Take Me To Paris
What better theme for a wedding than the "City of Love" itself? A popular theme for fall and winter brides this season is Paris in the 1920s - think Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" or the popular book "The Paris Wife". Take your guests back in time and across the Atlantic to an era when love, art and merriment ruled the Champs d'Elysses.
All That's Missing Is A Champagne Tower..
A location that harkens back to the 1920s is ideal, but if one is either not available or not in your budget, transform the space with details and music. Think antique roses in vintage vases, old books, gramophones and a swing band. Small touches like these will whisk your guests away to France faster than you can say "Oui Oui!"
That "Oh La La" Look
A vintage-inspired gown with a stunning hair accessory will have you looking gorgeous. Glamorous finger waves or a simple chignon will allow you to show off the detail on your dress and keep your overall look on point.
For your parisian soiree, small bites like passed mini ham and brie baguettes and endive filled with walnuts, pear and blue cheese are sure to delight. Other ideas include an oyster and escargot bar, a sweet and savory crepe bar and, to top it all off, a bonbon bar fit for French royalty.
In the immortal words of Audrey Hepburn, "Paris is always a good idea."
Most couples agree that it is a nice gesture to send each guest home with a wedding favor to thank them for coming and serve as a keepsake. Here are some of novel ideas for a little "something extra" as your guests depart.
Gift your guests with a little something sweet to top off the evening. A small box of pastel macaroons, a candy bar with take-home bags, or homemade jams (particularly nice for a country-themed or outdoors wedding) are a nice way of saying "thank you" for sharing in your special day.
Keep the Party Going
Homemade CDs with the bride and grooms' favorite tracks are great personalized "thank yous" that your guests can groove to on the trip home and post-wedding. Personalized sunglasses on the table at an outdoor wedding is a great favor that is both functional AND a keepsake.
Mason jars filled with hot chocolate mix and mini-marshmallows or your favorite coffee beans are a cute way to finish off the evening. Decorate with a homemade biscotti and you have a perfect pairing for coffee drinkers and chocolate lovers alike. Another great gift are monogrammed wine stoppers - useful and thoughtful!
Hungry Night Owls
After an evening of dancing and drinking, your guests may be wondering if there is a late night room service menu nearby. To put a stop to this common guest quandry, many modern brides and grooms have decided to provide a fourth meal to their loved ones who came with their dancing shoes on. Here are some of our ideas to keep your guests feeling full.
Late Night Perk
For that extra jolt before the commute home, have coffee and donuts out for guests to enjoy. Passed coffee and donut holes make for a nice treat or a coffee bar with donut selection also works well.
Don't Call It A Drive-Thru
For those guests that may have been too busy mingling to enjoy the first meal or had one glass of bubbly too many, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food is greatly appreciated. Sliders, tacos or gourmet pizzas are perfect for passing or for a late-night buffet.
Let Them Eat Cake
As we mentioned above, many friends and family spend their nights catching up with loved ones and completely bypass the cake! To make sure that they get a taste of your layered masterpiece, package it up and send it with them as they depart.
My Fair Lady
A wedding theme growing in popularity nowadays is "country fair." This theme is perfect for the laid-back bride and groom and allows guests to cut loose and enjoy your fun-filled day.
For this theme, it is important to set the mood without getting too "campy". Some ways to convey the idea without going so far as to include a pig race include a high-pitch tent, delicately-strung lights and milk bottle decor. Familiar games like cornhole (bean bags), horseshoes and croquet set up for kids (and adults!) are sure to please!
For your big day, it is important to be comfortable while still feeling beautiful. Think a billowing wedding dress matched with cowboy boots. Boots with dresses and gorgeous wildflower bouquets work well for the bridesmaids, too. For a great photo op with the groom, set up a "kissing booth" at the venue that can be used throughout the evening by grandparents, guests and the ocassional preschool pairing.
Though delicious, Surf n' Turk is typically not a staple at the fair. Forego the fine-dining fare for a less buttoned-up menu. For hor d'oeurves, mini corn dogs, BBQ sliders, fried green tomatoes and fried okra with spicy dipping sauce are perfect picks. For dessert, cotton candy makes a beautiful and cheerful childhood throwback, as do candy apples and whoopie pies. Another clever idea is a popcorn bar - a fun take-home treat!
