signature drinks

So, it's time to decide what you want served from the bar on your big day! Well, with the right mixologist and liquor, your options are limitless. But we always thinks it's fun when couples pick out a few signature drinks for their guests to enjoy. These can be well-known or they can be customized specifically for the bride and groom. Here are some fun cocktail options for you!

Spring cocktail: fancy fig cocktails!

Spring cocktail: fancy fig cocktails!

Autumn cocktail: blackberry bourbon smash!

Autumn cocktail: blackberry bourbon smash!

Summer cocktail: blueberry mojito!

Summer cocktail: blueberry mojito!

vendor spotlight: brice hursey wedding guitarist

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Name: Brice Hursey

Business Name: Solo Acoustic Guitarist - Brice Hursey

Industry Category: wedding musician

What common mistakes do you see couples making? Often I see that couples are planning their weddings at the last minute, and it really puts extra stress on them as well as the coordinator and other vendors. Preparation ahead of time is key to making sure that everything goes the way that you want it to!

What's the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding? Ask questions and get to know your vendors! The more questions that you ask, the quicker you'll know if they are the right fit. You will be able to tell what type of person they are and you will be able to know if they will put their heart and into your special day by the way they present themselves to you and answer your questions! The more that you connect with them, the more you will be at — which will result in you being able to express how you truly want the wedding of your dreams to go. They should be asking you questions in return if they truly care!

What don't couples know about your business category that they need to know? While I do play traditional, classical wedding songs like "Canon in D," I also play a unique and intimate modern style that seems to fit well with any setting! I also have musical videos on my website, where you can hear how I sound. And I'm always willing to learn the songs that YOU want to hear.

What questions should couples be asking that they don't know to ask? Couples should ask about how the procession of a wedding goes. A lot of times, I find that they are unsure of how a wedding goes and they don't know when songs should be played or how many songs should be played and when certain things should happen in a ceremony. They should be asking these questions beforehand, as well as during the rehearsal, so there are no awkward moments during the wedding.

What's your best piece of advice for couples planning a wedding? Enjoy the wedding day, and be in the moment. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you should look at anything that happens that you didn't plan for as a memory that you will always cherish.

What's the most unusual wedding you ever did? I played at a outdoor wedding in the country with a beautiful rustic setting and the bride rode up on a tractor before she walked down the aisle. Her dad was driving the tractor and you could hear her coming before you ever saw her. It was very neat and something I will always remember.

What was the most memorable wedding you ever worked, and why? I played at a wedding near the beach and there was a terrible storm coming, but the wedding went on. I was afraid that it was going to start pouring down rain right when the bride made her way down the aisle, but it just drizzled and then stopped after a minute and the clouds cleared out shortly after. I definitely breathed a sigh of relief for them and my guitar!

honeymoon dreaming

I recently asked a group of pals for some honeymoon location ideas. The responses were great — and plentiful — so I created a list of cool places that you may not have thought to go to for a honeymoon. These include places in the U.S. and outside!

For the Adventurer
You'll want to go somewhere that will get the adrenaline pumping. The U.S. is filled with lots of great theme parks, but I would highly recommend Walt Disney World Resort. Boasting four theme parks and two water parks, you're bound to have a great time. 

Hobbiton, New Zealand

Hobbiton, New Zealand

What adventurer doesn't dream of New Zealand? The country is gorgeous and you can never get bored with so many options: kayaking, sky diving, hiking, and more, Who knows...you may find yourself lost down a Hobbit hole!

Park City — photo: St. Regis

For the Outdoorsy
Park City, Utah is incredible. Known for its skiing options, this city is also where the Sundance Film Festival takes place and where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held! It may not be your first thought of honeymoon location, but you won't regret it!

You could also head to Iceland for incredible sights and activities. Have you ever wanted to see the Northern Lights? Iceland! Interested in whale-watching? Iceland! Does the idea of swimming in an ice-surrounded lagoon filled with naturally hot water intrigue you? Iceland! The views and the opportunities are endless in this beautiful country!

For the Romantic
We'll start with the most obvious choice: Paris. No matter the season, the City of Light is filled with rich history, mouth-watering cuisine, and an atmosphere filled with love and sensuality. Topped with so many tourist options — let's not forget the Eiffel Tower — you're sure to have a great time!

If you're looking for romantic locations in the U.S., you'll have many choices, but I'd highly recommend New Orleans. It may not be the first place that comes to mind, but like Paris, it has cuisine and culture that people adore. Stroll through the French Quarter hand-in-hand while streams of sweet jazz music float around you. 

Santorini, Greece ©Rudy Balasko

Santorini, Greece ©Rudy Balasko

For the Relaxer
Pick any of the Caribbean Islands, and you're in for a relaxing time! You can get an all-inclusive resort and be set. But if you want another option, try Santorini, Greece! Sail the Mediterranean and explore historic places. You'll love this popular city!

U.S. options are bountiful, but we couldn't get away without choosing Hawaii for the relaxing U.S. option! Throw a luau, surf the waves, or sunbathe on the beach — relaxing activities are endless in this island state.  

For the Unconventional
If you're looking for a unique place to spend your first days of wedded bliss, check out Dubai, United Arab Emirates. One of the wealthiest places in the world, Dubai is home to some of the best shopping. It also happens to be in the desert, so you can ride a camel if you'd like. Not to mention, this city is praised as being one of the Middle East's most beautiful cities. 

If you're staying local to the U.S., try out Portland Oregon. This is a dream for the local-lover. Fresh food, local breweries, and an abundance of nature trails, this is a lovely city for a low-key couple that's looking for a simple getaway! 

Happy honeymooning! 

vendor spotlight: ceremonies by katherine

Katherine Edwards of Ceremonies By Katherine.

Name: Katherine Edwards

Business Name: Ceremonies By Katherine

Industry Category: Officiant

What common mistakes do you see couples making? A big mistake I see is couples make is not considering the comfort of their guests when having an outdoor ceremony. If it is an extremely hot day, give your guests shade, fans, and cold water to drink. If it is cold out, give them blankets and hot coffee or hot chocolate. Or if it is just really miserable one way or the other, move inside! You really don't want to start off your wedding day by making your guests grumpy. It is a celebration after all!

What's the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding? Don't forget about the ceremony! I meet some couples only weeks before their wedding because they literally forgot about the ceremony. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the party planning, the colors, the flowers, the food, that you forget the reason WHY you're all there. Your ceremony does not have to be the boring thing your guests suffer through. If you find a great officiant who you really connect with and take the time to put together a ceremony that reflects you and your relationship, you will love it. Your guests will love it. And you absolutely will not regret the time and thought put into having a meaningful, romantic, and special ceremony.

What don't couples know about your business category that they need to know? A good officiant does so much more than read the words off a page. They set the tone and create an atmosphere for this huge, transformational moment in your life. Your officiant should be interested in you, invested in your love, and should enjoy working with you! Having someone with you who respects your beliefs and your life choices is essential at such an impactful moment. Your officiant should listen to your desires, answer your questions, and address your concerns. They should committed to making YOUR vision for your ceremony become a reality.

What questions should couples be asking that they don't know to ask? Ask each officiant you meet with about their experience, reviews, and ordination credentials. In a time where anyone can become ordained on the internet and set up a website, you want to make sure that you are hiring someone with valid experience, a solid reputation among their previous couples and fellow vendors, and someone whose ordination will not bring the validity of your marriage into question.

The most unusual ceremony Katherine has participated in!

What's the most unusual wedding you ever did? Adam and Kristina were married on a Monday in February of 2016. A Monday ceremony is unusual by itself, but this was a special Monday because it was Leap Day! You can imagine it takes a pretty special couple to choose Leap Day as their wedding day and these two didn't disappoint. Their theme was Avengers and they had me wear a black suit and eye patch to play the part of Nick Fury. All of the guests wore black, and the bride's "bouquet" was Thor's hammer! There were so many thoughtful details throughout that carried out the theme. I love when couples get creative!

What was the most memorable wedding you ever worked, and why? The most memorable wedding so far was July 2017 at the NC Museum of Life and Science in Durham. I have officiated several weddings at the museum, but this ceremony was in the tree houses! I was so looking forward to this wedding and was heartbroken when thunderstorms began rolling through late that afternoon, which I was sure would push us inside. However, Veronica and Daniel were not phased by the storms and we went ahead with the ceremony outside! In the tree houses! In a thunderstorm! I offered to cut the ceremony short, but the couple wanted to do the whole thing, handfasting and all, so we did! One particularly memorable part of the ceremony was at the end when the bride, groom, and their wedding party all recessed via the bright green tube slide. So much fun and a wedding that will not be forgotten any time soon.

 

Treehouse wedding!

Treehouse wedding!