Wedding Makeup Artist

Finding the perfect wedding makeup artist!

Having challenges finding the perfect wedding makeup artist? These tips are sure to help written by Bella Sera’s Bride, and amazing fashion blogger Rebecca. Check her out at The Novice Native.

Rebecca writes…

I couldn’t be more excited about weddings and sharing my tips from finding the perfect wedding makeup artist for my own wedding.  Having had the perfect wedding at The Bella Sera Event Center (in my opinion), I’m loving every opportunity to celebrate someone else’s big day and reminisce on our own memories! I’m also collaborating with Elisabeth at The Bella Sera to help create and share fun, helpful and inspiring blog posts for The Bella Sera.

Recently I went to Denver’s version of Vegas, Blackhawk, to celebrate a sweet girlfriend and fellow blogger’s bachelorette party!  Be sure and check her out at www.semisweettooth.com

But let’s talk your wedding, and review hands-down the best makeup artist in Denver!

Choosing your hairstyle first

First things first; you may want to determine what your hairstyle will be first before finding a  makeup artist. Referencing a post on my website about this topic will help; see here on Choosing a Hairstyle . Here is my wedding hair style in progress below:

 

 

Wedding makeup

 

Steps to finding your perfect wedding makeup artist

RESEARCH MAKEUP ARTISTS…

  • Ask around!  Friends are a great way to get good, real life feedback.
  • Peruse Instagram and blogs!
  • Google
  • Make a list of your top choices, narrow it down to 10.

REACH OUT TO THEM…

  • Send an initial email to your top 10.  Include your date, wants, and needs, as well as photos if you have them.  Ask for pricing and availability!

CHOOSE YOUR ARTIST!

  • Rule out everyone outside of your budget once you’ve gotten a majority of the responses.
  • Dig a little deeper into your top 3.  Talk to each of them, see if they offer trials (most of these will cost money, be prepared)
  • Choose your artist and sign your contract!

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect partner, you’re ready to set up your trial run!  I HIGHLY recommend doing one, as there were a few changes I needed to make after mine.  Scheduling it in the morning is ideal, as you can see how the makeup wears throughout the day!  You don’t want it to slide off, or smear with the slightest glisten.  Having a photo to bring with you on the day of your trial will be very helpful for the artist.  If you can, bring a few options in case the artist suggests that one may not work with your skin tone, etc.

 

Makeup artist for weddings

 

If you are happy with the way your trial went, get with your artist and determine a timeline for the big day!  You will want to consider how many girls are getting their makeup done, and factor that in to the hair schedule.

I am going to leave you with this little suggestion for scheduling and deciding what work is done… If you are considering paying to have your bridesmaid’s make up done, or asking that they pay for it themselves, one of the best ways to cut down on the cost is to ask the makeup artist if she does “mini facials”.  If she doesn’t understand, you could suggest and ask if she would be willing to do “eyes only” or “full face with no lashes” for each of the girls.  This will cut down on her work load, but also give her the opportunity to earn additional business since she is already booked that day.

 

My perfect wedding makeup artist

For all who have asked– I found my DREAM Makeup Artist, Tori, in the most roundabout of ways… Yes, I followed my steps listed above, but it goes to  show you all methods counts.  I reached out to a friend of mine who suggested her top pick in Denver.

After reaching out, I was recommended to Tori, from Bronze and Beautiful.  Once finding her, I browsed her website and decided to add her to my list!  After chatting on the phone and exchanging emails, I decided to book with Tori.  Not only did she have a fantastic resume, but Tori was more than willing to work with me to create a look for each of my girls that was in my price range…

Wedding lipstick

Wedding makeup eye shadow

The final look

Here I am at The Bella Sera Event Center on my wedding day. My makeup artist did more than exceptional job, she helped make my day absolutely perfect, and even came to my home the day before for a spray tan and brow tint!  Dreams do come true!!!!!!  PS It lasted all night 🙂

 

Beautiful Bride's makeup at Bella Sera

 

I hope this helps you find your perfect match – You’re going to be beautiful!

 

 

Rebecca (Happy Bella Sera Bride)

The Novice Native.

www.TheBellaSera.com

 

Fun Beer Can Wedding Cake for Groomsmen

Grooms beer can wedding cake

 

 

What’s the purpose of a Beer Can Wedding Cake you ask?

