Most brides and grooms are taking advantage of 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 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 couples to use, 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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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!!
Cape Cod Celebrations has been fortunate enough to have an amazing young woman interning with us for the past 2 years and who will be joining us again this summer, but not only as our intern, but also our new admin!
Olivia has been studying event planning at UMASS Amherst and will be graduating a semester early this fall - smarty pants!
Words cannot express how grateful I am that Olivia found us. Her drive and attention to detail is well beyond her years. And in her 2+ years with us she has been on site with me to trouble shoot events with no air conditioning on one of the hottest days of the year, but also to be thankful for beautiful days like the one above at Chequesset Golf Club.
We love you Olivia! Thank you for being so awesome!
You have found the venue, you have found the dress. All of the details are coming together, but now you have to figure out what the heck to feed your guests! From a laid back BBQ to a 4 course lobster dinner, here are some things to consider when choosing your Cape Cod wedding menu.
First things first. If you are going to be serving alcohol, there has to be food served with it. So depending on the length of your cocktail hour - anywhere from 30-90 minutes - be sure that you have some sort of food available for your guests to enjoy while sipping on a cocktail. If you are trying to mind your budget, why not just go with simple cheese and crudite displays. You can skip the passed hors d’oeuvres. If you want to provide more than just cheese and vegetables, you can also consider doing a raw bar or an action station where the chef prepares something fun for your guests - like the Chowder Station from The Casual Gourmet. If you want to have food passed, we recommend that you choose at least 5-6 different hors d’oeuvres and you can count on one of each kind per person. It is always a good idea to feature meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Some Cape Cod favorites are scallops wrapped in bacon, mini lobster rolls and shrimp cocktail.
“If you and your fiance are true foodies for whom each meal is an adventure, but your family are very simple eaters, choose some exotic hors d’oeuvres and a more mainstream entree for dinner," says Olive Chase, President of The Casual Gourmet.
Station Style Dinner
Station styled dinners have become quite popular and are just a bit different than your typical buffet style dinner. Station style dinners are set-up around your reception space with different selections like a salad station, a carving station and a pasta station where chefs are usually right there preparing the food for your guests as they come up to the table. Some couples use stations as a way to turn their reception into more of a cocktail party, instead of a sitdown dinner.
A buffet styled dinner is just as you remember it - one or two long tables set-up where guests are called up table by table to serve themselves. Some couples think that buffet style dinners can be more affordable, but depending on your venue or caterer, they can sometimes be more costly due to the fact that they have to factor in for guests who take more than their share, or want seconds. So save time, it can be nice to start the meal with a served or pre-set salad so that guests do not have to get their salad at the buffet along with their dinner.
Plated meals are the most popular of choices for weddings. I highly recommend going with a three course meal - salad, entree and wedding cake. The appetizer course always seems like a waste to me, especially seeing that your guests just came off of a heavy cocktail hour and because it adds more time to the service of the food. I also recommend avoiding giving your guests a choice of a meal - like beef or fish. Why not offer a duet entree of beef and fish and if there are guests that do not like beef or fish, they can request to have just one or the other. And don’t worry - all venues and caterers will be prepared for any vegetarians and allergies, as long as you provide them with the count ahead of time.
Ask Your Caterer!
"Make your caterer your friend! Ask what their specialties are and how they will be preparing your food at the site you have chosen. Will they cook on-site even if the venue has no kitchen or bring in food already prepared? Make sure they are receptive to your food tastes and are able to produce the meal you have in mind," said Olive. If you don’t know, do not be afraid to ask! This is most likely the first and last wedding you will ever have, so be open about what you like and do not like!
One of the most dreaded planning components of any wedding is where and how to seat the guests. Long tables or rounds? Assigned seating or open seating? Can Aunt Martha sit at the same table with Uncle Bob? There is not really any easy way to figure it all out, but we can provide you with some ideas to help to make the decision on how the seating will work best at your wedding.
Long Tables or Rounds
To be honest, I really feel that either work. A lot of people will say that the long tables are not as good for conversation, but I can also see how the rounds may not be good for conversation either. So I would base it off of what you want your aesthetic to be in your space. It is very popular now to do a mix of shapes as well to give more movement to the room.
If you have under 50 guests at your event, you are more than welcome to skip the escort cards and just let your guests seat themselves. The only caveat I have for this, is to make sure you have a table, or tables, reserved for the bridal party and family. If you skip this part, the bride and groom may end up at a table that they do not want to sit at!
If you have over 50 guests, I highly recommend escort cards. An escort card is what guests pick up and “escort” them to their table. This could be anything from a tented card with their name and table number to a tag on their favor which they take to the table with them or a map on an easel with names in alpha order. One big thing that brides tend to forget is that the escort cards need to be in alphabetical order, not table number order, and it is so nice to hand them over to your planner or catering manager in that order. Saves tons of time!
If you are having more of an upscale event, or if you want to assign specific seats at the table, you would start with escort cards to get the guest to the table and then you would have place cards in front of each seat showing where that guest would sit. This is not necessary, but some couples find that they prefer this so that they know that people sitting next to each other at the table will make conversation.
One thing to consider when building your seating plan is that your guests will really only be seated for 1-1.5 hours. Most of them are all just waiting for the dance floor to open! So don’t stress about it too much!
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!
If you were unable to attend The First NotWedding on Cape Cod last month at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel, then be my guest as I highlight the vendors that participated, share a photo and lure you to The NotWedding website to creep the party!
The First NotWedding on Cape Cod was a sold out event with 150+ guests, 30+ vendors and loads of fun! Chris & Peyton Lambton, local Cape Cod celebrities, and Chris’ brother and sister-in-law Meagan and Mark, joined us this year as the NotBridal Party and by the looks of it, they had just as much fun as everyone else!
The event began with a beautiful ceremony in the Sea Crest’s Ocean View room with decor by Designer’s Touch and a newly debuted boardwalk aisle by True North Event rentals.
After the ceremony guests enjoyed a mini-cocktail hour and then processed down the hall to the Nauset Ballroom where the found the space decorated by florists, designers and other fabulous vendors. Sea Crest served an amazing plated dinner and after dinner was served guests got the chance to meet the vendors of The NotWedding in the Tunnel of Love. The dance floor opened hosted by DJ Danny Walsh and the party continued.
The guests left the event saying “This was so much fun! It was the best bridal event I have ever attended!”
If you were unable to attend, be sure to check out the event from start to finish on The NotWedding website.
And not to worry, rumor has it that the event will be back in November 2014 again! Interested vendors can apply online at www.thenotwedding.com/apply
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!
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!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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