Wedding Rehearsal

Wedding Photo Trends: Black-and-White

Monday, August 13th, 2012 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding photography, wedding planning, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal | author: By Kurt Knowles, Director of Corporate Affairs   
Black and White photos

Black and White photos

A top wedding trend in wedding photography is getting  a number of your photos in black and white. According to TheWeddingReport.com, 60% of brides and grooms request black and white photos in their photography packages, since this style of photography provides an elegant, timeless effect for photo albums and framed portraits. Since Old Hollywood wedding trends are in right now, black and white photos capture this popular style.

Our top New Jersey photographers say that digital photography allows you to turn any wedding photo into black and white, as well as sepia and other effects, so it does not cost extra to have black and white photos created.

Here are the top ways that you can use black and white photos in your plans:

In albums and prints:

  • Begin your wedding album with a page of black and white images, or a full-page portrait of yourselves. The rest of the album can contain color prints.
  • Create an entirely black and white wedding album, a top wedding idea suggested by celebrity wedding planners
  • Order a number of black and white portraits for a themed area of framed pictures in your home
  • Order a large black and white portrait of your official couple wedding photo to hang in your home, to work with your home décor color scheme Read more…

Your Wedding’s First Impression: Greeters, Champagne and Décor

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 | Filed under: Bright Ideas for your wedding, wedding ceremony, Wedding Décor, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal | author: By admin,    
First Impressions

First Impressions

When guests arrive at your wedding ceremony venue, they’ll be taken by the beauty of the site, and a celebratory tone is set immediately by the smiling, friendly greeters standing at the entrance. It’s a new trend to ask close relatives or friends to serve as your official welcome party, greeting the guests and pointing them toward the inside or garden wedding location. They may hand out your wedding programs and also let guests know where champagne is being served – in the case of a garden wedding taking place on-site – or even where small children may be taken for sitter service during the ceremony.

The immediate recognition of greeters puts guests at ease, eliminating the ‘where do we go?’ concerns that some guests may have when they arrive at a sprawling wedding location. With the guidance of your greeters, guests enter the wedding site ready to enjoy themselves, soon met inside by banquet site staff members bearing drinks for their refreshment.

How to Select Your Greeters

 Choose at least three special friends or relatives, ideally from your and your groom’s sides so that someone at the wedding venue entrance can recognize arriving guests. If you have an extremely large guest list, choose four greeters to eliminate a line forming at the door.

Choose guests who are naturally friendly, upbeat and good conversationalists who have no anxieties about talking to strangers.

Instructions for Greeters

 Ask greeters to stand just outside of the wedding venue entrance, on the steps or at the base of steps, so that they’re immediately seen by arriving guests. At an outdoor wedding, they might stand at a point where the pathway leading to the ceremony begins.

Make it a firm rule that greeters are not to text, check their iPhones, or be distracted by their dates. Their full focus must be on their greeting tasks.

Ask guests to dress in accordance with the wedding’s formality. Since these are representatives of your wedding, it is perfectly okay to set a dress code, such as cocktail-length dress or suit.

Let greeters know how many wedding programs to give out, such as one program per couple, or one program per guest. If your wedding budget is limited, or if you’re having a green wedding, this top wedding idea eliminates waste.

If you expect guests who do not speak English, it’s smart to choose a greeter who speaks, for instance, Spanish or Italian for a welcome greeting guests appreciate.

Give greeters full information on where essentials are, such as the coat check, restrooms, handicap access to the ceremony site, so that they may instruct guests who request these locations.

Remember to give greeters information on directions to the reception site, if it is different from the ceremony location. Having a stack of printed driving directions is always a smart wedding idea, even if guests decide to just program the reception address into their GPS or smartphone as they exit your ceremony location.

Wedding greeters should remain at the entrance to your wedding venue until the last possible minute before your wedding ceremony or reception begin, so that late-arriving guests are welcomed and directed.

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Chateau

Helping Kids at the Wedding Rehearsal

Sunday, December 18th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding planning, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal, Wedding Rehearsals | author: By admin,    

While some wedding websites advise choosing child attendants who are no younger than six years old, we know that your adored nieces and nephews may be younger than that, and you very much want them to be your flower girls and ringbearers. Here at our wedding banquet hall and wedding gardens, we’ve seen children as young as two perform quite well as child attendants, and the key is smart preparations for the little ones at the wedding rehearsal.

Our wedding staff, as well as the top wedding coordinators and special event experts in the New Jersey region, has helped many brides and grooms during their wedding rehearsals, offering our expertise in helping flower girls and ringbearers prepare for their big moment at the wedding. The key, we’ve found, is making sure kids are comfortable, know what to expect, and know what they might earn by behaving well.

