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If you appreciate good wine, you may want to consider serving wine at your wedding.  You may have wine options at your perspective venue, and you may want to ask your catering or restaurant manager if they can refer a wine expert, vendor, or staff sommelier to work with you.  You might want to request a wine tasting along with your food tasting.  If that’s not available, speak to them about what options are available to you for selecting your wine.

Here are some options to ensure you will have a great choice of wine for your event:

  • You should ask your catering manager if you can supply of a case(s) of your favorite wine to serve.
  • If you don’t like your venue’s wine list, ask your catering or restaurant manager if they have a wine list you can order from, maybe something to your liking.

Here are some things to consider regarding budget for wine:

  • You have to be sure about how many bottles you should order.  This is the approximate about a person consumes during the cocktail, dinner, and reception, about five glasses per person.
  • A money saving idea is instead of a full bar, just consider serving wine; red, white, & Champagne.

Here are some ideas for wine at your reception:

  • If you are hosting your own wedding reception in a backyard, which I think is a great idea, you can create your own bar and also serve your choice of wine.  You can also rent wine glasses when you rent your chinaware as party-rental companies are ready to serve you.
  • Consider having a destination wedding at a winery.  You have the setting of grapevines in the background, the wine cellar for unique pictures, and wine all around you and your guests.  It will very memorable and romantic, especially during the sunset.  You also don’t have to worry about choosing your wine because you would have already chosen the winery that makes your wine.

Recommendations for wine:

Wines friendly for your budget; Try having a lighter red wine, such as a Rose, and a Riesling. You want to be able to have wines versatile for most entrees. Also, instead of Champagne, you can opt for a sparkling wine.

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When you’re ready to choose your cake, and you have a design in mind, you may have to consider the season, especially the summer.  Even if you’re having your reception indoors, the heat can affect the look of your cake. So here are some tips that you can take with you when you choose your cake.

In the summer, choose icing that can withstand heat.  The best choices are Fondant (sugar paste) and Marzipan (almond paste).  They actually do better at room temperature rather than colder refrigerated temperature.  Fondant is easy to decorate and design with.  You can have it in different colors and it’s easy to make bows with (in the cake).  This has been one of the most popular mediums to use presently on wedding cakes.  The downside of fondant is people usually don’t like the taste of it and they usually just move it off the cake when they eat it.  The taste is described as sweet and bitter, well it’s complicated, but you should just try it at least once to know if you like it.  Marzipan, on the otherhand, has most of the functions as fondant, but tastes better.

If taste is an issue with you, then buttercream might be your choice.  The fact is, they will not do well on a hot day.  The icing can melt if you leave it out for a few hours. If you keep it refrigerated until up to one to two hours before the cake cutting, you should be fine.  Your baker should be able to give you advice on how to handle the cake.

Whichever icing you choose for your cake, keep it out of direct sunlight!

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When we go to weddings and even plan our weddings, we incorporate traditions to the ceremony or during the reception.  Sometimes we don’t even know the meaning of them, but we do it because it’s fun.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue – The most common thing, we brides keep in mind.  The meaning of the old is to keep your family history, ancestry close to you; remember where you come from.  The meaning of new represents your new beginnings with your new spouse, family, and life.  The meaning of borrowed is supposed to represent the happiness of another’s marriage.  The meaning of blue is supposed to represent loyalty and fidelity.

The Bouquet Toss – This is targeted for the single women at the wedding.  Whomever single lady catches the bouquet, it is said that they will be the next to marry.

The Garter Toss – This is target for the single men at the wedding.  Same concept here.  Whomever single man catches the garter is said to be the next man to marry.

Throwing the rice after wedding – The rice is a symbol to wish the couple with blessings of fertility in they marriage.

The White Dress and Wedding Veil – This represents purity and virginity.  Since the custom started with Queen Victoria, it seems that white is the classic uniform color for brides; first or other marriages.  In present times, ivory and cream is not also being accepted as part of the bridal color.

Unity Sand Ceremony – This is performed during the wedding ceremony.  There are two containers for the wife and for the husband.  Now available to have their own colors.  They each pour the sand in a unity or single container.  This shows their unity and they also can keep the finish container as a decorative keepsake in their home.

Unity Candle Ceremony – This is performed during the wedding ceremony.   There are three candles; one for the wife, one for the husband, and a main candle (which is usually decorated).  They both will take their candles and light the main candle together.

