Category Archives: Wedding Wednesday

21 Unique Wedding Send Off Ideas

Unique Wedding Send off ideas - events to celebrate

Gone are the days of throwing rice (most venues don’t allow anymore anyway). Which means you can really theme your wedding send off to your taste, style and wedding theme! That’s a lot more fun if you ask me!

Whether you plan to have your guests greet you as you walk out of the wedding ceremony venue or at the end of your reception on your way to your car – having a planned wedding send off is a MUST! Luckily, it is something simple to coordinate and there are a lot of really cute ideas that won’t break the bank. If you don’t have a wedding coordinator, employ the help of one or two friends (or bridesmaids) to help gather everyone together, get them organized and distribute the send off supplies.

Some of these might seem too unique for you, but the idea is to fit your send off with your wedding theme.

1- Sparklers: Have guests line either side of the exit with lit sparklers! If you can find those that are 18″ – 24″, they’ll not only last longer, but they help keep the flame away from guests.

  sparkler_tunnel

2-  Ribbon Wands: They’re easy to make, but the custom ones on the market are really cute! You can get your name and wedding date printed on the ribbon to really personalize them. I love this idea because they can also double as a wedding favor & can be customized to your wedding colors.

3- Bubbles: I love the idea of the light, airy feeling of running off through a curtain of bubbles. They are fanciful, whimsical and fun for all ages! Would you dare to try the glow in the dark bubbles now on the market? 

 bubbles!

4-  Confetti Poppers: Head off with a bang! These fun poppers aren’t just for New Years Eve anymore! They’ll add a pop of fun to your send off!

Confetti storm

5- Red Carpet With Guests Flashing Cameras: Head out in true Hollywood style by setting up a red carpet from your door to the car and have guests line either side with flashing cameras. You and your new spouse can walk (or run, or dance) the red carpet and get the true celebrity treatment!

6- Flower Petals: Traditionally flower petals are tossed by a flower girl as the bride walks down the aisle. I love the idea of beginning the wedding in that way, and ending it with guests celebrating your nuptials by tossing them as you depart!

freeze-dried-rose-petals-400

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7- Butterfly Release: They say that a butterfly signifies a new beginning. What a perfect way to end your wedding by releasing butterflies and symbolize your new life together.

8-  Party String: For the kid at heart, this is the perfect wedding send off. It is silly, celebratory and is sure to be a lot of fun for your guests!

9- Chinese Sky Lanterns : This idea is so romantic to me. Many will write a wish on their lantern before lighting it and sending it off. This creates a very impressive sight and will give you some incredible photos!

LK loy krathong yi peng san sai

10- Fireworks: They aren’t just for celebrating summer! Using fireworks as your wedding send off may take a bit of coordination (and aren’t the least expensive option) but are sure to impress and wow your guests!

Feu d'artifice

11- Feathers: Whether you’ve used peacock feathers throughout your wedding or just the large billowy feathers – this is a great way to carry your theme throughout your wedding by using them as your send off as well!

12- Paper Airplanes: I love the simplicity of using paper airplanes as your wedding send off. Let your guests write a wish or a note of advice as they help your sweet marriage “take flight”!

13- Mini Tambourines or Maracas: As a ballroom dancer, I think I would have loved to incorporate this one into my wedding! If you’re playing latin music during the dancing portion, continue that theme with your wedding send off!

14- Hand Clappers: They’re simple, affordable and can give you a raucous send off! They don’t require assembly and guests can keep them as a favor = win, win!

Wedding Send Off Clappers

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15- Balloon Release: Much like the lanterns these are an impressive and beautiful sight to have all of your guests release a balloon together at your exit. Personalize it by using balloons in your wedding colors, allow guests to write a wish on them or go traditional by using all white balloons.

16- Bird Seed: Much safer environmentally, than their rice alternative, using bird seed as your wedding send off is perfect for the love birds or birdcage themed wedding that is so popular right now! Provide large tin buckets and scoops and allow guests to serve them into small cups or sachets.

17-  Lavender: Mmmmm, the scent of lavender is a favorite of mine. Using lavender as your wedding send off is a very feminine and lady like choice. Not only will it smell good, lavender is traditionally a symbol of love, devotion and loyalty.

lavender wedding rice

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18- Glow Sticks: If you are having a dance at your wedding, these are really fun to hand out during the festivities as guests join the dance floor. Carry that outside as you exit and have guests create an arch from connected glow sticks as an arbor for your exit!

