Snapchat Styled Reception: Speed Photos with the Newlyweds for the WIN!

courtesy of mashable.com

courtesy of mashable.com

A few weekend’s back, I had the honor and privilege to attend my cousin’s (wad up, Cort!) wedding in Arizona. Set on the beautiful grounds of Carefree Resort right outside of Phoenix, it was my first time seeing the desert… and it absolutely blew me away.

Now, I’m not saying I could handle the 120+ dry heat in the summertime, but warm 80′s and cool breezes or March?  Bring it.  Haha!

But for cereal, the backdrop of the entire evening was sweeping views of sunset, desert and scenery… took homegirl’s breath away.  I might even go as far to say, it was one of the prettiest weddings I’ve ever seen… that’s right, SEEN!  As in real life, reality TV or otherwise.  I’m telling you… s.t.u.n.n.i.n.g.  (Sadly, I was a fail, and only managed to take #selfies – woofiest; so, please enjoy these promotional shots from their website, haha!)

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

 

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

courtesy of carefree-resort.com

Seriously.Dead.From.All.The.Colors.

But stunning ceremony aside, my favorite part of the evening came right after dinner when the DJ announced that everyone needed to return to their seats for at least the next two and half minutes… Two and a half minutes?? Say whhhhaaaaa?? 

Then, the master of ceremonies’ emcee continued on by telling us just how much the bride – my cuz – and groom – her Daniel ;) – truly appreciated everyone for being there.  The newlywed Kennedys wanted to make sure to remember each guest who was a part of their big day, and in order to do this, they needed a picture with each and every one of us!

So, while Aram Khachaturian’s The Sabre Dance (trust me, you know the nightmare) played over the loudspeakers, Cortney and Daniel – followed freakishly quickly and closely by their photographer - ran frantically from table to table posing with each group of people.

Some of the shots were funny.  Some of them were serious.  Some – especially by the tables who had obviously been previously forewarned – were well planned out, while others were thrown together haphazardly and hilariously… But no matter what the outcome of the actual shot was… all of them were definitely 100% authentic and 100% amazing.

And what a great way to make instant memories and set the tone for the rest evening!!  Love love loved it and would love to see it at more receptions!!

Wedding Notes: Ceremony Music to Set the ‘I do’ Mood

courtesy of washingtonvirtuosi.com

courtesy of washingtonvirtuosi.com

If you’re a bride elbows deep in wedding planning, and you find yourself being just as nervous about choosing the music and entertainment as you are about picking the perfect dress, it’s important for you to know something… You.Are.Not.Alone.  For cereal, every bride – even the most calm, laid back ones – will know doubt have at least one “AHH!” / freakout moment during her planning.

I like to think it’s because – deep down – we’re all still little girls planning our perfect day, and even less deeper down, we all want the same thing — our wedding day to be a flawless celebration of love, laughter and whole lot of GET DOWN.  Duh!

Which is why it’s so important to set the mood from the start!

Because musical styles are as varied as snowflakes, it’s vital for couples to narrow down their tastes and choose accordingly.  By carefully integrating both you and your beau-to-be’s musical preferences with the overall vision of the big day, you have the opportunity to create the perfect combination of sights and sounds that will have guests ooh la la’ing long after the day is done.

For instance, if you’re envisioning a stately and dignified wedding, chances are a hip hop artist or punk rock band aren’t the best choices to set the musical mood for your ceremony. While their look, dress and lyrical styling’s are just what you and your guests might need to drop it like it’s hot at the reception, the wedding itself would be more suited for a softer sound.  Maybe try a string quartet, a chamber orchestra (for larger weddings) or a classical pianist.  All of these will lend an air of sophistication to the affair, which can seamlessly be transitioned from one part of the ceremony to the next.

If you’re hoping to set a quiet, ethereal, romantic mood, you might prefer to go with a harpist, rather than a high-powered blues band.  Not that blues isn’t AMAZE in its own right, it just may not be the best fit for “ethereal.”  You could also try a jazz ensemble to help maintain the quiet momentum of a mellower ceremony, as well as a classical or easy listening guitarist… since these would all tend to lend a lighter, calmer, “cooler” air to your wedding festivities.

