Branch out from Pinterest for Wedding Inspiration

Pinterest is a great resource for wedding and event inspiration, but it can be difficult to find new creative ideas.  As an alternative, blogs are the perfect place to find original content.  Here is a list of our ten favorite wedding inspiration blogs along with their description of what they do and how they do it.

Green Wedding Shoes

“At Green Wedding Shoes, we are truly. madly. deeply. head over heels in love with love. We love sharing weddings with our readers and believe that there is no “right” way to throw a wedding. Whether you’re dreaming of an intimate wedding on a farm, a weekend camping adventure or a handmade wedding in a loft, we love them all! I love showing couples how their wedding can be all about them and that it’s ok to break traditions to make the day their own. Since beginning GWS, our mission has been to help couples personalize their wedding day and make it truly about the two of them as a couple, because that is what the day is about, right?! We love great photography – because it’s the one thing you have to remember after the event! And we have lots of great artists to recommend in our GWS Wedding Artist Guide to help create a GWS wedding. Our site started with us sharing amazing weddings and has now grown to also sharing entertaining, lifestyle, DIY and fashion + beauty features – so there is really something for everyone!”

Style Me Pretty

“Your go-to destination for all things pretty, Style Me Pretty has been inspiring brides- and grooms-to-be with everything they need to plan the wedding of their dreams since 2007. From the best vendors around the world and the most beautiful real weddings to wedding planning tips and tricks and the latest trends fresh from the runway, Style Me Pretty is here to be every bride’s virtual maid of honor and wedding planning BFF.

And, after the “I do,” Style Me Pretty Living is here with the inspiration and tools every couple needs to entertain in style, DIY like a pro and create the chicest house on the block.”

100 Layer Cake

“100 layer cake is a creative collaboration between friends and fellow designers Jillian, Amanda, and Kristina. 3 women, 2 weddings, years working as designers (not to mention thousands of combined hours poring over wedding and wedding-related blogs), and many extremely excited conversations later, 100 Layer Cake came to be.

We are a unique wedding planning resource for and by thoughtful, crafty, modern women. Our vendors, projects, and weddings are hand-picked, and thoroughly researched with the hope that every single one is a truly unique addition to both your wedding and your planning process. But being discerning certainly doesn’t have to mean expensive or exclusive. Our vendors have been carefully selected for their stellar reputation, exemplary service and impeccable aesthetic. We hope that you can find a perfect mix of vendors, projects, and inspiration to layer your wedding in just the right way.”

Wedding Chicks

“Wedding Chicks are all about sharing wedding inspiration, bridal fashion, DIY tips to inspire and inform couples before their special day. We also have Free Printables, one super cute shop. Happy Wedding!”

Ruffled

“Ruffled started in August 2008 as a space I could share vintage-inspired and handmade idea for weddings. Back then – which seems like ages ago – there was little or no resource on the style. Today the blog grew into one of the biggest resources for engaged couples seeking inspiration for their weddings, blending their unique personal styles into one heck of a gorgeous fete that go beyond the nostalgic love for vintage tidbits.”

Once Wed

“At Once Wed, we delight in simplicity with a twist of modern innovation, infusing beautiful design with meaning and emotion. Our clean, organic images and compelling content is meant to inspire you to tell your own love story,to dream beyond trend and tradition, and to create a day that feels deeply symbolic of the love you share together.

Through this timeless online experience, we hope to enkindle a conversation: one that sparks artistically innovative, authentic ideas, and encourages you to shape aesthetics around the significance of your union.”

Inspired by This

“Everyday we are inspired by beautiful weddings, aspiring entrepreneurs, exquisite homes, working moms, and more. We desire to bring that inspiration to you through our site! From the things we shop, to the cocktails we create, to the babies we are bringing up, Inspired By This is a lifestyle site dedicated to delivering beautiful content to readers at every stage of life. Whether you’re embarking on marriage, career, motherhood, a trip around the world, or a home remodel, our site is tailored to you!”

