Wedding Décor: Decorating With Your Wedding Monogram

Friday, October 28th, 2011 | Filed under: Wedding Décor, wedding ideas, wedding planning | author: By Keith Sly,    

Every bride and groom wishes to personalize their wedding décor, looking at their wedding ceremony site, their wedding reception venue, their wedding gardensand one of the most popular décor ideas right now is decorating with your wedding monogram.

When you entwine your first initials together, or simply use the initial of your new, shared last name, this style of décor carries a great sense of symbolism. Your new, married monogram depicts your partnership, the joining together of your lives.

Here are some of the most inspiring ways that our New Jersey wedding couples are incorporating wedding monograms into so many aspects of their wedding décor:

Ceremony Decor

  • On your wedding programs, with your entwined monogram featured on the front of your wedding programs or as a small, top-of-page accent on each wedding program page.
  • At the start of your aisle runner, with your wedding monogram design silkscreened beautifully onto the fabric.
  • As a part of your unity candle décor (some styles of unity candles feature oval ‘frames’ where photos can be slid in. Use this ‘frame’ to showcase your entwined monogram instead)
  • As part of aisle or pew décor, such as a small silver frame containing your single last-name initial, attached to a pew bow or floral accent piece.

Outdoor Wedding Garden Décor

  • Individual flowers, such as white roses, spell out your last name initial or entwined first initials in a large garden hedge or shrub.
  • Your wedding monogram can be spelled out in staked flowers on the grounds, perhaps by a walkway.

  • Pedestals at the start of the aisle can display floral pieces that showcase your monogram in flowers.

Wedding Room Décor

  • ‘Gobo’ lights can project your wedding monogram beautifully onto the dance floor or onto the reception ballroom walls.

  • Your guest book can feature your beautiful, custom-designed wedding monogram on the cover, and also at the top of each page.

  • Your monogram can be printed at the top or far left portion of your place cards.

  • Your monogram can be printed on each table number sign.

  • Your monogram can be printed at the top of each guest table menu card.

  • Ice sculptures can be designed in your monogram design, set on buffet tables or on food station tables.

  • Place setting plates and chargers can feature your married last initial monogram.

  • Table runners and napkins can be printed or embroidered with your married monogram design.

  • Centerpiece designs can be made using flower petals arranged into your monogram shape at the center of each guest table.

  • Pillar candles used as table centerpieces can feature your wedding monogram.

  • Wedding favor votive candles and favor boxes can be imprinted with your monogram.

Wedding Food Accents

  • Your wedding cake can be piped with your beautiful, intricate married monogram as the ultimate in indulgent wedding décor.
  • Cupcakes on the dessert table can be piped with your last initial on top.
  • Our pastry chef can swirl your wedding monogram in dessert sauce onto each guest’s wedding cake serving plate.

Have a great day!

Laura Madden, Senior Sales Manager, Pleasantdale Chateau

Wedding Videography Don’t List

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding photography, wedding planning, Wedding Videography | author: By Keith Sly,    

Your wedding video is a priceless capturing of your dream wedding day, and you get to help create it. When you alert your wedding videographer to what you do and don’t want on your wedding day footage, you play a big part in the final version.

The top wedding videographers we know from our elite community of New Jersey wedding experts, including award-winning video experts from the entire Northern and Central  Jersey and New York City regions, among others, want to hear from you about the types of footage you love, and what you have no desire for. For instance, you might not want your wedding videography to include interviews of guests at their tables. Some guests are camera-shy and cringe when they see the videographer coming at them. You don’t want your guests to be uncomfortable, so you might add ‘no table interviews’ to the Don’t list you deliver to your videographer well before the wedding day.

Here are some of the top Don’ts that today’s brides and grooms have in mind when it comes to their wedding videography:

  • Too many special effects. Couples say they find it distracting when their ceremony footage keeps transforming from black-and-white to color, so ask your wedding videographer to use special effects minimally.

