S & E Wedding (Big Wedding, Big Fun!)

All the weddings that I have had the privilege of doing have been fantastic. I have been blessed with wonderful couples and awesome guests. This wedding was no different.

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

I loved every moment of working with S and E. They were fun, easy going, warm, loving and it showed it every part of their wedding. They had a large wedding of over ~450 people, but so much of the wedding felt intimate and personal.

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

E + S were laughing the whole entire day, I was honestly concerned that they might have sore jaws the next day. The wedding was set in a wonderful large church, decorated with elegant details. The flowers that accented the day were large white fluffy hydrangeas encompassed by orange hued roses. The flowers were set on high settings that towered in the front locations of the aisle and altar. Rose petals carefully sprinkled the aisle.

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The bride was a joy to help get ready, she was easy going and just ready to marry the love of her life. It was fun watching her laugh and have fun with her bridesmaids. The guys were absolute joke-sters that made everyone and anyone laugh.

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The wedding was a wonderful mix of Nigerians and Americans. It was a fantastic party filled with singing, dancing, more singing, more dancing and plenty of delicious food and joyousness. This wedding was wonderful working at.

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

With big weddings what are some “rules” that could be helpful?

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

  1. Give yourself tons of buffer room. I made sure in all the timelines I made that there was plenty of buffer room for what ever we needed to get done. I always create plenty of room for buffer time, but for big weddings we need to be sure that there is plenty of room for lots of interference, lots of mishaps and possible new changes to the schedule. During the prayer portion on the blessing ceremony the day before the western style ceremony, some of the prayers went extra long, but luckily because I planned plenty of buffer room for the ceremony it everything was actually happening on time.


  2. Go with the flow. Make sure when something that may be abnormal that happens or something you have not planned to happen you just ride the tide. When the catering company did not come at the time they were suppose to, that allowed us to make sure other things were set up and by the time everything was set in motion (and the prayers went extra long). The catering company showed up right when the prayers ended and people were ready to eat.

  3. Be gracious and account for whatever cultural differences there may be. The wedding was a mixture of Nigerian and Americans. Timing is a bit different for Nigerians and Americans. Nigerians tend to be more relaxed and at ease when it comes to what the day will look like. For Nigerians there tends to be a cie la vie and an openness on how the day should proceed. Americans tend to be paced with more rigid guidelines and a more exact idea on what is going to happen on the day of a ceremony. There is no right or wrong, but a matter of creating a timeline for the day that allows for both cultures to mesh well with each other. In order to have a timeline that allows this, I created something with lots of buffer room, also the ability to give a plan A, plan B, plan C of what the day may possibly look like (how American of me!)

    The wedding was absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait to do another big big wedding. Go big or go home!


PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

Photography: Rachel Boer Photography

Ceremony: Covenant Life Church

Reception: Marriott Convention Center (North Bethesda)

Linens & Chairs: Marriott Convention Center (North Bethesda)

D & J Wedding

Oh my heart is still swooning on how incredibly sweet this wedding was.  The wedding was at the gorgeous venue at Airlie and it is a destination worth taking a beautiful vacation or a nice week end get away.  The venue has wonderful man made lakes, a small waterfall, sprawling lawns, beautiful fountains, boxwood mazes, rose gardens...phew have I said enough?  That isn't even all of it.  It truly was a wonderful venue to be part of. 

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

During the week before the wedding, my clients and I kept checking the weather report to evaluate whether we should do the wedding inside or outside due to 80-90% chance of thunderstorms.  Luckily at the last minute the bride made the call and had the wedding indoors.  You would think that having a wedding indoors makes things boring, or less beautiful, but the space that was there made the wedding feel intimate and sweet.  It was a great choice that the bride made that call, because during the ceremony there were some rain showers that happened, plus the heat index was about 85-90 degrees.  No one likes their make up melting.  

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

The bride was stunning and was the sweetest person that you could ever meet.  The groom although a tad nervous, was ready to kiss his bride and enjoy the evening.  I loved working with this couple, they were easy going, lovely to be around and their family was absolutely fantastic.  Serendiptiously it stopped raining right after the wedding ceremony was finish and we were able to move guests over to the Spanish steps outside.  It was a great location to get the entire 125 guests on the steps for a large photo shot.  The bride was really hoping to capture this moment and the skies cleared just in time. 

