It’s Time To Get Silly – National Mad Hatter Day

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart
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It’s Time To Get Silly – National Mad Hatter Day (Alice In Wonderland)

October 6 is a day to get silly. Why? It’s National Mad Hatter Day, a day to celebrate the Hatter, an eccentric milliner for whom time is forever stuck at a tea party with his friends the March Hare and Dormouse in Lewis Carroll’s classic book Alice in Wonderland.

Why October 6th, you wonder?

This date was selected based on the original drawing by John Tenniel of the Hatter in the book Alice in Wonderland. Take a close look at his hat. You’ll see a piece of paper with “In This Style 10/6” written on it. This is actually a price tag – 10 shillings and 6 pence.

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

How to Celebrate?

• Read Alice in Wonderland
• Watch the movies based on the novel
• Wear a hat the whole day
• Host an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party


• Read riddles to each other
• Write your own riddles – they can be real, or nonsensical like the Hatter’s (“Why is a raven like a writing desk?”)
• Be silly

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

Are you a fan of Lewis Carroll’s famous work who’s planning a wedding? Here are some fun Alice in Wonderland wedding ideas:

• Of course you can incorporate your Alice in Wonderland theme into any color scheme, but red, black, and white are popular Alice in Wonderland colors.
• Direct guests to the ceremony and reception areas with fun signage (“down the rabbit hole,” “turn around,” “this way”).
• Don’t forget playing cards. You can use cards that match your color scheme, or use a deck of Alice in Wonderland cards.
• Forget about plain vases. Use teapots and tea cups.
• Dance the night away on a black and white checkerboard dance floor.
• Place “Eat Me” and “Drink Me” signs and tags on the bar and food tables.
• White rabbits, time pieces, and hearts are a must.

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

Here are some décor pics from an Alice in Wonderland inspired wedding we had the pleasure of planning and designing.

A Mad Hatter Hat Atop The Gift Card Box
Mad Hatter Day - Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter's Hat Wedding Card Box

Custom “We’re All Mad Here!” Cake Topper and Wedding Cake with Clock Faces (Cake by The Cakery)
Mad Hatter Day - Alice in Wonderland We're All Mad Here Wedding Cake Topper

Sweetheart Table “Just Married” Swag Made Out of Pages from Alice In Wonderland, with Cheshire Cat Smiles, and Butterflies (a nod to the caterpillar after his transformation)
Mad Hatter Day - Alice in Wonderland inspired just married swag

“Who Are You?” Mirrored Guest Book Sign
Alice in Wonderland Who Are You Guestbook Sign

Groom’s Pocket Watch and Key Boutonniere (designed and created by the bride)
mad Hatter Day - Alice in Wonderland Pocket Watch Key Groom's Goutonniere
Photo credit (groom’s boutonniere): Prima Vista Photography

Did You Know…

    • …that even though this holiday is called Mad Hatter Day and that the Hatter is commonly known as the Mad Hatter, Lewis Carroll never refers to the character as the Mad Hatter? He refers to him simply as The Hatter.

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

  • The origin of the phrase, it’s believed, is that hatters really did go mad. In Victorian England, chemicals used by hatmakers included mercurous nitrate. Prolonged exposure caused mercury poisoning, and was referred to as Mad Hatter Disease and Mad Hatter Syndrome.
  • “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” The Hatter asks this of Alice. But when Alice gave up and asked him what the answer was, his reply was, “I haven’t the slightest idea.” He didn’t know because, as Lewis Carroll admitted, there was no answer.

Have fun and BE SILLY!

What do you think of our Alice in Wonderland inspired wedding décor?

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Need planning help or looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Think You’re “Naive” About Wedding Planning? Don’t Feel Bad.

Confused Bride, Naive Bride

Not too long ago, I came across this question, “In what ways are brides and grooms naïve during the wedding planning process?”

First of, we need to understand why many couples are “naïve.”

