Summer Break News

For the last year or so we have been tirelessly researching and writing about how to plan the wedding of your dreams. We have covered everything from the history of the wedding dress, to how to pair wine and food, to a variety of seasonal treats to make sure you have all the best and most up to date information on wedding planning. We wanted to create a one stop shop when it comes to making sure one of the most important days in your life runs as smoothly as possible. 

Now we want to take the summer to look into more topics, more helpful hints, more ideas to make sure we stay up to date with what is big and new in the wedding industry, and all those small details you may not know to think of. This is all part of our dedication to bringing you the best, most relevant hints and insider tricks from finding the perfect flowers, to bridesmaids’ fashion, to how to set the perfect table. Because we know no one wants to be sweating the small stuff on their big day. 

In the meantime, we will be republishing some of our favourite blogs, publishing an ebook for potential professional wedding planners, and posting on social media some of our most useful advice. So, be sure you check back regularly. We will also of course let you all know when we are back with new and interesting content. 

You can also keep in touch and check out our original course at www.planyourownwedding.org

Have a great summer and we will see you when we get back!

Food And Wine: The Second Most Important Couple at Your Wedding.

How to pick the perfect wines to go with your carefully chosen menu. 

Next to the beauty of the ceremony and how gorgeous the bride looked, the thing most people will remember and talk about at any wedding is the food and wine. It is really one of the highlights of the reception and most people feel a ton of pressure to get it right when planning their wedding. Although it may seem intimidating at first, it is quite simple. 

 It is more than likely you have heard the saying, “red meat, red wine. White meat, white wine”. While that is a good rule of thumb, it turns out it isn’t exactly right. There are certain bold whites which work well with red meat and sweeter reds which make chicken dishes shines. It turns out there are six basic flavours to know about when it comes to wine and what to pair them with. They are fats, acid, bitter, sweet, salt, and alcohol. Each adds its own special je ne sais qua to any meal. So, let’s take a look at which pairings work best together and which to avoid. 

Bitter and fats:

If you are serving a super fatty dish like steak or, say, a lamb stew, a nice, deep Malbec would pair perfectly with it. Not only does the fat from the food cut the bitterness of the wine a little, the wine will balance the fat of the dish out, so you experience some of the subtler flavours from both. 

However, stay away from pairing bitter wine with bitter foods. Anything flavoured with citrus will do nothing for the wine. Better go with a slightly sweeter wine or something acidic. 

Acid:

Speaking of acid, acid pairs well with acid. If you have your heart set on your favourite vinaigrette dressing for the salad, best to pair it with what people in the know refer to as a crisp white wine. The acidity in each seems to help balance each other out, creating an enjoyable tartness. 

Acid also works well with high fatty dishes, for a lot of the reasons bitter and fats work well together. 

Sweet and Salty:

Yes, we are putting these two together, because who doesn’t love the complex palate of sweet and salty. It is what makes sea salt caramel so tasty or why chocolate covered peanuts are still such a hit. They just seem to bring out the best in each other. So, if you are having a cheese course, why not think about offering nice desert wine? Yum. 

And of course, sweet and sweet work well on every level. So, when the cake comes out, make sure you have a tasty dessert wine on hand. 

Alcohol:

You are probably thinking to yourself, “but wait, doesn’t all wine have alcohol in it?” and while that is very true, some contain more than others. Wines with higher alcohol contents are great for fatty meals you want people to slow down and really enjoy. So, if you are serving fillet mignon, think about pairing with something upward of 15% alcohol content. The tartness of the alcohol will highlight the cut of meat while encouraging people to take their time and taking pleasure in the food. 

One Last Thing:

Don’t forget to take the “weight” of the wine into account too. Full bodied wines tend not to pair well with light food and vice versa. So, pairing a full-bodied red with a veggie quiche just isn’t going to work just like a super light desert white wine isn’t going to work with pepper steak. 

For more helpful hints and a printable cheat sheets to help with wine and food pairings and so much more, sign up for our course on how to plan your own wedding. Available in both desk top and mobile versions, it is like having your own personal wedding planner available 24/7! 



Summer Menus Ideas!


Summer weddings are popular for many reasons: warmer weather, longer days, vacation days to use for your honeymoon. However, one of the less obvious reasons is the amount of produce and tasty treats available to serve your guests. If fact, with so many possibilities on what to serve, it can be a little overwhelming. Here are some helpful hints on how to plan the perfect summer wedding menu to leave guest wanting more. 

Salads Abound.

