Wedding traditions and symbols

16th June, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Jewish wedding tradtion

Something old, something new and something blue – what do these mean? We hear them and we think of weddings immediately, but do we really know the meanings and the origins behind such phrases. Let’s examine what wedding traditions and symbols signify, to decode the mystery behind marriage.

The classic expression “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue and a sixpence in her shoe” comes from Victorian England, and apart from the sixpence, seems to have stuck to our modern wedding days.

The something old refers to the bride’s past family life, and is represented by a family heirloom, like a piece of jewelry. Something new is the wish for happiness in the future, and this is often represented by the wedding dress. Something borrowed is to remind the bride not to forget her friends and family, so it can be something like a piece of jewelry or a handkerchief. Blue is the color of faithfulness and loyalty – this dates back to biblical time when the color represented purity. While the sixpence tradition seems to have gone out of fashion, it’s there to wish the bride wealth.

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Another iconic wedding tradition is the veil, which is still used in many modern day ceremonies. This is there to hide the bride’s beauty and to ward off evil spirits, but another, less romantic explanation is that in the era of arranged marriages, the bride would cover her face until the groom had committed.

Confetti is a staple in wedding ceremonies, but traditionally this used to be rice or grains. This symbolized fertility, whereas the wedding bouquet is a fairly new tradition from America, that says who ever catches it will be the next one to get married.

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Seeing the bride is supposed to be bad luck for the groom on his wedding day, until he meets her at the altar, and apparently it’s also bad luck for him to see the dress before the wedding. So perhaps it’s better not to peek!

The tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold is supposed to protect her from evil spirits that are lurking in the home.

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While many couples have opted to go modern for their wedding traditions, many of the above are still seen today in contemporary ceremonies. They’ve all become ingrained in our wedding culture, even if we don’t really stop to think about where and when these traditions came about.

DIY Wedding Tips

19th February, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

 

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At the best of times, weddings are expensive affairs – so how can you find an effective way of cutting the cost, without cheapening things? Here are some DIY tips for your perfect wedding.

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Forget having bouquets of fresh flowers and go creative, you can make some stunning bridal bouquets out of dried flowers or pinwheels. DIY bouquets can be made in advance and can carry your own personal artistic stamp on them so that they’ll be totally unique and very you.

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Using fresh flowers in a DIY bouquet is time consuming and perhaps even stressful the day before the wedding, but you can capture something vintage and romantic with dried flowers. You can also use fall leaves if you’re having an autumn wedding in your bouquet!

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Save on the pennies and get creative with your ceremony location. You have so many wonderful locations on your doorstep that only require a little creativity and then you’re done! Apply for a free permit to marry in a national forest or a national park. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll also enjoy a ceremony that’s both unique and beautiful.

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There is an effective way to decorate when on a budget. You can go for creating a ribbon display on your altar or use crepe paper streamers. It’s effective visually and it’s very affordable. Save extra pennies by buying ribbons and streamers online.

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You can also create a ceremony state by using wooden palettes. Play around a bit by staining wood and attach flowers and moss to it, sign it with your own design and match it to the style you’re aiming for.

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There is no need to go couture for bridesmaids’ dresses. You can keep you close ladies happy by finding stylish, beautiful and affordable wedding dress. Etsy is a great place to find affordable and beautiful dresses, you can have them handmade or scout the thrift stores for beautiful dresses. There’s plenty out there that look great, without the designer label and price tag.  

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With a little bit of creativity, it’s so easy to plan a wedding that won’t leave you in debt for years to come. DIY weddings offer an intimate and personalized atmosphere that captures the essence that is you. Employ a little creativity and imagination and you too can have your perfect wedding that people will remember for a lifetime, but without breaking the bank.

 

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Hot Bridesmaids dresses for 2013

12th February, 2013 - Posted by Lia - 2 Comments

bridesmaid dresses

If you’re asked to be bridesmaid, you feel a mix of emotions about being honored to dreading the dress. Is it going to be a pink meringue with a horrible pink bow – something everyone loves to hate and is the subject of much mockery, or will it be something stylish? We want to say yes to the latter, so take a look at these ideas. You can still have pretty and elegant bridesmaids without overshadowing the bride!

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Illusion necklines are all in for Spring 2013. This cut manages to be both dramatic and sexy, offering intrigue to any bridesmaid dress. These can come in a classy black v-neck, like those from Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids, to low cut cleavage showing mesh, such as Noir by Lazaro, or an off the shoulder illusion mesh from David’s bridal. You have a selection of gorgeous and understated dresses to choose from in this style.

