3 Ways to Plan a Wedding That Gives Back

Your wedding day should be a reflection of you: your love story, your priorities, and your values. If giving back to your community is important to you, it is easy and rewarding to incorporate these values into your wedding. If you're looking to make your wedding as karma-friendly as possible, here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

1. Shop small, shop local!

Check out the artisans, vendors, and shops in your very own community to find unique items to make your wedding stand out. This will help keep your dollars local to improve your community at the same time that you are making your wedding fabulous! If you can't find what you're looking for locally, online resources like Etsy can help you find that perfect cake topper, bridesmaid gift, or wedding signage from small businesses around the world. 

2. Give wedding items a second life. 

According to the CDC, 2,140,272 marriages took place in the United States in 2016. Think of all the gorgeous decor and attire, carefully and lovingly selected by a bride-to-be, only to be shoved in the back of a closet after the big day. You can help give these items a second life by sharing with or borrowing from friends, or even shopping secondhand. Bonus: This strategy is sure to save you some major moolah!

3. Choose wedding favors your guests will use. 

Another way to make sure your wedding has a positive impact is to choose wedding favors that will appreciated, not discarded. Edible favors like cookies, candy, or even honey are always a big hit, and the likelihood is high that they will end up in your guests' bellies, not the trash can. Similarly, guests are sure to enjoy consumable favors like candles or soaps. Bonus points if you can get them from a local vendor!

These ideas are just the beginning! Please call or email me so that I can help you plan a wedding that perfectly reflects your vision for your big day. 

4 Ways to Beat the Heat at Your Summer Wedding

Summer is synonymous with wedding season-- and for good reason. Summer is a time of celebration and relaxation, which is just the mood you want your guests to bring with them to your wedding. Don’t let summertime’s scorching heat get in the way of your party! Here are some ways you can beat the heat and get the best that summertime has to offer. 

  1. Have a bucket of ice cold water bottles waiting for your guests at your ceremony. You could even make custom labels for the water bottles to help them go with your wedding theme. 

  2. Give your guests custom sunglasses that double as your wedding favors. Just make sure you have them set out at the ceremony venue so they can keep guests from squinting as they watch you walk down the aisle!

  3. Instead of handing out a traditional ceremony program, make your programs double as fans! Here is a link to a great DIY.

  4. Book your reception at a cool, air conditioned venue like Perfect Settings. That way, you can capitalize on summer’s natural beauty for your ceremony without risking giving your guests heat exhaustion! 

 

4 Key Strategies to Help You Stay Organized

Whatever faces you this year, whether it’s planning a wedding or just a general feeling that you need to get your life together, here are some habits that will help you get organized and take on the world.

1. Follow a to-do list, and keep it up-to-date!

To-do lists helps you prioritize, which is especially important when you’re planning a wedding. Keep a running list of the important tasks for the day or week, and make sure you check them off as you complete them!

2. Keep your desk or workspace clear.

If you let your desk fill up with piles of paper, chances are you’re going to misplace an important document or drop the ball on a deadline at one point or another. Constantly sort through the papers that show up on your desk, and make sure they go where they belong. If you’re planning a wedding, it’s a great idea to have a binder with tabs and sections to organize your vendor contracts and other paperwork.

3. Prioritize!

Know what on your to-do list is truly important to you, as well as what can wait or go undone. In wedding planning, this means knowing which details you care about and which you should keep as simple as possible.

4. Always set aside some time for yourself.

Busy people (of whom brides are the epitome) often run themselves ragged trying to accomplish everything on their to-do lists. Don’t let this be you! Take some time for self-care every day so that you come back to your to-do list more energized.

Please shoot me an email to hear about how I can help you stay organized as you plan your wedding!

The Top Three Things To Do Once You Get Engaged

You just got engaged over the holidays. You are awash in excitement, but you are also being bombarded with a million questions about your big day, and you don’t even know where to start.

Does this sound like you? If so, first let me say, “Congratulations!” I hope you and your fiance have taken some time to enjoy this new stage in your relationship before beginning the work of planning your wedding.

 

When you are ready to get started, here are a few concrete steps that you can take as a newly-engaged couple that will make the rest of your wedding planning process a breeze.

1. Figure out your budget.

Who will be paying for the wedding? Will you and your honey be footing the bill on your own, or will your family be contributing? Once you know the answer to this, figure out how much the parties involved are willing to spend. It is important to figure out your overall budget first so that it can inform the rest of your planning decisions.