Other than choosing a musical style and performer(s) that you and your guests will enjoy, the most important consideration is to integrate the music into the overall ceremony in such a way that it provides the perfect tonal backdrop against which your marriage ceremony may unfold.  (Golly I sound professional, don’t I?  Haha!)

In fact, the right music will provide an accompaniment that can blend so beautifully, it will simply become a part of the ceremony, rather than standing out on its own.  And who can’t appreciate that?

Just be sure to take time and really pick ceremony music that fits you and your mood.  After all, your ceremony is really what the day is all about; so, why not start it on the perfect note?  (Haha, musical joke!)

Winter Wedding Reception Trend Alert: Bring the Outside In

courtesy of christianothstudio.com

courtesy of christianothstudio.com

This past weekend I attended a grand wedding (congrats again, Joey and Megs!) at the Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.  Part of the historical Union Station, this black tie optional, evening event was nothing short of opulent and amazing!  Truly, it was a dream :)

I could go on and on with things I found interesting and appealing, but rather than bore the blogosphere with my rampant ramblings, I’ll focus on one trend that really stood and has been supported by the likes of David Tutera and Martha Stewart… and that’s to bring the outside world into your indoor celebration!

With outdoor and rustic weddings becoming more and more popular with each coming year, it’s no wonder that this kind of decorating detail is nothing short of HUH-UGE to winter wedding settings.  Sure, every one loves the extravagance of crystal chandeliers and dazzling icicle designs for winter’s wedded bliss, but there is a warmth and richness that comes from bringing in the beauty of nature to your big day!

While the Crowne Plaza in Union Station – a majestically reformed old train station – is already a ahhh(to the)mazing setting in and of itself… see for yourselves below :)

courtesy of seanmolin.com

courtesy of seanmolin.com

Joey and Megan did a spectacular job at bringing the outside in with grand scaled centerpieces and rustic details, which paried perfectly with the old train station charm.  It was the kind of eye-catching beautiful that you would normally see in the movies.  And I mean that in the most literal sense possible: my eyes were caught and feverishly dancing from detail to detail in mad procession.

While J & M decided to bring the outside in with rustically matched decor, that’s not the only way winter brides can exploit this trend!

Consider dangling icicle lights to create either an outdoor crystallizing effect or rather, a wintery starlit sky, like below…

courtesy of afaeryorchardproject.blogspot.com

courtesy of afaeryorchardproject.blogspot.com

Bring in branches, and create a look that has storybook fairytale written all over it.  You can even do it in HD color like a David Tutera dream…

courtesy of davidtutera.com

courtesy of davidtutera.com

…orrr keep it simple, sleek and chic in all white…

courtesy of bridalguide.com, marzime.hubpages.com and celebritystyleweddings.com

courtesy of bridalguide.com, marzime.hubpages.com and celebritystyleweddings.com

Combine one of the looks above with lots and LOTS of candles, and you’ll create a wintery look that is both merry, bright and bound to delight!

courtesy of onewed.com

courtesy of onewed.com

Fill your space wisely with snowflake lighting that not only looks spectacular, but also functions seamlessly:

courtesy of onewed.com

courtesy of bridalguide.com

But no matter what you do, just be sure to have fun with it!

Dear Brides, it’s Time to Stress Less & Celebrate More

courtesy of idoityourself.com.au

courtesy of idoityourself.com.au

#truestory

I came across an article on huffingtonpost.com by Kara Wahlgren entitled, “5 Wedding Details You Can Stop Overthinking,” and this got me thinking… there are WAAAYYYY more than five!  I mean, let’s be real.