Well, weddings are a celebration for everyone involved, and we all know that most guys like to have fun sharing a beer or two when they all get together. So why not offer them their favorite canned beers in the shape of a wedding cake on your wedding day?

This is not to suggest for the guys to get drunk before the ceremony begins, just a celebratory beer presented in a fun and unique way while the groom gets ready with all of his closest buddies or siblings.

There are so many creative ways to incorporate fun into your wedding, and this is one idea that is always a hit with the men. When the groomsmen arrive, the groom will have purchased the Beer Can Wedding Cake from the bar and will have it waiting for them in their Dressing Room. Just watch their reactions when they see it; they love it!

Whether it’s Budweiser, Coors, Premium Beers, or non-alcoholic drinks, we create fun, personalized beer cake toppers too that will instantly have your groomsmen cheering, taking photos and enjoying the creative kickoff to a wonderful celebration.

Beer Can Wedding Cake_Bella Sera Event Center

Groom's beer cake_Bella Sera Event Center

 

This is just one of the many ways The Bella Sera incorporates original ideas to help our couples personalize their wedding and increase the enjoyment with a fun element of surprise for the guys.

 

Cheers!

 

 

Written by Elisabeth Montoya – Co-owner and Lead Designer for The Bella Sera Event Center

www.TheBellaSera.com

 

 

 

 

Reserved vs. Open Seating at a Wedding

 

 

Do We Need a Guest Seating Plan? What are the pros and cons of reserved seating vs. open seating at a wedding?

We get asked these questions all the time. Our answer to the seating plan is always, YES, unless it is a small intimate wedding. Let me explain why. We know it sound stressful and like a lot of work to assign every single guest to a table, but our experience shows us that the guest experience is much better when there is a plan and feelings don’t get hurt.

 

You may ask, “If we rent the exact number of chairs as our guest count, why would there be any problems if we just have open seating?” One of the first things that comes to mind is that “people will be people”, and everyone is afraid of missing out on what they perceive to be the best table. We’ve seen the mad rush happen too many times into the dinner reception room, and if your immediate family is taking photos, they may end up sitting in the corner. Secondly, it never works out when there’s open seating for large weddings unless you pay to have a few extra-decorated tables. The reason is because families come in odd and even numbers; if a family of 7 sits at the last open table, and there’s a family of 4 left standing who can’t fit seats together, they will complain that there is nowhere for them to sit, even if there are seats available at several other tables. Make sense?

Elaborate Guest Seating Poster

A seating plan will ensure that couples, friends and families who want to sit together, can. Elderly guests will also thank you, as they may not want to sit close to the speakers or far from the bathrooms; they also appreciate sitting where they can see and hear the formalities. Although some guests may not get to sit exactly where they would have preferred, assigned seating will greatly reduce the amount of unhappy guests and create an overall better guest experience. Keep in mind, that guests can always move around if they please or squeeze in a few people from another table too.

 

 

A Sweetheart Table or Large Head Table For The Entire Wedding Party?

More often than not, your wedding party members will have spouses, dates or families they would like to sit with during dinner. This is why so many couples choose a sweetheart table over a large head table that only includes their wedding party. A nice alternative is to have the sweet heart table in the center, and tables on each side of it assigned to your wedding party and their significant others. This option keeps everyone close by the married couple, and gives the wedding party the opportunity to enjoy their families also. Believe it or not, the married couple does not sit at their dinner table very long. Typically the couple gets bombarded with loving guests who want to congratulate them; they will then eat, and eventually get up and begin visiting each table fairly quickly.

 

However, many brides have dreamt of a large head table with their entire wedding party on each side of them. If this is something that is very important to you, it is absolutely your preference to choose this option. A long, beautifully decorated head table is always a wow factor and main focal point of the reception room. It’s your choice.

 

Family Seating at a Wedding

 

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s not uncommon for divorced parents to want their own tables. This is another plus for creating a seating plan. Every couple’s situation is unique. If both of your parents are friends, they may want to all sit together in front of your table. If they are close to the officiant, and there are several grandparents, you may choose to have two or three tables near your table. It’s best to work this out with your venue and draw up the floor plan at least a month prior to your wedding to begin thinking this through. The farther in advance you start thinking about this, the less stress you will have as you approach your big day. Get your Mom’s involved, if it becomes too stressful, they will be thrilled to be involved and help you with your seating plan.