Junebug Weddings

“As one of the world’s most popular online wedding planning resources, Junebug Weddings is well-known for editorial excellence, showcasing phenomenal photography, and providing the most trusted list of recommended wedding professionals found anywhere in the world. Dedicated to helping couples plan the wedding they’ve always dreamed of, we encourage our readers to find and celebrate their own personal wedding style. On top of all of these great things, we are a group of fun, outgoing, artistic, and passionate individuals striving to make Junebug better with each day that passes. “

The Perfect Palette

“Since its launch 8 years ago in 2009, The Perfect Palette has been the go-to color resource for couples who dream of a unique, creative, and meaningful wedding day. By featuring only the most thoughtfully curated content, and by bringing heartfelt advice and creativity to every post, The Perfect Palette is a place where couples can find ideas and advice for planning their dream wedding.  At it’s heart, The Perfect Palette is a blog dedicated to exploring the color palette possibilities for weddings and parties. From styled shoots, to color tips, The Perfect Palette is all about sharing creative and colorful styling ideas.”

“A self confessed wedding junkie since the age of 13, Maggie loves the romance and beauty of weddings. Passionate about the rustic style and eager to share her discoveries and ideas while planning her lakeside wedding at her family’s summer cabin in Northern Wisconsin she started blogging. With millions of monthly readers Rustic Wedding Chic has become the number one online resource for rustic & country weddings.”

Kentucky Proud Events

How to host a Kentucky proud event
How to host a Kentucky proud event, Photo by Daring Tales Darling Bones

In honor of the upcoming Kentucky Derby festivities, we’re celebrating everything Kentucky proud on the blog today.  We are so luck to live in a state with great people and rich traditions.  I believe every event, year-round, should have a healthy dose of Kentucky culture.

The Food

Benedictine Tea Sandwiches
Benedictine Tea Sandwiches

When you think of Kentucky cuisine think southern soul recipes meets farm fresh

ingredients.  A stereotypical event in the Bluegrass state should start with beer cheese, pimento cheese and/or benedictine spread.  Other signature menu items include the Kentucky hot brown, fried chicken, country ham & biscuit, green beans and cheesy grits.

To do these menu items justice, you will want locally produced ingredients.  Use the Kentucky Proud Producer website to find all the produce and products you need.  Many Kentucky caterers are willing to find local providers if you’re going with a caterer for your event.

Don’t forget the sweet treats.  You can never go wrong by serving Derby Pie, but Kentucky has so many tasty options when it comes to locally produced candies and chocolates too.  Some of my favorites are Ruth Hunt Candies, Old Kentucky ChocolatesMom Blakeman’s Candy and Sharp’s Candies of Kentucky.  For your event, you could give a combination of your favorites as a party favor or do a candy bar where guests can try what all sorts of yummies.

This Kentucky Candy Bar was done by Sassy Spoon Catering for a Warrenwood Wedding.
This Kentucky Candy Bar was done by Sassy Spoon Catering for a Warrenwood Wedding.

The Bar

Kentucky is blessed to be home to the rich tradition and thriving market of bourbon distilling.  As a result there are countless distilleries in Kentucky that

Bourbon Tasting Bar
Bourbon Tasting Bar via the Celebrating at Home Blog

make the best bourbon money can buy.  Therefore, a Kentucky proud event would be incomplete without a bar stock with the likes of Maker’s Mark, Four Roses Bourbon, Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Woodford Reserve Distillery, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Bulleit, Michter’s, Booker’s, Knob Creek, and Blanton’s. 

Mint juleps are a staple when it comes to Kentucky mixed drinks but, you could also include the lesser known Oaks Lily or Mint Julep Sweet Tea.

If you are more of a beer connoisseur, Kentucky has a budding craft beer industry lead by West Sixth Brewing, Country Boy Brewing, Against the Grain Brewery, Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. and Falls City Beer.  To figure out what beers you want to have at your event head over to The Casual Pint in downtown Lexington to taste all the best Kentucky options.

The Decor

Bourbon isn’t just for the bar.  You can use bourbon barrels in place of cocktail tables or for your cake table.  You could even collect bourbon bottles to use as centerpieces.  There are also a million (that is only a slight exaggeration) other re-purposed barrel products that can be purchased or made for your event.