  • Too much focus on us. A great videographer knows to stick close to the bride and groom in order to capture those wonderful looks between them, interactions with close friends and with the flowergirls and other magical moments. But today’s wedding couples want lots of footage of their family and friends enjoying the celebration.

  • No line dances. Some brides and grooms agree to having line dances at their receptions, sometimes on request from their parents, but they often don’t need that footage shot, nor included in their final wedding video.

  • No table interviews. Again, guests who get surprised by a camera in front of them often don’t express themselves eloquently. It’s not something they want captured for posterity. And wedding couples wish to spare them the awkwardness.

  • No picking out music for us. Brides and grooms prefer to submit a list of songs they’d like used as the soundtrack for their wedding video, not to be surprised when the videographer adds songs they don’t like…or that remind them of previous relationships!

  • No baby photo montages. Some of our New Jersey wedding couples choose instead to display those adorable baby and childhood photos as an entertainment feature at the start of their wedding dinner, not including them on their wedding video.

A large portion of wedding videography cost is due to the time it takes for your video expert to edit your video, especially if you’ve purchased a video package providing you with just an hours’ worth of footage. So your Don’t requests may even save you money by eliminating some editing elements such as special effects. Cost aside, though, the goal is creating the wedding video you want, one you’ll watch again and again in the future.


Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Wedding Photography Don’t List

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 | Filed under: wedding photography, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    

Your wedding photographer wants you to be blissfully happy with your wedding day photos, so the new trend in arranging for wedding photography is one that local NJ photographers have actually requested: they want to know what you don’t want them to capture on your wedding day.

A great wedding photographer will adhere to your photo wish-list, while at the same time making sure that he or she is well-positioned to capture all of the most magical moments of your ceremony and reception. Top professional wedding photographers in the counties of Essex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Hudson and other nearby regions also know that the bride and groom want to enjoy their cocktail party and reception to the fullest, not spend an hour taking endless posed group photos. No reputable photographer wants to make you miss your cocktail hour, so join in the trend of delivering your Wedding Photography Don’t List to your photo pro in advance of your wedding day, letting him or her know which types of shots you don’t want, what not to waste time on. Wedding photographers we’ve known for years here at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange have said they’re greatly relieved to know what the bride and groom are thinking. They appreciate getting a Don’t List. It’s not an encroachment on their expertise.

Here are the top types of photos to add to your own Wedding Photography Don’t List:

Boring Shots

  • Posed lineups of the bridal party, with the ladies on one side and the groomsmen on the other. Today’s wedding couples request a more modern ‘blend’ of interspersed bridesmaids and groomsmen.

  • Posed lineups of the bride and groom with sets of parents. More candid wedding photography shots are often preferred for these priceless shots.

  • The cliché shot of the bridal party jumping up in the air, or running down a hill holding hands. While some wedding couples love these ‘fun group scenes,’ others would rather skip the ‘scripted levity’ photos and just have the photographer capture more natural group interactions, such as everyone dancing or sharing a champagne toast.

  • Posed photos taken at each guest table. They have wedding cameras on their tables, so they can take their own at-table photos.

Uncomfortable Shots

  • Tell your photographer if you wish to skip that cliché shot of the groomsmen holding you sideways, awkwardly, with everyone forcing smiles.

  • If your photographer asks you to pose a photo of the groom dipping you backwards over a pool or pond and that makes you uncomfortable, just request to skip that shot and move onto the next. [A Don’t can be delivered in the moment, not on a pre-submitted Don’t List.]

  • Tell your photographer about any awkward family situations, such as your father bringing his new girlfriend to the wedding, and you not wanting her included in the family photos. You might find it easier to skip the posed family lineups to avoid this situation, and instead just get photos of yourself with your father. Our favorite wedding photographers here at our New Jersey wedding venue are masters at handing tricky family photo situations, so that you don’t have to worry about them.

Your Don’t List can also include instructions on how you’d like your wedding photographer to capture you, such as getting you from your ‘good side,’ or not taking photos of you from the back. They’re your photos from the most important day of your life, and you’ll want every frame, every proof, to make your wedding wishes come true.


Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Top Trends in Save the Date Cards

Friday, October 21st, 2011 | Filed under: Bright Ideas for your wedding, reception planning, wedding ideas, wedding planning | author: By Keith Sly,    

Share the excitement of your upcoming wedding by sending out stylish Save the Date cards to your wedding guests. These colorful wedding stationery Musts have evolved in beautiful design over the past few years, and we have the top new trends in Save the Date style — chosen from national trends as well as from the designs shared with us by our local New Jersey wedding couples from West Orange, Morristown, Short Hills, Princeton, Madison, Chatham and many additional regions:

  1. Save the Date postcards are all the rage, with couples ordering or making their own oversized postcards featuring a photo of the moment when the groom popped the question. Guests love sharing that extra-special moment, and brides and grooms now count this as their #1 graphic for their Save the Date cards.
  1. Borrowing from wedding invitation style, another top trend in Save the Date card design is choosing a single-panel printed card, as a budget-friendly yet stylish and elegant format.
  1. Include your personal wedding website URL at the bottom of the Save the Date card, so that guests can easily find your wedding’s full information, including hotel room block details and where your bridal registries are.
  1. Include your full names. With so many weddings taking place in your circle of friends and family, guests don’t want to have to guess which Sarah and James you are. So last name inclusion is a Must.
  1. Include the wedding location, so that guests know immediately if travel and lodging will be required. It’s enough to simply put ‘West Orange, New Jersey on the Save the Date if your card doesn’t allow room for additional locale information.
  1. Bright colors are In, with our New Jersey wedding couples following the hottest wedding trends of going vibrant as opposed to pastel or all-bridal-white. The top wedding colors for Save the Dates are blue, purple, orange, bright pink and summery coral.
  1. Design stylish borders to give your Save the Date cards the look of a frame. You might choose a single or double border line, or go more graphic with 1/8-inch filled-in, colorful lines surrounding your card.
  1. Add a romantic quote. Check to find the perfect classic romance quote that you both love, and that conveys the sense of your wedding-to-come. We’re seeing more of our Morris County, Essex County, Passaic County and other New Jersey couples adding quotes about gardens and flowers to convey their garden wedding theme.
  1. Use green wedding-friendly card stock such as recycled papers and earth-friendly soy inks to make your invitations, or order your Save the Dates from the top green wedding stationery websites.

10.  Save the Date magnets are still a hot trend, with couples designing brightly-colored magnets that guests will be able to use on their refrigerators because they love the pretty design of it.

Send out your Save the Date cards or magnets as far in advance as possible, ideally more than six months before the wedding, so that guests can make their travel and lodging plans as early as possible, not just saving the date but saving money as well!


Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

The Wonderful Wedding Room: Your Bridal Suite

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Bright Ideas for your wedding, Wedding Décor, wedding planning | author: By Keith Sly,    

When brides and grooms tour a wedding venue, they’re exploring the beauty of the setting, taking in the architectural details of the wedding reception room, the space where their lavish cocktail party will take place, the wedding gardens and outdoor gathering areas. And now, the bride takes a special interest in the beautifully-decorated  bridal suite. This suite, after all, is where she and her bridesmaids will gather to await the start of the ceremony, finish dressing, pose for photos, and even enjoy a private, ladies-only champagne toast and berries before the ceremony begins.

Here at the Ram’s Head Inn, we recently gave our Bridal Suite a designer makeover, creating an elegant setting with full-length mirrors and elegant seating that creates an elegant space where brides take some of their most beautiful wedding portraits. Our New Jersey brides have posted by the mirror, by the windows to glow in the natural light from southern exposures, to show off the beauty and detail of their wedding dresses as they sit majestically on a couch suited to a princess pose we’ll surely see when the royal wedding photos of  Kate Middleton are released.

The bridal suite of your dreams can be decorated with floral arrangements, both elevated and low-set, pillar candles and candelabras, and photo-worthy arrangements of fine champagne and champagne flutes awaiting the bride and bridesmaids.