I’ve been in more than my fair share (“more” and “than” being the operative words) of weddings, and as such, I feel as though spending a decade of my life as a habitual bridesmaid, I’ve earned my stripes.  Heck, not just my stripes!  I’ve also earned my plaids, polka dots, patterns, prints and plains, as well.  Oh, you think I’m kidding?  I’m not.  Stop by any time and take a gander at the good ‘ole closet… you might be shocked at first, but you’ll soon realize, you’re looking at the real life 27 Dresses :)

And because I’ve been so closely involved in so many weddings, I’ve also been privy to so many brides.  Trust(&)Believe.  I’ve seen them all.  The Normals – those who fall somewhere between one or more of the following groups… The DIY Disasters – the ones who need help with e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  The Good Managers — which sadly, is the smallest selection.  The Freaker Outters — you know who you are :)  The cool-calm-and-collected-until-the-very- Last Minuters — guilty :)  And last, but certainly not least, the Bridezilla-er’s (haha!) — whhhhy??  Haven’t they seen the show?  Haven’t they heard the term?  Have they no shame?  Why, ladies… just why?

Now, what stinks about being involved in a wedding – be it as a ‘maid, a mom, a planner, an extra, etc. – with a Bridezilla is that the entire celebration becomes lost.  It’s no longer about the day and what they day means.  It’s all about drama of all the must-be-perfect-or-I’ll-just-die details… and the just checking in phone calls… and / or text messages… and emails… and fittings and run-throughs and “quick” trips and invitation creation sessions… ugh, you get the picture…  Everyone is haphazardly buried under and suffocated by the knowledge that everything HAS TO BE RIGHT that they lose site of and interest in the actual and awesome reason behind what started the bridezilla takeover in the first place — you’re getting married and joining your life with the man you love! I mean, hello!??!  Can I get a “Yay!”

With all that said, best advice I can give any bride must first be met with an urgently important disclaimer.  Bridezillas, you might want to make sure you’re sitting down for this…

DISCLAIMER: something – despite all the planning and hours and double / triple / Buzz Lighter to infinity and beyond checking – something WILL go wrong.

<GASPS!>  That’s right, ladies.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the sooner you accept this knowledge, the sooner you can start to relax and get back to the real reason of the day… You get to say “I do” to your #1 boo :) <SQUEE!>

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, here’s the advice, which I urge you all to remember:

BEST ADVICE:  No matter what goes wrong (I know, I know – you don’t like thinking about it – sorry!), at the end of the day, you still get to be your man’s Mrs.  You get to marry him and love him and be with him for all future bumps, blessings and otherwise.  So, smile, breath, relax, and above all, love that this is the day you get to say, “I do.”

The After, After Party: Because Reception Halls Might Shut Down, but the Party Doesn’t Have To

courtesy of tumblr.com

courtesy of tumblr.com

#wecantstop #wewontstop

Well, at least that seems to be the M.O. when it comes to a modern day wedding celebration.  Because these days, most matrimonial milestones are all about the After Party – duh!

Trending toward the wedding world for several years, the formality of wedding after parties is more than likely the genetic offspring of their previous, less formal counterparts.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please let me reassure you… you do.  In fact, you’ve probably been a part of one yourself!

Because be it the low hum from one or the loud roar of several, there always seems to be a stable group of guests that long to keep the party going well after the curtain closes on the reception.  This is most often times represented by the incessant, borderline frenzied streak of “Hey!  Where are you going!!?!” questioning.

Several months back, I attended a wedding in Chicago – shout out to the Groesbecks, whoop whoop!…

Mr. + Mrs. Groesbeck - cutest! (courtesy of Taylor Groesbeck)

Mr. + Mrs. Groesbeck – cutest! (courtesy of Taylor Groesbeck)

- and I have to take my hat off to them both. The day was absolutely GOOORRRRGEOUS and to date, contained the best wedding speeches and toasts I’ve ever heard – excluding my own of course, but that could be me just being partial :)  But alas, I should’ve known their day would be epic when I received their invitation in the mail, containing detailed instructions for the  following 3 wedding ingredients:

  1. The Ceremony
  2. The Reception, and (drum roll, please)…
  3. The After Party!

That’s right, y’all: a formal invite to a party after the party! Um, can you say LOVE?!  Alex and Tay (aka. the Groesbecks) did such an amazing job making their wedding day an event for everyone.  It was clear from the start that this wasn’t just a day for them, but for all their friends and family; which after being fortunate enough to be included in that list, I can honestly say I felt honored to be included… and mostly because they made it their honor include everyone.

