A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding at Hunter Mountain

Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Nelson who were married at Hunter Mountain on March 8th!

Advice from the couple:

“Splurge on photography / videography and try to take in every moment of the day because it goes by so quickly.”
Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Casino Wedding

Casino Wedding

Custom Cake Topper

Custom Cake Topper

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Wedding Location: Hunter Mountain
Ceremony Officiant: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Jeanne Stark)
Photographer: Photographics Solution
Videographer: Photographics Solution
DJ/Band: Piano Man’s DJ Productions (Nate Miller)
Ceremony Musicians: Golden Scroll Soloists
Florist: Anthology Studio
Bridal Attire: Angela’s Bridal
Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Rings/Jewelry: Harold Finkle, Your Jeweler
Hair/Makeup: Krystal Rose Studio
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Favors: DIY
Casino Tables: Big Eastern Casino Company

Wedding Planning on a Tight Budget

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style to save money when planning your wedding day!

Planning your wedding can be really exciting at first – but once you start to tally up all your wants and needs for the the big day, it’s normal to start stressing about money. Most likely you don’t have an endless amount of cash to spend on your wedding, so you’ll need to create a budget. While it might seem tough to stick to your budget and still get what you want, there are a few tricks for planning the perfect wedding without going overboard on expenditures.

Avoid “Wedding” Items

Whether it’s napkins, cups, plates or guest favors, higher prices often accompany merchandise earmarked for weddings. Pay close attention when you’re shopping for anything wedding-related, and compare the prices of similar products. You might get sucked into thinking that you need monogrammed wedding napkins or cups customized to your wedding palette, but you can find similar items for much cheaper if you expand your search beyond party stores and wedding supply sites. Just because you are using an item in a wedding, doesn’t mean you can only buy it at a wedding supply store.

Wedding Store

Explore Catering Options

If your wedding will be held at a hotel, conference center or banquet hall, explore creative options for providing food and drink. Purchasing a select number of items at a supermarket or savings club will give you the option to use gift certificates, gift cards and coupons to defray costs. The cost of alcohol can be reduced if you streamline the selection instead of providing a full bar. You’ll save a ton by having a buffet for a big group instead of paying per-person for individual meals. If your reception after the ceremony will be on the short side, you can always just serve desserts instead of a full meal. The idea that you have to have a sit-down dinner after your ceremony is a popular tradition—not a rule.

wedding_catering

Eliminate a “Plus One”

Your wedding day is a time to celebrate with all your friends and family, but what about people you’ve never met before? A quick way to trim costs on your reception expenses is to eliminate the option of a “plus one” for guests who will bring someone you’ve never met. In addition to creating a guest list to keep track of your actual invited guests, consider filling out wedding budget (you can find plenty of printable budgets online) to effectively keep track of all your purchases and expenses. Including RSVP send-back card with your invitations can give you a good idea of how many people will attend will so you can better estimate how much you’ll be spending on food, space, etc.

rsvp-card

Consider a Pre-Owned Dress

Think about putting superstition aside and consider buying a used wedding dress. Sites like eBay and PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com offer a wide variety of styles, sizes and price points. Instead of paying thousands for a brand new dress, you can pay just a few hundred, including the cost of having the dress steamed or cleaned. Plenty of brides have kept their dresses in mint condition, and as newlyweds they are willing sell to another bride in order to recoup some of their wedding costs. If you can find someone in your area selling a used dress, you won’t have to pay for shipping. Offering to pay cash can net you an even deeper discount.

PreOwnedWeddingDresses_brides-say-yes-to-the-preowned-dress-791x1024

Choose a Venue Carefully

When choosing a venue, look for a space that gives you the option to choose your own vendors. Some venues require brides to purchase a catering or event-planning package, which bumps up the price. Look for affordable options like state or city parks, a friend’s home, a church or synagogue, or buildings in your community. Having an outdoor wedding can save tons on decorations, because the picturesque scenery will provide a naturally beautiful backdrop. This is where RSVPs will come in handy: If you know how many people will be coming, you can choose a venue that will fit the group instead of paying extra for a huge space that you don’t actually need.

backyard-wedding-reception

Planning a wedding on a strict budget takes time and effort. But getting creative with your choices – for instance, avoiding “wedding-only” stores, out-smarting the wedding dress industry, or considering less traditional venues – can free up extra money for the areas of your wedding you care about most. Perhaps having a highly-talented professional photographer is important to you, or maybe you want to save money for an epic honeymoon. Whatever you want to spend your money on, sticking to a budget can help you allocate enough funds to the parts of your wedding that truly matter to you.