Another trend enjoyed by brides and grooms is the use of the Bridal Suite for their post-ceremony gathering space, with the elegant room serving as a glamorous indoor setting for some of the wedding couple’s most romantic photos, as well as group portraits and family photos. Before venturing to the wedding reception rooms or the wedding gardens, the bride and groom enjoy valued private moments with their family and friends, including a champagne toast.

One additional trend that the Bridal Suite may play a role in is the bride’s change into her second dress for the reception. Inspired by celebrity brides and royal brides, more of our New Jersey brides create a surprise ‘second look’ for their receptions, changing from a traditional wedding gown into a shorter wedding dress, and we’re also seeing more brides changing into their culture’s traditional wedding dresses in bright colors. Another trend in this ‘second look’ that the Bridal Suite provides the perfect setting for is the bride’s change of hairstyle, going from elegant Up-Do to a more relaxed, curled or straight, flowing hairstyle with a tiara or fresh flowers pinned into place, to make a new impression when they make their public debut at the reception.

The Bridal Suite is a place for celebration and transformation, and is now a high priority for the bride and groom who want their wedding’s most special moments to take place in a setting of great beauty.

All the best,

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

Wedding Menu: Sensational Salad Courses

Sunday, October 16th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding menu, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    

While some wedding couples are planning ‘green weddings,’ a great many of our New Jersey wedding couples are focusing on their wedding menu’s green salads. In one of the freshest wedding catering trends, a new focus lands on the salad course, with couples requesting gourmet mixes of greens, vegetables, nuts and cheeses. The salad course is no longer an afterthought as couples design their menus. Brides and grooms who come to the The Manor are just as interested in creating unique salad courses as they are in designing their cocktail party menus, their sit-down dinners and their dessert hour menus.

The salad course has long been designated as a refreshing ‘palate-cleanser,’ giving guests a delightful plate of fresh, organic salad greens, crisp raw vegetables and vinaigrette after they’ve enjoyed heavier, perhaps creamy or cheese-based appetizers at the cocktail hour. In past years, at many wedding venues, salads were comprised of simple, basic iceberg or Romaine lettuce with a slice of tomato and several cucumber rounds, topped with vinegar and oil, or a classic Caesar salad. Now, the gourmet trend in wedding catering is to choose more adventurous, more unique salad elements, creating layers of more sophisticated flavors.

In short, the salad course has emerged as a new spotlight feature of the wedding menu. Wedding dining will never be the same again.

Here are some of the top trends in creating an ‘inspired salad course’ to create a more elegant dining experience:

  • Add color to your greens. A plate of freshly-picked mesclun greens creates a foundation of light and dark green colors on which your topping elements rest. A tri-color salad of arugula, endive and radicchio blends pale and dark greens with the bright reds of the radicchio for a colorful presentation and both sweet and bitter greens blending in a dish with flavor depth.
  • Add sweetness to your salads. Here at the The Manor in West Orange, one of our most-requested salads is an arugula salad with red onion, mandarin orange and sliced almonds, with the sweetness of the orange adding a burst of flavor in each bite. Sweetness may also come through the dressing, such as a berry vinaigrette, or cubed mango, apple and other sweet fruit toppings.
  • Add crunch to your salads. The top trends in crunchy gourmet salads include croutons, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts, among other nuts.
  • Add unique vegetables to your salads. New Jersey tomatoes are often a Must in a fine garden salad, but the new trends in crunchy garden salad bites include beets, cauliflower, asparagus, and snap peas. Mushrooms have burst upon the salad scene as another top trend in toppings.
  • Add seafood to your salads. A tiny cluster of fresh lobster meat or crab placed on top of a salad is a new secret ingredient to elevate the salad into a gourmet course.
  • Add cheeses to your salads. Guests appreciate the attention to detail when a server offers to shave fresh Romano cheese over their salads, and slices of fresh mozzarella, parmesan or crumbles of feta or goat cheese add the perfect topping and taste to a salad.
  • Get creative with vinaigrettes. Our salad dressings include red wine vinaigrettes, raspberry vinaigrettes, and balsamic vinaigrettes. The trend in salad courses is to lighten up the dressing calorically, skipping heavier, creamy dressings in favor of lighter, fresher, fruity vinaigrettes.

