On this page, I'd like to showcase my tips and ideas for those planning on saying "I Do." Or for those of you who'd like to browse, feel free. I hope you take joy in viewing my wedding day, January 10, 2009.
Decide on the perfect venue. We got married in Maui at a private estate. The ceremony and reception were in one location. It was a gorgeous property filled with beautiful views, enormous trees, landscaped lawn, you get the idea. Basically everywhere you looked, you were staring at something breathtaking.
Have a signature cocktail. Immediately after the ceremony, servers were waiting to give the guests our signature cocktail, which was a lemon drop martini. Slightly sweet, refreshing, and pure deliciousness. Alongside the cocktail, make sure the servers have water or a non-alcoholic drink for those who may not wish to partake in the alcohol concoction.
Have passed appetizers. It's important for your guests to not be thirsty or hungry. So alongside the passed signature cocktails, make sure there are passed appetizers too. These should be simple, easy, and elegant bite sized pieces. Having them displayed in an eye catching way is a nice little touch.
Have an open bar. If budget permits, this is a something to consider. Attending a wedding is such a joyous occasion for everyone, and having an open bar for your guests is a nice touch. It not only shows appreciation for them attending, but it's nice for your guests to not have to worry about buying drinks. Have an inviting bar with a stand out centerpiece!
Have a beautiful reception. Since my reception was outdoors, we wanted to make it a little more cozy and formal by using a tent. With the use of chiavari chairs, tall centerpieces, gold chargers and customized dinner menus, the reception had a breathtaking upscale feel, even though we were on grass.
Don't forget about lighting. Lighting is very important once the sun goes down. A wedding reception should not have flashlights as favors. Be sure to have ample lighting inside the tent and around the perimeter of the area. The lighting should also be beautiful and not an eye sore. I used string lights inside the tent, the enormous trees outside of the tent were uplighted, and tiki torches were also lit around the perimeter.
Above are two images that showcase the lighting I had. How lucky was I to have had a full moon?! Gorgeous!
Take beautiful and amazing pictures. Having a professional photographer is important. You need to be sure you hire someone with experience. Not only is this important, but be sure you and your photographer get along. These are one of the vendors that can make or break your day, since most of the day is being photographed.
*Now with the details. Here I'll showcase a few ideas of what I did for my wedding. There were more, but these were my favorites. It's always nice to have beautiful touches here and there - it just adds to the decor and the day.
The guest book, or should I say the guest bottle? Our guests signed a BIG bottle of red wine instead of a book. It's such a memorable piece to have for years to come. It's not hidden away, I look at it everyday since it's on display, used as decor in my home.
The place cards. Since we were outdoors, I wanted to incorporate natural elements into the place card table. Each place card was held down by a pebble and orchids were placed beautifully on the table as well.
A place for guests to enjoy the scenery. In addition to the cocktail tables, we also had highboys. These were placed along the perimeter of the estate. It was a great place for couples to have a little romantic time of their own and was a prime time spot to view the sunset. The hanging lanterns were also a nice touch and provided lighting once the sun went down.
* Most importantly...
Here are just some more tips:
* Music is so important. I gave my dj a playlist of music to play and music to not play. I was picky with the tunes - I didn't want "shout" or the chicken dance played at the reception.
* If children are invited be sure you have fun things for them to do. At their place setting have coloring books, crayons, fun candy, etc.
* In addition to the children, make sure they have seating. Meaning, be sure to have booster seats for the toddlers so they can reach the table.
* Have a timeline of the day - especially the reception. Give the timeline to your dj, who is also the mc for the night. Have a detailed timeline of the entire evening. Be sure to include whose giving speeches, a prayer before the meal, father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, etc. You don't want anything to get missed or forgotten, especially since we are all on a clock with the reception having a specific ending time.