Posted on Friday, December 20, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

The Westwood Wins the 2014 Knot Best of Weddings Award for 2 Years in a RowThe Westwood is proud to announce that we have been selected as a winner for the Knot’s Best of Weddings 2014 competition. We are honored that our brides have voted for us in this prestigious award for the second year in a row! The Knot Best of Weddings 2014 provides a “by brides, for brides” guide to the top wedding professionals across the country, and is a must-have when it comes to selecting the best-of-the-best wedding resources. We are truly thankful to the Westwood brides for their votes and support, as well as all of our customers for choosing The Westwood for their events. It is such an honor to have been chosen for the second year in a row and we can’t wait to exceed the expectations of many more Westwood brides!

Posted on Friday, November 01, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings, Wedding Dresses

Forget the standard clichés for bridesmaid dresses! These new trends will make any bridesmaid look stylish!

 

1.       This season is all about bold, and for bridesmaids, that means dark! From short, lacy styles to long, dramatic looks, your bridesmaids will make a statement!

 

 

2. Lace! Think elegant frills and feminine grace. Whether it’s used as an accent or covering the entire dress, lace will make any dress dainty and delicate. While we prefer it over more neutral tones, lace can be used over any color!

 

 

3. Earth tones! Earthy colors, like taupe, are going to be seen a lot this season! Why? It’s flattering on any skin tone and can be used for multiple styles! If you’re afraid an earth toned dress may not make enough of a statement, pair your dresses with bold jewelry!

 

 

4. Short and sassy! Short dresses are flirty, fun, and perfect for spring or summer weddings! They also offer a chance to show off your shoes! Pair a short, simple dress with a pair of colorful shoes to capture great photos!

 

 

5. This season, peplum is making a comeback! Peplum is wearable and flattering, especially on shorter lengths!

 

 

 

Posted on Monday, October 07, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

 Planning a Halloween theme for your wedding? Don’t worry about seeming too spooky! There are many choices available for a Halloween wedding!


The obvious color scheme for Halloween is orange and black, but those aren’t your only options! A dark purple, red, or crimson can be used for a Halloween wedding. Even classic black and white will work! Top your tables with trees, pumpkins, or flower arrangements. Without creating a fire hazard, throw in candles to really set the mood!

 

Halloween Wedding Themes and Colors - 1

 

Halloween Wedding Themes and Colors - 2

 

If you (understandably) don’t want to wear a costume instead of a wedding dress, opt for your flower girl to wear one instead! The flower girl or ring bearer in a Halloween costume is a surefire crowd pleaser, as well as entertaining for the kids, and is the perfect amount of fun without being too kitschy. For the bridesmaids, pick a bridesmaid dress with a solid color, like black, and add a pop of color to the bouquets, like purple and orange. If you want something different, try a black bouquet made from fake flowers or feathers. For the groomsmen, choose a fun, simple surprise, like Halloween socks or bowties.

 

 

 

 

You can’t have a Halloween affair without sweets! Set up a candy station, caramel apple station, and have adult cocktails with clever names! For the cake, use a spooky cake top or try cupcakes with playful icing or decorations.

 

Halloween Wedding Cocktail

 

Halloween Wedding Cake

 

Add whatever other touches you want to! Your Halloween wedding can be as spooky, creepy, or colorful as you make it! Don’t think you’re tied into a color scheme or décor!

 

 

Halloween Wedding

Posted on Monday, September 16, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

Bad weather? No problem! Many couples fret over the weather on their big day, but there are plenty of ways to make the most of your wedding weather!


The Heat


Certain flowers hold up in the heat! Roses can least in the heat for a few hours, especially flowers with darker colored petals. For your bridal bouquet, walk down the aisle with your flowers in a vase! A splash of water in the bottom will do wonders for your floral arrangement! Any seasonal flower will hold up better than others, so ask your florist what’s in season. When it comes to the guests, provide fans or parasols if your ceremony or reception is outdoors or in a space without air conditioning. They can even make cute favors, along with sunglasses or flip flops! Also be sure to have plenty of water on hand, storing them in coolers or a shaded area. Stations, such as a lemonade or soda bar, will save your guests from dehydration and keep the party going! If your reception is outdoors, be sure to have a shaded area with chairs for senior guests, who are more fragile in the heat.

