Groom Style!

October 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The wedding industry has no qualms about making a big to-do about the dress. And while it certainly can be a centerpiece to the entire wedding, there is something to be said for a sharp-dressed groom. Gone are the days when it’s as simple as a tux. Grooms and their groomsmen’s style now ranges from ultra casual to classic black. Here are a few ways to break from tradition and give your wedding day look a personal touch.

Since black-tie isn’t for everyone, many grooms are now choosing to go with a cotton or linen suit and opt for simple white shirts or a pattern that can be dressed up, like gingham.

If it’s a more timeless look you’re after, you can’t go wrong with a matching tie and pocket square. These can coordinate well with bridesmaids’ attire, too!

One way to tie in some personal flair is through cufflinks. Sometimes just a peek of fun is all it takes to set your style apart – these make great groomsmen gifts, too!

And don’t forget about those kicks! Another great gift (and a more comfortable way to spend the day!) is by swapping out dress shoes for sneakers or boat shoes.

What special touches did the grooms in your life choose?

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Choosing Your Wedding Vendors: Top 10 Tips

July 15, 2015 at 6:42 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Choosing your wedding vendors can seem like an overwhelming task. With so many elements to today’s weddings, you are entering into contracts with a dozen or more people who will basically handle the most important parts of your day. How do you choose the right vendors for you?

Don’t fear! Usually your venue will be the first place that can help you navigate through the endless options. At The Willow Room, for example, we offer a preferred vendor list to our couples. You can find that list on our website here.

These vendors are ones we have personally worked with and found to reflect the style and quality consistent with our couple’s expectations of our venue. They also offer special deals and incentives for our couples.

If your venue doesn’t offer something similar, you can head online and visit sites like The Knot or WeddingWire and use their search functionality to find vendors in your area.

Here are our Top 10 tips when choosing wedding vendors:

1. Set interviews with potential vendors, either via phone or in-person and make sure they understand your vision.

2. Work with people who make you feel comfortable.

3. If you get recommendations from a vendor you have already contracted, to work with another vendor, follow-up. For instance, your bakery may work with a florist. Their experience in working together will be vital in a consistent look and feel to your big day.

4. Read over the fine print and make sure you understand everything in the contract. For example, a photographer may tell you you cannot share your photos online without a watermark, while others may have a more relaxed policy.

5. Don’t always look for the cheapest price. Look for what works best for you. Every vendor has different capabilities and depending on your day, cheaper may be the wrong way to go.

6. Decide your splurge. Maybe it’s the photographer, maybe it’s the DJ. Usually there is one area of the wedding that couples really want to focus on. If dancing is what you’re all about, invest in the right DJ. On the other hand, for an outdoor daytime wedding without dancing, flowers and decor may be more important.

7. Discuss your options as a couple. If one of you doesn’t have a good gut feeling, it’s best to make another choice.

8. Ask for advice on social media and on wedding forums and blogs. You will be able to see real people’s reviews and testimonials of vendor services.

9. Do your research online. Look at vendor’s websites, social media networks and brochures, and see which ones fit with your requirements.

10. Have fun! Choosing your vendors is such an exciting part of your wedding planning. Don’t let it stress you out. Just take one day at a time and remember it’s perfectly alright to ask for help. Your bridal party, your parents, your siblings, your friends, they are there to support you as you enter the next chapter.

Any other tips you would add? Let us know!

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Picnic Theme Wedding Inspiration!

July 10, 2015 at 5:09 pm (Wedding Planning Tips) (, , , , , , , , , , )

One of the great things about getting married in this day and age is that when it comes to your reception, there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Case in point, a picnic theme. While wicker and gingham might not be the first things that come to mind, there are endless ways to bring the laid back vibes of a picnic into a wedding, no matter how casual or formal you’d like it to be. And – great news is, no need to worry about ants or rain clouds when your “picnic” is inside!

Invitations

Brown kraft paper, simple doilies and the quintessential red gingham will leave no doubt in guests’ minds what to expect on your big day.

Photo Found Here: http://www.beforethebigday.co.uk/2011/05/wedding-stationery.html

Photo Source Here

Cocktail Hour

Why not let your guests loosen up a bit between the ceremony and reception with some activities? Face painting will be a hit with both young and young-at-heart.