Valentine’s Day Wedding Theme

A Valentine’s Day theme wedding is sure to be a romantic event with careful planning and operation. Here are some ideas and tips for your big day.

* Invitations: There are plenty of romantic wedding invitation designs out there, choose one with doves, roses, hearts or other Valentine’s Day typical signs to set the mood for your wedding ceremony. Pick your favorite envelopes with red liners and don’t forget the double heart stamps.

* Color Scheme: Pink, purple, red and white are traditional Valentine’s Day colors. However, just choose your favorite shades and hues to decorate your wedding party.

* Wedding Dress: A romantic bridal gown is a must for a Valentine theme wedding. Fluffy skirts, off the shoulder collars, puffy sleeves, sweetheart neckline and appliqués are ideal incorporation for Valentine’s outfit. You may even add a little red or pink touch to your dress, or choose a pink wedding dress for a sweet princess look. Hot lace or light-colored pearl embellishments are also amazing.

* Attire: The groom and his best men should wear formal tuxedos to match the romantic atmosphere. They may even try red or pink shirts to match the color scheme. The bridal party gowns should be as romantic as the wedding theme, but not overpower the wedding dress.

* Flowers: Undoubtedly, roses are the favorite flowers for a Valentine wedding, and pink, purple, red or white blooms match the theme. Pink lilies or tulips are also great choices which add a unique touch.

* Decorations: Besides flowers, there are still other decorations such as candles, lace and ribbons. Scatter heart-shaped confetti on guest tables and hang heart-shaped balloons over the entrance arc for a whimsical touch.

* Menu: A romantic menu could include any foods you like, such as your first date dinner. Choose chocolate covered strawberries as your appetizers. Rich hot cocoa is warm and popular in the winter holiday. Pink champagne is a superb choice for a romantic wedding.

* Wedding Cake: White chocolate and red roses covered heart-shaped wedding cake would be a perfect match for your Valentine’s wedding.

* Wedding Favors: Heart shaped favors may offer your guests a touch of romance. Colorful candies, strawberry jams, sparkling spoons, double heart photo frames are perfect for Valentine favors.

* Wedding Music: Choose love songs for weddings to play during reception.

9 Key “Green” Planning Concepts

9 Key “Green” planning concepts that can be implemented to make your special day wonderful for you and even better for your environment.

The VENUE
Choose a natural setting like a botanical garden, beach or a beautiful park rather than a huge hall. You can exchange vows in a romantic setting under the stars, or by an amazing ocean scene.

The MENU
Explore booking top culinary chefs that will prepare a delightful, succulent variety of organic foods that will incorporate all aspects of fine green dining, from farm raised entrees, to bio-degradable dinning décor.

The DÉCOR
Speaking of décor not only can you find caterers that incorporate bio-degradable items in their service; you will find that there are also many companies that provide recycled event décor items.

The INVITATION
A great option for invitations for the perfect Green Themed wedding will consist of recycled paper and to take it one step further you can have them printed with biodegradable corn-based ink or an even better and more modern day option is to send a sophisticated and exquisitely designed Electronic Invitations (e-vites).

The GIFTS/FAVORS
Think outside of the box and get creative by giving your guest an Wedding Day Eco-Bag filled with a variety of eco-friendly gifts like luxury Eco-Spa items, Personalized Organic Tea bags, and Elegantly Engraved Mini-Pots with a packet of Plan Seeds to symbolize the seed of love planted on the day of your special union.


The TRANSPORTATION

Every bridal party wants to be transported in luxury and style. With today’s Automotive Companies taking a conscious approach to preserving our environment and producing a large number of fuel efficient Hybrid vehicles, they have made it a point to remember the most important vehicle for a bride and groom, the limousine. Believe it or not there are many companies that provide luxury hybrid limousines as well as luxury cars for the wedding party.

The RINGS
Of all the pieces of jewelry a woman will own in her life, her wedding ring is the most important and holds the most meaning. Consider a jeweler that sells diamonds that are certified conflict-free. You should also consider bands that are created with recycled metals. I suggest you visit Brilliant Earth at http://www.brilliantearth.com; they are the leading provider in conflict-free diamond jewelry. Brilliant Earth also donates dedicates 5% of their profits to local communities that are affected by the diamond industry.

