Something Old, New, Borrowed & Blue + Tuesday Tunes

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe..."

You want to know something kind of embarrassing? When I was planning my own wedding, I totally forgot to do the whole "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" thing. Who does that?! When you're packing for your wedding, that little tradition can be the last thing on your mind... but it's too fun and too cute to leave it out! I ended up saying my dress was my "something new," and on the day of my wedding, I thought to borrow a vintage blue ring from one of my bridesmaids for my somethings old, borrowed and blue. And a sixpence?! I definitely did not have one of those. It worked out just fine, but I really wish I had put more thought into those details! 

By the way, have you ever heard the meaning behind this tradition? Each item is supposed to bring luck to the bride, and many brides even wore a sixpence (a type of British money) in her shoe for extra luck! Here is what each item represents, according to the The Knot: "Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; something blue stands for purity, love and fidelity; and a sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity." 

If you're looking for some ideas - whether classic or unique - for this tradition, here are some of my favorites!

Something Old

Classic: A family heirloom, like your grandmother's pearls, your mother's earrings, or a brooch that's been passed down through the generations

Unique: A vintage dress, veil or other accessories, or a photo of a loved one who's passed away in a locket on your bouquet

Something New

Classic: A gorgeous bridal gown or fancy accessories

Unique: A once-in-a-lifetime pair of shoes, or something monogrammed to show off your new initials

Something Borrowed

Classic: A beautiful piece of jewelry from someone close to you, like your aunt's super expensive bracelet that you've always wanted to wear, or a friend or family member's prettiest wedding details, like a veil or a fur stole

Unique: A handkerchief or piece of lace from your grandmother's wedding dress to wrap around your bouquet, or a fabulous clutch, which you could even rent from a website like Rent The Runway

Something Blue

Classic: Blue lingerie, blue shoes or a blue garter

Unique: A blue piece of clothing from someone special sewn into your dress, or if you're feeling extra bold, ask your maid of honor or flower girl to dye their hair blue (this has seriously happened... and it's pretty awesome!)

What would your picks be? Or if you're already married, what did you carry/wear for your somethings old, new, borrowed and blue?

Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony

When it comes to the actual wedding ceremony, many couples use the exact same ceremony format - with the same vows and same readings, all in the same order. If tradition is your thing, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! There's a reason why the "traditional" ceremony things have become tradition - they are beautiful, timeless and meaningful. Many couples want their ceremony to be more unique and personalized, and we are totally all about that too! But it can be kind of tricky to know how to do just that, so here are a few suggestions! (Some of these are not new/unique, but I'm hoping this list will help out at least a few brides out there!)

Use special items in your ceremony decor. This could be photos of you and your new spouse lining the aisle or at your altar, a special altar built just for your big day (for example, Jessica + Daniel's altar was an arbor built by Jessica's dad, which they now have in their back yard at home), or decor items that tell your story

Write your own vows. This idea isn't exactly unique or new, but it's something that I think a lot of brides are afraid to do, either because they're not sure of what to say or because they feel like they have to use traditional wedding vows. There are about a billion alternatives to traditional vows online, or you can start from scratch and write your own. A little piece of advice: write whatever is on your heart. Even if you feel embarrassed to say those things in front of a crowd, your spouse will adore you for it. And your guests will probably cry their eyes out, too. ;) 

Ask your officiant to tell a story or two from your relationship. And that brings me to another point: choose someone important to both of you to officiate your ceremony. They'll make your ceremony even more special and meaningful. Ask them to tell a story from your relationship, like how you met, all about your first date, how you got engaged. Your guests may not know these stories already, and it'll be so special for you to hear them again on your big day! 

Walk down the aisle (or back down the aisle as husband and wife) to a meaningful song. Again, this isn't a new idea, but it can add so much personality to your wedding ceremony. Walking down the aisle to a song that is special to you and your new spouse will mean so much more to you than the same ol' wedding march everyone else walks down the aisle to.

Have a friend do a special reading or perform "your song." Do you and your fiance love a specific poem, Bible verse, book passage or song? Why not incorporate it into your ceremony? Ask a close friend or family member to read a poem, verse or passage, or if you're friends with someone who's musically inclined, ask them to perform a song you both love. 

