Tastefully Incorporating Kids at Elegant Weddings

This topic comes up with almost every wedding that I do. You are having an amazing, elegant, evening wedding, with a full bar, and most of your guests have children, right? Instead of trying to figure out how to “not” invite them, without hurting anyone’s feelings, why not include them in a very special way that will benefit everyone! Chances are, your local daycare will have some staff members that would love to make a little extra money on the weekends. Think about it, if you “hire” a childcare professional, they are already used to entertaining kids that do not already know each other, they are great with group activities and most of all, they are fun! It wouldn’t be tacky at all to include this information in the invitation ~ in fact, it’s really gracious! Hand-write a personal note (don’t put in printed cards) to those with children. Say something like: “Marcie, we’re having a babysitter at the reception, so I’d love for you to bring Brian along! Let me know if that sounds like a plan. Can’t wait to see you! Love, Anne.” ~~ Your thoughtfulness will be greatly appreciated, even if your guests chose to not bring their children!

So, we are at the reception now, keep the kids entertained. Make a kids table, off to the side, from the main reception table set up area. Cover their table with white craft paper, add a centerpiece of a basket of crayons, non-permanent markers, stickers, and glitter glue! You might even consider kids creating a keepsake that can be framed. Also, have a reception meal option just for children. It may save you a chunk of change, and little kids are going to prefer chicken nuggets to chicken a l’orange anyway! Talk to your reception site manager or wedding caterer about your options. Many places provide special meals for children that cost half the price!!!Your guests will be able to fully enjoy your wedding, and everyone, including the kids, will have an evening of memories that will last a lifetime!

“Just not that into” tossing your bouquet?

       ~~A great alternative to “tossing the bouquet” is “The bouquet dance” or “anniversary dance” at your wedding reception. The idea is this: Your DJ or emcee invites all married couples onto the dance floor. After a few minutes of dancing, the DJ asks all couples who have been married for five years or less to leave the dance floor. After another few minutes, he asks all those couples married for ten years or less to leave the dance floor, and so on. Eventually, you are left with the longest married couple that then receives the bouquet. If you’re not into tossing your bouquet, this can be a nice way to involve guests of all ages in a feel-good event.

Style vs. Theme

There are styles to weddings, and the ever-so trendy “themed” weddings, are gaining popularity. The “style” of a couple can be rustic fall, shiny winter, colorful spring, or light & bright summer. You can have a “themed wedding”, without it being cheesy or dated.  A well planned and executed themed wedding CAN be timeless! For example, if you and your new spouse are going to Paris for your honeymoon, you can incorporate a few Eiffel Towers for Décor, theme the menu to a French Bistro style, and have soft colors to reflect a romantic Paris.




If you and your soon to be husband/wife LOVE Mexican food, you can certainly plan a classy Fiesta wedding with Red, and shades of Orange. Now, I’m not talking about a Piñata in the middle of the ballroom, or green Margarita glass lights all over the place, but touches of flair can make your wedding memorable for you, and will leave a lasting impression on your guests. So, don’t be afraid to have a themed wedding. Just throw all of your ideas together, and use touches of your theme. However, there is a fine line with a strong “theme” and going overboard. I would not advise an Eiffel Tower centerpiece on each table, and Eiffel Tower napkin rings……AND Eiffel Tower shaped Parmesan crisps for each Caesar Salad. That is too much. Well, now having said that, the Parmesan crisps would be great, but let that be the only thing on the table that is the Eiffel Tower…..there are many other things that symbolize a theme, just don’t over stimulate your wedding day with them. Less is more….and more, can be over the top.

Southern Ladies: We are, What we ARE!

Y’all know that, in the South, the ladies of the family, both sides, are really the “glue” that makes it one big fat happy family, right? We know our place as a wife, and we know our duty as a Southern Woman. 
So, when you think about it, it’s quite silly that the women of the brides family, and the women of the grooms family, have their FIRST meeting at the rehearsal dinner, or worse, at the wedding! (Heavens NO!) Have a “Women of the Families” luncheon or dinner!
Again, as you know, in the South, cousins, best friends, old friends, etc, are all “Aunts”, so WHY NOT have ALL the women of the Brides family AND the Grooms family, have a luncheon, prior to your wedding? It can be a month before, or 3 months before your wedding.
Either way, “merging” the families is very important, and having special day for just the “Women” will be more valuable, and meaningful, than you can EVER imagine. If you think about it, and actually make a list, that includes your bridesmaids, your mothers, grandparents, sisters, aunts, cousins, and close friends, on BOTH sides, you very well may end up with about 50 people.
It’s something that can be planned very easily, and executed seamlessly, but the relationships that will begin, loving memories maintained, are PRICELESS! It’s all a part of building one big happy family!
It DOES still exist!
In fact, these Women of the Family luncheons/dinners should happen, at least once a year. It could save some money on therapy!



Ideas For Unity Candles

Traditionally, the unity candle involves three candles. The bride has one, the groom the other, and their two lighted candles light the third candle. This is done to represent the coming together of the two people to make one unit. In some alternate methods, family members are invited to participate in the unity candle lighting, often the mothers of the bride and groom, or other close members of the family. Each family then lights a candle, and together they light the unity candle to symbolize of the coming together of the families.

Now, there are a few twists you can add to this fairly conventional aspect of a wedding ceremony. You can provide each guest with an unlit candle when they arrive at the ceremony. After the couple lights the unity candle, they can ask the guests to move to the front of the church, venue, (or wherever the ceremony is being held) and light their candles with the lighted unity candle. This can take a bit of time and might be best with a smaller guest list. But it is a meaningful way to not only get your guests involved in the ceremony itself, but also symbolize the union of family and friends with the marriage.

If there is a large guest list and it would be a prohibitive use of time to do a candle lighting involving everyone at the ceremony, some brides and grooms like to bring the unity candle to the reception. Light the candle again and provide each guest with a small votive candle (the candle holder will be on the tables at individual table settings). As guests come into the reception area or hall, they can light their votive and take it to their table to place into the votive holder. This small votive candle can double as a wedding favor, particularly if you decorate or enhance a plain votive candleholder in some way to coordinate with your wedding.

Of course, it is not a must to have a unity candle at the ceremony. Many brides these days are trying to reduce the length of the ceremony and spend more time planning the reception. In that light, some choose to do away with a unity candle altogether. You can certainly do this, or you can cut it out of the ceremony and make it part of the reception.

To do this, you can use the votive candle option suggested above, or you can simply incorporate the unity candle lighting into the reception activities themselves. For example, you might choose a quiet moment in the reception to have a lighting of the unity candle. It might be during a short prayer prior to the serving of the meal, or right before the cake is cut. In this case, the unity candle can then be used as decoration on the cake table. As the bride and groom cut the cake and pieces are served to guests, the candle can also serve as a reminder of the couple’s new bond and that the bond is shared with all the guests as well.

Although having a unity candle at the wedding or reception isn’t necessary, it is certainly an option that many brides and grooms opt to include. But it’s important to remember that as with so much surrounding wedding planning there are ways to make it unique and interesting and special to the couple getting married.