Happy Valentines Day!
We are all probably thinking the same thing about Valentines this year… Nothing says, “I love you” like coming home from a long day at work, maybe too tired to even think about making dinner, only to fall asleep to the same TV series you’ve been watching for weeks now. It’s true: nothing about that say’s, “I love you”. So, I’m thinking let’s make the weekend one to look forward to. Why not push back your valentines celebration to the following weekend? Your loved one will be up for it, if it means not doing the same thing as every other night. Your valentine’s celebration should be away from your typical routine and if that means holding off till the weekend, do it! Here are a few ways to make this weekend nothing short of extraordinary:
- Cook together, something a little more upscale than your usual dinner in. I’m going to bet that there’s one designated cook in the house, well, do it together this weekend! Go grocery shopping, grab a bottle of wine or maybe a six-pack, pour a few drinks, turn up the music and cook together. (Romantic Dinner Recipes)
- Make some cocktails together and do a little taste testing. Grab several ingredients for some new drinks and have an at home mixology date! Don’t forget to cheers to something special! Here are some cocktail recipes perfect for valentines by Diana Kelter: Valentines Day Cocktails
- Fon(due) you like dessert? Indulge in conversation over some chocolate covered strawberries. Or if you’re a salty over sweet kind of person, make some cheese fondue. Here’s some fondue recipes, sweet and salty: Cheese and Chocolate Fondue Recipes by Tashween Ali
- Draw a bath and light some candles. Give a little and take a little, like foot rubs, for instance!
- Get couples massages, the easiest way for you both to treat each other. Check out the valentine’s deals at the local spa.
- Make breakfast in bed. Saturday’s mean waking up slow, and nothing says romance like breakfast in bed for your loved one! Add a mimosa for a little extra touch!
- Go dancing! Or pick up a couple DVDs for at-home dancing lessons. Your first dance was not meant to be the last.
- Are you feeling like getting out of the house for a change of scenery? Check out a museum in the area to spark some good conversation, and follow it with dinner at a new spot.
- Game night always give you a chance to laugh together. Find a card game or a board game for two and compete! Or, invite some of your couple friends to join in on the fun.
- Are you doing the long-distance thing? Block off hours of time, light a candle and FaceTime your love! Eat dinner together, and watch the same movie over FaceTime.
This one is for all of my flustered brides, not knowing where the heck to start in this awesome process!
It’s easy to want to jump ahead to the dresses and decorations before picking out your venue, booking your photographer, etc. Although those bookings are less fun, they are the most important. You have to start with the less glamorous details! Pick your date, first thing, so that when you book your venue, well… you know when you’re booking it for! It can be easy to lose track of what should come first and what should follow when planning your wedding, but it’s crucial that you don’t fall behind or else you might miss out on your dream vendor.
Today, I want to provide you with a wedding planning timeline! This is a basic guide to keep you organized and on schedule. Check it out:
What to expect when you book an outdoor wedding:
- There’s always a possibility of rain. This one, as a bride, can be difficult to remember. I have seen so many brides book with an outdoor venue, prepare for rain, and when it happens – they allow their whole day to be “ruined.” Hold it right there! No wedding day can ever be ruined. Get some pretty white, or clear, umbrellas to have on hand for photos. You should always trust in your “plan b”, it will still be perfect. Besides, it’s good luck for it to rain on your wedding day! If you can get through the rain on the best day of your life, you can get through anything.
- You and your bridesmaids might not want to wear heels. Are you walking on grass? Those pesky heels are always digging into the mud. I know you know what I mean, ladies! You don’t want to see mud in your wedding photos or on your dress; wear wedges, flats, or heck, go barefoot! They don’t have to be any less adorable! But hey, if you don’t care- rock it! You’ll end up kicking those babies off anyways!
- Bugs. Period. Of course, this depends on what season your wedding is taking place in. However, during spring and summer there can be pesky mosquitos. Here’s the secret: get a few cans of “OFF” bug spray and ask your planner, mom, or whoever has five minutes of free time right before the ceremony, to spray those cans over the grounds. This will keep the majority of bugs away for a good while!
- Heat. Where there is a possibility of rain, there is also the possibility of the sun beating down on the backs of guests. No one wants to sweat in his or her best clothes. Try finding out where a shady place (at your ceremony time) is on the property and hold your ceremony there! That’s not the only option: add an original twist to your ceremony décor and provide your guests with parasols to keep themselves shaded and cool. They will love it and the photos will be adorable!
- Make sure there are accommodations for your caterers. I’ll put this out here first: your caterer should be able to serve dinner straight from their vans/trucks. If not, make sure there’s a kitchen somewhere on site for them to prep and cook! This will help them to keep food at the right temperature before being served.
- Bathroom arrangements. This applies to venues that might not have an indoor bathroom. Some cringe at the thought of “port-a-johns”, but do not fret, it’s a very typical thing to have at an outdoor wedding… and if you have a “party” crowd, they won’t care. Let’s be honest, the men will probably end up finding a tree somewhere anyways. Take a look at the portable bathrooms online (Tidy Inc.), and if you’re willing and able to binge a little, you’ll see they offer some very prestigious outdoor bathrooms too!
- Is it going to get cold in the evening? It might be warm during the day, but be aware, especially in the spring and fall, the temperature will drop when the sun sets! Think about investing in some outdoor heaters, if your venue doesn’t offer them. Those older folk get cold very easily so if you have many grandparents and seniors attending the wedding, it’s definitely something to think about. Aside from that, offer blankets, you know what they say: “To have and to hold, in case you get cold!”
- Wind. Be on the lookout for wind. Programs, table numbers, escort cards, etc. It is all subject to blow away or get knocked over. Make sure these items are weighed down by something heavy enough to keep them in place. Don’t forget your hairspray either!
- Cakes can melt! Cakes will melt if they are sitting in the sun too long, or even just exposed to heat too long, and if there’s more than one tier, they can slide off of each other. Your baker isn’t a magician, they might make the most beautiful cakes but they can’t glue the tiers together! Go with a “naked” cake, it is all the craze right now! Or, find a shady spot under the tent. However, the best thing to do, if you’re able, is to store it in an air-conditioned space, just make sure someone you trust is able to move it with confidence just before the reception – ask your caterer or wedding planner!
- Humidity, hair, and makeup. Oh no! Make sure your make-up artist and hairstylist is aware of location and season of your wedding right from the get-go so they can work their magic. They’ll know what to do!
Your ideal outdoor wedding venue
Finding your dream wedding location is never easy but no bride should settle for less. Here, at the Early Inn, we want to make your wedding vision a reality. Sitting on 10 scenic wooded acres, this 1854 Greek revival-style manor offers an abundance of history, as well as a convenient location just between Roanoke and Smith Mountain Lake.
What is most important to you when picking out your wedding venue? Maybe it’s your photos that will last a lifetime; hanging in every house you’ll live in from that day forward. With a pop of red to add a touch of contrast to the cool colors of the surrounding greenery, this property is ideal for everlasting photos.
Maybe it’s important for you to not have to rent a tent, chairs and tables. If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered. Our tent is sufficient for up to 250 guests. Chairs and tables? We’ll rent those for you!
Our team will work around the clock to ensure that your event is everything you imagined and more. Our greatest reward is making our clients happy. So, what’s important to you is important to us.