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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.


14 Unique Ways To Include Your Guests In Your Big Day!

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14 Unique Ways To Include Your Guests In Your Big Day!

A wedding day is a special time for a couple as they become Mr & Mrs. It’s the start of an incredible adventure where you get to spend the rest of your life together. The wedding is the beginning of that great journey. When you invite guests to your wedding, they often spend a lot of money and time preparing for your big day. They might have to book time off work, and travel a long distance to be there for you both. Therefore, you should make sure they know they are appreciated, and you are so pleased they could make the special day. After all, a wedding isn’t great without your guests. Here are 14 unique ways to include your guests in your wedding, and make them feel appreciated.

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Say something during your ceremony

A great way of including your guests in your big day is to get them to say something during the service. If you are having a church wedding, you could ask the vicar if you could ask a guest or two to do readings or read out a prayer. It would be a lovely way to make them feel important, even if you haven’t asked them to be part of the wedding party. If it’s a civil ceremony, it’s a bit more informal so you could see if the guests could say something about you as a couple. Instead of a traditional reading, they could say a few words about you and your partner. Or even asking them to read out a significant poem will make them feel part of your day. And make sure you thank them during the speeches for making the effort to come.

Get them to bring pictures of their wedding day

When you send out your wedding invites, you should ask your married guests to bring a photo of their big day. It is a nice gesture as it shows you find them important, and look up to them as role models for how you want to be as a married couple. You can see here some ideas on Pinterest of wedding picture displays you could do. It might be nice to put them on tables if there is enough room. Or even in your reception venue so people can view them in the evening.

Put up photos of family members who have passed away

Another sentimental way of including your guests in your wedding is to put on display pictures of relatives that have passed on. Grandparents, in particular, can be a really nice gesture. Also, if their partner is still alive, it will be meaningful for them as they will be missing them. You could also ask your dad, partner or best man to mention them in their speech. It’s important to highlight that you wish they could be there to take part in your special day.

Let your guests throw confetti

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 2.41.25 PMImage by Luke Hayfield

Guests love to throw confetti at the happy couple. It’s a fun and traditional way of celebrating the marriage, and especially older relatives will want to do this. So don’t spoil the fun by saying you don’t want them to do it. It can easily be wiped off your dress. You could even provide them with confetti so that they can do it, in case they leave it at home. You don’t have to use traditional confetti either as you can now get lots of different colours and shapes available to fit your theme.

Let them video the day

Your guests will love filming your big day as it’s creating memories which will last forever. If you let them do it, you could end up saving a lot of money on a wedding videographer. And it will allow you to have a more personal touch to your big day. Provide two video cameras and then let them take it in turns to film parts of your day. It would be a great way to see different elements of your day, as you can’t be everywhere at once. Ask them to chat to guests too, as this will let everyone know that it was important to you that they attended your big day. And it will make a lovely time watching it back.

Have cameras on table

Having disposable cameras on the table is ideal for including your guests in your big day. You can buy them in bulk, so it’s not too expensive for you. The guests can then take photos while enjoying the wedding breakfast, and you will get more informal and silly photos you can keep forever. It will be ideal for you and your partner to look back at them, and you can send good copies to the guests as a thank you.

Get them to sing/play instruments

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 2.41.33 PMImage Source

The best way for you to include your guests in your big day is to give them a part in your wedding. Find out who can play instruments and let them take part in the ceremony itself. If any singers are coming along, you could consider letting them sing a song during the service. Or they could even sing a tune during the reception do. The first dance sung by a loved one will be really special. It will be ideal for them to feel included in your big day, and will make it even more personal.

Have a unique guest book

Instead of the traditional guestbook where they write messages to you both, why not have a picture of the two of you. They can then write their names around the photo, and then after the big day, you can get it framed and put it up for display on your wall. It will make you smile every time you see it. That way, it’s not going to end up in a box in your drawer.

Get them to write down some advice

A great way of including guests in your wedding is to ask them to write a piece of wedding advice and then place it in a basket. It will be fun for you and your partner to read them after. Some people now have wedding wishing trees, where people can write advice and hang it up for everyone to see. There is bound to be some funny tips on there for you both, as well as vital info you could use to help you to start your marriage.

