8 Great Fall Wedding Ideas

Fall wedding decor ideasFall is a very popular time for weddings. primarily because of the weather and that nature masterfully weaves its color palette into stunning displays of oranges, yellows, reds and browns.  It’s natures best color coordinated season of the year.  Brides simply love this season and here are some great ideas to accentuate your fall wedding planning.

1) Location
Make sure that wherever you host your wedding, that it’s somewhere that is accented by the natural beauty of the season. A quiet Victorian style church surrounded by trees in their fall colors makes for some incredibly brilliant wedding photo opportunities.  Mountain settings are simply stunning if you can get your location reserved before that other bride does!

Leaf Save The Dates For Fall Weddings2) Set the Tone
It’s good to plan ahead and make your guests aware of your fall themed wedding in advance. This may help to steer them in their choice of fashion accessories such as maple leaf broaches or autumn color handkerchiefs. Set the pace by sending our leaf save the date cards or wedding invitations with a fall or autumn feel to them. There are tons of wedding invitations places online including Rexcraft, Invitations By Dawn, Get Married and many more.

Maple Leaf Place Card Holders3) Fall decorations
It’s also important to make sure that your guests can enjoy the seasonal colors whether they are inside or out by decorating the tables with centerpieces that use colorful leaves, straw, dried flowers, and pumpkin colors. Keeping within the brown and yellow spectrum of colors will be eye catching. Small details like using a Leaf Guestbook or maple leaf place card holders make very dramatic statements.  Handmade tablecloths and doilies also give a small town feel that adds a nice touch.

Maple Leaf Bottle Stopper for Fall Weddings4) Fall wedding favors
Give your guests fall wedding favors that will help them to remember the occasion. They may not remember details, but when they get to take home fall themed wedding favors like copper leaf bottle stoppers, place card holders, or simply any of the many ideas that are available out there, you give them a point of reference to remember the occasion.  If leaves or pumpkin type gifts aren’t your style, at least try and manage to stick to your color palette.

5) Dress Color
In some people’s eyes, the only potential downside to a fall wedding is the dress color.  An off white wedding dress is normally a safer bet with fall weddings. primarily because a bright white dress can clash with your fall motif.  Be sure to stick to the color coordination since you are the focal point of the day.  If you’ve inherited a white dress or refuse to walk down the aisle in anything but white, it won’t ruin the day, but it’s that attention to detail that will set the bar. Also ensure that the wedding party and especially bridesmaid dresses will help to support your color choices.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe6) Food
Your fall wedding menu should highlight food of the autumn season with selections like pumpkin pie, pecan pie, squash, zucchini, and apple cider with cinnamon sticks.  Don’t forget your vegetarian guests as well. Likewise your wedding cake should also have fall colors and decorations incorporated into layers or decorations.  Placing the cake on a light brown or dust yellow tablecloth surrounded by leafs would be a great eye catcher.

7) Everyone knows
Out of all of the great fall wedding tips that are available out there, be sure that you keep the color coordination on the top of everyone’s mind. Let your wedding planner know your plans so that they can inform all of the right people and monitor the situation for you. The caterer needs to know that you want your menu seasonal so that they can plan accordingly. It’s just very important that everyone is aware of your autumn motif to make sure that they don’t add something to the mix to clash with your flow and feel of fall.

Image from Google Images and approved for re-use8) Lighting
Make sure that whoever is in charge of decorating, that they keep the lighting subdued and not bright white.  All of your colors can get washed away in bright white light. Keep lighting off-white or yellow to keep the ambiance flowing even in the air. If the DJ will be supplying lighting as well, be sure that they know of your color plans so that their “disco lights” don’t ruin everything you worked so hard to create. But more importantly, be sure to let your wedding photographer know about the yellow lighting since yellow plays havoc on white balance. It’s best they know as far in advance as possible.

Have more great fall wedding tips or things you’ve learned from your own fall wedding? Share them here!

