from "Ceremony" magazine, Orange County 2007 issue
• Small bridal parties! It makes for a more intimate experience for you and your chosen attendants. ~ Mary Dann
• Color, living décor, creative dance floors and personalized menus! ~Ava Carroll-Brown
• Midnight snacks! It is great to serve your guests a midnight snack
such as warm cookies and shots of cold milk. ~ Kimberly Bradford
• Lounges! Many rental companies and event design studios now provide lounge furniture in all shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. Have fun with it! ~ Carolyn Chen
• Add color to the tables with specialty linens.Whether they are dark chocolate brown or bright orange or pink linens, it really gives the event some extra flair. ~ Erin Bacon
Toss The Trend
• When couples decide to see one another before the ceremony! The expression on the groom’s face is priceless as his beautiful bride makes her way down the aisle. If couples must see one another beforehand, I always suggest a “private moment” for them to see one another privately for the first time. It is not only romantic and a great photo opportunity, but a moment you will treasure forever.
~ Kimberly Bradford
• A trend of the past that still lingers - table cameras! Many brides spend a lot of money developing the film only to find that they have fifty pictures of the same couple, pictures of the ceiling and floor, photos that are too dark & only a few that end up being usable. ~ Erin Bacon
• Too many sweets at the end of the night…dessert, cake, chocolate fountain, candy bar, etc. Rather than over-loading your guests with sugar, choose one or two sweet options and introduce a late night array of mini comfort foods. ~ Mary Dann
In Planning A Budget, Never Skimp On….
• Most coordinators agreed - never skimp on photography! Other popular answers included wedding coordinator, entertainment, catering and videography.
Grand Reception Ideas
• Photo booth guest books! Rent a photo booth where guests take their picture inside and the strip gets glued into a custom book where each guest signs a personal message to the couple. ~MaryDann
• Custom invitations! They set the tone for your wedding. ~ Nicole
• Hire a videographer who can provide same-day editing services and show highlights during the dinner reception of pre-ceremony& ceremony footage edited to your favorite song. ~ Carolyn Chen
• A themed event that reflects your passions and interests! For example, a 40’s or 50’s themed wedding set in a location that fits that era, incorporating the theme all the way from the stationery to an Elvis performer. ~ Erin Bacon
• Graduate from one space to another using elements of surprise
and décor. ~ Ava Carroll-Brown
• Incorporate family traditions, your spirituality, your culture and all the things that are important to you. You should be wined and dined with your favorite cuisine, surrounded in a garden of your favorite floral, and serenaded by your favorite musical entertainment.
~ Kimberly Bradford
• In today’s world, the importance of the actual wedding ceremony gets overlooked. Everyone is so involved in ‘getting to the party’ that they forget what the wedding day is all about. ~ Ava Carroll-Brown
• Sweetheart table! You will be photographed quite a bit here, be sure to have it decorated beautifully. ~ Nicole Hirsty
• The comfort of your guests should be a priority. Be sure to provide market umbrellas, tents, parasols or fans and water or punch on a warm day. For cooler outdoor weddings, make sure heaters provided. ~ Carolyn Chen
• Providing welcome gift bags for out of town guests…a weekend itinerary, local maps, area attraction and restaurant guides, bottled water, snacks and a scented candle. ~ Mary Dann
• Lighting! It can really change the whole look of your wedding. ~Nicole Hirsty
• Don’t ask everyone’s opinion. It will only make the decisions harder to make since you don’t want to offend anyone. If you ask, just let them know you think it’s a great idea and you will take it into consideration. ~ Nicole Hirsty
• Don’t forget about the groom, it’s his day too! Get the groom involved and allow him to make decisions and have some say in the planning of this day that is for both of you. ~ Kimberly Bradford
• Have you and your groom write each other a quick note on the event day and have your coordinator exchange the two…it’s a great way to calm your nerves and remember what the day is really all about. ~ Mary Dann
• Establish a ‘reasonable’ budget. ~ Ava Carroll-Brown
• Take your time in choosing your vendors. See at least three vendors in each category, starting with your highest priority, so that you can make the best selection for your style and budget.
~ Erin Bacon.