Author: The Art of Weddings | Portland

Raindrops and Rainbows; Spring Time Wedding Inspiration

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Raindrops and Rainbows; Spring Time Wedding Inspiration

Everyone knows it rains a lot in Portland. While outside folks think that is a negative, us locals know its the raindrops that give us the beauty our region is known for. However, raindrops on your wedding day can so often bring about a frown. But don’t let it make you too sad. In addition to being good luck, raindrops often lead to beautiful rainbows. So if you are getting married in the Pacific Northwest, always have a solid rain plan and a few clear umbrellas on hand, and keep your eyes open for a beautiful rainbow. It could be the start your happily ever after!

This inspiration shoot is the perfect way to celebrate the raindrops and rainbows that are so prevalent in springtime weddings in Pacific Northwest,

A big thank you to the vendor team who put this beautiful shoot together:

Venue: Scandinavian Heritage Foundation
Catering: Broder
Photographer: Klover Studios
Coordination/Design: Your Perfect Bridesmaid
Flowers: Milwaukie Floral
Stationary/Paper Goods: Colleen Schwab
Dessert: Petunias Bakery:
Dress: Ania Bridal
Rentals: Classic Vintage Rentals

Bridal Party wedding planning

Five Things to Remember About Your Bridal Party


The folks you choose to stand by side as you say “I Do”, have no doubt been by your side for many of the wonderful ups and downs of your life. They are your best friends, your college roommates, your siblings, your childhood pals.  They know you, they love you, and they are so happy for you. While bridal parties can add so much joy to the wedding planning process, we have also seen bridal parties add stress. We have even seen wedding planning end some wonderful friendships. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your plans. Follow these tips and hopefully the folks you choose to be in your bridal party will be by your side after the wedding for the incredible things still ahead.

Choose who you want by your side, period!

We have seen so many brides and grooms sacrifice who they ask to be an attendant because they were worried about having the same numbers on both sides, or they were concerned about having too many, or two few people. Just keep it simple folks, ask your favorite people. Nothing else matters.

Communicate with your bridal party, but not too much

Definitely keep your bridal party informed, but remember they have a lot going on in their lives. Make sure they know where they need to be, when they need to be there, and what they need to be wearing. Otherwise respect the fact that while they are over-the-moon happy for you, they still have their own lives going on, and that is where their attention needs to be. Please don’t blow up their email boxes every week with updates.

Keep prices in check

Holy cow, being in a wedding is expensive. Between the travel, the pre-wedding festivities, the attire, the gifts, the hair and and make up, the happy hours that keep you sane during the planning process; it all adds up so quickly. I was in a wedding recently and by the time the couple headed to their honeymoon, I had “invested” over $3,000 into their special day. While I don’t regret a thing, I do miss that 3K from time to time.

When making plans that impact the wallets of your bridal party, be kind. Remember that everyone has different financial situations and things add up quickly. We have seen relationships sour over finances and wedding related expenses.  Avoid that happening to you by keeping your requests affordable to everyone.

Take a wedding break with friends too

Many wedding planning advice books recommend taking breaks from talking about the wedding with your partner. The same is true with your friends. While it’s understandable if the wedding occupies your every waking moment, don’t expect it to be the same for your friend. Don’t lose the well-rounded, caring, interesting, person you were before you got engaged.  And don’t stop being a great friend. It is your day, but it cannot be all about you, all the time. Remember to check in with your friends about what is going on in their lives and their relationships. There will most definitely be times during the wedding planning process where you will need your bridal party. But there will also be times  during wedding planning where they will need their friend.  Make sure you are there for them too!

Your wedding party is not free labor

While your wedding party will move Heaven and Earth for you, they want to have fun on your wedding day too. Avoid assigning too many tasks to your attendants. Be sure to hire a coordinator to take care of the set up, decorating, and clean up, so that your favorite people can be on the dance floor with you.

In closing, your friends and family know you are excited, and they are so excited for you. They are also very honored to stand by your side as you marry your partner and best friend. With that being said, they really don’t want to go broke or crazy standing there!  Keep it simple, and fun and everyone will have one heck of a good time.


All images courtesy of Aniko Photography.

