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About Landan Rivers

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So far Landan Rivers has created 54 blog entries.

The 5 Things Your Wedding Needs

Realistically, the only thing you need to have at your wedding are you, your spouse, and your officiant. But, if you’re here reading this, we have a feeling you might want a few other things included in your wedding day, too. When we think about the best weddings, there are a couple things they have in common:

  1. they’re highly personal and reflective of the couple 
  2. everyone enjoys themselves

Seems simple, right? After a year of planning and thinking through all of the little details (and there are a whole lot of little details), there’s no greater feeling than walking away from your wedding day knowing that it was a day designed entirely around your love (aside from the feeling of finally being married, of course!). And there’s no better compliment than hearing from your guests that it was the best wedding they’ve been to.

There are hundreds of beautiful hill country weddings every single year, but a beautiful wedding without personality isn’t the goal. The goal is to create your dream day. To create a day that you and your guests will talk about for years to come. To create an entire day jam packed with memories that can’t be distilled down into one simple thing that made it the best, but rather the experience as a whole is what made it so great. And to do that, you need 5 things:

Taste, Touch, Scent, Sight, and Sound.

Yup, the 5 things your wedding needs are for all five senses to be intentionally thought out and planned.

When you utilize all five sense when wedding planning, a few different things are accomplished. First, it allows you to customize your big day on multiple levels. This ensures that you get the most unique possible day and that it will be completely reflective of who you are as a couple. Second, it creates an immersive experience without leaving anything to chance – because let’s be honest, Texas weather is wild enough, we don’t need anything else to be wondering about. If you think about your strongest memories and best experiences, you can normally touch on at least 2 or 3 of the senses that make that moment in time stand out to you. When you intentionally combine all 5, it makes it easier to relive the moment. Finally, when everyone around you is happy, that happiness is contagious. There are likely a lot of different people with very different personalities and preferences at your wedding. No one is going to be exactly like the two of you, it’s why you’re such a perfect match for one another, but if they’re at your big day they probably have a couple of things in common with you. If you plan with all 5 senses, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hit on at least one thing that they enjoy, creating a more positive experience for them. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – your wedding day is about you and what you want it to be, but if your guests are enjoying themselves, you’re likely to enjoy yourselves that much more, too.

So, how do you utilize each of the senses?

Taste

Taste is interesting because it’s one of the senses that is most directly planned out with weddings, but couples often don’t realize how big of a role it can play in the overall wedding design. It’s not just about what you serve for dinner. Taste also includes cocktail hour, drinks, your wedding cake, and any other extras (like late night snacks) that you want to include on your wedding day. SO many options. When it comes to intentionally including taste in your wedding day, there are two factors: personal preferences and having options. You’re never going to please every single person with food at your wedding day, so when it’s possible having multiple options – like two signature drinks instead of one – is a great way to make people feel more included. Beyond that though, if you’re already serving food you might as well make an active effort to choose food that’s reflective of who you are. Whether it’s inspired by where you ate on your first date, something you enjoy cooking together, or even just your all time favorite cake flavor, serve food that you enjoy and let people know why you chose it.

Touch

On the flip side, touch is probably the least intuitive of the senses when thinking about wedding planning. On the most simple level, touch refers to the textures that your guests encounter during your wedding day, from the antique wood pews in the chapel to the paper you print your invitations on. Adding in different textures, like materials in your wedding day attire, napkins on the tables, and glass chargers are all ways to keep adding layers to give different touch points. While most of these build naturally as you design your day, there are two major way you can intentionally include touch: utilizing the fire pit and lounge furniture. The fire pit is literally filled with warmth and gives people a place to enjoy. Similarly, lounge areas are not only inherently filled with texture, but they’re also an inviting, comfortable space that your guests can kick back and get cozy in.

Scent

If you’ve read our blog post about how to take your wedding day home with you, you’ve heard us talk about this before. Scent is, by far, one of the most powerful triggers for memories. Being intentional in how you scent your wedding day – from using fragrant flowers to food smells to the perfume you wear – means you can recreate that scent outside of your wedding day and bring it to life again. That’s special. Beyond that, though, there are specialty scents that you can add to create moments during your wedding day. Things like cigar bars, flower crown stations, coffee served with the cake, late night popcorn, a cotton candy spinner – the list goes on and on. Think of special moments or things you like to do together and see if one of those can creatively spark a scent to add to your day.

Sight

The most immersive of all the senses with wedding planning, sight comes into play with every single design aspect of your big day. If you’re getting married at The Chandelier, you already have a huge leg up with sight because we work so hard to keep the property visually pleasing for guests. While a lot of sight things are subtle and come together on the whole, there are a couple of things you can add for greater impact. Floral installations give guests somewhere to focus and create a wow statement. Personalized signs provide a one-of-a-kind view. Dance floor lighting builds atmosphere. Everything you plan is beautiful, but some things are truly special.

Sound 

Band? DJ? Both? Wherever your sounds are coming from on your wedding day, make sure it’s music that you love. We’ve done an entire blog post about why music is so important to customize on your wedding day, so you can read about it here if you’re looking for more, but take the time to choose songs that you will not only enjoy for years to come, but that also help set the tone for the night you want to have.

Planning a great wedding day is all about thinking through the little details and how they’ll come together to build an entire experience. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, but if you constantly narrow in on asking what value each thing adds, it helps determine what’s most important to include. Be intentional with your choices to find things that are reflective of your relationship, will provide a fun experience, and that come together to tell your story.

