Wedding Gowns Fit For An Outdoor Venue

This week's blog post will feature 4 wedding gowns that would fit well with an outdoor venue.  While all of these dresses are completely different, they all have one thing in common- their beauty!  So before you buy a gown (We know, we know, it's the fun part!) be sure to check these out!

 

 Photo: David's Bridal

Photo: David's Bridal

Who said a wedding gown had to break the bank?  With this amazing dress made by Galina, sold by David's Bridal, your budget can stay right on track!  The bodice features butterfly appliques with a low back.  The skirt is made of tulle and ends with a sweep train.  The gown would make the perfect dress for a bride to get married in at an outdoor event.

 

 Photo: Justin Alexander

Photo: Justin Alexander

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this chantilly lace!  This chantilly lace will be totally gorgeous for somebody's rustic wedding!  The fit and flare will accent your body in all the right places.  Justin Alexander outdid himself this time, and this gown is begging to be twirled around on the dance floor at your rustic affair.

 

 Photo: Casablanca Bridal

Photo: Casablanca Bridal

Ladies, this sweet dress is called The Hydrangea, by Casablanca Bridal.  You will look stunning in this gown next to your spouse!  The bodice is made of beaded lace, framed by a sweetheart neckline.  Multiply layers of tulle give the skirt a soft and feminine feel, while the matching belt ties the look up.  I could imagine you taking pictures in front of the pond in this gown, or have a backdrop of trees with the changing leaves.

 

 Photo: Essense Designs

Photo: Essense Designs

Looking to make a statement?  This chic dress from Essense of Australia is just for you.  It features a V-Neckline, lace sleeves, sparkling, and beading.  The lace runs down the whole dress and into the train.  Pair this with a tiara and statement earrings for a night you will never forget!

Fall Flowers

With each changing season, different flowers begin to bloom and others fade away.  While you can always buy the flowers that you want no matter the season, the price will vary.  In-season flowers are cheaper than out-of-season blooms.  Since Fall is approaching, this week's post will feature flowers fitting for a Fall wedding.

To start off with, fillers such as Ferns, Queen Anne's Lace, Hypericum and Gyspsophilia will be in season.  While Gyspsophilia (Baby's Breath) is commonly used as a filler itself.  It can be common in Rustic or Boho themed weddings, and it is economical as well.

Popular Fall colors for bouquets can range from yellow, orange, red to purple.

 

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A sunflower bouquet is a big hit.  A few stems of this fun and carefree flower can make a large impact.

 

 Photo Courtesy of Teleflora.

Photo Courtesy of Teleflora.

A stunning bouquet of white roses, red roses, purple chrysanthemums, and purple alstroemeria can be created like this arrangement from Teleflora.com

 

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As we can see in Bride Lexie's photo, she has incorporated yellow gerbera daisies, red and white roses, and red chrysanthemums. 

Novel table arrangements can be made.  Brides have used potted mums, bowls of small apples, pumpkins and acorns to adorn their tables, keeping with the season of Fall.

What Do I Ask The Caterer?

 Photo Courtesy of RawPixel.com

Photo Courtesy of RawPixel.com

When considering a caterer, there are many things that you need to ask them.  These questions revolve around the safety of you and your guests, menu options, what they offer, and if they will be compatible to your needs.

1.  Do you have a license or permit to operate?-  The caterer should have a permit or license with the health department.  If you intend on them serving alcohol, they should have a liquor license.

2.  Do you have liability insurance?-  This will help to reduce how much you're liable in the event that something goes wrong with food or alcohol.

3.  Are you catering any other events the same day as mine?-  While you may not be the only event that the caterer works that day, you will want to be sure that you're getting what you need on your wedding day.

4.  What do you specialize in?-  This question will help you determine if the caterer provides the food that you want.  If you're looking for BBQ and the caterer specializes in Italian, you may not want to use this caterer.

5.  What's your price range?-  Asking the price in advance gives you a good idea whether you can afford this caterer according to your budget.

6.  Can you make children's meals?  If so, what do they typically run?-  Kids often do not want to eat adult meals.  Providing something simple like chicken nuggets helps make the night run smoother for parents.

