Add a Personal Touch to Your Wedding with a Slideshow


PC via Mark Alison on IG: @markalison

Planning on your reception being memorable and special? Of course you are!  But, the details and planning of how the guests will experience it brings up many questions and is vital to the overall success of the day. If they arrive before cocktail hour, what will they do?  What will they do during the down time before the arrival of the wedding party? How can you share memories of yourselves with new family members? A slideshow can be your solution to entertaining and connecting family members and friends with you and your spouse through funny and meaningful photos of you two throughout your lives.

What You’ll Need

When you are searching for wedding venues, ask the venue if they have a projector and screen you can use for a slideshow. Most do have a projector that either comes with the venue rental or requires a rental fee. However, knowing if there are extra costs will help you plan out when and where the show will be displayed. This will also help you figure out what other materials (extension cords, table, screen, etc.) you will need. You will also need a laptop to run the slideshow, so make sure you have access to one and definitely make sure you have the right adapter—no one wants to be running to the nearest Best Buy at the last minute to buy an adapter!   

Once you have the projector, computer, and screen ready to go, it’s now time for the fun part—getting together all of those photos of you and your future spouse! You can put this task on a few people since going through pictures may require legwork, but your family and friends will be happy to help you. You could set up an evening with some family members and family members-to-be and have a picture party. Grab some pizza and wine and you have an instant bonding sesh! Involving family and friends in this process will give them the opportunity to contribute!  PLUS – it will be a good conversation starter at the wedding when they see the photos that they picked up on the screen.

What Kind of Photos

As far as what photos to choose for the slideshow, side-by-side baby photos, school/graduation photos, prom photos, etc. are a fun way to show you two growing up and changing. You can also use candid photos, awkward pre-teen photos, family photos, engagement photos, photos of you and people in the bridal party, and basically anything that would connect to family members and friends. Bonus points if you include photos of you and people who will attend your wedding!

How will you arrange your slideshow? You can use iMovie to arrange the photos and layer music in the background, and be sure not to use funky transitions that could be overwhelming! Choose a couple songs to play in the background—make sure the songs aren’t too slow or too fast, because that could be distracting as well. Aim for 5-7 minutes (which won’t be too short or so long that it starts to drag.

How to Get It Right

On the technical side, don’t forget to make a backup file in case one gets damaged. Store these on a flash drive or a cloud storage system like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud. Test-drive the slideshow while you’re setting up the day before if you have access to the projector then. Designate someone to run the slideshow—often DJs take this responsibility because they will be playing the music/making announcements at that time. Do not put the responsibility on anyone in the wedding party or yourself—you won’t have time!

After you have done the legwork in getting the slideshow put together, then you can rest easy knowing that your reception will have one personal touch. Guests will love to see photos old and new on your wedding day.  After all, the day is about connecting with new family and friends and old.  Slideshows are also a great way to start that union with bonding over memories! You and your guests will remember it for years to come.

 

Looking for other fun ideas?  Check out our post on fog screens!

Rose Gold: A Timeless Wedding Color

Rose Gold is Timeless!

 

Choosing a wedding color or pair of colors can sometimes feel inauthentic or difficult… This gets worse when the wedding industry seems to drive brides to ‘pick’ a color or two. When thinking of the vision of wedding, it is best to think about the mood and vision as a whole. After you have a vision for the event’s “mood”, then decide which color to accent to keep a consistent look throughout your wedding experience… from save-the-dates to the thank-yous! If your vision is classically modern, soft, elegant, but feminine, Rose Gold could be a color you decide to use in all aspects of the look of your wedding. While it has been in the spotlight in the fashion and home décor world lately, rose gold has staying power in weddings—and for good reason.

 

Rose Gold For the Wedding Party

 

When deciding on the look of the wedding party, rose gold is a strong contestant when it comes to pleasing everyone without compromise. Classic and feminine (but never outdated), it pairs well with the soft or bold hues of bridesmaid attire. Soft rose bridesmaid dresses are more straightforward. PLUS – you always have the option to accent a darker hued dress with rose gold jewelry. For the bride, rose gold jewelry is stunning, no matter if the gown is white or ivory. Thinking about using rose gold in your bouquet?  Accenting ivory and pink florals with rose gold jewels can add an element of sparkle without being gaudy. Because it is not trendy, it’s a great color choice for you party to guarantee wedding photographs are beautiful and relevant for years to come.

 

Achieve Cohesiveness No Matter the Season

 

 Other colors that can be paired with this elegant color are navy, marsala, gold, mint, or white, as either an accent or major tone – regardless of role, they tie together what your guests see from save-the-date to final cocktails of the night. Rose gold is versatile for each season and time of day!  Adjusting the complimentary color of the wedding allows you to set the tone for a day or evening event.  Another noteworthy adjustment: it can be paired with darker jewel tones like marsala for fall or winter and lighter hued accessories for spring or summer.