The G-becks truly relished in the excitement of having all their friends and family – many of who traveled from out of town – in one place celebrating; so, it was obvious they wanted to make the most of it.  Because when you think about it, how often do we get bogged down by conflicting schedules, growing (or declining) careers, doctor’s appointments, ballet recitals, play rehearsals, sport’s team practices or “I gotta go here’s” and “Can’t make it there’s??”   My guess is pretty often, which makes it even harder to gather and rally the troops whenever the mood strikes us and even better when we can.

Then, it dawned on me (ding!); of all the weddings I’ve been to – and there’s been a few ;) - this was the first one I’d ever attended where the invite included a formal declaration of where everyone could go when the DJ’s done spinning and the caterer’s done serving!

Which is fitting, considering the majority of receptions I’ve rocked, there’s always a good amount (if not the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle) of guests who aren’t quite ready to pack up and head home at 11.  In fact, I can think of several off top where the night ended with a frantic shuffle in the parking lot of people getting in and jumping out of cars, trying hard to conjure makeshift plans through broken texts and interrupted phone calls, all to (fingers crossed) end up in the same spot.  I’m sure some of you reading this right now have been a part of such shuffles yourselves.

After parties by no means are essential, but they sure can be fun!  Because let’s face it, the terminology “let’s dance the last dance” doesn’t always apply to everyone, and sometimes, it’s really nice to have an encore :)

Raise Your Glass: How-to Write the Best Wedding Speech Ever

courtesy of emilieinc.com

courtesy of emilieinc.com

Every wedding has one.  Some are given by the best man; some by the maid of honor, and still others by the bride or groom’s parents.  They may make you laugh; they may make you cry, but one thing they certainly should NOT do is make you cringe.

Wedding speeches are perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of your big day.  It is, or at least it should be, an interesting insight to your relationship as a couple, a wish of goodwill and a toast to your love.  And because whatever the speech-giver says is generally amped across a sound system, it’s important that it’s worthy of amplification!  So, here are a few tips on how to make it count:

First, let’s start off with what you should avoid at all costs.  Humorous anecdotes are wonderful, but keep in mind that embarrassing does NOT always equal funny.  Reminiscing about senior year spring break’s less than savory moments or the devastating choices in ex-girlfriends may make some (namely the bride, groom and Great Aunt Edna) uncomfortable.

While leaving humiliation out is key; you don’t want to leave out the fun.  Therefore, Don’t.Be.Boring.  An easy way to find a compromise is simply by giving a speech that is genuinely sincere.  Try taking the emotional high road.  Whether you choose to be humorous or sentimental, just make sure that any stories or memories you have about the couple are relevant, sincere and stay on topic.

Another thing to consider when beginning the speech-writing process is time frame.  It’s difficult to wax poetic about a couple’s love in five minutes, but any longer than that and the natives will generally start to get restless.  Trust, they will be eye rolling and hoping for an out.

That being said, another crucial rule:  do NOT go in unprepared!  No matter how skilled you think you are at impromptu, even the most brilliant “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” stars can stutter after a couple drinks.

Finally, be sure to structure and deliver your speech properly.  Every speech needs a beginning, middle and (most importantly!) an end.  Begin your toast by opening strong.  Introduce yourself.  Break the ice.  Give a quick factoid or quote — just something breezy and easy to gateway into the meat of your speech.

The Middle.  This is where your original content should come from.  Memories are great, but too many inside jokes will leave those on the outside unsettled.  So, stick with subjects that will personalize your toast and maybe garner a few laughs and tears.  Having the best of both worlds will create a well-rounded speech. So for every joke you tell, balance it with a genuine, maybe even tearful, sentiment of love. **Please Note: try to avoid hard subjects and harsh language.  No one cares about your stance on the economic depression (well, at least not in this context) or that you can swear like a sailor.  Again, not the time, not the place.

