Archive for the ‘Reception Ideas’ Category

frazzled………….. to say the least

Friday, March 19th, 2010

So I am halfway there…… and I am feeling it.  Run down, ragged, stressed, and ready for this to be done.  I feel like I have planned just about enough details, and it is wearing on my patience.   Not just that, but my sobriety.   Right now I have about 90 days clean time…… which is awesome, but everyday is a battle.

As far as my 90 days go, I could not have accomplished it without God and the help of my awesome friends, and of course- Mr. Culberson.  (Mostly God though……. to stop using after a 14 year streak honestly requires a miracle)

Bands are slowly coming together, however I just found out that the one we were relying on for a good majority of our entertainment for the evening only has about an hour set list.  So it’s back to the drawing board to get yet another band to add to the nights festivities.  I need someone that can play for a good two-three hours.  Hopefully I can find that band soon, in my budget.

We do have three bands booked right now though, which is awesome………….  one of my favorites Mue Sephei (you can check them out @ ) they are going to do the ceremony music and some light reception music , Mr. Culbersons band- Dreams Scar Reality (check them out @ ) and our third band is a cover band made up of the guitar player & singer from Dreams Scar Reality, and a girl named Jessica on bass.  They are pretty cool too.  So it looks like one of my top priorities is finding another band.

Moving on…………….. I picked out some bad ass tuxes.  They are a Calvin Klein 2 button shadow striped with teal vests and ties and black shirts.  Shoes are black & white patent leather.  The great debate now is weather the guys want to rent the tuxes I picked out.  Or go out and  buy a pair of black dress pants & a black shirt, ditch the vests, and wear a turquoise tie.  Then wear a pair of zebra stripe slip on Vans.

Here’s the tux:

Granted they look slick, but I know the jackets & vets will be ditched right after the ceremony.  If we do rent tuxes, we will be renting them from the Men’s Wearhouse.  They are located all over the nation, your men can be fitted wherever it is convenient for them and pick up the tux in your wedding location.  They also have great deals like rent 5 get the grooms free.  Rentals include two shirts (in case guys sweat through one), suspenders, cuff links, ties & vests, and shoes.  Rentals also start as low as $49 and go up to $169.

Other stuff of randomness………………….

We started to register.  We’re going with Target & taking Mrs. N’s advice and going for Bed Bath & Beyond.  My dad & sister are also going in on a car for us as a wedding gift…… which is cool.  For the past year we have been a slave to car pools, public transports & taxis.  It will be nice to have our own set of wheels again.

I’ve made some other changes too- our guest list is ever growing.  We’re at about 110.  So the 80 invitations I had bought were just not going to cut it.  I decided to return them and go with printed post card invites from Vistaprint, and do all of my RSVP’s by phone or web to save on paper and postage.  Once I get them ordered I’ll put a sample up here to show the world.  They’re much cheaper- and postage is cheaper.  Then for out of town guests, all of our lodging, directions, maps, areas of interest, general stuff will be on our website.  (I am working on a wedding website right now…… more details on that to follow…… stay tuned)

Anyway………………. I have about ten minutes to get my stuff together before I have to run out the door.   Thanks for reading my rant……. and if you have any ideas of what you think we should write about- let us know in our comment section.  We’d love to know.  Feedback is always appreciated.

Some Reception Thoughts

Monday, March 15th, 2010

This article is always very popular with couples, I’m reposting to get ideas for your reception.

We are always asked about ideas for receptions. We have answered lots of questions from brides who wonder what to do. Feel free to stop in and ask the WedPlanLady for answers to your questions.  Here are some of the questions we are asked.

How can I handle guests who respond to the invitation and state on the reply card that the number planning to attend is larger than the number invited?

If you truly can’t handle the additional guests, we suggest that you turn to your maid of honor or a tactful bridesmaid. Ask her to call the guests and explain that the bride would love to extend her guest list, but unfortunately it is impossible. The reason? Budget concerns or space already filled. If the person is offended – and some will be – they are not true friends. After all, they were the ones who have overstepped the etiquette boundaries. Often, the “extras” are uninvited children. To avoid this situation, the reception card should read, “adults only reception”. Emotions are involved in these situations; so don’t get upset if people sometimes act rudely.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about what I should and shouldn’t do at my wedding. How can I please so many different people?