Feeding Eachother Wedding Cake – Both the husband and wife take turns feeding each other a piece of wedding cake. This represents the new union of the husband and wife.  Also shows their responsibility to take care of each other.

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Because we are still hurting a little from the economy and possibly still paying for the wedding, a grand honeymoon may be out of your budget.  Never fear.  There are so many great options to explore.  The whole point of your honeymoon is to spend some time with your hunny and it shouldn’t matter where you go as long as you’re together.

Stay-cations come to mind for mini honeymoons.  It’s affordable and local.  For the most part, you may not need your passport and pay all those overseas taxes.

Of course, my vote is for taking many mini vacations and when you have enough saved up, take a luxurious and grand honeymoon on your anniversary.  (I use the word “honeymoon” when it pertains to taking a vacation with your spouse.  I think you should be able to use the term “honeymoon” all the time, not just after your wedding.  This sets the mood of your romantic vacation.)  Here are some tips of great honeymoon ideas starting from the farthest you can go, for deals, to the most local and hidden gems.

  • Visiting our neighboring countries.  You don’t have to go to cross the Atlantic Ocean to enjoy a different culture.  Depending on where you live (East Coast or West Coast, North or South), you are still able to use your passport.  Say you live in New Jersey, you can always cross the border to Canada and visit a specific province.  Another example, if you live in California, as I do, I know there are great deals to visit Mexico by plane or boat.  I guess in the East Coast, the tropical deals would be for Jamaica or even Puerto Rico.
  • Fly Domestic or drive to a different state.  Ever think about visiting New York for the first time, visiting New Orleans, or even Seattle?  Maybe you have been always wanting to visit a city or a town for a specific reason or maybe you want to be spontaneous without having to rely on a big budget.  Whether wanting to see the Grand Canyon in Arizona, or the wineries in Napa Valley, CA, you can always think of plenty to do.  Engage yourself in the local activities or tourist attraction.  Maybe look for museums, gardens, a national monument. A great thing to do is to look online first for the local surrounding and restaurants to make an itinerary.  Also look into the city’s tourism website.
  • Driving locally.  I say this means only traveling for a few hours or less and maybe staying in your own state.  Since I live in Los Angeles, CA, a stay-cation honeymoon for me would be to drive to Santa Barbara,CA or San Diego, CA.  It’s not too far, but not too close.  If you’re worried that you might feel like you never left for vacation, then I can definitely tell you that even a few hours distance, you already could sense a different environment.
  • Within your own town.  Get away by staying in a 5 star hotel or bed & breakfast.  Make it as special and romantic for you.  And just think, if you every need a quick getaway when you’ve already had your family, you can always sneak out for the weekend at that special place where you had your honeymoon.
  • This may sound funny, but pull out a map of the united states and with your eyes closed, pin point to somewhere you’ve never been or thought of.  I think that would be for a more adventurous couple.
  • For the practical couple, watch the Travel Channel or other travel show.  They always feature a location for its local treasures, like Walt Disney World or Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.  Your honeymoon can be educational too.
  • For the food or wine lovers in you, plan a honeymoon based on reviews you’ve heard or maybe follow the seafood trail.  For example, driving up the California Coast to Monterey and Half Moon Bay to try out all the clam chowder and wine.

The lesser known cities may have deals for you, they have plenty of promotions so you can visit them.  Also, the big cities may have other deals to help people spend more money in this economy.  You have a lot of great options and great websites you can use.  My favorite sites are:

In all, you shouldn’t limit yourself because you’re short on your budget.  You’re slight dilemma only brings out your creativity and also fun.  You might realize sites you’ve never thought of visiting or trying new activities also.

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One of my friends just got a wedding invitation from her cousin.  It was transmitted through one of those e-cards/online invitations/email sites.  My friend was really upset because she feels like since she’s planning her own wedding and took the time to create her invitations, people should also take  the time to do the same.  I totally agree with her.  I feel like when people send e-card invitations for weddings, it’s a slap in the face for the wedding industry.

Couples will take the time to plan the wedding, look for a place, the flowers, catering, the dress, even favors, but neglect to put any effort into the invitations and leave it to the internet to do the job.  What message are you sending out?  You’re supposed to be promoting your wedding, setting the mood, dictating if it will be classy not trashy.  the Correct wedding etiquette is to send an invitation, whether written, printed, or on a postcard….a hard copy invitation is valuable to show importance of the event and the importance of your guests presence. Thank you cards also  need  to be written as they show your sincerity and your thoughtfulness as the invitation.

