4
Mar

Shop These 5 Standout Wedding Signs

Shop These 5 Standout Wedding Signs

Escort cards are just the tip of the iceberg. Help your guests get from point A to point B, decorate your ceremony space, and add personal touches to your reception with these unique wedding signs.
  1. 1. Wood Pennants

    Personalized "In Love" wooden banner with hearts

    Customize this wood pennant banner with a sweet phrase or put your initials on display. Add a contrasting fabric or burlap back for a layered look.

    Personalized Wood Veneer Pennants, $2.98 each, TheKnotShop.com

  2. 2. Skyscraper Silhouette Arrow

    Greyscale city skyline directional sign

    Bring some city to your reception with this black and white cityscape sign. After the party’s over, frame it for a minamalist metropolitan keepsake.

    City Style Directional Poster, $10, TheKnotShop.com

  3. 3. Mini Chalkboards

    Mini chalkboard sign with white stand

    For an easy, handwritten touch, use these signs as place cards or food labels. And you can repurpose them at your next family potluck or buffet brunch.

    Decorative Chalkboard With Stand, $2.09, TheKnotShop.com

  4. 4. Personalized Backdrop Banner

    Customizable printed canvas photo backdrop

    Placing a large-scale personal touch in a big reception space is an easy way to make the space feel more intimate. Use the banner to frame your vows, or hang it behind your sweetheart table. And who’s to say you can’t reuse it in your newlywed nest?

    Bistro Bliss Personalized Premium Canvas Photo Backdrop,$230, TheKnotShop.com

  5. 5. Bride and Groom Chair Banners

    Bride and groom whimsical chair banners with feather decal

    Designate the guests of honor with these boho-inspired chair banners. Whimsical calligraphy and colorful feathers give a refreshing, fun look to traditional chair backings.

    Feather Whimsy Bride And Groom Chair Banner Set, $88 for a set of 2, TheKnotShop.com

4
Mar

7 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Wedding Ceremony Aisle

7 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Wedding Ceremony Aisle

Want to wow your guests with a ceremony aisle worthy of your big entrance? Here are 7 ways to get it done!

Rose petal lined wedding ceremony aisle

Photo by Dear Wesleyann
  1. 1. Flower Petal-Lined Design

    White and pink flower petal aisle design

    Photo by Dear Wesleyann

    Forget lining the aisle with flower petals—ask your florist to create some serious eye candy like this swirly design. Two large arrangements at the end of the aisle create a stunning finish and frame you perfectly for vows and pictures.

  2. 2. Simple, Sweet Floral Clusters

    Colorful flower bouquets for aisle decor

    Photo by Dark Roux Photography

    You really don’t need much to decorate an outdoor wedding ceremony (especially if you’re fortunate enough to have a stunning view). Try adding a pop of color to every other inner-aisle chair by attaching a cluster of large flowers (hydrangeas, dahlias, and roses work well) like these sweet springtime arrangements.

  3. 3. Ribbon-Tied Mason Jar Arrangements

    Red peony and baby's breath floral arrangement

    Photo by Meredith Perdue

    Lush blooms like peonies work well in homemade, ribbon-tied mason jar arrangements. (Big-headed blooms will give you the most bang for your buck because you can cover a large amount of space with just one stem.) If you plan on taking the DIY route with your ceremony arrangements, make sure you’ve tied them tightly and be sure to ask for set-up help!

  4. 4. Seashell-Filled Lanterns

    Lantern aisle decor with sand and seashells

    Photo by Julia Newman Photography

    Perfect for a wedding on the beach, these seashell-filled floor lanterns add style and ambiance. Dot both sides of the aisle with these to light your walk or create an eye-catching entrance at the beginning of the aisle by arranging a cluster of different sizes.

  5. 5. Paper Lanterns

    Pink paper lantern aisle decor

    Photo by Tonya Malay Photography

    For an easy to create decoration, attach small paper lanterns to each ceremony chair lining your aisle. Find paper lanterns in your wedding color or stick with a neutral and accent with colorful ribbon-tied bows. Psst: You can find paper lanterns for sale in The Knot Shop—check them out!

