Every bride wants their wedding to be a unique reflection of their personality and style. Find your flair with this wedding style quiz. What kind of bride are you?
1) Introduce the bridal party yourselves
2) Having a loved one sing or play at your wedding
3) Have family time before the big day
4) Toast each table individually
5) Unity sand ceremony
No one wants to have to deal with setbacks, especially on one of the most important days of their lives, their wedding day. But accidents do happen, and the best way to avoid mishaps at a wedding is to be prepared. A little planning and the proper research can go a long way into making sure your wedding day runs smoothly and it is everything you want it to be. At Weddingstar, we are always here to help, and have compiled our favorite tips to guide you along. So take a deep breath, and keep reading, as we share with you nine of our preparation and remedy tips for any wedding day mishap moment.
We heard a story once, about a guest who was leaning over the head table to hug the bride, when a piece of her dress dropped into a candle flame and caught fire. Luckily, the guest realized this in time and distinguished the flame before it took much of the dress. Put safety first! Have a fire extinguisher on-site, strategically place your tea lights and use flameless candles to prevent any accidents at your venue, especially if there are children present, or if alcohol is involved.
Accidents, spills, rips…
The prepared bride can keep an emergency kit close at hand for any unwelcome surprises on her big day. From red wine spills to a rip in her dress, any minor issues can be tackled by having the proper tools to make sure all runs smoothly. Pack the necessities such as stain removing wipes, a mini sewing kit and deodorant. Also, having this same kit in the bathroom at your venue for guests will ensure that your loved ones will enjoy the day and feel looked after.
Some essentials in our kit include:
- Clear nail polish – stop fraying ribbon ends or a run in pantyhose
- Super glue – repairing fingernails that break
- Bandages – for blistered heels
- Double-sided fabric tape – fixing hems or to tack down a dress with a gaping neckline
- Stain Removing Wipes – for spills and stains
Running Behind Schedule
Even the best-planned weddings don’t run exactly on time. Photos may take longer than expected or a member of the bridal party might be held up in traffic. Whatever the case may be, make sure to build in enough cushion for anything that may not go perfectly according to schedule, and be prepared to adapt the agenda throughout the day to fit everything in.
Have citronella torches and candles at an outdoor ceremony to ward off mosquitos and bugs. Use repelling coils (the green kind) under chairs and at the guests’ feet for added comfort while they support your exchange of vows. Even in heavily buggy areas, having plenty of these tools can make the whole area virtually bug-free.
You run out of alcohol
If you supply your own alcohol, overestimate the amount you will need and account for extra guests. Calculate how much beer, wine or liquor you require, double the amount and see if you can return any unused liquor to the store afterward. You can also designate a trusted family member to check on the supply throughout the night and run out to purchase more in case you need to re-stock halfway through the night to keep the party going. Also, make sure to secure the proper permits and don’t forget to stock enough ice!
Testing 1, 2, 3…
Nothing can take the place of a well-planned ceremony rehearsal. The same goes for any audio or video equipment testing. Run tests of any electrical equipment, music, videos and slideshows prior to the day-of. Also, make sure the venue has sufficient power for your needs, so you don’t blow a fuse during the reception! You may even want to have a back-up generator on hand, just in case.
Have a Backup DJ
Even if you are planning on having a DJ or band, upload your wedding music playlist on your mp3 player or phone as a fallback, in case the DJ doesn’t show or there is an issue using the equipment or instruments.
High heels may look fabulous, but if standing all-day and dancing all-night in them cause your feet to ache, have sandals to wear for yourself and your guests to keep everyone comfortable and happy. You can also go barefoot if you dare!
You Weren’t Expecting Them…
Guests that are invited and did not rsvp may still end up coming to your wedding, so be prepared with a few extra settings, chairs, and favors at the tables just in case. You don’t want to have to scramble last minute to find extra chairs at your venue, so having this already taken care of beforehand will ensure those guests feel welcome.
Even the best-planned weddings can have those little hiccups, but it is important to remember to laugh and smile even when something doesn’t go as expected. Not only will this keep you calm in the moment, but will create fond memories that you can look back on with no regrets.
We all know that the more often we do something, the better we get. But when it comes to planning a wedding, you only get one shot to get it right. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event, afterall! After the dust has settled from the big day, we want every bride to walk away saying “that was everything I dreamed of” and have no regrets. That is why we asked everyone here at Weddingstar to tell us something they wished they knew while planning their own wedding. Here are 8 things we learned that we think every bride should know.