 

 

How to Assign Guests to Dinner Reception Tables

 

As for the rest of your guests, it’s always best to put people together who know each other, or who have common interests and would enjoy sitting together. The main thing to remember is that the dinner segment doesn’t last all night. Eventually your goal is to get your guests up and on the dance floor or actively involved in your celebration, so don’t stress too much about the seating arrangements. Set a plan, and remember there may be some guests sitting with people they may not know very well. It will be ok! If your table is centered in the middle of the room, everyone should have a great seat. If your head table is at the far end of the room, it will be more challenging to keep the guests happy who are at the back of the room. Keep this in mind before choosing a venue.

 

 

Seating Plans for Children

If you have children yourselves, you may want to seat them with you at your table. However, many times they have more fun sitting with cousins and grand parents since you will be pulled in many directions. Although the idea of a kids only table, with coloring books and fun activities sounds like a great idea, most of the time children won’t remain at that table when dinner starts. It’s sort of like Thanksgiving where they want to sit at the “big table.” Most children want to sit next to their parents instead of at a kid’s table in the corner. This doesn’t mean they won’t visit the kids activity table at some point in the night to draw or do activities, so it’s not a bad idea to still have a kids activity table.

 

Seating Chart, Place Cards or Escort Cards?

Once you’ve gotten your final guest count completed and figured out where to put everyone, all you have to do is decide how to guide guests to their seats.

 

A Guest Seating Chart or Poster

One of the easiest ways to do this is with a Guest Seating Chart that is placed in a highly visible place during the cocktail hour.

 

Usually displayed alphabetically near the entrance of the reception, seating charts provide a large visual of all guests’ names with their designated tables. This option is the least stressful in our opinion, as it doesn’t require you to type out every guests name on a card and figure out where they will sit at their table. We provide a template for our couples that they can fill out, and then we send it off to our local printer for them. We display it in the cocktail reception on an easel, and the guests simply read their name on the chart or poster and look for their table number. You can also choose to make this a DIY project and create your own. The venue director or DJ/Emcee will inform the guests how the table numbers are arranged before they begin seating everyone.

Guest seating poster_Bella Sera

Guest seating chart DIY

Place Cards

These tented cards can be used along with an escort card or alone. Displayed in alphabetical order on a table near the entrance of the reception, they usually include the guest’s name and table number. Once at the table, guests can select their own seats.

Escort cards at platinum bella sera wedding

 

Escort Cards

These are the most formal, and take the most work. Used in the most formal seating plans, escort cards usually contain the guest’s name on the outer envelope, and their table number on the inside card. Place cards will then be placed at each place setting at each table, designating their seats.

 

 

Before creating your seating plan, ask your venue coordinator for the floor plan for your total guest count. You can experiment with various arrangements before making your final decision for where to seat everyone. When in doubt, trust your instincts. Anticipate some last minute changes to happen, as this is just part of planning an event of this magnitude. If you haven’t received all of your RSVP’s by the date requested, plan on calling those guests. It will save you a lot of stress and frustration if they were to call you at the last minute and tell you they are coming. On the flip side, you don’t want to pay for guests who don’t show up. Your venue and caterer will need your final numbers by a specific date, and most times that number cannot be changed without a change fee.

 

 

Written by Elisabeth Montoya Co-owner and Lead Designer of The Bella Sera Event Center

www.TheBellaSera.com

Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding

 

There are alternative ways to include your dog in your wedding besides walking them down the aisle, and possibly wreaking havoc on your guests.

 

For many couples their pets are like family, especially their dogs. Although many furry, lovable dogs may behave just fine walking down the ceremony aisle in a pet tuxedo wearing an adorable sign like “I loved her first”, “My humans are getting married”, “Dog of Honor”, “Will you marry my dad?” or “Here comes my Mom”, but many more doggies might just have a mind of their own and ruin what would have been an adorable moment.

 

If your dilemma is that your wedding just won’t be complete without your pet’s involvement, what about including them just for a few photos or for a part of the dance reception?

 

Find out if your venue is dog friendly, and if they are, have a good friend or family member bring him out to the reception where he can soak in some attention from all of your guests. Consider giving him a stationary place on the dance floor or by a family table where he can be leashed, enjoy a wedding chew toy, and enjoy the party without causing too much trouble.

