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Ceremony Wedding Ideas

  • Celebrating your wedding day without a family member or friend who has passed on can feel bittersweet, but there are several ways to make sure his or her presence is felt throughout the day. Here are a few ideas.

    Include His or Her Photo in Your Bouquet
    A locket or pendant featuring a photo of a loved one can make a unique and lovely addition to your floral arrangement. 

    Photo by Clary Pfeiffer Photography

    Carry an Heirloom
    Whether it’s a handkerchief or a religious element like a rosary or Bible, you can carry a special possession that belonged to your late family member or friend as you walk down the aisle.

    Photos by Erin Leigh and onelove photography

    Special Rings
    Heirloom rings provide a memory that you’ll wear every day. 


    Photo by Emily Alt Photography

     

    Wear Jewelry and Accessories
    From necklaces to brooches, veils to hair combs, there are lots of ways to incorporate heirloom accessories into your wedding-day look. 


    Photo by J. Masciana Photography

    Add a Note to the Programs
    Honor loved ones by including their names and a special message in your ceremony programs. 


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Save a Seat
    Reserve a seat at the ceremony and place your family member or friend’s favorite flower on the chair as you walk down the aisle. 


    Photo by Caroline + Ben Photography

    Play Special Music
    Whether it’s walking down the aisle to his or her favorite song or playing a beloved tune during the reception, appropriate music can be a subtle but poignant reminder of your family member or friend.  


    Photo by The Nichols

    Display Photos
    Share photos of your loved ones (perhaps alongside candles) during the reception.


    Photo by Arte de Vie

    Make a Donation
    In lieu of or in addition to favors, you may wish to make a donation to a cause that was meaningful to your family member or friend. 


    Photo by Kate Harrison Photography

     

     

    Add Vintage Décor
    If appropriate, you can utilize your loved ones’ favorite items in your wedding reception décor. We love how this bride used her grandfather’s film projector, among other items. 


    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Share a Favorite Hobby or Activity
    If you and your grandmother loved to bake cookies together, why not serve her famous recipe as favors? Another idea from a real wedding: This bride shared her late father’s favorite cigars with her guests.  


    Photo by Michael Moss

    Looking for more sentimental touches to add to your wedding day? Check out this inspiration board full of great ideas!

    0
  • 1. Boutique Farm Experience 

    Photo by: Shelly Kroeger

    It doesn't get more idyllic than Northern California's organic Bear Flag Farm. Hosting a limited number of events each year, this hidden gem is known for its breathtaking vineyards, lavendar fields, orchards, and unique farm to table dining. It's extraordinary to find a property that offers so much, wrapped up in an exclusive, boutique farm and winery experience.

    2. Trendy Art Gallery

    Photo by: Abby Jiu

    Marrying admist the deconstructed walls, amazing lighting, and the beauty of modern art at the Long View Gallery in D.C. is surely a contemporary couple's dream. This list wouldn't be complete without a venue that's the epitome of urban culture. 

    3. Artisan Ballroom

    Photo by: Stella Alesi Photography

    Let us count the ways we love Barr Mansion. First - it's green green green (certified organic) which is a big bonus in our book. You can also find both a dreamy Southern mansion and a rustic artisan ballroom with floor to ceiling windows housed on this beautiful Austin property. 

    4. Creative Museum Space 

    Photo by: Photographs by Anjuli

    The New Children's Museum is a spot we adore for Southern California creatives who are looking for a venue that is everything they are: clever, trendy, playful and fun! The wide open space and contemporary decor make it smart without being a tiny but stuffy. 

    5. East Coast Escape 

    Photo by: Patricia Lyons

    A tranquil oasis of vineyard, farm, barn, and winery, all with gorgeous valley views, is nestled just outside of Charlottesville at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. One look at the luxe, rustic setting, and we're swept away by the serenity and romance of this East Coast escape. 

    6. Rustic Urban Sanctuary

    Photo by: Braedon Photography

    Set right in the center of bustling L.A., Marvimon is an urban sanctuary with super-hip style, a fabulous layout, and sweet amenities. How fabulous would it be to marry in their vertical garden-embellished courtyard, then transition to the bistro and grand hall for cocktails and dinner?

    7. A Southern Plantation

    Photo by: Mint Photography

    For the couple whose hearts are rooted in the South, we recommend a ceremony and reception at a sprawling plantation. Kendall Plantation in Texas Hill Country is a winner for classic Antebellum-style architecture and old-fashioned Southern charm! 

    8. New York Night Club

    Photo by: Robert Sukrachand

    Who ever said you coudn't have a wedding at a night club! The Brooklyn-based Bell House is an old warehouse-turned concert venue, and a super unique place to plan a less-than-conventional city wedding in style.

    9. Tropical Ruins 

    Photo by: Anna Kim Photography

    If marrying admist the lush tropical overgrowth (and chandeliers)! of a transformed sugar mill in Maui hadn't crossed your mind, let us plant the seed. Hawaii's Haiku Mill is utterly breathtaking and completely unforgettable. 

    10. Sophisticated Cafe Seating 

    Photo by: Andrew Collings

    A summer wedding at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is made even more magical by the sophisticated and majestic setting at the zoo's Cafe Brauer. It's an architectural marvel! 

    1
  • By: Jeffra Trumpower

    Feeling lucky? How about this lovely shade of green for your wedding inspiration? We love this hue for a spring and summer wedding. A subtle color palette that looks beautiful against a vineyard, garden, or backyard setting. Ensure your reception and ceremony location doesn't have any other strong accent colors, as this light pastel will fade away quickly. Make sure to include other pretty pastels such as pinks, yellows, and oranges.  For this combination we decided to pair it with citrus hues, including lime, orange, and grapefruit, oh my!

