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.

Choosing Your Wedding Colors

Choosing your wedding color theme is one of the first decisions you’ll need to make when you start planning your wedding. Colors will set the tone of your wedding and determine the dresses, decor, and stationery that you order. Whether you’re thinking about a bold color combination or something more subdued, considering these factors will help you choose the right wedding colors theme.

First of all, consider the colors that will make up your background. For most couples, this will be a church or religious establishment followed by a banquet hall. Take trips to the place where your ceremony is going to happen. What color are the carpets? What color are the walls? If there is stained glass in the windows, what colors are used? Take notes and even take photos of your ceremony location. Then take a visit to your reception hall. Again, jot down or take photos of the general decor.

Think about what colors would and would not go with your wedding ceremony and reception locales. If the church you’re getting married in has red carpets and primary colors in its stained glass windows, a lime green and hot pink combination just might clash. Red, navy blue, dark green, or other bold primary colors would go well with the windows, while in summer you can probably do pastels. Loud neon colors would just be too much when there’s already a lot of color happening.

If you haven’t chosen a ceremony location yet, try to find something with a blank pallet of white walls so there won’t be any limitations in your wedding color combination choices.

Don’t forget to think about your bridesmaids. Although you may look good in every color of the rainbow, your gal pals may not. Some people just don’t look good in mustard yellow or fire engine red. Ask your girls if there are any colors they usually try to avoid and cross those colors off of your options list. Remember that darker colors can have a slimming effect, and weight conscious bridesmaids will certainly not want to wear a shade of white.

Once you’ve narrowed down your wedding color theme choices, think about what colors generally go with the season of your wedding. Oranges and yellows can work great for a fall wedding, while light blue and silver surely speak of a winter wonderland theme wedding. Darker colors are usually used in for a winter wedding, while pastels reign for spring weddings.

Bold colors are great for summer weddings or beach-themed weddings. Although those may be the trends, don’t be afraid to break from tradition to use your favorite color combination. Make sure you choose wedding colors you enjoy, and not an outrageous combination you’ll be sick of by the time your honeymoon rolls around! Follow these tips and you’re sure to come up with the perfect combination for you.

A Few Of Our Favorite Photographers, Amazing Weddings, Wonderful Couples & Their Photos ~ Christopher’s Studio

Christopher’s Studio
Chris Nealon
845-735-8210
914-834-4444
www.ChristophersStudio.com
www.ChristophersStudio.net/blog
crstudio@optonline.net

Ashley & Andrew ~ August 20, 2011 ~ Round Hill

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Congratulations to all our August couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our August couples!

Shelly and Frank 8/4 at Belvedere Mansion
Sierra and Bryan 8/5 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Victoria and Isaac 8/5 at Brookside Manor
Damian and Shawn 8/6 in Rhinebeck, NY
Nicole and Rina 8/6 in Rhinebeck, NY
Tista and Prashant 8/6 in Jewett, NY
Crystal and Pedro 8/6 at Hunter Mountain
Lauren and Corey 8/6 at Windham Mountain
Ashley and Ismael 8/7 at Catlin Gardens
Jeremy and Sonya 8/7 at The Marist College Gazebo
Kristine and Vincent 8/14 at Full Moon Resort
Russell and Meiling 8/14 at Kefi Restaurant in New York, NY
Lance and Folami 8/18 at Riverfront Park
Kimia and Terrance 8/18 at The Grandview
Melissa and Ted 8/19 at The Grandview
Andrew and Ashley 8/20 at FEAST Round Hill
Vicky and Holly 8/20 at The Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery
Sherry and Eric 8/20 at The Grandview
Robin and Michelle 8/21 at The Rhinecliff
Michelle and Matt 8/26 at Trump Hudson Valley
Tina and Rami 8/27 at The Grandview
Priscila and Ed 8/27 at The Grandview
Michael and Melissa 8/27 at Mohonk Mountain House
Melissa and Luke 8/27 at Rolling Greens at Dutchess Golf and Country Club
Heather and Blake 8/27 in Salt Point, NY

Congratulations to all our July couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our couples that were married this July!

William and Kristine 7/1 at The Eagle’s Nest
Andrea and Christopher 7/2 in Hillsdale NY
Colin and Maria 7/2 at Bella Bella
Lindsey and William 7/2 at Catlin Gardens
Jason and Elena 7/3 at The Croton Dam Bridge
Edris and John 7/3 at CV Rich Mansion
Mary and Michael 7/5 at Post Park
Stephanie and Ryan 7/8 in Jewett NY
Gina and Christopher 7/9 at The Ashokan Reservoir
Rosalie and Greg 7/9 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Jessica and Mark 7/9 at The Ashokan Dreams Bed and Breakfast
Julianne and Daniel 7/15 at Rolling Greens at Dutchess Country Club
Sherman and Kerrianne 7/15 at The Eagle’s Nest
John and Deanne 7/16 in Pleasant Valley NY
Patty and Jessie 7/16 in Catskill NY
Nikki and Owen 7/16 at Vassar College Chapel and Locust Grove
James and Aryssa 7/16 at Round Hill House
Paul and Danielle 7/23 at Magnanini Farm Winery
Karen and Sonja 7/26 in Woodstock NY
Kathleen and Maryann 7/26 in Beacon NY
Nicole and Michelle 7/27 at The Beacon Riverfront Park
Sheri and Matt 7/30 at Patriot Hills
Heather and Missy 7/31 at The Town of Crawford Park