19- Autumn Leaves: If your wedding is during the Fall months, this send off is the perfect fit! Don’t think that you have to use muddy, side-of-the-street leaves. You can use artificial leaves or gather some from a local park to use!

20- Artifical Snow Confetti: Much like the leaves, tossing artificial snow for a Winter wedding will create a perfect picture as you exit! It is biodegradable, safe and won’t turn into a snowball fight! 🙂

Wedding Send Off Fake Snow

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21- Pom Poms: For an avid sports fan, this is the perfect send off. Use pom poms in your wedding colors or that of your favorite sports team to really personalize this send off.

*This post contains affiliate links. These are links to products that if you click on and purchase I receive (a very small) compensation for promoting. All links are to products I personally endorse and would purchase myself.

Wedding Reception Entertainment

*This post is sponsored by Capture Pod Professional Photo Booths, however all opinions are 100% my own.

capturepod photo booth  capture pod photo booth

When planning a wedding reception, there is a lot more to think about than the food and flowers. Gone are the days of selecting a color palette a passing that on to your florist.  It really is all about creating an experience for your guests. It’s very popular to add entertainment pieces to your reception to get guests away from their table, mingling and enjoying the evening together.

A photo booth has become an absolute must have at a wedding! When you walk away from your wedding you want two things: to have a great time at the wedding and to have really great photos to keep so that in five, twenty or fifty years from now you can remember all of those good times. The photo booth accomplishes both!

I’ve used a professional photo booth at events in the past, and I can honestly say, Capture Pod has really outdone their competitors! Here are a few of the awesome features:

– booths that can fit up to 9 guests at a time

– customization for the photo strips, backdrops and exterior – it will fit right in with your decor

– social media savvy – you can text, add to Facebook or email your photos right from the photo booth

– lots of fun PROPS

– A live slideshow of the photos taken as well as a DVD and scrapbook given to you at the end of the event

And, to top that off, they are really well priced when compared to the market! I know you are thinking about the budget, but really when you consider other entertainment pieces you’ll be surprised how comparable the prices are and with the photo booth you also get professional photos as a favor for the guests and to keep as the bride and groom.

Some other unique entertainment pieces you can add to help create an experience for your guests are: 

– Performance dancers (ballroom, salsa, hula, etc.)

– Fireworks – end the evening with a bang!

– Caricature artists to send guests home with a fun memento of the day

– Karaoke hour in a separate room – you know you’ve got guests who really think they can sing

– Dueling pianos/singers/live band

– Carriage rides around the venue – especially if your reception is held in a garden of some sort

– Culinary action stations or a culinary show. Serving bananas foster? Turn it into a show for the guests by having them served tableside!

Wedding Wednesday: Post Wedding Brunch

Continental-Breakfast

Many wedding guests will have traveled long distances to attend the celebrations. For this reason, it is becoming increasingly popular to host a post wedding brunch prior to when the bride & groom head off for their honeymoon. This gives those who traveled long distances a bit more time with the couple – which is the reason they made the trip. It is a great way to show those who made a little extra effort, how important they are to you. An invitation card for the brunch can be included in the wedding invitation envelope or mailed (or emailed) separately.

There are several ways this can be handled and all of them have benefits of their own.

– If you are using a caterer for your wedding, hire them to provide a light continental breakfast the next morning.

– Negotiate with the wedding reception venue to hold it there and you may be able to lower your food and beverage minimum or get a better room rental rate by having two events in the same space – especially if the set-up can remain. If you hosted your festivities under a tent, make arrangements with the rental companies to hold off on shutting down until after the brunch.

– If the group is small enough, hold it at a family members home and order pastries from a local bakery or send someone out for donuts & juice.

– Hold it at a local breakfast spot. If you choose, you can indicate on the invite that it is a pay-your-own-way affair. Be sure to schedule with the cafe ahead of time.

Tips:

Keep it simple! The wedding and reception were big, elaborate affairs – this is just an additional chance to thank your bridal party and/or spend time with out of town guests.

Don’t invite everyone! Keep the guest list to those you really want to make sure you get extra time with.

Delegate! Assign the entire thing or portions of it to a willing bridesmaid or eager-to-help mother in-law.

Let them sleep in! Don’t schedule it for 7:30 am just because you want to head off to your honeymoon. A brunch is considered to be between the hours of 9:00 am – 11:30 am. If you and your guests were up late at the reception (and you know they will be), be kind to them and yourself by letting everyone get some rest!

**For ideas on hosting a brunch wedding & reception see this post.

Image Credits: Savory Cuisine Catering

 

Wedding Wednesday: What’s Under There?