  6. 6. All-White Formal Flower Arrangements

    All-white rose aisle decor

    Photo by Marisa Holmes

    Want to give your guests the cue that yours is a formal wedding the minute they step into your ceremony space? Then go this route—tall stately all-white flower arrangements with white rose flower petals lining the aisle are sure to wow. Don’t allow these beauties to go to waste. Post I dos, have them do double-duty as centerpieces at your wedding reception or add them to your dessert table.

  7. 7. Paper Flower-Lined Ceremony Aisle

    Bright colored paper flower ceremony aisle decor

    Photo by Anna Kim Photography

    These bright colorful paper blooms are a cute, creative (and easy) way to decorate, while giving your guests the cue to fill into their seats from outside the center aisle.

4
Mar

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Reception Food Trucks

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Reception Food Trucks

Read these tips before booking that food truck for your wedding reception.

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.

  1. Consider the Season

    Wedding reception ice cream truck chalkboard menu

    Photo by Nicole Haley Photography

    Summer seems like the obvious season to host a food-truck-catered wedding, but don’t forget that your guests could be standing in line outside, probably curbside, far from the shade and comfort of your rented tent or courtyard. So, depending on your location, consider hiring a food truck for a fall or spring wedding when the weather’s milder. That’s not to say your summer wedding absolutely can’t have a food truck. Just be mindful: If you’re in an extra-hot climate, maybe opt for a food stand that serves ice pops, slushies, snow cones or milk shakes to keep your guests cool.

  2. Do the Math

    Wedding reception food truck waffles

    Photo by Priyanca Rao Photography

    Food trucks can feed a large crowd quickly, which is why you’ll see them at big festivals and fairs, but it will still take time for all of your guests to get through the food line. Plan on at least one food truck for every 75 guests, so you don’t keep your loved ones hungry and waiting.

  3. Choose the Look

    Wedding reception food truck retro ice cream truck

    Photo by Nicole Haley Photography

    Food trucks come in so many different styles, from colorful retro-inspired rigs to more industrial-looking modern trucks. Do your research to ensure that the look of the food truck complements your reception decor and atmosphere. For example, a small ice cream truck with a cute pin-striped awning would work perfectly at a garden wedding. And if you catch sight of a food truck you love on the street, don’t be afraid to ask about rental information.

  4. Plan the Menu

    Wedding reception ice cream truck menu

    Photo by Tina Jay Photography

    If food trucks are providing your main reception meal, have a few different selections, like falafel, fresh seafood, stir-fry and empanadas. Many popular brick-and-mortar restaurants are starting to launch their own food trucks, so ask your favorite joints and diners if they have one in the works. Food trailers are also amazing for fun appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, like dumplings, sliders or other small bites. For a great alternative dessert option, there are trucks that serve cupcakes, frozen yogurt, smoothies or Italian ice.

    And while the phrase “food truck” usually calls to mind messy street eats and casual summer fairs, this trend is so huge that a new breed of food trucks are serving up high-end dishes with fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients that fit perfectly at a formal event.

  5. Figure Out Seating

    Wedding reception food trucks
    Photo by Aldabella Photography

    In terms of seating, think of food trucks as a hip, modern take on buffet service. This means you have basically two dining options: Set up formal tables so guests can grab their food and have a sit-down meal, or put utensils and napkins in a central location to encourage guests to stand and mingle while they eat. The latter setup definitely creates a casual vibe; if you’re hosting a more formal wedding and full-service dinner, but still crave food truck fare, try this option for your rehearsal dinner, cocktail hour or after-party.

  6. Have a Drink

    Wedding reception cocktail drinks
    Photo by Loke Roos

    Roving caterers are so sought-after now that food trucks are far from your only choice. You can also shake up cocktail hour and add style to your curbside feast with traveling wine or beer trucks. Many local breweries and wineries have adopted vehicles for providing vino and brew tasting on-site, while trucks that only used to feature food have added wine, beer and cocktails to the mix. To convert any outdoor event into a personalized beer garden, try booking a mobile mini-brewery unit, which will have several taps ready to serve you your favorite (or even home-brewed!) beers, ice cold and foam free.