Buy local blooms. Three Toads Farm, Black Rooster Farm, Meadowview Flowers, Bellaire Blooms, and Falling Springs Flower Farm grow high quality flowers here in the Bluegrass.  Take the Kentucky vibes up one more notch by arranging your local blooms in a vintage trophy cup, stoneware crock, mason jar or mint julep cup.

Blooms from Black Rooster Farm in Ball/Mason Jar
Blooms from Black Rooster Farm in a Ball/Mason Jar
Farm Fresh Flowers by Three Toads Farm
Three Toads Farm flowers in a vintage trophy cup arrangement
Meadowview Flowers at Warrenwood Barn Ceremony
Meadowview Flowers in a vintage crock on a bourbon barrel

 

 

 

 

 

Include equestrian inspired details.  Think stirrups, bits, horseshoes, vintage competition ribbons and leather accents.  Use these items to create character, not clutter.  You don’t want to over do it so be creative in how you use these accents to make a statement.

Stirrup Candle Holders from Horse & Hound
Stirrup Candle Holders from Horse & Hound
Equestian Inspired Styled Shoot by Rustic Wedding Chic
Equestrian Inspired Styled Shoot by Rustic Wedding Chic

Embrace all things vintage.  Find and use old books, vases, platters, china and anything else tastefully vintage you can find.  These items add interest, character and charm to the look of your Kentucky proud event. With such a rich and diverse history, there are so many

Keep it natural.  Kentucky is naturally beautiful, so let it speak for itself at your event.  Choose a natural color palette, embrace elements from your surroundings and host your event outside if the weather permits.

The Music

A Kentucky event would be incomplete without the sound of a banjo, fiddle, washboard and the like playing some traditional bluegrass songs.  Get back to the roots of what makes Kentucky, Kentucky with a live Bluegrass band or a DJ who knows their way around the classics.  Your playlist should include musical legends like John Prine, Bill Monroe and Loretta Lynn as well as current Kentucky artists such as Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton.  You could also add these 13 songs about Kentucky to your playlist.

Have fun hosting your quintessential Kentucky event!  Comment below if you have suggestions to add.

Recap of Our Spring Open House

When you try something new you just never know exactly how things are going to turn out.  So on April 8th, we had no idea what to expect when we hosted our very first open house.  Would people come?  Would vendors be interested?  Would we get support from the Danville community?  Luckily, the answer to all these questions was yes!  We had over 200 guests tour the Warrenwood Manor grounds during the event and we couldn’t be more thankful to everyone! The weather was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t have ask for more support, love and encouragement from everyone who attended!

  • Couples who are already booked at Warrenwood used the open house as an opportunity to meet wedding professionals and discuss the floor plan and logistics for their event.
  • Couples interested in having their wedding at Warrenwood toured the property and got more information about what Warrenwood has to offer.
  • Wedding professionals were able to see what’s new at Warrenwood and mingle with potential clients.
  • The general public was delighted to see what has become of this treasured local landmark.  It was amazing to hear stories of how different people in the community have a connection to the history of Warrenwood and it’s former owners.

We couldn’t have done this event without our event sponsors.  We all worked together to make Warrenwood look amazing and provide an experience that every guest could find something of interest.

Stems LLC provided 16 beautiful floral arrangements to dress up the venue.  The large urn arrangement she did for the entry hall was just stunning.

Bryant’s Rent-All showcased four different table settings of varying styles and color palettes along with several linen and furniture rental options.

Chaplin River Catering, Dupree Catering + Events and Southern Plate Catering gave guests a sampling of what they do best.  There was a fruit tray, veggie tray, cheese platter, finger sandwiches and mini hot browns just to name a few of the options.

Sweets by Cindy brought a tasty three-tier ivory naked cake along with mini cupcakes of three flavors.  My favorite mini cupcake was Death by Chocolate, but the Butterscotch Bacon flavor was a hit too.

Keith & Melissa Photography were on-site during the event to capture all the details of the event. We have them to thank for all of these beautiful pictures! If you haven’t liked their page on Facebook or followed them on Instagram get on over there and do it!

