Posts tagged ‘wedding reception ideas’

10 Tips for a Fabulous “Love Birds” Themed Wedding

photo courtesy of Google Images

Because I’m a true lover of all things historical – I know. My cool points just went up about 12 degrees, haha! – I love love love where the concept of “love birds” comes from. Born centuries ago, the phrase first started making its way onto the scene when it was believed that birds began mating on February 14th each year. This being the ultimate holiday of love, the two circumstances happened into one lovely little expression that has now become a commonplace endearment today.

The romance of this sentiment has inevitably translated into the world of weddings and has become a highly adaptable and trendy theme. So, if you’re a sucker for love birds, here is your guide to creating the perfect, “Watch the Birdy!” themed wedding of your dreams.

#1. Feathers. One of the most stunning aspects of any bird and not to mention one of the hottest wedding trends today is feathers! Feathers are the perfect touch of glamour and romance for any wedding day celebration and are easily incorporated into most of your details. Simply sneak these trendy tufts everywhere you can: boutonnieres, bridal hairpieces, bouquets, centerpieces, etc. Even your dress can bird fur inspired! The list could go on and on, so get creative!

photos courtesy of austinweddingblog.com, thesweetestoccasion.com and atticsunglasses.com

#2. Card Holder. Transform a beautiful vintage birdcage into a convenient wedding card holder. Guests will marvel at your resourcefulness, and this station is sure to complement the rest of your wedding seamlessly.

photos courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

#3. Dove Release. Create a striking ceremony finale by featuring a couple of real life love birds with a dove release. These stunning white flyers symbolize peace, love, and good fortune, making them a popular wedding favorite.

photo courtesy of virginiadoves.com

#4. Place Cards. Greet each guest at their respective place settings with a nest-and-eggs place card. Simply nestle a few sugar-coated almonds into some decorative moss, stick the place card inside and voila – a magical place setting that doubles as a sweet treat.

photos courtesy of exoticexcess.com and southernliving.com

#5. Bird Houses. No bird-themed bash would be complete without a few fowl-friendly abodes. These miniature dwellings can float from the reception hall’s rafters, but can also be utilized as centerpieces, table numbers or a wish “jars”.

photos courtesy of joeelariophotography.com

#6. The Send-Off. Go green by providing some traditional bird seed for your guests to celebrate the send-off. The seed is easily accessible and affordable and will complement your theme flawlessly. Plus, it provides a tasty treat for the actual birds hovering nearby.

photos courtesy of babyshowerhosting.com, manolobrides.com and heidiryder.net

#7. Beverages. As couples imagine more and more creative ways to keep refreshments cold and refreshing (bathtub coolers, canoe coolers, etc.), why not think like the birds? Get a few big-basined bird baths, fill with ice, and let cocktail hour begin.

photos courtesy of alyssajulblog.com and plowhearth.com

#8. Cake Topper. A simple detail, but important none-the-less. The latest cake topper favorites include classic and modern porcelain birds, or quirky and whimsical fabric birds. Either way, tailor your love bird cake topper to complement your theme and your personality as a couple.

photos courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com and thisnext.com

#9. Tweet. Even with all the above ideas, there is still plenty of room for imagination. Fill your reception venue with plenty of bird inspired décor, such as: Paper bird pendants, fabric birds perched on branches, signs that read “Love Tweet Love” and “Love Birds” or miniature birdcages filled with candles.

photos courtesy of boards.weddingbee.com, debbiemumm.com and modernepr.com

#10. Favors. Don’t send your guests back to their nests empty-handed. Make sure you end the night with take-home treats that pay homage to the love bird theme. Bags of sugar-coated almonds will act as delicious, candied robin’s eggs. Or go a little greener with ornament-style birdseed that guests can treat to their backyard friends. And don’t even get me started on love bird themed jewelry for bridesmaids! Talk about trendy and unique!

photo courtesy of weddingchicks.com

No matter what you choose, there’s no denying the chic appeal of a love bird themed wedding! It’s understated elegance allows you to go as simple or outlandish as you like, while still maintaining the underlying theme of love, peace, and hope. For more great love bird wedding ideas, check out Marilyn’s Keepsakes.

