Friday, January 23, 2015

Wedding Formalities - Cake Cut, Parent Dances, Toasts, and More!

Photo by Alanna Scully Photography

So I am a firm believer that every wedding is unique in its own way and that all couples can really make the day reflect their personalities, but there are certain formalities that every planner, venue manager or catering manager will ask about.  It doesn’t mean that you have to include it in your day, but these are the most typical things that we see at events and we won’t judge you if you want to remove it from your day or even add something else in that is more special to you and your family!

Once the guests have been seated there is usually some sort of formal introduction. This can be the entire bridal party including parents and grandparents, it could be just the bridal party or could even be just the bride and groom.  If you prefer not to be introduced that is fine too!  If you do choose to have an introduction, you will need to know how you would like to be introduced - Mr. & Mrs., by your first names, by your nicknames, whatever you choose!  Your band or DJ will be in touch with you about the specifics, have fun with it!

First Dance
After the introductions is typically when the bride and groom will have their first dance.  You may have taken dance lessons and this is your time to show off your moves, or you may hate dancing and will ask your bridal party and/or other couples to join you halfway through.  Whatever makes you comfortable!

There are many toasts that can take place on the wedding day from the host giving a welcome toast, to the maid of honor and/or best man and even the couple.  You will need to discuss with your family who would like to toast and when. Sometimes it is more appropriate for certain family members to toast at the rehearsal dinner instead of the actual wedding day.  On the day itself I recommend keeping it to 4 toasts or less - that would include a welcome toast (typically given by the father of the bride), the maid of honor toast, the best man toast and a thank you toast from the couple.

Cake Cut
As dinner is winding down the couple will typically cut the cake before the party really gets started.  This can be announced with a song and everyone’s attention on you or it can be what I call “stealth” where just the parents and the photographer/videographer are invited over to witness it.  Obviously others will see it happen as well, but it will not be made a spectacle.

Parent Dances
A great way to open up the dance floor after dinner is with the parent dances.  This is where the bride will dance with her dad and the groom will dance with his mom.  We do see a lot where just the bride will dance with her dad or where they will share one parent dance together.  Another fun idea is to invite other father/daughter or mother/son pairs that are there that night to join halfway through the dance.

Bouquet or Garter Toss
Although the bouquet toss and garter toss are not seen too much at weddings anymore I still wanted to include it.  This is totally up to you and is usually based on your crowd.  Do not do a bouquet toss if only 2 people there are single!  Maybe consider giving your bouquet to the couple there that has been married the longest or present it to a grandmother or your mother. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Creep the Party! The 2nd Cape Cod NotWedding!

If you were not able to attend the 2nd Cape Cod NotWedding (now called The Big Fake Wedding) last month at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel, then you missed out!  Amazing Cape Cod vendors showcased their work on a beautiful day in November to over 100 attendees and all while having fun at the same time!

Jessica & Michael, a Coast Guard couple based at Otis, participated this year as the Big Fake Wedding Couple and used the opportunity to renew their vows in front of their family, their two sons and a whole bunch of strangers!  The cast, who also included another couple who stood in as their best man and maid of honor, showed off the stunning gowns and suits from Sposabella Bridal and the Cape Cod Tux and also showed off their fabulous moves on the dance floor that night!

For those of you who do not know about The Big Fake Wedding, it is a bridal show alternative in the form of a big fake wedding.   Wedding vendors come together to stage a wedding based off of an inspiration board provided by The Big Fake Wedding and then the attendees, brides, grooms and their entourages, come to check out the vendors in action.  They get to taste the food, smell the flowers and dance to the music.  What better way to find the vendors for your perfect day!

The event is currently featured on Ruffled, so if you missed out, check out the photos, the video and the list of vendors who participated and pulled off such a fun and special event.  You can also view more photos on The Big Fake Wedding’s website here.

And here are some of the photos from the tables we designed for this year's event!

Photo by Eric Foley Photography
Photo by Keslie Corbett Photography
Photo by Lisa Elizabeth Images
Photo by Lisa Elizabeth Images

Photo by Eric Foley Photography

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year from Cape Cod Celebrations!

Happy New Year!

As I sit here and reflect on 2014, I am so grateful for all that we accomplished.  It is amazing how much love, support and recognition I continue to receive from my clients, local vendors, and my friends and family.  I truly feel blessed.  We are excited to look ahead at all of the wonderful clients we are already working with as well as our plan to share some new and exciting things in 2015.

