6 Unique Wedding Ceremony Seating Ideas

6 Unique Wedding Ceremony Seating Ideas

If you’re looking for a way to make your wedding ceremony feel fresh and memorable, consider one of the first things your guests will see once they arrive—their ceremony seats. Instead of the expected straight rows, why not switch up your ceremony seating plan? Rearranging the chairs into interesting shapes—like squares, semi-circles, and even spirals—can make your ceremony feel more intimate and inclusive (you’ll literally be surrounded by your loved ones!).

Of course, you’ll need to adapt your seating plan to work with your ceremony space, but as long as you’ve accounted for the number of guests and ensured that everyone has a good view of the ceremony proceedings at the altar, anything goes. Keep reading to see some of the most creative ceremony seating arrangements we’ve seen.

Ceremony In the Round

Arrange your seats in a circular pattern so you’re literally surrounded by your loved ones—it’ll make everyone feel included in the ceremony, instead of just looking on. We love how this couple chose translucent ghost chairs; they’re the perfect choice since you wouldn’t want anything to detract from such a spectacular view.

Circular Ceremony Seating (Intimate)

A circular-seating style also works for more intimate ceremonies, as well. Arrange the seats so that you’re encircled by your guests; you could also add lush garlands of fresh greenery and flowers to help define the center space. Be sure to leave an aisle (or two!) to help with traffic flow.

Square Ceremony Seating (Chairs on Three Sides)

If you’re planning to exchange vows beneath a large ceremony structure, like a chuppah, arrange the chairs so that they surround the structure; this way, your guests will have better views of the ceremony all around.

Half-Circle Ceremony Seating

Instead of arranging the chairs in straight rows, curve them to create a semi-circle shape, which feels a bit cozier and more intimate. Bonus: Guests seated furthest away from the aisle will have a much-improved view.

Spiral Ceremony Seating

Make an outdoor wedding a bit more intimate by setting up chairs in a spiral. This will create a dramatic, winding aisle—plus, how amazing will it be to see each and every guest as you circle your way to the center?

It’s important to work be flexible with your ceremony space

How to Plan an Unforgettable Wedding in Less than 6 Months

How to Plan an Unforgettable Wedding in Less than 6 Months

While most traditional wedding planning timelines are designed for a couple with a year (or more!) to get the details ironed out, sometimes that’s just not realistic—especially if you get engaged over the holidays and are dreaming of a summer wedding! But can you actually pull off a fabulous wedding in only six months? You bet! You might actually be surprised by how easy the process can be (you know, since there’s no time to second-guess your decisions). No matter your budget, you can get from “yes” to “I do” in a flash. Here’s how to plan a wedding in just six months, so get planning because there’s no time to wait!

6 Months

The Budget:

First things first. Start by determining the budget for you wedding and figuring out who will be contributing (and how much). Now is a good time to make a list of your must-have items (like a certain photographer or a live band), since you might want to allocate extra funds toward these items. (Check out our guide to creating a wedding budget in 5 steps!)

The Guest List:

In order to properly prioritize your budget (and choose a venue!), you’ll need to know how many people you’re hoping to have at your wedding. Sit down with your S.O. to make a preliminary list, then talk to your parents about any other guests they’d like to add. Think about the size and style of wedding you’re hoping for, and keep your budget in mind—more guests means more people to feed and a bigger venue to rent!

The Planner:

There are a lot of details to address when planning your wedding, and a short timeline can make all those specifics feel a little overwhelming. Set yourselves up for success by hiring a planner or month-of coordinator, who can help arrange your planning documents and to-do list and recommend vendors. Even if you’re taking care of most of the specifics on your own, knowing there’s a pro you can turn to will ease a lot of pressure and keep you moving along at a good pace.

The Venue:

While most traditional wedding venues book a year—or more—in advance, you can still find a fabulous venue on a short timeline. First, consider alternative dates like a Friday or Sunday, which might get you that ballroom or country club you’ve been eyeing. It’s also a great idea to look into non-traditional spaces, like a restaurant, art gallery, or even your parents’ backyard.

The Vendors:

Just like venues, a lot of wedding vendors get booked pretty far ahead of time, so you’ll want to get yours lined up fast. Get in touch with photographers, videographers, florists, bands or djs, and cake bakers A.S.A.P. so you have a little time to consider your options and keep looking if the people you reach out to are booked up.

The Dress:

Custom-made wedding dresses should usually be ordered six or more months in advance, but can be had in a shorter time frame—just know you’ll have to pay a rush fee if you go that route. For a more affordable option, check out ready-to-wear bridal shops, salon sample sales, non-bridal ready-to-wear designers, or even rental sites for options you’ll be able to take home the same day or schedule for delivery. Schedule fittings for closer to your wedding date so your dress fits like a glove. (Check out our 8 favorite bridal salons in NYC and make your appointment!)

5 Months

The Wedding Party:

You’re not the only ones heading down the aisle! If you’re asking friends to stand by your side at the altar, get them on board early on. While bridesmaids’ dresses can be purchased and delivered on a shorter timeline than a wedding dress, they still take a while, so consider ready-to-wear alternatives or ask your ‘maids to pick their own dress in a specified color palette. Get rental orders for suits or tuxedos placed quickly, or go the same route with groomsmen and let them wear their own suit in a certain color.

