Ranch Wedding Ideas

Ranch_weddingsGet hitched with a romantic ranch wedding, a terrific way to share your love with friends and family and experience a classic side of American culture. Whether your wedding takes place on a working ranch or all-inclusive dude ranch, a ranch wedding is a great way to pay tribute to western heritage. Read on to learn more about ranch wedding ideas.

Venues for a Ranch Wedding

Choosing a site for your ranch wedding may first appear daunting due to the immensity of land and options available. Consider hosting your ranch wedding outdoors under a large oak tree or along the expanse of a wide prairie or inside a charming rustic barn. Things to consider when choosing a location are access to bathroom facilities, guest parking and electricity. Ensure that cattle and other livestock are penned during your ceremony so as to avoid unexpected interruptions.

Ranch Attire Inspirations

Dress in traditional western attire for your wedding. For brides, options include white cowboy boots, silver and turquoise Navajo jewelry, vintage lace bridal gown, white cowboy hat, frilly petticoats or white handkerchief skirt with fringe. For grooms, consider wearing a cowboy hat, western shirt, cowboy boots, cowboy-cut pants, western belt and buckle, suspenders, bolo tie, leather vest, western-cut blazer and jeans if formality allows.

Authentic Ranch Food

Rustle up authentic ranch food for your ranch wedding reception menu. Classic cowboy cookout ideas include the all-time favorite barbecue brisket, ribs or chicken. For appetizers, consider adding a dash of south-of-the-border delights with quesadillas, taquitos corn tortilla chips with chili con queso, guacamole or salsa for dipping. Traditional western side dishes include potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans Serve vittles from a genuine chuck wagon and ring a classic triangle dinner calling bell when time to east. Serve fun ranch-inspired libations such as sarsaparilla, sweet tea or lemonade.

Ranch-Inspired Decorations

Have fun with ranch-inspired decorations for your wedding. For centerpieces, display wildflowers or large sunflowers in mason jars or metallic milk buckets. At your wedding reception, use natural fiber burlap, colorful calico or cotton gingham tablecloths. Place table settings inside mason jars with colorful western-print handkerchiefs. Hang intertwined horse shoes above doors; be sure they are facing upwards so your luck will not spill out.

Traditional Dances

Share your first dance with your sweetheart by performing traditional Old West-inspired dances. Popular choices for a first dance include the two-step, waltz or polka. Get your wedding guests on the floor with fun line dances such as the Electric Slide, Boot Scootin’ Boogie, Copperhead Road, Macarena or Cupid Shuffle. Ranch wedding dances are not complete without including the Cotton-eyed Joe, Chicken Dance or Hokey Pokey.

Planning a wedding and need some great ideas or inspiration? Be sure to attend the Great Bridal Expo, a national touring bridal show featuring current wedding trends, two New York style fashion shows, an informative honeymoon showcase, a live orchestra and DJ performances, valuable giveaways and prize drawings, and lots of wedding-related products and services with wedding professionals ready to meet face-to-face with you to make your dream wedding come true. Click HERE to register and use code BLOG for 2 FREE tickets!

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August 22, 2014 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

Unplug Your Wedding

Phone-01-782013Your wedding day is special and nothing may be more irritating than a cell phone ringing loudly and interrupting the ceremony during your exchange of vows. Due to the popularity of cell phones and cameras, many couples are increasingly requesting guests to turn off phones and cameras during ceremonies. This trend is called ‘unplugging’, a chance to share the joy of silence and solemnity during your ceremony and occasionally extended into the reception. Read on to learn more about how to unplug your wedding.

Inform Guests Before the Wedding

Communicate to your wedding guests as early as possible that your wedding is ‘unplugged”. Place a note in your wedding invitations gently asking guests to refrain from the use of electronics during your ceremony. By starting early and asking guests to be “nice and turn off their device”, this will go a long way in helping to prevent unpleasant surprises during your ceremony.