7.  Will you provide plates, napkins, drink-ware and silver-ware?-  If a caterer does not offer these things then you will need to find another way to provide them.

8.  How will the guests be served?-  Some couples have a preference how their guests will be served.  Plated, Buffet, and Family Style are the most common choices.

When considering a caterer, these are some beneficial questions for you to ask.  They will help you to figure out if your goals align with their business, and whether you should hire them.

When It's Time For The Wedding Rehearsal

 For all of you ladies who are getting excited or overly nervous, relax.  A wedding rehearsal is your opportunity (and your wedding party's) to practice your ceremony.  The rehearsal is normally held a day or two before the wedding, but can also be done more than that if you're schedule is tough.  Having a good coordinator really helps a rehearsal to go fast and smooth.  The coordinator will set everyone in their appropriate places, and generally make life easier.  By your coordinator organizing everyone at the rehearsal, he or she is setting you up for an evening of fun.  At this point, you will figure out who walks together, and in what order.  If possible, avoid putting exes together to walk down the aisle.  It will make life better for everyone.  When you discuss how the wedding party makes an entrance, take your religious affiliation into account.  There are a few different ways of entering depending on your religion.  Be sure to ask your officiant before the rehearsal, or if you're lucky, the officiant will attend the rehearsal.  As a side note, it would be a kind gesture to ask Dad or Stepdad to walk you down the aisle.  Please don't assume that he will.  By asking, you will really make him feel good!  If you're having any readers, please have them prepared beforehand.  Make sure they have the piece that they are reading before the rehearsal, so they can practice.  Either give the coordinator a copy of the reading(s) or bring them with you on your wedding day, in the event that the reader forgets their's at home.  You will need to decide if you are going to have a receiving line, or you will greet your guests at their tables.  If you will have a receiving line, know where your line is going to be and where you will have to stand.  Otherwise, make sure to visit each table and thank your guests for coming.  Last is the rehearsal dinner.  Make sure to be safe, and get plenty of rest before the wedding.  Enjoy!   

For all of you ladies who are getting excited or overly nervous, relax.  A wedding rehearsal is your opportunity (and your wedding party's) to practice your ceremony.  The rehearsal is normally held a day or two before the wedding, but can also be done more than that if you're schedule is tough.

Having a good coordinator really helps a rehearsal to go fast and smooth.  The coordinator will set everyone in their appropriate places, and generally make life easier.  By your coordinator organizing everyone at the rehearsal, he or she is setting you up for an evening of fun.

At this point, you will figure out who walks together, and in what order.  If possible, avoid putting exes together to walk down the aisle.  It will make life better for everyone.  When you discuss how the wedding party makes an entrance, take your religious affiliation into account.  There are a few different ways of entering depending on your religion.  Be sure to ask your officiant before the rehearsal, or if you're lucky, the officiant will attend the rehearsal.

As a side note, it would be a kind gesture to ask Dad or Stepdad to walk you down the aisle.  Please don't assume that he will.  By asking, you will really make him feel good!

If you're having any readers, please have them prepared beforehand.  Make sure they have the piece that they are reading before the rehearsal, so they can practice.  Either give the coordinator a copy of the reading(s) or bring them with you on your wedding day, in the event that the reader forgets their's at home.

You will need to decide if you are going to have a receiving line, or you will greet your guests at their tables.  If you will have a receiving line, know where your line is going to be and where you will have to stand.  Otherwise, make sure to visit each table and thank your guests for coming.

Last is the rehearsal dinner.  Make sure to be safe, and get plenty of rest before the wedding.  Enjoy!

 

How to Entertain Guests

Many couples are always thinking of ways to entertain their guests at the wedding.  We are bringing you several ways to do this!

One of the first and foremost ideas is to provide music and dancing.  Most couples opt for a DJ.  However, there are other choices such as a string quartet for a more formal wedding, or a country band for a casual or rustic themed wedding.  Some couples who have strong cultural roots opt to go with cultural entertainment.

Providing games is another way of entertaining your guests.  Cornhole Toss is a popular option at outdoor weddings, as is croquet.  Some other games that can be done is a wedding madlibs and an "I Spy" with cell phones.

More couples are opting for stations.  Stations can be waffle bars, taco bars, an ice cream stand, mimosa station, or candy buffet.

