Shop These 5 Standout Wedding Signs
1. Wood Pennants
2. Skyscraper Silhouette Arrow
3. Mini Chalkboards
4. Personalized Backdrop Banner
5. Bride and Groom Chair Banners
Food trucks have long been a favorite lunchtime and late-night food option, and they’re also a super-popular wedding catering trend. If midnight made-to-order tacos or fresh doughnuts for brunch sounds perfect for your wedding festivities, here’s everything you need to know before you book a food truck for your wedding reception.
Your reception will naturally get a lot of your focus during wedding planning, but your ceremony deserves attention too. The small details and touches you add can take it from merely functional to a truly touching space where you start your new life together. Lighting a candle or pouring sand are always fine ideas, but here are some new ones to consider.
Yes, we know creating a wedding hashtag is a no-brainer way to round up all the wedding photos your guests will take on your day. But as if brainstorming creative hashtag ideas isn’t hard enough already, making sure guests know about it and use it can prove even more challenging. While hashtags can appear early on to alert guests of their existence (think: save-the-date cards), they can quickly be forgotten by your wedding day. Here are some creative ways to display your hashtag so that it’s known and used—#winning.
1. Wedding Program
If you’re skipping individual programs and opting for one display to showcase your bridal party members and ceremony itinerary, you should definitely consider using it as the place to also feature your hashtag. After all, it’s one thing that your guests will pay attention to!
From: A Natural, Bohemian Wedding at Woolverton Inn in Stockton, New Jersey
2. Directional Signs
Guests similarly won’t overlook the directional signs that’ll show them the way to the ceremony and reception.
From: A Rustic DIY Wedding at Long Key Nature Center and Natural Area in Davie, Florida
Whether you’re using the bus for actual transportation or for a quirky backdrop, your guests will love this old-school ride announcing your hashtag.
From: A Romantic Garden Wedding at a Private Residence in Ojai, California
Not only will the stitching serve as a thoughtful memento for years to come, it will also be a fun party trick for the groom when guests ask about the hashtag.
From: A Glitzy Wedding at The Westin in Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Let the landscape state your wedding hashtag with engravings on planters and chalk lettering on pavement.
From: An Aqua and Orange Wedding at a Private Residence in Auburn, Alabama
6. Lawn Games
Game-loving guests won’t miss your hashtag when playing Jenga or cornhole.
From: A Vintage, Rustic Wedding at a Private Residence in Miami, Florida
Guests looking to get a refill will also be reminded what to tag your photos with.
From: A Vintage Industrial Chic Wedding in Baltimore, MD
8. Wall Decor
Display your hashtag along with your new monogram on a focal point of the reception that will blend seamlessly with your decor.
From: A Rustic Wedding at the Stockroom at 230 in Raleigh, North Carolina
9. Drink Cards
Your guests will love these drink-saver cards when they’re out on the dance floor—they’ll also serve as a quick reminder for when they’re tagging photos and resting their feet.
From: A Creative Flamingo-Inspired Wedding at a Private Residence in Cleveland, Ohio
Where there’s food, attention will be paid—so a menu is the perfect spot.
From: A Vibrant Wedding at Perona Farms in Andover, New Jersey
11. Table Cards
Want a fuss-free way to display your wedding hashtag? Create simple table cards that remind guests to post, and place them among centerpiece clusters.
From: A Chic Multicultural Wedding at Botanica Gardens in Wichita, Kansas
12. Photo Booth Props
Personalize props with your wedding hashtag so guests remember to tag their photo booth snaps.
From: A Classic Summer Wedding at The Marq in De Pere, Wisconsin
13. Table Numbers
Include your hashtag with your table numbers and it’ll remain on display all night.
From: An Elegant Summer Wedding at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia
14. Welcome Sign
First thing that guests will see at the reception? A welcome sign complete with your wedding hashtag.
From: A Classic Wedding With a Glamorous Twist at Santa Maria Country Club in Santa Maria, California
15. Table Games
Looking to give your guests something to do during dinner? Have them participate in a photography version of the classic “I Spy” game as they tag photos using your hashtag.