Photo Source: http://ruffledblog.com/galleries/new-york-picnic-wedding/deliajeff54/ Photo Credit: Channing Johnson http://www.channingjohnson.com/

Photo Source
Photo Credit: Channing Johnson 

No matter how distinct the cocktail menu is, fresh lemonade will always be a great idea to mix in.

Photo Source: http://www.unitedwithlove.com/2013/05/08/laid-back-picnic-style-wedding-in-virginia/ Photo Credit: Megan Evans Photography   http://www.meganevansphotography.com/

Photo Source
Photo Credit: Megan Evans Photography

Table Décor

Make it super simple for guests to grab and go with utensils wrapped in portable bags or tied together with string to keep the carefree theme going.

http://inyourbackpocket.blogspot.com/2012/06/party-utensils.html

Photo Source 

http://blovelyevents.com/2013/06/19/creative-napkins-for-a-lovely-bbq/

Photo Source  ThinkGarnish.com

Wicker will no doubt be incorporated into the décor. Even something as subtle as a miniature basket will do the trick.

 Photo Source: etsy – item is no longer available and no shop listed though


Photo Source: Etsy – Item is no longer available and no shop listed.

Same goes for gingham. Go for small touches like napkins or a bold statement like a table runner.

http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/gingham-style/

Photo Source  Photo Credit: Rustic Wedding Chic

Food

Picnic food is simple and comfort at its finest. Allow guests to mingle amongst stations or tables instead of a formal sit down meal. Or make it family style with dishes passed around. Either way, let guests know what’s for dinner with chalkboard menus.

Photo Source: http://www.unitedwithlove.com/2011/06/29/lauren-justins-diy-bbq-picnic-wedding-in-maryland/ Photo Credit:  Red Shoes Photography http://www.redshoesphotography.com/

Photo Source
Photo Credit: Red Shoes Photography 

And see them off with homemade or local jam topped with what else, string and gingham!

Are you throwing a picnic-themed wedding or event? Tell us about it!

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Nautical Theme Wedding Ideas

June 26, 2015 at 2:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

For all the images that come to mind when one thinks, ‘summer,’ perhaps that of the sea is one of the season’s most quintessential. After all, most would say that beaches, boats and all things blue are best enjoyed with blue skies and a cool breeze.

Not every bride has the luxury of saying “I Do” on a sandy shore, but there are plenty of ways to give your wedding a nautical twist.

Invitations
Get creative with your invites. Use the coordinates of your ceremony location or antique map prints from bodies of water near where you live or either sides’ ancestry.

Photo Source: https://www.bellafigura.com/pressd/nautical-wedding-invitations/

Photo Source Photo Credit: Gus & Ruby Letterpress 

Attire
Keep things casual by having the groom and groomsmen wear boat shoes instead of the traditional formal dress shoe. This fashionable touch will double as a groomsmen gift, too!

As for the bride, a pop of navy blue and white stripes make for a darling touch!

Guest Book
Unrolling guests’ well wishes in this message in a bottle themed guestbook will aid in savoring your big day for many years to come. Large glass bottles should be easily spotted at flea markets and antique shops. Try buying a few in different sizes to make for a pretty display in your first home together as a married couple.

Décor
“Capture” guests’ cards in a lobster trap decorated with buoys that double as escort cards.

Stripes are for more than just clothing and table runners. Try decking out your dessert table with blue and white.

Sailors knots can be incorporated into almost any element of a wedding – from place holders to flowers and centerpieces large and small, they make a statement – you are tying the knot, after all!

Happy planning!

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Vintage Theme Wedding Ideas

June 12, 2015 at 1:18 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Out with the new and in with the old. No, it’s not a typo – it’s the theme of your vintage wedding. Whether it’s a love of nostalgia or a flare for romance that’s got you thinking of going back in time, a vintage theme can be carried out from start to finish. Consignment shops, antique stores and estate sales make for the perfect hunting grounds for décor and ceremony elements. They key is going in with a plan and the will to barter.

Invitations
Pink, cream, feminine and lace make for the ideal blend of characteristics for your invitations.