The Save-the-Dates and Invitations:

As soon as you have your venue selected, get those save the dates sent. You can opt for digital save-the-dates (since you’ll have plenty of time for custom invitations, but not quite enough for custom save-the-dates) or semi-custom printed designs from companies with a quicker turnaround time (think Minted or Shutterfly’s The Wedding Shop). Some will even print your guests’ addresses on the envelopes for you, making mailing as easy as peeling and sticking stamps. For your wedding invitations, get working on the design early on so you can have them ordered and on your way with plenty of time to mail. And don’t forget to get your wedding website (and your registry) set up before those save-the-dates go out!

4 Months

Additional Vendors:

Wedding Bands:

Whether you’re getting married in six months or a year and a half, this is the latest you should shop for wedding bands. Like engagement rings, many are made-to-order, meaning it could take 45 days (or up to 90!) for your wedding band to be made and delivered. Start by shopping at the store where your partner purchased your engagement ring, especially if you’re interested in a matching set, or devote an afternoon to visiting a few different jewelry stores to find the one you love.

3 Months

Trials and Tastings:

With a little time to spare before your big day, it’s time for the fun part: Tasting your menu and cake, and doing a test run with your hair and makeup stylists! This will give you plenty of time to make any changes to the services, like adjusting the menu or opting for a different hairstyle.

The Honeymoon:

After a whirlwind of wedding planning, you’ll be ready for some R&R after your wedding day! Worried about flight prices? Search within the U.S. (think Nantucket or Kiawah Island in South Carolina), where you can find great beaches and affordable flights. Try looking on sites like Airbnb anywhere across the world, as these spaces tend to need less time to book than many hotels or resorts.

The Invitations:

You’ve already designed and ordered your invitations, so now it’s time to get them in the mail. For a destination wedding, send these 12 weeks before your wedding date. For a local celebration, eight weeks is the perfect amount of time.

2 Months

The Pre-Parties:

Now’s the time for your bridal shower and bachelor or bachelorette parties. You shouldn’t have too much planning to do when it comes to these parties, but want to make sure they’re scheduled a month or two before your wedding so you’re not distracted by last-minute stress.

1 Month

The Final Details:

No matter how long you’ve been planning, there’s a long list of things you’ll need to take care of in those final weeks. Confirm timing and orders with all of your vendors. Finalize your seating chart and have your escort cards printed. Outline the timeline for your wedding day. And of course, don’t forget to pick up your marriage license!


Florida Wedding Chapel – Open Bar or Nah?

Open Bar or Nah? 

Sure, weddings are cheery celebrations of undying love and steadfast commitment. But they’re also parades of unpleasant budgetary decisions that constantly force you to ask, should I splurge on this or save on that? It’s stressful and it sucks. For that very valid reason, we completely understand the temptation of a cash bar. After all, booze can be a hefty line item on your wedding budget—according to Bridal Guide magazine, an open bar could cost up to 20 percent of your overall wedding budget. But not if your guests foot the bill for their own drinks! And without free-flowing alcohol, there won’t be any embarrassing drunk uncle incidents! Everybody wins, right?

Here’s the problem: Of the four wedding experts we interviewed for this story, no one would recommend a cash bar. Not a single one. When pressed for reasons, they offered words including “tacky,” “challenging,” “out of vogue,” and “more important than wedding cake.” Oof. There’s also the fact we live in a largely cash-less society these days—it’s arguably unreasonable to ask guests to bring $50 in small bills to your intimidate shindig in the backwoods of Vermont.

But! Our experts have plenty of tips and tricks that’ll save you from having to make that tough call in the first place.

Tip #1: Nix the hard stuff

“No one is going to complain about having only beer and wine at a wedding, but they will complain about no alcohol,” said Nicole Sheppard, who runs the wedding planning outfit All Who Wander. Cutting down on pricey hard liquor will save you a boatload, she explained. Sure, it means no signature cocktails, but everyone will be happy so long as there’s alcohol of some kind on offer. And we have a feeling Wild Turkey-only Grandpa Tom will be juuust fine.

Tip #2: Opt for a daytime affair

Unless your wedding is anchored by a bottomless mimosa bar, people are likely to drink much less during daylight hours than at a Saturday night wedding. You can plan accordingly with a scaled back liquor order.

“At a summer brunch wedding, they may be happy with white wine, rosé, a little bit of bubbles, and beer,” said Rebecca Shenkman, owner of the NYC-based wedding planning service Pink Bowtie Events. “Throw in a bloody Mary and Aperol spritz, and you’re pretty good.”

Tip #3: Get booze from a store with a buy-back policy

First, check if your venue allows you to bring in your own alcohol. If it does, find a liquor store that’ll let you return whatever you don’t drink. It can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

“You’re buying what you think is an appropriate amount, but you have no idea,” said Sheppard. That’s because even a seasoned wedding professional won’t know, for instance, that your high school friends are really into Manhattans right now and will completely deplete the bar’s stash of sweet vermouth, or that your parent’s friends only drink Corona light.