Unplug Plan For Your Wedding Day

Spread the word about your unplugged wedding. By talking about it at every chance you get will help create enthusiasm for unplugging your wedding. Stay positive and enthusiastic, let your friends and family know that you want to turn around after exchanging vows and see their faces not their devices. Opportunities to share your unplug wedding plan includes wedding showers, casual get-togethers and bachelor or bachelorette parties.

During the Ceremony

Take a proactive approach to requesting guests to refrain from electronic device use during your ceremony. Place a small sign at the entrance of your venue kindly requesting guests to leave devices in their vehicles or to turn off and put out of sight. Include a note inside your wedding program announcing your request to unplug devices. Request your officiant to make an announcement before the ceremony to turn off all electronic devices and cameras. Have your ushers remind guests as they are escorted to seats. Ask one or two ushers to be in-charge of assisting with device patrol during the ceremony to gently remind wedding guests who forgot that electronic devices are not allowed during the ceremony.

Involve Guests

Unplugging your wedding guests leaves many hands free. Put that great energy to use and actively involve friends and family with your special day’s events. Provide your guests with candle-cups to hold or battery operated tea lights to grasp as they surround you and your beloved during your first dance to create a ring-of-fire. Provide your guests with small favor bags of birdseed or rose petals to toss as your depart your wedding reception.

Planning a wedding and need some great ideas or inspiration? Be sure to attend the Great Bridal Expo, a national touring bridal show featuring current wedding trends, two New York style fashion shows, an informative honeymoon showcase, a live orchestra and DJ performances, valuable giveaways and prize drawings, and lots of wedding-related products and services with wedding professionals ready to meet face-to-face with you to make your dream wedding come true. Click HERE to register and use code BLOG for 2 FREE tickets!

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August 18, 2014 at 8:47 am 1 comment

New England Wedding Reception Menu Ideas

IMG_7870Love is in the air at your New England wedding. From the coastal regions to lush forests, the New England region is comprised of six states: Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont. Featuring a rich history and foods that proffer a permanent place in American cuisine, a New England menu will delight your guests. Draw upon inspiration for your wedding reception menu by incorporating traditional New England foods. Read on about New England wedding reception menu ideas.

Soups and Stews

Start your wedding menu with a classic New England savory soup or stew course. The most famous of all New England soups is clam chowder a cream-based concoction consisting of clams, broth and diced potatoes. Many variations of clam chowder exist in New England; choose the recipe you like best. Serve a delicious ham and potato soup infused with fresh herbs and local seasonings. For winter weddings, consider adding a hardy simmering beef stew to warm the appetite of your guests.

Main Course

Selecting a main course is easy in New England with so many great choices to choose especially when it comes to seafood. The most popular may be Maine lobster, considered a delicacy around the world. Lobster is commonly served boiled or baked. Fish makes a great main course; New England varieties include cod, Atlantic salmon and sole. For a casual beach wedding, host a clambake or serve lobster rolls. Enjoy crab, shrimp, oysters and scallops as well.

Seasonal Fruits and Berries

Enhance your wedding reception menu with the addition of fresh seasonal fruits and berries. The growing season is shorter in New England than other areas but the harvest is sweet. Share the bounty of New England including apples, pears, cherries and peaches. Popular berries include the eponymous cranberry, great as a sauce or relish. Blueberries are delicious freshly picked or baked in a pie.

Comfort Foods

Make your wedding guests feel comfortable by serving New England-style comfort foods. Treat your guests to Boston baked beans slowly simmered in a sauce of composed of bacon, molasses and herbs. If you are having a morning wedding, consider a breakfast menu and include pancakes with real Vermont maple syrup. Complement your wedding cake with a New England comfort food favorite, ice cream. Unique flavors include old-fashioned brown sugar, black raspberry and cranberry sherbet.

