More than likely the wedding weekend will be packed with to-do lists and last minute details, so brides and grooms may not be able to welcome all their guests as they arrive to town. If this is the case, then think about putting together welcome bags for those guests traveling in for the big day. I’ve put together a few of my hometown favorite welcome bags that will make guests feel at home.

LOCAL FLAIR

Southwestern Michigan has so many local treasures, so create a welcome bag that highlights some of the local favorites. Located in downtown St. Joe, Purely Michigan offers everything from food to handmade items from Michigan artisans. If food is your thing, then check out Jollay Orchard’s fresh fruit, Kilwins fudge, South Bend Chocolate Company’s popcorn, or olive oil from the Olive Cart. Of course, include a list of things to do and local attraction for your guests to enjoy during weekend downtime.

A BOTTLE OF WINE

Need I say more? A bottle of a local wine is a great way to welcome anyone into town. A few local favorites to try are 12 Corners Vineyards, Lazy Ballerina Winery, Dablon Winery & Vineyard, Tabor Hill Winery, and Round Barn Winery. Attach a thank you note and you have a wonderful welcome gift!

A SWEET TREAT

Keep it short and sweet and give guests a box of local chocolates or baked goods. Southbend Chocolate Factory and Kilwins are great go-to’s for a sweet treat.

BEACH BAG

One of the biggest draws to southwest Michigan is, of course, Lake Michigan. Throw together a welcome bag full of beach essentials, such as sunscreen, bottles of water, and sunglasses, even if your ceremony won’t be on the beach! The beach is a great activity for any down time during the weekend as well.

SURVIVAL KIT

It is going to be a long weekend, so make sure guests have everything they need. Water, snacks, ibuprofen, band aids, toothpicks, and granola bars come in handier than you think!

A LITTLE R&R

Pack a bag full of items for your guests to relax with. Include a “Do Not Disturb” sign to hang on their door, a candle, some bubbly, and chocolate. With such a busy weekend, everyone will appreciate a little comfort.

HONEYMOON SUITE

Create a welcome bag with specialties from the couples’ honeymoon destination. Whether it is Cape Cod potato chips and Nantucket Nectar or a couple of Florida oranges, guests will be able to feel like they are you (without actually being with you) long after the wedding weekend ends.

HIS & HER BAG

Fill a bag (or a box!) with a few of the happy couple’s favorite things. Whether they are local favorites or maybe an activity they like to do together, guests will appreciate anything that is special to the couple. Add a list of local spots the couple loves to visit as well!

Wedding welcome bags will make guests feel greeted and they are a nice thank you for sharing an unforgettable weekend. Whichever kind of welcome you choose, always be sure to include a thank you and an itinerary for the weekend’s activities.

Between the hair appointments, travel, and keeping to the timeline, mishaps can very well happen, so make sure you are prepared with these bridal suite essentials. Does anyone really want to run out to the store for hairspray? Doubtful.  One safety pin can save the day. Hopefully this handy little kit won’t be needed, but just in case it is, here are some bridal suite essentials to keep on hand throughout your big day.

WATER, WATER, WATER

It is so easy to forget to stay hydrated with all the excitement on your big day! Make sure to have plenty of water on hand throughout the day, so none of the gals (or guys!) get dehydrated. Encourage everyone to bring a water bottle with them, but have extras just in case. Small bottles are the perfect size for a quick drink.

SNACKS

Just like staying hydrated, make sure everyone has at least a little something to eat throughout the day. No one wants a sugar-low in the middle of the ceremony. Stock your suite with quick, no-mess snacks that people can grab and go.

FIRST AID KIT

Blisters are inevitable. Whether it is the shoes, dress, or a stray pin, it is always better to have Band-Aids, antiseptic, ibuprofen, tweezers, and antibiotic ointment on hand just in case.

SEWING KIT

Wardrobe malfunctions do happen and the last thing anyone wants is a stray bra strap sticking out or a pantyhose run. Keep basic sewing items on hand for when you need to make things work. Thread, needles, buttons, safety pins, clear nail polish, stain-remover, and fashion tape are essential.