At a recent wedding, “we bought a ton of alcohol—more than we needed—because knew the liquor store would buy it back,” Sheppard said. It was a smart move: “People were going through Aperol spritzes like it was their job. Seventy-five percent of the guests drank them, and we wouldn’t have been prepared if we’d bought what we thought we needed based on industry standards.” The stuff she’d originally guessed people would go for—beer, wine, and other liquors—went back to the store.

Tip #4: Serve pricey liquor at the end

Having top-shelf liquor available all night long can become nightmarishly expensive. Instead “have a cognac at the end,” suggests Adam Howard, the corporate chef of catering at Mike Isabella Concepts in Washington, D.C. You can even make it the focus of a nightcap station alongside other after-dinner drinks and maybe a few cigars.

Tip #5: Set places with one wine glass

Convention dictates that place settings include two wine glasses—one for red, and one for white. But empty wine glasses are meant to be filled, and that’s bad news for your budget.

“If you’re trying to limit cost, put one white glass at a table instead of both white and red,” suggested David Mawhinney, the chef at NYC-based catering company and event space Haven’s Kitchen. People who want to drink more will—they can always ask—but this lessens the likelihood of double fisting.

Final takeaway: As far as American wedding conventions go, the cash bar is likely gone for good. Let’s all pour one out for it.


Wedding Planning 101: 8 Essential Catering Tips

Wedding Planning 101: 8 Essential Catering Tips

Wedding Planning 101: 8 Essential Catering Tips

The ultimate goal of a party is to entertain and entice all your guests’ senses. When you mix the right combination of sights, smells, taste, sound, and touch, your wedding reception is one your guests will remember.

While that might sound like a lot of work, we have good news: you can tackle a few senses – smell and taste – with just one vendor – your caterer.

This year’s Wedding Essentials Idea Show will feature a variety of caterers to connect with, but WE wanted to give you a head start and a better understanding of what different caterers have to offer.

Lindsey Grote-Rodgers from Hy-Vee and Brenda Tharp from Save the Date Catering fill us in:


If you have a big wedding with a lot of people to get through a buffet line, think about a simple, yet delectable, food item and requires fewer condiments. If kids are in attendance, consider having a separate kids buffet.

Plan as early as possible. Making sure your caterer is locked in with your date and an idea of your guest count, so they come prepared with options catered to you.


Do you like home cooking? Do you like different eclectic things? Do you have some recipes from grandma or ethnic backgrounds? “From there, your caterer can suggest items,” says Brenda. “I always say our menu is a template and it can be so much more, we can think outside the box and pick up ideas from wherever you are.”

Do you like home cooking? Do you like different eclectic things? Do you have some recipes from grandma or ethnic backgrounds? “From there, your caterer can suggest items,” says Brenda. “I always say our menu is a template and it can be so much more, we can think outside the box and pick up ideas from wherever you are.”


We know — it sounds crazy. Save the Date Catering sees many couples try to think of their guests first, but at the end of it, this day is for you. “It’s one of the only days in your life that’s totally yours so pick out your favorite things and do what you want to do,” says Brenda.


Bring a basic menu up a notch by renaming food dishes and customizing the way that their buffet is set up. “Couples can do things like creating a menu board or a printed menu that has some play on words,” says Lindsey. “Or, if you decide to eat pulled pork, introduce a unique topping, such as a bride’s recipe with Mediterranean flavors and a groom’s recipe with bacon and bbq sauce.”


Bring a little more ‘you’ to your reception. If not for the main meal, a late night snack is the perfect opportunity for couples to stray away from traditional and give guests a sense of what a couple enjoys eating on a regular basis, such as a favorite pizza or breakfast burritos.


Who wouldn’t be excited to open a chafing dish and see breakfast? We see a lot of night breakfast as the main course with egg bakes, bacon, sausage, the full experience. Not only does almost everyone love breakfast, but it’s also an excellent way to have a lot of options if you have a mixed crowd of dietary restrictions rather than having them be stuck eating salad or green beans. Breakfast has been a fun way to have a wide variety without breaking the bank – plus it can be presented well in an unexpected way.


Save the Date Catering offers a “Drop-Off Tasting” where the couple can invite mom, dad, in-laws, a few of their close friends or wedding party and they can make an evening or afternoon of it- like a tasting party! Keep in mind that tastings are usually for 6 people, but more can be added (at a cost, of course).

Brenda says she’s typically not at the tasting unless requested. “I want my couples to feel comfortable talking among themselves, being critical and having their own opinion and not worrying that the catering lady is standing over them. I also suggest the couples take notes because if you’re doing your tasting 6 months to a year before your wedding, you might not really remember what it is you’ve chosen before the final meeting 30 days prior.”


A lot of times couples will meet with a Hy-Vee catering manager thinking they just want to look at one of our departments but part of the catering manager’s service is that it goes beyond the food. They can organize the bride and groom to meet with the florist, the cake designer and the caterer all in one sitting. Couples can knock out a lot of to-dos on their list at once. The bonus? Couples will only have one point person to have to contact rather than making separate calls for each three major parts of their wedding.

Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Florida Wedding Chapel – Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Whether it’s a warm smile, positive attitude, dancing shoes, or a desire to have fun, wedding guests play a pivotal role in orchestrating the perfect wedding. These 5 insights to U.S. wedding culture serve as a useful guide for making your attendance a smooth and successful one.

A Gift is Always Necessary

Even if it’s the neighbor down the hall in your apartment, your niece’s cousin once removed, or your very best friend, a wedding gift is always expected. This is simply due to the nature of tradition. Marriage is a new adventure for the couple and a gift is a sign of well-wishing as they take their next steps together. Always work within your means, and strive to put your best guest foot forward by looking at the wedding registry to find a thoughtful and useful gift for the newlyweds.

Recognize the Relationship

Wedding gifts vary greatly depending on your relationship with the soon-to-be-spouses. On average, research reveals spending is based on the relationship. These relationships on average, spend the following on wedding gifts:

· Family Member $127

· Boss/Supervisor $115

· Colleague/Co-worker $63

Selecting a wedding gift is a personal choice. These numbers are provided as a guide.

For those in the wedding party who have already spent a considerable amount on the event, consider combining contributions for a group gift. This can lighten the financial burden while still giving the couple something they’ll adore. If other groomsmen or bridesmaids don’t wish to contribute to a group gift, consider buying one of the moderately priced registry items. Add a sentimental touch with a handwritten note, or by personalizing the item with their last name or initials.Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Be Budget-Conscious

Express your genuine care. Be creative, personal, and use registries, like Zola, to buy gifts that the happy couple registered for and will use throughout their married life. This doesn’t mean emptying your savings account. According to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, the average amount spent by friends and family for a wedding gift was $113 in 2016. Stay within your personal budget. Plan ahead so you can save enough, express your affection for the couple with a beautiful gift, and enjoy their wedding celebration without breaking the bank.Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Do Your Homework for Destination Weddings

Destination weddings pose many questions to attendees; when do I ship my gift to the couple? How soon do I order an online gift? Do I need to buy an expensive gift? Be sure the registry offers direct shipping to the couple’s home, not the destination wedding site. They don’t want to lug gifts on a plane and neither do you.

Couples also understand that guests must plan, save, and prepare to attend destination weddings. The couple knows greater travel expenses are included and they are more understanding with presents. Rather than settle for a less special present, consider sending your gift early, well before the wedding ceremony, or just after the nuptials.

This will allow for more time to save. Etiquette experts agree up to six months after the wedding is still an acceptable time for gift giving. This way you are able to save up for the wedding, and also share a meaningful gift with the happy couple.

Check the RegistryWedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

Check the Registry

This same study found that couples most enjoyed gifts from their registry. This was preferential to cash, honeymoon support, and gift-cards. If you would like to select your own gift, pair it with something from their registry for a combination gift they will undoubtedly adore.Wedding Gift Etiquette in the U.S.

All weddings come with a price tag; not only for the spouses-to-be in organizing it, but the wedding guests as well. If it’s a destination wedding, travel expenses are to be considered. If it’s a local wedding, dresses and suits have to be arranged. However, that shouldn’t stop you in purchasing a special and meaningful gift for the couple. Find a gift using registries based on your relationship with the newlyweds to contribute to a beautiful event!

I Always Swore I Would Elope — Here’s What Changed My Mind

Florida Wedding Chapel – I Always Swore I Would Elope

I Always Swore I Would Elope — Here’s What Changed My Mind

Before my engagement ring was even a pear-shaped twinkle in my eye (fine, an absurd amount of years before I even had a boyfriend), I’d already mapped out a very specific vision of what my wedding day would absolutely not look like. There would be no gigantic white dress (maybe a nice off-white pantsuit, á la Hillary Clinton), I would never promise to “obey someone” in my vows (ugh), and my dad would definitely not hand me off relay race-style at the end of the aisle. I truly wanted no part in the sorts of patronizing traditions and unattainable standards of bridal perfection that seemed to take perfectly sane women and turn them into something like this:

More than anything, it was important to me that my wedding day not be treated like the pinnacle of my existence; there were other goals and dreams on my list that didn’t involve locking down a husband, you know? I figured that the easiest way to make it clear that being a bride wasn’t my lifelong dream was to keep it simple and straight up elope. If everything went to plan, I’d get married in a courthouse, preferably in a ceremony that lasted 10 minutes or less, with a guest list consisting only of the two witnesses necessary to make the marriage license

But fast forward to last month when I actually did get engaged (to my favorite person who would have been completely happy with any kind of wedding, I might add), and suddenly eloping didn’t seem like such an obvious choice anymore. Congratulatory calls rolled in from friends and family, with one after the other asking the same excited questions about what our wedding plans might be, or if there’d be a “real” wedding at all. (Probably a sign that I had publicly aired my opinions of traditional weddings a few too many times, my bad.) And despite my former rock-solid stance against it, I had to admit that it was really hard not to be just as excited as everyone else was at the prospect of a celebration. Did I really want to elope?

