May is National Barbecue Month, and it marks the official kick-off of the summer outdoor cooking season. It’s no wonder May got the top honor – this special time of transition between spring and summer has the perfect balance of warm-but-not-too-hot days and summery sunshine.
Plus, cooking on the grill means you don’t have to be stuck inside over a hot stove!
In honor of May’s theme, we put together a BBQ-themed wedding inspiration board.
We love the idea of getting friends and family together around picnic tables covered with checkerboard tablecloths and heaps of good food. Tabletop accents are super easy with mini hay bales, fun chalkboard messages, and rough-hewn logs fashioned into centerpieces monogrammed and with wood-burning tools.
Make sure to have plenty of napkins on hand to sop up the barbecue sauce, and finish up the long-awaited meal with a simple and sinful take on dessert – let guests cook fluffy marshmallows over tabletop candles and assemble their own s’mores with a variety of sweet and savory ingredients.
For a little taste of heaven on earth, try one with graham crackers, marshmallows, and dark chocolate with caramel, almonds, and sea salt.
The best part of the barbecue wedding (besides the food!) is keeping it casual with clothing. Sweet summer sundresses work perfectly for the ladies, and fellas can have fun in khakis with light button-down shirts.
What do you think? Ever planned or attended a barbecue-themed wedding? Tell us your ideas and stories in the comments!
Maybe you want family members to be able to sit together. Or maybe you want to introduce certain people to other people you know. Whatever your reason for assigning people to certain tables, place cards and table numbers are a super simple way to ensure guests can find their seats in time for the toast.
Here are a few of our favorite creative ideas from brides:
Traditional with a Twist
Sometimes simple is best, and nothing is simpler than sticking with just numbers. The great thing about numbers is they are infinitely customizable despite being so deceptively simple. Whether you use them as stark, contemporary centerpieces or as part of the overall décor, there are some great options to suit your style. As seen below, brides have come up with a variety of creative options including laser-cut paper, chipboard, metal with rhinestone embellishments, and hand-carved wood.
Table numbers are can be a great opportunity to share something significant with guests by incorporating special little details that are important to the bride and groom. Not only will they help guests find their seats, but they may even inspire some great conversations! We have seen a few amazing ideas, including some cute takes on the traditional.
- Special numbers can be a great conversation when you describe what each number means to the newlyweds.
- The couple takes a photo of themselves holding up numbers, creating both a table number and a cute keepsake for after the event.
Brides are even ditching the table numbers altogether and giving each table a name! The options are endless, especially when they stem from a shared love of something. Here are 45 ideas to jump-start your own creativity!
-favorite cities around the country or world
-favorite countries visited throughout the world
-famous landmarks around the world
-breeds of dogs
-breeds of cats
-types of flowers
-types of vegetables
-types of fruits
-types of wines
-models of cars
-natural elements like stone, water, wood, fire, etc.
-cartoon characters and superheroes
-gemstones and precious metals
-types of cuisine
-art media (charcoal, paint, photography, etc.)
-types of candies
-time periods and eras
-art styles (impressionist, renaissance, etc.)
-card games or other Vegas games
-favorite tech toys (bonus – invite guests to play with them at these tables!)
How did you number your tables for your wedding reception? Share your ideas in the comments!
We love weddings. We love technology. But sometimes, we HATE the two together.
A touchy new tech issue is becoming widespread, dividing happy couples and their phone-addicted guests: should cameras, cell phones, and tablets be banned in favor of a completely unplugged ceremony?
We looked into the problem and found great arguments for both sides.
Brides and photographers tend to prefer banning tech toys entirely, at least for the ceremony. The reasoning? We all love remembering the big day through photos and videos we took. But there’s a down side to that – people aren’t in the moment when they’re watching the wedding festivities through the lens of a camera’s view finder.
Unfortunately, it can ruin the moment for the bride and groom too – at some point, they will likely glance out at a crowd of loved ones and see a bunch of scrunched-up faces blocked by glowing screens as everyone strains to get a great shot.
On top of that, the professional photographers may wind up immortalizing that image, capturing all kinds of guests looking down at their cell phones and fiddling with cameras instead of smiling at one another and enjoying the ceremony.
There are some great uses for technology at weddings, though. Developers are building amazing new wedding apps to accommodate those tech-obsessed couples who invite guests to bring cell phones, cameras, and tablets.