HAIR ESSENTIALS

A little hairspray can fix almost anything (right?!), so put together a hair essentials kit and add bobby pins, clear hair elastics, a curling iron, and a brush. You can never have too many of these items.

EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS

Bring some of those everyday essentials that you may not think about until you are in a moment of need. Lint rollers, feminine products, baby powder, deodorant, lotion, and mints are items we really don’t give a second thought about, but are important things to always have.

PHONE CHARGERS

Phone batteries will run low early in the day, so bring a few extra chargers along for those important last-minute phone calls and must-have photo moments.

TISSUES

For, of course, those happy tears.

CATCH-ALL BAG

By the time everyone is ready, there (more than likely) won’t be much time to pick up the bridal suite and by the end of the night everyone is ready to head home (or to the after party), so pack a catch-all bag to throw everything in for a quick clean up.

LIGHT

The bridal suite is a wonderful place to take those must- have getting ready photos, so great lighting is essential.

Stock your suite with these ten bridal suite essentials and you will even find a bonus within the day- peace of mind!

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Photo Credit: Rachael Osborn Photography (bottom left)

Flowers have a remarkable history when it comes to weddings. For centuries flowers have been the root of tradition across cultures and are many times a focal point throughout the big day and for many years to come in photographs. “More brides are thinking outside the box and beginning to use flowers in nontraditional ways” said Shaya Sherwood, the bridal specialist at Crystal Springs Florist in Benton Harbor. Needless to say, flowers are a prominent and significant detail and while floral arrangements are traditional, you can make tradition your own by branching out with some wedding floral alternatives.

-Do you have a groomswoman in your party, but don’t want them to have a boutonniere like the guys or a bouquet like the girls? Try a flower necklace or sash! This wedding floral alternative will set them apart, yet keep everyone tied together. A necklace can also be a cost effective option. Typically, floral necklaces will start around $20.

-Rather than having moms or special attendants wear corsages on their wrist or shoulder, mix it up and try a ring or even something on their shoes! These special guests will still get something personal, but without the bulk of a traditional style. A ring typically begins around $10 compared to a corsage at $18- $20.

-Give your girls a little something extra and try a floral comb or crown for a pop of color. Brides, this is a great addition to yourselves as well! A hair comb is a small pop with a small cost typically starting at $10.

-Are shoes optional? Consider a floral anklet for the ladies. Instead of taking away footwear completely this wedding floral alternative will keep a little something while still being comfortable. An anklet typically begins between $18-$20, comparable to a corsage.

No matter which tradition you are carrying on, put a little personal spin on it. The more you make your big day your own, the more special it will be to you and your families.

 

*All floral arrangement costs depend on the type of flowers used. Price can vary greatly between each bloom. Cost will also vary between florist shop.

 

 

 

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Photo Credit: Allie Siarto Photography, 430 Studios, Woodnote Photography

The second most important dress you’ll ever go shopping for is the bridesmaid’s dress. My favorite saying when planning a wedding is that people make great decorations! I have worked as a wedding gown and dress specialist at David’s Bridal for a few years. Helping brides select the perfect dress was one of my more exciting experiences. I learned so much about the industry just from selling dresses alone. No amount of preparation will truly prepare you for rounding up your best girls and throwing them in and out of their comfort zones.

Here are a couple things to keep in mind before going shopping with your ‘maids:

Pick out your wedding gown first:

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HAVING YOUR WEDDING GOWN PICKED OUT BEFORE YOUR BRIDESMAID’S DRESS APPOINTMENT!

I cannot stress this enough! Reason being: You don’t want your bridesmaids over or under dressed, or worse, too similar to your wedding gown; especially after your girls have already made their purchase.

Having your wedding gown purchased gives you a HUGE advantage by providing the look and feel for your whole wedding theme. You want everyone and everything around you to compliment you and to make you stand out. Therefore, you have to know what you are working with.

Know what you want and stick to it!

Know what you want or the direction you are at least trying to go in. Don’t go in blind. The last thing you want is to put the fate of YOUR wedding party attire in someone else’s hands. Also, it can be very frustrating for your bridesmaids, who are trying so hard to help you find out what it is you want, when you don’t even know what that is.

