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Including Pets in Your Special Day

Recently at one of RainbowWeddingNetwork's LGBTQ+ Wedding Expos, co-founder Cindy Sproul asked the crowd of couples in attendance whether anyone planned to include a pet in their wedding ceremony or reception. Several hands went up, and most people when called upon mentioned various breeds of dogs... one couple mentioned a llama... but one surprised us all when they proclaimed proudly: 'We have a beloved pet frog! And we are absolutely determined to find a role for him during our celebration!' Cindy of course made them promise to post photos to RWN's FB group... Hopefully those will come through so we can all share in the momentous (and unique) occasion!

For most of us, however, the choice to find a job for our pets during our ceremonies is a little less of a challenge. And incorporating our beloved companions into the Special Day is sure to add an extra layer of joy, personality, and love to the festivities. Read on for several endearing and memorable ideas!

 

Engagement or Save-the-Date Photos:

Casual photos of you, your fiancee and your pet/s is a simple and touching way to say 'Family' and bring out all the feels. If your pets are willing, adding a bow tie, festive collar or leash, or a floral headband can be a fun accent to mark the milestone. Consider creating customized signs, or use chalkboard signs and take your pets' photos by themselves: "Save the Date 11/4/2025..." "Our humans are finally getting hitched!" Decorate the photo with a backdrop reminiscent of your venue, or theme, or add a bouquet in to the shot. Adorably unforgettable!

Keep in mind, images like this are also wonderful to add to your Ceremony Program!

 

Have a Retriever in the Family?

If your dog, pig (or any other pet, of course!) is very talented at carrying a basket or satchel either in their mouth, or on their back, and is comfortable working a crowd... make the most of it! Allow your pet time to wander the rows of chairs, as your guests await the ceremony... Your guests will absolutely love the opportunity to visit with your pet as they pick out flower petals or buds, small favor bags, programs, etc that can be carried in your pet's basket/satchel.

And if your pet needs assistance with this task, no problem! Assign the role to one of your young family members or attendants, to walk your pet on a leash throughout the crowd. It's a relaxing and endearing way to pass a little time, creatively distribute small necessities, and set the tone for a warm and uplifting celebration.

 

That Once-in-a-Lifetime Walk Down the Aisle:

Your pets are companions every day of your lives... why not let them join you as you take your steps down the aisle? It's okay if your pet is leashed or carried - do what is best and will work most successfully. Have your larger pet (german shepherd, llama, goat) wear a sign to formally introduce your moment: 'Here come the brides!' or 'YES, I'm bearing the rings!'

(Important: be sure the venue you choose is pet-friendly!)

 

Building a Cohesive Theme:

If you do plan to include pets on Your Special Day, it's easy to use your ideas as building blocks for your broader wedding theme or decor options. See below for all kinds of ideas about how to integrate... and don't forget to add to your DJ's playlist some fun tunes such as "Who Let the Dogs Out?" "Hound Dog," or "Wild Horses" by Perry Como!

 

Decorative Accents:

A photo of your pet, with a quote on a chalkboard such as: "My folks are finally tying the knot!" or "Welcome to Our New Beginning"... can be a memorable addition to your reception decor. Combine this with an interactive keepsake station, or the gift table, and it simply adds to the fun and personalization of Your Special Day. Some couples take it a step further, offering a custom bookmark or koozie as a favor, with a note about the new last names they've decided to take as a married couple. "My humans are finally tying the knot... and now I'm forever known as Muffin Smith-Johnson!" Provide a bookmark with a family photo and your full names... and you've got a keepsake everyone is sure to enjoy.

Another idea is to have your well-behaved pet sitting at the entry point to your ceremony seating area with a sign: 'Pet me & pick your seat!' Be sure to drape a lovely floral collar or add a basket of blossoms alongside, to help them look their best: undoubtedly there will be spontaneous portraits taken!