Ask them to hold candles during your service

Another unique way to include your guests in your wedding ceremony is to get them to hold candles during the service. It will look fabulous in photos, as well as make the service more romantic. You could also get them to do this later on in the day if you all head outdoors. Just make sure they don’t let children hold any, as accidents could happen!

They could let off balloons

Ask them to write their names on balloons during the wedding breakfast. Then later on in the day, everyone could let them off outside the venue. It is a fun way of including your guests in your big day, and it will make exciting photos that you can keep forever.

Give everyone a sparkler

During your evening do, when it gets dark outside, you could all head outside and do some fireworks. It will be a great show for everyone to watch. To include them, you could give your guests a sparkler to hold. It will be fun for everyone and again, will make fantastic photos that you can keep forever. Check out here for new info from


Provide flip flops for dancing in the evening

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 2.41.41 PMImage Credit

Walking around all day can mean everyone’s feet can get painful by the evening. To make sure everyone has a very good time during your big day, it has become popular to provide alternative footwear for the evening. You could put some flip flops out for people to wear so that the heels can be tossed aside. It will mean they can dance till later, and will enjoy the day.

Provide suitable things for the weather

It’s crucial that your guests feel included in your big day, and the best way to do this is to show they are important to you. For example, if the day is going to be boiling, it would be really helpful if you provide bottles of waters during the day to keep your guests cool. You could also provide them with fans, and parasols if they will be out in the hot sun for a lot of the day. If it’s going to be a wedding in winter months, you should provide blankets for your guests to snuggle up in during the wedding reception. If the weather is set to rain, you could also provide umbrellas so that they can have cover during your reception.

These gestures are great ways of including the guests in your big day. They will appreciate them, and will be pleased they made the effort to come to your wedding.


Wedding Anniversary Gifts

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Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Our second year anniversary is coming up and I’ve started searching for gift ideas. While searching I came upon this great resource on the Hallmark website. It breaks down year by year the traditional gift ideas and modern ideas for 1 year to 60 year celebrations. I also like how it gives you ideas for budget or a splurge gift. Of course there are a lot of things you can do for your anniversary but I think it’s fun to incorporate something traditional each year and something you both can look forward to. It can become a fun way to honor your union. The other bonus, it gives your man a big help in narrowing down what to get. We know that men can sometimes be gift challenged, so take the guess work out of it for him! Whether it’s your first year or your tenth, the Hallmark Wedding Anniversary Gift table will end up being bookmarked on your computer.


anniversary ideas



Cocktails, Appetizers and Photo Booths, Oh My!

2014 Art of Weddings Bridal Show cakes and desserts ceremony engagement entertainment event sites food and drink wedding cakes and desserts wedding coordination

Cocktails, Appetizers and Photo Booths, Oh My!

It’s almost here, The Art of Weddings Bridal Show! This one is special since it’s the 10th Anniversary of the show. I can’t believe it’s been that long already since the first show. I remember everything from the first one and everyone since. All have been unique and different in their own way. I have to say my favorite venue for the bridal show has been The Gerding Theater at The Armory in the Pearl District. The mix of modern and old architecture brings a unique atmosphere for any event. Get your tickets today online and celebrate your engagement! Below are few of the fabulous vendors who will be at the show.

Attend the bridal show and celebrate your engagement in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. Sip on signature cocktails created by Mint & Mirth. If you don’t know about them you need to. Here are few of the yummy recipes.

mint & mirth


Then sample any of the savory and sweet treats from the Artemis Foods, Chez Joy Catering, Pearl Catering & Lightning Cupcakes.

pearl catering


Above photo Pearl Catering.

chez joly

Above photo Chez Joly Catering. 

artemis catering


Above photo Artemis Catering.

lightning cupcakes

Above- Try a yummy sweet goodness of a cupcake from Lightning Cupcakes.

photo booth

Hop in the Happymatic Photo Booth and say cheese! We in love with their wooden booth and the classic photo strips it produces. Always a fun addition to your wedding reception and a totally different way to see your guests!

See you tomorrow night from 6-9pm at The Gerding Theater at The Armory!