Looking for some reassurance, I rang up my family’s resident experts on bucking wedding traditions: my parents. They eloped without telling a soul back in the 80s (which I always thought was pretty cool and maybe a tad inconsiderate), and I’d always assumed they’d done it because of my mom’s distaste for all things sexist and traditional. After more than 30 years of marriage, it seemed to have panned out well enough for them.

Fully expecting my mom to espouse the many benefits of her own elopement and to remind me that traditional weddings with white dresses were festivals for the patriarchy, I asked for her thoughts on my conundrum. But she didn’t say any of what I had anticipated. Instead, she admitted having regrets about doing something so major without including anyone or really celebrating it. She said that it was a decision made from a place of feeling totally overwhelmed, and that if they could do it over again, they wouldn’t do it the same way twice.

That thought rattled around in my head for a while after we hung up: wouldn’t do it the same way twice. I’d been lucky enough to find my partner and intended on doing this marriage thing only once — no repeats, no do-overs, no takebacks. If we skipped out on marking the occasion, that was it. Could I really pretend that getting married wasn’t worth celebrating at all because I hated the gender stereotypes that might be attached?

Long story short, the answer for us was “no.” I still don’t want to wear a giant white dress or to promise to obey someone in my vows or to be handed off relay race-style at the end of the aisle by my dad. I am still the same person I’ve always been, with the same values and penchant for getting into heated debates about gender stereotyping with the nearest available human with ears.

But I’ve decided that I don’t have to make a choice between continuing to be the same person I’ve always been and having a wedding. Even though some people might disagree with the traditions we’re planning on leaving out from our ceremony, who cares? There is no official rule book that says my partner and I have to participate in traditions we’re uncomfortable with. And when all is said and done, some milestones are just too important to pass up on celebrating with the people you love — for us at least, marriage is one of them.legal.

Average Cost of Wedding Invitations: How Much Are They?

Wedding Invitations: How Much Are They?

With the cost of traditional wedding invitations, maybe it’s time to look at a much less formal wedding at our Florida Wedding Chapel at Old Church Place, Orange Lake, Florida!

Average Cost of Wedding Invitations: How Much Are They?

When it comes to choosing wedding invitations, the options are seemingly endless. As brides choose paper, colors, printing methods, and accents, the price can start to really add up. The average cost of wedding invitations is $5,000 to $8,000 for a set of 100 invitations, according to Katherine Hollensteiner of Cheree Berry Paper. But that’s just an average, of course. “I’ve seen brides pay much more and much less,” she says, adding that brides should set aside 4 to 6 percent of their overall budget for wedding invitations.

How much do wedding invitations cost? On average, $5000 to 8,000 for a set of 100 invitations.

Unless you regularly interface with your local stationery store and printing press, it can be confusing to understand the all the options and how they’ll affect your wedding invitation budget. Read on for a rundown of the different options and how they affect the wedding invitation budget, plus discover seven ways to save.

Wedding Invitation Printing Methods

“The biggest factor that goes into the wedding invitation prices is the way the invitation is printed,” says Kristen Armstrong, COO of Cheree Berry Paper. “The cost of the paper itself—while there is going to be some variance—isn’t going to make a huge difference when you’re talking about 100 to 200 invitations.” Here are the four ways wedding invitations are printed and how they affect the price.

1. Digital Printing

“The most budget-friendly option is digital printing,” says Armstrong. “This involves setting up a file on the computer and hitting print. Because everything is done digitally without the need to manually mix ink, it’s a good choice for anyone who is printing invitations where there are many colors.” An invitation suite with all four cards, digitally printed, will probably run you anywhere from $700 to $1,200 for a set of 100.

2. Offset Printing and Thermography

“Offset (flat) printing has a similar feel to digital printing, but the inks are mixed and then the design is transferred to your invitation through a press,” explains Armstrong. “You get a higher quality print and can get very specific with the exact shade of color.”

Thermography is similar to flat printing except that a powder is added to the ink so you get a raised texture on the paper. “A suite of 100 invitation suites created using offset printing or thermography usually starts at $1,200,” says Armstrong.

3. Letterpress Printing

Expect to spend about $1,600 on the low end for 100 letter-pressed invitation suites, advises Armstrong. “The higher cost is due to the amount of supplies and manual labor to create custom presses for each design and color,” she says. “On top of the base price, each additional color will add an additional 25 percent to your costs.”

4. Engraving

“The most extravagant form of printing is engraving, which gives a formal, embossed look,” says Armstrong. “It’s a very labor intensive process and the same suite of 100 invitations will start at around $2,200 if you choose engraving.”

Wedding Invitation Accents

On top of printing, accents factor into the average cost of wedding invitations. Here are some popular wedding invitation add-ons and how much they’ll run.

1. Foil Stamping

“Usually foil stamping is done as an embellishment,” says Armstrong. “The bride and groom might want their names in gold foil, for example. Recently, however, brides have been wanting full foil stamp sets. It’s definitely a trend we’ve seen grow recently. As a full set, it does get pretty expensive because a plate has to be created. For a full foil stamp on a set of 100 invitations, anticipate an additional cost of $1,800 for a set of 100. If you choose just to do gold foil accents, the cost would closer to $400 per 100 invitations.”