2. Hire a coordinator.

Hiring a coordinator ensures that you are able to enjoy the wedding planning process. Perfect Settings offers coordination services that include timeline management, budgeting help, day-of-coordination, and vendor referrals.

3. Select a venue and set a date!

Once you’ve set your budget, you can begin thinking about venues. Once you pick a venue that fits with your vision of your big day, many of the other pieces of the planning process will start to fall into place. Perfect Settings is a beautiful restored historic building featuring hardwood floors, chandeliers, and all of the elegant character that you could want for your event.

 

Holiday Stress

I came across these tips and thought they were too valuable not to share!

6 TIPS TO SHAKE OFF THE HOLIDAY STRESS

  1. Set a budget and don’t overspend. It’s okay to say “no” if a gift is too expensive.
  2. Give something personal. Use words instead of an expensive gift to let people know how important they are to you.
  3. Get organized. Use an appointment book to keep track of events and to-dos.
  4. Share the tasks. Spend time with friends and family while doing tasks like decorating, wrapping gifts and preparing the holiday meal.
  5. Learn to say no. This will give you more time to say “yes” to an event you do want to attend.
  6. Be realistic. Try not to put pressure on yourself to create the perfect holiday for your family.

 

Fall Wedding Cakes - a Lancaster County Specialty!

Welcome to my new website.  It's taken a while to get back up and running but here we are.  Of course Fall themed weddings are the first topic!  Enjoy.

Summer is over, and I get it, I get it-- you’re in mourning. It’s hard to say goodbye to a season jam-packed with cookouts, weddings, and lazy days on the beach. But hear me out. Fall has so much to offer, especially in the way of weddings. Sure, it’s less in-your-face than summer, but that’s part of its charm.

Fall is cozy and warm, but that doesn’t detract from its breathtaking beauty. A creative bride can capture the magic of autumn in her wedding. One key way to do this is through your cake.

For example, I love how this naked cake immediately makes me think of fall. While fruit is often a key component of summer bashes, here, the warmer and more subtle palette of the fruit used boldly marks it as belonging to the fall season. The cake is natural and understated, like fall, but it is striking in its simplicity.

Photo courtesy of mywedding.com.

In addition to its beautiful color palette, fall has another gift to offer creative brides-- holidays! Capitalize on the fun of Halloween by incorporating it into your wedding with an orange and black color scheme, as in this fun ombre cake.

 

 

Photo courtesy of mywedding.com.

With the natural beauty of autumn and a pinch of creativity, the possibilities are endless! If you’re planning a fall wedding in the Lancaster or York County area, I hope you’ll consider Perfect Settings. Just give me a call or shoot me an email so we can start brainstorming!

Reception Hall Dinner Parties

Do the Holidays have you in withdrawal? I've got the perfect potion for you! Today’s post is going to be a little different. Usually, we focus on weddings, but today, I’m going to be discussing about a topic that can apply to everyone, not just brides: dinner parties.

I’ll give you a second to catch your breath. I know dinner parties can be a source of tension and anxiety. Don’t worry; I’m here to help. Try to focus on these key elements, and the rest of your dinner party will fall into place.

PerfectSettings
PerfectSettings

1. Start with a theme. It could be as highbrow as a Gatsby-themed dinner party or as simple as a rust and gold color scheme in honor of fall. Whatever theme you decide on, allow it to guide you as you plan the details of your party. 2. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Enlisting help by, for example, hiring a caterer will allow you to focus on the big picture goal: hosting an event your guests will love. 3. Consider your seating arrangements. Round tables allow guests to converse more easily, and short, non-fussy centerpieces will be less likely to impede conversation. Remember to leave enough space between seats that guests have space to move their elbows! 4. Be conscious of time. Have all of your table settings and decorations done by the time your guests arrive so you can focus on helping them settle in and feel welcome.

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Perfectsettings ballroom

Still feeling a little tense? I’d love to help you figure out the details as you plan your dinner party at Perfect Settings. Give me a call so we can get started!

Elope to the Perfect Setting

Today we’re going to be talking about something that I’ll bet you’re not expecting: elopements! While elopements can be fun and exciting for the bride and groom, they can also be a source of tension within their social circles. Friends and family can feel left out if they aren’t invited to participate in your big day, which makes it hard for them to share your excitement about your simple, spontaneous wedding.