 

Cake Topper or Dessert Table Decorations:

"I Do Too!" inscribed on a small custom-made statue or framed photo of your pet is an eye-catching and unique way to top your cake, or accent all the treats on your dessert table. Cupcakes, topped with chocolates embossed with your pet's photo, or imprinted with your pet's photo in frosting, is another fun idea. Your pet is a sweet part of your lives: this is one easy way to bring that message to the party!

 

Photo Props:

Including a photobooth or selfie station at your reception? Customized props, using the image of your pets, can be a budget-friendly and simple way to showcase them in your festivities. Bunny ears, pawprints, face cutouts, piggy snouts, bone-shaped nameplates or guest wish messages - get creative!

 

Pet Apparel:

These days, it isn't hard to find pet apparel that will blend will with your own ceremony vibe and colors. Some apparel even boasts flair such as veils, bow ties or messages like 'Best Dog...' Kerchiefs, matching your wedding colors, are easy and casual. Mirroring with kerchief-wrapped favors continues the theme. Be sure to search online for all the lively & unique apparel options! And don't forget, if you're using a leash - take time to customize one with your names and ceremony date! It will be a fun keepsake for you for years after the wedding!

 

Pet Care:

Remember, there are professional petsitters who will attend your wedding and help out with all your pet-related moments... and provide care during your reception or transportation afterward for your pet to head back home. It's always good to have someone onsite who is devoted to help out, especially in case your pet/s are not cooperative on your wedding day and plans need to change quickly. -Be sure you have back-up in place, and staffers or attendants available, that best suit your particular pets and their possible last-minute needs. It's wise to expect the unexpected!... and you want to ensure you're able to pivot smoothly to adjust (and perhaps alter completely) your pet's planned role so that it doesn't disrupt your overall enjoyment of the day's celebration.

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Whatever ways you may find to include your pets in your celebration... be sure it's focused most of all on the joy and personalization and not on too many specifics. Keep your plans realistic, remember to remain as flexible as possible, and have a wonderful, critter-inclusive Special Day!

 

Going Green with Your Wedding Plans

Planning a wedding that is both elegant and eco-friendly might seem like a challenge, but with the right ideas and strategies, you can create a celebration that leaves a positive impact on the planet without sacrificing style.  From choosing ethical attire made from sustainable materials to carbon offsetting, there are a variety of ways to align your nuptials with environmental values. Read on to kickstart your ideas as you create ways to blend beauty and responsibility in a meaningful celebration!


Ethical and Sustainable Wedding Attire

Consider materials like organic cotton, bamboo, or Tencel when selecting your apparel. Brands specializing in ethical fashion often offer stylish and elegant options. Renting attire is another excellent way to reduce waste, as is choosing a vintage or pre-loved outfit, which can also lend a unique touch to Your Special Day.

 

Digital Invitations

Digital invitations are an increasingly popular and eco-friendly alternative to traditional paper invites, offering a blend of convenience and style. Free or inexpensive online tools are available for creating stunning invitations with a user-friendly maker that allows you to add a personal touch and craft designs that perfectly match your wedding theme. Not only will you save on paper, but digital invites also simplify the process of managing RSVPs and communicating event details with your guests, making them an ideal choice for modern celebrations.

Check out RainbowWeddingNetwork's personalized Wedding Webpages to get started with a simplified way to collect your RSVP's!
https://www.rainbowweddingnetwork.com/registry

 

House Decorations from the Venue

Many wedding venues offer in-house decorations as part of their packages, which can save you both time and resources. Using the venue’s existing décor reduces the need for additional materials, helping you to lessen your event’s environmental footprint. It also brings a distinctive touch to your celebration, as each venue’s decorations are uniquely suited to spotlight their own special features.

 

Green Centerpieces

Instead of opting for cut florals as table centerpieces during your reception, consider houseplants that you can then give away to your guests after the night ends. They’ll have a wonderful keepsake to remember your celebration!  Tag each plant with a quick online link for specific care, especially if the particular plant is unique such as orchids or succulents.

