Ceremony Decor

Do-it-yourself weddings do not have to stop at favors, bouquets and gifts. If you are planning a wedding in a non-traditional setting, think about the ceremony decor, including the ceremony backdrop or chuppah. It can create the stage and photo backdrop for the wedding, as well as making the space for the ceremony and reinforcing the theme.

The first thing someone may think of is a twig and flower chuppah or some other floral arrangement.

Glynwood Wedding Chuppah

Also consider using paper or silk flowers for the backdrop. Giant paper flowers would add whimsy and fun to a wedding.

Floral Backdrop

There are many other materials to use for the ceremony backdrop, besides flowers, though.

Reclaimed building materials, such as windows or doors

Window Backdrop

Picture frames

Picture Frame Backdrop

Curtains

Curtain Backdrop

Crepe paper or streamers

backdrop streamers

Paper Poms

Paper Pom Backdrop

Handwritten words displayed on butcher paper

written-paper-scroll-wedding-ceremony

Books

Book backdrop

Whatever you choose for your wedding ceremony decor, enjoy yourself. Blend it into the ceremony and the theme. Staying in a budget is easy for someone with creativity and cleverness. Think of what will go best in the wedding setting and be easy for set up and take down.

A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding at Twin Lakes

It was so wonderful to work with Laurie and Tom from Platinum Party Events at Twin Lakes in Hurley NY this past October for Amanda & James’ wedding.

A special Thanks to Laurie for the wonderful write up on their blog! Head on over and see what she had to say.

Here are a few pictures we captured of the amazing fall theme and decor Amanda & James had.

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Hurley NY wedding

Twin Lakes Wedding

Country Wedding

Fall Wedding

Vendors

Venue: Twin Lakes
Coordinator: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Sage)
DJ: Platinum Party Events
Officiant: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Mike)
Photographer: Family Friend

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.

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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.

New Trends in Wedding Invitations

Country Elegance within the Jean M Mixation Invitations

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Grand Celebration

Endearing Romance

Endearing Romance

Celebrate Marriage

Celebrate Marriage

Floral Chalkboard - Invitation

Floral Chalkboard – Invitation

Rustic Charm - Invitation

Rustic Charm – Invitation

Country Daisies

Country Daisies

Visit our online store for thousands of great invitations.

www.hudsonvalleyceremonies.carlsoncraft.com

All couples receive a 20% discount on the invitations.

All couples that contract a service with Hudson Valley Ceremonies receive a 50% discount.

Contact Hudson Valley Ceremonies for additional details

hvceremonies@gmail.com

845-244-1482

The Value of Hiring a Wedding Coordinator

Now that the proposal has been accepted, what’s next? It’s time to create your signature wedding.
What exactly does that mean? It means that from this day forward, until the day of the wedding, you will spend 75% of your time thinking about how to create a wedding that will be like no other. You may not have given it much thought, but most couples have thought about this day for many years and envisioned their wedding in their minds a thousand times. Both of you are about to embark upon what could be a wonderful journey… or a nightmare! The choice is yours. Why leave it to chance that everything will go according to plan? Instead, implement a fail-proof plan. How? By hiring a wedding coordinator

Consider this idea as the first and one of the most important decisions you will make as a couple. Hiring a wedding coordinator will give both of you reassurance that you are making the right decisions about your choices; help bring your dream to fruition; and maintain a peaceful, loving, relationship in the process.

Although most couples enjoy the idea of designing a wedding, they often find that the planning is much more work than they imagined. It takes time and experience to address every detail. Let’s face it, some people just aren’t planners. Planning your wedding doesn’t have to be a frustrating and overwhelming experience. Organization and careful planning are the keys to a stress-free, fun-filled event. Hiring a wedding coordinator will ensure a much happier experience for you both!!

A wedding coordinator will not only help coordinate the details of the wedding but, more importantly, will help to make the process fun, reduce the stress and ensure that you have the wedding you desire. You will not have to worry or become stressed during the planning process. Instead, you both will enjoy planning the wedding.