 

Family Photos

Dogs at weddings Bella Sera Event Center

Just look at these adorable photos of “Penelope”, the bulldog, with her humans Jocelyn and Tyler at The Bella Sera Event Center. Everyone was overjoyed to see her cutting it up on the dance floor. She joined the party at the end of the night and everything went smooth. They got some “family” photos with her in their wedding attire that they will frame and put on their mantle to enjoy forever. They also created a lasting memory with all of their guests as Penelope cut it up on the dance floor and had everyone rallying around her.

 

Watch out, dog loose on the dance floor!

Incorporate your dog in your wedding_The Bella Sera Event Center

 

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole”.

Roger Caras

 

Mans best friend at their wedding_Bella Sera

Incorporate your pet at your wedding

 

 

The Bella Sera Event Center is definitely a “pet friendly” venue. We value family (including pets), and personalizing each and every celebration here, just as long as we can all get along and nobody barks at anyone else:)

What are some of the ways you want to include your dog in your wedding?

 

Venue: The Bella Sera Event Center

Family: Bride Joselyn, Groom Tyler, and Bulldog Penelope

Photography: Mark Alison Photography

The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Checklist

You won’t forget ANYTHING with this comprehensive wedding ceremony checklist!

 

Keep this valuable checklist in your wedding binder, check off items and tasks as you’ve completed them or omit items you don’t want to include. Created by our wedding pros as a helpful tool to minimize the stress brides often feel when planning their wedding because they didn’t have a thorough checklist for their ceremony. You’re guaranteed to eliminate hours of stress trying to remember every little detail for your ceremony, as well as improving the quality of your ceremony with this wedding ceremony checklist.

 

Begin with the Top 10 most critical wedding ceremony checklist items:

_____1) Once your date is chosen, set a total budget for your ceremony

_____2) Decide how many guests you will invite to the ceremony vs. reception

_____3) Choose a church or venue that best matches your dream ceremony – read the venue contract thoroughly so you know what you can & cannot do before signing

_____4) Set up a plan and outline for how you want your ceremony to flow, what décor you envision, and what, and who you want to be included:

  • Decide what time you want your ceremony to begin. Get advice from your venue.
  • Decide in advance if you will allow guests to photograph your ceremony; remember that you hired a professional photographer and you may not want everyone’s cell phone screens in all of your pictures.
  • Establish the flow of the ceremony – a beginning, middle and end
  • Choose the overall style, colors, and look and feel you want for decor
  • Decide on your music selections – don’t leave until the last minute
  • Processional and Recessional plans will need to be decided
  • Wedding party – who will be your best man, maid of honor, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl(s), ring bearer(s), reader, etc.

_____5) Choose An Officiant / Celebrant, and pay their deposit to secure them

  • Friend or family member
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Minister
  • Pastor
  • Priest
  • Rabbi

_____6) Hire a Ceremony/Wedding Coordinator – may be included with your venue

_____7) Choose a set up & tear down crew & plan –chairs, tables, coordinator & décor

_____8) Meet with your officiant to get to know each other and plan out the details

_____9) Meet or talk with your DJ to discuss music; do not leave this to the last minute

_____10) Find out when rehearsal time options are from your venue so you can alert

your out of town wedding party members before making their flight plans

 

Comprehensive Ceremony Checklist

_____A Greeter at the door or ceremony entrance to greet guests and direct them

_____Aisle Decorations and aisle runner (include tape or weights to secure runner)

_____Altar decorations

  • Backdrop
  • Canopy
  • Chuppa
  • Fabric / Draping
  • Flowers, vines, greenery
  • Lighting

_____Attire for officiant – Remember, your officiant will be in all of your pictures; will they allow you to recommend certain attire and colors for them to wear?

_____Broom – for the jump the broom ritual

_____Bubbles, rice, confetti – find out what’s allowed

_____Chairs

  • Chair coverings for chairs

_____Delivery charges for any rental items that must be brought in

_____DJ – pay deposit, ask if they attend the rehearsal or if that is extra

  • Microphones – stand or lapel
  • Music during the ceremony (sand ceremony or unity candle or other)
  • Pre-ceremony music while guests are being seated
  • Processional and Recessional music (entrances and exits)

_____Flowers / Petals

  • Boutonnieres for fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and groomsmen
  • Bride’s bouquet
  • Bridesmaids bouquets
  • Corsages for mothers, stepmothers and grandmothers
  • Fresh flower arrangements for aisle or aisle chairs
  • Fresh flower arrangements for altar
  • Petals for the flower girl(s)

