Toasting the Happy Couple!
Who? What? Where? When? Always big questions come up when figuring out who will toast the happy couple the weekend of their wedding. Here are some key ideas to help scheduling your toasting throughout your wedding festivities.
Who? Father of the Bride (Mother of the Bride could also do this with the FOB)
What? Usually toasts the couple and thanks everyone for coming to celebrate
Where? Typically this happens the night of the wedding
When? I like to recommend this toast right after everyone has taken their seats (after introductions and maybe even after the first dance). It typically is the first toast of the night
Who? Best Man
What? Usually toasts primarily to the Groom and their relationship, but brings in great stories about how the couple met and tries not to embarrass anyone….too much.
Where? The night of the wedding.
When? Can be after the Father of the Bride toast before dinner, or after dinner is complete.
Who? Maid of Honor
What? Usually toasts primarily to the Bride and their relationship, brings in great stories about hour the couple met. Usually less embarrassing and more sweet.
Where? The night of the wedding, unless the MOH would rather toast at the rehearsal dinner
When? After the Best Man toast.
Who? The Happy Couple
What? Usually thank their parents, the bridal party and everyone for coming and sometimes they share words about each other.
Where? This is usually at both the rehearsal dinner and the night of the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is to really thank family and bridal party with gifts and the wedding is to thank the guests for coming.
When? At the rehearsal dinner or wedding it is typically after dinner has completed.
Who? Parents of the Groom
What? Usually toasts the couple and the parents of the bride for hosting the next day
Where? At the rehearsal dinner if they are hosting
When? Before dinner is served
Who? Other Random Toasters
What? Typically the other random toasts are more like roasts
Where? At the rehearsal dinner. It is always good to let others toast you at the rehearsal dinner so that your wedding night is not full of tons of people talking which can take away from precious dance time.
When? After all of the toasting by the couple has completed.
I always love when we cross over into a new year, because my brides can finally say “I am getting married this year!”. Which also means that their wedding day is creeping even closer and wedding planning has to get kicked into high gear. Here is a list of what my 2014 brides are working on at this point in their planning process once the New Year has hit.
1. Finalizing the Guest List: Who are definite? Who can we cut? Are kids invited?
2. Vendors: If your major vendors are not secured yet (florist, photographer, DJ/Band) get on it and make some final decisions!
3. Venue: If you do not have a venue and you are looking at 2014, you will need to reach out ASAP to get availability in the months you are interested in! At this time, September 2014 is almost completely booked for most venues and vendors!
4. Save-The-Dates: At this point, most all weddings for 2014 should have sent their save the dates. The exception would be weddings in October, November, December.
5. Invites: The process should be in the works for design! Invites go out around 3 months before your wedding date.
6. Wedding Website: Be sure you have one and that it is up to date with information!
7. Payments: Be sure to do a review of your vendor contracts and see when your next payments are due.
8. Attire: Finalize what everyone is wearing and start ordering!
9. Rings: Start looking at wedding bands and be sure to order them in time so that they are ready for you to pick-up a couple of weeks before the wedding!
10. The Fun Stuff: Decor, favors, photo booths, oh my!
Cape Cod Halloween Wedding!
Have you ever thought of having your wedding on Cape Cod on or around Halloween? There are many brides out there that love the holiday and take it to a whole new level when it comes to throwing a Halloween wedding! There are many locations on Cape that would be perfect for your themed event and lots of fun things you can do to give your guests a spooky experience on Cape Cod!
When looking for your Halloween wedding venue, look for historic locations like the Captain Linnell House, The Lighthouse Inn, or Dan’l Webster. Consider locations that would be really fun to go out after in costume like Provincetown! The more historic you can get with the right lighting, it can make for a really fun event!
Orange, yellow and black are the obvious choices, but what about considering purples, deep reds and golds to take it from a “kids Halloween party” feel to a more adult Halloween wedding feel. Sparkles are always a good idea at a Halloween party! Find a rental company that may offer different or interesting linens to make your tables pop.
If you are really, truly a Halloween junkie, then you must ask your guests to dress in costume! You could keep it basic and just have them pick their own, or you could give them a theme like Great Gatsby for a fancier event or maybe something more Cape Cod like Pirates and Mermaids! Have fun with it!