When is the  e-card/online invitations most appropriate?  You can send them out for save the date cards and RSVP’s.

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Fashion Darling….

Oh, in the humdrum of all the white dresses in the world, we lose who the bride truly is. Yes, there is only one bride at the wedding, but what makes her stand out? We should show our individuality, our personality, our chance to show our style and have some fun.  Here are some ideas that you can implement in your bridal wear.  Just please, don’t over accessorize.

1. Wear different color shoes. It may not be traditional, but you can have your personality amidst all the white (or ivory). Have fun, as planning your wedding is so stressful enough.  Think about wearing your favorite color shoe or a combination of yours and his favorite colors.  Why not try a leopard print or some rock ‘n studs? If you don’t want to be that extreme you can attach a shoe jewel in your special color with your white shoe.

2. Stand out with your jewelry.  Chunky jewelry, jewelry with different colored gemstones, use of other materials such as seashells, and fabric….all good!  Just make sure you don’t do too much.  For example, you can do 1 chunky bracelet with subtle earings.  You can do a chunky necklace if you have a simple dress, no earrings.  You can do big earrings with turquoise stones.  The possibilities, as they say, are endless.

3. Personality can stand out with a shawl or a bolero.  You can use a different color shawl for your personality.  You can use faux fur.  You can also have a shawl personalized with your initials embroidered somewhere on it.  Boleros are also beautiful, you don’t have to go extreme with color, but you can use lace to create your style.  Make it special as it’s going to be a keepsake for your child(ren).

4. Use hair jewelry or tiara/ hair comb.  There are also headbands, hair vines, and ribbon. There are many and plenty of options available.  Jeweled pins, elaborate tiara’s and combs, hair vines, give that subtle sparkle.  More trendy and fashionable new ways to have your hair are with a headband (decorated) and use of ribbon (satin, velvet, or lace).

5. Accessorize with a flowers in your hair. Go bold with a big red rose or a black one for more drama. For a more classy look, pin a big gardenia or orchid.  You can also be soft and whispy by pinning smaller flowers all over your hair.  Silk or organza flowers will last through heat and are not at fragile as real flowers.  Real flowers have tendencies to look withered and change colors throughout the day.

6. Try using feathers.  Let’s take a que from SJP in Sex and the City.  I don’t know if you want to go  that bold, but want to try that style, you should do feathers in white, cream, and pale pinks.  This would also be very fashionable if you had a peacock themed wedding.

7. You can enhance your style with your birdcage or traditional veil.  Birdcage veils are still considered contemporary, but they truly are an old classic.  Just a little in what we call traditional, I still don’t see a lot of brides taking the chance with this.  Maybe there’s a lot of dresses out there that doesn’t match the birdcage veil, I get it.  Here’s another idea I haven’t seen any brides do….dye your veil or embellish it.  It’ll make you feel like those model brides on the runway.

8. You can also accessorize your bouquet.  Easy and subtle.  There are options out there to B-dazzle your bouquet.  There are crystals you can stick in your flowers.  You can use a jeweled bouquet holder.  You can use long strands of satin ribbons (to the ground).  you can also place a keepsake jewelry in your bouquet as your memory piece.

9. You have a brooch you would like to use.  Once popular in the 1950’s, as I’ve seen in pictures, they are making a comeback like the birdcage veils.  A simple dress with an elaborate brooch.  Just don’t over accessorize with all the earrings, necklace, bracelets, hairpiece….all at once.  You can handle this one, and it’s classy too.

10. Add color with a belt.  The “wow” factor.  You want to throw in that color and make a statement too.  There are different styles you can have your belt.  There are waistbands, short bows, and longer ties that reach the ground.  You can also do a combo with a brooch.

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Because of the challenging ecomony and budget crisis, we brides have to be frugal in different ways.  We have to cut corners on things that are important, but make sure they won’t be compromised.  We now live in the digital age, where everyone checks their email at least a few times a week.  So, the most logical thing we can do is try out online invitations.  By the way, this would be a great alternative to wedding/bridal showers, save the date, and thank you cards. You have a couple of options:

The first is strictly online, no hard copy, and usually RSVP is online too.
The second option is to order your invites online and they will mail it out to your guests.

Here are some great sites you can check out:

www.pingg.com

www.evite.com

www.mypunchbowl.com

www.sendomatic.com

www.purpletrail.com

The benefits to sending invitations through this site is the cost (little to nothing at all- free!).  There are beautiful designs and you can personalize all the wordings also.

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