Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways To Make Your Wedding Reception Fun!

:: Top 5 Ways To Make Your Wedding Reception Fun! ::

CONGRATS! You and your loved one are getting married and having a celebration with friends and family in order to share the joy. Most weddings have music and dancing. Some wedding parties even perform a dance to entertain the guests. Of course, many celebrations serve alcohol – always a party pleaser, but you two might want to consider some other ideas to make your reception even more fun and bring in some more interest than just the traditional. Here are our top suggestions to make your reception fun (besides what we’ve already mentioned):

1 :: Create a board and/or lawn game area :: Not everyone likes to dance and if kids are coming to your party, you need to plan fun things for them as well. You can supply board games, cards, guessing games, and even a craft area that you’ve supplied with paper, crayons and other craft items for the kiddos… (or others!). For outdoor activities you can supply lawn darts, horseshoes, or even a ping pong table. Try to gear the games to what you can reasonably expect your guests to enjoy, but overall they will appreciate that there is something else to do besides dance, especially if you aren’t a dancer!

 

2 :: Have a contest and a prize :: Ask guests to write their best marriage advice. Gather the papers and have you and your spouse (or ask a couple of wedding party members) to select the top five answers and read these aloud. Ask the guests to vote on the best advice by virtue of applause, and consider offering a prize to the winner. Maybe that prize is a toaster from your wedding registry! 😉

3 :: How about a photo booth? :: Today’s photo booths have fun and interactive props for your guests and create an instant memento. Check out our previously posted blog on these fun additions to your celebration by clicking here.

4 :: Put on a skit :: Engage your friends in creating a skit about the two of you. It can feature stuff like how you met, how the proposal was asked, what will life be like in fifty years. Assuming you have creative friends, this can be a fabulously funny show!

5 :: Schedule an entertainment event :: I recently attended an event that featured Spanish dancers. Not only was it great fun to watch them, but they offered Spanish dancing lessons afterwards. It was really funny to watch some of the guests try the moves and watch a few build some confidence with their Spanish skills! Another event featured a comedy team similar to “Whose LIne is it Anyway?” that was totally entertaining. You can call a local booking agent and find out what talent is available in your area.

Well there it is, dear readers. MRSter would love to hear your ideas on wedding reception fun. What have you seen or have planned for some extra fun at a wedding?

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Wedding Floral Tips

:: Top 5 Wedding Floral Tips ::

MRSter is pleased to present this post from Robin of Bootah Jardin Florists! Robin is VERY knowledgeable about flowers and can help with budget-friendly ideas or full service arrangements in the Vancouver, BC area.

Her family-run business specializes in do-it-yourself event and wedding flowers, so who better to ask for some top tips to keep that floral budget down?!

1 :: Don’t focus on seasonality alone :: Requesting seasonal flowers is the single most suggested tip for trimming your flower costs, but it’s also the most out-dated. This might have been true at one time, but an expansive international floral trade has made seasonality a much less prominent factor in pricing.

There are still flowers that fluctuate in price with the seasons, but by and large, most flower pricing is stable. Rather than seasonality, flowers fall into categories- they’re either budget-friendly, high-end, or somewhere in between. So the flowers you love- despite being in the peak of their availability- may not be the most cost-effective option.

Wedding Floral

Photography :: Andrea Ball Photography

2 :: The influence of colour on price :: Colour isn’t a factor for all flower pricing, but it is for certain blooms. Where we live, particular flowers- like callas, peonies, and dahlias- are priced differently by growers based on colour. This is basic supply and demand, so unless a particular flower/colour combo holds special significance for you, request a general colour theme versus specific combinations.

3 :: The effect of flower holidays on pricing :: The two weeks preceding Valentine’s and Mother’s Day are the busiest times of year in the floral industry, and the increased demand causes a significant spike in pricing. Not only will you feel the effects of this increased demand when you seek a quote, but you may also struggle to find a florist willing to take on your wedding during these busy times.

Red Rose Bouquet

Photography :: Wilson Lau Photography

4 :: Flexibility goes far when it comes to getting the best quote :: It’s great (and fun!) to have a vision for your big day, but the more specific you are with your requests, the more expensive your floral quote is likely to be. Your florist is restricted to buying flowers in bunches and buckets, so to meet your requests exactly, they may have to order more than they will need to use. You will still be charged for those extra flowers, so if you’re flexible on certain details, this may save you some money in the long run.

