Cool Photobooth Additions and Alternatives {What can I have instead of a photobooth?}

Photo-booth-for-weddings(Yes, this is what your coordinators look like after about 12 hours on site :-)! Image courtesy Evrim Icoz Photography)

The wedding photobooth used to be a fun novelty; now it seems like a wedding must-have, along with regular photography and mini-desserts. So common now, that we're often asked,

"What can I add to my wedding to entertain guests along with, or instead of, a photobooth?"

We are definitely still big fans of the photobooth because not only is it amusing, it serves as a different kind of wedding documentation and also as a party favor. But here are a few ideas if you want to supplement the wedding day with entertainment or amusements that are a little different and sure to be remembered:

GIFbooth: Do you love GIFs on tumblr? Or the fancy cinemagraphs that get passed around every Fashion Week? Animated GIFs (Graphics Interchange Files) are made using a special videocamera setup that translates the captured video or still frames into a moving photo. These can be downloaded from a wedding website after the wedding, and make a fun momento, similar to a flipbook. Among others, GIFFF Booth and Limelight Photo can provide these services.

View more after the cut:

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{ Happy St. Patrick’s Day! } Dormae and Brian at Bridal Veil Lakes in the Columbia River Gorge

From Emee: It's so very easy to blog about what's going on around town in the world of Portland weddings — however, I'm making more of an effort to go back and blog our own weddings that we have coordinated and planned in the past, under the tagline { Real Weddings }. Some will be little snippets, some will be full features — but my goal by the end of this year, is for our { Real Weddings } tag to be as helpful to Portland couples as possible, full of as many real venue and wedding ideas, and providing inspiration and information to all.

In honor of St. Patrick's day, today's little glimpse is one of our favorite weddings that we coordinated at Bridal Veil Lakes. This Columbia River Gorge wedding included a Celtic handfasting ceremony to reflect the groom's Irish heritage, AND Filipino traditions to reflect the bride's. TOO AWESOME.

Thank you to Scott McNamara for the photos.

Celtic-handfasting-2Above: Dormae and Brian's Celtic-inspired handfasting.

Read more about Irish wedding traditions over at Green Wedding Shoes.

In the Filipino tradition, the ceremony often involves many extended family members called sponsors, and three important rites are used:

  • An exchange of thirteen coins representing the promise of the couple to support and provide for one another and the family.
  • A veil, historically symbolizing being clothed in the love of Christ, but in non-denominational weddings, more often interpreted as a symbol of the couple's home and safe haven in each other.
  • A cord, wrapped around the couple's shoulders, to symbolize the strong bond between the married couple.

        For Filipino weddings that take place in a church, there is also normally a candle lighting. You can read more about Filipino wedding traditions at MyBarong.com.

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Above: the Filipino veil and cord ceremony.

Below: Officiant Lisa Kristen-Scott is seen here, presiding over the couple's exchange of coins.

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Bridal Veil Lakes, as always, is a gorgeous venue.
We've coordinated tons of weddings there and always love it.

Are you incorporating any cultural traditions in your wedding ceremony? Do share with us in the comments!

{ Portland Wedding Coordinator’s} Top Wedding Trends for 2014

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2014 is roaring in and we are so excited to see what this year’s couples are planning for their wedding designs. Here are some wedding trends we hear are going to be super-hot in Portland, from our own clients and also talking with colleagues around town:

Interactive art walls or art installations. So fun we had to do a whole post about it, read here. We even had one couple grab all the art off the walls of their own home and display it during cocktail hour, creating an art gallery atmosphere.

Family-art-wallImage: EJP Events

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{ From the Archives } Mindy and Ashish’s Garba and Indian Wedding at Bridal Veil Lakes, Oregon

This time of year, we're fielding tons of inquiries, cleaning up the blog, receiving happy emails from brides with links to their summer wedding photos. I was just going through some photo files and couldn't believe I'd overlooked blogging Mindy and Ashish's garba (Gujarati-style dance party) and wedding weekend from a few years ago.

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The garba was held at the downtown Hilton Portland and catered by East India Company. I worked with Royce's Prop Shop and the bride, who had brought back a ton of gorgeous sari fabric that she wanted to use around the room. Royce and I came up with the idea of draping the saris over T-bar posts, and using uplighting for a festive effect:

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{ Wedding Trend Watch } Interactive Art Walls

Say what you will about corporate event planning, but I am always amazed at how often corporate events stay one step ahead of wedding trends. Often, something I see at a corporate event I know will translate perfectly for a social one; and before long I see that trend start appearing at weddings.

The art wall is one of these trends. The party host puts up a large backdrop containing drawn frames, individual watercolor sheets, or even Lego(TM) baseplates and allows each guest to customize an area of the wall. Each guest installs their art piece in the display which then becomes a grand version of a guest book as well as part of the cocktail hour entertainment and a conversation piece.

Events-art-wallsHere, website design company Virb invited guests to draw what they loved, and to tag their photo on instagram in order to enter a contest. This same multi-frame backdrop could easily be used for individual wedding guest drawings or guest book entries.

