Historically, rehearsal dinners have been an intimate restaurant affair for immediate family, wedding party members and their significant others, and the parents of any child attendants. However, in recent years, there has been a shift toward opening up these traditional celebrations to more guests, as well as branching out from the standard sit-down meal.
Here, two wedding planning experts weigh in on the why and how of a more inclusive and creative pre-big day party.
Weddings generally bring together many people from many different backgrounds, notes Brooke Sheldon, owner of Lilybrooke Events in Kennebunkport, Maine. “Having everyone get together at the rehearsal dinner serves as an ice-breaker – by the time the reception rolls around, everyone is already old friends.”
It’s also a great way to ensure you – the bride! – actually get to spend quality time with all your nearest and dearest. “The wedding day goes by so fast, and the couple may feel pulled in many different directions,” says Wendi Hroncich, founder of Seattle-based Ethereal Events. Hosting a more inclusive rehearsal dinner decreases the big day pressure on the bride and groom, and allows for more relaxed hanging out.
The Guest List
If you have the inclination and the budget, go ahead and include everyone in your rehearsal festivities. But if you must draw the line somewhere, just make sure your invite list is consistent.
For example, due to the time and expense involved in traveling, destination-wedding rehearsal dinners have typically involved all the guests, says Sheldon. Playing off that trend, many stateside wedding couples are now opting to include all out-of-town guests in the day-before bash. Others might prefer to host all their extended family members.
If the guest list is small or money is little or no object, the rehearsal dinner is a lovely way to add a playful or unconventional element to your gala. Hroncich has had couples treat guests to the famed interactive dinner show Teatro ZinZanni, or spring for dinner cruises that show off the city skyline. Sheldon coordinated a fireworks-filled July Fourth lobster bake on a river. The couple had a private, tented section of lawn for several hundred guests, but selected a space next to a public pops concert for free entertainment. Other creative options include a catered affair at a cool space like an aquarium or racetrack, or picking a unique theme like Old Hollywood or a luau.
That said, by no means is it necessary to spend a fortune to have a fabulous fête. Your real focus should be having a rehearsal dinner that feels like it represents who you are as a couple, and fits in with the rest of your wedding weekend events, says Hroncich. A backyard BBQs, a picnic in the park, a pizza party on the patio or a taco truck and s’mores on the beach are all great bets.
“If you have a fun location, then be casual with the meal,” says Sheldon. “The enjoyment is really about the atmosphere you create.”
Wedding Wisdom ; insider knowledge to help you relieve stress, celebrate, and enjoy planning your dream day!
TLC’s Four Weddings is Casting Brides in Seattle. Are you planning a Honeymoon winning worthy event? Apply online here.
Photos from TLC Four Weddings Website
The Girl Power Hour #powersocial is tomorrow and we’re pumped for so many reasons. Here are five….
Moderator: Sasha Pasulka : @sashrocks. Sasha is the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Tableau Software, where she helps people see and understand data. Previously, she was the Vice President of Product & Marketing at Salad Labs, a social platform startup. She began her career as a software engineer, building mission systems software for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. She left to start a celebrity gossip blog, which grew into an international media company with over 13M monthly readers. After exiting that business in 2010, she managed digital strategy for rock-star creative brands like Duran Duran and Incubus at the Red Magnet Media agency. Sasha has a B.S. in computer science from Arizona State University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson. She’s been published in the Washington Post, The New York Observer, The Guardian, Gawker, Jezebel, Hello Giggles and Geekwire, and she has appeared on CNN and the CBC. You can follow her on Twitter @sashrocks.
Panelist: Shauna Causey : @ShaunaCausey. Shauna Causey is passionate about the intersection of community and technology. She’s focused on the exciting applications of technology to redefine the relationships between companies and their consumers, elected officials and their constituents, and non-profits and their benefactors and beneficiaries. She has managed communications, research, community relations and social media strategies for companies, non-profits and elected officials, working for the Seattle Mariners Baseball Team, Fox Sports Net, FOX, WB, Comcast, and Nordstrom. She has also consulted for various companies, including Google. She is now serving as the vice president of marketing and communications at Decide.com and as president of Social Media Club Seattle. Shauna was voted in the “100 Top Women in Tech” by TechFlash and has been featured in the LA Times as part of the “Female Empire of Technology,” theHuffington Post, and Geek Wire, among others. She has also appeared on ABC News, CBS News, and Bloomberg West.
Panelist: Joanna Lord: @JoannaLord. Joanna Lord is the VP of Growth Marketing at SEOmoz.org, a leading inbound marketing software company out of Seattle, WA. While she currently heads up SEOmoz’s lifecycle marketing efforts for Moz’s 25,000 member customer base, she is also a well-known social media enthusiast and frequent conference speaker. She spends her days at Moz working with an amazing team of marketers that focus on customer growth, increasing loyalty, and building the SEOmoz brand. Her diverse experience in data analysis, performance marketing, inbound marketing, and retention programs enables her to provide tactical strategies that work.
