Pros and Cons of Being Married in Each Season

Before you go picking your venue, wedding gown, bridesmaid dresses, and decorations, you and your fiancé need to pick a date.  It’s not always that easy of a decision.  Weddings and traditions have been changing so much over the past couple years that what was thought to be crazy before, is now becoming expected!   You could come up with so many creative themes to fit either season. Below are some pros and cons of each season to consider before

 

Winter:  (Dec. Jan. Feb.)

PROS:  The winter months tend to be a lot cheaper than the rest of the year because these months are in less demand; therefore, it is easier finding wedding vendors like photographers, videographers, and DJ. The vendor’s prices will also be a lot less then in peak months.  Many venues have beautiful fireplaces but would be inappropriate to light up doing summer or other hot months.  Winter couples can fully benefit from the cozy décor such as fireplaces, candles, and the whole winter wonderland theme! Winter itself has a very romantic feel, so why not bring some of that wintery charm into your venue!  Your photographer will snap stunning pictures with the wintery scene as a backdrop. You can also take advantage of shorter days, which means you can hold your ceremony and reception earlier in the day and party longer into the night.

CONS: The main con of winter season is the bad traveling conditions. The awful weather conditions could affect driving time, flights could be delayed or canceled, or worse; your wedding might have to be canceled.  Because of the weather, you might not be able to get the exact flowers you want.  An obvious con is staying warm can be tricky.  You, your fiancé, the whole bridal party, and guests want to get dressed up, and that normally doesn’t include bulky coats, scarves, hats, and gloves.  Even worse, if your venue doesn’t offer a complementary coat check, it’ll be extra costs for you. Something else to keep in mind is all the holiday chaos surrounding your potential date.

Spring: (March, April, May) 

PROS:  These months have the ideal temperatures, depending slightly on where you live.  You have your choice from an inside venue or an outdoor space.  You also have many more options to choose from for floral arrangements.  The chef will be able to prepare a wider variety of fresh vegetables and fruit for your dinner courses. Almost any theme fits into this time of year without feeling out of place.

CONS: These months are huge allergy times for most people, so you might want to offer your guests some tissues, especially if any part of your wedding is going to be outside.  May is one of the peak months which mean peak price.  The weather, especially if you live in New Jersey, is still very unpredictable.  In March, one day it could be snowing, and the next day it could be 75 degree outside. So if you do decide to do tie the knot during this month, it’s best to have some back up plans if any part of your day is outside.

Summer:  (June, July, Aug)

PROS:  During the summer months, again, depending on where you live, the weather is a lot more predictable and traveling is easier for your guests. You can be more confident in holding an outdoor wedding without stressing too much about a backup plan.  These tend to be the calmest months for people with busy schedules compared to the rest of the year so finding availability for guests should be easier.  Unlike the winter months, the selections of flowers for floral arrangements are much larger during this season. You’re able to incorporate your colors and your favorite flowers more so now than any other time during the year.  You also have your choice between inside or outside venue spaces.

CONS:  June is part of wedding peak season so weddings are common and vendors will book up very quickly.  If you’ve decided on a peak season wedding, its best to reserve your venue at least a year or more in advance, especially if you want a Saturday.  If you are planning on doing an outdoor wedding, make sure you set room in your budget for a tent to give your guests some shade from the hot sun.  If you have a lot of guests traveling far distances and need to stay a night or two, hotel rates tend to be higher because most people do they’re traveling during the summertime.

Fall: (Sept. Oct. Nov)

PROS: Fall is a beautiful time to get married because of all the changing leaves, beautiful colors, and weather.  You and your photographer can create some stunning pictures during this time of year.  You are still able to have your choice of an indoor or outdoor wedding.

CONS:  September and October are peak wedding season months so prices will be on the higher side for most venues and vendors.  Your guests’ availability might be shorter because everyone is going back to school and work.  They probably used a chunk of their vacation days during summer and are low on cash so if you do plan on having a fall wedding make sure you give guests a little extra notice so they can plan and save.

 

As you can see, the season you choice all depends on your own particular taste, your vision for the wedding, and your budget. Happy wedding planning!

