowns which are currently priced at $500. The collection includes a variety of top designers’ styles, some of which have been featured in recent local fashion shows.

The styles range from ball gowns to full a-line dresses to sheaths and fit and flare frocks, all in a variety of sizes. The Haymarket boutique also has a full selection of bridal shoes, veils, jewelry, and accessories- all at a discount.

Maureen is also including mothers’ dresses, cocktail dresses, and formal gowns in this huge sale; most are priced at $99.

Appointments are suggested when shopping for wedding gowns, but feel free to stop in during the next week or so to find the items you need for your upcoming wedding!

For more information or to make an appointment, call 703-753-8303.

 

November 21, 2016

Bohemian Rhapsody: What Exactly Defines a “Boho” Wedding Style?

Most couples strive to plan a unique wedding with a style all its own. For many seasons, the idea of a “bohemian” wedding has been discussed frequently. So, what does this term even mean? For the most part, a boho wedding is an unconventional one, with a relaxed and carefree vibe. Quirky and creative styling abounds.

Regardless of a couple’s exact venue, a boho wedding will typically showcase materials that are natural and eco-friendly. Flowers, branches, leaves, and feathers are all simple elements that could be utilized as accents in an unstructured boho style scheme. Simple and natural fabrics are also appropriate, for example, lace, cotton, or a textured burlap.

Flowers can create a boho look and feel for a wedding by maintaining a casual and unfussy style.  Mismatching wild flowers in an array of eclectic jars and vases can look uniquely gorgeous. The bridal bouquet should also be unstructured and loose.

Flower crowns created with blooms, leaves, and twine are a classic boho touch for brides and bridesmaids and even flower girls. Hair should be effortless and carefree with natural waves and pretty braids. Dresses lean toward long, flowy, and comfortable with a slightly eclectic design.

 

November 9, 2016

Pinecone Accents for a Winter Wedding

What is inexpensive, rustic, and adds a perfect wintery touch to your cold-weather wedding? Pinecones, of course! These decorative gifts from nature can be used in lots of ways; they are not just limited to simple tablescaping projects.

Creating escort cards or place cards with pinecones can introduce your guests to your winter-wonderland theme upon arrival. Escort cards (sometimes called seating cards) are arranged on a table as guests enter the reception, and indicate which table number the guest should locate. Once at the table, the place card displays the guest’s name at his or her seat. The cards could most certainly be a DIY project, as long as the calligraphy on the cards is both readable and aesthetically pleasing.

Another idea is to actually use pinecones in the bridal bouquet. This will create a bold statement piece, perfect for a frosty day! This will most likely require the wisdom and skill of a florist, as seasonal flowers will need to be subtly combined with the pinecones. The effect will be a rustic accessory that almost creates a jeweled and structured look.

Combined with berries and branches of greens, pinecones could also be featured on the wedding cake. This simple look gives a plain white cake a touch of color and wintery style.

Don’t underestimate the beauty of the simple pinecone when planning your wedding décor! Look at the scales of the pinecone and you'll find that each one is as beautifully wrought as a delicate flower petal.

 

November 3, 2016

Geek Chic Accessories for Your Groomsmen

Groomsmen are carefully selected friends who strive to make the wedding day an amazing one. Dressed in matching suits or tuxes, these unsung heroes often lack the opportunity to show off their unique style and personal interests. 

If your groom’s crew loves comic books, why not cater to their whimsical interest by gifting them with superhero-inspired accessories? Cufflinks and socks that pay tribute to a favorite crime fighter are a subtle accent, but will make groomsmen feel special and a bit more relaxed (and open to fun photo ops).

Boutonnieres designed to incorporate superheroes are a bit more visible, but can add the perfect finishing touch to a simple black suit.

Have fun discovering your groomsmen’s interests, and surprise them with these thoughtful accessories if you can make the look work with your overall wedding style. You could even take that extra step and feature a superhero-themed groom’s cake on the dessert table!

 

October 26, 2016

Bubbles Bars: Interactive Fun at Your Cocktail Hour

When the time comes to plan the cocktail hour for the wedding reception, the goal should clearly be to provide a relaxing and social atmosphere for the beloved wedding guests. Allowing them to add a personal touch to their glass of champagne (or a juice or soda) could be the perfect way to break the ice and get your celebration started!

Allowing guests to customize their wedding reception beverage using chopped fresh fruits and flavored syrups is the grown-up equivalent to the make your own sundae bar (and who didn’t love those as a child?)

Caterers can assist with the creation of the “bubble bar” by suggesting simple beverages such as champagne or ginger ale. These refreshers would be served by the bartender, who would then direct guests to the customization area, where they could choose to add fresh berries, peaches, melon, and other flavorful finishing touches. Flavored syrups, available in fruit-based variations and flavors such as vanilla or cupcake, could also be provided to add an extra splash of color and flavor to one’s drink.

The unique cocktail possibilities are endless, and guests will enjoy discussing their creations as they mingle.

This low-cost idea could also allow couples to limit drink options a bit (to perhaps wine, champagne, and beer) since guests could create many different versions on their own.

 

October 19, 2016 

Does Your Wedding Need A Doughnut Wall?

Just when we thought pies and cupcakes and s’mores were the most adorable dessert treats offered at weddings, a new trend has emerged: the doughnut wall.

This super-trendy wedding reception idea is perfect for a brunch reception, but doughnuts can also be an alternative dessert, or an amazing late-night snack. Many couples are including a doughnut wall at their reception for its visual appeal in addition to its yumminess. At some receptions, the wall of goodies is the top location for happy guests to take sweet selfies!

Another plus? Doughnut walls are a DIY project just waiting to happen! Most are simply created with simple pegboard (painted or rustically unpainted) and hooks. Of course, couples can choose to add signs, flowers, and color to customize the doughnut wall to the look and style of their wedding décor.

To ensure truly happy guests, be sure to set up a coffee and milk bar in close proximity to the doughnut wall! 

October 12, 2016 

Making the Flower Girl Experience a Magical and Memorable One

The cutest participant in any wedding party is likely to be the precious flower girl. Depending upon the child’s age, this role can be looked upon as a serious responsibility or a scary and intimidating task. There are so many fresh new ways to make the day fun for your littlest attendant! Using some of these ideas can help to relax the flower girl and make her day more magical and fun!

Giant paper flowers: If you like the idea of flowers but don’t want to go the petal route, give your little lady a statement-making oversized flower. This prop will add a touch of whimsy to the wedding pictures, and impress the flower girl herself! Plus, she will get to keep the flower as a memento of her special day.