 

Green Transportation

Transportation to and from the venue can be one of the most significant environmental impacts of your wedding. To minimize this, encourage your guests to use eco-friendly transport options. Suggest carpooling, using public transportation, or even riding bikes for those who are local. Offering a shuttle service from a central location can also reduce the number of individual cars needed.

 

Eco-Friendly Gift Registry Items & Carbon Offsetting Through Donations

Traditional gift registries often include items that, while beautiful, functional or extravagant, aren’t necessarily made with sustainability in mind. You can opt for an eco-friendly registry that focuses on items made from renewable or recycled materials. There are countless stylish and practical options:  bamboo cutlery sets, organic and fair trade certified linens or bathrobes, plant-based meal delivery subscriptions, smart (and customized!) water bottles, solar powered charging stations... You can also include the option for guests to donate to your favorite environmental cause.

Your wedding will inevitably produce carbon emissions, from travel to electricity consumption. Taking responsibility for these emissions can be a meaningful way to reduce your wedding’s environmental impact. Donating to carbon offset programs that support renewable energy or reforestation projects will not only offset your wedding’s footprint but also contribute to a more sustainable future.  Providing your guests a way to donate in lieu of gift items is a way to make this an interactive group project!

 

Sustainable Wedding Cake

The wedding cake is another simple -and delectable!- way to incorporate sustainability without sacrificing elegance. Opt for a bakery that specializes in using organic, locally sourced, or vegan  ingredients. Many bakeries also offer options to reduce waste through minimal packaging and eco-friendly decorations, such as edible flowers and fruits as spotlighted decor.

 

Planning an eco-friendly wedding doesn’t mean compromising on style or elegance. Whether it’s your attire, the invitations, decorations, or even the menu, there are plenty of ways to make sustainable choices that reflect both your values and your aesthetics. By incorporating these or similar elements into your wedding plans, you’re not just celebrating your love; you’re also contributing to a healthier planet. Your wedding day will stand as a beautiful example of how sustainability and elegance can harmoniously coexist.

 

Image courtesy:  Pexels

LGBTQ+ Wedding Trends 2024

Many trends for LGBTQ+ weddings are not necessarily changing in 2024: Priorities such as authenticity, customized details, a commitment to personal style, interactivity and a focus on gathering together purposefully: these continue to be at the heart of LGBTQ+ celebrations.

In fact, when reading through general wedding predictions for the New Year, it seems that the hetero- market is just sort-of catching up with regard to the priorities LGBTQ+ couples have deemed important all along. And those are definitely trending for 2024! -Authenticity, tweaking traditions to retain meaningfulness yet add to the personalized touches, interactive experiences, a focus on gratitude. We've compiled a list of some of these, along with several others, to add to your inspiration as you kick off the New Year and look ahead to your own unique and wonderful Wedding Plans. Welcome 2024!!

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While muted, organic tones and even pastels were more popular in 2023... it's anticipated that in 2024 that we'll see a lot more bold, strong color palettes. Earthy tones are still often preferred: greens, browns, yellows, blues.

Wedding Weekends are certainly still trending, with multiple-day parties with varied activities to help everyone celebrate as a group... But as some time has elapsed since the pandemic quarantine, and the resulting urge to gather in large groups, as 2024 commences many couples are looking ahead to an indulgence in more private moments: streamlined guest counts, couples' experiences a day or two prior to the wedding (massages, brunch for 2 before the rehearsal...) Even Mini-Moons are gaining popularity: a short getaway for the newlyweds just after the wedding... with plans in place for the extended Honeymoon to take place a few months (usu. not more than a year) later.

Smaller, more intimate celebrations with fewer guests have often been more prevalent with the LGBTQ+ community, but since covid "micro weddings" have continued to gain even more popularity. Such events lend themselves to more flexibility, a wider variety of experiences for the couple and their guests, and can be more budget-friendly. Intimate Destination Weddings are also trending for 2024: providing the couple and guests with a multi-day celebration that incorporates a variety of experiences, perhaps to a unique destination, and opportunities to connect with one another through extended quality time.

