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fall-collage

A backyard wedding can be a lot of work!! You have to bring in a significant number of vendors and essential build a venue in a place not intended for an event, but with a few tips you can pull off an event to remember!
1) Select a space or venue that has a large outdoor area. The whole point of a backyard wedding is to be outside, right?! You want guest to be able to enjoy the elements and freedom it provides!
2) Having a smaller guest count allows for the wedding to be more intimate for you and your guests. Don’t feel like you need to fill the large space with tons of guests! A smaller guest count can extend your budget and allow you to splurge for other items you wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford with a large guest count. The number of guests can really alter the overall budget. It can either add or take away tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, meals, etc. Every person adds cost!
3) Give your guests something to do! Not everyone is going to be tearing up the dance floor all night, so have other fun options to entertain them! Consider an outdoor game area with corn hole, jumbo Jenga, horseshoes, etc. Interactive bars are also a fun and easy way to add to your guests’ experience. Think apple cider, coffee, popcorn, caramel apple, s’mores, the bar options are limitless!
4) Serve your food family style instead of buffet or seated! This makes your guests feel more like family then just another invitee! Make the food more home-style then stuffy, while keeping it a meal the two of you love. Casual can still be classy and a unique dining experience.
5) If the budget and space allow, have a fire pit with a lounge area. This will create the perfect space for guests to sit and visit with each other while celebrating your big day. Making guest cozy and comfortable allows for a memorable experience!! Nothing better than a fire on a cool evening!
6) Ditch the traditional cake and go with a favorite dessert! Pies, cobblers, brownies, cookies, and cupcakes are all fun substitutes! A cute idea to incorporate any important ladies (such as grandmothers, aunts, mothers, etc.) is to ask each to make their “famous dessert” for your guests. Have cute signage like “Granny’s Famous Apple Pie” written in gorgeous calligraphy. Personal touches are very well received!!
7) Signature drinks are such a fun way to show off your personalities! Have a “his” and “hers” for cocktails. This gives your guests a chance to try your taste! You can even throw in an “ours”!
8) String lighting is essential for a backyard wedding! It’s warm, romantic, and actually provides quite a bit of lighting!! You want to make sure you have sufficient lighting whether it’s during dinner or dance time! Relying on the stars and moonlight likely won’t do!
9) Weather can be unpredictable! Make sure you are picking a month that typically has more good days than bad! Especially in Houston, weather can be tricky and oh so unpredictable! Fall is one of the times where an outdoor wedding in Houston is ideal! Regardless of location or time of year, you always need a solid plan B to ease your mind.
10) Above all, the wedding is for you and your new hubby/wife. If a backyard wedding is fitting for your style, then go for it! You want to make sure your big day is representative of you as a couple and stays true to you!!

 

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wedding-website

Many brides toggle with the decision of whether or not to have a wedding website! Some think it will be a pain to create and don’t know what to put on it, while others see it as just one more thing to do! The truth of the matter is that wedding websites DO NOT have to be a that much work and are a great way to communicate wedding related happenings to all your guest!! Below are some great tips on how to create a website and what to include to make it most beneficial! Curl up with your honey, get some wine, and make it fun!

