If you are tired of reading about the same destination wedding packages to the Caribbean, and especially if you are not necessarily enamored with the idea of a tropical wedding, consider France—one of the most romantic and geographically interesting countries in the world. France has 22 provinces, and many could make wonderful destination wedding locations. Here are a few French traditions you could incorporate into your wedding:
- In provincial areas, the groom will call on his bride on the morning of her wedding day and escort her to the wedding chapel.
- The groom usually escorts the mother down the aisle before the wedding precession begins.
- When the couple leaves the wedding venue, guests sprinkle laurel leaves in their path, which the bride and groom walk over.
- At the reception, after the toasts have been made, the newlyweds drink wine from an engraved, double handled goblet (which has typically been passed down through the generations).
As far as destination wedding locations are concerned, France is a gorgeous country, full of culture, museums, art, vineyards, incredible food, gorgeous beaches, amazing countryside, ski areas (if you get married during the winter), mountains, and charming little villages. Your guests will love exploring the different regions in France or spending some time in the City of Light!
When you think of roughly how many flowers you’ll need for your wedding, chances are you’re underestimating. There are so many important players in your wedding as well as locations that require flowers that you'd better make sure you have this wedding flower checklist handy! If you’re going through an online wedding florist, or about to explore your local wedding florists, make sure to have this list close by so as not to leave anyone or anything out.
- Bride's bouquet
- Bride's headpiece
- Bouquet for your Maid of Honor
- Bouquet for Honor Attendant
- Bouquet and/or halo for Flower girl(s)
- Boutonniere for Groom
- Boutonniere for Best Man
- Boutonnieres for Groomsmen and Ushers
- Boutonniere for Ring bearer
- Corsage for Bride’s mother and Groom’s mother
- Corsages for Grandmothers
- Boutonnieres for Fathers
- Boutonnieres for Grandfathers
- Flowers for the altar
- Decorations near and on pews
- Various flowers for church
- Head table centerpiece
- Guest table centerpieces
- Flowers for cake table
- Flowers for buffet table
- Flowers for the guest book table
- Flower arrangements for the restrooms
The size of your wedding as well as your venue will affect how many or how few flowers you'll require, so feel free to omit any of the flowers listed above when searching for your online wedding flowers.
Floral wedding centerpieces are often described as the final touch to a wedding that can make it amazing or, well… slightly less than amazing. Although wedding flowers can get expensive, there are ways you can have beautiful floral arrangements without an exorbitant cost. Here are a few things to keep in mind when budgeting for your floral wedding centerpieces:
Give your florist flexibility to use what is in season. If there are certain flowers that you absolutely do not like, mention them; but otherwise, communicate the overall colors, height, and textures that you want your centerpieces to have. This will allow your florist to create the look you want without using the most expensive flowers. Also, try to think about the flowers that are in season and most readily available; these are usually the best deal.
For winter wedding centerpieces, consider getting married around the holidays, as churches are often already decorated with lights and greenery. However, if you want to avoid high flower costs, do not get married in February, as the cost of flowers skyrockets around Valentine’s Day.
Use vases that are high and dramatic on their own, which you can fill with other foliage such as branches. This will create an interesting arrangement (with a lot of design and texture) without having to fill the entire space with flowers.
Your wedding might seem like a tangled web of complicated to-dos at first glance, which is why a simple wedding planning list is a fantastic tool to keep near and dear. Glance at this wedding planning timeline every so often to make sure you’re on track and haven’t skipped over anything. Trust me, once you have a wedding planning guide right in front of you, holding your hand, you won’t feel so overwhelmed through this exciting yet nerve wracking process.
- Create a wedding binder: First things first is to have a home for all things wedding. This way you’re not searching high and low for that wedding coordinator's business card.
- Build your budget: Figure out how much you have to spend right out of the gate, before you spend too much.
- Choose your wedding party: This is imperative to decide early on so that you can make sure your wedding party can make the date.
- Begin the guest list: Since this could be a lengthy process you should start deciding who’s invited as soon as you can.
- Wedding planner or not? At this point you need to decide if you even want to hire a wedding planner, and if so who?
- Make reservation at your wedding venue: Since venues book up quickly make sure you snag the date you want at the venue of your dreams before someone else does.
- Schedule your wedding officiant: Whether you choose to have a friend, family member, or priest marry you, make sure you schedule them in on your wedding date.
