We’re so pleased to share with you Anil and Elsa’s wedding highlight video from their big day here at the Westminster Hotel. The entire Westminster Weddings staff looks back on this beautiful celebration with such joy for this wonderful couple, and we wish them every happiness in their future together!
Everyone loves a fabulous wedding bar sign, especially when it’s clever! An ‘invitation to dance’ like the photo above from Etsy will bring a smile to guests’ faces and likely sounds like the fun-loving wedding couple’s sense of humor.
We love a great bar sign at weddings and parties. Guests love them as well, since a beautifully-described cocktail and list of wines, brews and spirits on a gorgeously-made sign is far more enticing than a wedding bar with no sign, leaving guests craning their necks to read the bottles behind the bar.
We invite you to check out our Wedding Bar Sign Pinterest page for ideas and inspiration as you plan your bar list and wedding décor.
Weddings and tradition go hand in hand, with our modern culture embracing the same symbolic wishes for luck, fortune, fidelity and happiness as brides and grooms from ancient eras. So many of our current wedding elements come from old-world superstitions, with each of them getting a twist to personalize the meaning and style. That’s what’s happening with the well-known tradition of Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue.
You’ve heard the rhyme before, probably with the ‘penny for your shoe,’ and countless brides before you have excitedly planned to have the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue traditions as a part of their wedding preparations. On the morning of her wedding, the bride would be surrounded by her closest and most special female relatives and friends, and they would present her with the four symbolic items representing the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue items. There’s a lot of sentiment in receiving your grandmother’s handkerchief or the same necklace your mother wore on her wedding day, and getting to wear or carry these important heirlooms during the walk down the aisle can make your day all the more meaningful when you’re entrusted with a symbol of family harmony and happiness.
Here’s what Old, New, Borrowed and Blue represent:
Old: This item represents a link to the bride’s family traditions and relationships, culture, religion, her life before this new union with her groom.
New: This brand-new item represents hope, happiness, fortune and success in her new life.
Borrowed: This item is most often one borrowed from a happy bride or a long-married female loved one, bringing the luck and happiness of her marriage as a good luck charm to the bride’s marriage
Blue: Borrowing from some religions’ symbolism, the color blue may represent holiness, purity, fidelity and other wishes for the marriage.
Here are some creative ways to incorporate your Old, New, Borrowed and Blue into your wedding day:
- Jewelry of your mother’s, grandmother’s or other female relative’s that has now been handed down to you as a wedding gift and your Something Old
- The shawl or wrap your mother or grandmother wore at her wedding. More brides are happily accepting the wedding shawl or wrap from their sisters, and even from their mothers- or sisters-in-law.
- Your mother’s, grandmother’s or great-aunt’s wedding day tiara or headpiece and veil.
- An heirloom headband or headpiece to which a new veil has been attached.
- An heirloom charm that is attached to the handle of your bridal bouquet. It might be your mother’s, or it might be yours from when you were a little girl.
- Incorporating an old family tradition into your wedding ceremony or reception, such as a toast, a reading, or a song.
- Incorporating an old cultural tradition, or both of your culture’s marriage traditions, as your ultra-valued Something Old.
- Incorporating family-honored religious or spiritual rituals into your wedding day.
- Marrying at the same church where your parents or grandparents were married.
- Using the same music in your ceremony that your parents had in their wedding ceremonies.
- The jewelry you wear on your wedding day – perhaps a gift from your groom or from your parents
- Your wedding gown
- Your wedding shoes
- The flowers you carry as your bouquet
- A meaningful charm that you and your groom have selected as your first charm in a new collection you’ll start; you’ll attach this charm to your bouquet, then wear it as a pendant, to be joined by future meaningful charms
- The decision not to have the same wedding style or location as everyone else in your family, breaking from tradition to have what you really want for your big day
- The prior bride’s headpiece, tiara or veil [one of the most commonly borrowed items between brides!]
- An heirloom wedding gown, perhaps your grandmother’s or mother’s, given a freshening and perhaps a bit of a restructuring by a qualified seamstress
- The bride’s gloves for a formal wedding
- The bride’s handkerchief, to be carried at the handle under the bouquet
- ‘Borrowing’ the same reading or song from your parents’, grandparents’ or in-laws’ weddings
- Borrowed jewelry, including necklace, earrings or bracelet
- Borrowed jeweled hair clips or jeweled barrettes worn by the prior bride
- A religious medal or symbolic charm that has been in the family for generations
- A pretty wrap or shawl worn by the prior bride
- A pretty bridal purse carried by the prior bride
- The ring pillows used by the prior bride and groom
- A little blue bow on your garter
- A little blue bow sewn into the underside of your train
- A little blue bow sewn into the underside or handle of your bouquet
- An ultra-light blue hem sewn on your veil
- Blue embroidery on your bodice, skirt or train
- Blue toenail polish
- A surprise, blue temporary tattoo on your hip or ankle
- A bit of blue color in the flowers of your bridal bouquet
- At a beach or destination wedding, your Blue could be the color of the ocean
- At an outdoor wedding, your Blue could be the color of the clear, blue sky
- If you have blue eyes, your Blue could be the smile in your eyes
And a Penny For Your Shoe
The traditional ‘penny (or sixpence) for your shoe’ has been a longtime good luck charm to bring fortune, abundance and security to the wedding couple. These days, many brides like to tuck a penny from the year they met their groom or from the year of the wedding into their shoe, so that it’s there for good luck during the ceremony. Then, they remove it during the standing, walking and dancing hours of the reception so that they don’t experience pain or discomfort. That fortune charm penny is tucked away someplace safe, perhaps glued into a scrapbook and otherwise held as a wonderful good luck charm from the wedding day.