1. Who does what?
Your fiancé might not be as involved as you would like him to be. BUT, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care as much about the wedding or that he isn’t as excited as you are to be married. It just means that floral choices and backdrops are not his top priority. The important thing is not to stress about it. Find out which parts of the wedding are most important to him. Chances are that if he is a foodie or loves music, he will show much more interest in planning the dinner or creating the perfect wedding playlist. Don’t be afraid to ask him what he is looking forward to the most. His answer might just surprise you!
2. Recruit a coordinator
Even if you DIY your entire wedding up to the day, having a day-of coordinator might be worth it. Having someone to handle the running around and setting up for you is much less stressful. It still allows you to coordinate every detail while being able to enjoy all your hard work on the day of. It is also less costly than hiring a wedding planner!
3. Schedule some alone time
Remember to set some time aside. Even if it is just a few minutes to be alone with your sweetie on your wedding day. The day will come and go by so fast. It is important to cherish a moment (or two) with each other and remember why this is all happening in the first place. Some good times to do this are often between photos and cocktails, or after the speeches are over.
4. Have a plan B.
This one might be a given, but it is often overlooked. We often dream of our wedding day being sunny and beautiful. But we all know that Mother Nature isn’t always kind. If you are planning to have your ceremony outside and there is a torrential downpour, a backup plan will prevent stress, worry and chaos. Make sure that your parents, wedding planner/coordinator and bridal party are all aware of the plan if the weather turns. Also, remember to pick a few indoor photo shoot locations.
5. Acquire proper permits
If you are planning to have alcohol at your wedding, it is important to educate yourself on rules and permits. Often different venues will have their own set of rules in regards to alcohol. Make sure you speak with your venue and are clear on what their guidelines are. Is the bar included in your venue rental? Does this include a bartender? Is the permit a part of the package? When are we required to stop serving drinks? Are we able to purchase and serve our own wine or do we need to use your bottle service? These are all very important questions to ask when booking your venue.
6. Make your guest list first
Picking a venue is one of the very first things you will do when planning your wedding. BUT, there is one more very important step you need to take before signing that contract. Make a rough guest list. This in no way needs to be finalized, but it is so important to have a rough idea of numbers before you book. The last thing you want is to book a venue that only holds 100 and find out that your guest list is actually 150.
7. Consider extra costs beyond the dress
Remember to budget for alterations when picking your wedding dress. Lace applique, beading and other details can often be costly to alter. Before saying “yes” to the dress, talk to your bridal consultant about an alteration estimate.
8. Maximize your photographer’s time (and your budget!)
Photographers and videographers are so important to a wedding, but they can also be very hard on your wedding budget. If your budget does not allow for a full day wedding package, there is still a way to capture all the important moments. Don’t be afraid to play with the traditional reception program. Who said that the bouquet toss and cake cutting have to be at the end of the night? Kick off your reception with the first dance, cut the cake after dinner, and then toss the bouquet. This will allow you to shave a few hours from your photography package while still capturing all those big moments.
Have you been married? Or maybe you’re in the midst of planning a wedding? What is it you wish you knew when going through the process? Tell us below!
Well our third and final Friday is upon us with Emma Arendoski of Emmaline Bride as our guest. She has shared some of her great ideas for beach weddings from her new book, The Inspired Wedding, these past few weeks and today’s post is no exception! Be sure to check out last week’s post where you can enter to win a copy of her book, The Inspired Wedding, full of great theme-based ideas and inspiration.
Last week, I shared some of my favorite ideas for a memorable beach-themed wedding ceremony. Today, I’m back to share with you more inspiring ideas for what’s likely to be the grandest party you’ll ever host: your wedding reception. Where to begin? My recommendation to couples is to outline the parts of the reception — the location, the seating arrangements, the food and drink, the cake, the music, the dancing, the after-the-reception activities, and the wedding favors — and then determine those that are most important to you. If you narrow it down in this way, I guarantee you won’t feel overwhelmed!
I’ve chosen five of my favorites to talk about here, let’s begin with the location.
1. The Reception Location
There are several options for a wedding reception at the beach. You could host an outdoor event right on the beach with a tented area (be sure to include a rental of port-a-johns!), which is perfect if there’s a chance of inclement weather. There may be a restaurant, country club, or banquet hall nearby that you could rent, or if you plan to be married in a park, there’s often somekind of structure that can be rented.
Another suggestion is to have your reception at a beach house, which can be just a short walk from your ceremony right on the beach. A beach house – I’ve stayed at one in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, for example – can be rented by the weekend or week and often they can house many guests (like your entire wedding party), depending on its size. That option can be a very good one as it will have an equipped kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Don’t forget plenty of outdoor lighting, a big dance floor, and lanterns lighting the way for a moonlit walk on the beach.
