Have you been searching for a super unique way to remember your wedding day?
Reach out to Neil Collins, a super talented artist on Cape Cod who you can commission to come and paint your wedding real time! Above was a wedding he painted of ours from this year at Nauticus Marina. What a stunning image to have forever!
A lot of my clients get hung up on favor ideas, so I thought I would share with you some ideas that I typically share with my clients. Now there are a ton more ideas out there that you can definitely consider, but the following suggestions are ones that I know have gone over well at weddings.
First, some basic favor requirements.
Make it Edible
Edible favors are my person favorite. There are lots of ideas that you can do here locally or from your home town. We have done a lot of chocolates from the Chatham Candy Manor or other local candy shops and we have also seen some really unique edible ideas from our client’s home town like maple syrup and hot sauce! Another fun and popular edible idea is a candy station! Let your guests choose from multiple candies - whether they are your favorites or just fit your color scheme, guests love filling their bags with candy! With these edible options, your guests will either eat it there that night or will be so happy when they get home to snack on it before bed!
Keep Their Beer Cold!
Koozies are also another very popular favor. You can find all sorts of clever sayings on etsy or pinterest like - “To have and to hold and to keep your beer cold” or “Let Love Brew”. If you’re not big beer drinkers or are going to be serving beers in pint glasses then I probably would not recommend this. Typically these are handed out at the bar with beers and are also in a basket for guests to take them.
Double as the Escort Card
One great way to ensure your guests get their favor is to attach it to their escort card! In order to find where they are seated they will have to pick up their name with their favor attached. We have see these attached to compasses, starfish, jars of cape cod bath salts, keys and more!
If a favor really isn’t your thing, then consider doing a donation of some sort to a cause that means a lot to you and your fiancee. You may have had a friend or relative pass who you would like to honor with a donation. I recommend putting this information on the menu or thank you card at the tables so that your guests know you made this donation on their behalf. Another cool donation type favor I have seen was the replacement of their guest’s carbon footprint to get to their wedding, which was a really unique idea and also helps the planet!
If you are not the type of couple that is looking to have a huge wedding ceremony and celebration, but you love the look and feel of getting married on the beach, then Cape Cod can be the perfect place for your elopement!
I have worked with a handful of clients throughout the years who have wanted to have a smaller private ceremony with just the bride and groom and sometimes with just immediate family and there are a lot of perfect locations on Cape Cod to do such a thing.
The ceremony is typically held on a beach on Cape Cod and there are so many to choose from! For a small elopement for 2-10ppl I would say that a permit is really not required for a beach ceremony, especially if you are not using chairs or any decorations. Other places we have seen elopement ceremonies are:
The clients that we have worked with in the past are usually looking for very nice, private dinner after they get married. We recommend places all over the Cape, but here are some of our favorites for a nice dinner to celebrate together:
Most elopments do not need to hire many vendors for their ceremony, but most consider hiring the following vendors so that they can enjoy the day and capture beautiful memories.
So I am a firm believer that every wedding is unique in its own way and that all couples can really make the day reflect their personalities, but there are certain formalities that every planner, venue manager or catering manager will ask about. It doesn’t mean that you have to include it in your day, but these are the most typical things that we see at events and we won’t judge you if you want to remove it from your day or even add something else in that is more special to you and your family!
Once the guests have been seated there is usually some sort of formal introduction. This can be the entire bridal party including parents and grandparents, it could be just the bridal party or could even be just the bride and groom. If you prefer not to be introduced that is fine too! If you do choose to have an introduction, you will need to know how you would like to be introduced - Mr. & Mrs., by your first names, by your nicknames, whatever you choose! Your band or DJ will be in touch with you about the specifics, have fun with it!
After the introductions is typically when the bride and groom will have their first dance. You may have taken dance lessons and this is your time to show off your moves, or you may hate dancing and will ask your bridal party and/or other couples to join you halfway through. Whatever makes you comfortable!
There are many toasts that can take place on the wedding day from the host giving a welcome toast, to the maid of honor and/or best man and even the couple. You will need to discuss with your family who would like to toast and when. Sometimes it is more appropriate for certain family members to toast at the rehearsal dinner instead of the actual wedding day. On the day itself I recommend keeping it to 4 toasts or less - that would include a welcome toast (typically given by the father of the bride), the maid of honor toast, the best man toast and a thank you toast from the couple.