It has absolutely nothing to do with their intelligence, or ability to comprehend. Instead it’s more like the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Think of it this way – it’s highly unlikely that you’ve ever planned an event on this scale before. A wedding is two events (ceremony AND reception) with special attire, special décor, dinner, entertainment . . . So. Many. Details.

Wedding Reception With Decor, Centerpiece, and Food

Sooooo, if you haven’t done something before, how can you know and understand (or be expected to know and understand) all the ins and outs? (BTW – This reasoning can apply to anybody, not just those planning a wedding).

Ok, so in what ways can brides and grooms not fully understand the ins and outs?

Often, couples:

Underestimate the Time Involved
One way that they are “naïve” is that they usually aren’t thinking beyond the 6 – 7 hours of the event itself.

Among other things, there are preparations that need to take place prior to the wedding day on the part of the caterer (food purchasing and prep for their wedding menu), and the wedding coordinator (including timeline creation and vendor confirmations). Also, after the fact – the work for the photographer and videographer isn’t done at the end of the reception (they have hours of editing, creating photo layouts, etc.)

Or the couple has misjudged the timing of the day.

Have you ever heard that 1 hour of “wedding time” is equivalent to 1 ½ hours of “real time” (meaning things will take 1 ½ times longer than anticipated on your wedding day)? Believe it. Things will take longer – from getting ready, to eating dinner, and doing a receiving line.

Wanting to do a receiving line for your 150 guests, then finish after-ceremony photos, (including both sides of the family), then a quick stop at that cute garden for a quick pic of just the two of you, AND get to the reception within an hour? Not gonna happen.

Another area of underestimating time is with DIY projects.

We’ve all seen those funny “nailed it” pictures on Facebook. You know the ones with the original picture of how it’s supposed to look next to the photo of the crazy mess of how it turned out. The “crazy mess” is the result of the project needing more time to properly execute, and/or the person not truly knowing how to properly execute the project.

Which leads us to:

Have Limited Knowledge
Back to “You don’t know what you don’t know.” We base our plans on what we know, or at least what we think we know. Unless it’s an area of expertise, there will be gaps in this knowledge.

A perfect example is with flowers. Unless you are a florist or have worked extensively with flowers, your flower knowledge is probably limited. Don’t feel bad. Even after being in the wedding business for over 20 years, my flower knowledge is still limited, (although I have learned a lot through the years).

Anyway, like most people, you probably know the names of flowers such as roses, lilies, and daisies, but not much beyond those few popular flowers, or a particular flower that you’ve really loved for years. Because of this, most people are unfamiliar with what flowers are in season, and what flowers are hearty enough to stay fresh throughout the entire event, and not be wilted halfway through the reception.

Incorrectly Use Tools
Also, many get too caught up in what they see on tv and online, particularly with Pinterest and styled shoots. Don’t shoot me for saying that. I actually love seeing stylized shoots, and am a Pinterest junkie.

weddings from the heart interest board

But for those of you who are planning your wedding, you need to understand and use tools such as Pinterest as ways to get ideas and inspiration. Then weed through those ideas and bits of inspiration to hone, craft, and build upon to create a wedding that really represents you and your fiancé.

Unfortunately, rather than using these as tools for inspiration and starting points for their own ideas, many couples try to recreate what they see exactly as it appears in the photos.

Stylized Wedding Shoot

There are two problems with this desire and attempt to recreate. 1) There’s no personalization. It completely takes “you” out of the equation because you weren’t there (or even thought about) when it was created; and 2) The expense. Most couples don’t realize the time and expense it took to produce that one look (particularly for a stylized shoot). The specialty items (linens, vases, plates, glassware) and custom-made items can get expensive when trying to recreate the desired table-look for 15 – 20 tables.

How to Avoid the Naïveté?

1) As vendors, we need to continually share our knowledge and wisdom, if you will, with couples so they become educated, and have the opportunity to learn and understand what they need to know for their own event.