We suggest that you do not try to impress anyone. Long after the event is history, it will be your creativity and warmth that are remembered, not the suggestions that you did not follow. Have pots of your favorite flowers as table centerpieces, serve local specialties, label tables with your favorite places or hobbies, assign singles to a partner, place nibbles at strategic places, and be generous with warm greetings. The success of your reception depends on efforts to create warm hospitality.

Vera P. Fernandes
Owner, Certified Wedding Specialist
Weddings Simply Unique, LLC

How to have an "UNdestination" destination wedding

Monday, March 15th, 2010

I took my fifth graders on a class trip to the Museum of Natural History today, which got me thinking of the movie “Night at the Museum,” which got me thinking of unusual and unlikely places to have a kids sleepover party, which then got me to thinking about unusual, unlikely and cool locations where people could get married.  Some place that’s not your typical venue.  Maybe a little exotic…but a place that would not require your guests to buy a plane ticket or rent a hotel room.  Kind of like an “undestination” destination wedding!

So I cam up with what I think are some interesting places where a couple could wed.  Now obviously some are more or less convenient,  if at all possible, than others, depending on where you live.  But nonetheless, here is a list of places you could get married in that might not be on an exotic island, but can be exotic in their own rite.

Museums – So obviously this is the first thing that came to mind considering that a museum sparked this thought.  More and more museums are building halls and making space to accommodate weddings.  If you’re artsy, this might be the perfect venue.  Also consider that there are hundreds of different types of museums, from classical to modern art as well as museums for almost any theme you could imagine.

Get married in a museum

Library – Anyone who watched the Sex and the City movie definitely paused in amazement when Sarah Jessica Parker’s character chose to get married at the NY Public Library.  I’m sure this would cost a hefty site fee, and keep in mind, most public libraries do NOT look like the one in the movie, but still a cool idea!

Get married in a library (pictured- NY Public Library!!)

Themed hotel or Restaurant – Why go to England, when England can come to you?  There are plenty of theme hotels, the most famous ones being on the Vegas strip, but if you look in your area, I bet you could find charming hotels and Inns that are European inspired and give the affect that you are “getting away” from home.  Along with hotels are the abundance of themed restaurants.  Asian, Caribbean, Moroccan, and some really offbeat themed eateries (Alice in Wonderland, Ninja, Prison, Jekyll and Hyde, to name a few).  Even a 50’s themed diner would be a great place to host your “destination” wedding!

Moroccan themed wedding

City attraction / historic building– Again, you will pay site fees for most of these places, but getting married  in the Empire State Building or the Sydney Opera House – that’s just too cool!

Get married at the Empire State Building

Zoo / Farm /Aquarium – Perhaps “wild animals” and nature are your thing! Why not get married at your local farm?  Even cooler, get married in an old fashioned big red barn.  Think of the amazing pictures you would get!  An aquarium is another option if you prefer water dwelling creatures.  The dark lit rooms with the glow from the water creates a beautiful setting.

Get married at the aquarium

Garden / Park – Maybe the whole wild animal thing isn’t for you after all…you can still have a beautiful outdoor wedding in a public garden or city park.  Warning: you might need a permit to get married in a public garden / city park, especially if you plan on having many guests attend.  If its just you, your mate and the officiant, you won’t need one.

Get married in the park

Bridge – I’ve heard of people getting married on bridges, near bridges, and even under bridges (well not under it, as in being in the water, although I would bet that has taken place before).  The wow factor of this is the amazing scenery and the great photo ops.

Get married under a bridge

Campground – I grew up going to sleep-away camp, so this one is especially fun for me!  It may require some travel, depending on where you and most of your guests live, but if you have your wedding in the spring or fall, you can probably get a good deal during the off season at a sleep-away or day camp with cheap accommodations .  You could make a whole weekend of it: guests sleeping in cabins, daytime activities like kayaking, archery, basketball, etc., and of course an outdoor wedding and reception to follow in one of their indoor or outdoor facilities.  So fun!!

