Theme & Destination Weddings

Tell me these aren't beautiful?
Tell me these aren’t beautiful?

Today, couples are moving away from the more traditional and formal wedding and opting for theme style weddings.

The invitation you purchase should be a reflection on the type of ceremony and reception that the couple is planning but it should also be very personal.

You should probably also think about gifts for the guests and how the flowers are going to look when they are placed on the table while everyone is rockin’ and dancin’ the night away!

Remember, while you’re talking to all of your fabulous guests, the photographer is prancing around snapping photos of anything and everything and 20 years from now you don’t want to look at that one shot of red roses on a purple tablecloth because you didn’t think it out.  Eck. If you suck at color matching, hire someone, beg someone or barter with someone.

Whatever you do DO NOT just wing it. Most people who are color matching disabled know it and have known it.  Don’t be a control freak on this one. Trust someone with a better eye and your photographer and guests will thank you!

Here are some things you want to consider:

• Is the wedding going to be formal, casual or traditional?

• Destination Wedding?  Super cool but sometimes lonely.

• The color matters – What is the color scheme for the wedding? Remember….if you suck at this, outsource it!

• The time of year – what season are you having the wedding? Do you have to match colors?  It’s up to you! PLEASE don’t choose some ridiculous pair of valentine’s (don’t get me wrong…they are beautiful (see photo) but they don’t belong in a snowstorm.   Well…they would still look good but…come one…yah know what I’m sayin’.

• Do you want a personalized verse or biblical verse in ceremony and accompanying other little things that all go into a wedding?  Me?  I researched a bunch of different ceremony sets ups and picked my favorite.  Don’t think you’re crazy if you can’t make up your own thang…..just find stuff that you love and mix and match till you’re so happy you squeal!

• Budget. The invitation materials vary too. You may want a translucent vellum paper, bright white, soft white, parchment paper, floral, unique shimmer or a textured paper.  Maybe you don’t want to send invitations at all!  Think outside the box…what about wedding pins that people can pin on their shirts?  Goofy I know and if you do that….uhmm…well I won’t say anything about it. If you have no money….utilize time.  You can easily make some cool invitations using a printer and some found materials.  Maybe I’ll do a DIYer wedding invitations in the future sometime.  That’d be pretty cool huh? Until then, here’s an idea: Paper Birch.  Free. Unique.  Implement somehow, this stuff is so pretty naturally it makes black construction paper look freakin’ lovely.

• You may want the color of the invitation to coordinate with the theme color of the wedding. There are many colors to choose from and the season of the wedding should influence the selection of colors.  OR…you could do whatever you want. It’s your day, YOUR WAY.

• There are many types of styles to choose from for your event. You might want something unique and whimsical. Traditional, formal or contemporary may be your choice or perhaps you would prefer a photo wedding invitation or a Disney themed invitation. One of my girlfriends loves Disney.  I would never do that because I’m a long haired, tree huggin’, hippee lovin but super nerdy smarzy partzy kind of gal.

Whatever you choose for your big day, JUST BE YOURSELF.

You can’t lose because you’re already awesome and you know what you want!  If you don’t, use this time in your life to find out!  Be unique. Don’t be a freak! (unless getting freaky is your thing!  In that case….knock yourself out!)

If you are freaking out and you want some help with ideas or planning, shoot me some info. and I’ll see what I can come up with.  :)

More Love = More Happiness

Wedding Reception Planning: Questions to Ask Before Booking

just married Laughing with each other

Before booking your wedding reception, you should gather a list of questions to ask the site manager. Use these suggested questions to get you started:

Ala Carte Reception Costs

Reception sites have different ways of breaking down their costs. Avoid any confusion when comparing wedding reception sites by requesting an itemized list of fees you’ll use for your event. (Tip: Have an idea of your guest count beforehand since your count will influence the estimated costs.) Questions to ask:

  • What is the facility rental fee?
  • What is the food cost?
  • What is the beverage cost?
  • If you want to hold your ceremony at the site, what is the fee?
  • Is there a set-up and breakdown fee?
  • What is the staffing fee?
  • What is the fee for security personnel?
  • Is there a parking/valet fee?
  • What is the overtime fee?

Wedding Packages

Some locations offer wedding packages, which can be both cost-effective and convenient, but make sure to inquire about exactly what’s included and not included in the package. Questions to ask:

  • What basics are included in the wedding package?
  • Is the wedding cake also included? If so, can the design be customized?
  • Does the package include floral arrangements? Can they be customized?
  • Are linens included in the wedding package?

Booking Terms

Make sure that the site contract meets your needs by asking these questions:

  • What is the length of the facility rental?
  • Is there an overtime fee?
  • Will you have use of the entire reception site?
  • What is the deposit?
  • When is the remainder of the fee due?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Are there any music or noise restrictions?
  • Does the site have any decorating restrictions?
  • Will there be another party during, before or after yours? If so, how will this affect your event?

Essential Services

Determine which of these services the site provides and which you’ll need to contact on your own. Questions to ask:

  • Is there an in-house caterer? If not, can the site refer you to a caterer? Do they have caterers that are under exclusive contract to the site?
  • Does the reception site have a list of recommended vendors?
  • Can the ceremony be held on site? If not, are there suitable locations nearby?
  • Is an on-site staff available (coordinator, waiters, bartenders, etc.)?
  • Does the site provide tables, chairs, plates, silverware, glasses and other essentials?


Some of these important extras may help you determine your perfect venue:

  • Are changing rooms available for the bridal party?
  • Does the site offer guests accommodations?
  • Are there hotels that are convenient to the reception site?
  • Are there on-site locations for photo opportunities?
  • Are there sufficient restroom facilities?
  • Is there a coatroom?
  • Is the facility in a desirable location?
  • Is there adequate parking available?

Super Cool New Blog!

wedding kiss

Wow! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share my ideas and info on Western PA’s best of the best Wedding Stuff!  I’ve worked in the wedding industry and I know what brides want and don’t want for their wedding day!  Join me as I journey through the Pittsburgh region (and maybe more!) and explore the best little things you can shop for when it comes to your wedding!