Fairy Wings and wands: Little girls love to play dress up! Why not make the wedding ceremony seem more playful (and less scary) by allowing your flower girl to don sweet fairy wings and carry a magical wand? The pictures will, of course, be precious. And the day will seem more fanciful.

Balloons: If your flower girl loves pretty balloons, why not allow her to carry either a single, giant helium balloon or a bouquet of balloons in your wedding colors? The balloons will seem more relatable (like a toy) to younger flower girls, and might make her more excited to participate in the wedding festivities!

 

October 6, 2016

Including Our Furry Friends in the Wedding Festivities

Photo credit: reynoldstreasures.com

Pets play a critically important role in the lives of many couples. Including these fluffy family members in the wedding day festivities is becoming more of a popular idea each year.

The trend emerged in celebrity weddings years ago, notably when Adam Sandler’s English bulldog named Meatball served as ring bearer in his 2003 wedding.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate pets into the big day Cake toppers can be in the shape of the breed of your pet, as can the cakes themselves. Ring-bearers or flower girls can walk the pet down the aisle. Pets can even be part of the wedding party, decked out in blinged collars and coordinating leashes.

One new and photogenic trend is for brides and bridesmaids to actually carry small pets instead of bouquets.

In addition to the sentimentality of including beloved pets, their inclusion also opens the door to new wedding planning concerns and necessities.

For starters, be sure a pet can handle the stress of big crowds and lots of music and noise. This may require lots of training and practice if a specific task is expected of him.

When pets are part of the matrimonial ceremony, a lot goes on behind the scenes. They must be fed and get plenty of water. They need to be walked and chaperoned and transported from place to place if necessary. Hiring an on-site pet sitter to handle the dog or cat may be the most practical plan.

Including a pet in wedding day festivities is the ultimate personal touch, but it is definitely necessary to ensure the animal’s happiness and comfort throughout the day.

 

September 28, 2016

A Sparkling Exit: Advice from the Experts at Dream Day DJs

Photo from dreamdaydjs.com

Are you having a sparkler exit at your wedding?

One of our favorite local wedding vendors, Jake Ritchie of Dream Day DJs has some super-helpful advice for creating this memorable and highly photogenic finale to your wedding day. Here is what he told me!

“Thinking of buying those cheap sparklers you usually can buy at those 4th of July stands on the side of the road? Don’t! A few years ago I was the DJ at an extravagant wedding and the couple elected to have sparklers conclude their night as they get whisked away in their limousine. The vision was simple. Hold hands and slowly make your way through the tunnel of lit up love. Photos are going off like it’s the paparazzi and people are hootin’ and hollerin’ giving you a farewell shout out.

It didn’t happen that way at this particular wedding. Everyone was handed a short grey stick to hold in their hand. As people started lighting them they burst into colors and smoked up the entire area where everyone was standing. Before all of them were fully lit, most of the first ones has burnt out. The smoke was so intense, I distinctly remember one of the grandmothers laying on her back on the ground coughing from the thick grey smoke. Photographers could only watch as they weren’t able to close the night with amazing exit photos,” Ritchie explained.

So what do you buy?

“Wedding sparklers! Yes, they do make these and they are specifically designed for celebrations. They are much longer in size so they last longer and won’t burn out, plus they are virtually smoke free. This allows a smokeless, photogenic opportunity for an incredible send-off. If you buy the 4th of July-type sparklers, you can get all kinds of disasters. Unwanted colors bursting out as they light, crackling ones, and even ones that whistle really loud. Can you imagine your entire guest list with these?

Specialty wedding sparklers come in sizes of 10”, 20”, and 36”. According to I Love Sparklers (www.sparklersrus.com), 10” sparklers will work for a max of 150 guests, 20” sparklers for max 250 guests, and 400 max guests for the 36” sparklers. The 20” sparklers have been the most popular at weddings I have been to. This all has to do with burn time while getting everyone lit. You can find many vendors online that carry wedding sparklers as well as your local party supply stores,” he added.

Here are some additional tips from our expert:

1.) Use a strong flame to light the first few sparklers. Those handy long Bic lighters work great and over-sized matches are good too. After the first few are lit, it’s faster to light sparkler to sparkler. Usually the venue staff can help with this step. 1 person at the front, 1 at the end, and 2 people in the middle on each side.

2.) Have someone call the limousine 15 minutes before departure time to make sure they will be in position at the conclusion of your sparkler tunnel. Assign the best man or wedding coordinator to make sure this is done.

3.) If you don’t want to be on the venue’s bad side, have buckets of sand or water available for the burnt out sparklers. Littering the property with burnt out sparklers could mean an additional clean up fee and/or a fire hazard.

4.) Be sure to add in the invitation that you will be having a sparkler exit. This gives extra incentive for people to stay and send you off in style at the end of the night. If you don’t want to do it that way, put a chalk board, easel, or other type of signage in a traffic area of the reception for people to see.

5.) Finally, take it slow! Don’t run and rush through the tunnel of sparklers. Walk slow, stop and take a kiss, bow the bride, and relish the moment. You also give your photographers more opportunity to snap away and capture the best images.

For more information on Dream Day DJs, visit their website: www.dreamdaydjs.com

September 19, 2016

Sweet Dreams: The Basics of Wedding Cakes, Part 2

We continue our focus on wedding cakes this week with more from my interview with Victoria Wu, general manager of Cakes by Happy Eatery. Our focus this time is on current trends in wedding cake design.

“There are several wedding cake trends that were popular during spring and summer 2016 that are continuing into the fall season,” Victoria explained. Here are the top cake trends she told me about:

Traditional – White on white with a splash of color in either the piping or flowers.

Naked – Exposed layers of cake with a cream filling slightly shown.  Different fillings cake be used within the cake, but still have a uniform exterior.  The naked cakes are typically adorned with fresh fruit or candied florals.

Woodland – Different than the naked cake, but similar.  The woodland style is a combination of a birch themed and naked cake.  There is icing around the cake and the layers are slight shown through.  These cakes can be set up on wooden crates or wood slabs and adorned with flowers, greenery, and/or fresh herbs.

Metallic – Gold and silver are popular colors for weddings.  Unlike other colors which are light or dark in shade, gold and silver is either matted or metallic, of which the latter is more popular.  Metallic designs require painting on fondant icings and sugar florals.

Rosettes – Large flat 2D piped rose pattern adorn the exterior of the cake.  Some couples like it very textured, thus the entire cake is piped in rosette.  Some likes a mix and match pattern, where the rosette pattern is either in the middle or base tier, with the other tiers having a different pattern.

