December 3rd, 2013
It goes without saying, there’s lots of planning that goes into a wedding. You’ve got to go over the guest list. There’s the food…oh, the food. The right menu is very important. Food always plays a huge role in a wedding reception.
Of course, after everyone eats dinner, it’s time to boogie. People want to hit the dance floor and, in many instances, embarrass themselves with terrible dance moves.
Yup, music is kind of a big deal when it comes to a wedding reception. The first (and most important) question when it comes to wedding music is: Band or DJ? This can be a polarizing question. People on both sides of this musical divide can make compelling arguments for their choice. So what’s the answer?
The easiest answer may be money. A DJ may come cheaper than a band. Just do the math. A DJ is, in essence, a one-man band. A DJ can also act as an emcee and also has the ability to play music from all types of musical genres. That means a DJ can play music for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing.
A DJ is also playing the original version of your requested songs, so you know what those songs will sound like you expect them to sound.
This isn’t to say going with a live band may not be the right choice. If you’re planning a wedding and have a bigger budget, doing it live may be music to your ears. A live band certainly does have its advantages. Those actual, working musicians can add personality and atmosphere to a post-nuptial shindig. A band can offer a unique and groovy musical interpretation to a familiar song. Plus, some people will tell you there’s nothing like a live band for that human connection.
So is there a right answer?
November 25th, 2013
Holiday Party Planning
It is Thanksgiving week and turkey, travel and shopping sales are on the minds of many people.
It’s also the time of year to start thinking about holiday parties and gatherings. If you are planning, or are involved in the planning of a holiday party, we’ve got some tips from experts that will lower stress and make for a fun gathering:
• Plan ahead. If you are renting a venue, book that venue as early as you can. It’s the busy time of year and those dates full up fast.
• Make your invitation list. Remember, not everyone you invite will be able to attend so the earlier you can determine a guest count, the better.
• Send those invitations. Time’s a wasting. Mail, e-mail (especially for a quick response) and phone invitations are all acceptable.
• Consider Monday and Tuesday. If venues are already booked for Fridays and Saturdays, consider holding the gathering on a Monday or Tuesday. You may also be able to get a lower price by holding your event on an “off-day”.
• Plan your menu/Ask about the menu. It’s all about the food. We know we are all going to eat too much during the holiday season and then make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Good food is a huge party of a holiday party. If you are in charge of preparing food, start thinking about your menu now. It’s easy to find great recipes and menu ideas. Once you know what needs to be made, determine how much needs to made in advance and plan a shopping list accordingly. If you are having an event venue handle the menu, determine if there are any specific food items you want.
• Enjoy the Music. If you want to play holiday tunes, start thinking about your playlist. Check with your event venue about music options.
• Stock your bar. Make a checklist for beverage needs. Check with your event hall about bar options. They might have seasonal cocktail specials. Don’t forget to add seasonal options like egg nog and hot apple cider.
• Plan your decorations. An event venue may be able to help with putting together a holiday look.
Remember, above all, have fun and be safe. ‘Tis the season to be jolly.
November 18th, 2013
Next week is Thanksgiving. It’s America’s favorite eating holiday. It’s also a big day for people who have to prepare a Thanksgiving meal. And there is plenty to do leading up to that big day. Coupon clipping has already begun and food shopping will likely start in earnest this week and stretch right into next week.
Then there’s the food prep. For many people, those preps will start Wednesday and will have many home cooks up at the crack of dawn (or before) on Thursday morning. Hey, those turkeys aren’t going to brine themselves (I don’t think).
There are other (delicious) ways to celebrate the holiday. If you and your family feel like leaving the cooking and cleaning to someone else, let us suggest spending your Thanksgiving with the folks at Seasons at Oak Lane. You and your family can still enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.
Seasons at Oak Lane will present a Thanksgiving buffet for you and your family to enjoy. The menu will feature a carving station serving sliced turkey and roast beef. There will also be maple pecan salmon and pumpkin ravioli in a sage brown butter sauce. There will also be a mashed potato bar, featuring regular and sweet mashed potatoes along with toppings like cheddar cheese, bacon and sour cream. There will be cranberry cornbread stuffing. Other sides include green beans amandine, cranberry-apple chutney, two types of salad and rolls and butter. For dessert there will be pumpkin pie and apple crisp with ice cream. Wine and drink specials will also be offered.
The price is $29.95 per person. Children between ages 6-11 eat at half-price. Children 5 and under eat free. Contact Seasons at Oak Lane to make your reservation today and enjoy a cooking-free Thanksgiving holiday. And leave the dishes to someone else.
November 11th, 2013
Probably one of the biggest decisions facing a bride-to-be is what to do about the bridesmaids? Who gets invited to be part of the bridal party? Who gets left out? It can be a dicey situation and a social juggling act for a bride who probably already has a lot on her mind. Problem is, you can’t include everyone…can you?
One bride is Sri Lanka says, “Yes you can!” She had 126 bridesmaids at her wedding earlier this month.