Here is a look back at some of the highlights of our 2014 season.  Onward and upward to 2015!

Winning Cape Cod SCORE's Small Business Owner of the Year Award

15 Tented Events from Bourne to Provincetown
(photo by emilie inc.)

The NotWedding Cape Cod 2014 at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel 
(photo by Eric Foley)

35 Happily Married Couples
(photo by Stacey Hedman)

5 Life Celebrations - Birthdays, Anniversaries, Oh My!

15 Featured Weddings, Featured Advice & More!
(photo by Channing Johnson)

Thank you 2014!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Calling All College Students Interested in Interning on Cape Cod!

Cape Cod is an amazing location to spend your summer earning credits towards your degree and why not spend it working with some of the best in the wedding industry?!

Wedding vendors located on Cape Cod, MA are looking for interns for the upcoming summer season. These vendors include, but are not limited to: wedding planner, photographers, videographers, florists, stationery design, make-up and hair artists, catering, Djs and so many more!

There will be a meet and greet held on January 7,2015 at Wequassett Resort in Harwich from 10:00am-11:30am.
This is an opportunity for students to come and meet the vendors in the industry, learn about their business and possibly land an intern position for the 2015 season!

There is a limited amount of space so please RSVP if this is something you are interested in attending. RSVP at

We hope to see you there! Come learn about these great vendors and show them what you are all about!

Are you a vendor interested in joining the meet and greet event?  Please email

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Music Selections for Your Wedding

Let’s be honest.  Everyone knows that the wedding night is all about being on the dance floor and having a blast with your friends and family.  And one of the hard parts of planning for this portion of the evening is giving your band or DJ the song choices you want to hear that night.  Here are a couple of things to keep in mind and help you through the process of selecting your songs.

Have a Dance Party
One of my close friends, who is a music fanatic, decided to have a dance party at their house to go through song choices that they thought they would want to hear at their wedding.  If they played the song and you couldn’t dance to it, they took it off the list.  What a fun way to narrow down ideas!

First Dance
There are so many first dance songs out there to choose from, but what I recommend is to choose one that really speaks to you, even if it is not a typical first dance, love song.  One of my best friends had her first dance with her husband to Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True” which totally reflected their personalities and was one of their personal favorites. Make it your own!

Dance Lessons
So in all of the years I have been wedding planning I have had mixed thoughts on the dance lessons.  Here is what I have ultimately decided on – if you are going to take dance lessons, just learn how to dance more than just swaying and turning in a constant circle.  Maybe add a dip or spin in here or there, but learning a full on dance from start to finish is just tricky.  And all you are thinking about at that moment is what step you are supposed to do and if you are going to mess it up instead of focusing on dancing with the person you just married.  My two cents!

Parent Dances
If you are going to dance with your mom or dad, I recommend choosing the song with your parent and making sure both of you are comfortable with it.  Some couples even choose to do the dances as one parent dance where the bride and groom are on the dance floor at the same time with their mom and/or dad.  Another way to make it a bit less awkward is to ask other father/daughter or mother/son pairs at the wedding to join you half way through  the song.

Do Not Play List
This list is very important!!  A lot of bands and DJs here the same songs (organized dance songs are typically on this list) but you need to think of songs that annoy you, make you think of an ex or just are terrible dance songs.  Be sure to include all of these on your list and be specific with your band or DJ about those songs and if you will allow for requests.

Leave it to the Pros
When it comes down to it, I highly recommend making your lists of songs and then just leave it to the pros.  They do this every weekend and know what the crowd wants at certain times.  Don’t expect them to play straight from your playlist the entire time.  Be open to their interpretation of the crowd.  And hire the best!  The band or DJ is not a place to skimp in your budget!  Ask for references and check out reviews online!

"I always welcome song ideas from the bride and groom. When choosing music, it's a good idea to use popular songs that most people will know at your wedding. Most of the time if people don't know it they won't dance or they'll leave the floor.” - DJ Danny Walsh

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wedding Party Gifts

Picking your wedding party is a big deal.  Finding the right people to stand next to you while you marry the person of your dreams can be a stressful task.  The role of a bridesmaid or groomsman can also be quite an undertaking, especially if you are the Maid of Honor or Best Man.  Throughout your planning process these are the people that are there for you when you have crazy ideas or need to vent or need to plan a bachelor or bachelorette party.  It is really important that you find a nice way to thank them for supporting you throughout the planning and on your special day.  Here are some ideas on what you can give those in your bridal party as a thank you.

