Requesting Changes at the Wedding Rehearsal

Thursday, April 28th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding planning, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal | author: By Keith Sly,    

Today’s brides and grooms at our West Orange, New Jersey wedding venue are active participants in their wedding rehearsals. They know what they want, and they’re not afraid to speak up about any changes they wish to make in any element of their wedding celebration. So at the wedding rehearsal, you are perfectly within your rights to request changes on anything from the lineup order of your bridesmaids to the speed at which you wish to walk down the aisle.

Wedding Rehearsal

Wedding Rehearsal

Here are the top details that may be up for discussion and change at your wedding rehearsal:

• The order in which you’d like your bridesmaids to walk in the processional and thus stand during the ceremony. Some brides like the look of a tallest-to-shortest order, to avoid any presumption of favoritism or ranking among bridesmaids.

• The order in which you’d like the groomsmen to stand next to the groom, again arranging by height, or by what the groom feels would be a natural order.

• The positioning of your two maids of honor, or your groom’s two best men, according to the roles you’ve assigned them. One maid of honor, for instance, may be the one to hold your bouquet during the ring exchange, while the other may be the one to sign your NJ marriage license.

• The order and pairings in which your bridesmaids and groomsmen will walk in the recessional. When you have an uneven number of bridesmaids, one groomsman may escort two bridesmaids down the aisle, for instance.

• Child attendants’ walk down the aisle in the processional, including if they will each walk alone, in pairs, or holding the hand of a bridesmaid.

• Where child attendants will sit or stand during the ceremony. It often works best for child attendants to sit in the front row during the ceremony, to reduce distractions.

• The reading of vows. If you find that it’s too nerve-wracking to memorize your vows, you may ask the officiant to read them off line-by-line, for you to repeat more comfortably.

• How you will be introduced as husband and wife.

• The location and order of the receiving line, if you wish to have one.

Additional, non-ceremony elements such as where the guest book will be placed and where wedding programs will be located at the wedding ceremony venue.

Some elements cannot be changed if they are already printed in your wedding programs, such as the order of the readings or the musical performance, but much of the wedding ceremony is yours to fine-tune as you wish.

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Edible Wedding Favors

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    

A great many of our New Jersey wedding couples have gone back to the tradition of offering wonderful wedding favors for their guests to take home as they leave our wedding reception venue. (In the past few years, some couples chose to skip the favors as a way to save money, but thoughtful take-home favors are now back on the Must list!) What the couples choose to give as wedding favors has evolved from those tiny photo frames and wine glasses embossed with the bride and groom’s name to a new trend that makes guests much happier – edible gourmet treats.

Your wedding reception lasts several hours, and the wedding cake and desserts may have been served an hour or two before the close of your celebration. So when guests find that their wedding favors are delicious frosted brownies or theme-decorated cupcakes, they very often treat themselves to these treats before they even leave your reception! That’s the mark of a great edible wedding favor. Guests can’t wait to enjoy them.

Here are some of the most popular edible wedding favors that we’ve seen, and made, for our New Jersey wedding couple’s take-home treats:

•Frosted brownies
Frosted cookies, in heart-shapes or cut into wedding theme shapes like a bride’s dress or a wedding dove

• Chocolate-chip cookies

• White macadamia nut cookies

• Gourmet truffles

• Theme-shape chocolates, such as hearts or butterflies

• Pastel sugar-covered Jordan almonds (a traditional, symbolic favorite of our New Jersey wedding couples!)

• Gourmet flavored wedding cupcakes

• Hazelnut cream-filled cookies

• Personalized candies, such as M&Ms sporting the initials or names of the bride and groom

• Wedding color-matched jelly beans

• Chocolate bark

• Fudge squares in a variety of flavors

• Seasonal-matched wedding favor treats, such as maple brownies for a fall wedding

• Baggies of gourmet-flavored popcorn or kettlecorn, the couple’s favorite snack

• And more…

Presentation is key for wedding favors, so package each edible treat in its own ribbon-tied box or cellophane baggie, and affix a thank-you message label right to the package, expressing your gratitude that guests came to share your day with you.

All the best,
Caitlyn Bradley, Director of Private Dining, Ram’s Head Inn

Writing Wedding Vows

Thursday, April 7th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding planning, wedding vows | author: By Keith Sly,    

Your wedding vows are the heart of your wedding, the most important and partnership-solidifying element of your wedding ceremony. Here at our New Jersey wedding venue and at our garden weddings, we’ve heard some beautiful, sentimental wedding vows, and we’ve laughed along with the bride, groom and their guests at that little touch of humor that reflects the couple’s fun-loving partnership.

Great wedding vows capture your promises to one another, and tell all of your guests what you love about one another. Writing your own vows can be a daunting task, so use our top tips here to guide you:

1. Decide if you’ll write one set of wedding vows that you’ll both repeat to one another, or if you’ll each write your own vows privately, ‘surprising’ one another with your heartfelt words during the ceremony.

2. Take some time together to discuss what the core values of your relationship are — honesty, support, patience, kindness, loyalty, friendship – and use those keywords to create your promises to one another, as in “I promise to spend every day supporting your wishes, goals and dreams.”

3. Use your own voice in your wedding vows. How do you speak? Are you naturally humorous? If so, then add some of your personality to your vows. It’s not you if the words you choose sound like someone else wrote them, or are too formal, or too serious.

4. Is there a quote, scripture, poem or psalm that has always been central to your relationship? If so, build your vows around that theme and grow it from there.

5. See the future. Your relationship will take you places you cannot even imagine, and the point of professing wedding vows to one another is to face the future together, whatever it might bring. Your vows are promises to be faithful and to enrich each other’s lives not just now, but always.

6. Build from traditional wedding vow wording. If you love the traditional ‘love, honor and cherish’ vows, by all means include them. Many of our New Jersey brides and grooms start their vows with the traditional vows script, then add their own personalized ‘second half’ with their additional promises or a touch of humor.

7. Write a first draft, not censoring yourself. Just write and write, not worrying about length, and then you can edit your script down from there, keeping the ‘gold’ of your vow wording and cutting away what’s excess.

8. Read your vows out loud as you go. That’s the only way to tell if your vow wording sounds natural in your own voice.

9. Don’t be afraid of tears. Heartfelt, sentimental promises, plus the deep love you feel for your partner, are sure to get you misty-eyed, and that’s a very special part of a wedding ceremony. So don’t put pressure on yourself not to cry.

10. Write out your vows. You don’t have to memorize them. Print them out in full on an index card, and your officiant can lead you through them, or you can read them right off the page as so many other brides and grooms have done to get their wedding vows just right.

If there’s something you wish to express that’s not a natural fit for your wedding vows, include that private sentiment in a letter or card you send to your partner on the morning of the wedding.

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

To make an appointment with a banquet manager, please contact us at 973-731-3100.