PerfectSetting Mai
PerfectSetting Mai

I’m here with some good news-- you can have your cake and eat it, too. In other words: Go. Have your elopement. Enjoy that sense of whirlwind romance. But then, come back and celebrate with your family and friends at a big ol’ party. Photo courtesy of mywedding.com

Having a reception that celebrates your union allows your friends and family to share your joy as you begin your life with your beloved. To help your loved ones feel even more included, consider spicing up your reception with a travel theme that incorporates mementos from your elopement. For example, decorating the tables with pictures of you and your sweetie during your travels will make your guests feel like they were right there with you.

PerfectSettings Elope
PerfectSettings Elope

Photo courtesy of mywedding.com

If you’re planning on eloping but want to give your family part of the Lancaster County wedding experience they’ve been counting on, give me a call! Let me help you throw the elopement bash of the century at Perfect Settings.

Daisy Pagan *Voted #1 Event Planner in “Best of Lancaster” Readers’ Survey for Lancaster County Magazine! Like us on Facebook for tips, ideas and décor. www.facebook.com/Perfectsettings 717.684.4455 Office | 717.951.8541 Direct www.twitter.com/PerfectSettings

Alternative Alters in Lancaster and York Counties

In the past, custom decided most elements of the wedding ceremony. Guests could expect to witness different variations of the same ceremony over… and over… and over again during the busy summer wedding season. Fear not, bride-to-be! The nuts and bolts of the ceremony are no longer off limits! More and more brides and grooms are experimenting with ways to make every part of their wedding day a showcase of their unique personalities.

One way to do that is by creating a stunning backdrop for your altar. The altar is supposed to be sacred and represent the seriousness of the vows between bride and groom, but it doesn’t have to be boring to be holy! Help the altar evoke a sense of the sacred by lighting up your guests’ imaginations with magic and delight.

Alter
Alter

Photo courtesy of mywedding.com

Consider the theme of your wedding, and don’t be afraid to use the backdrop of the altar to bring it all together. Going for a whimsical, magical feel? Use wispy strands of lights or gossamer fabrics to take your guests to that fairy garden. Aiming for something more formal? Use elegant flowers and heavier fabrics to emphasize the beauty and profundity of your vows to each other.

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alter 2

Photo courtesy of Hummingbird House and mywedding.com

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WP_20150530_011

If you’re a Lancaster or York County bride who’s excited (and maybe a little overwhelmed) by all these choices, let’s talk! I’d love to help you brainstorm the perfect altar backdrop and discuss how we could achieve your vision for your wedding at Perfect Settings - or even off site. Here's a wedding alter snapshot I took right before a barnyard wedding I coordinated offsite. Tell me this isn't gorgeous!

Gorgeous Centerpieces

Many brides struggle to choose between tall and short centerpieces. Although there are pros and cons for both choices, today let’s talk about short centerpieces. Short centerpieces are understated and allow guests to focus on each other. With a short centerpiece, you never have to worry about flowers blocking your view of the person across the table! Short centerpieces are perfect for a more elegant reception. I love this unique take on the short centerpiece! This couple used succulents in their centerpiece as part of a desert style event. Notice how the vibrant reds and blues in the centerpiece draw on the colors in the place settings to unify the table.

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short center

Photo courtesy of mywedding.com

And to prove the versatility of the short centerpiece, here is one with a more vintage feel. The pastel roses and the gold vases make this centerpiece appropriate for a formal wedding. Remember that a formal affair doesn’t necessarily mean a tall centerpiece!

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short center2

Photo courtesy of mywedding.com and Plum Sage Flowers.

As you decide what centerpieces to use, consider your goals and think outside the box. Short centerpieces are versatile and elegant, and they let love and friendship be the center of attention, rather than the centerpiece.

Pretty Place Settings in the Perfect Setting.

Hello again. Seems like spring and summer sort of got the best of me. We're back to the daily grind, though.Place settings... it's not something that brides normally put a lot of thought into. Whatever you imagine when you think of your wedding day, the little details are crucial to making your goals a reality. Place settings are an often-overlooked element of planning a wedding, but an elegant place setting can be the key to pulling together an event’s style.

If you love the idea of an outside wedding but you can't deal with the stress that comes with worrying about the weather, consider using floral accents and stylized menus to create a garden party ambiance, as the pastel floral arrangements do in this photo. You can even choose your dishes to complement your wedding’s style. Notice how the delicate yellow rim of the glass in this photo, which seems like the smallest of details, adds to the style of the event.

Perfect Settings
Perfect Settings

Photo courtesy of mywedding.com and Burke Garden Parties Receptions and Events

On the other hand, more muted tones in your place settings can transform an outdoor wedding from garden party to country chic. For example, note the way that the pink peonies and wedding favors tied up with twine in this photo accentuate the rustic theme of the event.