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

To Money Dance, or Not to Money Dance

First off, what is a money dance?  The money dance is an event that occurs during the wedding reception; male guests pay to dance with the bride briefly and female guests pay to dance with the groom briefly. The amount of $1 is usually given, but could be more if the guest chooses. This brief dance time allows for one on one time to congratulate and chat with the newly married couple.   Certain details vary culture to culture but the main concept is the same.  This tradition began to help the bride and groom pay for their honeymoon, wedding, future home, or first born.  In the United State, guests normally pin the money to the bride’s gown or veil or the maid of honor will hold an apron to collect.  The best man joins in by offering shots of whiskey to participants.
 
Some couples place a small bowl on each table for guests to leave cash or checks so guests won’t feel obligated to ‘pay’ for face time with the bride or groom.  For those of you that aren’t big on the money aspect of it, there are many different alternatives to this tradition.  Exchanging play money or chewing gum for that brief dance time is a fun alternative.  You could also have a ‘couples dance’ and have everyone switch partners every 15 seconds or so, providing a great way for the newlyweds to mingle. You could do an opposite money dance and instead of receiving money, hand out tiny gifts of appreciation to your guests as they come dance with you.
 
Pros:
– It gives the newlyweds an opportunity to make a little extra money to pay for the honeymoon or the wedding.
– It’s another chance for the newlyweds to dance and talk with guests.
– Ability to add in an extra slow song or two where otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to
 
Cons:
– You don’t want your guests to feel obligated to spend money.  They’ve already spent money on the shower and wedding gifts, traveling, and outfit expenses.  It’s important to make it clear that the money dance is optional.
– Sometimes guests use opportunities like this to sneak out and call it a night.  I recommend keeping your dance to a 10 minute minimum so you don’t loss too many of your guests or bore the ones that don’t participate.
– Many etiquette experts do consider this tradition tacky and recommend against it
 
A money cake jar is similar to the money dance but with no dancing. Set up near the cake table are two jars, each labeled with the bride and grooms name.  Guests put money in the jar of the face they wish to see smashed with cake.  Before the cake cutting ceremony begins, the amounts are totaled, and the jar with the highest amount gets a face full of cake!  This is a fun alternative for the couples that don’t like to dance and a cute way to get guests involved.
 
So if you’re torn between whether to hold a money dance or not, those are the main points you should consider.  If it’s a tradition that your family’s use to; then go for it!  If this is something new to your family, then ask some close family member opinions. Your wedding is your special day and its details like these that personalize the wedding.

 
 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

Matching VS Mismatching Bridesmaid Dresses

So, you’re finally engaged! You’ve been on cloud nine imagining the new chapter in your life you’re about to start with your sweetheart and then the wedding planning hits you. Your stress level during planning all depends on how large your wedding will be, how much you’re going to plan by yourself, and how many different personality types you have in your family and now newly extended family.
 
One of the most difficult decisions you will have to make is the bridesmaid dresses! Not only are you choosing for yourself, but you’re choosing for multiple women!
 
Every woman is built differently and we each have our own insecurities, which can add headache and drama into a bridesmaid dress fitting. There are two different roads you can go down which completely depends on your taste and vision for your big day.
 
Matching:
 
Traditionally, brides would choose the color that fits their wedding theme, fabric, and which dress style; long or short, strapless or straps, loose fitting or form fitting. Unless you’re the lucky bride that knows exactly what she wants and has family and friends that have the same taste, choosing the perfect bridesmaid dress can be a tad difficult.
 
Your main challenge will be to find a style that flatters most of your bridesmaid’s taste and body types. Princess skirts, empire waists or A-line are the styles that flatter most body types. You will want to find a dress that complements the rest of your wedding and has the same ‘feel’ as your wedding dress without being too similar. Be a good friend and don’t choose anything too outrageous or else your bridesmaids will feel uncomfortable. After all, they’ll most likely be covering the cost themselves.
 
Definitely hear out all your bridesmaids’ suggestions and thoughts but don’t forget it is your special day. If you choose darker hues, they usually look the best on almost every bridesmaid and give a more formal feel. These dresses can usually be worn to other formal events in the future much easier than other styles.
 
Mismatching:
 
Mismatching bridesmaid dresses are becoming more and more popular. This idea gives the bridesmaids a little bit more say. The obvious perk of this is that there’s less fighting about the style, which will allow all the bridesmaids to be more comfortable. This will add another nice touch of personalization to your wedding.
 