Finally, finish with a bang!  If you’ve racked your brain for more perspective only to come up empty-handed, it’s time to bring in the experts. Quotes, whether they’re spoken by a famous author or a member of the family, serve as the perfect standby conclusion. Some great examples of touching quotes:

  • “Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” Amy Bloom
  • “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.” Mignon McLaughlin
  • “Kindness is never wasted.” Sylvain Reynard
  •  “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu
  • “A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” Andre Maurois
  • “A happy home is one in which each spouse grants the possibility that the other may be right, even if neither believes it.” Don Fraser
  • “To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one’s self… this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

At this time, you will cue all of the wedding guests to join you in a toast to the bride and groom by raising their toasting wedding flutes and wishing them eternal joy and happiness. And hopefully you’ll hear cheers and clapping, not crickets.

Toast to You: 5 Ways to Personalize Your Day

courtesy of weddzilla.com

courtesy of weddzilla.com

Alright, ladies, if it isn’t clear to you by now, let me lay it out in the simplest English… Your.Wedding.Day.Should.Be.All.About.You+yourgroom :)

Working at Marilyn’s Keepsakes, I have the distinct pleasure of seeing how personalizing your wedding can truly make all the difference. Every couple’s love is incredibly unique; so, why, oh why, should any his and hers celebration not ooze with their own personal awesomeness?

I was totally inspired by an article I read in InStyle Weddings about how to tailor a wedding to your style and would like to share some of my favorite picks with you! Feel free to check them out, pick them up or put them down, but regardless, just be sure to live it up!

  • Let your pets strut their stuff:  Whether ring bearing down the aisle or simply joining in the festivities and smiling in photos, letting your favorite furred friends be a part of your day and have an event that includes all those you love :)

courtesy of keltiecolleen.buzznet.com

^^^^OMG. I die at that evs time!!^^^^

  • Make your chairs fit for a king (and queen, of course!): If you love flowers, which basically includes every girl under the sun, talk with your florists about what kind of arrangements they can do with your initials. The lettered bouquets are a super chic alternative to traditional chair covers and will bring structural and modern appeal to any setting!
courtesy of theknot.com, confesionesdeunaboda.blogspot.com, yourperfectdayllc.wordpress.com and itsabrideslife.com

courtesy of theknot.com, confesionesdeunaboda.blogspot.com, yourperfectdayllc.wordpress.com and itsabrideslife.com

  • Let your guests sip on a signature drink!  I’ve been to several events where couples concoct their favorite poison, name it after themselves and toast to its genius all night long (all night!). Even more inspiring is when brides and grooms center their witches’ brew around their décor and have them served in clear glasses. It really makes a nice, three dimensional color pop to any setting… not to mention, a great prop for photo ops!
courtesy of bridesofnorthtexas.com

courtesy of bridesofnorthtexas.com

  • Let them feast on your favorite foods: What better way to accompany your signature drink than with gourmet cuisine, centered around your cultural, traditional or simply favorite foods? traditions? Whether there’s a certain food your families have made a tradition or one your culture tells you to grub, bringing a part of who you are into your wedding day buffet is a delicious way to add a personalized touch of you to your wedding!

courtesy of Canopy Rose Culinary Arts

  • Gain greater impact from your place card holders: Is planning a seating chart for 200+ causing you painstaking amounts of stress? Well, fear not my friend, because dreaming up cool place card holders will be your perfect cure! Because the place card will be one of the first things they seek, it’s a great place to put a piece of you!
courtesy of weddingrumors.com and bravobride.com

courtesy of weddingrumors.com and bravobride.com

 

Eye-Catching & Uplifting Wedding Decorum That Really WOWS!

courtesy of bellethemagazine.com

courtesy of bellethemagazine.com

A few weeks back, I did a post on chandeliers titled: It’s All About the Ooh La La: Wedding Reception Chandeliers & Lanterns.  And the more I researched, the more I discovered how appealing the highly hung – but not the least strung – details can be for a wedding day decorum.

After perusing through several images on BeautifulBlooms.com, I couldn’t help but be inspired by these float-tastic furnishings and immediately set off on a journey to discover more.  (Of course by “journey,” I mean manic mouse clicking and by “discover,” I mean whatever Google Images wanted to show me… and yet, I digress.)   I went absolutely Lady GaGa for the one of a kind, optical illusions they create and fell even deeper in love when I realized their practicality.