2) As brides and grooms, couples need to delve deeper than what’s on the surface, ask questions, and trust what their vendors are telling them, so they can be educated consumers.

Do they have to learn all there is to know about weddings? Of course not. (Guess what? That’s an impossible feat, even for the professionals). But a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit (confused bride): ljupco / 123RF Stock Photo

You’ve Got To Say “Yes” Before You Say “I Do” – Marriage Proposal Ideas

So you’ve found the one you want to share your life with, you may even have purchased the ring. But have you thought about where you’ll get down on one knee?

Take a knee on the waterfront of a historic landmark
Why not take a knee on the waterfront of a historic landmark?

A marriage proposal is a life-changing milestone in any relationship. Whether you’ve purchased the ring or not, you know that planning a proposal is an exciting yet nerve wracking time. You’ll want this moment to be memorable and one-of-a-kind.

For a simple proposal idea recreate your first date
For a simple proposal idea, recreate your first date!

So, how can you make it yours? To help you find inspiration, ProFlowers has put together a generator featuring some of the best marriage proposal ideas.

Use the Proposal Ideas Sharable Guide below for quick inspiration, then browse through their entire collection of over 60 swoon-worthy proposals. You can scroll through them all, or use the helpful filters like ‘creative,’ ‘simple,’ ‘beach,’ and ‘city’ to easily find the ideal proposal idea that fits your style.

proposal ideas

A big Thank You to Taylor Poppmeier with ProFlowers for this fun, and inspirational, Marriage Proposal Ideas Interactive .

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you have questions or are looking for unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credits:
(historic landmark): Samonot Photography
(recreate first date): Sarah Olfelt Photo

Not Hiring a Professional Wedding Videographer? You Need To Reconsider.

wedding video with bride and groom through video camera

A video of your wedding is a wonderful way to capture your wedding story. Unfortunately, many brides and grooms view the wedding videographer as one of the most expendable vendors for their wedding day. Some of the more common reasons couples forgo having a professional videographer is:

(1) They have a friend or family member who has a video camera.

(2) They have a professional photographer, and don’t see any reason for a videographer.

(3) They aren’t going to watch a video of their wedding day over and over.

Too often, couples don’t think about the fact (until it is too late) that professional videographers are trained and experienced, and take their profession and the medium seriously and absolutely love what they do. The combination of training, experience, and love shows in a beautiful finished product.

wedding video with bride and groom kiss ceremony

So you have a friend or relative with a video camera.

Sure, you can have Uncle Joe with his home video camera — but it will probably be blurry, wobbly, or on a tripod the whole evening with no closeups (BORING!) He only has the microphone which is attached to the camera, and when that baby in the back pew with mommy starts to cry during the vows the mic will only pick that up. Even if there are no crying babies, it will be very difficult for him to clearly record your voices, as well as your readers and vocalist.

 

He will start and stop the camera at the wrong moments, so your processional music will sound like someone continually changing radio stations without stopping to listen to any one song — and he won’t know how to dub in sound to fix this either. There won’t be any editing, so the finished product will look like a cheap, home video (which is what it is) and no one will ever want to watch it, including the you.

Of course you’ve got your photographer to take lovely photos on your wedding day.

But stop and consider what having your wedding professionally recorded offers. It is important to remember that videography is a vastly different medium than still photography. Its purpose is not the same as still photography either.

Photography captures a single instant, a fraction of a second, while videography captures the events themselves as they unfold. One of the most common complaints from a bride after her wedding day is, “I don’t remember half of what happened on my wedding day! It went by all too fast!” Having a video of your wedding day will allow you to see and hear everything that happened so you don’t have to miss a thing.

Say “Cheese!” 5 Ways to Make the Most of Posed Photos at Your Wedding

A key element that video offers can’t possible be reproduced by still photography is sound – the ceremony music, grandma’s voice, the laughter of your guests as they’re enjoying your reception, your vows.

You think you probably won’t watch your own wedding video very often.

