Thank You Cards

Thank you notes.  They are not the most fun, but definitely a necessary part of your wedding.  Thanking your guests for partaking in your special day with you is just the polite thing to do. When thanking your guests, make sure to thank them for not only the gift they gave but also for coming to the wedding.  Let them know how much it meant to you to have them there to help celebrate your special day.  It will make them feel great knowing that their presence meant so much to you. After letting your guest know you were grateful for having them at your wedding, be sure to thank them for their gift to you.  Be specific in what they gave you and make the note personal.  In order to do this, when opening your presents, make sure to keep a detailed list of who gave you what.  If you didn’t have a gift registry, but just had guests help contribute to your honeymoon, then let them know a few fun specific things you did on your honeymoon that they helped to pay for. Also, make sure your thank you notes are handwritten and not sent over email or a Facebook message.  Although sending thank you’s over the internet may be quicker, easier and free, it is just cheap.  So don’t do it. A cool idea for your thank you cards would be to include a QR code on the back so your guests can scan it and view all of your wedding pictures online if they wish.  It’s a fun new idea that your guests have probably never seen before! Last but not least, make sure to get your thank you cards out within three months of either receiving the gift or from your wedding, whichever one applies.

Below are some ideas for your thank you cards:

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I think this idea of having a picture of you both on your wedding day is great.  Your guests will love to keep your card around for a while just to remember your fun day.

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The idea of a postcard for your thank you’s is so cute (and less expensive when buying postage)!  You can have pictures from your wedding day or honeymoon on the front and then write your note on the back. Have fun creating and writing your thank you’s!

Ideas for this blog came from the websites below:

1. http://www.mywedding.com/articles/thank-you-cards-for-destination-weddings-and-honeymoon-registries/

2. http://www.mywedding.com/articles/thank-you-notes-dos-donts/

Written by:  Mary Gividen, Wedding Sales Assistant

Vendor Interview: Prima Luce Studio

I have grown to love Prima Luce Studio very quickly! I tend to gravitate toward wedding photography that tells the story of such an amazing day, and Bill and Mary do just that. Not to mention they are so personable that I could talk to them all day!

I wanted to give them the opportunity to explain who they are and why they do what they do, so I sent them a few questions. Hope you enjoy!

1. How long have you been in the wedding industry? Prima Luce Studio celebrated our one year anniversary in August. We had photographed some weddings both individually and together prior to that, but August was when we decided to form Prima Luce Studio. It’s been wonderful so far and we really can’t thank all of our brides and grooms enough for making it happen!

2. What is your favorite part of your job? What we love most about photographing weddings is that we are allowed to share in one of the happiest and most joyful experiences a couple will ever have. There honestly isn’t anything better than being around a group of people who have only one purpose at that time, to celebrate and honor the love between two people. After all, how crazy is it that two people can find each other out of all 7 billion people in this world and fall madly in love?!?! We love it, and this is actually the entire reason we started photographing weddings!

As documentary photographers, we are always looking to give a voice to those who may not have one in today’s society. We try to tell their stories in such a way that light is shed on some important issues that we may not normally be aware of. Weddings in many ways are a natural extension of this thought process. We knew at our very first wedding that we had found something special. Being around so much happiness, so much love, was just incredibly moving. Even more, we were so touched that people would invite us into one of the most special occasions they will ever take part in and trust us to tell their story. We sincerely feel honored that people place this trust in us, and we work as hard as possible for each couple to capture the special moments of that day and deliver their story in images.

3. How would you describe Prima Luce Studio’s “style”? I don’t know that style is really the right word. Both of us were trained in the documentary tradition, and so we certainly focus on the storytelling aspect of photography. That said, our approach has been to meet with our couples multiple times in order to get to know our couples as much as possible so that we truly know who they are both as individuals and as a couple. On their wedding day we will then do everything we can to tell each couple’s unique story, rather than forcing our look or style on the couple. This way, every couple we work with ends up with a highly personal reflection of their wedding day.