Here are three amazing app ideas that high-tech couples are using at their weddings:
Automatically Build Fun Online Photo Albums – There are several apps that funnel all the photos snapped by guests into one online album. Guests can download the app, and then simply upload all the pictures and videos they take. Rather than hiring a videographer to hassle people to say something nice so the couple has something touching to look back on, the couple (and their guests) will get to share and enjoy a variety of fun moments and candid shots for years to come.
Give Guests the Info They Need in One Place – These special apps are sure to be a major hit with out-of-towners who have to manage all their own travel, activities, and lodging details while finding a way to coordinate those plans with the wedding schedule. With these apps, couples can instantly send last minute changes and recommendations for local sights and events with the touch of a button. Everyone is on the same page with the latest up-to-date wedding happenings, and before they have to head home, guests can still squeeze in some fun after the event.
Get the Party Started by Being Your Own DJ – For years, couples have been putting together their own playlists with the help of digital media players and personal computers. Unfortunately, the process took hours of brainstorming, downloading, and scouring the net for suggestions. Now, there are now apps that can save hours by suggesting most-requested songs and top hits from the 1950s to now and putting together instant playlists.
Remember – whether you choose to embrace technology or ban it from your affair, there is no absolute right or wrong. Your ceremony is yours, and it should reflect you and your love for one another.
What do you think of the great tech debate? Should cell phones be banned from weddings, or should we embrace technology and use apps to streamline the event? Tell us in the comments!
For most brides, music plays a huge role in planning the perfect wedding. However, some couples fall into the trap of thinking their only options are bands or DJs. We have several ideas to open your minds to a world of musical possibilities to help you plan a unique and truly unforgettable event.
Tune Up the Fun with Non-Traditional Wedding Bands
The old-fashioned wedding cover band may seem like the best available option, but these twists on the traditional band will help you make the ceremony your own.
Dance band – if you are all about getting your guests up and moving, a dance band specializes in playing booty-shaking numbers guaranteed to get the crowd going.
Tribute band – if you fell in love at a concert or share a passion for a particular band, having a talented tribute band at your wedding is a cute touch that will have guests singing along.
Big band – if you are obsessed with Downton Abbey and the Great Gatsby and love all things vintage, get things swinging quickly with a big band complete with a full horn section!
World music – if you share a particular heritage or passion for a specific region of the world, a band that plays cultural music is where it’s at. Options include Mariachi, Celtic, Bagpipe, Flamenco, Zydeco, Steel Drum Bands, and much more.
Crank Up the Cool Factor with Karaoke
For a bit of fun quirkiness, skip the DJ and hire a KJ – a karaoke jockey. These experienced songsters understand how to get a party started, and before long you’ll fall in love with family and friends as they have fun serenading you with their favorite songs. It’s a simple way to make your ceremony unforgettable.
Add Elegance with Small Ensembles
Classical music adds an air of romance to an intimate affair. A professional duo, a trio, or even a quartet or quintet will ensure you have beautiful music to sweeten your wedding ceremony.
String quartets – violins and cellos are the definition of romance. If your style is traditional elegance, a string quartet is the perfect addition to your processional.
Woodwind ensembles – featuring flutes, clarinets, saxophones, or other woodwinds, this type of group gives a unique twist to the romance of the string quartet.
Guitar trios – add some flavor to your ceremony and reception with a group of guitars. This versatile arrangement allows for a variety of song styles to accompany your ceremony.
Keep it Simple and Sweet with Soloists
This option gives you an opportunity to get great music for little to no cost. If you have musicians in the family, you can ask them to contribute to your big day by singing or playing. Simply give them a song list and enjoy. Options include:
Dance it Up with DJs
The easiest route for keeping everyone entertained is a DJ who doubles as a reception MC. You can give the DJ a list of songs to play and a list of songs to avoid, ensuring your favorite music gets featured. For a super sweet touch, add in some songs you know are special to important family members and friends. That way, they’ll truly be feeling the love. You can also get creative by limiting the music to a specific era, like the 70s or 80s.
What creative music ideas do you have? Share your ideas in the comments!
Graduation time is here, and grads of all ages are ready to toss aside the books and start celebrating. Here are 9 of our favorite fun graduation party ideas for every kind of grad.
High School Grads Will Enjoy:
Prom Bomb Party: Last month, they got all dressed up and serious – now is their chance to get silly. Rent out a hall, a restaurant, or use the backyard and encourage everyone to come in the worst prom dress or suit they can find. Make sure to set up a photo booth to capture all the crazy outfits.
