Spectacular Outdoor Wedding Venues Ideas

rockmywedding

Spectacular Outdoor Wedding Venues – If you’re brave enough to have your wedding outside – try these wonderful options!  There is something so  dramatic about this family style eating configuration.  Is it picture worthy?  Definitely.  Is is conducive to comfortable table talk and relaxation during breaks from socializing and dancing?  NO.  Think about these factors before choosing this style. If you must have it, due to either admiration of photo ops or necessity, consider additional small groupings of tables and chairs for your guests’ convenience.

burnettsboards

You needn’t have an outdoor ceremony or reception to grab a photo such as the one above.  Love, love it.  Hard to do?  I don’t think so.  A low hanging branch, a few strings of bulbs and an extension cord, you’re in business.  It really is a spectacular shot.  It’s always a good idea to talk to your photographer about shots that are important to you.  If you don’t convey your desires, he/she can’t make it happen.

wedding forward.com

The photo above is beyond FAB!  Lots of work and expense, yes.  Guaranteed results, probably not. If you have your heart set on such a photo, I recommend a trial run.  There are a lot of moving parts in pulling this off.  Talk to your photographer.  Perhaps he/she can put your worries for the photo’s success at rest.

deerpearlflowers

The luminarios are gorgeous.  There is an art to making these white bags filled with sand and a light source bright enough to make an impression – both on your guests and in photos.  I’ve had a couple of my brides use these, but they were never bright enough to be of great impact.  I think the lights from the reception tend to diminish their effect.

Top Notch Resort

One of my favorite outdoor venues?  — The fabulous Topnotch Resort in Stowe, VT.  You just can’t get any better than this!  Click on the link above to be directed to their site.

Next two photos: Mary P. Karnes

The next two photos are candids from weddings I’ve done.  Sometimes, no decor is needed.  Mother Nature can be the best decorator of all.

Wedding Invitations – Are You Ready For New Social Mores?

Wedding Invitations – are you ready for the new social mores?  Remember, your wedding invitation is your guests’ first glimpse into your wedding style.  You want to do it right.  With all the new couplings, you want to make sure you address your invites properly.  The chart below is very comprehension and a good reference.

buzzfeed.com

But what about the wording of the invitation?  With blended families, divorced parents, the new trend of the groom’s family contributing to the wedding, things can get muddled.  Another helpful chart follows:

modwedding.com

And another informative chart of appropriate invitations wordings below.

21stbridal.com

But don’t just stop with your invitation.  Remember to also order your thank you cards when you order your invitations.  Do they have to match or share the theme of your invites?  NO.  But order or purchase them asap.  And try to write the thank yous as soon as the gifts come in.  A common theme I’ve seen among couples is a stand-off regarding thank you notes.  The bride puts her foot down and takes a stand.  She “Will NOT write all the thank you notes!”  Her groom is going to do half. Guess what?  Those thank yous keep getting put off, because really, no one likes to do them.  And let’s face it, someone is going to do the heavy lifting on this one.  Get it done.  It just reflects badly on both of you if you delay.  A cute idea… one of my daughters and sons-in-law wrote a few thank yous after the wedding, and included a photo of them using the wedding gift.  Talk about a hit!  The guests loved this!

sommerletterco.com

And what to say?  Check out the nice formula above.  Remember, your guests put time, thought, and generous funds into your gift.  It’s thoughtful to respond in kind.

DIY Wedding Projects and a Book Review!

DIY Wedding projects and a Book Review!  Ok…I’m going to state the obvious. Weddings are expensive – very.  Most of us don’t have unlimited funds to spend any way we choose on our big day; choices must be made.  One way to save is to employ as many DIY, (Do It Yourself), wedding projects as possible.  But even this option can be pricey.

Just the wedding cake can cost you a fortune!  (Photo creds: Patty Cloherty)

I discovered a new cozy mystery series recently.  It’s a “Garage Sale” Series.  ‘Garage Sale?’ you say.  Yes!  It’s super cute and gives one the best ideas.  But the series doesn’t revolve just around ‘tag sales’ as we prefer to refer to these sales in New England.  It’s just a fun backdrop.