How can you get what you want for your wedding if you don’t even know what that is?!
Stop into dress shops and pick up catalogs. Mark the pages of dresses you like to show the consultant when you are ready to shop.

Get on that Pinterest!

Use different keywords to see different looks. And always check out 1928’s Pinterest page for the latest inspiration! Make sure you pin the ones you like on a separate inspirational bridesmaid’s dress board to also show your consultant. Once you have your direction and inspiration, STICK TO YOUR GUNS! This is your wedding and no one else’s. Be willing to be flexible where it counts, but if you have a vision that you are in love with, then go for it- it’s your day!

Length and Fabric

The length and fabric type of the bridesmaids’ dresses will have a huge impact on the overall formality and feel of your wedding. Long Satin dresses are elegant and classy whereas short chiffon dresses are more relaxed and fun. When selecting your length and fabric also keep the weather in mind. For example, a long chiffon dress is great for a late spring and early fall wedding because the length helps battle the cold, while the chiffon keeps you cool when it’s warm. Don’t forget to keep your wedding gown in mind when selecting the length and fabric. I wouldn’t recommend having your girls in satin if your wedding gown is chiffon.

Color

Picking out the color for the girls’ dresses is so much fun! There are so many different combinations you can choose from. Remember, when choosing your color, there is more than just the dress to consider. For example, neon colors are bright and vibrant but can be overwhelming when the entire dress is bright pink. Try a muted dress and add your pop of color with accessories and the bouquet.

Different Dresses

I adore the latest trend of all of the girls wearing different dresses; however, if it’s not done right it can look like your bridesmaids are from different weddings. The trick is having that one element that ties them all together. My general rule of thumb is if you are having different dresses, keep the fabric the same if you are having different colors or keep the same color if you are having different fabrics. Sometimes this rule can be bent when you have a strong enough unifying factor like lace. If you do decide that you would like your girls to have different dresses, that doesn’t have to mean that you can’t go on one shopping trip! I also recommend purchasing the dresses from the same store or designer.

Body Types

We women come in many different shapes and sizes. Therefore, one dress doesn’t always look great on everyone. If your bridesmaids are bustier, then I would recommend a dress with straps. Sweetheart neckline dresses give shape to those ladies who are not as busty. Dresses that have a waistband tend to compliment all body types by giving them an hourglass figure. I would also keep the venue in mind when selecting your dresses. If your wedding is at a vineyard, I would pick a romantic, soft style, but if you plan on having a Vegas-themed wedding, then I would go with a fun cocktail style dress.

Price

Being a bridesmaid may not be as expensive as planning a wedding, but the numbers do add up quickly. Get an idea of how much your ‘maids can afford. Be sure to sit down with your bridesmaids separately and get an idea of their budget comfort zone. It is not a good idea to ask how much they are willing to spend when they are all together as a group.

Have Fun!

More times than not, bridesmaid dress shopping is the first time that all of your girls are meeting one another. Plan to go out for lunch or drinks after to celebrate finding that perfect dress for everyone.

 

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One of my favorite things to help a client create as their planner is the layout of their wedding reception. I think this piece dictates so much – the atmosphere you are creating for guests, and the way each meticulous detail planned will be displayed in. In the past, we’ve talked a lot about things to consider at your reception, but barely touch on the important undertaking of the layout!

The perk of layout building:

As overwhelming of a task as it may sound to a couple unfamiliar with the venue or what is “traditional” at a wedding, most venues can pass along a blank template of the space for you to do some sketching on – letting your imagination run wild. Or maybe you’d rather see what’s been done before in the space – and take it from the venue on what seems to work the best overall. Don’t be afraid to ask your venue for sample layouts so you can really understand all layout considerations.

This post is directed more specifically on the wedding head table – where you and your bridal party will be seated during the reception – primarily for toasts, and dinner service. Though we’ve seen a lot in our experiences at multiple venues, we thought we’d hone in on the most popular options. Take a look!