Tips For a Perfect Beach Wedding

Beach WeddingAfter watching 3 separate beach weddings occur in one day, I had a lot to comment about in regards to certain aspects such as using Ipods, guest considerations, weather, etc.  It dawned on me as I watched 2 of the 3 beach weddings make the exact same mistakes, that there are many things that brides simply don’t think about.  I won’t go into detail about the basic wedding elements such as food to serve, seating arrangements and items like that, but these are things that you may not have considered for beach weddings in particular.

Bride Tide
One of the tricks to holding a beach wedding is timing it properly with the tides.  It will make the difference as to whether you’ll hold the wedding on tight packed wet sand or the soft white sand of the dunes.  Consider the tide tables and make note of when the tide is normally in or out for the particular beach where you’ll be holding your wedding.  While there is normally a lot of variance from day to day, there is some consistency that you can base your service around.

Weather the Weather
It’s best to avoid hurricane seasons which can cause all types of unpredictability with not only the weather, but also the aforementioned tides.  But because you’re close to the ocean, you should always have an alternate plan if it gets rained out.  It’s a worse case scenario, but you need to know that if it can go wrong, it probably will.  It may also be smart to spend time in the area beforehand to see if the area is prone to sand flies or if the section of beach you’re using is windy.  Gusts of sand blowing in the eyes of your guests and the wedding party can quickly ruin the day.

Audio
As I mentioned in my Ipod wedding post, the ocean is the only place on earth that is both loud and relaxing at the same time. It’s a strange anomaly and it’s the relaxing part that has people forgetting about the loud ocean part altogether. The crashing waves can make it almost impossible to hear much being said.  Make sure that your music is being pushed through a PA system and most importantly, that your pastor/priest/minister is also miked through that PA as well.  Even the most booming natural voice won’t be able to be heard over Mother Nature.  I watched two weddings where the minister wasn’t miked. The first had to yell over the ocean and it made it very unromantic when it got to the “I Do” portions of the wedding.  The second was a woman pastor who simply could not be heard at all.  Microphone everyone that will be talking.

Footwear
Consider what footwear your wedding party is going to be wearing and have them dress accordingly.  I was surprised how many women came to a beach wedding in high heels.   Make sure that your wedding party has the right type of footwear for a beach wedding and that your guests also know to plan accordingly with either flip flops or sandals.

Parents/Grandparents
Take into consideration that your parents and grandparents will have to walk the beach to their seating.  If you have any relatives that require the use of canes, walkers or that have any physical disabilities that make trudging through sand difficult, you should account for extra time getting them seated or possibly even seating them beforehand.

Distract The Kids
The second children hit the beach, you can expect them to be distracted easily.  Make it easier on yourself and simply accommodate that distraction by providing kids in attendance with beach themed wedding favors or even providing them with a small shovel or bucket. Maybe even set aside an area off to the side where they can play quietly making sand castles instead of having their parents managing their fidgeting instead of enjoying your big day.

Uninvited Guests
If you haven’t acquired a private beach, you should expect onlookers and in some cases additional noises.  Public access beaches will have your wedding surrounded by half naked adults and screaming kids complete with frisbees, dogs, and surfers.  This is something to consider for potential interruptions.  Most people are polite and will keep the distractions to a minimum when they see the wedding taking place, but on public beaches, you’re sharing the area with people who weren’t invited and you should anticipate the possibility of distractions.

Arranging to have your wedding on a private beach is easier than you think. In North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, you can contact major players for beach rental properties such as Emerald Isle Realty that can get you a section of the beach to call your own for the weekend to avoid all of the possible extra hub bub.  They can also give you access to lodging such as huge beautiful beach houses that can comfortably accommodate 6-8 couples in one beach home for under $2500 for an entire week. Imagine the convenience of having lodging, a private beach for your wedding and also a place to hold your reception afterward and all without the need to travel from one location to the other.

Power to the People
As I mentioned with the audio issue above, you should have a PA for the music to play through including the pastor, any ceremony musicians and ceremony music as well.  So it’s pretty important that you should consider that most beaches do not have electrical outlets. Be prepared to supply power to the DJ for the PA or any other items that may require some juice.  You may have to be inventive with super long electrical cords running from nearby homes.  And if there simply is none, think of something else because doing a beach wedding without a PA will be disastrous.