 

Weddings in Bad Weather - Summer

 

 

Rain:

 


It’s an old wives tale that rain on your wedding day means good luck! According to tradition, rain on the wedding day symbolizes fertility, a clean start, and the last tears a bride will cry. Additionally, rain on your wedding day can make for some awesome photos! Wedding parties holding matching umbrellas or bridesmaids wearing rain boots look cute and are unique photo opportunities! And a photo of your kiss as husband and wife outside under looks amazing! The cloudy skies and darker atmosphere saturate the color in a picture, unlike the sun which can make you look washed out. If your ceremony/reception is indoors, you’re all set! If not, rent a tent or move to a sheltered area. Guests may not mind a drizzle, but no one wants to stand in the rain all day!

 

 

Snow:


Many people consider snow on a wedding day to be a sign of good fortune throughout your marriage! Snow may worry some brides, but it’s no problem! If your wedding day is in the winter months, plan ahead by picking a jacket or shawl to wear with your wedding dress or the bridesmaid dresses. Choose an indoor ceremony and reception, and make sure to keep an eye on the weather for travel and transportation issues. Have guests coming from far distances travel a day or two early, in case their flight or transportation is delayed. If it snows on or the day before your wedding, make sure your walkways are salted and shoveled to avoid injuries! If you wanted pictures outside, take them! Snow is a beautiful backdrop for a wedding and the photos are guaranteed to be memorable. To warm up your guests, try a hot cider or hot cocoa station!

 


 

Posted on Monday, August 26, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

As the summer comes to an end, it’s time to start focusing on autumn weddings! Although many fall weddings are traditionally styled, there are some new trends cropping up this season!

 

Fall Wedding Colors


Certain colors, like purple and orange, are known as fall colors, but there are some new colors showing up this season, like emerald! Emerald is a great jewel tone to be incorporated into your wedding.

 

Fall Wedding Decor


For décor, simple, rustic touches are maintaining their prevalence in the wedding industry. Mason jars, garlands, candles, and nature-inspired touches are being introduced into weddings. As for flowers, wildflowers and peonies are favorites for fall bouquets and centerpieces.

 

Fall Wedding Decor

 

Fall Wedding Decor

 

 

 

This fall, dresses are all about two styles: backless and shortened! Although dresses are individualized for every bride, the most popular styles for this season are backless or short dresses, with elegant touches and beading. There’s also been a move away from strapless and into elegant, cap sleeves, with Great Gatsby-style glam! Pair those short dresses with great shoes to really show off your style!

 

Fall Wedding Dresses

 

For food, it’s all about the classics! Apples, pumpkins, and other fall fruits and vegetables are making their way onto wedding menus! Apple cider and hot chocolate stations, caramel apples, and pumpkin bisques are homey, comfort foods that can be modified to suit your wedding. As for the cake, simple cakes are coming back with seasonal touches, like leaves or fall flowers added for decoration.

 

 

 

Fall Wedding Food

 

Fall Wedding Food

 

Posted on Thursday, August 01, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

One trend gaining popularity not just at weddings but events across the board is the combination of bold, vivid colors! Below are some of our favorites along with classy ways to tie them into your wedding décor!

 

Wedding Colors - Pink and Blue

 

Pink and Navy Blue – This color trend is both classy and elegant, but still bold and contemporary! A “His and Hers” type color scheme, this combination is perfect for spring and summer weddings! The most popular variation of this trend incorporates nautical stripes with accents of hot pink! The possibilities are endless to tie in these two bold shades! Navy suits for the groomsmen coupled with pink bridesmaid’s dresses or all navy attire with pink accessories for both! To avoid clashing, consider using one main color and adopting the latter as an accent color for accessories, centerpieces, floral arrangements, or other elements of your décor.

 

Wedding Colors - Aqua and Cherry Red

 

Aqua and cherry red is another favorite! These colors are fun and fresh, perfect for a spring or summer wedding! To avoid clashing, incorporate a neutral color, like white! Chevron stripes are becoming more prominent in wedding linens and décor, and go great with these playful colors! Don’t be afraid to mix it up! Blue dresses and red shoes, or aqua dresses with red sashes, can be cute and colorful! Adding aqua and cherry accents to a traditional white cake is the perfect way to incorporate wedding colors without going overboard.

 

Wedding Colors - Bold Mix

 

 

If you truly can’t choose specific wedding colors, go with a mix! Bright, playful colors are best to mix and match together. However, less can be more. If you’re having multicolored bridesmaid dresses, pair them with neutral colored shoes to avoid a color clash! Too many colors at once can be a lot for the eye to take in, so create a neutral backdrop for your wedding! Colorful lanterns and favors are pretty against a solid backdrop, not stripes! Don’t be afraid to stray from tradition with these colors-wedding cakes don’t have to be white!

Posted on Friday, July 19, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

Relating to other brides and hearing their wedding stories can be reassuring to anxious brides before their big day! Past brides share what they would have done differently in Wedding Ideas Magazine.