The Art of Wedding’s 10th Anniversary Bridal Showcase

2014 Art of Weddings Bridal Show Beauty cakes and desserts ceremony DIY wedding ideas dresses engagement entertainment event sites fashion Find A Vendor flowers food and drink giveaways Invitations jewelry photography Portland Wedding Vendors Real Weddings reception shoes & accessories the groom videography wedding cakes and desserts Wedding Color Palettes wedding coordination wedding decoration

The Art of Wedding’s 10th Anniversary Bridal Showcase

We are so excited for the tenth annual Art of Weddings Bridal Show! We started with a vision on a napkin while chatting with a friend at a coffee shop and it has grown ever since. The goal was and has always been to keep the event relaxed, fun and non-pressured. We think you should be able to meet and talk to vendors without feeling like you have to book them on site. Of course you can if you fall in love but the goal is for your and your fiance to celebrate your engagement in a stylish atmosphere.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to reserve your tickets online. Get a discounted price of only $8 each when you enter the code: PCS online and you will also be automatically entered for the opportunity to win a whole wedding from the Lucky in Love contest (valued at over $20,000). Otherwise get them at the door for $15 each.

We always love having it at the modern and beautiful Gerding Theater at the Armory in downtown Portland. Parking is on street and in nearby lots. Coat check on hand in case it’s a rainy evening.

View stunning photography, sample culinary delights, snack on a sweet cupcake and hop in a photo booth for some silly memories. Stay around for a featured fashion show by local fashion designer Michelle DeCourcy and walk away with ideas to plan your perfect wedding day! See you this Wednesday evening from 6-9pm!

art of weddings bridal show

Are you Lucky in Love? Win a complete wedding!

2014 Art of Weddings Bridal Show Business Directory cakes and desserts ceremony dresses engagement entertainment event sites Find A Vendor flowers food and drink giveaways Giveaways & Free Downloads Invitations photography Portland Wedding Vendors Real Weddings reception wedding cakes and desserts wedding coordination

Are you Lucky in Love? Win a complete wedding!

Is planning stressing you out? Are you thinking that it’s just too overwhelming to narrow down the vendors choices in the Oregon for your upcoming wedding? If planning isn’t your thing and you just want to have fun, kick back and enjoy your wedding day without lifting a finger than we have an amazing contest for you. You could win a wedding valued at over $20,000! Yes you read that correctly. All the vendors you need from a photographer to the venue to a caterer you could win in an awesome contest called,

“Lucky in Love – A Uniquely Portland Wedding Giveaway”


We are excited to announce that by attending The Art of Weddings Bridal Show on March 26th, 2014 bridal show engaged couples will have the first opportunity to sign up for this giveaway! That’s right, before the contest goes live online in April, engaged couples can enter at the bridal show. What’s even better than that you ask? If you purchase your tickets online your email will automatically be entered into the Luck in Love contest! You will be the first to get the nitty gritty details on how to win this amazing contest.

Below is a list of the fabulous local vendors who are a part of it. Many of them will be showcasing at the Art of Weddings Bridal show so you can meet them in person. Any couple would be so “Lucky in Love” to have all of these vendors on their big day! We hope to see you on Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 at The Gerding Theater at The Armory. Who knows, you may end up feeling “Lucky in Love”!

Sponsorship Spots Available

2014 Art of Weddings Bridal Show Beauty cakes and desserts ceremony dresses entertainment event sites fashion flowers food and drink Invitations jewelry photography Portland Wedding Vendors reception shoes & accessories the groom videography wedding cakes and desserts Wedding Color Palettes wedding coordination wedding decoration

Sponsorship Spots Available

Are you an amazing vendor who would like to be a part of the longest running bridal boutique show? Do you have an amazing service or product that you want to get out in front of brides? Then sponsorship is perfect for you! We only have a few spots available for sponsoring the bridal show which will take place March 26th, 2014 from 6-9pm at Portland Center Stage at the Armory. This show is classy, high-end and has a relaxed feel. It has been the show that all others copy and we are flattered but there is only one Art of Weddings! No other bridal show has the social media following we do. You will reach newly engaged couples via facebook, twitter, pinterest, radio, postcards, Oregon Bride Magazine and on our popular blog!