Cold Hands, Warmest Hearts
While the temperatures drop, with Fall and Winter right around the corner, considerate brides and grooms want to ensure that their guests are cozy and comfortable throughout their special day. Whether you plan to have an indoor or outdoor wedding, it is important to make sure your family and friends are more focused on the party and less about finding the nearest fireplace. Here are some of our ideas on how to make sure your party is warm and inviting.
For cold-blooded guests, the chill of an indoor shopping mall might be too much to handle. Whether your ceremony or reception is indoors or outdoors, a basket filled with pashminas in your wedding's colors would allow your guests to cuddle up and focus on the celebration. Particularly for a more rustic country wedding, blankets also fit the bill quite nicely.
Staying Toasty Long After The Toast
Food choices can also help keep the frost from coming. Warm pumpkin soup will help fight the wintertime chill as a delicious seasonal appetizer. After dinner is served, mason jars filled with hot chocolate and a graham cracker crust rim are sure to soothe and delight.
Work Up A Sweat
A great band or DJ is essential to keep the party going. If the guests are dancing, they surely are not worried about the breeze. For those guests who did not put on their dancing shoes for the evening, provide a basket of sandals in a variety of sizes to make sure the dance floor stays busy. For those that just simply do not dance, comfortable couches with pillows and blankets are a great solution.
Up In The Air
Balloons are often used at weddings for decoration and tremendous photo opportunities for the newlywed couple and their wedding party. While flowers admittedly take the cake for the typical decoration go-to, balloons are making a comeback as an affordable way to decorate, insert pops of color and create a sense of whimsy that a centerpiece of roses just cannot accomplish.
High-Flying Photo Op
Whether it be a bride and groom holding bundles of balloons or letting them go into the night sky, balloons make for a fantastic photo op. Wedding parties with each member grasping an individual string is another picture-perfect idea.
One fun way to incorporate balloons into your big day is to tie them with ribbons to your guests' chairs or buffet tables in your wedding's color palette. To insert color into your celebration, have boatloads of balloons float to the top of a tent or ceiling - whimsical, unexpected and positively charming.
The Getaway Vehicle
Because the departure of the bride and groom into marital bliss is one of the most memorable moments of any wedding reception, it is important to make the most of this photo-op with a vehicle that is representative of both you as a couple and your celebration. Here are some unique ideas about how to make your departure as memorable as your walk down the aisle.
Rev Your Engines
For the fun-loving, adventurous couple, motorcycles or scooters are the way to go! Cruise away in style on a motorcycle with an attached sidecar. Another cute way to burn some rubber on your way out of town is on a motor scooter - you'll be the envy of the entire wedding party!
There's nothing cooler than cruising in a vintage ride. An old Ford Model A is perfect for a classic, country wedding. For a retro 1950s nod, choose a classic Cadillac convertible or a Rolls Royce to spice up the night. Lastly, whether your wedding is a city affair or maybe you're just a city-loving couple, a vintage taxicab fits the bill quite nicely.
These modes of transportation are a bit unique but impossibly cool. Though there are some obvious limitations to this choice, a boat with a "Just Married" sign is perfect for a dockside destination wedding. After getting hitched, a couple can also hitch up to a horse and buggy and cruise away in almost any setting. And for the free-spirited couple after their day wedding, there is no better way to kick off a honeymoon than to choose a bicycle to say their farewells!
In The Nude
Au natural is a growing trend for weddings nowadays...of course, we're referring to the natural, clean beauty of a neutral color palette! Couples who opt for this look steer clear of pop colors and choose nudes, creams and whites instead. This color palette, though muted, can make an understated, yet powerful statement.
Brides are veering away from fake tans and caked-on makeup and opting for a much more understated, natural look. Minimal eye makeup, rosy cheeks and a nude lip allow guests to see your natural beauty and wedding glow (courtesy of Mother Nature!)
To Die For Dresses
When it comes to the dresses selection, tones of nude, cream, white and blush all work well. For brides, white rules the runway and the real world. However, for bridesmaids, you can pick one shade or a variety of neutral tones for a gorgeous color scheme that will highlight their natural beauty.
Understated bouquets can make quite the statement. An all white floral arrangement is clearly an classic and elegant choice for any affair. Simple and refreshing, white flowers can help accentuate dress details and gorgeous venues. For a slight pop of color that looks great with a nude palette, go for pretty pastels.