Get married at camp

Theater – It may take some research, but you can find local theater’s in your area (possibly college campuses) that will let you get married.  I knew of a girl who got married in a theater.  The couple married on stage with guests seated in the audience.  Afterward tables were set up on the stage and space was made on stage for a dance floor.  They even had custom made playbills for their wedding programs and their names in lights outside the theater.  Way cool!

Get married at the theater

Warehouse – Lots of space for less $$ (depending on the condition and how long the space has been empty).  Good idea for large weddings, not so much for small ones.

Get married in a warehouse (Tobacco Warehouse NYC)

Vineyard– I love weddings that take place at vineyards.  That truly feels like a destination wedding to me.  Great food, even better wine, plus fantastic natural scenery.  If you live near a vineyard, definitely check it out if you are interested in the getaway feel.

Get married in a vineyard

Nightclub– When you think of a nightclub, you may visualize several things: celebrity sightings, underage drinking and fist pumping, bar/bat mitzvah parties or sweet 16’s.  That being said, there are plenty of clean and elegant clubs that would be able to host and cater your wedding – dance floor included.  With some creative decorations and a good imagination, you just might feel like you are traveling back in time to those club hopping days!

Get married in a dance club

Airplane hangar– You may very well need to have a pretty good connection, but if you can get your diamond adorned hand on one of these HUGE rooms, you can certainly at least give your guests the illusion of a destination wedding, perhaps even with a view of the plane they will not be getting on.  Kind of a fun and ironic  spin on the destination wedding idea…(Some couples have even gotten married on an actual plane.  I suppose you can do this in the air or on the ground.  Probably a little classier if you rented a private plane as opposed to saying your vows in Coach).

Get married in an airplane hanger

Ship or Yacht – Wait a minute, I know that these are supposed to be UNdestination venues, but sometimes there are cases where you can go somewhere without really going anywhere at all.  Confused yet?  Basically, it could be a neat idea to get married on a ship that stays local, sailing around your city and letting your guests enjoy the local view.

Get married on a yacht

Haunted House– What’s not to love about this one?  Can you just picture it – all of your guests getting down to the Monster Mash?  Seriously, there are beautiful old allegedly “haunted” mansions and inns as well as the typical fairground haunted houses.  Bold and daring couples with bold and daring guests would certainly be able to pull this off.  Already have a traditional venue picked out, but love the haunted house idea?  Have a Halloween themed wedding and invite your guests in costume!  And no – you don’t have to get married in October to have a costume party!

Get married in a haunted house

I could go on and on….but I won’t.  To wrap it up, some other ideas for your at home destination wedding could include: an army base, beach, backyard, mansion/ castle, dance studio, artists loft, sport center or arena, showrooms, roller rink, school gym, lighthouse, dude ranch, rooftop, golf course, plantation, cavern, etc.

Whatever you decide – make sure you pick a destination that suits your personality!  Happy Planning :)

Inspiration Board – Birds of a feather…

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

So my latest obsession is peacock feathers!  I cannot tell you how excited I am to see them making a huge splash in the wedding industry, from decor to accessories.  Peacock feathers make me nostalgic.  They remind me of when I was a child and I would visit my grandparents.  They had one of those formal living rooms that children were not supposed to play in, however my grandmother would allow me to spend my time there, provided I was super careful.  After all, every single item was either expensive, delicate or an antique.  Most were all of the above.  I was mesmerized by many items in that forbidden room, but no item drew me in more than my grandmother’s vase of peacock feathers.  I could remember the silky soft feeling between my fingers and I remember being amazed at how such intense shimmery blues, greens, and purples could exist naturally on an animal or anywhere in nature really.  Peacock feathers to me always seemed so regal, so fancy, so sophisticated.  Now that I see them being used in weddings they almost seem a little edgy as well.  It takes a bold bride to use the feathers of this beautiful and mystical creature to add drama and flair to traditional bridal adornments such as the bridal bouquet and even hair accessories.  Even if you want to stay on the traditional side, but you like peacock feathers as much as I do, you can still use them in your wedding not as a wearable item but rather on your tables as decor or even attached to your seating cards or wedding favors.

Check out my peacock feather inspiration board to see ways that you can incorporate this beautiful showpiece into your wedding.

