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A Sand Ceremony

In a previous blog post we gave The Unity Candle Ceremony its time in the spotlight, now we want to share some details on another type of unity ceremony, “The Sand Ceremony”.  An equally beautiful element to incorporate into your wedding ceremony timeline, the Sand Ceremony offers thoughtful and meaningful symbolism.

The Sand Ceremony consists of a unity vessel and two or more bottles of colored sand. Sometime after the formal vows, the bride and groom take turns pouring their chosen color of sand into the vessel.  When couples are blending families, they will have several bottles of different colored sand for each child also. The flowing sands and blending colors of the Unity Sand Ceremony symbolize the bringing together of two lives into one or two families into one. The separate sands symbolize everything that the bride and groom have been in the past and by combining them, it symbolizes their future together. Once the two sand colors are poured into the unity vase, they can never be put back into their separate vases. They are forever entwined and interconnected just as the lives of the bride and groom are joined, and their children are joined. Many officiants beautifully communicate to the guests how the separate sands once poured into the unity vase can never be put back into their separate vases. They are forever entwined just as the lives and love of the bride and groom.

The Sand Ceremony is one of the many different types of symbolic unity ceremonies that can be incorporated into your wedding ceremony; and at the Bella Sera it is truly important to us to share the meanings and significance behind each one so our couples can choose one that is the perfect fit!

An Unplugged Wedding

An unplugged wedding, what a simplistic, charming and novel concept. But in the day and age of guests armed with cell phones and iPads that can’t wait to share your special moments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat almost simultaneously as you are saying your ‘I do’s’, an unplugged wedding is a very rare occurrence.  However, the rarity of unplugged weddings doesn’t take away from the importance of the idea. Taking the time to unplug, be present and actually connect with the wedding experience is important and as a couple, it is ok to ask your guests to do so.  Not to mention that occasionally  “guest photographers” can inadvertently compromise your professional pictures. The Bella Sera experts are always making our couples aware of the “pros and cons” of certain decisions. We have seen entire ceremony photo galleries ruined by smartphone screens in every professional photo and the occasional guest who stands up right at the “wrong” time to get their own shot, and up right in the middle of what would have been a magical shot for the wedding photographer.

There are countless ways to politely ask your guests to keep their devices tucked away during your wedding celebration.  Cute and clever signs are just one option, with a simple message asking guests to please keep their phones and cameras put away during the ceremony.  An officiant can also start the ceremony with a gentle request for all guests to put their phones and cameras aside for the ceremony. There are many ways to ask this of your guests, but one of our favorite announcements was a simple and thoughtful greeting. “Welcome, friends and family! Good evening, everyone. Please be seated. The couple invites you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology. If the groom can do it, then so can you.” The guests all happily obliged, and even after the ceremony, many decided to remain unplugged, keep their arms down and their hearts open and enjoyed the day, instead of being an observer from behind their cameras.

But if an unplugged wedding just isn’t your style, embrace your tech savvy guests and have fun with it! Use an app that will allow all of your guests to post pictures in one location so everyone can share them or even create your own unique wedding hashtag!

 

Springtime Cocktail

With springtime in the air, we at the Bella Sera thought that it would be fun to share a springtime cocktail that is the epitome of all things spring! While traveling around Italy this past year, gaining inspiration from every breathtaking view, beautiful flower and amazing piece of architecture, we came across an Italian aperitif that we just haven’t been able to forget! In the spirit of springtime, we wanted to share one of our favorite Cocktail recipes with you! Perfectly named, The Garden Party cocktail is a refreshing drink that takes our favorite Italian aperitif, Aperol and pairs it happily with gin, lemon and a splash of Prosecco. Each of these drinks separately are lovely but when combine together they are simply irresistible. Whether you are looking for the perfect drink to enjoy on your balcony during one of these wonderfully warm springtime afternoons or searching for the perfect signature cocktail for your wedding, this one is definitely a contender! It’s beautiful color and refreshing taste is something that you won’t be easily forgotten.