If you weren’t able to make it to our event, here are some photos to give you a taste for what the day was like.  Enjoy!

Spring at Warrenwood Manor, a central Kentucky wedding venue
Sponsors for Warrenwood Manor Open House
Entry Hall at Warrenwood Manor with large floral arrangement
Tulip, ranuculus and hydrangea centerpieces with rose gold vases by Stems, LLC
Small arrangement by Stems LLC for cocktail table
Ivory, gold and blush table setting in Warrenwood Manor by Stems LLC and Bryant's Rent All
Gold and silver place setting
Cheese platter by Chaplin River Catering
Fruit platter at Open House by Chaplin River Catering
Warrenwood Manor Dining Room
Dessert platter at Warrenwood Manor Open House
Finger sandwiches at Warrenwood Manor Open House
Sample ceremony setup at Warrenwood Manor Open House with benches
Warrenwood Manor Barn
Appetizers on pallet bar in Warrenwood Manor barn
Cheese platter by Dupree Catering
Mini Hot Browns made by Southern Plate Catering
Cheese Platter by Dupree Catering
Mint, Purple & Gold Garden Inspired Table Setting
Mint, Purple & Gold Garden Inspired Table Setting
Mint, Purple & Gold Garden Inspired Table Setting
Orange Floral Arrangement
Copper Table Setting from Bryant's Rent-All and Stems LLC
Vineyard table and chairs with copper accents
Vineyard table and chairs with copper accents in Warrenwood Manor Barn
Pink and Ivory tablesetting at Warrenwood Manor Open House by Bryant's Rent-All and Stems LLC
Pink and Ivory tablesetting with Hydrangea and Rose centerpiece
Pink and Ivory tablesetting with Ivory plates and silver utensils
Open House Idea: Print photo books to showcase photos for events in wach space of the venue
Three-tier ivory naked cake with pink roses by Sweets by Cindy
Cupcakes by Sweets by Cindy
Cupcakes by Sweets by Cindy
Cupcakes by Sweets by Cindy

 

Wedding & Event Styling 102: 10 Event Styling Tips & Tricks

10 Event Styling Tips
10 Event Styling Tips
10 Event Styling Tips
Pink, Coral and Ivory Bridesmaids' Bouquets
Let Love Grow Tree Favors

As we discussed in our last blog post Wedding & Event Styling 101: The Basics, event styling is the artistic process of mixing shapes, colors, and textures to create a custom and cohesive event look.  Once you’ve mastered the basics, these 10 event styling tips and tricks will keep you sane as you plan the rest of your wedding or event.

#1:  Be Yourself!

Think about what will make your event special, different and personal.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with any of your event design decisions, but you do want to have an event that you are proud of, represents you well and makes you happy!  Is it bad that I love it when a bride walks in for a sneak peek of the reception we’ve styled on her behalf and cries because she loves it so much? Because I’m going to be honest, I love that reaction!

#2: Manage your expectations.

Pinterest, blogs and magazines showcase so many jaw-droppingly stunning events, but you have to be realistic about what works with your venue on your budget.  Yes, Kim Kardashian’s floral ceremony backdrop was gorgeous, but it’s really not worth a down payment on a house to have one at your wedding.  And yes, it is really cool to have your cake table suspended from the ceiling (love that idea!), but who will do all that work?

#3:  Timeless is better than trendy.

It is easy to get sucked into the trends of the year.  Everyone has something to say about what is so in or so out now.  Since trends change all the time, don’t ignore timeless style options.  You want to be able to look at your wedding pictures twenty years from now and feel good about the style decisions you made.  If you do choose to embrace something trendy, moderation is key.

#4:  Keep it simple.

Your wedding day isn’t about the flowers, linens or table runners.  It isn’t about a curated guestbook table or an elaborate food display either.  Focus on what really matters to you and forget the rest.  Sure, Pinterest DIY projects seem easy, but the time, cost and planning add up to a stressful to do list.  Keep all the “STUFF” to a minimum so you, your family and your friends can enjoy a stress-free celebration. Or, if those things are super important to you, make sure your budget allows for you to hire helpers.

#5:  It’s not ALL about you.