Don’t misunderstand, you both will still make all the decisions, but consider leaving the details to the experts. Most couples truly enjoy the journey and, even if they don’t, the coordinator will be there to guide them. Trust me on this one, by hiring a wedding coordinator, your life will be happier, because everyone will be happier and less stressed.

Wedding coordinators are trained professionals who know the industry. Couples should understand that they are not just paying for a coordinator to manage the day for them; they are also paying for knowledge, expertise, skills, services and, ultimately, peace of mind.

Wedding coordinators provide a higher level of comfort for everyone. They are able to recommend the right professionals for you. Professionals enjoy working with other professionals. Are trained to handle difficult scenarios and unexpected occurrences at weddings; Are familiar with the latest trends and have the best resources; Know the best locations and services for each couple’s particular needs; Have access to exclusive locations that couples would otherwise never hear about; Can recommend the right wedding professionals for all aspects of the wedding; Are trained to help create a budget, keep expenses within that budget, and protect couples from making costly mistakes; Can save couples time in researching options. They already know what works best and why.

Now that you understand the various roles of a wedding coordinatoe, it’s time to start getting the important questions answered. Setting the budget first is the key! You and your fiancée should agree on the expenses before you begin the planning process. The budget must accommodate the size and style of the wedding. Write down your wishes and desires and compare notes. Distinguish your “wishes” from your “must haves”. Your coordinator can create a budget based on the most important elements of YOUR wedding. He/She can help prioritize which areas are most important to you.

Remember there is always room for compromise. Target more money towards the areas that are most important and reduce the areas that are less important. Your wedding coordinator will show you how to make changes without changing the feel of the wedding. Is it more important to have great food or a great band? Do you want an extravagant cake or beautiful flowers? You can have all of the above with proper planning. Whichever you choose, remember to stay on track with the expenses as you move forward. The budget is one of the most important areas where your coordinator can assist and it’s the start of making financial decisions together, a very important part of marriage. Open and honest communication is the key.

In a post-wedding survey, couples were asked, “If you had it to do over again, what would you have done differently?”
Number 1 Answer: “I would have hired a wedding coordinator – someone to ensure that all of the details were handled so that I could have enjoyed my day without worry.” Coordinators provide this reassurance on the wedding day! It is worth the investment to have peace of mind.

A wedding coordinator is able to provide: Peace of mind while planning the wedding; A great experience on the wedding day; and Wonderful wedding memories that will last forever!

Your Holiday Season Elopement

From Christmas to New Years Eve, what better time for shopping, meeting family and friends, exchanging gifts, and . . . getting married. When you think about it, what better time during this “season of giving” than to share the most important gift of all — your marriage. And yes, the holiday season is an ideal time to elope.

The holiday season elope is popular for many reasons:

– Your marriage is one of the greatest gifts that you can give and share;
– Elopement destinations are specially decorated and offer more picture opportunities;
– The holiday festivities and goodwill of others add to the romance of your wedding; and
– Combine your elope wedding with a winter sport honeymoon — a ski vacation, for example.

Picking the Perfect Gift

Picking the perfect gift during the holidays is one of life’s most difficult chores. You want your gift to be: romantic; heart-felt; represent an important part of me; valuable; and most of all — forever. It is difficult to think of a more priceless gift than the gift of love and support of each other throughout time.

The Most Festive Season

During the holiday season, all the travel destinations are decorating their establishments with festive Christmas trees, garlands made of evergreens, wreaths with poinsettia, gift-wrapped packages, twinkling lights, ornamental holiday characters figurines, fancy red and gold ribbons, the crackle of wood in a burning fireplace, and much more. Imagine the wonderful wedding picture opportunities these festive holiday decorations will offer. And in addition to the decorations, many destinations will also be offering holiday feasts and menu specials to celebrate the holidays — and of course your wedding, also.

Beware though, the holiday season is also the most popular travel time and some destinations may be crowded. Always call ahead and speak to the manager about your ideas and plans. In most cases, early reservations will be the safest. On the other hand, brides tend to be lucky and your destination may be able to accommodate you on short notice. Either way, call ahead for details.