    Shoes Photo by Oz Visuals | Save Photo

    Bridesmaids Photo by KT Merry | Save Photo

    Paper Lantern Decor Photo by Anushe Low | Save Photo

    Wreath Design by Beauty in the Making | Save Photo

    Bouquet Photo by Amy Arrington | Save Photo

     

    See more Mint Green Wedding Ideas »

    4
  • We love when couples add personal touches to their wedding day, but our favorite details are often the ones that really tell the story of their relationship. True, many of your guests may already know some of the details of how you got together, but there may be some who may need or want a refresher. Here are some creative ways to tell your love story:

    A Sweet Sign – Display a chalkboard or other signage with a timeline of how you two met and got together. 

    Photo by Filda Konec Photography

    Photo Display – There are many creative ways to share photos from throughout your relationship (you can even include baby and childhood pictures in there as well!). Check out these creative ways to use your engagement photos in your wedding. 

    Photos (from left to right): Tia & Claire Studio, Jill Lauren Photography

    Create a Video – A video montage of images can be shown during the reception or at your rehearsal dinner 

    Photo by Earthmuse Photography

    Special Mementos – If you’re so inclined, we love when couples display their (funny or sweet) love notes or emails from throughout their relationship to really get a sense of their personalities and story

    Photo by Filda Konec Photography

    In Your Programs – Add a list of fun facts about the two of you for guests to read while they’re waiting for the ceremony to begin. For more ceremony program ideas, visit this board from our Stationery Editor!

    Photos (from left to right): Erin Lindsey Images, Daniel Kim Photography

    Table Names and Numbers – Use your table names and numbers as an opportunity to be creative. Name your tables after meaningful places you’ve visited, or put a twist on traditional table numbers by adding a fun fact to each. Want more table name ideas? Check out this article!

    Photos (from left to right): Jason Burns Photography, Cory Ryan Photography

    On the Paper Goods – Print a detail about your relationship on cocktail napkins or straw flags! Check out more cute cocktail napkin ideas here!

    Photo by Jim Kennedy Photographers

    0
  • 9 cute and creative ways to serve your cocktails -- Cheers! 

     

    Photo by: Michelle Warren

    Water infused with mint, cucumber, and lemon -- sounds delish! 

    Photo by: Love Life Images

    Rosemary lemonade and peach iced tea displayed in an antique white cabinet -- does an outdoor reception get any more chic than this?

    Photo by: M. Norwood Photogrpahy

    Does it get more refreshing than classic lemonade in the summer?

    Photo by: Anjuli

    Going for more of an indie, DIY vibe? Store your spirits in vintage crates.

    Photo by: Hudson Nichols Photography

    We love how Jessica and Matt repurposed an old cabinet to hold their beverage supplies.

    Photo by: Karen Wise 

    Serve big batch punches in wide mouth jars. Don't forget the ladles! 

    Photo by: Neuschafer Photography

    Don't think we'll ever get tired of mason jar mugs and striped straws.

    Photo by: Jordan Ferney 

    A rainbow display of old fashioned sodas instantly doubles as reception favors. 

    Photo by: Katelyn James Photography

    Mini chalkboards and log displays are the perfect finishing touches for a rustic beverage station. 

     

     

    17
  • Celebrating your wedding day without a family member or friend who has passed on can feel bittersweet, but there are several ways to make sure his or her presence is felt throughout the day. Here are a few ideas.

    Include His or Her Photo in Your Bouquet
    A locket or pendant featuring a photo of a loved one can make a unique and lovely addition to your floral arrangement. 

    Photo by Clary Pfeiffer Photography

    Carry an Heirloom
    Whether it’s a handkerchief or a religious element like a rosary or Bible, you can carry a special possession that belonged to your late family member or friend as you walk down the aisle.

    Photos by Erin Leigh and onelove photography

    Special Rings
    Heirloom rings provide a memory that you’ll wear every day. 


    Photo by Emily Alt Photography

     

    Wear Jewelry and Accessories
    From necklaces to brooches, veils to hair combs, there are lots of ways to incorporate heirloom accessories into your wedding-day look. 


    Photo by J. Masciana Photography

    Add a Note to the Programs
    Honor loved ones by including their names and a special message in your ceremony programs. 


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Save a Seat
    Reserve a seat at the ceremony and place your family member or friend’s favorite flower on the chair as you walk down the aisle. 


    Photo by Caroline + Ben Photography

    Play Special Music
    Whether it’s walking down the aisle to his or her favorite song or playing a beloved tune during the reception, appropriate music can be a subtle but poignant reminder of your family member or friend.  


    Photo by The Nichols

    Display Photos
    Share photos of your loved ones (perhaps alongside candles) during the reception.


    Photo by Arte de Vie

    Make a Donation
    In lieu of or in addition to favors, you may wish to make a donation to a cause that was meaningful to your family member or friend. 


    Photo by Kate Harrison Photography

     

     

    Add Vintage Décor
    If appropriate, you can utilize your loved ones’ favorite items in your wedding reception décor. We love how this bride used her grandfather’s film projector, among other items. 


    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Share a Favorite Hobby or Activity
    If you and your grandmother loved to bake cookies together, why not serve her famous recipe as favors? Another idea from a real wedding: This bride shared her late father’s favorite cigars with her guests.  


    Photo by Michael Moss

    Looking for more sentimental touches to add to your wedding day? Check out this inspiration board full of great ideas!

    0
  • 1. The First Look 

    Photo  by: Gideon Photography

    You'll never want to forget the first time you see each other on your wedding day -- take some time before your ceremony to document this special moment. 

    2. The Classic Portrait 

    Photo by: Jillian Mitchell Photography

    Face-on, big smiles, slightly leaning in to each other. Predictable, but this photo will likely end up on your office desk (or displayed in your parent's home). 