A Few Of Our Favorite Photographers, Amazing Weddings, Wonderful Couples & Their Photos ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hudson River Photographer

Hudson River Photographer
845-876-0652
www.hudsonriverphotographer.com
diane@hudsonriverphotographer.com

Mandy & Jamie ~ May 15, 2010 ~ Mount Merino Manor
Jamie & Sam ~ August 7, 2010 ~ Private Home, Jewett & Hunter Mountain

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Congratulations to all our June couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our couples that were married this June!

Louise and Dan 6/3 at Anthony’s Pier Nine
Suzanne and Michael 6/4 at Minnewaska Lodge
Maya and Craig 6/4 in Hopewell Junction
Jennifer and Michael 6/4 at Lippincott Manor
Jessica and Jeff 6/4 at Le Petit Chateau
Kristin and Dennis 6/5 at The Grandview
Nicole and Hector 6/10 at Glen Island Harbour Club
John and Sarah 6/11 at The Stone House B&B
Isabelle and Richard 6/11 in Salt Point
Allison and Pat 6/11 in Hyde Park
Angela and Mario 6/12 at the Villa Borghese
Ezra and Karen 6/15 at Perkins Memorial Tower
Melanie and Dave 6/18 at Harvest on Hudson
Jacqueline and Evan 6/18 at Total Tennis
Ashley and Ammi 6/18 in Hudson NY
Sarina and Hamza 6/18 at Villa Barone Hilltop Manor
Michelle and Kevin 6/19 at Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa
Lisa and Christopher 6/24 at The Villa Borghese
Simone and Brendan 6/25 at West Park Winery
Rebekah and Harry 6/26 at The Onteora Mountain House
Justine and Jeffrey 6/28 at The Walkway Over The Hudson
Natasha and Steven 6/30 at Belvedere Mansion

Wedding Styles By Season

Summer –
Summer weddings are ripe for an outdoor setting such as a beach, a garden, or a beautiful yard. Take advantage of the long days with an afternoon wedding, or highlight the glorious sunsets by saying your vows as the sun goes down behind you. Use fresh fruits and vegetables to decorate. Bring light to an evening wedding with torches and strings of lanterns in the trees. An extra-summery idea is to use gingham tablecloths with a few sunflowers in metal watering cans as centerpieces.

The bride who marries in the warmth of the summer is a lucky one; over 75% of dresses that you’ll find are sleeveless and/or strapless, making them perfect for the season. Look for light fabrics such as linen, chiffon, crepe, and other light weight silk, so as to not add too much bulk.

You can’t go wrong with an abundance of flowers at a summer wedding. Fill the scene with bright and cheerful flowers such as roses, sunflowers, dahlias, gerber daisies, cosmos, mums, and zinnias. Bright purple dendrobium orchids are much less expensive during the summer months, so you can feel like a queen without the budget of one. An alternative idea is an airy summer look with mostly white and light colored flowers such as roses, stephanotis, white phlox, elegant white calla lilies, huge and fragrant calla lilies, hydrangea, snowball mums, and daisies (also known as Shasta daisies).

Fall –
Think of storybook fall setting such as inns, 18th century churches and meeting houses, old mills and even barns. A fall wedding can be casual yet elegant set in a beautiful old barn. You might also look at an apple orchard, a vineyard, or any place that will have a view of fall foliage. If you live in a climate where the leaves don’t change, look for a venue with lots of rich dark wood and warmth such as a gentleman’s club or university club. A fireplace is an extra special touch.

Set the tone for your fall wedding as soon as your guests enter with sheaths of wheat or corn at the entrance. Choose either rich jewel tones to decorate the room, or a traditional fall color scheme such as reds, oranges, browns and yellows. A modern fall color scheme uses only chocolate brown with light-blue accents. Fill the room with the bounty of the season – pumpkins, cornucopias, acorns, and gourds. Make jack-o-lanterns with decorative patterns rather than scary faces, or use paper bag luminaria for a similar effect.

Generally you can find Mums, roses, daisies, yarrow, fall leaves, tallow berries and both natural and dried wheat for inexpensive prices during the fall. A spray of wheat or a mum accented with a pheasant feather makes an elegant boutonnière. Consider hollowing out pumpkins for your centerpiece containers – if you don’t have the time, many craft and home stores now sell realistic fake pumpkins. But if you go with the real thing, consider white or blue natural pumpkins for an elegant and unique touch.

