Blame it on the millennials for changing things up. Many of today’s brides are opting for a destination wedding (DW) with close family and friends and then having an AHR (At-Home Reception) for their extended families and friends once they return. The AHR can occur weeks or months after the ceremonial part has concluded. This is an extremely attractive option as the most popular chosen destination wedding locales include Hawaii, Mexico, Bahamas, US Virgin Islands and Turks & Caicos. These locations offer the beautiful scenery, landscape and picture perfect weather that every bride dreams of for her wedding day. The primary drawback to a destination wedding is only a few select guests(which is most often close family and a handful of friends) can attend, which leaves out most of your extended family, friends, coworkers and others who would love to help celebrate your special day.
After the Destination Wedding
The DW is finished and now it’s time to party with all of the guests who could not attend (or weren’t invited) to the wedding ceremony. A party back home allows you to have it both ways — you get your fantasy destination wedding without sacrificing the chance to let a broad circle of friends share in your joy. It allows the folks who didn’t get invited to your I Do’s from feeling left out and takes the pressure off the others who may have gotten an invite to the DW but because of expense or work couldn’t make the trip.
Photography by Mae Small Photography & Birdcage Release
An At Home Reception after the DW can include all or none of the elements of a traditional ceremony and reception day. The key is to make guests feel as though you are doing this for them – as a thank you for supporting them and being part of their lives. The AHR can be as large or small as your budget allows, including dinner, open bar, cake, DJ and dancing!
Many experts agree that an AHR should not include a request for gifts or any “in your face” pictures, slideshows or toasts that include only those who attended your DW. Otherwise, the rest is up to you and your
groom. Enjoy, it’s your day!
Congratulations! You’re engaged!
All of a sudden you have a hundred things on your to-do lists, family to call, friends to ask for their help to be in your wedding party and then there is the matter of your wedding date. Ah, the wedding date. There are certain times a year in your region of the country that are the most popular times to get married and
more often than not (but winter weddings are so gorgeous!), a couple will go straight for those months because that’s what you know and usually it’s the best temperature outside. Nebraska? June and August last year were our most popular months. Right after that? July and September! The temperatures are nice and you have a decent chance that you know what the weather will bring on your wedding day.
But let’s talk about some other options because you literally have an entire year of dates to choose from!
That “busy” or “peak” season is popular and you will pay for it. There won’t be very many discounts or promotions because businesses don’t need to offer them in order to book those months. But off-season, or winter weddings in Nebraska, wedding dates are where the savings are! We’ve done a few polls from our bridal shows and have seen that almost every bride that comes through has a budget and would like to stick to it for their wedding. That can be really hard to do and get everything that you want. Off-season dates are one of the easiest ways to save money for your wedding and wedding reception.
Winter Wedding Benefits
Let’s use DC Centre for an example, since we can speak to what we do. November, December and January in the midwest can be cold and unpredictable but that should not be a reason to completely discount a season. Some of the most stunning photos we’ve seen have been in snowy weather (Thank you, Pinterest!). Your reception is most likely going to be inside leaving the weather outside which means for about 6 hours, you just won’t notice it. You could also just really love winter and that’s a bonus for you. So what do you get for having a winter wedding? Well for one, you get married! I kid, but really…you could save hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars just on the venue rental charge. So you get a “cheap wedding venue” but is anything but!
Savings on your wedding venue could just be the beginning of your savings! Businesses are willing to work with you during off-season days to fill their calendar, so be willing to work on your date. You may also have more options of businesses to work with since it is a little slower season for weddings.
Make sure to sound off on our Facebook page post with this article and let us know what you think! Are you choosing or did you choose an off-season wedding day and what did you think? We love seeing those winter wedding photos!
You see all those adorable photos of pets (mostly man’s best friend) in wedding photos and you love the idea! But is it really for you?
There are definitely a couple things you want to consider and things that are no-no’s when including pets at your wedding.
Is your pet such an important part of your life that you can’t even imagine getting hitched without them by your side?
You love your parents family dog, but they may not be worth the trouble to find a way to include them in the forever photos with your new hubby/wifey. Really consider how imperative it is that your pet plays a role. If your special day would truly not be complete without your pet watching on as you exchange vows, then it is totally worth the trouble. You would want to have those photos of your pets at your wedding for sure.
Does the venue allow you to bring in your pet?
No, we aren’t talking about your reception venue. Your pets may be able come to the ceremony but the reception is for the humans. Make sure your ceremony location will let you bring your pet to share in your special day. But make sure they are taken home afterwards. Most reception venues will not allow you to bring in a pet because of the food license so there’s no point in fighting this. Anyways, who would want to watch your pets at your wedding while you rip it up on the dance floor? And you certainly aren’t going to want to keep an eye on the little guy all evening, you’re going to be busy!
Are you able to make accommodations to get your pet to and from location?
You are going to be way too busy to make sure that your pet(s) gets to your photo location, to your ceremony site, is watched during the ceremony and then taken and cared for after the ceremony. From experience, because all of our family obviously played an important role in making sure the reception was set up, the cake, and there for photos we had to come up with alternate plans. In our instance, we had a family friend that wanted to help out on our big day. She was kind enough to bring our pets to come get photos and to our ceremony location and then took them home to feed and watch them the rest of the evening. It was extremely generous and the only way we could’ve pulled this off.
Is your pet going to be okay in all the commotion?
It will not be a calm situation for your pet. You may think because it’s a ceremony that it will be quiet and they will be fine but consider all the other things! There are lots of people. So many people! Does your pet do well in those kinds of situations? You have to think about how they are going to feel too, when putting them in this role. If your pet is so anxious that they can’t stand being around anyone but you and your S.O…it may be a good idea to leave them at home. In our case, we had a Golden Retriever who just wants to be friends with everyone, perfect! The other one, a small Pomeranian is very shy in public. My mom walked with her down the aisle and sat on her lap for the ceremony. On my way back down the aisle I picked up my little love-bug and carried her with me. She was fine the whole time, just very quiet and attentive to my every move.
Okay…so now that you’ve at least thought about these a little bit. Are you ready to have your pets at your wedding? Just make sure you plan it out and not wing it, because it definitely won’t work that way. And make sure to think about how your pets are going to handle the people and stress of your big day also!