By picking their dress color and fabric, but allowing them to choose the cut and style, you ensure the dress flatters your bridesmaids and that they will be comfortable. You could go further than just picking a color and pick shades of a certain color. For example, if the Bride chooses pink for the bridesmaid dress, each bridesmaid could wear a different shade of pink. Once lined up, it will give a nice Ombre effect which will be a unique touch to photographs and the wedding itself. If you’re having a spring, fall, or beach wedding, choosing pastel colored dresses is another idea; they’re all the same shade but different colors. If it fits your theme, bright colors tend to be a bit more flattering, so don’t be afraid of the reds, oranges, greens, yellows, purples; whichever ones fit your theme and time of year.
 
There are many ways for the bride to make this their own. If you’re stuck between the two of all matching or mismatching, you could pick one dress color and style and allow your bridesmaids to pick a shoe style. This one works best if you’re having a short bridesmaid dress of course and can see the shoe. This gives the tiny detail of mismatching while still matching.
 
There are so many different ways either can be pulled off. Whichever you decide to do, it will add to the beauty of your special day!
 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

Valentines Day Proposals Dos and Don’ts

Roses, hearts, flowers, love notes, cupid…You guessed it, Its Valentine’s Day!

If you are planning a Valentine’s Day proposal, or sometime soon, here are some dos and don’ts to help you plan your day.

Do:
– Surprise her! She might be hinting, but don’t give her a reason to guess. The best told story is one that they never saw coming
– Personalize the moment. Sure, romantic movies give guys loads of ideas for proposals but chances are, your sweetheart has seen a lot of them. Use bits and pieces from others but make sure yours has something unique about it.
– Relive a first date or a special moment. Take her to the spot where you first said ‘I Love You’, the place where you two met, or go to that cute coffee café you two had your first date.
– Keep some classic elements in your proposal. Whether it’s giving her a dozen roses (108 Roses are the amount that experts say means Marry Me), or have a special song playing in the background.
– Consider documenting the proposal. You can hire photographers or videographers to hide near your proposal spot and capture the moment.

Don’t:
– Don’t hide the ring in food. It should explain itself. Among a lot of things that could go wrong, you don’t want your future fiancé to swallow something worth a couple thousand dollars
– Don’t be afraid to be emotional. Your loved one wants to see you pure your heart out in the moment, so don’t hold back.
– Don’t propose in a drastic way. By drastic I mean faking your own death, faking injury, or anything similar. Make it pleasant, not scary.
– Don’t propose unless you’re absolutely confident. A lot of pressure can be put on you to propose on this holiday from your women, family, friends, or media but only you and your sweetheart combined know when the perfect time is.

But above all, personalize it and make it one BOTH of you will remember.
And CONGRATULATIONS!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

Valentine’s Day

LET LOVE SHINE ON VALENTINES DAY!
Roses, Romance, and Proposals!

Valentine’s Day is one of the most common holidays for couples to get engaged on. From simple and romantic proposals, to wild and extravagant, it’ll be your very own special memory!

There are many versions of where the Valentine’s Day holiday came from, but the most common version dates back long ago when the Roman Empire forbade their soldiers to marry during wartime because it was thought that single soldiers performed better. Saint Valentine of Rome went against the Roman Empire and was imprisoned for performing weddings for those soldiers. On the last day of his life, February 14th, St. Valentine wrote a letter to his sweetheart and signed it ‘From your Valentine’

Some fun Valentine’s Day facts:
-The average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year is 220,000!
-Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare’s famous story of Romeo and Juliet took place. still receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet on Valentine’s Day.
-More than 189 million stems of roses are sold in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day and over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased
-If you though $75 for a dozen roses in the US was expensive, check out these prices!
—- A dozen roses are sold in Bangkok at the rate of $487 and for one rose its $45
—- In Hong Kong it is $205 for a dozen
—- In Singapore it is $148 for a dozen
—- In London it’s UK $96 for a dozen
—- In Africa it’s $90 for a dozen
-More than 9 million pet owners will get their furry friends a gift on Valentine’s Day

So whether This Valentine’s Day is the day you get engaged or not, make sure you spend it with the person you love!

But please, if you ARE proposing, do us all a favor and don’t attempt to hide the ring in the chocolate, it most likely won’t turn out how you planned.

null

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

WHAT TIME WILL I MARRY?

In February we discussed whether or not the fate of your marriage is reflected by the month you marry. We have also discussed the most popular times of the year to marry and what day is best. So, that leaves us with… how do we choose the best time of the day to marry?

Thinking Brunch

Brunch is great but there is a reason why it is called brunch and not breakfast! So not before 10 am. Remember you may have guests traveling a distance.