From: A Beach-Inspired Wedding at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth, Massachusetts
16. Guest Book
Combine old-school letter writing with new-age social media posting by displaying your wedding hashtag alongside the guest book or board.
From: A Vintage Rustic Wedding at Big Spring Farm in Lexington, Virginia
Give your guests something pretty to look at by sneaking the hashtag into a frame.
From: A Simply Elegant Wedding at William Aiken House in Charleston, South Carolina
18. Welcome Bags
Remind guests right when they arrive that you’ll be using a hashtag at your wedding. That way, you’ll likely see photos from all of your events.
From: A Tower House Wedding in Chilmark, Massachusetts
19. Photo Backdrop
It won’t be easy to forget your wedding hashtag when it’s part of all the photos.
From: A Literary-Inspired Garden Wedding at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California
Leave your guests with a final reminder of how to tag photos from your wedding with unique favors like these.
From: An Urban Industrial Wedding at Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina
The maid of honor’s toast is, well, a girl thing. And while male musings often move us, we think the maid of honor will find enormous inspiration in the words of her sagacious, soul-searching sisters. Below, some toast-appropriate insights and emotions from favorite female writers, philosophers and personalities.
1. “The capacity to love is tied to being able to be awake, to being able to move out of yourself and be with someone else in a manner that is not about your desire to possess them, but to be with them, to be in union and communion.” — bell hooks
3. “It was just enough to sit there without words.” — Louise Erdrich
5. “Love is the sum of our choices, the strength of our commitments, the ties that bind us together.” — Emily Giffin, Love the One You’re With
7. “Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” — Erica Jong
9. “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only with what you are expecting to give — which is everything.” — Katherine Hepburn
11. “We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” — Gwendolyn Brooks
13. “What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined… to strengthen each other… to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” — George Eliot
15. “The best marriages, like the best lives, were both happy and unhappy. There was even a kind of necessary tension, a certain tautness between the partners that gave the marriage strength, like the tautness of a full sail.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Dearly Beloved
17. “Love is the lifespring of our existence. The more love you give, the happier you feel and the more love you will have within you to give.” — Susan L. Taylor
19. “Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. That is what makes a marriage last.” — Simone Signoret
There are lots of things to consider when choosing a venue for your destination wedding, honeymoon or bachelor(ette) party in the Caribbean. But when one place has it all—not to mention the most exquisite pink sand (yes, pink) and clear turquoise water you’ve ever seen, it’s not a difficult choice to make. The Coral Sands Hotel, a gorgeous, newly-renovated boutique oceanfront hotel located on Harbour Island in the Bahamas (50 miles east of Nassau) has the type of charm where the staff knows your name, desert island-style privacy to make you feel completely at peace, and a subtly luxurious vibe that’s apparent from the elegant, airy rooms to the world-class amenities. Oh, and did we mention that Coral Sands (owned by married couple Tom and Silma Sherman) loves to accommodate special requests for anything wedding-related and beyond too? Here are seven other reasons why you and guests will love this one-of-a-kind property.
1. You and your guests will stay in the lap of luxury.
The guest experience is key at Coral Sands, accommodating around 120 wedding guests. They can stay in the spacious, recently-renovated rooms and suites (there are 38), or the oceanfront cottages and beach house with a heated pool and lighted tennis court nearby. For larger groups, there’s even a private home, Villa Carissa, that has an adjoining guest cottage and a private pool (but guests can still enjoy every resort amenity). Most brides opt for a two-bedroom cottage with a spacious layout and bathrooms well-equipped for a bridal party—plus their hair and makeup stylists! And once everyone is done, they can walk right from the cottage to the deck that leads to the beach to walk down the aisle.