Panelist: Kelly Clay : @kellyhclay. Kelly Clay is the Digital Communications Strategist for HasOffers, the industry’s leading solution for tracking performance advertising across the web and mobile. She also covers emerging technology and social media trends for Forbes.com, and occasionally contributes industry analysis for VentureBeat. Kelly’s passion for technology and social media began at an early age, and she has since helped develop the social strategy for other businesses including Microsoft, Pacific Place and even Girl Power Hour. When not on Facebook, Twitter, posting pictures to Instagram or blogging, Kelly can be found enjoying happy hours and hiking with friends.
Panelist: Amber Osborne : @MissDestructo. Amber is the CMO of Meshfire, a social media management tool for teams. She recently moved to Seattle from Tampa, FL and has been featured in Forbes, Mashable and CNN and was recently voted one of the Top 10 CMO’s on Twitter.
WHAT: Let’s Get Social!
DATE: May 8, 2013
VENUE: The Bellevue Club
WHO: Women only. 21+.
ATTIRE: Don’t be under-dressed
Got Questions for our panelists? Get them in now! Tweet your questions to our Moderator @sashrocks and find out if she asks the panelists your questions! Follow @GirlPowerHour and use #powersocial in your tweets.
That’s why were bringing you the Girl Power Hour “Power of Women in Social Media” Event on May 8th at The Bellevue Club.
There’s a lot of buzz about this event. Why? Because we have awesome partners, a rockstar panel, a kick-ass venue and the best guests around. You want good content and great networking? Then this is the event for you. You’ve still got a few hours to get a ticket. Not sure if you want to cross the bridge? Don’t! UBER will cross it for you. (If you’re new to UBER, get your first ride up to $50 free or, get 50% off for recurring visitors. It’s worth it! (click here)
So here’s what we’ll be doing tomorrow….Making sense of what’s happening in new media. Why? Because it’s is critical for individuals and brands looking to make their mark and cut through the noise in today’s ever-changing world of social media. If the content wasn’t enough, you’ll also get social over cocktails and desserts before and after a 40 minute Q&A while connecting with other inspired women and our rock-star panelists.
Want more? Ok! Socially Savvy Radio Show will be hosting live from 6:30pm-7:00pm!
Other tech events charge way more. But we only charge $45. It’s almost too good to be true, we know, and we can back it up. Check out our panel…
Please Welcome Our Panelists:
Partners: Dianne’s Delights, Pearl Vodka, Girly Girl Wine, Luna, Zico, Popchips, Uber, Evolution Fresh, Espresso Elegance, Yelp, Socially Savvy, Bellevue Wellness
Sponsors: The Bellevue Club & LUNAbar
We are excited to share LUNA’s newest flavor at Girl Power Hour! Let’s just say you can have your cake, and eat it too…
WHAT: Let’s Get Social!
DATE: May 8, 2013
VENUE: The Bellevue Club
WHO: Women only. 21+.
ATTIRE: Don’t be under-dressed
Tip: Tweet that you’re going to the event and invite your friends: http://goo.gl/q6UF - Click & share!
Want to win Tickets? Tweet: “I want to win 2 tix to @GirlPowerHour on May 8th at @BellevueClub: http://goo.gl/hYn1B #powersocial”
((Winner will be drawn at random on Monday, May 6th at 12PM PDT. You must be 21. No purchase necessary.))
Spring is the perfect time to renew your home, garden and life. If you have been lacking the motivation to get started with clutter clearing or a home improvement project, tap into the active energy of the season to jump-start the process. Remember, as you shift your surroundings, you shift your life in the process.
Spring is associated with the Feng Shui element of wood that represents growth and expansion. Where in your life are you seeking greater expression? Career, relationship or health? How can you symbolically shift this area of the bagua life map in your home to reflect this desire?
One of my recent clients was experiencing a lack of passion and connection in her ten year marriage. I visited the relationship area of her home, located in the master bedroom, and noticed the headboard was up against a window, a dog bed blocked her husband’s path to the bed, the walls were white (the same color as the rest of the house) and the TV was the focal point of the room. Based on a Feng Shui assessment, the room was energetically imprinted with a lack of support, blocked access, lack of intimacy and conflicting yin (rest) and yang (active) energies.
The first step was to move the bed to a solid wall and relocate the dog bed. A sage green paint color was chosen for the walls (representing harmony and the heart chakra) and a pair of red accent pillows was recommended for the bed (the color of relationship and passion). Further suggestions included placing the TV in an armoire and adding aromatherapy candles as reminders of romance. The overall result was a nurturing space that supports greater intimacy for the couple.
We are imprinted by our surroundings, for better or worse. The closer the environment is to you, the greater its impact on your wellbeing, which is why our homes are so important. This spring, consider making a few simple changes to shift the energy of your home and life:
Groom your landscape and porch. Remove dead plants from garden beds and container pots and replace them with colorful flowers and plants. Add a new doormat to refresh the entry of your home. Stimulate uplifting energy near your front door with a pleasant sounding wind chime for a positive first impression.