Ceremony
A lace gown or classic hairstyle isn’t the only way to put vintage on display for your bridal party. Switch up the groomsmen’s boutonnieres with military medals or skeleton keys.

Photo Found Here http://onefabday.com/stepping-box-16-alternative-boutonnieres-grooms/

Photo Found Here 

Don your aisle with sprigs of baby’s breath – a simple, romantic touch.

Photo Found Here http://www.stylemepretty.com/2013/01/18/california-wedding-from-gladys-jem-charmed-events-group/ Photo Credit Gladys Jem http://www.gladysjem.com/

Photo Found Here 
Photo Credit: Gladys Jem 

Tableware
Estate sales make it easy to stock up on dish sets from days gone by. No need to buy matching sets, the beauty lies in the variety.

Photo Source: http://www.stylemepretty.com/2013/03/13/south-carolina-wedding-from-beauty-for-ashes-photography/ Photo Credit: Beauty for Ashes Photography http://beautyforashesphotography.com/

Photo Found Here 
Photo Credit: Beauty for Ashes Photography 

Décor
While you’re at it, pick up some tea cups and fill them with wax for delicate table décor.

Photo Source: http://en.paperblog.com/vintage-wedding-ideas-744903/

Photo Found Here

Tie burlap around napkins, menus or chairs for an easy and affordable touch.

Photo Source: http://blog.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/2014/05/40-hessian-wedding-ideas/

Photo Found Here

Photo Source: http://blog.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/2014/05/40-hessian-wedding-ideas/ Photo Credit: Daffodil Waves Photography http://www.daffodilwaves.co.uk/

Photo Found Here
Photo Credit: Daffodil Waves Photography 

Baby’s breath can also make for a vintage glam look when placed atop a fixture like a stack of old suitcases.

Photo Source: http://www.weddingchicks.com/2014/02/10/i-heart-fall-wedding-inspiration/ Photo Credit: Middle Child Photography

Photo Found Here
Photo Credit: Middle Child Photography

Old doors and shutters – or even a wooden palate – can display family photos or place cards. Another antique shop (or discarded builder’s materials) find!

Photo Source: http://www.lovemydress.net/blog/2013/12/elegant-lace-jenny-packham-soft-muted-tones-derry.html?utm_source=feedburner Photo Credit: This Modern Love http://www.thismodernlove.co.uk/

Photo Found Here
Photo Credit: This Modern Love 

Photo Source: http://www.weddingchicks.com/2014/08/22/elegant-vintage-romance-wedding/ Photo Credit: Hunter Ryan Photo http://hunterryanphoto.com/

Photo Found Here
Photo Credit: Hunter Ryan Photo 

Send your guests home to sweet dreams with vintage-styled desserts like cupcakes or tea cakes adorned in pretty lace and flowers.

Photo Source: http://www.closeronline.co.uk/2014/06/wedding-cake-inspiration-the-best-wedding-cakes-on-pinterest

Photo Found Here

Are you having a vintage theme at your wedding? Tell us about it!

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Adding A Touch Of Glitter To Your Wedding Day

April 29, 2015 at 1:16 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

All that glitters is not gold – especially on your wedding day! Whether you fancy silver, pink, blue or the glow of yellow, you can literally accent any part of your ceremony or reception with glitter.

Invitations
Set the scene with glitter adorned invitations. No matter your color scheme, glitter makes a subtle statement while adding a little bit of glamour.

Attire
If you prefer just a touch of sparkle, try a headband or veil adorned with glitter. This works just as well with hair styled up or down.

Coordinate your sparkly nails with your wedding colors.

Photo Credit: MADAMEJULIETTA.BLOGSPOT.COM

Photo Courtesy of MADAME JULIETTA 

Sparkle all the way down to your toes with decked out heels.

Décor
A little glitter goes a long way at your reception. Make a bold statement with glittered table numbers.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/199183451/glitter-table-numbers-gold-or-silver?ref=shop_home_active_7

Found on Etsy

Candles and décor wrapped in a band of sparkles make for an elegant centerpiece. If your reception is in the evening, adding candles will exemplify the natural reflections.