Romance in the snow

A holiday season elopement is also a great opportunity to travel to a wintry location and enjoy a winter sport honeymoon. There are a multitude of travel destinations that offer every kind of winter sport and activity imaginable: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, tubing and sledding, sleigh riding, ice skating and much more. Add a few extra days to your elopement and enjoy the outdoor winter activities. The most important thing is to remember to bring warm outdoor wear; you can easily rent sport equipment everywhere. And if you don’t know how to ski or snowboard — professional lessons will have you schussing and gliding like a pro in a few hours.

Congratulations to All of Our Couples Married This Past Winter!

Antonio & Cheryl 11/4 at Overlook Lodge
Mike & Pamela 11/4 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Inna & Gregory 11/5 at The Stone House B&B
Glen & Sally 11/7 at The Rhinecliff
Brian & Ann Marie 11/11 in Hopewell Junction, NY
Matthew & Tiffany 11/12 in Stanfordville, NY
Justin & Jami 11/12 at Ceola Manor
Victor & Kristina 11/18 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Leah & Jonathan 11/19 in Hudson, NY
Vanessa & Mike 12/2 at HVC
Chris & Jennifer 12/3 in Yorktown Heights, NY
Kevin & Rosaria 12/17 at HVC
Evelyn & Claudia 12/23 at Minnewaska State Park
Mike & Willa 12/31 at Bear Mountain Inn
Nicholas & Carlina 12/31 at Patriot Hills
Jason & Jason 1/17 in Beacon, NY
Maria & Christopher 1/27 at HVC
Robert & Nena 1/28 at HVC
Melody & David 1/28 in Hopewell Junction, NY
Rudy & Nadine 2/11 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Rene & Dominique 2/17 at HVC
Kyle & Kayla 2/25 at HVC
Devon & Nicole 2/25 in Rhinebeck, NY
Angel & Ann Marie 2/26 at The Bykenhulle House

Your Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings are romantic and scenic, but there’s a lot that can go wrong. Here’s your guide to planning a trouble-free, outdoor wedding.

Who will officiate?
Some officiants will only perform ceremonies within a house of worship, so you’ll need to check with yours in advance before planning your ceremony outside.

Inform your guests
Guests need to know they’re attending an outdoor wedding so they can dress appropriately. It’s also a good idea to send weather information to out-of-town guests who may not be familiar with the climate.

Be prepared
Combat potential outdoor issues by having the following items on hand:

Plenty of water
Umbrellas
Handheld paper or wood fans
Sunscreen
Bug spray
Tissues/paper towels

Securing your Outdoor Wedding Location
For an outdoor wedding, the draw is the setting, so finding the right spot and coordinating the event around it is the most important task on your to-do list. Your setting options are as limitless as the great outdoors itself. But before getting your heart set on a specific spot, these are some key questions you’ll need to ask.

Is There Privacy?
Keep in mind that if your location is a public space – or even near a public place (like a street or sidewalk), you may have to contend with onlookers. Try to reserve your space in a secluded spot to prevent unwanted guests or distractions.

What’s The Backup Plan?
Obviously you’ll need a plan in case of inclement weather. If your location doesn’t have indoor facilities to accommodate your event should the skies open, you’ll need to rent a tent. Many rental companies will reserve your tent for a deposit and that way, if the weather is nice and you don’t use it, you don’t lose the full payment.

Can You Hear?
Will guests have to compete with roaring waves, gusting winds, honking cars, or screaming children to hear your vows? You may need to rent a sound system and mics for the officiant and yourselves. Your band or DJ should be able to provide this for you.

Outdoor Décor Elements
Let the setting speak for itself – Don’t compete with Mother Nature; rather, subtly enhance your background (whether it’s a sandy beach, blooming garden, or thick forest) with a complementary color palette and décor elements.
Au Natural – Consider details like burlap table linens and vintage furniture to set your scene. It blends into the outdoor setting while also creating a statement. Get inspired by the vintage gems available from Found Vintage Rentals.
Lighting – Create ambiance in your outdoor space by getting creative with your lighting – there is nothing quite like bistro lights, twinkle lights, or lanterns set against a natural scene.