Your groom may or may not be interested in the planning of your wedding day, but nonetheless don’t forget to consider him in the event design.  Try to do at least one thing that he’ll get excited about.  For example, we had four types of locally-made beef jerky at my informal, afternoon wedding reception because I knew my husband would love it!  Also, don’t forget to consider what your friends and family would love too.

#6:  Trust your vendors.

If you have carefully selected your vendors, they are probably really good at what they do.  Trust them to handle the little details so you don’t have to deal with it.  You have more important things to worry about than providing plates for the appetizers or grabbing lighters for the sparkler send off.  Let the professionals handle it.  Your vendors can also be great resources to help you make the best design decisions for your budget and style.  Be sure to get them all the information they need to do their job.

#7:  Use what you have, borrow what you can and rent the rest.

Don’t feel like you have to rush out and buy a ton of stuff for your wedding.  Most likely you have things around your home that can be used for your wedding.  For example, I used platters I had gotten at a bridal shower to display my reception food.  Since I had registered for these platters they were items I really liked and I saved money by not needing to rent platters.   I also borrowed and rented vases for my centerpieces.  Renting items oftentimes allows you to have nicer items than you could afford to purchase.  If you have to buy an item for your wedding, consider buying a used, refurbished or up-cycled option.

#8:  Spend your money where it counts.

Prioritize spending on areas or items with the greatest impact on the look of your event or the experience of your guests.  You don’t need to decorate every inch of the venue.  Determine your event focal points by thinking about what will be photographed and what will be seen the most.

#9:  Variety is the spice of life!

Things don’t have to be identical to go together.  You can create a more interesting look by combining items with individual character.  For example, it is fine to have all matching centerpieces, but for more visual interest you could mix bud vases, boxed floral arrangements and layered candles for a more complex vibe.

#10:  Stay organized to stay sane.

Keep track of who will be doing what and when.  Don’t underestimate the value of timelines, to-do lists, labels, floor plans, sketches and inspirational images.

I hope these tips come in handy!  I don’t even pretend to know it all, so comment below with other wedding and event styling tips or just tell me about your event styling experience.  I love hearing from you!

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Wedding and Event Styling 101: The Basics

Wedding and Event Styling 101
Check out these basic tips for styling your next event!
Barn Wedding Ceremony at Warrenwood Manor with a Navy, Pale Pink and Ivory Color Palette
Barn Wedding Ceremony at Warrenwood Manor with a Navy, Pale Pink and Ivory Color Palette
Photo by: Kevin and Anna Photography
www.kevinandannaweddings.com
Couple exiting ceremony down aisle lined with stumps and purple florals
Rustic Elegance: Couple exiting ceremony down aisle lined with stumps and purple florals

Event styling is the artistic process of mixing shapes, colors, and textures to create a custom and cohesive event look.  It’s linens, florals, decor, and dinnerware.  It’s table placing, table settings, sign hanging, bow tieing, candle lighting and so much more.  Anyone can style an event, but it takes time and planning as well as a vision.  It is important to remember that your event should be a reflection of who you are and what you care about.  It’s really not as complicated as it sounds, so we’ve compiled some event styling tips to help you throughout the planning process.

Getting Started

Start by making a list of three or four words that describe the vibe or feel you want your wedding day to have.  For example, my husband and I wanted a relaxed event filled with rustic charm and southern elegance.  These terms make it easier to stay on target.  With every decision you make ask yourself, “Does this fit the vibe I want?”

Sometimes the words we use to describe what we think we want aren’t actually what we want or aren’t nuanced enough for other people to understand what we want.  To avoid misunderstandings try finding three or four inspirational images for each aspect of your event (ceremony, reception, cake, flowers, etc.). Describe what you do and don’t like about each image.

As an example, here are the inspirational words and images I used to pull together the floral design for my wedding.  My inspiration words/phrase was, “Relaxed southern elegance with a hint of the farm!”

Event Styling: Rustic Elegent Floral Design Inspiration
Inspirational images for my wedding’s southern elegant floral design
Event Styling: Shades of Purple Rustic Elegant Floral Design Barn Wedding
The floral design for my wedding by Doug Smith Designs + Events.