2. Where to Eat?
When guests enter your reception area after the ceremony, greet them with a table of assorted drinks and a place for them to find their table and their seat assignment. I recommend assigned seating for a couple of reasons: It’s easier to seat people with other guests bearing similar interests and, it’s a great way to ensure certain guests have a seat closer to the head table (like your parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.). If your choice is to have this type of seating, then you’ll need escort cards, which are a whole lot of fun. I love these beach chairs from Weddingstar as an escort display.
You can also have a place card ready to greet each guest’s seat, like these cards placed in coral holders (also from Weddingstar).
3. Food and Drink
On your reception menu, include seaside choices, as well as options for those who don’t eat either fish or shellfish. Some of my favorites include fish as an entrée option or shrimp cocktail and crab cakes as appetizers. Bring out the best of the beach with delightful drink options such as Mai-Tais, Pina Coladas, or Blue Hawaiian cocktails. Consider adding a signature cocktail to your offerings, and have decorative drink stirrers at the ready.
A beach-themed cake is a must-have at your reception! Your cake is one easy place to go all-out with embellishments. Some of my favorite finds include brown sugar crumbled on top to resemble sand, colorful flowers made from fondant and borrowed from the bride’s bouquet, or faux seashells to line the tiers of the cake.
A themed cake topper ties the whole look together. Here is one from Weddingstar which features a couple lounging on the sand. The bride is even drawing a heart!
Finally, you’ll want to send your guests home with a small token of your appreciation in the form of a favor. A beach-themed favor is easy to find, and I especially love these choices from Weddingstar. I saw a handful of cute ideas on their site including starfish-shaped photo frames, wood trinket boxes for seashells, starfish shaped candles, or a bottle topper with coral on the end, just to name a few.
Any of these would be perfect favor ideas for your reception. To see the full collection of beach or nautical themed wedding favors by Weddingstar, click here.
You’ll find more suggestions including centerpieces, décor, guest book alternatives, and more in my book, The Inspired Wedding. Look for the Beach Bliss chapter for everything you need for a beach-themed wedding. And if you missed it last week, be sure to check out this post to enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Inspired Wedding (but hurry because the contest closes this Sunday!).
Happy Friday Lovelies! And boy is it a happy Friday indeed. Not only is Emma Arendoski of Emmaline Bride back with us to share her tips for an unforgettable beach ceremony, but today is the first day to enter for your chance to win a copy of her brand new book, The Inspired Wedding. It is jam-packed with great ideas and gorgeous photography for seven popular wedding themes including vintage, rustic, beach, bohemian, free spirit, urban chic and traditional. You can enter the giveaway at the end of this post but first, here’s a sneak peak…
Last week, I presented some beach-themed wedding stationery ideas for your big day, and I’m back now to share with you some inspiration for an unforgettable wedding ceremony at the beach. The beach is such a romantic setting; its gently rolling waves, serene blue sky, and plenty of sunshine are the perfect backdrop for a day you’ll want to remember for the rest of your lives. But, when you’re planning a beach wedding ceremony, there are always some tips and tricks to consider. Here are five of my favorites to keep in mind.
1. Thoughtful Extras for You and Your Guests
Protect your guests and yourself by providing a few simple comfort items that both of you will appreciate. If the day is hot and sunny, walk down the aisle with a lightweight paper parasol and give your guests the same sun protection. Consider a basket of flip-flops in assorted sizes for guests to wear as they cross the sand. If there won’t be a boardwalk on your aisle, and you really want to wear high heels, think about having a burlap aisle runner to provide some stability — or you could wear a fabulous pair of sandals. A basket of sunglasses, bug repellent, and even shawls are a nice touch if there’s a chill in the air.
2. Accessorize, Accessorize!
The attire, colors, stationery design, setting, and décor all contribute to the overall look and feel of your wedding, especially when it comes to the ceremony. There are many ways to tie in beach-centric details wherever you can. Let’s begin with the ring pillow and flower girl basket. The offerings shown can be used by the smallest members of your wedding party: the flower girl and the ring bearer, as they make their way down the aisle. Aisle décor can include a decorative arbor or arch to define the ceremony area. Bunches of beach grass can be artfully tied with seashells and hung from the chairs that line the aisle, or have a one-of-a-kind aisle runner designed, like this one by Weddingstar. I especially like the tagline: “Love as deep as the ocean.” It’s proof that even indoor beach-themed weddings can exude a tranquil seaside mood.