Portland Wedding Vendors

Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Stumptown DJs

Matt Kurowski, Owner of Stumptown Djs    Photo credit: Sikora Photography


Have you met Matt? You’ve gotta meet Matt! He owns Stumptown DJs. Now here is a Portland, Oregon wedding professional that will not disappoint on your big day. Let’s get this party started! Here is more about Matt and Stumptown DJs.

AOW: Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?

Matt:  I’m originally from Highland, MI, about 60 miles northwest of Detroit. I’ve been in Portland since October of 2007, so almost 10 years. Wow, time flies!

AOW:  What is your favorite thing about Portland? 

Matt: The people of Portland are my favorite thing about the city. They’re very honest, nice, down to earth, and weird. That’s something you don’t come across very often in cities as large as this.

AOW: What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?

Matt: My favorite thing to do in Portland is to go to the various beautiful parks we have scattered across our city with my wife and 11-month-old son. I particularly like walking over to Peninsula Park. It has a soccer field, two baseball diamonds, a tennis and basketball court, a pool, playground and a gorgeous rose garden.  It’s definitely worth a visit.


Photo credit: Christy Cassano-Meyer Photography

AOW:  How long have you been working as a professional wedding DJ?

Matt: I have been running various businesses since 2002, and I’ve been DJing weddings since 2008. So 15 and 9 years respectively. Next year will be Stumptown DJs 10th year in existence. I’m pretty excited about that.

AOW: What people/training/experiences/opportunities led you to this career path? 

Matt: This is a tough question to answer. I don’t think there’s one particular job, person, or experience that has led me to this career path. I would say that an accumulation of everything I’ve done in life has led me to where I am in my career now. However, the main event that happened and caused me to create Stumptown DJs was the market crash of 2008. At that time, I was working in promotional product sales, and all of my customers had just put a freeze on their orders. At the same time, all major companies instilled a hiring freeze, too. So I was forced to look elsewhere for work. In order to pay the bills, I responded to an ad on Craigslist saying they needed an in-house Wedding DJ at the Acadian Ballroom. The existing staff trained me on how to properly DJ and MC a wedding. The rest is history.

AOW: How would you describe the importance of your role & why do you feel a couple should hire a professional DJ for their wedding day?

Matt: At a wedding, the job of a DJ requires a lot of organization and planning with the couple, their guests and other vendors. It’s not as simple as simply showing up and playing music, as most amateurs think. If done by a professional, there is a lot of planning that is done prior to the event. From music selection, to announcements to be said over the mic and proper sound equipment required, there is a lot to be arranged prior to the big day. With each wedding only happening once in a lifetime, there are no “REDOS or DO OVERS,” so there can be a lot of pressure on the DJ to make sure everything goes right. That’s one of the biggest reasons to hire a professional.

Another component most people don’t realize with a professional vs. amateur wedding DJ is MCing. A true professional wedding DJ will make various announcements throughout a wedding and coordinate the timing of them with others. Professionals know how to use the microphone properly in front of various crowd sizes. They can project their voice and speak clearly to get people’s attention in a polite manner. They can also orchestrate when each announcement needs to be made without causing confusion among guests or other vendors.

 AOW: What is the best part of your job?

Matt: For me, it’s kind of two-fold. One amazing part of the job is knowing that you are part of a couple’s most memorable day of their life—and assuming it goes well, they will remember you for it for the rest of their life. The other part is that I get to run a business and listen to music—two of my deepest passions. So running a DJ company mashes it all together in one great package.

AOW: What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?

Matt: The most challenging part of our job is dealing with clients who do not follow through with what they say they will do, and dealing with a friend of the client, that is placed in what is normally a professional role on the wedding day.

We create many deadlines for our clients in order to make sure that they get us all the information that we need in order to do a great job at their event. Many a times, our clients don’t meet these deadlines, which leaves us chasing after vital information—sometimes up to the day of their wedding. It can be quite worrisome, because if we don’t have something as important as their first dance song or ceremony song, often times, we will get the blame for it. Thus, we choose to plan things out with plenty of time in advance, so we can avoid some of this extra stress.