Gone are the days of a few scraps of iceberg lettuce and tomato slices. Whether you are offering elegant caprese salads with heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella or a light and refreshing fruit salad packed full of tangy and sweet berries, make sure you have a few different options for everyone. And if you do go the leafy green route, be sure to keep the dressing light and refreshing. Why not try a delicate raspberry vinaigrette to keep guests from feeling too weighed down with heavy creamy dressings. 

Raw Bar:

Raw bars offer a great way to offer a variety of sea food and other delicacies to help keep guests cool on warm days. Decked out with everything from crab legs, to oysters, to jumbo shrimp, raw bars can help rev up people’s appetites without ruining dinner. Just make sure you also have some other meats and veggies in case of allergies and other dietary restrictions. And if a raw bar isn’t your thing, load up large martini glasses with shaved ice and goodies. 

The Main Attraction:

What would a summer party without a little barbeque? So, instead of having a fancy sit down dinner, try serving up tangy chicken and smoked briquet. On top of being a staple of the season, both are easy to do in large quantities, if you are having a big wedding, and will be a great way to break from traditional wedding fare. Don’t forget the stuffed peppers and grilled portabello mushrooms for the non-meat eaters. 

Just Deserts:

Having a separate desert course is becoming increasing trendy at weddings. Not everyone is a fan of cake, so it is important to have something sweet to offer guests as a post meal treat. Having an ice cream station with a variety of fruits and berries, plus tons of sprinkles and sauces, is a fantastic desert for warm summer days. Plus, it gives guests the choice to only have fruit if they want. 

For more helpful hints like this, why not head over to our DIY wedding planning site to see how our course can help you plan the wedding you’ve always wanted.

Summer Weddings: What to Wear.

Like winter weddings, summer weddings can be tricky to dress for because of the weather. You need to make sure you are cool and comfortable, so you don’t overheat. Thankfully, there are plenty of lovely airy materials for you to choose from. Here are some of our favourite bridal fabrics for outdoor, summer weddings.  

Go with The Flow in Chiffon:

This light and airy material is perfect for summer weddings. Since it is so lightweight it is helps to wick moisture away from the skin, perfect for those hot summer days. Originally made from silk, which itself is the ideal fabric for days when the temperature spikes, chiffon can also be made from cotton. Plus, since it is such a delicate textile, it is easy to dye and wash. This gives non-traditional brides the chance to play which colours the way they might not be able to with other material choices. 

Embrace Your Inner Ballerina with Tulle:

This netted fabric is what tutus are made from, so it goes without saying it is lightweight. Plus, since has a slightly open weave, it means air can easily pass through, making it incredibly breathable. While it is usually worn under the ball gowns to give it a little volume, it can be placed over other fabric to give the illusion of sheer lace. So, paired with chiffon from above you can evoke the image of a prima ballerina dancing into her new life. 

Shine on You Crazy Diamond with Organza.

While it isn’t exactly shiny, Organza, another great choice for summer wedding dresses, does have a slight seen to it. I can also be used to create tons of volume in skirts. While it seems very sheer, it is easy to layer for brides who want a nice full ballgown dress. Plus, despite how delicate it looks, it is actually quite a strong fabric. This means it is able to stand up to dancing all night at your reception. 

For more helpful hints and insider  advice on how to plan your wedding, check out our specialized DIY wedding planning course at www.planyourownwedding.org

Wedding Makeup dos and don’ts, plus a few other tips:

Some of the best wedding makeup advice we have ever heard is: remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. And even though when you look back it may feel like your day was over in a flash, it actually lasted for hours, busy and jam-packed hours. So here are some great tips to make sure your makeup stays photo ready all day long. 

Don’t Forget To Plan:

There are few things you are going to want to take into account as you are planning your wedding look: what season you are getting married in, the time of day, and how long the festivities are going to last. Just like for your everyday look, the makeup you choose is going to be different if you are getting married in May than if you have planned a November wedding. Same thing goes for if it is a daytime event or a nighttime one or if it goes from day to night. Also, make sure the look you have planned is really similar to what you would normally wear. Now isn’t the time to experiment or go full glam if that isn’t your thing. Natural looks are a far better option, as they will look timeless and classic in photos. 

It’s All About The Prep: 

Think of your skin like a canvass. You are going to want to make sure you have the best there is. Ideally, getting regular facials leading up to the wedding is the best way to prep your skin, but that often isn’t an option. However, by drinking lots of water and following a good skin care regiment or gently cleansers, moisturizes for your skin type, and plenty of SPF, your skin should be in great shape. 