 

Brides Wedding Advice

 

“I should have hired a wedding planner. We had a marquee wedding at home and had to organize every little detail by ourselves.” – Rebecca


“I wouldn’t worry so much about getting my dress dirty. We got some pictures taken underneath a blossom tree. They are our favorite photos of the day!” - Helen


I wouldn’t have been so hung up on color schemes. I was stressing myself out and just decided to put together the bright and the bold!” – Shelly


“I would have listened when the dress designer told me how to attach the train to my dress. We spent 30 stressful minutes trying to figure it out.” – Jenni


“The only thing we’d change about the wedding was our DJ. The prices do reflect the quality, so if you think you’re getting a really good, cheap deal- there might be a reason for that!” – Esme


“If we could do it all again, we’d try harder to take it all in. It’s a magical day but very surreal and it’s very easy to get carried away and lose hours of time in what feels like minutes.”- Sophie


“We didn’t have a videographer until it was too late. I wish I had someone capturing the speeches.” – Victoria


“I should have asked the photographer to stay longer so I had more shots of people dancing at the evening reception.” – Karen


Advice from former brides can be helpful in your wedding planning and is helpful in reminding the couple to pay attention to small details! 

 

Posted on Sunday, July 14, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

After parties are becoming a big trend in the wedding industry! Once the ceremony and reception are over, some guests just aren’t ready to stop partying! The happy couple may also want to spend time with family and guests in a more intimate setting. Here are our tips for planning a wedding after party:


1. Location, location, location!

 

Wedding After Party Location Ideas

 

This is absolutely the most important part of planning an after party. It should be somewhere close to your venue and easily accessible. For smaller crowds, a hotel suite may be preferable. You could check with your venue to see if they have a smaller room available for you and your guests, or you could head to a bar/club. If you’re serving alcohol at your reception, be sure to have transportation or designated drivers available to take your guests. Some couples like to arrange for a party bus to take them to hotspots or to have the party on the bus! Whatever your style, call your after party venue in advance to reserve a space.


2. Guest List.

 

Wedding After Party Guest List

 

For some couples, the after party is reserved for them and the bridal party only, or just the family. However, if you plan to invite guests from your reception, it is definitely best to invite everybody. Only inviting certain guests can leave others feeling excluded or snubbed. You could include smaller invites when you send out your invitations, have ushers hand out small cards with the information, or just by word of mouth! Most likely, the older guests, like grandparents, parents, and their friends will choose to skip the after party in favor of going to bed! It is also recommended to have kids skip the after party as well, since the party will most likely involve alcohol and go late.


3. Food and Drink.

 

Wedding After Party Food and Drink

 

After dancing the night away at your reception, the meals served at your wedding might seem like a distant memory to your after party guests. We recommend small, simple food that differs from your wedding menu! Sliders, milkshakes, French fries, and barbecue are the food we’ve seen the most. However, other couples have chosen to serve mini pancakes, pizza or cookies and milk. Whatever suits your preference, have fun with it and don’t be too formal! When it comes to beverages, it all depends on your location. If you’re at a bar or club, guests can purchase their own drinks. However, in a hotel, reception hall, or party bus, the couple should either provide beverages or tell guests in advance to BYOB (if it is allowed in the venue). Water and soda are also recommended, for guests who do not drink alcohol or want something else to drink.


4. Dress.

 

Wedding After Party Dress

 

In a hotel room or someone’s house, guests will most likely change into casual and comfy clothing. However, if you’re staying in the same venue or going out, many guests will stay in their wedding attire. The bride needs to put more consideration into her outfit. She may love her wedding dress and choose to wear it for as long as possible, but beware: The longer she is in her wedding dress, chances increase that she may spill, rip, or harm her dress.


5. Entertainment.

 

Wedding After Party Entertainment

 

Although it is not necessary, the couple may choose to have entertainment at their after party. If you’re going to a bar or club, this is most likely taken care of. However, at a different venue the couple will probably have to provide it themselves. Save the DJ and photobooth for your reception and keep the after party simple. Like your reception, themes can be fun but are not necessary. If you chose not to have a themed reception, the after party may be your chance! Have a Latin theme, with mojito’s, salsa music, and a chips and salsa station; Tropical, with barbecue and fruity cocktails; or play your favorite 80’s music! Use iPods and stereos in favor of a DJ and purchase disposable cameras instead of paying extra for a photographer.


Remember: The after party can go as long as you like, but if you have a brunch or a flight scheduled for the next morning, make sure to set an alarm in advance and watch the clock!