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Speaking of off the shoulder, the one shoulder look might not be a new fashion concept, but it’s one that’s going to be hot this coming spring. Whether it’s a satin shine dress like Alvina Valentina or a blue crumpled dress from Coreen more, to evening gown style dresses from Elizabeth St. John Social Collections and Jim Hjelm Occasions, this is a great look for the bridesmaids to sport. 

 

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Red is hot, hot, hot this spring, so much so that more and more brides are ditching the traditional white for a spicier color. However, if you’re a sucker for traditions then don’t throw the white dress out the window, but give your bridesmaids the red dresses. With so many shades to choose from, whether you’re looking for a cut, cherry-color to something more daring and dark, then you are spoiled for choice. David’s Bridal might give you something bold to talk about with its bright red off the shoulder dress, but the pretty pink and red dress by Jim Hjelm Occasions is a little softer on the eye.

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Peplums are hot for bridal dresses in the coming season, but they can also be a nice touch to your bridesmaid’s dresses. Whether you’re going to pick a lacy style like the silver satin and lace peplum dress Noir by Lazaro, or the bright red cute, Audrey Hepburn style dress from Alfred Angelo.

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Fifty Shades of Grey is more than just a book, and with the color coming back in to fashion, it’s a great choice for a bridesmaid dress, whether you’re opting for a silvery sheen, or an elegant smoky look – grey is a color, which is versatile for any occasion. The long, off the shoulder dark grey dress from Monique Lhuillier is a seductive and ideal for an evening affair, whereas the moonlight tones from Saja Bridesmaid has a more ethereal look to it.

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There are so many beautiful bridesmaids outfits out there, so why not make your friends feel honored to be asked at the wedding and not embarrassed by that giant pink bow?

If you’re asked to be bridesmaid, you feel a mix of emotions about being honored to dreading the dress. Is it going to be a pink meringue with a horrible pink bow – something everyone loves to hate and is the subject of much mockery, or will it be something stylish? We want to say yes to the latter, so take a look at these ideas. You can still have pretty and elegant bridesmaids without overshadowing the bride!

vintage-bridesmaid-dresses

Illusion necklines are all in for Spring 2013. This cut manages to be both dramatic and sexy, offering intrigue to any bridesmaid dress. These can come in a classy black v-neck, like those from Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids, to low cut cleavage showing mesh, such as Noir by Lazaro, or an off the shoulder illusion mesh from David’s bridal. You have a selection of gorgeous and understated dresses to choose from in this style.

weekly-deal-bridesmaid-dress

Speaking of off the shoulder, the one shoulder look might not be a new fashion concept, but it’s one that’s going to be hot this coming spring. Whether it’s a satin shine dress like Alvina Valentina or a blue crumpled dress from Coreen more, to evening gown style dresses from Elizabeth St. John Social Collections and Jim Hjelm Occasions, this is a great look for the bridesmaids to sport. 

Red is hot, hot, hot this spring, so much so that more and more brides are ditching the traditional white for a spicier color. However, if you’re a sucker for traditions then don’t throw the white dress out the window, but give your bridesmaids the red dresses. With so many shades to choose from, whether you’re looking for a cut, cherry-color to something more daring and dark, then you are spoiled for choice. David’s Bridal might give you something bold to talk about with its bright red off the shoulder dress, but the pretty pink and red dress by Jim Hjelm Occasions is a little softer on the eye.

Peplums are hot for bridal dresses in the coming season, but they can also be a nice touch to your bridesmaid’s dresses. Whether you’re going to pick a lacy style like the silver satin and lace peplum dress Noir by Lazaro, or the bright red cute, Audrey Hepburn style dress from Alfred Angelo.

Fifty Shades of Grey is more than just a book, and with the color coming back in to fashion, it’s a great choice for a bridesmaid dress, whether you’re opting for a silvery sheen, or an elegant smoky look – grey is a color, which is versatile for any occasion. The long, off the shoulder dark grey dress from Monique Lhuillier is a seductive and ideal for an evening affair, whereas the moonlight tones from Saja Bridesmaid has a more ethereal look to it.

There are so many beautiful bridesmaids outfits out there, so why not make your friends feel honored to be asked at the wedding and not embarrassed by that giant pink bow?

Top Wedding Cocktails to Dazzle Your Wedding Guests

8th February, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Wedding Reception cocktails

Cocktail hour is one of the most important parts of the wedding reception – it gives your family and friends a chance to mingle and have a bit of a social time before the formal sit-down dinner. You can opt for something understated and elegant like the champagne cocktail, but if you’re looking to dazzle guests, then try out some of these concoctions on your big day.