“Some wedding couples likes textured patterns and some like clean lines.  Some likes their cake “finished”, while some like it “natural.”  The best design is the design that the couples like, not necessarily what is trending. The pattern that is generating more interest lately is the drip look, where the icing is dripping down the side of the cake.  It can be applied to any of the above trending style cake designs.  The advantage of a wedding cake is anything is customizable, in taste and design, “ Victoria concluded.

 

September 15, 2016

Sweet Dreams: The Basics of Wedding Cakes, Part 1

This week, our focus is wedding cakes, and I was super-excited to chat with Victoria Wu, general manager of Cakes by Happy Eatery, about selecting and designing the perfect cake.

“My sister, Emily, and I operate our family's business, Cakes by Happy Eatery.  We are a retail bakery in Manassas open seven days a week.  Our team of bakers and pastry chefs bake, make, and create all sorts of cakes, pastries, cookies, and pies.  One of our specialties is wedding cakes, whether a multi-tiered structure, dessert display, or pie bar,” Victoria stated.

When one is selecting or designing their dream cake, Victoria says to keep the following in mind to create a cake that will be the perfect fit in terms of the overall look, taste, budget, and service.

DEFINE THE LOOK - Define the style and color palette for the wedding.  Tag any wedding cake photos that make an impression on you.  Go back and redefine the tags as one refines the overall look for the celebration.  Colors on the inspiration cakes, such as piping, florals, or even the tint of the icing can be changed to compliment the look of the wedding.  The bakery can customize the visual of the cake to each client starting with some type of inspirational look.

LOOKS GOOD, TASTES GOOD – The advantage with having a multiple tier cake is the ability to have multiple flavors and fillings.  The wedding couple can choose the flavor that they like to eat.  Selections can range from the traditional vanilla or chocolate to spice cake, red velvet, cheesecake, or even a childhood favorite of cookies and cream.  For those with special dietary needs, place a special request.  There are options for those that have a nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, egg-free, or dairy-free diet.

BUDGET RANGE – Part of the overall wedding cake experience is getting one’s ideal cake within one’s budget.  First, a budget range must be reasonable given the guest count and importantly, design.  A bakery can help bring a cake closer to budget based on the inspirational look.  Elements that can increase the cost of the cake can range from shape/number of tiers, design patterns, sugar or candied florals, hand or metallic paintings, along with equipment rentals for cupcake towers and/or dessert bars.  A sheet cake is not always less expensive.  A 3 tier cake – with different diameters – can serve 50 to 175+ servings.  If a sheet cake is used, then the bakery will need to prepare four cakes – same quantity ingredients and similar design production time.

FINAL TOUCHES - While the cake is a centerpiece for the wedding, how it is displayed on the cake table is equally important.  Elevating the cake, adding votive candles, using the right color/textured linens, along with the toss bouquet, champagne goblet, and cake/knife server creates a finished and stunning look that will complement the overall look of the wedding.

SERVICE - There must be rapport between the wedding couple and the cake designer/bakery.  The cake designer must understand the wedding couple’s idea for the cake and bring the guide the idea to a vision.  The wedding couple must be comfortable with the cake designer, the kitchen (through the cake tasting), facility, and sales team, who can answer questions when asked.  It takes a team to create the cake from consultation through delivery and setup.

 

September 9, 2016 

Selecting a Picture-Perfect Wedding Photographer

Selecting the wedding photographer is one of the biggest decisions a couple will make. Complete trust in this individual is critical, as they will have just one chance to capture the essence of the wedding event!

I chatted with Nichole and Scott from Nichole Haun Photography after they attended our last wedding open house event this summer. They gave me some fabulous tips for how to select just the right photographer for your wedding.

Here are their top tips!

Meet with them! See if your personalities mesh! Your photographer will be with you almost every second of your wedding day. Pick someone you really want to be around! At the very least speak with them on the phone, or consider an online meeting (i.e. Skype, Google Hangout, or FaceTime). “This is something I really regret about my own wedding day. I hired a photography company that sent whoever was available on the day of… Sadly this person was not personable or kind. To this day I wish I could have had someone who I enjoyed having by my side,” commented Nichole.

Stick to your budget. There are amazing photographers at almost every price point. We have seen brides break the budget with their photographer and have nothing for them to capture i.e. flowers, decor, nice venue (i think you get the picture). If you are having a hard time finding someone you love, expand your search radius on wedding websites like “The Knot” or ‘Wedding Wire.”  Many photographers will travel for little to no fees.

Ask to see a wedding they shot from start to finish. This is crucial. This will give you a realistic expectation of what you can expect from them on your wedding day. Ideally they can share a wedding similar to the one you are planning. If you hate what you see, politely move on!

Know the deliverables.  Be sure you know what you are getting. Deliverables vary wildly from photographer to photographer and can dramatically change the price. Wouldn’t it be terrible to hand over your photography budget only to discover you do not actually get the photographs?! Find out if you get digital copies/negatives and what your rights to printing them would be.

At the end of the day go with your gut! And remember your images will live on after your wedding day is over, so choose well! 

 

August 30, 2016

Stylish Stationery: The Top Wedding Invitation Trends for 2017  

Your wedding stationery is truly your first opportunity to “brand” your wedding by creating a look and a style all your own. It is your initial opportunity to show your guests what’s in store for them, from a visual standpoint. I chatted with Barbara Frazier, the lead designer at Mayla Studios, about some important trends for 2017.  Here are the five unique details she said couples should think about when imagining their wedding stationery.

  • Fonts – beautiful, beautiful, beautiful fonts! This started to become popular in the end of the 2015 season, but fonts are continuing to gain popularity due to Pinterest! Brides are becoming more adventurous with their font selections. Hand Calligraphy or digital calligraphy with sweeping, whimsical lines can make that statement a bride has been looking for. 
  • Gold foil: Foiling is a bold way to make that planned elegant, evening wedding come alive through your invitation. This is a bit on the higher end of the cost scale, but worth every penny. Foiling is clean and classic and will never go out to style.
  • Watercolor & hand drawn illustrations: allows for a softer color palette to get the attention it deserves. Hand colored has become increasingly popular as skilled artists begin to notice and in-turn, fine tune their craft for the wedding industry.
  • Edging – also comes in the foil option, and neon is becoming more popular. Maybe you have that color in your palette that you just don’t’ know how to incorporate into your invitation. It also adds that extra something that lets your guests know you went that extra step to care about the design and presentation of the invitation.
  • Bold colors – dark colors like heavy maroon, striking blues, and deep purples – jewel tones, if you want to get specific! Black backgrounds are becoming popular as well. Statement pieces have 2 colors – dark and light!