Lots of themed wedding celebrations are anticipated for the New Year, with retro themes topping the list. 'Groovy' is in again! Fashion & decor are not the only concepts included in the nod to the 60's... less-structured ceremonies and receptions are also definitely trending. -More casual readings during the wedding itself, an inclusion of more personal stories, even less formal attire... as well as a less traditional flow during the reception festivities. It's still suggested that you provide guests with a Program of some kind, simply to help them understand and anticipate what's going to happen throughout your event, so they feel at ease in knowing what to expect.

Not sure about a First Dance?? No problem! 2024 is seeing many couples opt for a delayed First Dance, allowing the party to really get rolling before they entertain guests and spike the romance of the evening with their own special twirl around the dance floor. This is sometimes kicked off with a special toast by your DJ, emcee, officiant, parent or lead attendant, to gather everyone and bring full attention to the magical moment.

Eco-conscious weddings have certainly continued to gain momentum, with couples choosing eco-friendly decor as well as transportation options, locally sourced food, and sustainable practices to reduce their environmental impact. Many couples purposefully choose vegan menu options... check out lightly used apparel for themselves and/or their attendants... explore thrift shops for plateware and repurposed decor items (vases, signage, tables, etc)... lean toward dried or silk floral elements and donate live florals to assisted living facilities or spiritual havens... opt to go digital with announcements, invites, photography, and keepsakes... encourage guests to contribute to specific charitable causes in lieu of gifts

One sure benefit of the effects of the pandemic has been our collective willingness to take advantage of virtual gatherings. Couples with distant or elderly friends and family continue to find innovative ways to offer the option for guests to participate in their celebration through live streaming or virtual meeting software. Add to the fun by considering virtual photo booths and digital guest books: these days there are fun props such as vintage-looking telephones that serve as recording devices, for use with your in-person guests!

Interactive food stations and food trucks have become alternatives in recent years, and food trucks or mobile dessert & beverage carts are still anticipated to feature particularly for summertime weddings, but a return to more traditional sit-down meals is definitely gaining interest for 2024. Indulgent dinners, served homestyle, instilling a sense of nostalgia and a cozy vibe, at longer tables that allow more guests to interact with each other, are definitely popular! Specific menu choices of course vary well beyond the traditional, and often include a modern or eco-friendly spin: fusion cuisine, vegetarian fare, locally-sourced items, etc...

That being said, Creative Food and Beverage Options also continue to be popular this year: themed cocktail bars, food and wine pairings, beverage stations such as coffee bars and creative dessert displays such as pretzel walls, fruit pie cascades, candy stations, smoothie bars & gelato carts.

Mix-and-Match Attendant Attire: This has always been popular with LGBTQ+ brides and grooms... and it's still trending! Inviting your attendants to pick out their own apparel, often based on a particular color palette or theme, provides the opportunity for a cohesive yet personalized look. Ideas to keep in mind: Rainbow theme... Rainbow accessories (sneakers, bouttoineires...)... Suspenders... Vests... Varied hues of one base color... Not all couples choose to have attendants, but if you do, inviting them to pick out their own apparel obviously is a nod to encourage everyone's own self-expression, and ensures that they'll all feel comfortable throughout your entire celebration.

Unique Entertainment continues to be popular this year: aerial performers, strolling magicians, caricature artists, strolling violinists, live bands, dance emcees/line dancing, interactive experiences such as audible guest books, artistic keepsake stations or DIY crafting tables, tabletop games, group bingo and other quiz show type fun for all guests to participate in throughout your reception festivities.
More interactive ideas for your Reception: https://www.rainbowweddingnetwork.com/wedding-tips/unique-interactive-reception-ideas

Many LGBTQ+ couples opt for a Theme Wedding and this year is no exception!
Hot ideas for 2024 include:

Vintage/Retro: Transport your guests to a bygone era! Choose a specific decade for inspiration and incorporate era-appropriate decor, fashion, entertainment, artwork and music. Imagine the roaring twenties with an Art Deco or Great Gatsby-inspired wedding, featuring geometric patterns, gold accents, and flapper-style fashion... or the 1950's with vintage rock & roll, poodle skirts & leather jackets. Don't forget jell-o or pineapple upside down cake for dessert! Or enjoy a nod to the 60's by creating a relaxed, boho-chic atmosphere with elements such as dreamcatchers, wildflower bouquets, mismatched seating, and flowing, natural fabrics.