Traditional

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Photo Credit: Karrn Frost Photography (top)  |  Ben Pancoast Photography (bottom)

Of the head table options we’ll show you in the post, this is probably the one you’ll see most as you attend weddings yourself. We call this a traditional wedding head table – where you and your beau are centered, with each of your bridal party members flanked off to the left and right. Typically groomsmen will be on the right, and bridesmaids on the left (as pictured), but it’s your wedding right? Do what you want!

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A little sketch goes a long way. The bottom sketch shows a different rendition of the traditional layout, where instead of the bride and groom seated at the same style table as the bridal party, they are seated at what we call a sweetheart table – a small round table. To keep with tradition, your bridal party can still be to either side of you.

 

Double-Sided

8ft

Photo Credit: Woodnote Photography (top left)  |  Ben Pancoast Photography (bottom)

This is a perfect option if looking save space because you’ll be seated on both sides of the table. Of course, it makes for easier conversation as well, being seated closer together.

Double-sided head tables are perfect if you have a larger bridal party and don’t want a long, never-ending table, or if you’d rather not be on a “stage” so-to-speak having all eyes on you as you eat your meal. Don’t be embarrassed if you enjoy that kind of thing!

 

King Arthur

 

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Photo Credit: Ben Pancoast Photography (bottom left) | Luna Dulce Photography (middle left)  |  Alison Glovak (right)

This is probably what we see most of at receptions. Set as two-8ft tables pushed together to create the illusion of an ‘almost’ square table.  Another great option if you have a larger bridal party, because you are utilizing all four sides of the table.

Having family-style dinner service? This type of table leaves tons of space for platters and bowls to be set.

A typical king arthur table will seat 12 people. Need to seat 20? Keep adding 8fts together to create the custom size you need. The photo shown above, on the right, sat 30 people (they chose to seat the bridal party with their significant others at the head table).

 

Sweetheart Table

SH Table

Photo Credit: Matt Pratt Photography (top left) | Luna Dulce Photography (top right) | Carolyn Lloyd Photography (bottom left)

Named so perfectly – a table for just you and your sweetie. Perhaps you’d like to have your bridal party sit with whomever they’d like and instead just need a small table for two. We usually see this size table as a 48” round, but ask your venue what size round table they can offer you.

 

Looking for more assistance building your reception layout? Reach out to us – we’re here to help!

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Your Bed, Bath & Beyond consultant will tell you that everyone should register for a stand mixer. Your mother will tell you to register for a quality dishes that don’t resemble her expensive China set – collecting dust.  Choosing items for your wedding registry should be exciting! When else is someone going to drop the big bucks on a blender for you? Knowing what to register for can also be overwhelming. We have been talking here in the 1928 office about items we regretted registering for as well as things we wish we had thought of. So we put out some feelers and took a poll on items couples wish they had registered for. And here is what we found.

Quality towels and sheets

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Wesport 900 thread count sheets via Macy’s; Sage Turkish Towel Collection via Restoration Hardware; Nomad Sheet Set via Anthropologie

Register for the more expensive brands, and order more than you need. Newlyweds Kristen and Brandon ended up with more towels than they registered for and took some back because they didn’t know where to store them all. Now, 11 years into their marriage they wish they had kept all of those towels for the ones that were lost or torn. Sheets with a 200 thread count may feel fine, but after being used and washed several times, they will likely fall apart. Select sheet sets for your wedding registry with long fibers and close to 800 thread count. (For more info on buying sheets, check out this article by Huffington Post on the truth about sheets.)

Tools

 

Insert cute picture of a drill here. 

 

You don’t have to know how to use a drill in order to need a drill. Household tools are often overlooked for a wedding registry because people assume they will acquire  them over time. Husband and wife, Chris and Maddy say they wish they registered for a cordless drill. “We didn’t know how much we would need tools until we bought a house,” said Maddy. Consider registering for a basic drill and toolkit to keep around the house. These can be pricey items, but stand out on a registry full of kitchen and bathroom goods. Your guests are more likely to notice them.