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

We quickly transitioned the guests over to the gorgeous pavilion where they dined on delicious appetizers and took in the beautiful views of the venue.  The guests were lively and fun and the over all atmosphere of the reception was laid back yet elegant.  The guitarist that played for the ceremony and cocktail hour was wonderful, he played classical to contemporary songs that suit everyone's taste.

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

The reception was filled with loving speeches that could make anyone have some misty eyes.  The bride and groom kept smiling through out the night, and just looked like they enjoyed every second.  I loved doing this wedding because the bride and groom were able to get all the photos they desired, plus they were able to talk and mingle with each and everyone of their guests in a personable manner.  They had enough time to have thoughtful conversations with their guests, and party the night away.  There was never a moment of feeling rushed or pushed around, but it was a night that flowed seamlessly.  I love that!

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Modern Frames Photography

Photographer: Modern Frames Photography

Venue/ Caterer/ Linens/ Rentals: Airlie

Makeup and Hair: Dani Gibbs

Guitarist: Christopher Wyton Music

DJ : Shew-sical enteratainment

Cake: Cakes in Art

   

Relax, Enjoy Your Wedding Day

I was definitely the anxious bride for my wedding, or maybe a better word was ridiculously excited about my wedding day.  I did not sleep before my wedding day plus, I woke up at the crack of dawn when I did not need to.  

Here are some great tips to help you relax and have a wonderful, beautiful wedding day just like S & L , and J & R did!

Polyakov Photography

Polyakov Photography

 

Here are some tips I have learned over the years from myself and other brides on how to relax on your wedding day, so you can have fun and look great in pictures!

1. Don't anticipate sleeping the night before.  Most people who do something really exciting the next day tend to not sleep well the night before.  Lots of pro-athletes, have this issue (so don't feel alone if you suffer from this) struggle with sleeping the night before a big event, your brain is just thinking too much.  For myself, I did not sleep before my wedding day, plus I woke up at the crack of dawn when in all honesty I did not need to.  However, over time there have been some wisdom I have gathered from people who struggle with sleep anxiety the night before a big event.  Try to sleep as much as you can the week of your wedding.  If you can afford to, think about getting a massage after your rehearsal dinner or before.  Drink lots of water the day before your wedding, stay off your cell phone at least 2 hours before you go to sleep the night before your wedding. 

2. Hire a wedding coordinator you trust and create a timeline that will give you plenty of bugger room in your day so you don't feel rushed.  A coordinator will guide the day along.  Being guided through out the day will help someone feel less stressed and more at ease that things are under control.  

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3.  Hire a great photographer.  Hire someone your (bride and groom) personality meshes well with.  Having a photographer that understands your quarks and personality will allow you (the bride and groom) to feel more relaxed and genuinely at ease in all the photographs.

Eva Rodzeno

Eva Rodzeno

4. Give your friends and family tasks to help out with the day.  For example: managing the guest book, transporting your gifts and gift card to where it needs to go, clearing off decorations.  This will help any bride and groom stress less on these details.    

5. Track the weather. and make sure you have back ups or alternatives on what you can do if it rains out or is ridiculously hot.  Make sure your venue offers a back up if you have an outdoor wedding you can bring it inside if there are any weather issues.  Provide your guests with any necessary weather items (fans if it is hot, bug spray if it is outdoors, umbrellas if it rains, and small blankets if it is cold) 

5. Enjoy the day.  go in remember the most important part of the day: You are marring your best friend.  At the end of the day you are starting a wonderful, exciting and new adventure with your favorite person.  

Guiding Your Guests

I did a quick instagram post about guiding your guests, and there are many ways in how to bless / guide your guests for your wedding.  I want to give you some tips on how to ensure your guests feel loved during your wedding.

Polyakov Photography

Polyakov Photography

I have heard friends of mine that have been seriously confused at weddings because they were unsure what was happening next, why was the ceremony so late to start, what side were they suppose to sit on, where they allowed to touch certain food stations?  People have been confused where to go for a reception or if there was even a reception.  