Fairytale: Fulfill your fairytale dreams with a wedding inspired by your favorite storybook or Disney movie. Incorporate castle-like venues, whimsical decor, and a touch of magic.

Garden/Floral: Bring the beauty of nature into your wedding using lush blooms, greenery, and natural accents such as wood, bamboo, moss, stones & wicker furniture.

Vintage Hollywood/Glam: Capture the elegance and glamour of old Hollywood with a black-tie affair, red carpet entrance, and art deco decor. Bring out the celebrity in all your guests: your photobooth props will be so much fun!

Travel/Adventure: Celebrate your love for adventure by incorporating travel-themed elements. Invite guests to dress for their favorite destination, and decorate using vintage suitcases, passport-style invitations, and centerpieces inspired from a variety of favorite locations around the globe. Consider a menu boasting flavors that are popular with different cultures, or fusion cuisine.

Starry Night/Space: Explore the cosmos with a starry night or space-themed wedding. Let your imagination soar with celestial decor, dark blue and metallic color schemes, and constellation motifs.

Tea Party: Host a charming vintage tea party with proper or quaintly mismatched china, pastel colors, fragrant hanging florals and extended tea service. Mix with a Garden Theme and you've got all the elements for a truly delightful affair!

Medieval/Renaissance: Create a medieval or Renaissance-themed wedding with a castle venue, period-appropriate attire, and rustic, candlelit decor.

Carnival/Fair: Bring the excitement of the carnival or fair to your wedding with colorful tents, carnival games, and classic, whimsical food options such as custom-flavored cotton candy and popcorn. Serving options add to the fun! -Popcorn carts, interactive stations (add your own toppings, mix & match flavors), candy or popcorn tin keepsakes

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No matter the current trends or those anticipated for the year ahead... What's important is that you and your fiancee choose whatever it is for Your Special Day that delights you, represents your own beautiful Love Story, and celebrates this exciting chapter in your lives together. Make the most of all your options! CONGRATULATIONS!

 

 

Wedding Tips from the Pros

Planning a Wedding is quite a process, whether your event is two months away or years in the future... And every insight, every tip & trend, is like gold. Read on for a few simple ideas from a variety of wedding pros, to help your planning move along smoothly!


Choosing Your DJ / Emcee:

As most couples realize, choosing music for your reception is an easy way to add ambience to your event... set the atmosphere... and of course bring flavor and vitality to the party you want to create - whether it is a refined and elegant affair with a string quartet in the background, or an all-out midnight til dawn dance extravaganza with multiple DJs and emcees.

Music is also an easy way to spotlight your own style: choosing with care the First Dance song, adding in to the mix all the sappy love songs that are important to you and your partner. And it's also a way to include a nod to your heritage: planning ahead so that your DJ/emcee can announce references to particular selections, such as kicking off the first notes of a favorite polka by mentioning that your family's roots extend to Eastern Europe.

One of our favorite DJs from In The Mix Event Group (based in Eastern PA), when offering a helpful Planning Tip to couples attending one of our LGBTQ+ Wedding Expos, suggested that you make it a priority not only to provide your wedding DJ with a playlist of your favorite tunes, but that you also spend a good deal of time deciding what songs NOT to include in the mix for your reception... and that you make sure your DJ is well aware of that not-to-play-list. Great tip! Those 'what not to do's' can be, in some cases, the important details that make your Wedding Day that much more personalized and fully enjoyable.