The most important – The DRESS
Choosing that perfectwedding gown is one of the most emotional and most important purchases of woman’s life. Choose a wedding gown that is made from natural fibers as well as your wedding party.


My last recommendation is- The WEDDING COORDINATOR/PLANNER

In order to fully design and plan the perfect reality of your Wedding day Dreams and also incorporate the fundamentals of an environmentally safe wedding, I suggest that you enlist the services of a professional Wedding Coordinator to ensure that your wedding is not just eco-friendly but truly represents the fantasy that you have always dreamed of for your special day.

Questions to Ask your Wedding DJ

Having enough information about your choice for entertainment on your wedding day is very important. Just as important is knowing specifically the right questions to ask during your DJ’s first interview with you. Here are some steps to take to be prepared:

1. Be ready to talk about what’s important to YOU. No matter whether you are or a bride or a groom, your wedding DJ is an important part of your reception. He serves as the “bringer of the fun”. Your DJ should be mindful of your requests and the flow of the cocktail hour, dinner service, formalities, etc. Therefore, you should be fully prepared to discuss what the most important parts are of the reception and how they should be perceived by your guests.

2. Ask how he dresses for a wedding reception. If your DJ isn’t a seasoned pro, this will throw him for a loop. The only responses you should accept are, “I have some very nice suits” or “should I dress a certain way?”

3. Ask for references. I know you have heard this so many times with regard to so many types of businesses, but for this situation, it is extremely important. Your wedding DJ should be able to provide you with three RECENT references for you to contact. If, after your first meeting with your wedding DJ, you do not receive these references, you may want to move on to another DJ interview.

4. Ask if the DJ has a “style”.  There is no right answer to this question, but if you don’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling after you receive your answer, you’ll know what to do.

5. How many songs does your DJ have? The number should be so big, it should blow your mind. Any great DJ worth his salt is an avid collector of music of many genres and should have any and all of your requests on hand. If not, the DJ should be able and willing to purchase any additional music you need (important fact there).

6. Is your wedding DJ familiar with your venue of choice? You can really tell how seasoned your entertainer is by being familiar with most if not every venue in your city. Some newer DJs shouldn’t be counted out if this question gets answered with a “no”. They may come highly recommended by a friend of yours, or you may have seen them perform at another event.

These questions aren’t the only ones that should be asked, however. These are great questions to get the ball rolling and to ignite your imagination to ask more in-depth questions. The bottom line is this – you should feel comfortable with your choice of wedding DJ. If not, do yourself a favor and schedule another appointment with another DJ.

Picking a Wedding Venue

Before meeting with the first reception site manager, consider these important factors in determining the venue that is right for your wedding reception.

Your wedding reception site is undeniably the most important piece of the wedding planning puzzle, so you’ll want to put some careful thought into this essential decision.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Venue

Theme and Style of Your Wedding Reception

Beyond the basic banquet hall, an overwhelming array of reception site options exists. From country clubs to mansions to museums, each set the stage for a specific style of event. Before deciding, determine the type of wedding you would like to host.

We cannot overemphasize: Today’s wedding receptions are about personality and creativity. Your wedding is not your mother’s or your grandmother’s. It’s not your best friend’s wedding either. This is your once-in-a-lifetime event – and a costly one at that. Take advantage of your time in the spotlight to put together a wedding reception event that really shines. Consider your personal style. Do you want your wedding to be a reflection or a departure from that? Just because you tend to be more city-chic does not mean you can’t throw a country-style foot stomping hoe down of a wedding (it can be done in an equally fabulous manner – we promise!).

Put some thought into this, and envision your perfect wedding reception. The theme and style you wish to reflect will help dictate the type of reception site you choose. Remember that options abound beyond hotel ballrooms, banquet halls, and country clubs. Also consider mansions and historic sites, museums, or parks. The sky is the limit!

Geographic Location of Your Wedding

Where do you want to get married? In your hometown? In your fiance’s home town? In the town where you currently live? Or even on a Caribbean island? With today’s jet-set couples, the possibilities really are endless. Don’t be afraid to consider something different or unexpected. Perhaps the style or theme of your event will dictate the location – a tiki-style hut by the beach, a rustic farmhouse in the country, a posh ballroom overlooking a metropolitan cityscape. You get the idea.

