Wedding Ideas – What’s New, Fun, and Gaining Popularity?

After seeing more “what’s the latest trend” articles, I wanted to see what wedding ideas new and popular in our area (Dayton, Ohio). And where best to find this out, but to go right to the source.

Thanks to some of our local wedding pros, here’s what’s new in their areas of expertise.

Textured Wedding Cakes

Textured wedding cakes are still quite popular, from structured art deco-ish designs to an icing with a rough finish.

Textured Wedding Cake
Textured Wedding Cake

Bobbi and Brittany with ele Cake Co. tells us that one of the more unexpected, yet popular wedding cake designs (and a unique texture) is their Geode Wedding Cake.

Geode Wedding Cake
Geode Wedding Cake

Elegant. Stunning. Simple. And totally gorgeous!

Geode wedding cakes look like the real thing, but are completely edible, made from rock candy and granulated sugar.

Slow-Motion Video Booths

Photo booths combine a fun activity with a nice take-home for wedding guests.

So, what’s better than a photo booth? A 240 frame per second HD Slow-Motion Video Booth, of course!

Mark’s Camera Bag’s Slo-Mo Video Booths are a big hit , with guests showing their best dance moves, tossing confetti, making outrageous faces, and overall, having an awesome fun time. A 40” monitor that sits outside the booth allows all of your guests to enjoy the live action.

Check it out here – ]

Yes, guests get a ‘take-home,’ receiving a download of their slow-mo session. And the happy couple get a final edited production of all sessions with special edits and music on DVD.

Thematic Elements in Unexpected Places

Themed weddings are still popular, with the theme commonly being expressed in the couples’ choice of color pallette, centerpieces, and menu choices.

But what about your ceremony?

Rev. Cindy Lee Carver embraces different wedding themes by donning coordinating attire – including Cosplay, Halloween, Steampunk, and recently Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.

Rev. Cindy Lee for Steampunk Wedding
Steampunk
Rev. Cindy Lee as Gandalf for Lord of the Rings Wedding
Gandalf

Besides the off-beat and themed weddings, she also specializes in officiating traditional, inter-faith, humanistic, alternative, non-traditional, and LGBTQ weddings.

Up In Lights

Sure, you can put your initials on top of your cake, and have your monogram projected on your dance floor or printed on your programs.

Why not put your initials up in lights – classic theater marquee letter lights?

Initials
Wedding marquee lights - L O V E
L-O-V-E

Event Lites specializes in these unique, four feet tall décor pieces – including numbers, letters, and some symbols.

Light up your night with your initials. Spell out Mr. & Mrs., Love, or even your names.

The possibilities are endless.

Perfect for helping you build the right environment and decor for your event. Use them for:

• A modern ceremony backdrop
• A fun, diy photo booth backdrop
• A cool prop for your engagement photos
• Reception décor

Looking for fun 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!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Tungsten, Titanium, and Alternative Metal Wedding Rings: What’s the Difference?

titanium rings

Today’s bride and groom are ready to think outside the box. With so many options available in wedding planning, dresses, and rings, the time is now to have a unique, memorable ceremony that is totally you. But with all those options comes a new kind of stress: how do you choose between all these possibilities?

Luckily, the jewelry world is full of beautiful, affordable wedding rings made out of alternative metals like tungsten and titanium. Every kind of metal is different, and each has its own properties. Titanium Style has created an infographic, to help you understand the differences. That way, you can pick exactly what you want—and get on the road to having a wedding that is totally you.

There are no “right” or “wrong” choices here. Whether your tastes lean more towards the traditional or more avant garde, there are many designs and metal choices to suit your personal style.

Thanks to Titanium Style for sharing this information on alternative metals for your wedding ring.

For more ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

11 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding That Actually Work

save money on your wedding

It’s no secret that weddings cost a lot of money.

Here are 11 easy ways to save money without sacrificing your wedding style.

  1. Individual programs or menu cards look pretty, but you can save a bundle by providing this information on a pretty calligraphed sign.
  2. Serve only beer and wine instead of offering a full bar.
  3.  Skip the champagne toast (or just have it for the head table). Your guests will be fine drinking what they have.
  4.  Some vendors offer discounts for a wedding on a weekday or during a non-peak month such as January or March.
  5.  You can save on catering by having a morning or early afternoon ceremony/reception.
  6.  Trim your guest list. You’ll save on food and beverages. And less people means less seating, which = less tables/chairs, centerpieces, and linens.
  7. 10 Easy (and Invisible) Money Saving Ideas

  8. Offer a meatless entree. A veggie or pasta entree costs less than one with meat.
  9.  Have your ceremony and reception at the same venue. No need for a limo or party bus to transport the wedding party, and you’ll save on multiple site fees.
  10.  Omit favors, your guests won’t miss them.
  11.  Use more greenery and less flowers in your arrangements.
  12.  If your ceremony and reception are at the same location, have your DJ provide the music for both instead of hiring live musicians for the ceremony.