Another of our favorite DJs, Jose with L.E.M. Entertainment (based in Union, NJ), offered this simple but important reminder: There are dozens and dozens of DJs in your area to choose from... and most of them are really talented and enthusiastic and capable of handling your fesitivities. But while there are lots of factors to consider when booking your DJ, such as budget, experience, references, etc... one of your top reasons for choosing a particular DJ should be that you find that you connect with them. Not just professionally, but on some kind of personal level. You want them to really 'get you' and understand the vision you have for your reception. That way, you can rest assured that the DJ you hire can effectively read the room throughout your event, adapt as necessary, and keep that rhythm going in a way that helps bring your vision to life.

In The Mix Event Group
www.ITMEventGroup.com

L.E.M. Entertainment
www.LEMEntertainment.com

 

De-Stressing... and Integrating Playfulness:

Planning a wedding, whether your guest list tops 200 or numbers in the teens, is an intense process! Take time, throughout those weeks and months leading up to Your Special Day, to find ways to de-stress... such as remembering the importance of Date Nights, going out with friends, planning time at the spa, trying a new hair style, indulging in a favorite hobby, or simply pampering yourself with a new book or re-read of a treasured old one. Make it a priority to carve out pockets of time when you can really leave all cares about the wedding aside!

Another idea to keep in mind is finding ways during the planning process to include de-stressors and playful interludes...

Getting crafty is ideal for many people, whether just one of you is interested or both of you enjoy that little indulgence together:

*Pick out elegant or festive rubber stamps and ink, and add simple accents to your paper napkins, programs, menus, keepsake borders, photo mattes, or other paper essentials you plan to include in your celebration. Consider a swooping floral pattern (ivy, a draping stem of flower blossoms) at the top corner of your napkin, program or menu. Add a monogram, emblem or themed graphic such as lovebirds, intersecting hearts or dual totems as a central image stamped in to complete your design.

*Create a Unique Customized Wedding Favor: personalized tic tac toe games... Purchase small fabric bags online in bulk: these should be of a color and style that are easy to write on with a fabric pen. If they are imprinted, be sure the message reads something like 'THANKS!' or 'LOVE is FUN' or customize as you like. Also purchase small wooden hearts: you'll need a lot of them! Once the fabric bags arrive, on the back of each one, draw a simple tic tac toe board with a fabric pen. Make it dark enough so it will last and appear at a glance. You'll need ten hearts for each bag: with an indelible marker, write your first initial on five and your partner's first initial on the other five. Or... paint each one: Choose 2 of your ceremony colors and color five in one color such as red, and five in another color such as black. -Make a bag for each of your guests as a takeaway keepsake!
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/593701163353741409/

 

Floral Must-Do's:

Many floral designers today have commented to us here at RainbowWeddingNetwork that one of their suggestions for couples is to tell them frankly.. and perhaps surprisingly... that it's not necessary for them to think about decorating their entire venue with florals. Even tabletop centerpieces for every flat surface are not needed. However, they tell us, couples are encouraged to keep in mind that a floral display of some kind, centrally placed, is definitely worth consideration. This, in the main entrance, or enhancing the couples' table, or polishing a particular interactive area, is important. It brings in the florals, which for many immediately shouts 'Wedding!' and sets the tone they're wishing for... and a central display of this kind provides a Wow! factor that brings the room together. -Usually more than a fabulous centerpiece, this might include a hanging display of some kind, such as the popular floral 'hoops,' along with nostalgic signage or inspirational message along with your wedding date. Check out a variety of photos online for ideas, and definitely discuss with your florist and wedding planner.

*Be realistic, and honest, about your floral budget. Some couples delay making a plan about including florals... and this is not ideal. It's helpful if you can start having conversations about florals (and other decor) early on in your planning process... and when it comes to live florals, you want to be up front about your budget from the get-go. This simply helps your wedding professionals plan accordingly, and pull together successful ideas that you'll love, without having to scale back later on.


Keeping the Guests in Mind...