 

Versatility in Décor

 

Looking to tie rose gold into your décor seamlessly?  This beautiful color is absolutely one of the most versatile colors for pairing!  It can be tied into florals with ivory or light pink roses.  Don’t forget to add in rose-colored crystals to the bouquet for more sparkle. Depression-glass drink ware and gold chargers can complement each other to create an elegant and vintage setting. Another option we love, rose-colored tablecloths create a bold statement alongside the details in the background like as crystal lighting.

 

Thinking about rose gold for your event?  Just remember, no matter how you decide to use it— bold or subtle— this beautiful hue is versatile enough to fit any style.

 

Photography: Mark Alison

5 Steps to Top Notch Event Lighting

Choosing colors is always a fun step in planning your wedding, but deciding how that will look in the final product can be intimidating.  Do you use colorful flowers?  Or maybe incorporate lighting?  Are your tables bold, while bridesmaid dresses are subtle?  We are here to help!  You can use them all.  Here are our expert tips for achieving perfect event lighting:

Lighting

Black Tie

Red

5 Steps to Achieve the Perfect Event Lighting

1)  Decide what color scheme you want for your event:

This is easier said than done!  Deciding what colors you want to use for your big day can be tough, but relaxing and having fun will make the process completely manageable!!  First, remember colors invoke mood, theme, and feelings, so keeping that in mind as you decide will be a great guide for your “gut”.  Choose 2-3 colors that you think reflect the mood you are going for (and make sure they complement each other), then choose an additional 1-2 colors that will help make the palate well-rounded.

 

2)  Decide if you want your color choice to be the main color or just an accent:

When choosing a color, or color palate, you must decide what the main color is going to be and what colors will play the “supporting role”.  You can choose BOLD as your main color with a soft accent or vice versa.  Do you want Dramatic or Calm?  Glamorous or Casual?  Striking or Elegant?  So many choices!  Below are a couple of examples to help you get your creative juices flowing:

A Romantic night in Paris with Royal Blue as your Lead and Gold as an accent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tickle your guests Pink and go with something more feminine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Black & Silver (Black & White or Black & Red) for a sleek and sophisticated look

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have seen a wide array of color palates (even some unexpected choices) and they all seem to come together to dazzle the wedding guests in the end.  Don’t be afraid to try colors that are a little unconventional either!  Have fun with this – choosing your color is Stage One for planning your Special Day!

 

3)  Choose table settings:

Now that you’ve chosen which colors are going to work best for your them, you’ll be able to start the decoration process!  Before you choose your lighting color, you’ll want to design your tables first. This is another fun way to let your personality shine through for your guests to enjoy your celebration!  Huge flower arrangements, vintage photos, or simple candle stands, are all option you get to consider!  While you are the director of this show, out talented team is happy to make suggestions that will enhance your decision process.

Many of our clients choose table cloths and slip covers for the chairs – accented by glamourous table decor, while others prefer a tablecloth with a simple big bow around the back of the chair.  What’s your style?  Tuscan Night or Cadillac Cowboy?  Black Tie or Jeans and Cowboy Boots?  This is your special day, make it your own! Plate chargers are available in a variety of colors and styles, as well — Have fun with this process!!!

 

4)  Light Up Your Night!

Blue with silver or gold?  Black with champagne or white?  Eggplant with ivory?  Fuchsia with orange?  Red with black?  Perhaps all the colors of a Fall Bouquet?  There are endless possibilities!

Now that you have chosen your 4-5 colors and designed your table around them, it’s time to think about lighting.  Lighting can make or break a reception and venue space!  Do you want the color to immerse the room in emotion, or are you feeling confident in your table settings?  You can add a lighter color to keep the room feeling clean and fresh, or you can complement your color choices by doubling down on your theme!

 

5)  Test out the intensity against your design:

This is where you get to see the final product!  Bringing all your choices together for a Sneak Peak at your creative genius!!!  Don’t like the tall vases, bring them down a notch.  Think the orange is too much with the purple?  Change the accent color.  Want a softer look?  Add some warm lighting.  Our Design Consultants can help you achieve your goal.  So get started and choose your colors!  Then let your dream wedding take flight!

 

Happy Planning and remember, we are here to help!!! 

Wedding budget. Where should we spend our money?

Setting your wedding budget takes much more thought than just coming up with a total number. Where you spend your money all depends on what is most important to you, and what you value most. If you’ve never planned an event or celebration like this before, it’s best to think about the END RESULT or the outcome you want first. What do you want the outcome to be, the celebration to feel like and look like, and your guests to say at the end of the night?

 

In order to figure all of this out, do some research and ask yourselves some of these questions before making any decisions.

