February 12, 2019
By Shawna Schofield
Many people want to write their own vows, but if you aren’t a particularly versed wordsmith, you may be afraid that what you write won’t hit the mark. To make the endeavor a little bit easier for you, here are some tips, and tricks to keep in mind when writing your own vows.
Tips and Examples
- What would make your partner laugh? If you are a light hearted person, or inclined to be the jokester in the pair, consider using your affinity for comedy when constructing your vows. This will make it sound more authentically ‘you’, as opposed to forcing yourself to try and construct something overly poetic. Channel your personality into what you write, and try not to worry too much about sticking to rigid guidelines.
This also works if you are more romantically inclined, or possess a more serious personality. Use what you’re naturally disposed to, in order to construct vows that are 100% from your heart. While you can look online for examples and inspiration, try to keep everything as original as possible.
- Come up with a creative delivery. You can tailor your vows to whatever you are practiced in. Are you a musician? Consider breaking out of tradition and constructing a lyrical rendition of your promises. Have comedic timing? Use that to give a funny, but endearing edge to your delivery. You want to be certain that your vows don’t just reflect you, but that you are comfortable in the delivery and that it suits your own personal style.
- Don’t force the process. If you sit down to write your vows only to find that the creativity isn’t coming to you, that’s okay! You may even have to wait until days before the wedding, which may sound like a bad idea, but in reality, many couples end up waiting until days before the wedding to finalize writing their vows. The closer you get the more your emotions are heightened, and you’ll be amazing at what that whirlwind of feelings can produce. So don’t sweat it if you aren’t producing results months in advance, step back and give yourself time to reflect on your feelings and the beauty of your relationship.
- Throw back to the first day, or the first time you met. Try to capture the spark you felt, and how you felt about them as your relationship progressed. When did you know they were the one? What about them made you fall in love? Your first meeting was the beginning of the story that led you both to the altar. It’s a good thing to reference, and can give you inspiration when you are writing.
“When we first met, I knew you were special. Day one you took my breath away, and today I willingly give you my whole heart.”
You can also make notes about your relationship, what you both enjoying doing together, how your feelings progressed, and why you want to marry them. Little things that mean so much to you, can be good points to touch on when composing your vows.
- Don’t worry about the audience.When writing your vows, write them for your partner, not the guests. While you can add pieces that inform the audience of your feelings, and let them in on how you both came together, ultimately you are making promises to your partner. Think of it as a heart to heart conversation, one where you share your innermost feelings with them and promise to always be together. Don’t let stage fright get the best of you either, focus on your partner and remember that this day is about the both of you, no one else.
- Be inspired by the location. If you are planning on holding your wedding in a special location, such as in another country, consider drawing inspiration from that location. This can be especially handy if you and your partner love traveling. Consider framing your vows around the new adventure you are both undertaking together in marriage.
“This is only the first step down a path that I can’t wait to walk with you, hand in hand, for years and years to come. You are, and will always be, my greatest adventure, and I hope to be yours.”
- Celebrate your differences and how they make you stronger.No one is exactly the same, and each couple has difference that compliment their partner. These differences can make for stronger bonds, and special memories. Touch on how your parter differs from you and how it strengthens your relationship, and even works towards making you a better person. This can make for some beautiful vows that are not only romantic, but have impact that will leave everyone in awe.
“You never fail in seeing the brighter side of things, and you remind me to always look for the light, even in the darkest of times. You, my dear, are the light that banished my darkness, and because of you my life has become brighter than I ever thought possible.”
- Remember the importance of your vows. When you say your vows, you aren’t just listing why you love your partner, you are making promises that are meant to last a lifetime. Think about the promises that mean the most, that you intend to keep for the rest of your life. You can then build from there, with as many or as few promises as you like.
“I cannot always protect you from falling, but I can promise to always be there to lift you back up. When you are struggling, I promise to help bear the weight. You will never be alone, for I will always be by your side. No matter what life has in store for us, I promise that my love for you for you will never wane; only grow stronger over time.”
- Imagine what the future holds in store. What do you imagine your lives will be like in 10, 20, or 50 years? Where will you both be, and how has your bond strengthened with this time? This can be a unique way of tying in “We were meant to be together”.
“You may wonder if our love will last as the years go by, but I promise you now that my heart will always be yours. When we’re living the dream, our hair greyed with age, you will still look as beautiful as the day I first met you. My heart will still skip a beat when you walk in the room, and the bond that we have will be stronger than ever. You are my present, my future, my beginning, and my end; there is no future worth facing if you aren’t by my side.”