Wedding Size

OK, so you have decided to get married in a historic mansion near your hometown. Great, you’re almost there! But before you get in your car and start touring reception sites, there is one major factor to consider: Capacity – one of the most important criteria in finding the perfect wedding venue. No matter how beautiful a place may be, if you anticipate a guest list of 300, cramming them into a facility that seats 150 will quickly turn an elegant affair into a mob of angry guests – we promise. Most reception sites make setting capacity information readily available. If not, give a quick call to the general phone number and find out. Make sure to differentiate the capacities for the type of reception you envision (seated dinner, buffet, cocktail reception etc.). There may also be different capacity based on the setting with or without a dance floor.

Your Winter Wedding

The plus side for brides is that we are now in the off-season and things get a lot cheaper. So if you are planning your wedding on a strict budget and don’t mind that your favorite flower won’t be in bloom or that the trees are bare, look to book your wedding between November and March.

The downside is that most events have to move indoors.

So what do you do if you are caught in between?  If an outdoor wedding was something you have always dreamed about, but aren’t sure if you can pull off during those cold winter months.

Well, the outdoor winter wedding can be done! The first step, as a bride, is to remain flexible and realistic about it. Don’t plan to do your whole event outdoors and make sure you develop a back-up plan. Remember dark comes fast in the winter so an afternoon wedding outdoors and reception inside might be an ideal situation for you. That will also give you enough daylight after the ceremony to finish up all formal photography.

I am a firm believer that as a bride, the day is about you and your groom; but once you invite guests to come, the day also becomes about them and their participation. Put yourself in a guest’s place; make sure their comfort is a top priority. You don’t want your wedding to be a miserable memory in their mind. Here are a few tips to help make your outdoor event a success.

How Cold is Too Cold:
Know your weather limit. You already know it is going to be chilly, but how far are you willing to go? If it’s snowing gently, that’s not bad at all. But if it’s an ice storm, you might want to execute that back-up plan. You might be picturing a snow covered wonderland, but you just never know. Look out for and try to avoid strong wind. Also, know how far your wedding vendors are willing to go. Especially check with those who use electronic equipment (i.e. Photographer, Videographer & DJ) to make sure you meet all their requirements on outdoor ceremonies.

Bundle Up:
Make sure on the wedding invitation, you clearly and purposefully let guests know that your ceremony is outdoors and to dress appropriately. Also, if you do a wedding website (which you should), keep guests updated on the forecast and what the day is planning to look like.

You can also give your guests the option to change clothes from the wedding ceremony to reception if they would like. Many people won’t think about taking an extra outfit, so giving them that option might really ease their minds.

Bridesmaids clothing- Put careful consideration into what your girls will wear. Maybe let them pick out their own dresses and coordinate cute outer ware for them.  For example, have them all wear a similar colored dress and pick out Pea coats, Stockings, Boots, Hats, and/or Mittens you would like them to wear. You can even turn some of these items into the special gift you give your girls.

Warm Favors:
Let your guests know you appreciate their effort to make your winter wedding come true. Offer warm drinks by the guestbook table for them to take to their seat. You could hire an espresso bar or even just set out a carafe of coffee and hot water for tea and cocoa. Personalized coffee cup sleeves add a great touch to complete the look. You could also use travel mugs that would double as a favor your guests can take home.

Blankets are another nice touch to a cold outdoor wedding. Ladies especially appreciate this as dresses don’t tend to cover the legs very well. There’s no need to go out and buy a bunch of blankets, just borrow afghans and quilts from family and friends and pin their name on their blankets. Put someone in charge of making sure all the right blankets get back to the right people that night so you don’t have to worry about it after the wedding.

Have an emergency “basket of warmth”. While the love you share this day may warm everyone’s insides, it won’t do much to warm someone’s numb fingers who forgot gloves.  Offer mittens, caps, ear muffs, scarves, even leg warmers to those who might not have come prepared.

Reception Sweat Lodge:
Make sure you discuss the temperature settings with your reception venue. You don’t want everyone to dress extra warm for the ceremony and at reception have guests dying of heat before dinner is even served (let alone the dancing). Just inquire if the temp can be turned down if needed (or even have them turn it down beforehand) or make sure you have access to windows/doors that open to let cool air in. Again let guests know that they are welcome to change into indoor reception dress if they would like.