For more images from my wedding check out one of our very first blog posts, Wedding #1: Our Wedding.

Venue Selection & Season

Next, decide on your venue and event date.  Consider your venue and event date at the same time since venue availability is often limited and weather restrictions may apply.  If you are dead-set on a certain venue you may need to be flexible on the date/season and if you are dead-set on a date/season you may need to be flexible with your venue selection.  Every venue has characteristics that lend themselves best to a certain range of styles.  For example, Warrenwood Manor is best suited for events styled with rustic, southern, vintage and/or traditional elements as opposed to modern, industrial or coastal styling.  So, choose a venue that fits with your inspiration images and words.  The further a venue is from your desired style, the more money and time you will have to spend to make it something that it isn’t.  Additionally, the date of your event will determine whether or not events can be held outdoors which in turn can narrow your options for certain style elements.  For example, you would want to host a earthy woodland style event outdoors, but a modern, fine-arts style event would be okay indoors anytime of year.

Your event color palette is the final foundational element of your event design.  The season and venue you choose can help guide this decision.  Pastels for spring and jewel tones for fall aren’t steadfast rules, but they are common choices since they compliment seasonal surrounds and are readily available for floral design.  When selecting the colors for your event you should also consider what will look good in your venue, what looks good on camera, what looks good on people, what makes food look appetizing and what will make your centerpieces pop.  Once you have a color palette, you’ve laid the foundation for your event design.  Below you’ll find some great examples of weddings that were styled based on the season and be on the lookout for our next blog post: Wedding & Event Styling 102!

Event Styling: Real Wedding Examples of Seasonal Color Palettes

Event Styling: Spring barn wedding in ivory, blush and lavender. Photographed by Honey Heart Photography
Spring wedding photographed by Honey Heart Photography
Event Styling: Spring barn wedding with pink accents and greenery. Photographed by Kevin & Anna Photography
Spring wedding photographed by Kevin & Anna Photography

 

Event Styling: Summer barn wedding with cobalt blue, orange and pink accents. Photographed by Jessica Moore Photography
Summer wedding photographed by Jessica Moore Photography
Event Styling: Summer barn wedding with wild flowers and rustic details. Photographed by Cassie Lopez Photography
Summer wedding photographed by Cassie Lopez Photography
Event Styling: Fall outdoor wedding ceremony and barn reception in merlot, blush and gold. Photographed by Hilly Photography
Fall wedding photographed by Hilly Photography
Event Styling: Fall barn wedding ceremony with merlot, pink and white details. Photographed by Daring Tales of Darling Bones
Fall wedding photographed by Daring Tales of Darling Bones

For more event styling tips and tricks check out our follow up blog post “Wedding and Event Styling 102: 10 Event Styling Tips & Tricks”.

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Outdoor Wedding: Planning is Key to Success

Outdoor Wedding Planning Tips

The first time I wrote about outdoor weddings the article was in the inaugural issue of Bridal Bliss Magazine. I’ve spoken on the same topic once before for couples at Simply Love Studio and will do so again this week. I’m sure there are many wedding planners and wedding venue owners that have more experience in the outdoor wedding department, but let’s be honest, I’m very familiar with outdoor weddings and can offer some pretty good advice if I do say so myself.

Chances are you’ve spent a bit of time on Pinterest, daydreaming about your big day. While Pinterest is a wonderful hub of ideas, it can create a false sense of security after looking at all the beautiful images of outdoor ceremonies and receptions. On Pinterest, and even within this blog, you’ll see beautiful images of outdoor weddings, but what you don’t see is what you need to plan for. And as a public service, I’m writing this to help anyone who may be planning an outdoor wedding, not just those who are having their wedding at Warrenwood Manor.