Seating
Check the sturdiness of any seating you supply. There’s nothing worse than your grandmother taking a fall when the chair legs sink into the sand behind her.  Benches are typically a good idea because of their broader feet which are less susceptible to sinking into the sand once someone sits in them.  It’s also best to preset each chair into the sand to make sure that any further sinking is minimal.

Beach Aisle RunnersAisle Be Back
The aisle where the bride will be walking towards the altar is going to be messy. If you can arrange for there to be a walkway, that would preferably be ideal, but most likely improbable.  Cloth aisle runners will sink into the sand once they get stepped on by your guests and then your wedding party. Thinking outside of the box to keep the aisle still “picture worthy” will be tricky. Some ideas may include having the flowergirl use an excessive amount of flowers to cover the center aisle with a lot of flowers to partially cover up the trampled sand. It looks much nicer than an crumpled up, stepped on, sandy aisle runner that makes it almost impossible for a nice center aisle shot.

Wedding Favors
Beach themed wedding favors are a great touch for a beach wedding obviously, but do it yourself (DIY) wedding favors such as hand painted seashells or sand dollars are a nice touch and can save you tons of money.  The aforementioned North Carolina Crystal Coast, and especially in the Emerald Isle area of the Crystal Coast, there are nice sized seashells virtually everywhere.  Grab a few dozen and hand paint names, dates, personal notes and glitter them up for a fantastic and frugal wedding favor idea.

So those are some things that I saw many beach weddings do wrong and that you should add to your consideration pile when you’re planning a beach wedding.  If you have any more great tips, be sure to add them below in the comment area. I’d love to hear them!

10 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Planner

Bride-stressedChoosing a wedding planner is one of the most important decisions to make on your checklist of things to do for your big day. They can be invaluable, and make your event more amazing than you could have imagined (and most importantly, more stress free!).  So when selecting your second most important partner in the wedding, know the answers to ten important questions. Ask before hiring and feel that much more confident that this is a marriage made in heaven.

1. What do you get for your price?

Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting for your money: what is included; different package options; how they bill (hourly, deposits, payment plans, billing, etc). This will help to ensure that there are no surprising costs that will pop up unexpectedly during or after the wedding planning process. Perhaps you don’t need help with every little element, or you have an hour cap that you need to keep in mind. Does the fee include the cost of assistants on the wedding day, and how many? Know what you are paying for.

2. Do you understand my vision?

A planner could have done every celebrity and high-end wedding in the world, but if they don’t share your understanding of the style and vision, you might be unhappy with the final outcome. Some planners can create one fabulous look, but if that look isn’t you, then be sure their portfolio reflects many styles – look for the personality of the couple to shine through in the events, not the same likes of the planner over and over again. Talk with your planner and bounce ideas off each other to make sure you’re on the same page before you begin.

3. Referrals

As obvious as it may seem, make sure to ask for and check your planner’s references. Know their experience level, how long they have been in business, the size, scope, and budgets of the weddings they have done to make sure they have enough experience in the type of wedding you want and can afford. Check with past clients they refer you to, but also do your web and chat room research. Make sure there are no outstanding issues out there.

4. Are they familiar with your venue and vendors?

Most wedding planners are well connected with other professionals in the wedding industry, and can help give you reliable options that they know of or have worked with before. If, however, you chose some of your own vendors, make sure they are willing and able to work together so that everything goes smoothly on the day of and egos stay out of the way. Ask if the event planner takes a referral fee from vendors and if so, be sure you’re seeing the selection you want. If one company is heavily pushed on you over all others, that can be a sign of a backend financial agreement. This is very common and often industry standard, so don’t be too put off by it, just be smart about your selection.

5. How involved will you both be?

Find out how often you will meet, if they will come to your vendor meetings, how much planning you will do on your own. Think of things that you really would want to do on your own, if any. Make sure both of your jobs are clearly discussed and understood.

6. How busy are they?

See how often your planner has a wedding on a calendar, especially for the month, week, and even your same day. If you feel like they are trying to overbook there is a good chance that you won’t get the personal attention that you need and deserve. You want to be the only bride she or he tends to that day. You might also ask if wedding planning is their full time job or if it is a side hobby as that can also lead to scheduling conflicts.

