A Wedding At Home?

Would you consider a wedding at home?

I recently worked on a “Home Wedding”.  It was one of he nicest I’ve ever been to, personally or professionally.  It didn’t hurt that it was not just an “Everyday Home”.  The wedding was held at the fabulous summer “Cottage” of the groom’s family.  The “Cottage” has been in the family for four generations.  Below is a photo of the three story wonder, situated right on a lake.


It wasn’t only the beauty that appealed to the bride when she requested to be married here – although that can’t be denied – but the long standing tradition.  Many family members have been married here, right under the tree on the left, pictured below.


The couple decided to have a tent, both for aesthetics and potential weather issues.   It was a good call.   It presented an air of elegance, and festivity.  They ended up having a perfect day, not too cold, not too hot…and NO rain! But it was a nice respite for the guests to get out of the sun.  The tables and chairs were perfectly proportioned for the tent’s dimensions, the dance floor ample.


I love how the guests were encouraged to enjoy cocktail hour on the bistro tables below.  The view of the lake was absolutely stunning.


Below, a photo of the tent.  Isn’t it lovely?


And as the day turned into night, the stone wall dividing the property from the lakes’s beach was lined with luminarias – paper bags filled with sand with a candle, (in this case, an electric candle), in the center. It was an exquisite scene as night fell.


The next shot gives you a little closer view of the luminarias AND the lake.  The wedding was a huge success.  The guests had a wonderful time – and  THAT is the goal!


All photos: Mary P. Karnes

Great Outdoor Wedding Advice

Outdoor Wedding Advice

Every single wedding I worked on this summer was an outdoor affair…every single one!  Not only were the ceremonies outside but the receptions as well.  When my daughters, Kathleen and Maggie married, their ceremonies were in a church.  So even if we had inclement weather, (we did for Maggie), there was some sort or respite for part of the day.


poofy organics

One must be truly brave too hold her ceremony AND reception outdoors in summer.  But I’m glad to say that all my events this season were wonderful.  The brides did their research and prepared for the worst.  Today I’ll be sharing some tips I found on shefinds.com, along with pointers I acquired from my brides.

  1. Don’t forget the bug spray!  And if you’re health conscience, consider an organic, non-toxic product like poofy organics.  Just click on the link above if you’d like to order.  My friend and neighbor is actually a rep for the company.  I use their products and love them, and the care for the environment they support.

Although probably not good for the environment, one venue did a “Yard Bomb”.  This venue had the least bugs and itchy guests.



2.  I know from personal experience that if your weather will be warm, PLEASE insist your cake baker use fondant to cover the cake.  If you use this product, your frosting won’t melt!  One bride, not mine, even went as far as to get a “cake net” to cover her cake.  A GREAT idea.  If you’re interested, you can click on the link and order up!



3.  A tent option is good rain or shine.  If if rains, your guests have somewhere to go to stay dry.  If it is sunny and hot, a respite from the heat.  This is a win-win option.  Some venues include the tents in the price of their rental fee, others don’t.  Find out up front so you don’t have any last minute surprises.




4. I have used the above “Chilly Pads” for my daughter’s sporting events.  It’s a miracle!  You wet the cloth pictured above, and it’s super cool.  It really brings down one’s body temp.  My most recent bride found tiny ones and had several available for overheated guests. Brilliant!



5.  Could you ask for a cuter favor?  If you’re having an outdoor wedding, consider ordering sunscreen with your names and wedding date printed on them.  Then provide it to your guests as a favor!  (This is from shefinds.com, as are the watermelon pops below).



6.  Don’t forget to keep your guests hydrated.  My brides this summer made sure their guests had water and/or lemonade at the ceremony site to keep hydrated as they waited for the wedding to begin.  Smart.  And the watermelon pops above…adorable!


Not Just Any Old Fare…World Class Food



Like any 5 star resort, The Hotel Del Coronado serves world class food, but with a twist. It’s not just any old fare… They grow much of their greens, herbs and peppers on property – to be used in their fine dining restaurant, “1888”  (aptly named for the year the resort opened).  If you look at the top photo, (all photos on this post are mine), you see a green grouping of plants in the center.  This is the view from my balcony – I’m looking right.


The next two photos  show in closer detail the well-loved and well-cared for garden.  Unlike New England, where I reside, the hotel staff doesn’t have to worry about winter freezing the crops, or dreaded deer.  I used to love deer.  It was always a treat to see them.  No longer.  The love to eat my plants, and can be huge road hazards.



What does this mean for your wedding fare, if you choose to use the Hotel as your venue?  Delicious food, that’s what.  Even if you don’t get to enjoy the kitchen garden, Southern California has the best available fresh produce in the world, all local restaurants use it. You are in for a treat!


No worries about your wedding meal, and perhaps you’ll want to have your rehearsal dinner on site…or a post wedding brunch the next day.  You will have plenty of options, whether it’s pool side, (see above), or one of the more causal eateries – (see below).  And let’s face it…the view can’t be beat.


Summer Wedding Pitfalls, Part II

Summer Wedding Pitfalls…

10 Things Summer Brides Forget From shefinds.com had some great check points to consider when planning your summer wedding.  In my last blog post, Summer Bride, (click on the link if you’d like to read), I highlighted some tips I used from my own daughter’s summer wedding.  “Shefinds.com” came up from some I had not thought of.

  1. Consider a second boutonniere for your groom, as his may wilt from the heat.  Brilliant really, and the cost would be minimal for such a fresher-up-er! You could have an extra made exactly like the original, or choose a slightly different look like the ones below.



2.  Make sure you provide MANY non-alcohol beverages for your guests (alcohol can be dehydrating) – both in quantity and variety.  Your wedding is no time for dehydration, for either you or your guests!





And don’t forget plain old water.  Nothing quenches the thirst, or hydrates as well.  Refreshing!

3.  When ordering your wedding cake, make sure you have fondant as the outside icing.  What is fondant? you may ask… according to Wikipedia –

Fondant icing, also commonly referred to simply as fondant, (UK: /ˈfɒndənt/, US: /ˈfɑndənt/ or /ˈfɑndɑnt/, from the French: /fɔ̃.dɑ̃/ About this sound listen ) is an edible icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes and pastries. It does not have the texture of most icings; rolled fondant is akin to stiff clay, while poured fondant is a thick liquid. The word, in French, means “melting”, coming from the same root as “fondue” and “foundry“.

The benefits of this type of icing is that it doesn’t melt, keeps it’s shape, and acts as a sort insulation.  Have all the buttercream inside between the layers you want, but have fondant on the outside.  🙂  Yes, it’s more expensive than buttercream, so don’t let your baker talk you out of it for a summer wedding.



Another benefit of a wedding cake iced in fondant, it looks spectacular!

4. And finally, plan your wedding in a cooler part of the day, early morning or late afternoon/early evening.  My own advice, make sure there is plenty of shade if any part of the ceremony or reception is outside.  Ah…so much to think about!