Here are some top tips for helping kids at your wedding rehearsal, improving your odds of a tantrum-free day:

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  • Be sure that child attendants will be comfortable in their wedding day clothing. Itchy lace collars and shirt tags that poke, too-tight bow ties and other wardrobe issues are the #1 cause of kids’ acting badly at weddings. So be sure the kids’ dresses and tuxes have been checked and adjusted to allow for the little ones’ comfort.
  • Be sure that kids have eaten before the wedding, and that they’ve had plenty of water to drink. Hunger and thirst are also top causes of kids’ misbehavior. So practice the same Musts for the rehearsal.
  • Tell kids what they’ll see when they walk down the aisle. A practice walk down empty rows is very different than the people-filled rows, flashbulbs, flowers and other distractions. From the youngest kids to the teens, spell out the things they’re likely to see as they walk down the aisle.
  • For small children, have a treat waiting for them at the end of the aisle. A grandparent might be holding a big, colorful lollipop or a (silent) toy that they can have when they reach the end of the aisle.
  • Allow kids to sit down during the ceremony. This big trend provides for kids’ comfort, they can sit with parents who can shush them if needed, and kids won’t be tempted to wander around, fidget or panic in the face of so many people looking at them.
  • Let kids practice their walks down the aisle a few times, and test out who they’re most comfortable walking with. There’s no rule saying the flowergirl has to walk alone. If she’s happiest walking with the maid of honor, that adjustment may be made.
  • If children are frightened, talk with them privately to ask what they’re concerned about. A child is more likely to open up about her shoes being slippery on the aisle runner than she might be with a dozen strangers looking at her.
  • Prepare children for what happens after the ceremony, they’ll pose for photos, then be introduced into the room at the reception, dance and sit with the other kids. When children know what to expect, they don’t act out as much.

Keep these tips in mind, and your child attendants will have more fun, be happier and more comfortable and thus be a wonderful part of your wedding day.

Best,

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, pleasantdale Château

Who Attends the Wedding Rehearsal?

Sunday, December 11th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding planning, Wedding Rehearsal, Wedding Rehearsals | author: By admin,    

As New Jersey’s top wedding venues, the Pleasantdale Chateau, The Manor and the Ram’s Head Inn have been home to countless wedding rehearsals, and we’ve seen the glowing bride and groom prepare for the biggest day of their lives. Who’s invited to attend this very important practice run? We have the wedding etiquette-approved list of who needs to be there…and who isn’t.

First, obviously, the bride and groom need to be present, so that they can not just learn what will happen during each section of the wedding ceremony, but so that they can co-create the personalized ceremony of their dreams. Today’s bride and groom have a voice at their wedding rehearsal, sometimes switching the order of ceremony elements, re-pairing bridesmaids and groomsmen and otherwise designing the most important part of their wedding day.

Next, the bridal party members, and their guests, are invited to the rehearsal dinner. Bridesmaids and groomsmen need to learn where they’ll wait, how they’ll walk down the aisle, what they’ll do during special moments of the ceremony, and how they’ll participate in the recessional. The maid of honor will learn when she’ll need to adjust the bride’s train, hold her flowers, and otherwise be at her service. Why the bridal party guests? According to wedding etiquette, it’s proper to invite them to the rehearsal dinner, so it just works out conveniently to let them attend the wedding rehearsal itself.

Child bridal party attendants, flower girls and ringbearers, are also invited, along with their parents, so that the little ones can practice how they’ll walk and where they’ll stand, so that they’re comfortable and confident in what’s expected of them.

The wedding planner is invited, if you’ve hired one, and may be the person in charge of instructing everyone on each element of the ceremony. The officiant and his or her guest will obviously be there as well, to guide the proceedings and to work with the bride and groom in adjusting any wording, the vows, or other special portions of the ceremony.

Musical performers may also be invited to the wedding rehearsal, although that’s not a Must. Your musicians may require that they attend the rehearsal, so that they can learn the cues of when they’re playing during each portion of the ceremony, so ask your musical experts what their rehearsal policies are, and what you may have to pay them to attend.

Ceremony participants, such as those performing readings or cultural rites, are smartly invited to the wedding rehearsal, so that they too learn when they’ll be expected to stand up and walk to the microphone, and so that they can practice speaking their material on-site.

Parents and grandparents are also invited to the rehearsal, as a special event to witness, as are additional special family members. The smaller the circle of people at the wedding rehearsal, the more efficient the practice session will be, and the sooner you can all get to your lovely rehearsal dinner.

 

Thank you!

Rolf Shick, Banquet Manager, The Manor

Aisle Runner Trends

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding planning, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal | author: By admin,    

Your path down the aisle can be a beautiful, personalized one with your custom-designed aisle runner leading you toward your groom. We’ve seen many stunning aisle runner designs here at the The Manor in West Orange, and we’re pleased to share with you the top trends in aisle runner design.