- Host an engagement party: Spread the good news!
- Hire a wedding photographer (and videographer): Just because this is next on the list doesn’t mean you should rush finding the perfect photographer who will capture your big day in the style you want.
- Hire the entertainment: Ask friends for referrals; listen to demos online to find the perfect wedding band or dj.
- Caterer meet and greet: Unless you’re getting married at a hotel or a venue that provides you with catering, make sure to meet your caterer.
- Send out save the dates!
- Buy your dream wedding gown.
- Sign up for your wedding registry: It’s customary to sign at least three retail stores.
- Bring your wedding to the web: Create a wedding website.
- Book your honeymoon.
- Decide on bridesmaid’s dresses.
- Hire a florist.
- Hire a limo.
- Choose a wedding cake: The yummiest out of all of your to do’s.
- Schedule dress fittings.
- Find and book the hair and makeup artist of your dreams.
- Give your playlist to the dj or band.
- Menu cards: Make sure to print out the menus for the reception if your venue is not taking care of it.
- The rings! Make a fun day or two out of finding the perfect wedding bands.
- Attain your marriage license.
- Solidify the reception seating chart.
- Pick up your wedding gown from the alterations shop.
- Communicate your final guest count to your caterer.
Phew! You made it!
One of your main goals for your wedding reception is to ensure your guests are having a fantastic time. This could be a difficult feat if you have a lot of guests from out of town who don’t know one another. Since you’re only given one shot to show your guests a great time and to introduce them to one another, then you might want to consider adding wedding reception games to your wedding itinerary. Games will offer your guests the opportunity to interact with each other, to get to know you and your groom even better, and will give them some extra wedding reception entertainment.
Wedding Couple Trivia
This game is ideal for when your guests are waiting for their entrees. What you need for this game are questions about you and your spouse written down or typed on cards. Every single question must have to do with you or your spouse, for example: How did you meet? Once your guests have answered the questions, have volunteers offer to answer each one of them. The guest that answers the questions correctly can either pick the next guest to come up, or they get to receive a prize. (For example the table centerpieces.)
This age old game never ceases to be fun. It’s simple, doesn’t require any extra props or supplies besides a dj or a band, and chairs.
Have a jar of marbles somewhere that’s easily accessible to your guests at the reception and have each female guest guess the number of marbles in the jar. Once they have all written their name and guess down on a piece of paper, have them hand it to your maid of honor who will decipher the winner. The prize for the female winner will be your wedding bouquet. This game will replace the bouquet toss.
Your floral wedding centerpieces are such an important aspect of your reception because they can either make or break your overall wedding décor. If you’ve ever been to a wedding with less than pleasing floral centerpieces then you know what I’m referring to. Often times, guests are able to take wedding reception centerpieces home, so you’ll want to make sure they’ll even want to. If you want to go a step beyond just “pleasing” centerpieces and gather ideas for pieces that will turn heads and leave an impression, then make note of the following ideas.
The best part about choosing potted flowers as your wedding flower centerpieces is that they are typically cheaper than most floral arrangements, and they aren’t thrown away a few days after your wedding. If you’re not thrilled about the color of the pot, then go ahead and get crafty and paint the pots (your wedding colors!). If you’re having an Asian themed wedding, then you have the option of placing potted bamboo or Asian Orchids at each table.
Photos with Flowers
Another way to create unique floral centerpieces with a little something extra is by tucking photos of you and your fiancé in with the flowers of your choice. Black and white photos or fancily photoshopped photos will look best. You could photoshop them as black and white with a splash of your wedding colors. You could also make photos of you and your fiancé look aged with the proper photoshop skills. Once you’ve found the perfect photos then attach them to metal wire or chop sticks, and stick them into the pots next to your wedding flowers.
Mixing flowers with candles will add some light, color, and glow to your floral centerpieces. You have a lot of options with this look. If your venue won’t allow lit candles, then you could always find battery-operated votives, which surprisingly look a lot like real candles, and some of them are scented! Battery operated candles come in all sizes; so don’t feel as though you’re limited to only small candles. If you’re able to use real candles then the sky is the limit. Have fun with it and pick colorful, scented, uniquely shaped candles and place them around your floral centerpieces. Another option is to find small, medium, and/or large cylinder shaped vases, fill them with water about ¾ of the way and find the perfect floating candles to place on top.