2. Blind Debossing and Embossing

Blind debossing and embossing are done using the same process as letterpress, but without ink. When you blind deboss, you create a depression in the paper, and with embossing you create a raised text. Monograms, family crests, or other small accents are often debossed or embossed. These accents will cost $300 to $400 per 100 wedding invitations.

3. Edging

The edge of the invitation can actually be painted onto paper in a thick stock. “As the guest pulls it out of the envelop the guest, they will notice that subtle detail,” says Hollensteiner. Edging costs $150 per 100 wedding invitations.

4. Bevel Cut

The edge of the wedding invitation is cut at a 45 degree angle and then painted, making the edge more visible from the front than an invitation that is only edged. This is usually just done on the main wedding invitation. For 100 wedding invitations, this will cost around $400.

5. Wax Seals

The traditional way to create wax seals is to pour liquid wax on the envelope and stamp it to create a design. Now, however, you can use raised stickers with permanent adhesive that look really authentic but save a lot of time. Adding wax seals will cost $200 to $300 extra per 100 wedding invitations.

6. Insert Cards

The most common wedding invitation insert is a reception card, which is often used when the reception is at a different location then the wedding. A welcome party or brunch preceding the wedding also commonly goes on an insert card. “We suggest that insert cards are printed in the same way the invitations were,” says Hollensteiner. A set of 100 insert cards can range between $150 and $500 depending on the printing method.

7. Envelope Liners

“Nine out of ten of our invitations include a paper envelope liner, whether it’s a solid color or a pattern,” says Hollensteiner. The price per 100 wedding invitations is around $250 to $400 for envelope liners, with solid colors on the lower end of the range and patterns on the higher end.

Something new! Wedding couple hire a drone to film their big day as breath-taking video shows them tie the knot from 100ft in the air

Something new! Wedding couple hire a drone to film their big day as breath-taking video shows them tie the knot from 100ft in the air

A drone has captured a happy couple’s wedding day in Hull, leaving the pair with a high-flying memory to cherish for years to come.

The surreal film was taken during the ceremony of Roxanne and Luke Mallinson as they married in front of their 140 guests in Hull Minister – an old Anglican church found in the centre of Kingston upon Hull.

Aerial pictures show The Mallinsons and their guests waving at the camera that’s positioned 100ft in the air.

The couple, of Hull, East Yorks., had initially paid for a videographer with a drone to film their wedding, but when the company went into liquidation, they feared they would have to go without.

But Chris Fenton of Octovision Media saved the day, jumping at the opportunity to film inside the 14th century church.

The 28-year-old bride said it was the perfect way to capture her day.

She added: ‘It’s brilliant – I’d like to say a massive thank you to Chris for coming to our rescue and making my day extra special.

‘It made the service extra special as it was so unique and different.’

Reverend Canon Dr Neal Barnes, who led the service, said it was brilliant to have the drone flying inside the minster.

He said: ‘We are delighted again to be working with Octovision Media who show Hull Minster in a new light and angle showing off this magnificent building.’

See full article at  www.dailymail.co.uk

Why a Sheet Cake Is Better Than Any Expensive Wedding Cake

Why a Sheet Cake Is Better Than Any Expensive Wedding Cake


Why a Sheet Cake Is Better Than Any Expensive Wedding Cake

What I’m about to write may shock you: I bought my wedding cake at a grocery store. It wasn’t fancy, but it didn’t need to be—all I wanted was a small, simple confection that I could ceremonially slice into hand-in-hand with my new husband, with icing I could smear all over his face. A two-tiered, almond-flavored pound cake with plain white sugar frosting for $109.95 fit the bill, and none of my guests were the wiser.

I’m not the only one who thinks towering fondant monstrosities are supremely overrated. Of the four wedding experts we spoke to, all said that the wedding cake isn’t the must-do tradition it used to be. Still on the fence? Here’s every reason you should reconsider the classic wedding cake (and serve something else instead).

Reason #1: They’re party stoppers

“It’s the sign of a good wedding if you miss dessert,” said Nicole Sheppard, owner of the wedding planning outfit All Who Wander. Making a big to-do of slicing a fancy cake requires shutting down the band and grabbing everyone’s attention, which can have a major wind-down effect on the evening’s energy.

In contrast, “dessert being passed [on trays by waiters] extends your party,” Sheppard suggested. “Having things that are portable and smaller”—like cookies, brownies, donuts, or cupcakes—“are really great because they can be passed around the dance floor. That gives people a way to keep dancing and not have to worry about sitting down and stopping the party.”

Reason #2: They’re style over substance

Not only can cakes with thick layers of rigid, plastic-tasting fondant and intricate, over-the-top detailing be super expensive, they’re “really just decorative more than anything,” said Maureen Larson, vice president of Chicago-based caterer Lettuce Parties. More attention is paid to the cake’s visuals than its taste, she explained. “People will take a bite of that cake and that’s it.”

If the cake-cutting tradition is important to you—it was for me!—Larson suggests buying a small, basic cake to fulfill that purpose. With that out of the way, “you can get fun with the dessert: various cupcake towers, a donut wall with cotton candy woven into it, and different fruits that have been dipped in chocolate, platters of cheese,” to name a few options.