5 :: Fillers and greens are not cheap :: Adding greens and fillers to an arrangement may bring the cost down, but like all things floral, it really depends on the details. Certain greens, like dusty miller and silver brunia, are more costly than many flowers and have the opposite effect on pricing. In general, adding accents tends to increase the cost of arrangements, as the added fillers provide great texture, but don’t add much to the volume. This is why those wildflower bouquets that look simple and inexpensive are often more costly than a basic rose bouquet. It takes a lot of flowers to achieve that look, and they all add up in the end.

Wedding Floral

Photography :: Alyssa Schroeder Bouquet

MRSter wishes to thank Robin for her willingness to share her expertise on our website. We think she has some great money saving ideas, don’t you?! Be sure to check out her website here!

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding

:: Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding… Without Anyone Missing a Thing ::

As we all know, weddings are expensive! For the budget conscious engaged couple, having a wedding with family and friends may seem like an impossible dream, but never fear! There are ways of having a lovely wedding without breaking the bank (or robbing one)…

1 :: Check out inexpensive venue options :: Your venue does not have to be some fancy pansy hotel with impossibly high rates. Choose a place where you can have your ceremony and your reception. How about a beautiful park or a community clubhouse like a senior center or a VFW hall, or even a friends backyard? Get married at the courthouse, then celebrate with friends and family at a local hangout. Think outside the box and take note of what is available in your neighborhood.

2 :: Avoid guest book bloat :: Be thoughtful about your guest list. How many people can you afford to invite? Be prepared to make some tough decisions. Be cognizant of your budget bottom line and develop your guest list accordingly.

3 :: Supply your own beverages and food :: Buy your booze at a cut rate liquor store. Or just serve beer, wine and soft drinks. Make sure you have plenty though… Nothing spoils a party like running out of spirits. Are you having an outdoor wedding? Consider a barbeque. Or how about a relatively inexpensive Italian feast of spaghetti, meatballs and salad? Or a Mexican meal with big containers of rice, beans, shredded beef, tortillas and condiments so guests can put together their own plate?

4 :: Save on wedding attire :: Scout for sales, or display items, or gently used, or discontinued clothing lines. Check for buys after high school prom nights. Think beyond “wedding attire”. How about after Christmas holiday dresses that can be fabulous substitutions? Wear a suit instead of a tux. Or, go casual and comfortable and leave tradition behind.

5 :: Enlist the help and talents of friends and family :: Do you know any musicians who could play at your wedding or during the ceremony? Can someone with a good PA system act as a DJ utilizing your pre-planned song list? Does anyone you know know someone who is an excellent baker and can make your wedding cake for a bargain price? Put out a call for help. Ask for ideas. You can even suggest that friends help with the wedding instead of buying gifts!

How did you, or are you, saving money on your wedding?! We would love you to share your suggestions in the comments below…

Milwaukee, WISCONSIN :: Ken & Jay :: Home Is Where The Heart Is // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Home Is Where The Heart Is ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter ApprovedReminisce Studio by Miranda & Adam

Ken & Jay recently got married in Boston, MA, where the two of them live. Having so much love for their family and friends, they decided to have two wedding receptions, one in each of their home states: Wisconsin and Rhode Island. We were lucky enough to be the photographers for their celebration at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the day couldn’t have gone any better!

We met up with the two handsome grooms in Café Calatrava, where some finishing touches were being made to their reception decor, and they helped each other with their bow ties- so sweet! Then we made our way around the stunning, modern museum to capture some portraits of the newlyweds. Windhover Hall, as well as all the other inspiring architectural elements, made the perfect backdrop. They were so sweet with each other, and we could tell what a wonderful pair they are.

Soon they joined their family and friends for some pictures before heading to cocktail hour. The details came together perfectly, including a cleverly illustrated menu, Jeopardy game instructions, custom place settings, etc. They also made donations in honor of their guests to Autism Speaks and the National Kidney Foundation.

Everyone enjoyed taking in the views of the Milwaukee cityscape and lakefront before it was time for dinner. Afterward, some really thoughtful, touching speeches and toasts were made. Then guests were treated to an absolutely amazing video montage that told Ken & Jay’s story, beautifully illustrated their relationship and concluded with their ceremony (cue tears of joy filling the room).

Since the two of them love playing games, they presented a game of Jeopardy for everyone to partake! It was so clever, and we loved capturing their guests having so much fun! Afterward, Ken & Jay were welcomed to the dance floor for their First Dance as newlyweds. And throughout the evening, the talented band kept the dance floor packed! Everyone was having a blast watching the band, decorating themselves with glow-sticks and dancing the night away! What a party!