Megan & Tyler’s Vendor Spotlight:

Photography by Angela King Photography

Flowers by Wild Bunches Floral

Hair and Makeup by Southern Tease

Cake by Naegelin’s Bakery

Coordinated by Barbie Foerster

DJ by Crossroads DJ

By |2020-11-18T09:39:10-07:00November 18th, 2020|Uncategorized|

How To Have The Best Cake Cutting

Hey y’all, it’s Landan. There are a whole lot of sweet moments on wedding days – sentimental vows, your first meal as husband and wife, stolen kisses on the dance floor – but one sweet moment takes the cake, literally. If you know me, you know my sweet tooth is strong and I’m a sucker for all things sweet. I love looking at wedding cakes, finding out what flavors a couple chose, getting to see the cake cutting, and eating a slice (or two) of course. And, when it came to wedding planning, I had put a lot of thought into designing our cakes and making sure the flavors were reflective of who we were. What I didn’t think about? How to actually cut the cake. 

I know that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. Have you ever actually cut into a stacked cake with another person and tried to look cute while doing it? There’s more to it than you’d think. My sweet, sweet husband first tried to stick the knife too far into the cake, which meant he hit the divider between the cake layers and couldn’t cut through it at all. Then, when we finally got the slice out and went to share the first bite, he served himself instead of giving it to me. Men. I laughed hard in the moment, and honestly still laugh about it all now, but I still sometimes can’t believe how much we struggled. Cake cuttings are such a fun moment from your big day, even if it is a small, quick moment, and there are quite a few things you can do to make the most of it (and get the most out of your pictures.)

Create Customizations

One of the most special ways to get the most out of your cake cutting is to make sure that it’s personal to you. There are a couple of different ways to do that, from the actual cake to customizing the cake stand and cutter. For Jenna and Kory, they had a cute little version of their pup on their bridal cake and a unique groom’s cake. For our wedding, the groom’s cake was infused with whiskey. We’ve seen it all, from the groom’s face on a cake to cutting the cake with an axe or a sword. Monograms, unique details, specialty flavors, and meaningful designs are all ways to make your cake cutting truly custom. 

Pick a Fun Song

A lot of times, the cake cutting loses its specialness because people have no idea it’s happening. While you can let whatever music is playing continue to play, I’m a big fan of having the DJ or band announce that it’s time to cut the cake and throw on a song that is specific to cakes, sweets, love, etc. We used “Cut the Cake” by Average White Band to mark a clear change in what was going on, but here are some options that Style Me Pretty recommends, too:

“Love on Top” by Beyonce
“Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith
“How Sweet it is to be Loved By You” by James Taylor
“Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Calais
“Ordinary Love” by Ben Rector
“I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles
“Love You Madly” by Cake
“Marry You” by Bruno Mars
“The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani
“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

Go Slowly

Want the best cake cutting photos? TAKE YOUR TIME. Pause as you slice into the cake. Look at the cake, each other, and your photographer when you’re cutting the cake. Hold up the bites of cake before you feed them to each other and/or smash them into each others faces. Laugh and kiss afterwards. Smile. Just soak in the moment and don’t rush through it all. 

It’s a Smash 

It is completely and totally up to you as a couple whether you want to smash cake in each others faces or not, but if you feel strongly about doing it or not doing it, you have to talk about it beforehand so no one gets upset. I personally would have hated cake being smashed in my face and Kevin was confused that it was even a thing, but I know people who have been disappointed that it didn’t happen and people that have been super upset that their spouse smashed cake in their face unexpectedly. It’s a two minute conversation in the week leading up to the wedding – just have it. 

Add a Compliment

Want to really mix up your cake cutting and make it even more fun for guests? Consider adding something to compliment your cake cutting. Ice cream bars, donut bars, chocolate covered strawberries, milkshakes, coffee, the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I love wedding cake just as it is. But I was also a big fan when I was given a little Bluebell Ice Cream cup with my wedding cake one time because it’s what the groom liked to eat every night before bed. It’s especially fun when your add ons are special and something you love. 

Serve It Up 

There are a couple different ways you can serve the cake, and I wouldn’t necessarily say there is one right answer. You can cut it and hand it out to guests right there, take it to the kitchen to be cut, serve it at tables, or leave it out for guests to grab throughout the night. Whatever you choose, I would consider having an option for leftover cake. Small to go boxes that can be set out on the cake table towards the end of the night are a great way to ensure that delicious cake doesn’t go to waste (and to go boxes are an easy way for you make sure you get a few slices to take home, too).

No matter what you do, have FUN with the cake cutting (and with the cake tasting, eating, etc.). It’s truly astonishing how many couples never eat any of their wedding cake other than the one bite during the cake cutting. While I know a lot of people will get a small one remade for their one year anniversary, it’s never exactly the same as your wedding cake, so I always recommend having a few slices packed up for you to eat once you leave the wedding. It also goes wonderfully with coffee the next morning. Might as well start of your first day as a married couple on a sweet note. 

Jenna and Kory Dziuk’s Vendor Spotlight:

Coordinator/Decor/Florist: Barbie Forester

Photographer: Angela King Photography

Video: Dynamic Films

DJ/Mariachis: VEGAs DJ

Bar: Bartenders4You

Caterer/Ice cream bar: Werner’s

Transportation: Shark Limo

Beauty: Blush’d Beauty

Cake: Betty Moy

Tuxedos: Generation Tux

Bridal gowns: Bella Bridesmaids  

Wedding gown: Weddings by Debbie

 

 

 

By |2020-11-04T16:50:40-07:00November 4th, 2020|Uncategorized|