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Find the big day tiring and you’re looking for a pick-me-up to fuel you for a long night of revelry? Then the Espresso Martini is the cocktail you need. For coffee lovers, this is the perfect drink, combining coffee flavored vodka with Kahlua, Bailey’s and espresso.

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Throw it into a shaker with some ice cubes; throw it about a bit before you strain it into a martini glass. Garnish with a few coffee beans and that’ll keep your guests buzzed till the late hours.

If you have a taste for the sour and tangy, then Lemonhead is what the doctor ordered. This is made by mixing up some sprite, sour mix, Smirnoff Citrus vodka, a little triple sec and a dash of pink lemonade. Make sure you serve this up in a sugar-rimmed glass.

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For a berry flavor, dazzle guests with a Purple Haze – a blend of alcoholic raspberry, cranberry juice, Chambord and Champagne or a Berritini, swapping the Champagne for sour apple rum. Serve them up in a martini glass and you’re good to go!

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If you’re having a summertime wedding, then the Watermelon Martini is the trick. Just add some Watermelon liqueur, like DeKuyper Watermelon Pucker to Midori, Citron vodka and sour mix. This is ideal for those who don’t like the taste of alcohol but are looking for a buzz.

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Are you a sweet tooth? Do you want something luxurious and sensual to offer your guests? Then the White Chocolate Truffle cocktail fits the bill. This dessert-in-a-glass combines vanilla vodka, Bailey’s, Frangelico and Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. Add a bit of espresso, a dash of milk and Kahlua and it’s a bit of decadence that packs a punch – despite its innocent appearance.

These picks are guaranteed to get your guests talking and will help to make your wedding a big one to remember, however there are always some safe options to keep in mind for guests who like their traditional cocktails. Make sure you have the ingredients stacked for a Mojito or a Margarita, which can of course come in a variety of flavors. Some love the traditional Martini, whether made with gin or vodka. For the ideal mix, offer your guests a mix of traditional, tried and tested cocktails alongside those of a more adventurous nature – who knows after a few safe Mojitos, you’ll find guests with a White Chocolate Truffle or a Purple Haze in hand. Definitely a wedding to remember – or not to remember, if your guests get carried away with the cocktails.

Wedding Centerpieces

6th February, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

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Centerpieces set the theme for the room and define the décor. Depending on the theme you’re going for, your centerpiece will be the defining element in capturing the essence of your wedding day. There are many ways to create effective centerpieces, from lighting to mirrors, flowers to water dyes, the only limitation here is what your imagination is capable of.

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To set the mood, you want one large centerpiece to catch your guests’ eyes, but then replicate that in miniature on each table. For example, you have a large floral display on the main table, size that down on the individual tables scattered round. An effective way to illustrate this is to invest in vases of varying sizes, that way you can cater your floral arrangements appropriately around the house.

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A creative technique for flower arrangements is to buy some colorful vase filler and top up some martini glasses and add some flower heads on top. Do you have large lilies on your table, then set only a few small lily heads in the glasses decorated round the tables. You can also go in the favor of candles and opt for floating candles in martini glasses or glass pearls.

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Another eye catching centerpiece idea is to opt for hanging glass orbs. You can do a lot with this, whether you chose to go with elaborate floral displays or candles.

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Rustic colors and textures are in season this year, and a great way to capture that is to use bark in your decoration and centerpieces, birch is a particularly great choice in doing this. You can couple these with wildflowers, berries or even dried flowers to recreate that countryside charm. Ghost wood branches and natural branches are also effective to capture the feel of the outdoors.

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For a modern, avant-garde feel, use some midollino sticks to create a sense of height and shape. Go wild with the colors, deck the top with flower heads, again there is just so much you can do with this. Other alternative flower displays are agora vase stands, vials and mirrored vases, to give a futuristic element to your displays.

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Candles wrapped in diamond mesh wrap invoke a sense of glamour and festivity. They’re an inexpensive and beautiful way of crafting a centerpiece that’ll add class to your wedding.

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The options are limitless, and you’re really spoiled for choice with the number of ideas out there for centerpieces. Decide on what kind of wedding you’d like to have and then you can go crazy with the designs, techniques and applications of your centerpieces.

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Wedding Entertainment From DJ to Wedding Bands

31st January, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

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Selecting your wedding entertainment

Your wedding entertainment could be a make or break decision, so it’s very important that you choose carefully. It’s going to be the biggest day of your life, and the last thing you want is a shoddy tribute band or a student group that just play Queen covers all night. To help smooth the way, here are our tips to top finding the best wedding entertainment.

If you find a group or entertainment that appeals to you, make sure you get a certified reference or testimonial. Don’t rely on their website for a review, it’s so easy these days to just write your own, make sure you get it from an unbiased source. If they have a Facebook page, that would be a good place to find comments and reviews.