1. Design!! To start, find a design that fits the two of you (in terms of personality) and is cohesive with the wedding and invitations!
2. Personalize it! Be sure to add photos of the two of you! You want your guest to go to your site and instantly be excited about YOUR big day!!
3. Tell your story! Let your nearest and dearest know the funny moment the two of you met, or how he proposed and you froze in shock. Whatever it is, give some juicy insight to get guest feel involved!
4. Make it informative! List any hotel accommodations you have set up, how to book,  as well as other popular options for guests who may be traveling out of town!
5. Welcome guest to your city! For example, for a wedding in Houston, list favorite restaurants, places to visit, or things for your guest to do to truly experience the culture the city has to offer!
6. Set some ground rules!! Be sure you put any deadlines on the website. Notify guest of the RSVP date,  cutoff date to book rooms within the room block, etc. Keeping guest informed on the deadlines they need to abide by will make your life so much easier!
7. Make it fun! Add a countdown for your big day to get everyone pumped!
8.  Reminders!! Include the ceremony and reception address so guests can easily find it! Yes, you put it on your fancy invite, but the more places you include the info, the better. Include a simple map if the ceremony and reception are at 2 locations for ease of use!
9. Introduce the gang! Show off your bridal party on the website and give a quick blurb about who they are, how long you’ve known them, etc! Some brides even opt out of a paper program and just include it all online!
10. Share the game plan!! Give a general itinerary of the day for your guests to review! This will help them be prepared and not ask you a million questions!
Ceremony at 6:00
Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres at 6:30
Dinner at 7:00
Dancing at 7:40
Cake at 8:00
Send off at 10:00
11. Gifts!! If you have a gift registry or alternative registry (think honeyfund), it’s okay to let your guests know on your website! You don’t want to include registry info with your invitations, so your website is a great place!! If a guest asks where you are registered, you will at least be prepared and have a place to direct them to avoid any awkwardness.

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emergency kit

Little Emergencies can pop up on your big day! It is very important to be prepared whether it is a chipped nail, a crazy strand of hair that showed up after your stylist left, or headache that came out of nowhere (stress anyone?).

  1. Mouthwash- for that first kiss!
  2. Mints- to be extra fresh!
  3. Sewing Kit- you never know when a random button will pop or zipper will need fixing!
  4. Scissors- so many things to cut tags off!
  5. Tape- for that adorable sign you ordered that just won’t stay put!
  6. Tweezers- eyebrows, splinter, stray hair, oh my!
  7. Lint Roller- groom or dad’s suit covered in fuzz…no thanks!
  8. Tissues- emotions, emotions, emotions!
  9. Deodorant- to combat stress and sweat!
  10. Bobby Pins- hair, veil, need I say more?
  11. Hairspray- to battle last minute fly-aways (especially in Houston humidity)!
  12. Safety Pins- they are the ultimate lifesaver!
  13. Q-tips- makeup touch ups!
  14. Lotion- smooth legs needed for that garter removal, right?!
  15. Medicine- from tummy aches to headaches, be prepared!
  16. Clear Nail Polish/nail file- no nail chips or jagged nails on the big day!
  17. Bug Spray- outdoor weddings are amazing, but bug bites are not cute!
  18. Sunscreen- protect yourself and guest from the sun too!
  19. Band-Aids- blisters from new shoes…the struggle is real!
  20. Tampons- talk about bad timing, right? Be prepared for you and all the ladies in your life!
  21. Stain Pen- white dress and anything but water do not mix…be ready just in case!
  22. Super Glue- it fixes anything!

 

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cigar bar

 

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!!! When planning the big day, choose what is most important to you as a couple. Your wedding day is a celebration of the love between the two of you and should be a reflection of such. You will likely get MANY unsolicited opinions! Though all those friends, family, (and yes, even strangers) mean well, you must stay true to who you are!

Take a moment to consider what is important when it comes to your big day. Make a list of what things you love, both as a couple, and individually. It is okay to have a nonnegotiable that you each individually cannot live without. Marriage is all about compromise, right?!

Put pen to paper! Writing down a solid list allows you to see the big picture of what you are wanting. If photography is of huge importance to you, make sure you splurge to get an amazing photographer. If your groom absolutely wants a cigar bar, then why not do it?

In the process, definitely consult your budget (you did create this, right?). Be flexible when it comes to your priority list! If something you desperately want is taking a large chunk of the budget, weigh your options and be willing to cut elsewhere. The more reasonable you are with decisions and budget, the less stressful the planning will be.

Regardless of budget or style, make sure you keep the celebration about the two of you! Add special touches so that when you walk into the reception it is clear it is your big day (the alternative is feeling like you are at a strangers wedding)!

If on your first date you had coffee and shared a cannoli, find a way to incorporate those touches. Consider a sweet late night bite. Or skip the cake all together and have your sentimental treat then! We always encourage our couples to remember that the day is about them! There are no rules and there is no “norm” wedding anymore, so do whatever you want with it. IT’S YOUR DAY!

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