Barbara also offered some tips on selecting and designing your wedding stationery package. She walked me through the steps of both gathering creative ideas and communicating effectively (asking LOTS of questions) to the stationery shop or designer with whom you choose to work. Here are some of her fabulous tips!

  • Make sure the invitation design fits your wedding style; winery wedding = vintage invite; farm fete wedding = farm fete invitation, etc. The wedding invitation is the door to your wedding, meaning it’s the first thing your guests lay their eyes on that represents the behind-the-scenes effort and money you are putting towards your wedding.  Don’t select a super elegant, highly romantic invite with sweeping fonts and diamonds, glitter and feathers if you are getting married at winery. Guests will assume the wedding is black tie if your invitation looks black tie equivalent. 
  • Make sure to request samples before you place your deposit. Etsy is a great starting point for this. Many stationery shops offer samples for a small fee. Our shop requires brides to purchase a sample before placing their full order/deposit. I want to be able to ensure they know EXACTLY what they are investing in before they start working with us. That way they can either decide, “yes we are their perfect match” or maybe they want something a little less pricey. However, I always remind brides, in the wedding industry, you generally get what you pay for. Those shops that have been around for a while are a bit pricier because they can be. They have quality and a reputation they can stand behind to justify the higher cost points.
  • Ask for a current estimated turn-around time.
  • Meet in person if possible. Ties in with samples. Colors on computers vary due to computer resolution settings. I always recommend scheduling an in-person consultation with a potential bride to discuss concept, layout, and color palette. If that’s just not possible, we will be more than happy to ship cardstock color swatches in the mail so the bride is able to see the colors in person. What you may see on your HP Tablet may not be what I see on my iMac or iPad! Resolutions are set differently among brands and models.

Mayla Studios is a custom designed event invitation shop with a touch of love, class and modern creativity. On paper. With love. Learn more at www.maylastudios.com

 

August 25, 2016

Gifts of Gratitude

Most couples planning a wedding quickly realize that a wedding event can require the involvement of a lot of people! Close friends and family members are asked to assist or participate as bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, shower and engagement party hosts, flower girls, and ring bearers.

All of these individuals should be thanked with a small token of your appreciation. Here are some fun gift ideas for your helpful crew.

Photo credit: theyesgirls.com

Bridesmaids could be gifted with engraved picture frames, jewelry, a monogrammed robe, personalized stationery, or a luxurious spa day.

A few gift ideas for groomsmen include cigars, cuff links, a monogrammed flask, a tie for the wedding day, or a watch.

Ushers and other wedding ceremony helpers could be gifted with gift cards, a manicure, personalized luggage tags, candles, or soaps.

Those who generously host wedding showers or parties in their homes could be given a pretty vase, a coffee table book, or a fruit or wine basket.

Children participating in the wedding could be a bit trickier to shop for, so consider their ages and interests! Ring bearers might enjoy a video game, Legos, sports memorabilia, or a remote-control car. Flower girls may be delighted by any of the above mentioned gifts or a doll, a bracelet, or even a set of fairy wings. Cater to her unique personality!

In any event, be sure to show your gratitude to those taking the time to make your day special. The thought is obviously more important than the monetary value of the selected gift.

 

Sweet Escape: The Sweetheart Table

Photo credit:  Katie Jacobs Photography

 Our Open House and Tasting event last weekend was a fabulous success. Excited couples had the opportunity to not only taste some yummy Legends Catering culinary delights, but to meet with some local wedding experts and discuss their wedding visions.

The Girls from Main Street is the planning and design division of Main Street Weddings, a resource and blog for planning a Virginia Wedding. Their team has a nice versatile mix of planning, floral, and design skills that can help create the right feel for a wedding, whether rustic or contemporary, whether large or small.  They created quite the buzz at our open house with their elegant tablescapes, and especially their sparkling and elegant sweetheart table.

I chatted with Jessica Brose, owner and lead planner at Main Street Weddings, about the importance of a beautiful sweetheart table.

“Sweetheart tables are always my favorite reception detail. We always encourage our couples to put thought into how they want this table to look, as it is going to be one of the most photographed table details at the reception (second only to the cake table – which is also fun to design),” explained Jessica.

“My suggestion for our couples is to showcase a unique linen at this table that is unique, but cohesive to the reception design. While the bride’s bouquet generally serves as the perfect centerpiece for this table, candlelight is always a must. This is your first dinner together as husband and wife, make it romantic! If your bouquet is super elaborate, it could best be displayed on the floor at the base of the table – and then add some greenery/garland to intertwine with the candlelight. If the bride adores farm tables and wooden chairs but it isn’t in the budget to outfit the space, just rent these items for your special table! Into glitz and sequins and gold chivari chairs but this look is out of reach for the entire reception hall? Use the basics for the guest tables and dress up the tables that will be photographed the most,” Brose advised.

Photo credits:  Lieb Photographic, Rachel May Photography

Still unsure of whether you’d like to utilize a sweetheart table instead of a traditional head table that seats the entire bridal party? Here are just a few benefits of embracing this trend, according to Jessica Brose and her awesome team at Main Street Weddings/ The Girls from Main Street.

You won’t have to worry about your bridal party’s dates or children being lonely at a different table.

If you’re considering including dates and children into the head table, the length of the number of guests at this table may exceed the space allotted for this style of table. Also, keep in mind the non-bridal party members may not be uniformed in bridal party table appropriate attire. You may look back on pictures from your wedding and wonder why your Maid of Honor’s boyfriend of the moment decided a plain white-t was appropriate.

Alone time! Kinda sorta. Guests will likely approach you with congrats during dinner but for the most part you can tell each other about the craziness they missed that morning while preparations were underway.

Cost effective to design and decorate compared to a long head table

An opportunity to really show off your style

Want to learn more about The Girls from Main Street and what they can do to make your wedding an amazing event? Check out their website at http://girlsfrommainstreet.com/

 

August 9, 2016

Wedding Pie? Yes, Please.

As fall approaches and the air turns cooler, the cravings for warm comfort foods begin to emerge. For many couples planning autumn weddings, incorporating homey and nostalgic foods is an important element of their event planning. 

Rustic pies capture this essence perfectly, and can sometimes appeal to a wider audience than a traditional cake. What wedding guest wouldn’t enjoy selecting a slice of warm apple, cherry, peach, or pecan pie topped with decadent ice cream or whipped cream?

Most bakers are perfectly willing to assist with this unique dessert request. Some style different sized pies on tiered plates to create the look of the typical wedding cake. Others design a traditional cake and arrange mini-pies around it as a dessert alternative.