If you are wondering if someone keeps a record of this sort of thing, the answer is yes. The folks at the Guinness Book of World Records have determined that 126 bridesmaids at a single wedding is a world record. The previous record took place at a wedding in Thailand, where a mere 96 bridesmaids were in attendance.
The bridesmaids at this month’s wedding in Sri Lanka all wore long purple dresses with white flowers.
The bride’s sister-in-law came up with the record-breaking idea. The sister-in-law also happens to be one of Sri Lanka’s top wedding planners and dress designers, so it was probably a bit of a business decision as well.
In terms of the celebration at the altar, it might have been a little heavy on the bride’s side but the groom was still well-represented. The groom had 25 groomsmen. There were also 20 page boys and 23 flower girls.
It goes without saying that if you plan to have a bridal party in the triple digits, make sure you have a bridal suite that will fit your needs. A good bridal suite should be a place of calmness where the bride-to-be can get ready for the ceremony. A comfortable suite will make things easier and less hectic on the day of the ceremony. Unless you are looking to break a world record.
November 5th, 2013
Who gets married on a Tuesday? Tuesday night is for checking to see if there is anything good on TV and making sure there is enough laundry for the rest of the work week.
So why will churches and wedding reception halls be busier on the second Tuesday night in November? Why are an estimated 2,265 couples set to tie the knot that night?
Check the calendar.
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 is the last sequential day of this year. And it seems a lot of people think the date 11/12/13 is a lucky day to exchange vows.
One wedding dress retailer surveyed about 500 brides and found an increase of 722% in marriages on the second Tuesday in November as opposed to last year.
The folks at David’s Bridal say this trend has been on the upswing in recent years. The date 7/7/07 saw David’s Bridal work on roughly 66,000 weddings.
Of course, some couples chose the date for reasons beyond the numeric rarity. One bride-to-be says one of the reasons she and her future husband chose 11/12/13 is because it falls on the day after Veterans Day. They both serve in the military.
We’ve seen this before, and not just with weddings. Let’s go back to June of 2006. There were many expectant couples hoping their bundle of joy would choose a date other than 6/6/06 to arrive.
Call it superstition. Or maybe some people just love numbers. One numerologist says there are people who see dates as magical and are excited at the idea of planning one of the biggest events of their lives around such a unique date.
Given this information, you can bet next December will be a busy time for weddings. That’s when we will see the last sequential date of this century. Oh and 12/13/14 does not fall on a weeknight. It’s a Saturday, already the busiest day for weddings.
So if a wedding is in your future and you are considering that date, it might not be too early to look for a great wedding reception facility. Places may book up fast.
October 28th, 2013
The weather outside will soon be frightful. But that doesn’t mean your winter wedding can’t be delightful. In fact, winter weddings can be a great time to get married, especially if you are trying to save a little money.
More on the money-saving part in a bit. First, let’s take a look at ideas and themes centered on winter weddings.
If you are getting married during the holiday season, use that to your advantage. Incorporate holiday decorations into your ceremony or reception. It could be something as simple as holiday-themed napkins or hot cider and egg nog at the reception. Small ornaments could be used as part of your color scheme.
Before you print those wedding invitations, consider a winter motif for the graphics on the invitation. We’re thinking something like snowflakes or a Christmas tree (depending on the date). The same idea can also apply to your wedding ceremony program. Poinsettias can add great seasonal color to gift and escort card tables.
Hot cocoa mix (the fancier kind, not the box of stuff in the cereal aisle) would be a great addition to a gift bag or welcome bag for guests.
Every bride has a bouquet. A winter wedding gives a bride the chance to use seasonal fillers in the bouquet. Add pine cones and berries to fill out your arrangement.
Oh rats, it’s snowing outside. No wait, it’s snowing outside! If Mother Nature brings snow, use it your wedding day advantage. Find a spot to take some seasonal outdoor pictures. Just bring a coat. You may need it between pictures.
If it’s the holiday season, take advantage of your wedding venue. Take a picture in front of a Christmas tree or a season wreath.
Another great thing about winter weddings is that they are often considered to be “off-season” weddings. This is a great time to take advantage of off-season wedding discounts.
October 25th, 2013
Looks like there could be lots of celebrity weddings in 2014. That’s because the fall of 2013 is seeing plenty of celebrity engagements.
The latest celebrity couple that’s decided to tie the knot is Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Earlier this week, Kanye reportedly flashed the message, “PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE!” on the big screen at AT&T Park in San Francisco (notice he did not phrase his message in the form of a question). They had rented out the baseball park to celebrity Kim’s 33rd birthday.
The couple is already tackling parenthood. In June, they welcomed a baby girl named North (keep in mind the last name of the child when thinking about that first name).
Kim is now sporting a 15-carat diamond engagement ring that is roughly the size of Rhode Island. This will be Kardashian’s third marriage. Her second marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries lasted all of 72 days.
Earlier this month, Lauren Conrad let it be known that she is engaged. The former star of The Hills and Laguna Beach also shared pictures of her engagement ring, which reportedly retails for about $30,000. Hill and fiancé William Tell have been living together since May of last year.
