Upcoming Colorado Weddings at the Lionsgate Event Center: Samantha and Ryan

Introducing the lovely Samantha and Ryan: These two will be hosting their wedding at the Gatehouse in July of 2013. Where it all began: “Ryan and I met at the apartment complex we both lived at in 2009. On moving … Continue reading

Upcoming Colorado Weddings at the Lionsgate Event Center: Chelsea and Ryan

Introducing the lovely Chelsea and Ryan: These two will be hosting their wedding at The Dove House  in May of 2013. Where it all began: “Ryan had been flying my mom for quite some time before I got the chance to meet … Continue reading

Cutting costs for your wedding … what’s first to go?

You’ve spent hours and hours of envisioning… and brainstorming… and pinning… and planning for your wedding. You’ve upgraded your wedding binder from a .5″ spine to a whopping 3″ and it’s stuffed with: contracts, to-do lists, inspirations galore, a bit of rookie scrapbooking, brochures – scribbled notes flood every page and it’s all stained with tears (both happy and sad). Your fingers are sore from texting your girlfriends for opinions on just about everything, and your ear hurts from talking to florists, DJs, officiants, caterers, bakers, and everyone in between. After this whirlwind of “happy-stress” let’s call it – BOOM your wedding is finally planned! Now comes the part when you total up all of your costs, take one look at the figure and sprint straight back to the drawing board – you ask yourself; “What can I cut?”. Even if it’s just shaving off a thousand bucks it will help you sleep better at night.

So what’s first to go?

Let me briefly delay the answer to this question to  share a fun fact with you. The ladies at Lionsgate (sounds like a burlesque show huh?) recently came to a realization that collectively we have 75 years of experience in the wedding industry! Neat huh? We’ve done a lot of weddings, and for most of us a typical weekend isn’t going out for happy hour or catching a movie – it’s going to YOUR weddings! 🙂 And we love what we do. Ok, back to it.

Nix party favors for your guests.
In no way are you breaking any wedding etiquette rules by skipping out on party favors! Guests anticipate some good food and drink, and to see a pretty lady in a dress, but in no way are they expecting to walk away from your event with a gift. Here are some additional reasons why you’ve got the “okay” to ditch the favor:
1. Favors add up quick.
Say you order customized M&M’s in a little tin for each of your guests. These are $4.19 a pop x 120 guests – you’ve just spent over $500 to give out candies with your face on them.
2. There will be wounded soldiers.
In our experience guests pick at favors and leave parts behind. Especially if your favor is edible, our clean & set crew rounds up a lot of discarded favors. And think about it – your guests are too wrapped up in the fun of your event to make it their #1 priority to remember to bring home a little nic-nac that will collect dust on a shelf.
3. They’ve got the memories!
You’ve worked really hard on making your wedding a delightful experience for your guests and even if things don’t go exactly as planned, your guests are too busy chatting, drinking and dancing to notice! Guests don’t need to walk away from your wedding with a keychain frame of the bride and groom to remember your event. They’ve got it all stored away in their brains (assuming you didn’t pass tequila shots at your cocktail hour).

Ditch the Disposable Cameras
No matter what design your wrap a disposable camera in, it still looks disposable. From a quick Google search I’ve derived that
you can spend anywhere from $2 to $25 on these paper and plastic picture takers. And as with everything in your wedding things can add up quick! Here’s some more to think about:
1. Don’t step on your photographers toes.
More than likely you’re paying a professional photographer some good money to capture special moments from your day. If guests are busy snapping photos, the photographer will be capturing photos of guests taking photos…not such a frame worthy opportunity.
2. Don’t obligate your guests.
When your cousin Sally uses your disposable camera to snap the most hilarious candid photo of the little ring bearer holding a beer she has to set down her own camera. And once the picture is snapped, the moment has passed – and who has the picture? The bride & groom do. Sure, it’s not the end of the world, but Sally is the mother of the little cutie and she’s a little disappointed she’s missed out on the picture. Don’t obligate your guests to set down their own cameras for yours!

If you really want your guests involved in picture taking check out this new app: Our Photo Opp!  When you download this app all of your guests with smart phones can share photos from your day in real time. When they snap a pic it will be uploaded to an album that everyone can see – and you get to keep it! With this app all of your guests are walking away with a collective photo album of your event, and so are you! Win-win!