Last Resort- Bring the Outdoors In:
If you have tried and nothing seems to be coming together for your outdoor nuptials, consider bringing the outdoors in. You can turn a ceremony hall into a beautiful room with the feel of winter by using trees, twinkle lights, candles, pine cones, silvers, golds, or blues. Maybe find a hall with a fireplace. You can even go the more Holiday themed route by using berries, ornaments, Poinsettias, Christmas trees & lights. And just because your event got moved indoors doesn’t mean you have to stay in there all day/night. You can still step out for some photos, make a getaway in a horse drawn carriage, or have a bon fire (if your venue will allow it).

Wedding Etiquette

As one of the biggest and most potentially stressful events of your life, getting engaged and subsequently planning a wedding brings with it an onslaught of questions. As times change and weddings evolve, traditional rules of etiquette have followed suit, only adding to the confusion.

To gain perspective, first understand that “etiquette” is above all about treating people with courtesy and making them feel comfortable. When an etiquette question arises, consider the feelings of those who will be affected.

Family Etiquette

Introducing Your Parents
If the bride and groom’s parents have not met prior to the engagement, tradition dictates that the groom’s family calls and introduces themselves to the bride’s family and arranges a meeting. If the groom’s parents do not make the first introduction, then the bride’s parents should. Nowadays, who makes the first call is irrelevant; all that really matters is that the parents meet. If meeting face to face is impossible, a letter or phone call will suffice.

Introducing Divorced Parents
If the groom’s parents are divorced, the parent with the closest relationship to the groom should take the first step in meeting the bride’s parents. If both sets are divorced, the parent closest to the groom should first contact the bride’s suggested parent. If no one begins the introduction process, the couple should step in and ensure that everyone meets, while refraining from forcing potentially awkward situations.

Your In-Laws
The groom’s parents often feel left out of the planning process. To avoid this, invite your future in-laws into the initial dialogue. You should immediately inform them of your ideas regarding location, date, size and style of the wedding. Take queues on their desired level of involvement, and include them accordingly. Let them make offers to pitch in with finances or planning (here is a useful list of the traditional wedding costs the groom’s family is responsible for. Above all, keep them in the informed throughout your engagement.

Invitation Etiquette

Inviting partners and guests
If an invited guest is married, engaged or living with a significant other, that partner must be included in the invitation. A single invitation addressed to both individuals should be sent to spouses or couples who live together, while separate invitations should be sent to each member of an engaged or long term couple who don’t live together. Inviting single guests with a date is a thoughtful gesture, but one that is not required. If you are inviting a single guest with a date, try to find out the name of your friend’s intended date and include that person’s name on the invitation. Otherwise, inner envelopes may include “And Guest,” indicating that he or she may bring any chosen escort or friend. For more advice on invitation etiquette, consult this complete wedding invitation guide.

Inviting Children
To invite or not invite the little ones – this is a situation that can quickly get ugly. Make your decision and stick with it – then inform your guests through carefully addressed invitations:

Children over 18 who are invited to the wedding should receive their own invitations – regardless of whether or not they live with their parents. If you don’t send them an invitation – it’s clear that they’re not invited.

Children under 18 who are invited to the wedding should have their name included on the invitation. If you’re inviting Joe and Mary Smith without their two little ones, their invitation should read “Joe and Mary Smith.”

If you’re still worried that some guests may add write-ins on their reply card – print the names of those invited on the reply card as well.

Guests Who Ask to Bring a Guest
Your guests should know better! It is never appropriate for a guest to ask to bring a date, and you have every right to politely say no. However, if you discover that a guest is engaged or living with a significant other, you should extend a written or verbal invitation.

Invitations to out-of-town guests
Many brides ponder whether or not it’s appropriate to invite long distance guests for whom it may be impossible to attend. Use your best judgment. Is this person truly a close friend who would want to attend your celebration? If so, failing to extend an invitation may be insulting. Remember, these days friends and family are often spread all over the country, and people are accustomed to traveling. On the other hand, if you haven’t spoken in years, an invitation may look like no more than a request for a gift. In those cases, send a wedding announcement instead, which carries no gift-giving obligation.

