Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fabulous Ideas for a High-Strung Summer Wedding Reception

summer wedding tips
Next to the intrinsic romance of a beach setting for a wedding, one of the best reasons for deciding to hold your wedding at the beach is the amount of versatility that it gives you in planning. The ocean is the ideal backdrop for nearly any size or style of wedding, from an intimate exchange of vows to a high-falutin' cocktail party complete with elegant linens and an orchestra. If you'd like a beach wedding, but haven't quite decided on a theme and style, these six ideas may give your inspiration a jump-start.

Fantasy Island Tropical Beach Wedding Theme

You may not have Ricardo Montalban to plan your wedding, but you can still have all the style and romance of Fantasy Island for your wedding day. If your tastes run to elegance and formality, plan your wedding at a tropical resort with patios overlooking the ocean. Decorate with swags of plumeria, hibiscus flowers and bougainvillea, and be sure to incorporate hot tropical colors into your wedding tables and centerpieces.

A Semi-formal Wedding on the Pier

If you'd love a seaside wedding but don't want your guests going home with sand in their shoes, turn to a local yacht club as a wedding setting. Nearly every seaside city has a yacht club or restaurant on the pier, and many feature verandas that overlook the ocean. Choosing a yacht club wedding gives you the romance of the ocean waves and breezes and the elegance of catered meal with an orchestra.

Down-Home Maine Clambake Wedding Theme

Formality isn't your thing? If your idea of a wonderful wedding day includes family, friends, fun and feasting, your perfect beach wedding might be a down-home clambake wedding. A clambake wedding on the beach could include a bonfire and a fire pit, games and all the trappings of a fun day at the beach – but it doesn't mean you have to forego the traditional wedding niceties.

Just simplify a bit – sundresses for the bride and her attendants, comfortable slacks and short-sleeve shirts for the groom and groomsmen. You can rent a floor for dancing if you want, or invite your guests to dress casual and kick off their shoes when the music starts.

A Nautical Theme for a Wedding at Sea

Why stop with a wedding on the beach when you can get married at sea? From the pure elegance of a formal dining room to the casual informality of a party boat, weddings at sea offer as much flexibility as beach weddings. Whether you hire a party boat for a sunny afternoon cruise or choose a romantic evening harbor cruise and say your vows under the stars, a shipboard wedding can be the ultimate in romance. Believe it or not, prices for a ship wedding are comparable to similar menus and extras at an onshore wedding venue.

Under the Sea Wedding Theme

For a unique twist on a beach wedding, set your wedding under the sea. Check with local aquariums to see if the halls are rentable for events, and bring your own caterer, or find out if they do their own wedding packages - many do! Aquarium venues give a very different twist on the seaside theme, offering you the opportunity to have a wedding that you and your guests will never forget--and the photos will be spectacular! How many brides can boast a dolphin in their wedding photos?

Go Caribbean with a Tropical Pirate Theme Wedding

Johnny Depp confirmed it – pirates are true romantic figures that have captivated the imagination of millions. Take advantage of the ready-made adventurous romance of the pirate by planning a wedding with a Caribbean pirate theme. Bring the magic of buried treasure and lavish celebrations to your wedding day by decorating with ship's timers, nets and baubles and treasure chests overflowing with wedding favors--bags of gold-foil wrapped chocolate coins and sparkling candy "gems" so your guests can take home some pirate booty to remember your wedding by.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wedding Entertainment: Helping Guests Have Fun at the Reception

Many brides opt to hire or create a form of entertainment for their guests to enjoy at a wedding reception. In order to completely greet every guest, the bride and groom can often only spend a few moments with each friend or family member at a wedding, so entertainment can help keep guests in a celebratory and relaxed mood all day (or evening) long.

Here are just a few of the many entertainment ideas you can incorporate into your wedding!