2. You’ll have the most gorgeous oceanfront ceremony and reception.
Your wedding can be held directly on the beach, and the reception is held at Coral Sands’s Beach Bar restaurant, which sits high up with a covered deck and a truly breathtaking view of the sea for miles. The hotel’s staff will exchange existing table setups for round reception tables and bamboo chairs with white cushions. But needless to say, Coral Sands’s wedding planner (who handles pre-planning through day-of) will customize your event (including everything from a welcome cocktail party through the morning-after brunch) the way you’ve always dreamed of. And with all vendor services existing in-house (although typically the couple hires their own photographer), you won’t want for a first-class staff, stunning decor and award-winning chefs.
3. Guests and honeymooners will have an array of activities to choose from.
Whether you’re getting married, having your bachelor(ette) party or honeymooning at Coral Sands, there are endless things to do (unless you just want to spend all of your time gazing at one of the top five beaches in the world, which we totally get). The hotel can set up excursions for swimming with turtles, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, golfing and snorkeling—not to mention a romantic picnic on a desert island. There are also plenty of beautiful shops, restaurants and galleries in Dunmore Town, which is a five-minute walk from Coral Sands (you’ll want to see the chic pastel-colored cottages and white picket fences, if anything). You can also shop at Coral Sands’s gift shop, The Siren Song, for art, clothing and accessories.
|4. Don’t worry about renting a car…
…since no cars are allowed on the island! Instead, do as the locals do and zip around in a golf cart (you can rent them at multiple locations nearby). Coral Sands can help with golf cart and bicycle rentals and also set up car rentals for day trips to Eleuthera (Harbour Island is located off the northeast coast of Eleuthera Island).
5. Dreaming of a secluded wedding weekend? You’re in luck.
You can rent out the entire Coral Sands property for your wedding, but they do need to have plenty of notice (think: a year in advance).
6. It’s a totally proposal-worthy spot too.
Coral Sands will accommodate any proposal request and will gladly help with the planning—sunset boat ride, anyone?
7. Did we mention the pink sand?
Seriously, the beach is the most incredible place for wedding photos. There aren’t any shells or rocks—just the finest candy-pink sand that honestly feels like walking on marshmallows. And what newlyweds wouldn’t want to experience that?
Chilly fall weather is the perfect excuse to create spiced nutmeg-, pumpkin- and maple-infused signature cocktails for your wedding. But don’t think you have to save these recipes just for your wedding day—they’re sure to be crowd-pleasers whether served at your shower, rehearsal dinner, or bachelor or bachelorette party. (Or stir one up with your soon-to-be spouse after a marathon wedding planning session!) But the recipes don’t stop here. For even more fall cocktail ideas, check out The Nest.
Pumpkin White Russian
You’ll never want a regular White Russian again. Robust Kahlua, decadent cream and a hint of pumpkin come together in a drink that’s sure to make a bold impact. It’s perfect for an elegant hotel wedding cocktail hour.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Add 4 ounces of the pumpkin-flavored vodka to a tumbler along with 2 ounces of Kahlua and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Shake to combine.
Step 2: Add a handful of ice to a lowball glass and pour in the drink mixture, filling the glass halfway. Finish the cocktail by filling the rest of the glass with heavy cream. Now just stir and serve!
Spiced Red Wine Sangria
Sangria might have you dreaming of warmer weather, but this spiced-wine-infused version makes an easy transition from summer to fall. Add a splash of apple cider and in-season pieces of fruit for the perfect upgrade on an old favorite.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Pour a bottle of your spiced red wine of choice into a large pitcher.
Step 2: Slowly pour in 3/4 of a cup of brandy.
Step 3: Add 1 cup of apple cider and stir before adding a cup of chopped apple slices to the mix. Let the sangria sit overnight before serving.
We might’ve finally found a drink to satisfy that never-ending pumpkin craving. And with only three ingredients on this list, it’s a cinch to make too.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Slowly pour half a bottle of the pumpkin beer into your glass of choice and wait for the foam to settle.
Step 2: Top the beer with about a quarter of a cup of sparkling cider, leaving just enough room at the top to add a splash (or two) of the cinnamon whiskey. Garnish with an orange wedge and enjoy.