  7. Make It Late-Night

    Wedding reception food truck late night

    Photo by Vue Photography

    Want to offer a midnight snack to satisfy your guests’ late-night munchies? A food truck could be just the thing. After all that dancing and mingling, guests will happily devour food truck bites, like waffles, doughnuts, hot dogs, cookies and soft pretzels. And just because you’re having an indoor wedding doesn’t mean a food truck is out of the question. Luckily, many companies have mini food carts that can be wheeled into an indoor venue as a fun surprise at the end of the night.

    Special thanks to: Beth Bennett of Stylish Happenings in Austin, Sojourner Auguste of Erganic Design in New York, Elaine DeLuca of Exquisite Events in New York City, Billie Vollmer of Be Coordinated in San Diego and Susan Carre of Vineagogo in San Diego.

4
Mar

How to Personalize Your Ceremony

How to Personalize Your Ceremony

It’s the most important part of your day, so shouldn’t it be as unique and personal as your reception?

Wedding couple watering a plant for union ceremony

Photo by Redfield Photography

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.

  1. Accessorize Your Guests

    Wedding guests with parasols

    Photo by Vanessa Preziose Photography

    Outdoor vows are gorgeous, but they can come with some weather-related obstacles. No one likes to squint or sweat, so if there’s a chance it’ll be super-sunny, have your ushers hand out parasols or sunglasses to your guests. Programs made into the shape of fans are another fun and functional way to cool down your crowd. If the forecast calls for crisp weather, offer shawls displayed in a pretty basket at the front of the ceremony space. Little gestures like these go a long way toward making your guests feel taken care of and comfortable.

  2. Invite Your Furry Friend

    Same-sex couple holding dog

    Photo by Jen Huang Photography

    Is your pup a primary member of your family? Then go ahead and include him or her in the ceremony, either as a nontraditional ring bearer or flower girl or just as a guest of honor. Try a fresh or faux flower secured to a pretty collar or a dapper bow tie or tux onesie—just make sure that both the flowers and the clothes you choose are safe and comfortable for your pooch. Coordinate with your bouquet and your groom’s boutonniere so your little family looks fashionable and fun.

  3. Leave a Love Note

    Program in the shape of a mason jar

    Photo by Peacock Photography

    For something truly memorable (that you don’t want to include in the programs), pen a letter to those closest to you, whether it’s your mother and father or even a special aunt, uncle or friend, and leave it on their chair preceremony. Thank them for helping you get to where you are, and share any thoughts about what it means to have them there. Better enclose a few tissues too—the moment you walk down the aisle will be extra-sentimental for them.

  4. Share the Floral Fun

    Fuchsia and white boutonnieres

    Photo by Sweet Monday Photography

    Who says you have to save your favors for the finale? Instead, consider setting up a table full of fresh boutonnieres (think single roses or tulips) or flower hairpins for your guests to choose from before the ceremony. They’ll feel instantly appreciated for their attendance and ready to get into the celebratory spirit of the day. Choose colors and floral varieties that go well with the bridal party bouquets to create a cohesive and truly coordinated look that your photographer will love.

  5. Pick a More Purposeful Processional Song

    Wedding musicians

    Photo by Woodward & Rick Photographers, Inc.

    We have nothing against Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”—it’s a timeless classic that certainly gets the job done well. But if you’d like to put a personal spin on your ceremony, go with a tune that’s meaningful to both of you—just like you’re doing with your first dance. Was your first date in a country music bar where “Whatever It Is” by Zac Brown Band was playing? Did he propose while Adele’s soulful version of “Make You Feel My Love” played in the background? Consider acoustic versions of the songs for a more traditional spin, and then start your new lives off on that same beautiful note.

