Outdoor Wedding Season

Now that we’ve turned the corner toward spring, thoughts turn to spending more time in the beautiful outdoors. And with that comes the idea of outdoor wedding prep. If you’ve already chosen a date and venue, congratulations; it should be a wonderful season for a ceremony al fresco! If you haven’t gotten this far in your planning, or if you’re aiming for a summer or fall wedding instead, there are still considerations you can make now for how to prepare an outdoor wedding that maximizes a memorable setting for your ceremony, your reception and your photography opportunities. Here are a few aspects to consider when planning your outdoor wedding in any season. 

  1. Location—The most important consideration aside from climate is the location of your outdoor wedding. The size of your wedding will help you decide whether an intimate garden setting is appropriate or if something larger like a botanical garden if one is available and suits your expenses. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, think about friends or family who might have a pretty backyard setting that you could use; an outdoor wedding on a site that has meaning to you and your attendants is a perfect personalized choice for a smaller event.  
  1. Lighting—An afternoon wedding will have plenty of bright and happy illumination to spare; a beach setting is even brighter, though reflections off the water might dazzle your vision, or that of your wedding goers. Visit the site ahead of the wedding during the time of day when your ceremony will take place to gauge positioning for maximum lighting impact. If your outdoor wedding is an evening event, think about adding a gentle romantic glow using candles on tables and lanterns or fairy light strands hung from trees. And if you’re particularly celestial-minded, planning your wedding for the night of a full moon can bring all the elements into perfect lighting alignment. 
  1. Décor For an outdoor wedding, the setting can serve as the décor as well. A rose garden overflowing with colorful blooms, a greenspace with lots of lush limbs and leaves, or a lakeside setting under the trees will give a striking background for the ceremony and the reception. Take advantage of the setting by choosing a focal point for the ceremony that maximizes the environment. A few simple hanging ornaments can create a visual border to hem in the space; think tasteful tulle swags or floral garlands, things that keep with the atmosphere while leading the eye to the bride and groom for the ceremony, and something like a runner or a path of flower petals to direct wedding goers to the reception area.  
  1. Table Settings—With a few easy touches, you can pull the theme of the outdoor setting into the décor of your reception. For a woodsy setting, use tasteful sprays, pinecone bundles and branches as rustic tablescapes, or fill small vases with flowers that match the background of a garden wedding setting. Shells and sand dollars in small glass globes filled with sand and tealight candles will make lovely ornaments for a beach-themed wedding, and autumn leaves with your guests’ names elegantly lettered make stunning placeholders for a fall wedding. Be imaginative with your table settings to give your wedding a cohesive feel that incorporates elements of wilderness in meaningful ways.
  1. Weather—If you outdoor wedding takes place in the fall or on a cool spring evening, your guests might need to bring jackets or gather around space heaters to keep comfortable; if it’s a summer wedding, they might need an air-conditioned indoor space to cool off, or maybe more casual dress. The time of year and setting of your ceremony may determine the attire of your guests, so be sure to outline the expectations in your save-the-date cards and invitations. Of course, you can’t control the weather on the day, but a bit of forethought will make sure you’ve covered as many bases as possible.

An outdoor wedding brings the majesty of nature to a most significant day and can lend a sense of awe to your auspicious occasion. With enough planning and ingenuity, you can create a wonderland for your special day and create a memorable event that expresses your love of the outdoors as much as it does your love for one another!

AllegroLive Summer Concerts!

join us this summer!!!

Our AllegroLive Summer Concert Series is FUN FOR EVERYONE!
Featuring live music, great food & drinks, preferred seating, local artists, crafts, and activities for kids!
Get your tickets, and join us every other Friday MAY – AUGUST 4:30pm – 8:00pm on the New Covenant Church Grounds in Chesterfield MO, located at Hwy 64/40 & Timberlake Manor Parkway.

How to Choose Your Vows

There’s no more emotional aspect of a wedding than the vows you’ll exchange. Your guests will hang on your every word, waiting eagerly to hear you speak your commitment to your spouse in lines you’ve chosen especially for the occasion. With this much significance, putting your heart and soul into written form can be challenging, especially if writing isn’t your strong suit. There are plenty of existing vows that can be adapted for any wedding that will work wonderfully with just a few additions to capture your personal details. But if you’re looking for a special reading specific to your ceremony, how do you know what to include, what to leave out, and how to choose just the right words to express exactly what you feel? Here are a few helpful suggestions to get you started.

