Archives for July 2020

July 27, 2020 - 8 comments

How to have a National Park Wedding

Planning a National Park Wedding - What you need to know

The mountains are calling you and you decided to have a National Park Wedding! Congrats and GREAT choice. I love National Park Weddings not only because they are always in a picturesque location but also because you're donating back to the park itself. Today I'm sharing everything you need to know about hosting an event or wedding in a National Park in the US.

What events can you host in a National Park?

The types of events that can take place in US National Parks vary greatly on the Park itself. For example, we often host wedding ceremonies in Joshua Tree National Park and they allow us to have an arch, cake and even champagne! But that's not the case for every park. Some parks will allow you to host sporting events, family reunions and even a fair! Each type of event will require its own type of permit as well. You can find out more about the events that are allowed on the National Park Service website.

What decor am I allowed to bring to a National Park?

Since every Park has its own rules, it's important to read your permit application thoroughly. That being said, if you're having a National Park wedding, we know you're an adventurous eco-friendly couple already. We always encourage our couples to nix anything plastic, confetti (which usually is forbidden) or wasteful. We believe in leaving the Parks in even better shape than when we found them. You can count on us to pick up pieces of trash left by other visitors if we see it!

How much does it cost to have a National Park wedding?

I'm glad you asked! Like I mentioned earlier, every Park will have it's own requirements as well as fee structure. In order to give you some actual numbers, let's take a look at 3 of our favorite National Parks to host weddings at.

Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Photo by Meg Brook Photography 

This Park is near and dear to our hearts and we're lucky enough to plan weddings there every year. The great thing about this Park is that you're allowed to bring in a wedding arch, florals, a cake and champagne! Alcohol isn't permitted everywhere so we thought this was pretty special.

You are required to have an event permit as well as a photography permit for your wedding. Each permit is about $120. On top of the permit fees, you'll be required to pay an entry fee of $30 per car but this ticket is valid for 7 days. As Wedding Planners who do a lot of events in National Parks, we carry an Annual Park Pass so that we can come and go as we please in most National Parks. When possible, we'll gladly take guests in our cars to help save on costs but sometimes we have decor in the back seat so it's not always possible! If Joshua Tree sounds like you're type of wedding venue, we do offer an Elopement Package for this location!

Bonus: your furry friends are allowed at your ceremony as long as they stay on the marked paths!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

Photos by Lauren Mihae. See the full blog post from this wedding here

Our next favorite wedding location is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Now, this one is amazing because there is no park entrance fee! That being said, you are required to get an event permit and the application fee is $50. They have over 40 wedding spots within the Park which is amazing! Not just that but the Great Smoky Mountains National Park also has a couple rustic cabins such as the Appalachian Club House that can be used as a reception space with rental fees as low as $250/day! We'll plan a wedding in the Smokies anytime!

Acadia National Park, ME

Acadia National Park intimate wedding with Katelyn Mallett

Photo by Katelyn Mallett

This little gem is not as popular but equally as beautiful as the last two National Parks. If you're wanting to get married on the East Coast, you MUST check out Acadia National Park in Maine. A permit is required for most events and has a $50 application fee as well. However, if you're simply having a ceremony with 10 guests or less (officiant included), no permit is required! Sadly you're not allowed any chairs, arches or decor for these smaller weddings. Out of the 12 main event locations, it seems that the maximum number of guests would be 50. Still, I would definitely consider this incredible location for any adventurous wedding! Did you know we have a team based in Maine? Check out our Maine Elopement Collective that can help you plan this gorgeous small wedding!

So what will it be? A celebration in the desert, vows in the mountains or saying your I Do's overlooking the ocean?

How to plan a National Park Wedding

July 20, 2020 - 138 comments

Wedding Planning During COVID – A Simple Guide to COVID Weddings

It's tricky to navigate through a pandemic, let alone plan a COVID wedding so we are bringing you a simple guide to see if your wedding is really going to happen in 2020. Seriously, this is an incredibly tough year. Our mindset was originally, let's take the week by week and see what happens. Now here we are in July 2020 and I think we can safely say, it's going to take some time to get back to "normal." Are you still wondering if you should have your wedding? Keep reading for some thoughts and information that may be helpful.