Instructions: Add Gin, Aperol, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and basil to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly; the basil will break up and flavor the rest of the cocktail. Pour into a glass with ice and top with a splash of Prosecco. You can garnish with a sprig of basil & a slice of lemon!

Enjoy!

Unity Candle Ceremony

There are many types of unity rituals that can be part of a wedding ceremony; each one is beautiful and meaningful in its own way. At the Bella Sera we have seen many types of ceremonies, Sand Ceremonies, Hand Fastening, a Love Letter Box, a Fisherman’s Knot, a Salt Covenant, a Unity Candle and many others that were very unique and charming just like our couples! This week we wanted to shed some light on the significance of the Unity Candle Ceremony.

The Unity Candle Ceremony involves two taper candles and a large pillar candle, the Unity Candle, in the center. At the beginning of the wedding ceremony, a representative from each family lights the two taper candles, generally this is the mother of both the bride and the groom. It is a wonderful and significant way to incorporate them into the wedding ceremony. Later after the formal vows have been performed, the bride and groom use the two taper candles to light the large unity candle together. The two outer candles represent the bride and grooms individual lives before the day of their wedding. They represent all of their past experiences and each of their individual families. The lighting of the Unity Candle represents all of those experiences and lives joining together as one.

Some couples choose to have a specific song playing during the Unity Candle Ceremony, one that is representative of the joining of their two lives. Alternately couples can choose to have the meaning of the Unity Candle Ceremony explained to the guests as they light the candle.

It is not uncommon for the bride and groom to save the unity candle, which is often beautifully decorated, and relit it on their anniversaries.

There are so many different types of unity ceremonies that can be part of a wedding ceremony; we feel that it is truly important to understand the meaning and significance behind each one! Stay tuned in weeks to come for more information on these beautiful and creative ceremonies!

 

 

 

Something Blue

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe!” This Old English rhyme is a wedding day tradition dating all the way back to the early 1800’s. Each item in this rhyme represents a token of luck for the bride to be, all of which are personal mementos with close ties to the bride’s heart. A special piece of borrowed jewelry, a locket with an old photo, a new pair of shoes, the possibilities are endless. Picking out these wedding day accessories is a time when the bride gets to have fun, add a touch of sentiment to her wardrobe and be creative!

Blue has been connected to weddings for centuries. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and loyalty and in many ways that is what blue is still representative of today! Something blue can be incorporated into your wedding day attire in so many ways! A new take on an old tradition can be fun! A blue heart shaped piece of fabric sewn to the inside of your wedding dress or the simple stitching of your initials or wedding date in a blue thread on your dress is a very custom and crafty way to add something blue. A blue pair of shoes can be a more bold and sassy statement to your wardrobe while a blue garter can be a much more subtle touch! Your something blue can be a splash of blue in your bridal bouquet or even an accent piece of jewelry such as a broach or hairpin. A pale blue nail polish, a royal blue crinoline slip, indigo undergarments and even a navy thread as a “place holder” for your wedding band are all fun ideas!

We are always impressed with just how creative our Bella Sera Brides can be!

Enjoy something blue!

Father-Daughter Dance

Equally as sweet as the Mother-Son dance is the Father-Daughter dance and if the father-daughter dance is done right, there won’t be a dry eye in the house when it’s over! Its hard to top the moment when your dad walks you down the aisle and gives you away during your wedding ceremony, but with the right song, you just might be able to!

The options for Father-Daughter dance songs are just about endless. It can be a song that has a sweet sentiment, meaningful lyrics or just a song that brings a happy memory to mind for you and your dad! To give you a head start on picking out the perfect song for this special dance, we put together a list of some of the Bella Sera Staff’s favorite Father-Daughter Dance Songs. Some popular songs, some classics and some hidden gems that we just love!

 

To all of our Bella Sera brides and their dear sweet dads, we thank you for letting us enjoy this special moment with you during each and every wedding!