    3. The First Kiss

    Photo by: Lindsey Gomes

    Whether it's long and passionate or a quick peck (we're not judging either way!), the first kiss after your vows is an important one. Make sure your photographer is set up for a clear view. 

    4. The Signature Location Shot

    Photo by: Gerber + Scarpelli

    Getting married in a city? Or what about your hometown? Wherever you say 'I Do', there's a bound to be a spot nearby that's especially telling of your location. Find it and strike a pose -- we guarantee you'll be grateful for the context later.

    5. A Quiet Moment

    Photo by: Ulmer Studios

    We know, we know -- the pressure's on to look perfect in your wedding pictures, and that can be hard if you tend to clam up in front of the cameras. If you're feeling nervous, take a tip from Heather and Tyler: close your eyes, take a deep breath, and lean in close to the person you love. You'll wind up with a gorgeous portrait you'll cherish for years to come! 

    6. A Laugh-Out-Loud Moment

    Photo by: Paper Antler

    The number one thing you'll (hopefully) remember about your wedding? How much fun you had. With any luck, your photographer will capture that sentiment in your smiles.

    7. The Prop Shot

    Photo by: Clary Photo

    Weddings these days are all about showcasing your personality as a couple, so why not do it with props? We've got a soft spot for oversize inititals, but holding up a large ampersand (&) works, too. 

    8. The First Dance 

    Photo by: Davis Photography

    Sure, you may not grace another dance floor this formally again in your life, but that doesn't make this more traditional moment any less sentimental. 

    9. The Cake Cutting 

    Photo by: Amelia Lyon Photography

    Be sure at least one picture exists of the moments before you stuff it into each other's mouths.

    10. The Faraway Shot

    Photo by: Max Wanger

    A Max Wanger signature, this long-distance portrait will remind you just how big the world is that you're about to take on together.

    11. The Send-Off Shot 

    Photo by: Annabella Charles Photography

    Sparklers, bubbles, confetti -- there's plenty of possibilities when it comes to spicing up a wedding exit! 

    8

  • Photo by This Modern Romance

     

    We've all been there. You're at an event, wedding or otherwise, and are just plain uncomfortable. Too hot (or cold), strange food, long line for the restroom. You always vowed you'd do things differently at your wedding - and now's your chance. Here's our guide to how to make sure your wedding is memorable for the right reasons.

    Think About Your Venue When you’re venue hunting, make sure that you keep your wedding guests’ comfort in mind. Will there be enough room to give your guests breathing room? Is there accessibility for handicapped or elderly guests? What is the climate control and restroom situation? Instead of just picking a venue for its beauty, think about it as though you were a guest.

    Give Advance Notice Make sure to give your wedding guests plenty of notice when it comes to your wedding so they can plan accordingly. Save-the-dates should be sent a year in advance if you’re planning a destination wedding in a far-off locale. Six months in advance should suffice for a hometown or local wedding. And invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks in advance of your wedding. Also, make sure that you have a wedding website to provide additional updates.

    Make Travel and Accommodations Easy Speaking of your wedding website, use that platform as an easy-to-navigate home base for all of your travel and accommodation information (if there are older guests who aren’t internet savvy, call them yourself or have another relative do so to keep them informed). Reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel or two, so there’s no question about where out-of-towners should stay. Direct them to airlines, train stations, and public transportation routes that will assist them on their journey.

    Don’t Over-Ask Your guests want to come to your wedding to see you get married – so don’t make it difficult for them. There’s no need to ask them to wear something super-specific, bring a specific type of gift, or pay for their plate.  

    Welcome Them in Style Whether you’re hosting many out-of-town wedding guests or just a few, make sure they feel welcomed when they arrive to their lodging. Creating a welcome basket with ample drinks and snacks is great, but even just a kind and gracious handwritten note will suffice.

    Keep Them Comfortable If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, provide shawls or blankets if it’s chilly out and give guests fans and cold drinks if it’s super hot. And if the weather is extremely hot, cold, or just plain inclement, move the ceremony indoors. While you might not have the outdoor ceremony you expected, your guests will thank you.

    Strategize Table Assignments Be sure to seat your guests at the tables where they’ll feel most comfortable. For example, put groups of people who know each other together whether they’re in couples or single. And while it’s okay to mix single people and couples, try to avoid seating one or two single person at a table full of couples. And think table placement as well – don’t seat elderly guests right next to the band or DJ.

    Feed Them Well Make sure there’s plenty of food and drink for all to enjoy – and consider your guests who may have dietary restrictions or concerns. Most caterers can handle vegetarian, gluten-free, or other requests, so try to honor those whenever possible.

    Get Everyone Home Safely You don’t have to provide transportation for your guests, but it’s sure a nice gesture. The goal here to avoid guests drinking and driving, so while having a shuttle bus or van bring guests to the wedding and back to their hotel is your best bet, even just providing a phone number for a taxi company in the welcome bags is appreciated.


    Photo by Nancy Aidee Photography

    9

  • Photo by Nadia D Photography

    Your littlest guests may be the ones to cause the most anxiety. If you decide to invite children to your wedding, it’s important to consider their needs when planning your day. If you follow these simple rules, your young guests can be adorable additions to your day.

    Decide Who You’re Inviting: Make a rule and stick to it. If you’re open to having all the children of all of your guests attend, do so – particularly if you’re having a super-casual celebration. You can allow only children over a certain age to attend your wedding. You may choose to only invite the children in your wedding party and that’s it. Or you may prefer to have a child-free wedding. Whatever you decide, don’t make any exceptions or risk causing hurt feelings and confusion.