Drinks

Celebrate your wedding by serving libations brewed in New England. Popular craft breweries include Sam Adams, Harpoon Brewery and Cambridge Brewery Company. Create a signature cocktail that use a splash of cranberry juice

Planning a wedding and need some great ideas or inspiration? Be sure to attend the Great Bridal Expo, a national touring bridal show featuring current wedding trends, two New York style fashion shows, an informative honeymoon showcase, a live orchestra and DJ performances, valuable giveaways and prize drawings, and lots of wedding-related products and services with wedding professionals ready to meet face-to-face with you to make your dream wedding come true. Click HERE to register and use code BLOG for 2 FREE tickets!

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August 15, 2014 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

Keeping it Simple for Wedding Trade Show Exhibitors

GBE NYC 2011#23Exhibiting at a wedding trade show presents many exciting opportunities for exhibitors. Whether you are a newcomer or established company, your business will benefit from advice to keep it simple. Read on to learn more about keeping it simple for bridal show exhibitors.

Simplify Graphics

Catch the eye of wedding show attendees with simple easy-to-read graphics. Typically, you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of bridal show attendees. Keep the graphics and text as simple as possible and always proof read and inspect for errors before displaying. If using photos, ensure that they are well-lit, crisp and clear. Limit the use of color to three or less, too many colors will prove distracting. Select one or two font types, as more fonts might make your sign hard to read and appear unprofessional. Types of graphics include banners, posters, business cards, brochures and hanging signs. Banners and/or signss are an effective way to communicate information about your company. Banners or signs serve many purposes such identifying your business brand, introducing new products or announcing special sales or discounts.

Keep It Friendly

Train your staff well and commit to offering great winning customer service. Taking the time to train your employees before exhibiting at a wedding show will pay off in the long run. Educating your staff about your products or services provides valuable tools to better inform your customers with an effective message and increase sales. Make sure everyone has a name tag and establish a dress code for all booth staff, this helps with professional appearances. Greet customers with enthusiasm and courtesy; a smile goes a long way in creating an inviting atmosphere.

Easy to Access

Make your booth easy to access for all wedding show attendees. Create a walk-flow that optimizes the experience and engages visitors and customers alike. Display products in prime position where customers can get to them, ask questions and purchase. If you have a table, place information within easy reaching distance. Create an area dedicated solely to customer consultations, specifically for delivering one-on-one service. Remove possible trip hazards such as electrical cords that may be lying across an aisle, make safety a priority. Be sure you have reserved a large enough exhibit space to ensure you can accommodate your decorations as well as a place for a consultation. Typically you cannot flow into the aisleway and need to stay within the confines of your exhibit space.

Tips to Know Before You Go

Arrive early to set up your booth and plan to be completely setup at least one hour before the doors open to the public. You want to take your time making the best presentation possible without feeling rushed and should have time to get yourself put together after setting up your exhibit If your booth requires electricity, be sure to order it from the show producer prior to the day of the show as orders the day of are normally more expensive. The first task before setting up is checking all electrical outlets to make sure they are in working order. Expect the unexpected; bring a tool box filled with helpful items such as duct tape, flash light, name badges, notebook, pens, scissors, highlighters, candies, markers, push pins and extra batteries.

Exhibit at the Great Bridal Expo, a national bridal show tour featuring the latest in wedding trends, a fabulous honeymoon showcase, a New York style fashion show, live orchestra and DJ performances and couples, brides, friends, families and wedding planners in need of your business’ product or service. The many benefits for exhibitors include high-quality venues, a comprehensive bridal show marketing plan, complete contact database, post-show advertising and the opportunity to present your business to the wedding market.

Request exhibitor information.

August 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

30335257From southern casual to sophisticated, you will find Atlanta offers a wide selection of beautiful venues just right for your wedding. Whether you say “I do” on the lawn of a historic home or on the roof of a penthouse the theme you choose for your wedding reflects your personal style and tastes as a couple. Choose decorations that fit your theme. Read on for decorating ideas for an Atlanta wedding.