  • Food: Is food very important to us, or important, but not at the top of the list?
  • Having fun: Fun doesn’t just happen because you hire a DJ. What plan will you make to include fun elements throughout the celebration?
  • Music and dancing: Is music really important in our lives, and therefore must be a huge part of our celebration? If your answer was yes, then hiring a great DJ who knows how to read a crowd, has a great sound system, and is also an amazing Emcee will be a critical decision for you.
  • The Decor and Look: The décor, lighting and ambiance – how important is this and how talented are we at creating this ourselvers? Is it important for us to choose a venue that includes a designer and a lot of decor?
  • Cocktails: Do we want to provide a bar or partial bar for our guests?
  • The Guest Experience:  Do we want the type of wedding celebration that flows really well, is extremely well planned and executed, fun for our guests, and is not the typical boring wedding? Have we thought about what it takes to treat our guests to a wonderful celebration overall?
  • Photography: Do we want amazing professional photos that will create lasting memories or are we ok with a friend doing it to save us money?
  • Videography: Is having a  video of the whole celebration important to us?
  • Flowers:  How important are they?
  • The ceremony itself: What value to we place on the actual ceremony, who marries us, and who stands up for us?
  • The list goes on…

 

Make educated decisions

To save yourself any heartache, and possible regrets, remember before you choose a venue, hire a DJ or choose your caterer, you must first figure out what you want your wedding celebration to feel like, look like, taste like, etc. Finding out what these things cost before you make any quick decisions, will be essential to you getting the end result you desire. Don’t be fooled by getting FREE stuff, especially if it’s for something you REALLY value, because sometimes you get what you pay for and you don’t want any regrets. Look for value over price when it comes to your top 5 most important things.

 

Ask about offsite catering fees

Educate yourself on what fees an offsite caterer charges before you choose one. Many couples don’t’ realize that most offsite caterers charge three different fees: administrative fees, services fees, and gratuities, which are all separate fees over and above the food and tax. These can add up fast.

 

A DJ isn’t there just to play music

If music is critical and the flow of your event, then make sure you hire a top-notch DJ who is also an amazing Emcee. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a friend or some guy who plays great music at a club. A wedding celebration is very different than a club/party, and the whole ceremony and reception can run for 5 – 7 hours; therefore, the role of Emcee is as critical as playing great party music if you want your guests to enjoy the whole evening. The DJ can make or break your celebration.

 

Decor, and the look of your wedding

If décor and ambiance is very important, find photos of the décor you love, and figure out a rough estimate of what it will cost to achieve that look. As the venue you choose to show you all of the decor they include, and determine what a florist must do to make the centerpieces and ceremony look the way you want. This can add up fast.

 

The guest experience

If making sure your guests have a great time is important to you, determine what they enjoy and provide that for them. Remember that the cocktail hour is a critical segment of your celebration to consider when you think about creating a great “guest experience”. If your guests are hungry, and there are no appetizers, or they have to pull out their wallets to buy their own drink, it typically starts the celebration off with a little bit of a let down for them.

Forever photos

While it can definitely be fun to get your guests involved in taking informal shots throughout the wedding day so you can see your event through their eyes, it’s important to seriously consider whether these are the only photos you want to walk away with.

Your wedding will last only one day, but your wedding photos will be with you for a lifetime and possibly beyond when you pass them onto your kids.

With all the time and financial investment couples make to create the perfect nuptial celebration, it would be a shame not to capture it in the most thorough and professional way.

That’s why we try to encourage our clients to invest in an experienced, talented photographer and reduce photo costs in other ways.

One idea to consider is taking the physical photo album into your own hands. By taking on the design and logistics of creating your own wedding album with a company like BrideBox, you’ll eliminate this labor cost with your photographer while still getting a gorgeous keepsake of your wedding day.

 

Stress or Stress Free?

Be realistic as to how much work you really have time to do, and want to do yourself. What is your time worth to you? Are you working full time or attending school, and how much extra time do you have to spend planning your wedding on top of your busy schedule? Choosing a venue with more “all-inclusive” services and items that YOU value can minimize your stress immensely. Look for venues that  give you more for your money, and give you guidance so the process is a stress free experience.

 

Décor Reality Check

If you want gorgeous centerpieces, lots of candles, ironed linens, gorgeous lighting and more, the first thing you should ask a venue is how much time you get for set up. Find out who does the set up, what your florist or designer will charge to do the centerpieces, what the venue includes for you, and what you may have to do. Did you know that to set up a gorgeous platinum wedding for 100 guests can take up to 40 man hours to create or more. If a venue gives you 2 hours of set up time and one hour of tear down, you have to determine how many staff members it will take to achieve the look you want in 2 hours. In addition, if tear down is only one hour, you will have to hire that staff to come back at the end of the evening to tear it all down in an hour. Finding a venue that does not rush you in and out can make all the difference in your stress level and the type of look you can actually create.

 

The wedding budget

Whether your budget is large or small, your main objective is to get the most value out of the dollars you have to spend. If you and your fiancé are paying for your own wedding, setting the budget should include every little detailed item you need to buy or hire for the ceremony and reception. Often, however, the bride or groom’s family is involved in paying for parts of the wedding. In this case, you should probably sit down with your parents and have a discussion about the wedding budget, and what they can contribute.

 

My advice is to do your TOP FIVE things really well and put your money into hiring or buying those items first. Secondly, get a very clear idea of what all of the other items cost and prioritize from there.

 

Whatever your preference, decide on these things together, and determine what you’re willing to invest in and what can be cut back.

 

 

Elisabeth Montoya – Lead Designer / Co-owner – The Bella Sera Event Center

www.TheBellaSera.com

 

 

 

 

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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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!

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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