    Pick Your Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Wisely: These roles are best suited for children of close relatives or friends, ages 3 to 7. Talk to your flower girl and ring bearer in advance about how important their role is and how much it means to you that they’ll be a part of your special day. Provide their parents with the music that will play when they walk down the aisle so they can practice. And if all else fails, bribery always work! Make sure you get your flower girls and ring bearers small gifts to reward them for a successful walk down the aisle.

    Let Them Feel Grown-Up: If you are inviting children who are not in the wedding party, feel free to give them small tasks so they feel like they have a role in your day. They can hand out ceremony programs, give out favors, hold your bouquet while you’re getting a makeup touch-up – even the smallest of tasks will help little ones feel important.

    Lay Some Ground Rules: This should be common knowledge for most parents, but before the wedding, tell your guests with kids that if a child starts to become loud or distracting at the ceremony, they should be immediately removed from the premises.  

    Smile! If you’re concerned about children smiling for portraits, have a parent or grandparent of the child stand behind the camera with a puppet or singing a favorite song. And be sure to make your photo sessions with kids very short (like, a minute or two) – little ones will not stand still for very long, so take a few shots and then set them free!

    Offer Activities: Ask the invited children’s parents if their little ones would prefer sitting at a table with other children or staying close to their parents. Whether you create a kids’ table or allow children to sit with their parents, be sure that you offer lots of entertainment for them – games, coloring books, and small toys (that don’t make noise!) are all good ideas.   

    Kid-Friendly Food: Sure, you may be offering gourmet cuisine at your wedding, but for kids, chicken fingers and grilled cheese is their dinner of choice. Be sure to have kid-friendly meal options for your smallest guest – and be sure to ask parents in advance of any allergies or preferences.

    Offer Babysitting: It’s not necessary, but having babysitting at your reception site is a very kind gesture for your guests with children. If your reception will run until late in the night, ask your littlest guests to bring sleeping bags and create a fun slumber party environment.  

    Don’t Sweat It: No matter how much you prepare, children will misbehave and act out. If a child behaves poorly at an inopportune moment, just laugh it off – the unexpected moments are often the most endearing of the day.

    3

  • Photo by Viera Photographics

    It’s the big moment – your walk down the aisle. Whether you love it or not, all eyes will be on you, so it’s important to plan ahead and make sure your processional goes smoothly. Follow our simple tips to ensure a memorable processional (for the right reasons!).

    Practice Makes Perfect It’s essential to do a run-through of the ceremony beforehand. Usually, this occurs before the rehearsal dinner, but some couples choose to hold a cram session on the wedding day before guests arrive. Either way, gather your wedding party, family members, and your officiant to practice the order of the processional and recessional, as well as where everyone should stand or sit during the ceremony.

    Order, Order While you can switch things up based on your religious or cultural traditions, family structure or your preference, this is the traditional order of the processional:

    Officiant
    Mother of the Bride
    Groomsmen (The groomsmen can also serve as escorts for the bridesmaids. The best man should be last).
    Groom (Sometimes the groom doesn’t walk down the aisle, but emerges through a back or side entrance so he can immediately stand at the altar.)
    Bridesmaids (maid of honor is last)
    Ring bearer and/or flower girl
    Bride


    Photo by IQPhoto Studio

    Assign a Stage Manager Whether it’s a wedding planner, family member, or friend, make sure you assign someone to cue the ceremony music and then signal for each person to walk down the aisle. The “stage manager” should wait until the wedding party member has taken his or her place at the altar before cueing the next person to begin his/her walk.

    Walk This Way We’ve all seen Father of the Bride and know the whole “left together, right together” routine – but that’s a pretty old-school technique. Encourage your wedding party to walk normally, just a teeny bit slower than usual so it doesn’t look like you’re racing down the aisle. Your stage manager should emphasize this point before each wedding party member starts to walk.


    Photo by Retrospect Images

    Keep The Path Simple Sure, it may look really cool to enter your ceremony from the top of a grand staircase, over a narrow bridge, or down a cobblestone path, but consider your dress, your shoes – and your sanity. Try to keep your aisle as straightforward and simple as possible to avoid every bride’s worst nightmare – tripping and falling. If your ceremony site does have a tricky aisle setup, be sure to practice (in your dress and shoes!) beforehand.

    Your Escort, Your Choice The tradition is for a bride to walk down the aisle with her father. However, you don’t have to do it this way. Depending on your family structure, you can walk down the aisle with just your mother, both parents, a grandparent, sibling or other close relative, alone, or even with your soon-to-be spouse. If you’ve been raised by several people (stepparents, etc.), you can have one person escort you partway down the aisle, and another bring you the rest of the way.


    Photo by A Blake Photography

    Pick the Right Songs Of course, there are some classics (Pachelbel’s Canon in D, anyone?), but there are a wide variety of both traditional and contemporary songs that would work for a processional. Just make sure that the tempo isn’t too fast or too slow – try walking to the beat of the music to make sure it has the right rhythm. Instrumental versions of songs usually work best, but if a song has lyrics, listen to them carefully to make sure they are, ahem, wedding-appropriate.   

    Change the Mood After the flower girl and ring bearer have walked down the aisle, take a few-seconds long pause before you begin your processional to add a bit of suspense (your guests are excited to see you!). And be sure to change the music – you should walk down the aisle to a different song than your wedding party members.   


    Photo by Nadia D Photography

    Take It All In Many brides focus squarely on their grooms during the processional, but try to glance at your guests as you walk down the aisle. This is one of the only opportunities you’ll have to gather all of your nearest and dearest in one place, so take mental pictures to remember this important moment.

    Relax Try your best to smile and stay cool and calm while you walk. Many brides tense up their shoulders and hold their bouquets too high, almost blocking their face – so relax your shoulders and arms and hold your bouquet low.

