List of wedding ceremony participants

Brides, Grooms, Uncategorized, Weddings

Say Cheese!

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The Picture Dilemma

 
 The Problem: It’s the middle of July. You have been waiting for 45 minutes and now you are finishing the last of the roasted chicken and green beans. You sit in a hot, crowded room with 130 other wedding guests waiting for one of your best friends and her husband to finally finish the pictures and walk through the door. While this scenario is annoying, it can be avoided.
 
The Plan: Many engaged couples are planning their pictures before the ceremony; this cuts down on the wait time after the ceremony ends. Your guests have come to spend this special day with you; don’t make them wait forever to congratulate you.
 
If you are planning on having a meal at your wedding, this is an option you might want to consider. You have spent so much time and money preparing for this special day. Take time and enjoy it!

Weddings

Changing Times

Bride and her parents

Many of the traditions that we follow in weddings today have their origins in Elizabethan or Renaissance eras.  It is no wonder that some changes have occurred.

  • VOWS - the phrase "Honor and Obey" has been replaced with various alternatives that reflect equality in the relationship.

  • BRIDAL ESCORTS - More and more brides and couples are having both parents escort them down the aisle.  In some ceremonies, the groom comes down the aisle with both his mother and father, followed by the bride on the arms of both of her parents.  This honors both parents and recognizes each of their roles in preparing their sons/daughters for this day.  In fact, if the bride's father is not available or this is a second marriage, a bride may choose to walk down the aisle alone or she may choose anyone to escort her.  A sibling, her mother, her grandfather, , her son or a friend may do the honors.

  • PARENTAL ROLES - Parents are no longer limited to escort duty.  Many grooms are choosing their father to be the best man and brides are asking mom to be the matron of honor.
  • RECEIVING LINES - These may still be a part of a very formal wedding where the ceremony and reception are at different venues, but for smaller weddings with the same site for ceremony and reception, more and more couples are foregoing the receiving line and instead making it a point to acknowledge and thank each guest at his/her table throughout the evening.

We know how to help your wedding uniquely yours or tie it comfortably to tradition.

~ Best

Laura

Weddings

Honoring Family Members

Candle Memory

We find that brides often wish to honor a deceased family member by including that person's name on the wedding invitation.  While the intention is good, this is not the way to do it.  There are other more appropriate ways to honor the deceased one's memory ~ either privately or publicly. To honor a deceased mother, an usher can place a white rose on the pew at the moment the deceased would have been seated.  During the ceremony, a song can be dedicated to the deceased or the person's favorite hymn sung and commemoration noted in the program.

Deceased siblings or grandparents can be honored during the candle ceremony by lighting an additional candle in their honor.

Rosemary stands for remembrance so a sprig of rosemary could be included in the bridal bouquet or attendant's bouquets.  Bouquets could also contain the family member's favorite flower.  You may also add charms onto your bouquet of deceased family members photos.

A contribution to the deceased's favorite charity in their name is a nice way to honor someone you love.  Make note of the contribution on your wedding program.

If you would like more creative and innovative ideas ~ please contact us.  We can help you with more ideas on how to include the memory of your loves one in your wedding ceremony.

~Best,

Laura

Weddings

Jon and Lauren ~ Real Wedding

"Jonathan and Lauren's story began a little over 11 years ago.  Details aside, their love for one another definitely forced the hands of fate.  They realized that life seemed perfect with the other in it, and their love for one another was unstoppable." I met this couple for the first time and knew that this wedding would be off the charts!  The ceremony and reception was held at The Prairie Street Brewhouse in Rockford, Illinois.   When planning the ceremony they wanted to do something non-traditional so they wrote their own vows which included a "Beer Ceremony" instead of a traditional unity candle.  They wanted the largest dance floor they could have and planned to be on it all night long.  With that said ~ that is what exactly happened!  What a transformation we made.  The original color palette started with a pale yellow and gray with a little bit of the vintage look.  Halfway through our meetings the colors came alive and below is what we ended up with.  Such a whimsical and fun look!  The day called for rain in the forecast but all that we ended up with were some pretty blustery winds!!