Outdoor Wedding Flowers
Blooms – An outdoor wedding calls for flowers that can brave all sorts of weather. Look for sturdier blooms like mums, orchids, carnations, alstroemeria, lisianthus, calla lilies, and sunflowers. Also, don’t overlook these hearty, simple floral embellishments that look fabulous by themselves: baby’s breath, bells of Ireland, hypernicum berry, bupleurum, and dusty miller.
Style – Keep your containers and arrangements natural-looking, as an intricately designed, elaborate pedestal centerpiece in a tall candelabra just doesn’t fit. Instead, use loose arrangements in mason jars, wooden boxes, vintage containers, crates, or pails.

Outdoor Wedding Menu
Keep it simple – Even an elegant outdoor wedding calls for simpler fare that can withstand varied temperatures, so avoid items like mayonnaise or dishes which must be served cold. If yours is a casual affair, consider a traditional outdoor barbeque.
Keep guests refreshed – Have plenty of ice and water, along with teas or lemonades, especially if your outdoor wedding will take place in a warm environment. Alcoholic beverages like sangria, mojitos, or mint juleps will also keep your guests refreshed.

Outdoor Wedding Cake Ideas
Make it last – Wedding cakes can melt outside. Opt for fondant icing over buttercream. Stay away from mousse and ice cream cakes. Many types of cupcakes hold up well in the heat.

Outdoor Wedding Attire
Bride – Dare to go casual. Outdoor settings allow for breezy fabrics and shorter hemlines. Knee and tea-length gowns are making a major comeback, while lace and/or organza are good outdoor fabric options. But if traditional elegance is what you prefer then you can still plan a formal dress code – just consider what’s best suited for sun, sand, or grass.
Bridesmaid – You may want to forgo the giant ball gown and instead, stick to a romantic empire or a-line dress in a flowing organza or light-catching taffeta.
Shoes – For both bride and bridesmaids, opt for a wide, flat heel, cute ballet flats, or strappy sandals, as a stiletto may sink right into the ground.
For the guys – Lose the tux and consider an unbuttoned affair. Dress the guys in khakis and sport jackets or crisp oxfords. If you’re heart is set on a tux, get a vest with a full back – which will look better when their coats are off.

Outdoor Wedding Favors

Keep ‘em cool – Personalized paper fans are both decorative and functional.
Keep love blooming – By giving packs of flower seeds.
Plant it – Gift them with miniature potted plants or herbs.
Give – Forgo the traditional favors and donate to your favorite “green” organization in your guests’ names.

Outdoor Wedding Getaway
Up and away – A hot air balloon makes a dramatic statement and affords some romantic alone time with your new spouse
Sail away – Make your exit on a sail boat, yacht, catamaran, or canoe (hint: you’ll need a body of water).
Horseback – Make sure you practice before you galloping into the sunset.
Vintage Flatbed Truck – ‘Cause you’re a down-home couple at heart.
Horse-drawn carriage– This romantic exit is the ultimate departure fit for a princess.

Outdoor Wedding Entertainment

Fun and games – In a natural outdoor setting, you’re not limited to a traditional band or deejay to entertain the crowd; outdoor games like horseshoes or croquet can be a fun and unexpected twist.



Advice for Forgoing the Traditional Wedding Venue

Many wedding venues have outdoor settings available, which makes planning an alfresco event a bit easier (they provide and handle the essentials). If you’re planning your outdoor wedding at a public park, beach or private home; however, you’ll have added details to attend to:

Permits
Public outdoor locations require numerous permits and fees. Be sure to find out about any restrictions on noise, alcohol consumption, number of guests, food preparation, tables, tents, and time limits.

Rental fees
Keep in mind that you’ll have to rent everything – from tables and chairs to bathrooms and sound systems – and these rental fees can up your bottom line.

Details
Attention to detail is key to the success of an outdoor wedding. Coordinating the permits, rentals, backup plans – not to mention the typical wedding details – can be taxing. Seriously consider enlisting the help of a professional coordinator to keep things together.

Accessibility
Is there convenient parking? If not, you’ll need to secure a nearby lot and provide a shuttle – especially if you’ll have elderly guests or others with limited mobility.