You know, you’re probably right on this one. You’ll pull out the video on your anniversary, or to show special people in your life who weren’t at your wedding.

But why miss out on a precious family heirloom?

strip of film

If you’re still wondering “who’s going to watch that video?”, ask yourself this – if you had access to a video of your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding day, wouldn’t you want to watch it?

Your wedding videography, especially now with digital technology and DVD’s, will last a life time. Wouldn’t a beautifully recorded and edited wedding video (or DVD) make a wonderful edition to your family history?

So what do you think? Are you going to hire a professional videographer for your wedding?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Catering ‘Service Charge’ Explained

This weeks blog, “Catering ‘Service Charge’ Explained,” comes from Chef Doug Brown with Beyond the Box Catering and Wedbites

catering service charge explained by Chef Doug Brown

It is the most commonly asked question – what DOES the service charge include? It doesn’t always mean servers, which we know can be confusing. Most catering companies (and venues) have a lot of odds and ends that cost them money to make your event happen, and in turn, will apply a percentage to your event in order to cover those costs. In lieu of sending you a 4-page breakdown of every single item they are charging you for, the end result is the service charge line on your invoice. Typically this percentage ranges between 18–20% for offsite catering, and 21–23% for exclusive catering at a venue.

Your service charge includes the following:

• Serving Items
This includes things like chafers to keep the food hot, large salad platters, bowls for dressings, large serving spoons and other items at the buffet line. Some caterers will also bring stands to elevate displayed food – not only does it look cool, but it is actually practical in making the most of the table’s space. Passed hors d’oeuvres need something to be set on when they are moving around, such as platters and trays. All of these extra items can really add up, so instead of listing every single spoon, tray, and pan, they are included under the umbrella of the service charge.

• Large Equipment & Delivery Vehicles
When your food is prepped at the catering kitchen it still has to travel to you and most times your event isn’t around the corner. Large warmers/ovens and refrigerated trucks keep your food at the appropriate temperature so it tastes just as fresh as it did the second it came out of the oven. This equipment requires purchasing and maintenance, just like your daily driver, our trucks need gas and routine oil changes/maintenance. The service charge contributes to these costs, ensuring your caterer is able to afford to properly execute your event. No one wants to eat a wilted salad or ice cold chicken parmesan!

• Behind the Scenes Staff
Before your event, operations staff prep and load the trucks with all the rentals and equipment needed to execute your event. They are loading dishes that were cleaned by dishwashers and food prepped by prep cooks. It takes 6–8 hours of pre-production before your caterer even arrives at your event. Before you, your family or your wedding planner see the caterer set foot at your venue, there have been at least 10 people already involved in the making of your event that day. Once the event is over, staff unloads the equipment, sends the dishes, silverware, and glassware to the dishwasher area and it starts all over again the next day. These staff members receive a wage just like any other job and the service charge contributes towards these pre and post event production costs.

• Event Staff – MAYBE

This one depends on the caterer and venue to the fluctuation in venue layout, dinner style etc. The floor plan/number of floors at the venue, number of event hours, travel time, style of dinner, rentals, and other extras like wine service influence the off-site labor calculation. In this scenario, they charge on the lower end for service charge. When a venue has an in-house caterer, they may only charge for EXTRA staff, such as security guards, or additional chefs, bartenders or servers if the event’s menu or special services require it. A lot of venues include a certain time frame for your event time with your rental (ie: 4 hours of the event included in rental, $250 per additional hour). This helps them balance the costs of staff with the service charge alone and they don’t need to charge anything more than the 21- 23% service charge. When they are the exclusive caterer, they are able to store things at the venue as well, which eliminates the back and forth transport of many items that your offsite caterer has to bring every time.

So there you have it, the mysterious service charge line in your quote or invoice explained. Every caterer may do things slightly different so it never hurts to ask them about all they include in their catering quote. No matter what the case, there is A LOT that goes on behind the scenes of your event. We understand you don’t do this every day, and we expect questions so don’t be afraid to ask!