Cut the Champagne Toast
We don’t have anything against the champagne toast, but if you’re on a budget let your guests toast with their drink of choice. Rather than add an additional alcohol to your bar list, stick with what you’ve got got. Your guests won’t give your wedding a bad review because they didn’t feel the bubbly fizz of champagne in their tummies.

Pitch the Programs
Programs are a
great idea for the first 5 minutes that they rest in your guests hands, but after that it’s highly unlikely that your guests will take them home and paste them in a scrapbook of your wedding (unless your guests are as craft-happy as I am… then there actually is a chance of that happening). There’s no harm in letting your guests sit back and enjoy the ride rather than fill them in with a detailed outline of events. The only reason you should hold firm to the program is if there’s going to be a portion of your event where the floor drops out and dumps you into a pool and you need to warn the non swimmers in the crowd. You know –  unusual things that guests might want to be forewarned about. And yes, programs can be fun if you personalize them – give your bridal party the chance to write a blurb on why the bride and room are perfect for one another, honor a mom or dad who couldn’t be there that day, etc. While the program can be fun, it’s really not necessary – so we’re throwing it on the chopping block!

Take a comfortable walk down the aisle in TOMS – a lovely wedding shoe.

When Toms shoes first came to my attention I thought they seemed to be a style reserved for earth-loving hipsters, but once I slipped on my first pair I was hooked. Toms are not only comfortable (if arch support is not on the top of your footwear priority list), but for every pair of Toms bought, a pair of shoes is donated to a child somewhere around the world.

Check out the website here: Toms Website

To make outfit coordination a breeze, Toms come in just about every color and pattern you can imagine. At first Toms offerings were  restricted to a standard slipper style shoe, but they’ve now expanded to wedges, boots, and more!

When I dress up to go out one of two things happens regarding my shoe choice. ONE: I prance around in my cute high heels while getting ready, but by the time I’m heading out the door I’ve already made the executive decision to ditch the heels for flats. Or, TWO: I leave the house in heels because I am DETERMINED to show the puppies off for a night, but end up barefoot or walking like a crippled giraffe by midnight. Moral of the story – I don’t do well in heels.

Now, because heels aren’t my thing in “regular life” I’m not so sure if I see myself wearing this genre of shoe on my wedding day. Many brides who cherish the notion of comfortable feet on their wedding day are forgoing heels for cute flats like Toms. The perfect wedding day shoe! While some may cringe at the thought of a sneaker-like-shoe hiding under an elegant dress this trend is actually super cute and tasteful.

Here is the picture evidence.

TIP: It’s important for your “wedding Toms” to be straight-out-the-box so they look crisp and not like you’ve lived a whole summer in them.

Oh, and one last thing: a video we found that should tickle your fancy.

Chalk one up to “wonderful wedding ideas”!

Some of our favorite wedding chalkboard ideas.

The chalkboard was first introduced to the US in 1801, and I can only imagine that the this great new communication tool was  a thrill to school teachers. Well, today the chalkboard is a thrill to many wedding planners – vintage is making a comeback – in weddings! Mason jars, touches of lace, wooden crates, teacups, yellow roses – all friends to our chalkboard in the vintage theme! And, if you’ve visited Pinterest at all you know that vintage wedding is splattered all over the site!  Today these dusty relics (or more often than not – brand new re-makes) can form a beautiful union to create a whimsical theme that will delight your guests and make your grandmother feel right at home.

When it comes to chalkboards in your wedding  we are on board (no pun intended) with the trend!

DIY is a gem of an abbreviation today – there’s a whole DIY network on television and far too many blogs and social media sites devoted to the “do it yourself” cause. While DIY can be a wonderful money saving option some things should be left to the professionals. I’m going to dare to say now though that chalkboards for your wedding is one thing you should be able to DIY with a lovely outcome. So long as someone in your regime of wedding helpers has decent penmanship (chalkmanship?) and/or artistic abilities you should be fine. Switching up the frame, selecting different shapes of chalkboard, choosing a unique font to write in, embellishing with bows or whatever fits your theme – all great ways to customize the prop to fit your style .

As you can glean from our photo collage above, your boards can be used as props in photos, purely for decor, or they can give guests information that will be useful to them (the chalkboards true purpose!).

Pinterest is bursting at the seams with ideas like this. Check out our new board, “Wedding Trends” for more ideas we’re gushing over!

-The Ladies of Lionsgate