    11
  • Celebrating your wedding day without a family member or friend who has passed on can feel bittersweet, but there are several ways to make sure his or her presence is felt throughout the day. Here are a few ideas.

    Include His or Her Photo in Your Bouquet
    A locket or pendant featuring a photo of a loved one can make a unique and lovely addition to your floral arrangement. 

    Photo by Clary Pfeiffer Photography

    Carry an Heirloom
    Whether it’s a handkerchief or a religious element like a rosary or Bible, you can carry a special possession that belonged to your late family member or friend as you walk down the aisle.

    Photos by Erin Leigh and onelove photography

    Special Rings
    Heirloom rings provide a memory that you’ll wear every day. 


    Photo by Emily Alt Photography

     

    Wear Jewelry and Accessories
    From necklaces to brooches, veils to hair combs, there are lots of ways to incorporate heirloom accessories into your wedding-day look. 


    Photo by J. Masciana Photography

    Add a Note to the Programs
    Honor loved ones by including their names and a special message in your ceremony programs. 


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Save a Seat
    Reserve a seat at the ceremony and place your family member or friend’s favorite flower on the chair as you walk down the aisle. 


    Photo by Caroline + Ben Photography

    Play Special Music
    Whether it’s walking down the aisle to his or her favorite song or playing a beloved tune during the reception, appropriate music can be a subtle but poignant reminder of your family member or friend.  


    Photo by The Nichols

    Display Photos
    Share photos of your loved ones (perhaps alongside candles) during the reception.


    Photo by Arte de Vie

    Make a Donation
    In lieu of or in addition to favors, you may wish to make a donation to a cause that was meaningful to your family member or friend. 


    Photo by Kate Harrison Photography

     

     

    Add Vintage Décor
    If appropriate, you can utilize your loved ones’ favorite items in your wedding reception décor. We love how this bride used her grandfather’s film projector, among other items. 


    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Share a Favorite Hobby or Activity
    If you and your grandmother loved to bake cookies together, why not serve her famous recipe as favors? Another idea from a real wedding: This bride shared her late father’s favorite cigars with her guests.  


    Photo by Michael Moss

    Looking for more sentimental touches to add to your wedding day? Check out this inspiration board full of great ideas!

    0
  • 1. Boutique Farm Experience 

    Photo by: Shelly Kroeger

    It doesn't get more idyllic than Northern California's organic Bear Flag Farm. Hosting a limited number of events each year, this hidden gem is known for its breathtaking vineyards, lavendar fields, orchards, and unique farm to table dining. It's extraordinary to find a property that offers so much, wrapped up in an exclusive, boutique farm and winery experience.

    2. Trendy Art Gallery

    Photo by: Abby Jiu

    Marrying admist the deconstructed walls, amazing lighting, and the beauty of modern art at the Long View Gallery in D.C. is surely a contemporary couple's dream. This list wouldn't be complete without a venue that's the epitome of urban culture. 

    3. Artisan Ballroom

    Photo by: Stella Alesi Photography

    Let us count the ways we love Barr Mansion. First - it's green green green (certified organic) which is a big bonus in our book. You can also find both a dreamy Southern mansion and a rustic artisan ballroom with floor to ceiling windows housed on this beautiful Austin property. 

    4. Creative Museum Space 

    Photo by: Photographs by Anjuli

    The New Children's Museum is a spot we adore for Southern California creatives who are looking for a venue that is everything they are: clever, trendy, playful and fun! The wide open space and contemporary decor make it smart without being a tiny but stuffy. 

    5. East Coast Escape 

    Photo by: Patricia Lyons

    A tranquil oasis of vineyard, farm, barn, and winery, all with gorgeous valley views, is nestled just outside of Charlottesville at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. One look at the luxe, rustic setting, and we're swept away by the serenity and romance of this East Coast escape. 

    6. Rustic Urban Sanctuary

    Photo by: Braedon Photography

    Set right in the center of bustling L.A., Marvimon is an urban sanctuary with super-hip style, a fabulous layout, and sweet amenities. How fabulous would it be to marry in their vertical garden-embellished courtyard, then transition to the bistro and grand hall for cocktails and dinner?

    7. A Southern Plantation

    Photo by: Mint Photography

    For the couple whose hearts are rooted in the South, we recommend a ceremony and reception at a sprawling plantation. Kendall Plantation in Texas Hill Country is a winner for classic Antebellum-style architecture and old-fashioned Southern charm! 

    8. New York Night Club

    Photo by: Robert Sukrachand

    Who ever said you coudn't have a wedding at a night club! The Brooklyn-based Bell House is an old warehouse-turned concert venue, and a super unique place to plan a less-than-conventional city wedding in style.

    9. Tropical Ruins 

    Photo by: Anna Kim Photography

    If marrying admist the lush tropical overgrowth (and chandeliers)! of a transformed sugar mill in Maui hadn't crossed your mind, let us plant the seed. Hawaii's Haiku Mill is utterly breathtaking and completely unforgettable. 

    10. Sophisticated Cafe Seating 

    Photo by: Andrew Collings

    A summer wedding at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is made even more magical by the sophisticated and majestic setting at the zoo's Cafe Brauer. It's an architectural marvel! 

    1
  • By: Jeffra Trumpower

    Feeling lucky? How about this lovely shade of green for your wedding inspiration? We love this hue for a spring and summer wedding. A subtle color palette that looks beautiful against a vineyard, garden, or backyard setting. Ensure your reception and ceremony location doesn't have any other strong accent colors, as this light pastel will fade away quickly. Make sure to include other pretty pastels such as pinks, yellows, and oranges.  For this combination we decided to pair it with citrus hues, including lime, orange, and grapefruit, oh my!

