What if it Rains on Your Wedding Day?

April 18th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

rain wedding day

Of all the variables that can go right or wrong on your wedding day, none are quite as far outside of your control as the weather. Weather forecasts being as unpredictable as they are, it’s hard enough to plan for an outdoor event a week in advance, let alone a year. However much you may not want gloomy weather to intrude on your bright and happy occasion, the possibility has to be considered. You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can control how you respond to her meteorological whims. In the season of “April showers,” let’s consider some options for those dreaded rainy-day weddings.

Have a Back-Up Plan

If your wedding and/or reception are outside, make sure you know venues contingency plan—and that it’s acceptable to you. Your venue should be able to move you to a sheltered location and still keep things elegant. If you know the back-up plan in advance, you won’t be surprised or unhappy. And you won’t have the stress of worrying about what will happen when. You don’t want your guests and wedding party to spend a day miserable and drenched!

Be Creative With Your Photos

Believe it or not, some of the best wedding photos are taken on rainy days. You just need to think ahead! Invest in a black-and-white umbrella as a great accessory for pictures on a potentially-rainy wedding day. Identify sites at your venue that will still work. (Gazebos and tasteful overhangs make for great backdrops.)  An experienced photographer will be able to improvise and make the best out of the last-minute change. Make sure your team has some ideas in place ahead of time, just in case!

“Rain, rain, go away!”

Stay positive. You may not be getting the precise event you’d hoped for, but you’re still getting married! There are lovely decorative touches that work indoors, and most of what you’d planned out of doors will still work. Table arrangements, centerpieces and draping might even hold up better when not subjected to outdoor weather. If allowed, consider some lovely candle arrangements, and see if you can hold some floor candelabras in reserve as a stylish note well-suited to either a wedding or reception site.

If the rain insists on sticking around, you have options, and with some planning and forethought, they can be great ones!

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How to Throw a Beautiful Vintage Wedding

April 5th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

vintage wedding

From an opulent Great Gatsby wedding, a more traditional Roaring 20s theme or something in the natty style of the 1960s, a vintage wedding is all about making what’s old seem new again. Although the vintage theme is quite popular, there’s no shortage of ways to put your own stamp on a vintage wedding.

Wondering where to start? There are tons of little touches that will make your event perfect, but hit these three main areas, and you’ll be throwing the vintage wedding of your dreams.

What to Wear, What to Wear?

Dressing the part is important when it comes to dating an era, so you’ll need to put some time and thought into making sure the wedding party looks the part. Your budget will dictate how closely you can re-create the time period you’re aiming for. But keep to the style as closely as possible, and try to make choices that won’t undermine your visual narrative.
You also have the opportunity to decide if you want family members, and even guests, to wear period attire. Although you probably won’t be able to get every guest on board, some will find the idea fun and charming. If you do want others to participate, provide them with suggestions, websites and images to help guide them.

Setting the Scene

The decorations are probably the best and easiest way set the tone for the era-specific atmosphere you’re looking for. Everything from the flowers and the grander design all the way down to knickknacks at the guest tables can speak to your larger theme. Depending on what version of vintage you’re going for, you can choose more classic centerpieces, flower arrangements and even place card holders.

Don’t Skimp on the Cake!

The final piece that’s central to any wedding is the cake, but at a vintage wedding, the bar is raised. Your choice of cake—and how it’s presented—should tie into your vintage wedding theme. Look at your cake stand, serving set and cake topper as the final touch. As for the cake itself, make sure you choose a baker with the skill to execute your vision. You might even want to spend a little extra for a test cake so you’re not disappointed on the day of.

Whatever era and style you’re a fan of, we know your wedding will be beautiful!

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What to Look For in a Florist

March 15th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

florist

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, a birthday or an anniversary, flowers are part of almost every celebration in the world. Any event is enhanced by beautiful floral arrangements. But with so many florists and floral shops out there, how do you know which one is best for you? Here are some tips to make sure you’re choosing the best florist for your event.

Set A Budget

Simply put, flowers can be expensive. The final dollar amount for your event will depend on how elaborate your arrangements are, what flowers you choose and where you live. Floral costs can range from a few hundred dollars to as high as several thousand. If you choose a rare or out-of-season flower, be prepared to pay!

The best first step you can take is to decide on your budget, and stick to it! Get firm estimates from the potential florists you interview. But don’t be afraid to have a back-up choice in case their final proposal is more than your budget.

Find Your Style

A florist’s work is by definition visual, so ask for samples and pictures of their work. You’ll be able to confirm your florist’s decorative style is right for you and that they have the skill level you need. If they don’t have pictures to share, that’s a red flag.

Of course, you need to know your style first! The florist’s look book can also help with this. Is your preferred style classic/formal? Minimalist? (If so, you could save some money!) Or do you prefer the charming chaos of “Anything goes!” so long as it’s pretty?

