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!!

Love is in the Air: Pink + Red Valentine’s Day Themed Weddings

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

Happy Valentine’s Day to all those who love!  Whether you’re in it, out of it, just starting to wade through it, or simply trying to avoid it (haha!), there is no doubt that love truly is all around us, and there’s no better day to exploit, er, I mean celebrate it than February 14th!  **RE: exploit.  But for cereal, everyone knows that Vday – while rooted in the works of the real life St. Valentine – has developed into the biggest Hallmark Holiday under the sun :)

But even knowing that, I still can’t help but get wrapped up in all the fun!  Regardless of consumerism, it’s nice to have a holiday dedicated to the most beautiful thing in the world… love!

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the big V-day… even during my most single and sullen of days, I learned quickly to appreciate the holiday as one to simply celebrate love – in all its forms.  The love I have for that someone special.  The love I have for family.  The love I have for friends, etc.  Heck, if nothing else, it’s a day to simply celebrate the fact that mailboxes are a little more full with pink and red cards and stomachs with pink and red cupcakes.  Can anybody else say, “Yumm-MAY!?!”

And with all the pink and red being displayed – from store front to home front - I couldn’t help but think about two-toned weddings and just how b.e.a.uuuutiful they can be — and in today’s Cupid themed case, just how b.e.a.uuuuutiful Pink + Red can be!  It’s also a little cotton candy’esque, which only doubles my pleasure of this love themed gem!

Feel free to check out the images below, but also feel freer to take some time and spread the love tomorrow (and ever day after!!  After all, it is in giving that we receive :)

courtesy of merrimentevents.com

courtesy of merrimentevents.com

courtesy of weddbook.com

courtesy of weddbook.com

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) lovefromtheoven.com, halterneckwedding.onsugar.com, jessicalewisphoto.com, blog.celeb16.com, colorsareblushandbashful.blogspot.com, thestylishbloom.com, blog.paper-source.com, etsy.com, sophistimom.com and flickr.com

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) lovefromtheoven.com, halterneckwedding.onsugar.com, jessicalewisphoto.com, blog.celeb16.com, colorsareblushandbashful.blogspot.com, thestylishbloom.com, blog.paper-source.com, etsy.com, sophistimom.com and flickr.com

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

 

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

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!

Ooh La La: 5 Wedding Cake Trends for the Modern Bride

When it comes to your wedding day… let them eat cake!!  Here are five favorited trends for today’s modern bride:

Butter Cream Dreams. For a while, this frosting favorite had taken a back seat to fondant’s flavorless yet smoother form. But many couples feared that they were compromising taste for aesthetics; hence, the return to butter cream. Brides now – more than ever – are embracing the charming untidiness of this cake trend in order to pump up the taste volume and give a nod to vintage chic!  (And as a frequent wedding guest, I’d just like to say…. Uhhhh, THANK YOU!)

courtesy of peggyporschen.com, inspiredbride.net, ejsgoodies.com, southernweddings.com and hudsoncakery.net

courtesy of peggyporschen.com, inspiredbride.net, ejsgoodies.com, southernweddings.com and hudsoncakery.net

All White Delights. A revival that goes hand-in-hand with its butter cream counterpart, the infamous all white cake evokes a more naturally frosted look. Concentrated in a polished appeal and textured trends, these clean looking, traditional cakes are generally always backed with their over the top tastes! Liz Shim of Eat Cake Be Merry recommends an all-white confection with lots of texture for a more “chic blank canvas” look.

courtesy of sweetvioletbride.com, bellethemagazine.com, modwedding.com, onewed.com, atfirstblushandco.com and bellethemagazine.com,

courtesy of sweetvioletbride.com, bellethemagazine.com, modwedding.com, bellarocacakes.com, atfirstblushandco.com and bellethemagazine.com,

Modern Monograms. Give your cake a kick of personalized flare with your newly instated monogram! Because cake toppers aren’t just your plastic bride and groom anymore, creative couples everywhere are going for more offbeat, unique accessories. Couples everywhere are taking their initials and turning heads monochromatic, monogram cake toppers… which happens to one of our favorites, as well!!