 I want guests to not be confused what the next steps are and have a wonderful and enjoyable time at the bride and groom's grand event.   

1. Make sure you have a schedule and try your best to follow it.  For all the future brides and grooms out there, it is one of the most important things you need to do for your wedding day is to create a timeline.  The timeline will help guide all your vendors on how to approach your wedding day.  A wedding coordinator will create a timeline for you and go over with you the details of your day and will even coordinate with your vendors to make sure that everything will flow properly and that your guests will feel very well taken care of. 

This is especially important for the photographer!!!  Remember to create a list of pictures that are must haves, and also a list of portrait pictures you would like with your family and friends.  If you have group photos, list down the exact people you want in the pictures, (e.g. 1. bride, groom, mom of bride, dad of bride 2. bride, groom, mom of groom, dad of groom 3. bride, groom, uncle x, aunt y, cousin z, 4. bride, groom uncle a, aunt b, cousin c, cousin d, you get the point).  Ask a friend or family member that may know all of these people or at least the majority to round out the people and make sure they are accounted for in the pictures) 

Eva Rodezno

Eva Rodezno

 

2. Plan on asking some of your friends or family members to be ushers for the ceremony.  The wedding coordinator will train them where to stand, how to greet guests and where to guide them to their seats.  Ushers seem like such a small part to a wedding, but it adds an element of hospitality and care for the guests. 

3. Plan on having some nice personalized signs.  Have a welcome sign, a basic schedule sign, visible direction signs to the restroom, and maybe a sign for the bar, or lawn games that may be at the wedding.  Although this seems frivolous, it is helpful for guests to have some guidance, plus it is a way the bride and groom can personalize your wedding, plus it gives a bit creativity and decor to the wedding.

4. If you (the bride and groom) have any direct announcements, make sure your officiant makes them at the end of the ceremony.  Make any directions clear and obvious on the programs if necessary. 

5. Make a clear and understandable seating chart.  There are so many wonderful and creative ideas out there that can be personalized to any wedding.  

Polyakov Photography

Polyakov Photography

6. If there are certain bars / lawn games or things the guests are allowed to do, make it clear by having signs welcoming people to please eat the food, drink the drinks or play the games.  

7.  As the bride and groom make sure your greet your guests, say hi, give lots of hugs and kisses, and pull people onto the dance floor, just have fun!

Eva Rodezno

Eva Rodezno

How To Properly Do A Sparkler Send-Off

PC: Polyakov Photography

PC: Polyakov Photography

 

  1. Make sure your venue allows a sparkler sendoff.  Ask for a good location.  Make sure there isn’t any fire hazards (overhanging branches, dead leaves and dry brush)
  2. Kitty litter, yes kitty litter.  Get a big bucket from Home Depot (don’t get fancy on this, it won’t be seen in the photos).  Get one of those orange buckets from Home Depot and fill it with a big bag of kitty litter.  Try and get it half way filled up.  Don’t use water.  Why not?  Water may not put out the sparkler quick enough.  The sparkler runs so hot that it may continue to burn in the water.  Kitty litter will snuff out the sparkler quickly (you can use sand too).
  3. Use extra long sparklers designated for send offs ( not the 4th of July kind).  You want the long sparklers so no one gets their hands burned or burns someone else.  You want the sparklers at least 20” long.  There are plenty of places you can google for this.
  4. Depending on your number of guests, have at least 1 long butane lighter for every 10 guests.  That way when guests are directed to light up the sparklers it will be done quickly and most people’s sparklers will last the same length of time.
  5. Line up guests in two rows.  Keep guests at a safe distance so they don’t burn each other.  When everything is set.  The wedding coordinator will instruct everyone to light their sparklers together (by butane lighters and already lit sparklers).  The wedding coordinator should have already prepped the bride and groom before they exit (hidden in the back somewhere)
  6. The wedding coordinator will ask for all the guests to do a 10 second countdown.  When the guests hit 1 to place their sparklers in the air as the bride and groom exit.
  7. If your wedding is ending late and you are anxious to ensure you have enough guests to be part of this fun portion of the wedding, do this on an earlier part of the evening.  Plan this out with your wedding coordinator to see where it fits in.