Wherever you land on style, commit, and be consistent! And don’t focus so much on the flowers you forget the flower holder. Choose vases and floral stands that won’t clash with your overall theme.

Do Your Homework

Learn how much the services of a good florist go for in your area. Look for bargains, but the cheapest service is not always the best. If the quote seems too good to be true, it probably is. Pay attention to local word of mouth as well. When someone is thrilled with the flowers at their event, they won’t hesitate to tell you about it!

Did you love the flowers at your event? What were they? Share in the comments below!

 

image credit: Bara Art
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What Will Your Wedding Cake Look Like?

March 1st, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

WES Blog 01 2017 03 Wedding Cake

When you get right down to it, what’s a party without a cake? In many ways, your wedding cake is the centerpiece of your reception celebration. Since this tradition is so important, take some time to make sure you and your spouse-to-be agree on the details. Wondering what those details are? We’ve got you covered!

Choosing a Baker

Whether your reception venue already has a first-class baker or you bring in a shop or vendor from the outside, your selection of a “cake boss” is a big decision. As with any of the other important roles in your wedding, ask for referrals from friends, read online reviews and, of course, do a tasting! Sample a few of your favorite types of cakes to figure out what will work best. Be thorough, and don’t be afraid to interview multiple bakers. (Just don’t interview too close to any dress fittings!)

Size Matters!

Ideally, you want a cake large enough for all of your guests to be able to have a slice without leaving a whole lot left over. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to feed, on average, about 25 guests for every tier of wedding cake. You may not have all of your RSVPs back when making your cake decisions, so just go with your best guess for a final number of attendees, and when in doubt, round up. Always better to have too much cake than too little.

The Presentation

Possibly the hardest decisions about the wedding cake are those related to the details of the style.  Should it be round or square? How should it be decorated? What sort of cake topper should you have? Let your imagination run free! There are other matters of presentation to be sorted out as well. You get to choose the style of the serving set and the cake stand. You can personalize as much as you want!

Your wedding day is one of those rare occasions where you get to have your cake and eat it too. Make the most of it!

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Get Your Romance on with a Valentine’s Day Wedding

February 14th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

Valentine's Day Wedding

Today is Valentine’s Day, and we’re feeling the love! If you’ve been inspired by the season to throw a romantic Valentine’s Day wedding, we say great choice! You’ve got a year to plan, and we’ve have some fun ways to incorporate the season of love into your big day.

Two Hearts Beating as One

A heart-shaped theme is wedding appropriate any time of year, but if you’re planning a Valentine’s Day wedding, the theme is doubly appropriate. Stylish hearts—especially in a gold, red or silver foil–are a beautiful addition to the top or side margin of your programs. You’ll easily find heart-themed cake toppers, place settings and favors.

Do keep it classy, and don’t go overboard, but February gives you a little leeway in the heart department. This is the time of year when a little bit of heart décor is seen less as an excess of schmaltz and more as a touching hallmark of the season.

Lad(ies) in Red

While you don’t have to choose pink, red or white, even if your wedding is on Valentine’s Day, you certainly can! Pink can be gorgeous when done right, but it’s not for everyone. If you tend toward the bold and dramatic, choose a deep red for the bridesmaid dresses and complement with white bouquets. With the contrasting colors, your wedding pictures will really pop!

Keep it Toasty

Love is in the air at weddings but especially around Valentine’s Day. In many areas, though, a chill is in the air as well! Add some warmth—literally and figuratively—to the occasion with cuddly red or pink blankets as favors. Need a great send-off? Heart-shaped sparklers are just the thing! (Don’t miss our safety tips here.) The tone to set is cozy, so choose a warm color for your linens. And make sure there are enough heaters—especially if your wedding is outside!

Did you have a Valentine’s Day wedding? We’d love to see the pics! Share on our Facebook page or in the comments below!

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5 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Peacock Feathers

February 1st, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

peacock feathers

We love peacock feather centerpieces—especially because they are so easy to re-purpose. So get your creativity on, and get designing! To kick things off, we’ve put together five ideas that are easy, clever and inexpensive.

Create a “Flower” Arrangement

Put your peacock feathers in a clear vase, add a little decorative filler and voila! A lovely and unique arrangement with a pop of color to brighten your space. If you’d like, you can even include some real or dried flowers for variety. There are no rules, so put on your decorator hat, and arrange away!

Want Good Dreams? Make a Peacock Feather Dreamcatcher!

Used by the Ojibwa tribes to filter out bad dreams, these feather-adorned hoops are a favorite of modern craft kits. A perfect use for your peacock feathers, dreamcatchers are fun to put together and beautiful around the house. Buy a craft kit, or look up the instructions online.