4. What photography trends are you currently seeing in the wedding industry and are there any trends you would like to see? Right now the big trend is towards an “Instagram” style approach to the toning of images, which is fun and interesting. It seems like people may be missing the look of film without even realizing it! As far as trends we would like to see, the only thing we would want is for the substance of images to take more and more of a priority over the surface. To us, the photos that will mean the most 50 years from now are the ones that caught that wink of the eye, or the tear rolling down the father’s face as he gives away his daughter. Those are the things people remember and we hope that becomes more of a focus!

5. Do you have any suggestions to help brides stay within their budget? This is so tough. Often times couples have been dreaming of their wedding for years (if not their whole lives!), and since they will only do it once, they want to fit everything in. Our best advice is to set priorities. What are the absolute “must-haves” for your wedding? What are some things that you would like to have, but maybe aren’t as essential? Lastly, have a category of “would be nice”. Work your budget to support the “must-haves” and as much of the “would like to haves” as possible, and then anything left over can be for the “would be nice” items. Of course, when planning a wedding almost everything can seem like a “must-have”! In those cases, put it to the time test. Ask yourself if 50 years from now having this (fill in the blank) will be something you even remember. Would it be important to you then? If the answer is yes, then find a way! If the answer is no or even maybe, then put your money elsewhere.

6. Should bride and grooms consider a first look? This is really such a personal decision for each couple. Obviously if the bride and groom want to follow tradition and have the groom see his bride for the first time coming down the aisle, a first look will be a bad idea! However if tradition isn’t the big issue, then we love the first look. Weddings can be so hectic, and many times the bride and groom will be swept up for the entire day. Before they know it the day is over and everything was a blur! The first look is a chance for this couple to have a very meaningful moment alone before the whirlwind begins.

7. What is the one thing that you think every bride should know when choosing their photographer? We have three things we feel every couple should consider when choosing a photographer. First of all, make sure you like their images! While it is easy enough to change the way images are toned (Instagram, vintage, modern, etc.) it is highly unlikely that the way the photographer captures an event will change. So if you do not like the images they do for others, you probably won’t like the ones they do for you! Secondly, make sure you like your photographer! There are few, if any, people who will spend as much time with you on your wedding day, so it is crucial you get along with them, and like their personality. Finally, ask your photographer why they shoot weddings, what got them in to the industry. It is important that you have a shared vision with your photographer, and their motivations for photographing weddings can have a tremendous amount of impact on that!

To request more information or view Prima Luce Studio’s work visit them online at www.primalucestudio.com.

Written by: Erin Todd, Wedding Sales Manager

The Curse of the Rubber Chicken

Meeting Planners, you have all been here before. You research locations, request proposals, go on site tours, read reviews,  perhaps even stay a night to make sure the hotel along with event space would be the perfect fit for your event. You choose the location, collect RSVP’s, schedule activities and make sure all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed for your event and then it happens… the curse of the rubber chicken! Sure the event as a whole is a success, your meeting goals were achieved but all the attendees can talk about for the next year following the event is how terrible the food was.

Yes, it’s true, often times a main entrée of chicken is chosen because it is less expensive for the group and usually pleases the masses. However, this does not mean that you have to settle for a less than spectacular taste and quality. Whether you’re serving the protein plated or buffet, the quality should remain the same and it should be a little more exciting than just a piece of roasted chicken with green beans and potatoes. On a budget how do you overcome and deliver excellence to your guests for what would be considered an uncontrollable to you as the meeting planner?

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 First, if the venue offers tastings, do them! I would recommend tasting both a standard and an upgraded menu. This gives you a great perspective for what to expect on your plate for color, creativity and how far you can stretch your dollar by adding sides, upgrading the entrée or customizing.

 Second, read reviews and ask how long the Chef has been with the venue. Great Chef’s who can deliver the same quality for a table of 4 as they can for 200 people are hard to come by. You can make a safe bet that if the Chef has been with the venue for several years there is a reason and one of those must be because they deliver in creativity and quality!

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 Lastly, if your budget allows, add an element that will really impress the group. People enjoy being part of making something of their own so consider adding a “build your own” element. This is sure to keep your attendees talking about the food for the next year, in a great way!