With the countless floral centerpiece options at your fingertips you shouldn’t have any problem finding the arrangement that tickles your fancy. There are various ways to kick off your search if you’re not sure where to begin. One way to get going is to use your wedding colors as your staring point. Ask your wedding florist to show you flowers that match your wedding colors. Another option is to allow your theme to be your guide. For example if you’re having a spring wedding, then explore arrangements that are indicative of that.
Whether you work a 9 to 5 or not, being able to check wedding tasks off your to do list online saves you time, gas, and energy. You even have the ability to replace a wedding planner/coordinator with an online wedding planner, if you are so inclined.
Before your fiancé even popped the question, I’m sure you, like most women, did a little online wedding planning. Perhaps you perused wedding ring sites? Even women whose engagement may not be anywhere in site tend to find themselves window-shopping on the Tiffany & Co. online store.
With the luxury of elaborate wedding planning websites like OurWeddingDay for almost any business out there, you’re able to search wedding venues and take virtual tours. This allows you to cut down your list of possible venues before even stepping foot on the property.
You can even design your wedding reception décor online. There are countless wedding blogs, wedding photos from the past, present, and future that will give you more ideas than you’ll know what to do with. Even if you hire a wedding décor designer you’ll have an idea of what you want before you even meet with them.
Other aspects of your big day included in online wedding planning:
- Choose your wedding gown
- Wedding photographer
- Wedding supplies
- Makeup and hair artists
- Wedding playlist
- Your honeymoon
Spain is the type of country that many Americans would love to visit, but don’t always make it to. Yet Spain is a top contender for destination wedding locations, and for good reason. People love the culture, the language, the mystical appeal, and of course, the amazing food and wine.
- For those who like to go to bed late and begin their day later in the morning, Spain is on the perfect schedule. People don’t eat until 11 p.m. in some parts, and even Starbucks is not open at 6 a.m. as it is in most U.S. cities.
- The landscape of Spain is diverse. For those who love mountains, there is the Pyrenees, and for those who love the ocean, there are many spectacular beaches. (San Sebastian, in the north Basque country, is a resort town and great for destination wedding locations). There are also volcanic islands, lush vegetation, and desert; each region also has a slightly different culture.
- Madrid is an amazing city, full of medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, art museums, and great nightlife. If you are interested in university towns, go to Salamanca in the region of Castille, full of cathedrals and gothic architecture, an idyllic site for unique destination weddings.
- Spain is considered “the new France” when it comes to gastronomy. Some of the best restaurants in the world (pioneers of “avant-garde” cuisine) are in Spain.
If you and your hubby-to-be are creative and non-traditionalists, then you’ll want to come up with some unique poses that will ensure your wedding photos are as fabulous as you are. These are great poses for the bride and groom who go the DIY photography route—that way you aren’t stepping the toes of a wedding photographer.
Bride & Groom Poses
- Find an activity (within reach) that you both love and have your photographer take photos of you both enjoying that hobby. For example, golf, or yoga. (In your wedding garb of course.)
- Have your groom placed at the altar and glancing at his watch with an almost worried expression on his face. You could then do a series of shots with you entering into frame and your groom looking more and more relieved.
- Lie down on the grass (make sure to place towels down so you don’t stain your dress!) and have your husband lay down so that the top of his head is touching your head for the perfect aerial shot.
Wedding Party Poses
Get a shot that’s reminiscent of the classic Beverly Hills 90210 aerial shot by having the entire wedding party lay on the grass with the top of their heads facing the circle.
If you’re looking for a fun and practical addition to your already fabulous wedding reception, a photo booth is just what you need. If you’ve ever been to a state fair, chances are you’ve taken photos in a photo booth, and that you had a really great time! Photo booths have been popping up at weddings across the country due to their rise in popularity and a larger number of companies providing them.
A photo booth provides entertainment for your wedding guests and something fun for them to do in between dinner, dancing, and cake. Some photo booth companies can even provide you with WIFI enabled booths, which are capable of transmitting the photos to one or more large screens at your wedding reception mere minutes after the photos have been taken.
The photos also allow your guests to go home with a keepsake from your joyous wedding. Some photo booths offer two strips of photos, one for the guests, and one for your wedding album.
Take full advantage of the photo booth and knock out some of your bridal photography. How awesome would it be to have some fun and playful shots of just you, and of you and your husband photo booth style? This won’t necessarily take away from the professional wedding photographers job, but will supplement your wedding photo album with even more goodies.