Themed weddings are gaining popularity, and the options are only as limited as your imagination. When these five couples tied the knot, they created ceremonies and receptions filled with character, personality and whimsy. Why not do the same?
Citrus fruit and Gator colors. It wouldn’t be possible to find a more perfect wedding for Central Florida if we tried. All right University of Florida alumni, this orange burst-inspired wedding is both bright and cheerful, allowing for plenty of unique touches and personal elements.
Who says wedding colors have to be subdued or boring? The pops of orange in Katie and Cameron’s wedding are found throughout the ceremony and reception, from the tangerine oranges in the bridal bouquet to the oranges holding the placecards for the reception seating.
Really want to get into the theme? Brides can take the orange theme a bit further by serving orange-flavored cupcakes or desserts and an orange-flavored cocktail. You can rest assured there won’t be a citrus shortage here in Florida.
One of our favorite elements? The sign-in tree. Guests are asked to write their names and an encouraging message on a cutout orange, then hang it on the “orange tree” fashioned out of worn wood. A great keepsake for the bride and groom.
Photos courtesy of Aaron Shintaku, aaronshintaku.com with wedding design by Jesi Haack.
Most weddings are filled with the traditional first dance, the cutting of the cake and the Electric Slide. But who says a wedding has to be traditional? When Courtney and Charles wed, they wanted to give their guests a party they were sure to remember.
Their carnival-inspired wedding included everything from clowns making balloon animals to testing your luck at the ring toss. The reception even featured a working Ferris wheel.
Red and white rented tents make the look and provide a divider for the various carnival games. Don’t forget to stock up on the prizes, too. With so much excitement surrounding the reception, decorations can be minimal. This bride and groom opted for oversized red and yellow paper lanterns and red-checkered tablecloths. Perfect for any carnival!
Photos courtesy of Victor Sizemore, vcsphoto.com
Ever wonder what it would be like to party with a traveling carnival circa 1900? Erin and Brent’s old world wedding blends the mystique of the past with whimsical, yet modern, touches for an affair straight from the movies.
This wedding is perfect as a backyard eventin an area surrounded by nature or for adventurous brides who want to get married in the Ocala National Forest. With handmade curtains strung from the trees and benches made from unfinished boards and tree stumps, the ceremony décor was simple and rustic yet breathtakingly dramatic.
The reception took the theme one step further with fire throwers and unicyclists. A unique touch? The upside down umbrellas hanging over the dance floor and traditionally sitting room-only furniture give an intimate feel while adding to the vintage flare.
Photos courtesy of Gabriel Ryan Photographers, gabrielryan.net
Wide open sky, an old barn, a large live oak tree as a backdrop. There’s nothing like a simple wedding to remind us of the reason for the celebration. Although quaint, Danielle and Jeremy’s barn wedding was anything but ordinary. If you and your significant other are equestrian lovers, make it a point to incorporate horses into the ceremony. Perhaps a memorable entrance?
From her yellow shoes to the playful patterned bridesmaids’ dresses, Danielle paired a sunny hue with quirky fabrics for a splash of color that extended beyond the bridal party’s attire. To enhance the rustic ambiance, the centerpieces were constructed of old bottles and antique odds and ends and patchwork flowers lined the aisle during the ceremony.
We love the potluck-inspired buffet table. The variety of bowls and pots make guests feel like they’re eating food made from scratch—and most likely from the family’s oldest secret recipes. Speaking of food, don’t overlook that sweets table! A small cake made especially for the bride and groom is surrounded by cookies and a host of other edible delights.
Photos courtesy of Cameron Ingalls, cameroningalls.com
Rustic with a splash of color in every detail, this wedding is a twist on the traditional farm wedding. Thankfully, Central Florida is the perfect location for a strawberry-inspired shindig.
Playing up the farm concept, Roselyn and Ben used fruit and veggie cutouts as placecards and then “planted” them into crates filled with dirt. The centerpieces were made of baskets of strawberries and wooden boxes filled with various flowers of different colors and types, creating a very colorful, natural ambiance.
If you’re a bride who wants the traditional cake but craves something uniquely you, this three-tiered creation is a standout. Decorated in bright orange, yellow and pink, the tasty treat is a far cry from ordinary and adds to the colorful palette found throughout the wedding. But this couple wanted to give their guests plenty of options to satisfy their sweet tooth, so they also offered brightly bottled sodas, root beer floats and a cupcake bar that was sure to please.