Apple Cider Hot Toddy
Warm apple cider is already amazing on its own. Why not take this autumn favorite up another notch with a little brandy, star anise and clove?
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Measure out a shot of brandy and add a teaspoon of honey to a small mug.
Step 2: Add 1/4 of a cup of apple cider and top with boiling water.
Step 3: Stick 3 to 4 cloves into a lemon wedge and add to the toddy along with a cinnamon stick and star anise.
Orange Maple Whiskey Cocktail
Maple syrup–flavored anything practically screams fall. A sweet spoonful balances the zesty, woody essence of your traditional Old Fashioned—prepare to be amazed.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Measure out 2 tablespoons of syrup and add it to a lowball glass along with 2 dashes of orange bitters. Squeeze an orange wedge to the mix and muddle slightly before adding a handful of ice.
Step 2: Add 2 ounces of whiskey to the cocktail and top with a splash of club soda before stirring.
Step 3: Top with fresh orange zest and serve.
Apple Cider Margarita
We can’t think of a better choice to put your guests in a festive mood than an apple cider margarita. Serve at your autumn bridal shower or fiesta-themed wedding for an instant party starter.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Pour out one shot each of both Grand Marnier and tequila, and add to a cocktail shaker.
Step 2: Add a half cup of cider and a splash of orange juice to the mix. Not a big fan of OJ? It’s okay to take it out completely—just don’t forget the cider!
Step 3: Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and shake to combine.
Step 4: Before pouring, run an orange wedge around the rim of a glass and dip into a cinnamon-sugar mixture to give your marg a super-sweet rim. (One tablespoon each of both sugar and cinnamon should do.)
Step 5: Pour your apple cider margarita over ice and garnish with either an apple or orange wedge or a cinnamon stick. Add a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and serve.
Vanilla Pear Cocktail
This fizzy, refreshing drink packs a whole lot of sweet flavor. Did we mention it can be made in under five minutes? Done and done.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: To make one drink, pour a single shot of the vodka into a shaker, and mix it with a half cup of pear juice.
Step 2: Place the vanilla bean on a hard surface like a cutting board, and using a paring knife, slice the vanilla bean lengthwise. Then, using the knife (or even a spoon), scrape the seeds out of the inside of the vanilla bean and into the juice mixture. Shake everything to combine.
Step 3: Pour over ice into a highball glass. Top everything off by adding a splash of the flavored sparkling water to your cocktail. Now just add a straw and enjoy!
Apple Cider Bellini
Put a fun twist on your wedding brunch bellinis with crisp apple cider and a little fig-infused vodka. For extra flair, add a cinnamon-sugar rim!
What You’ll Need:
Note: The type of prosecco is up to you—just pick a favorite. Doesn’t matter if it’s pricey or less than 10 bucks.
Step 1: Pour a splash (seriously, that’s all you need) of the fig vodka into a shaker and add 3/4 cup of cider to the mix. Shake to combine.
Step 2: Set out your champagne flutes, and pour the cider mixture about 1/4 of the way into each glass. Top with prosecco and serve.
“It’s over before you know it.” How many times have you heard that piece of wisdom? But we have a solution—prolong the party! Take a cue from a tried-and-true trend in weddings: three-day weekend celebrations. Even if your location seems more familiar than foreign, creative hospitality will make the wedding an endlessly fascinating trip. (You definitely don’t need to incorporate any or all of these celebrations though—they’re just suggestions!) Keep the festivities rolling—and yourself relatively stress free—with these party pointers.
Why: If most of your wedding guests are out-of-towners, or if they’re just people you haven’t seen in a while, a welcome party is a great way to greet everyone in a relaxed, no-pressure atmosphere.
When: A day or two before the wedding, but you should really base it on the date when you know most of your guests will be arriving. Also, you don’t want it to conflict with the rehearsal dinner—though a cocktails-only celebration could certainly follow the dinner.