Some brave Brides and Grooms have opted to entertain the crowd themselves.  These ideas can range from musical performances, dancing performances, or even acrobatic displays.  How about putting a twist on tradition?  One groom that we know of hung a net with items under a chair before the wedding.  The chair was used for the bride to sit in for the groom to remove the garter.  He entertained the crowd by pulling these items out, and making it look like it was coming from inside the bride's ball gown.

For the final entertainment of the evening, fireworks make for a great display.  Just be sure to get all of the needed permits and stay safe!

Fall Wedding Inspiration

In this week's blog, we are going to post photos of some of our previous Brides and Grooms.  These beautiful couples were married in the fall, while the leaves are changing and setting a stunning background.  For the couples who haven't set a date yet, these photos will make you want a fall wedding.  Just imagine walking down the aisle, feeling the warm sun on your face, hearing the rustling of the leaves under your feet, while your loved ones stand for your grand entrance.  The gorgeous changing leaves will provide an amazing backdrop for your photos.  Use your imagination for a fall wedding like some of these couples did.

 

 Here, Lexee and Brandon stroll back down the aisle after saying "I do".  Lexee is wearing a long sleeved mermaid lace gown.  Her stunning bouquet contains lovely fall colors such as red, white, yellow and green match the flower crown atop her head.  Brandon is donning a simple black suit, with no tie, noting the casual and comfortable feel of their wedding.  In the background, you can see the teepee that they got married in front of.

Here, Lexee and Brandon stroll back down the aisle after saying "I do".  Lexee is wearing a long sleeved mermaid lace gown.  Her stunning bouquet contains lovely fall colors such as red, white, yellow and green match the flower crown atop her head.  Brandon is donning a simple black suit, with no tie, noting the casual and comfortable feel of their wedding.  In the background, you can see the teepee that they got married in front of.

 In this picture, we can get a clearer idea of the bridal party behind Lexee and Brandon.  Lexee's bridesmaid is wearing a dress that has a fairy tale feel to it.  The groomsmen is wearing black dress pants, with a white dress shirt.

In this picture, we can get a clearer idea of the bridal party behind Lexee and Brandon.  Lexee's bridesmaid is wearing a dress that has a fairy tale feel to it.  The groomsmen is wearing black dress pants, with a white dress shirt.

 This lovely occasion is being held in front of our barn.  The fun, sparkly dresses and coat are a wise choice for the evening's attire.  To help keep guests warm is this tower heater to the left.  Note how cute Lexee and Brandon are in the back.

This lovely occasion is being held in front of our barn.  The fun, sparkly dresses and coat are a wise choice for the evening's attire.  To help keep guests warm is this tower heater to the left.  Note how cute Lexee and Brandon are in the back.

 This adorable couple is Elisa and Scott.  Elissa has a lace fit and flare with a light ribbon.  Scott has a gray suit which he chose to accessorize with a pageboy hat.  This couple chose to have their dog as part of their big day.

This adorable couple is Elisa and Scott.  Elissa has a lace fit and flare with a light ribbon.  Scott has a gray suit which he chose to accessorize with a pageboy hat.  This couple chose to have their dog as part of their big day.

 In this fun photo, Elissa and Scott are with their family and friends throwing leaves up into the air for a celebratory feel.

In this fun photo, Elissa and Scott are with their family and friends throwing leaves up into the air for a celebratory feel.

 Elissa and Scott chose to get married before the pond.  They have a sunflower adorned birch archway as well.

Elissa and Scott chose to get married before the pond.  They have a sunflower adorned birch archway as well.

 We can clearly see how happy Elissa and Scott are.  What a great couple!  We can see that summer is coming to an end, and fall is here as plants are starting to change, and the leaves are turning colors.  It makes for a great backdrop!

We can clearly see how happy Elissa and Scott are.  What a great couple!  We can see that summer is coming to an end, and fall is here as plants are starting to change, and the leaves are turning colors.  It makes for a great backdrop!

Necessities to Include on your Wedding Invitation Suite

 (Photo courtesy of Misty Photography)         

(Photo courtesy of Misty Photography)

 

 

 

Are you unsure what to include in your invitation suite?  Many Brides get hyped up when picking the design and style that they want, but are unsure what information to include.