It's helpful to keep in mind that while Your Special Day is all about the two of you... it is also about your guests. You want to make their time with you throughout your wedding day a wonderful and enjoyable experience... and create ways for them to support the two of you during this momentous occasion.

Remember, they want to CELEBRATE the two of you. Finding opportunities to share with them highlights about your own love story is an engaging way to make your ceremony personalized and meaningful. You can spotlight details about your own love story through your decor, during interactive wedding games, through emcee announcements and music, and more. Ask your wedding designer and other vendors for suggestions! Here are a few to get you started:

*Fun, Nostalgic Reception Table Placecards: Brainstorm with your fiancee about places (cities, streets, locations) that hold fond memories for each of you, or are an important part of your story as a couple. For instance: "Pine Street Bridge - we walked across this special bridge on our trip to New England, and it was in that moment Ben was sure that Alex was "The One!"" Each Table Marker will spotlight a fond memory, serving as a conversation starter and simply a joyful little addition for all the guests who join your celebration. To make the Table Markers, search online for ideas using cardstock pre-cuts, a photo you took either mounted or framed, or simply make use of mini chalkboard signs. These can be an extremely cost-effective way to add one more personalized accent to Your Special Day!

*Unforgettable Mementos: Post a short prompt alongside your Guest Book, inviting guests not only to sign in but also to record a memory about you as a couple... or note the time and place they met each of you... or the moment in which they realized the two of you were meant for each other. It will be a keepsake you'll enjoy time and again throughout the years ahead!

*The Happy Couple's Trivia or Bingo Game: Provide your Emcee with lively questions about the Newlyweds... Add a unique way to keep track of which table comes up with the correct answers (Bingo cards / decorative tally board up on the stage / A/V screen to post ongoing results / decorative chalkboards as part of each table's centerpiece ...) There are endless variations to this idea but it's an upbeat, casual way to get all your guests involved, and to let them in on some of the lesser known details about you and your partner and your relationship: "Where did we meet for the first time?..." "What are our middle names? Astrological Signs? What will our last name be now that we're married?..." "Where did we go on our first date?..." "Who proposed?..." Games like this are often thought of for Engagement Parties, but they're a fit for many couples' Receptions as well!

*Consider varied centerpieces to spotlight your diverse interests or goals as a couple - Love Travel, Cooking and Classic Movies? Take time throughout the months leading up to your wedding to indulge in retail therapy, and make it a fun scavenger hunt! Seek out various items that match your hobbies and build unique centerpieces to make each table at your reception different and interesting. (Remember, no need to buy new: thrift stores are a fabulous option too!) Travel books, a small globe, a map, faux passports, decoratives such as the Eiffel Tower or a flag of your favorite country, a mini-basket filled with little beach balls and sunny colored "towels..." Cooking books,a canister set as vases (filled of course with florals mixed with kitchen utensils), doilies or stacked kitchen towels, a crystal bowl of sugar cubes... Film reels, a tower of DVDs, mini movie posters on easels or in a frame, an autograph book set for all guests to sign in their most flamboyant style... With each of your hobbies you can easily find fun ways to incorporate trinkets or keepsake items for your guests to take home with them, that match your decor! (Don't forget to check out dollhouse accessories for some unique options, if you need a few extras - everything from tiny kitchenware to seasonal accents)

 

Final Thoughts:

One of our favorite photographers, Danielle Richards (based in Teaneck, NJ), recently exhibited at two of our signature LGBTQ+ Wedding Expos, and wisely reminded our attending couples of the following:

Remember, the most intense part of your wedding should be the planning process... It should be the effort and research you put in to choosing which wedding pros to hire. After all that is done, try your best to relax in to the enjoyment of it all. TRUST the vendors you have taken such care to book, and allow them to work their magic without trying to micro-manage. Not every detail will go to plan on Your Special Day, but that won't matter. Seriously, it really won't! What matters is that you have found each other, and you've made it to this amazing day to celebrate your love. Let that joyful notion carry you. -CONGRATULATIONS!!


Danielle Richards Photography
www.DanielleRichards.com