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perfectsettings

Photo courtesy of mywedding.com and Mountain Springs Lodge.

Want to know more about how to use place settings to build your wedding’s theme? Let’s talk!

Daisy *Voted #1 Event Planner in “Best of Lancaster” Readers’ Survey for Lancaster County Magazine! 717.684.4455

Candle Lit Romance | York & Lancaster Weddings

candle-light-wedding-reception.jpg If it's a candle lit wedding you want, than a candle lit wedding you shall have!

When it comes to your wedding, sometimes being in the dark isn't a bad thing.  Kara Yates, Senior Editor at MODwedding says, "Incorporating the romantic glow of candlelight is perfect for making magic in the room."  I completely agree.  Whether outdoors or indoors, candles are the perfect romantic addition to any wedding or celebration.

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Floating candles in various sizes and shaped vases creates a soft, dreamy look.  For a more classic feel, long-burning tapered candle in candelabras create a warm, passionate statement.

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Candles make glass, mirrors and crystals really sparkle.  Add pearls, flowers, lace...anything you used seen in your minds-eye as a little girl, dreaming of your wedding day as you explored your mother's jewelry box.  This is the time to let all of your dreams unleashed!

Not every venue allows you to express drama and romance through real candles.  Thankfully, we live in a time where realistic-looking, flickering LED candles are available and a great alternative.

Let's explore all the beautiful options available to you with Perfect Settings!

Daisy Pagan | Perfect Settings LCC Voted Lancaster County Magazine’s #1 Event Planner

200 Locust Street Columbia, PA 17512 717-684-4455 info@perfectsettings.net

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Pantone Color of the Year: Marsala | Lanc Co Weddings

marsalaweddinginspiration-1024×1024.jpg Marsala.  It's not just a wine, you know!

Pantone named Marsala the color of the year, and brides are already loving it!  Particularly, as my brides and party planners look ahead toward fall and winter 2015 events, Marsala is already HOT.  But don't think this rich color can't be done well in the spring and summer months, too

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Think pomegranates and red pears!  Think romance...

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Gone are the days when cranberries are only seen at Christmastime.  Frozen cranberries make a beautiful marsala-colored garnish to a punch or cocktail.

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And summer berries are an effortless complement to a marsala red velvet cake.

Still love vintage?  Marsala goes beautifully with the beauty of classic, timeless decor.

So, let's talk!  I'd love to help you come up with ideas for a Marsala Wedding of your dreams.  There are so many romantic, whimsical, classical, and lush options to explore.

Daisy Pagan | Perfect Settings LCC Voted Lancaster County Magazine’s #1 Event Planner in 2013

200 Locust Street Columbia, PA 17512 717-684-4455 info@perfectsettings.net

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Photo Credits: http://styleunveiled.com/ with photographer:  Mark Martinez Photography and blog.fiftyflowers.com

I Love Shoes | Brides in York & Lancaster, PA

shoes-1.jpg Many brides tell me that they love shoes.  What woman doesn't?  We love how shoes make us feel.  And many women are willing to play with shoes in a way they don’t play with other parts of their wardrobe.  Even on their wedding day.

Who says the bride (or wedding party) has to wear a pair of traditional flats or heels when there are so many options out there! I'm thinking, it might just be time to get more fun with the shoes we are wearing under the wedding dress.

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THE BOOT GIRL

You don't even need to have a barn or ranch wedding anymore to wear cowboy boots with your dress.  Some brides have a fantasy of riding a white horse in a flowy white wedding gown, with the perfect boots for the occasion.  If a bride's style in her everyday life includes going nowhere without her cowboy boots, then it only makes sense that she boot scootin' boogie her way down the aisle.

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THE SASSY SNEAKER GIRL

When the converse sneaker made a comeback, they also strolled their way onto the wedding scene.  This is certainly nothing new, but something I continue to see with brides who are casual, comfortable and sassy!  Whole wedding parties are wearing colorful sneakers.  If this is your sense of style--go for it, girl! shoes-4.jpg

Sassy Sneaker Girls, don't forget the groom!  You can't be strutting in your sneakers while he's wearing his polished Sunday bests.  Get yourselves some matching/coordinating sneakers and have fun together!

By the way, did you know you can customize your own Chucks?  Check it out HERE!

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THE BAREFOOT GIRL

But you say, "Wait, Daisy, I thought this was a post about shoes!"  That's true.  But there are many brides (and grooms) who also prefer no shoes at all.  No problem!  Who says you need to wear shoes?  Have fun with it.  Write a message on your feet for your guests to see when you cross your legs or start dancing at the reception!