7. Emergency situations

Although hopefully you won’t have any last minute emergencies to deal with, such things do happen and you need to be prepared. Ask what would happen if your wedding planner was suddenly not able to make the wedding, if someone in the wedding party got sick, bad weather affecting out of town arrivals and the event itself, etc. Find out if they have had any situations like this in the past, and how they did, or would, deal with them – in case of an unforeseen occurrence, does the planner have staff and/or a backup plan if they cannot make the day.

8. Budget?

This may be an assumed task for the wedding planner to oversee, but you can never be too cautious. A wedding can quickly go over budget, so make sure you find a planner who makes your budget limit their top priority.

9. Is it a real business?

Ask your planner if they have a business license, insurance, education. See if they belong to a professional organization like the ABC, ACPWC, Weddings Beautiful, June Weddings, WIPA and ISES, all of which are respectable bridal consultant groups. Also ask if the group they belong to requires them to have training every year or simply pay an annual fee.

Happy-Bride10. Honeymoon!

Don’t forget that after the party is over, you want to have an amazing relaxing honeymoon with your new spouse! Ask if your wedding planner has travel contacts or resources for you to use. Perhaps they can even help to plan your special vacation or destination wedding.

But above all the rules, paperwork, and fine print, most of all, make sure you really like your wedding planner, because you will be spending a lot of time together in the coming months!

Top 10 Wedding Trends of 2010

Engaged over Valentine’s Day and getting ready to set your date and start the wedding planning? As you begin to plan you 2010 nuptials keep in mind these top trends you’ll see next spring. Buttercream, organic green, backyard weddings – all great ideas to help get you down the aisle.

1. Back to Basics
Events will focus on the attention to the details, the foundation of the event, not the drama or grandeur of the evening. Consider spending more on the lasting memories than the showmanship of the event. Spend a bit more than the average budget allotment on photography mediums rather than abundant floral. Or consider a bit of a longer stay on your honeymoon and a little less of a party at the reception and you’ll be grateful for your decision in the end.

2. Home Weddings Hit Home
Intimate and personal affairs in the backyard are bigger than ever. Going home incorporates the continued trend of personalizing the wedding day experience. Smaller size guest lists, more intimate settings, grass roots weddings, elegant and detail driven, but in no way small on what counts.

3. Buttercream on the Big Day
Fondant is falling behind, buttercream corners the market. Tools and techniques now allow for buttercream to look as smooth as fondant when applied by a skilled artist. You have the option of better flavor, more natural ingredients, and less costly cakes that no longer suffer or lack in design.

wedding-favor-flower-bookmark4. Favor Comeback
Personalized appreciation is back. The effect that an event has on the guests is more noticeable than ever before so the importance of wedding favors is felt more than ever. Be sure to appreciate to those in attendance – it’s not just an afterthought, omission, or generic item. Think local artisans, locally grown products, personal mementos, and on-the-spot print outs.

5. Nearby Destinations
Nearby destination weddings are taking flight over the exotic and far off locales. The ever popular destination wedding will remain but guests will get out of town by car (within driving distance) so couples can create a weekend, guests get an escape, but no one breaks the bank. Enjoying the US destination locations, spend within your own local economies, create a greener effect, experience undiscovered backyards, and stay sensible about cost while you’re at away.

6. Colors
Monochromatic palettes – this doesn’t mean muted colors, just single color bunches. Vibrant Colors: Orange, green, yellow, and pink. Metal Colors: Gold, silver, copper, and pewter. And black is definitely the new black. Break the rules and show off the darker side of your event.