DISTINCTIONS

Home State Celebrations. Game Night. Architecture.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter ApprovedReminisce Studio by Miranda & Adam
Venue :: Milwaukee Art Museum
Catering :: Café Calatrava
Band :: Chicago Diamond Trio

LOCATION

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

COLORS

  

 

Alberta, CANADA :: Mandi & Katherine :: Love In The Canadian Rockies // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Love In The Canadian Rockies ::

Submitted and photographed by :: {MRSter Approved} Lauren Hannah Photography

Thinking back to this beautiful wedding at Jasper Park Lodge makes my heart happy. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect wedding day to photograph: two beautiful brides, mountain landscape and soooo much love in the air!

Katherine and Mandi’s relaxed wedding day brought together rustic DIY elements and the simple elegance of the mountains. They used the setting of the Rockies as their inspiration for the decor as they both have a love for the outdoors and often visit Jasper on vacation.

The Brides had this to say: “We both agree that our favourite moments were when Mandi saw me walking towards her and me seeing Mandi for the first time walking down to her. Then us walking out to James Brown as wives and pretty much the whole day!”

DISTINCTIONS

Breathtaking Views. Beautiful Brides. DIY Décor.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Lauren Hannah Photography
Venue :: Jasper Park Lodge
Cake :: Bear Paw Bakery
Floral :: All About Flowers
Apparel {Mandi} :: Delica Bridal
Apparel {Katherine} :: Pure Bridal
Apparel {Bridesmaids} :: Delica Bridal
Apparel {Suit} :: Tip Top Tailors
DJ :: Jasper’s Alpine Music

LOCATION

Jasper, Alberta, Canada

COLORS

   

Top Five Friday :: Toasting Tips for the Wedding Party

Top Five Friday :: Toasting Tips for the Wedding Party

Not to scare you, but wedding toasts can be beautiful moments or horrible disasters. They can make or break the atmosphere at a wedding. Making a wedding toast is both an honor and a responsibility. If you have been chosen to make a toast, read up on our top five toasting tips to help you get started…

1 :: Relax :: Be yourself. No one is expecting you to metamorphosize into Shakespeare or an academy award winner. You were chosen to make a toast because you are a special person to one, or both, of the happy couple. Let the idea of the toast mull around in your head for a few days (but don’t procrastinate) and then sit down to…

2 :: Write :: Think of why you were asked to say a toast. What is your relationship to the couple? What makes that relationship special? Why are you happy for them? Make it personal and sincere. Research and find beautiful quotes on love and marriage, find a story you think would be great to share, to use in your toast, or simply just to inspire you to write your own words. Get it all down on paper and then edit, edit, edit. Ask a friend (not the couple who are getting married, of course) to look over your toast and offer some constructive criticism.

3 :: Rehearse :: A lot. Read your toast over and over again until it’s practically, if not actually, memorized. Let it flow from your heart.

4 :: Keep it short :: Wrap it up in 5 minutes or less, otherwise you risk boredom. Conclude with the raising of the glass and don’t forget to have a glass of your own to raise as your are toasting; a detail that is forgotten way too often!

5 :: Stay sober :: Don’t have a lot to drink before your toast or you could wind up embarrassing yourself and the wedding party. I’ve seen this happen too many times to not offer this bit of caution here. You can party hardy after your toast!

Photography ::

Photography :: Lemon Three Photo

Do you have any toasting tips of your own to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments below!

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

Mignon McLaughlin

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Last-Minute Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day

:: Last-Minute Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day ::

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and there are probably many of you who have absolutely no idea how to celebrate the day with your love. Am I right?! Well, don’t panic!! You don’t just have to opt for the seemingly mandatory candlelit dinner! Instead, why not change it up a bit and do something different? Even if you are single, some of these ideas would be a total blast with a friend or two! 

MRSter have comprised a list of our top five last-minute ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day (that won’t seem last minute)…  

1 :: Plan to spend the entire day in bed. Valentine’s Day is on Sunday this year, so for many people this is a realistic option. Start the day by making a yummy breakfast to be served in bed (of course), and settle in for a day of cuddling and a movie marathon. Order a pizza to be delivered when you both get hungry! A truly lazy Sunday… Aren’t they the best?

2 :: Go site-seeing in your own hometown. Explore neighborhoods. Pick an unfamiliar road to travel and see where it takes you. Have lunch at a place you’ve never been before. Bring a camera with you and record your at home adventure.