  6. Water a “Love Fern”

    Plant for union ceremony

    Photo by Pure 7 Studios

    Remember the ill-fated “love fern” from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? Adding scoops of soil from each of your hometowns to a potted plant or tree and then watering it together can be a sweet symbol of your union and a special way to end your vows. Once you’re home from your honeymoon, give it a permanent place in your garden or backyard where it can continue to grow.

  7. Give Out Candy and Crayons

    Crayons and activities for kids at a wedding

    Photo by J. Harper Photography

    If you’ve got little ones on your guest list, you’ll want them to be extra well behaved during the ceremony. How do you ensure that? Candy is charming, but crayons and coloring books are another fun (and less sticky) way to keep little hands busy.

  8. Nix the Assigned Seating

    Seating sign

    Photo by Alternative Life Photography & Design

    Have you seen those adorable signs that say, “Choose a seat, not a side… we’re all family once the knot is tied”? This decorative touch does double-duty by acting as an informal usher and setting the tone for a laid-back, friendly celebration.

  9. Quench Guests’ Thirst

    Pink champagne

    Photo by Clary Photo

    There’s always some downtime before the ceremony starts as guests begin to gather. One creative way to warmly welcome everyone is to set up a drink station. Glasses of prosecco, sparkling water with lemon or lime, or even a pretty signature cocktail served on a silver tray is refreshing on a warm day. Gourmet flavored coffee or hot cider served in mugs that match your wedding palette is a fun, cozy touch for a winter wedding when guests are coming in from the cold.

  10. Have a Good Friend Marry You

    Bohemian wedding ceremony

    Photo by Brooke Schwab Photography

    Is there a person who’s super-special to both of you and also happens to be an engaging public speaker? Honor that person by asking them to help you tie the knot. There are several ways to get ordained online, which vary in the time it takes to become “official” and the amount of money it costs to do it (it’s a nice gesture to offer to cover those costs since you’re already asking for their time to do this for you). And always check with your local government to make sure that the marriage will be recognized.

  11. Honor Missing Loved Ones

    Photographs honoring ones that passed away

    Photo by Claudia Kronenberg Photography

    Whether it’s a grandparent who’s passed or a cousin in the military, your ceremony is the perfect place to mention those that are in your thoughts. Save space in your program for a note about them, ask your officiant to talk about them, or weave a special memento from them (for instance, a locket) into your bouquet. If you have several loved ones who are no longer with you, consider setting up a small table with a selection of photos of them as a way to incorporate them into your day.

  12. Pick Alternative Props

    Flower girls walking down the aisle in flower crowns

    Photo by Christina Carroll Photography

    A ring pillow and a basket of petals may be the go-to for the smallest members of your bridal party, but why not give them something that has just as much personality as they do? Your ring bearer can carry your rings in any vessel from a handmade bird’s nest for a playful, rustic take, to a silver box engraved with your names and wedding date that will make a great keepsake. Give your flower girl a pomander or one giant sunflower to carry, or skip the floral theme altogether and opt for a whimsical pinwheel, ribbon wand or basket full of confetti.

  13. Surround Yourself With Love

    Chairs arranged in a semi-circle for ceremony

    Photo by Onelove Photography

    Traditionally, you get married with your guests all seated behind you.Unfortunately, they miss out on the best part—seeing your faces as you say your vows to one another. Give your guests a better view of the action by arranging the chairs in a full circle or semicircle surrounding you and your groom. Dealing with a larger guest list? Set up several concentric rings of chairs, or for short vows, you can do an inner circle of seated guests and an outer one of folks who stand.

4
Mar

20 Creative Ways to Display Your Wedding Hashtag

20 Creative Ways to Display Your Wedding Hashtag

Get your wedding guests to share photos with your hashtag with these foolproof display ideas.

