You are newly engaged! You have a new accessory that you cannot stop staring at. You’ve told your family, friends, Facebook… you are on cloud nine! This is one of the most exciting times of your life. You are taking the next steps with that person who’s the one. Now what’s on your checklist? First step, picking a date, booking your venue, then booking your wedding planner :)
Full steam ahead with wedding planning! It’s so easy to get lost in the whirlwind of the amazing experience of being engaged and planning what some consider the best day of their lives. We want it to be the best day of your lives but, take a beat. Take a breath. Remember that marriage is a commitment for hopefully the rest of your lives together.
While more and more weddings are non-traditional (not in a church), it’s easy to get swept up in the planning and skip a step that can solidify WHY you are getting married in the first place. Premarital counseling may seem like a thing of the past for many, but you are planning a huge life event, and we recommend at least having a conversation with your fiance about life and where it will take you. These questions may help you ease into the conversation...
Take a weekend... Take a trip together... Have the conversation… Then back to the world of planning… We’ll see you there!
- written by our Senior Planner Stephanie
In your planning process have you had anyone ask you if you are going to do a first look or if you are going to see each other for the first time when you walk down the aisle? If not, then start thinking about it! Coming from a planner or a photographer’s perspective this is a very important decision to make, as it can play a major role in how your time line unfolds and if you get any time at your cocktail hour. Take a look at some of the things you should consider when making this decision about your wedding day.
So what is a “first look” anyway?
A first look is when there is a private moment when just you and your fiance get to see each other for the first time before the wedding and the photographer is there to capture this amazing moment.
Why is it a good idea?
1. They are great when you have a very tight time line and you have a lot of photos to take. By doing a first look, this opens up more time prior to the ceremony to get all of your photos completed so that you can join cocktail hour almost immediately after the ceremony is complete.
2. It is a very private moment where it is just the two of you (and the photographer) where you get to see each other, hug, kiss, cry, smile, with no one else watching.
3. It takes some (not all) of the nerves away, making walking down the aisle more comfortable.
Down the Aisle
So what does “down the aisle”mean anyway?
Down the aisle means that you want to see your fiance for the first time that day when you are at the top of the aisle walking towards him or her. Prior to that moment you would have seen each other the night before at the rehearsal.
Why is it a good idea?
1. Seeing each other for the first time down the aisle is very traditional and means a lot to certain people to have it be done this way.
2. If you have a long break between your ceremony and cocktail hour, you will have plenty of time for photos in between, so there is no rush to get to cocktail hour.
3. Your family and friends get to witness the joy and happiness and the amazing reaction you will have when you finally see each other!
The choice is ultimately yours and in most cases you can choose to do it either way!
So you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony, eh? Beach? Backyard? Open field? All beautiful locations on the Cape (obviously), but not so pretty when the weather does not cooperate. I always tell my brides that the one thing we cannot control is the weather, and unfortunately, you cannot control it either. So no matter what, if any part of your event is outside – ceremony, cocktail hour, photos – you will need to have a rain plan or back up option available. Here are some locations you can take into consideration when putting together your rain plan. And trust me – if you don’t have a rain plan, and it rains, it will be a nightmare!
If your wedding reception is taking place at a Cape Cod venue – resort, hotel, ballroom, etc – and your ceremony is outside at that venue, or maybe even off site at your favorite beach, be sure to talk through back up options with your catering manager at the site. You may need to have the ceremony in your reception area, which would then limit the amount of set-up time for the reception. They may have an open ballroom or venue space you can use and keep on hold for you at no charge for a rain back up. Just be sure you get that figured out, maybe even at the time of booking, to be sure that the week of the wedding you have a back-up in place.
If your wedding reception is in a tent at a private home, rented home, or venue there are two options for you. You can either have your ceremony under the reception tent on the dance floor, or you can talk to your tent company about a back up ceremony tent. This tent is usually on the order early out and then you can make the decision the week of the wedding if you want it or not.
I have actually had brides that are getting married outside also secure a church as a back up plan. If your ceremony is on a beach and your venue does not have a back up plan, or it just really does not make sense or you just really do not want to, have your ceremony under the tent, then you could contact a local church and secure the date and time as your back up. Basically what you are paying for at the church you can consider your rain insurance plan.
One thing to really keep in mind about your rain plan is that it will, in some way, shape or form, affect your time line. The reception space may need to be ready up to 2-3 hours earlier if you need to be under that tent. So be sure to keep your vendors up to date if the rain plan needs to go into action. And be sure you have a solid plan on how to let your guests know if the location has changed significantly – like from a beach to the church.
And if it rains on your wedding day, you have to do your best to not let it upset you. It is the only thing out of your control! Be happy that all of your friends and family are there to celebrate with you – rain or shine!
We are super excited to share that one of our fabulous couples from this year was featured on EquallyWed.com! We absolutely loved working with Holly and Nancy and their story was just amazing! What a great group of vendors that worked together so well to pull off a fabulous evening of love, joy and fun!
Check out the video below from Harborview Studios as well - how can you not be so happy for this wonderful couple?! Just beautiful!
Many weddings on Cape Cod take place at locations outside of a church - like on the beach, by a lighthouse or in a backyard - leaving many couples to find their own officiants to oversee the ceremony. Cape Cod has a great selection of officiants of different faiths to choose from, but the question is - what should you be looking for when you are researching and interviewing these people? Below is a list of things which I think are important when considering a person to marry you, no matter what your faith.
Personality is a big trait to look for no matter what vendor you are looking to hire for your wedding day, but when speaking to someone that will join you and your fiance together forever in front of all of your friends and family, you definitely want to be sure that you are comfortable with their personality. And vise versa, you want to make sure that he or she is comfortable with your personality and beliefs.
Some couples require a certain faith when looking for someone to perform the marriage. Some officiants are ministers, rabbis, or a justice of the peace. It is not likely that you will find a catholic priest to perform a marriage outside of a church, unless it is a family friend. But be sure when you are researching and interviewing that you discuss your faith with him or her so that they understand and are comfortable with any of the rituals that you would like to include in your ceremony.
When speaking with the officiants you are considering, be sure that they are well spoken and that they can carry a conversation with you comfortably. They should be able to speak clearly to you about your options without hesitation and should make you feel welcome. If they are going to be speaking in front of your guests, you want to make sure they are comfortable speaking with you.
Ask a Friend or Family Member
Many couples choose to go a different route when selecting someone to marry them. It is very popular for couples to find a very well spoken friend or family member get a one day marriage designation so that they can perform the service. If this is the way you choose to go, I recommend sitting down with this person and talking through the ceremony and what specifics you will want. I also recommend purchasing a book about wedding ceremonies to help you in writing the ceremony and personalizing it to you.
No matter what you decide, definitely do your research and ask your venues and other vendors for good recommendations. Also - be sure you do your research on how to obtain your marriage license as it can differ from town to town.
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
At Cape Cod Celebrations, your vision is our brand. Learn more about how we can help you pull together your beautiful Cape Cod Wedding.