3 :: While you’re thinking of adventure, head to the airport and grab a last minute flight to anywhere (wherever is the most outrageous, the cheapest, or the most inconsequential), and go on a whirlwind weekend trip.

4 :: Write a poem or a love letter. The written word can be something to cherish for a lifetime. Put your heart and soul into it. Just think of why you love your partner and write down your thoughts. The impact will be far greater than a drugstore card. Consider reading the poem or letter out loud to your partner, or if there is time, mail it through the USPS.

Photography :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses

Photography :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses

5 :: Create a SPA DAY at home. Think of ways to pamper your partner. Be prepared with essentials oils for a sensuous massage and a scented bubble bath. Do a manicure or a pedicure, or both! Have soft music on in the background and add low lights for ambiance.

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. ~ Aristotle

Have any other awesome suggestions? We’d love to hear them, so let us know in the comments below!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Modern Wedding Guest Book Alternatives

:: Modern Wedding Guest Book Alternatives ::

Guest books in which guests sign their attendance at the wedding and maybe add a sentiment, are fine and make a nice keepsake, but they are not the only way to collect guest names and well-wishes from your guests. If you and your spouse to be, want to step outside the box, here are a few ways to do so:

1 :: How about gathering advice from your guests? The advice can be written on practically anything. Wine bottles, note cards, tags of any sort, old records or a guitar, plates, a wooden plaque, puzzle pieces, stones, globes; virtually anything that can be written on. Just let your imagination take over.

Guest Book

Photography :: Poppy Seed Photography

2 :: Have your guests write their messages to be used in a time capsule. The capsule can be any receptacle that can be sealed or locked and opened years later on a special anniversary, like five or ten years from the marriage date.

3 :: How about finding a treasure box and supplying guests with cards on which to write their thoughts about the two of you. You can even add some colored pens to allow for more creativity. I have one of these from a milestone birthday party from several years ago and I take it out periodically to remember how much I am loved. You will too.

4 :: Create a spontaneous photo album. Supply a polaroid camera, plenty of film and an album. Ask guests to take a photo, stick it in the album, and write their message beside the photo. You can even assign a guest to be in charge and help with the photo taking.

There are truly endless ideas on collecting guest names and well-wishes. Just take your thing (musician, techie, artist, cook – whatever), and run with it for ideas that are uniquely you. We would love to hear some of your favorite wedding guest book alternatives… Simply write them in the comments below!

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways To Entertain Kids At Weddings

:: Top 5 Ways To Entertain Kids At Weddings ::

Kids are fabulous little people. Absolutely! But their presence at your reception can be, well, a little (cough) annoying and sometimes disruptive. So, what do you do to keep the little ones occupied during your big day to keep them entertained (and behaving)?

Here are MRSter’s top five suggestions:

1 :: Create an Arts and Crafts Table :: Kids are naturally creative, so this may be an ideal way to keep the young ones occupied. Arts and crafts have the advantage of appealing to a larger age range and can be an inexpensive way to entertain.  Stock the table with crayons, erasable markers, and paper. You can even create a contest and give away a prize for the best drawing on a topic of your choosing, like a drawing of the couple, for example. There are many other craft items that can be utilized; paper plate decorating, playdough projects, activity books, and paper folding are a few ideas to get you started.

2 :: Game Table :: A game table lends itself to entertainment for a variety of age groups. You can stock it with games like Candyland, Connect Four, Clue, Monopoly, and Operation and many others… Keeping the children entertained for hours on end!

3 :: Set up outdoor activities :: If the weather accommodates, there are oodles of fun stuff that kids can do outside. Offering jump ropes, hopscotch, hula hoops, balls of all shapes and sizes (as long as they are soft and won’t cause damage) and competitive games, like a bean bag toss, can add lots of fun for the young ones.

4 :: Hire an Entertainer :: You may want to hire a clown, a face painter, a (fake) tattoo artist, a caricature artist, a storyteller, an action hero impersonator, a magician, or a combination of several of these entertainers. Check with an event planner to find out which entertainers are available in your area.

5 :: Utilize your Venue :: Many venues have a side room available which you can equip with a sitter and movies. This is especially helpful for an evening wedding when the kids can get tired and sleepy. You can scatter throw pillows and blankies about the room. For an outdoor wedding, a tent can serve the same purpose.

These ideas will help EVERYONE at your wedding have the best time ever.

Or, you can simply opt to have an Adult Only Wedding. But, that’s another story…