These two were such a fun couple!  Always having new ideas and incorporating them through the whole planning process.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

 

Wedding Planning and Coordination Services:  Accent on Events

Photography:  Heirlooms by Stephanie

Venue:  Prairie Street Brewhouse ~ Rockford, IL

DJ and Lighting Services:  Luxe Productions

Florist:  Event Floral

Specialty Linens:  Beautiful Day Linens

Cake:  Sweet Pans Shoppe

Officiant:   Ryan Krause ~ Elegant Wedding Services

Catering:  Famous Dave's

 

Best ~ Laura

Weddings

Wedding Themes and Trends

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While is is fun to get ideas from these themes, what matters most is that the bride and groom have a wedding which is true to their vision.  The theme that the couple selects should have some personal relevance and meaning to them as a couple.  Why bother with a theme?  It provides a sense of community to all decisions made about the wedding - from the gowns to the lowers to the reception venue and the foods chosen. Decisions are so much easier once the theme for the wedding is established.  Whether it is a color or a location or a time period or event, the focus is there to insure that this life changing celebration is memorable for participants and guests alike.

  • History lovers may wish to be married in the "Roaring Twenties" of F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Art Deco can be the design focus.  Jazz was king and flappers wore short gowns and bling was everywhere.

  • World travelers  - or - dreamers will find a wonderful theme in exotic locations.  Tropical isles, far Eastern spots or Scottish highlands all provide a structure for food, decor, dress or paper products.

  • Bright colors against neutral backgrounds can be very effective.  Instead of carrying out a color theme in the brides maids dresses, have them in a basic shade like platinum and carry out the color theme in the flowers and reception decor.

  • The ceremony and/or reception location can provide the theme for a wedding.  If a museum is chose as the venue, art and sculpture become the theme.  If a garden or beach or ranch is chosen as the site, the theme becomes clear.

  • Medieval accents combines with fairy tail touches work well in historic buildings or modern redos which retain the original stone walls and structures.

If you are confused about how to execute a themed wedding or want to avoid overdoing it ~ Contact us!!  We know weddings!!

 

Best ~ Laura

Brides

Musts for the Bride-to-Be ~ It's Engagement Season!

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As engagement season starts and weddings are starting to be planned at the expense of other aspects of your life, take the advice I give you and Practice Self Care. Do whatever you need to do to unwind, relax and sleep well.  Take your vitamins, get healthy exercise and find emotional outlets for the stress you are under.   You need to be strong, healthy and resilient.

Get and Stay Organized ~ start early and document every decision around your special day

Set a Budget and Stick To It ~ Sit down together with your fiance and agree on priorities

Remember to Be Grateful For All That You Have and All That Others Are Doing For You ~ Don't forget to thank everyone.   ~ This is your wedding - not a copy of someone else's.

Let Go of Bridal Guilt ~ No one can make everyone happy all the time.  Worrying about it takes up far more time and energy than is deserved

 

Best ~

Laura

Weddings

Tips from a Planner

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We know that is takes a happy combination of events and planning to produce a "perfect" wedding.  here are a few tips from Accent on Events ~ Certified Wedding Specialist. If you are concerned about a guest list that has gotten out of hand and is too long for your taste or budget, assemble an unedited list of names (potential guests) and ask everyone involved to rank the names from most to least important.  Count up the "most important" names and see what the list looks like.  If it is close to budget, thank everyone and settle the list.  If the numbers are still off, then ask people to cut a designated percentage from their lists.  Take stock of the new total and see if the process needs to be repeated.

Don't even consider sending invitations to an "A" list of guests, only to invite someone from a "B" list when someone from the first list declines.

To determine the size of the site you'll need for your reception, be sure to investigate the parking facilities and the rest rooms as well as the since of the reception room(s).  The rule of thumb for toilets is that there should be at least one for every 25 guests.  The parking lot should accommodate one parking space for every two guests.

Always have at least one attendant assigned to your gift table at your reception (this is something that we will do for you) even if you are not planning to open and display the gifts there.  Money and gifts should be kept in special receptacles and secured.  Many weddings hire special security for the reception to keep an eye on the gifts and to assist in their proper transport after the celebration is over.

If your parents and stepparents are contributing money for your reception, it is much better to pool the money in advance.  Then no contributor will demand to take control of how the money is spent.  If someone feels strongly about "sponsoring" a particular wedding expense, it is far better to know that up front and working with that person to accommodate preferences.

For more helpful advice, call or email us, as we have answers to the most perplexing situations.

Weddings

The Bride's Mother

Mother and Bride

The Mother of the bride has a very special place in the wedding planning process.  The special role is there whether or not she chooses to accept it.  For some, it is truly a "Mission Impossible".  For others it is the role of a lifetime.  But what is important is that she is included.