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Make sure they are insured. If they are professional then they should have a public liability insurance certificate. Some venues might even ask you for a copy of this certificate. Also, when booking a professional service, make you get what you pay for and don’t always pick the cheapest option. A band with ridiculously low prices could definitely turn into a complete disaster. However, do be wary of bands that go the other way and inflate their prices for weddings.

It’s your wedding, so it’s only natural that you get what you want. Be clear in your guidelines: tell them what you want from their list of songs and what you definitely don’t want. Don’t let the band dictate what they want – it’s your wedding. Check if they take requests, having a set list is all well and good, but being able to play songs on the fly might add a little spice to the wedding.

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Get a contract. This should include their fee as well as the schedule. This way you can have everything put down on paper catering to both your needs and theirs. Will they bring their own equipment? Do they need any extras? Also check for any cancelation fees – what if any of them fall sick?

To know what you’re getting, go see them perform. You’re not going to drop hundreds or thousands without knowing what you’re paying for, so make sure you get to see the band live in action before the deal is done.

If you’re struggling to find entertainment, then there are plenty of entertainment booking services out there that can help you find something right for you. Chances are they’ll also be able to offer testimonies and information to you, making your life easier.

How to Select a Wedding Photographer

19th January, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

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You’ve spent ages planning the perfect wedding from the location and your wedding dress down to the finer details such as the flower arrangement. Now all you need is someone to capture your special day so you can cherish the memories for life.

First and foremost – do your research. There are so many wedding photographers to choose from that finding the right one for you might take some time. There are plenty of websites out there that can help out, but you can also do a little bit of investigation at some wedding fairs, where you can personally meet photographers and get a sense for their style, not to mention their prices.

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There is this trend to find a photographer with an avant-garde style, but honestly, it’s a much better bet to stay traditional. The last thing you want is for your wedding photographs to look dated in ten years time. Opt for someone who has a timeless style and avoid any gimmicks because these go out of fashion very quickly. You also want to avoid a photographer who depends on Photoshop. Find someone who is skilled at capturing the right light and angles, and you’re set for some classy and beautiful memories.

It’s vitally important to meet the photographer before the wedding. You can discuss your needs and requirements, and build up a relationship with them. Meeting up for the first time six months in advance is a good time.

Make sure the images from your wedding are sharp and with good exposure. Many photographers use digital cameras, so make sure they can give you high-resolution images so you can make print copies to give to family and friends.

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Discuss the budget in advance. What you don’t want are any additional costs to surprise you on the day. Check for wedding packages, these are a good way to know what you’re getting and you’ll be able to budget for it.

Do make sure you know what you want. Provide the wedding photographer with a list of shots that you desire, so that way they can plan to capture things the way you want. This will help you to speed up the time it takes on formal photographs, which you have to admit are pretty tedious, so you and your guests can enjoy the party.

Finally, how would you like to receive your images? Are you looking to get them on a disk instead of the traditional photo album? Maybe the photographer could set up a website where your friends and families can take a look at their own liberty. Some packages might give you a mix between prints and digital.

So with a little research and communication, it’s really easy to find the perfect photographer for your special day.

Bridal Couture By Jim Hjelm

14th January, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

 Jim Hjelm Wedding dress designer

If you’re a bride with a taste for tradition, yet you still want to look sexy, then Jim Hjelm’s designs are right up your street. The bridal creations from Jim Hjelm’s line will even appeal to the most discerning bride.

The bridal couture designs from Jim Hjelm are renowned for their unique detail, their combination of luxurious and delicious fabrics all paired with the most delicate embroidery. It’s this sense of detail that makes Jim Hjelm’s wedding gowns unique and special.

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The range of the collection is diverse, with gowns offering a modern silhouette that is ideal for the 21st century bride, through to vintage designs for those wanting a little bit of romantic nostalgia on their wedding day. However, whether you’re after something old, something new or something blue, the gorgeous details found in these gowns make Jim Hjelm’s bridal wear a joy to sport down the aisle. 

The current collection offers a number of traditional cuts, yet still carry an edge to them.

Jim Hjelm Wedding dress

A design might incorporate ivory tulle over a crème satin covered taffeta ball gown design, finished with an embroidered tulle bodice for a traditional princess bride look, for example.

Or its details might sport a beaded lace bodice, which is elongated to hug your shape, and is finished off with a tiered tulle skirt and chapel train for something a little edgier. 

If you’re a lace lover, then you can also find a ball gown design decorated with ivory tulle on a lace elongated bodice with a three quarter sleeve and a chapel train, or opt for a lace bodice with a V-back and a sleeveless cut.

