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.

Hudson Valley Ceremonies Free Honeymoon Service

Where to go on your Honeymoon can be a very exciting decision and a very stressful decision. Why? There are so many places in the world to go on a honeymoon and so many price ranges. Don’t worry we are here to help.

At Hudson Valley Ceremonies we have been planning honeymoons for over 10 years. Our main goal is that you have a great time at the budget you can afford. That is why our honeymoon service is free! This includes a honeymoon registry and first class service. No need to call a 1-800 service, speak to the same agent every time.

Plus we provide you with a $100 gift certificate to be used for your wedding with one of our many services or any products we offer. Plus receive all invitations, favors and accessories at 50% off the retail price.

Questions? Call or email us.

Wedding Trends

~ Consider having a theme wedding! Theme weddings are rising in popularity and offer a great, inexpensive way to personalize your wedding. By starting with a theme, you will be surprised at how easy it is to personalize your wedding with your own special touches.

~ You don’t necessarily need to have a period theme, such as a Victorian or Renaissance wedding. Instead, you could make your wedding memorable by personalizing it with your own special theme. There are many themes to choose from, including: “cupids”, “Paris in springtime”, “romantic candlelight” etc.

~ Some brides are useing wedding newsletters to keep their family and friends up to date with their wedding plans and schedules. Newsletters can save you from making endless phone calls, and can be revised three or four times leading up to your wedding date. The newsletter can include such information as: when people are needed for fittings, profiles on yourself and the groom (for guests you may not have met) and other personal information.

~ The new trend in bridal gowns leans toward a more elegant and stylish approach. Many brides are now choosing gowns with simple, but stunning, lines. It seems the trend in bridesmaids dresses and accent colors is moving away from pastel colors. Deep shades, such as burgundy, forest green and navy blue are becoming more popular choices, with cummerbunds and bow ties being made to match.

~ Brides are buying more thoughtful gifts for their attendants. It is being recognized that the best gifts are not the most expensive ones, but the ones that are chosen with your sincere thanks. Some popular ideas include: antique looking, silver frames with a picture of both you and your bridesmaid/attendant, or gift baskets filled with beauty products. The gift needs to say “Thank you for being here and helping to make my day so special”.

~ Because wedding costs can be quite expensive, there is a rising trend in the sharing of the total expense, not only by both sets of parents, but by the couple themselves. This is especially the case with professional couples who have been living on their own for a number of years, who may even want to pay for the entire wedding.

~ Some couples are choosing to be married at their honeymoon destination, and are inviting only close family and friends. There are many destination wedding packages available, so ask for details.

~ Many couples are personalizing their wedding ceremony by writing their own vows.

~ A wonderful, moving new trend is to face the congregation during the ceremony (as opposed to the traditional stance of having your back to them).

~ More couples are choosing to incorporate their ethnic background into their wedding ceremony and theme, as well as their reception.

~ Many brides are now moving away from formal, posed shots for their wedding photography. Instead, candid photography and a photojournalistic approach to the day are rising in popularity.

~ For the reception, buffets are becoming the most popular menu choice as they accommodate every guest’s taste.

~ Multi-flavored and layered wedding cakes are becoming firm favorites. Some brides like to choose a different flavor for each layer of their cake. For example, a layer of chocolate cake, a layer of marble cake and a layer of vanilla cake. Also, more creative decorative ideas are being used, especially fresh flowers.

~ Cake tops are being ordered to match specific wedding themes and color schemes. Brides are also copying the cake tops used by their parents and grandparents at their weddings. If you like, you could follow the trend of placing wedding photos of your parents and grandparents on your cake table, which gives a sentimental and romantic touch.

~ Less traditional gifts for the guests are being given. New ideas include: personalized chocolates, seedlings, monogrammed wine glasses and small perfume bottles tied with ribbon.

~ Another new reception trend is the replacement of the receiving line. A new, more relaxed way to perform this duty is for the bride, groom and the wedding party to make their way around the room, speaking to guests who are seated at their tables.

~ If you have decided to invite children to your reception, this new trend is for you! By providing a designated play room and a babysitter for children, you will get the best of both worlds. By providing this service, the children are still present, but can be kept entertained and cared for by the babysitter in the play room, leaving their parents to relax and enjoy the festivities.