Art and decor for your home

artforyourhome

 Pottery Bowls via Esty; Colorful Table Lamps via Etsy; Candelabra via Etsy; Henri Matisse Painting via MoMA Store

This is something I wish I would have taken advantage of when I registered for our wedding. My husband and I bought a house after we got married, and I had very little decor to fill a whole house with. Websites like Etsy and MoMA Store  are a great starting point for vintage, handmade and fine art registries. With these, you are only a few clicks away from registering for art for your home. Art and decor is something couples often don’t want to spend the money on, but don’t think to ask it from others either. Consider registering for new throw pillows on Etsy or that Matisse print you’ve been wanting on the Museum of Modern Art.

For more helpful hints on building your wedding registry, head over to Danielle’s post and get the scoop on more wedding registry alternatives. Get creative with your registry and as always, share your ideas with us!

Happy registering!

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BEACH INFO

Beach weddings in Michigan are becoming splendid ceremony alternatives for Midwesterners. Here at 1928, we are well-seasoned in beach ceremonies. That is why we have created this guide of our favorite beach and pavilion ceremony locations here in Southwest Michigan. We know a lot of our couples are from out of town and want to have a unique wedding along the shores of Lake Michigan, but they don’t always know what to consider when they look.

Oftentimes couples forget they need feasible access for their elderly guests, or they forget about a sound system … or the undeniable parking situation. We have started a list to help you start thinking about the best options in the area. We also offer ceremony planning services, where we attend your rehearsal to prompt cues, provide you with white padded chairs, decorate and tear down your ceremony site for you and be the point on contact at the beach for you, your guests, and your vendors.

Weko Beach Park – Bridgman, MI

Why we love it: While it is a little bit of a drive, this is one of our favorite gems. Weko Beach is right off of Red Arrow Highway in Bridgman and it has plenty of parking. The beach is extremely large and seldom crowded for that reason.

Distance from Saint Joseph: 13 miles, 20 minutes

Cost to rent: There is no pavilion; beach access is free to the public – so you would need to arrive early to stake your claim

Cost to park: $7 per vehicle for a daily pass

Public Restroom: Yes

Electricity: No

Shadowland Pavilion – St. Joseph, MI

shadowland pavilion copyPhoto Credit: Matt Pratt Photography

Why we love it: While the pavilion is not directly on the beach, it overlooks the St. Joseph river and is at the entry point of the St. Joseph Lighthouse. There is a beautiful walkway with sculptures along the river for guests to explore along with the lighthouse. We also love this location because it is under shelter and you don’t necessarily need a Plan B should it rain. There is also an option to put chairs in the grass for unlimited seating.

Distance from Saint Joseph: It’s in the heart of it all!

Cost to rent: $400 for non-residents on weekends

How many does it seat: 200 under the pavilion

Cost to park: $8 per vehicle for a daily pass (non-residents)

Public Restroom: Yes

Electricity: Yes

Tiscornia Beach – St. Joseph, MI

tiscornia copyPhoto Credit: Jordanne and Ryan Photography (top) | Woodnote Photography (bottom)

Why we love it: Tiscornia is our favorite (and free!) beach ceremony site in St. Joe. It runs along the north side of the St. Joseph Lighthouse and makes for awesome ceremony photos. We also love it because although a public beach, it is typically less crowded than Lions Park and Silver Beach. The only downside of Tiscornia is that the parking lot isn’t massive. We recommend using a shuttle service for a ceremony here.

Distance from Saint Joseph: North side of St. Joe

Cost to rent: Free

Cost to park: $5 per vehicle for a daily pass

Public Restroom: Yes

Electricity: No

Jean Klock Park and Jean Klock Park Pavilion – Benton Harbor, MI

jeanklock copyPhoto Credit: Ben Pancoast Photography

 

Why we love it: Getting to Jean Klock is a beautiful drive over the St. Joseph river and up a large sand dune. There is a ton of parking and the pavilion offers an option to have your ceremony under a shelter. To have your ceremony on the beach, it is free. The fee for the pavilion below.

