Monday, March 29, 2010

Location, Location, Location!

Guest Blog by Celia Milton
There are SO many places you could choose to be married! Of course, there are churches and temples; reception halls and fire houses, but if you’re on a budget you might want to get a little more creative! Here are some ideas to get you started...

  • Sports Stadiums; I did several weddings at the old Yankee Stadium a few summers ago (okay, okay, we snuck in…) What a perfect backdrop for a true sports fan, one that will provide your officiant (Well, that and maybe a permit; it never hurts to check…... with great metaphors for your ceremony script! Some of your more local stadiums may think this is just a wonderful publicity idea for them (and if you both wear team jerseys, think of the savings on wardrobe?)
  • Retirement Homes/Assisted Living Facilities; many of these have beautiful party rooms or outdoor gardens, and you couldn’t have a more delighted if spontaneous audience!
  • Train stations; how wonderful for a long distance relationship! Many of them are historic, lots of them are cute, some of them are landmarks. Check with the transit authority.
  • Museums and gallery spaces; if you have a small group on a weekday, this could be the perfect path for you. A small donation would be in order for a non profit, maybe a goodie gift of chocolate or great stylish cookies for the staff in a gallery. Check your local art schools and colleges too; they may have quirky fun studio or exhibition spaces.
  • Libraries; public and college libraries very often have private rooms or collections, which may be the perfect backdrop for a literary couple.
  • College greenhouses; my alma mater has a wonderful little greenhouse that would be just perfect! (Note to self…make call…) Private greenhouses or garden centers…
  • Local parks, gardens, zoos, skating rinks, ball fields; if you have a little group, a short ceremony and no amplified music, this shouldn’t be a problem, but you might call the parks department to ask about a permit. While being arrested might prove to be an entertaining photo opp, this might not be the way you want to start your married life together...
  • Wine Cellar; many restaurants have little private rooms or wine cellars and having a short ceremony in the dining room would be a bright spot for anyone’s dining out experience!
  • A box seat at the opera! (Probably only good for the two of you, your officiant and the witnesses!)
  • Observations decks on giant buildings. Best to call about this one! Probably have to buy tickets, but what the heck! (And no, the Empire State Building will not let you do this except on Valentines’ day. If you’re thinking of a ceremony in say, 2015 you might have time to apply.
  • Ferries and water taxis; how fun is this one! Have your officiant check on the legality of being married on the water, or do a quick vow on the dock.
  • Do you have a friend or family member with a wonderful garden? Beautiful library? Gorgeous living room? I bet they would love to have you! Again, a sweet little present would be a great gesture of thanks.
Photo Credit:
  • If you met somewhere interesting; that might be a thought; I’ve done weddings next to the bears at Bear Mountain, on a pier in Wildwood, in a swamp in northern NJ.  If the spot is sentimental and meaningful to you, that is really all that matters.
Celia Milton is a wedding officiant serving New Jersey and New York. She is, so far, unincarcerated for her public space antics with her couples!

Monday, March 22, 2010

First Day of Spring!

Any Marylanders out there get married this past weekend? What a beautiful day it was Saturday! 75 degrees and sunny-- who would have thought a March 20th wedding could be so perfect? I was in a beautiful town in Northern Maryland, off 270, for a wine tasting and saw the most amazing wedding going on in the back yard of a rustic inn, with farmland in the background.  A wedding at this vineyard where we were also struck me as the most adorable backdrop for a wedding.  It had a barn, a great patio, and it was the most perfect day.

Photo credit:

Anyway, I will be in-- hopefully sunny-- Sarasota, FL later this week for a bachelorette party and I'll pick up posting again on Monday :) Have a great week and weekend!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Best Signature Drinks for Your Buck

One great way to save money on the bar tab is to go with a signature drink. Sometimes, though, people get carried away with a really intricate drink that might get pricey. Here is a list of great crowd pleasers that don't involve too many components...

Try providing some red and some white to accommodate everyone!
white/red wine
club soda
sliced oranges, limes & lemons
(Let soak for 24 hours in refrigerator prior to wedding)

Spiked Iced Tea
Pre-made sweetened iced tea OR homemade tea (add sugar and refrigerate several hours)
vodka OR light rum
lemon wedges

Margarita on the rocks
sour mix
lime wedges

Bay Breeze
Cranberry juice
pineapple juice

Summer Beer
This might sound like a really strange combo but it's sooo delicious!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Staying organized for the busy bride

By Guest Blogger Rosanna Hardin

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Though this should be the most exciting time of your life, once the initial excitement wanes, you may start to notice the effects of stress creeping up on you.  But not to worry! There are numerous ways for busy brides to stay organized and make it through the planning process unscathed.

1.      Task Calendar
Your task calendar is quickly going to become your new best friend, and it will remain so throughout the course of your engagement. If you’re already a date-book queen, even better! I recommend having monthly checkpoints throughout your engagement.  At the beginning of your month, make a list of everything you want to accomplish over the next thirty days – you can find helpful lists of suggested tasks broken up by month on the Internet. Over the course of the month, consult your list daily. Even if you only finish a small task like calling to make an appointment with a vendor one day, you’ll be surprised how those seemingly menial tasks add up and take a lot of stress off you in the long run.  

2.      Wedding Email
Over the course of your engagement, your going to be handing out your email left and right.  Set up an email address especially for your wedding. Make sure your account allows you to organize emails into individual folders labeled “DJ” or “Caterers.” It’s a small tip, but it will be a huge organizational help.    

3.      Finding reliable sources
Naturally, your first inclination when looking for inspiration will be browse the Internet, and you’ve probably already noticed that there are about a bazillion wedding-related web sites out there.  Many brides get caught up spending hours browsing these sites, which can be a major strain on the time-crunched busy bride.  We recommend narrowing your search by using specific search terms.  Think about what’s important to your wedding.  Do you want your wedding to be eco-friendly? Are you looking for inspiration for specific colors or theme? Set a few Google Alerts for your specific search terms, and rather than spending hours wading through wedding sites, let Google bring relevant sites right to your inbox. And don’t forget to make sure they’re going to your wedding email account!

4.      Go Digital
Having everything online means that you can access it from anywhere: work, home, iphone etc. Also, keeping an inspiration board online allows you to save pictures and notes when you find them (keeping your organized now), and allows for easy emailing to vendors, bridal party members of family. Online is also more space efficient.  Accessing everything on your phone or laptop is a lot easier than lugging around a huge paper planner (not to mention more eco-friendly).

5.      Choose Wisely
When it comes to choosing your maid of honor, things get tricky. Usually brides pick their best friends to be their MOH, but choosing your MOH is a much bigger decision than choosing someone based on how long you’ve been friends.  This person will be with you through every step of your engagement, and she’ll be your main source of aid when it comes to bridal tasks.  So, before you choose, ask yourself these questions: Is she reliable? Will she realistically be able to balance the duties of being MOH with her own busy schedule? Is she generally an organized person? If the answers are no, you may want to consider someone else for the job.

Good luck and happy planning!

Rosanna Hardin is a writer for My Wedding Workbook, the online wedding planner software for do-it yourself brides, and My Wedding Workbook Pro, the premier wedding planning software for wedding professionals.