Hope this is helpful!  

R & J Wedding

Have you ever met a couple so joyful, happy, exuberant about life that you just felt energized every time you were around them?  Have you ever been around a couple that had so much zest for life it made you randomly salsa?  

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

R & J are this couple and I had the honor and privilege of being their day of coordinator.  Their wedding was set in a large church with beautiful sprawling grounds where you could take gorgeous outdoor pictures.  The inside of the church is bright and airy that was welcoming and open.  

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

The bride and groom were relaxed and at ease the whole day, and you can tell by their pictures.  They had fun and made wise cracking jokes, they were constantly laughing and smiling (they are like this even not on their wedding day).  Honestly my jaw hurt by the end of the night.  

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

All their friends and family helped with any details such as ushering, manning the gift table, decorating the church and reception area.  A close friend even made the bride's wedding dress!! It was a loud, fun and involved family affair.  

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

The ceremony was sweet,loving and tissue worthy.  Immediately following the ceremony was a reception, or really a PAR - TAY! This was a dry wedding but this did not stop people from salsa dancing even at “cocktail hour.”  

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

The highlight of the wedding was la hora loca, where the guests got fun props the music was playing loud and everyone was on the dance floor, and I mean everyone.  It was an hour of intense music and it was a blast!  Even after la hora loca people were on the dance floor, the guests literally danced the night away until the venue had to clean up and close up (and I emphasize again, this was a dry wedding). In a future post I’ll talk about creative ways to have a dry wedding.

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

Eva Anzola

I definitely think the personalities of the bride and groom made this wedding incredibly fun.  They made the whole atmosphere of the wedding feel relaxed and inviting.  The wedding was filled with love and laughter.  The bride and groom are definitely one of those couples you know they love their guests and that everyone of their guests loves them abundantly.

 

 

 

 

- Vendors - 

Photographer:Eva Anzola

Venue: Julia Bindeman Suburban Center

Catering: .El Carbonazo

Event Rental (Chairs, Linens, etc): Mike Aguilar

Saxophone: Chris Garcia

L & J Wedding

Flash back Friday post!

I feel like I say it all the time, but I loved this wedding.  I loved the bride, the groom, and the families.  I felt so blessed to be able to be part of this wedding.  

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

Have you ever been to a wedding where you think back ..."that was such a lovely and sweet wedding" and then you let out a literal peaceful sigh, because it was that lovely?

Well, this wedding really was that type of wedding.

The wedding was a wonderful mix of simple yet elegant.  The bride and groom were sweet and loving.  The couple  emanated a deep devotion and joy towards one another.  The details of the wedding were simple, yet clean and delicate.

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography 

PC: Rachel Boer Photography 

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

The wedding had an exuberance of happiness intertwined with child like silliness.  The ceremony took place at a church that was intimate and simple.  The natural lighting inside the church filled every crevice of space, making the place feel warm and inviting. The grounds outside of the ceremony, was lush green grass and tall leaf filled trees.  

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

The reception was a beautiful wood lodge with large outdoor space.  One of my favorite parts of the wedding was how the outdoor space was utilized to have lawn games and family activites.  How wonderful is that!?!  I loved how the bride and groom wanted the wedding to be family / kid friendly.  There were tons of games, activities and snacks for kids and families to enjoy. 

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

I think lots of times with weddings (and understandably so), tend to be an event that requests parents to enjoy an evening away from the kids.  

But this wedding was the opposite, this wedding was a more kids the merrier affair.  Having kids in attendance gave a wonderful energy to the whole event.  You saw kids playing with bubbles, running around and just being kids.  The kids brought a delight and laughter that filled the wedding day.  It was also a great reminder of the future to come.  

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

PC: Rachel Boer Photography

 

- Vendors - 

Photographer: rachelboerphotography.com

Ceremony Venue: Barnesville Baptist Church

Reception Venue: The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek

Catering: .Stone Soup Catering 

S & L Wedding

I recently did a wedding for a wonderful couple.  This couple was absolutely wonderful to work with.  They were laid back and fun.  All they wanted was to say "I Do!"  I love that in couples.  I love when it isn't just about the decor, food, dress, but it is about a beautiful covenant coming together, witnessed by the people they love and who love them back.  This wedding was overflowing with joy.  

