Friday, April 17, 2015

Antigua and Barbuda Wedding #2 - Barbuda (Pink Beach) Wedding

Antigua and Barbuda are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with over three hundred of them how could they not, but in Barbuda the most notable beaches are the pink sand beaches. Not only strange and unusual, the pink sand beaches are beautiful and a great place to get married. The pink sand offers a great theme for any beach wedding and the beautiful water is a great backdrop for any ceremony. 

Any pink bouquet would work wonderfully with this wedding. Just because the sand is a certain shade of pink, doesn't mean that everything has to match it, and when finding flowers it will not be easy to match the colour perfectly and still have the bouquet look wedding appropriate. A nice option, so that the flowers don't over power everything, would be to stick to pastel colours.

The Dress:
Weddings on the beach are always done because of the beautiful scenery and because of the weather. When it is hot outside a bride doesn't usually want to be in a big, long, heavy dress. She usually wants to be in something more comfortable, shorter and something she can move easily in. In this case a stunning A-line Sweetheart Cocktail length ''Little White Dress'' would be a great pick. It is a wonderful dress, not too fancy, but not plain either and it would go spectacularly well with the beach theme. 

The Shoes:
The best option for beach weddings is always sandals or flip-flops. With an open shoe, the bride doesn't have to worry about getting sand stuck in her shoe and carrying around half the beach all night. Also in the warm weather, sandals would be much more comfortable and a lot easier to kick off. A very cute idea and great option would be the "Just Married" flip-flop set. It comes in men's and women's sizes and imprints Just Married into the sand as the couple walks. 

Make up, hair, nails and accessories:
It is always best to keep make up simple, but for beach weddings (hot, outdoor weddings) it is really key. Make up can always cause problems when it comes in contact with water (sweat, tears) and it will mess up the bride's make up sticking to just a lipstick or lip gloss would be ideal. For this wedding, I chose a short and strapless dress, because of this, having the bride's hair down would look best with a short veil or no veil at all. A beautiful addition to the bride's look would be the Amoro 18kt Pink and White Gold Necklace. There are two hearts, one pink gold and one white, and they are twisted together to become one. 

The Groom:
A beach wedding is more of a laid back type of wedding and it is common to see the groom (and his men) not wearing suits but more of just a shirt and pants type thing, formal but not too much. Great options for this would be the Cavala Custom Italian Linen Shirt and the Ventura Custom Linen Capri Pants. Both look great and are available in different colours. 

The Invitations:
Any out of town/state/country guests would really appreciated a Save the Date card, especially if the couple really wants certain people there, it gives the guests time to make arrangements like flight plans, house sitters, booking days of work, etc so that they can make it to the wedding. After the Save the Date cards, a formal invitation should be sent to all the guests (even the ones that already got the Save the Date card). A great option for invitations would be the Modern Swirly Rose. (It has the double sided invitation and reply card in the set).

Photographer and Videographer:
A great photographer that comes very highly recommended is Vanessa Hall. She take beautiful pictures and stages perfect scenes and moments with what she has to work with. She also has a beautiful portfolio and a lot of information available at her website. As for a videographer that can be tricky to find in a country that isn't home to the bride or groom or any guest. As stated before asking a friend or family member to do that favour may be best. 

In a place as beautiful as Barbuda, that is known for its beaches, the best place to have a ceremony is on the beach! More than 74% of the population in Antigua and Barbuda are Christian so it would not be hard to find a church or a priest to perform a ceremony, any other religions may be harder to find someone to perform the ceremony and the couple should look into it ahead of time. Of course, any friend or family member that has been ordained can do it also. Beautiful rings for this wedding would be the Pink Gold Wedding Band, and the Pink Gold Wedding Band set with Diamonds. (And if the wedding party includes a ring bearer and flower girl this pillow and basket would match wonderfully). 

(REF #: b4087200 and b4086400)

With the theme of the wedding being the beach, what greater place to have the reception than on the beach (consulting a wedding planner may be needed for this part). Having a wedding on the beach makes it easier to incorporate some traditions that the bride and groom shares, like throwing the bouquet and garter, cutting the cake and stuff like that. Also having a small table set up would be perfect to accommodate a guest book, money box and a basket of small guest favours should anyone just walking along want to join (this may happen in any wedding but especially when having a ceremony on a public beach). (Depending on how many people are at the wedding, place cards may or may not be needed.) 

In Antigua and Barbuda, the national dish is fungie and pepper pot. Fungie is a dish similar to that of Italian Polenta, made mostly with cornmeal. Other local dishes include ducana, seasoned rice, saltfish, fish in a tomato and onion sauce, and lobster. Fruits when in season are every where and at there best so making use of the local varieties would be a very smart and good idea for a wedding dinner. Some other dishes that may be served for dinner could include pork, chicken, lamb or turkey usually with some sort of rice, macaroni pie, and or salads (Antigua and Barbuda Cuisine).  Naturally, the choices would differ depending on who is making the food and what time of year the wedding takes place in. 