Consider starting the process by hiring a wedding planner or working with a complimentary planning service like Simply Love Studio. Next, find your venue. Some venues offer complete planning services and day of coordination, while others just turn the keys over. Be sure to determine what’s included with your rental package and what services you can add. Along those same lines, think about these four biggies as you select your venue:

Season

Your number one concern when planning an outdoor event should be the weather. Not your heels sinking in the grass, not your hair, not your whatever, I’m telling you, it’s the weather. Outdoor wedding season in Kentucky is considered to be April through October, mainly due to weather concerns. Confirm a venue specific inclement weather plan BEFORE booking the venue. Some venues offer free backup options, but you’ll need to make sure it accommodates your guest count. If you plan on reserving a tent, do so very early in the planning process and check with the venue concerning tent restrictions and fees. While planning for rain, be sure to consider the extreme summer heat too. For those outdoor, summer weddings in Kentucky try to set up in the shade, rent fans and make sure there’s plenty of water for everyone before, during and after the event.

Location

Not just a real estate adage, “location, location, location,” has wedding planning implications as well. While some venues offer breathtaking scenery, it’s important to consider the logistics of getting yourself, your vendors and your guests safely to and from the venue of your choice. Consider venues that will be easy for your guests to find. Or, maybe budget for shuttles so that your guests don’t have to worry about finding your venue down an unfamiliar, curvy road. Consider the venue’s proximity to local amenities and accommodations. I can’t think of a single wedding that didn’t require a quick trip to Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart.  Thankfully, Warrenwood is within three miles of multiple hotels, Hobby Lobby AND Wal-Mart…what more could a bride possibly need? Oh, Liquor Barn, yes, it’s within three miles as well.

Accessibility and Comfort

While your big day is all about you and what you want, it’s still the right thing to do to consider your guests and their needs on your wedding day. There are countless stunning backdrops for pictures in Kentucky, but sometimes those places really lack when it comes to the logistics necessary for a successful event. We’ve talked about how you want to accommodate your guests in inclement weather, but it’s also important to think about boring things like electric, running water, restrooms, lighting, handicap accessibility and the list goes on and on! Don’t get discouraged though. Almost all obstacles associated with barn and outdoor venues can be easily overcome, but please remember that doing so may come at a price.

Seating for outdoor weddings is something that you should take into consideration because certain chairs work better in grass than others. You’ll want to select chairs that down have thin legs so that they don’t sink in the grass. Oh and speaking of grass, we spray for mosquitos every 22 days at Warrenwood. I’ve never seen a good lookin’ bug bite!

Over 43% of U.S. couples have an outdoor wedding ceremony! That’s a lot of outdoor weddings! Special request for you outdoor wedding planning people: please make sure guests can actually hear what’s being said at your ceremony! Talk with your DJ about how to best amplify the ceremony. I recommend that at the very least the officiant has a mic. And here’s another little tip for you. Talk to your DJ and officiant about trying to add a mic either in the binder or iPad the officiant is holding in order to pick up on your voices.

Parking

Parking…sounds so simple, right? Unfortunately, there are many things to consider when it comes to parking for your outdoor wedding! Ample parking is not uncommon with primarily outdoor venues (farm and barn venues in particular). But, what if it rains for two days straight before your wedding and your parking was planned for a field that’s now better suited as a mud-wrestling pit? What about lighting for people to be able to find their vehicles after the reception? Is there enough parking based on your guest count? Is there parking within close proximity of the event or do you need to consider shuttles? Oh and don’t forget about all those fun people who were hanging out at your open bar all night. How will they get home?  Are they allowed to leave their vehicle overnight? So many questions! Warrenwood Manor provides a gravel parking lot that is lit up like the sun for you, your guests and vendors. We also encourage people to leave vehicles overnight if necessary. It’s my understanding that not all venues operate this way so just be sure to ask and plan accordingly.

Now, calm down, I’m here to tell you that everything is going to be just fine. Do not stress. Instead, plan.

Tips for your outdoor wedding

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Host an Eco-Friendly Wedding

All of us know that to be eco-friendly we must reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible…I mean we all learned this in like the 1st grade, right?  But, what does that mean for your wedding or event?  In this post we’ll share some ideas on how to throw an eco-friendly event.  Even a few little changes to the standard can make a big impact.