November 15, 2010 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Roll Out the Red Carpet & Give Your Out-O-Town Guests the Very Best

photo courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com

While wedding guest lists range from very intimate to very immense, generally, there are few certainties every bride and groom can count on.  One of those certainties is out of town guests. 

More often than not, it’s customary for couples-to-be to block off a certain amount of rooms in at least a couple different hotels – pending the amount of out ‘o’ towners – near the ceremony or reception sites to alleviate some of the stress of extra travel in a foreign town.  Not only will this will help ease some of the hustle and bustle they may experience, but it will also help keep all your favorite travelers within the comforts of each other’s familiar faces.  **Be sure to check with your local hotels, as most will offer special deals for wedding parties who book… which is ideal for guests looking to save a little cheddar after travelling so far just for you :)

And even though the mileage may change and the distances travelled may differ from guest to guest, it’s important to make each and every one of them feel warm and welcome when they arrive!  After all, they’ve come a long way to celebrate your big day; so, you want to make sure to show your gratitude!   

One way to do this is by greeting each of your guests with a welcome basket of goodies!  Take your time to fill it up with fresh fruit, bottle waters, festive candies, luxury spa items or even some local cuisine or coupons.  Some brides and grooms opt to personalize each basket with custom items depending on the guest it’s going to, while others simply fill the goody bags with the same, “thinking of you” essentials. 

You’ll need to work with your local hotel to make sure the gift baskets get delivered correctly, and be sure to include a personalized note from you and yours welcoming their arrival and thanking them for being a part of your special day!  Because while the gesture may seem little, I promise you, it will go a long way, and all your out ‘o’ town guests will feel all the more special you remembered them!

October 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

Side ‘O’ Fries 4 That Bridal Shake: Hong Kong McDonald’s Is Now Saying I Do!

photo courtesy of ampedasia.com

That’s right, kids!  Looks like several of Hong Kong’s “Golden Arches” have upped the ante for wedding vendors everywhere!  We’re talking Happy Meal menus, Big Mac attacks and apple pie tower cakes (oh my!)!  According to msnbc.com news reports:

 If McDonald’s has its way, the traditional white wedding arch will be replaced with the golden ones.  Some of the fast-food chain’s restaurants in Hong Kong are now allowing customers to “supersize” their order to include McNuptials.  (today.msnbc.msn.com)

And all I can say is, thank GOODness my Mister and I have already taken the plunge… ’cause you already KNOW this would be all over his radar like white on rice!  Twenty-seven years old, and the man would still pick the entire McDonald’s menu over everything else.  (What this says about my cooking shall remain unmentioned… however, I’m guessing assumptions are already being made.  Eh.)

Anyhoot, the world’s most recognized restaurant – ha, there’s just something about calling Mickey D’s a “restaurant” that will always be funny to me – is officially open for wedding business and already booking January 2011 weddings!!!  Offering an appetizing spread of Happy Meal favors, apple pie tower wedding cakes, their full menu of meal deals and even party balloon dresses, Ronald and his crew have pulled out all the stops… well, and by “all the stops,” I really mean doing the same stops, mayhaps with just a few more stairs :)

What would really impress me is – however – is if they would offer different levels of packages.  Let’s say Small, Medium, Large and Supersize???  Supersize, of course, containing the option of a Ronald McDonald minister!  Yep, who’s with me!?!?! <waits for high fives>…<still waiting>… Alright, forget it!  <high fives self>  Yes!

However, there are a few things you may want to consider before booking your flights and jumping on board this dream wedding scenario.  Chief among them??  Exclusivity.  Even though Hong Kong’s Golden Arches are open for wedding business, they are not closing their doors to the rest of the world.  So tourist Two Buck Chuck and his sweet lady friend, Sideburns Susie, just may have a cameo in the wedding album while they get their order on during your vows.  Just saying…

Also, McDonald’s is a family establishment lacking a liquor license; therefore, NO ALCOHOL is allowed on the premise.  Sorry, crazy beer guzzling uncles, you’ll have to settle for strawberry shakes instead.  Other reports also suggest substituting the champagne toasts with soda… Classy!