In any case, wedding pie is a perfectly acceptable option for your wedding dessert table!  

 

August 5, 2016

How to Plan Your Rehearsal Dinner

Most couples realize they need to plan some sort of rehearsal dinner for their wedding party members and close family members, but many are unsure of what exactly is expected. The good news is that this event can truly be as casual or formal as the couple wishes. Here are a few guidelines!

Most couples have their rehearsal dinner the evening before the wedding, immediately following the ceremony run-through. The event is designed to let family members and the bridesmaids and groomsmen to get to know one another prior to the big day.

Traditionally, the groom’s parents plan and pay for the rehearsal dinner. Some couples opt to cover the cost themselves and personally plan the festivities to suit their taste and budget. There is no incorrect plan for the rehearsal dinner!  The degree of formality is totally up to the couple, but it usually does not exceed the formality of the actual wedding. Just be sure to communicate the details of the dinner to all who are invited!

The dinner can be held anywhere from a local country club (for an elegant meal) to a backyard (for a casual cookout).  Some wedding venues (including Fauquier Springs Country Club) will work with couples on pricing if both the wedding reception and rehearsal dinner are held there.

The key is for all of the participants to be relaxed and get acquainted. What could be more fabulous?

 

July 26, 2017 

Wedding Dress Codes: Letting Your Guests Know What to Wear

When planning an event as important as your wedding, it is so important to be clear with your guests about what they should wear. Your event should capture your vision, and this must be communicated to your friends and family from the start. 

Photo credit: Coutureinthecity.com

Black tie is usually meant for formal evening weddings. This means that you expect the gentlemen to wear tuxedos and ladies to don a cocktail dress or long gown.

A formal wedding means that men do not have to wear tuxes, but they could choose this option. A dark-colored suit and tie would also be acceptable, though. For a formal wedding, ladies should wear a long gown, a cocktail-length formal dress, or a nice suit.

If you are having a beach formal wedding, it means your event will be outdoors, literally on the beach. For men, a summer-weight suit in a light color is appropriate. For women, a formal sundress with cute, sand-friendly sandals is the best choice.

Semi-formal weddings sometimes vary depending upon what time of day the wedding is to be held. For daytime events, lighter colors and a slightly more casual style are acceptable. However, for an evening semi-formal wedding, guests should wear darker colors and have a more formal look. This translates as dark suits and cocktail dresses.

For a more relaxed wedding, suggest that guests wear business casual clothing.  This means men should wear dress pants with a polo or a button-down shirt, and women could opt for a sundress, a blouse with a skirt, or dress pants.

Guests who are not directly involved with the wedding planning (so probably most of your guests) will need wardrobe guidance from the bride and groom. Be sure to include this information on your website or with your invitations!

 

July 20, 2016 

Wedding Day Emergency Kits

Regardless of the meticulous planning that goes into a wedding day, minor mishaps can sometimes pop up. Creating an emergency kit for your wedding day can help you to tackle those pesky issues. A bride can create her own kit or delegate the task to her mother or maid of honor. 

Here are a few ideas for items to include! Tuck them into a pretty bag.

Sewing Kit: just in case of minor tears or popped buttons!

Nail File

Lotion

Oil Absorbing Sheets: to keep makeup fresh.

Sunscreen: especially for outdoor pictures!

Tide to Go Pen

Tampons

Dental Floss

First Aid Kit

Mints

Benadryl : in case of unexpected allergic reactions.

Bobby Pins

Granola Bars:  so many brides forget to eat.

Mouth Wash

Clear Nail Polish : Can be used to fix chipped nails, runs in stockings, or even buttons on suit coats that are about to fall off.

Chapstick

Advil (or another pain reliever)

Fabric Tape: Just in case a hem starts to fall on anyone’s clothing.

Earring Backs

Eye Drops

Safey Pins

Tissues

Hair Spray

These are just a few general ideas. Obviously, the contents of the emergency bag can be personalized to include items specific to the bride (such as a favorite snack, a religious item, a sentimental keepsake). If time does not allow for gathering all of these goodies, many bridal shops sell pre-made emergency kits as well.

It is always best to be prepared, even on your wedding day!

 

July 13, 2016 

Marriage Advice Coasters

The cocktail hour is meant to be a relaxing and fun time for wedding guests. It allows them to mingle and enjoy refreshments before the official arrival of the bride and groom, who are most likely finishing up their formal wedding pictures with their photographer.

One way to keep guests chatting and socializing is to provide an interactive activity for them. Since every new couple wants advice from close family and friends, these “Advice for the Bride and Groom” coasters offer a fun opportunity for guests to share their wisdom!

Just purchase extra coasters and provide some writing utensils for guests to use. Create a cute “drop box” or basket where guests may leave their words of advice.

Guests will enjoy themselves as they create their coaster, and the bride and groom will be gifted with a meaningful keepsake that provides encouraging words. Perfection! 

 

July 5, 2016 

Adorable Polaroid Wedding Guest Book Idea

Looking for a super-cute way to add some personality to your wedding guest book and allow your guests to be creative? Why not set up a Polaroid guest book station?

Just create some signage explaining that you’d love for your guests to take individual pictures of each other (or they could attempt Polaroid selfies). Once the insta-pictures are developed, guests can sign the photo and include a personal message to the bride and groom.

This activity will most certainly break the ice, as guests assist each other in creating fun portraits. The pictures can then be placed in an album to gift the bride and groom with a memorable keepsake guest book that truly captures the spirit of the wedding guests. 

 

June 29, 2016 

Unique Beach-Themed Wedding Cakes

Beach-themed weddings are a super-popular trend right now. Some actually occur on a beach, while others are miles away from the ocean. Regardless of location, couples seem to love bringing a touch of the tropics to their wedding celebrations!

Beachy touches can include flowers, color schemes, invitations, and even cakes! Bakers and cake artists are moving beyond the obvious beach motifs such as seashells and blue waves and creating lots of unique wedding cakes to impress guests. Here are a few ideas!

Coral offers a fresh pop of color and a strong visual impact, creating a sophisticated cake display.

Sand castles add a touch of whimsy to the cake table while definitely highlighting the beachy theme.

Nautical cake décor allows for the use of fresh white and blue hues. The anchor motif creates a classic feel.

 

June 21, 2016 

Gift the Bride and Groom with a Lifetime of Romantic Picnics

Looking for a fabulous idea for a wedding or bridal shower gift? The trend now is to provide a gift that is both unique and luxurious, yet able to be utilized for a lifetime of memorable moments. Creating a fabulous upscale picnic basket is the perfect choice.