Happy Planning!

the search for the perfect centerpieces

Friday, March 5th, 2010

I keep searching on-line for the perfect centerpieces…………. something whimsical, something fun, something that captures us as a couple.  Nothing with flowers, mirrors or candles.

I’ve found some cool ideas.  Old books, you could even use books of quotes about love and place empty journals with pens around for loved ones to write in on your special day.

Then the idea of beta fish came about (gold fish usually go belly up in a plain bowl mid reception, so it is best to use something a bit heartier), with stones to match our wedding colors.  That is fun, but I wanted something a little more personal.  Note- if you do decide to go with fish and not all of your guests take them home after the night is through and you don’t have a use for ten fish with bowls; offer them new homes on CraigsList, FreeCycle, or even call local nursing homes & adult foster care homes and ask if some of the patients would be able to have a fish in their room and donate them.  There are people out there just waiting to give your fish a loving home.  Please find them homes if you are going to use them for centerpieces.  Do not buy fish just for looks then flush them.

Nothing really hit me………… so I kept looking, and thinking………….. and then it dawned on me…….. PEZ dispensers and travel board games! Yes, I’m serious………… there’s a method to my madness.   Read on.

I have been collecting PEZ dispensers for almost 15 years and I have hundreds, I could display some of my favorites as table centerpieces.  Then around candy filled dispensers we will place travel size board games.  I’m thinking the classics…….. battleship, finger twister, uno, cribbage, scrabble, yatzee, chess, checkers, hungry hippos.  Just a warning to Mr. Culberson……… I am totally going to rule the tables in a game of bride vs. groom wedding night battleship, you’re going down.

My objective ——–>To bring tables of people together.  To break the ice a bit…… and most of all to provide an alternative form of entertainment for people who don’t want to dance.  They can sit and just chill, enjoying the music, playing a game or a hot game of cards.   I think if it is done right, it will be pretty cool…… and it is something our guests will definitely remember.

So that is my new mission, the search for cheap travel games for the tables.  I have already bought the finger twister game.  Found that bad boy on E-Bay for $3.99 with $1.99 shipping.  Not too bad for a game brand new in box.  I have posted wanted ads on both CraigsList & FreeCycle.

If you haven’t heard of FreeCycle & CraigsList or checked them out, they are a must for anyone looking for deals.  CraigsList is a local on-line market place for buying/selling/trading  (great place to resell your wedding stuff when you’re done) you find your state and closest city and get started that way.  Both buying & selling are free.  FreeCycle is a group where everything is free, that is the one rule- everything must be free.  You can post things you are giving away, or things that you want/are looking for.  Check out for more information and to find a group near you.  I find this to be a great way to recycle unwanted items.

Also, if you haven’t heard of it (but really, who hasn’t?) check out E-Bay .  I have bought so much for our wedding there.  It is the ultimate on-line marketplace with sellers from all over the world.  I love E-Bay.  It doesn’t cost anything to become a member and buy things, all you pay for is your purchases.

Thoughts?  Tacky?  Creative?  Clever?  Boring?  I’d love some feedback.  My bridesmaids think it’s a great idea…………. but something tells me their job is to think all of my ideas are great ideas.  After all, I am the bride.

Anyway- I am off…………. my lady is on her way and we’re having a fun filled weekend.  Going to be doing some baking, and we’re going to go see the new Alice & Wonderland.

Alternatives to place cards are "Off the Charts"

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Letting your guests know what table they will be sitting at is not the most stressful or budget consuming task when you consider the rest of the things you need to do to plan a wedding (note: I said “letting them know where they are sitting”, not figuring out where they will be sitting – that on the other hand is perhaps the worst task).

The most cost effective way is perhaps to buy pre-made place cards and either hand write or print the information of each guest on them yourself.  At the most expensive end, you can have these custom ordered and pay for a calligrapher to write them out.  You can even find dozens of ways to display the place cards, from having them adorn a decorated table at the entrance to your ballroom, or buying little place card holders (some can even double as a party favor) to showcase them on.  Place cards themselves, do not even have to be limited to actual cards, they can come in all different forms, shapes and sizes!