About Chef Doug Brown, the author:
After graduating from New York’s renowned Culinary Institute of America, I chose to further my education at Florida International University, where I attained a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After finishing my education, I obtained my first Executive Chef Position at the age of 23. Since then, I have worked several Executive Chef Positions all over the United States until eventually making the decision to create my own business. In 2003, I opened Beyond the Box Café, which shortly after, was followed by Beyond the Box Catering Company. Thanks to the success of Beyond the Box Catering, I now also operate The Orion Ballroom, The Carlisle Room and The Pads at the Aloft Hotel in Dallas. These venues are used to each host hundreds of weddings a year. With over a decade of experience, I have decided to bring my knowledge to you in order to help make your wedding planning experience a little easier!

Photo credit: Rafael Serrano Photography
flourish

Hope you found this helpful.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Do you have a wedding dilemma or question you need answered? I’d love to help. Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Wedding Gifts – Presents vs Money

wedding gifts

Wedding gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Some are chosen from the gift registry the happy couple have put together at a couple local (or online) stores. Others aren’t, and are something the gift giver thinks (or hopes) the couple will like and use. Sometimes the gift isn’t something that comes in a prettily wrapped box, but in the form of cash or a check in an envelope.

Earlier today I read an article that was questioning whether giving a monetary gift instead of one that is purchased, wrapped, and tied up with a pretty bow. No, it wasn’t meaning if asking for money instead of a present is wrong, but whether giving money instead of a present is wrong.

While the article didn’t come up with an end all/be all answer, no definitive right or wrong, it did give some food for thought to help determine wrapped present vs money.

It mentioned some pros and cons – such as “a physical gift will be remembered and cherished for a long time. Cash is appreciated in the short term,” and that “some couples also don’t want any gifts . . . and would prefer that a donation be made to their favorite charities or organizations.”

A wonderful tip the writer offers regarding giving money is to “write something meaningful in the card about how you hope they spend it . . . so that they don’t think you just stopped at an ATM on the way to the ceremony.”

But to suggest or make someone thing that giving money is wrong . . .

I mean, a gift is a gift. The gift giver can give whatever he/she wants to.

Why Is Another Bride Angry Over A Wedding Gift?

Did the couple register for gifts? Even if they did, giving money, (or giving something not on the list) is the givers choice. After all, a gift registry is not a list of the only options that the gift giver can choose. Instead, it is a list of items the couple would like to have.

So, would it be nice, would it be a good idea to choose a gift from the registry, instead of going rogue? Well, yes, because the giver knows that the couple will in fact like and use the item.

But, what is given, be it a boxed, wrapped present, or a card with money, remains the choice of the giver, not of the receiver.

So what are your thoughts on giving money as a gift?

Check out the article here Faux Pas Or Not: Money As A Gift.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Need wedding planning tips and ideas? Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Wedding Q & A – When Are Aisle Runners Used in a Wedding?

Bride's processional with her father, entering wedding ceremony on a traditional white aisle runner
Photo credit: Childers Photography

Q. – When is an aisle runner used?

A. – The use of aisle runners at wedding ceremonies originated centuries ago.

The three main reasons for their use were:

1) Out of superstition – it provides a barrier between the bride and any evil spirits that may come up from below the ground

2) The bride was considered “royalty” and an aisle runner prevents her from having to walk directly on the ground

3) Cleanliness – since roads were unpaved and guests would track in dirt and mud an aisle runner kept the bride from dragging the hem of her gown and her train through the dirt

These days it is done out of tradition. When asked to imagine a bride walking down the aisle, most people imagine her walking on a white aisle runner.

bride and groom's wedding ceremony recessional, walking on traditional white aisle runner
Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

When is the aisle runner put in place?

A wedding aisle runner is most commonly put in place after the mothers of the bride and the groom have entered, and before the ceremony processional (when the bridal party enters).