I think a candy bar is a must! Reach out to a professional, like the ladies at The Perfect Table (pictured above with Chocolate Rose Cake Shoppe and True North Tables), and have them put together a super fun Halloween candy display for you. For your main course, I think stations would be more appropriate, instead of a sit down dinner. Or you could do a cocktail party with tons of great appetizers and mini desserts, and of course a spooky signature drink.
Think outside of the box and find ways to do Halloween with a twist of wedding bells! You can have fun naming your tables, sending creative invites or choosing a theme. I can tell you honestly that I am not a huge fan of Halloween, but I would have so much fun planning a Halloween wedding!
First Look VS Down the Aisle
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!
The "New Guest Book"
When I say the words “Guest Book” what do you think of? A boring book with lines for guests to write their name and a short note? Well, I am about to change your thought process by giving you ideas for what I like to call the “New Guest Book” - because nowadays the guest book is meant to be so much more than a boring book that you only open every 10 years. Take a look at some of the fun ideas we have seen at weddings and then open your imagination to come up with something clever for your wedding. Remember, this is probably one of the only times that you will have all of your most favorite people in the same place!
Something Clever to Sign On
Whether it be an oar, a golf flag, a canvas photo, a photo matte, or whatever you can come up with that is meaningful to you, have your guests sign on it so you can keep it forever in your home. Get creative! Did you and your fiance graduate from the same college? Have everyone sign a college flag. Do you love boating? Have everyone sign an oar or a ships wheel. The possibilities are really endless!
A photo booth is a great guest book alternative! Your guests get to take home a photo strip of themselves and you get a copy in a scrapbook where they can sign next to it to keep forever! It is a really fun activity for your guests and a really humorous keepsake for you!
Do you have great photos of you and your fiance from your relationship? Make a photobook online and leave some pages blank for your guests to sign. Or if you have photos of the destination you are getting married - like some fabulous images of Cape Cod - make a photo book out of that and have your guests sign in it. If you don’t have the photos, then buy a Cape Cod photo book and use that for guests to sign.
What ideas have you seen? There are so many new ideas out there, I almost think that we shouldn’t even call it a “guest book” anymore!
The Groom’s Wedding Day Roles
What about the groom?!? It seems that on the wedding day the groom always gets the easy way out - quick shower, shave and get dressed and he is on his way while the ladies are up at 8am starting to get ready. There are some very important roles of the groom on the wedding day and we wanted to focus today’s post on what those are so you can share this with your lucky groom!
The groom is typically in charge of the rings, which then he in turn puts his best man in charge of. If you have a ring bearer under the age of 5 I would highly recommend putting fake rings on the pillow and just giving the real rings to the best man. It is the groom’s job though to be sure the right person has the rings ready for the ceremony!
The Marriage License
The groom is also in charge of getting the marriage license to the officiant the day of the wedding or at the rehearsal if your officiant is there. All you have to do is hand it off, the officiant takes care of the rest! Easy job!
How to Tie a Bowtie
Now this is not for all grooms, but if you are a groom with a bowtie, please, please, please be sure you know how to tie the bowtie on yourself and on others. If you are making your groomsmen wear them as well, you are most likely going to need to know how to tie them for them.
If you do not have a wedding planner to handle final payments and gratuities for your vendors, the groom should be prepared to tip your vendors or should assign one of his groomsmen to take care of the task. The guys are typically the only ones with pockets!
Arrive to the Church On Time
The groom is also responsible for getting himself and his groomsmen to the church on time. Usually the men are the first to the church and are in charge of ushering guests to their seats and handing out programs. The groom can be seen by guests before the wedding, but he can also wait somewhere with his best man if he would rather not chat with others.
Arrange for a Way to Get Home
If you are spending your wedding night somewhere off site of the reception, the groom should be in charge of making sure hum and his new wife have a safe way to get to their room. That could be a taxi, a school bus, a trolley, a friend, you name it! Just be sure you have a way to get there!
Last but certainly not least, be sure to have fun on your wedding day! Enjoy every last minute of it because it will fly by! Take a few minutes with just you and your bride after the ceremony and during certain times throughout the night and just remember that moment you are in and how much fun you are having. It will be an amazing day!