As dinner is winding down the couple will typically cut the cake before the party really gets started. This can be announced with a song and everyone’s attention on you or it can be what I call “stealth” where just the parents and the photographer/videographer are invited over to witness it. Obviously others will see it happen as well, but it will not be made a spectacle.
A great way to open up the dance floor after dinner is with the parent dances. This is where the bride will dance with her dad and the groom will dance with his mom. We do see a lot where just the bride will dance with her dad or where they will share one parent dance together. Another fun idea is to invite other father/daughter or mother/son pairs that are there that night to join halfway through the dance
Bouquet or Garter Toss
Although the bouquet toss and garter toss are not seen too much at weddings anymore I still wanted to include it. This is totally up to you and is usually based on your crowd. Do not do a bouquet toss if only 2 people there are single! Maybe consider giving your bouquet to the couple there that has been married the longest or present it to a grandmother or your mother.
Most brides nowadays are taking advantage of the brilliant website Pinterest to collect ideas and find their colors, flowers, cakes, photo ideas, invitations, you name it. I mean, let’s be honest, it is a wonderful tool that allows you to collect inspiring ideas all in one place. But after a certain point in your planning process you will need to cave to the Pintervention. Yes I said it - You need a Pintervention.
Pinterest is a blessing and a curse when it comes to planning your wedding. There are millions of ideas on the internet and there is no better tool that I know of than Pinterest to collect those ideas as you plan. But when it comes to the final months of your planning process, and as you start to really decide what you want for your wedding, you need to revisit your wedding board and clean it up. Delete those ideas that you thought were amazing the day you got engaged and narrow it all down to what you will be actually using for your wedding. Make it really reflect your personality, your colors, your plan.
Once you realize you need a Pintervention and you complete your clean-up process, then you need to start restricting yourself on things that you look for or that you pin onto your board. When you reach the 6 month out mark from your wedding day, you need to be sure you have your colors and major ideas decided on, so there is no need to keep looking for other color schemes or themes or dresses! When you get to 2 months out you are going to limit your pinning to just final details and fun things you may want to add, such as escort cards, guest book ideas, cocktail napkins, signage, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, as I said, it is a wonderful tool for brides to use - I even share boards with my brides so that I can watch what they pin and I can add pins I see that reflect their plans - but it is smart to realize when you need to slow down and reign everything in. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a totally new idea only a couple of months before your wedding!
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A beautiful, quiet time on Cape Cod and a great way to save a lot of money! Venues and vendors do deep discounts in the winter for weddings because they hardly exist! So, if you love snow and the cold, and want to save a buck, choose winter for your wedding on Cape Cod.
Spring on Cape Cod is a mix of weather - could snow, could rain, could be 70 and sunny. Spring is tricky on Cape Cod, but that does not stop anyone from getting married that time of year! Early spring - March and April - you can find deals at venues as well as at hotels for your guests. Once you hit Memorial Day, rates start to go up and the Cape starts to get rather busy. June is one of the busiest months on Cape for weddings, so if you have your heart set on June, book early!
This is the busiest season on Cape Cod due to the weather of course! Beach days galore! Summer is a beautiful time to get married on the Cape, just take note that July & August have the highest rates of the year for hotels and venues and can also have the most traffic. So be prepared and tell your guests and vendors ahead of time about the options they have available to them. September is also considered summer and is also one of the most popular months on the Cape for weddings, so book early!
My personal favorite, fall is a beautiful time on the Cape. You can still get a 70 degree day even in October sometimes! Granted it is hurricane season, and one year we did have snow in October, but I would have to say that October is my favorite month for weddings on the Cape. And even November and early December can be beautiful for a fall themed wedding. I highly recommend choosing a venue that does not require a tent though, less stress that time of year due to the possible weather scenarios.
You’re engaged! Yay! The ring is sparkling, you can’t get the grin of your face and you have updated your facebook status.....now what? We have put together a list for you to get on your way to planning your perfect Cape Cod wedding after you have said yes!