A DJ plays a variety of music to which guests can both listen and dance. DJs can play a wide range of different musical genres, including pop, swing, rap, classic rock, and more, making them an excellent choice for a reception that includes many different age groups and musical tastes. Here's a list you can look at:

The traditional advantage of a DJ is that popular contemporary music can be played without having to tune a radio, change any CDs, or push buttons on an iPod—the guests and the newlyweds can enjoy music without having to think about the actual set-up and operation of sound equipment.
DJs are also helpful in that they know how to get people up and dancing; if you want the dance floor to be packed and you’re concerned about getting everyone on their feet, a DJ can help by playing fun, catchy music that is easy to dance to. Some DJs even take requests or allow the bride and groom to create a list of “do not play” songs—songs that they hate or that they think are overdone at weddings.

The downside? If you get a bad DJ, you might end up with bad music. Booking a DJ means you’re putting the musical selections in another’s hands, so be advised that not every single song will be something you would have chosen yourself. Also, DJS can cost several hundred dollars per hour, so this option might not work for couples on a tight budget or those with particularly lengthy receptions.

Live Music

Live music is an incredibly popular option for weddings because it allows guests to experience a private performance of a particular musical group without making them purchase tickets. Such music takes a variety of forms—some couples choose local rock bands to keep the guests dancing, some choose cover bands that play specific songs, and some choose classical groups or musicians (such as a string quartet or a professional pianist) to give the reception a sense of elegance.

However, live music is often the most expensive option, particularly if you are hiring a large band or a fairly well known one. For a better deal, comb a local college or university for student musicians or bands that might be willing to take a smaller fee for their services. Couples with leaner budgets may find musical groups out of their price range, and couples who want to bump and grind constantly might not appreciate the small breaks many bands take in between sets.

Do It Yourself

If you don’t have the budget for a musical entertainer—or if you just prefer to retain control over your specific musical selections—then just do the music yourself! With the invention of computers and personal MP3 players like the iPod, all you have to do is create a playlist, hook up some speakers, and press play!

Many couples like this option because it allows them to choose exactly what songs and selections their guests will hear, and in what order they’ll hear them. Couples with eclectic tastes in music might also prefer to use this option, because it allows them to share songs from virtually any musical genre you can imagine. This is also the cheapest musical option if you already own a computer or MP3 player and some stereo equipment, or if you can borrow some from a friend or relative.

But keep in mind that this option requires someone—a friend, family member, or even the bride or groom— to set up and take down the equipment and to monitor everything in case of meddling by a small child who likes gadgets or a nosy relative who wants to play their favorite music. The do-it-yourself option can save you money, but it can be a hassle if it isn’t properly thought out and well executed.

Other Entertainment Possibilities

Don’t assume that entertainment has to be limited to musical performances! Other types of performances or services can be just as fun, and can prove more inventive and novel to guests who have attending a million weddings with DJs or bands.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Magicians are cool to watch, and there are many who specialize in adult shows.
  • Hired photo booths can provide your guests with some really great pictures—and can get some great candid shots that your photographer can’t!
  • Games are always fun, and can appeal to all ages. For casual outdoor receptions, try horseshoes or volleyball.
  • Make your favors into a form of entertainment; provide disposable cameras so your guests can play photographer, or choose bubble wands to bring out the kid in everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bachus: Don't Underestimate Palin

Alabama congressman Spencer Bachus of the firmly Republican 6th District says it's too "early" to say who he would support among Republicans for 2012, but he's impressed with Sarah Palin.

The 2008 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee and former governor of Alaska energized fans Monday night at Colonial Brookwood Village, where she signed copies of her new book Going Rogue. A thousand people gathered to meet Palin and receive signed copies of the book.

Many had "Palin 2012" caps and shirts.

Again, "it's early," Rep. Bachus says.

"But let me say this, she has been exposed to more hostile scrutiny than any other political figure in the last ten years. She's held up well. She's a fighter. I wouldn't discount her. I think that would be a serious mistake," Bachus told me on Good Day Alabama this morning. Watch the video here.

Bachus says Palin is indeed "a part of the future" of the Republican Party. The Republican says her views and values play well with the party faithful.

Rick Journey