So, if any of you are planning this for your wedded bliss, feel free to invite me!  And with all the money you’ll be saving on catering and rental equipment, you can even fly me out!  Haha… but for reals :)

October 15, 2010 at 11:58 am 2 comments

9 Alternatives 2 Think Outside The Guest Book Box

photo courtesy of theannotatedlife.wordpress.com

Because most of the wedding accessories you purchase for the big day won’t ever be seen or heard from again, it’s important to keep the ones that stick around as a true representation of your life and love.  After all, bouquets will wilt; invitations will be thrown out; food will go bad; bridesmaid dresses will be forgetten and even your dress may be “trashed,” but one item every couple puts out in the hopes of recording and creating memories is the quintessential <trumpets sound!> wedding guest book.

Traditional guest books involve your wedding guests simply signing their names along the dotted line, but this kind of keepsake leaves little for brides and grooms to reminisce about.  So, why not make this pre-ceremony tradition a little more memorable?  Here are some fun ways to renovate your typical guest book, while creating beautifully unique memories to last a lifetime.

Instant Photo Book. Test your guests’ photography skills with an instant photo guest book.  Simply place a Polaroid camera and unique guest book in a designated area at your reception and watch as your guest book transforms into a fun photo booth.  Guests can shake the photo dry, slide into a slot on the page, and leave some musings or memories.  It’ll be your most favorite picture book keepsake ever!  **Works great when paired with a Photo Booth Back Drop**

photo courtesy of stephaniewilliamsphotography.com

Envelope Book.  Fitted with lots of tiny envelopes, this book allows your family and friends leave little note cards full of their best well wishes, memories or wisdom.  Read one wish each day to savor your newly-wedded bliss, or dive right in to all of them at once.  No matter what you choose to do one thing is for certain, you’ll have priceless words and memories to treasure for eternity :)

photo courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Thumbprint Tree.  Perfect for a DIY savvy bride, these thumbprint trees are a fun activity that will help guests feel welcome.  Set up a large tree graphic that has only branches, no leaves. Your guests will then press their prints in an ink color of your choice and “leaf” their autograph.  Pun intended.  Couples are sure to frame this piece as a work of art for their abode.

photos courtesy of thesweetestoccasion.com and ultimatebridalmag.com

Autograph Frame.  Rather than just adding their signature to a long-winded list of others that came before, have guests autograph a spacious border matte that can then be placed around your favorite wedding photo.  This will serve the dual purpose of picture frame guest book.

photo courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Wishing Tree. The ultimate display of your wedding guests’ affections, this pint-sized tree will be drenched in floating wish cards by the end of the night, making it the most stylish and versatile guest book alternative… not to mention, economical and earth friendly!

photo courtesy of herecomestheguide.com

Painted Canvas.  For the most inventive guest book art, many couples are providing paints and canvases that are sectioned off into squares, as a ceremony sign in. Each guest gets the opportunity to get imaginative with their square, and the newlyweds receive unique pieces of art to remind them of their creative guests and special day.  

photo courtesy of buhdoop.blogspot.com

Time Capsule.  For twosomes willing to wait, the time capsule makes a truly thoughtful keepsake to be savored.  Guests fill out their wishes for the couple and tidbits of advice to place in a small treasure chest, along with a selection of wedding keepsakes – such as shoes, cards, toasting flutes, etc.  The box will be put away until the pair’s first wedding anniversary, where they will open their chest to find some truly valuable treasure.

photo courtesy of theunicorndiaries.com

Signature Vase.  Sure to be an essential accessory for any couple’s home décor, have guests sign a ceramic vase as a long-lasting memento of the special day.  Then, fill it with fresh flowers of your choice throughout the year, as a permanently fresh reminder of the day you said “I do.”

photos courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Vintage Typewriter.  Popular among retro inspired nuptials, vintage typewriters will complement the old-time theme of any ceremony.  Have guests type out their insight on matured paper; just make sure to leave a few simple instructions, as many of your loved ones may have never operated one before! 

photos courtesy of onestylishbride.com

October 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm 2 comments

Cheers! How-to Write the Best Wedding Speech Ever

photo courtesy of english-wedding.com

Every wedding has one.  Some are given by the best man; some by the maid of honor, and still others by the bride or groom’s parents.  They may make you laugh; they may make you cry, but one thing they certainly should NOT do is make you cringe.