*NOTE: A wonderful pedicure is a MUST if you're going barefoot.  Your bridesmaids would love it if you'd take them with you for a girls night out. shoes-5.jpg

THE ELEGANT BAREFOOT GIRL

So, maybe you don't like wearing shoes, but you want more than just your naked toes.   Did you know there are many accessories for your feet?  You can have the best of both worlds!

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THE FLIP FLOP GIRL

Since we're talking pedicures--flip flops are not uncommon for summer weddings.  Customized flips, colorful and fun flips, or bedazzling jeweled flips...the flip flop is no longer just for the beach wedding. But again, a pedi is not optional!

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THE CLASSIC-WITH-A-TWIST GIRL

So you feel most comfortable in heels?  That's great!  Wear what you love and what style suits you.  But here's a clever idea for you.  Give your shoes to the groom before the wedding and have him write you a note on the bottom.  Don't look at them until you put them on your foot on your wedding day.  Or, better yet, have him put your enchanted "wedding slipper" on and tell you what they say.  It's a princess dream come true!

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THE BALLERINA

Hey, Dancers!  Your ballet slippers are super stylish.  And...shhh...I won't tell if you decide to wear these and you really don't dance ballet at all!  Your secret is safe with me.

So, what other kinds of shoes do you think would be fun to wear on your wedding day?  I'd love to hear your ideas!  Or, if you've already had your big day, send me a picture of your creative shoe selection.

Let's have fun planning the perfect day for you.  Contact me today to get started on planning YOUR wedding!

Daisy Pagan | Perfect Settings LCC Voted Lancaster County Magazine’s #1 Event Planner in 2013

200 Locust Street Columbia, PA 17512 717-684-4455 info@perfectsettings.net

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Be Prepared | York & Lancaster Wedding Planner

omg-wedding-kit.jpg Recently, while cruising Pinterest for some inspiration, I came across this invaluable "OMG Emergency Kit" for brides.  I was trying to think if I'd add anything to this, and so far, I have decided that this list is quite comprehensive.

Don't get caught off guard on your wedding day.  It happens all the time to brides, so don't let it happen to you.

The great thing is, your wedding coordinator should have an emergency kit already packed and ready to come to your rescue.  So, whether your hair needs the tuck of a bobby pin or your seam needs a last minute stitch, make sure you have the basics on-hand.

If you have a story to share about your own need for an OMG Emergency Kit on your wedding day, I'd love to hear it.  Or, if this post is making you realize that there are just too many details for you to manage on your own--the contact me today!  You don't have to be prepared for everything.  Let me handle the details.  You just come prepared to marry your man.

Do you follow me on Pinterest?  If not, start doing so now!

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And on all my social media sites:

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Daisy Pagan | Perfect Settings LCC Voted Lancaster County Magazine’s #1 Event Planner in 2013

200 Locust Street Columbia, PA 17512 717-684-4455 info@perfectsettings.net

Wedding Pets | Lancaster, York Weddings

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"Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened."  -Anatole France

Many brides and grooms share with me how much they LOVE their pets!  As a dog owner, I completely understand.

However, I am occasionally asked, "Daisy, is there a way that we can include our dog (or cat, goat, bird, horse or pig!) into our wedding day.

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I wish the answer were a simple yes or no, but, there are many things to consider if you want your pet to be included in your big day.  That's why I decided to devote an entire blog post to this very subject.

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To Have And To Hold

This I can say with certainty: If your pet enjoys being held, then by all means, get photographs taken with your pet before or after the wedding.  As long as your photographer and the venue approve of animals, you can get some very cute pictures of you and your best furry friend.  Just be prepared to:

1) Be Patient: Animals don't always cooperate for the camera.

2) Have Treats On Hand: Offering an incentive to sit, stay and look pretty sure helps! (P.S. This works for kids, too!)

3) Be Flexible: You might have a perfect idea for the two of you and Miss Cuddles, but if Miss Cuddles has an idea of her own--go with hers!  Nothing is worse than fighting with an animals at a photo shoot.

4) Get the Leash: You might have Pebbles adorned in her own mini wedding gown or Boots decked out in a handsome bow tie, but have that leash ready.  No cute outfit will be seen if your beloved pet decides to bolt after a neighborhood cat or a tiny field mouse.

5) Use a Lint Roller: Because most pets shed, you will want to make sure that you're not suddenly looking like an animal yourself.  Nothing is worse than a wedding dress covered in Zeke's black fur or a black tux decorated with Fifi's white fuzz.