Suggested time

  • 10:30 am or 11:00 am

Feel Like a Pre-game Cocktail Hour and Dinner Reception?

Think about starting between 4 pm and 6 pm.  If you are hungry so are your guests.

We want our guests happy and full of fun so please do not start after 8 pm.  Hungry and cranking guests equal NO FUN!

Suggested time

  • Between 4 pm and 6 pm

Outdoor Wedding

Try to start after 2 pm. The hottest part of the day is between 10-2.  We like our guests just right not over cooked.

Suggested time:

  • Ceremony only outside between 4 pm and 7 pm
  • Outside Ceremony and Reception try to start by 3 pm

Friday Evening…

Due to different work schedules you may want to have a cocktail reception or a dessert reception. Cocktail reception is strictly hors d’oeuvres and lite fare stations and of course drinks.  Most of your guests will eat something before they attend.

Dessert and champagne Reception is strictly dessert and drinks. Of course this does not have to be a Friday evening, hold your ceremony early Saturday on the beach and meet again at dust for cake and champagne waterside.

Suggested time:

  • Friday evening with ceremony and dinner starting 6 pm or 6:30 pm
  • Friday evening cocktails and lite fare 7 pm to 9 pm
  • Champagne and Dessert 7 pm to 9 pm

Of course, this is your day so ultimately you decide and your guests will be there!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

HOME FRONT HONEYMOONS!

No passport required!  Find the honeymoon of your dreams in your own backyard, sort of…

If the thought of honeymooning in another county is creating a lot of stress, don’t panic.  The United States has a lot to offer and the best part is no passport required… no arriving at the airport 3 hours early, no worries about applying for a name change for your [passport. After you say I DO, escape to one of the top 5 honeymoon destinations, right here in the USA.

Looking for a little old-fashioned romance, visit Bar Harbor, Maine.  Stay at the Bar Harbor Inn, oceanfront hotel and tour Acadia National Park.  From biking, fishing, hiking, swimming to enjoying the majestic coast, Bar Harbor offers romance, adventure and some of the best fresh seafood around.

Craving a little island getaway?  Visit St. John or St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.  Love City also known as St. John is a tiny island and home to one of the top ten beaches in the world. Love City is one of the best kept secrets!  Stay at Magens Point Resort in St Thomas; enjoy golfing, swimming and fine dinning.  The islands are a tropical getaway without the stress and expensive price tag!

Whether you marry in the Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, Lake Tahoe, NV is full of fun and adventure anytime of the year.  Cuddle up in a warm, cozy cabin looking out at the snow capped mountains, or sip your Pina Colada lake side.  Skiing in Squaw Valley or paddle wheeling across the lake in the winter or kayaking and beach volleyball in the summer, Tahoe has it all.

Are you a foodie and wine lover?  Napa Valley is the place for you.  Gorgeous weather, amazing views, fine dining and miles of remarkable wineries, you will enjoy your romantic stay in Cali! Stay at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa and do not leave with riding the Napa valley Wine train or taking a romantic balloon ride overlooking the orchards.

Enjoy a little US history and reminisce on the past.  Sun bathe on the 2nd most romantic beach in America, Kiawah Island.  Start your day of with a round of golf; appreciate the unique barrier island, as the island has evolved to be environmentally sound, very little commercial development, and watch as the alligators, sea turtles and bobcats go about their business.  Once again, biking, hiking, sailing, surfing, and fishing; it is all right there waiting for you!

Other destinations in the USA to consider are New Orleans, Cape Cod and Hawaii.  Where are you going?  Let us know.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

CONGRATULATIONS, JEN & DENNIS!

Family and friends gathered garden side for the Celebration and Blessing of the marriage between Jen and Dennis.  Mr. and Mrs. Rosenbaum danced the night away leaving their footprints in the sand.  Congratulations!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

BEST WISHES, SARAH & CHRIS!

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Schoenhart!  It was a beautiful day for two people in love to unite as one.  Sarah and Chris, we wish you a life of good luck, good fortune and love!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

NEWLY RENOVATED: THE CASTLE YACHT CLUB

Waterside Weddings at their Best

The Castle Yacht Club opened their doors once again and  welcomed the first Bride and Groom on March 17, 2012.  The day could not have been more perfect for the outdoor garden ceremony and the evening dancing waterside.  The venue is stunning and filled with excitement from the newly engaged couples taking tours, right down to the staff.

This is a must see venue! The view is breathe taking!  See for yourself and schedule your tour today.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email