If we’re going to cover all things wedding, we really can’t leave this subject out. You guessed it – we’re talking about undergarments. This is a little bit of a pet peeve for me because brides put SO much effort into every tiny detail of their wedding and often times leave out this very important piece! You spend a lot of time and even more money on getting the absolutely perfect dress and then fail to invest in the proper undergarments for it.

Most wedding dresses won’t accommodate your everyday bra so its crucial to skip the safety pins and purchase one that actually fits for the style of dress you’ll be wearing. ALL dresses will look better with some shapewear under them. Men are important too – shapewear isn’t just for the ladies anymore! It’s important to have no matter where you are on the weight spectrum because it helps smooth, lift, support and hold everything together and will really give your gown or tux the tailored look you paid for it to have. No matter how well your dress is tailored, the right undergarments will make it fit better and will keep you from tugging, tucking and jiggling things back into place throughout the day.

Even if you are on a tight budget, save $50 – $100 of it for some properly fitted undergarments!! There, I said it – now off you go to the intimates section of your nearest department store!

Wedding Wednesday: Survival Kit

Crap happens, even on your wedding day. It feels like sometimes crap happens because it is your wedding day. You work for months to plan every detail, but inevitably something will happen. So, I love the idea to give the beautiful bride a SURVIVAL KIT! Put it all in a cute bag or container and you’ve got a great gift!

Wedding Survival Kit

I included: Sewing Kit, lip gloss, scented lotion, Clorox Pen, pocket size tissues, bobby pins, hairspray, bandaids, disposable toothbrushes, lint roller, deoderant, energy bars (what bride actually gets a meal on their wedding day?), tylenol, safety pins, gum, double sided tape (keep those girls in place please!), breath mints and diet coke.

Do you have a party that you want featured on Events To Celebrate?!

Just email your photos and a description of the party (especially details of any DIY portions) along with a list of where you got items used in the party (so we can borrow your ideas) to eventstocelebrateblog@gmail.com. Let’s party!

Wedding Wednesday: The First Dance

Typically the Bride and Groom have their first dance at a point during their wedding reception that then begins the dancing portion of the evening. Occasionally, the first dance will be followed immediately by other special dances, such as a father-daughter/mother-son dance, but tradition isn’t tradition anymore. Now, there is a wide range of approaches to fit many personalities. What’s yours?

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Choreographed Dance:

Slow dancing (see Jr. High Shuffle) for the first dance kind of got the boot a few years ago when couples began to perform fully choreographed dances. Since then, it has become almost common for a bride and groom (and in many cases, their bridal party) to perform a choreographed dance for their first dance. I’m not talking about learning 4 steps of the waltz and repeating them while the music plays – I’m talking about upbeat, precise, timed and choreographed to specific music. Some feel that this has been overdone, others can’t wait for their own wedding to come along so they can show off their moves! It’s your day, you get to decide!

Exploring Cultures:

There are some fun traditions in other cultures that you may want to include in your first dance. In some cultures the bride and groom start the first dance together and then after about 30 seconds are cut in by the bridal party. The bridal party offers money to take a turn with the guests of honor and this continues until the song ends. If you don’t feel comfortable asking your guests for money they can offer other tokens – such as a flower or candy lei (that is provided), a kiss on the hand or a slip of paper with wedding advice on it.

The More The Merrier:

For the bride and groom that don’t like the spotlight, it is popular to invite guests or select groups of guests to join in for the first dance. You may choose to invite your family only, your bridal party or include anyone who wishes. The DJ or MC will help make this clear in an announcement. This way, you still get your moment with your new spouse but don’t feel the pressure of “all eyes on you”. Do what is going to make you and your sweetheart the most at ease.

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(Me and my sweetheart Darrell)

What We Did:

Although I have been dancing my entire life and even graduated in college in dance, my sweet husband isn’t comfortable on the dance floor – at all. I am the extrovert and have danced on a stage my whole life and he is very comfortable in the audience – no where near the dance floor. So, we compromised (as any good wedded couple does). We danced a traditional slow dance and invited anyone who wanted to join us in it. We danced to “You’re Still The One” by Shania Twain – the words described us so perfectly. About 1/2 way through we split up and danced with other important people – our parents, grandparents, nieces and nephews. It was perfect for us. We got to have our first dance moment along with our guests and then got to spend special one on one moments with our loved ones.AA7_0177

(Me dancing with my Grandpa)

Wedding Wednesday: Cowgirl Themed Bridal Shower

This fun cowgirl themed bridal shower was submitted by Ember Pilati. She hosted the shower for her younger sister. There are a lot of really fun details to look out for so don’t miss anything!