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

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Photo credit: rrraum / 123RF Stock Photo

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How to Have Happy Wedding Guests (With 5 Super Easy Tips)

Happy Wedding Guests

happy guests with bride & groom

You’ve invited friends and family to help you celebrate your wedding. If you are like most couples, you plan to feed them, entertain them, and thank them for being a part of your special day.

While the quality of the food and music can definitely make or break their level of enjoyment (no doubt about that), don’t forget the little things that can impact your guests’ experience.

1. Keep your guests informed (before the wedding day).

Wedding guests appreciate being informed of what to expect. Your invitation will give them some clue, but a wedding website is a wonderful, inexpensive (and even free), convenient place to provide further information your guests will want or need.

Look at it from their perspective. Having clear info – locations, directions, time schedule, hotel accommodations, gift registry options, etc. – easily at their fingertips makes it easier for them to participate.

Many couples include a page for guests to conveniently RSVP, and leave comments or questions they may have.

2. Keep your guests informed (on the wedding day).

You’ve shared plenty of info prior to your wedding day. On the big day itself, make sure guests understand what you want them to do with appropriate signage at your ceremony and reception sites.

Guests tend to err on the side of caution. They need that gentle guidance to let them know what we want them to do, such as: yes, please sign the guest book; yes, please take a favor; and don’t forget to turn off your cell phone (you don’t want someone’s phone to start ringing in the middle of your ceremony!).

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to create signs that are memorable and in keeping with the theme of your event.

3. Plan for a variety of foods available.

Think of your reception dinner as Sunday dinner only amped up a few notches. You don’t have to stick with the tried-and-true – it’s ok to be adventurous – but keep it familiar. Consider guests’ dietary needs, perhaps offer a vegetarian and gluten free options there are any dietary restrictions.

If you are adding a regional specialty or a nationality dish that may be unfamiliar to your guests, explain what it is with elegant tent cards, (remember #2 from above?)

Want Happy Wedding Guests? Here Are the Top 5 Things to Avoid.

4. Add a little pampering.

Your venue will have some sort of restrooms (either with running water, or hand sanitizer station). Pamper your guests with a few extra amenities like hair spray, hand lotion, tissues, band aids, breath mints, and a mini a sewing kit.

5. Smile, and really enjoy your day!

Make sure that on your wedding day you wear a happy face. You have planned a great event, it’s now time to relax and let the good times roll. You’ve done your best, and you have helpers (family, friends, wedding coordinator) to handle the details. So smile and enjoy what you’ve planned.

Smiling and being happy is contagious. It has a “trickle down effect.” If you are happy and enjoying yourself, your guests will feel it and also be happy and have fun.

On the other hand, if your are grumpy and complaining, your guests are going to feel that negativity. They are less likely to have fun, and will probably leave early.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Photo credit: Jack Hoying

Want Happy Wedding Guests? Here Are the Top 5 Things to Avoid.

happy guests at wedding reception

Photo by Jack Hoying

Your wedding guests have taken the time to come to your wedding to witness your wedding vows, and many have probably travelled great distances. They want to enjoy themselves, have a good time, and celebrate your first day as newlyweds .

To make sure you have happy wedding guests, make their experience more pleasant and memorable (for the right reasons!) with the following list of the top 5 things wedding guests hate.

1. A long gap between the ceremony and the reception
Try to have the reception start as close to the end of the ceremony as possible. If the ceremony and reception are at the same location this is super easy. If at different locations just figure out the end time of the ceremony and the drive time from there to the reception.

If a long gap between ceremony and reception can’t be avoided, provide something for your guests to do. A list of local sights to see, area shopping, A hospitality room at the hotel where your guests are staying is a simple, yet inexpensive touch. Light snacks (chips and soda) are all that’s needed. Maybe a friend or family member who lives nearby can invite guests over for cookies and light beverages.

2. A ceremony that doesn’t start on time

outdoor rustic wedding ceremony Photo by Zac Fisher

A delay of a minute or two is fine. Making them wait 20 minutes or more is not.

3. Slow dinner service
Your guests have already sat through your ceremony, and although you may have provided some yummy appetizers and cocktails, by the time dinner is served they will be hungry. And when your tummy is on the verge of growling, nothing is worse than long buffet lines that take forever, or seeing another table get their dinners served but having to wait for what can seem like an eternity for them to get around to your table.

This can be avoided by having enough wait staff. Rule of thumb is 1 to 2 wait staff per 10 to 12 guests for a served dinner, and 1 wait staff per 25 guests for a buffet. Another easy buffet trick is to have the buffet table(s) double sided instead of having it pushed up against a wall (this gets people through the line twice as quickly).