With families frequently separated by miles, jobs, schools or military service, the parental roles have changed but what has not changed is the importance of including mom in the planning process whenever possible.  Remember to include mothers who feel left out of the plans.

What can you do?  It's great to involve the groom in the plans but don't forget mom.  She can make wonderful suggestions - so ask her opinion and advice.  Chances are excellent that she has more experience in dealing with things like receptions, parties, caterers and florists than has the bride.

Most bridal fashion stores would counsel a bride to bring only one person with her to select her gown.  That person could/should be mom.  Today's tendency to bring the entire wedding party and solicit each of their opinions on THE GOWN, generally is not a productive event.  Who knows you and your tastes and dreams better than MOM?

She is also a good person to have along when you choose wedding accessories and gifts for your attendants.  After all, she has known you for a long time.

She is the perfect person to take charge of the master guest list.  She can eliminate duplicates, help make decisions on the final list and gather the addresses.

Seek advice on, or let her plan the seating arrangements for the reception.  She'll be the one who knows who should sit with whom and who shouldn't be at the same table.

Among all your friends, she'll be the best at helping you put things in perspective when you feel overwhelmed by it all.  That's what mom's do!

Weddings

Illinois Meets Texas

It was May 1, 2012 when I received a phone call from Penny saying that she needed assistance with planning her wedding.  After meeting with 3 different wedding planners, she explained her situation and what she needed.  I knew that I could meet her expectations and create wedding that she had always dreamed of. After my initial meeting with Penny we clicked!!  I knew that this would be more than just a client relationship ~ that we would actually form a friendship for years to come.  My first encounter with her Fiancé Drew was just as great ~ he has the same sense of humor that I do and enjoyed watching the two of them together.  We all had so many laughs together!

Now coming from the City Girl – I knew nothing about ranches and horses, but learning about everything was fascinating.  The wedding was August 4, 2012 on the Perks Ranch in Rockford, Illinois.  This was definitely a wedding that I couldn’t have done without the professional vendors that we used.  As always I was watching the weather the evening before all hours of the night.  The morning of the 4th the decision was made to move the entire reception into the arena.  We worked hard but we got it done.  This was a wise decision because we had a downpour with 70 mile per hour winds at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon just as the ceremony was about to begin.  The weather cleared up and it was a joyous evening for all who attended.

Here is a story that is so fitting for this perfect couple:

Where Illinois meets Texas ~ They were introduced while working horses in Texas and the rest is history

Photography: Ryan Davis Photography

Save the Dates: Printers Specialty Services, Inc.

Florist: Stems Floral and More

Lighting, Music and Sound:  Luxe Productions

Linens and Draping: Beautiful Day Linens

Aisle Runner:  Buttercup Runways

Catering:  Powerhouse BBQ of Oregon and Giovanni’s Restaurant Rockford

Cake: Patricia’s Patisserie

Bride’s Dress: Mahin’s of Monroe

Bridesmaids Dresses: Sara Grace and Co.

Hair and Make up:  Arch Apothecary

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Sturtevant’s

Live Music:  Brandon Rhyder

Gift Registries

Gifts to Remember

Wine Glasses

 

 

Selecting locations for the gift registries for one's wedding is important and fun.  For your guest's sake, it is wise to select at least three different resources.  Your purpose is to give guests a variety of options and price ranges when it comes time to select your gift.  To that end, experts recommend that you choose at a minimum, one "high-end" store, one moderate/lower priced retailer and perhaps one "non traditional" resource like a charity.  Idofoundation.org is a good place to start as it can help you register for donations to a variety of charities.

As you peruse items for your gift choices, most consultants would remind you to expand your vision of gifts to include items beyond the "usual".  Many couples end up realizing that they have the best equipped kitchen in town, but have no bedroom furnishings.  Seek input and advice from family and friends before you sit down together to develop your list of preferences.  Their ideas may help you to include items that would be helpful that you would never have considered.