3. A Unity Ceremony — With Sand!
Another fun idea is to include a unity ceremony. A fairly recent addition to the wedding repetoire, the unity ceremony traditionally uses candles, but what could be more perfect for the beach wedding theme than using sand? This new custom is a ceremonial joining together of two as they become one when two vessels of sand are united in one vase. And, you can even choose sand in colors that match your wedding color scheme.
Sand ceremonies make a great keepsake that you can cherish for years to come, and there are many unique designs to choose from. Weddingstar recently released an acrylic version where you can add special mementos from your wedding such as your menu, program or special poem and a picture.
4. Hand Fans for Guests
Even if you provide a shaded area for guests to sit during the ceremony, a hand-held fan is still a terrific idea. Weddingstar has a variety to choose from, and you can personalize each and every one.
5. Weather Woes
You can’t stop a storm, but you can be prepared in case your bright, sunny day takes a left turn and leaves you with rain and high winds. When planning your outdoor wedding, always have a contingency plan that includes adequate cover such as a rental tent. Or take it a step further, and note on your wedding invitation an “in case of bad weather” option. Include the address and location. As the date draws near, keep an eye on the weather report — it just may end up being your “perfect day.”
For more beach wedding ideas, be sure to pick up a copy of my new book The Inspired Wedding. I’ll be back next week here at Weddingstar to discuss your beach reception, so don’t miss it. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below! The contest will close at 11:59pm on Sunday, February 1st so be sure to check back on Monday, February 2nd when we announce the lucky winner!
The weekend is almost here and with that we have something very exciting to share with you! Over the next three weeks, we are happy to have Emma Arendoski of Emmaline Bride sharing some of her best ideas with us for designing your beach themed wedding.
Emma is an expert on wedding themes, DIY projects, party planning and so much more. She has just published her brand new book, The Inspired Wedding, which is filled with tons of gorgeous photography and inspiration. And the best part? Next week we will be giving away a copy to one lucky reader! So be sure to check back next Friday for details on how to enter, but in the meantime get ready to swoon over these gorgeous ideas.
Sand, sunshine, and gently rolling waves make it impossible to not love the beach! It’s no surprise that couples love a beach-themed wedding, as it provides relaxation and tranquility.
In my new book, The Inspired Wedding, I share my favorite beach themed ideas including color palette, decorative touches, attire, favors, and more. Today I’m focusing on wedding stationery with help from Weddingstar’s new collection entitled Aqueous — it’s the perfect combination of color palette and design for a beach themed wedding.
Beach Wedding Stationery
One of the details you’ll want to tackle first is the invitation suite. The suite typically includes envelopes, reply card, and perhaps a map or other piece of information. The suite may also contain a save-the-date card (if you plan to send one). A save-the-date card is used to give your guests advance planning notice with the date and location of your wedding. If you are having a destination wedding—and many beach weddings are—this card is a must-have so guests can plan travel arrangements accordingly.
Before you order your invitations, have a color palette in mind, since your invitation will need to coordinate with your entire wedding (including other paper goods, attire, and florals). When couples ask me what color to choose for a beach wedding, blue is the color that comes to mind first: it is reminiscent of the sky and the sea.
A popular trend with wedding invitations is a watercolor-inspired design, where the colors blend from lighter to dark (an ombre effect). Weddingstar has a beautiful collection in the ‘Aqueous’ style with coordinating pieces from invitations to décor. Instead of struggling to piece together your entire wedding décor based around a color from your invitations, Weddingstar provides the template and everything you need to tie your wedding stationery together, including your invitation, save the date, bunting banner, ceremony program, table number, and place card.
Weddingstar even has a special design for ‘Well Wishes’ cards for guests, which can replace a traditional guest book. Instead of guests writing their congratulations in a book, they write on a coordinating card provided at the reception. As an added thematic touch, have guests place their completed cards inside a woven basket, suitcase, or a personalized beach tote bag, like this one from Weddingstar.
Instead of spending so much time trying to mix and match your pieces, just pick a favorite template like the above and let Weddingstar take care of all the details to match! It’s never been easier to plan your beach wedding with thematic touches like these.
Next Friday I’ll be covering ideas for your beach ceremony, so stay tuned!
When the idea for this post came up, truth be told, I panicked a little. Although I love flowers (I mean, what girl doesn’t?!) and have pulled together many arrangements in my day, I always advise (where budget allows) to never DIY your florals. But let’s face it, when budgets are factored in not everyone has the luxury of working with a floral designer. So to all you ladies feeling brave and looking to stretch your dollar without compromising an ounce of pretty, this blog’s for you!