With these things in mind, say "I Do!" to pets in your photos.

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The Wedding March

"But, Daisy, I want my pet IN the wedding!" you may be thinking. To that I say, "KNOW YOUR PET!"

It takes an incredibly obedient animal to participate in the ceremony.  And just because Rover is well-trained at home, how do you know that he is going to perform well in front of a crowd?

If you have confidence that your pooch would make a great ring bearer or flower girl, then let me share a few bits of wisdom for you:

1) Let the "Master" Do the Handling: Like I said, even the best behaved dog can get crazy around a lot of people, so make sure that the person handling the dog is someone the dog respects and will obey.  AKA: Not the children!  Nothing will ruin a wedding faster than a good dog chase right before the bride makes her grand entrance.

2) Use a Leash.  It can be decked out in pearls and gems, but this probably isn't the day to test your puppies off-leash abilities.  Keep her close and under control.

3) Ask Permission. Always.: Never just assume that your wedding venue is okay with an animal on-location.  Get permission from wedding, reception and photography locations if you plan to have your pet present.

4) Follow the Photography Tips: See the same tips above and apply them to your wedding ceremony.  Like, remove the yellow lab's hair from the groom's tux before he makes his grand entrance at the reception!

Having a wedding coordinator becomes even more essential with pet involvement.  You'll need someone who can keep you moving in the right direction if the pet becomes a distraction.  I love animals, and would be happy to talk through the pros and cons with you.

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So, at the end of the day, it needs to be the decision of the bride and groom whether to included their sweet, furry family members in their day.  If you'd like your pet to be included, but you don't think it's a great idea, then let me suggest a cake topper as an option.  A customized topper can be part of the bridal cake, the groom cake or a separate cake altogether.

Let's talk about how your pet can make your day extra special!

Daisy Pagan | Perfect Settings LCC Voted Lancaster County Magazine’s #1 Event Planner in 2013

200 Locust Street Columbia, PA 17512 717-684-4455 info@perfectsettings.net

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The Alternative Guest Book | Susquehanna Valley Wedding Ideas

record-300×290.jpg If there is one main theme to weddings these days, it's this: PERSONALIZE IT!

The classic weddings and traditions will never go out of style, but more and more brides and grooms are finding unique ways to share their individuality with their guests.  Their "guest books" are no exception.

In lieu of standing in line to put a signature on a line in a book, guests are now eagerly awaiting their turn to contribute their names to fun new twists on "look who came to our wedding!" ideas.  I'm sharing some of those ideas with you today.

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Plinko My Heart

If you've ever watched the game show The Price is Right then you are familiar with the game Plinko!  This concept has a slight resemblance.  Guests sign hearts that are then slid into a frame to plinko down into the next open location.  At the end of the night, the bride and groom have a unique piece of artwork for their new home.

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Get In the Game

Jenga, the tower building game, just got personalized!  Each guest can sign their name and include a message to the happy couple.  It could be marriage advice, a shared memory, a funny anecdote, or a treasured well-wish.  Not only will the couple enjoy reading through the game blocks, they'll also have fun playing the game!

Tip: To avoid lines and waiting to sign the pieces, put a piece at everyone's place at the reception--along with some markers--and have them do this during some down time at the reception.  Either create a location for them to drop off their pieces or just have them leave their game piece at their seat when they depart from the wedding, and your wedding coordinator (that would be me!) can collect them for you!

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Leave Guests Puzzled

Similar to the game, this is a fun idea that will also provide something for the couple to do together later.  Guests sign the backs of puzzle pieces and put them into a jar or box when they are complete.  Later the bride and groom can read through the puzzle pieces as they assemble the picture.  Personalized puzzles can also be ordered--with a photo of the bride and groom or a special location.  Another fun idea?  Brides, let your "Guest Puzzle Attendant" order the personalized puzzle for you, so you and your groom will be surprised at the picture the puzzle makes once it's assembled. content-4.jpeg

Message In a Bottle

Smalls scrolls unroll for guests to write a personal note to the bride and groom.  Tie the note with ribbon to match your special day.  Then, drop the note in a bottle--as if it's about the be set out to sea!  This is a great idea, particularly, for a nautical themed wedding. decoration7270.jpg

Centerpiece It!