Photos courtesy of gideonphoto.com with wedding design by Amorology Weddings
Capturing Life’s Moments
Gone are the days of the rigid, posed wedding portrait. Today, brides and grooms are opting for a less traditional, more laid-back wedding approach that really showcases their personality as a couple. Think fun candids, casual photos and a more photojournalistic approach.
Often brides and grooms hold a cocktail hour for guests while formal shots are being taken. If you arrange for these shots to be taken before the wedding, you can join in the cocktail fun with your guests. Yes, you’d have to be OK with the groom seeing the bride before the ceremony!
Lose The Color
If you do still want to go for the posed look, try creating a nostalgic black and white album of your wedding photos. With Photoshop, you can spice up the B&Ws by adding a pop of color here or there, such as the bouquet or boutonniere. It’s a look that creates a lot of awe.
Album Vs. Book
By now we’ve all heard of photobooks. Many create them of their child’s first year or their recent family vacation. Imagine a coffee table book showcasing your amazing wedding photos. Many photographers offer the service themselves, but for the do-it-yourselfer, creating your own photobook is a cinch these days. Through programs such as Shutterfly and Snapfish, you can upload images in a matter of minutes and choose from a variety of different backgrounds, fonts and embellishments. Don’t forget to take advantage of the deals offered by the online photo companies. They’re often too great to pass up!
Props, Props Everywhere!
Consider your wedding album to be an ongoing project. Flip through magazines and online sites to find photos you love. Organize a folder and carry it with you as you meet potential photographers. Ask your photographer to recreate the look with you and your wedding party. Some popular props? Antique cars, bicycles, balloons, luggage and more. Browse online for a whole slew of ideas.
Trash Your Dress
Don’t want your wedding dress taking up lots of space in your closet or cedar chest? One of the coolest trends we’ve heard about is the Trash Your Dress photography shoot. The photos are stunning and usually feature a bride in her gown surrounded by nature. Some brides even take a dip in a river or lake. Yep, your dress will get dirty and possibly ripped, but think of how gorgeous the pics will be!
Bring The Booth
If your wedding is of the relaxed variety, rent a photo booth for your reception area. Your guests will have a blast taking their photos and have a lasting memento to take with them. Better yet, have them make two photo sheets, one to keep and one to leave for you.
Give a Gift Get A Gift
Everyone’s heard stories of a bride who has stayed up into the wee hours of the morning the night before her wedding packaging intricate trinkets to give as favors to her wedding guests. While DIY favors are a huge hit, they don’t have to be a last-minute, dreaded detail. And if you’re looking for a way to remember who was at your wedding without resorting to the ol’ guestbook, there is a solution! Check out these creative ways to show your appreciation and give guests a chance to show their love.
Top Fall Wedding Favors:
Mini Bottles of Maple Syrup
Apple Cider Mixes
Pumpkin Spice Soaps
Jars of Apple Butter
Top Winter Wedding Favors:
Mini Bottles of Ice Wine
Hot Chocolate Mixes
Top Spring Wedding Favors:
Packets of Seeds
Mini Potted Herbs
Environmental Charity Donations
Jars of Honey and Jam
Individual Blueberry Pies
Top Summer Wedding Favors:
Beach-themed Picture Frames
Iced Tea Mixes
Summer-themed Origami Kits
Photo courtesy of Priscila Valentina Photography
All wedding guests want a way to leave well-wishes for the happy couple, but gone are the days of guestbooks. They wind up being tossed in a box—maybe until your kids dig it out for your 50th wedding anniversary! For a contemporary twist, some brides choose to have guests sign a framed and matted engagement photo. Have an artistic side (and want to let guests express theirs)? Set up an easel with various paints and brushes and let guests paint their thoughts on a canvas or chalkboard. This is anything but ordinary—and will probably be a source of great laughs after the honeymoon.
The Traditional Route
So you’re having a more traditional ceremony and your mom says it would be outrageous not to have a guestbook. Please her—and yourself—by opting for a photo guestbook. These can be ordered online at sites such as Shutterfly and Snapfish. Simply upload photos to the site and create a modern guestbook by choosing different backgrounds and designs. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!
One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when planning your wedding is what to wear. And not only do you have to decide how to dress yourself, you’ll have to determine attire for your future spouse, as well as the entire wedding party. Check out these ideas for the latest trends in wedding wear.