How to Have Happy Wedding Guests (With 5 Super Easy Tips)

4. Long lines for the bar or restrooms
bar - champagne pyramid Photo by kadmy / 123RF Stock Photo

You can’t celebrate when you’re stuck in a line. For bartenders, figure on having 1 bartender per 50 to 75 guests. For restrooms, 1 potty per 35 to 50 guests (with a minimum of 2 – 1 for the men and 1 for the ladies).

5. Sitting in the hot sun for an outdoor ceremony

violet outdoor ceremony

Photo by 279photo / 123RF Stock Photo

Yes, I’m a fan of readings and music during the ceremony, and love the symbolism of the unity candle. But these things take time.

If your wedding ceremony will take place outdoors on a hot, humid day with little or no shade, use the KISS method (keep it short and sweet). Provide hand fans (they are inexpensive, and will help make the heat more tolerable).

Consider providing something to drink before the ceremony. Bottled water or urns with iced water is inexpensive, yet refreshing. Having pre-poured beverages looks nice, will quickly attract little bugs.

Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Wedding Rings – Why Are They Placed on the Left Hand Ring Finger?

two weding rings

The tradition and symbolism of exchanging wedding rings originates with the ancient Egyptians.

Egyptians are one of the first cultures to use rings in their wedding ceremonies because of what the shape of the ring, a circle, represents.

egyptian papyrus painting with elements of egyptian ancient history

A circle represents eternity because it has no beginning nor end. This makes a ring the perfect symbol for a long-lasting marriage.

Bride & Groom Q & A – When Guests RSVP More People Than Invited

Egyptians were also the first to designate the third finger as the “ring finger,” and the ring finger of the left hand as the finger where the wedding ring is to be worn. They believed that a vein from this finger went directly to the heart and if this finger were circled with a ring, the love was captured and would not escape.

wedding rings

And they believed that the third finger of the left hand is the weakest. (Technically it’s not the weakest, but its movement is limited due to the way the muscles and tendons are connected).

Anyway . . . What “does a weak finger have to do with weddings” you ask?

Because of this perceived weakness, the Egyptians felt this finger is the most dependent on the others for help in lifting and holding. For couples who are marrying, this is a symbol of their dependence on each other and combined strength as a couple.

Alone they can do many things, but together they can do even more.

wedding rings on top of a pumpkin

The double ring ceremony, where both partners give and receive a ring came into practice in the 20th century. There has never been a law requiring the exchange of rings, but this is one tradition that remains strong.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Do you have a question or wedding concern? Let me know at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credits
Two rings: rasoft / 123RF Stock Photo
Egyptians: mohamedifm / 123RF Stock Photo
Rings on left hands: wajan / 123RF Stock Photo
Rings on pumpkin: Faye Sommer Photography

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

photographer taking pictures of bride and groom - posed photosWhen all is said and done, your wedding photos will be THE lasting memory of your special day, so it’s very important to give some thought to your wedding photography.

Standing for posed photos may not seem like much fun, but don’t make the mistake of skipping them. This is a special day that will only happen once. Even if you think you don’t want them, years from now when you’re looking at your wedding photos, you’ll be glad to have them.

  1. All of the people who are most important to you will be together under one roof – at the same time! (How often does that happen?) Everyone is together looking their best. People you probably haven’t seen in years (and may be a loooong time before you see them again). There may be your grandparents and other elderly folks who are super special to you. Get their picture!

2. Still leery about a long post photo session? Then pare the list down to your top five “can’t miss” photos, such as the bride and groom together, the entire wedding party, the happy couple with their parents, and the couple with their siblings (one of my favorite wedding photos is of me and Rob with all three of my brothers), the couple with their grandparents.

posed photos - picture of me with my brothers on my wedding day

3. Sure, we always think of getting shots of the bride and her ladies getting their hair and make-up done pre-ceremony. Don’t forget about getting some photos of the groom and his men getting ready.

4. First Look photos are getting more and more popular. These are fun at a scenic location (an elegant staircase, a garden in full bloom). Your photographer will capture his reaction to the first time he sees you in your gown. And you’ll get a few moments for just the two of you (before the whirlwind of the day starts blowing!)

How to Shoot Weddings (When You're Not a Wedding Shooter)

posed photos bride and grooms first look

    1. Like the idea of a First Look but still want to follow the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the ceremony? A cute alternative is to stand on opposite sides of an open door, and reach around to join hands.

5. Most wedding ceremony photos (from the processional clear through to the recessional) are shot from the back of the ceremony area (with the camera facing the same direction as the guests). How about having your photographer capture the looks on your guests’ faces (particularly parents and immediate family members) as you come down the aisle? Believe me, even though you’re right there, you won’t even have noticed their reactions (nor will your groom because he will be focused on you!)