    Shoes Photo by Oz Visuals | Save Photo

    Bridesmaids Photo by KT Merry | Save Photo

    Paper Lantern Decor Photo by Anushe Low | Save Photo

    Wreath Design by Beauty in the Making | Save Photo

    Bouquet Photo by Amy Arrington | Save Photo

     

    See more Mint Green Wedding Ideas »

    4
  • We love when couples add personal touches to their wedding day, but our favorite details are often the ones that really tell the story of their relationship. True, many of your guests may already know some of the details of how you got together, but there may be some who may need or want a refresher. Here are some creative ways to tell your love story:

    A Sweet Sign – Display a chalkboard or other signage with a timeline of how you two met and got together. 

    Photo by Filda Konec Photography

    Photo Display – There are many creative ways to share photos from throughout your relationship (you can even include baby and childhood pictures in there as well!). Check out these creative ways to use your engagement photos in your wedding. 

    Photos (from left to right): Tia & Claire Studio, Jill Lauren Photography

    Create a Video – A video montage of images can be shown during the reception or at your rehearsal dinner 

    Photo by Earthmuse Photography

    Special Mementos – If you’re so inclined, we love when couples display their (funny or sweet) love notes or emails from throughout their relationship to really get a sense of their personalities and story

    Photo by Filda Konec Photography

    In Your Programs – Add a list of fun facts about the two of you for guests to read while they’re waiting for the ceremony to begin. For more ceremony program ideas, visit this board from our Stationery Editor!

    Photos (from left to right): Erin Lindsey Images, Daniel Kim Photography

    Table Names and Numbers – Use your table names and numbers as an opportunity to be creative. Name your tables after meaningful places you’ve visited, or put a twist on traditional table numbers by adding a fun fact to each. Want more table name ideas? Check out this article!

    Photos (from left to right): Jason Burns Photography, Cory Ryan Photography

    On the Paper Goods – Print a detail about your relationship on cocktail napkins or straw flags! Check out more cute cocktail napkin ideas here!

    Photo by Jim Kennedy Photographers

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  • 9 cute and creative ways to serve your cocktails -- Cheers! 

     

    Photo by: Michelle Warren

    Water infused with mint, cucumber, and lemon -- sounds delish! 

    Photo by: Love Life Images

    Rosemary lemonade and peach iced tea displayed in an antique white cabinet -- does an outdoor reception get any more chic than this?

    Photo by: M. Norwood Photogrpahy

    Does it get more refreshing than classic lemonade in the summer?

    Photo by: Anjuli

    Going for more of an indie, DIY vibe? Store your spirits in vintage crates.

    Photo by: Hudson Nichols Photography

    We love how Jessica and Matt repurposed an old cabinet to hold their beverage supplies.

    Photo by: Karen Wise 

    Serve big batch punches in wide mouth jars. Don't forget the ladles! 

    Photo by: Neuschafer Photography

    Don't think we'll ever get tired of mason jar mugs and striped straws.

    Photo by: Jordan Ferney 

    A rainbow display of old fashioned sodas instantly doubles as reception favors. 

    Photo by: Katelyn James Photography

    Mini chalkboards and log displays are the perfect finishing touches for a rustic beverage station. 

     

     

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  • Celebrating your wedding day without a family member or friend who has passed on can feel bittersweet, but there are several ways to make sure his or her presence is felt throughout the day. Here are a few ideas.

    Include His or Her Photo in Your Bouquet
    A locket or pendant featuring a photo of a loved one can make a unique and lovely addition to your floral arrangement. 

    Photo by Clary Pfeiffer Photography

    Carry an Heirloom
    Whether it’s a handkerchief or a religious element like a rosary or Bible, you can carry a special possession that belonged to your late family member or friend as you walk down the aisle.

    Photos by Erin Leigh and onelove photography

    Special Rings
    Heirloom rings provide a memory that you’ll wear every day. 


    Photo by Emily Alt Photography

     

    Wear Jewelry and Accessories
    From necklaces to brooches, veils to hair combs, there are lots of ways to incorporate heirloom accessories into your wedding-day look. 


    Photo by J. Masciana Photography

    Add a Note to the Programs
    Honor loved ones by including their names and a special message in your ceremony programs. 


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Save a Seat
    Reserve a seat at the ceremony and place your family member or friend’s favorite flower on the chair as you walk down the aisle. 


    Photo by Caroline + Ben Photography

    Play Special Music
    Whether it’s walking down the aisle to his or her favorite song or playing a beloved tune during the reception, appropriate music can be a subtle but poignant reminder of your family member or friend.  


    Photo by The Nichols

    Display Photos
    Share photos of your loved ones (perhaps alongside candles) during the reception.


    Photo by Arte de Vie

    Make a Donation
    In lieu of or in addition to favors, you may wish to make a donation to a cause that was meaningful to your family member or friend. 


    Photo by Kate Harrison Photography

     

     

    Add Vintage Décor
    If appropriate, you can utilize your loved ones’ favorite items in your wedding reception décor. We love how this bride used her grandfather’s film projector, among other items. 


    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Share a Favorite Hobby or Activity
    If you and your grandmother loved to bake cookies together, why not serve her famous recipe as favors? Another idea from a real wedding: This bride shared her late father’s favorite cigars with her guests.  


    Photo by Michael Moss

    Looking for more sentimental touches to add to your wedding day? Check out this inspiration board full of great ideas!

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  • 1. The First Look 

    Photo  by: Gideon Photography

    You'll never want to forget the first time you see each other on your wedding day -- take some time before your ceremony to document this special moment. 

    2. The Classic Portrait 

    Photo by: Jillian Mitchell Photography

    Face-on, big smiles, slightly leaning in to each other. Predictable, but this photo will likely end up on your office desk (or displayed in your parent's home). 