REAL SIMPLE magazine asked brides to identify items for the "Things I Wished I'd Registered For" list they were compiling.  Here are some items that made the list:

  • Extra Wine Glasses
  • Oven to table bake ware - one or two casseroles that can go to parties and events and look good.
  • Fine China - too many couples are selecting only something practical to use now.  Brides miss having some fine china to use for special occasions and to "pass on".
  • Bar B Q Grill
  • Art pieces for home decor (consider including an art gallery in your list of registry locations)
  • A cordless drill
  • Decorative pillows and throws for a living room - a quick and effective way to add dash
  • Christmas decorations - something special and classic that the couple could bring out each year
  • Outdoor gear and equipment like Coleman stoves, backyard hammocks or lawn chairs

For more help with your gift registry, please do not hesitate to contact us.  With our experience we can be sure to assist you.

Weddings

Alternate Sites

Outdoor Reception

When a bride asks about ideas for a non traditional wedding site, before we offer suggestions, we ask how flexible she is.  Planning a wedding at an outdoor site requires arranging two sites.  One is the prime location and the other is an alternate.  The weather has been known to ruin many original plans. Don't let that discourage you from having the wedding you want, but do have backup plans in place. An outdoor site can be a perfect spot for those of different religious faiths.  It is a perfect choice for couples who love the outdoors or have families with extensive gardens or grounds.  Often outdoor sites are less expensive than closed venues.

The intimate setting of a chapel, beach, park or backyard offers the freedom to add personal touches to the ceremony.  The location will set the theme for your wedding celebration and once selected make many subsequent choices easier.  Canopies, tents and gazebos may be rented and needed.

Once you have secured Plan A and Plan B. other plans and decisions will flow more easily.  Decorations, food, refreshments, entertainment and guest list will all be governed by the location decisions you have made.

It is good to have another viewpoint and advice on the unusual celebration that you have in mind.  Give me a call at 815-979-7214 or email at Laura@accentonevents.com

 

Weddings

Centerpiece Choices

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Seen at current weddings - a variety of centerpiece options which complement the theme of the wedding and/or reflect the couple's search for "something unique"! For fans of the traditional floral arrangements, there is the assurance that given the right color combo and size, guests will feel right at home with the idea of flowers on the table that complete the look of elegant special occasions.  Flowers work beautifully as long as the arrangements are either low enough (under 12-14 inches) or high enough (at least 30 inches) so that guests can converse across the table - or at least see each other.  Formal arrangements in glass or silver containers send one message, while daisies or sunflowers in canning jars send another.

With the changing view of wedding cakes, many brides are opting to make dessert the centerpiece of guest tables.  Cupcake trees, lollipop cakes, cookie and dessert bar assortments and miniature versions of the bridal cake make perfect centerpiece options.

Guest favors artfully arranged on glass trays work well when accompanied by thank you notes from the bride and groom.

Candles of varying height and shape arranged on mirrors make a wonderful centerpiece for each table and their accumulated impact is wonderful.  However, be sure to check the reception venue's heating and cooling system.  If a lot of air is going to be blowing over the tables, your candles won't last long.  If your reception is in a tented area, think about LED tapers that look almost real.

Some brides have made the wine being served with dinner an integral part of the centerpiece.  With some greenery and/or wrapped cheese miniatures the different bottles make an intriguing focal point.

Collect a variety of glass serving pieces and fill them with beverages (or water) the theme color of the wedding.

Photos of the bride and groom as children framed and grouped in the center of the table, work well as centerpieces and conversation starters.

For more good ideas, give me a call at 815.979.7214 or email me at Laura@accentonevents.com

Weddings

Contemporary Traditional

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DO these two terms seem contradictory?  At one time they may have, but more and more couples are looking for ways to place their personal stamp on their wedding plans.  The term “unique” is heard more and more as brides search for ways to make their weddings memorable for them and their guests.

We have a lot of ideas on how to do just that so contact us about ways to personalize your wedding ceremony and reception.

  • Consider replacing the traditional bachelor or bachelorette party with a get together that combines both events.  Consider a hike, beach party, bike ride, cook-out, softball game or evening out at a skating rink or bowling alley.
  • Rather than hold the rehearsal dinner at a typical restaurant’s party room, book an art museum, a university facility, a park or a historical building to serve as a special setting for your event.
  • Supplement your florist’s handiwork and creative reception décor with native wild flowers, leaves, twigs, fruits and herbs from a local grower or farmer’s market.
  • Some brides have decided to let their bridesmaids select their own gowns based on a color scheme and degree of formality.  This works well when you admire their taste in clothes.  It is wise to get some guidelines – degree of coverage desired, tailored or fluffy, plain or elaborate, length, etc.  But within those parameters, maids, can choose their own wearable outfits.  Many bridal salons have several designers who can work to truly individualize a bridesmaid’s gown within the “look” of the wedding.
  • If you have a unique reception venue chosen consider hiring a local chef you admire or a culinary school to put a special spin on your reception menu.  Think about including family food traditions that may be important to both the bride and groom.  If you can’t afford a sit down dinner, there is nothing wrong with having a desert reception or a small plate limited cocktail reception and wedding cake.