I love to help my brides create beautiful centerpieces where guests can hang notes of encouragement or marital advice.  There are many different ideas for how this can be done, but what I like about it is that it can be a budget-reduction idea, for those planning a wedding on tight finances.  The guest book and the centerpieces become one beautiful DIY project that makes your reception feel personal and fun! guestbook-alternative-heart-cut-out.jpg

Hide It In Your Heart

Or is it, "Hide Your Heart, In Your Book"?  How cool is THIS idea?!  Guests can sign heart shaped pages from a classic book the two of you love.  The heart tucks neatly back into the book!  If this is an idea that interests you, it can be created yourself or bought from a vendor on Etsy or other online stores. quilt-table.jpg

Sew In Love

If you, or someone you know, is great at quilting...the guest quilt is a beautiful and creative idea!  Guests can sign quilt pieces with fabric pens and the quilt can be assembled as a gift for the couple to be handed down through the generations.  How awesome would it be for your grandchildren to one day say, "This is the guest quilt from my grandparents wedding?" wedding-guest-book-alternatives-winery-wedding-venue__full.jpg

Put A Cork In It!

This is particular a fun idea for the wine connoisseurs out there!  If you happen to be someone who has saved every wine cork from each special bottle you've enjoyed, it's time to put them to good use.  Guests can sign a cork and add it to a jar or bowl.  Then, after the wedding, you can either display your guest corks in that same jar or bowl OR there are many DYI cork ideas to display your guest corks in really unique ways. wedding-guestbook-tree.jpg

Artfully Done

If you love art, then have your guests sign an original pieces of art that was created for your special day.  I really liked this tree sketch and how guests could sign along the branches, but any artwork would make a special guest book, as long as it is something you like. wedding-reception-guest-book-ideas.jpg

Enveloped In Love

Small card are provided for each guest.  Guests then place their cards in an envelop which has been placed on a board to make a creative art piece!  The bride and groom will have so much fun reading all of their notes. (After the honeymoon, of course!) a0106527e33fb3163f4d214b2877c39c_rwl2.jpeg

Thumb-thing Special

Thumbprint please!  Guests will add their thumbprint to your artwork, along with their name/signature.  If you've ever seen thumbprint art, the thumbprints don't have to be leaves on trees.  They can be ANYTHING!  And, if you love whimsy, buy a thumbprint book and have it at your guest signing table.  Inspire your guests to create their own thumbprint original artwork for you.  Just don't forget to have wipes for their inked up fingers--and a nearby trashcan to throw those wipes away!

So, there you have it!  More than a handful of creative ideas to get your mind thinking outside of the box.  Want to meet and talk about how to make your entire wedding a personalized, enjoyable day for everyone?  I'd love to hear your dreams and determine how we can work together to make them come true.  Contact me for your initial consultation today!

Daisy Pagan | Perfect Settings LCC Voted Lancaster County Magazine’s #1 Event Planner in 2013

200 Locust Street Columbia, PA 17512 717-684-4455 info@perfectsettings.net

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6 Ways to Say "THANKS!" | York & Lancaster Weddings

13-thank-you-in-book-louisa-podlich.jpg If it's one thing we are not at Perfect Settings, it's generic!  So, when a bride and I discuss how to say THANK YOU to everyone who will make her day special, we work together to think creatively about how to communicate gratitude in style!

Here are several ways to say "thank you" to those who need to know you appreciate their support on your wedding day.

1) A Wedding Favor

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Not everyone would tell you that having a favor is a must, but to me--well, let's just say, it's a priority.  It's a simple way for you to give your guests a special THANK YOU gift.   It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but I do have some suggestions about what guests appreciate.  Hands down, the most enjoyed favors are edible. We can work together to find a creative way to give candy, cookies, seasonal treats, teas or coffees.

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One of the hottest new trends?  Mini pies!  How cute and tasty is this thank you gift?

If you are choosing to give a non-edible gift, then it has to have some lasting appeal. It can be something you bought, or something handmade, but think long and hard about whether it is something YOU would want to take home and keep.

Like the idea of homemade or handmade items, but feel less than crafty yourself?  It's okay!  Online shops like ETSY have loads of creative and beautiful handmade items you can purchase for your guests.

2) Leave It At Their Seat

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Leave a note at the seat of each of your guests.  It can be a sincere, handwritten note by you OR, if the thought of 180 notes seem daunting (because, it is!), you can still  leave something whimsical and heartfelt that communicates your gratitude.

3) Send It Later

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After the wedding and the honeymoon are over, it's appropriate--even expected--to send a card to your guests and thank them for attending your special day, and--most times--for their generous gift.  Be creative!  A little advanced planning will do you well.  Have your photographer snap a "thank you" photo, so you can make a custom card.