Distance from Saint Joseph: 1.5 miles, 5 minutes

Cost to rent: $600 for 4-hours, $1200 for 8-hours, $1500 for full day (for non-residents)

Cost to park: $8 per vehicle for a daily pass (for non-residents)

Public Restroom: Yes

Electricity: Yes (at pavilion only)

 

 

A couple of things to always remember and when considering a beach wedding ceremony:

Don’t assume your DJ will/can go to the beach. Because there is no electricity at most beaches, DJ’s will need to bring in a battery-powered sound system. Be sure to have this be a question you are asking possible DJ vendors. We have also done our fair share of weddings without sound systems – just keep in mind that when it is windy, not everyone will be able to hear your officiant without a mic!

We hope this helps narrow down your Michigan beach wedding site search! There is nothing like dipping your toes in the sand and saying your “I dos” on Lake Michigan. Contact us today to see if we are available to help plan your beach wedding ceremony! Check out our service page here for more info on what we offer!

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We all love catching up on wedding trends for the upcoming year – it’s something we look forward to and gets us excited to think about what our clients might debut for the weddings ahead! It’s that time again – welcome to our post on 2015 wedding trends! Some are new and fun, while others are trends that have been around and just aren’t saying sayonara anytime soon.

In 2013, the #1 word engaged couples used to identify their wedding was FUN! In 2015 they are using the phrase “down to earth ambiance”… seen in their florals, food, color schemes, and guest experience.

Florals

What’s In:

Organic looking tablescapes with free-spirited arrangements are trending for 2015. The move is towards a wild-garden look with more than one color or type of flower.

Utilizing non-floral items – such such as berries, fruit, acorns, etc. We witnessed centerpieces in the fall of 2014 filled with accents of artichokes and pomegranates.

Imperfections are welcomed.

Fresh pickings from a farmer’s market or local grower. It’s not only budget-savvy, but it also lends itself to the trend.

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Photo Credit: 430 Studios (left) | Ben Pancoast Photography (right)

Food

What’s In:

Food pairings with beer or wine. Local wine or craft beer complimented with delicious bites – what could be better than this 2015 wedding trend?

Family-style dining. The guests feel comfortable and at home, passing delicious food around the table. Guest interaction is a big goal for today’s couples and nothing gets a conversation started quite like this style of service. Family style is acceptable for casual and more formal receptions.

Locally sourced and seasonal food.

Late night snack attack. Give the guests an extra element of surprise near the end of the evening with another round of food. The late night snack tends to make it’s debut around 9:30p at receptions. This time of night you’ll be craving snacks and comfort food. Treat guests to a build-your-own coney bar, sliders and fries, pizza, and quesadillas. You’ll want something that can be versatile enough for all of your guests to enjoy.

Fondant wedding cake vs. buttercream wedding cake. The trend is headed away from the fondant extravaganza and instead showing off a more textured cake using buttercream. Your possibilities are endless with buttercream. We’ve seen tiered cakes that offer a different, but complementary, design on each layer. Of course we can’t forget about the ‘naked cake’ that has been trending too!

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Photo Credit: Jordanne + Ryan Photography (bottom left) | 430 Studios (right and upper left)

Color Schemes

What’s In:

Bold colors and non-traditional color combos. Pastels and neutrals aren’t necessarily done for, but the use of a bold or unexpected accent color is something we will see quite a bit as a 2015 wedding trend. We are sure Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year: Marsala will make its mark, especially in the fall of 2015. Below are the Top 10 Wedding Color Combos for 2015 courtesy Stylish Wedding Ideas.

stylish wedding trends

The Experience

What’s In:

With the average wedding sized around 140 guests (smaller than past years), couples are wanting to create an experience from beginning to end.

Build up the excitement long before the big day with a wedding website or some fun and unique wedding invitations. Since invitations are the first impression for your wedding, make it count with something unexpected that will grab attention and add a wow-factor. The goal is to build the anticipation long before the actual big day.

Give thank you’s as they exit rather than just a favor at a place setting for them to grab. We think this is a great trend for 2015. We’ve seen too many favors get left behind at the dinner tables! If you’re wanting to give guests a takeaway and have the room in your budget, make sure they aren’t left behind!

Offer transportation to accommodate your out of town guests. Buses or trolleys are popular to shuttle guests to and from hotels, allowing them to just enjoy the evening and leave their GPS back at home. 