Groomsmen putting traditional white wedding ceremony aisle runner in place
Photo credit: Shiloh Photography

It is secured at the front of the aisle with pins and tape so it can be easily unrolled, then, once completely unrolled, is secured at the back so it won’t roll back up which helps prevent anyone from tripping.

Sometimes couples prefer to have the aisle runner already in place before the start of the ceremony.

In this case, the center aisle is blocked with ribbon preventing guests from walking on the runner, and guests are seated from the outside aisles (not the center aisle). The ribbon is removed right before the moms are escorted in.

There are many options for aisle runner styles. The most common and economical are made from a durable heavy-weight plastic or rayon. You can find these in the wedding section of some craft stores or in a floral supply store. You can also get them from your florist.

You may also want to read: Alternatives to the White Aisle Runner

Aisle runners can also be personalized, with your names, monogram, or a romantic saying. They can even coordinate with your wedding colors or season.


Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

Be extra careful when using an aisle runner for an outdoor wedding ceremony. Since ground is rarely smooth and level (even the best manicured lawns will have some minor bumps and soft spots. May not be easily seen, but easy to find with your foot and potentially wobble, trip, or sprain an ankle).

For an outdoor ceremony, either omit the use of an aisle runner for safety’s sake, or choose one that is more durable such as a carpet runner (can be found in different colors and patterns), or heavy fabric such as burlap.

Make sure to get the length of the aisle before purchasing an aisle runner. They come in 25′ increments, starting at 25′ long and going up to 150′ or more.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Want fun ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Ha! Ha! – Let’s Celebrate National "Tell A Joke" Day

laughing dog

Tomorrow is National Tell A Joke Day. It is observed every August 16th.

What’s better than a day filled with laughter?

laughing emoji

 

A joke, quite simply, is something that is said with the purpose to cause amusement or laughter. The final sentence, known as a punchline, often provides a humorous twist or ending.

 

Jokes come in many different styles, including:

  • One-liners – As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools.
  • Puns – Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time consuming.
  • Stories or anecdotes – Remember when people had diaries and got mad when someone read them? Now they put everything online and get mad when people don’t.
  • Non Sequiturs (jokes that make no sense) – “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Parodies – “Like a Surgeon” and pretty much everything else by Weird Al Yankovic.
  • Knock-Knock jokes  –“Knock, knock,” “Who’s There?” “Little old lady.” “Little old lady who?” “I didn’t know you could yodel.”

They can also be physical such as screwball, pranks, pratfalls, and slapstick. The Three Stooges (a personal favorite!) were the epitome of slapstick.

Three Stooges

Regardless of the method of delivery, the main purpose of a joke is to entertain by providing humor, even though jokes can sometimes be used to make serious commentary like in the case of satire, (think “The New Yorker” or “Saturday Night Live”).

Jokes have been an integral part of human history for centuries, (it is thought that Palamedes, a Greek mythological figure, invented jokes as well as counting, currency, weights and measures, and several letters of the alphabet), and many great minds have spent time and energy in trying to understand what makes jokes funny.

How to Celebrate?

    • Tell a joke to every person you meet on that day.
    • Pick up a joke book and read it in your spare time.

National Tell a Joke Day - joke book

    • Watch your favorite comedians.

Jeff Dunham and Achmed

  • Take a comedy/improv class, or sign up for open mic night at a local club.

Did You Know . . .

. . . Laughing can make us healthier. It improves our immunity, helps regulate blood sugar levels, improves sleep, and releases endorphins (natural “feel good” chemicals) into the brain.

. . . Gelotology (from the Greek gelos “laughter”) is the study of laughter and humor, and their effect on the human body.

. . . Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes can burn up to 40 calories.

Planning a wedding?

Honor National Tell A Joke Day on your wedding day by:

  • Print a little humorous joke on your programs.
  • Have a comedian entertain your guests at your reception.
  • Incorporate jokes into speeches and toasts, . . .
  • . . . and the MC’s comments.
  • Jokes can be on little signs or table numbers, . . .
  • . . .in your ceremony readings,
  • . . . and in your ceremony vows.