Don’t Forget Your Memory book

Could there be a more appropriate place for your peacock feathers? We don’t think so! Keep your memories safe by using your feathers as a theme throughout your scrapbook or by tucking a few feathers into key pages.

Decorate a Picture Frame

Along the same lines as your memory book, incorporating your peacock feathers into the design of a picture frame—particularly one featuring photos of your event—is a great way to stay connected to your big day.

Peacock Feather Earrings

Peacock feathers are enormously popular when paired with beaded earrings—for good reason! They’re just the right size, and the deep and vivid hues pair perfectly with different styles. Make your own gorgeous peacock feather earrings out of your centerpiece feathers for the price of nothing more than a few simple items from a craft store.

However you choose to reuse you peacock feather, think creatively and have fun!

Have you repurposed your peacock feather centerpieces in a clever way? We want to hear! Share in the comments below…

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How to Find the Right Wedding Photographer For You

January 18th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

wedding photographer

Brides and grooms often have differing ideas about the wedding, but one thing both parties can agree on after-the-fact is the big day goes by fast. With so much happening in such a blur, you want to be able to capture as many precious moments as possible. That’s why it’s so important that wedding photographers really know their stuff! Here are some things you should consider when selecting the perfect wedding photographer.

Interviewing the Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer can be done relatively early in your planning, so time is on your side. Do some internet research, ask for referrals from friends and schedule several interviews. This is service you don’t want to skimp on, so don’t make a rushed decision. Finding a photographer whose work you’re comfortable with, and who you both you and your future spouse agree on, is a must.

It Can’t Hurt to Have a Back-up Plan

Though not a replacement for a good photographer having a back-up plan is always a good idea. Even professional photographers can have accidents, and you don’t want to be left without wedding photos. A great solution is providing each table at the reception with a disposable wedding camera. Many tasteful designs are available, and your guests will have a great time snapping away. You’ll probably get a few silly photos, but you’ll also get some extra candid moments you might have missed.

The Complete Package

Your photographer should offer final products that are attractive to you. If you want a traditional, bound wedding album, make sure your photographer offers that at a reasonable price. Or, if you just want digital files to print or assemble in your own time, make sure that’s understood and agreed upon. You want a professional that will be in the right place at the right time to take great pictures, but if you can’t actually get those pictures in the way you want, you’re liable to come away disappointed.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The best wedding photographers illustrate this in spades. Search carefully for the right photographer for you, book well in advance, and don’t settle!

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Something Old, Something New…

January 4th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

We’ve all heard the rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” that led to the custom of including items fitting those descriptions in your wedding ceremony. For brides who value this tradition and want to take part, here are some fun ways to incorporate these into your big day!

Meaningful Links to the Past

When searching for your something old, heirlooms are the obvious choice. Since the something old represents continuity, a tasteful piece of jewelry that belonged to your great-grandmother can be worn as a hair bauble, a handkerchief from a favorite aunt can be carried or sewn into your dress or, if appropriate, you could incorporate your mother’s veil or a piece of her dress into yours. If you have a connection with a male relative, ask for a watch that can serve as your bouquet wrap. Pictures count as old too! A new locket or charm bracelet incorporating pictures of special family members that have passed away can satisfy your something old and something new in one!

Symbols of New Beginnings

Your something new is all about looking to the future. Since you’ve probably purchased at least one piece of your wedding attire, finding your something new is likely the easiest piece of this fun rhyme to fulfill. Many brides choose to designate their wedding ring or dress as the something new. But if your wedding ring is an heirloom or your wearing your mother’s dress, you might have to keep thinking. If nothing pops out at you, a coin minted in the year of your marriage and tucked into your dress is an elegant solution. But look around a little, and you’ll find at this time of new beginnings you have many choices for your something new.

Honoring Who You Love

This piece of the rhyme refers to borrowing happiness, so it’s the perfect opportunity to honor the special people in your life. Borrow the first dance song of a couple you admire, carry a small bag filled with “borrowed” relationship advice from your friends or ask to borrow the something new your mother or grandmother used. Poems, quotes or song lyrics you read at the ceremony are also good candidates for something borrowed. Your something borrowed is a great chance to get creative!

Bolt From the Blue

Blue symbolizes loyalty, so your something blue is important. If you’re wearing a traditional white wedding dress, your “blue” item is likely to be understated. A blue garter is traditional but has been falling out of favor over the past decade. Blue flowers in your bouquet, the date of your wedding discreetly sewn in blue thread on your dress or a piece of blue topaz jewelry are low-key choices that won’t conflict with your overall theme. Of course, you can always abandon the notion that each item needs to travel down the aisle with you, and use your something blue at the reception. Place settings, decorations or even cutting of the cake can fulfill your something blue.

Although most brides forego the final line of the poem “and a silver sixpence in her shoe” you can certainly complete the tradition if you’d like! So whether you choose to incorporate all of the traditional “something” elements in your wedding or not, have fun and make some special memories.