Winter –
Think about you and your sweetie in the elegant look of old Hollywood; the groom in tails, and the bride in a white long silk dress with a white fur or faux fur wrap. Evoke the season with “ice” –diamond or diamond-like jewelry. 90% of wedding dresses are strapless or sleeveless, but that’s not so practical for a bride who wants to take pictures outside, or needs to walk any distance. Look for wraps, shrugs, and capes, or dramatic coats. And don’t forget your bridesmaids! An attractive wrap to wear on the day of your wedding and beyond makes a great bridesmaid present.

Look for an inn with a fireplace for an intimate winter wedding. For a larger affair, you may be able to use a historic mansion or private club that will still have intimate warmth. Be sure to ask what seasonal decorations they use – you’ll save money as many sites are already heavily decorated. Also, check to make sure your site will be adequately heated during the winter months; old churches can be especially drafty.

Decide whether you want to go for a silver and white elegant look, or celebrate the season with reds and greens. For those who like silver, look for dusty miller, silver-dollar eucalyptus, and baby blue eucalyptus, mixed with white flowers such as roses, football mums, crocus, lilies and stephanotis. If you’re looking for a brighter bouquet, consider red roses with holly and pine-tree greenery. In season flowers such as tulips, roses, and ornamental berries generally will be less expensive choices.

Spring –
If you’re getting married in a church, talk to them about their Easter decorations. You may be able to save money by using theirs. Vendors and sites may be more available in the spring than in the summer, but remember prom; you may need to book limousines and tuxedos extra early.

The preppy pink and green color combination couldn’t be more spring-like, and is perfect for a beautiful, fresh spring wedding. Accent your tables with polka-dot or gingham fabrics and ribbons, and use alternating pink and green chair colors. For a more elegant look, combine celadon green with white, using silver as an accent color. Instead of rice, consider asking your guests to throw rose petals, or release butterflies.

Flowers in season include roses, tulips, hyacinth, lilies and Gerber daisies. Multi-colored calla lilies are very popular and look beautiful in a spring arrangement.

For centerpieces, subtly evoke the Easter season by using white baskets filled with floral form and an abundance of spring flowers. An inexpensive centerpiece for a garden wedding is a terracotta pot with a spring-moss or ivy covered Styrofoam ball affixed to it. Add small candles around it and/or some rose petals.

Consider tying your bouquet with polka-dot or striped ribbon in a bright or pastel color, adding a bit of unexpected pattern and freshness.

How to Make Your Guests Walk Away Talking About Your Wedding

“That was the best wedding I’ve ever been to.” This is something that every couple planning a wedding hopes to hear once the dust has settled and the wedding is but a distant memory. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case for a lot of weddings. Your preferences can sometimes get in the way of planning a wedding that your guests can enjoy. While your special day may hold unforgettable memories to you and your new spouse, one small detail can set the mood for unhappy guests who won’t always voice their opinion to you. Something as common as mosquitoes at an outdoor wedding can drive guest crazy making them want to make a quick exit. And while this may be memorable for your guests, it’s not always the kind of memories you were hoping for.

Your wedding should be about you and your future spouse. You should focus on the day and the lifelong commitment and journey for which you are about to embark upon. A wedding is about celebration both as a couple and with those whom you care about – family and friends. After all, these are the people who watched you grow as a couple, who supported you and who you will share future memories with. As a bride and groom should be aware that your guests are a very important part of your wedding and you need to keep them in mind when planning for it.

For starters, when planning for an outdoor ceremony or reception, there are several important factors to keep in mind. First is whether or not you have a backup plan in the event of inclement weather. There’s nothing worse than being caught in the rain or having Uncle Sal’s toupee fly off due to heavy winds. Second, take into consideration any potential uninvited guests; the ones with many legs. Be sure to ask the location coordinator about any potential insect problems, and make sure that things are taken care of well before you say “I do”. Lastly, are you planning an outdoor ceremony in mid August where heat and humidity can literally melt makeup off your female guests? If you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony be sure to keep it short. Don’t make you guests sit outdoors any longer than necessary. And, make certain that arrangements have been made for your guest to retreat where it’s nice and cool. Keep in mind that while the idea of an outdoor ceremony or reception during any part of the year may be a beautiful one, it may not always be practical.

When it comes to food do you and your future spouse tend to enjoy food that are hot and spicy or are you strict vegetarians? Whatever your preferences you never want to impose those on unsuspecting guests at your wedding. Keep in mind that everyone has different tastes and trying something new at a wedding can make it memorable but for all the wrong reasons. Be sure to meet with your caterer well before the wedding and decide on at least 2-3 choices for guests to decide what they would like to eat. Be sure to include a vegetarian meal as a choice as well. Oh, and if you really have your heart set on having hot and spicy chicken or those barbeque tofu skewers you love, make sure they come in appetizer form.

