Are Weddings Getting Out Of Hand?

Are weddings getting out of hand?  I remember my wedding 33 years ago. For the time, it was a big, generous wedding…a sit down dinner with a band for over 200.  But as I see my own daughters marry, work as an event planner and witness others’ nuptials, I see a new trend.  I love all the creative, lavish ideas, don’t get me wrong!  But weddings today are much more “splashy”.

I was struck recently by the contrast of weddings of days gone by and today’s “standard”.  What  struck a cord?…you may ask… Well, the age old job of ‘cleaning the basement.’  I ran across so many of my wedding keepsakes, and the contrast between my special items, and those of my daughters’ gave me pause.

Below, my weddings shoes.  Granted, they were the most expensive shoes, at that time, that I had ever purchased.  But they are simple, and yes…I wore them for years after.  Because, hey!  Why let a perfectly good pair of white pumps sit dormant in the spring and summer!

My daughters’ shoes follow.  While I do think perhaps they were a little extravagant, I love them, and wouldn’t change a thing.  Seriously, how cute are they?!?!  Maggie’s are the top photo followed by KK’s. Kathleen has her little sisters playing handmaiden and buckling her wedding shoes.  What else are bridesmaids supposed to do – especially little sisters!

And one pair of wedding shoes was not enough for our KK.  🙂  She needed a pair of “dancing’ shoes”!  Actually, a good choice.  She was comfortable all night.

Photo creds: Hannah Colt

What about guest books?  In my day, you were living large if you had a book and a feathered pen.  The photo below is of my 33 year old pen. And yes!  Our names are engraved in tiny letters on the stand, JUST IN CASE, you forgot our names when you signed our book!

Below is an adorable “guest book” idea.  I worked this wedding, held at an old-fashioned airport hanger.  The groom was a pilot, their guest book, a wooden prop!  Love, love this!

And have you noticed the cake toppers lately?  Works of art.  Behold…blelow is MY 33 year old cake topper…

Really… It should have bothered me that the bride was a blond, and I am most decidedly a brunette!  But…it didn’t   🙂  My daughters had exquisite cake toppers, both gifted to them by their generous mothers-in-law.  As the wedding cake is often a focal point of your reception, a special cake topper is money well spent.  Please note the girls’ cakes below:

Hannah Colt photos

Patty Cloherty Photos

So what’s my final take on whether weddings are “getting out of hand”?  Perhaps on some levels…but not on items that count in my book.  Go for the creative guest book, the gorgeous cake topper, and especially the special shoes!

Ingenious Ideas for Outdoor Weddings

Buzzfee.com wrote a nice article about Ingenious Ideas for Outdoor Weddings.  I have picked a few of my favorite ideas from the article to share with you. If you’d like to read the whole article, click on the provided link…Buzzfeed.com…but my take on the article is really all you need.  🙂

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https://www.thesolemates.com

Advise your female guests about the best footwear for your outdoor affair.  And for your bridesmaids and other important female guests, spring for these nifty little heel supporters.  They’re great!  I have long been an advocate for these gems.  None of us like our heels ruined in the grass…

Offer ice cold drinks to waiting guests.  Summer weddings can be brutal on guests waiting for the start of your wedding, especially if there’s no shade.

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Mary P. Karnes Photo

Behold, an almost empty tub from a wedding I worked this summer.  It was once full of ice and chilled water bottles, but the guests took good advantage of the thoughtful gesture.

Individual inset repellent. I LOVE this idea.  I always encouraged my brides to provide cans of bug spray for their guests, but it’s messy, and takes awhile to make the rounds of the guests.  To have a vat of individual applications is nothing short of genius.

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If you anticipate a REALLY hot day, ask your florist to mist the wedding flowers periodically throughout the day.  If you live in hot climes, consider writing that in your floral contract.  If your florist balks, recruit a family member to do the chore.

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This is a big one… Choose a strong make-up fixative/setting spray that will hold up to the heat.  This is not an occasion where you want your make-up running.  There are too many important photos at stake!

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There are many more wonderful ideas…next post, I’ll share additional items!

Destination Wedding – Your Alma Mater?

What about a destination wedding – held at your alma mater?

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My alma mater is the University of Redlands, located in Redlands, CA – an hour from the beach, an hour from ski resorts, an hour from Palm Springs, an hour from LA.  Does it get much better than that?

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I’m not sure of the fees for holding a private event at the University.  I don’t discuss fees on my blog – I could be wrong, or fees could change.  I am making an assumption, however, that an alumnus may receive a better deal that someone who is not. Above  you see the  exterior and interior of the University of Redlands Memorial Chapel – a work of art.  This would be a very traditional spot to say, “I do!”.  But not the only one…

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The photos above and below are of the Greek Theatre.  It is where large groups of students convene, and where graduation is held. Above, you see a wedding party taking advantage of the great photo op.  Perhaps they were actually married on the stage.  Below, is my own photo of my daughter’s freshman orientation held at the Greek Theatre.

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Mary P. Karnes photos

The ‘Hall of Letters’, where I attended most of my classes, is another lovely wedding site.  I don’t know…For me…. I think I’d start having flashbacks to a test I needed to take…  🙂

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The Alumni House, formally the University of Redlands President’s residence when I was a student, is another great venue.  I was a bridesmaid in a wedding held there once upon a time. The gazebo makes for a most romantic setting.

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And below — the majestic Office of the Registrar. Even if you don’t have your ceremony there, the photo opportunities are many.   And yes, it really is that beautiful…

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Ojai, CA Wedding On A Budget

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Love the resort town of Ojai, CA, week-end kick-back of the stars?  But are the prices of venues like the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa a little out of your price range?  You DO have options… The photo above is the beautiful gazebo in the lovely Libby Park – right on Ojai Ave, Ojai’s “Main Street”.  Can’t you see yourself getting married here?  62647240

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Above, another shot of the interior of Libby Park.  There is a very famous tennis tournament played every May in Ojai – the “Ojai Tennis Tournament”.  All the greats played there when they were rising stars. Libby Park is where the finals are held.

Want a religious ceremony?  There are plenty of churches in town that don’t require membership to allow you to marry at their place of worship.  (Not the Cathoic Church, of course.  One must prove all your sacraments are in tact and are a member of good standing in their parish – (If you’d like to read about a Catholic Wedding, click on the link).

One such church, is my home church growing up, the Ojai Presbyterian Church.

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Perhaps things have changed since my wedding, but then, non-members were allowed to marry in their church.  Below is a picture my new husband and myself in front of the Ojai Presbyterian Church 32 years ago.

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Where to go for your reception?  Parks are a nice option for a low cost affair.  Rental costs are minimal, and then you have the choice of supplying your own food or having it catered.  Be warned, however… if you hold your reception in a park, they may have  a “no alcohol” policy.

Holding the reception in the nearby beach town of Ventura is another lovely choice.

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The beautiful two photos are of Ventura, via Facebook.  I’m a little partial to Ventura…I was born there.  🙂