Contact us today to find out how you can reserve your spot in this exciting bridal show. Deadline is October 28th to sign up for a sponsor to take advantage of all the social media benefits. Email us today at, we look forward to hearing from you!


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art of wedding 2014

Wedding Transportation – Unique Travel Options

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Wedding Transportation – Unique Travel Options

When it comes to organizing a wedding many brides like to veer away from the lure of traditional and into something altogether more unique. For them it has to be something that reflects the personalities and quirks of both themselves and their partner, even if it goes against the grain of nuptial norms. The most memorable weddings (or at least those remembered for the right reasons!) are always the ones that are the most personal, fun and truly tailored to the couple in question. These weddings shrug their shoulders at ideals and don’t pander to the expectations of guests. If this sounds like your kind of wedding and you’re in the midst of the wedding planning mission, then you’re probably still deciding how you’ll be getting to the church on time. Here are a few options that you might not have considered…

A Vintage Bicycle

A decidedly very Portland option, a vintage bicycle would certainly makes for a cute entrance. Picture your free-spirited self peddling down a sunny countryside lane with your bicycle mounted bridesmaids in tow, all ringing their bells for you as you arrive. How fun would that be? Whilst you wouldn’t want to be travelling for a long distance in full hair & make-up whilst wearing anything bulky (especially up hill), it’s certainly do-able if you only saddle up for the last few moments of your journey. Finding a vintage bicycle shouldn’t be hard either. Reasonably priced ones can be sought online and there are plenty of places where you can hire them too. Of course make sure you pick one out with a wicker basket on the front – you’ll need somewhere pretty to place your bouquet!

Rent this cute white bike from Portland Bike Tours.


A Motorbike


One for the rock ‘n’ roll bride. Whilst riding a Harley Davidson would make for a very cool arrival, wearing a dress on one of them is more than a little impractical (not to mention dangerous). Luckily, there are sidecars! Motorbikes and riders can easily be hired, with some companies specifically catering to the wedding market. Whilst you can wear an open-faced helmet (and avoid ruining your make-up) you’ll just have to rock the helmet hair – but who cares? It’s a nice day for a white wedding…

Find a rental in your area at the Eagle Rider website.

On Horseback


Forget the carriage! If you’ve got a passion for all things equestrian then why not take a trot to the church? Whilst not recommended for first time riders, a horse would certainly make for an elegant princess-style arrival for anyone with experience (what’s more you’d save on the carriage!).

Take lessons together before you hop on at Iron House Riding Academy.

A Hummer Limo


hummer limo

If you can’t be a diva of Rihanna-proportions on your wedding day, then when can you be? Popular with celebrities, rappers and your general show-off rich folk, the hummer limo is synonymous with fabulousity. The majority of them come fully equipped with decadent interiors, disco lighting, music systems and free champagne – meaning you and your girls can have a stylish pre-party and get psyched up for the excitement ahead. When it comes to hiring limos however, make sure you go to a reputable company that actually specializes in weddings (as opposed to the “We provide transport to parties, but yeah we’ll do your wedding if you pay us double” types). Any transport company operating in the wedding industry will generally have a reputation to uphold, and will therefore be a lot less likely to not show up on the actual day; equally their luxury vehicles will be fully covered should anything happen while you are a passenger. Services such as transport however will usually be covered by your wedding insurance policy, so check the small print make sure you’re fully protected against such an eventuality. Also, try not to party too hard before you get to venue – slurring one’s vows is generally frowned upon!

Check out Five Star Limo to find the perfect ride for your wedding day.

Famous Vehicles


Are you something of a film buff or TV nerd? Then how about indulging your geeky sensibilities by making your arrival in a famous vehicle? Many companies offer famous cars, trucks, motorbikes and replica vehicles for wedding hire. Could you see yourself pulling up to your venue in the General Lee? What about James Bond’s Aston Martin? Or maybe you’re more of an A-Team kinda gal? The possibilities are all pretty fun.

Although Frank Sinatra once sang “Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage”, the saying certainly doesn’t have to dictate what you arrive in. You get one chance to arrive at your wedding, so make sure you do it in style – whatever your style may be!

Check out TransAmFlorida for famous cars.