chinese sky fly fire lanterns at your wedding

Everyone loves the Chinese Sky Fly Fire lanterns at the end of their wedding. They are sweet, romantic and make for awesome photos! However, as planners, we are the ones behind-the-scenes making sure that this event (if incorporated in your wedding) goes off without a hitch.

Besides the obvious fact of having a lot of room in the sky for the lanterns to take flight in the air and understanding that you cannot, I repeat, cannot light these if winds that are over 10mph … we thought we’d give you some real tips on the Chinese lanterns.

hot tips on creating an awesome chinese lantern event at your wedding:

1. Buy lanterns that are already assembled. 

These thin paper products range in prices. You may be tempted to purchase the cheapest ones. Stop. Do not do it. You’ll deeply regret it and probably burn yourself. The cheap ones require you to assemble the burning mechanism in the lantern in advance. It’s time consuming and often will not stay in place. If you DO get it lit, sometimes the “on-fire” burning portion will fall out … while the lantern is in air. And that may land on you! So spend the extra money per lantern.

chinese sky fly fire lanterns 1

2. Buy disposable lighters that are “wind resistant”.

This is almost as important as the type of lanterns you purchase. Lighting the lanterns is the biggest headache of all. You’ll want to use lighters that you would use for the grill (I’m sure you already thought of that). But if there is any type of breeze, the lighters are hard to use. Especially with the child safety. Your thumb grows tired and it is frustrating. Opt to spend a little extra and purchase a wind resistant lighter. It is disposable but when lit, looks like a little butane flame. We like the Coleman brand.

chinese sky fly fire lanterns 2

3. Have sober people disperse the lanterns and manage the lighters.

If we are onsite, that is us! But if you haven’t opted to get a wedding professional to help you with your day, then designate someone that will be sober. The management of getting the lanterns distributed and actually lit will make the process safer. Trust this.

4. Trash cans.

Unless you unpack each individual lantern (from the packing cellophane in advance), you’ll need a trash receptical to collect a lot of packing material. Even then, sometimes you need to throw away ripped lanterns. Keep your reception looking neat.

chinese sky fly fire lanterns 3

5. Don’t forget music in the background.

This isn’t critical, but since we are always thinking about a great guest experience, don’t forget about having some background music as you watch the lanterns float away into the air. The last time we did this, we simply moved a boom box (it was a quality one) outside and played a few pre-designated songs. No need for moving out your DJ’s equipment, as this event usually happens at the end of the evening anyway.

Final words, there is an art to doing these, so practice in advance. But always be sure to do so in a safe area. Not in the middle of your subdivision with a lot of trees. Over water (with proper direction of the wind) is the best environment.

photo credit: photorexit photography

ps The photos above were “in real life” photos as we tried to get lanterns lit in too strong of winds. The photographers and us had a great time with it. And due to the winds, we had to cancel this event.

plan on!

2016 wedding trends

There are lots of wedding trends that don’t make it to our local area in the Tristate. However, here are five trends we feel that we WILL see, or in the very least, hope will come soon.

Or watch me on WEHT Local Lifestyles TV Segment regarding this topic.

5 wedding trends in 2016:apps

1. passed hors d’oeuvres instead of food stations

We are seeing that more of our clients are considering having passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour (before the formal wedding dinner). This takes the place of a large food station for guests to serve themselves. It creates an awesome guest experience and encourages you not to over purchase the hors’d.

metallics

2. all things metallic

Metallic, sequins, glitter, foil … anything shiny will STILL be hot this year. Gold is the best option, but many people still love the silver.

naked cake

3. naked cakes

Naked cakes aren’t necessarily a rustic option, but certainly is not uber formal. We like to describe it as an organic and earthy look to your cake. Don’t be surprised that this may not save you money. It takes a lot more work to create a good looking naked cake. Your baker has to make sure that the lines are clean. There is no frosting to cover those imperfections, so it will take more time, which may mean more of a cost to you.

live musicians

4. blending live music with your DJ

We had this a few years ago at the request of our bride. DJ plays the music and a violinist and/or drummer accompany whatever song is playing. It’s freeform and totally cool. You’ll need to find the musicians that have this talent and of course talk with your DJ before booking. The result for the guests? #onfire

arial shot

5. drones, go-pro’s and same day wedding films

Having a still photo from an arial perspective continues to be hot. Be sure to talk to your wedding photographer or filmmaker to see if you can’t capture a still shot. GoPro’s are kinda awesome too (we have one now and plan on using it this year for some fun). Think how you could use one to capture some behind the scenes or at  your actual wedding.