Wedding guests say they love a great cocktail party, and with a fabulous array of dishes in luscious flavors, it’s no wonder that many guests look forward most to this phenomenal first hour of a wedding celebration!
We’ve collected ten ways to make your cocktail party stand out, incorporating some of the top trends in wedding catering and wowing your guests with amazing choices and presentations:
- COLOR. From vivid greens to bright oranges, yellows and reds, to fall menu purples and persimmon, fresh and healthy cocktail party menu options add a burst of color to your stations. It’s a far cry from those brown, fried hors d’oeuvres that guests have seen a million times at other weddings, enticing and appetizing in a colorful rainbow of hues.
2. Salad small plates. Light, healthy, crunchy salad dishes are a welcome sight at a wedding cocktail party, for those guests who prefer to eat farm-fresh fare. Plus, our chefs work magic with greens, veggies, toppings and dressings for your guests’ enjoyment of salad plates offered here at the cocktail party, rather than as a course during your wedding dinner.
3. Unique hand-passed hors d’oeuvres PLUS the classics. Wedding guests look for approaching servers bearing platters of hors d’oeuvres, and they’re delighted when the offerings go beyond ‘the usuals’ found at every other wedding. Ceviches, mini empanadas, and forkfuls of flavorful noodles give guests unique bites…and they also know that the trays of crunchy coconut shrimp and pigs in a blanket 9one of our specialties!) will also be coming around.
4. Food and drink pairings. Our Westminster Wedding chefs perfect the art of pairing cocktail party foods with complement drinks, like our Asian noodles with a shot of green tea for a refreshing duo of flavors. Getting back to our pigs in a blanket, add a mini mug of beer for a flavor combo that wows the crowd.
5. Food and soup pairings. Mini grilled cheese adored by guests get a flavorful pairing with mini shots of tomato soup, and you can personalize your soup shooter and bite menu with our chefs. For instance, a mini crab cake offered with a shooter of lobster or crab bisque.
6. Crostinis. They’re a top trend for wedding menus, a toasty slice of crusty bread topped with creamy and tasty layers, like our beef and black truffle oil spinach combination.
7. Gluten-free options. GF wedding menu options are so plentiful at Westminster Weddings. Talk to our chef, and try some at your wedding menu tasting, to offer a wide range of GF wedding menu options for your guests.
8. Chef attendants at stations. They put on a show while preparing dishes, and they’ll also customize your wedding guests’ orders.
9. Gorgeous station setups. Each table can have towers and tiers of food for the taking, and upscale plates and serving bowls set out with plated food looking like colorful and textured, tasty works of art.
10. Wedding signs. Cleverly-worded and personalized signs set at each cocktail party station tell guests their menu options and personalization ideas. Add some humor to yours, or share a story about why you chose that particular station, such as it being a nod to your culture, or a dish inspired by your grandparent’s recipe.
We’d like to add a #11: give some extra thought to the kids’ food station, treating them to something more exciting than a kids’ wedding menu of chicken fingers and fries. Talk to our chef about kid-pleasing gourmet mini pizzas, spring rolls, sushi, crudités cut into kids-friendly shapes, and other dishes that parents and kids will be happy to see.
Congratulations to Jenna Grindell and Justin Jackson from Union, NJ, winners of a $50 Dining Gift Card to the Strip House at the Hotel Westminster in Livingston, NJ from Westminster Weddings! They are planning a September 2018 wedding. Jenna and Justin, your gift card may also be used toward your Westminster Hotel wedding, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or any other wedding event! We’re so pleased to team up with NJWedding.com – New Jersey’s Wedding Planning Resource for their monthly contest, and we’re signed up to give away more $50 gift cards to their monthly winners!
Enjoy our two new March cocktails of the month: Irish Eyes and Sharon’s Shamrock, specialty drinks at Strip House at the Westminster Hotel:
1oz Irish Whiskey
1/4 ounce Apple Schnapps
1/4 oz Midori melon liquer
5 oz Sparkling Wine
Mix whiskey and schnapps over ice. Strain into a champagne flute.
Add sparkling wine. Garnish with apple twist
2 oz Irish Whiskey
1 oz Bailey Irish Cream
1/2 oz Kahlua
In a rocks glass, add whiskey, kahlua and top with Baileys.
Specialty cocktails are so important to a fabulous wedding bar, and we’ve also launched our new Bridal Shower package that also includes your own signature cocktails, so if you’ll join us for your engagement party, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, wedding or just for a break from wedding planning, ask our bartenders about our March drinks and other specialty cocktails.