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PC: Polyakov Photography

The wedding was set at a beautiful venue, at Mount Airy Manor.  The venue had so much charm and beauty.  The grounds had rolling green grass, large open spaces and lots of places where natural sunlight hit the building with absolute perfection.  Inside was just as serene.  There were large rooms furnished by tufted chairs and beautiful wood furniture.  

 

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PC: Polyakov Photography

Although cocktail hour was a tad snug at points, the day was crisp and gorgeous, many people spilled outside to enjoy their horderves and libations.  The venue had plenty of space for a wedding of 150 and a great dancing space.

One of the main highlights was the simple yet gorgeous wedding ceremony.  As the bride glided down the aisle, you could almost feel the groom's excitement. 

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PC: Polyakov Photography

During the reception, dancing was non stop until the grand finale exit of the bride and groom.  The finale ended the way the wedding started.  With a bang!  Well actually it ended with sparklers.  It was a blast to be this bride and groom's day of wedding coordinator, I feel honored that I was able to be a small part in their special day.   

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PC: Polyakov Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Vendors - 

Photographer: polyakovphotography.com

Venue: mountairymansion.org

Catering: .tbtbscatering.com

Event Rental (Chairs, Linens, etc); .tbtbscatering.com

Makeup: Eye Do Makeup & Hair LLC

 

The Professionals

Why you want to hire a wedding professional and not your cousins cousins aunt’s brother’s sister.

From time to time I get clients that tell me, “oh don’t worry about a photographer we got that covered my friend takes great pictures he just got a new camera.” Or, “I think it’s just fine if I tell my friends just to help out with the wedding and the wedding will go fine.” Or I hear the “the day will flow fine, we don’t need anyone to help coordinate.”

I wish it was that easy. I know people hate getting sucked into the micro universe of the wedding industry. I get that people hate over paying for their wedding. But what I hate even more is a disappointed bride and groom. Have you ever had a friend that has major regrets on their wedding day because:

1. Asked their friends to take pictures but they end up blurry or capturing the wrong things. Or a whole other host of problems with not getting the right picture. Or enough pictures, or the pictures of family members you desperately wanted?

2. Have had a wedding where the day didn’t flow? Or things took too long, you waited an hour or more for the ceremony to start or the reception to begin and then the food is cold by the time you eat it?

3. Have you been to a wedding where you didn’t know who to ask questions from because no one was in charge?

4. Where you a friend at a wedding told to help out but you have no idea when or what to do, or how to do it?

5. For those that have been married, did you experience hunger pains because you never got a bite to eat on your special day?

6. For those that have been married, did you get dragged every where but never had the time to enjoy your wedding day?

7. Did a vendor ever drop out last minute? And what do you do if that happens?

The list can go on and on! Raise your hand if you have been disappointed at a wedding or even your own wedding day!?!

I have! Don’t get me wrong I had a wonderful and beautiful wedding day and had an amazing wedding coordinator, but I won’t name names, one of my vendors was terrible. I wish I did a little more research and a little more care went into my planning.

When you pay for a professional, that is what you will be receiving, professional and top quality work.

I don’t want my future clients to have any regrets on their wedding day. Hiring me as a coordinator, I promise you the issues you felt at other people’s weddings won’t be felt at yours.

I want my clients to know when I contact their vendors, I will know when they arrive and what their needs are and how to help them to make your day as fantastic as possible. I will be the point person not the bride and groom. I want my bride and groom to just sit back, relax and enjoy their wedding day.

If you are stumped at where to go for vendors, I am happy to refer some amazing vendors. Plus I have a range of vendors to work from that can work within a budget or we can work together to find what is best in your budget.

Asking a friend / family member to volunteer is great, but do you want to put that kind pressure on that person? A professional vendor knows the ins and outs of what to do when a hiccup occurs on the day of the wedding. You don’t want to burden your friends and family members, you want them to enjoy the beautiful day with you. You want them to have fun, create memories and soak up the special day.