- Include family if you have the option.If your spouse to be has children, consider dedicating a portion of your vows to making promises directly to them. Some children can have reservations over seeing their parent get married or re-married to someone new. Including them shows that you care, and that, though you’re not trying to replace a biological parent, you will be there for them should they need you.
- List the qualities you love the most about your partner. Think about what personality traits, or habits they have, that endeared them to you, made you admire them, and inevitable fall in love. Reflect on your partner, and the things they do that make you smile, then build up as many or a few as you feel is necessary to include.
“You are compassionate, always thinking of others before yourself. You are caring and kind, looking out for those who need help, and those less fortunate than us. You can come up with creative solutions to each and every problem life throws at us, and never skip a beat. You’re positivity never fails even when everything seems to be going wrong. You’re an inspiration to me, and every day I am in awe of your unyielding spirit.”
Things To Keep In Mind
Remember to write out the final copy of your vows in a legible fashion, or print out a clean copy for the ceremony. You want to assure that you can read everything clearly, and that there aren’t any typos, cross outs, or confusing paragraphs that could trip you up during your delivery.
Another thing to keep in mind is a time limit. While there is nothing that says vows have to be under a certain time frame, 2 minutes and under is usually a good limit to begin with. You want to make sure the guests don’t get bored, and you don’t want to sound to long winded. If you have a friend that would be willing to help you by either rehearsing, or proofreading your work that could help in trimming it down to the most important parts, so that you can focus on what is truly important.
Additionally, try and avoid any over used or cliche lines if you can. Things like ‘we were meant to be together’ or ‘you’re my one and only’, can come across as romantic, but they are also overused to the extent that they don’t feel terribly special anymore. Before using cliches, take some time to see if you can’t think of somewhere to put your own spin on these tired old lines.
Writing your own vows can seem like an intimidating process, but hopefully these tips will give you a good starting point that you can use as a jumping off point.
February 1, 2019
- Look at wedding photography online and see what styles suit you and your partner best. If you have a couple types that stand out to you, communicate this to your potential photographers and see if they have experience blending the styles. This will also help you pick potential artists, as finding one that specializes in the style you like best can help narrow the playing field.
- Interview potential selections in person, and not just over the phone. Being one on one with a person can help you gauge if you’ll be able to work well with them, and if they are someone you feel comfortable around. Make sure that they listen to the vision you have, and are willing to work within the parameters for your chosen style. You want someone that you can openly communicate with, and who will give you beneficial feedback should any of your ideas need to be tweaked due to unavoidable limitations of venue, location, or things out of their control.
- Ask to see an entire wedding album created by them, and not just the best of the best that they have selected. This can tell you a lot about their personal shooting style and if they are capable of catching emotional moments in good taste. You want pictures that show the happiness of the day; photos of you and your guests smiling and looking natural, not like deer caught in headlights. A photographer with more experience will be more adept at knowing how to capture these moments naturally, but it is still important to see the whole of their work. You may also want to ask specifically see any albums of weddings that have had similar venues to yours. This can be beneficial if you are hosting an outdoor wedding, or one that does not have controlled lighting. Ameuter photographers may not know how to effectively compensate for different lighting, which an lead to missed shots, or under/over exposed images that have no place in a wedding album.
- Compare packages offered by different photographers, and keep in mind that most wedding photographers worth their titles won’t come cheap. See what deals and packages they offer, as well as how many albums you will need, how long you want them to be shooting for, and how many days they will be booked. All of these factors will influence the price, so be sure that you know what you want so that you can find a package that best suits your needs and your price range. Additionally, consider if you want to add engagement photos, or any photos with special effects as those will also influence the overall price.
- Ask about what right you have in regards to the photos taken. While you may think you own the rights to any photos of you that are taken, many photographers stipulate that they own the rights to the photos. This means that they can use them in promotional material, advertisements, and on their websites. It also means that you can’t go a head a post the proofs that are sent to you, and want photographers will provide watermarked images that you can use instead. If you want to print out any images from another source that isn’t the photographer, you will more then likely have to buy the rights to the photos. You may think this sounds unreasonable, but this type of branding is often the only way wedding photographers can get advertised. If the customer automatically owned the rights they can do whatever they want with the photos and no longer have need of the photographer. This means they can lose out on not just money, but due credit, while the photos they worked hard to take are passed around, edited, or printed without them every getting credit for their work.