Many clients choose to have a friend work in what is normally a professional role at their wedding. From caterer to day-of-coordinator, if this person does not do this on a regular basis, it can be very difficult for us and other vendors. If we make a mistake, it can hinder our professional reputation. But if they make a mistake, they may choose just not to coordinate a friend’s wedding again. We’ve had various people say that they are going to have their friend coordinate their wedding. Then on the day, the friend doesn’t seem to know what’s going on most of the time, is very disorganized, and/or before the end of the night, they relinquish themselves from their position and leave us to do their job as well.

AOW: Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?

Matt: We have an office in NW Portland right near the Montgomery Park building. It has a great meeting space for clients to come in and chat with us. We share it with two other great wedding vendors (Your Perfect Bridesmaid, Candy Glass Productions), so it can be a one-stop-shop for customers looking for some other quality wedding vendors. As for a team, we have a crew of 9 DJs available and always keep at least one backup available for any day that we have an event booked.

AOW: What do you attribute to your success as a wedding DJ company? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?

Matt: I attribute my success to the time I spent completing the University of Oregon OEMBA program from 2010 to 2012. During that time, not only did I get a Masters in Business, but I also realized that Stumptown DJs could be more than just a side business. It could actually be a full-time job and a powerhouse DJ company in Portland. I created a real business plan for the business, hired two DJs and doubled my revenue within two years.

During my schooling, I learned that a truly successful business solves an industry problem. So when creating my business plan for Stumptown DJs, I made sure that everything we did as a company solved an existing problem in our industry. This helped us find the perfect niche in the Portland DJ market. Stumptown DJs is an affordable, professional and talented DJ service that’s simple, flexible and fun for everyone. And that sets us apart from others in our field.

AOW: At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?

Matt: Shortly after you book your wedding venue is ideal. In order to draw up a contract with us, we require that you have a venue first. Also in most cases, it is best to book us at least three to four months prior to your event.

AOW: Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?

Matt: Most of my inspiration comes from DJing at least one event a month myself. Just seeing all those happy faces and people dancing to the music I choose is satisfying. It makes the daily grind in the office so much easier and reminds me what we are doing beyond making phone calls, checking emails and organizing key wedding information.

 As for trends, one that I really like right now is called silent disco. It’s a great solution to many venues not being allowed to have amplified music being played after certain times. Basically, sets of headphones are given out to each guest on the dance floor and the DJ transmits music over the airwaves that can only be heard using those wireless headphones. This way, guests can continue to dance to their hearts content and the DJ can work later into the night. Plus, if a guest wants to have a conversation with another person, all they have to do is take off their headphones. There’s no need to yell. It’s quite a site to see and really fun, too. In fact, we rent them out to any clients who are interested. Check out our website for more information.

AOW: What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?

Matt: I suggest asking five main questions prior to hiring someone in our line of work:

  • What is your process from start to finish in terms of organizing things for the day of? What things do you need from us, the client?
  • What equipment do you include in your services and what is extra?
  • How do clients give you feedback in terms of the music they want to hear at their wedding? What is your process?
  • Name your top three favorite wedding venues you like to work at and why?
  • Name your top three favorite wedding vendors you like to work with and why?

 If they answer all these questions solidly, you know you’re getting a DJ that’s organized, up front about costs, allows you to have a say in your music choices, is experienced in weddings and professional.

AOW: What is your best advice for wedding clients?

Matt: Do some research on actual costs for wedding vendors in your area before establishing a budget. And if you plan on having more than just a ceremony at your wedding, hire a professional DJ. We have a saying in the wedding industry: People come to weddings to see you and your significant other get married—plus, eat and drink, but they stay at the wedding because of the music and DJ.

AOW: Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?

Matt: We still have some spring and summer availability, so call, email or text us today at 503-877-3357.

Thank you so much for sharing your awesomeness with us Matt! We are so thankful to have Stumptown DJs here in Portland. You guys always provide outstanding DJ services to our local couples!


Happy Valentine’s Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today we acquired The Art of Weddings from it’s founder. Alexis has put a lot of heart and tons of hard work into making this blog the wonderful resource it has become over the years. Today marks day 1 of our journey. This will now be our labor of love, and we are so darn excited!

Our vision for the blog moving forward, is to build it into THE #1 local resource for couples getting married in Portland and it’s surrounding areas. We want to be the first place couples go when they are looking for local vendors, helpful planning resources and buckets of local inspiration.