Wedding Cocktail Party Menu: Hand-Passed Hors D’oeuvre Trends

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 | Filed under: Wedding Cocktail Party, wedding ideas, wedding menu | author: By Keith Sly,    

Your wedding makes a fabulous first impression when guests are approached by smiling, white-gloved waiters presenting them with spectacular hors d’oeuvres on silver platters. As sensational as it is to welcome guests in VIP-manner, the true measure of a successful wedding cocktail party is the variety and pleasing gourmet tastes of hand-passed hors d’oeuvres.

Here at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, as well as at our sister wedding venues the The Manor, the Highlawn Pavilion and the  Ram’s Head Inn (the latter located in Galloway, New Jersey), we finesse our cocktail party fare to include the top appetizer menu trends originating from the world’s best regional and cultural fare, organic and imported food trends, and our own chefs’ sophisticated palates and advice on which tastes pair perfectly with others. Any fan of Top Chef knows that dishes need to coordinate, to pair well with one another, to make sense in a presentation. Our New Jersey wedding couples come to us with impressive culinary wishes and experience, and we hear equally from bride and groom about their preferences for their wedding cocktail party hors d’doeuvres list.

Here are the top wedding hors d’oeuvre trends for your wedding’s sensational start:

Hot Hors D’oeuvres

  • Offer five or six hot hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail party, no matter the season.
  • Offer exotic flavors such as Moroccan chopped chicken salad on garlic toast and Thai curry samosas with tamarind dip.
  • Offer unique twists on meat appetizers, such as hangar steak on brioche crouton with a shallot marmalade or an andouille sausage en croute.
  • Offer unique twists on non-meat choices such as fontina cheese, asparagus tips and mushroom Panini.
  • Include gourmet cheese options such as hors d’oeuvres made with Camembert, Fontina, and Brie, since wedding guests adore palate-pleasing bites of tasty cheeses they might not buy for their own meals and parties.
  • Seafood appetizers are a top trend, including wedding classics such as Maryland crab cake, scallop Rockefeller and sautéed shrimp – again, crowd-pleasers to guests who may not prepare gourmet seafoods for themselves.
  • Risotto dishes are also a top trend right now, with lobster risotto requested often by our New Jersey wedding couples.

Cold Hors D’oeuvres

  • Offer tasty cold bites served on ceramic spoons, such as our red snapper ceviche with pink grapefruit and cilantro.
  • Offer creative seafood salad spoonfuls or toast-toppings, such as a crab salad with apple and chive.
  • Tartlets are easy-to-enjoy appetizers, with guests enjoying cheese flavors such as our artichoke, goat cheese and black olive tartlet.
  • Hand rolls and vegetable sushi hors d’oeuvres please guests who enjoy fresh and healthy appetizers, and the trend is for unique twists on hand rolls – such as our smoked salmon and avocado cream cheese hand roll.
  • Gourmet meats such as tuna tartars and beef Carpaccio give guests an upscale raw  appetizer to enjoy (and again calls to the dishes our New Jersey couples see prepared on Top Chef.)

Presentation Points:

  • Pair your hot and cold hors d’oeuvres with gourmet dipping sauces, such as creamy ginger sauce or mango dipping sauce.
  • Make it easy for guests to help themselves to appetizers, offering them on ceramic spoons or with appetizer spears or picks.
  • Choose colorful dishes, such as those topped with bright green herbs or dots of sauces.
  • Have wait staff offer cocktail napkins printed with your married initial monogram as a fine, personal touch to your cocktail party menu presentation.

Bon Appetit!