The basket shown includes a blanket, stemless wine glasses, full dining and cheese service for four, with porcelain plates and wooden paddle cheese board and cheese knife, a canvas cooler tote and wine cooler, a serving tray, stainless steel cutlery, corkscrew, and wine stopper: all of the necessities for a romantic picnic at the beach, the park, or just the back yard.

This gift idea can easily be personalized to include recipes, foods, gadgets, tickets to an outdoor music festival, or even a blanket reflecting the couple’s favorite sports team!

Be creative and create an amazing picnic-themed gift that will inspire the happy couple for a lifetime.

 

June 14, 2016

Bridal Trend: Bohemian Lace

Bridal Fashion Week is always an exciting time when designers showcase their latest interpretations of wedding style. The Spring 2017 collections proved that lace is definitely still a bridal mainstay, but this time around it has a sweet, but boho vibe.

Designers seemed to take inspiration from a certain music festival in the California desert since a bit more of a laid-back, Coachella boho aesthetic was present in many collections.

These gowns are of course, appropriately formal, but they allow brides to express a relaxed, feminine grace. 

Photo credit: Casablanca Bridal (Available at Blush Bridal Boutique in Haymarket)

 

June 8, 2016

Infused Water Beverage Bars: A Refreshing Idea for Your Wedding

Couples are getting creative when it comes to selecting what their beloved wedding guests are sipping on. Beverage bars offer a way to display your drink options while adding to the stylish decor and encouraging interaction amongst guests. 

Garnish your displays with beautiful signage, whimsical straws, and antique dispensers and pitchers and you have a recipe for success. 

Infused water stations are particularly popular for summer weddings. They give guests a quick cool down before the ceremony or offer a delightful non-alcoholic beverage option at the reception or cocktail hour. Just fill stylish water dispensers with fanciful flavors such as lemon and cucumber, lime and mint, watermelon, and strawberry.

Guests will stay happy and hydrated!

 

June 2, 2016

Keeping Guests Cool at Summer Weddings

Summer is a perfect season for weddings thanks to its sunny days and warm evenings. While sunshine and cloudless skies lead to some amazing wedding photos, it is important to keep your guests’ comfort in mind if your festivities are outdoors! Overheated, sunburned, dehydrated guests are not happy guests! Here are some fun ideas to keep your crew cool and comfy.

  1. Sunglasses as favors can be a fun, personalized touch. These could also provide some cute photo ops!
  2. Parasols are also a trendy idea for shading guests from the bright sun.
  3. Cool cocktails are a welcome treat on a warm day! Offer a light and refreshing signature cocktail to keep everyone happily hydrated.
  4. An ice cream truck will keep children (and adults) entertained in summer months. This could be a nostalgic surprise for guests after the cake cutting!
  5. Program fans are yet another adorable way to keep wedding guests both informed and comfortable.

Happy summer!

 

May 26, 2016

Our Latest Bridal Open House & Tasting Event

Sunday, May 22nd was a fun and exciting day at Fauquier Springs Country Club, as it was the day of our most recent Bridal Open House and Tasting events! This event welcomes couples looking at hosting their wedding with Fauquier Springs as well as other venues that we cater to with our offsite catering division Legends Catering of Fauquier Springs Country Club. 

Guests enjoyed sampling delicious hors d'oeuvres and entrees created by our talented Chef Tom. While enjoying the food, guests had the opportunity to ask questions about each dish and note their preferences. 

The event also featured plenty of local wedding professionals to assist with planning local weddings! Eloise’s Pastries offered yummy cake samples, which were a huge hit! Music and photobooth services were provided by Dominion Wedding Entertainment. Salon Emage was ready to provide brides with information on scheduling their wedding day beauty services, and Ciao Bella Celebrations showcased both their trolley transportation and their photography services. The gorgeous flowers for the open house were provided by Everlasting Flowers and Video Express Pro's also attended to share information about their videography services. 

For more information about our next open house event on Sunday, August 14th or to schedule an appointment to discuss your wedding venue and catering needs with our experts, email Lauren today at lbricklen@fauquiersprings.com

 

May 18, 2016

Wedding Gown Colors: A Guide for Brides

Photo Credits: Casablanca Bridal           

At one time, traditional, stark white was the only real color option for brides. At this point, brides opt for the color that is most flattering to their skin tone, hair color, and eye color. Although designers name their wedding gown colors differently, there are four basic color options for the traditional bride. Here are some general guidelines on these color families:

White: Stark white is a tricky shade to pull off, though it can be extremely flattering to women with cool undertones. (This describes you if you tend to look better in silver than in gold, and if colors like hot pink, blue, and purple flatter you.) If you have very pale skin or yellow undertones, stay away from stark white, and know that stark white fabric with a sheen to it looks even starker!

Ivory: This is a creamier shade of white. It is flattering on most women. Ivory warms up the skin tone, and is an especially good choice for women with pale skin. There are many variations of ivory; some have a bit more warmth than others. Some designers call ivory “eggshell”.

Champagne or candlelight: This tone is creamier than ivory, and sometimes has a bit of a beige undertone. It is best on women with warm undertones, and it can look great on both pale and olive skin tones. Its flattering glow and sophistication also make it an excellent choice for older brides.

Pale pink or rum: Depending on the designer, this can mean white with a pink cast or pale pink. It can be flattering on nearly everyone, though women with very olive skin may not care for this tone.

Once you select your gown, ask the bridal consultant to show you swatches of all of the available colors. This should allow you to select a color that flatters your skin tone and makes you look your best!

 

May 12, 2016

Social Media at Weddings: Communicating Your Wishes

Last week we discussed the pros and cons of allowing your wedding to be covered via social media. This is a tricky decision for couples to make, but once they do decide, communication will be important. Guests need to be clearly told what the bride’s and groom’s wishes are in order to successfully comply.

Be creative with your communication, and be sure it is placed where everyone will see it! Also consider clarifying your policy on your wedding website, or even in the invitations.

Here are some examples of signage indicating you do NOT wish to have the wedding covered via social media.

Here is an example of signage indicating you DO want to encourage social media coverage of your wedding.

May 6, 2016

To Post or Not to Post: Social Media at Weddings

Planning a wedding means focusing on so many important decisions. One of them is whether or not to allow social media to play a role in the big day! Some couples love the idea of turning their wedding into a major event that is worthy of nonstop tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram attention. Other brides and grooms want to “own” their day and maintain control of the images released to the public at large.

