Elevating Your Brunch Wedding

 
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Weddings are evolving and there are many alternatives to the traditional evening affair that couples are considering. An afternoon celebration with different foods, cocktails and entertainment is an elegant twist on tradition and still allows couples to incorporate personal touches and create a memorable guest experience. But for many who still envision a more traditional, classic affair, the idea of an afternoon wedding is dismissed as being too casual, though it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are ways to have a brunch/afternoon affair that is still classic, traditional and sophisticated.

 While most brunch weddings happen on Sunday, you can opt for a Saturday which is more convenient for your guests. And more importantly, you can still host the after party for your friends and family that want to continue the celebration. To elevate the level of sophistication more common with evening weddings, skip the garden party aesthetic most opt for and incorporate jewel tones accented with light, lush flowers. Set the tone with the invitation and acknowledge preferred attire as many will ask! If you want guests in formal attire, a suit and tie for men and cocktail dress for women is still appropriate for the afternoon.

 Starting with the ceremony, welcome guests with a coffee bar and pastry accompaniment. They will love this as many probably didn’t have time to eat before traveling to the wedding. For the cocktail reception, your food selections can be yummy brunch style hors d’oeuvres such as sous vide egg bites, mini pastries and tea sandwiches with salmon, egg salad and other accouterments.

 Transitioning to the reception, kick it off with the traditional introductions and toast and invite guests to enjoy a fabulous plated meal customary at an evening wedding. You can also incorporate the parent dances and cake cutting or feature an amazing dessert bar if you want to forgo cake. You can also have a traditional band and incorporate dancing or if you want to keep it simple, have a jazz quartet play for the main portion and transition to a dance band for the after party.

 While there are many ways to elevate the level of sophistication of an afternoon celebration, you’ll still want to consider if it’s right for you. If you are an early riser and can’t see yourself up past 9 pm, it could be the perfect way to celebrate your special day and still plan a elegant, traditional wedding.

 

Toast of the town

 
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The toasts (no we’re not talking about avocado toast) are a fixture at weddings. They make guests feel welcome and many times bring you closer to the couple and the milestones that brought them together.

Most are familiar with the welcome, typically given by the father of the bride, or more common now given by parents of the bride or groom. There is also the best man and MOH speech. These are part of the special moments that make up your event and often become part of your wedding story – yes, every wedding has a story and many times it comes from the events of the day – many coming from the details that didn’t quite go as planned. This is the story of your wedding that make it special and will be remembered.

Because toasts are such an important part of the wedding, we are seeing a growing trend of the couple’s toast. This is a trend we are encouraging our couples to consider as they plan their day. It’s an opportunity to thank guests and let them know how special it is that everyone they love are all in one place and able to share this moment.

Giving a toast may seem daunting and just one more item to add to the to do list, but it can sprinkle in the personal, intimate touch that elevates the experience for your guests AND for you as the couple. Imagine watching this moment 5, 10, 15 years later and being transported back to the day and the emotions you felt, beautifully captured forever.

If the thought of public speaking makes your palms sweat, don’t worry! There are ways to plan and give a flawless speech. We’ve worked with many couples to review their speech or have sat with them (love Zoom or Go to Meetings if you can’t meet in person) while they read the speech out loud to us. No matter your comfort level with public speaking, we always recommend practicing and being aware of the length and delivery. As your planning family, we’re happy to help!

If you are unsure what to say or how to express your feelings, we can also work with you to find a ghost writer, someone that will take your thoughts and emotions and eloquently put them on paper. There is no shame in going this route and there are many ways a ghost writer can help. Check out the fabulous ghost writing resources we’ve put together for you to help find the right partner.

Whether you decide to embrace this trend or not, remember to have fun, raise your glasses together and soak in the moment with all your loved ones around you in one place. Cheers!

 

Newly Engaged? Read our 5 Tips what you need to know before you start planning

The holidays bring another of our favorite traditions – engagement season. Congratulations, if you are among those now staring at the new sparkle on your finger! Before you start planning check out our top 5 tips and remember, enjoy the engagement period as much as the wedding day!