    3. The First Kiss

    Photo by: Lindsey Gomes

    Whether it's long and passionate or a quick peck (we're not judging either way!), the first kiss after your vows is an important one. Make sure your photographer is set up for a clear view. 

    4. The Signature Location Shot

    Photo by: Gerber + Scarpelli

    Getting married in a city? Or what about your hometown? Wherever you say 'I Do', there's a bound to be a spot nearby that's especially telling of your location. Find it and strike a pose -- we guarantee you'll be grateful for the context later.

    5. A Quiet Moment

    Photo by: Ulmer Studios

    We know, we know -- the pressure's on to look perfect in your wedding pictures, and that can be hard if you tend to clam up in front of the cameras. If you're feeling nervous, take a tip from Heather and Tyler: close your eyes, take a deep breath, and lean in close to the person you love. You'll wind up with a gorgeous portrait you'll cherish for years to come! 

    6. A Laugh-Out-Loud Moment

    Photo by: Paper Antler

    The number one thing you'll (hopefully) remember about your wedding? How much fun you had. With any luck, your photographer will capture that sentiment in your smiles.

    7. The Prop Shot

    Photo by: Clary Photo

    Weddings these days are all about showcasing your personality as a couple, so why not do it with props? We've got a soft spot for oversize inititals, but holding up a large ampersand (&) works, too. 

    8. The First Dance 

    Photo by: Davis Photography

    Sure, you may not grace another dance floor this formally again in your life, but that doesn't make this more traditional moment any less sentimental. 

    9. The Cake Cutting 

    Photo by: Amelia Lyon Photography

    Be sure at least one picture exists of the moments before you stuff it into each other's mouths.

    10. The Faraway Shot

    Photo by: Max Wanger

    A Max Wanger signature, this long-distance portrait will remind you just how big the world is that you're about to take on together.

    11. The Send-Off Shot 

    Photo by: Annabella Charles Photography

    Sparklers, bubbles, confetti -- there's plenty of possibilities when it comes to spicing up a wedding exit! 

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  • Photo by This Modern Romance

     

    We've all been there. You're at an event, wedding or otherwise, and are just plain uncomfortable. Too hot (or cold), strange food, long line for the restroom. You always vowed you'd do things differently at your wedding - and now's your chance. Here's our guide to how to make sure your wedding is memorable for the right reasons.

    Think About Your Venue When you’re venue hunting, make sure that you keep your wedding guests’ comfort in mind. Will there be enough room to give your guests breathing room? Is there accessibility for handicapped or elderly guests? What is the climate control and restroom situation? Instead of just picking a venue for its beauty, think about it as though you were a guest.

    Give Advance Notice Make sure to give your wedding guests plenty of notice when it comes to your wedding so they can plan accordingly. Save-the-dates should be sent a year in advance if you’re planning a destination wedding in a far-off locale. Six months in advance should suffice for a hometown or local wedding. And invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks in advance of your wedding. Also, make sure that you have a wedding website to provide additional updates.

    Make Travel and Accommodations Easy Speaking of your wedding website, use that platform as an easy-to-navigate home base for all of your travel and accommodation information (if there are older guests who aren’t internet savvy, call them yourself or have another relative do so to keep them informed). Reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel or two, so there’s no question about where out-of-towners should stay. Direct them to airlines, train stations, and public transportation routes that will assist them on their journey.

    Don’t Over-Ask Your guests want to come to your wedding to see you get married – so don’t make it difficult for them. There’s no need to ask them to wear something super-specific, bring a specific type of gift, or pay for their plate.  

    Welcome Them in Style Whether you’re hosting many out-of-town wedding guests or just a few, make sure they feel welcomed when they arrive to their lodging. Creating a welcome basket with ample drinks and snacks is great, but even just a kind and gracious handwritten note will suffice.

    Keep Them Comfortable If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, provide shawls or blankets if it’s chilly out and give guests fans and cold drinks if it’s super hot. And if the weather is extremely hot, cold, or just plain inclement, move the ceremony indoors. While you might not have the outdoor ceremony you expected, your guests will thank you.

    Strategize Table Assignments Be sure to seat your guests at the tables where they’ll feel most comfortable. For example, put groups of people who know each other together whether they’re in couples or single. And while it’s okay to mix single people and couples, try to avoid seating one or two single person at a table full of couples. And think table placement as well – don’t seat elderly guests right next to the band or DJ.

    Feed Them Well Make sure there’s plenty of food and drink for all to enjoy – and consider your guests who may have dietary restrictions or concerns. Most caterers can handle vegetarian, gluten-free, or other requests, so try to honor those whenever possible.

    Get Everyone Home Safely You don’t have to provide transportation for your guests, but it’s sure a nice gesture. The goal here to avoid guests drinking and driving, so while having a shuttle bus or van bring guests to the wedding and back to their hotel is your best bet, even just providing a phone number for a taxi company in the welcome bags is appreciated.


    Photo by Nancy Aidee Photography

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  • Photo by Nadia D Photography

    Your littlest guests may be the ones to cause the most anxiety. If you decide to invite children to your wedding, it’s important to consider their needs when planning your day. If you follow these simple rules, your young guests can be adorable additions to your day.

    Decide Who You’re Inviting: Make a rule and stick to it. If you’re open to having all the children of all of your guests attend, do so – particularly if you’re having a super-casual celebration. You can allow only children over a certain age to attend your wedding. You may choose to only invite the children in your wedding party and that’s it. Or you may prefer to have a child-free wedding. Whatever you decide, don’t make any exceptions or risk causing hurt feelings and confusion.