So, how do you decide what to do? Here are some pros and cons of saying “no” to social media to help you to decide.

Pros of an “unplugged” wedding

No cell phones – and guests – blocking the view or the photographer. So many couples have horror stories of receiving poor quality photographs and videos from the professionals they hired due to the number of guests blocking the way while taking cell phone pictures. While these quick photos may provide instant gratification to the guest taking them, professionals simply cannot capture the pictures they should if they have to compete with 100 guests trying to get the same angle.  Employing a no cell phones policy would send a strong message to everyone that you’d like all in attendance to be able to watch your nuptials – and save your wedding photos.

Friends and family will be completely present. Of course, it is possible to be “present” while taking pictures, but most couples agree that their guests should be watching the ceremony, relaxing, and interacting with each other. A room full of guests who are actively tweeting, posting, and selecting Instagram filters does not make for an exciting party!

No unauthorized pictures will go up on social media. Professional photographers are paid to make the happy couple look good. Unflattering shots will be discarded, and the couple has full control over what to share. Awkward cell phone pictures from unflattering angles being posted on every social media platform with no approval from the bride and groom creates a nightmarish situation for those who are self-conscious.

Cons of an “unplugged” wedding

You won’t get to see the entire affair from a guest’s perspective. It is obviously impossible to witness every detail of one’s own wedding. Little “moments” are happening everywhere at the same time. For some, allowing guests to capture their own perspective and share it allows for some extra insight into the festivities.

Not everyone will comply. You can put up signs, include it in the program and in the invitations, and have the officiant make an announcement prior to the service, but there will always be someone who believes they live above the rules. If enough people disregard your request, you may end up spending extra time and money on signage for absolutely nothing. 

Some attendees may even be angry. Hopefully this is a rarity, but there are people who simply cannot part with their phones, even for just a few hours. Guests complaining or expressing frustration to the bride and groom could certainly put a damper on the celebration.

It is a tough decision, but it is best to give some pre-wedding thought to this important issue.

 

May 2, 2016

Wedding Fashion for the Beloved Moms

Mother’s Day is coming up, so we thought we’d put the focus on mothers in this week’s blog!

Nowadays, the role of the mother of the bride is changing. She is a fashionable woman who not only wants to express her personal style at her daughter’s wedding, she wants to make a fashion statement, feel comfortable, and shine like the star that she is on this special day.

Mothers (of the bride OR groom) are cherished guests of honor and often hosts of a wedding. They are NOT required to wear dresses to match or coordinate exactly with the bridesmaids!

They should also never be pressured to wear beige or to “blend into the background”. Mothers deserve to look their absolute best on this very important day. Here are a few guidelines for dress shopping for mothers:

The mother of the bride no longer has to wear a gown that sweeps the ground. Now, more than ever before, the mother of the bride is free to try different lengths. Wide varieties of hemlines are definitely available! The key is to select a length that feels both appropriate and comfortable. Traditionally, the mothers of the bride and groom coordinate their dress lengths. They are not required to copy the length selected by the bridesmaids, however.

Photo Credit: Jade Couture

  • Mothers should not be afraid to have fun with color! Style consultants at a full-service boutique are always happy to assist mothers in selecting just the right color to compliment her features. Mothers are not required to match the wedding party (they are not senior bridesmaids!) but they should wear flattering tones that complement the overall look of the big day.
  • Mothers are also free to select any type of fabric; they are not obligated to wear taffeta or satin just because the wedding party has selected that material. People often expect to see lace on the bride’s dress, but a huge trend (thanks in part to Kate Middleton) is for the mother of the bride to wear dresses with lace accents as well. A simple dress with a lace jacket or lace sleeves can be both stunning and appropriate. Other moms may choose to wear a flow-y chiffon gown, or a short satin cocktail dress. It is all up to the mothers!
  • The mother of the bride can wear a strapless dress, a halter, or any other type of neckline she chooses. Mothers should feel perfectly comfortable wearing the styles they love! Jackets and wraps are options, but not required! The mother of the bride should be elegant and fashionable at her daughter’s wedding, and she should always express her true self!

Photo Credit: Jade Couture

When shopping, mothers are often unaware of how long it can sometimes take to order a dress and have it expertly altered. Here is a quick timeline for the moms!

Six-Nine Months Prior to the Wedding

It is time to get measured, as well as time to think about
colors and designs. Talk with a style consultant at a local boutique to find out which
type of dress will fit best your body type and flatter your skin tone.

Three-Five Months

Decide on a final dress and have it ordered, if necessary

One-Three Months

Have the final fitting of the dress and any alterations, if
needed.

 

 

April 20, 2016

A Wedding-Themed Adult Coloring Book

Looking for the perfect little gift or add-on for a stressed out bride?

Just in time for wedding season, wedding expert and author Maggie Lord has announced the release of Color Me Married (Little, Brown, $16.00), a gorgeous new adult coloring book designed to be the idea de-stress activity for brides-to-be.

The book features a variety of wedding planning motifs like bouquets and wedding dresses, all there to color in and dream about.

The author, a top wedding expert, drew from the trends she sees emerging and the classics to create this coloring book.

For a fun shower gift with a “de-stressing” theme, pair the coloring book with some chocolates, a bottle of wine, a gift certificate for a massage or pedicure, and of course, a big box of crayons!

 

April 14, 2016

Personalized Wedding Card Crates

Brides and grooms are always the recipients of lots of cards filled with congratulatory messages, personal notes, and monetary gifts and certificates. A fabulous and secure way to collect these memorable gifts from well-wishers is to create or purchase a personalized crate.

For a rustic-chic wedding, crates from www.personalizedcrates.com could add the perfect touch of color and style to the check in table area. Personalized with the bride’s and groom’s names and the wedding date, this functional décor could be repurposed as a keepsake box after the couple’s big day.

A personalized card crate would make a wonderful pre-wedding or shower gift from a thoughtful bridesmaid!

Obviously, a crafty friend to the happy couple could also attempt to create this type of card crate as well. Just gather the supplies (a plain crate, paint, stencils, and brushes) and create a unique masterpiece! 

 

April 7, 2016

Designing The Perfect Wedding Cake Table Display

The wedding cake is an important part of a traditional wedding day. Couples spend many months designing the perfect details for the wedding and the reception. The cake needs to be not only delicious and beautifully designed; it should also be displayed properly!

 Choosing the right table linen for the cake table is an important task that is critical to the display. Here are a few suggestions for couples ready to brainstorm the look of their reception cake display.

Don’t be afraid of color. The purpose of the cake table linen is to make the cake that you’ve spent so much time designing stand out on that special day. To make the cake pop from the table, you want to provide contrast through the use of colorful linens and accent flowers.