  1. Make Them Personal—Consider your truest emotions for the occasion and write them in plain language as a love letter to your partner. How does this person make you feel? What made you fall in love with them and choose them as a forever partner? What do you hope to experience them as the years unfold? If you speak your heart, no matter what ends up on the page, your vows will be sweet, sincere, and genuine.
  1. Make Them Poetic—If you’re a fan of poetry, you can choose a few lines or a whole verse from a favorite poem that properly expresses your feelings. If you’ve never explored the idea of poetry as vows, research classic and contemporary romantic poets to see what their work offers. And if you’re truly daring, why not try putting your own thoughts in poem form? It doesn’t need to rhyme to be poetry; it just needs to express what you feel poetically.
  1. Make Them Original—If you have a friend or family member who happens to be a writer, why not enlist their help in creating something special and new that says exactly what you’re feeling? You can conduct an interview or have a conversation about what you want to include. Give them all the notes they need, then let them work their magic to make your thoughts sing. Not only will you create something special together, you’ll have a wonderful memento to commemorate your special day. You can even have them printed and framed and present them to your partner as a beautiful bride or groom gift!
  1. Make Them Authentic—No matter which direction you choose, make sure your vows come from your heart and not just from the expectations of others. These are your personal thoughts about your loved one, and you are free to decide what they should be. Even if they end up being three simple lines about your devotion and dedication, you’ll have created the perfect vows for your ceremony. 

And if all else fails…

  1. Make Them Traditional—There’s nothing wrong with choosing classic, traditional vows for your ceremony. Even if they’ve been written by someone else and used in weddings other than yours, as long as they resonate with you, they’ll be perfect. You can investigate the possibilities online to find something unique or go with beloved phrasing from Biblical or spiritual text. Your minister or officiant can offer some suggestions if nothing speaks to you. Be sure to ask for their assistance.

There are unlimited ways to speak your love in the form of wedding vows. Whether you go with a contemporary twist, choose a love poem that everyone will recognize and swoon over or opt for a thoroughly traditional set of familiar, loving vows, the fact that you’ve taken the time to choose them yourself will add the personal touch that makes your wedding unique to you. And you’re sure to set your loved one’s heart aflame all over again when they hear you speak of the depth of your love and adoration for them. And that’s what your vows are all about!

Wedding Cake Trends

Aside from the happy couple, the centerpiece of any wedding is, of course, the cake! Whether it’s a humble creation for a modest affair or a sculptural monument for a gala event, wedding cakes are what capture your guests’ attention most. Not only are they the confectionary pinnacle of the celebration, they’re also a symbol of union and exchange; when the bride and groom cut the cake and share the first slice, they’re enacting cooperation and commitment to nourishing and taking care of one another. And when all eyes are on the masterpiece from the start of the reception right up until the big moment, the cake is in the spotlight. 

With influencers creating masterful cakes in new styles literally every day, there’s an exciting and diverse range of designs to choose from, something for any and every couple’s tastes. Because it can be difficult to decide – and because traditional wedding cakes just won’t cut it for your special day – we’ve rounded up some cake trends we think will be setting off sparks for the 2021 wedding season. 

Tall Towers – Think thin when it comes to cakes this year. Tall, narrow columns of confectionary goodness stacked two tiers high make a striking visual impression. 

Mini-Cakes—Having a small, elegant cake represent the festive occasion with a larger cake stored in a fridge for cutting and serving at the right moment addresses hygiene protocols that come with a COVID-era wedding. But small needn’t be less than; there can be great artistic impact in a small cake on a well-chosen pedestal surrounded by themed décor that fill out the display.  

Thoughtful Design— Step away from traditional flower sprays and vining ivy to add more personalized elements that speak of the happy couple. Gold and stone veining, candy crystal geodes, faux paper wrapping or impressionist frosting details will stun your guests with an artful display, one with significance beyond being the centerpiece of the celebration.

All Things Buttercream—Fondant moves aside in favor of minimalistic tone-on-tone buttercream piping that can be made modern or traditional with a twist of the frosting tube. Think sculptural designs, fabric recreations and bas-relief bands of detailed design to maximize the shape and shadow rendering that will lend an understated elegance to your cake. 

Individual Desserts—For the ultimate in safety among your guests, individualized desserts that reach beyond cake can be presented in lovely packages that ensure each serving is sealed until presented. Color-themed macarons, detailed sugar cookies decorated in wedding colors, handmade candies and custom-flavored chocolates all lend a distinctive touch. 

No matter what style you choose—something modern or a more traditional idea—your cake is bound to be a celebration in and of itself. The most important thing to consider is that it reflects the tastes of the happy couple. And as long as it does, it will be the perfect cake for a perfect occasion!

