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
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!
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!
Follow Jamie on Pinterest
In some way, shape or form at your wedding you are going to want to be sure to say hi and thank each person that was able to join you in the celebration. The receiving line used to be the most popular way to do this, but here are some ideas as to how you can take care of this task, depending on your wedding day schedule.
The receiving line is a bit old fashioned, but it does come in rather handy from time to time. If you are getting married at a church and/or you have a lot of time to kill in between your ceremony and reception, I would highly recommend thee receiving line. This way you are able to greet all of your guests, with your parents, immediately after the ceremony, go for photos and meet them at the reception. I typically recommend this for my clients that have more than enough time in between their ceremony and reception.
Greeting Guests at the Tables
If you do not have time for a receiving line, or think it is too old fashioned, then the fall back would be to greet your guests at the tables after you have finished each course of your meal. It is always nice to have someone in charge of making sure you get back to your seats when each course is brought out so that you do not miss a course. This is a great option, but remember to keep it short and sweet at each table - keep it movong! I would also recommend that you choose to sit at a sweetheart style table so that you are not leaving your guests at your table each time you get up.
The Cocktail Hour
If you are having a less formal affair, and you are having all of your photos done before the ceremony, then it is perfectly fine to mingle at cocktail hour and visit with all of your guests. That way you can enjoy your meal without interruption and converse with those at your head table.
On The Dance Floor
If you don't like those options, and would rather keep it super casual, then just thank your guests by dancing the night away with them!!
Hello Moms! Your son or daughter just got engaged! How fun! How crazy! How overwhelming! You are going to have a crazy couple of months ahead of you in the planning process so we decided to collect a list of roles that you will have from now until “I Do”.
Mother of the Bride
You have always dreamt of this day when your little girl would find the love of her life and walk down the aisle! Be sure to remember that this is her wedding and she may have some crazy ideas, but you will have to be supportive throughout the stressful process. Here is a list of “Mother-of-the-Bride Roles” for you to keep in mind while she is planning away!
- Come up with a budget you are comfortable with early on in the process
- Make your guest list and keep in mind that it is not ideal for your daughter to meet anyone for the first time at her wedding!
- Be supportive! Times have changed and there is a lot of added stress that comes from planning a wedding. Be her rock when she needs it!
- Hire a planner! It is definitely a smart move - mostly because if you don’t have someone there the day of the wedding to help, you may be doing it all and not enjoying the day the way you should.
- Be available. There are lots of meetings and decisions that have to be made and you are most likely going to need to be by her side when she makes them. Be sure that you can make yourself available for her when needed.
- Get to know the next lady that we are going to talk about. The more you are on the same team, the easier the planning process will go!
Mother of the Groom
Your son found the love of his life and now the planning begins! Because you are the Mother of the Groom, you do not have as many roles as the Mother of the Bride, but we have come up with a list of things for you to keep in mind throughout the planning process!
- Make your guest list and keep in mind that it is not ideal for your son to meet anyone for the first time at his wedding!
- Be Supportive! Let your soon-to-be daughter-in-law live her wedding dreams even if it was not what you would had in mind.
- Find a great rehearsal dinner venue and include your son in the process.
- Find a beautiful Mother of the Groom dress and be sure to ask the bride what colors would be appropriate.
- Enjoy the process. Because it is not your daughter getting married, you really need to take a bit of a back seat on this one. When she wants your help, she will ask for it, but be sure she knows you are available!
- Get to know the next lady that we are talked about above. The more you are on the same team, the easier the planning process will go!
You said yes! You have a beautiful, sparkling new ring, you can’t get the smile off of your face, so now what? Here is a list of the first 5 things to do once you get engaged. (After jumping for joy and changing your facebook status of course)
Make your guest list
One of the most important things to do once you get engaged is to put together your guest list. Without the list you cannot discuss your budget or start thinking about where it will happen. The guest list may change depending on your budget though and could even change if you find the perfect location that can accommodate more or less. But starting with this list will give you a good idea of where you can start looking.
Discuss your budget
Sit down with your fiance and discuss finances. Who will be paying for the wedding? Will it be the both of you? Your parents? His parents? Think about what you can save and how long you will need in order to be able to save it. Keep in mind that the average cost of a wedding is around $25-$35k. This may also help you to determine if you need to cut back on your list at all. And depending on how long you will need to save, will help you to pick a date.
Discuss where you would like it to take place
Start a list of locations you would love. Not necessarily venues per se, but more of cities, states, etc. If you are looking at a destination wedding, think about what things that location can offer different times of years. Consider travel, hotel rates, etc. Lots of things to consider when having this discussion, so be sure to take notes and even consider a pros and cons list to help you make the best decision.
What time of year?
Your answer above will really guide you to the time of year that will work best for you. For example, if you want to have a Cape Cod wedding, and want to have a beach ceremony, you would not choose to get married on the Cape in December.
Contact your local newspaper, hometown newspaper, or both, and announce your engagement! You can do most of this online nowadays, but be sure to have a super cute pic of you and your fiance that you want to submit along with it. You can always just update your status on facebook too, sociall media does wonders for getting the word out!
We are about 5 months away from the NotWedding, but why not get this party started by announcing to you who the happy NotCouple will be!
I am super excited to be able to share with everyone that Chris & Peyton Lambton will be joining us at the NotWedding as our bride & groom! They will renew their vows, show off some amazing attire, and party with the guests!
Two weeks ago we had an amazing photo shoot at the Knob in Falmouth with Chris and Peyton and a selection of the vendors who will be at the NotWedding. Below are some of my favorites, but you can check out more from Amanda on Shoreshotz blog and check out the super fun video from Harborview Studios!