Utilize two tables when displaying a groom’s cake. Groom’s cakes can be a fun way to highlight your man’s favorite sports teams, alma mater, or hobbies. If you wish, place the groom’s cake on a separate table and keep the linen in the same color scheme so the room remains cohesive and flows nicely.

The cake table is the perfect place to add in a little drama. Whether it is all-over sequins for some glitz, lots of texture in the form of traditional heirloom roses, or modern confetti linens that create movement, couples can certainly be creative when planning this display.

 

March 29, 2016

Edible Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are often a source of confusion for couples. Some are advised that favors are unnecessary, while others are told they are absolutely mandatory. The truth is obviously that the happy couple should do what they feel is best for their budget and their guests. A wedding favor that is a trinket to be stored away will most definitely not be appreciated as much as a gift that will bring the guests immediate joy; thus the current popularity of food-based wedding favors!

Couples attempting edible wedding favors need to know their audience and cater to their sense of whimsy. What adult would not be delighted with a s’mores kit (pictured) or a box of doughnuts? The popularity of cookies, cupcakes, and macaroons can also inspire couples in designing a sweet treat to go for wedding guests.

The key to any of these ideas is, of course, the clever packaging and branding of the gift. Create a clever tag or label to truly create a memorable presentation, for example the “Love as sweet as honey” tag attached to the small jar of honey shown above.

Be creative in selecting your edible item as well. While branding is important, also be sure to brainstorm as a couple to come up with a meaningful goodie! Perhaps you both love jelly beans, or always eat strawberry Twizzlers at the movies, or love splurging on Philly soft pretzels. Use these ideas to make the favor even more personal and unique.

 

March 23, 2016

Runaway Brides 5K Fun Run!

Brides and bridesmaids! Want to join something FUN with a lighthearted spirit while supporting two incredible causes?! Brides and bridesmaids, this event is for YOU!

On April 2nd, join other runners and incredible vendors at the gorgeous Marriott Ranch in Hume, Virginia. Brides and bridesmaids from all over the DC metro area will be jogging together through a 5k entertaining wedding-related activities course and enjoy a bridal show at the finish line.

Hurry and sign up now for Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run’s early bird special of $25. Proceeds will be donated to two very special causes in the wedding industry, Forever Angels of Virginia and St. Anthony’s Bridal.

Head over to Runaway Brides 5K Fun Run to sign up and follow to stay updated! There will be tutorials for projects, tips and features leading up to the event.

Register at: https://www.raceentry.com/races/runaway-brides-5k-fun-run/2016/register

 

March 16, 2016

Corsages for Your Bridesmaids: A Fresh New Idea

Looking to create a new and interesting look for your wedding party? Why not try bridesmaid corsages instead of bouquets? In addition to being slightly smaller and less costly, corsages made from beautiful flowers add a pop of color and a uniquely retro vibe to your best girls’ look. Corsages are also easier to keep on hand (really wrist or shoulder) all day without too much trouble or bulk.

Another plus to corsages is that they provide a fresh variety of photo op ideas! The corsages truly function as an accessory for the bridesmaids for the entire day.

Not sure about straying from the bouquet tradition? Some brides choose to have bridesmaids carry the corsage (as a mini-bouquet) at the wedding, then wear it during the reception.

 

March 9, 2016

Fruit-Inspired Ideas for Your Wedding Cocktails

The wedding reception is meant to be a celebration with fabulous friends, family, food, and drink! Don’t overlook the little details when it comes to selecting and presenting the beverages! Here are some fun and fruity ideas.

If you’re hosting summer nuptials, think about using seasonal fruit like watermelon, blueberries, or peaches in your cocktails. A Watermelon Refresher (pictured) calls for a strawberry-watermelon combo, healthy splash of vodka and hints of basil, ginger and lime. This would be an amazing drink for warm weather!

Sometimes a signature wedding drink is more about the garnishes than the drink, like in the case of this champagne cocktail with slices of soaked pears in glass and skewered blueberries on top. This looks beautiful and tastes delicious. It is definitely a step up from a simple glass of bubbly!

If you’re not into blue shoes and jewelry for your “something blue” make it about your drink instead. This twist on a classic mojito is fruity from fresh blueberries and just as refreshing as the minty classic.

March 3, 2016

Wedding Style Lessons From The 2016 Academy Awards

This year's Oscars red carpet featured plenty of stars looking like they could have stepped out of their own wedding.

While dark colors are traditionally more popular on the red carpet, stylish celebs like Lady Gaga, Priyanka Chopra, and Olivia Wilde all chose dramatic white evening gowns.

So what can brides learn from these Hollywood divas? 

A dramatic back is always a fabulous idea. Olivia Wilde showcased this trend, confidently sporting a Valentino Haute Couture gown featuring a backless design. This can certainly work for brides who wish to create a dramatic and unexpected look.

A sweetheart neckline and a simple classic hairstyle are always appropriate. Lady Gaga wore a strapless white Brandon Maxwell pantsuit with a perfect sweetheart neckline. She balanced out the daring choice with understated makeup and glamorous old school waves. 

Dramatic lace pairs perfectly with a clean, simple ponytail.  Priyanka Chopra chose a white lace Zuhair Murad gown. The strapless design featured a textured lace and a sparkling waist accent, and a simple low ponytail let the dress shine.

 

February 18, 2016

Wedding Programs: What Should They Include?

Programs are an easy way to make guests feel more a part of the ceremony and are a nice keepsake after your I dos. That being said, they're totally optional—so you can include as little or as much info as you want. Most programs include the basics: the names of the to-be-weds, members of the wedding party, a ceremony itinerary, and in some cases words to any readings or songs.

This is also a great place to share descriptions of ethnic or religious traditions. Feel free to add extras too, like pictures, a brief story of how you met, a thank-you to your parents or even a map to the reception.

Be careful not to include too much though—programs should be something guests can read in the moments before the ceremony and follow along as it progresses. You want all eyes on you after all!

Here are some fabulous design ideas.

 

February 7, 2016

Football-themed Groom’s Cakes

It is Super Bowl weekend, and we know that football fans are celebrating! Did you know that football fandom can easily be accented at your wedding reception? One awesome way to do this is via the groom’s cake. In case you are unaware of the groom’s cake tradition, this is an extra, smaller cake displayed near the wedding cake and dessert table. Its purpose is to highlight the groom’s personality and to add a touch of whimsy to the celebration.

For many grooms, football is the obvious hobby to showcase on the groom&rsqu

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