Our official re-launch of blog is scheduled for April 15th and we will be hard at work creating the blog our Portland couples (and wedding vendors) deserve.

We invite you to come along on this journey with us. We would love to hear any thoughts and ideas you may have. Feel free to email us at:

We hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, surrounded by love, and please come back soon.

Thank you!


Seaside Inspiration: Beach Wedding Ideas to Make Your Guests Feel Extra Special

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Seaside Inspiration: Beach Wedding Ideas to Make Your Guests Feel Extra Special

When you’re planning a wedding, you want to ensure that your guests are as comfortable as can be. Easy to do, if your wedding is in a classic cathedral and you hold the reception at a nice comfy venue. Keeping your guests comfortable and at ease at a seaside wedding may take a bit more creativity. Here are some of our favorite inspiring ideas that will make your beach wedding guests feel (almost) as special as the bride and groom.

Guest comfort from toe to head

When you hold your wedding on a sandy beach, there’s an excellent chance your guests will want to take their shoes off. Provide some sort of “shoe station” along the path where guests will approach the beach wedding. A simple grass mat held in place with heavy pebbles can suffice. For a larger wedding with more guests, consider a portable shelving unit with legs planted firmly in the sand. Make a sign that invites guests to go barefoot and offer three baskets of brand-new flip flops in small, medium and large sizes. Somewhere at the shoe station, offer a new soft painter’s brush that guests can use to whisk sand from between their toes before putting their shoes back on, recommends Exclusively Weddings.


Daytime seaside weddings can be bright, sunny events, especially on hot summer afternoons. Provide an assortment of cheap sunglasses that guests may use to deflect ocean glare and take home later as a beach wedding favor. Go all out and offer cute straw hats and woven fans, too. Thoughtful brides and grooms want their guests to feel the love, not heatstroke.



Food and drink, beach wedding style

Take a tip from the Tradewinds Island Resort, and present individual servings of crudites and dip. Peel carrots and cut them lengthwise into five-inch sections. Do the same with stalks of celery. Poke a peeled, halved radish with a toothpick and place an assortment of veggies into unbreakable cups with an inch or so of ranch dressing inside. Individual servings of shrimp or crab cocktail are always welcomed at beach weddings and offer a taste reminiscent of the nearby sea.

Decorate a picnic table with white linens. Hot-glue metal washers every few inches along the hem of the tablecloth to prevent it from flapping in the beachy breeze. Lay a pretty spread of beach-friendly foods such as sushi, iced oysters on the half shell, coconut shrimp and sliced crusty bread, and don’t forget the napkins.

Have a canoe? Scrub the inside, haul it to the beach and fill it with ice and canned beverages or drinks in plastic bottles. Many beaches disallow glass containers, so you might have to keep the champagne in a bucket in the car and serve in plastic glasses. Be sure to have a recycling receptacle handy, too.

Of course, the most important part of a beach wedding is the love and delight you share with your beloved, your families, and your friends. Make everyone feel as special as you do on your once-in-a-lifetime day.

Rebecca Francis works in a bridal boutique and has been a bridesmaid 5 times but is not a bride herself yet! She writes about wedding dress choices online.

Foe & Dear Wedding Jewelry

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Foe & Dear Wedding Jewelry

We love being the first to know about new collaborations. Especially when they are as fabulous as this pair. We are also big fans of supporting local & small business. Take a moment to bask in the beauty of this delicate wedding jewelry that will make any bride feel extra special on her big day. Be sure to shop their online gallery link below to learn more!

Working with like-minded brands has become an annual project for Truvelle, and now the Vancouver bridal designer is ready to launch their first 2017 Maker Collaboration. While it may seem obvious for a wedding dress designer and jewelry brand to partner, the designs resulting from this particular collaboration with local maker Foe & Dear are anything but conventional. With quality metal sourced from a supplier in the city, and naturally-occurring moonstones used in place of diamonds, these dream-worthy pieces bring a unique option to the table for the simple and effortless bride. Even more, the subtle iridescence of these stones gift brides their little something blue. 

For all of the conscious consumers out there, this collection is designed and handcrafted entirely in Vancouver by F&D Founder Katherine Huie, and can be found exclusively in Truvelle’s online shop and Gastown Showroom. 