How To Bless Guests

Tip 1: Think about your guests.

When you start getting into wedding planning, people can get caught up in the fun parts like decor, dresses and cakes. All those things are wonderful, but don't forget you are planning an event to share with your closest family and friends. Think about your guests and how you can bless them.

For example: 
For an outdoor wedding, don't forget to provide things, such as: water bottles, umbrellas (if super hot or possible chance of rain), bug spray, hand fans, maybe handkerchief for misty eyes.

Tip 2: Carve out time to thank your guests at your wedding.

1. You can do it by going table to table during the dancing portion of the wedding. (Make sure you announce this)

2. A traditional greeting line after the ceremony

3. Or if you are really tight on time, have the groom and bride make a short (1-2 minute) thank you speech during the toast portion.

Tip 3: Train your ushers.

Indoor or outdoor, don't forget to have an usher(s) at your wedding. Depending on the size of your wedding it's best to have 2-3 ushers. Ushers help welcome guests to the ceremony, guide guests to their seat (even if there are no bride or groom sides), pass out programs, and answer questions (e.g. Where is the restroom). You want to make sure the first thing your guests encounter at your wedding is with a warm and friendly interaction. Make sure your ushers know where seats are reserved for the bride and grooms family (typically first two rows). Make sure the ushers know how to graciously greet guests and guide them to their seat.

Ushers also have other duties but I won't bog you down with the details. If you are getting married soon and you are thinking, "I'm not sure if I have time to train my ushers, I just want to enjoy my big day." That's where a wedding coordinator comes along.

More updates will come soon.

Wedding Day Tips

Wedding day tip 1:

For the bride and the groom, it’s easy to get swept up in the day and to see your friends and family. But make sure you take at least 5-10 minutes for you both to spend it without anyone or any pressures around you. Sit back or stand, grab a piece of cake and champagne and soak in the moment.

Wedding day tip 2: like many wedding vendors, don't hold off on securing your wedding vendor.

Don't book your Coordinator last minute. Again please let me emphasize. Do not book your Coordinator last minute. Sure I love a good challenge. A wedding I coordinated recently asked me 2 weeks before their wedding and I was absolutely thrilled to take the job. However I want to emphasize that 2 weeks is not ideal for any vendor.

In order for a wedding coordinator to plan out and organize your day, talk and coordinate with vendors, check contracts and go to your venue site or at least get a map of your venue site (depending on how far the location is) you should try and book the coordinator at least 1-2 months in advance. You want to secure your Coordinator early to make sure they are not booked on your date.

Wedding day tip 3:

Are you and your groom (or bride) not really into cake? Or just not into wedding cake?

A great idea is to get a smaller cake for the cake cutting portion (or just opt out of the cake cutting portion altogether). This is also a great way to save money on a budget wedding too! Serve something creative and or something that reminds your guests of who you are as a couple..

Ideas:
- Ice cream sandwiches
- Ice cream cake
- tiramisu
- tres leche cake
- Whoopie pies
- macaroons
- cupcakes (get fun with this, different flavors or even go easy and do something like funfetti)
- donuts (my al time favorite)

The ideas are endless! You don’t have to stick to conventional wedding cake, make it fun and make it you.

Wedding Day Tips 4:

Are you planning to have a wedding that does not have a dance floor and / or alcohol? Some people may think this is a bad idea or tricky, but I think, how fun!

Here are some ideas below (I will be posting more on the next post)

Some great ideas would be
1. Get a caricature artist. This is a fun idea and leaves your guests with a personal gift. It's not too expensive either.

2. Do food bars. I know you've seen them before. Candy bars and dessert bars, but get creative! Make a taco bar station, or for my Bubble tea drinkers a bubble tea station (one of my best friends had this at her wedding and it was the best idea ever). Have a coffee bar for the coffee aficionado you are.

3. Play ispy at your table with disposable cameras at your table to develop later and see the reveal. Or a more inexpensive way is to use your phone camera and # your wedding.

More great ideas coming up soon: preview (battleship and sumo)

More tips to come / updates soon

Gluten Free Wedding Cake Ideas

I wanted to help by giving guidance on some non-gluten options you can ask your cake maker (baker or pastry chef). Of course there are tons of bakers out there that will use gluten free flour but in case they don’t, many bakers can make the following below.