Reason #3: Not everyone is a cake person

Think about it: Do you like plain old wedding cake more than a gooey just-baked chocolate chip cookie? A fudgy brownie? A fresh-from-the-oven apple pie? Even if you didn’t say “yes” to any of those (and we seriously doubt that) plenty of your prospective guests might. And if a wedding is your chance to throw your fantasy bash, why settle for a dessert you and your guests won’t over-the-moon love?

“If you’re not really a cake person, do something else!” said Meagan Stroud, the senior catering manager at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C. “I’ve seen couples do pie instead of cake. Crème brûlée instead of cake. If you like more savory things, maybe you do a cheese course instead of a cake.” She was the second source to suggest cheese, so we take that as a sign.Why a Sheet Cake Is Better Than Any Expensive Wedding Cake

Reason #4: They can be ridiculously pricey

According to Thumbtack.com, in New York City, a three-tiered carrot cake with fondant frosting that serves between 150 and 200 people can cost up to $1,345. Did your eyes just pop out of your head? Because ours did. And sure, if you’re a carrot cake fanatic, maybe such an expensive confection makes sense, but chances are you’re not. What, then, bewitches people into spending such massive sums of money?

“People direct money into ‘as seen on TV’ moments, and I think when people hear the word ‘wedding,’ they think they need to have a big elaborate cake,” said David Mawhinney, the chef at NYC-based catering company and event space Haven’s Kitchen. Brides and grooms get wrapped up in the realm of “supposed to” and don’t consider what will actually make for a enjoyable wedding experience, he added.

“People should get a smaller cake so they can have the ceremonial camera moment,” Mawhinney suggested. “Then we create things that people actually want to eat, like some petit four-style desserts.”

Truth is, you should serve whatever you want at your wedding. But know this: Your guests will probably be just as happy with Costco’s finest sheet cake.


See the full article at

Florida Wedding Chapel – Eloping Is the New Lavish Wedding

When you think eloping,  it’s a perfect opportunity to hold your service in our historic Florida Wedding Chapel.  Here is a great article about millennials and their growing view of elopement as a solid alternative to a huge formal wedding and why it makes sense to them.


Not every little girl grows up clutching a binder packed with doilies and details of her destination wedding. Even if she does, often the numerous, inherent stressors of planning such a shindig bubble up and make her back away from the Pinterest boards. Millennials sure have a knack for ruining institutions previous generations adored—and it seems that includes traditional weddings.

It’s not that millennials reject the concept of marriage as a whole, but many are opting for an alternative by choosing small, sometimes surprise ceremonies over expansive, expensive weddings. Elopements, sans Vegas, are on the rise, inspiring all-inclusive elopement and pop-up wedding businesses to similarly swell in popularity.

Eloping Is Fun, a New York City–based full elopement service, has been in business for about four years; according to founder and wedding photographer Jenny MacFarlane, “Business has kind of doubled every year.” She continues, “We might be hitting a plateau. My company does maybe 60, 70 [weddings] a year, so it’s significant.” And it’s mostly millennials hitting her up. “From what I know about millennials, things are tough financially,” she says. “That’s one of the big reasons, in general. People just want to start their life. They don’t feel like they have to follow any sort of traditional norms anymore.”

Eloping Is Fun, a New York City–based full elopement service, has been in business for about four years; according to founder and wedding photographer Jenny MacFarlane, “Business has kind of doubled every year.” She continues, “We might be hitting a plateau. My company does maybe 60, 70 [weddings] a year, so it’s significant.” And it’s mostly millennials hitting her up. “From what I know about millennials, things are tough financially,” she says. “That’s one of the big reasons, in general. People just want to start their life. They don’t feel like they have to follow any sort of traditional norms anymore.”

Cutting costs is one obvious appeal. The Knot’s 2016 study shows the average wedding costs about $35,500, while the average worker under 35 makes less than $40,000 a year. Price point was the big motivator for 31-year-old Keri, who decided that elopement was right for her and her fiancé. After picking a date and a venue, and whittling the guest list to 150, costs still hovered around $16,000.

“It just kind of made me sick to think like, ‘My God, we’re going to be spending this much money on this wedding for, like, eight hours’ worth of fun,’” Keri says.

A Colorado trip inspired a change of plans. The couple decided to invite 10 of their closest friends and rent a cabin for a group vacation this fall. “Oh, and also we’re going to get married in the middle of it,” Keri says. In Rocky Mountain National Park’s Estes Park, specifically. Even with flights, cabin rental, buying a white dress, and the cost of hiring a wedding photographer, the total for their new plan is about $2,500—nearly a sixth of their original ceremony estimate.

“People just want to start their life. They don’t feel like they have to follow traditional norms anymore.”

That average wedding cost can keep inflating too. Millennials are getting hitched later in life than previous generations, and the number of people in one person’s regular orbit at age 19 is going to be dramatically smaller than it will be by age 29. Take into account that, plus the ever-expanding universe of social media, and most millennials’ social networks may be considered downright sprawling. (And should we even get into the whole business of plus-ones? I’m already tired.)