Have your church's worship band/leader lead a few songs during your ceremony. Religion is very important to many of our couples, and we love it when they incorporate a time of worship into their ceremony. It's super special and says so much about a couple's beliefs and what's important to them. 

Do your own thing instead of a unity candle. I've talked about unity candle alternatives and how much I love them a few times on this blog! If a unity candle ceremony means nothing to you, choose something that does. A fun paint ceremony, a romantic time capsule to be opened on an anniversary, or a tree planting ceremony are all meaningful ideas!

Choose your bridal party carefully. Your bridal party plays a very important role during your ceremony; after all, they are the people standing beside you as you promise the rest of your life to the person you love. That's a big deal! You should include whoever you really want in your bridal party, and exclude anyone who doesn't belong (even if they used to be your best friend/they're your family member/you were in their wedding/whatever... don't include anyone because you think you have to). We wrote a post all about unique bridal parties

Honor your heritage by incorporating any special customs. At Kelsey + Gueorgui's wedding (their wedding was full of unique, personal details!), they asked some of their guests to take place in a ring warming ceremony, which is a Bulgarian wedding tradition. Several of their guests took Kelsey + Gueorgui's rings into their hands and said a quick prayer or blessing over them before the exchange of rings. Incredibly special! If you come from a unique background, definitely pick some traditional customs to use during your ceremony!

I hope this inspires you to make your wedding ceremony all about you! It's your big day... make the details of your ceremony as unique and personal as you'd like them to be!

How To Keep Your Guests Cool At Your Summer Wedding

While summer is a very popular time for a wedding, pulling off an awesome summer wedding can be tricky... especially if you live somewhere hot and humid, like Arkansas! You want your guests to be comfortable in the sweltering heat, and there are some seriously fun ways to make sure that happens!

The first way to keep your guests cool and comfortable, even on the hottest of days: don't schedule your wedding for the middle of the afternoon. An evening wedding will be much cooler, and since summer days are so long, you'll still have plenty of light. Here are some fun, creative ways to keep your guests from overheating!

Ceremony Necessities
Even if your ceremony isn't held during the middle of the afternoon, there's still a chance that your guests are going to be in the sun. Ideally, your wedding will be held in the shade, but if not, you can still help keep your guests cool. Nobody likes a sunburn, so think about providing something that will keep your guests from getting so much sun! A few fun ideas: parasols, fans, customized sunglasses, a water and lemonade station, and programs that double as fans. If your outdoor wedding is going to be in the sun, do your guests a favor and keep it on the shorter side! 

  Andrew Arceri , from  Megan + Daniel 's wedding at The Barn

Andrew Arceri, from Megan + Daniel's wedding at The Barn

Practical Favors
I've written a couple posts about favors (here and here), so y'all already know I'm a big fan of favors that are both fun and practical. Get a little bit creative and come up with favors that are both cute, original and will keep your guests cool! Think: bottles of water, sunglasses (again), flip flops, or koozies to keep their drinks cold.

Cold Snacks & Drinks
The ultimate way to keep your guests cool is with cold snacks and drinks! Provide your guests with signature cocktails (with an awesome display), beer or sodas on ice (in a wheelbarrow or canoe), popsicles, ice cream (bonus points if it's mini), and it would be super awesome if you had an ice cream truck.

Must-Have Wedding Photos

Aside from a great venue, the most important splurge for your wedding day is a great photographer. Hiring a professional photographer is an absolute necessity, because once your wedding day has come and gone, all you have left are photos and a few keepsakes! It's extremely important to have quality photos, and plenty of them. You want to have tons of photos that are beautiful, meaningful, and capture the most special moments and details from your wedding day.

So, what photos can you not do without? This list will fill you in on photos that you simply must have (as well as a few examples from weddings at The Barn!). You might want to print off this list to give to your photographer, just in case. But if your photographer is one of our fabulous preferred vendors, you can be confident that they already know which photos are absolute necessities!

1.     The dress, without you in it

2.     Bridal details: veil, garter, jewelry and any other accessories

3.     Bridal shoes

4.     Rings

5.     Bride getting ready – these are always great candid shots!

6.     Groom getting ready

7.     Invitation suite

8.     First look with parents or bridal party

9.     First look with your bride or groom, if you choose to have one (and you want a whoooole bunch from this moment)

10.   Individual portraits of the bride

11.   Individual portraits of the groom

12.   Approximately a million (maybe I'm exaggerating) romantic photos of you and your beloved in several different locations around your venue, with plenty of gorgeous poses... you want a good variety!