Photo by Hike Photography

Maid of Honor & Bridesmaids
There are lots of options when it comes to gifting your ladies for their help.  Most of the time the Maid of Honor may get a little something more depending on what her role was throughout the planning.  Below is a bulleted list of ideas you can consider - budget depending of course.  You should take into consideration what they spent on you for your day (dress, shoes, hotel, gifts) when you consider what would be a good budget for their gifts back.
  • Buy their bridesmaid dress - if you have it in the budget, that savings makes being a bridesmaid so much easier!
  • Accessories - necklace, earrings, shoes, bracelet, pashmina, wristlet, etc. Anything you would want them to maybe use or wear on your wedding day, just make sure it is rewearable!
  • Hotel Room - again, if you have it in the budget, bunk up your girls to all stay together!
  • Bottle of Champagne or nice wine
  • Robes or pajama pants to get ready in
  • Personalized hangers, tote bag, wine glasses

Best Man & Groomsmen
There are lots of options when it comes to gifting your as well for their help.  Most of the time thebest Man may get a little something more depending on how helpful he has been wrangling the guys to get their stuff done.  Below is a bulleted list of ideas you can consider - budget depending of course.  You should take into consideration what they spent on you for your day (suit, hotel, gifts) when you consider what would be a good budget for their gifts back.
  • Rent their suit for them - if you have it in the budget, that savings makes being a groomsman so much easier!
  • Accessories - tie, cufflinks, socks, shoes, tie clip, suspenders, etc.  Check with your bride-to-be on this one as well because some of this should coordinate with the wedding colors or theme!
  • Hotel Room - again, if you have it in the budget, bunk up your guys to all stay together!
  • Cigars or a good scotch or whiskey
  • Money clip

Flower Girl & Ring Bearer
For the kids, get them something they can play with all weekend or at the wedding itself.  Pack a bag full of coloring books, crayons, bubbles, disposable camera, etc.  I would also recommend purchasing their outfits if you can because it is a nice relief for the parents not to have to worry about buying something their kid will only wear once!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Father of the Bride - What is Your Wedding Role?

Photo by Person + Killian Photography
As the Father of the Bride, you have one of the most important roles at your daughter’s wedding, but you may feel left out throughout the planning process as the bride tends to do most of the planning with her mom.

Most dads are okay with the fact that they don’t have to do much, but others want to be included throughout the process as they can, seeing that they may be writing most of the checks to make this dream wedding come to life.  Below are some roles that the Father of the Bride (FOB) can jump into throughout the planning process if he really wants to be a part of the journey.

Food & Beverage
The food and beverage is definitely a big part of the wedding day and a great place for the FOB to chime in if he wants to.  Some FOBs love food, wine, beers, etc. and want to make sure the best is selected for his daughter’s special day.  If your venue or caterer offers a tasting, this is also a great place for the FOB to be included!

Depending on if the FOB has an interest in photos or florals, this is a great place to help your daughter select vendors.  I have worked with FOBs in the past that have a green thumb and are really interested in the floral selections.  Others love photography and want to help the couple select their photographer for the day.  It all depends on how much the FOB cares about certain vendors that the couple will book.

Walking Your Daughter Down the Aisle
So although a lot of FOBs don’t feel very included during the planning process, they do get one of the most important roles of the day - walking their daughter down the aisle.  Couple of things to note - you will stand on her right so that your right hand is available to shake her groom’s hand.  When you get her up to the front, be sure to give her a hug or a kiss, shake the hand of the groom (or give him a hug) and hand her off!

Welcome Toast

Another very popular role for the FOB is the welcome toast.  Typically the welcome toast is right before dinner is served, or before the blessing.  This is usually very short and sweet and congratulates the couple and thanks everyone for coming to celebrate for the weekend.  Sometimes the couple will do this toast if they are hosting the event, but a lot of the time the Father will do this toast.

Father/Daughter Dance
Finally, another very important role is the father/daughter dance.  So start thinking of what song you want to share with your daughter on her wedding day.  If your daughter chooses to have this as a formal event, the DJ or band will call the both of you to the dance floor to share your special dance together.  This is usually followed by the mother/son dance and a killer dance party!