The Cake:
For a wedding on the beach, a cake that isn't too heavy, or rich, or sweet is the key. Highlight the nice weather and give it light so that everyone is in the party mood. A great cake for this wedding would be a Vanilla Cake With Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting. It is easy to make and it is delicious. Covered in strawberry fondant and it could look like the picture below (flowers optional).

A perfect wedding topper for this beach wedding would be the Lounging on the Beach Figurine.It is beautiful and it had the couple in a wonderful pose and would look absolutely wonderful on the top of any cake. Coupled with the Simple Silver Serving Set, and the Silver Toasting Flutes and the whole set up will be fabulous.   

Guest Favours:
A beautiful and creative guest favour for this wedding would be jars of sand. Mixing regular sand with the pink sand of Barbuda would symbolize the bride and groom coming together and it would be a beautiful gift for the guests in an engraved glass jar. 

Sticking with the sand theme, a beautiful tall vase with the mixed sand in the bottle surrounding a tall single candle would be perfect for the centerpieces for the tables. Also it could work as a table number but simply tying string around the vase and attaching the numbers to them. (Adding seashell are always optional.)

Thank You Cards:
Thank You cards don't always have to match the invitations. In this case any beach themed or pink Thank You card would work well. Some couples choose to send a picture from their wedding with a personalized note or a post card showing where they honeymooned. Anything is fine, its the juster that people care about. 

Things To Do:
Antigua and Barbuda are known for their beaches so naturally most things to do are water and beach related but there are some amazing options and sights to see and be apart of. Take a short boat ride to private Prickly Pear Island from St. John's for a half day of fun in the sun - snorkeling, strolling or just lying under a beach umbrella. Enjoy complimentary rum punch and other refreshments from the open bar, as well as tasty snacks and a home-cooked Caribbean lunch, while you take in the tranquil surroundings. Take a helicopter tour, it offers a variety of truly amazing panoramic delights, priceless memories and photographic opportunities for both around the island tour and the Montserrat Volcano tour. Visit Nelson's Dockyard, set aside as 30sq km of national park, the historical dockyard dates from 1745, and is Antigua's most popular attraction. Abandoned in 1899, it languished until the 1950s when its resurrection and restoration began.Today the handsome buildings have been converted into inns, shops, a market, restaurants an art center and a nautical museum. A number of tours visit Nelson's Dockyard, like the Round Island Tour, and the Antigua Shore Excursion (Things to do in Antigua and Barbuda). 

Take a city sightseeing tour shore excursion in Antigua. The tour visits a local vegetable market and spends time in the capital city of St. John's, where tourists can shop until they drop for souvenirs at Heritage Quay, home to designer and locally made wares all duty-free. Visit Betty's Hope, it is one of Antigua's first sugar plantations, built by Christopher Codrington in 1674, it was named in honour od his daughter Betty. Ruins of two stone windmills and a distillery remain on the site, along with a small visitors center. One windmill has been restored, and the caretaker offers informative tours peppered with historical insights. Or why not take the Island Safari 4x4 Discovery Tour. It visits some of the most beautiful landmarks in Antigua including Devil's Bridge and Betty's Hope Sugar Plantation.Spend a night at Shirley Heights Lookout. Celebrate the most dramatic sunset in Antigua with a night of music and relaxation. Enjoy a night under the moonlight while dancing to the sounds of steel band music and taking in the beautiful views from atop the lookout. Shirley Heights, named after the former governor Sir Thomas Shirley, overlooks the English Harbor and Galleon Beach and is the best spot to get a bird's-eye view of the island. Go snorkeling, many cruises are available for snorkeling like the Cades Reef Snorkel Cruise that highlights the Cades Reef, or the Snorkeling Island Adventure that includes kayaking and sightseeing in the Caribbean Sea, or snorkel in the protected bay on Bird Island (Things to do in Antigua and Barbuda) .

The next country alphabetically would be Argentina, in South America!

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony's and traditions change from country to country. But if a couple is getting married in a country because of the view, or the weather, than they can get married in what they would consider to be a traditional wedding from their home country. There's no law that says if you get married in Hawaii you have to have a Hawaiian wedding. Also, sometimes it is much easier to get married at home and than have a big ceremony for friends and family in whatever country they want. Some countries require a couple to live in the country for so long before allowing them to get a marriage certificate.

Wedding Programs

Having a program at a wedding isn't a necessity but it is a very good idea. Guests can follow the ceremony along even if they aren't used to the traditions and rituals being showcased. It is important to name the bride, and her bride's maids, the groom and his men, the parents of the bride and groom, the photographer, the videographer, the officiant and anyone else important to the wedding. Next, a step my step walk through of the ceremony as best as possibly can be described. (Most invitation sets have a matching program.)