Wooden Hashtag Sign

Photo by Sara Kristen Photography

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

Wood Wedding Program with Social Media Hashtag

Photo by Ash Imagery

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

Ceremony and reception wood directional sign

Photo by Wedding Nature Photography

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

3. Transportation

Black bus with social media hashtag

Photo by Mi Belle Photography

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

4. Jacket

Hashtag stitched inside the groom's jacket

Photo by Rashad Pleasant | Photography

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

5. Planters

Wood planter with wedding hashtag sign
Photo by Fotowerks

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

Jenga sign with hashtag

Photo by Chris Sosa Photography

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

7. Bar

Hashtag chalkboard sign by the bar

Photo by Merkle Photography

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

Moss backdrop with monogram and hashtag

Photo by Ashley Nicole Photography LLC

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

Drink cards with flamingos

Photo by Brittany Graham Photography

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

10. Menu

Wood chalkboard menu sign with hashtag

Photo by Brianna Wilbur Photography

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

Table cards with social media hashtag

Photo by Jennifer Miller Photography

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

Photo booth props with wedding hashtag

Photo by Alison Kundratic Photography

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

Baby's breath centerpieces with table numbers in wooden frames and wedding hashtag

Photo by Holly L. Robbins Photography

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

Frame-bordered chalkboard sign with wedding hashtag

Photo by Alexandra Wallace

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

Photo by Shoreshotz Weddings

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

Guest book station with hanging hashtag sign

Photo by Katelyn James Photography

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

17. Frames

Watercolor print with hashtag

Photo by Hyer Images

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

Welcome bag with wedding hashtag

Photo by Jocelyn Filley Photography

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

Empty frame prop with wedding hashtag

Photo by Yes, Dear. Studio

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

20. Favors

 Coffee mug wedding favors with wedding hashtag

Photo by Finch & Farrow Photography

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

4
Mar

20 Maid of Honor Toast Quotes From Famous Women

20 Maid of Honor Toast Quotes From Famous Women

Borrow these words of wisdom from famous women when you toast the bride and groom.

Bride and her bridesmaids giving a toast

Photo by The Schultzes

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

Maid of honor toast quote

3. “It was just enough to sit there without words.” Louise Erdrich

Maid of honor toast quote

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

Maid of honor toast quote

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

Maid of honor toast quote

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

Maid of honor toast quote

11. “We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” Gwendolyn Brooks

Maid of honor toast quote

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

Maid of honor toast quote

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

Maid of honor toast quote

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

Maid of honor toast quote

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

Maid of honor toast quote

4
Mar

7 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Get Married at the Coral Sands Hotel

7 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Get Married at the Coral Sands Hotel

On the hunt for a picture-perfect Caribbean destination wedding spot? Look no further than the Coral Sands Hotel, tucked away in Harbour Island, Bahamas.

Coral Sands hotel in Harbour Island, Bahamas

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.

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1. You and your guests will stay in the lap of luxury.

Coral Sands Hotel cottage

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.

Coral Sands Hotel wedding

Photo by Zorn Photography

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.

Coral Sands Hotel Pool

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.

Coral Sands Hotel wedding

Photo by Zorn Photography

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?

4
Mar

8 Dangerously Delicious Fall Wedding Cocktails

8 Dangerously Delicious Fall Wedding Cocktails

Getting married during cooler temperatures? Incorporate these autumn-inspired recipes into your day.

Apple cider margarita

Photo by Sarah Love Photography

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

Pumpkin White Russian cocktail

Photo by Sarah Love Photography

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:

  • Pumpkin-flavored vodka (we used Crop Organic Spiced Pumpkin)
  • Kahlua
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Ice
  • Heavy cream

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

Spiced red wine sangria

Photo by Sarah Love Photography

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:

  • Spiced red wine (we love Witches Brew from Leelanau Cellars)
  • Brandy
  • Apple cider
  • Diced apple slices

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.