  • Today’s beautiful aisle runners are made from high-quality fabrics, having evolved beautifully from the early days of aisle runners that were very similar in feel to a heavy-duty paper towel roll that often bunched up and tripped up the bride and groom and their guests. The new world of aisle runner fabrics are heavier, often top-grade cottons, providing the all-important secure surface you’ll want beneath your feet.
  • Aisle runners are also being made from organic fabrics, such as natural organic cotton and even hemp, pleasing eco-conscious brides and grooms.
  • White designs are still very popular for brides and grooms who love the traditional bridal look, and we’re also seeing many aisle runners in beautiful pastel colors such as lavender and sage green. We’re also seeing bright colors such as dramatic reds, jewel-toned purples, and summery oranges and yellows.
  • Creative graphics such as a cluster of butterflies decorate the start of the new, modern aisle runner, so talk with your designer to choose the theme icon that best fits your formal or garden wedding wishes.
  • Today’s aisle runners feature the bride’s and groom’s first names, or monogram, printed in a beautiful font and in a gorgeous coordinating color at the start of the runner.
  • At our garden weddings, many of our New Jersey brides and grooms choose to skip the fabric aisle runner and instead mark their aisles with lineups of potted flowers or pretty piles of colorful flower petals on either side of the aisle. Or, they choose to create a ‘petal carpet’ of scattered flower petals in all-white or colors that creates their path.
  • Some of our recent brides and grooms have decided that they prefer to walk not on an aisle runner nor on flower petals, but on our flooring or garden grass to provide a lovely color contrast of the bride’s white gown against their hues.

We’ve encouraged our wedding couples to have their wedding photographers snap photos of their aisle runner design and details as a priceless keepsake, and we’ve seen our brides and grooms pose photos while standing in front of their runner logo. A popular trend is for the couple to either clean and store their aisle runner to use in the future for their milestone anniversaries or when they renew their wedding vows. At those celebrations, which they may choose to host here with us once again, they can use their wedding day aisle runner as a valuable and sentimental part of their décor. And of course, many of our New Jersey wedding couples choose instead to cut out their aisle runner logo and design, have it professionally framed, and display it in their homes as an everyday reminder of the best and most beautiful day of their lives.

Best,

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Wedding Décor: Ceremony Seating

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 | Filed under: Wedding Décor, wedding ideas, wedding planning, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal | author: By admin,    

One of the first opportunities you’ll get to impress your wedding guests is the design of your ceremony setting, whether it’s in a ballroom or outdoors in a garden wedding scene. At the forefront is the trellis, chuppah, or altar where you’ll take your vows, and the surrounding wedding décor that makes so much of a visual impact in person and in your wedding photos is your ceremony seating.

Wedding Décor

Wedding Décor

Here at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, New Jersey, our wedding ceremony décor has always provided for attractive, elegant guest seating in straight or arched rows, with each seat getting special attention such as fine linen chair covers or a single rose placed on individual chair cushions. This first moment of your wedding celebration is sure to impress your guests when you follow one of the latest trends in special wedding décor for your ceremony seating:

• Have each chair fitted with a snug chair covering, in a comfortable fabric with a bit of stretch to it. Top-quality fabrics are essential so that guests are not sitting on itchy fabrics that may look nice but feel like burlap.

• Chair covers may be done all in white to create a sea of bridal-white seating, or you might choose to have the majority of guest chairs covered in white, with just the first two honored-guest rows featuring chair-covers in a pastel color to set them apart and add visual interest to your wedding décor.

• Another creative trend in chair covers is to have five rows covered in a dark hue of one color, then the next five rows covered in a lighter hue of that same color, then back to the five darker hues of chair covers, and so on, to create ‘waves’ of colored row blocks. Don’t alternate by row, since that can look too busy. New Jersey wedding coordinators and our banquet planners suggest wider blocks of color for a more sophisticated look.

• Tie each covered chair with a length of 2”-wide ribbon in the wedding’s colors, with each chair being tied in the same color of ribbon. And you might also alternate, tying those darker-hued chairs with light-colored ribbons, and those lighter-hued chairs with slightly darker-colored ribbons.

• Add some sparkle to chair ribbons and bows by fastening a few crystals to the ribbon’s ends or bows. Crystals will catch the light, indoors or outside in a garden wedding, providing a sparkling wedding ceremony scene.

• Insert a fresh flower bloom into chair ribbon-bows.

• Use a ribbon that’s been imprinted with your names or your married monogram as your seat cover décor tie.

• Place a single long-stemmed rose on all guest seats, or just on the seats intended for your parents.

• As a tribute to a departed relative or friend, place a single white long-stemmed rose on a chair to be kept unoccupied, the departed’s ‘place’ at the wedding.