Be sure to clear any jokes that are to be used during the ceremony with your officiant first, and make sure that all jokes (for ceremony and reception) are appropriate for all ages (remember you’ve got grandma and the ring bearer listening).

Here’s a few that you may want to try –

“They’ve been going together for so many years, instead of the Wedding March the organist should have played the Hallelujah Chorus.”

“The bride looks absolutely stunning, the groom looks absolutely stunned!”

“The groom was not a pretty baby – his mother got morning sickness after he was born.”

“The bride wept, the bridesmaids cried – and even the wedding cake was in tiers.”

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Want fun ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Real Wedding – Heidi and Luke (Dennenhof – Genk, Belgium)

(This “Real Wedding” was submitted by Adorn Wedding Invitations, located in London. Hope you enjoy it, and find inspiration for your wedding).

The Details

How did you and your partner meet?
I came travelling in Australia for 6 months, staying in hostels. I started my Australian adventure in Perth.

Luke was working in the mines in Western Australian on a FIFO basis and on his time off he stayed in hostels around Perth.

2 days after I arrived in Perth, Luke showed up in the same hostel as where I was staying.

The rest is history.

How did he propose?
Our favourite weekend getaway was Gilgare Retreat in Margaret River.

A few weeks before we would be moving to Melbourne, he treated me to a few nights away here.

We went on a beautiful nature walk which we would do every time we were there.

On a little bridge, he stopped me and proposed.

What’s your most important piece of advice for creating and maintaining a strong relationship?

Being patient with each other.

Tell us about your wedding gown and how you chose it:

My wedding gown was actually a Christmas gift from Luke 3 years before we got married.

Around Christmas time 2014 we were doing our Christmas shopping. I tried on my wedding dress, but decided not to buy it because it was pricey and I wouldn’t have many occasions wearing it.

We went on buying another dress, but Luke went back and bought me the Carla Zampatti dress as a Christmas present.

At the time of his proposal I hadn’t had a chance to wear the dress yet, so I decided that this dress would become my wedding dress.

What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
Indi style wedding.

What was your favorite moment from the day?

We included our daughter Stella’s baptism in the wedding ceremony. My favourite moment was seeing her in de cape that my grandmother made for my mum when she was baptised.

Any DIY décor elements?

    • Instead of a traditional guest book, we enlarged a photo of our family (Luke, our daughter and me) on canvas and had people write a little message on this. The idea being that a traditional guestbook would rarely be looked at again, but the canvas photo is hanging in our living room and we can enjoy it every day.
    • Little thank you presents for the guest. I bought little jam jars and filled them with corn for people to make pop-corn of. I attached a note to the jar saying “Thank you for popping by.”
    • The seating chart for the evening dinner.

    • Bird cage for envelopes (we included a wishing well with our invitation).
    • At the entry of the evening venue, I put a frame with 2 half hearts. Each half of the heart was a map of the town where Luke and I grew up in.

    • Flower arrangements and wedding bouquet were made by an aunt of mine.

    • Table numbers: I used large jam jars filled with lollies. On the jam jar, I put the table numbers.

  • I also wrote the entire Ceremony myself and made the booklet. Seeing the wedding was attended by both my family (Flemish) and my husband’s family (English) I included the both languages in the booklet. (Hats off to the priest who fluently switched between Flemish and English sections).

If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
Honestly, nothing!

Any tips that you can give to future brides?
Delegate everything on the wedding day itself; ask bridesmaids, groomsmen or parents to look after a certain part of the day. Try to divide the day up between different people to keep it manageable for them.

Invest in a good photographer, it is the only memento of your wedding.

Ask advice to time the different parts of the day. Get a clear idea of how long the make-up/hair, ceremony, photos, etc will take so you can make a flowing day planning.

Sitting down during the ceremony (you’ll be on your feet (bride in heels!!) most of the day)

Anything else you’d like to add?
I have to add the amazing surprise we had when arriving at our photo location/wedding night location.