I’m – of course – talking about the inevitable wedding speeches!

Wedding speeches are perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of your big day.  It is, or at least it should be, an interesting insight to your relationship as a couple, a wish of goodwill and a toast in to your love.  And because whatever the speech-giver says is generally amped across a microphone and loud speakers, it’s important that it’s good!  So, here are a few tips on how to make it count:

First, let’s start off with what you should avoid at all costs.  Humorous anecdotes are wonderful, but keep in mind that embarrassing does NOT always equal funny.  Reminiscing about senior year spring break or that one time the groom went streaking through the frat house may make some (namely the bride and groom and more than likely Great Aunt Edna) uncomfortable.  

On the other hand, don’t be boring.  An easy way to find a compromise is through genuine sincerity.  Try taking the emotional high road.  Whether you choose to be humorous or sentimental, make sure that any stories or memories you have about the couple are relevant, sincere and stay on topic.

Another thing to consider when beginning the speech-writing process is time frame.  It’s difficult to wax poetic about a couple’s love in five minutes, but any longer than that and guests will be agitated by your long-windedness.  (Heck, they may even get restless after 2, pending on how many people feel the need to speak after!) 

That being said, do not go into a speech without a plan… no matter how skilled you think you are at impromptu.  Because even the most brilliant “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” stars can stutter after a couple drinks.  

When you actually start to construct your dialogue, think back to your middle school speech class: every speech should have a beginning, middle and end.  Begin your toast by introducing yourself and your relation to the bride and groom. Talk about the beautiful ceremony to create an easy gateway to lead into the meat of your speech.

The Middle.  This is where your original content should come from.  Memories are great, but too many inside jokes will leave those on the outside unsettled.  So, stick with subjects that will personalize your toast and maybe garner a few laughs and tears.  Having the best of both worlds will create a well-rounded speech. So for every joke you tell, balance it with a genuine, maybe even tearful, sentiment of love.  Also, avoid hard subjects like the economic state or politics and harsh language like cursing or vulgarity.

Finally, finish with a bang!  If you’ve racked your brain for more perspective only to come up empty-handed, it’s time to bring in the experts. Quotes, whether they’re spoken by a famous author or a member of the family, serve as the perfect standby conclusion. Some great examples of touching quotes:

  • “Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” – Amy Bloom
  • “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin
  • “Marriage: that I call the will of two to create the one who is more than those who created it.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  •  “We have the greatest pre-nuptial agreement in the world.  It’s called love.” – Gene Perret
  • “A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” – Andre Maurois
  • “A happy home is one in which each spouse grants the possibility that the other may be right, though neither believes it.” – Don Fraser
  • “To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one’s self… this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

At this time, you will cue all of the wedding guests to join you in a toast to the bride and groom by raising their champagne flutes and wishing them eternal joy and happiness. And hopefully you’ll hear cheers and clapping, not crickets.

October 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

Check Yes or No: Do You Agree These Wedding Trends Should Go? (Opinions Wanted!)

(photo courtesy of 1weddingsource.com)

If you’re a bride-to-be who’s anything like me, you’ve more than likely been guilty of (or mayhaps a better term: fallen victim to) the inevitable, internet OVER-search.  With the World Wide Web access being so readily available and containing such a vast threshold of all the latest and greatest, it’s soooo easy to get sucked into the “Hottest Trends for 2010” or “Wedding Etiquette 101” or “What 2 Do 2 Cure the Monster-in-Law Blues” or… you get the drift.  And with all this pre-wedding curiosity bursting at the seams, wedding searches just may be the biggest version of unnoticed overload ever.     

