Wedding planning always starts with choosing a venue and a date. So the first big decision is: inside or outside? There are definite advantages to each:
Elegance and style:A beautiful church or banquet hall is designed by the architect to be a stunning backdrop for major life events, while an off-beat venue such as an art museum, brewery or theatre gives couples a chance to express their unique personalities.
Ideal atmosphere: An indoor wedding and reception is virtually guaranteed to be the perfect temperature, all year. No need to worry about heat and humidity in the summer or ice and snow in the winter, or rain and wind any other time of year. Plus there is no need for a back-up location like you’d want for an outdoor wedding.
Controlled lighting:Existing lighting and enhancements by your photographer and videographer will guarantee that all your photos will turn out perfectly.
Easier food service:When your reception is indoors, it’s easier for the serving staff to make sure the hot food is hot and the cold food is cold. And there is no need to shoo away flies from the cake!
Closer facilities:Indoor settings alway have restroom facilities close at hand, which is more convenient for guests…not to mention brides who frequently need a large, clean space to manage their gowns when nature calls.
Natural beauty: Nature is the best backdrop for photos! Outdoor settings typically don’t need much enhancement in terms of decorating. They are already lush and beautiful…well, barring drought or other natural calamities.
Seasonal style:An outdoor setting lets you capitalize on what Mother Nature has done: The bright greens and pretty flowers of spring…the lush greens of summer…the riot of colors in fall foliage…the cool silver-white of winter (which can indeed be enjoyed with the help of portable warming units, fire pits, and cozy blankets).
Natural lighting:A skilled photographer knows how to make the most of natural lighting, which really does make all skin tones look best. Timing is key, because you’ll want to take full advantage of “the golden hour,” when the sun is hanging low in the west.
Open atmosphere:An outdoor wedding and reception always feel roomy and welcoming.
Memorable moments:With a little extra planning, an outdoor wedding can offer some really fun memories, especially when you have to adjust for weather. A big basket of colorful umbrellas can ward off spring showers and make for fun group photographs. A winter wedding with fire pits just begs for gourmet s’mores.
Split the difference:
If you can’t make up your mind between indoors and out, feel free to split the difference. Marry in a church, take photos outside, progress to an indoor reception, and then finish the evening with dancing under the stars.
Or, marry indoors and have your reception al fresco. Or vice-versa. Keep an open mind and plan what will work best for you and your beloved.
Need more advice? Complete is always here to help. We have plenty of experience in virtually every venue in the area, so we can help you identify advantages and trouble-shoot potential issues for any place you like. Call us!
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Here’s how to make sure you actually enjoy it.
Wedding planning can be extremely exhausting and stressful. For months, sometimes years, you put so much effort and time into planning one BIG day. So, you need to make sure you, of all people, have an amazing time!
Here are five tried-and-true tips that can help you enjoy this amazing day.
Plan a fun but relaxing morning
The morning of your wedding can be one extremely fun and exciting, or painfully nerve wracking and stressful. To be sure that your morning can be great, a little planning ahead will go a long way. First, plan your to-do list so you have everything done two or three days before the wedding. That gives you a day to catch up, if need be, and more time to relax and enjoy a little pampering if you don’t need it. Second, delegate! Make sure any potentially stressful activities – coffee runs, flower delivery, luggage drop-offs, etc. – are covered by other people you can trust. Finally, plan a low-stress getting ready party so you and your wedding party can just relax.
Stop to take a breath
Your wedding day can come and go so quickly you might barely get a second to look around and appreciate everything that’s going on during this big day. It’s definitely worth it to take a moment to take it all in. Really *look* at your ceremony venue as you prepare to step down the aisle. Do the same at your reception. Examine your cake. Enjoy your custom lighting or other decorations. One of our brides carried stashed small digital camera in her groom’s coat pocket and her own gown’s pocket so that they could snap a few photos of the images they wanted to remember forever.
It can be easy to forget to any and all meals on your wedding day. You’re going to be busy, so eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner aren’t exactly the first things on your mind. Trust us, though, you’ll need to eat!! Your wedding day is such a unique event, you’ll want to have energy to celebrate and feel good all day. Plan for snacks in your getting ready room, and don’t forget to eat at your reception.
After all the formalities are said and done and all there’s left to do is dance, then do just that! Take advantage of this huge party you planned for you and your spouse. When looking back on your wedding day years from now, do you think you’ll be disappointed you didn’t spend more time at the bar? Probably not. This is 100% YOUR night, take advantage, and just let loose!
Embrace Plan B
No matter how careful you are in your planning, something is bound to go, well, not quite according to plan. Once your planning is done and executed, give yourself permission to loosen your grip and go with the flow. That’s the best way to cope with flowers that are a little too bright…ushers that show up a little too late…a cake topper that’s a little crooked…serving sizes that are a little too small…or even an embarrassing relative who has a little too much to drink at your reception. These kinds of things happen at every wedding, and it’s usually so insignificant in the long run, the happy couple doesn’t even notice. Or if they do notice, they can be free to let it go on focus on what really matters: they are married!
So trust us! Be proactive in making sure that you can enjoy a great wedding day!
Let’s be honest here. Some people – including brides and grooms – just don’t like cake. Fortunately, people are getting used to the idea that a wedding cake – no matter how traditional – it no longer mandatory. Here are some great alternatives that we’ve seen. Get inspired!
Photo by Jonathunder via Wikimedia
You don’t need a campfire to make everybody’s favorite summer treat. S’mores bars are an up and coming trend, with button burners, gourmet marshmallows and a variety of chocolate-based candy so your guests can create their own unique dessert.
No matter what time of day you marry, you can make serve your favorite breakfast confections. We’ve seen crepes, donuts, Danish, cinnamon rolls and even Rice Krispie treats stacked into tiers and crowned with a traditional cake topper.
If you’ve got a local baker who excels at pies, why not? You can select a wide variety of fruit and cream pies to please every guest.
Candy buffets are fun and completely customizable. Load up on the happy couple’s favorite sweets and provide little cups, boxes or decorative waxed paper rolled into cones for the guests to make their own cornucopias of confection.
Using the traditional treats from your family heritage can add a special nod to your grandparents and older relatives. Czech kolaches…Italian cannolis…African mandazi…French macarons…Japanese dangos…Filipino pitsi-pitsi…Mexican churros…There are as many options as nations!
Cake with a Twist
“Naked” cakes with minimal frosting,upscale cupcakes, gourmet petit fors, or cheesecake are good ways to have cake that isn’t exactly cake.
Whatever you decide, let your choice reflect your tastes and personalities, and you can’t go wrong.