1.      Our number one tip? It may seem obvious but purchase a notebook to keep it all organized. It will also allow you to jot down all those ideas that will pop in your head at any time. We love the wedding collection from @sugarpaperla 📓

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2.      Before you start discussing wedding plans with family and friends pop some bubbly or your favorite wine or cocktail and discuss YOUR vision for the wedding. Set some parameters and non-negotiables so you keep perspective and stay true to who you are as a couple. This will make the planning process more enjoyable and fun. 🥂 🍾

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3.      It may not seem like fun, but you need to talk budget and make sure everyone is in agreement. Discussing this early in the planning process will allow you to focus on the fun things – like finding that dress. When dress shopping first stops should be @yourdreambridal or @lelitebridal 👰

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5.      Prepare your guest list - you’ll want to do this before you visit venues so you have an idea of how many guests you want to accommodate 🖊️ 💰

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 Photo courtesy of A Bowl Full of Lemons

6.      Schedule a dinner to have your families meet. If families are located in different parts of the country, plan a weekend get away that is convenient for everyone. It’s a great way to kick off the engagement period and celebrate the union of the two families. 👪

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Photo courtesy of David Tucker Photography

 

The Holidays are Here...almost!

The holiday season is upon us whether we’re ready or not! In addition to everyone’s hectic schedule, this time of year can be even more stressful, detrimental to our diets and send even the most organized into a frenzy. Not to worry, we’ve got our favorite tips for enjoying the season, hosting the best party and doing it all with grace.

Cocktails, Cocktails, Cocktails

Don’t complicate the drinks.  Make a spectacular punch or bar of “batch” cocktails. We love a self-serve gin or vodka bar. Just provide the liquor and mixers and let everyone make their own! Need some inspiration? Check our @ourfathersboston cocktail recipe

Courtesy: Allegro Photography

Courtesy: Allegro Photography

Creative Coat Display

Don’t just have guests put coats on a bed – instead, set up a cute, creative coat display or rack near the door so guests can immediately remove their coats and relax. If you’re having a themed party – incorporate that into your display as well so that from the moment your guests step into the party, they know what it’s all about! 

Courtesy: Good Homes Design

Courtesy: Good Homes Design

Pre-Cook Apps to Save Time

Greet guests with a themed-beverage and/or fun hors d’oeuvres. This will help make them feel warm and welcome right from the get go. Pro tip – to save some time and stress, cook some of your snacks ahead of time and freeze them. That way all you’ll have to do is re-heat and serve. Saving that extra time will allow you to spend more time with family and friends – which is what the holidays are all about! Check out @bostonchefnews for some great ideas. We especially love the Thanksgiving to Go – you still have time to order your sides and even the bird!

Courtesy: Eric Barry Photography

Courtesy: Eric Barry Photography

Create an Interactive Element

Set-up a display, such as a “create your own mimosa” bar or DIY chili bar with different toppings. This adds a fun, interactive element to your party that guests will love.

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Holiday Tunes on Tap

Create a festive play list ahead of time that will get everyone in a jolly mood – mix holiday tunes with upbeat party favorites to create the perfect playlist that you can set and forget!

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Share the Leftover Love!

Invest in pretty to-go containers so guests will willingly take-home leftovers and you won’t be stuck with tons of food that may go to waste.

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Light it Up

Don’t forget about lighting! Depending on the party theme – think about what type of lighting would be best to “set the mood”. Having something more intimate? Try soft candle light or LED to set a cool, relaxing environment.

Courtesy: Ashley O’Dell Photography

Courtesy: Ashley O’Dell Photography

How to Throw an Over-the-Top Tailgate Party

Football season is in full swing – but before you can properly cheer on your team, you have to participate in the sacred tailgate. Here are three tips for throwing an over-the-top tailgate that will be the talk of the parking lot.

1. Replace the burgers and dogs with a full brunch spread

Tailgating for 1 o’clock games can be tricky. Who wants to eat a hot dog at 11am? Instead, bring a skillet and grill up some bacon, eggs, and bagels for a DIY breakfast sandwich. Swap the beer in the cooler for OJ and champagne so your fellow tailgaters can choose between classic OJ and mimosas. Bonus points if you plan ahead and make a Pinterest-approved overnight French toast for a sweet addition!

Courtesy: Celebrations at Home

Courtesy: Celebrations at Home

2. Set up a team spirit station

Set up a face paint station to let your friends get creative while getting decked out and a DIY photo booth to let them show it off! Just hang a simple white sheet from one of the car doors and garnish it with team banners, balloons, or streamers for the perfect photo-opp. 

Courtesy: fun365.orientaltrading.com

Courtesy: fun365.orientaltrading.com

3. Don’t forget the games!

Sure, Cornhole is the unofficial game of all tailgates but that doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up. Repurpose any empty bottles and create a carnival-style ring toss, set up a giant Jenga game, or test your skills at Ladder Golf. Challenge your neighbors and wager snacks or booze for a fun competition!

Arielle Doneson Photography

Arielle Doneson Photography