Here is the party description in Ember’s words:

My sister is a cowgirl, not just a Rhinestone Cowgirl – a “real” cowgirl! She was raised on a ranch, has worked at several dude ranches as a guide and a cattle ranch in Montana.  She is a Veterinary Technician and loves animals.  So finding our theme was pretty simple.  She is going to have a rustic wedding, but not a country theme, so we wanted her shower to be all about her!  We found a darling white cowgirl hat with fake tiara and attached a simple veil to the back that she wore for the shower.
IMG_6395Location:  We rented the dance studio at her local recreation center, because she was a member- it was cheap!  We wanted somewhere that we could enjoy our main activity- Line Dancing!  We set up in the dance studio so we didn’t have to change locations.

Menu:  Keeping with our theme, we decided on BBQ Beef Sandwiches, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Strawberry Spinach Salad, and Strawberry Lemonade.We also did red velvet cupcakes because they are the Bride-to-Be’s favorite!  To make the cupcakes really shine, we topped them with molded pink chocolate stars and fancy cupcake wrappers!  Our Lemonade just had fresh strawberries in a fancy cup and they could choose Minutemaid Lemonade or Simply Lemonade.

IMG_6384 IMG_6387  IMG_6380
Decor:  I made a simple banner out of hearts (cut from a cricut) in the shower colors of pink and brown and simply sewed them together on the sewing machine.  We used Burlap and lace with touches of pink gingham.  We used chalkboard signs to label everything which captured the country feel.  We used our favors as our centerpieces so it was super simple to decorate.
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Activities:  We played the “He Said, She Said” game with darling cardstock lips and cowboy mustaches that were attached to a bamboo skewer! This was the best game we had ever played at a bridal shower, and everyone loved getting to know the bride and groom as a couple!   It was super fun!  We also learned a country line dance that was really fun for all!  We learned the line dance from the Movie “Footloose” to Big and Rich’s “Fake ID”.  This part turned out to be a lot of fun even for those who claimed they couldn’t dance!  The bride said she would have to add the song to their wedding playlist so we could kick up our heels at her wedding.
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Line Dancing
Favors:  We made the darling “Cowgirl Cookies” from www.bakerella.com.  She has the recipe and the free printable on her website- so it made it super easy!  I used pink gingham for the top and tied it with simple jute rope.  I also did a super easy sugar hand scrub in pink for them to take home.  (One bottle Olay Hand Renewal dishsoap and 6 cups of sugar whipped together in a mixer)
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Do you have a party that you want featured on Events To Celebrate?!

Just email your photos and a description of the party (especially details of any DIY portions) along with a list of where you got items used in the party (so we can borrow your ideas) to eventstocelebrateblog@gmail.com. Let’s party!

1920’s Poker Themed Bachelorette Party

Next week I’m going to do a series of Mother’s Day posts so we won’t have a Wedding Wednesday – so this is your lucky week with 2 wedding related posts!

I love a bachelorette party because usually the guest list is smaller and you can plan fun activities. At a bridal shower you’ve got all of your relatives there and they tend to be pretty subdued. So, even though we (our family are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – commonly known as Mormons) don’t drink alcohol, don’t go to male review clubs and don’t gamble with actual money – that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a REALLY fun night with your girlfriends! It’s a great break, for the bride especially, to get away from the stress of planning the wedding. My creative niece Alix recently hosted a 1920’s poker themed bachelorette party for her friend and I want to share the super cute details with you. You can also read her first hand account here.

Poker Night Bachelorette Party

I LOVE that they named it The Dirty Mug and the strung lights to give it a back alley touch.

Poker Night Bachelorette Party Poker Night Bachelorette Party

Each guest had a cute place card holder with a photo from the prohibition era – so creative!

Poker Night Bachelorette Party

Of course they had poker snacks – including pearl sixlets, bubble gum cigars (found at PartyLand) and chex mix.

Poker Night Bachelorette Party

 

Guests dressed up in 1920’s era clothes to add to the fun! (I want to be in this group of friends, I LOVE dressing up!)

Poker Night Bachelorette Party Poker Night Bachelorette Party

My nieces dapper husband played bartender serving the girls mocktails (alcohol free cocktails) and then sat in as the dealer for poker.

Poker Night Bachelorette Party Poker Night Bachelorette Party

Its a simple party to throw together but a night they will always remember! Pick up some cards, a few snacks and drinks and plan your own poker night! (I would have to play Old Maid and Uno since I have no idea how to play poker) 🙂

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