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At the Lego Kids' Fest in Portland, individual 5" x 5" base plates/"tiles" were provided with a wide selection of Lego shapes and colors. After each guest completed a tile, they were invited to add their tile to the larger display.

Are you incorporating any interactive components into your guests' experience? Or did you come up with a novel idea for cocktail hour entertainment? Please share in the comments!

Photos: EJP Events

A little sunshine on a cloudy day {Portland Indian Wedding by JOS Photographers}

Going through our photo files from last fall, found this very lovely and sunny photo taken by JOS Photographers at a wedding we did at The Foundry at Oswego Lake. I am looking very longingly at this sunshine!

JOS-photographers-Kiran-and-Siddharth-Indian-Wedding-09
Click on the link above to go to JOS Photographers blog and see all the gorgeousness. Thank you so much!

via www.josphotographers.com

 

Why a receiving line is a good idea

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Photo: Jessica Spengler

Receiving lines. Do they bring to mind stuffy, overly-formal, laced up affairs from 1987?  Actually, a receiving line is a very good idea for several reasons.  Here's why: it's imperative that you personally greet each and every guest that comes to your wedding. They have taken off work, scheduled babysitters, and traveled from far and near to witness your big day. Don't leave your guests hanging and yourself in a tizzy, wondering if you got to this group or that group.

In addition, leaving the guest-greeting to a casual time, such as the interval between dinner and dancing, means that you will inevitably have to cut your meal short in order to go table-to-table. Let's think about that. Most of you have spent so much time planning the menu! Most of you say, "The reception – food, drink, dancing – is the most important part." Shouldn't you enjoy your first meal as husband and wife as well, instead of hurrying from group to group?

There are lots of different places you can fit a receiving line in your wedding timeline. Immediately after the ceremony; as guests move from cocktail hour into the dining room; or even a reverse receiving line where the bride and groom greet each pew in the church as they leave. Check with your planner to see which scenario is best for you. But by all means, make sure you greet each of your guests personally!

Make it a White Friday instead, and set your wedding planning intentions

Wait! Before you make one more Black Friday purchase, stop for a minute! If you're recently engaged and hoping to have your wedding in 2010, why not take a little time this holiday weekend to set your intentions around what's really important for your celebration? A little pre-planning before the plunge of wedding shopping can go a long way.

1. Have your families met yet? Ideally, your families will meet before the wedding day. FIgure out a way to make this happen if it hasn't already.

2. Have you set your budget yet? There are many budget planning tools online, or you can email me with the subject line "I read your 11/27 blog" and I'll send you the one I use for my full-service clients — free!

3. Have you started on your guest list? Your budget will give you an idea of how many guests you can have. It's not a perfect rule of thumb, but just to get you started, consider on the casual end (in the Portland, Oregon area), a budget of $50-100 per person; then, a more elaborate celebration will have a budget from $100-500 per person. Reducing your guest list is the easiest way to reduce your budget.

(Of course, all you really need is your intended and the witnesses, but these guidelines should work for anyone hoping to host a celebration with more than a dinner-party number of guests and some kind of food, drink, and entertainment.)

Another way to think about budget is to consider a favorite restaurant whose food you would love to have at your wedding. What did you pay per person the last time you went there on a date and had appetizers, dinner, and a few drinks? Take that number and double it (in order to budget 50% on catering and 50% on the other things like planning, venue rental, entertainment, documentation, printing, etc) and that can be a rough budget for you.

4. Have you discussed your shared vision with your fiance(e)? On The 2000 Dollar Wedding Blog, Sara Cotner discusses how she and her fiance "started with the end in mind". No matter what your wedding budget might be, this is great advice.

So take a few moments during this holiday weekend to be thankful for this exciting time, and to set your intentions and get your wedding planning started right. Who knows–maybe eliminating one Black Friday impulse purchase will allow you to get something you really hoped for for the wedding.

The 25-year rule

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Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kayugee/CC BY-ND 2.0

As we get into the early part of the wedding planning process for many of our 2010 clients, we hear a lot of "Do I really need to…?" (insert X, Y, or Z element here) This may relate to a a vendor decision (to have a videographer or not?) or a tradition decision (to see each other before the wedding ceremony or not), or maybe a design decision (to rent those chivari chairs or not).

Thing is, no wedding planner or magazine or blog can truly help you answer these dilemmas until you've explored your own feelings. One method I recommend is what I've been calling the "25-year rule". How will you feel about this decision 25 years from now? When you look back at your wedding album, when you celebrate your silver anniversary, will you say to yourself, "I wish I had ____________, after all"?

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Haute looks from Emilia Kaye

Our friends over at Event Cosmetics recently did a high-fashion runway show with Emily Sunnell, the designer of the Emilia Kaye clothing line.  The looks are startling, very Marie Antoinette!  Not necessarily what you'd think of for a wedding, but I love the mood that this look inspires.  Great job EC team! Photos by Brett Marjanen.

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Prepping models for the show

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