Place card ideas

Doubles as a picture holder

Unique display ideas

As with all wedding ideas, new trends are ever emerging even for the simplest of items, such as the place card.  Some places have their attendants hold books containing each guest’s name and table number and they will escort guests to their seats.  More common, however, are venues that are offering “Seating Charts” which can be a really elegant way to display your guests seating information.  If done right, a seating chart can be even more budget friendly than place cards (and less sloppy than hand written ones).  It’s a nice way to “present” your guests at the wedding.

Seating Chart

Large framed seating chart

These seating charts can range anywhere from $50 – into the hundreds, however they are really easy to do yourself.  You can create a seating chart on your home computer using Microsoft word (choose a decorative font) and bring it to a Staples, printing place, or even a teacher store where they can blow your chart up to poster size for $10-20 dollars.  Instead of paying to frame it, you can mount your poster onto cardboard or foam core and decorate it yourself.

Sometimes the smallest details are the things your guest will remember the most!

………the whole nine yards………..

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Hi- I am the future mrs. culberson.  I am moving over from another blog site, so I will post a brief version of what has been posted on the other site.  I will warn you-  I am a broke ass bride (total budget around $1,000), very DIY, and I am totally in love with the man of my dreams.  Almost everything I write about in regards to our wedding is either second hand, homemade, or talked down from the original price…….. cause’ that’s the way I roll.

So sit back, relax, put on your sexy specs………… and here we go………….

Woah………….. here we go!  My first real blog. “Like a virgin…….. “ Everybody- sing it together!

Ok, I’m quite over that.   Moving on…………..

I have always wanted to write………….. about everything.  My life, the chaos, art & love I create………….. more recently my family, my engagement & wedding planning, finding God in a devil driven society, and what it’s like to be bi-polar trying to hold it all together while staying sober.

I am recently out of rehab, and almost two months clean……………  and everyday is an adventure.

I invite you to join me in this journey I call life.  See things through my eyes, and together we’ll take it from there.


Comment…………. give me your feedback.  Tell me what you like, what you don’t like……….. what you’d like to see, etc.


I went to one of my favorite stores the other day (TJ Maxx ) and was pleased to find wedding invites, favor bags, and a batchlorette party in a box all on sale for under $10!  In our wedding colors none the less.  (We are going with turquoise, white & black with hot pink accents)  I was able to get all of our invites, and other goodies for under $30!  What a steal.  I love that store.

Here’s the goods:

Invites- Retail $19.99, I paid $9

Favor boxes- retail $9.99, I paid $4

Batchlorette Party in a Box- Even includes the rhinestone tiara! Paid $4

I am so thrilled with the way the little things are coming along, this week I am going to look into renting our venue.  I have about $200 to work with.  (I warned you, I am broke ass)  I am also going to look into booking the two bands I want……… hoping to get them.

I was browsing CraigsList (one of my guilty pleasures) when I came across a size 8 first communion/flower girl dress.  My curiosity got the best of me and I checked it out.  Only $15 and this dress was beautiful.  I called and talked to the lady, and we agreed that maybe I would find a way to pick it up later this week.  In my mind I could not fathom a way to make this happen though because she lived out of town, and I don’t drive or have access to a car.  So for me to get out there is near impossible.


Fast forward two hours ————>

I am napping and the phone rings.  It is the woman with the dress.  She is coming into town and wants to know if I would like to meet her.  I am psyched.

We end up meeting within the next thirty minutes at my house (I am so low on cash I have to use laundry quarters to buy the dress, lol) and the moral of the story is that it ends up being mine!  I walked away with Jades dress for our wedding, and for only $15.  The dress is beautiful………… and is everything I had ever wanted.

The beautiful $15 treasure

She is going to look so beautiful walking me down the aisle with my father in this dress.  All I can say is God is good….. and boy does he ever work in mysterious ways.

new day-

SO I had an hour to kill this afternoon.  I was waiting for the bus and there happened to be a resale store near the bus stop.  I figured I’d take a look.  Last time I was in there I found a hair crimper from the 80’s………. God only knows what I’d find this time.