- Don’t expect to get your photos back in a couple days. Photographers shoot in RAW format, which means individual files are exponentially larger than a typical jpg formatted image. The benefit of this is that the images are more easy to edit without degrading any aspect of the original image, meaning the final result is much better, and a higher resolution than standard compressed image files. However, this means that it takes longer to upload the images, and depending on how many that is, it can be quite a while, and that isn’t including any edits that need to be made. For a standard wedding with a medium guest list, a photographer can spend upwards of 40 hours after the shooting just conducting touchups and color corrections. In addition to any other wedding photos they have to finish ahead of yours and you can be looking at anywhere from six to eight weeks of waiting before you are sent any proof images. Keep in mind that this is a good thing, and that the quality will likely be much better than images received over a couple days. You want to know that your photographer is doing a quality job and not just turning out straight from the camera shots. You should ask how many photos you should expect back, their estimated resolution, and if special effects need to be specified, or will they be added out of ones you choose from the proofs.
- Preparation the day of. If you have a photographer who has shown that their work is high quality, you more than likely won’t have to stress about putting together a full shooting list for them to go off of. Sometimes it’s best to let the photographer do what is produces the best shots in their experience, with only a few suggestions of must haves that you know for certain you don’t have to have missed. You can also give them a heads up as to any relations that you’d like to get pictures of, you that they should avoid. Sometimes family members or members of the wedding party don’t get along, so a warning that the photographer shouldn’t try and get a photo of them together is good information to have. Also any medical issues that may prevent a guest from standing for portraits can be good to share with them as well. This way they will have an idea of what you want, and what they should be looking out for, but they still maintain the free will to be creative with some of their shots.
Keep In Mind
January 24, 2019
By Shawna Schofield
Summer is a popular time of the year to tie the knot due to it’s warmth and abundance of sunshine. It also presents a lot of options for themes, locations, and activities that you can take advantage of to make the most of your big day.
What To Wear?
There are many color schemes that suit the summertime mood. A few combinations to consider are:
- A citrus inspired palette of tangerines, oranges, and yellows adds a pop of color that is reminiscent of the season. It’s bright, lively, and sure to stand out from the crowd. These colors can be incorporated in your bridesmaid dresses, in the floral arrangements, and in the overall decor.
- Gold and pale shades of blue are also a great combination to keep in mind when selecting colors. The gold gives a shining contract against the pale blues, reminiscent of the sun and sky. Not only is it an elegant combination, but it also gives you a lot of room to work with.
- A July wedding might benefit from patriotic color palette. Navy blues, whites, creams, and deep red hues are a tasteful combination that can be easily incorporated without being overbearing.
- More casual weddings, especially those taking place on the beach, could go with aqua and fuchsia colors. These colors pop, and are reminiscent of fun beach party colors. Aqua would also be nice when paired with a peachy sorbet tone, as the contrast is more inclined with these colors.
Summer colors are bright, vibrant, and bold. If you are going for a good contrast between colors, and are unsure if two colors will compliment each other you can always consult a color wheel! Complimentary colors are the ones directly across from each other. That means these two colors won’t clash awkwardly, and will instead contrast and enhance the other.
It’s impossible to cover all combinations in one article, but hopefully this can offer a good jumping off point for creating your own summer palette.
Due to the multitude of locations that are available during the summer it would be tedious to try and plan out special decor options for each unique event. But, the purpose of these ideas isn’t to completely plan a wedding ceremony and reception, but to give you ideas that you can pick and choose from as you please. With that in mind, here are a few fun and eye-catching decor options that you can take advantage of.
- A balloon arch altar piece is not only fun, but it makes for fantastic photos as well. Flowers can also be woven into the archway for a fantastic fusion that is one of a kind. It may not be for everyone, but it’s something unique that’s worth giving a look.
- Hanging lights and floral garlands are something that can fit into an outdoor or indoor affair. The use of fairy lights can give a twinkling magical feeling to the venue that is both beautiful, and primed for amazing photos.
- If you are hosting a reception outdoors, planning a bonfire is a fun way to incorporate a summertime classic with your ceremony. A bonfire also offers the option of having a fun ‘toast your own s’mores’ activity. This can be especially fun if you know children will be invited to the reception, but honestly it is fun for all ages!
- Lining the hall with bouquets of wild flowers is a good way to incorporate nature into events hosted indoors. It also allows you to take advantage of the flowers that are in season, so that you can bring their natural beauty into your ceremony for a gorgeous aesthetic.
- Macrame decorations are a fun beachy bohemian themed option that can help bring a beautiful, but simple touch to liven up your decor. Macrame can have a dainty, almost vintage feeling about it, and it is something that many people forget they can take advantage of.