The first thing to include in this package is the formal invitation.  On this, you will want to make sure you have included names.  These names would be you and your fiance, and if parents are contributing to the cause, include them as well.  While you are writing names, tell guests what you are inviting them to.  Guests will need to know if this is a wedding, or another sort of celebration.  Often times, couples get so excited that they forget to include where they are getting married on the invitation.  Write the name of the venue, as well as the address.  Many couples prefer to state the address on a separate card, but these commonly get lost, resulting in lost guests.  After the ceremony venue, include what time your ceremony begins.

If you are holding your reception at a different venue than the ceremony, you will want to include a reception card.  Include the name of the venue, address and time the reception starts.

The response card must be included so that guests can provide their responses to you.  Put the RSVP date on this card so guests know when to respond by.  If you will be providing your guests will a meal of their choice, list the options on this card so guests can indicate their choice.  A small matching envelope should accompany the response card.  On this envelope, your address should be written and a stamp provided for guest convenience.  Tip: Number your guest list and put the coordinating number on the response card.  This way, if the guest forgets to include their name, you know who it came from.

If you are planning a destination wedding or know that you will have guests from out of town, an accommodations cards can be included.  The name of the hotel, phone number and address are beneficial.

Fortunately, most stationary companies have form fill-ins so you don't have to remember everything you need to include.  Before you finalize and pay, proofread!  Proofread all of your work because you don't want to pay for something that is incorrect and then try to fix your mistakes when you're on a time constraint.  Happy Planning!

Important Questions To Ask When Considering A Venue

 There are a lot of questions that are important to ask when checking out a venue.  They offer the purpose of finding out how many people they can accommodate, policies, and their packages.  1. What dates do you have available that I'm considering? - This question is important so you can figure out what date you want to set.  2. What packages are available, and what is the pricing for them?- Asking this question will allow you to think about what services you want and how to budget for them as well.  3. How many people can we accommodate here?- You will need to know how many people the venue can accommodate so you can set up your guest list.  Some venues are small, allowing only 60 people, others can hold over 500.  4. Can I hold my ceremony here as well?  If so, will there be an additional price?- Some couples want to get married in Church, others want a casual outdoor wedding.  This is something that you will need to consider.  If you host your ceremony and reception at the same venue, then this means less traveling for your guests.  5. What is your cancellation policy?- One never knows what the future can hold.  You may need to end up cancelling for an unforeseen reason, so be sure to ask this one!  6. How long do I have use of the facility for on my wedding day?- All venues are different.  Some have a standard 5 hours, others are pretty flexible.  Check to see if there is an over-time fee you would need to pay if your wedding ran overtime.  7. Am I required to use any vendors that you specify?- Some venues require that you use certain vendors.  Some vendors even come part as a package that you purchase.  Other venues will let you pick and choose who you want to use.  Venues will commonly have a list of recommended vendors.  These vendors are generally local to the area and have been at the venue before.  This is beneficial if you're not from the area, or don't know who to use.  8. How much is the deposit?- The venue will state the deposit, which will be required to hold your date for you.  9. When is the final payment due?- This will most likely be stated in your contract.  It is generally due a few days or a week before your wedding.

There are a lot of questions that are important to ask when checking out a venue.  They offer the purpose of finding out how many people they can accommodate, policies, and their packages.

1. What dates do you have available that I'm considering? - This question is important so you can figure out what date you want to set.

2. What packages are available, and what is the pricing for them?- Asking this question will allow you to think about what services you want and how to budget for them as well.

3. How many people can we accommodate here?- You will need to know how many people the venue can accommodate so you can set up your guest list.  Some venues are small, allowing only 60 people, others can hold over 500.

4. Can I hold my ceremony here as well?  If so, will there be an additional price?- Some couples want to get married in Church, others want a casual outdoor wedding.  This is something that you will need to consider.  If you host your ceremony and reception at the same venue, then this means less traveling for your guests.

5. What is your cancellation policy?- One never knows what the future can hold.  You may need to end up cancelling for an unforeseen reason, so be sure to ask this one!