Keep in mind that wedding photos are more than just something you or your parents will be looking at. They will become a family heirloom for your children and grandchildren to enjoy. Take a little time to add to your record of family history. Think of it this way, if you had the chance, wouldn’t you like to see photos from your parents wedding, or your grandparents, or even great-grandparents?

Photo credits:
Photographer Behind Camera – © Tosher | Dreamstime.com

First Look – Sandra Reed Photography

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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

Wedding Q&A – What Should the Flower Girl Carry?

flower girl with basket of flowers

Q – I’m working on my wedding flowers and have two flower girls for my wedding. One flower girl (3 years old) will be carrying a sign that says “here comes the bride.”

I’m not sure what to have the other flower girl (6 years old) carry. I do not want her to drop flower petals.

The ceremony decor and reception centerpieces are lanterns, and I was thinking maybe she could carry a lantern with a flameless candle (but I’m concerned that it could break or the candle won’t stay in place).

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

I handmade all of my flowers out of satin fabric so I guess I could do a mini bouquet but I don’t want her to match the bridesmaids either! Any thoughts?

A – A mini bouquet is a cute idea, as it is scaled down for smaller hands, and it lets the flower girl feel like one of the “big girls” in the wedding party.

flower girls with wedding party

Other options you can try are:

– Colorful pinwheels

pinwheels

– Ring a bell

– Balloons

flower girls with balloons

– Ribbon wands

– Floral pomanders aka kissing balls (my favorite!)

floral pomander

– Something seasonal (a pine bough if in winter, for example)

– A tambourine or kazoo if your ceremony will heavily feature music

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more ideas, contact me today at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647 or at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

Photo credits:
Flower girl – © iofoto
Flower girls with wedding party – Jack Hoying Photography
Pinwheels – Pinwheels via photopin cc
Flower girls with balloon – © Kzenon
Floral pomander – © Susan

Real Wedding by Weddings From The Heart Katie and Nick

real wedding - katie & nick - childers photography

A little bit of rain couldn’t put a damper on this wedding day.

Katie and Nick were married at Holy Angel’s Catholic Church in Dayton.

real wedding - katie & nick - childers photography

Following their ceremony, (and to stay out of the rain), the bride and groom took a few photos at the Dayton Art Institute.

real wedding - katie & nick - childers photography

real wedding - katie & nick - childers photography

Afterwards, guests enjoyed a reception with dinner and dancing at the Dayton Racquet Club.

real wedding - katie & nick - childers photography

Eclectic and fun – ingredients for a fun, memorable wedding

real wedding - katie & nick - childers photography

real wedding - katie & nick - childers photography

real wedding - katie & nick - childers photography

The joy on their faces says it all.

Our fabulous vendor team:
Ceremony – Holy Angels, Dayton
Reception – Dayton Racquet Club
Rentals – Prime Time Party Rental
Hair & Make-Up – Eye Do Make-Up & Hair
Florist – Floral V Designs
Photographer – Steve Hutchison with Childers Photography
Party Bus – Beat’s Feet
Cocktail Hour Entertainment – Rose Trio
Ice Sculpture – Ice Sculptures by Ramon
DJ – Tom Potts with Absolute DJs
Baker – Frosted
Wedding Gown – European Bridal

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Photo credit (all photos): Childers Photography

Weddings From The Heart is a wedding planning, coordinating, and design company based in Dayton, Ohio, also serving southwest Ohio and surrounding areas.

Elegant – Stylish – Fun – Creative – Magical
Whatever your wedding vision, we can bring it to life! Contact me today contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647 so we can chat!

Bride & Groom Q&A What Do I Do With My Engagement Ring?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. – During the wedding ceremony, what am I supposed to do with my engagement ring? Do I leave it on my finger or what?

A. – There are several different options for what you can do with the engagement ring before the ceremony.

Traditionally, the wedding band is worn “closest to the heart” meaning it is placed on your finger first, with the engagement ring afterwards. So there is no mishap with accidentally dropping the engagement ring during the ceremony, or having it “upstage” the wedding band, most brides place their engagement ring on their right hand before the processional. After the recessional, the bride will move the it back to her left hand ring finger.

However, some brides like the idea of having the engagement ring on their finger first, before the wedding band is placed on the finger – their reasoning is that their fiancé gave them the engagement ring first, so they want to wear the rings in the same order that they were received.

Wedding Planning Q & A What's So Difficult About Planning a Wedding?

Something else to think about is what other jewelry will you be wearing on your wedding day? If you are already wearing a ring on your right hand ring finger (maybe an heirloom ring as your “something old” or “something borrowed”?), it may be a bit awkward to wear your engagement ring on that finger as well.

You may consider having your maid of honor wear the engagement ring, then switch it back to your finger after the ceremony.

Whatever your preference, do whatever is most comfortable, and makes the most sense for you.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Do you have a question, comment, or wedding concern? Let me know. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: Vintage Sticker question mark via photopin (license)