Gift-giving Etiquette

Yes, everyone likes to get gifts, and weddings are a perfect occasion for gift-giving. Friends and loved ones customarily honor the commitment of the newly betrothed by showering them with gifts. As the happy couple, just remember to always feel privileged not entitled. Here’s some useful wedding gift etiquette advice:

Do not print registry information on the invitation.
Do publicize your registry information by word of mouth only
Don’t explicitly request cash gifts; your close friends or family numbers can inform guests of your preferences if asked.
Do return all gifts – even shower and engagement gifts – if the wedding is called off (so don’t be tempted to use any gifts until after the wedding!)
Do respond to each gift with a personal hand-written thank you note within two weeks of receiving the gift (or within 2 weeks of returning from your honeymoon)
There is no special formula for determining the appropriate amount a guest should spend on a gift. The idea that each gift should cost as much as one plate at the reception is an impractical misconception.

Attire Etiquette

Rules for modern wedding attire have evolved with the times, but there are still traditional standards for fabrics, lengths and styles. Here are some guidelines:

The formality of your bridesmaids’ dresses should match that of your wedding dress. Although traditionally the dresses were the same length as the wedding gown, the rise in popularity of tea- and knee-length bridesmaids’ dresses has relaxed that rule. As long as the fabric and overall style matches the formality of your floor-length gown, shorter bridesmaids’ dresses are perfectly acceptable.

For evening weddings, guests should dress for a nice dinner or event – which includes suits (or black tie) for men and dresses or skirts in sophisticated colors and fabrics for women. Lengths can vary according to the style of the event and location. Female guests may now wear black, but never white.

The Cash Bar Issue

Yes, weddings are expensive. Yes, couples should be on the lookout for budget saving tips. Yes, weddings are expensive – we know. But never – under any circumstances – should you ever consider hosting a cash bar at your reception. Think about it – you would never ask anyone to pay for a cocktail in your own home. People at your reception are still your guests, even if the event is not held in your house. That said, if a full bar is not within your budget, consider these alternatives:

Host a soft bar, in which guests can order champagne, beer and wine.

Find a reception site that allows you to bring in your own alcohol; you will save serious cash, and anything unopened can be returned for a full refund.

Cut down the size of your guest list – the only significant way to reduce costs in the first place.

Asking for Monetary Gifts

You’re planning a bridal shower, and let’s face it – the bride and groom have been living together for three years, already accumulating at least two blenders and a toaster oven. What they could really use is some extra cash (they’ve been dying to remodel their bathroom.) However, blatantly asking for specific gifts – monetary or otherwise – is in poor taste. Just imagine an invitation that reads: “I could really use some new shoes – please send me some strappy sandals.” (Just because Carrie Bradshaw got away with it does not make it ok!) What you can do is let guests know if they ask that the bride prefers cash gifts. Send shower invites without registry information; inquiring guests will ask where the couple is registered, presenting a perfect opportunity to respond with the bride’s preference. Some guests will still prefer to give a tangible gift, so the couple should register for a few items. Avoid drawing attention to the cash with a “money tree,” or other cash-displaying gimmick, so guests bringing tangible gifts don’t feel awkward. Simply display all cards and gifts together for the bride to open and acknowledge.

Bottom line? The happy bride-to-be should always remember to feel privileged, not entitled.

Designing Your Own Wedding Invitations

When you’re trying to cut costs on your wedding budget and decide to make your own wedding invitations, you’ll probably need a few helping hands. The hundred-plus guest list will have you busy for a few weeks-months, if you’re not the crafty type!-and you may need to be more resourceful with your time. Online wedding invitation websites are a great way to customize your own wedding invitations and send them off to the printer. All it takes is a little creativity and inspiration, and you’ll be well-prepared with a set of invitations that are truly one-of-a kind. As you get going on the design process, here are just six tips to making yours as special as the Big Day:

1. Use your own poem or quotes. Many online wedding invitation companies offer templates of different designs, but you can choose what you would like printed in the text. Look for a quote or short poem that has a special meaning for both of you; it’s an easy way to make sure your invitations really stand out!

2. Add some 3-D accents. This can take the form of leaves, raffia, shells, twigs, or even sequin embellishments for a completely customized look. Save some money by bulk ordering the printed text on the invitations, and then settle in for a weekend of pasting and sticking the accents yourself.

3. Design a unique logo of your names. You can do this with basic photo editing software, or work with a graphic designer who can design some stylish typography of your names.

4. Include a photo of the wedding venue. If the wedding is going to take place at a historical church or other attractive venue, consider adding a picture in the form of an artist’s rendition or simply a black and white cutout. This works well as a nice personal touch.