COVID Weddings - Can we still have weddings in 2020

Photos: Evangeline Lane

Corona Virus Regulations - State by State

Simply put, the rules vary state by state for what is allowed. Here in Maine, we cannot have gatherings over 50 for the foreseeable future. It's also quite tricky to navigate what each state has set in place. For instance, I google "wedding rules in California covid" and am getting a bunch of hits but no quick answer. How can you navigate this? If you don't have a planner, reach out to your venue and other vendors. They should be keeping up with the ever evolving mandates. Be sure to also check your local government's website for up to date and accurate information. It's important to stay informed!

Custom Meshika Hats for a wedding in Nashville, TN | Destination wedding for adventurous couple | Cause We Can Events

Bride and groom in matching boho hats. Bride in pantsuit holding wild bouquet with deep reds and king protea | Nashville elopement at Arrington Vineyards by Cause We Can Events

Hipster Nashville Elopement at Arrington Vineyards | Cause We Can Events

Photos: Cody and Allison Photography

What's Your Level of Comfort?

If you're on the fence if you should move forward with your COVID wedding, you're going to want to think it through. I suggest having a conversation amongst your significant other and some family/friends. Survey how they are feeling about going out? Traveling? Attending a larger gathering? Some questions to think through:

  1. How many guests need to get on a plane?
  2. Where you plan on getting married, have they had an increase in cases? Or have they been hit pretty hard with cases?
  3. Have some/most of my friends and family lost jobs due to this? (i.e. spending money attending a wedding may not be priority)
  4. Are any of my 'must have' guests unable to attend due to being more susceptible?
  5. Lastly, how do you really feel?

Small beach elopement in Laguna Beach California with lanterns and boho rug

Skyping in the bride and groom's family on a phone during a surprise elopement on the beach in Laguna Beach California

Photos: Lauren Mihae

Getting Married in the Time of Covid

If you were to ask my honest opinion, I don't think it makes sense to spend top dollar for an experience that just won't be the same. HOWEVER, there are ways to still have a COVID wedding and really enjoy it! If you're okay with the idea of having an intimate celebration then 2020 could still be your year of marriage. Want to still have your big celebration? Then I suggest you wait and reschedule.

Photo: Katelyn Mallett

So, can we have weddings in 2020?

Yes, weddings will still happen in 2020 but be prepared for them to look and feel different. We love a good intimate wedding and can't wait to see what comes out of this year! It's a weird and incredibly disheartening time, our team is here to answer questions and be a part of the conversation. We're thinking our industry will come up with some creative ways to turn a not so fun time into something positive. If you're looking for more ways to still have your wedding celebration, check out Maine Elopement Collective and our Wedding services page. We're here to help get you through a pandemic wedding season.

Need more helpful wedding tips? Read our blog on "Is it ok to leave a tip jar at the bar" next.

July 13, 2020 - 24 comments

Best Non-Traditional Groom Suits

So you're deep into your wedding planning when all of a sudden it dawns on you that your -soon-to-be-husband hasn't picked out his wedding suit yet! Don't worry, we are here to help you and your men pick their your groom suits. From classic navy to dark reds, we're giving you 5 non-traditional groom suit options that will blow you away.

The Navy Groom Suit

Listen, the navy suit will never go out of style. Mark my words! Paired with a cool tie and some brown shoes, you'll be turning heads when you walk down the aisle. Just take a look at Clem here! He was the handsomest guy in the room, as he should be on his wedding day.

I love the suits that The Black Tux has. You can either buy your own or rent!

Groom and groomsmen in all navy blue suits and brown shoes

Photos by Geoff Rivers. See the full blog post from this wedding here.

The Mad Men Groom Suit

This next groom suit is a navy suit, yes, but it's more than that. This suit has character and a little bit of Mad Men style in it. I really love that Ben wore this suit with a white shirt that he unbuttoned at the top. No tie needed here! He added a killer coral pocket square and a neutral colored boutonniere that just tied it all together perfectly.

groomsmen in blue suits and bridesmaids in coral dresses

Photos by Stephanie Ann Photo

The Burgundy Groom Suit

Oh baby. This suit makes an entrance! It definitely takes confidence to wear a burgundy suit but for those grooms who do, it's so worth it. Check out how rad Adrian looked on his wedding day. You see him walking down the aisle and you know he's going to have the best day every and tear up the dance floor later on. His bride's style was incredible but we'll have to have an entire post dedicated to their wedding because there are a lot of great details to talk about!

