Some Deet for my Sweet

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Ah, the romance of bug repellent. Not exactly the fun and delightful thing you think of when planning your wedding. But you should, oh, you should. It can be one of the least expensive items that will make you and your guests the happiest. When planning a ceremony or reception involving the beautiful outdoors it is always important to think about the little things that can make a huge difference. I’ve Officiated a couple weddings this year that have taught me a valuable lesson. Not only should I carry in my small arsenal of help items (scissors, extra boutineer pins, mints, black pens, tissues, lint roller) but now bug spray. At one outside wedding reception in Wilmington, there was the most magnificent breeze, but when it died down, at exactly the time of the Bride and Groom’s first dance, the mosquito’s became wedding crashers. We had recently had a lot of rain and the mosquitos were ready to party. I lasted as long as possible, but 23 bites later (I counted), slapping of my face and everyone around me, I was happy I had the luxury of deciding it was time to go. The guests prayed for the wind to pick up QUICK as they slapped the mosquito’s silly. In retrospect if I had stayed I could have witnessed some pretty good mosquito influenced dance moves. My next adventure was far less fun and really to be honest painful for everyone. This time it occurred at a Topsail Island beach wedding, where the family had all spent their day enjoying the same beach spot the ceremony was taking place in the evening. Well, once the tide rolled in and back out again it brought something in with it that conjured up every horsefly East of the Mississippi, I’m certain. Everyone was getting bit and doing a little dance throughout the ceremony. Ferocious as they were (and they WERE) I grinned and carried on. I can honestly say I’ve never seen guests make it from the beach to the reception in such record time.
You can find many different bug repellent options out these days. Find something that works perfect for your personality. Deet, no Deet, ala-natural, spray, pump, pretty smelling, even the kind that conjures up memories of camping as a kid. Just get some, let the guests know it is there for them if they choose, and they will. The Groom and Bride along with their wedding guests will be happier and able to enjoy every minute of the wedding. Celebrating happily during, and ever after.

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Starting your wedding late

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I always tell my couples that when your wedding starts late, it is time you will never get back at the end. Ideally, your wedding will start on time but most start a little late. 15 minutes late is acceptable but after that you’ll need to remember your guests, are your guests, and it isn’t fair to keep them waiting. And we all know grandma and grandpa arrived 30 minutes early.  Again, it will be less party time at the end. And if you start too late it can completely affect the food for the reception. Your cold food gets hot, your hot food gets cold, etc. If your vision has been a sunrise or sunset ceremony timing is everything, neither will wait. Crazy, I know. No matter how much time you think you’ll need, add another 30 minutes. Your worse case scenario is you get to sit back and take in the moment instead of rushing around up until the last second. That really isn’t how you want your wedding ceremony to start. So remember, allow plenty of time and add in another 30 minutes.

Vanishing Officiant Phenomenon

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Since I had two weddings last week where the brides called four days before their wedding to say, “my officiant has backed out, changed their mind, decided to go surfing, (yes, that’s a true line) sick, etc., I thought this  would be a good time to write about the “vanishing officiant” phenomenon.  Sadly, I get these calls at least once a week and sometimes more. It’s even happened while the couple is at the venue, and their officiant is a no call… no show.  Fortunately, most event coordinators know me, and call to see if I’m available and “how fast can I get there?” I never ask “what happened?” More often than not, I can pretty much guess. 

Many of my weddings are destination beach weddings on Topsail Island, Emerald Isle, Wrightsville Beach…well, all the beaches in North Carolina. Two times I have had a frantic call from a bride who was victim to a con artist. Both thought they had everything from their house rental to their cake covered. Always take a few extra moments to check reviews and make sure whomever you are hiring from a distance is not taking your money and running. 

 Couples often ask a close friend or relative to perform their ceremony. Whether their intentions are to give them this honor or perhaps to save some money, it usually doesn’t work out as planned. Unless the person they are depending on loves public speaking, (and it’s the #1 fear of most people) chances are greater than not, they will get cold feet as they start to realize this is a really big deal and maybe it wasn’t such a good idea.  Remember- this is the most important part of your most important day, and it should be given the reverence it deserves.  A beautiful ceremony has a rhythm and flow. Unless your officiant understands this, you run the risk of the wheels coming off the wedding bus midway through your ceremony (I’ve witnessed it as a guest).  While the intentions may be sincere, most people have never performed a wedding ceremony and haven’t got a clue as to how it all flows together.  Your guests should be laughing one minute and crying tears of joy the next. Most important… you should have a connection with your officiant and your ceremony should reflect your love for each other. 

The moral to this story… choose early and choose wisely.

Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses

Yay… you’re having a beach wedding! Some things to consider. When choosing a time for your ceremony check a tide chart. This will be the difference of having the look you’ve dreamed of or being swept away! Time of day plays a role with temperature and comfort. If you are planning a sunset ceremony be on time. When the sun is ready to set it won’t stop and wait. Crazy, I know.

Ladies, heels and sand do not play well together. Invite guests to go barefoot or provide a basket of flip flops.  There are many beach friendly bridal dresses available. As handsome as men are in tuxedos, light cottons and linens are a classic look.

Choose your Wedding Officiant early, especially for a destination wedding. There are a lot of weddings and only so many officiants. When choosing your Officiant find one that is the right fit for you. Ask for referrals or reviews. Experience, and attention to detail is crucial. I know your Uncle Fred is a great guy and willing do it for free, but this is one of the most important days of your life. Choose wisely, there is an art to performing a ceremony.

I’ve performed ceremonies on Topsail Island, Emerald Isle, Wrightsville Beach, Fort Fisher, Oak Island, Ocean Isle, Kure Beach….the list goes on. With that being said, remember- beach weather can change rapidly. Keep a sense of humor, and at the end of the day you will be married to your best friend.