So what is your music style? Do you have one? Classical? Modern? Old School? When considering music for your wedding, don’t forget to think about what you will have playing as you walk down the aisle, as you leave the ceremony and while your guests are enjoying cocktails and hors d’oevures. Below are some ideas you can consider for any and all of the above. Be sure to consider your style and vision - you don’t have to have “Here comes the bride” played as you enter if it doesn’t suit you!
Classical - If you are a classic person, then start by considering classical composers like Pachabel, Bach, Beethoven - the typical songs being Canon in D, Trumpet Voluntary, Wedding March, etc. These can be easily played by a string quartet, harp, pianist or organist. A handful of churches will only allow for sacred music, so be sure to ask your officiant if you are getting married in a church. And most churches will have a pianist or organist from the church that you either have to use, or will have the option to use. They can typically play most of the classical music.
Modern - If you want to bring a twist to your ceremony and you have the option to do so - like at an outside venue, museum, etc. - then you can consider almost anything and everything you love. You could play Bruno Mars, Amazing, as you walk down the aisle and the Beatles, All You Need is Love, as you exit, anything goes! Get creative, think outside the box. Play the songs you love! Think about taking a popular song and having it played on a classical instrument like a harp or acoustic guitar. Or if you have a couple of first dance options and only have to choose one, then think about using the others during your ceremony.
Depending on what instruments you have at your ceremony, I would recommend seeing if they can also play for your cocktail hour. Or you can also have your DJ or band play for your cocktail hour as well. It usually makes the most sense to have someone that is already going to be there to play during that hour. Unless you want to bring in a specialty instrument like a steel drum or an accordion! The cocktail hour is also a place to have fun with music. If you are Irish and you want to bring in Irish music into your day, this is a great place to do that and wow your guests. It is also a good place to play music that you may want to hear, but is not really right for dinner or dancing music. Think about it, it could be the perfect touch that your wedding needed!
I'm Engaged....now what?!?
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!
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 have decided that Cape Cod is your perfect location for your fairytale wedding, the location is booked, the scene is set, but now it is time to find your vendors. From florists and photographers, to DJs and caterers - everything is available to you right here on Cape Cod. Cape Cod is a destination wedding location and a majority of the couples that get married here are not residents, but have a history of coming to the Cape with their families for years. And because of the destination value, many businesses have started on Cape Cod to work with these couples on their dream wedding. So today, I am going to give you the top reasons why you should hire Cape Cod vendors, instead of considering those who may have to come over the bridge.
1. In the Know
If you hire a Cape Cod vendor 9 times out of 10 they are going to be in the know about your venue. Local photographers can recommend places near by to take photos, local caterers will know the ins and outs of certain venues - like what you can and cannot do on site - and other vendors will most likely have best practices at that location. Cape vendors also know about, and how to deal with, traffic and how to get around it! And that can be a big deal!
2. Bridge Traffic
If I have to pick a number one, this would be it. Cape vendors do not have to deal with bridge traffic! Most weddings are on weekends and most of the traffic coming to the Cape is on weekends - so if you hire local vendors, they do not have to worry about how early they have to leave so that they won’t be sitting in traffic trying to get over the bridge to your wedding!
3. Keep it Local
If you haven’t heard it before, Cape Codders are big believers in shopping locally to support our economy here on our little slice of heaven. So when it is possible, locals shop local and we all love when visitors shop local as well. It just means that the more that comes back into our community, the more we can keep the Cape striving and a fabulous place for couples to come to get married every year!
4. Locals know Locals
It is always so refreshing for any vendor to work a wedding and know most of the other vendors you have selected for your event, especially when they are all from Cape Cod. When you are working with your planner or catering manager, ask them about locals they they recommend and who they have had great experiences with. This will help you to narrow down those in the community that will fit your style, budget and needs.
As a planner on Cape Cod, I do try my best to stay local as often as I can. From time to time, my couples have already booked their photographer, band, or other vendor from off Cape and it is my job to be sure the vendors are educated on how to get to the locations and warn them about possible traffic. So if you do end up booking someone from off Cape, be sure that they are well aware of the travel time to your venue and that they leave at least 2 extra hours in the summer on a weekend to ensure they get to where they need to be on time! I can’t tell you how many times I have had a vendor stuck in traffic!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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