Photo Found Here http://bridalguide.com/blogs/from-dianes-desk/find-your-wedding-style

Photo Found Here 

Food and Drink
Sparkle all around the reception with sweet straws or stirrers topped with glitter.

Or give the same look to your wedding cake for guests to admire.

Send Off
When it’s time to say goodbye, let guests send you off in true glitter fashion with confetti instead of rice.

Found on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/128165981/gold-or-silver-sequins-wedding-favors?zanpid=2028329930643055616&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=zanox&utm_campaign=row_buyer&utm_content=2086109

Found on Etsy 

Or light up the night with a sparkler send off! Either way, you’re sure to leave a lasting impression.

Photo Credit: Janet Howard Studio

Photo Credit: Janet Howard Studio

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5 Apps To Download Today To Help With Wedding Planning

March 26, 2015 at 1:25 pm (Event Planning Tips) (, , , , , , , )

Apps. We sure do use a lot in our everyday lives. Our phones probably house pages of apps ranging from ones that help us with banking and mail to those for games and messaging.

We compiled 5 helpful apps for wedding planning! And a few of these are just great in general for any type of event planning!

1. EverNote
Share notes with your bridesmaids, your future spouse, or just yourself. Stay organized with color coding options and check off items as they are completed. Even plan notes for months ahead of time, ensuring you stay on track.

2. WeddingWire
This is really a family of apps. Apps for managing your budget and guest list; apps to search and compare vendors; apps to browse wedding dresses; and even social apps where you can share event details and collect your guests’ photos from the actual wedding day!

3. Venmo
This is a free app for sharing payments. Just connect your bank account, have your bridesmaids or groomsman download the app and do the same and now you all have easy access to send payments safely and securely to one another. This comes in handy so no one has to worry about writing checks. If you purchased all of the bridesmaid dresses or tuxes, this is an easy way to collect the money from your bridal party with ease.

4. Gracious Eloise
This app helps you create handwritten notes digitally! Their site relays “our technology replicates the unique characteristics of any handwriting. Once your digital handwriting and personalized stationery are loaded onto our web app, you can start typing handwritten notes right away. Take ten minutes to complete our handwriting sample form and you can ditch the pen forever!” This is great for sending a quick note to thank your vendors or even compose thank you notes for your wedding guests.

5. Zola
“Zola is an all-in-one, flexible registry that allows you to register for beautiful gifts, memorable experiences, cash/honeymoon funds and anything from any store.” With many couples already owning most of the standard registry items like things for the kitchen or other housewares, this gives guests a chance to give the couple cash or gifts that can go right towards the honeymoon!

There are so many wonderful planning apps available. If you have any you think we should add to this list, please comment below!

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St. Patrick’s Day / Irish-Inspired Wedding Ideas

March 6, 2015 at 2:56 pm (Wedding Planning Tips) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Whether you’re decked out in shades of green or simply offer a nod to Irish heritage by way of a Guinness toast, celebrating your wedding with a St. Patrick’s Day or Irish-inspired theme practically guarantees fun.

The best part of this theme is you can go as little or as big as you’d like – whether it’s the traditional “Top of the Morning” breakfast (think: sausage, baked beans, soda bread) with your bridal party or offering an Irish blessing over dinner. Here are some ideas we love.

Ceremony
Have your guests take and hold a smooth stone while you say your vows. Irish tradition believes this to be good luck and so the words said at this time are, in fact, “set in stone.” Further remember this by asking guests to write their names and well wishes on the stones before returning them – a great alternative to a guest book!

Photo Credit: Marissa Rodriguez http://www.marissarodriguez.com/blog/

Photo Credit: Marissa Rodriguez 

Another “literal” touch? Bind your hands with your bride or groom during the ceremony, a Celtic wedding tradition called hand fasting that is thought to have given way to the phrase “tying the knot.”

Green may be your favorite color, but if you’d rather keep the touches subtle, try adding a brooch to your bouquet or shoes.

Photo credit: Katelyn James

Photo credit: Katelyn James

Reception

Whether your guests decide to partake early on or as a nightcap, indulge them with an Irish whiskey tasting bar.