    Pick Your Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Wisely: These roles are best suited for children of close relatives or friends, ages 3 to 7. Talk to your flower girl and ring bearer in advance about how important their role is and how much it means to you that they’ll be a part of your special day. Provide their parents with the music that will play when they walk down the aisle so they can practice. And if all else fails, bribery always work! Make sure you get your flower girls and ring bearers small gifts to reward them for a successful walk down the aisle.

    Let Them Feel Grown-Up: If you are inviting children who are not in the wedding party, feel free to give them small tasks so they feel like they have a role in your day. They can hand out ceremony programs, give out favors, hold your bouquet while you’re getting a makeup touch-up – even the smallest of tasks will help little ones feel important.

    Lay Some Ground Rules: This should be common knowledge for most parents, but before the wedding, tell your guests with kids that if a child starts to become loud or distracting at the ceremony, they should be immediately removed from the premises.  

    Smile! If you’re concerned about children smiling for portraits, have a parent or grandparent of the child stand behind the camera with a puppet or singing a favorite song. And be sure to make your photo sessions with kids very short (like, a minute or two) – little ones will not stand still for very long, so take a few shots and then set them free!

    Offer Activities: Ask the invited children’s parents if their little ones would prefer sitting at a table with other children or staying close to their parents. Whether you create a kids’ table or allow children to sit with their parents, be sure that you offer lots of entertainment for them – games, coloring books, and small toys (that don’t make noise!) are all good ideas.   

    Kid-Friendly Food: Sure, you may be offering gourmet cuisine at your wedding, but for kids, chicken fingers and grilled cheese is their dinner of choice. Be sure to have kid-friendly meal options for your smallest guest – and be sure to ask parents in advance of any allergies or preferences.

    Offer Babysitting: It’s not necessary, but having babysitting at your reception site is a very kind gesture for your guests with children. If your reception will run until late in the night, ask your littlest guests to bring sleeping bags and create a fun slumber party environment.  

    Don’t Sweat It: No matter how much you prepare, children will misbehave and act out. If a child behaves poorly at an inopportune moment, just laugh it off – the unexpected moments are often the most endearing of the day.

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  • Photo by Viera Photographics

    It’s the big moment – your walk down the aisle. Whether you love it or not, all eyes will be on you, so it’s important to plan ahead and make sure your processional goes smoothly. Follow our simple tips to ensure a memorable processional (for the right reasons!).

    Practice Makes Perfect It’s essential to do a run-through of the ceremony beforehand. Usually, this occurs before the rehearsal dinner, but some couples choose to hold a cram session on the wedding day before guests arrive. Either way, gather your wedding party, family members, and your officiant to practice the order of the processional and recessional, as well as where everyone should stand or sit during the ceremony.

    Order, Order While you can switch things up based on your religious or cultural traditions, family structure or your preference, this is the traditional order of the processional:

    Officiant
    Mother of the Bride
    Groomsmen (The groomsmen can also serve as escorts for the bridesmaids. The best man should be last).
    Groom (Sometimes the groom doesn’t walk down the aisle, but emerges through a back or side entrance so he can immediately stand at the altar.)
    Bridesmaids (maid of honor is last)
    Ring bearer and/or flower girl
    Bride


    Photo by IQPhoto Studio

    Assign a Stage Manager Whether it’s a wedding planner, family member, or friend, make sure you assign someone to cue the ceremony music and then signal for each person to walk down the aisle. The “stage manager” should wait until the wedding party member has taken his or her place at the altar before cueing the next person to begin his/her walk.

    Walk This Way We’ve all seen Father of the Bride and know the whole “left together, right together” routine – but that’s a pretty old-school technique. Encourage your wedding party to walk normally, just a teeny bit slower than usual so it doesn’t look like you’re racing down the aisle. Your stage manager should emphasize this point before each wedding party member starts to walk.


    Photo by Retrospect Images

    Keep The Path Simple Sure, it may look really cool to enter your ceremony from the top of a grand staircase, over a narrow bridge, or down a cobblestone path, but consider your dress, your shoes – and your sanity. Try to keep your aisle as straightforward and simple as possible to avoid every bride’s worst nightmare – tripping and falling. If your ceremony site does have a tricky aisle setup, be sure to practice (in your dress and shoes!) beforehand.

    Your Escort, Your Choice The tradition is for a bride to walk down the aisle with her father. However, you don’t have to do it this way. Depending on your family structure, you can walk down the aisle with just your mother, both parents, a grandparent, sibling or other close relative, alone, or even with your soon-to-be spouse. If you’ve been raised by several people (stepparents, etc.), you can have one person escort you partway down the aisle, and another bring you the rest of the way.


    Photo by A Blake Photography

    Pick the Right Songs Of course, there are some classics (Pachelbel’s Canon in D, anyone?), but there are a wide variety of both traditional and contemporary songs that would work for a processional. Just make sure that the tempo isn’t too fast or too slow – try walking to the beat of the music to make sure it has the right rhythm. Instrumental versions of songs usually work best, but if a song has lyrics, listen to them carefully to make sure they are, ahem, wedding-appropriate.   

    Change the Mood After the flower girl and ring bearer have walked down the aisle, take a few-seconds long pause before you begin your processional to add a bit of suspense (your guests are excited to see you!). And be sure to change the music – you should walk down the aisle to a different song than your wedding party members.   


    Photo by Nadia D Photography

    Take It All In Many brides focus squarely on their grooms during the processional, but try to glance at your guests as you walk down the aisle. This is one of the only opportunities you’ll have to gather all of your nearest and dearest in one place, so take mental pictures to remember this important moment.

    Relax Try your best to smile and stay cool and calm while you walk. Many brides tense up their shoulders and hold their bouquets too high, almost blocking their face – so relax your shoulders and arms and hold your bouquet low.

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