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Or...take a little shot with your own camera from your honeymoon destination.

I also recommend ordering return address labels or a customized address stamp before your wedding day.  That will make the envelop addressing much easier and you'll be sure your guests have your new address!

4) Give a Special Gift 

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No, you don't have to give every person who attends your wedding something more than just a party favor, but you should give a gift to those who made your wedding day extra special.  For close friends, bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and anyone else who played a particularly significant role in the day, you should consider sending a small token of thanks in addition to a thank you note. Some ideas include: a clutch purse, some luxury soap, personalized jewelry, scarves, wine, gift cards, spa treatments, and more!  (I could designate and entire blog to ideas on gifts--and maybe, just maybe, I will!)

5) Make a Video

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Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important?

6) Pay it Forward

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I love this idea!  Have cards at the table where guests can choose a charity of their choice where you can make a donation in their name as a way of saying THANKS!  It will show your heart of gold, and many charities will send your guest a letter letting them you've made a contribution in their name. If the charity doesn't you should acknowledge the donation somehow, once it is made.

 There are many more creative ideas I can suggest to a bride and groom for saying "Thank You."  It's always best to get to know each other so that we can determine the best, most personal, and affordable option for you!  Feel free to contact me today to start making plans for your big day.  I would love to help you as you step into your future together as Mr. & Mrs.

Daisy Pagan | Perfect Settings LCC Voted Lancaster County Magazine’s #1 Event Planner in 2013

200 Locust Street Columbia, PA 17512 717-684-4455 info@perfectsettings.net

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Everywhere a Sign | Lancaster, York Wedding Ideas

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As I've been planning this blog post, I've been singing the song "Signs, signs--everywhere a sign..." and I cannot get it out of my head.  Maybe you'll be singing along by the end of this post, too.

Do you want to know what is crazy popular right now?  Typography.

People are very drawn to letters, fonts, and writing.   Along with typography come the trend of unique signs. There are so many creative sayings and possibilities for the use of signs on your special day.  Signs are a way to personalize your wedding, reception or event.  Here are some ideas for you to consider as you plan your special day.

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Think about how to creatively use signs in your photographs.  You may want to plan for your photographer to grab a photo of you holding a "thank you" sign, for example, to use as the image on your custom thank you cards to your guests.

Think outside of the box.  The couple above loved board games, so they made scrabble tiles to create a sign for a very special photo.  Signs add whimsy, personality and the ability to communicate a special message--and photography helps make that message last forever!

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What about adding some serious cuteness factor to the way you use a sign at your event?  Kids carrying signs will have your guests literally saying "awww!!!" and even, perhaps, add a giggle before your big entrance down the aisle.  If you've got a well-behaved pooch who will perform well on your big day, put him/her to work!  Fido will be proud to announce the coming bride.

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The reception is a wonderful place to use signs.  Consider putting the menu on a beautiful chalkboard. Signs can also add a lot to food table, too.

It's a special thing to create a sign that shares your love story!  Put that on display at the reception, because people can't get enough a great love story--especially at a wedding.

And, if you have children coming to the wedding and you've made them special bags--how adorable is the "I came for cake!" sign?  (See our recent post on how to make your wedding a kid-friendly event!)

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I, personally, love this!  First, these Italian-style chiavari chairs are both classic and extremely popular right now.  They also happen to the chairs we have at Perfect Settings.  A few months ago, I did a post about dressing up your chairs at your wedding.  It's always a great idea to indicate the special seats of the bride and groom.  Let's get creative about the signs we use!

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You definitely want to consider the fact that typography and signs could be the background for beauty.  Whether they are at the front of your wedding service, a stopping point for great pictures on the way to the reception or behind the bridal party at the reception, signs add interest and personality!

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Creative directional signs are also simple and distinct.  They can be rustic or classic.  They can point to anything from where to find the photo booth and dancing to important things like restrooms!  This is just one more way to bring all of your personal charm into the setting.

So, now do you understand why I've been singing about signs?  But, trust me, you don't want to hire me to sing for you!  What you do want to consider is asking me to help you make your dreams become a reality on your special day.

Contact me and we can plan a time to discuss your wedding or party planning.  Working with a coordinator makes your day much easier, more affordable and less stressful.  And, the fact that you're reading this blog post MIGHT just be a SIGN that we'd make a perfect team!

Daisy Pagan | Perfect Settings LCC Voted Lancaster County Magazine’s #1 Event Planner in 2013

200 Locust Street Columbia, PA 17512 717-684-4455 info@perfectsettings.net

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