5. Add a link to your personalized wedding website or blog. You can include this as a small business card as a keepsake, and use calligraphy or other fancy script to write out the web address. Wedding blogs and websites are becoming increasingly popular for couples to share their insights and stories about their Big Day.

6. Seal them the old-fashioned way. Consider sealing each invitation’s envelope with a wax seal and imprint of your initials. This is a classic touch that won’t be forgotten!

Designing your own wedding invitations is a great way to cut a few costs and flex your creative muscles. Wedding invitations can be ordered in bulk from a printer, or you can even print them off at home if you have a quality laser printer. Whatever you decide to do, don’t settle for templates and basic designs-add a few customized embellishments and you’ll soon have a masterpiece to share!

MAKE YOUR WEDDING AN EVENT TO REMEMBER

DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown Provides Tips on the Latest Wedding Trends

When planning a wedding, one of the most important things is for a bride and groom – and their guests – to walk away remembering their wedding as the most spectacular event they have ever had. Incorporating some of the latest wedding trends in both food and décor will help insure that your reception will be an event to remember.

Linda Ferone, Director of Catering for The DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown, offers the following trendy and unique ideas for both food and décor that will be sure to make your wedding stand out from the crowd.

Food Trends: Spice up your wedding with dishes and drinks that invoke both nostalgia and novelty.

• Comfort food with a twist. Serve guests foods that they remember as a child, but are now prepared for an adult palate. An example would be Sliders…but make them Kobe beef sliders.

• Bold flavors are big!! You will see more Indian food station stations at buffets and in passing items. Pakora, samosas, curries and chutneys will be incorporated into 2012 menus.

• Pies are popular. You will see more pies in dessert concepts for 2012. Miniature pies, pies to share, hand pies will sometimes be served as opposed to cakes.

• Scotches & Bourbons are all the rage! Dedicated single liquor bars, scotch bars set up as the “after dinner drink”, Mint Juleps, and Manhattans are making a comeback and are replacing the fruit juice vodka cocktails.

• “Short Plates”. Otherwise known as “small plates” are still in vogue, but have a name change. These are miniature tastings of delicious items on small dishes served passed around or on buffet stations.

• Popcorn is not just for the movies anymore. Popcorn stations have replaced candy stations. Using clear cylinders or apothecary jars, assorted flavored popcorns can be offered as a self service station as you exit the reception.

• Engaging the senses is a must for 2012. Can you smell it, hear it, taste it, and see it? These are all elements that should be incorporated as part of the décor or food service.

Décor Trends: The latest trends in wedding reception décor are typically derived from the fashion runway and Hollywood movies.

• Pastels. Pastels are well liked on the runway and will carry on through to events.

These muted colors will be seen in invitations, bridesmaid’s dresses, table linens and floral arrangements. Look for peach, pink and celery colors.

• Geometric Patterns. You will see this in wall coverings, linens, napkins, invitations and throw pillows to show personality in the party.

• Vintage. Things that are old will be new again. From furniture, to glassware, and everything in between, vintage items will be popular this year in décor for events thanks to the movie “The Artist’.

• Hot color combinations. Tangelo & Lime will be a trendy combination.

• Monograms. Both elegant and personal, monograms will be seen in weddings with the bride & grooms initials on just about everything!

• Wedding videos are not just for the bride and groom. Video imagery is getting bigger and better and more common among décor in an event.

• Tabletop gardens are well liked by florists. You will see groupings of natural elements such as moss, orchids, pachyphytum, etc. to create one earthy centerpiece.

“Whether you decide to go with some of these trends or stick to something more traditional, the most important thing is to choose the styles that are right for you as a couple. After all, having a big, happy smile on your face is something that never goes out of style!” concluded Ferone.

About The DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown

The DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown was recently named a “2012 Best of Weddings” venue by The Knot for its commitment to service and excellence. Set on 11 acres of landscaped grounds in the heart of the Hudson Valley, the hotel offers 247 guest rooms and the largest Grand Ballroom in Westchester County, with 10,000 square feet of flexible space. The DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown has a total of 24,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space, which also includes another ballroom and 17 meeting rooms. In addition, the hotel offers a complimentary business center, indoor pool, sauna, fitness center, day spa, and the delicious Bistro Z restaurant. The hotel offers a beautiful country atmosphere and friendly service for both business and leisure guests.

For more information about The DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown, please visit our website at http://www.tarrytown.doubletree.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tarrytowndoubletree and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ttowndoubletree.