- At the reception you can also take advantage of some classic dawn games if you have an outdoor space available. This is a good idea if you’re planning a more relaxed and casual type reception.
- When the sun finally sets during the reception you can light up the skies in your own way with wish lanterns. These are not only a beautiful sight to see in the night sky, but they are a great way to mark the occasion, and the promise you and your partner have made to each other.
What To Serve?
Hydration is important during the hot summer months, and having adequate drinks available is important, especially if your reception is outdoors. Water infused with different types of fruits, flavored iced teas, in addition to blended frozen drinks can offer guests a reprieve from the heat. You can also create ‘carts’ akin to those used for ice-cream. A mimosa cart is a nice idea for receptions taking place around noontime, as the drink is a good fit for earlier times in the day.
You may also consider setting up the appetizers and main courses buffet style, but in a picnic style that is more laid back, but still tasteful. A frozen dessert station might also be warranted, and appreciated depending on the location and the temperature.
Main courses should be filling, but not overly heavy. Seafood courses are good bet, as are chicken dishes. You can also go with traditional summer fare such as barbecue, corn on the cob, potato salad, and decked out hot dogs!
Unique Summer Venues
Deciding on a venue can be easy for some, and an endeavor for others, especially if you want something out of the box and unique. Here are a few fun summer options to consider.
- A Green House. An earthy and beautiful place to say, “I do.”
- Aquarium. Even if you aren’t Jason Momoa you can still live out your Atlantean dreams by tying the knot surrounded by beautiful exotic fish at a local aquarium!
- Ranch. Ranches offer a lot of room too take advantage of, in addition to breathtaking open vistas that make for scenic backdrops.
- County Fair. Make your childhood dreams come true and take the plunge at your local county fair.
- Backyard. Tried and true, sometimes to most memorable weddings can be achieved in your very own backyard.
- Rooftop. This option can be an amazing choice especially if you live in a large city. Taking your wedding photos with the skyline behind you makes for once in a life time images.
- Golf Course. Many people don’t realize how many advantages are to be found at a country club. Many even have special wedding packages, in addition to the breathtaking views.
- Park. If you have a particularly gorgeous park around you, don’t be afraid to consider it as your venue. (Just make sure and check if you need any additional permits!)
- Zoo. If you love animals, the zoo might be an option for you!
- Planetarium. Nothing drives home the saying, “I love you to the moon and back.” than getting married at a planetarium.
Your location, your unique ideas, and preferences play a lot into how you design the day of your dreams. It’s impossible to try and cover every option in one article, but the above can serve to get your imagination working so that you can being to put the pieces into place.
Getting married in the summer is a popular choice, and it’s no wonder so many people decide to set their date for this season. The amount of unique and memorable ideas you can implement is nearly endless when considering all the different factors. Let your imagination go wild when creating the summer wedding you’ve always dreamed about!
January 24, 2019
By Shawna Schofield
Spring is a popular time to tie the knot, and it isn’t hard to see why. This season marks a start of new beginnings, and gives way to warmth, sunshine, and new life. It encompasses many ideals that coincide perfectly with weddings. Whether you are still looking to set a date, or have already settled on one, here are a few ideas that incorporate the feeling of spring into your big day.
Think Bright and Warm Colors For This Season!
Spring wedding colors should convey the feeling of the season; this means light, bright, and eye-catching! Here are some of the most popular colors to incorporate that truly help capture the feeling!
- Light sunshine yellow and delicate ivory tones help break away from the cooler tones of winter. They both can add warmth to your dress, or your bridesmaids dresses, that help to welcome in the warmer days, and your new start as husband and wife.
- Purple tones and pastel pinks can bring a fun touch to any wedding ensemble. They capture the brightness of the season, and can be incorporated in many different ways. Adding bursts of these colors to otherwise neutral gowns gives a bright ultra feminine touch to both you and your bridesmaids.
- Peach and pale yellows can also offer a vibrant, but light, touch to your color scheme. These colors keep with the seasonal theme without worry of being too over bearing.
- Lilac and mint greens have the potential to harken back to a feminine floral feel. A light lavender dress offset with bright white flowers and greens is sure to be an eye catching sight. (If you’re feeling bold you could even incorporate a woven lilac flower crown!)
When it comes to finding the perfect dress and color scheme, its always good to start with the colors that you love the most and build from there. The color combinations given above are only a brief example of the dozens of springtime combinations you can make! Do you like lavender, but arent overly fond of mint? Swap it for a pale yellow or ivory instead! The main guideline to remember is that warmer colors tend to lean into the vibe of the season, whereas cooler tones, like blue and gray, are reminiscent of winter.