7. Greener Conscience
Emerging will be the newest phase of eco-conscience: A better understanding of the gray shades of green. You will see more emphasis on the smaller changes that are less recognizable to the guest (i.e. cleaning green, composting, solar and LED lighting, no more oasis in floral arrangements, less catering waste). It’s no longer about making the event appear “organic” – it’s about understanding how things are made, disposed of, and where/when events take place. Learning to make better choices that are unseen by the guest are just as important as those tree-free invitations everyone is talking about.

wedding-videos8. Video Integration into Events
We’ve all seen the photo montages of your childhoods during dinner but the next phase in video at your event comes in several different forms. Video DJ’s are emerging, allowing your dance party to dance to the visuals of the music videos; ceremonies are being broadcast on screens for better viewing from the back; and time lapse photography is being shot and integrated into video for current day montages of you and your fiancé. Love to party? Set up crane camera and project the event as it unfolds on screens around the dance floor (budget permitting of course).

9. HD Video
Videographers have already gone hi-def. But next year all or most will make such a transition, making HD and even Blu Ray the norm in wedding videography. Upgrade now and appreciate the quality later. This also means smaller cameras on site and less intrusion into your event, all around a better (though more costly) option on the big day.

10. Visual Combinations
Professional grade still photo cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II DSLR are being released with HD video capabilities included. It is recommended to have both a videographer and a photographer at your wedding to capture every moment of the big day. Tech-savvy brides looking for a new experience, may like to experiment with a visual professional (videographer or photographer) who has this technology. In the future, you will begin to see an emergence of two-in-one companies.

Top 10 Unique Wedding Favors

Wedding favors like little candles or coasters have their place. But when you want truly unique wedding favors you need to hit the web for something that is truly “you”. And they’re out there. Luckily, I found some great wedding favors at GetMarried.com. Not only do they do good “wedding television“, but their online wedding shop has a tiring collection of really great favor ideas.

Top 10 Unique Wedding Favors


#10 – Leaf Bookmark
Everyone loves bookmarks.  If they don’t read, they’ll at least put a bookmark into a book on the coffee table and pretend.  So give them this beautiful metal leaf bookmark with a burgundy silk tassel to play the part.  It was way nicer than I thought it would be.

leaf-bookmark-wedding-favor


#9- Love Notes Notebook
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve needed a little notebook to write down a phone number, grocery reminder, etc.  This is perfect to fit in your guests pocket and is mighty convenient and it even has a little pen.

love-notes-notebook-wedding-favors


#8 – Toe Separator
While this favor mostly applies to the ladies and the most confident of men, the toe separator keeps your nail polish from smudging onto your neighbor toes.   I mean, how important is that?! Very.

toe-separator-wedding-favor


#7 – Compact Mirror Favor
Can you count how may times you needed to check for food in your teeth, smeared lipstick or stray nose pebbles?  Worry no more because your guests will be prepared with this handy compact mirror that fits virtually anywhere.

compact-mirror-wedding-favor


#6 – Eco-Friendly Wedding Favors
With everyone going green nowadays, why not join the crowd and offer these plantable wedding favors? They can plant them in the ground after your big day and have a garden of flowers to remind them of your special day for years to come.  Until global warming kills everything….

wild-plantable-seed-cards-wedding-favors


#5 – Manicure Set Wedding Favors
Unlike me who just bites them off, most people like keeping those fingernails neatly trimmed and sparkly.  So give them the gift of  hygiene and let them cut nails!

manicure-set-wedding-favor


#4 – Heart Shaped Measuring Spoons
I received these as a favor a year ago and I still use them religiously while cooking.  These are one of the best gifts I ever got because of their practicality.

heart-shaped-measuring-scoops-wedding-favor


#3 – Peas In a Pod candles
These are smaller than they look, but what makes them great is that they’re a great conversation piece.  Definitely unique.


#2 – Heart Shaped Tea Infuser
This is very hip and can be used over and over again on a daily basis.  It’s stainless steel, dishwasher safe, and it makes a mean cup of tea.

tea-infuser-wedding-favors



And the number one Unique Wedding Favor…



#1 – The Purse Valet
This is the coolest invention known to woman.  It hooks onto any table and makes a hook underneath where you can hang your purse!  No more setting your purse on the table or on the floor.  It hangs their nicely for easy access.  Definitely the coolest wedding favor you can give.

purse-valet-wedding-favor

And that’s it, the Top 10 Unique Wedding Favors we could find.  Get Married’s online wedding store offers all of these wedding favors, along with tons more, so be sure to check there for more great ideas.