Who Hosts: Anything goes with this one. You and your fiance can certainly act as emcees and welcome the crew, or another family member or close friend can host. If you’re also having a rehearsal dinner that the groom’s parents are hosting, definitely don’t ask them to also host the welcome party. But if you can’t come up with the funds on your own, you can consider asking both sets of parents to host jointly.
Who to Invite: All of your out-of-town guests, naturally, though why not invite the guests who live down the block too? The more the merrier, we say. Most to-be-weds invite most of their guests to the welcome party.
Where: A welcome party can be a cocktails-only, open-house-style celebration at a bar (for total convenience, look into the bar at the hotel where everyone is staying) or something festive like a riverboat trip complete with buffet dinner and cupcakes. Don’t go too formal with this one—the welcome party should stay lighthearted and be all about hanging out and having fun.
Take It a Step Further: Are guests coming in from the places where you grew up? Show your hometown pride with a pair of signature cocktails named for your former stomping grounds, or choose local beer and wine to serve with dinner.
Why: As everyone is brimming with anticipation on the eve of the wedding, this celebratory, often casual dinner is filled with toasts, roasts and general good cheer. This is a good time for the couple to present the attendant gifts. Make sure to also give your parents and anyone else who was an integral part of the wedding-planning process a token of your appreciation—flowers, a nice bottle of wine or even a sentimental toast will do.
When: A day or two before the wedding—typically following the ceremony rehearsal. If 90 percent of your wedding is comprised of out-of-towners, consider hosting an intimate dinner with just the wedding party two nights before the wedding, then a more casual and relaxed welcome party (like we just described) the night before the wedding.
Who Hosts: Traditionally, the groom’s parents. But depending on who is paying for the wedding, the couple or the bride’s family may decide to host this event.
Who to Invite: At the very least, it should include just the wedding party, very close family members and the officiant. But don’t be afraid to include others you want to thank (for example, friends who aren’t in the wedding party but have helped you out). It’s really up to you, your budget and whatever other parties you have planned.
Where: Many rehearsal dinners are held in hotel banquet room, or at nice restaurants, with full-course dinners and desserts. Others are held at home and feature a backyard barbecue or clambake. It depends on the size of your guest list, of course—a totally casual affair might not be appropriate if it’s an intimate dinner for 10.
Take It a Step Further: Add your wedding photographer to your rehearsal dinner guest list. Having a good idea of who the main players are for the wedding will help him or her get the shots you want on your wedding day.
Why: At the end of the weekend, a postwedding brunch is a great way to wind down and exchange final good-byes before leaving on your honeymoon. Newlyweds can take this chance to thank their guests and spend a bit more time with loved ones who’ve flown in from all over.
When: The morning after the wedding. Keep in mind hotel checkout times when picking an appropriate start time (10:30 or 11 a.m., for instance). You don’t want to start the brunch too late, especially if out-of-towners are going to be itching to get on the road.
Who Hosts: There’s no hard-and-fast rule here. It’s a nice gesture for the couple to bear the brunt of the planning and cost, but either family could also assume the hosting role, especially if one side is entertaining more out-of-towners than the other.
Who to Invite: The brunch is usually for the couple’s families and any wedding guests who are still in town, but feel free to include attendants, friends or even children who weren’t invited to the wedding. Basically, anything goes.
Where: Like most parties, the brunch can be held wherever suits the mood: your parents’ home, a hotel salon, a friend’s backyard.
Take It a Step Further: Get even more psyched for your postwedding getaway by theming your brunch around your honeymoon destination. For example, serve antipasti if you’re headed to Italy, or a tropical fruit salad (with plenty of pineapple, of course) if you’re bound for Hawaii.
Knot Note: If it seems that your wedding is turning into a real mini vacation (like a four-day affair), consider setting up optional activities for those who aren’t familiar with the area and need something to do (a sign of a truly gracious host). Think tee times, horseback riding, hikes, fishing trips—it really depends on the wedding locale. Let guests know their options (and reservation and cost info) well ahead of time with a separate mailing. And be sure to include the details in their welcome packet.