Finally, the “same day wedding” edit films are finally becoming more mainstreamed if you can afford the extra service.  The idea is, right after you kiss and say “I Do” your filmmaker team starts editing a short film of the getting ready, the ceremony and behind the scenes that happened earlier that day. Then at the reception when the dancing starts  you can share with your guests to relive what they missed. The additional cost is for more film editors, but, the reaction from your guests is nine-kinds-of-awesome.

What trends would you like to see happen here locally?

feature photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

why wedding guests need to unplug …

Take a close look at this photo.

eau claire photographics

photo credit: eau claire photographics

Let me tell you, my fingers are twitching. In case you think it’s a fluke, here’s another one:

photo credit IQvideography

photo credit: IQvideography

The urge to break that iPad into a zillion pieces is overwhelming.

Here’s the PSA to all wedding guests:

While anyone can appreciate your zeal to capture a photo, the dear wedding couple who invited you to share their wedding day want you to be a guest, not the photographer or film maker. Especially during really important parts of the wedding: the ceremony, first dances, toasts, walking down the aisle, etc.

Why? Because the couple’s wedding that you are attending may have paid more than $10k for photography and filmmaking. That’s a serious investment. And if you are the jackhole that gets in the way of the professional at a crucial moment, then that’s what you’ll always be remembered as. And trust, your $80 gift from you and your significant other doesn’t make up for attending and ruining these shots.

We love social media, like our clients. And we embrace the trend to use hashtags for the wedding so couples can find their candid wedding shots after the wedding. The couple is looking for photos of guests or candids at fun moments throughout the day. Not the bride walking down the aisle with her father. Or the moment where the groom kisses his mother that he just escorted into the ceremony.

So please, have fun. Be in the moment. Be aware of your surroundings. Stay out of the way. Turn off your damn phone during the ceremony. Seriously off or in Airplane mode, we don’t want to hear the vibrating. Take photos of you and your friends. Or the food. Or a centerpiece. Leave the selfie stick at home.

featured photo credit: joanne fowler photography and it was from a #pfewedding!

plan on!

a wedding rewind…

I have the smartest and creative friends.

Just take a look at my friend, Monica Richard (owner/event planner of Mon Amie Events in Indianapolis, Indiana), planned when they celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary with her husband. Seriously wish I had thought of this when I celebrated our 20th anniversary a few years ago.

It was a “wedding rewind” (her coined-term). Not a vow renewal, but instead revisiting her wedding and sharing it with their children and parents. Brilliant.

take a moment and watch their video:

Monica & Paul’s 15th Anniversary – 4.17.14 from IndyVisual on Vimeo.

featured photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

what to do when a fire burns your venue…

This week we had a horrible fire at First Christian Church Disciples of Christ Church in Owensboro, Kentucky. Make no mistake, I’m not comparing this home of faith to a “venue”. It’s a place of worship and a community landmark. My heart goes out to the congregation and their loss.

Like with all things in wedding planning, there are always situations that you cannot plan for. Unforeseen expenses, family members who get ill, bad weather, natural disasters and unfortunately, fire. One wedding we planned years ago, the DJ lost their building the night before the wedding. I’ll never forget that phone call at 9pm on that Friday night. All ended well. Everyone was safe and their equipment had already been loaded in their trailer so they were able to perform as planned.

If you have lost your ceremony location or reception venue before your wedding, here are a few tips to consider:

1. Do not panic. Everything is doable.

2. If it is a church, most likely, other churches may be able to accommodate you. Contact your parish and see if they have had time to make any arrangements in their community.

3. Wedding Insurance. This is why many people are now looking into investing into wedding insurance. This will help you recoup costs for site rental fee, rentals, decor, and any other expenses. Consider if it was your reception? That is where 50% of your budget is invested!

4. Send out change of venue cards to your guests. If there is enough time between the disaster and your wedding date, send out updated information as soon as you have a new place selected. This is especially important for out of town guests and even local guests.

5. Often in communities, people will pull together to make this happen. We’ve seen a lot of wedding mishaps in the past 10 years. One thing we know that most often, vendors and community pull together to help each other. There is something about a “wedding” that makes people happy and want to help.

Again, our thoughts and prayers for the people in Owensboro who have lost their place of worship. We’re confident that you will be able to rebuild your beautiful church to be even bigger and better. Keep the faith.