Remember, green is not the only color choice – gold and white make perfect complimentary hues. Check out this gorgeous cake – it almost looks too good to eat! Almost…

Before the night ends, send your guests home with a sweet favor like green and white M&Ms.

Or personalized mints with a Celtic knot or four-leaf clover.

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Sports-Themed Weddings – Part 2

February 25, 2015 at 5:52 pm (Wedding Planning Tips) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We wrote a blog a few weeks ago featuring some awesome sports-related wedding ideas. This week, we take a look at basketball, hockey, tennis, and running.

Basketball
Check out this awesome centerpiece for a basketball-themed wedding. It’s illuminated from below! It won’t interfere with your guests’ space at the table either!

Image courtesy of http://www.sportsthemedweddings.com/Sports-Themed-Wedding-Reception-Centerpieces.htm

Image courtesy of Sports Themed Weddings

If you want a more subtle approach to your sports theme, how about this basketball inspired ring bearer pillow? You can custom order a lot of great items from this Etsy shop!

Image courtesy of jbconaway Etsy https://www.etsy.com/listing/182212489/basketball-orange-fabric-royal-purple

Image courtesy of jbconaway Etsy

Hockey
These gold puck escort cards are a perfect way to add hockey action into your wedding. And what a cool souvenir for your guests!

How about this prop for the back of your Mr. and Mrs. chairs? Use a men’s skate for the groom and a women’s skate for the bride.

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/blog/2010/06/09/hockey-inspired-wedding-ideas/

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs 

Tennis
Favors are a great way to incorporate your theme and give your guests a gift to take home. These tennis-inspired favors included favor packets of Sugarpova gumballs and a deck of racket-adorned playing cards.

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/360764/tennis-themed-st-louis-wedding/@center/272446/real-weddings#358232

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings 

And how adorable is this cake topper? Such a personalized way to show your love of the game. Find Genefy on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/477029785504402110/

Image courtesy of Pinterest 

Running
We love this shoe box card holder. A simple way to add a running element to the big day!

Photo found here. http://lindsaycb.blogspot.com/2013/06/2-hearts-racing-race-report-aka-wedding.html

Photo found here.

And here is a really cool cake with a running theme. A sweet way to show your love of the sport!

Image found here. http://terinaandtim.blogspot.com/2010/11/wedding-day.html

Image found here

Well, we hope you enjoyed our sports-themed blog part 2. If you want to see a certain theme or idea explored, let us know! Thank you for reading!

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Meet our new Willow Writer Danielle and her groom-to-be, David!

February 16, 2015 at 3:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

David and I have known each other for the past 8 or 9 years through mutual friends. He actually went to high school with my “little” brother. Unfortunately through the years we were both married and those relationships obviously did not work out and David’s ended with a perfect little girl named Julia.

October 2012, I went to a local Halloween party very single and ready to find a date. There David was, dressed up like the joker! (I was a cute but sexy Raggedy Anne). Long story short, we ended up talking all night, danced, and kissed!

halloween

However, I realized I got his white make-up all over my face and I told him if you wash your face off, I will kiss you again! Off to the bathroom David went and when he came back I was gone!

The next morning he got my number through mutual friends and text me, asking me out on a date. The rest has been truly our own fairy tale.

Five months later I got pregnant (a big surprise) and we got a house. I fell in love with his daughter and we have grown together so well. After the birth of our daughter Alexa in December, David and I became closer than ever. We have the same expectations on parenting and our futures. This June, he went shopping with my mother at Henne jeweler and got me the ring of my dreams!!

ring
The proposal: One Sunday afternoon,while cleaning out our garage, David asked if I could hand him tape out of his top drawer in his huge tool box. I grabbed the tape, went into the house to give it to him and could not find him. He was right behind me down on one knee holding the box.

But, I missed the box. I missed him on one knee. He opened the door with the ring in his hand and said, “Reallyy?!?!?” I burst into tears when I caught up to speed what was happening. He told me I was his best friend and he could not have picked a better mother for his child or stepmother to Julia and he wanted to spend his life with me. While we were both crying and hugging I whispered in his ear, “Can you get down on your knee again????” Lol!!! He did get on one knee and the ring fit!!

couple1 couple2

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