Floating or hanging wedding décor is one of the best ways to get more bang for your buck!  Because they offer a means to create more levels of dimension throughout your entire reception hall, you’ll easily stretch your real estate dollar to its fullest potential by filling in areas that otherwise would be lost… I mean, helllo??? How can any bride to be resist that lure?

Not only do these suspended superstars create eye-catching allure, but they also offer brides and grooms a way to decorate their tables without blocking the view of their guests.  Because big, bold centerpieces can create such big, bold WOW factors, so many brides are drawn to them… but they don’t always create the most rational way for your guests – seated in between and across from them – to communicate to others or worse yet… see you!  Blasphemy!

Hence, only furthering the appeal of hovering centerpieces!  By cutting out the middle “man” altogether and suspending the décor, you can be as big and bold as you want without blocking the view of your guests!  It’s a win / win for everyone!

Just be sure to go over things with your venue.  Since some of these will more than likely need more planning to accomplish, you should definitely work with your reception hall vendor and / or coordinator to make sure they go off without a hitch!

And if you’ve found yourself already booked to venue that doesn’t allow or have a means to hang things, there are still several options for you to create this look.  One, consider using super tall, thin vases and placing floral or “pom pom” styled arrangements on the tops only.  This will ensure you’ll get the height you want with minimal to no distractions of your guests… Or I like the idea of using large, elevated glass cylinders.  You can fill them to the top with water, creating the illusion of “clear” space, and crowning them with your favorite flower buds, floating candles or fiber optics.  Check out some choice options below:

photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) bridalsnob.tumblr.com, nuptialknickknacks.com, bellethemagazine.com, wallyspartyfactory.com, ochandelier.net , colorzenblog.wordpress.com, creditcrunchbride.files.wordpress.com, daweddings.wordpress.com, elkaniho.com, bellethemagazine.com, divineorderphotography.com, weddingpartyapp.com, pocketfulofdreams.co.uk, trishadean.blogspot.com and inspirationforhome.blogspot.com

photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) bridalsnob.tumblr.com, nuptialknickknacks.com, bellethemagazine.com, wallyspartyfactory.com, ochandelier.net , colorzenblog.wordpress.com, creditcrunchbride.files.wordpress.com, daweddings.wordpress.com, elkaniho.com, bellethemagazine.com, divineorderphotography.com, weddingpartyapp.com, pocketfulofdreams.co.uk, trishadean.blogspot.com and inspirationforhome.blogspot.com

 

It’s All About the Ooh La La: Wedding Reception Chandeliers & Lanterns

courtesy of Victor Sizemore photography

courtesy of Victor Sizemore photography

After doing last Thursday’s post: A Return to Formailty: 5 Wedding Trends Designed to Razzle Dazzle ‘em, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I spent almost half my time browsing through the images I found under “wedding chandeliers.”

I’m not even kidding.

Between the rustic and refurbished to the formal and fabulous, reception chandeliers, lanterns and the like were enough to make my head spin!  For serious!  When you consider the range light ceiling accessories have, it’s almost impossible NOT to be in awe!  Well-lit, hanging fixtures can be adorned with everything from flowers and bubbles to crystals and twinkles… making them agreeable to sleek and modern settings, as well as eccentric and outdoor scenes!

Not only that but it’s the fact that all these overhead fixtures will all provide lighting… and everyone – from photographers and reception hall coordinators to designers and professional planners – will all agree that LIGHTING is key when it comes to creating ambiance and setting / keeping a mood.

Sinead Kelly of Duluux Color wrote:

Lighting is such a subtle – yet vitally important – design tool. Good use of lighting will bring to life the most mundane design schemes. Put together with a great interior and you’ve got the perfect partnership. Picking a fantastic light fitting is just one element of the job. Where you place it, how it operates and the effect it has on its surrounding area is twice as important.

