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Wedding Planning

Winter Wedding Trends

Whether you’ve always dreamed of having a winter wedding or your plans just fell into place that way, here’s how you can create a classy winter wedding without over-doing the tried-and-true seasonal symbols. 

  • Timeless color schemes. Red and green color motifs certainly evoke the winter season, but they can also scream “holidays!” and make your wedding feel more like a Christmas celebration than a uniting of families. Instead, glamorizing your wedding with silver, white, and crystal accents is trending for 2017. Use these colors in your centerpieces, invitations, and favors. Create timeless wedding photos by dressing your bridal party in these winter neutrals too.
  • Out-of-season florals. Traditionally, winter brides zeroed in on red flowers like roses and amaryllis. Stand out from the crowd by creating bouquets of white hydrangeas and ranunculus’s. These flowers are out of season during the winter, but they’re worth the price tag. If you’re on a tight budget, use the flowers that work best for your situation, but avoid anything that will come across glaringly seasonal, like poinsettias.
  • Metal accents. Metallic elements are all the rage this holiday season. Use these accents sparingly to avoid going overboard. Include metallic elements in your centerpieces, linens, or bridal party accessories. Play on this theme with ice-carved vases, which serve as a beautiful interpretation of crystal. Surround metallic elements with tea light candles to give your reception a winter-wonder glow.
  • Naked cakes. Brides looking to do something festive that doesn’t include a holly bush cake topper can embrace the idea of winter. The lack of fondant and minimal icing give the naked cake trend a rustic winter vibe that’s stunningly gorgeous. Like the bare trees outside, the cake exposes all, allowing guests to appreciate it’s natural beauty. If you’re the kind of bride that can’t break with the look of a traditional cake, embrace the winter theme with a vintage-style cake enveloped in white icing and glimmering with edible powder or sophisticated floral icing arrangements.
  • Warm and inviting cocktails. Gone are the days of the Wedding Cake Martini. While delicious, Winter 2017 brides are looking for something less predictable and more traditional. Soothe the soul of your wedding guests with classic cocktails like Hot Toddies, Manhattans, or Spiked White Hot Chocolates. These drinks, of course, can be named to befit your wedding hash tag, venue, date, or geographical location.
  • Two-piece dresses. Previously, winter brides sought out heavily-laced long-sleeve or high neck dresses. Winter 2017 brides are looking to push the envelope by embracing the two-piece dress trend. Heavily beaded tops covered in crystals and pearls paired with a delicate and feminine skirt are especially popular this year. Brides can find dresses with sleeves in a variety of lengths from a cap sleeve to 3/4 and full length.

Congratulations to all of the Winter 2017 brides! As your wedding draws near, embrace uniqueness with these upgrades to traditional winter wedding themes.

This post is brought to you by Alessandra Bride, a Detroit wedding dress shop.

Wedding Themes For 2015

Over the past decade there has been a move from the traditional wedding scene into a more unconventional, make-it-your-own sort of ceremony and reception. These days, it seems that if you aren’t adding a unique and personal theme to your wedding, then you’re doomed to the label of unmemorable. And so if you’re leaning more towards fun and distinctive and less towards the standard, here are some of the most striking and playful wedding trends.

Old World Glamour

Think: Lace, Long-Sleeve Gowns, Damask Decorations, Chandeliers, and Classic French Cooking

You’ll feel like your stepping back into France in the 1700’s, and with destination weddings becoming popular in more than just tropical paradises, you might just find yourself at an ancient castle or picturesque villa in the South of France! With the bridal party sporting dresses that Marie Antoinette would have been jealous of, such opulence and a vintage, European feel will make your wedding the most romantic of the year.

Country Chic

Think: Cowboy Boots, Renovated Barns, Mason Jar Lights, Southern Cuisine, and Fern Centerpieces

For the Southern Bell who wants to feel in her element, this whimsical theme celebrates the best of the south. Typically, a smaller style wedding for only close friends and family, it gives guests a homey feel with lots of Do-It-Yourself styled decorations. This is a perfect option for those who want a more laid-back feel at inexpensive prices.