• Allow plenty of room between rows of seats. Our experienced event professionals will create a seat layout that provides plenty of room for guests to move comfortably within their rows. When you provide for your guests’ comfort, such as room to cross their legs, your wedding begins with impressive attention to details and wedding décor that impresses as it sets the stage for your nuptials.

Best,
Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Wedding Ceremonies: “Who Presents This Bride?”

Thursday, May 12th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding planning, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal, wedding themes | author: By admin,    

In the traditional wedding ceremony, the bride is escorted to the altar by her father – or by both parents – who is then asked, “Who presents this woman in matrimony?” This element of the wedding ceremony is one that many of our New Jersey and tri-state area brides either adore for its traditionalism and long history in their family weddings, or wish to eliminate from the ceremony, as they don’t wish to be ‘given away’ to their grooms.

The Bride

The Bride

To help you decide on the ‘giving away’ portion of your processional, we offer some options:

• When you are escorted down the aisle by your father, by your parents, or by both father and step-father, your officiant can change his or her statement, asking, “Who brings this woman forward?” and then the parents may answer, “We do.” Many of our local wedding couples like this wording, since it is a true statement and doesn’t carry any implication of ‘giving away.’

• If you will be walked down the aisle by your children, the officiant may ask, “Who presents this bride to her groom?” to which the children answer, “We do.”

• If your father is deceased and your mother is walking you down the aisle, the answer to the officiant’s question may be, “I do, and in spirit, her father does,” which is a very touching moment in a wedding ceremony. Of course, if your mother is deceased and your father walking you down the aisle, your father may say, “I do, and in spirit, her mother does.”

• In many weddings we’ve seen here at our West Orange locations, brides choose to walk down the aisle on their own, unescorted, both for first-time and encore weddings. Thus, no one is asked to give her away. She simply approaches on her own.

• In some weddings, the bride and groom walk down the aisle together, not requiring the question as well.

• You may instruct your officiant not to ask any such question at all.

It is your wedding ceremony to create, according to the wording and symbolisms that work best for you.

Best,
Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Requesting Changes at the Wedding Rehearsal

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

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.

Best,
Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Kids at the Wedding Rehearsal

Thursday, March 17th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding gifts, wedding planning, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal | author: By admin,    

While some wedding websites advise choosing child attendants who are no younger than six years old, we know that your adored nieces and nephews may be younger than that, and you very much want them to be your flowergirls and ringbearers. Here at our wedding banquet hall and wedding gardens, we’ve seen children as young as two perform quite well as child attendants, and the key is smart preparations for the little ones at the wedding rehearsal.

Our wedding staff, as well as the top wedding coordinators and special event experts in the New Jersey region, has helped many brides and grooms during their wedding rehearsals, offering our expertise in helping flowergirls and ringbearers prepare for their big moment at the wedding. The key, we’ve found, is making sure kids are comfortable, know what to expect, and know what they might earn by behaving well.

Here are some top tips for helping kids at your wedding rehearsal, improving your odds of a tantrum-free day:

• Be sure that child attendants will be comfortable in their wedding day clothing. Itchy lace collars and shirt tags that poke, too-tight bow ties and other wardrobe issues are the #1 cause of kids’ acting badly at weddings. So be sure the kids’ dresses and tuxes have been checked and adjusted to allow for the little ones’ comfort.

• Be sure that kids have eaten before the wedding, and that they’ve had plenty of water to drink. Hunger and thirst are also top causes of kids’ misbehavior. So practice the same Musts for the rehearsal.

• Tell kids what they’ll see when they walk down the aisle. A practice walk down empty rows is very different than the people-filled rows, flashbulbs, flowers and other distractions. From the youngest kids to the teens, spell out the things they’re likely to see as they walk down the aisle.

• For small children, have a treat waiting for them at the end of the aisle. A grandparent might be holding a big, colorful lollipop or a (silent) toy that they can have when they reach the end of the aisle.

• Allow kids to sit down during the ceremony. This big trend provides for kids’ comfort, they can sit with parents who can shush them if needed, and kids won’t be tempted to wander around, fidget or panic in the face of so many people looking at them.

• Let kids practice their walks down the aisle a few times, and test out who they’re most comfortable walking with. There’s no rule saying the flowergirl has to walk alone. If she’s happiest walking with the maid of honor, that adjustment may be made.

• If children are frightened, talk with them privately to ask what they’re concerned about. A child is more likely to open up about her shoes being slippery on the aisle runner than she might be with a dozen strangers looking at her.

• Prepare children for what happens after the ceremony, that they’ll pose for photos, then be introduced into the room at the reception, dance and sit with the other kids. When children know what to expect, they don’t act out as much.

Keep these tips in mind, and your child attendants will have more fun, be happier and more comfortable and thus be a wonderful part of your wedding day.

Best,
Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

To make an appointment with a banquet manager, please contact us at 609-652-1700.