Image Credits:

Jewelry : Foe & Dear

Creative Direction : Truvelle

Photographer : Gillian Stevens Photography

Hair & Makeup : The Artistry Collective

Model : Shereen Jupp 

Location : The Wild Bunch

Unmissable Pieces Of Advice You Need To Hold The Perfect Wedding Reception

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Unmissable Pieces Of Advice You Need To Hold The Perfect Wedding Reception

You might be surprised to know that the wedding reception can make or break a wedding. After all, it’s the main part of the wedding that guests look forward to. And it’s what they will remember from your big day. Therefore, once you have sorted out your ceremony, it’s time to switch your attention to sorting out your reception. After all, you want your wedding to stand out from the rest. Therefore, here are some unmissable pieces of advice to hold the perfect wedding reception that your guests will absolutely adore.

Choose a beautiful location with lovely grounds

First things first, you need to pick somewhere to hold your wedding. And one of the main factors that you should be considering when you are choosing a reception venue is the location. After all, the location is what will help your wedding stand out from the rest. And your wedding photographs won’t look spectacular if you don’t have a beautiful location full of photo-worthy spots. Therefore, hunt down a fantastic location which has lovely grounds which will be perfect for your photos. And if you pick somewhere wonderful, it will definitely get your guests ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ when they arrive at your venue; a reaction every bride is looking for!

Pick somewhere that is exclusive to your wedding party

When you are holding your wedding, it can be impersonal if other hotel guests are walking around amongst your guests. In fact, it can make your wedding feel less special if you keep bumping into people you don’t know! Therefore, you can make your wedding extra special by getting an exclusive venue. That way, there will be no one else aside from your guests during the big day. It can make your guests feel more comfortable too if they know they don’t have to be concerned about offending strangers. And with an exclusive wedding reception venue, you know that all the staff will be focused on your big day so it can make you feel like you and your new husband are VIPs.

Opt for a venue that has plenty of room for your guests

It’s also important that you have enough room for guests at your wedding venue. After all, there’s nothing worse than everyone being cramped in one room. In fact, it can make it a nightmare when your guests are trying to get a great shot of the first dance. And it can be hard for everyone to get their groove on with limited space. Therefore, to ensure your wedding reception is fantastic, you need to pick a spacious venue. With more than one room, it can be good if people want some time away from the loud music. After all, it can be hard for older guests to handle hours of listening to loud tunes!



Make sure that the food is to die for at the venue

Another thing that can help your wedding reception to stand out from the crowd is the food. After all, everyone can’t wait to try the wedding breakfast. And you want to leave a lasting impression. The best way you can do this is to make sure the catering is top notch. Ask for samples before the big day so that you can check out the food for yourself. And you can then make changes before your wedding day to ensure the food is cracking. As we said before, remember to ask your caterers if they can do a custom menu for your big day. That way, you can make the food extra special and delicious for your wedding day!

Image Credit

Keep surprising your guests during the wedding reception

It’s also important to make sure your guests are entertained throughout the day. After all, it can be a long day for guests, especially for people who don’t know many other guests. Therefore, you need to keep surprising them during the day. For example, you might want to hire some magicians to come and keep guests busy in-between wedding breakfast courses. And you could consider doing some fireworks in the evening. These little extras can help your big day to stand out from everyone else’s.

Don’t leave too much time before the disco begins

After the wedding breakfast, it can be a long wait until the disco starts. And it’s easy for some guests to get bored during this time. However, you can ensure you have the perfect wedding reception by timing the day out properly. It’s best to not start the day off too early. Otherwise, there will be a lot of sitting around for guests. You should consider having the ceremony at 1 or 2 pm, and then sit down for the meal at 4 pm. That way, you should be finished by 6.30pm, and then you can start the disco at half 7, so there is only an hour wait for guests. It means they won’t be bored and will enjoy your wedding reception.