Brides

Some Planning Tips

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As one wedding planner put it, “Just because you have planned something, doesn’t mean it is going to happen.”  Here are some tips to help insure that everything works well at your wedding.

Getting Ready.  Of course you want to look your best on this big day.  You may have booked a hair stylist for yourself and your bridesmaids.  Maybe someone is doing makeup for all.  In order for everything to flow, treat this as a salon appointment and require everyone to be on time for the appointments.  Work with the stylists to establish a sensible timeline and insist that your wedding party be on time.  A lot goes on before you walk down the aisle, and you don’t need to add undue stress to the list.

Photographs.  Every couple wants the album of perfect pictures from the wedding.  Check out several photographers and insist on seeing their work.  Some specialize in formal shots and other are masters of creative vignettes.  Some do both.  Make sure that everything goes smoothly by giving the photographer a list of the people you want to make sure are included in your wedding album.  Your planner should make sure that each of those persons are available for photos.  The photographer should spend his/her time shooting pictures, not searching out the people you want in the photos.

If you are planning a cocktail reception, make sure the caterer has wait staff ready with trays of cocktails as the guests enter.  For the first five to ten minutes staff should focus on getting beverages into guests hands.  Once that has been done, then they can start passing the canapés.  Stress the importance of this to the caterer.  You don’t want lines at the bar if you are having an open bar.  Your planner can make sure that guests are not standing in lines waiting.

Order of Service.  Think of your guests.  If you have elderly relatives, make sure that they are served first.  Unless you feel strongly about it, consider having the head table served last.  That gives the couple a chance to chat with guests and socialize.

Be aware of “down time”.  Weddings can lose energy after the food course.  Guests are at different points in the meal.  This can be a good time to introduce one or two toasts.

For many other helpful ideas to keep your party flowing nicely, please contact us for assistance.

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids

The history of bridesmaids is time and culture dependent.  However, their main charge seems to have been to “protect” the bride, “intervene” on her behalf and/or help outsmart the evil spirits who gathered as a group at weddings or other happy events. Today’s bridesmaids still fulfill some of those roles, even if the evil spirit happens to be a former boyfriend with too much champagne and too little class, or a college roommate who thinks it would be fun to “steal” the bride between the ceremony and reception.  Bridesmaids can often be the voice of reason when they hear “Let’s ________, it’ll be funny.  You’ll see.”  They can put a stop to the nonsense early.

Bridesmaids give up time and money in return for the honor of being witnesses to the bride’s very special day.  We urge our bridesmaids to remember the important role they play in her wedding and to pay attention to thanking them for their help and caring.

Here are some tips we have gathered over the years.

Selecting bridesmaids’ dresses does not have to be an occasion of conflict.  Cost, style, color and accessories can be issues only if you let them.  If you can help financially, by all means do so.  If your wedding party represents a wide collection of shapes and sizes, work closely with a skilled and experienced wedding consultant who knows the best vendors to choose to work with your wedding.  An experienced retailer will work hard to make sure that the shopping experience is rewarding for all, and will insure that what you have ordered is what you’ll receive.  If the bridal retailer is a member of National Bridal Service, you can relax and know that all will be well.

Make sure that your bridesmaids are getting enough attention from you.  Keep them in the loop about events and plans.  Accept help if it is offered.

Make sure they have a clear idea of what to do and what you expect.  Your maid of honor can take on the responsibility of keeping all maids in the loop.  Don’t be too demanding.  Just because your wedding is consuming your every waking moment, bridesmaids do have lives beyond the wedding.

Be sure to assemble a survival kit for the wedding.  Work with your personal attendant to make sure all necessary items are in the kit and trust her to bring it to the dressing area of the ceremony locations, and to reclaim it after the ceremony.  A good wedding planner will always take care of this.

Make sure to thank bridesmaids often.  Thoughtful gifts are appreciated.

Take time to ask questions, share concerns and plan ways to make bridesmaids feel truly a part of this very special day.