Pumpkin Spice Cocktail

Pumpkin spice beer cocktail

Photo by Sarah Love Photography

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:

  • Blue Moon Harvest pumpkin ale
  • Sparkling apple cider
  • Fireball cinnamon whiskey

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

Apple cider hot toddy

Photo by Sarah Love Photography

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:

  • Brandy
  • Honey
  • Apple cider
  • Hot water
  • Cloves
  • Lemon wedge
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Star anise

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

Orange maple whiskey cocktail

Photo by Sarah Love Photography

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:

  • Maple syrup
  • Orange bitters
  • Orange wedge
  • Ice
  • Whiskey
  • Splash of club soda

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

Apple cider margarita

Photo by Sarah Love Photography

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:

  • Grand Marnier
  • Gold tequila (we used the 1800 brand)
  • Apple cider
  • Orange juice
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Sliced oranges and apples
  • Pure cane sugar
  • Cinnamon sticks (for garnish)
  • Ice
  • Pumpkin pie spice

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

Vanilla pear cocktail

Photo by Sarah Love Photography

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:

  • Pear-flavored vodka (we used Absolut Pears)
  • Pear juice
  • Vanilla bean
  • Ice
  • La Croix Peach-Pear flavored sparkling water

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

Apple cider bellini

Photo by Sarah Love Photography

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:

  • Fig-infused vodka/liquor (we used Mahia)
  • Apple cider
  • Prosecco
  • Powdered cinnamon (optional)
  • Granulated sugar (optional)

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.

4
Mar

How to Plan an Extended Wedding Weekend

How to Plan an Extended Wedding Weekend

From welcome parties to good-bye brunches, here’s how to plan a long weekend of nonstop fun for your guests.

Bride and groom waving to wedding guests on trailer

Photo by Erin Hearts Court

“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.

1. Welcome Party

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.

2. Rehearsal 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.

3. Farewell Brunch

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.

4
Mar

Getting-Ready Ideas for Your Bridesmaids

Getting-Ready Ideas for Your Bridesmaids

Skip the matching velvet jumpsuits and pick up a set of gorgeous robes or cute tanks for your bridesmaids. (Bonus: They make for a great morning-of photo op!)

bride with bridesmaid in pink robes

Photo by Sunglow Photography
  1. Bow tank tops

    bridesmaid with bow back tank tops

    Photo by Amber Hately Photography

    Cute, fitted tank tops are an effortless option—and the bow detail adds a fun, feminine touch.

    Get the Look: Bow-back tank tops, $25, Bridal Bliss Couture, Etsy.com

  2. Cozy flannels

    Bride and her bridesmaids getting ready in flannel button downs

    Photo by Tracey Buyce Photography

    Customized flannels will keep you chic and cozy. The perfect addition to your winter wedding, these oversize button-downs are so warm and comfy it will feel like you’re getting ready in your pj’s all day!

    Get the Look: Customized flannel button-downs, $42, TinyTulip.com

  3. Monogrammed men’s shirts

    bridesmaids in pink button downs
    Photo by Jacquie Rives Photography

    We’re seeing lots of brides and maids opting for these monogrammed button-downs to get ready in. They’re casual, easy and perfect for the hair and makeup chair.

    Get the Look: Oversize button-down, $34, AdvantageBridal.com

  4. Matching robes

    bride and bridesmaids in getting ready robes
    Photo by Troy Grover Photographers

    Robes are perfect for the morning of your wedding. Not only are they comfortable, but they can be taken off without messing up your bridal hair.

    Get the Look: Kimono-style robe, $65, PlumPrettySugar.com

  5. Custom hanger tags

    wooden hangers with bridesmaid name tags
    Photo by Bryan Jonathan Weddings

    Prevent any bridesmaid-dress mix-ups by attaching cute little name tags to all of the hangers.

    Get the Look: Hanger name tags, $3, Bliss Lettering, Etsy.com

  6. Monogrammed makeup bags

    bridesmaid with monogrammed makeup bag
    Photo by Photography By Vanessa

    Give your bridesmaids a cute place to stash their makeup with matching monogrammed clutches. The best part? They’ll definitely use them again after your wedding.

    Get the Look: Cosmetic bag, $12, WeddingShop.TheKnot.com

  7. Emergency essentials

    bridesmaid emergency kit
    Photo by pinch provisions

    Okay, not exactly an outfit, but don’t forget to have a little emergency kit of everything you and your bridesmaids could ever need on your wedding day.

    Get the Look: Minimergency Kit for Bridesmaids, $16, PinchProvisions.com