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Remember, the food is one of the most talked about elements of your event. It’s important to get it right and choose a venue that you know can handle the task. In your events, cost will always be a determining factor for venue choice, but if attendee impression is just as important to you, remember to wow them with the food just as much as you do the view!

 

By: Mallory Voorheis, IOM ::  Corporate Sales Manager  ::  Vintage Villas Hotel & Events

Let It Go!

Having just celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary, I thought I would share some of my wedding pictures from November 7, 2008 at Vintage Villas and pass on what I believe to be one of the best pieces of wedding advice I can give.

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When looking back on my wedding day there are still a few things that I might have done differently. However, the good memories definitely outnumber the few minor things I would have changed. So every year I think of how much fun we had, how wonderful it was to marry my best friend in front of the people I love and to have been blessed with such a beautiful day!

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Believe me when I say I understand wanting everything to be perfect, and if you have planned well or hired a wedding planner then most likely it will be. But just like you, your vendors, wedding planners, chefs (everyone involved with your wedding) are human and are all capable of making mistakes. Let’s face it, technology can fail, accidents happen, and it might even rain, but if your focus is on marrying the love of your life then nothing else will matter.

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So my advice to all brides is to not sweat the small stuff! Seriously! Try not to let the few minor incidents, unexpected situations or planned moments that don’t happen keep you from enjoying your big day. You don’t want to later regret spending time focusing on something that no one will even notice or remember.

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CHOOSE to enjoy all the moments of your wedding day, on the day and after it’s all over. Even if the cake falls on the floor, the power goes out, the special heirloom Champagne flutes get lost, try to focus on the fact that you are married. And think of all the great memories that were made!

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Written by:  Lauren Allen, Director of Sales and Marketing

Should You Consider a Brunch Wedding?

We know that Saturday evenings are the most popular time to host a wedding, but it definitely isn’t the only option. Couples are choosing weddings every day of the week and all hours of the day. Here are some reasons to forgo the evening event and consider a daytime wedding for your special day:

Food & Beverage

Brunch weddings open the doors to a variety of non-traditional wedding foods. Imagine serving your guests sweet and savory items like stuffed French toast, quiche, migas, pastries, or pancakes.

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Image Via Whitney Lee Photography

For a daytime wedding, you can also serve light and fresh bar options like Champagne, Mimosas, and Bloody Mary’s. These classic drinks are crowd favorites and cost less than the Full Bar alternative.

Mimosas (Medium)

Lighting

Yes, everyone loves a sunset, but morning weddings have their own special beauty. Daytime weddings highlight the natural surroundings of an outdoor wedding.

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Image Via Whitney Lee Photography

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Image Via Ron Parks Photography

Cost & Availability

Many venues will offer special rates for daytime events. Also, the cost of the brunch food and beverage options mentioned above tend to be less expensive than their dinner counterparts. If you are trying to stay within a specific wedding budget, considering a brunch wedding can really help.

Availability is also a big concern for brides, as many venues book peak dates far in advance. Being flexible to a daytime event will increase your chances to get your desired day, weekend, or month.

Time to Relax After the Wedding

Many couples rush off for their honeymoon the morning after their wedding without much rest after the late night of partying and drinking. A brunch wedding gives you a unique opportunity to relax, spend time with your new spouse, and wake up the next day refreshed and happy. After the daytime wedding, you can enjoy a romantic dinner together, lounge around in your hotel room, and prepare last minute items for your honeymoon.

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Image Via Iguana Grill

Some Vintage Villas couples even choose to plan activities with close family and friends after their daytime wedding, like golfing or even renting a party boat.

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Image Via Just For Fun Rentals

Brunch weddings can be just as beautiful and fun as evening weddings (with some added benefits). Please share your comments and experiences below if you’ve had or are considering a brunch wedding.

Written by:  Samantha Botello, Wedding Sales Manager

Winter Weddings

Winter is quickly coming!  As fall weddings are coming to an end, winter weddings are just about to start.  I love winter weddings because they are so beautiful and cozy.  If you’re having a winter wedding, then here are some great ideas for you to consider as your day quickly approaches.