Gatsby Extravagance

Think: Pearls, Short Dresses, Ivory, Veils, Classic Cars, Stringed Instruments, and Champagne

If you find yourself with extra money on your hands and are ready to throw the wedding of the century, Gatsby-style is the way to go. Take a page out of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, and make the start of your marriage an event that will never be forgotten. Complete with fireworks, fountains, and flapper dresses for the bridesmaids, you’ll be looking all sorts of classy on the rolling lawns of an estate or in the ballroom of a swanky resort.

Clean & Modern

Think: Black and White, A-Line Dresses, Glass, Tapas Plates, and City Views

Into the big city living and want to show off your modern flare in your wedding? Why not book a banquet hall at the top of a skyscraper, giving your reception an awe-inspiring panorama? Between the beauty of the bride and the scenery, the rest of the hall is understated and filled with simple, clean lines, leaving the focus exactly where it should be. Make it a black tie affair, with everyone dressed to the nines in classic, refined attire.

Back To Nature

Think: Flower Headdresses, Flowing Dresses, Parks and Gardens, and Ivy Trellises

As a nature lover, there is no better place to say your vows than in the bright sunlight, surrounded by vibrant greenery and aromatic wild flowers. With craved wood benches, shaded dirt paths, and the serenity of the outdoors, you and your guests will feel relaxed and tranquil amongst the foliage.

Let’s Get Nerdy

Think: Star Wars, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Zelda, Superman, and Lord of the Rings

Did you and your soon-to-be spouse meet at a gaming convention? Do you share a favorite movie? Do you go crazy over that one book? If it’s meaningful to the both of you, you can make it a theme at your wedding. Show the guests your inner geek with a Super Mario cake, Star Trek Wedding Rings, and Comic Book invitations. No doubt whatever nerdy theme you come up with, your guests will be smiling and laughing about it for years to come.

50’s Pin-Up

Think: Vibrant Colors, Bold Make Up, Mad Men Tuxedos, Bows, and Cocktails

Love the look from yesteryear? Make your big day pop by taking it back a few decades. With brazen red lipstick, daring eye liner, and a dress that shows off your hourglass figure, it looks like you could have come right out of the show Mad Men. And an open bar is a must, as are fun and funky cocktails to keep the whole reception partying late into the evening.

Every Girl’s A Princess

Think: Ballgowns, Silk, Roses, Jewels, Tiaras, and Carriages

Most girls grew up wanting to be a Disney princess, so why not make it a reality on your wedding day? If you’re about to say “I Do” to Prince Charming, why not look like royalty yourself? With everyone decked out in their best gems and jewels and with place settings of gold, it’s fairy tale come true. The high archways, stained glass, and old, polished stone of a cathedral is a classic and elegant place to start your happily ever after. And don’t forget to ride your carriage off into the sunset!

Tropical Paradise

Think: The Beach, Pastels, Candles, Canopies, Shells, and Going Barefoot

Escape the stress and hassles of every day life and begin anew with the love of your life. The sound of waves crashing on the beach, the warm breeze, and the sand between your toes, eliminates almost any pre-wedding jitters you might have. You don’t even have to wait for the honeymoon to travel to paradise; let you guests enjoy the same scenery and relaxation away from the world as you!

How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

wedding photographer1Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s not every day you get to say I do to Mr. or Miss Perfect. Walking down the aisle, looking your soon-to-be-spouse in the eyes, and proclaiming your love along side of all the other people you care about is a big deal. Mostly likely, you’ll feel that it went by in the blink of an eye.

And that’s why it’s so important to hire the best photographer for your wedding needs. Having beautiful, quality photographs of your special day will allow you to remember it with clarity for years to come. Those extraordinary moments when you slip the rings on each other’s fingers, have your first kiss as husband and wife, and cut the wedding cake are memories that can be captured and displayed for life.

Here are some things to consider before hiring a photographer for your wedding:

Brainstorm and then Brainstorm Some More

Before you go hunting for photographers in your area, do your research. Go online and Google wedding photos. Find styles that you like and styles that you don’t. Don’t be afraid to print out examples so that when you do go out and start interviewing potential photographers you can show them your preferences instead of just trying to describe what you want. And make sure to do this way ahead of your wedding! You want to leave plenty of time to find the right person and fit them into your plans.