This is only the beginning of the excitement, so be sure to GET YOUR TICKETS NOW to one of the newest bridal events on Cape Cod! You won't want to miss it!
NotWedding Save the Date Photo Shoot
Photographer - Shoreshotz
Design - Cape Cod Celebrations
Videographer - Harborview Studios
Paper - Dulce Press
Furniture - True North
Flowers - Designers Touch
Hair & Make-Up - Lisa George
I am feeling really sappy today and have been reminiscing about all of the years I have been working with amazing couples, their family and friends, and some fabulous vendors and just had to pause to write this post and say THANK YOU. I would not be where I am today, coming up on my 7th Anniversary in September, without all of you. Your kind words that you share about my team and me on wedding websites, to your friends, to others wanting to get married on beautiful Cape Cod are just unreal and I am so gracious for every last word.
And to my awesome team - Ashley, Mandee and Marni - Cape Cod Celebrations would definitely not have grown to where it is today without you. You are all amazing people and your continued support does not go unnoticed.
To my wonderful husband and son who deal with my insane schedule every year - Thank you :) Your unconditional love and support makes me who I am and allows me to do what I love.
I cannot wait to work with all of our couples this year, one down and a lot more to go! We will be at some beautiful locations with some really different and new concepts which we cannot wait to share with all of you!
And don't forget the NotWedding this November! Another amazing opportunity I cannot believe I get to bring to life - Thanks Callie!
Thank you so much.
So you obviously chose Cape Cod to have your wedding for a reason - whether it be the beautiful beaches, the relaxed feel, the stunning views or just your amazing memories of summering or growing up on Cape - so why not take full advantage of what you have around you and become inspired by everything Cape Cod for your wedding! If you want to give your guests a real Cape Cod feel for your wedding day, be sure to read on for ways to take the beauty of the Cape and intertwine it into your wedding day.
Take a look around you the next time you are on the Cape. I am willing to bet that the majority of the time you are here you are on the beach, gazing at the beautiful sky, and staying for the sunset. Now imagine all of the colors you see while there! The blues in the water and sky, the browns in the sand, the greens in the beach grass and the pinks, purples and yellows in the sunset. Now take all of those amazing colors and see if they fit your theme, personality, etc. and put them to work on your wedding day!
If you haven’t guessed it already, the Cape is known for it’s Hydrangeas. White, blue, purples, pink, green, you name it. And in all shades nonetheless. You could also go all natural and bring in simple beach grass or beach plumbs. Lilacs, daffodils and tulips are also beautiful flowers to incorporate in a spring wedding on Cape Cod.
Lighthouses are an amazing structure to be inspired by on Cape Cod. Light up your event with lanterns - metal, glass, paper. Find a company that can up-light your venue or tent to bring it to the next level of elegance or fun. You could also use the lighthouse and their use in your vows or in your ceremony program. They are a beautiful symbol of lighting the way on an amazing journey.
If you haven’t noticed, Cape Cod is a very nautical location! How can it not be when it is surrounded by water? There are so many ways to incorporate a nautical theme into your wedding, but here are a few that you may, or may not have seen before:
Anchors, starfish, sand dollars, bouys, boats, nautical maps, rope, rocks, driftwood, sea glass, nautical flags, and the list goes on.
Most people thinking of visiting the Cape and can’t wait to kick off their shoes, throw on their flip flops and relax on the beach - so be sure to make your guests feel relaxed at your wedding! Provide flip flops for the dance floor, greet them with a signature drink - maybe a Cape Codder? - and plan ahead to ensure a smooth event. Maybe consider transportation as well if your location is not easy to get to so that they do not have to stress about driving. Anything to make your guests feel welcomed and on vacation enjoying your favorite location goes a long way!
At the end of February, Marni and I flew down to Atlanta to attend our first ever NotWedding. Needless to say, the 3 day/2 night experience was amazing. We met some awesome people, learned a lot about what do to for our NotWedding taking place on Cape this November and walked away with ideas spilling out of our ears! Many photos, notes and videos later, we returned back to the Cape and were able to announce the NotWedding Cape Cod date on March 15th.
Marni and I arrived in Atlanta on a Sunday morning, grabbed lunch with a fabulous waitress down the street from our hotel, took a quick nap (seeing that we had been up since 4:30am!) and met NotWedding creator Callie for dinner at Atlanta NotWedding caterers restaurant, Sun in My Belly. Can you say delicious?! We were greeted by Callie with a box of Krispy Kremes, enjoyed a fabulous dinner with lots of conversation and made our way back for a good nights sleep so that we could be ready to assist at the NotWedding the next day.
Monday we arrived at the Mason Murer Fine Art center just outside of the city with our Starbuck's in hand and got to work moving 300 chivari chairs. We watched as the NotBride arrived to get her hair and make-up done, as the vendors came in and out to decorate their tables, set-up the ceremony space, take photos & video and so much more. The gallery was buzzing with creativity.
At 5:45pm guests began to arrive, at 6:15pm the ceremony began. Guests then enjoyed a wonderful buffet dinner from Sun in My Belly and dancing from an super fun Atlanta band. The Tunnel of Love opened for guests to learn about the vendors and the night ended after the bride and groom made their exit.
Marni and I retreated to our hotel - aching after moving 300 chairs three times - looked at each other, exhausted and knowing that we both loved every minute of it.
Enjoy the (iPhone) photos from our trip, view more by checking out the pics on the NotWedding's facebook pageand mark your calendar for the first ever NotWedding Cape Cod November 24, 2013 at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel!
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.