Summer Weddings

"What Are My Options?"
by James A. Campistrous

“I know I don’t have much time, but I want a Summer Wedding this year with a reception at a budget price; What Are My Options?”

How about a BBQ Wedding? If you have never been to a Summer BBQ wedding you are missing out on the most fantastic family-oriented event of your life. Imagine all the people you can think of, dressed in casual clothes, surrounded by gaggles of children, fun music, and YES - the great smell of a BBQ filling your senses. A summer BBQ wedding is the MOST remarkable and MEMORABLE wedding you will ever attend!

There are many places that will be able to host a guest list from 20-300 people in the Pike, Sussex, Orange, and Wayne county areas. And the best part is - most of these areas are not the normal wedding genre facilities that you would think of. Nope. Some of the most remarkable sites for a BBQ Wedding are diamonds-in-the-rough; otherwise un-discovered treasures that will create an ever-lasting memory for you and ALL your guests for years to come.

I will show you ways to keep it simple where you can put your wedding together with some hard work and time sensitive effort. However, if you don’t have the time to spend on the details or you’d rather a more involved wedding or event, you should contact J-Angelo Event Planning to assist you with any/all aspects in realizing your special day.

BBQ’s can be culturally or ethnically inspired; depicted around a color (such as red – white –blue/green-red); or a combination of anything you can think of. BBQ type food, whether a wedding or not, is the most fabulous because of the creativity and selections at hand. Haven’t you ever been to a BBQ where you discovered a delectable dish that you just had to have the recipe for? Of course you have! Well, wouldn’t it be the best, if your guests created recipe cards at each dish so anyone can re-create it at their next shindig. How CREATIVE and MEMORABLE is THAT!

If you prefer to have the BBQ catered, the prices of a BBQ Wedding can run as low or as high as you want per person depending upon your food selections; most likely included are unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, as well as, a dessert. Renting a keg of beer and/or wine can be easily accomplished by vendors local to all these sites. You may however, have to obtain a permit for alcohol to be consumed, while at some sites alcohol may not be permitted at all.

If you are going to have a BBQ wedding it is important that you choose a site that has beauty. Even some commercial sites have sections where you and your guests can appreciate and realize your wedding in country elegance. Some places that are unique for your country elegant wedding BBQ are:

Bed and Breakfast Inns, Golf Courses, Farms, Orchards, Corn fields, Private Fields and Meadows, Parks, Historic Houses and Settings, Ski Resorts in the summer, Play lands and Theme Parks; and of Course Zoos and Botanical Gardens. A backyard to a local mansion or huge house is also an option.

Décor in the country setting with a BBQ theme is minimal. Please be careful when using flowers as centerpieces because bugs and bees love flowers. Instead, use submersed flowers in cylinder or tulip shaped vases which will give you the beauty without the bothersome insects. I suggest brightly colored (if not neon colored) table cloths accented with a contrasting napkin color. In the bright sunlight, these colors will bring an ever more enlightened aura to the event. As for dinnerware, please DO NOT USE Styrofoam. Remember you are out in nature, so let’s respect the gift that we are sharing with our children’s children. I strongly suggest that you use wax coated paper products, or better yet, rent actual dinnerware and glassware from your local rental company.

A tent is a must in the summer! Not only for the fact that it may rain, but the sun can be hazardous with even short exposures. There are many options for tenting. You can choose one big tent (I always get the sides), or rather, a few small tents. A grouping of 4 small tents will cover about 8 tables or 64-80 guests comfortably. You will need more space with children.

A must have is a dance floor! Weddings need dancing! You can rent a dance floor from a local rental store or outlet. They will even come by and set it up and remove it for you. You will need to spend some time in getting this arranged because a level surface is a must. Oh, and you’ll need a tent for cover.

Music can be as simple as an iPod or DJ, or as special as a band or solo artist such as a saxophone player accompanying a recording. Keep the music fun, festive and make sure you incorporate all types and eras of selections so EVERYONE gets a chance to hear and move to their favorites.

So let’s see what we have left to think about:

We need the Officiate. There are so many wonderfully sensitive officiates in the areas that are able to join a couple in matrimony expressing the most sincere and sweetest words and demeanor. It is important that you open yourself to all the denominations and non-denominations available to you. Getting married is not solely about religion, it is about choosing a person to spend your life with - someone to grow and share with for a long time.

The second most crucial component of any wedding is the photography. When all is said and done, it is the pictures that will remain (for sometimes generations) to re-energize the senses that encompassed your special day. I always suggest (mostly strongly) that a couple hire a photographer to have (at the minimum) an hour’s worth of professional pictures taken. Having cameras on each table is a great ways to capture those once in a lifetime moments by other guests. It is always refreshing to see the perspective of what guests think is important enough at a wedding to have taken a picture of. However, getting those pictures from those little cameras into an album can be costly so think wisely before foregoing a professional photographer.

The dress! The dress determines the entire mood and tone of the wedding. There is no reason why a bride cannot wear a huge cathedral length gown at a BBQ wedding. I find it stunning to see the bride in such a traditional gown in a non-traditional setting. For trend-setting, earth-friendly brides, this is the best setting to acquire a re-claimed gown. There are many gowns that can be purchased that would create a breath-taking entrance and have the guests gasping for their breath as you walk into the natural setting to meet your mate for life. I have re-created new looks from old gowns, with alterations for less than 1/3 of the price gown would be.

A BBQ Wedding is the perfect setting to add color to a reclaimed gown. Whether it is moms or a find, dipping a gown adds drama to the intense beading and lace of many older-made gowns that can NEVER be recreated in this day and age because the cost would be extraordinary. White-on-white gowns NEVER show the stunning composite of beading and lace. By dipping a gown, the contrast of the different materials picks up the color in different hues; the result is absolutely amazing. A real show stopper! Not only that, you pictures will show the remarkable construct and expertise of the crafters that was never seen either in previous pictures or by the naked eye. You will look AMAZING!

When the ceremony part is over, you can change into something comfortable or modern.

The BBQ Wedding is for couples that want to be married and share their vows surrounded with friends and family in a relaxing and loving environment … Where personal connection overrides impressing others.

Pike County Chamber of Commerce
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