Shop Around and Interview

Make a list of potential photographers for your wedding and either visit their website or make an appointment with them. By doing so, you can see samples of their work and get an accurate assessment of what their style is and what they are capable of. You don’t have to commit to anyone off the bat; take your time considering and make sure that what they are offering is what you want. Many photographers are extremely busy and preferred to be booked a year in advance, so make sure they are free on your wedding day and prices are within your budget.

Preview Their Work

Always, always, always look at previous wedding shoots, not only single photos, but rather entire albums so that you aren’t just seeing the handpicked, best shots. This will this give you a sense of their ability and style, but also the quality of photos they take. Be critical. Did they capture all the right moments in the best way? If the pictures are grainy, taken with poor lighting, or their editing skills aren’t up to par, then you know it’s time to move on to the next one.

Ask Them Questions

  • What is your experience background? Did you receive any professional training?
  • Do you have a preferred style to shoot in? Artsy vs. Traditional?
  • What kind of equipment are you using?
  • What is your typical cost per hour? How many photos are taken per hour?
  • Do you offer any wedding package deals? Are you able to also shoot the rehearsal dinner? Bachelor/Bachelorette Party? Newlywed Photos?
  • Do you shoot with another photographer for more coverage? Would it be possible to have two different styles shot? One more traditional, one more behind the scenes?
  • What rights do I have to the photos? What are the photographer’s rights?

Tell Them What You Want

Many people have unique ideas that lead to fun photos. Make sure to discuss these with your photographer ahead of time to make sure they are on-board. It is better to plan ideas out then to surprise the photographer with them and have the photos not turn out. If you have moments you definitely want captured, make a list: the bride getting ready, the husband looking at his wife walking down the aisle, the couple praying together before the wedding, etc. Be specific.

Learn the Lingo

If you take the time to learn photography lingo, you can more accurately portray what you like.

  • Bokeh – When the front picture is focused, the background blurry
  • Matte – That vintage look with low contrast and muted colors
  • High Contrast – Vibrant, with colors that pop
  • Portraits – Think traditional. Classic poses in front of backdrops.
  • Documentary Style – These are unposed photos of both people and the surroundings. Often spontaneous and people aren’t necessarily looking at the camera

If You Aren’t Sure…

…then don’t commit. You have to like your photographer; you have to trust them because the memory of your wedding is in their hands. The better you get along, the better communication, and ultimately, the best photos you could ask for. And finally, don’t be afraid to set aside more money for the photographer and change your budget around. You probably won’t remember the expensive place settings years down the road, but you will be thankful that you have stunning photos to help you remember everything else.

Do You Need a Wedding Coordinator

reception It used to be that hiring a wedding coordinator, band, pastry chef, professional photographer or videographer, etc. was a luxury only those with a huge budget could afford. After all, Aunt Sarah has been baking cakes for family occasions for years, and your cousin has gotten pretty good with the video camera, and surely there is a friend of the family who can help coordinate the details the day of right?

Not always. We have all heard the stories of the video tape that is bouncing up and down, the missed photos, the family friend who starts drinking at the wedding reception and forgets their job.

Your wedding day is likely the most important event you will ever plan. Even if you plan events every day, this day has a great deal more emotion, meaning and tradition behind it. Why try to do it all yourself? You deserve the best, so why not assemble a great team to make your dreams come true?

Some brides and grooms have never even planned a dinner party for 12, much less a really important party for 50 or 150 or more. Your family and friends should be able to enjoy your special day with you; not as employees at the wedding or reception. Even if you plan or are involved in events on a daily basis, planning your own wedding without professionals is like a heart surgeon trying to do surgery on himself or herself.

Professionals can work with you, often saving hundreds of dollars by knowing some of the pitfalls to avoid

Professionals are experienced at handling last minute details and challenges but remember the earlier you seek some help, the better a professional is able to help you. A day of coordinator works with you well ahead of the day of your wedding. They need to know the details so they can carry out your vision and dreams for your wedding day

Professionals work together often and are part of a team. Professionals are up to date on the latest rules, regulations, laws and trends.

Recent brides will tell you they wished they had gotten more help, had gotten more photos (good ones), and had slowed down and enjoyed the day and their guests more. Do you need a professional? Probably. Do you deserve a professional? Absolutely you are worth it! Enjoy the journey to your special day.

Submitted by C. Anne Coulter

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