1. Having a flourless chocolate cake

2. A pavlova or meringue cake

3. An almond flour cake

4. A cheesecake

5. Macaron cake fancy and fun (I recommend you contact https://m.facebook.com/derbycitymacarons/)

6. Ice cream

 

Budget Savvy Brides and Friends

To my wonderful Budget Brides, Grooms, anyone that doesn't have an infinite budget for your wedding.  I have written some great tips for you below.

Tip 1: make a budget and do your best to stick with it, but make sure you give a little wiggle room.

Budget, budget, budget!!! Make a realistic budget and try to stick with it. I really like this spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/…/1XGxcnlTKTQ6bKY_jaj4G6lm…/htmlview

It helps give a realistic view of what the industry tends to charge for their services.

Make sure you talk it over with your partner and whom ever else is contributing to your wedding budget what the main goals (big money portions, what you are aiming at for a wedding) are and your smaller goals would be (what are the not important things).

Make sure everyone is on the same page and that everyone will understand that some things may not be possible or should not be focused on.

Tip 2: if there is some type of element you really want for your wedding but aren’t willing to pay for the venue to do it, or possibly a third party.

I recommend the scary Pinterest word “DIY.” But don’t be scared or intimadated, look for DIYs that you feel you can accomplish and are doable. Also ensure that whatever DIY you pick you have plenty of time and possible hands you need (it can be an enjoyable bonding Activity with friends and family).

I had a friend that made her backdrop for her wedding. It was absolutely gorgeous and breath taking, it took her a long time but she did it with care and time. She would come home from work and work on it while watching a show and would accomplish little by little until wah lah a professional looking backdrop that oozed drool worthy wedding awesomeness.

Of course if you don’t have time time or space to do it, I am happy to offer my services, depending on the DIY. I can help you accomplish your DIY goals. If you are interested please contact me.

Tip 3: To save money, have your wedding during the off season and look at unlikely venues for your wedding.

I know some brides hope for that spring/ summer wedding at a country chateau or something idyllic like at a manor, but sometimes the budget isn’t possible for that.

But don’t fret! Try something different. Look at venues in the late fall or winter months, many venues cut their prices sometimes more than half during off season. Florists and other vendors tend to be more flexible with their prices during this season also.

Try an off time or off day. Friday in the morning (although people don’t prefer this because that means people have to take off work) or even Friday in the evenings tend to be less expensive. Try a morning wedding, nothing is better than a delicious brunch, mimosas and bellinis!

Try not to pigeonhole yourself at focusing purely on wedding centric venues. Get creative and think of looking up schools, activity centers, even some camp grounds have nice event centers.

Remember! Some venues charge hidden fees, such as: cake cutting, corking fees, added cost of not using their preferred vendors, etc.

***If you are in a quagmire of a situation trying to find a good venue but you don’t have the time, contact me and I would be happy to guide you through the muck.****

Tip 4: your wedding dress, be a little unconventional.

If you aren’t aiming to spend a lot on your dress, but also don’t want to spend tons of time out shopping or going to trunk shows on your downtime, I highly recommend being unconventional. This is for those that don’t mind not having friends and family seeing you try on the dress.

1. Look at craigslist for a dress and ask to try the dress on at a local target nearby the person (or somewhere safe and bring a friend)

All the links below are dresses under 200.00

2. Coralie Beatrix, I love this dress and you can add accessories if you like https://www.etsy.com/…/crystal-cove-ivory-with-blush-lace-l…

3. Even check out places like Nordstrom’s and or Nordstrom rack. This dress is 98.00 (before taxes)
https://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/lulus-lace-bodice-m…/4792575…

4. This dress is definitely for the fun and flirty bride. Instead of your usual white dress it comes in a beautiful blush pink and tea length for 175.00 before taxes. 
https://www.modcloth.com/…/chi-chi-london-gilde…/135364.html

To find a great deal for your wedding dress, know your measurements, be willing to take a risk, look for gowns in the evening section rather than the wedding section.

Will update this post for more tips on being budget friendly!