Multiparty Party: Chances are there are multiple people in your grad’s class that want to party, and no one wants to be stuck choosing between friends! Check to see if your grad’s classmates would be open to having a joint party, where multiple people get to be the center of attention. Friendly forewarning: be prepared for a lot of people to show up!
College Prep: Invite friends and classmates over for dinner with a twist: Everyone is required to wear their school’s colors or branded logo gear. Keep the friendly rivalry going with games and have prizes on hand for the most creative and colorful getup.More importantly, make sure to shamelessly plug your grad’s school of choice when you’re planning your party décor – customized colored candy is a sweet and simple way to get everyone rooting for your team.
Theme Party: A theme party is the perfect way for a college grad looking to let loose after they’ve walked the stage. It’s the ideal combination of high school graduation nostalgia and fun college memories. Any number of summery themes will work, including luaus, fiestas, or Vegas casino night.
Grad Brunch: For a nice twist on the traditional party, why not host a graduation brunch? A tasty sit-down meal with those who love and support you will help you start post-grad life off on the right foot. As an added bonus, a grad brunch is a low-key way to recover from a late-night graduation party.
The Last Hurrah: You don’t have to leave college to get nostalgic for it. Why not use your graduation party to embrace your favorite things (and the things you’ll really miss) about your school? If your college is in an area known for its cuisine, celebrate with a foodie party. Have some Cajun food in New Orleans or a Philly Cheesesteak in Pennsylvania. It doesn’t have to be about food – if your school is known for football, music, or acting, embrace it as an easy theme!
Non-traditional Grads Will Enjoy:
These party ideas are perfect for grads who have returned to school after a long period of time off, or who are getting a first degree late in life.
Intimate Dinner Party: This is the time to really show off your grown-up culinary skills. Plan a menu of meals related to your college’s town or features. Or, invite everyone to bring a dish and celebrate potluck style. Celebrate memories and help people find their seats with beautiful graduation place card frames.
Backyard Bash: Keep it low-key with a backyard barbecue. Grill up some hotdogs and hamburgers for a simple, easy-to-prepare meal. Or get a little more culinary with chicken, steak, and kebabs. True barbecue artists will spend a few days on marinades and studying cooking times in order to fire up a feast everyone is sure to remember.
Location, Location, Location: You’ve worked hard to get that degree, and sometimes it’s OK to hand off the reins of party planning to pros. Host a nice sit-down dinner at a local restaurant or set up a one-stop-shop party at a special events place. Go out for mini golf, a night at the movies, or take a trip to an amusement park. Or go all out and hire a party bus to take you around town!
Do you have great graduation party ideas? Tell us your story in the comments!
For years, brides have been boldly adding bright splashes of color to their weddings. This year, brides are getting even more creative with unique color pairings that will have you looking at the color wheel in an entirely new way. Below are three fun color themes we think you should give a shot if you’re feeling adventurous!
Mint Green and Pomegranate Red
The colors are appetizing sounding enough on their own, but when paired together they are practically mouth-watering. The cool, relaxed vibe the the palest of pale greens directly offsets the high energy pinkish red and makes a great complement to any wedding involving one laid-back partner and one life-of-the-party persona.
These colors are nearly opposite one another on the color wheel, but they have red in common, which makes them strikingly beautiful together. These brave brides chose bold shades of both colors and accented them with either black or white to truly let the colors shine. We think it makes the whole affair feel almost regal, in a cool and contemporary way.
Indie brides everywhere are raving about neon! To balance out the bright colors (and the fact that no one color is dominant), they chose beautiful neutral shades to keep the brightness from overpowering the decor. This fun and flirty theme is perfect for free-spirited couples who enjoy offbeat activities and believe that life is almost always sunny.
If you’re subscribed to our email list, you will have seen this in today’s email. Our designer created this lovely origami stop motion GIF for Mother’s Day. Sadly, our blog does not currently support animated GIFs, so below are a few still frames to give you an idea. Or you can click to view the online version of our email.
Alright kids, listen up! If you’ll turn your attention to the chalkboard, today’s lesson is about how an old classroom staple is back in a big way. Bet you thought you were done with clapping erasers together, too!
This isn’t the stuffy childhood chalkboard from our schooldays. Recently, brides (and all kinds of other artsy types) are taking the poor old chalkboard and repurposing it into something sweet and chic.
It all started when several brides-to-be got creative with letting guests know where they would be seated at the wedding reception:
Some brides took the traditional chalkboard and put their own spin on it, making boards into individual escort cards or placemats or drawing maps of the reception. Other brides made unique seating pieces with the help of chalkboard paint.