_____Flower girl(s) (who will purchase their dresses?)

  • Flower girl basket(s)
  • Wagon and Décor for wagon (if pulling a baby down aisle)

_____Gift table

  • Card box or other item for cards from guests
  • Linen for gift table

_____Guest book table

  • Décor for guest book table – candles, pictures, flowers, programs, etc.
  • Escort cards or place cards (sometimes these are on this table)
  • Guest book, photo album, signature matt or other item for guests to sign
  • Linen for guest book table
  • Pen for guest book

_____Handicap accessibility plan and proper seating arrangement set up

_____Lighting – up lighting or romantic lighting

_____Marriage license

_____Memory table to honor those who have passed

  • Candles
  • Flowers
  • Pictures in frames
  • Linen for memory table
  • Signage

_____Microphone for officiant, singers, musicians

_____Monogram for the wall or floor

_____Musicians

  • Chairs, music stands, microphone, sound system or DJ, time for arrival

_____Parking – be sure there is plenty of parking for guests

_____Pen to sign the marriage license

_____Personal touches – other special and unique ideas you want to incorporate

_____Photographer

_____Podium for your officiant

_____Prayers or scriptures you choose to have read at the ceremony

_____Programs – can be formal or fun and entertaining also

_____Reader(s)

_____Rehearsal time, location and coordinator to practice the ceremony

_____Rental items – misc. items you choose to personalize your ceremony

_____Ring bearer(s) – (who will purchase their suit or tuxedo?)

  • Fake rings for the ring bearer pillow
  • Ring bearer pillow(s)
  • Signage “Here comes the bride”, etc.
  • Wagon and Décor for wagon (if pulling a baby down aisle)

_____Rings / wedding bands

_____Rituals and other spiritual items; what items are needed for those rituals?

_____Sand ceremony items

  • Colored sands
  • Main vase or decanter
  • Small vases for colored sands
  • Table for sand ceremony set up
  • Linen for table

_____Seating arrangements – family & reserved seats. Figure this out in advance to minimize stress, especially if parents are divorced and you want everyone to feel special

_____Shawls or blankets, if ceremony is held outside during fall and winter months

_____Signage – directing guests where to sit, coat closet, restrooms, or other

_____Signing the marriage license with 2 witnesses – during or after the ceremony

_____Singers

_____Stage or platform to slightly elevate you above guests

_____Tissue – for the couple, parents and grandparents

_____Transportation

  • Car
  • Horse & carriage
  • Limo

_____Umbrellas, Sunscreen, hand held fans for outdoor ceremonies

_____Unity candle ceremony items

  • Candles
  • Candle holders
  • Lighter
  • Linen for table
  • Table
  • Votive candle

_____Ushers

_____Videographer

_____Vows – you can write out your personal vows and read to each other or have your officiant read them for you to repeat; holding notecards is acceptable for reading.

_____Water or beverages for your guests

_____Wedding party, what order they will enter and stand, duties, etc.?

  • Best man to carry rings and Maid of honor to hold brides bouquet during ceremony and straighten bride’s train on her gown

_____Wow Factors – does your venue offer something unique that guests may have never experienced before, a décor item that will have them speechless, a fun program that educates and entertains them? Remember your ceremony and the rituals you choose are symbolic, represent who you are, and the reason for the celebration; spending time to create the type of ceremony you want will create lifetime memories.

 

 

Written by Elisabeth Montoya – Designer/Co-owner of The Bella Sera Event Center    

Brighton, CO    

www.TheBellaSera.com

Venue: The Bella Sera Event Center

Photo by Mark Alison Photography

6 Tips on Giving an Awesome Wedding Speech

 

  1. Prepare and practice what you want to say to the couple and their guests

    You don’t have to be a pro to write or give a wedding speech, just have a plan, and execute it. There’s nothing like standing up in front of 150 of your friend’s or sibling’s favorite people to make you nervous; add in a few drinks, and lots of emotions to the mix, and that’s a recipe for disaster if you’re not prepared. Use note cards to guide you, and prepare a beginning (introduction), middle, and end ( a final quote or heartfelt message you want them to remember).