Actress Ginnifer Goodwin also got engaged this month. She is set to tie the knot with her “Once Upon a Time” co-star Josh Dallas.
And then there is the engagement of Hayden Panettiere. The diminutive actress announced earlier this month that she is engaged to her boyfriend, heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko. This will be an interesting scene when the two exchange vows at the altar. The “Nashville” actress stands 5’2. The champ is 6’6. It’s entirely possible that if Klitschko got down on one knee to propose, he was looking her in the eye when he popped the question.
October 18th, 2013
October can be a busy time on your social calendar. It’s still fall wedding season. And some people will be throwing Halloween parties. How about a Halloween-themed wedding?
If you love Halloween and plan on getting married someday, the idea of a Halloween wedding might be intriguing, in a creepy, frightening and ghoulish sort of way.
You can go in a lot of different directions with a Halloween-themed wedding. You’ll just need time, imagination…and money. You’re going to need money.
Let’s start with location. Maybe check with a local seasonal haunted house. Of if you want to think a little bigger, consider heading to Estes Park, Colorado and holding your wedding at the Stanley Hotel. This is the hotel from the classic 1980 horror movie “The Shining”. It features a huge ballroom with wooden decor and a large picture window with a great shot of the nearby mountains (great on a night with a full moon). Did we mention the hotel has a “haunted history”?
If you want to stay in New England but still want a “haunting” wedding experience, consider the Belcourt Castle in Newport, Rhode Island. The Castle has a library with secret passages and a history of haunted antiques.
Beyond the location, there are many other ways to give your wedding a Halloween theme. You can pick a more traditional location and still exchange your vows with frightening feel. Have the bridesmaids wear black dresses and go with darker makeup. Add black and orange scarves.
Don’t stop at the scarves. Use the colors black and orange as the colors of choice for the wedding reception tables and placement settings.
Use the seasonal flavors of the Halloween season. Serve pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie. Why not put pumpkins at every table, instead of flowers?
Those are just a few ideas. You can get creative with your on spooky take on a truly “scary” wedding.
October 8th, 2013
We’ve been hearing stories about how the government shutdown has been impacting wedding plans for couples who were planning to be married at national parks. Some couples have been able to make plans elsewhere and still exchange vows. Stephen Colbert even stepped in and officiated the wedding of one lucky couple on The Colbert Report.
However, if you find yourself suddenly in need of a new place to get married, don’t wait around for a call from a late-night TV show host. There are things you can do to make changes go smoother if you need to make a last-minute wedding venue switch.
Have a backup plan in place. This can be done months before your wedding. Choose some locations that could serve as a spot to exchange vows if something unexpected happens at your choice of venue. Check out local parks and beaches. Consider your own home, if you have the room. If you feel comfortable, ask a close friend or family member about using their home as a possible last-minute backup.
You can always check with restaurants and wedding/banquet facilities in your area. Explain the situation. See if they have any options.
Any changes may free up some money in your wedding budget. Consider reaching out to a wedding planner. Wedding planners can help you come up with a new game plan. A wedding planner may also be able to help you find a spot or suggest a location you had not considered.
Check in with the people handling deliveries and entertainment. Depending on your wedding, this could include a caterer, bartenders, bands, DJs and clergy members. Also make sure your wedding photographer can work with a new location. These are all areas where a wedding planner can also lend a helping hand.
Let your guests know what is happening. They may need to make changes to what they bring and pack, especially if they are coming in from out of town.
Chances are your wedding will take place at your chosen location. Heck, if the government gets back to work, maybe you can hold your wedding ceremony at a national park. Still, it’s a good idea to be prepared so that your special day can still be special.
October 3rd, 2013
The government shutdown is having a huge impact on many Americans. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been furloughed, left to wonder when they’ll get their next paychecks. Many government offices are closed. Federally-funded museums like the Smithsonian and the National Zoo are closed. Loan applications for small businesses, college tuition, and mortgages are being impacted. Heck, even plant-eating goats are affected.
Here’s another institution being hurt by the shutdown: Marriage…at least for couples planning to wed at national parks. The parks are closed because of the shutdown. That’s bad news for two dozen couples set to get married on the National Mall in Washington D.C. this month. 24 weddings are scheduled to be held at the Mall throughout October, in spots like the Jefferson Memorial and the D.C. War Memorial.
Nine ceremonies are scheduled for this week alone. One couple (both of whom ironically have worked on Capitol Hill) is set to be married on the Mall on Saturday. They say their guests have already started to arrive from around the country. The couple is now scrambling for a backup location. They’ve narrowed it down to a restaurant on Capitol Hill or the backyard of their apartment building.
It’s not just the National Mall. Weddings scheduled to be held at hotels in California’s Yosemite National Park are set to move to hotels a few miles away.
One bride and groom from New Jersey learned they would not be able to get married at the Grand Canyon just three days before they were set to leave for Arizona. The couple was not only planning to get married at the Canyon, they were set to honeymoon in the park as well.
National Park officials are sympathetic but say there is nothing they can do. No weddings can be held on the grounds until the national parks reopen.