This is a biggie: keep in mind guest comfort. Recently we wrote a blog on Creating Your Signature Wedding. One of the best things you can do while planning is to think about the experiences and comfort of your guests. Consider all angles: hot or cold weather, hungry or thirsty guests, how to manage a kid-friendly reception and thinking about the flow of your wedding timeline. 

 

For more on what’s trending – contact us!

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Giving tribute to loved ones on your wedding day is filled with such meaning because chances are, those in spirit made an impact on your life. Coming up with creative ways to remember and honor them on the wedding day is what this blog is all about! It’s okay to keep it as simple and subtle or as bold of a statement as you’d like. Check out some of our ideas below to get you started thinking!

Incorporate their memory into accessories

We’ve seen brides get creative on how they display sentimental items as a wedding day accessory! Pin small photos to your bouquet or shoes, wear their jewelry as your “something old” or add other jewelry, hair pins, or special pieces to your dress that remind you of a loved one and make their memory physically present for the big day.

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Photo Credit: 430 Studios (top left) | Ben Pancoast Photography

Memory and photo table

A popular take on commemorating those not present on your wedding day is a memory table, complete with photos of late loved ones on display and a lit candle. This table often becomes a talking piece amongst guests as they arrive and will not be overlooked.

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Photo Credit: Dave Tree Photography

Give a tribute during the ceremony

Dedicating a portion of the wedding ceremony to those not present is something that can be done in a number of ways.

Start off the ceremony with a moment of silence, recognizing those that are not present.

Add a tribute section found inside the ceremony program.

Save them a seat at the ceremony marked with a loose flower or photo.

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Photo Credit: Katherine Martin

Play their favorite song

This can be done during the ceremony, reception or both! We have also had the song selections for the traditional father/daughter and mother/son dances be a tribute to a parent that has passed.

Use a family recipe

Most caterers will be flexible and make something not on their standard menu. Provide the caterer with a famous family recipe that will remind guests of a loved one whose passed. It’ll be the focal point of your menu.

Make a donation

Choose to donate to a charity close to a late loved ones heart in lieu of favors.

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Photo Credit: The Knot 

For more ideas on how to honor loved ones on the wedding day and so much more, contact us!

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Having a DIY wedding vs. hiring a wedding professional … probably one of the most ongoing thoughts and debates in a couple’s mind throughout planning.

Even as planners, sure, we think there is nothing wrong with doing a little bit of DIY for your wedding. After all, you want the day to speak of all things YOU and who you are as a couple. And what’s a better way to do so than utilizing your own skills, right?

Well, sort of.

Most couples we meet want their wedding day – and of course the months leading up to it – to be stress-free, enjoyable and go without a hitch. Our piece of advice when making the ultimate decision on having a DIY wedding vs. hiring a wedding professional, is asking yourself a few questions:

Will going DIY result in the overall guest experience as a good one or a bad one?

For this particular task, why do I think doing it myself is the way to go? Does your answer seem reasonable?

Money aside, how could we benefit from hiring a wedding professional for this task?

And last but certainly not least, just remember…

Nothing trumps your sanity!

Hiring a trusted wedding professional: DJ, photographer, videographer, baker, florist, alcohol supplier, lighting vendor, etc. will bring you peace of mind. They have most likely been in the industry for years, if not decades. They know what is trending, what works and doesn’t work, and they can offer experienced advice on how to make your wedding exactly as you hope it to be.

DIY can mean anything from making your own guest takeaway favors, desserts, and centerpieces to hiring your cousin to DJ and uncle to act as videographer during the wedding ceremony. As planners, we suggest leaving the big items to the pros and you can express your DIY side on the smaller, less stressful and time-consuming elements of the wedding. You’ll keep your cool and not have the pressure that you may otherwise have if you put too much on your plate during planning and the day of the wedding.

Example: grab your bridesmaids for a night of prepping wedding guest favors or recruit the bakers in your family to make bite-sized desserts to accompany the wedding cake you hire from a professional.

Organize your wedding budget so you can confirm what you’re able or wanting to spend in each vendor category. Check out our helpful post showing a budget breakdown if you’re just getting started.

Of course, contact us with questions, or if you’d like our company to be someone you hire for the big day!

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