  1. Keep it under 5 minutes

    Keep things short and sweet. A one to five minute wedding speech is the perfect amount of time to toast the couple, long enough to share laughter and tears, but short enough to keep guests from getting bored.

  1. Give a strong introduction that DOESN’T include “I’m really nervous because I’ve never given a speech before”

    Welcome all of the guests; tell them when and where you met the bride, groom or couple, and how honored you are to be chosen to give the speech. It’s always nice to find out if any guests flew in from out of state or out of the country, and acknowledge those places and how much it means to the couple that they are there to celebrate this joyous occasion.

  1. Add in some humor 

    Everyone wants their wedding to be fun; so generating some laughter will make people happy and enjoy your wedding toast so much more. Incorporate some appropriate, PG-rated humor about the bride or groom or couple to get the crowd involved and listening. After all, those of you in the wedding party have the most memories of fun times together. Why not share your fun memories?

Laughter during the wedding speech

  1. Touch on everyone’s need for love and connection

Remember it’s truly a miracle that these two people found each other out of the 7 billion people in this world. What makes this couple so great together, what does it mean to each of them that they found their soul mate, and that all of their closest friends and family are there to celebrate this union? Has the couple or family overcome something challenging to get to this moment, did they meet in a really special way, or do they share the same values, faith or interests that brought them together and make them so special?

The Wedding Toast

Guests Raise Their Glasses!

  1. End with a strong close and don’t forget to ask everyone to raise his or her glasses

Use a quote from a song or poem that might be helpful to drive your message home.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Love is…that person who enters your life out of nowhere, and suddenly means the world to you. -Unknown
  • You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy. -Garth Brooks
  • A great marriage doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end. – Unknown
  • A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin
  • A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on Each Other. – Unknown
  • The couples that are “meant to be” are the ones who go through everything that is meant to tear them apart and come out even stronger than they were before. -Unknown
  • A good marriage is not just about marrying the right person; it is also about being the right person. – Unknown
  • “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible” – When Harry Met Sally
  • When love reigns, the impossible may be attained. – Indian proverb
  • Without love, the world itself would not survive. – Lope de Vega
  • There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. – George Sand

Raise your glass_Wedding speech

 

 

7 Secrets to Creating a Fun Wedding

Everyone Wants to Have a Fun Wedding

Having fun doesn’t mean it has to be a drunk fest or everyone getting out of hand at your wedding. However, fun doesn’t just magically happen because you hire a DJ either. Here are some tried and true ways The Bella Sera Event Center has helped our couples create fun elements throughout their celebrations.

1) Put yourself in your guests shoes.

 Wedding celebrations run for many hours; think about what you yourself think is fun to do.

What does it take to create the type of fun wedding you want your guests to enjoy? Do you enjoy having a nice cocktail? Tasting delicious appetizers? Experiencing something you’ve never seen before? Dancing to great music? Taking funny photos with your friends? Laughing? Sharing a special time with close friends and family?

On the flip side…Do you think it’s fun to sit around for long periods of time with nothing to do? Paying for your own drinks during the long cocktail hour? Sitting next to people you don’t know for more than 3 or 4 hours?

When you take your guest experience into consideration over the long celebration (sometimes 5 – 7 hours), it’s easier to budget and plan for those things that will delight your guests.

 Fun weddings include dancing

2) Choose the perfect DJ, because your DJ is one of the keys to having a fun wedding.

 DJ’s can be the hit of the party with every guest enjoying every minute, or the reason many guests leave early and consider your wedding just another typical wedding. When choosing your DJ, think of the outcome you want first. Don’t choose your DJ simply because you were given a discount; many times you get what you pay for. Hire a creative DJ who has a great personality, a top-notch sound system, creative ideas, and a music plan that matches your style to keep everyone on the dance floor all night. You only have one shot at your once-in-a-lifetime celebration; you don’t want to have any regrets.

Top-notch DJ at Bella Sera

3) Keep guests happy during the long cocktail hour.

Everyone goes to a wedding hoping to sample delicious food and beverages as they celebrate the marriage of their close friends. The cocktail hour is the one time your guests will feel that the celebration is stagnant and boring f they have to sit around for an hour with nothing to do. Formal picture taking and bustling the brides dress before dinner takes an average of 60 – 90 minutes, so imagine how your guests feel if there is no food served and they have to pull out their wallets for a drink. When setting up your budget, plan for a few appetizers for each guest as well as complimentary beer and wine during this one-hour. Even one FREE drink ticket per guest is a nice way to treat your guests and say thank you for coming. You will not regret it, and your guests will appreciate your hospitality and look forward to the rest of the events that evening.

