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!
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!
Mandee and I worked on a super fun Cape Cod rehearsal dinner today and transformed Grange Hall in Sandwich in to a super fun place to gather friends and family before an awesome weekend of wedding festivities! Casual Gourmet catered a clambake for them and guests also enjoyed tours of the Nye Museum, part of the Bride's family history!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
At Cape Cod Celebrations, your vision is our brand. Learn more about how we can help you pull together your beautiful Cape Cod Wedding.