Chef Robert Albers, Executive Chef, Pleasantdale Chateau

Wedding Ice Sculptures

Friday, October 7th, 2011 | Filed under: Bright Ideas for your wedding, wedding ideas, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    

Like many aspects of wedding décor, ice sculptures have returned to the top trends list after a brief absence, having gotten a style makeover and a big boost in intricacy of patterns and presentation. Here at The The Manor in West Orange, our in-house master ice sculptors – a father and son team who have been part of our family for over 30 years – have created gorgeous ice sculptures for display in our wedding banquet rooms and at our outdoor garden weddings. Our sophisticated, style-savvy New Jersey and New York City brides and grooms consult with our ice sculptors in order to select and co-design beautiful ice sculptures matching their wedding’s themes and colors, to accent their cocktail hours, their reception décor, and even their location entryways to make a fabulous first impression on guests.

This resurgence of stunningly-cut, intricately-detailed and beautifully-lit ice sculptures as seen in our wedding venue makes the couple’s wedding décor stand out with the kind of attention to detail that’s often seen at celebrity weddings and royal weddings.

Here are the top trends in ice sculpture designs for your wedding:

  • Welcome guests to your indoor wedding venue by placing a 5-foot or taller ice sculpture on a gorgeous table set right inside the entrance doors. Surround the ice sculpture with low-set fresh flowers in small glass or crystal bowls or vases to carry the ‘ice’ effect across the entirety of the table.
  • Choose a unique theme and shape for your wedding décor ice sculpture. Our Passaic County, Morris County, Somerset County and other regional wedding couples have recently looked beyond the traditional oversized heart to such wedding symbols as intertwined wedding rings, wedding doves, and wedding swans. With a garden wedding theme in mind, many wedding couples have commissioned ice sculptures in the shapes of butterflies, hummingbirds, floral bouquets, and seasonal and cultural shapes may also be expertly carved and intricately finished in a unique design.
  • Engrave your names, initials or monogram on one, central, focal-point décor piece to personalize your ice sculpture ‘collection’ throughout your reception rooms and wedding gardens, or feature your full names on this one, large ‘centerpiece’ sculpture, while the additional, smaller ones feature just your initials.
  • Lighting effects now make the ice sculpture a true work of art, with ice design artists training décor effects lighting on the ice sculpture from above, and also from within the ice sculpture. White, pastels or bright colors are used like paints on an easel to create the perfect, complimentary effect for an ice sculpture, and wedding décor takes a modern twist when eco-friendly LED light blocks are placed inside smaller ice sculptures.
  • Speaking of smaller ice sculptures, it’s becoming a beautiful wedding décor trend to set small, individual ice sculptures as the centerpieces on each of the wedding room guest tables. Choose an identical style for each table, or select different theme-coordinating designs – such as different flowers or different butterflies – for each table.
  • Set themed ice sculptures on your buffet tables, as décor on food stations, and also behind your cocktail bar. The design of each sculpture is sure to impress in its size and detailing, as well as its sparkling in the room’s lighting.
  • A fun aspect of a cocktail party bar setting is offering a more refined twist on the ‘ice luge’ that you might see in more casual lounges or collegiate nightclubs. In this more upscale presentation, our bar managers pour flavored vodkas or other liquors down an intricate, impressive ice luge and into a stylish serving glass.
  • Also at the bar, our ice sculpture masters can create ice blocks in squares or cylinder shapes, fill them with ice shavings, and place cone-shaped vodka glasses or stemless drink glasses in them for a stylish any-season drinks presentation. Especially when they feature a glowing block of colorful LED light below the ice shaving surface, giving this ice sculpture a magical, gemlike effect.

Thank you,

The Manor

Having Two Maids of Honor

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    

We’re seeing a wonderful trend among our brides and their bridal parties – the brides have named two of their closest friends or sisters as their co-maids of honor. These lucky brides experienced the enviable dilemma of having two fabulous, supportive women close to them, and when it came time to decide which would be their maid of honor, they decided not to choose.

The role of maid of honor is a sizeable one, with many assisting tasks, shopping trips, online searches, and especially planning a bridal shower and perhaps a bachelorette party for the bride. It’s actually quite wise to hand this role to two maids of honor, dividing the time-consuming responsibilities among them. Each spends half the time, tackles half the To-Do list, spends half the money, and the bride experiences the relief of knowing her wedding tasks are in good hands.