Wedding Insurance
Outdoor weddings are a prime candidate for insurance, which will to help recoup losses caused by extreme weather conditions or any other circumstances that prevent your wedding from taking place.

Congratulations to all of our October couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our October couples!

Sara and Jonah 10/1 at Oak Hill
Crystal and Thomas 10/1 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Carla and Robert 10/1 at New World Home Cooking
Suzie and Tony 10/1 at Belvedere Mansion
Lauren and Rick 10/1 at The Inn at Stone Ridge
Laryssa and Sharyn 10/2 in Elizaville, NY
Rosanna and Carl 10/2 St. Mary’s Church and The Rhinecliff Hotel
Amanda and Brent 10/2 in Hopewell Junction, NY
Nina and Miguel 10/7 at The V.I.P. Country Club
Andrea and Evan 10/8 at Bowdoin Park and Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Sasha and Matthew 10/8 at Schultz Hill
Katie and Anthony 10/8 at Emerson Resport & Spa
Melinda and Marcello 10/8 at Renaissance Westchester Hotel
Julianne and Tim 10/9 at The Chapel of Our Lady Restoration
Moira and Robert 10/9 at Blue Restaurant
Alicia and Robert 10/9 at Glen Sanders Mansion
Jillian and Jamie 10/10 at Locust Grove
Georgia and Christopher 10/14 at The Dutchess Golf & Country Club
Shanna and Michael 10/15 in Jewett, NY
Meredith and Nicholas 10/15 at West Park Winery
Eileen and Kurt 10/15 at The Meadowbrook
Jennifer and Robert 10/15 at Brookside Manor
Amanda and Wesley 10/16 at The Candlewood Inn
Wendy and Duane 10/16 at The Garrison
Alexandra and Brian 10/16 at Mohonk Mountain House
Kristen and Jonathan 10/19 in Saugerties, NY
Indy and Keyuan 10/22 at Castle on the Hudson
Jennifer and Paul 10/23 at Villa Borghese
Nicole and Shanee 10/23 at Round Hill House
Jamie and Raul 10/29 at St. Patrick´s Cathedral and Apawamis Club
Kathleen and Brendan 10/29 at Church of the Holy Spirit and Doubletree Hotel Tarrytown

Congratulations to all of our September couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our September couples!

Elizabeth and Ron 9/3 at Poets Walk
Elizabeth and Dana 9/3 at New York Country Club
Melissa and Jeremy 9/4 at The Links at Unionvale
Nicole and Nick 9/4 at Twin Lakes
Jill and John 9/4 at Millbrook Winery
Kellie and Mark 9/4 at The Falkirk Estate and Country Club
Gabrielle and Dean 9/10 at West Park Winery
Laurie and Rick 9/10 at The River Grill
Kaitlyn and Brian 9/10 at The Onteora Mountain House
Luciana and Eduardo 9/11 at The Ashokan Reservoir
April and Jill 9/16 in Central Park, NYC
Kaeleigh and Cory 9/16 in Gardiner, NY
Nichole and Peter 9/16 at The New York Country Club
Michelle and David 9/16 at The Glen Island Harbour Club
Jennifer and Marcelo 9/17 at The Stony Ford Golf Course
Stacy and Craig 9/17 in Yorktown Heights, NY
Veronika and Brainerd 9/17 at Oak Hill
April and Heath 9/17 in Kinderhook, NY
Sarah and Justin 9/17 at West Settlement
Beth and Hermann 9/17 at Del Posto Ristorante, NYC
Melissa and Kyle 9/18 at The Grandview
Nicole and Derek 9/23 at Arbor Ridge Catering & Banquet
Adam and Erin 9/24 at Mary’s Parish in Greenwich, CT and Westchester Country Club
Jessica and Kyle 9/24 at All Souls Church
Peter and Nicole 9/24 at The Historical Harness Track
Daria and Lukasz 9/24 at Mohonk Mountain House
Nicole and Ryan 9/24 at Overlook Lodge
Aimee and Michael 9/24 at Highlands Country Club
Katie and Rick 9/25 at Mohonk Mountain House
Jessica and Todd 9/30 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel