Friday, September 2, 2016

Survival Guide for Planning a Gainesville Wedding During Football Season

Yes, Gainesville, Florida certainly is a small town with a rather large Football problem, and make no mistake, that's how we love it! (Go Gators!!!)

However, if necessity or choice dictates that you plan your wedding to be during this 4 month long city holiday, you'll need some pointers to help you survive with all your wedding awesomeness in tact.

image by Russell Martin Photography
First: Check the Football Schedule, then Weigh the Pro's and Con's of picking a Home Game for your wedding date

Pro's: Many alumni who may also be getting married, often prefer to be in the heart of the Swamp for home games, so you'll have an easier time booking vendors, getting the venue you want (as long as it's not on campus) and the roads will be completely clear during game time.

Con's: For home games, the population of our town literally triples. This means that hotels from Ocala to Lake-City sellout and double or triple their prices. This will be a concern for your out-of-town guests that you'll need to be aware of.

Take note - you'll need to find routes to your venue, before and after game time, that steer completely around campus, or you'll end up gridlocked in stadium traffic.

image by Russell Martin Photography
Second: Home or Away Game - book your vendors as early as you possibly can.

Once you've secured your venue and date, if it's a home game, start with your Hotel Block for out of town guests. This will be one of the hardest things to secure, so the earlier the better. If you're planning any kind of party bus or rental cars for your bridal party or guests, do this early too.

If your date turns out to be an an away game or the bi-week, these are the most sought after days each Fall - so book early and fast to secure the vendors you love. Start with your venue, then move quickly to vendors that only work one wedding a day (wedding planner, photography, videography, etc). Hotels and rental cars are also in high demand during these weekends because so many couples are getting married.

Some things to consider: If your Cocktail Hour or Reception is during Game-Time

If your guest count includes a decent number of football fans, sadly enough, they'll want to keep up with the game during festivities. To be fair, I've had many die-hard fan couples who want the updates too. There's a few different ways to keep guests updated, without turning your reception into a sports bar substitute. Pick your favorite or mix and match:

Have the DJ give scoring updates every so often between songs for guests. This is always a hit and will be a nice low-key option.

Make a Chalkboard Score Sign and designate a special fan to keep it up-to-date. We made this one for last year's SEC Championship Game:

image by KiKi Creates
Place a small TV outside in the cocktail area or a back corner of the reception room that shows the game. Only turn it on at kick-off and make sure the volume is very low, or on subtiles only. It's best if the screen isn't visible from the dance floor or guest tables.

As a side note, many of these issues factor in during Graduation Weeks and Gator Nationals here as well.

Whether you choose to Gator your wedding up to the hilt or pretend Orange and Blue craziness isn't going on within a mile of your wedding - getting married during football season is totally doable. Just plan early and you'll have a fantastic Gainesville wedding you've been dreaming about.

image by LoveStorey Photography
P.S. Yes - that image is totally IN THE GATOR TUNNEL! :) Did you know you can rent The Swamp now for weddings?! How amazing would an away game wedding date be there?!

Happy Football Season and get planning!  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A "Back to the Future" Wedding - Revisited!

It's Back to the Future Day!! You know, the day that Marty and Doc Brown travel forward into the future - October 21, 2015.

I couldn't resist revisiting my old Back to the Future Wedding Inspiration Board and updating it with some new ideas. I still think that it would be one of the most "far out" and totally awesome wedding themes ever!

Here's the inspiration board that started it all:

Customized 80's Mix Clock CD's as favors, Bridesmaids decked out in 50's gorgeousness, and the Delorean Bridal Car = Back to the Future wedding magic! For the original blog post with ideas for photo booths, tables names, ring bearer signs and more, check it out here.

Here's some new ideas to add:

How about a "Save the Date" that's spot on?
via The Knot
 Or this seriously fantastic cake:

via Pinterest
I know what you're thinking - "This is Heavy..." ;)

Don't worry, just remember that you're each other's "Density" and you'll make a future that's your own and wonderful!

I'd like to respectfully customize the iconic Doc Brown's words of wisdom, if I may....

Your wedding hasn't been planned yet. No one has your love story. Your wedding is whatever you make it. So make it a good one.

Now, go marathon all three movies (so I'm not the only one) and have a very Happy Back to the Future Day!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Round-Up of Deliciously Pun-tastic Edible Wedding Favors

It's been a fun week sharing some of the most unique and fresh ideas for wedding favors! I couldn't resist wrapping it up with a trio of simply Pun-tastic Edible Favors!

"Thanks for 'Popping' By!"

via Brit+Co
I just love these! So affordable and adorable! You could up-cycle baby food jars or get mini mason jars. Any kind of butcher block or card-stock paper would work great.

They'd be perfect for a movie themed affair or if you're having a popcorn bar during cocktails or the reception.

"It's BEAN so special having you join us!"

via My Wedding
These are so colorful and fun! Get them in Bride and Groom flavors or a mix of deliciousness. You could even do a mini jellybean bar with jars of all different flavors in your color scheme using pre-printed bags with the pun on them.

"We go together like Salt & Pepper"

via Something Turquoise
Who doesn't need a little salt & pepper to spice things up? These little mason jars shakers are filled with pre-mixed Salt & Pepper for the perfect take home treat for your guests. The full DIY instructions are HERE.

Recipe Book Favor!!!

via Offbeat Bride
Ok, I know this isn't technically a pun, but it was such an awesome food related favor, I had to include it in the round-up. This Offbeat Bride couple served all different kinds of pie instead of cake and made these adorable booklets with all the recipes for their guests to bring home. You can't get more personal or from the heart than that! 

You could use recipes that were used at your wedding, or make a favorites collection from the Bride and Groom, or even do cards of your signature cocktails. It's so versatile and customizable, my head is spinning with possibilities!

Happy Friday! We hope your weekend is as delicious as these favors. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Late Night Snack Wedding Favors

Are you planning an all night, totally awesome, raising the roof kind of wedding? If so, your guests are going to need some extra sustenance to keep them out on the dance floor or to make them happy on their way home after an unforgettable evening.

Are these Late Night Snack ideas delicious, or what?!

via Style Me Pretty
What a cute treat for your guests! The packaging is perfect and simple to put together, plus easy for guests to just grab and go. You could personalize it even more with a special treat that's a favorite of the bride and groom.

via Style Unveiled
I mean, come on! How adorable are "What-a-Night" Whatabuger treats?! They make the perfect late night snacks for guests with tired feet!

What would you be craving as a guest as a midnight snack? Are you planning on something like this for your guests? Comment and tell us about it!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Coffee Wedding Favors

I, admittedly, am a coffee enthusiast. I love everything to do with it from the taste, to the homey-warmth, to the plethora of cup options (I actually have a personal coffee cup collection). I know I'm not alone in my obsession though - and because of this, coffee makes an awesome wedding favor!

It's something that your guests will definitely brew and enjoy later, whether it's the next morning while recovering from all the fun, or a month from the big day with fond memories.

I literally went "OOOOOHHH!" when I saw this coffee favor idea on Emmaline Bride. It's combination coffee cups with coffee grounds!

via Emmaline Bride
The mugs are adorable and such a usable favor! It's such a great idea to pair them with personalized coffee grounds as well. We've talked about the idea of having coffee mug favors before with "Muglies" - check it out on our blog here! So much fun!

I love this take on coffee ground favors too:

via Brides
It personalizes it so much more by just picking a "his" and "hers" flavor. Super easy and super cute!

If you're looking for some more fabulous coffee wedding ideas, check out our "Good to the Last Drop" post!

Are you a coffee lover too? Will it play a part in your big day?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fun Door Hanger for Guests

For a little Friday Fun, I LOVE this for your out-of-town guest bags!

via Style Unveiled
What great addition to their hotel bags! Especially if the majority of your guests are staying in the same hotel, it would be so much fun to see all the tags hanging on doors!

They'd be easy to print and make yourself too - some pretty card-stock, printer, and scissors and you're in business.

Guest Hotel Bags are a great way to add lots of personalized detail and meaningful touches to your wedding. It doesn't take much to make them memorable either. Fill them with your favorite candy or late night snack with a little tag explaining the meaning: "The Bride's Favorite Guilty Pleasure" or "The Groom loves (insert treat) almost as much as he loves his Bride!"

It's always a great idea to include a map or list of fun attractions in the area. Directions to the different venues are a must as well.

What ever you choose though, your guests will know that you are really touched that they made the trip.

This entire wedding was full of fun ideas and totally coordinated in theme and style! Check out the entire blog post at Style Unveiled.

Do you have any unique ideas for your guest bags? Share with us! We'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chalkboard Wedding Cake

Chalkboards are all the rage now in weddings and for great reason! They're so versatile - great for signs, menus, table numbers, photo booths, you name it!

This is a new one though - Chalkboard Wedding Cakes!

via MODWedding
So cool, right? If you're having chalkboards scattered throughout your big day, this would be the icing on the cake! (he, he, he!)

via Emmaline Bride
I love that they're black too, which is really unique. It would make them stand out as a true show-stopper.

via MODWedding
What do you think? Are Chalkboard Wedding Cakes for you or do you like the more traditional?