Fun weddings have butler passed appetizers

Mashtini bar at Bella Sera

 

4) Surprise your guests with something unexpected.

Everyone loves surprises! How can you personalize your celebration and include something that none of your guests expected? Does your venue offer something unique and one-of-a–kind your guests have never experienced like state-of-the-art lighting, a wall of interactive fog, bubble walls, special effects of any kind or items that are suspended from the ceiling? What about a comedian during dinner or a caricature artist? One of the most popular surprises is a choreographed dance by someone in the wedding party or the immediate family. There has been many a father daughter dance that had guests roaring with laughter and excitement. Just check them out on YouTube. Ask your wedding party to prepare well-planned toasts that share stories of some fun times, create a fun slideshow that shares funny memories of your past, release dinner tables with trivia from your favorite sports team or facts about the two of you, create a unique grand entrance, or rent a photo booth and get everyone involved in the fun. These are just a few ideas.

Wedding confetti at Bella Sera

Fog Wall at The Bella Sera

5) Sports fan? Rent your favorite sports team van to shuttle your guests to their hotel.

Now this is fun! Who doesn’t love football? Everyone will remember this ride forever.

Denver Broncos Wedding at Bella Sera

Bride and Groom inside the Denver Broncos Orange Crush Van

6) Provide and interactive food station like a S’mores Bar, Mashtini Bar, Ice Cream Sundae Bar or Chocolate Fountain.

Everyone loves to roast marshmallows, pile their ice cream sundae up as high as they can, and indulge in chocolate. After a long night on the dance floor, guests love these special treats.
S'mores bar for wedding reception

fun weddings always include interactive food stations

Fun weddings have Chocolate Fountains

7) Design a fun Ceremony program to entertain and educate guests.

Why not educate and entertain your guests while they sit and wait for your ceremony to begin? Get creative with your programs and the information you share. The more everyone knows about the two of you, how you met, what you love to do together, who your wedding party is, the more fun the celebration will be for them and the more they will remember the experience.

 

The Wedding Program

Fun wedding program at Bella Sera

 

All it takes is a little creativity and some pre-planning to ensure your wedding is fun and memorable. We hope you enjoy some of these creative ideas. Bella Sera Event Center’s team are masters at creating fun weddings. For more ideas on how to create a fun wedding check out our photos on our weddings page.

The Last Dance as Bride and Groom

The Last Dance as Bride and Groom

It’s the lasts that you long for, and remember…The Last Dance

The anticipation and expectation of events for your wedding, and all that will happen that evening, is something only the bride and groom really understand. There is so much focus on choosing the perfect music for your wedding from the first dance, to the father daughter dance, mother son dance and the “party” music. However, couples seldom think about the evening coming to an end, and what about a “last dance”? What song should be chosen for the last dance? Will your photographer still be there to capture that final moment that the two of you will cherish forever? This photograph taken by Mark Alison Photography is one of those moments, a moment in time captured forever. It is a magical photograph of the last dance of our bride and groom Christie and Jesse. The lighting, the angle, and the fact that it’s just the two of them alone, makes that moment for them one that will be remembered forever.

As much as you don’t want your wedding to end,  you do want to create a lasting memory of that final dance together at the end of the night.

Couples put all kinds of thought into the first dance song but may forget about the last song… too often leaving the celebration ending on a, “Whoops, I guess we’re out of time, time to turn up the lights now and leave,” kind of note.

As for song choices, there are some classics, and well, there’s nothing like Donna Summer’s “Last Dance”. Choosing the perfect last dance song to send you on your way guarantees you’ll create the perfect musical end to your wedding.

 

 

Here are some of our favorite “Last Dance” songs:

Beautiful Day – U2

Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley

Cheers Drink To That – Rihanna

God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton

Good Night My Love – Benny Goodman and Ella Fitzgerald

I Don’t Want This Night to End – Luke Bryan

(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

Last Dance – Donna Summer

My Best Friend – Tim McGraw

New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

Save The Last Dance For Me – Michael Bublé

The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra

Then – Brad Paisley

What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

You and Me – Dave Matthews Band

You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne

 

 

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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!

 

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!

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