Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tuesday Trends - Wedding Hashtags

Welcome to another glorious Tuesday!

We encountered some technical difficulties last week, but we’re back up and running and have a great trend for you this week!  We’re talking…wedding hashtags!

Now before you decide if this something you want to do for your big day let me break down exactly what a wedding hashtag is and why it deserves a second thought before being passed up.

So for those of you that aren’t already in the hashtag game Merriam-Webster defines it as;  a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet).

When you go to an event, whether it be a concert, or a fair, or a play it generally has a hashtag so when people are talking about it online (facebook, twitter etc.) they can add the custom hashtag to their post and when someone clicks on, or searches said tag, all of the posts that have the tag as well show up. It’s a really great way for people to come together and see different opinions on a certain topic or to see what else is going on around you at an event.

You may be asking how this has anything to do with your wedding. Valid question. Chances are most of your guests have some form of social media. Chances are that they are going to take some pictures on their phone throughout the night. Chances are you’ll never actually get to see any of those photos because they will get sucked into the abyss of phone galleries and photo clouds. Unless…you have a custom hashtag that your guests can use to tag the photos they upload to whatever form of media they prefer. Now when you search your tag you are going to get this awesome little collection of photos and posts from your guests. Neat right? Nothing can replace a good photographer but it can be really fun to see things from the guests point of view.  My personal favorite place to use hashtags is instagram. It’s a really easy way to see what cool things are happening wherever I am, and to share my experience with others.

If you do decide to use your own hashtag there are a few things you want to be sure to do;

1.)    Make sure it’s not already taken.
Oh so often I see hashtags being recycled, and that’s fine, but for a wedding you want to make sure that you have your own and that it’s unique, otherwise when you search your tag you’re going to have to sort through photos that aren’t yours.

2.)    Make your hashtag seen!
There are lots of cute ideas out there on how to display your hashtag so your guests know it exists! Make sure it’s seen and that people know to use it.

3.)    Don’t overcomplicate it.
If your tag is complicated and long people will not use it. Keeping it simple is the way to go.

Overall it’s just another way to personalize your big day and to make sure you’re not missing out on capturing a moment of the fun.  Even if you aren’t big on social media I can almost guarantee that some of your attendees are and that they will love that you have your own special tag. 

Photo from Marisa and Oliver's Wedding collection by Cyndi Hardy Photography

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday Trends - Signature Drinks

This week we are talking about a trend that is not only totally customizable but can also cut some of those wedding costs, and who doesn’t love that?

Signature drinks are a super fun and easy way to give a little personal touch to your bar package without breaking the bank. All you have to do is find or create a drink recipe that you love and let your bartending service know how to make it. You can do one combined drink or you can do one for the bride and one for the groom if you can’t decide on just one. There are so many different ideas out there, so the possibilities for these are virtually endless. You can pick a drink that is your personal favorite or you can go searching for one that fits your theme/colors.

Now let’s back to that cutting costs thing…adding a signature cocktail is a great way to cut out buying all the extra alcohol and juices for mixed drinks. What you can do is buy the beer and wine package that most services will offer and then just buy a couple bottles of whatever you need for your drink of choice. This way people that don’t like beer or wine still have the option of an alternative alcoholic beverage and the people who may not care for your cocktail can have beer or wine. If you aren’t serving alcohol at your wedding, that’s totally fine too, signature drinks can be pretty much anything, just add a cute name and boom you're done.

Here are a few popular signature drink recipes in case you need some ideas;

Berry Happy Together Sangria Recipe
1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc or dry white wine
3/4 cup St. Germain
2 fresh peaches
5-6 fresh strawberries
6 fresh raspberries
1 small bunch of fresh white grapes
Stir ingredients in a pitcher or carafe. Allow fruit to soak in mixture for 15 minutes– or longer if desired. Serve in an ice-filled glass. Garnish with micro marigolds.

The Blushing Bride Champagne Cocktail Recipe
2 oz passion-fruit nectar
3 oz Champagne
1/2 teaspoon grenadine
Handful of huckleberries
Pour chilled passion-fruit nectar in a flute. Carefully add chilled Champagne and grenadine; don't stir, but allow to blend. Top with huckleberry garnish.