Photo courtesy of Priscila Valentina Photography
10 Dress Trends To Wow The Crowd
Sleeves and Straps
Greek Goddess Gowns
The Center of Attention
Tea-length dresses. Long, sleek mermaid-style dresses. Ballgown dresses. 1950s vintage gowns. There’s a dress for every style. The key to choosing the perfect dress is choosing one that fits your occasion. Fun, short dresses work for beach weddings. Brides are opting for a dress with a little splash of color. Add a sash that coordinates with your wedding theme. Wear a wrap or shawl to give your dress a little glam. And don’t forget about the all-important veil. Keep it short to stay up with today’s hottest fashions. Want to go ultra stylish? A birdcage veil paired with a vintage dress are the way to go.
Let’s Hear It For The Boy
There’s more to male wedding attire these days than formal suits. Many grooms are choosing to skip the tux and go with a less formal look. Just as with the bride’s dress, choosing attire that matches the occasion will help complete the look. Outfitting grooms—and his groomsmen—with colorful ties is extremely popular right now. Shed the jackets and dress the guys in colored suspenders and argyle socks for a unique vintage look. Outfitting your youngest wedding party member as a mini groomsman will add the “aww” factor to your wedding day.
Known for being one-time-use attire, bridesmaids’ dresses don’t have to be stuffed into the back of the closet after the big day. Everyday, patterned dresses are all the rage. For less formal weddings, bridesmaids’ dresses in a variety of colors and styles offer an alternative to the stuffy dresses of yesterday. And while every little girl wants to wear a big poofy dress, consider going elegant and simple for your flower girls. Also big on the scene are funky shoes of varying colors and vintage accessories such as brooches or headbands. Having a farm wedding? Strap on a pair of cowboy boots. Paired with short-length dresses, your girls will be ready to hit the dance floor.
A Floral Statement
What’s a wedding without beautiful bouquets of flowers? Take traditional up a notch by adding unexpected details. Brides are adding natural and rustic elements with twigs, feathers and fruit to simple flower arrangements. Similar elements are being included in boutonnieres. While a single rose will always be classy, look out for orchids and other unusual additions to this classic accessory.
Top Wedding Color Combos:
Tangerine + Wasabi
Strawberry + Lime
Peppermint + Aqua
Turquoise + Gray
Black + Hot Pink
Peony + Nickel
Bronze + Forest Green
Aqua + Chartreuse
Mint + Salmon Pink
Navy + Green
Trends: Cakes & Sweets
Cake. It’s the highlight of almost any party, from birthdays to anniversaries. And weddings are no exception. But, today’s cakes are more elaborate, more creative and more unusual than ever. Some brides even choose to forego the traditional wedding cake, opting instead for a modern selection of sweet treats.
POP Goes The Cake
Cake pops are, excuse the pun, popping up all over the place these days. And it’s amazing what cake artists can do with these little balls of joy. Teddy bears, babies with pacifiers, furry woodland creatures, delicate flowers. For a wedding, how about a mini wedding cake pop? Maybe wedding bells or doves? How about a diamond? The options are really only as limited as your imagination. Oh yeah, and if you’ve never eaten a cake pop, you are missing out! With dough and frosting mixed together to form a moist, pliable consistency, they are like heaven on a stick. One more cake pop option? Go for the traditional cake and leave each guest with a cake pop as a take-home favor.
Make ’Em Mini
Imagine serving each guest their own mini wedding cake. Often as elaborate as the real thing, each two-tiered cake is like an edible work of art. Your guests will feel indulged.
Photo courtesy of gideonphoto.com
Taming The Sweet Tooth
These days, lots of brides are opting for a sweets table. And anything and everything sweet, from candy and single-size servings of desserts, to mousses and tiramisu are considered fair game. Sure, you can still have the traditional cake, but what a treat for your guests! If you choose the candy route, allow guests to scoop out their favorites to take home by setting up a table lined with plenty of options. Use creative containers or miniature bags that match your wedding’s theme to hold the candy. Mix up the candy colors for a colorful accent or order specialty candy to match your wedding decor.
Like a cake, only smaller. Why not go for a smaller wedding cake (after all, you might want to keep the top tier to eat on your anniversary, no matter how gross it tastes) and surround it with delicately decorated cupcakes? Today’s cupcakes take on a variety of looks and flavors, and with the proper cupcake wrap, you can tailor them to fit any theme or décor. Provide cupcake to-go boxes for guests who wish to take their sweets for the road.