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Flower Power (That’s Tasty Too!). Rather than frosting your cake with more flowers than a garden, cake artists today are creating incredibly real-looking sugar flowers. These blooms are much fuller so you’ll only need a few for garnish. Renowned cake designer Ron Ben-Israel says these sugar flowers will give the cake “a sleeker look”, as opposed to an overwhelming confection of blossom piping.

courtesy of sweetthings.ca, weddingpartyapp.com, bellethemagazine.com, perfectwedding.me, sugarruffles.com, dannibeachphotography.com, mostweddingflowerideas.com and thecaketressblog.com

courtesy of sweetthings.ca, weddingpartyapp.com, bellethemagazine.com, perfectwedding.me, sugarruffles.com, dannibeachphotography.com, mostweddingflowerideas.com and thecaketressblog.com

Dog Daze – Believe it or not, one of the newer trends in wedding cake accents is personalized pooches. More and more couples are requesting that their pets make a cameo on their cake, made purely of frosting.

courtesy of flickr.com

courtesy of flickr.com

So when you begin the cake design process, remember that less is more this year. Matching the piping on your cake to the lace on your dress is out, and butter cream and sugar flowers are in. It’s all about the homemade, nummy goodness and delicious taste.

Get in the Bridal Glow with Candle Cake Toppers

courtesy of weddingchicks.com

courtesy of weddingchicks.com

I love birthdays.  Who doesn’t?  The lights (+ gifts!).  The cameras (+ gifts!).  The action (+ gifts!).  The cake — yeah, cake can stand alone :)  And what birthday cake wouldn’t be complete without candles?  None!

But what about moving the traditional birthday candle cake toppers to your wedding day celebration?  That’s right.  I saw this done this past summer during a girlfriend’s 4th of July wedding.  Of course, they used sparklers in lieu of candles due to the occasion, but after coming across this notion on burnettboards.com, I couldn’t help but take a second (and third and fourth, etc.) look.

Sara, the Honolulu based bloggess behind burnettsboards.com says,  “Traditional cake toppers, flowers, monograms – move over and make room on your sugary sweet pedestal for candles. Tall and tapered or short and plentiful, candles have made the jump from birthday cakes to wedding cakes. Blowing them out and making a wish together is a sweet way to start your married life.”

And after all the ganders I’ve made over the course of the past couple weeks, I couldn’t agree more.  Add the ganders with the Wikipedian history I learned about why candles were even originally added to cakes in the first place, and I’d say that brides and grooms couldn’t find a better cake topper.

Some say that candles were placed on the cake because people believed that the smoke of the candle carried their prayers to gods. Others believe that the custom originated in Germany where people used to place a large candle in the centre of the cake to symbolize ‘the light of life’.

In present times too, people place candles on birthday cakes and a silent wish is made before blowing out the candle. It is believed that blowing out all candles in one breath means the wish will come true and the person will enjoy good luck in the coming year.  – Wikipedia.org

So, we have prayers lifted to God, symbolism to the light of life, good luck and wish fulfillment.  Um, hello??  What more could a newlywed couple ask for?

Check out below and see what I mean :)

Oh, and if by chance candles still won’t do it for you, try taking a peak at some of these aptly awesome and Custom Designed Cake Toppers!

courtesy of terazslub.pl, dollhousediary.com, kissthegroom.com, lover.ly, weddingbee.com, stylemepretty.com, teacupwedding.com, magnoliarougemagazine.com, stylishspoon.com, fabulousfete.wordpress.com, peonyeventsco.com and commons.wikimedia.org

courtesy of terazslub.pl, dollhousediary.com, kissthegroom.com, lover.ly, weddingbee.com, stylemepretty.com, teacupwedding.com, magnoliarougemagazine.com, stylishspoon.com, fabulousfete.wordpress.com, peonyeventsco.com and commons.wikimedia.org

Statement Bracelets for Statuesque Brides

courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com, photographed by Shoot in Love Photo

courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com, photographed by Shoot in Love Photo

Okay, I’m about to admit something that I know may hinder my street cred in the fashion world, but in keeping with our open AND judgment free (I might add) platform, I’m just gonna go for it…

<pauses for effect, and engages…>

I, Mary Amanda, have never been a girl who’s been big on jewelry.  There.  I said it.