“The invitation list is one of the most dreaded and anxiety-producing aspects of wedding planning,” says Samantha Burns, a licensed couples therapist and dating coach. “Now you have to consider friends from different walks of life, such as your high school and college friends, those you met while studying abroad, at your first job, your current coworker besties, the running club you go to on the weekends, and the fantastic couple you met on vacation. [Yet] there’s only so much money and so many table seating arrangements that you can afford. The potential for party faux pas and social pressure to edit and cut down your list could result in the end of a friendship, or family drama.” Elopements, just by definition, shave down any guest list considerably.

In past generations, heading to the courthouse to get your “I Do” on was often synonymous with an unexpected pregnancy. Though surely that still inspires some elopements, the country’s uncertain health insurance landscape has become an even more pressing concern, motivating many to tie the knot just to make sure they’re covered in an emergency—and quickly. Leaving a job and the health insurance it provided helped push Amy, 28, and her now husband, Chris, to head to the courthouse for a speedy wedding. The two told only immediate family about their plan and only the day before it happened—but that was less a desire to be sneaky and more because that’s how it got scheduled. “We called the courthouse the day before, and then after Chris got off work that evening, we went to the mall and I went to Anthropologie and found [a white dress],” Amy says. “I was just going to wear something I had in my closet, but I called my mom and she encouraged me to make the day special.” Amy’s mother couldn’t make the wedding on such short notice, but Chris’s parents attended, even taking the newlyweds to lunch—including champagne and cake—afterward.

“I was just going to wear something I had in my closet, but my mom encouraged me to make the day special.”

Though obviously this couple’s wedding was expedited for bureaucratic reasons, Amy says they probably would have eloped anyway. “I’ve never loved being the center of attention,” she says. “Some girls dream about [their wedding day] forever, right? I’ve never really been one of them. [The] more I think about it, the less I think a traditional wedding would have suited me. It’s just not really my thing.”

Amy says when she posted an official announcement about her marriage on Facebook, she was sure to stress the fact she was not pregnant.

By one’s late twenties, a person is already quite the wedding-guest veteran. I’m 29 and by December I will have attended seven weddings this year alone. Over time and with repeated exposure, it’s easy to feel exhausted with weddings in general. Kelley, a 33-year-old wedding photographer in Atlanta, obviously knows the lavish nuptials drill better than most—and sees its potentially ugly side. “I shoot a wedding every week and see a lot of the stuff that goes into that,” she says. “[I often hear] people say, ‘If I could’ve done it different, I would’ve.’”

When she and her girlfriend got engaged last August, Kelley started by planning an ornate wedding, only to reroute to a much smaller courthouse solution in March. They sent an email invite to immediate family only. “Then we just went and ate burgers after, and it was the best day ever,” Kelley says. “It was the most stressfree day.” Surely the energy saved from not making polite small talk with peripheral guests helped Kelley and her wife truly experience the experience as well.

“An emotional benefit of having a small ceremony is that it’s easier to be mentally present and soak it all in, since often times at highly attended weddings, the bride and groom are rushing around to greet all of the guests,” Burns points out. “It’s important for eloping couples not to diminish the event because it’s small and to share and process it with family and friends. I also urge eloping couples to still have a photographer or videographer to capture the memorable moments, so that you can share it with others and also watch and relive the special day over years to come.”

“That’s a dope-ass photo. That’s going to represent you for a really long time.”

That detail is part of what keeps MacFarlane’s business going. Plenty of couples use the money saved on skipping a big ceremony to make it a destination elopement. Iceland is especially popular—MacFarlane says she has four Iceland elopements booked for the month of August alone. “Obviously a lot of people are doing this for the photos. They’re not stupid,” she says. Though her sentiments can far extend exotic locations. A well-framed Instagram announcement can be, well, validating. Kelley even set up a tripod, post-wedding, to capture the moment and post to the ‘Gram. “[Couples] know photos are currency this day and age,” she says. “I mean, that’s a dope-ass photo. That’s going to represent you for a really long time.”

Keri, the bride who will elope to Colorado, says she reserved a significant portion of her budget for just such a dope-ass photographer. “I wanted somebody there to document those things,” she says, noting that she selected Sarah Gormley, a photographer who specializes in a more documentary approach to capture weddings. “Obviously the millennial narcissist in me is like, ‘I can’t wait to post these pictures and it’s going to be really cool.’ I would be lying if I didn’t say I know that people think this is kind of cool.”

But such evidence supports one universal truth with weddings: This day is about you and your partner and your love for each other. It isn’t about tailoring a menu to accommodate your estranged cousin’s girlfriend’s oxalate-free dietary restrictions, or forbidding a DJ from playing Bruno Mars.

“I want to show people that it’s not cheap, it’s not cheesy, and you don’t have to be married by Elvis,” Keri says. “You can do something that’s fun, beautiful, within budget, with your closest friends or your family, and there’s nothing to be afraid of—it’s fine. In order to get married, you don’t have to have a big wedding. It doesn’t have to be some big to-do. You don’t need a hashtag.”


Read the entire article at