If you’re fascinated by the idea of having two maids of honor, here are some of the ways that your closest ladies can divide the tasks associated with the role:

  • By location. A best friend who lives in your hometown can easily accompany you on dress-shopping expeditions, as many of our brides have reported of their own gown searches in Short Hills, Princeton, and other top shopping meccas in New Jersey. The second maid of honor can take on the lion’s share of online research on trends, bouquet designs, cake designs, etiquette answers and more.

  • By personal interest. A sister who loves fashion may be the perfect candidate to lead the bridesmaids in their dress search and selection, and a friend who has a talent and passion for graphic design may create your Save the Date cards, wedding invitations, shower invitations, wedding programs and more.

  • By financial position. A maid of honor who is in a higher tax bracket than the other may volunteer to take on the pricier tasks, such as booking a limousine for the bachelorette party, while the co-maid of honor tackles more time-consuming yet inexpensive tasks such as tracking down shower guests’ current mailing addresses.

Two of the most important roles of the maid of honor are holding the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony and signing the marriage license, so divide these tasks among your two maids of honors so that one gets the bouquet to hold and the other gets the pen to sign with. Both maids of honor can walk in the processional side-by-side to show their equal ranking in the bridal party, and of course you’ll title your unmarried friend or sister a maid of honor while a married friend or sister would be given the title matron of honor, according to age-old wedding etiquette rules. Whatever their title, your two maids of honor — or honor attendants, as you may wish to call them – will be there for you every step of the way, to help you plan, support you emotionally, and wish you well in this new chapter of your life.


Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Wedding Décor: Decorating With Family Photos

Saturday, October 1st, 2011 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding photography, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    

A growing trend in wedding décor is the creative showcasing of the bride’s and groom’s family wedding photographs. It’s long been a tradition, especially among our New Jersey wedding couples, to display framed family wedding portraits at the reception, giving guests the chance to see the bride’s and groom’s parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and siblings in their fabulous wedding day attire, standing before stunning scenery in a wedding garden or aligned on a grand staircase. Especially in wedding portraits from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the details of the bride’s dress and bouquet can be quite breathtaking.

Such a display pays tribute not just to wedding fashion, but to the couple’s relatives and ancestors, including the marriage relationships that served as great inspirations to the bride and groom. Relatives in attendance at the wedding are especially touched to see generations of family honored in this way.

You’re not limited to the traditional arrangement of family photos lined up on a long table by the reception’s entrance, as you’ve likely seen time and time again at other weddings. Today’s fresh take on family photos as wedding décor offers the following display trends:

  • Switch family photos carefully from their original frames into all-matching, coordinated frames such as sleek and simple silver frames or ornate filigree frames for a unified look.
  • Display family wedding photos in colored frames, including pastel pearlized designs or brightly-hued frames.
  • Scan all of your differently-sized family wedding photos and print them onto photo quality card stock in 3”x5” or 4”x6” size. Frame each small photo in a clear plastic frame, and use colorful or black and white ribbon to hang each from a potted, living ‘family tree’ that stands next to your guest book table. After the wedding, the potted tree comes home with you and is planted on your property.
  • Display photo frames at different heights. Place some on table level, and some on glass or decorative ceramic footed pedestals of varying heights, with a collection of colorful votive candles and flower petals interspersed between them.
  • Pair each framed photo with a separate, smaller frame containing your computer-printed notes on who’s in each picture, where and when the photo was taken, and perhaps even a treasured anecdote about that couple.
  • Skip the framed photos and edit a slideshow of family wedding photos that play on a small plasma television set on your guest book table.
  • Replace the ‘all about us’ video montage that opens some wedding receptions with a ‘memory lane’ video presentation featuring wonderful family wedding portraits and other images. Guests will be so impressed that you chose to open your reception with a tribute to the loved ones who came before you, displaying the importance you place on family and your lineage.


Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

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