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For those wanting a modern cut that is a little less princess, then you can also find an asymmetrical A-line, strapless bridal gown with a two tiered irregular hem and covered with buttons on the back. Or you can pick a sexy figure hugging number with ivory lace over Champagne Charmeuse, for something a little more tempting.

Jim Hjelm is part of a multi-label bridal house that specializes in design, manufacture and distribution of bridal wear known as JLM Couture. Jim Hjelm’s designs are handled by the company’s bridal collection, which also have Lazaro, Alvina Valenta, Hayley Paige, Blush and Tara Keely in their collection.

As one of the top three wedding dress designers, as chosen for brides out there, Jim Hjelm is a great choice for any bride looking for something with a little tradition while still managing to be a knockout.

Top Wedding Ring Trends for 2013

1st January, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

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There are more things out there than the traditional gold band, so perhaps you have the option to get a little more creative when it comes to picking out your ideal wedding ring – here’s hoping this will help you get inspired in your ring shopping with the top trends from 2013.

Classic rings have never gone, no ever will, go out of style. If you want to add something a little special and personalized to them then you can have them accented or even engraved.     Choosing a ring that will always be in is a good sign for a marriage that’ll last for life. These don’t have to be the usual gold, you can go for something more daring like titanium or even a chic platinum band to make a statement that’ll last for ever.

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Diamonds are in right now and you can find plenty of wedding rings that are encrusted with the shiny carbon crystals. For a clean and light look, you can get an enduring platinum band with rings of small diamonds. These stones mean endurance, so you can appreciate the symbolism they bear when we’re talking about your wedding.

If you want something more modern and bohemian, then opt for some colored stones, whether you’re interested in a modern tension setting, a classic four-point or a vintage filigreed setting, picking your favorite color is the ideal way to personalize your wedding ring. You can even go for something more specific like a birthstone, or maybe pick a stone or color that symbolizes your relationship. Red rubies for passion or a cool and calm sapphire for harmony, accentuating your wedding ring with color is a great way to go about trying something different.

Vintage is all the rage in 2013, and what a better way to maintain that theme than with delicate vintage rings. Try some old round centered European rings or Asscher cuts. With the delicate stones and minimal engravings it’s almost impossible to go wrong. If you have a family heirloom – your grandmother’s ring or even a pendant, you can set this to create a wedding ring that actually means something to you, and who knows, maybe it’s something to pass down to the great grandchildren one day.

Finding the right wedding ring is as key as finding the right wedding dress – this is all about finding one right to your taste and personality, so make sure you take great care when picking one out!

Unusual Wedding Catering Ideas

20th December, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

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If the usual sit down meal at a wedding of formal elegance where you need a copy of Emily Post under your seat isn’t your cup of tea, then have no fear, there are plenty of quirky and fun ideas to incorporate into your wedding that will leave the guests feeling less intimidated and more likely to have fun.

For those of you with a theme in mind, planning your catering around that is a good start. Opting for a Moroccan wedding? Then tajines all round! For those going for something vintage or rustic, then the appropriate menu needs to be found. However, have a look at these ideas if you’re stuck for a theme.

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One great idea for a wedding menu is to go back to the 1950s. Think Elvis and Rock N’ Roll. Maybe you can draw inspiration from the diner in Pulp Fiction with the Five Dollar Shake and all, but this need not be a “junk-food” extravaganza. Why not serve up some classic iconic dishes? Open up with some prawn cocktails and maybe you can do an Elvis with some high-quality gourmet cheeseburgers and homemade fries. You can have a lot of fun with this theme – why not go all out and get a cake made to look like Elvis?

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The Beach Barbecue is ideal for anyone planning a beach wedding, but if you’re nowhere near the sea, you can bring the beach to you – if the weather is good, that is. It doesn’t have to be a swimwear theme, not exactly ideal for the older members of the family, but have a wedding marquee set up with a few barbecues around serving up cooked meat and fish.

A Victorian Banquet might fall under the guise of a traditional wedding meal, but it’s the fact that so many couple eschew traditional for elegant and avant-garde that makes it modernist by proxy. Start off with the soup course, hors d’oeuvres, the entrée with fish or meat as the center, a good dessert with a cheeseboard and port for the die-hard traditionalists.

 

If you’re stuck with a low budget wedding, then there is a way to get your catering done for low cost – bring your own dish. It can either function as a wedding potluck or assign something to your guests, whether they’ll bring desserts, appetizers or mains in. Make sure you find out any allergies your guests could have in advance and make sure everyone is aware of this. It’s a nice way to get friends to contribute to your wedding.

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