The Shoes

The bride's shoes don't always matter because depending on the length of the dress, no one may ever see the bride's shoes. One of the keys to picking shoes is to remember that no matter how fun a wedding day is, it is long and the bride needs to be comfortable. Always try the shoes with the dress, the person making alterations needs to see how it will sit and be worn the day of the wedding and he/she may advise the bride what shoes would go best with her body type and the dress type.

The same thing applied with Mother-of-the-Bride/Groom shoes and Bride's maid shoes. Their shoes may be seem more, depending again on the dress length. Shoes can match the colour scheme or just simply match the colour of the dresses, however the Bride's maids shoes should be similar, if not the same, and definitely the same colour.

Shoes will not be what everyone is looking at so feel free to wear flip-flops. Some can look very elegant and for most younger woman they are very comfortable.

The One (The Wedding Dress)

Buying a wedding dress is hands down the most important part of the wedding for the bride. Going into a dress shop with the dream dress in mind may not always be the dress a bride will walk out with. No one can pick the perfect dress for a bride, she can't even pick it out herself. The only way to know when the perfect dress comes along is by trying it on.

''You just know'', anyone who has been in love knows, that there is no way to explain the hows or whys of it all you just simply know. The same goes for wedding dresses. A bride can walk into a wedding store wanting lace and frills and beading everywhere, and walk out with someone so plain it could be the complete opposite of what she originally thought she wanted. The thing with wedding dresses is, you have to try it on and when you do, you get this feeling. It's like being a princess, most woman cry because they just know that they have the dress they are going to walk down the isle to.

Magazines, online catalogs and even blogs can offer suggestions and give links to beautiful dresses but all that does is help the bride decide what styles she likes and which she'd rule out. A bride simply can't find her perfect dress by looking at pictures alone.

The Groom

The grooms get the short end of the marriage stick. Truly the wedding day is about the bride, all they have to do is show up and stand there. When it comes to what the groom and his groom's men wear there is a lot of colour options but they have to match the wedding's theme. The groom can not wear a light grey suit at a wedding that has bright red and white as a theme. The safest and most traditional colours the groom gets to pick from is black and white. However, there are many other decisions to make when it comes to buying tuxedos. The jacket style, whether to get a vest, cummerbund (or cumberbund), long tie, bow tie (even though the bride may have some opinions on these aspects!) The best way for the groom to incorporate the wedding colour into his outfit is by getting a tie that matches either a bit of colour in the bride's dress or flowers. The same goes for the groom's men, their ties should match the bride's maids dresses.

Shoes for the groom and his men are simple, match the shoes to the suit. (Black tuxedo, black shoes; white tuxedo, white shoes.)

The Flowers

When picking the flowers for a wedding, it sets the colour scheme for the entire day. Everything will be coordinated with these colours. It is very very rare that a person will pick two colours for flowers and than have completely different colour dresses and decorations. For example, having red and yellow roses when the bride's maids are dress in purples and the entire hall/reception area is decorated in purple and white does not match the ''theme'' and ''colour scheme'', picking purple lilies or tulips or roses even for that matter match the whole wedding and pull it all together. This of course does not matter for the bride because she is usually in white and every colour matches white, adding a ribbon or handle in the theme colour would match it all together,  however matching a weddings colours should always be kept in mind when making wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and flower arrangements.

When getting married in countries that aren't familiar to at least the bride or groom, the flowers may present a problem. In some counties and/or religions certain flowers are considered bad luck and should be avoided. A little research would be needed to make sure that a bouquet doesn't conflict with such a belief in the country or religion the couple is being married in.

Ordering flowers can be a tricky thing especially if the couple is not local to the town, province/state, or country they decide to get married in. When picking flowers it is important to find a florist to get the flowers from and it is equally as important to make sure that they have the flowers needed to create the bouquets the couple wants. In some countries because of either growing conditions or the seasons, certain flowers may not be available at the time of a couples wedding so looking into such things before hand can save a lot of time and hassle.

Some couples think a great way to save money is to make their own wedding arrangements and bouquets. Unless the bride or groom is very skilled at handling flowers, arranging them and knows how to care for them, it is best left to a professional. In the end if a home made wedding bouquet doesn't turn out well, it could cost the couple twice as much as just letting a florist do the job in the first place.

**If throwing the bouquet is a tradition the bride and groom choose to follow, the bride may want to hold on to her bouquet and throw a fake or a stand in one. The best thing to do is to get a replica of the bride's original bouquet but scaled down so literally she isn't throwing money away. Also bouquet preservation may be something the bride would like to look into to keep her wedding bouquet as a souvenir of her big day, that is also something that should be discussed with the florist.**