For your bridal gown, long sleeves are a great idea.  They will help to keep you warm and make you look elegant.  And no, you won’t look like your mom on her wedding day if you wear sleeves.  There are some great dresses out there with sleeves.  However, If you don’t like sleeves, consider a cute jacket or coat to help keep you warm.  There are lots of great selections out there.

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A winter bouquet can be full of beautiful winter colors or all white.  I love both!  White is so pure and peaceful to me while a bouquet with some colors has a more fun tone.

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Boutonnieres and corsages also help to add some light to your wedding.

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Your cake is another big part of your wedding day.  Every bride wants a beautiful cake that helps carry on the theme of her wedding.

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Centerpieces really help make a wedding over the top beautiful.  They help to add life and color to the whole room.

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If you’re having assigned seating maybe consider these for your escort cards.

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And last but not least, favors are a must.  They are a way to thank your guests for coming and celebrating your special day with you.  There are many great winter favors out there, but here are just a few.

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Have fun planning your winter wedding!

Written by:  Mary Gividen, Wedding Sales Assistant

Flower Girls

Who can resist the charms of a flower girl? They are super adorable and will always melt your heart with each step they take. The flower girl can be traced back to the Romans carrying bundles of wheat or herbs such as lavender to guarantee prosperity and fertility. However, the Victorian flower girl is the one who resembles our modern day flower girl the most. She is young and innocent, dressed in all white carrying a basket of flowers preceding the bride.

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Image Via Plastic Moon

Over time wedding fashion and traditions have evolved. Majority of the time we will see the young girl in a white dress, representing purity, dropping petals.

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From the Victoria era, flower girls would also carry a floral hoop representing that true love never ends. Wearing a circular wreath of flowers in the hair is an adorable wedding fashion adapted from this tradition.

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Image Via Concept Photography

Another new trend that I just can not get enough of is flower girls holding signs announcing that the bride is coming! Seriously so cute and signs are so easy to DIY!

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Image Via Style Me Pretty

Do you plan to have flower girls? If so, have you come across other things for flower girls to do while walking down the aisle?

 

Written by:  Erin Todd, Wedding Sales Manager

‘Tis the Season for Company Holiday Parties!

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Holiday Parties are a great way to wrap up a year of hard work and celebrate the season with co-workers and their significant others. It’s an opportunity to relax and enjoy each other’s company outside of the office. November is rapidly approaching and before we know it, here comes December! If you haven’t already booked your company holiday party NOW is absolutely the time. Most venues will have some prime Friday’s and Saturday’s still available but wait a few weeks and you are likely to end up with only a handful of Thursday’s open for an event.

A few things to keep in mind for your RFP include; Budget, Date & Time, Guest Count, Menu (would you like a casual meal with hors d’oeuvres and perhaps a carving station or do you prefer a formal plated meal?), Bar (will you have an open bar of Beer, Wine and Liquor or a Cash Bar? If having a Cash Bar will there be a bartender fee?), Décor (does the Venue provide Holiday Centerpieces and/or décor? If so, this could save you a good bit of money!), Dance Floor, In-house Music or Space for DJ/Band and lastly, Room Rate for your group if applicable. Send this list along with any other details specific to your group to your potential event venue and they should be able to provide a quick proposal to book your event as soon as possible.

Happy Holidays!

By: Mallory Voorheis, IOM :: Corporate Sales Manager :: Vintage Villas Hotel & Events

Grand Send-Off Ideas

Trying to decide on what to use for your grand exit? Take a look at this compilation of send-off ideas that are sure to put the final touches on your big day!

Balloons

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Rose Petals

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Glow sticks

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Bubbles

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Lavender

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Streamers

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Sparklers (make sure to check that there is not a burn-ban in effect)

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And when the fun has ended, leave your wedding riding off in a horse-drawn carriage or on a tandem bicycle.

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Waving good-bye to your guests in a classic car or hot sports car is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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And you can never go wrong with a traditional black car or limo, but when you are a Cinderella bride your dreams come true leaving in a magic pumpkin.

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Photograph by Mike Reed

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Whatever you choose to send you off, start your marriage in style!

Matt Montalvo & Vintage Villas-20

 

Written by:  Lauren Allen, Director of Sales and Marketing