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

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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 Vendor Referrals

I doesn’t matter if you have your Officiant or Coordinator booked with Hudson Valley Ceremonies we would love to provide you with referrals for any vendors you might still need for your big day. Here is just a sampling of vendor assistance we can provide:

Bakers
Bands & Musicians
Butterfly Release
Calligraphy
Caterers
Cigar Lounge
Dance Lessons
DJ’s
Entertainment
Florists
Flower Preservation
Hair & Make-Up
Ketubah
Lighting
Photobooth
Photographers
Rentals
Transportation
Venues
Videographers
Wine & Liquor

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.

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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!

Writing Your Wedding Vows

The vows are the most intimate part of the ceremony, and what is more intimate than your own thoughts and words? Here are some tips on writing your own vows.

Set the tone in advance
Talk to your fiance about whether you want serious vows or humorous. Do you want something poetic and romantic? Or nostalgic and touching? Make sure you are on the same page so the vows will complement each other. You don’t want the groom’s to be humorous, while the bride’s is poetic! You also need to decide if you will write the vows together or keep them a surprise for each other. ( I vote for surprise!! The emotions from saying your vows the first time is a truly beautiful moment!!)

Dedicate time for this
It doesn’t have to be in one sitting, in fact it will be better if it is not in one sitting. Have a sheet of paper in your wedding planning book that every time you open the book for something wedding (maybe flowers, or dress) take a moment to write a thought about you fiancé. Better yet, you can devote a “page” on the notepad on your phone and when something hits you (he surprised you by….) write that down. It could be the way that she cries at sappy old movies, or the face that he makes when he is concentrating. Regardless of what it is that you love, you need to write it down. This way you will have several thoughts spread out over time to help you write the vows. By taking plenty of time to plan your vows and consider your relationship, your vows will most certainly be special.

Talk to family and friends
Often, friends and family members will see things about your relationship that you do not notice yourself. Ask your friends and family members’ opinions about what they think is special about your relationship, and incorporate that into your wedding vows. This will not only make your vows more personal, but it will make your loved ones feel special that you included their opinions in your wedding.

Have a deadline
Not the day of the wedding!!! Although I have had several grooms show up on the day of the wedding with their vows written on hotel stationery!!! I have found most couples are worried about length. The bride has 50 lines, and the groom 20. This makes the groom feel like he should have said more, and the audience wondering when the bride’s will be over… Therefore, I tell the couple to have the vows to me 2 weeks prior to the wedding. This way, I can go over it, make any suggestions (if repeating the same thing over and over) and then inform both of the length issue if one exists. So have a third party help out. Your wedding officiant or minister should be the first choice, otherwise have a friend you both trust that will keep the vows secret!

Include a personal touch
Everyone has a place, movie, or other favorite thing that they love. Include a line of your partner’s favorite movie, or make a reference to their favorite place or sports team in your wedding vows. Depending on how you do this, it could not only make the vows more special, but it could deliver a laugh to lighten the mood as well.

Vow delivery
Do you want to do the repeat after me style, or read from an index card? I think the personal vows are more personal coming directly from the person than being repeated. Just make sure you separate out your lines so you can say a line, and look at your fiancé. Nothing like READING your vows to lower the significance of the moment.

Audience and timing
There will indeed be people watching you say these vows, so try not to get too personal! Also, timing is important. One to two minutes is a good range; I know you could go on and on about your love, but for the ceremonial vows, keep it short and sweet.

Practice out loud
Just because something looks good on paper does not mean it sounds good when spoken. Practicing out loud will allow you to change any sentence structures that sound awkward, as well as pointing out sentences that might be too long… after all, you don’t want to run out of breath when exchanging vows! Have your wedding officiant or minister review your vows, as they know timing best. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, at least read them out loud to your maid of honor or best man.

If absolutely stuck, you should be able to meet with your wedding officiant or minister and have them help you write the vows by asking questions, and re-wording the answers for beautiful vows!

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.

How to Plan for a Traditional Irish Wedding

Most of us value history, customs, and traditions, but the Irish have made it a lifestyle to honor theirs as much as possible. This is evident in their beliefs, faith, and even for wedding ceremonies. Irish couples in the US are tying the knot, based on Ireland’s wedding traditions, even if they’ve been living in the States for quite a while. There are also a lot of Americans with Irish heritage—reports from the Washington Post said that 34.5 million US citizens list their heritage as either partially or primarily Irish. Interestingly, this figure is seven times bigger than Ireland’s population of 4.68 million. This number comprises 11.1% of the overall population of the US.

Because of these statistics, it’s not surprising to know that many weddings in the US are traditionally Irish. For those who are planning to have a customary Irish wedding, here are some tips:

· Be nature-inclined. The Irish are known as nature-lovers, so most weddings have an outdoor theme. Flowers abound every crevice of the wedding reception venue, and floral wreaths adorn the bride’s hair. The trend for bridal dresses are all-natural too—following the cue of Plan A, a sustainability program by major retailer Marks and Spencer, garments made of organic materials went mainstream. With this came wedding gowns made of hemp, bamboo, or organic cotton, which are popular choices for Irish brides.

· Do it the old-fashioned way. Some of the wedding traditions in Ireland, according to Ireland-Information.com, include practices with deep historical value. For instance, honey mead is served to promote virility. Horseshoe symbolizes good luck, and should be worn by the bride. Make up bells should also be rung to keep evil spirits at bay.

· Serve traditional Irish food. For the wedding reception, advise the caterers of the preferred Irish food, not just for the entrees but also for appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. Wedding information blog Weddzilla advised that pre-wedding servings should include Irish brown breads with cheese and jam. Smoked salmon is the customary appetizer, and entrees may include lamb and fish.

Of course, adding a personal stamp to these customs wouldn’t hurt. A wedding will still be traditionally Irish as long as the basics are covered.