Eco-Friendly Decor

  • Use what you have or have access to via friends/family, rent what you can and as a last resort Barn wedding with eco-friendly option of reused decorbuy or repurpose used/recycled decor.
  • If you have to buy something for your event that you will not use afterward, sell it somehow or give it to whomever you know that is have a wedding soon.  Remember that what you buy doesn’t have to be brand new! Check out these options for buying and selling:
    • Tradsey: Up to 90% off wedding decor and last I checked they had over 9,000 items listed!
    • Ruffled:  Has a section called Recycle Your Wedding where you can buy, sell or post a picture of what you’re looking for.
    • Wedding Bee Classifieds:  Decor, dresses, shoes, you name it, someone is selling it here.
    • 100 Layer Cake Marketplace:  You may need to sift through some spam posts, but tons of great stuff here!
  • Minimize the number of tables that need to be decorated by using larger tables or seating without tables…picnics are always fun!Eco-Friendly Picnic Wedding at Warrenwood Manor
  • Use live plants and natural components for decor.  Don’t worry you black thumbs out there, you can rent live plants. Succulents are a great option even in bouquets because they can be planted after the event.
  • If you are going to have cut flowers, use in-season local flowers arranged by a local florist.
  • Consider donating your flowers after your event.  After our wedding we gave our centerpieces and aisle flowers to the local senior center.  Be sure to call ahead to make arrangements.
  • Favors should be reusable instead of one-time-use items. Confetti Daydreams sharEco-friendly Succulent Centerpiecees some creative suggestions.
  • Don’t forget eco-friendly confetti if you are doing a send-off. The Bridal Guide lists five biodegradable options.  And please, for the love of all things cute, not so cute, furry and not so furry roaming about in the outdoors, do not release balloons or Chinese lanterns…this is littering people.  {Stepping off soapbox now.}

Eco-Friendly Apparel and Accessories

  • The Outfits:
    • The Ladies: Wear used dresses or rent dresses and wear shoes you already have.  You can also sell your dresses after the event if you are unlikely to wear it again.
    • The Men: Have the men wear something they already have, will wear again or can rent.
  • The Rings: As Ruffled suggests, “Select environmentally conscious metals. Ask your jeweler about rings made of recycled metals. OR — collect jewelry from family and have it melted down and crafted into your own personal ring design.”
  • Bouquets and Boutonnieres:  If you choose to have real flowers, keep the bouquets and boutonnieres small and made from local flowers.

Eco-Friendly Food

  • Serve a local, in-season menu cooked by a local caterer in order to reduce fossil fuel emissions and support your local farmers. {Insert shameless plug here}
  • Be conservative with the number of guests so that you don’t have a lot of leftover food.
  • Have to-go boxes for guests so food isn’t wasted, especially the cake! But, if there are leftovers you can donate them to a local organization. Be sure to discuss this with your caterer in advance.
  • Minimize the paper products need and use recyclable/compostable materials when possible.  Green Party Goods and Susty Party have some really cute options.
  • Serve water in pitchers or dispensers Eco-Friendly Wedding- Drink Dispensers instead of bottles.
  • Make recycling and composting easy for your guests and caterers by providing labeled receptacles.
  • Ask guests to reuse their glass.  Simply post a sign with the request.

General Eco-Friendly Suggestions

  • Choose a venue with lots of natural light, hold your event during the day and outdoors if possible to minimize the energy consumption.
  • Hold the ceremony and reception in one place so everyone doesn’t have to drive between locations.
  • Use local vendors as much as possible and book hotels near the venue to reduce travel time for everyone.  Warrenwood is located within two miles of several hotels.
  • Minimize paper used for invitations, programs, place cards and other event correspondence.  Consider an online RSVP, printing double-sided on recycled or plantable paper and going without a printed save-the-date.
  • Request monetary gifts or donations to your favorite charity.  This cuts down on shipping and wrapping.
  • Keep the guest list to people you really want to be there. To keep our guest list short, we made the rule and if we didn’t both know the person (well), they weren’t invited.  Sorry distant relatives!
  • As you’re shopping for event items, use reusable bags.
  • The Knot even goes so far as to share traditions you can skip.

Even if you only incorporate one or two of these eco-friendly event suggestions into your wedding or any event for that matter, you will likely save money AND lower your environmental impact.  It’s a win-win!

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