Lastly, let’s address the entertainment issue. A memorable wedding is one where everyone has a good time. That usually fall into the hands of whatever type of entertainment you choose. A string quartet is a beautiful choice for the ceremony and cocktail hour, but most often can bring down the mood of the party and will most likely receive many eye rolls if chosen for the reception entertainment. Be sure to provide lively entertainment for your guests whether you choose a DJ or Swing Band. Meet with them ahead of time and get an idea of what their performance entails, or better yet, ask if they are performing locally and view them in action. Determine if what they provide for entertainment with be appreciated by all guests at your wedding.

While most often no wedding will go off without some glitch, it’s best to keep these important ideas in mind when planning for your ceremony or reception. Chances are if you do, you may just hear those words you were hoping for “That was the best wedding I’ve ever been to”.

Your Summer Wedding

In planning your summer wedding, whether or not you choose a beach theme, the world really is your oyster! With the beautiful colors of summer and the availability of a wide variety of flowers, you can have your pick of just about anything your heart desires. Summer themes can incorporate the garden, the seashore, the tropics – or even a harvest theme can be built around the ease of acquiring fresh fruits and vegetables.

Since so many bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses come in strapless and sleeveless styles, you are certain to find a gown to suit your theme. Consider a simple slip dress for a beach wedding, with short, beach color dresses for your bridesmaids. Corals, sea foam green, even sand color dresses in a more casual style will be the perfect compliment to a beach theme. Add straw hats and replace floral bouquets with floral decorated parasols for your bridesmaids for a garden theme. Would you like to celebrate your special day with a big Fourth of July party? Find a dress that sparkles and lights up the night time sky like the fireworks, and consider rich, sparkly jewel tone gowns for your attendants so they will shine on the dance floor all evening long.

Don’t forget the men in dressing for a summer wedding. Consider lightweight suit options in lighter colors, or perhaps mix linen pants with Hawaiian shirts, adding a pair of flip flops or Birkenstocks for that casual summer feel. For a more traditional summer look, white pants, white shirt, with a bold tie and a navy blue blazer dresses up your groomsmen without the formality of a tuxedo. If you are looking for formal attire, you can add splashes of summer with floral print accessories like vests and ties, or choose elegant satin accessories from a light, summery palate of colors.

Your choice of flowers for a summer wedding is limited only by your imagination. Beautiful roses, gerbera daisies, dendrobium orchids, even sunflowers and brightly colored mums will make gorgeous bouquets. You could use all of your favorite summer colors and flowers in bright, multicolored bouquets, rich with lovely summer flowers. Or perhaps you would like to focus on one flower that you favor, or a color that you are especially fond of. A bouquet of all peach or all purple calla lilies is both elegant and summery. If all white is the look for you, you can make it more formal with a bouquet of tightly packed stephanotis or white roses, or keep with a more casual garden party type of theme with white daisies, mums and carnations.

The reception setting and the food you serve will really set the theme of your wedding for your guests. Enjoy an elegant outdoor setting, surrounded by lush landscaping and twinkle lights. Serve a more decadent meal, with filet mignon or lobster, but enjoy a light, summer salad to start with or a delicious watermelon sorbet for dessert. Celebrate family style with a barbecue at a favorite park or in your backyard. Set up tables and pass bowls of your mom’s potato salad or the secret family recipe fried chicken. You can have a garden brunch with beautiful bright white linen table covers, chairs, and china, and make it pop with bursts of yellow and green everywhere. You could set up an omelet station for your guests, and set each table with sweetly decorated petit fours and other bite sized pastries. For the couple seeking casual fun, plan a clambake on the beach with an evening bonfire and ‘smores desserts for everyone!

Don’t forget to carry your theme out with a memorable favor! When choosing favors for your wedding, remember that you are not limited to a gift that will last a lifetime. You can thank your guests with something special and memorable, even if it isn’t something that will last forever. Take advantage of the bountiful summer fruits with an unblemished peach or pear, celebrating a “Peach of a Couple” or “The Perfect Pair”. For 4th of July brides, sparklers for all of your guests are the perfect favor and a great alternative to rice or birdseed as your guests bid you a fond farewell. Consider gourmet teas or a small selection of delicious cookies to celebrate a garden party. Longer lasting options for favors might include beautifully decorated fans for all of the ladies, or a blooming plant to remind your guests of your blossoming love.

The sky is the limit for your summer wedding. Incorporate the things you loved from the summers when you were children. Maybe you’ve taken a great summer vacation together as a couple, and you want to recreate that as part of your special day. Just use your imagination to make your day part of a summer to remember for all who attend.