Songs To Walk You Down the Aisle

Music sets the mood and brings your guests into your most significant wedding moment, and no moment is more captivating than your walk down the aisle. Beyond the traditional march and the evergreen Pachelbel’s Canon in D, you can personalize your wedding with a theme that captures the spirit of your personal connection to your partner. Of course, if you have a signature song as a couple – something romantic and meaningful – you have a perfect aisle theme already. But if your favorite tune is a little too techno for the tone of your wedding or doesn’t quite fit the moment and you’re just not feeling good about the obvious selections, here are some choices for wedding themes that can make your big moment a proper experience for everyone—especially you and your beloved!

  1. You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne

For a wedding with a contemporary feel, this horn-soaked slice of R&B bliss will set your ceremony off to a rollicking start. Ray’s chorus of pleading declarations echoed by honey-sweet backing vocals expresses everything your guests will need to know about your love and start your celebration off with a warm groove.

  1. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

A perennial favorite and long-time chart topper, this brisk and breezy little tune perfectly sums up a walk down the aisle. Jingling ukulele chords and Jason’s easygoing tones are as great a match for a beach wedding or an outdoor ceremony as they are for an intimate, candlelit indoor celebration.

  1. Come Away with Me – Norah Jones

If you want a tune with a nostalgic feel but a contemporary presentation, consider this lovely song from a classic voice that brings a 21st century feel to jazzy standard songwriting, with a message of two people escaping the world for the sake of love. Romance is the order of the day, after all!

  1. The Book of Love – Peter Gabriel

There won’t be a dry eye in the house by the time this valentine to the notion of eternal love is finished. Gabriel’s whiskey-and-smoke voice set against a curtain of romantic strings sets an orchestral tone paced perfectly for your aisle stroll. By the time final line “You want to give me wedding rings” comes around, you’ll be front and center for your big moment.

  1. I And Love And You – The Avett Brothers

Few musicians on the modern landscape capture the emotional sense of a wedding march than these talented siblings, and this chiming folk tune attests to the strength of a simple melody and a stirring chamber arrangement. A gentle, earthy tale about life on the road, the lyrics can easily be reimagined as the story of the challenges of love that have led two people to their pinnacle moment. 

  1. No One – Alicia Keys

If you’re looking for a bit of a thumper, this one has you covered. A gently driving beat and a minimalist arrangement provide a sonic landscape for Alicia’s soulful plea of commitment and devotion. A fantastic choice if your tastes tend toward a more upbeat option that will synchronize your guests and get their heads happily bobbing along in time!

  1. Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You – Damien Rice

Maybe one of the most tender, haunting love songs ever, this fragile rumination on the unexpected power of love builds to a soaring peak that can be timed for a wonderful touch of romantic drama for your trip down the aisle. A wonderful choice for the couple who favors a bit of storytelling in their ceremony.

  1. Best of My Love – The Emotions

If you’re looking to put a bit more spring in your step as you take the big walk, think about using this joyful classic. With its sun-splashed horns, bouncy rhythm and cheerful melody – not to mention a message of sheer and complete commitment – you can invite your guests to their feet to join you in a celebratory dance before the reception even begins! As a bonus bopper, pair it with This Will Be by Natalie Cole for a full-blown wedding aisle dance party.

  1. Fix You – Coldplay

An anthem of utter commitment, this buoyant wonderwork brings you the best of both worlds: soft introductory verses to set a delicate entrance that build to a triumphant climax proclaiming dedication to love even during the most trying times. It’s a heartswell of a tune that will broadcast your shared devotion in no uncertain terms.

  1. Glitter in the Air – Pink

A simple story told in a series of romantic images about letting go for the sake of love, this plaintive ballad is a study in celebrating the magic and excitement that comes with taking a leap of faith with the one who holds your heart. And closing with the sentiment “Will it ever get better than tonight?” is a pitch-perfect entrée into your ceremony and exchange of vows. 

Of course, there’s a whole world of music out there that would make a perfect theme for your walk down the aisle. And the theme and tone of your wedding will suggest the right music for you and your occasion. Consider the setting, décor, and tone of your wedding to make sure your theme is in keeping with the vibe you’re trying to create and listen to a wide range of choices with an open mind. You might find the right tune in a genre that you aren’t familiar with but that sets your hearts on fire as soon as you hear it. Also consider the pacing of your wedding; if you have several bridesmaids and groomsmen, you might choose a longer song to allow the full processional within the length of the song. You might also think about having two songs, one for the processional and a special one just for the bride. And because it’s YOUR wedding, you can choose what ever music suits your mood – the possibilities are practically endless!