One of the best parts about spring is the abundance of flowers that are back in bloom. Tulips, hyacinths, azaleas, peonies, daffodils, primroses, bluebells, and lilacs all make for bright, colorful, and aromatic bouquets. (And thats only naming a few.) With all the color options, you will have no problem finding a gorgeous arrangement that fits your palette.
The abundance of flowers can also be used to create unique centerpieces, garlands, and archways, which if youre planning on an outdoor wedding, can make for a beautiful altar piece.
Your wedding cake can also take advantage of the floral treatment. A multiple tiered cake delicately lined with flowers is one way to tie everything together with a similar springtime aesthetic.
Taking advantage of the amazing flowers and greenery of the season is one sure fire way to create a breathtaking ceremony and reception that you and your guests will love and enjoy. (Its guaranteed to smell fantastic too.)
What to Serve?
For drinks think fruity fresh flavors. Limoncellos, bellinis, or daiquiris are a few fresh tasting drinks that are perfect for spring, and can give adult guests something to relax with during the reception. Nonalcoholic options can include an open iced tea and lemonade bar, all of which can come in a variety of flavors such as mango, raspberry, lavender, pineapple, and strawberry. (To name a few.) This is one way to put a fruity twist on classic drinks, and your guests will love it.
For starters you can try poached eggs, or bite size souffles. An array of light salad courses could also be offered as well. Zesty quinoa salads, or mixed baby green salads with berries, topped with a fruit infused vinaigrette, can keep things light, but still bring a bold flavor.
The main course should lean away from heavier fare and more towards chicken or fish with fresh herbs. Citrus infused marinades also fit the palate and can be used with both chicken and fish. Side dishes can range from roasted asparagus, spring vegetables, or light pesto roasted tomatoes. These options can fill guests up without leaving them feeling too stuffed for dessert.
Desert is where you can have lots of fun with a fruity spring theme. Macaroons, chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry shortcake, lemon cheese cake, (okay Im getting hungry writing this!) the sky is really the limit here when it comes to delicious spring desserts. Youre guests will have no shortage of delectable treats to choose from when the main course is done!
These are only a couple ideas out of hundreds that exist as spring catering ideas, but hopefully itll give you a slight idea of what to aim for when putting together the perfect menu.
Keep in Mind
Spring is a wonderful time to tie the knot, and it can lend itself to tons of inspiration too! From warm inviting dress colors to generous flower bouquets and garlands. There is no limit to the amount of creativity that can be had during this wonderful season. Keep in mind these general ideas, and see what inspiration you can draw from the options above. Hopefully you are now one step closer towards planning your own amazing spring wedding.
January 24, 2019
By Shawna Schofield
The Jukestar App
A Personalized Playlist
- Don’t let there be too much silence: If you expect guests to be arrive 20-30 minutes before the start of the ceremony, make sure they aren’t sitting in silence. Book your music vender for a reasonable amount of time before the start, to ensure your guests are enjoying the literal sound of silence.
- Church restrictions: If you are planning on having the wedding in a traditional church, consider that there may be restrictions on what you can play. Check before hand to make sure everything is good to go, and if there are restrictions, what you can do to abide by them.
- Always preform a soundcheck: Don’t wait until the day of to check speakers and sound quality. The last thing you want is for there to be bad audio or issues with sound projection. The venue itself may have limitations in what the system can do, and that is something you want to be aware of. It can help you avoid unnecessary issues, and allow you to better tailor your audio if something is wrong.
- Meet the musicians: Don’t wait until the day of to meet the musicians you hired, and always make sure to listen to a live performance before placing the booking. Hearing them and talking with them before the wedding can ensure you get exactly what you want, and can go a ling way towards avoiding issues. Additionally, make sure to give them a list of the songs you want to be played so that they know how best to prepare.
- Don’t set the volume too high: Make sure guests are able to hold a conversation while the music is playing. No one want to be shouting across the table at someone during the reception. You can go about this by setting timed volume blocks, such as lower during dinner and cocktail times, and louder for the first dances and final songs.
- Decide the length of your first dance: If you choose Bohemian Rhapsody as your first dance song, consider the length and if you want to be dancing for nearly 6 minutes. If you’re song choice is on the longer side, consider seeking out a professional edit that can cut the song down to a more manageable length.
- Don’t stick to one genre: Don’t be afraid to switch up the music and keep it interesting. (If you’re a fan of multiple genres that is) However, your guests may have different tastes, which is why Jukestar is a fantastic option where the guests can have their say in what’s playing.