Because there are so many options for brides to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to planning your wedding.  So, why not try to sort through things by the process of elimination?  If your interest is to have an event that your guests will love as much as you do, why not look to see what other people or even you, yourself, are constantly complaining about and delete them off the list!?

Recently, lemondrop.com – a self proclaimed sweet, tasty and tart blog – published an article on wedding trends they hope will disappear titled, I Now Pronounce You Annoying — Wedding Trends That Need to Go.  Written in a sarcastically humorous tone, the author introduces the “Debbie Downer” trends by stating:

The older you get and the more weddings you attend, the more they stop being fun and start sucking the life force out of you. (lemondrop.com)

Haha, I’m guessing the author is not friends with these guys…

Pic from Wedding Crashers, the Movie (courtesy of wedding-999.blogspot.com)

And while the sentiment being expressed is over exaggerated, its underlying message is not. Here are lemondrop.com‘s Picks 2 Nix, but what I want to know is if you agree:

  1. “Half-a-Dozen Parties Before the Actual Wedding.”  Stating annoyance in the fact that a wedding is not just a wedding, but an Engagement Dinner, Bridal Shower, Bachelor / Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, Ceremony and Reception… are weddings becoming too costly – and, in turn, too annoying – for guests to remain excited for when the actual day arrives?
  2. “The Long, Intensely Religious Religious Ceremony.”  Because not everyone on a couple’s guest list will necessarily be of the same religious denomination, is it too much to ask for everyone to participate in a ceremony that may or may not last over an hour when they don’t actually practice the faith? 
  3. “The Bouquet Toss.”  While a time-honored tradition – no doubt – is the bouquet toss becoming more of a necessary evil, filled with self-conscious single ladies battling for a bouquet or is it still a fun and essential part of the reception’s routine?
  4. “Stupid Toasts.”  Laying reference to the excess length (and inevitably, the excess amount of undisclosed information) a wedding speech can emit, do you think it’s more important to keep things moving along or let your best man recall the ultra embarrassing time you blankety-blanked the blank, down to the very last, nitty gritty – painfully discomforting – detail? 
  5. “DJs Who Demand You DANCE!”  In lieu of the fact that in due time, all the beer drinking patrons will eventually make it to the dance floor, is it necessary for DJ Jazzy (fill in name here) to constantly announce for everyone to “get up off of that thang!” or simply just let them “dance when they feel better?”
  6. “Video Testimonials.”  Stating that only the most “obnoxious, drunk and unstable guests take the opportunity” to divulge in such a awkward process, are video testimonials becoming the TMI portion of a bride and groom’s happy day?

Now, more importantly than this list, is your opinion of it ORRRR even better yet, other things you’d like to add!

September 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm 2 comments

Wedding Trend Alert: Wish Lanterns Take Flight for Newlyweds

photo courtesy of Allen Hsu via flickr.com

I wish (pun intended) I could tell you where, when, why or even how I first came across this trend, but honestly, I have no idea.  Haha!  I just remember seeing something about wedding wish lanterns once upon a time, which obviously sparked and captivated my attention long enough to prevent me from letting it go. 

“Letting go,” however, is exactly what these bad boys are about, and after doing a version of wish lanterns at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, a fundraiser benefitting cancer research earlier this year, I can honestly admit from firsthand experience how awesome they can be!

Originating in Asia, sky or wish lanterns have been used for centuries during celebrations as a symbolic means to release worries, stress and problems back into the atmosphere.  Because of their traditional and historic appeal, not to mention their undeniably meaningful value, it’s no wonder this Asian sensation made its way into the wedding world.

Constructed of 100% biodegradable materials, not only are these mini hot air balloons absolutely beautiful to watch, but they are also earth friendly and Mother Nature approved!  *Hooty Hoot* for going green!

The lanterns will be in the air for approximately 12 minutes and reach up to a mile!  Brides and grooms can choose to release one alone, or (depending on the budget, of course) include their entire bridal party or guest list in the release of these luminary wish lanterns.  For a better idea, check out this beautiful video from WishLanternUSA (I love the music!) or for more information or to purchase wish lanterns, visit wishlantern.com:  

July 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm 5 comments

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