I ditched my latte’ on the curb (no food or drinks) and worked my way into the store.  Something told me to look at dresses, though I never find cute dresses in my size at a reasonable price.  I pushed through the racks and worked my way back to formal gowns, then to wedding dresses.  Then I found one stuffed way in the back that actually was pretty cute, and the tag……….. well the tag must have been a misprint.  The tag said a 20.  It was a gorgeous halter style white Davids Bridal wedding gown,  and it was clearly marked as a size 20.  Odd, because I am a size 20………… and I needed a weeding dress.  Fate?

I figured it was just the dress size, and that it was maybe a 14/16 actual size….. but I’d try it on for shits & giggles.  I picked it up and worked my way towards the sales counter with the bulky dress bag.  I asked the ladies, did they know if it was a street 20, or a dress 20?  They weren’t sure, but they were confident that if I just tried it on it would fit.  I figured, why not.  I had an hour to kill and nothing to loose.  I ditched my street clothes and got out the dress.

It was as if that dress was made for me.  It fit perfectly.  It was even the exact length……….. and usually everything is too long for me because I am only 5′6″.  This was too bizarre.  The first dress I try on, and it fits.  Under the dress in the bag I find another bag, in it contains the crinolin slip…… everything to complete the look.

I had to call my friend who was going to make me a dress, Rochelle.  Could a dress be made for $$ (what this cost)?  It would work out to be about even.  Surely it would be cheaper to make a dress……….. not really.  The two worked out about equally.

I need a 2nd opinion…………… another girls opinion.  My friend and her mom will be getting out of work soon.  I call Karla and ask if they can stop by the store and give me some feedback.  They agree.  I am relieved……. and feeling a bit like a princess all dressed up in a wedding gown in the 2nd hand store.

Fast forward about an hour and a half ————>  I wait while they run a couple errands around town…….. just chilling at the store, donning full out bridal gear.  At this point I am in jewelry too, and heels……. just waiting.  La-tee-dah.

Finally they show up, and exclaim that I look beautiful!  Exactally what I needed to hear.  Music to my ears.  Now my soul could rest and I could buy the dress with ease.  Someone that knew my personality say a bit of myself in it.  This I like.  This makes me happy.

I undress quickly and put back on my jeans…………… and pack the dress up to head to my house.

Another thing on the to-do list crossed off…………… another day down, another day closer to wedded bliss.

To see pics of the dress, copy & paste this link in a new window……….. will post actual pictures later……….|-49998998|-49995489&catentryId=6096907&sort=

trust me…………… you want to see it, it’s beautiful!


Last night Prince Charming & I stayed the night at our friends Rochelle & Matt’s house.  It is beautiful……….. and we had so much fun!  Imagine the eccletic contemporary, mixed with everything vintage, splashed with bold colors, and chalk board walls………….. toss in a lot of owls and vintage deer, and you get amazing wonderment that is their home.  To top it off we did some beautiful bridal dress pictures in their home.  I will be posting them as soon as they are edited.  Vintage hats, a turquoise vintage typewriter, brass knuckles, a silly mask, unique umbrellas…………… toss in my tattoos and the wedding dress & crinoline underneath.  With bare feet and pearls.  They are great.  I can’t wait to show you folks!

Bad news on the venue…….  the hall I was hoping for is booked on the weekend we want.  I am moving on to choice number two, playing a vicious game of phone tag hoping for a call back soon and an open space.  maybe this one won’t be zoned residential and noise won’t have to stop at 10pm.  One can only hope.  I am also waiting for a call back from a small art gallery in town.  It used to be a church, so it is a big two story building with the cathedral ceilings and such……  but it is decorated fun & funky like.  I’d really like to have it someplace like that if it will fit the budget.  Time will tell on that one.  If I can’t get it, we’ll make the hall look bad ass.

Other than that, not much is going on………… just another manic Monday…………… er, wait…………. it’s Friday.  My lady is coming this weekend………. super excited.  I haven’t seen her in about a week and a half and I miss her like crazy.  This weekend is also Taylor’s birthday party.  My other lady is turning 6! Woo-hoo! Time to celebrate.

So many wonderful things happening this year, one can’t help but feel blessed.

Anyway- I am off to take a bubble bath and think about doing the dishes.  Somehow in my own little world, that counts as housework.  After all, they always say it’s the thought that counts.