Sweet as a Georgia Peach

Georgia is famous for sweet peaches and makes for a great Atlanta wedding theme. Incorporate the color peach into your color theme by pairing with coordinating colors such as peach and gold, peach and mint or peaches and cream. For peachy-keen wedding receptions table top decorations consider a basket of fresh peaches or floral centerpieces featuring peach roses, carnations or lilies. Give your wedding guests Georgia peach- inspired favors such as peach preserves, old-fashioned peach-scented hand soaps or fun peach-flavored gumballs. Serve a peach wedding cake or create a signature peach wedding drink.

Historic Atlanta

Celebrate your Atlanta wedding by paying tribute to Georgia history. One way to do this is to have your wedding in a historic Atlanta venue such as a historical mansion or farm including Rhodes Hall, Naylor Hall, or Wimbish House. The Atlanta History Center offers a variety of choices including the Swan House, McElreath Hall, and the Smith Family Farm. At nearby Vinings is the historic Pace House offering classic antebellum charm. Decorate with an eye on the past. For example, use antique table settings and place native Georgia wildflowers atop lace doilies on wedding reception tables.

Love and Football

Love is in the air when it is football season and sports –loving couples getting married in Georgia know that Atlanta is home to the Atlanta Falcons, Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Decorate in team colors of red, black white, gold or silver. Give your wedding guests commemorative football favors emblazoned with your favorite team colors and wedding date. Provide your wedding guests with mini pom-poms to “cheer” you and your sweetheart as you make your wedding reception exit to your honeymoon.

Georgia on My Mind

Revel in everything Georgia at your Atlanta wedding. Get creative and decorate with state symbols such as the state fruit peaches or the state flower, the Cherokee rose. Send wedding guests home with gift bags paying tribute to famous citizens who lived in Atlanta from Martin Luther King Jr. to Whitney Houston. Serve regional favorites to on your reception menu to coordinate with your theme such as okra, black-eyes peas, fried green tomatoes or barbecue.

Planning a wedding and need some great ideas or inspiration? Be sure to attend the Great Bridal Expo, a national touring bridal show featuring current wedding trends, two New York style fashion shows, an informative honeymoon showcase, a live orchestra and DJ performances, valuable giveaways and prize drawings, and lots of wedding-related products and services with wedding professionals ready to meet face-to-face with you to make your dream wedding come true. Click HERE to register and use code BLOG for 2 FREE tickets!

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August 11, 2014 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

Beautiful bride in the restaurantCelebrate your romantic wedding in exciting Washington DC, best known as the nation’s capital and home to many historic landmarks and sites. Founded in 1790 and located along the Potomac River, Washington DC offers a diverse legacy showcasing a blend of history and present-day modern sophistication. Read on to learn about 6 great Washington DC hotels for weddings.

The Jefferson

Originally built in 1923, the Jefferson represents one of the finest examples of Beaux Arts design in Washington DC. Features include a private collection of original artwork and historic documents displayed throughout the property and The Cellar, a private dining room inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello residence.

Mandarin Oriental Washington

The Mandarin Oriental Washington offers your wedding a superior luxury experience and exceptional location that is close to famous landmarks such as the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument. Wedding facilities include two ballrooms, an expansive outdoor event space overlooking the Washington Marina, two garden rooms and a Zen garden.

Four Seasons Washington, DC

Enjoy your special day at the Four Seasons Washington on Pennsylvania Ave, this magnificent five-star rated venue loves couples and offers a wide variety of lavish wedding packages catering to many different styles and seasons. Types of full service wedding packages include Love is Love, Indian-style wedding, Persian Wedding, Saturday Gala and Winter Wedding.

The Hay-Adams

Located in the heart of Washington DC is The Hay-Adams, an upscale hotel built in the 1920s featuring Italian Renaissance architecture complemented by Tudor and Elizabethan motifs. Wedding venues include the panoramic Top of the Hay found on the top floor, the intimate Hay-Adams Room, the light and airy Concorde and Windsor Rooms and sunny Lafayette Room.