I booked to have our wedding night in a castle (Ter dolen, Helchteren, Belgium) where I used to work during my University days (The castle has a bed & breakfast, brewery and pub attached to it.

I booked it early 2015 because our original wedding date was 24 September 2016. Due to medical reason, we had to postpone our wedding to 2017, so I notified the B&B owner.

Arriving at the castle in the afternoon of 08/04/2017, the owner told me they actually stopped running the B&B from the castle and she moved into the castle with her family. But because we made reservations so long ago and because she still knew me from working there, she was staying elsewhere for the night and Luke and I had the entire caste to ourselves (including the family dog).

Heidi and Luke’s Vendor Team
Dress: Carla Zampatti
Makeup & Hair: Café Beauté (Hasselt, Belgium)
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Accessories: Miracles by Annelien Coorevits
Jewellery: Love On Jewellery
Grooms Suit: Peter Jackson
Invitations: Adorn Invitations
Photographer: Dieter Decuypere – Speaking through Silence
On the day stationery: BWedding Invitations
Food: Dennenhof (Genk, Belgium)
Flowers: Provided by family member
Ceremony Venue: Chapel Ten Eikenen (Zonhoven Belgium)
Reception Venue: Dennenhof (Genk, Belgium)
Car: Dreamday Cars (Koersel, Belgium)
DJ: Kurt’s DJ team (Hoeselt, Belgium)
Wedding rings: B & S Lyncris Jewellers

Thank you Alyssa/Adorn Wedding Invitations for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

It’s Here! Pour a Cold One & Celebrate "International Beer Day"

beer in mugs

International Beer Day, a global celebration of beer, is held on the First Friday in August. This year it’s tomorrow, August 4th.

Beer is an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented grains, such as wheat or barley.
international beer day - hops
Typically flavored with hops, herbs and fruits can be added for a different flavor. It is one of the world’s oldest beverages, thought to date back to the early Neolithic era (~9500 BC).

A popular beverage, beer is listed on many Top-5-Beverages-In-The-World lists, following water, soft drinks, and tea. (With coffee taking the #5 spot).

How to Celebrate?
• Try your hand at brewing your own beer. At-home beer making kits are readily available and cost less than you’d think (many start under $50).
• Spend your evening at a bar trying out new types of beer. Local craft beer bars and microbreweries are popular.
• Take a brewery tour and spend time learning the science behind beer making.
• Be adventurous. Sample beers varieties that you haven’t tried before.
• Enjoy beers from other cultures.

international beers

Fun facts . . .

. . . Beer is the name of craters on Mars and on the Moon. They are named in honor of the German astronomer, Wilhelm Beer.

. . . Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.

. . . Banana beer is made from the fermentation of mashed, ripe East-African Highland bananas. Commercial brands of banana beer include Mongozo Banana Beer, Raha, and Agashya.

Serving beer at your wedding?

Get creative by:

• Offering beer flights for your guests to sample different beers.
beer flight

• Want a fun summertime drink? Try a Shandy. It’s half beer/half lemonade. For a fall wedding do a half beer/half apple cider mix.
International Beer Day - summer shandy

• Decorate with wheat and hops. Create a hops garland, or boutonniere, or use a bundle of wheat as a centerpiece.
International Beer Day - Standing Preserved Wheat Grass Bundle

• Give little jars of beer jam as favors.
International Beer Day - Raspberry Vanilla Jam Beer

• Give personalized bottle openers as favors.
silver heart bottle opener keyring wedding favor personalized favors

• Incorporate beer in your menu. Serve a delicious beer bread, chocolate Guinness cake, beer cheese dip, honey beer braised ribs, or chili beer glazed steaks.
Beer Bread

Do you have any good recipes using beer, or other fun ideas using beer?

So raise your pilsner glass and give a toast to brewers and bartenders and beer!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Looking for fun ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!