Thankfully, this trend has really taken off. No longer is it simply a means to mark a guest’s seat or number a table. Brides are incorporating the humble chalkboard into nearly every aspect of their ceremonies and receptions – and making the most of this versatile statement piece.
It definitely adds some “wow” to any wedding. And brides are adding a touch of chalk to just about everything – favors are getting more fun with a personal note or a hand-written name. Guests know exactly where to go at the reception thanks to rustic directional signs. Friends and family can share treasured memories with giant chalkboard photo backdrops or cute memory boards. Our favorite? The adorable “Here comes the Bride” chalkboard sign, seen above.
What do you think? Ready to rock the chalk look at your wedding? Share your ideas in the comments!
For generations, the luau has been a Hawaiian feast held in honor of important milestones and special occasions.
Once upon a time, the luau was a feast known as ‘aha ‘aina or “gathering meal”. These feasts were celebrations with family and marked special occasions and life achievements. However, those feasts typically excluded women and reserved certain foods like bananas for chieftains and high-ranking people. King Kamehameha II ended these rigid traditions in 1819 by feasting with women, and the more inclusive luau quickly replaced ‘aha ‘aina. Luau is the Hawaiian name for the taro leaf, a staple of Hawaiian cuisine.
Today, people still use luaus as a reason to gather with family and friends to celebrate special events. However, if you want to host a more elegant affair without fire dancers and roast suckling pig, we have a few ideas you’ll love.
A Different Twist
By design, luaus are fairly casual events. They’re more about celebrating than formality. However, there is a way to combine the sophistication of a more traditional wedding ceremony with a laidback beach-y luau vibe. We call this our elegant luau, a spin on traditional Hawaiian dress.
It starts with the location and décor. Whether you reserve a beach-front spot for your ceremony or host it indoors, make sure to include lots of tropical inspiration and bright colors. These decorations and centerpieces incorporated bright tropical flowers and leafy green plants to bring the magic of the Hawaiian outdoors to their receptions.
Then we move on to dress. Depending on your personal style, you can add colorful floral accents to a traditional white wedding gown. Alternatively, you can wear a more authentic Hawaiian gown or sarong, complete with bright colors or a bold floral print. Complete the look with a single flower tucked behind your ear left ear – it symbolizes that you are taken. All the single ladies among your guests should wear flowers behind their right ears.
Add flair with food. Getting creative with plating and presentation is a simple way to add elegance to your affair. A dessert table can be easily made more chic with an impressive fruit or cupcake sculpture. Grilled meats and veggies artfully arranged on crisp white plates adds instant class to any place setting.
Help your wedding guests beat the heat with beautiful miniature woven buri fans, or opt to give each person a personalized bottle of sunscreen so they can have fun in the sun without worrying about burns. These fun favors fit in with the luau theme and add a bit of the light and airy cheer luaus are known for to your elegant beach ceremony.
Have you hosted, or are you thinking about hosting a luau-themed wedding? Share your ideas in the comments!
Love mom? Love being crafty? Great! This year, we wanted to get really creative with our Mother’s Day gift. Mom gets flowers and cards all the time, but this year she is getting a refreshing summery drink in a chic monogrammed bottle! We tested recipes for various punches, lemonades, and infused waters – all of which will work for this project, but we decided on a non-alcoholic raspberry mojito recipe for our DIY Mother’s Day gift. We think mom will love it! Check out our step-by-step instructions to learn how to make this tasty treat.
Put it all together:Start by placing the raspberries and mint leaves together in a sturdy bowl. Something ceramic or stainless steel will probably work best – you’re about to mush these berries up with a spoon!
Use the end of the wooden spoon to smash the ingredients until well combined, and then add in the lime juice. Make a funnel by rolling a piece of parchment paper into a cone and use it to pour the raspberry mixture through the bottle’s opening. Then, fill the bottle to the brim with sparkling water and cranberry juice.
Helpful hint: For maximum flavor, try a 2:1 ratio of sparkling water and cranberry juice.
And there you have it! A beautiful beverage presentation fit for anyone who wants a sip. This presentation makes a beautiful gift as is. For extra pizzazz, dress it up with some pretty ribbon. Or, you could make a springtime care package by packing a pretty pail with chocolates, napkins, and tumbler glasses, so that mom can enjoy her drink wherever she wants to go!
Do you have a special recipe to share? Tell us in the comments!
We believe in celebrating life - every occasion, every milestone, every laugh, smile and tear. We know that sharing these moments makes them extra special, and we want to be there to help you celebrate life, one event at a time.