 

Posted on Tuesday, July 02, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

Favors are a must for any wedding, but sometimes they’re not worth the hassle! Expensive, hard to transport favors can be a pain for both the wedding couple and the guests, but there are some simple alternatives. Favors that you make yourself are unique and won’t break your budget! Here are our favorite DIY wedding favors:

 

1. Cake in a Jar: Mason jars are a huge trend in the wedding scene, so much that they’ve become a theme themselves! Although they can be used from décor to lighting, our favorite way is for favors! Layers of cake and icing inside a mason jar are simple, affordable, and adorable! Buy the supplies at your craft and grocery stores and the rest can be done at home! Edible gifts are always fun, and sure to please your guests!

 

Do it yourself (DIY) Wedding Favor - Cake in a Jar

 

2. Scrabble pieces: These scrabble pieces are so cute, and can be customized to whatever you prefer! Buy some small tins and magnets to glue onto the back and you’re all set! Bonus: This can be a fun way to distress and spend some time with your loved ones before the big day!

 

Do it yourself (DIY) Wedding Favor - Scrabble Pieces

 

3. Tea or coffee! You could buy some tea bags or coffee and place them in small cello bags. Cut some cute labels or paper and staple the bag shut! Or, buy some ribbon (in your wedding color if you want) and tie a small bag with coffee or tea bags inside. So simple and so cute.

 

 

4. Soda pop: Buy some old-fashioned bottles and create some cute labels. Whether you want to buy soda or create your own flavor (tip: pour some seltzer and add juice or herbs, like mint), small bottles of soda add a fun touch to your wedding.

 

Do it yourself (DIY) Wedding Favor - Soda Pop Bottles

 

5. Flowers or potted plants: For an eco-friendly touch, plant some flowers or plants in a small jar. In addition to being a take-home item your guests will enjoy, they also look great in your reception! Whether they’re placed at guest’s seats or on a specific table, they look beautiful!

 

Do it yourself (DIY) Wedding Favor - Flowers

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2013 by Cindy Williams
Posted Under: Weddings

Personal Wedding VowsWhat is more romantic than expressing your love to someone? How about this: demonstrating your love to your bride or groom in your own words in front of all your loved ones on your wedding day! Couples who decide to write their own wedding vows may experience anxiety, writer’s block, or a slight combination of both in the weeks spent preparing their wedding vows. Understandably, considering wedding vows are often the most personal, intimate part of the wedding ceremony. This is your first opportunity in starting your new life together to express your feelings to one another, and to publicly express them before your family and friends as well. Here are some useful guidelines to ease your stress in brainstorming your vows!


To get some opening ideas to catch each other’s attention, the bride and groom can do some research of their own. Citing meaningful poems, movies, songs, and greeting cards, the bride and groom can easily develop an opening line or two, and elaborate on it for the duration of the vows. For example, from the hit movie Titanic, the quote, “You jump, I jump,” can be used as a wonderful attention catcher and opening. Try to use examples significant to your relationship: your first movie together, your first dance together, perhaps the poem or phrase written in the first birthday or anniversary card you gave or received. This strategy will be sure to inspire you while stirring happy memories of your relationship when it was brand new.


On this special wedding day, it is also very important to incorporate “Your Story”; where you met, when you fell in love, what you love about each other, what is the meaning of marriage is to both of you, and what your intentions are for your new life together. Consider asking yourself these questions to construct your vows. Your answers can very well be the foundation of the vows you share with your fiancé at the altar! This exercise can also aide the flow of the speech by linking one idea to the next.


As with any important piece of writing, you should always write a first draft before the copy is finalized and ready to go! A first draft can be a jumble of ideas, similar to a stream of consciousness. There is so much you could say about your husband or wife to be, so a first draft can help you to gather all of those ideas before you begin organizing them and giving your vows an ebb and flow. Another great way to prepare your vows is to practice reading them out loud a few times. If your words aren’t flowing correctly or if you struggle throughout your vows, this is the prime time to edit them and decide what may be more fitting.

One final piece of advice for preparing wedding vows is to always speak from the heart. The bride and groom should be completely honest with each other. It can be intimidating sharing such intimate feelings with your loved ones sitting before you, but you should ever be afraid to express how you feel about your bride or groom. You are each other’s support system from this point forward, and by publicly demonstrating your commitment and investment in him or her, you are showing the world, as well as your fiancé, that you are on their side through all the ups and downs from this point forward. Speak your mind, speak from the heart, and revel in this very special moment. Make every single word count!
 

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Images courtesy of: Absolute Entertainment, Black Lab Studio, Cheuk Tang Photographer, Patty’s Video & Photography, PM Studios of Edison NJ and Sharon’s Wedding Art.