Pick somewhere with accommodation close by

There’s nothing worse than having to drive for miles after a wedding. After all, it tends to mean you have to leave earlier. And as for drinking, it has to be out of the question. Therefore, to ensure you hold the perfect wedding reception, you should pick somewhere that has accommodation. That way, people can shuffle to bed once the party is over. And if you can’t find a venue with bedrooms, you should at least pick a venue which has several hotels within five miles. That way, your guests can just get a taxi back to their hotel after the wedding reception and collect the car the next day! Your guests will look back on your wedding reception much more favorably if they can enjoy themselves without worrying about accommodation and transport!


Make sure you accessorise the venue well

Decor is also another way you can make your wedding reception perfect. After all, adding cute touches like special photos of you and the groom, and beautiful flowers around the venue can make your wedding extra special. Therefore, get some great accessories you can use to dress your venue before the big day. The more personal, the better as this will help to make your wedding unique. You can find further help in this article on planning the decor for your venue.

  Public Domain Pictures


Don’t make it too formal for your guests  

With a lot of weddings nowadays, they are skipping traditions. After all, things like receiving lines can just make the day feel even longer for guests. And long speeches can also be painful when the guests just want to get merry. So if you want to hold the perfect wedding reception, you need to ensure your wedding isn’t too formal for your guests. Skip traditions which are past their sell-by date and focus on ensuring your guests have a fab time.

Be careful when it comes to your seating arrangements

Sorting the seating plan leaves many couples shuddering in horror. After all, it can be a nightmare sorting out who is sitting where. But if you want to hold the perfect wedding reception, you need to make sure everyone will be comfortable in their seats. After all, you don’t want for your guests to feel uncomfortable next to someone they don’t like. Therefore, spend time getting the seating arrangements right. And if you can’t please everyone, let people sit where they want and have no seating plan! That way, you can’t be blamed for any awkward seating arrangements.

And remember if you need some help holding an amazing wedding reception, you can hire a professional wedding planner to organize your day. They will be able to think of small touches which will make it extra special.


Different Brides, Different Weddings – What Your Wedding Décor Says About You

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Different Brides, Different Weddings – What Your Wedding Décor Says About You

While everybody knows what getting married means, the idea that each one has of the perfect wedding is different from a person to another. In truth, everyone has their own notion of perfection and of what would make the ideal wedding location for them. What matters, when you are getting married, is, after all, to be the star of the day. This starts by choosing the right wedding location for you.

Happy wedding from Pexel

#1. The Romantic Bride Who Wants It All

Often, the wedding day is the only day in a woman’s life when she gets to indulge the dreams she cherished as a little girl. That is the reason why many women choose a romantic wedding, with a princess type of gown that they will remember forever. For these, the best way to make the dream come true is to find a castle, such as the one from Chateau Polonez that you can enjoy if you decide to get married in Houston.


#2. The Modern And Elegant Bride Who Understands The Value Of Practicality

Modern-thinking brides have a tendency to move away from the royal type of wedding for something that will be a little more simple. While they will still be wearing a white dress in most cases, they will pick a venue that is practical in term of location but also in terms of administration. They are more likely to be looking for hotel venues, that are equipped to receive and serve their guests during the day, but also that can offer rooms to those who want to spend the night there.

#3. The Bride Who Lives In A Dream From The Past

Vintage weddings are a hot trends since the past years, and therefore brides who are looking to get married in a vintage-like dress and within a décor from the past, prefer country estates which can offer an intimate and homely atmosphere very close to a story of Miss Marple. Often country houses are decorated in a way that enables the bride to pick themes from the first half of the past century without any trouble.

#4. The Bride Who Wants To Celebrate Her Love With A Few Chosen Ones

What makes a wedding day count is not the number of guests who are present, but the amount of love in the room. For the brides who are sentimental and deeply attached to their family roots, a wedding at home is an attractive option that lets them choose only a few lucky ones to celebrate the big day with. The ambiance is caring and intimate during these, but there is another advantage to them. Weddings at home celebrate love above expenses and preparations, and they also make sure that the newly wed couple becomes an immediate part of the family life.

#5. The Original Bride Who Is Full Of Imagination

Some brides want their special day to be as unique as they want their life to be. Alternate venues, such as botanical gardens or theaters, can now be easily hired for weddings. You might want to get in touch with professional organizers to get things sorted out and discuss your wishes as there are plenty of locations around that can give your wedding the touch of uniqueness that you are looking for.