~ With the wide variety of materials now available, many brides are finding it hard to match their reception decorations, flowers and napkins to the exact shade of their bridesmaid’s dresses. Because of this, a new trend in shading has arisen. By using varying shades of the color you have chosen, you will be able to add depth and interest to your color scheme. For example, if your bridesmaid’s dresses are burgundy in color, you could use a deep red and a light red to achieve a contrasting look.

~ One thoughtful new trend is to donate leftover reception food to charities who provide food kitchens for the needy.

~ More couples are choosing to hyphenate their surnames and some brides are choosing to keep their maiden names, for business or personal reasons. However, it’s not only career women who are deciding to keep their maiden name. If you come from a well-known family, or are an only child, you may feel strongly about keeping your maiden name also.

Free Honeymoon Service!

Where to go on your Honeymoon can be a very exciting decision and a very stressful decision. Why? There are so many places in the world to go on a honeymoon and so many price ranges. Don’t worry we are here to help.

At Hudson Valley Ceremonies we have been planning honeymoons for over 10 years. Our main goal is that you have a great time at the budget you can afford. That is why our honeymoon service is free! This includes a honeymoon registry and first class service. No need to call a 1-800 service, speak to the same agent every time.

Plus we provide you with a $100 gift certificate to be used for your honeymoon, one of our many services or any products we offer. Plus receive all invitations, favors and accessories at 50% off the retail price.

Questions? Please call or email us.

Wedding Traditions and Customs

  • Best Man:

As marriages were historically accomplished by capture (the groom would kidnap the woman), a warrior friend was often employed. This Best Man would help the groom fight off other men who wanted the captured woman, and would also help in preventing the woman’s family from finding the couple.

  • Bridal Party:

The bridal party has many origins, not the least of which are the Anglo-Saxon days. When the groom was about to abduct his bride, he needed the help of many friends, the “bridesmen” or “brideknights.” The “gentlemen” would make sure the bride got to the ceremony on time and to the groom’s house afterwards. The bride also had women to help her. These were known as the “bridesmaids” or “brideswomen.”

  • Bridal Showers:

The Bridal Shower originated with the intent to strengthen friendships between the bride and her friends. In this gathering, the bride’s friends would give her moral support and help her prepare for her marriage. The idea to give gifts is fairly new; originating circa the 1890’s. At one shower, the bride’s friend placed small gifts inside a parasol and opened it over the bride’s head so that the presents would “shower” over her. When word of this hit the fashion pages, people were so taken with the idea that they decided to do the same at their showers.

  • Bride on the left, Groom on the right:

When the groom fought off warriors who also wanted his bride, he would hold onto her with his left hand, while fighting them off with his sword in his right hand (we suppose there were no Southpaws in those days of yore), which is why the bride stands on the left, and the groom on the right.

  • Diamond Engagement Rings:

These lavish gifts were given by medieval Italians in the belief that the diamond was created in the Flames of Love.

  • Garter Toss/Bouquet Toss:

Many things are thrown through the air at weddings: rice (for fertility), bouquets (for luck and protection), and garters (also for luck). The garter is my favorite.  Apparently, in the good old days, before wedding dresses cost as much as small cars, people used to rip off chunks of the dress for good luck.  In long-ago England, in a slightly related custom, friends of the groom would rip off their socks and throw them; the first to hit the groom’s nose would be the next to be married. In the 14th century, it was customary for the bride to toss her garter to the men, but sometimes the men got too drunk, and would become impatient and try to take the garter off her ahead of time. (Eventually the groom got into the act and saved his bride from the unruly mob…we hope). All the same, it got to less trouble for her to toss her bridal bouquet instead.

  • Honeymoon:

Following the abduction, the groom would put himself and his bride into hiding – the Honeymoon – so that by the time the bride’s family found them, the bride would already be pregnant.

  • Shoes on the Bumper:

Tying shoes to the bumper of the car represents the symbolism and power of shoes in ancient times. Egyptians would exchange sandals when they exchanged goods, so when the father of the bride gave his daughter to the groom, he would also give the bride’s sandals to show that she now belonged to the groom. In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom would tap the heel of the bride’s shoe to show his authority over her. In later times, people would throw shoes at the couple.

  • Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence in her Shoe This rhyme originated in Victorian times. ‘Something Old’ signifies that the Couple’s friends will stay with them. In one version of the tradition the ‘Something Old’ was an old garter which was given to the bride by a happily married woman so that the new bride would also enjoy a happy marriage. ‘Something New’ looks to the future for health, happiness and success.

    ‘Something Borrowed’ is an opportunity for the Bride’s family to give her something as a token of their love (it must be returned to ensure Good Luck), and ‘Something Blue’ is thought lucky because Blue represents fidelity and constancy. The custom began in ancient Israel where brides wore a blue ribbon in their hair to symbolize their fidelity. A sixpence was placed in the shoe to bring the couple wealth in their married life. Some brides still place a penny in their shoe during the marriage ceremony.

    Stag Parties:

    Ancient Spartan soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would feast with his male friends on the night before his wedding. In this event he would say good-bye to the carefree days of bachelorhood and swear continued allegiance to his comrades.

  • Tie the Knot:

This wonderful expression originated from Roman times when the bride wore a girdle that were tied in knots which the groom had the fun of untying. As a side note, this phrase can also refer to the tying of the knot in Handfasting Ceremonies, which were often performed without the benefit of a clergy.

  • Veil:

Along with these kidnappings and bartering, there were also arranged marriages. In these, the groom’s family informed him that he was to marry…but they very rarely let him see the bride. After all, if the groom didn’t like the bride’s looks, he might not agree to the marriage. With this in mind, the father of the bride gave the bride away to the groom who then lifted the veil to see his wife of all eternity for the first time. (I have to wonder how many of these grooms voiced their reactions aloud.)

  • Wedding:

Although the aforementioned events were common, marriage by purchase was preferred. Quite often the bride was exchanged for land, political alliance, social status and/or currency. Indeed, the Anglo-Saxon word “wedd” meant the groom would vow to marry the woman – and that the bartered goods and/or currency would go directly to the bride’s father. (Side note: the very word “wedding” comes from the root term meaning “gamble” or “wager”.) In short, a wedding seemed little more than the purchase of a bride for breeding purposes. Not a particularly liberated point of view.

  • Wedding Bands:

It is unknown when wedding bands were first worn. They were probably made of a strong metal such as iron. (One can easily guess the portent of an omen if a wedding band broke.) As far back as the ancient Romans, there was a belief that the vein in the third finger ran directly to the heart, so the wearing of rings on that finger joined the couple’s hearts and destinies.

  • Wedding Cake:

Like most any other ritual handed down from the ages, a wedding wouldn’t be complete without fertility symbols, like the wedding cake. Ancient Romans would bake a cake made of wheat or barley and break it over the bride’s head as a symbol of her fertility. (Whether this meant cracking the cake above the bride’s head or actually bonking her on the noggin with it is rather unclear. We’re not sure we want to know…) Over time, it became traditional to stack several cakes atop one another, as tall as possible. The bride and groom would then be charged to kiss over this tower without knocking it over. If they were successful, a lifetime of good fortune was certain for the new couple. Finally, during the reign of King Charles II of England, it became customary for cake to be a palatable palace iced with sugar.

  • White Wedding Dress:

Anne of Brittany made the white wedding dress popular in 1499. Before that, a woman Just wore her best dress. It should be noted that a white wedding dress is in no way indicative of The “purity” of the bride-to-be. Indeed, white is not accorded as a symbol of chastity, but of joy.

Companions Fly Free To Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay

Companions Fly Free to Sandals Royal Bahamian & Sandals Emerald Bay
Promotion Name: Companions Fly Free to Sandals Royal Bahamian & Sandals Emerald Bay
Booking Window: Now – December 22. 2010
Travel Window: January 04-June 23, 2010
Black-Out Dates: March 19-April 18, 2010 (All travel must exclude these dates)
Resort: Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort, Nassau & Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas
Categories: All published room categories
Minimum Length of Stay: 4 Nights, except when flying from Florida, which has a 3 night minimum
Note: Bookings can not be made online.

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