Amazing Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas

Of course you want to have a beautiful wedding, but you also want to reduce your impact o n the environment. Being good to Mother Earth doesn’t have to be hard or insanely expensive! Read on for more tips on having a green ceremony and reception and still have the time of your life!

Natural Candles

You can have your candles and light them, too! You can order soy candles or natural beeswax candles that do not emit harsh synthetic scents into the air. These candles will only come in an offwhite color, however. Colored candles must be dyed and are therefore artificial.

Unplug the Tunes

To really get your guests dancing the night away, hire a band and have them play unplugged. This will result in a very natural sound that your guests will love. You’ll save a ton of electricity in the process (and you can take your party to the great outdoors)!

Donate Your Dress

Not only will you prevent your gown from going straight to the landfill, but you’ll also allow a woman in need to benefit from the dress itself or from its sale. Another option is to sell your dress online or at a consignment shop and then donate the profit to your favorite charity. You can also ask your bridesmaids to donate their dresses if they won’t wear them again after the big day.

Recycle,  Recycle, Recycle

You can do this in a number of ways! For the invitations, ceremony programs, and menus, use recycled paper and re-recycle them at the end of the night. Request soy ink, which is biodegradable, for all of the wedding day materials. Later, reuse the flowers you had at the ceremony for the reception, which will save you money while benefiting the environment.

Having a green wedding will make your wedding feel more connected with the environment and will help you focus on the real celebration at hand: the commitment you’re making to your partner. Nothing can be purer than that! Ask your event stylist at the Liberty House, Stone House, The Ryland Inn or Celebrate at Snug Harbor for more advice on how to have an amazing eco-friendly wedding.

Photo Courtesy of Clean Plate Pictures

Four Great Eco-Friendly Wedding Favors

As an Earth-conscious bride, you’ll want to make sure that your big day leaves the smallest carbon footprint on the Earth as possible! Here are some thoughtful eco-friendly wedding favors that your guests will love!

Nuts for Nuts
One easy wedding favor that guests love is to send them off with a small homemade jar of nuts. You can choose cashews, almonds, peanuts, or even have a mixture of a few! However, you may want to have an alternative favor for guests who may have a nut allergy.

Plantable Seeds

Go green by allowing your guests to plant seeds from the flower or plant of your choice! Many couples put the seeds in biodegradable packets so that they will have no harsh effects on the environment. Sunflowers or wildflowers make for beautiful flowers to be planted in any garden!

Donate to Charity

Let’s face it: many wedding guests tend to throw out favors from the night’s festivities. So why not make a donation to a charity of your choice instead of handing out favors? Put up a sign listing the name of the charity so guests are aware of your donation. You can donate to an environmental society or any other cause that is important to you!

Wish ‘Em Luck

Send guests off with the symbol of good luck and peace by giving each guest a bamboo plant. You can order the favors online or buy the stalks and bulk and DIY. You should buy short glass vases in bulk. Even if they don’t want the plant, most guests will reuse the glass instead of immediately throwing it away.

Feed the Birds

Another great eco-friendly idea is to order or make birdseed favors in various shapes for guests to feed the birds. You can make this yourself by simply using birdseed and mixing it with flour, water, unflavored gelatin and corn syrup. This is a great idea for a favor because you can shape the seed into any shape you like, such as a heart or butterfly. Just remember to secure some ribbon or raffia around the seed so you can hang this green treat!

Planning a green wedding can be easier than you think, and you’ll feel great about having a more positive impact on the environment. For more eco-friendly tips, talk to your event stylist at the Liberty House, Stone House, Ryland Inn or Celebrate at Snug Harbor. They can help you find vendors and give you ideas on how to have an amazing eco-friendly wedding that you and your guests will love!

Wedding Registry 101

You’re in the midst of planning everything for your big day, and now it’s time to sign up for your registry… the question is, where do you start with so many stores and so many items to choose from? Here is a fast guide to selecting a registry that is right for you easily and stress-free!

Narrow Down Your Options

Signing up for registries at ten stores will not make it easier on your guests! While you may think it will give them choices on where to shop, it will simply confuse and overwhelm them. Instead, you should opt to pick just a few of your favorite stores, preferably ones that have multiple locations, which would be more convenient for out-of-town friends and relatives. Selecting a store that allows them to shop online is another way to make shopping from the registry easier. Also, you should make this decision as soon as possible so that everyone can get a head start on shopping for you and your partner rather than waiting until the last minute!

Be Realistic About Your Choices

If you and your partner already live together or have “the essentials,” don’t feel bad about putting unconventional items on your registry, such as different types of electronics. Make sure you put down what you want and do it as a team with your partner. That said, don’t get scanner happy and start putting every shiny vase or knife block on your registry just because it catches your eye. You need to make sure that you’re selecting items that you’ll actually want and use throughout your marriage and in your home.

Keep Tabs on the Registry

Most registries update automatically when someone buys a gift, but you should still check it regularly to keep on track of it. Use your registry to keep on track with thank you cards and be sure to add new items often so that guests have a wide selection to choose from. You also need to have different price ranges of gifts on your registry so that guests can select a gift for you that they are comfortable giving.

Most importantly, sending out thank you notes promptly will make guests feel like you are pleased with and appreciate the gift they sent you. If you need additional help finding the right registry or are unsure of when everything regarding your registry should be done, contact your event stylist at the Liberty HouseStone HouseRyland Inn or Celebrate at Snug Harbor. Above all, have fun making your registries so that you can focus on everything else before your big day!

Fresh New Centerpiece Ideas

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When your guests first walk into your reception, one of the first things that they will notice are your centerpieces on every table. While you want them to match all aspects of your big day, you’ll want to make sure that they’re beautiful yet unobtrusive and unique to your specific tastes. Below are a few new ways to mix up your centerpieces and impress your guests!

Fresh Fruit

No matter which season you have your wedding, you can easily incorporate fruit into your centerpieces! In the winter, you can create designs that include fruits coated in sugar, such as pomegranates and cranberries. For the fall, you can make a centerpiece that includes apples and small pumpkins along with a multicolored leave arrangement. Lemons, limes oranges, and strawberries can become beautiful arrangements themselves or with an assortments of accenting flowers in the spring or summer. Use your imagination to create a centerpiece with varying textures and colors!

Feathers

Creating a feather centerpiece is an easy, often cost-effective way to create gorgeous and dramatic centerpieces. Many brides use large ostrich feathers for the perfect wow factor, which come in a variety of colors. Others use peacock feathers by themselves in a simple vase or to accent neutral flowers.

Branches

Different types of branches can add a rustic yet sophisticated vibe to your reception. The great aspect of using branches is the fact that you can really customize the design to your tastes. You can opt for a darker colored branch for a richer feel or choose a lighter one for a more natural version. You can also give your branch centerpieces a more glamorous feel by stringing crystals from branch to branch and attaching flowers to the ends of the branches. Some brides also go for romantic vibe by hanging candles with pearls from the branches.

Birdcages

Give your centerpieces some vintage style with birdcages filled with flowers or candles! You can find the cages in multiple shapes, colors and styles to match your décor and fill them with whatever you choose. Accent the outside with ribbons, bows, leaves, or a large, full flower for a striking effect.

Coming up with the perfect centerpiece for your big day can be a challenge without a vision and mind and so many options to choose from! Talk to your event stylist at the Liberty House, Stone House, Ryland Inn or Celebrate at Snug Harbor to get more ideas for amazing centerpieces that will be perfect for your reception. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box and be creative!

Photo Courtesy of Michael Dempsey Photography

Top Wedding Videography Trends

A great addition to your photography on your big day is to hire a videographer to record all of the special moments of your celebration. While photos can capture meaningful expressions in numerous ways, videography can capture the words of both you and your guests, which will be invaluable for you to own in later years. Check out these popular new trends in videography for your wedding!

Same-Day Shots

A really hot new trend in videography is to make same-day edits of the ceremony and play those shots at the reception for the guests. The final product will resemble a wedding day highlight reel, with the best moments from the ceremony and the reception.

Honeymoon Videos

A fun way to remember your honey moon is to rent an 8mm video camera with you during the trip and have your videographer make the edits. Not everything has to be focused directly on the big day!

Documentary Style

Many couples are falling in love with wedding videography done documentary style. This means that the videographer takes a bunch of shots and edits them to create a fluid sequence of video that captures the emotion of how the couple felt on their wedding day. Some videographers even interview the bride and groom, who both talk about their love story and how they are feeling at the present moment.

Blooper Reel

The addition of a blooper reel at the end of the video is a fun new way to highlight some of the comical moments and laughs shared on your big day. Have your videographer tape you and your maids getting ready and the tossing of the bouquet for some guaranteed chuckles!

3-D Videos

Yes, we’re really sitting on the cutting edge of technology. With the introduction of 3-D TVs and 3-D movies, some videographers are starting to dabble with 3-D wedding videos. This is still really new in the wedding world, but will most likely start to catch on more in the not-so-distant future.

Whichever style you prefer for your special day, talk to your videographer to let him or her know what it is that you’re looking to get out of your video. At this time, you should also let the videographer know of specific shots that you would like them to record. Consult with your event stylist at the Liberty HouseStone HouseThe Ryland Inn, or Celebrate at Snug Harbor for suggested videographers and additional ideas for your wedding video.

Photo Courtesy of Yun Gen Yang Photography

Ceremony Exits in Style

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Looking for a way to change up your grand exit after your kiss to seal the deal? While you may want this moment to be as candid as possible, you’ll want it to be special and memorable. After all, it will be the first time you will walk together with your new spouse as man and wife. Here are a couple of ways to shake up your exit of the ceremony and make it unique and memorable.

Set Sail

If you’re getting married at an outdoor waterfront location, you can make your grand exit by sailing away on a sailboat docked on shore. It’ll be fun to wave goodbye to your guests as you take to the water and float away into the perfect romantic sunset. Your guests will be in awe!

Floating On Air

You could always choose a helicopter for a dramatic exit, but a hot air balloon is a more romantic way to leave your guests wanting for more. It’s a lot less noisy than a helicopter and offers a nice, smooth ride with a great view. Enjoy a glass of champagne with your partner to really celebrate!

Back to Nature

If you and your partner are animal lovers, you could make a jaw-dropping exit by leaving the ceremony on the back of an animal. Depending on where you have your ceremony, you could rent horses, or even leave on the back of an elephant or camel! Just be sure to check with your venue to ensure that they would allow animals to be present onsite.

Do You

So if you and your new hubby are skateboarding pros or bicycle riding fiends, you could incorporate this mode of exit into the finale of your ceremony. Just think of the look on your guests’ faces when you both hop on a bike or skateboard and ride off! If you’re really daring, you could even hop on back of a motorcycle and speed away!

These exits are pretty creative, so you’ll need to decide if you want to make a traditional exit or do something more planned and surprising. No matter what you decide, your event stylist at the Liberty HouseStone HouseRyland Inn or Celebrate at Snug Harbor can help you coordinate your ceremony exit so that it’s perfect for you and your partner.

Photo Courtesy of Michael Dempsey Photography

How to Have a Green Wedding

Of course you want to have a beautiful wedding, but you also want to reduce your impact o n the environment. Being good to Mother Earth doesn’t have to be hard or insanely expensive! Read on for more tips on having a green ceremony and reception and still have the time of your life!

Natural Candles 

You can have your candles and light them, too! You can order soy candles or natural beeswax candles that do not emit harsh synthetic scents into the air. These candles will only come in an off-white color, however. Colored candles must be dyed and are therefore artificial.

Unplug the Tunes

To really get your guests dancing the night away, hire a band and have them play unplugged. This will result in a very natural sound that your guests will love. You’ll save a ton of electricity in the process (and you can take your party to the great outdoors)!

Donate Your Dress

Not only will you prevent your gown from going straight to the landfill, but you’ll also allow a woman in need to benefit from the dress itself or from its sale. Another option is to sell your dress online or at a consignment shop and then donate the profit to your favorite charity. You can also ask your bridesmaids to donate their dresses if they won’t wear them again after the big day.

Recycle,  Recycle, Recycle

You can do this in a number of ways! For the invitations, ceremony programs, and menus, use recycled paper and re-recycle them at the end of the night. Request soy ink, which is biodegradable, for all of the wedding day materials. Later, reuse the flowers you had at the ceremony for the reception, which will save you money while benefiting the environment.

Having a green wedding will make your wedding feel more connected with the environment and will help you focus on the real celebration at hand: the commitment you’re making to your partner. Nothing can be purer than that! Ask your event stylist at the Liberty HouseStone HouseRyland Inn or Celebrate at Snug Harbor for more advice on how to have an amazing eco-friendly wedding.

Photo Courtesy of Funico Studios

What Your Flowers Says About Your Wedding

With all the different types of arrangements, flowers, and colors available, choosing the right bouquet can be a difficult task for any bride. Here are some of the most popular flowers used in bridal bouquets today and what they say about your wedding to your guests.

Peonies

The peony is becoming largely popular in wedding bouquets in recent years. It is a full, luscious flower that often comes in hot or light pink shades. Most peony bouquets are very feminine and elegant and give guests the impression that you are the princess on your big day. Peonies work best in ceremonies in impressive cathedrals or extravagant banquet halls.

Orchid

Orchids are bold and sultry flowers that make for exotic and unique arrangements. Some of the most popular colors are purple and white and are best paired with smaller budded flowers in order to make a statement. Orchid bouquets can also be smaller in size and still stand out against your white wedding dress.

Tulips                                                                                         

Tulips are great because they come in a number of different colors to match your specific ceremony. They are often used in springtime ceremonies and offer a fresh, fun take on wedding bouquets. Popular tulip colors are hot pink, purple, and yellow, which look gorgeous for an outdoor wedding in April or May.

Hydrangeas

These flowers come with a flowery head and wide range of colors and are perfect for a romantic-garden feel for your ceremony. Purple colors can subtly tell your guests that your wedding is a whimsical affair when paired with light pinks or sky blue colors.

Calla Lilies

This flower has a large, smooth petal that is curved and shaped like a tear drop, adding drama to bouquets while giving off a delicate appeal as well. It is available in summery colors such as ivory, orange, and light pink, which can add an exotic vibe to a bouquet. The Calla Lily would be great for a destination wedding on the shores of the Caribbean Ocean.

If you’re still unsure of which bouquet is perfect for you, ask your event stylist at the Liberty HouseStone HouseRyland Inn, or Celebrate at Snug Harbor for help. They can pair you with the right florist and give you great ideas on fresh new bouquet styles that communicate the vibe you’re looking for on your special day.

Photo Courtesy of Michael Dempsey Photography

What to Do After You’ve Purchased Your Dress

What a relief! You finally found the perfect dress that makes you feel like a princess. But before you start thinking that you’re ready to walk down the aisle, you need to consider all of the small little details that still need to get done before your big day. Read on for a list of things to do after you’ve purchased your dream dress!

Get Everyone Else On Board

Now that you have your dress, your bridesmaids can start deciding on their own dresses. They will be able to see the style dress that you are wearing and select a bridesmaid’s dress that compliments it (but doesn’t match it). Also, this is the time for the mother of the bride and mother of the groom to start thinking about the dresses that they will wear as well.

Purchase Jewelry and Accessories

In order to not be going completely crazy at the last minute, you should pick out the jewelry that you are planning to wear as well as any hair pieces such as barrettes, clips, veils, or tiaras. This way, when you go for your first fitting with the dress, you can see how all of these pieces look with the dress and go from there.

Go Shoe Shopping

The right shoes mean everything! You’ll want to pick the right shoes that make you feel gorgeous and fit well. Especially if you’re planning on wearing sky-high stilettos, you should purchase the shoes early so that you can break them in before the big day.

Purchase Bridal Undergarments and Shape Wear                 

Many brides forget about this step, but it is hugely important to the fitting of your dress! You need to make sure you bring whatever you plan on wearing under your dress before the first fitting. Without knowing how these garments will fit on your body, your dress may not be altered properly and may not fit perfectly on your special day.

Schedule the Fitting

You should schedule your fitting as soon as possible. The entire process can take up to 8 weeks and can involve multiple fittings for more intricate dresses. Booking early will also ensure that you can get the convenient times that work best for you before they are taken by other brides.

Pinning down all of the final details before your wedding day can prove to be overwhelming if you’re not prepared! Talk to your event stylist at the Liberty HouseStone HouseRyland Inn or Celebrate at Snug Harbor for more clues to help you get all of your last-minute details together so that you can relax and enjoy your time before the big day.

Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Fox Photography

5 Tips For Amazing Food at Your Wedding

So you’ve selected a top-notch caterer for your inner foodie on your wedding day. But when it comes to weddings, the choices of food that you serve are often just as important as the skill of the culinary team that creates it! Here are some insider tips to ensure that the menu you serve at your cocktail hour and reception is nothing short of delicious.

Use Your Own Recipes

Another wedding menu with a choice between filet mignon and Atlantic salmon? Boring! Allow your wedding menu to be customized to foods you and your guests would actually want to eat! Most caterers will serve your own recipes (with a few modifications, possibly) so that your menu is unique and memorable. Think about what you love: is it sizzling enchiladas that you love or some hot and juicy baby back ribs? Use this as inspiration for your big day.

Family Style

For years, dinner at a wedding reception has been served in one of two ways: either sit-down style, in which the food is served to each guest in courses at their table, or buffet style. Now, couples are experimenting with different options, including dessert only receptions or cocktail receptions followed by a dessert bar. However, serving dinner family style is a great way to serve a full meal in a cost effective manner. For one, you won’t have as many table settings as a traditional dinner because you won’t be able to fit them all with the food! This is a great way for guests to try several different dishes so that they can decide what they like most. Italian, Indian, Spanish and Greek foods are great for a family style dinner, but don’t be afraid to think out of the box for other ideas!

Local Foods

No matter what you’re serving, using fresh, local ingredients can make your wedding day menu out of this world. The chefs at the Liberty House, Stone House, Ryland Inn and Snug Harbor are all committed to delivering local foods to the table, either grown in their own fresh farms or locally-sourced from talented farmers from around the area. Organic ingredients are not only great for your guests nutritionally, they also make any dish taste a thousand times better!

Select a Theme

No, we don’t mean a Renaissance themed dinner! Selecting a theme for dinner simply means that you need to pick foods that go well together. Guests will be able to enjoy their dinner without feeling sick from mixing too many flavor combinations! For example, a summer wedding would be a great opportunity to showcase your love for seafood with a New England style seafood bake. But make sure you don’t mix that with a spicy taco bar, or your guests might be too full to dance!

With a talented caterer and a little bit of planning in advance, you can be sure that your guests will enjoy your menu from cocktail hour to the dessert table. Ask your event stylist at the Liberty HouseStone HouseRyland Inn or Celebrate at Snug Harbor for more ideas on how to create a wedding day menu that perfectly compliments your special day that your guests will love.

Photo Courtesy of Amesse Photography