The Trial Run: 

A few weeks before the big day, you should do a trial run, or two, of your makeup. This is to make sure you have the look you want nailed down and that any products you use don’t cause irritation while you are wearing them. This will also give you a good idea how the makeup will last through the day.

A Couple More Dos: 

You are bound to cry at some point during the day, so make sure you eye makeup, especially your mascara, is waterproof. Also, don’t forget the setting spray.
Keep a small bag with the foundation and lip product you are wearing easily accessible for quick touchups throughout the day.
Be sure you choose a lipstick which is long lasting and comfortable on your lips. 


STEN DOS: The New Pre-Wedding Good Time!

More and more couples are opting out of the traditional hen and stag dos for a big joint party. Not only is it a money saving option, it is a great way for your friends to get to know each other, and for you to spend time with everyone before the big day. So, here is a list of some of our favourite ideas for a great Sten do. 

Put Your Problem-Solving Skills to Good Use.

Marriage is all about working together to solve all sorts of problems. So, why not see if you and your mates are up to the task and try to beat the best record at your local puzzle room. With an hour to solve a series of problems, it can be a fun way to start the evening. Plus, if even you don’t manage to break any records, you can head out to celebrate making it out alive. 

Geek Out with Your Favourite Film Franchise:

Whether you have seen all 22 MCU movies, could recite LotR from memory, or proudly display your Hogwarts house every chance you get, everyone has a favourite film franchise they love. So, rent one of those fancy projectors, themed snacks and drinks, and all the comfy chairs you can find. It will be a fun weekend of fandom. 

Relax at a Spa Together:

Spa weekends aren’t just for the girls anymore. With more and more establishments offering services specifically for the fellas, this can be a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and the craziness of wedding planning. Plus, most also have world class food and wine available too. Perfection. 

No matter what you chose to do, remember it is all about spending time with your dearest friends and family before the big day. Have fun!

We have a whole wedding planning course dedicated to helping you plan the wedding of your dreams. Check it out!


Not Your Typical Stag Do!

Last week we took a look at ways brides and her ladies can hen it up without the traditional bar crawl. Well, now it is the gentleman’s turn. Gone are the weekends of drunken trips to far off cities with the goal of misbehaving one last time. Now, it is all about making sure to get one last weekend with your closest guy friends before married life takes over and your priorities shift. Here are some of our favourite ideas for non-traditional stag dos. 

Playing Pirate:

Embrace your inner child’s desire to be a pirate by taking to the water for a weekend. You can rent a boat and sail it yourself for a bit of a challenge. However, there are plenty of river and smaller ocean cruises if you just want to relax, play some cards, and enjoy the company. Either way, it will be a weekend to remember. 

A Sports Weekend:

Picture it: a group of your closest friends, your favourite team, and a chance to watch them stomp a rival team! There are even tour companies which specialize in sports weekends. So, for one flat fee you can get accommodation, a stadium tour, and tickets to see your team play. What could be better for a sports fanatic? Not much.

Beer/Whiskey/Tequila Tasting:

Maybe you and your friends consider yourselves experts on a specific type of alcohol. Why not turn that knowledge into a great weekend, tasting your favourite kind of booze? Or maybe you have always wanted to learn more about a drink you like? Use this as an excuse to finally getting around to doing just that and then use what you learned to impress the guests at your wedding. 

Remember, no matter what you end up choosing, remember to have fun. That’s the point. 

Need help planning your wedding? Stuck and don’t know where to start? Why not take a look at our specialized DIY wedding planning course? 

Unique Hen Party Ideas

When you talk about hen or bachelorette parties, most people think of a large group of women in sashes and tiaras wandering from bar to bar drinking heavily. And while this may sound like a load of fun to some, it isn’t for everyone. So, let’s take a look at some great alternatives for that one last hurrah for you and your closest friends before your wedding. 

Make Your Pub Crawl Something More:

If you and your best gal pals have your heart set on one more night of drunken fun, why not turn it into a game? As each guest arrives hand each one a list of tasks, photos, or situations they need to gather before the night is over.  The winner then either gets a special door prize or just the chance to gloat about their mad scavenging skills over the rest of the party. 

Learn A New Skill:

Is the bride to be a foodie? Does she love to take photos? Maybe she had dreams of becoming a master mixologist when she was in college. Whatever the bride’s secret, or not so secret, passion is, there is bound to be a class in your area. Afterwards, you can put your knowledge to the test and have a dinner party where each guest brings a version of something they learned. It can be a great way to bond while learning something new. 