6. How long do I have use of the facility for on my wedding day?- All venues are different.  Some have a standard 5 hours, others are pretty flexible.  Check to see if there is an over-time fee you would need to pay if your wedding ran overtime.

7. Am I required to use any vendors that you specify?- Some venues require that you use certain vendors.  Some vendors even come part as a package that you purchase.  Other venues will let you pick and choose who you want to use.  Venues will commonly have a list of recommended vendors.  These vendors are generally local to the area and have been at the venue before.  This is beneficial if you're not from the area, or don't know who to use.

8. How much is the deposit?- The venue will state the deposit, which will be required to hold your date for you.

9. When is the final payment due?- This will most likely be stated in your contract.  It is generally due a few days or a week before your wedding.

Sneek Peek: Jenn and Brooks

For this week's blog, we will feature Jenn and Brook's wedding.  This wonderful couple was married on June 9, 2018 at Heaven's Grand Gate.  Photos are courtesy of JKLentini Photography.

 

 Some kinds words that we should all remember.

Some kinds words that we should all remember.

 These signs lined the aisle for the ceremony.

These signs lined the aisle for the ceremony.

 This timeline of events outlines plans for the wedding.  This schedule was hand panted onto a pallet to create a rustic touch.

This timeline of events outlines plans for the wedding.  This schedule was hand panted onto a pallet to create a rustic touch.

 These fabulous cupcakes were artistically displayed, just waiting to be eaten.

These fabulous cupcakes were artistically displayed, just waiting to be eaten.

 The Bride and Groom's cake is waiting for the cutting ceremony, atop the cupcake stand.

The Bride and Groom's cake is waiting for the cutting ceremony, atop the cupcake stand.

 Each table featured blue Mason jars, a different quote, toy car, and hand painted table number.

Each table featured blue Mason jars, a different quote, toy car, and hand painted table number.

 Waiting for the ceremony to start.

Waiting for the ceremony to start.

 The bridesmaids begin their walk down the aisle.  The Bride is waiting in the back to begin her entrance.

The bridesmaids begin their walk down the aisle.  The Bride is waiting in the back to begin her entrance.

 The smiling Bride makes her escorted entrance, as the flower girl and ring bearer lead the way.

The smiling Bride makes her escorted entrance, as the flower girl and ring bearer lead the way.

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 Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs.!

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs.!

A Venue Walk-Through

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Venue walk-throughs are extremely important!  This is the first time you get to see the venue in person and experience the layout.  A walk-through gives you the opportunity to think about where you are going to have the ceremony and the reception.  Unfortunately, you may be seeing the venue at a different time of year than the season you plan on getting married in.  This means that flower gardens will look different, and so will the trees.  At this time, you will meet some of the staff, and learn about their venue policies.  If you have any questions to ask or something that you want to see, now is your chance.

If you express interest in holding your wedding at this venue, the manager is often willing to discuss packages, pricing and dates.  You can also ask for a list of vendors that the venue recommends.  If you are ready to commit, the venue will require a deposit to hold your wedding date.

Heaven's Grand Gate is a wedding venue that offers the option of indoor or outdoor weddings.  If interested in a walk-through, please call 518-654-6567 or email at heavensgrandgate@gmail.com.

Accommodating Guests with Dietary Restrictions

Due to health and lifestyle choices, more and more people have dietary restrictions.  Not everybody will be willing to bring their dietary restrictions up to the bride.  There are a few ways that you can accommodate your guest's needs so that everyone can enjoy the festivities.

When sending out your invitations, leave a spot on the response card for guests to fill out.  This line can be written as such:
My dietary restrictions/allergies are:
Please indicate any dietary requirements:

Once you have a good idea of guest's needs, speak with your caterer.  If you have a guest with a severe gluten intolerance or peanut allergy, their meal may need to be prepped separately.  Avoiding cross contamination is important when dealing with allergies.

Often times, caterers have much experience in this matter.  Most caterers are extremely accommodating when it comes to allergies and restrictions.  Avoiding cross contamination is a method frequently used when cooking and prepping.  There are gluten free options for those who don't consume gluten.  For vegans, the use of nut milks can be offered, vegetarian meals, as well as fruit for dessert.  More vegetable or legume based meals can be offered vegetarians.