<pauses for gasps and guffaws to subside, and continues…>

I know.  I know.  It goes against girl code, and I’m sure puts me on some anti-fem hit list.  But alas, I digress.  Because while I’d love me pair of killer Louis Vuitton pumps or a trendy Fendi just as much as the next girl, I’m afraid my passion for fashion takes a bit of a lull when it comes to the section that leans towards the more sparkly side of life.  In my defense, though, it’s mostly because I enjoy telling people it’s because I sparkle enough, hehe ;)

Now, with that said, it doesn’t mean I’m devoid of spotting a spectacular, bridal jewelry trend when I see one.  And after coming across the idea of statement bracelets for the bride on burnettsboards.com, I was nothing short of SQUEE-lighted!  In fact,  I was borderline kicking myself for not reporting on it sooner.

When you consider how many brides have taken on a more romantic, Bohemian approach to their wedding day and are utilizing dreamy down ‘dos and an assortment of more sophisticated necklines, it’s easy to see why statement bracelets are even more of an asset than before.  With giant bangles or metallic cuffs complimenting their overall look, a bride is able to avoid a necklace or earrings that may compete with their long, flowing locks or illusion neckline.  I’m telling you, it’s a win / win in every sense of the phrase.

Not only that, but statement pieces are just that… statements.  So, for the more adventurous bride, you could really play it up with your color themes or even use at as your “something blue!”  Check out below to see what I mean :)

photos courtesy of intimateweddings.com, pinterest.com, shoplately.com, chicvintagebrides.com, malindyelene.com, emmalinebride.com, fine-jewelry-shop.com, emthegem.com, glamour.com, oncewed.com and pinterest.com

photos courtesy of intimateweddings.com, pinterest.com, shoplately.com, chicvintagebrides.com, malindyelene.com, emmalinebride.com, fine-jewelry-shop.com, emthegem.com, glamour.com, oncewed.com and pinterest.com

And don’t forget about your lovely ladies-in-waiting!  Why not gift your bridesmaids with a piece of wrist bling personalized just for them!?  It’ll double as both a charming attendant gift, as well as a sentimental keepsake from your big day :)

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.”

A *Tutu* Cute Bachelorette Party Theme for Ladies Looking to Blast, Team Bride Side

Tutu-Bachelorette-Party

For any of you  – and I’m thinking it’ll be most, if not ALL – who’ve been privy to celebrating a wedding, you know how many things can go into the planning.  Whether you’re a member of the bridal party or simply a friend showing up in support, there are certain aspects of the celebration that all ladies-in-waiting of the bride will be included on.  One of which – and more importantly, most FUN of which – is the Bachelorette Party!

<insert wobble baby wobble baby wobble baby wobble dance here>

Now, I may be being a smidgey partial… after all, it was my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party… but I was seriously BLASTIN’ at her **Tutus On The Town** themed soiree a few weekends back!!  It was straight amazeballs, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to any other maid, matron or bridesmaid planning a bachelorette party in the future :)

For cereal, it was hands down one of my top shelf, top nights evs!  I mean, helloooo?!?!

Pink Flamingo Bus + INCREDS ladies + a play list filled with nothing but “drop it like it’s hott” tunes + Frilly tutus, and + On the Town Toasting?! 

Fuuhhhgetabout.  That is one mathematical equation I can get behind!

Not only that, but it also makes for a super fun DIY project!  We – and by we, I mean the bride to be and my other sister-in-law – spent a lazy Sunday afternoon creating the feast for the eyes shown above.  After YouTube-ing a couple vids, we hit up the local Hobby Lobby, bought elastic bands, accent ribbons, gobs and gobs of tulle and went to town.  It was seriously, soooo easy!

The only downfall was it left me wishing I had another event on the calendar that would require the use of such awesomeness :)

Tutu-Bachelorette-Party-Themes

 

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 :)