And I couldn’t agree more!  Think about it… Consider two evenings.  Both are EXACTLY the same.  You’re enjoying a nice meal with a nice man in a nice restaurant, but one is by candlelight and the other is under the harsh florescence of flickering bulbs.  One (the prior) has a warm, romantic connotation; while the other almost takes on a the beginnings of a horrow movie classic.  Not(&)Good.

Hence why lighting is sooooo important for setting the scene on your big day, and when you’re setting it, consider some of these overhead exposures, shimmering chandeliers and lovely lanterns for creating (& captivating!) just the right one! Check out below and let the lighting inspiration begin:

courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) flickr.com, perfectweddingcollections.blogspot.com (inset), bellethemagazine.com, bridalguide.com, onewed.com, 1chandelierslighting.com, platinumtouchevents.blogspot.com, weddingomania.com, onewed.com, dawnephoto.com, stratfordevents.blogspot.com, artfire.com (inset), platinumtouchevents.blogspot.com, onewed.com, weddingelation.com and dawnephoto.com

courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) flickr.com, perfectweddingcollections.blogspot.com (inset), bellethemagazine.com, bridalguide.com, onewed.com, 1chandelierslighting.com, platinumtouchevents.blogspot.com, weddingomania.com, onewed.com, dawnephoto.com, stratfordevents.blogspot.com, artfire.com (inset), platinumtouchevents.blogspot.com, onewed.com, weddingelation.com and dawnephoto.com

Light Up Your Love & Reception with Custom Made Fixtures Featuring YOU!

courtesy of carolineplusben.com

courtesy of carolineplusben.com

The first time I ever saw custom lighting done was for my best friend, Bre’s fashion show at IU Bloomington.  *Pause for a moment of fond recollection* Sigh, how I miss thee :)

Anyhoot, as it was for all design major students, Bre was responsible for creating a collection to present as a showcase for her final grade, and it was ahhhhmazing!  The clothes killed it, but the set up was equally as INCREDS!  Seeing “Bre” handwritten in what will surely become her famed signature in hot pink lighting?  Fuhgetaboutit.

So, who knew after that day I would spend so many years never seeing it again?  Until recently, that is.  Nowadays, brides and grooms have started making a splash with custom lighting at their receptions!  I mean, talk about a standout accessory!  And even better?  When using filters over lights, you get an extremely exciting look without taking a toll on your wedding day budget.  Can you say, score?  Big bang, little buck… it’s like the best of both wedding planning worlds :)

And don’t even get me started on the amount of possibilities that this bright lights, big city idea can create!  Whether you choose to actually have lights made or simply use filters to create a personalized flare around the hall, I’m sure your guests will be nothing short of “ooh la la!” upon seeing it.  Plus, the options are just as personal as the love the represent.  Yet another win / win for the wedding world!

You can go big, bold and beautiful…

courtesy of keventlighting.com

courtesy of keventlighting.com

Or small, sweet and sophisticated….

courtesy of stellardiscoveries.com

courtesy of stellardiscoveries.com

You could choose to feature something as long as your full names and wedding date…

courtesy of karma4me.com

courtesy of karma4me.com

Or maybe you want something a little shorter and more subtle?  In that case, nothing works better than your just established marital monogram…

courtesy of thefrazzledbride.com

courtesy of thefrazzledbride.com

**Monograms are especially fun because you can really experiment with different fonts and varying sizes until you find the perfect fit :)  Not to mention, monograms can make for interesting design, as well as a pop of personalized charm in your reception setting.

And speaking of interesting design, couples don’t just have to end their custom lighting kick with their names and dates.  I’ve even seen where the newlyweds have also opted to light up the walls with all kinds of other faux fixtures.  From chandeliers and damask patterns to florals and fabulously fallen leaves, custom lighting can really be exciting to experiment with.

courtesy of memorymakersdjs.com, bridalguide.com, hylite.com, karma4me.com and bridalguide.com

courtesy of memorymakersdjs.com, bridalguide.com, hylite.com, karma4me.com and bridalguide.com

Really, you’re only limited by your imagination and local (or internet available) resources you can find.  So, check in, check out and see just how amazing your names can look in lights :)