- good pair of shears
- floral foam (to fit whatever vase you decide to use)
- flowers, in order of appearance: lisianthus, astilbe, queen anne’s lace, spray roses, seeded eucalyptus and sedum
- main centerpiece vase / vessel (i recommend something with a bit of height to it)
- lace patterned votive holders, small and large (to act as vases)
- vintage inspired vintage candle holder
The Step by Step
Step 1: saturate your floral foam with water and place into your vase. Begin to build your floral arrangement creating a starting point for your two front facing corners. Make one over flowing with eucalyptus and the other tighter to the center with queen anne’s lace.
Step 2: continue to build your arrangement by adding another overflow on the opposite corner to the original and begin to fill out your middle with a blend of sedum and lisianthus.
Step 3: continue to fill in your arrangement, adding in astilbe. Start to concentrate on your arrangement as a whole, paying attention to all angles.
Step 4: add in spray roses. as you work on filling your arrangement make sure to fill all gaps and keep a mix of flowers throughout the whole.
The End Result
You could stop right here but for a fuller table arrangement (and some added decor), finish off the look with a couple of votive holders filled with a few floral stems, as well as some candlelight.
There’s one thing that you definitely don’t want to forget to do on your wedding day, and that’s to have fun! And let’s face it, with the stress of all the planning and the intensity of the emotion that goes into the big day, it’s easy to forget that a wedding day is first and foremost a major celebration. So we thought we’d remind you of all the fun there is to be had by breaking down the how-to of one of our favorite wedding pastimes, the pop up photo booth. And with just three easy steps to get the look, stress won’t be a factor. Time for a good giggle!
Step 1: The Backdrop
The fundamental basis behind any pop up booth is obviously the background setting. Set the stage right by considering both a personalized backdrop option as well as the overall surrounding area. Having both fit to theme will help set the mood for your guests and guarantees the best final images.
Step 2: Provide Props
Encourage the good times with plenty of props for your guests to play around with. Get creative with what you incorporate and make your props fit to theme. Remember to include things for both male and female guests, young and old alike.
Step 3: Capture the Moments
No pros required! A pop up photo booth is not for your photographer to man. His or her time is better spent capturing other parts of your day. Besides, you’re guaranteed to get more candid footage if you allow your guests to capture the moments themselves. Just set up a bunch of disposable cameras and let the clicking begin!
Want this Look?
We’re a week away from Canada’s first official long weekend so naturally I’ve got parties top of mind. My favorite kind? A proper dinner party complete with great food, even better wine, and loads of fantastic friends. Having planned a few in my day I know that one of the cardinal rules to a great bash, and incidentally a great wedding, is a well set and styled table. Dining tables are where your guests spend most of their time, and in the case of a wedding where table settings are in the double digits, the visual becomes all that much more important. So today I’m breaking down the five basic essentials behind a successful tablescape. And considering practice makes perfect, you’ve got an excuse to plan a few parties to test out your own skills before your big day. Bon fete!
The Essentials – #1: Show Them to Their Seat
Rule number one to being a pro hostess: manage the guest experience from start to finish. Make it carefree and effortless for them, right down to where they’re meant to sit. Marking their spot with a theme appropriate place marker not only gets the job done, it also works as an added decorative touch. To get them to their table, use a seating chart or escort cards, greeting your guests upon arrival and guiding them to where they need to go.
The Essentials – #2: Greet Them with a Treat
Make your guests feel special and incorporate some instant eye candy into your design with a little surprise gift waiting to greet your guests as they settle in. Repeated over every place setting it makes for the perfect finishing touch and a fantastic first impression.
The Essentials #3: Layers of Goodness
From chargers to trimmed napkins, designing your place settings using multiple layers adds dimension and interest to your tablescape. Complete the look with a dried or fresh flower in your color scheme for an unexpected touch of pretty.
The Essentials – #4: Keeping Focus
With all the things going on with a tablescape, it’s important to have a focal point that pulls it all together. Given its central positioning on a table, a beautiful floral centerpiece is a natural choice. Use height or eye catching decorative accents to create the focus. Where budget allows, expand on the concept by creating a table length runner made of bountiful floral arrangements.
The Essentials – #5: The Finer things
For a really impressive design consider setting aside some budget for lovely little unexpected details. Upgraded flatware, delicate chair backs or custom table overhangs are all surefire ways of pulling together an unforgettable and unique event design.
Looking for more wedding reception decoration ideas? Shop all the options by theme, color, or category in the Reception section of weddingstar.com.