13.   The bride with her bridesmaids

14.   The groom with his groomsmen

15.   The entire bridal party

16.   The bride and groom with the flower girl and ring bearer

17.   Bridal bouquet

18.   Bridesmaids’ bouquets

19.   Groom’s boutonniere

20.   Boutonnieres and corsages

21.   Your ceremony area

22.   Altar

23.   Guestbook table

24.   Aisle

25.   Any other ceremony details. You want tons of detail shots. Make sure your photographer captures as many details as possible, because there’s a good chance that you won’t see a lot of them!

26.   Your reception area

27.   Reception tables

28.   Reception details. As with your ceremony details, you want tons of photos of your reception details, too.

29.   Favors

30.   Any cute signage

31.   The groom at the altar

32.   The bride walking down the aisle

33.   Exchanging of rings and vows

34.   Unity ceremony and/or any unique traditions

35.   Your guests at the ceremony

36.   The kiss! (Duh)

37.   Bride and groom walking back down the aisle

38.   Portraits of the bride and groom immediately following the ceremony

39.   Signing the marriage license

40.   The bride and groom with their families

41.   Food and signature cocktails

42.   The cake

43.   Bride and groom’s first dance

44.   Father-daughter dance

45.   Mother-son dance

46.   Cake cutting

47.   Bouquet toss

48.   Garter toss

49.   Candid photos of everyone having a good time at your reception

50.   Grand exit

Why You Should Consider An Unplugged Wedding

A few years ago, this Facebook post about this poor groom who had to lean over to see his bride walking down the aisle, because of several guests standing in the aisle taking pictures with their phones made its rounds. I know, right?! OMG! There are few moments in life that are as sacred and precious as the moment you walk down the aisle to marry your best friend. And when that moment is an any way tainted or obstructed, it's totally acceptable and understandable to be upset about it! That's where unplugged weddings come in. Many couples (many of ours included!) have adopted this trend in recent years, and we’re all about it. If you're unfamiliar with an unplugged wedding, it means the bride and groom ask their guests to leave all phones and cameras put away through the ceremony and/or certain parts of the reception (first dance, cake cutting, etc.), or through the entire reception. Why should you consider an unplugged ceremony, and how can you politely ask your guests to keep their darn phones and cameras out of sight?

No one wants to get their wedding photos back and see swarms of guests standing in the aisle, with their phones or cameras up taking pictures of the ceremony. One of my favorite wedding photos would have been one that was taken during our wedding ceremony, from behind the ceremony site. In this photo, you can see us standing at the altar, our lovely guests, and our beautiful decor. Buuuut, one of our sweet guests (whose name I won't call out!) was standing in the aisle. She left her seat to walk up to the front of the aisle to take a picture of us. If only I had thought to politely ask our guests to leave their devices in their pockets or purses!

Couples want to see your beautiful face in their photos, not your phone or camera held in front of your face! Keep 'em down, pretty please.

When you're standing at the edge of the dance floor to take a photo of the bride and groom during their first dance, you may be in the way of the photographer. The couple has paid their photographer a lot of money to perfectly capture every big moment of their wedding. If you're standing where the photographer needs to be standing to get the shot, the perfect shot isn't going to happen. This also goes for every other big moment of the wedding!

And a really obvious reason: the bride and groom want to be able to see each other and truly enjoy the magical moment when the bride walks down the aisle to marry her man! 

  Tryston Hines Photography , from  Breanna + Bryan 's wedding at The Barn

Tryston Hines Photography, from Breanna + Bryan's wedding at The Barn

The bride and groom may not want any photos of their wedding on social media until their photographer posts a sneak peek from their wedding, or until they are able to upload one. If you take photos and post them without permission, you may be sort of stealing their spotlight!

How can you ask your guests to put their devices up in a polite way? Have a sign on the guestbook table that says something like, "We invite you to be fully present with us during our ceremony. Please turn off all cell phones and cameras." Have your officiant make an announcement. Send your flower girl or ring bearer down the aisle with a funny sign that says, "Please put away all phones and cameras. The bride means it." Your guests will (most likely, hopefully) be more than happy to oblige!