The Mayflower Renaissance

President Franklin Roosevelt write his famous speech, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself” while staying as the luxurious Mayflower Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel located near the center of the district. Wedding facilities include an opulent Grand Ballroom, elegant Promenade Ballroom, stately East and West Ballroom and ornate Chinese Ballroom.

The St. Regis Washington, DC

Enjoy your dream wedding at The St. Regis Washington, DC located only two blocks from the White House. Since 1926, this timeless sophisticated hotel has hosted countless dignitaries, leaders, celebrities and luminaries from around the world. Imbue your wedding with the glamour, distinctions and style inherent to the St. Regis. In-house wedding service Bespoke Wedding Possibilities provides personal customization for your wedding. Venues include The Astor Ballroom replete with crystal chandeliers, Carlton Ballroom, Astor Terrace, Salon and Astor Pavilion.

Planning a wedding and need some great ideas or inspiration? Be sure to attend the Great Bridal Expo, a national touring bridal show featuring current wedding trends, two New York style fashion shows, live orchestra and DJ performances, valuable giveaways and prize drawings, and lots of wedding-related products and services. Come meet the wedding professionals ready to meet face-to-face with you to make your dream wedding come true. Click HERE to register and use code BLOG for 2 FREE tickets!

Subscribe to Great Bridal Expo via Email

August 8, 2014 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Lighting Tips for Exhibitors

GBE NYC 2011#25Optimize your wedding trade show experience by taking the time to learn about the benefits of great lighting. Showing up with a well-constructed display booth is great, but ensure people see your products and signage in the best light possible. This will increase your chances of getting noticed. Shine the light on your bridal show exhibits by incorporating lighting into your trade show mix. Read on to learn more about lighting tips for exhibitors.

Benefits of Good Lighting

Exhibiting at a wedding trade show is a positive endeavor for your company, this gives you the opportunity to show off your services or products and attract more customers for your business. By taking the time to set up lighting, this allows you the chance to spotlight or enhance a certain feature by calling attention to your booth with an emphasis on light. Good lighting not only highlights but can make the difference between a drab and dull booth and a sensational well-lit one that looks more professional and gets people excited.

Determining Your Lighting Needs

Give your wedding trade show booth an advantage by deciding in advance how you plan to use lighting in your booth. Look to your bridal show goals for help in determining the answer. If you are attending a show to introduce new products or services, consider using light to highlight your fresh additions. Use lights to assist with creating a mood or environment that best represents your company message. Whether subtle or bold, the best use of lighting is one that draws bridal show attendees to your booth.

Types of Lighting

Lighting for trade shows comes in a wide variety of types, styles and sizes. Choose the type that best fits your needs. For small booth tabletops, consider using clamp display lights and LED strips or rope lighting to bring attention to your display. Create an intimate atmosphere with recessed lighting, display case lighting or track lighting. Go big with spotlights, colored lights or moving lights. Lights may make the difference between night and day when it comes to attracting customers.

Lighting Logistics

Before you go to a bridal show, know beforehand how many electrical outlets you will need for power and be sure to order it from the show producer prior to the show as most times it is less expensive than ordering it the day of the show. Understand how your lights work and attach to display fixtures. Bring extra light bulbs. Find out if the wedding trade show where you are exhibiting has any restrictions or limitations in regards to use of lighting such as lasers, halogens and high watt bulbs. Make safety a priority, check all lighting devices for defects, avoid overloading electrical outlets and watch out for power cords as trip hazards.

Exhibit at the Great Bridal Expo, a national bridal  show tour featuring the latest in wedding trends, a fabulous honeymoon showcase, a New York style fashion show, live orchestra and DJ performances and couples, brides, friends, families and wedding planners in need of your business’ product or service. The many benefits for exhibitors include high-quality venues, a comprehensive bridal show marketing plan, complete contact database, post-show advertising and the opportunity for professional representation.

Request exhibitor information.

August 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

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