Groom in burgundy suit next to bride in sparkly dress with leather jacket

Photos by Pretty Branch

The High Fashion Groom Suit

This next groom suit is what we call "wearing your confidence". He was a force to be reckoned with when it came to fashion. I think patterned groom suits are going to be the next thing, don't you? Clement worked for Christian Louboutin so you better bet he had to coolest shoes in town too. He was not just the most fashionable groom we've ever had but he also pulled it off in the middle of the Moab desert!

Photos by Alice Bee. Full blog post from this wedding is here!

The Accessorized Groom Suit

Could this be my favorite? Perhaps! This groom suit seems simple enough at first glance. A nice light grey suit with a floral tie is what any dapper groom could be wearing on his wedding day. But wait! There's a twist. Once the ceremony is over, this groom transforms into the festival-goer that he is by adding a faux fur coat to his outfit. How that for a non-traditional groom suit!

Bride and groom laugh with faux fur jackets on

Photos by Laura Goldenberger. See the full blog post here!

So, what do you think? Could your groom pull off one of these non-traditional groom suits? Your groom's suit should also match his personality. Whether it be a fun pattern or an accessory that is thrown on after the formal ceremony, make sure there's something fun about his suit that he can look forward to!

Published by: Gabrielle Norton in Wedding
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July 6, 2020 - 64 comments

Intimate Wedding in Montreal with Geode Cake

So you're having an intimate wedding in Montreal? Lucky you! A while back I had the pleasure of doing a styled shoot with some talented wedding vendors in my hometown of Montreal, Quebec. The shoot was picked up and featured on The Perfect Palette but I wanted to post some of the photos here and hope they give you some ideas for your upcoming intimate wedding or elopement! I'm especially excited for you to see the geode cake!

indigo and white invitation suite

The Ceremony

Vendors and our adorable bohemian couple came together at a cute (and very Quebecois) restaurant called Les Fillettes located in the heart of Montreal. The patio is absolutely perfect for a small ceremony up to 25 guests. I would recommend also serving a nice glass of champagne for everyone to enjoy while you say your "I Dos".

copper arch ceremony scroll on brick patio in Montreal

Let's talk about this ceremony backdrop for a hot second. Joy from Imagine Joy handmade this incredible wedding ceremony scroll which is basically a giant script with the couple's vows and love poems on it. Seriously stunning! What a great way to personalize a ceremony. I would also encourage couples to keep this and somehow incorporate it into their home design after the wedding.

ceremony backdrop with handwritten vows and poems

white lanterns and antlers with fern by ceremony arch

The Table Top Design

We were really feeling inspired by tie dye for this wedding design. Believe it or not, I tie dyed these napkins myself! It was surprisingly easier than I thought. Maybe I can do a tutorial on it someday. Anyway, We wanted to bring in some woodsy elements like the wooden plates and pieces of ferns to decorate each place setting. I really like how it turned out. It has a really cozy yet boho vibe to it, don't you think?

The Dress & Suit

We wanted our bride and groom to look boho but not hobo! Our bride was wearing a gorgeous boho wedding gown with a front slip. We also added a fun hair piece and a hand chain to spice things up. Our handsome groom was in a dark navy suit and white shirt. We skipped the tie to make him feel more casual but added a spiky blue boutonniere for a little pizzaz.

The Geode Cake

No wedding is complete without a little sugar. This couple had one of the coolest geode cakes I've ever seen! This indigo and gold crystal cake has me drooling! At the same time, it's almost too pretty to touch. We topped it off with a "Cheers" cake topper and continued the celebration.

indigo and gold geode cake

sugar crystals inside a geode cake

Hope this provided you with some fun boho inspiration for your own wedding!

Want more wedding inspiration? Check out this blog post next!


Photography: Samantha Roy Photography // Event Design: 'Cause We Can Events // Floral Design & Venue: Les Petites Excuses // Rentals: La Mariée Bohème // Calligraphy: Imagine Joy // Jewelry: It's Well Dunn // Hair: Salon Sweet William // Makeup: Miss Nelly Makeup / M·A·C // Bridal Salon: Ma Chérie Bleue Bridal