Honey, I Do Honeydew Martini Recipe
3 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce Midori
1/2 ounce triple sec
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with crushed ice. Pour all your ingredients in with it. Shake it up well and strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime.

Something Blue Blue Curacao Cocktail Recipe
30ml vodka
15ml blue curacao
Fill a highball glass with ice, add the vodka and blue curacao and top up with lemonade, stir and serve.

Cranberry Cutie (Non-alcoholic)
3 ounces Sierra Mist Natural
3 ounces Cranberry Juice
Juice from 1 cutie/clementine orange
1 ounce lime juice
Clementine slice and sugar for garnish
In a shaker filled with ice, mix cranberry juice, cutie juice, and lime juice. Add Sierra Mist Natural and stir. Strain into two martini glasses with edges that have been dipped in sugar (optional). Garnish with a cutie slice.

Italian Soda (Non-alcoholic)
Blueberry or strawberry syrup
Club soda
Half and half
Fill a glass with ice. Pour 1/4 part syrup over the ice. Add in one part club soda. Pour in a dash of half and half and stir.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What's the Deal with Wedding Planners Anyways?

As wedding planners we get a lot of questions from people asking how one goes about getting into this line of work. A lot of the time someone has just finished helping to plan a wedding (a friend, mom, or even the bride herself) and found that they mostly enjoyed the experience and are wondering how to make it into a career. So here is what we have to say about breaking into the wedding planning field; if you are considering becoming a planner yourself or if you are just curious about how we got to where we are this is for you. 

Wedding planning is so fun, but is not a glamorous job whatsoever! If you have ever had a part in planning a wedding you probably learned that very quickly. Jeanne has a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management and worked for a caterer for over 10 years which is where she was able to learn the ins and outs of events. Having this experience has allowed her to see through the eyes of all of our vendors and helps her to better anticipate their needs. Even though we both have a degree, neither of us have any certificates in wedding planning. Now wedding certificates are fabulous and surely can help you to learn about the job your doing, however we don't feel that they are needed to be able to do our jobs. But then again Jeanne already had the experience in the wedding industry, and I spent time interning for her to learn the ropes. As of yet we have never had a bride ask if we are certified wedding planners, instead we show them what we can do through photos and knowledge.

There are a few organizations you can get experience with, but to be honest, we believe the best experience is to work in the wedding industry for a caterer, florist, rental company etc. to learn about it. It will make you a better planner all around.

To succeed in this job you need a certain type of personality. You need to thrive on challenges, and be able to handle 10 different things at once without loosing your cool. You have to be nice, but tough at the same time so that people don't walk all over you, and you have to learn how to say NO and mean it. You will want to do as much as you can to impress, but you will wear yourself out that way, there are ways to go above and beyond without killing yourself. One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself and your clients is to let your professional vendors do their job! Don't micro manage them, they are good at what they do and are there for a reason. Concentrate on what you do best! 

Before you make any decisions, read up on planning and what exactly it entails, or ask a professional planner what their average day looks like, you may be surprised to see how much work actually goes into wedding planning, hint; it's a lot more than headsets and high heels, but hey, we can't all be JLo. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday Trends - Anniversary Dance

It’s Tuesday again!

Last week we talked about a trending ceremony tradition, this week we’re switching gears and talking about a fun game of sorts, that takes place during a reception.  Now some of you may be thinking that there are already too many things to squish into your allotted reception time, or that reception games and traditions are too cheesy for your liking…however I seriously urge you to give this idea a second thought.  