Mother-Son Dance

The mother-son dance is one of the sweetest moments at any wedding. It’s filled with love, pride, laughter and tears of joy! There are so many lovely songs to choose from for this special moment; picking one that is unique to your mother-son bond will make this memory unforgettable. When selecting your song for the mother-son dance, it should reflect the relationship that the two of you share. Whether that is fun and lighthearted or more sentimental and sweet, there are many songs to consider. When you are selecting a song, be sure to pick one that is a comfortable length for both of you. If you both love a song but it is a bit too long, talk to your DJ and ask him to fade it out at any point to make it the perfect length. Another important tip is to practice the dance together before hand. It is always good to feel relaxed and comfortable during your dance, it allows you both to truly enjoy the moment rather than worry about what steps to take and when!

To give you a head start on selecting the perfect song, we put together a list of some of the Bella Sera Staff’s favorite Mother-Son Dance Songs. Even after ten years of weddings, this special moment is one that still makes our entire staff teary eyed! There is nothing quite like a mother son bond.

To all of our Bella Sera grooms and their lovely mothers, we thank you for letting us enjoy this special moment with you during each and every wedding!

 

…Ready, Set, Pin

A lot has changed in the past 11 years since The Bella Sera Event Center’s team planned and designed the first wedding at our venue. One of the biggest innovations to have a positive impact on our industry in the past 5 years was the launch of Pinterest in March of 2010.

Did you know that your Pinterest board is very helpful to your personal Bella Sera Designer?

Your Bella Sera Event Designers are constantly looking for ways to get to know you and your personal wedding style, as well as add value to and simplify wedding planning and designing for our couples! Prior to your design session, your Pinterest boards are a great tool to help us get a sense of your own personal style for your dream wedding!

Here’s how you can use Pinterest to help connect with our Designers:

  • Specify Your Wedding Boards: Making a board JUST for cake styles, JUST for wedding attire, JUST for lighting, JUST for floral accents, JUST for ceremony backdrops, etc… is a great way to show us exactly what you like!
  • Pin Whatever You Like: Seriously!  And be sure to have fun with it!  This is all part of the process of figuring out exactly what the overall style of your wedding will be. Once you’ve created some boards, ‘shop’ around a bit on the internet and simply pin the things you like onto your coordinating boards. Believe it or not, a theme will start to develop!
  • Leave Us Notes:  While you’re pinning, you can leave notes beneath the items that you are pinning to tell us why you liked them or what specifically you liked about the image and how you might like to see those ideas transpire on your wedding day.
  • Peruse Our Boards!: Don’t be shy!We’d love for you to spend some time looking at our latest and greatest! Like, repin & tell us what you love on our boards!
  • Share Your Username: Connect with us directly on Pinterst or send us your username when we set up your design session! Remember, your Pinterest username may not be just your name!  Be sure to copy and paste your username directly from your Pinterest URL (pinterest.com/username)

So if you haven’t already, sign up for Pinterest, create some boards and get to pinning! We promise you’ll become addicted, and have fun at the same time by visually seeing all of your inspirations in one spot.

Wedding Monograms

Wedding Monograms at the Bella Sera are just one of the ways that we customize our wedding ceremonies and receptions to reflect the unique style and personality of each of our special couples. Whether you like casual and contemporary monogram designs, or a more classic look, the designers at the Bella Sera will help you select and customize a wedding monogram that fits perfectly!

Usually in a classic monogram, the bride’s first initial or name is put on the left; the groom’s first initial or name on the right and the first letter of grooms last name is put in the middle. The couples wedding date is also something that can be incorporated into a classic monogram design.  In a classic style wedding monogram it can be really fun to play with a variety of elegant block style fonts, romantic script fonts or even a combination of both!

In a more modern wedding monogram style, fun elements from the theme of the wedding can be incorporated in addition to the names or initials. Winter weddings sometimes incorporate elements of snow, fall weddings sometimes incorporate elements of beautiful fall leaves but really, any element from the theme of your wedding can be incorporated!

The designers at the Bella Sera are always adding special and new customizable wedding monograms to our collection.  Check out many of the latest monogram styles that we have customized for our couples below!

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