1. Get a manicure
Funny, but true - you don’t want that sparkly new bobble to be overshadowed by some ugly nails! Go out and treat yourself to a manicure to show off your diamond! You can also find some pretty cheap, and awesome, press on french manicures now a days as well that will last longer!
2. Make your guest list
Open up an excel doc, word doc, Google doc, or whatever your preference is for being somewhat organized and start that guest list. Think of close family, friends, ask your parents about who they will want to invite, and make sure you have everyone that you would want to be there. Now go back and look at your list again. Are there guests that should be on the B list instead? Make sure your numbers are manageable. And remember, if you are having a true destination wedding, an average of 20% of your guests will not attend. There are also guests that you have to invite, but you know will not be able to make it.
3. Figure out your budget
Sit down with your fiance and start talking dollars. How much will each of you be putting into the budget? What about parents? Will they be helping with half, certain items like the dress and dinner or the rehearsal dinner? It may be helpful for you to check out lists online that show you traditional ways that the costs are split - here is a quick list from Real Simple. Once you have your budget, you will have to compare that to how many people you are planning to invite. Do the numbers make sense with your budget? Do you have to cut back on the guest list to ensure you have the wedding of your dreams?
4. Find a venue & set a date
Fair warning: Unless you have had your heart set on a location on Cape Cod since you were 8 years old and you have an unlimited budget, this part of the process can be the most stressful. But rest assured, that once you have the date and venue set it gets easier from here on out. It is always good to reach out to any and all venues that you think would fall into your budget. Check their availability and ask for their pricing. This may be another good time to get out an excel doc to start comparing your options. Every venue works differently, so it is not as easy as comparing apples to apples. Stay tuned for another post regarding what to ask venues before you book! But also check out this past post about how to choose your reception location.
5. Hire a planner
I have to do it and say that one of the best things you can do once you get engaged is hire a wedding planner. Wedding planners have connections on the Cape and can save you hours and hours of time in finding locations that fit your budget and your guest count. They can then go on to save you money and stress throughout the planning process. I am not just saying this because I am a planner, but when you come across other posts on the web regarding what to do after you get engaged, almost all of them say to do this! It is totally worth looking into!
Not every couple needs a caterer, but if you are having your wedding at a private home, under a tent, or at a location that does not provide the food, be sure to read on. The Cape has many fabulous caterers from Falmouth to Provincetown, but the question is - which one do you choose and why!
Reviews and Recommendations
When it comes to the food and service for your wedding, you are going to want to hear about each company through the voices of those couples that have used them in the past. Look for testimonials on the company’s website, on weddingwire.com and on theknot.com. Ask the company for references and reach out to past couples who have used them to get answers from a live person. Word of mouth is the best way to gather information about your prospective caterer, or any wedding vendor for that matter!
Most all caterers offer tastings, be sure you have one before you decide! I would recommend narrowing it down to 2-3 caterers based on your research and then plan to have tastings at your top choices. Most caterers charge a fee for tastings, around $30-$70 per person tasting, but if you book, that cost goes towards your deposit. Well worth it to be sure you are getting the type of food you want at your wedding!
Cost is a big factor when dealing with any vendor of course, but when dealing with your caterer it is going to come down to a couple of different things. What type of food do you want to serve? Do you want a buffet/station dinner or a plated reception? Do you want a raw bar or only passed hors d’oeuvres? Do you want the caterer to use only local ingredients? So many choices, but each one will affect the cost of your menu. For cocktail hour, I usually recommend that you have 4-5 passed hors d’oevures (1 piece per person) and at least 2 stationary items. If you are doing a buffet dinner, be sure to offer a beef and/or chicken, seafood (because we are on Cape Cod!) and vegetarian option as well as a starch and vegetable. You could do a salad on the buffet as well or do that preset. If you are doing a seated dinner, I recommend sticking to 3 courses, salad or soup, entree and cake. Remember that your guests just ate for an hour during cocktails!
Familiar with your wedding site
When researching your caterer, ask if they have done weddings at your location before. If it is a private home and this is the first event taking place there, then invite them to come and see the space. This way they can get an idea as to where they would want to prepare the food, where their staff will park and the best flow of the event for you. You want to be sure that they feel confident with the location and all of the moving pieces that come with having an at home event.
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.