The Anniversary Dance has to be one of my favorite wedding games/dances. Here’s how it works; Your DJ will ask that all married couples come out to the dance floor for a special dance, once they are all out there dancing they will ask that anyone married less than 24 hours take a seat. At this point everyone oo’s and aww’s as the newlyweds have to make their way back to their table and sit because they have obviously lost the game. From this point on, the DJ keeps increasing the required length of marriage to stay on the dance floor; 1 year, 5 years, 20 etc. until finally you have the one couple present that has been married the longest. Your DJ will ask this very special couple what their secret is, or how they’ve lasted so long and the answer is always hilariously heartwarming. It’s usually somewhere along the lines of “Never go to bed angry.” or “Just do whatever she says.” wise, wise words…

Now if you don’t have any older married couples present on your big day then this game might not be the best option for you, but if you do it is so worth making time for. It's a great time to get those that normally don't dance out on the floor, that one dance of the night for that husband who knows his wife would be pleased if they went out there. This not only gets your guests involved and out on the floor (a DJ loves a full dance floor), but it gives other guests a chance to sit back and just appreciate the beauty of  long lasting love and devotion, which is after all what everyone is there to celebrate in the first place. 

Photo By Dina Remi Studios

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tuesday Trends - Wine Box Ceremony

Happy Tuesday!

This week we are going to talk about a very unique idea that is being incorporated into more and more weddings recently; the wine box ceremony. What the heck is a wine box ceremony you ask? Well for starters it has nothing to do with boxed wine (hallelujah), what it really is, is something that is to be done instead of blending of the sands, unity knots, unity candles etc. during your ceremony.

So here’s what you do. You get a nice wooden box or something similar; in it you place your favorite bottle of wine, two wine glasses and a love letter from each of you to the other. Now there are lots of options out there for getting the materials for this ceremony, you could DIY it all, or there are specialty companies out there that will create a box with wine and glasses already in it for you. Keep in mind that if wine isn’t your thing you can absolutely swap it out for a bottle of something else like whiskey, scotch, cider…tequila…anyways point is you can put whatever beverage you’d like in there.

Now having a drink with your loved one is always fun, however, what really makes this ceremony special are the letters. They should be something heartfelt talking about how you’re feeling the day of your wedding, the things you love about each other, and the reasons you fell in love in the first place.  Some people are putting other things in the box as well like engagement photos, mushy mix tapes or even little gifts for one another.

Once all of your mementos are in there you seal that sucker up either with a lock on the box or by nailing it shut, and you’ve now created a sort of time capsule of your very own to be opened on an anniversary of your choosing. It's a great alternative to other unity ceremonies and can be a great display piece in your home as well. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Series! - Tuesday Trends - First Look

We are very excited to announce we will be starting a new series this week! Tuesday Trends will be focusing on wedding trends of all kinds. The good, the bad, the bizarre and the outdated, we’re going to cover it all one Tuesday at a time.

To kick us off we are going to talk about a trend that is not only up and coming but is rapidly gaining popularity over an old tradition. We’re talking about the first look.

The first time a groom sees his bride is such an iconic moment, it’s romanticized in movies, books TV shows and it’s what every guest claims is their favorite part of that special day. Now if you have ever been anywhere near pinterest you know there are about a million photos of these reactions…they are a HUGE deal and the pressure to get that picture perfect reaction has never been more real. More and more couples however, are choosing to forego the tradition of not seeing each other before the aisle and do what is called a “first look”.

Basically what happens is the couple will set aside some time after getting ready, but before the ceremony begins, to see each other all dolled up and to have a private moment (with a photographer present of course) to take a deep breath and just enjoy their last moments of unmarried life together. Now this, just like any other trend is giving people something to think about, and in our experience there are some serious mixed feelings about it.

On one hand people are loving the idea of having a moment to themselves before a day of meeting and greeting and kissing babies, but on the other hand some people are thinking that a first look doesn’t give enough “wow” factor for their liking. Both of these opinions are valid, and it honestly comes down to the personality of the couple. Practically speaking a first look allows more time for one on one photos with your honey-to-be and can yield some seriously romantic pics. I find that the people who are most hesitant about going this non-traditional route are not even the couples themselves, but the family and friends who feel they are losing the opportunity to be witness to “the moment”, but rest assured mom and dad, the aisle moment is still there and it’s still pretty darn cute. 

Before deciding to first look or not to first look, talk to your photographer and see what they have to say, they may have photos in their gallery that change your mind. Most importantly though, talk to each other! Nobody knows what will work for you better than you…besides maybe your wedding planner of course ;) 

Lauren + Kody Photo By Dina Remi Studios