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5 Most Dedicated Fan Weddings of 2016

December 21st, 2016 by Erin K. Martell

wes-blog-02-2016-12-theme

Since we’re in the final days of 2016, we think a retrospective is in order! We thought it would be fun to look back over the year at some of the craziest, most committed to their fandom weddings. From classic Disney to a favorite decade, we’ve chosen five of the most standout weddings in 2016.

Fun with Disney Magic

It was all about Disney for Mark and Belinda’s magical day! Disney décor made for a classy and tastefully understated theme that perfectly complemented their joyous event. They used Disney fonts, a backdrop of the Magic Kingdom for a few of their photos and songs from Disney movies during the ceremony and the reception. And of course, who could forget each guest’s standard-issue Mickey Mouse ears?

Pottermania Strikes Again!

Lewis and Cassie’s Harry Potter-themed wedding was full of authentic touches from the wizarding world. Wizards and muggles alike loved the owl statues, Ministry of Magic posters advertising the “undesireable” status of the bride and groom and the jars of Honeydukes candy decorating the venue. And don’t miss the video above of their gorgeous wedding cake. Lewis and Cassie each had a wand, of course… Because what Harry Potter wedding would be complete a duel?

Hockey Fans do it up Right

From our friends to the north, comes a very Canadian wedding! Hockey fans Greg and Andrea really went the distance with their hocky theme. The wedding party (including the flower girl!) wore ice skates, and the ceremony took place on the ice at an actual hockey arena. After the hockey-themed ceremony, guests received personalized hockey cards and signed a hockey jersey/guest book. And of course, the wedding cake was a Stanley Cup!

Traveling Back in Time

Mid-century groomsman- and bridesmaid-attire, classic cars, records and other elegant visuals set the stage for Chris and Natalie’s 1950s-themed affair. A traditional ceremony was followed by a reception full of laughter and dancing. The clever bride and groom’s first dance to “Stand by Me” fizzled out halfway through only to be replaced with a rollicking rendition of Johnny B. Goode from the band.

Football, Football, Football!

“Supporting one another from penalties, opposing defensive and offensive lines, and when the clock is working against you, never forget the greatest victories come out of the most difficult challenges.” These words spoken by Rob and Teresa’s officiant kicked off the invocation of a ceremony decorated with Seattle Seahawks memorabilia and guests, bride and groom alike decked out in football jerseys. Now that’s a fandom! The backdrop for the nuptials themselves was the Seahawks’ team color “action green” as was one particularly exuberant guest’s beard!

Every wedding has a theme, but not all are quite as extraordinary as our picks. Don’t forget, your wedding is your chance to do you. We hope these romantic and fun-filled fan weddings inspire you!

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3 Easy Ways to Make Your Winter Wedding Wonderful

December 7th, 2016 by Erin K. Martell

winter wedding
With so many weddings taking place in summer or fall, hosting winter nuptials is a great way to make your special day stand out. And honestly, why wouldn’t you want to get married in winter? Winter is bright, clean and—most of all—cozy. With all the feelings of closeness, from fireside snuggles to holiday-inspired fellowship, the love-filled ambiance is built right in. What better atmosphere could you choose for a wedding? With all that in mind, we have a few ideas to make your winter wedding an affair to remember.

Snowflakes – A One-of-a-Kind Decoration

snowflake-bookmarkBeautiful, symmetrical and universally beloved, snowflakes are the perfect accent for any winter party. Whether decorating the venue, filling out the centerpieces or making the wedding party gifts special, snowflakes are a classic theme that will help celebrate both your day and the season. Snowflakes are so versatile, they’ll look great as a beautiful cake topper, fun icing on cookies or even as an graceful take-home favor.

 

 

Colors of the Season

White. Blue. Silver. Stick with these sparkly influences, and you’ll infuse your event with an elegant flair dovetailing nicely with the seasonal surroundings. Even if there’s no white blanket of snow on your special day, the anticipation of a frosty wonderland will fill your guests with excitement. You may be tempted to incorporate red and green, but your wedding is your day. Christmas is well-represented in the decor department, so you’re under no obligation to include the holiday season in your wedding plans.

Drinks for the Occasion

winter weddingIn addition to traditional drinks, why not introduce hot chocolate and spiced ciders into the equation? Nothing is more welcoming on a cold winter day than a steaming mug of hot chocolate (with snowflake marshmallows, of course)! The mugs for the warm drinks can provide another fun canvas to display wedding flair, and one that offers greater possibilities than simple white print on crystal flutes. Just another way to put your own unique stamp on the day!

Winter weddings need very little help to achieve peak beauty and romance. Just pick your winter theme, and stick with it. And, if you get your fill of the season, you can always go somewhere warm for the honeymoon!

 

 

photo credit: Bigstock/maksheb

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