Bring the vitality of nature indoors. Place a vase of colorful flowers on your dining table or desk to brighten your day. Hang colorful or inspiring artwork on your walls. Throw away dried flowers that lack vital life force. Paint the walls a new color and consider changing your curtains, pillows or bedding to create seasonal interest.
Enhance your personal energy. Get a breath of fresh air and exercise by gardening in your own backyard or take daily walks to get your physical energy moving. Start a home project or new hobby to expand your creative expression. Nothing in nature is static, and your home and life should not be either.
Enjoy transforming your surroundings (and yourself) this spring through the power of place. If you would like assistance, feel free to visit my website www.CynthiaChomos.com
New Gal’s Guide to Jacksonville – discovering the sights and sounds of Jacksonville and surrounding areas.
Minus my two year stint in Seattle, I have spent the majority of my life in my hometown, Jacksonville, FL. Since I have spent so much time here, I have a really hard time coming up with ideas to write about. This blog post came to me on an early morning run through downtown. There are many amazing things about Jacksonville.
I am a Florida girl through and through. I love knowing that I could wake up any day and drive the 10 minutes to the beach. The beach is a great place to spend your day: whether it is for enjoying the ocean, getting a tan or just to think.
Second to the beach, there is nothing better than the skyline of downtown Jacksonville. I know it isn’t the skyline that most people think about, but it is a pretty good view.
Hidden in the midst of downtown Jacksonville, Friendship Fountain sits on the river, right outside of the Museum of Science and History, and is one of the most visited locations in Jacksonville. The fountain is beautiful during the day, but when the sun goes down and the lights come on, the fountain is spectacular.
The Florida Theatre has been a staple in Jacksonville since 1927. When you drive past this historic building, it brings back memories of the plays, concerts or movies you saw there.
One of my favorite routes into downtown is over the Matthews Bridge. When you hit the peak of the bridge, all you can see is Everbank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Memorial Park is nestled between Riverside Avenue and the St. Johns River. The park is 5.85 acres and is the focal point of Riverside. I am fortunate enough to run through this park a few times a week. As the sun is rising, it is beautiful.
Anytime you are in Jacksonville make sure you take in some of these great views that Jacksonville has to offer.
Want to get teeth as white as your favorite celebs? One can’t help but notice the pearly white smiles in Hollywood from celebs like Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and well, just about everyone.
If your teeth aren’t quite as white, I have found the perfect solution! Try Go SMiLE’s Double Action 6 Day Whitening System. The system is super affordable, at just $89. Available at GOSMiLE.com.
Spring has arrived with nature’s abundance of color. As I witness the flowers and trees unfurl their magnificent presence, I can’t help but feel renewed in spirit after a long, cold winter. I have been intrigued with color ever since I received my first LightBright art board and spent endless hours mesmerized by an array of colorful pegs plugged into designs on a black board backlit by white light. I still feel a sense of awe whenever I see stained glass, especially the works of Tiffany. Color continues to be a passion and it is a powerful resource for transforming your living spaces and inspiring life.
Are you or your home in need of a pick-me-up color this spring?
Regardless of the trends, what colors are you drawn to? Every color imparts a specific quality of energy. For example, red is the most stimulating and motivating color. Brown is earthy and grounding. White is clean and purifying. When choosing paint color for interiors, an important question to explore is how do you want to feel in a room? Energized or relaxed?
To energize your living spaces, use warm colors in the red, orange and yellow hues. There are thousands of colors available from a soft, warm yellow to an intense, hot pink. Both color choices will warm and energize a space.
Are you ready for a new hot spot? Frolik is located on the fifth floor of the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Seattle. The former restaurant in the space, Terrace Garden, closed last year and the space has been completely remodeled to be Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails.
At Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails you’ll find craft cocktails developed by Mike McSorley, delicious happy hour food and a 4,000 square foot patio featuring ping-pong, shuffle board, fireplaces and more. With a roster like that and a world-class style deck in the middle of downtown, Frolik is set to be a prime happy hour spot this summer and year round.
Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails opens to the public today, April 19, 2013, with a DJ beginning at 4:30pm; just in time for Friday night happy hour. Follow them @frolikseattle | #frolikseattle.
Wedding Wisdom – insider knowledge to help you relieve stress, celebrate, and enjoy planning your dream day!
It’s April, almost May, so if you are planning a wedding for this summer or Fall you are probably pretty far along in the process.
You have your dress ordered and on it’s way! Your shoes, undergarments are maybe even accessories are selected. As your fittings approach, it is now time to select your veil. This tends to be the moment that my clients are transformed from a women in a gorgeous couture gown, into a BRIDE! There are so many different options for veil style and length (if you are choosing to do one at all). Here’s a cheat sheet to help you have the verbiage that goes with picking your perfect style!
Have fun with it! A veil should add to the look and match the formality of your ceremony and personality!
Picture courtesy of Soolip Wedding Planning Hollywood, CA.