Murder Mystery Fun:

For the literary or theatre loving brides and her best ladies, why not put your heads together and solve a murder mystery? Choose a theme and let your imaginations run wild as you try to get to the bottom of this who done it! For an extra bit of fun, why not make it a costumed affair? Let the bride pick her favourite time period and give out special prizes for the best costumes. Then maybe hit up your regular bar for some post murder libations. 

No matter what you choose to do, make sure you have fun and remember, it is the bride’s night, so make it all about her and giving her a night, or weekend, she will remember for the rest of her life. 

Also, if you need help planning a wedding, we have a specialized course dedicated to helping couples have the wedding of their dreams. Check it out as www.planyourownwedding.org 


A wedding Destination your might never have considered: The Netherlands

Amsterdam is regularly listed as one of the most romantic cities in Europe. With its overabundance of canals for taking in the picturesque cityscapes while gazing adoringly into your partner’s eyes, it is easy to see why so many people choose the cultural capital of the Netherlands as not just a place to spend a quiet and romantic honeymoon, but also as a prime location for destination weddings. With a multitude of venues, ranging from gorgeous cathedrals to ultra-hip, state of the art buildings, there is bound to be something for everyone .

Traditional

If you and your partner lean toward a more traditional wedding, The Basilica of St. Nicholas is a perfect choice. Situated in the one of the oldest parts of the city, this beautiful Baroque masterpiece offers an amazing setting to exchange your vows. What makes this breathtaking church especially appealing to expats and those coming for a destination wedding is that the church offers services in both English and Spanish, allowing for a more conventional ceremony while still managing to be uniquely you. 

Ultra-Modern

If you and your partner are something of a more modern couple, The EYE Film institute could be just what you are looking for. Overlooking the Ij harbor, with an ultra-hip and sleek design, the EYE offers an elegant and contemporary space. While its main function is as a film house and exhibition center for film posters and art, there is a top-notch restaurant and catering facility located within the building and they offer a variety of spaces to rent for all kinds of event. 

Proximity

For those couples who are looking for ways to celebrate their marriage with something a little more distinctly European and maybe a little off the beaten track, there are plenty of choices around The Netherlands. Perhaps exchanging your vows in a beautiful castle is what you have always wanted. Then the province of Utrecht, located an easy 30-minute train trip south of Amsterdam, is perfect. Maybe you dream of ancient cities with incredible ruins. Maastricht, the oldest city in the Netherlands, fits the bill. Maybe you have always wanted a grand outdoor wedding in a garden surrounded by a million and one tulips? The palace of Keukenhof, famous for its tulip fields and luxurious gardens is the ideal place to say “I do”.

No matter what your wedding dreams consist of, The Netherlands will have something to fit the bill. With a wonderfully varied selection of venues and locals to celebrate one of the most important days of your life, there is bound to be that perfect place and Larossa can make the wedding of your dreams come to life. With a highly skilled international staff with plenty of experience, they are here to ensure your dreams are only the beginning. 

Unique venues

Not every couple who doesn’t fit into the non-traditional wedding venue is outdoorsy or boat people. Some of them are Disney fans, others are scream queens, while others are vintage film experts. So, lets take a look at some non-traditional venues for couples who want to highlight their more unique interests. 

When You Wish Upon A Star:

It is well known how seriously Disney takes creating magic at all of their parks, resorts, and cruise ships. So, it is no surprise they have wonderful wedding packages too. With a variety of price points, starting at 3500$ for a small intimate wedding, couples can embrace their inner princess and prince charming. Every package includes location, officiants, photographers, day of coordinator, and flowers. So, it takes a lot of the stress of wedding planning off the couple. Plus, as an added bonus, there are discounts for accommodation or parks with every package! That is a wish come true. 

Ready For Your Closeup:

Maybe instead of a fairytale romance, you and your partner have one of those great silver screen kind of loves. If that is case, why not think about exchanging your vows in an art house movie theater? With built in seating, a stage for you to say your “I do”s, and many coming with a license to sell at least beer and wine, for couples who like things to be easy and streamlined, this can be a great way to go, as it means less permits and vendors you have to deal with. Plus, if the theater was built in the golden age of cinema, you have a ready-made theme: A love story for the ages, classic movie style. 

Here’s the WEDDING COUPLE:

There was a study which showed going to a horror film on an early date is the best way to get a kiss good night. So, imagine what getting married in a hotel which inspired one of the most famous ghost stories would do for a marriage? Well, for fans of Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick, The Stanley Hotel, also known as the Overlook, can be rented for weddings. So, make sure you keep a few seats open for spare ghosts… we mean guests. 

We have a course on how to plan your dream wedding, just like a wedding planner would. It is packed full of useful information to make sure your special day is as magical as your love.