Barnes and Noble gives us a great synopsis of the first book, “Tagged for Death“:

Starting your life over at age thirty-eight isn’t easy, but that’s what Sarah Winston finds herself facing when her husband CJ runs off with a 19-year-old temptress named Tiffany. Sarah’s self-prescribed therapy happily involves hitting all the garage and tag sales in and around her small town of Ellington, Massachusetts. If only she could turn her love for bargain hunting into a full-time career. 

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure

But after returning from a particularly successful day searching for yard sale treasures, Sarah finds a grisly surprise in one of her bags: a freshly bloodied shirt. . .that undoubtedly belongs to her ex, CJ, who now happens to be Ellington’s chief of police. If that’s not bad enough, it seems Tiffany has gone missing. Now it’s up to Sarah to prove that her cold-hearted ex is not a cold-blooded killer. . .

But finding that treasure can be murder.

I…LOVE…SARAH.  She is spunky, smart, and I think she and I would be great friends.  She’s just the kind of woman I’d love to hang with – of course I really enjoy the company of her creator, the talented Sherry Harris, perhaps that’s why I like Sarah!  🙂

So think about it…wouldn’t it be a great idea to look for garage sale deals when you’re attempting to create centerpieces for your wedding dinner tables?  You can pick up some mason Jars for pennies on the dollar at a tag sale, or perhaps some charming antique teacups to use as favors at a bridal shower. The options are endless!

My dad, 99 this year, was always a big garage sale fan in California.  I didn’t go with him as much as I wish I had.  We all have those little regrets, don’t we?  But boy did he make some finds.  My first set of golf clubs, at the tender age of 6, were purchased at a garage sale.  He cut down some adult clubs for me, and lovingly wrapped the shafts in some durable tape.  My father, who is a pack rat as am I, probably still has those clubs stashed somewhere…

Little Mary with Dad

The good news? Once you read the first book in the series, “Tagged for Death” you’ll want to read all three!  Click on the links if you’d like to order.  I included links to Barnes and Noble, but they are available at Amazon as well.

Book #2: “The Longest Yard Sale

Book #3 “All Murders Final

I must admit, after I finished book number three, I felt a little bereft.  But YES!!!  Book # 4, “A Good Day to Buy” is now available for per-order and will be available April 25, 2017!!!  I can’t wait!

I love these books, and much to my delight, each one seems to get better.  I enjoy the familiarity of a series.  You feel like you know the characters, as if they’re friends, almost family.  Harris achieves this effortlessly. Do yourself a favor and try this series.  Believe me, you’ll be hooked once you do.

Below, the lovely author, and my friend, Sherry Harris.

If you’d like to ready other posts on DIY projects, click on the links: DIY Wedding Flowers and DIY Wedding Ideas.

Professional Bridesmaids — Is It Really a Thing?

Professional Bridesmaids — is it really a thing?  Apparently…it is!

In the two photos above, you see my four daughters at daughter number 1 and daughter number 2’s weddings.  My girls have built-in bridesmaids. The two younger girls, now 17 and 20, have already been in 3 weddings.  (They were flower girls at a tender age)  Heck , maybe this is a profession they may want to pursue!  They have enough experience!  🙂  Not all brides are as lucky as my daughters, however.  I have heard, and have seen, horror stories about less than attentive bridesmaids.  If you hire a professional, you have more control.  Concerned about the hairstyle of your attendants?  Write it into your “professional” contract that your bridesmaid not cut her hair until AFTER the wedding.  Want your girls to wear their hair in an “undo”? Write that in too!

So what exactly does a “Professional Bridesmaid” do?  Well, exactly what a friend or relative would.  According to the knot.com, duties include“…planning and arranging bridal showers, bachelorette parties, wedding speeches, wedding day logistics and managing email chains and group texts.”

Let’s face it. In today’s world, ladies are thrilled to be a tapped as an honor attendant, but life can get in the way of doing a good job.  If one’s JOB is to be a bridesmaid, she can make your wedding her top priority.  But would this really make you happy?

The girls as “Little Girls”

There is something so magical about the bond that ladies share as they support their friend or relative in the months and days leading up to her wedding.  And note the photo above when my daughters were much younger.  Standing up for their sisters on the most important day of their lives is just another page in their book of memories.  Some things just can’t be bought…

Photo creds: #1 Hannah Colt