Category Archives: Wedding Related

Victorian Wedding Dresses

The Victorian Era is  the time period during which most modern wedding traditions began. Many modern couples choose a Victorian-inspired wedding and in fact, this time period can serve as an excellent theme because it encourages frills and elegance and reminds brides of the fairy tales they read as girls. When it comes time to plan the wedding, you can use Victorian-style roses, strolling violin music, and tea service to set the mood but ultimately, the focus of the wedding will be the dress. Traditional Victorian gowns were extravagant and overflowing with ruffles and lace. Today’s replicas are no less fanciful, and usually made from materials like organdy, silk, and even cashmere. Tight fitting bodices and flowing skirts make this style great for any figure.  Look for bell sleeves and bustled skirts for an era-appropriate look without the restriction of a corset.



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So I need a date to this wedding…

An interesting take on what to do when the invitation says “plus 1” and you have not yet found “the one.”

So I’ll be honest right off the bat here. This post was inspired by a recent personal experience. I do not have numerous on or off-line sources to back up my opinions. However, I recently had a “wedding-related” experience that I feel obligated to share with the Castle’s dedicated readers. This is the story…

Several weeks ago, I found myself without a date for a quickly approaching wedding. I had RSVP’d for two months ago… and had since parted ways with my prospective date.  My usually reliable neighbor was busy, my good male friend from my home town was away, and my best girlfriend was watching her grandmother. I considered showing up alone… but this was one of those weddings where I would know about four people, and they would all have dates.

We were actually at a hockey game when she made the suggestion… my best girlfriend that is. She said something to the effect of “M will go with you. Remember, you met him at my birthday party?” Of course, I was a bit hesitant. (And no, I did not really remember M.) But I decided, why not, people do this kind of thing in the movies all the time!

After making some via-text arrangements, M showed up to my door (yes I told him where I lived, risky… I know) and we were off to the wedding.  The ride there was not as awkward as I had imagined. We found plenty to talk about, including the irony of the situation. We actually had a great time that evening. We discovered we are both terrible dancers and made goofs of ourselves on the dance floor. We even went bowling after the reception because we weren’t quite ready to call it a night yet and have hung out a few times since…

So should you let your friend set you up on a blind date for a wedding? Under certain circumstances, I say definitely yes…

Make sure you know the friend who is setting you up very well and that you trust their judgment.

Make sure the bride and groom do intend for you to bring a date.

Be sure you go into the situation with an open mind and ready to have fun no matter what happens.

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Short on cash? Get creative with wedding gifts…

This post is for the 20-something, buried in student loan debt, still trying to find that dream job, wedding guests. You’re at the age where all of your friends start tying the knot… and including you in the festivities. Between the showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and actual weddings, the price of gifts can really add up! If you find yourself tight on cash, you can still give a creative, heartfelt gift. In fact, the couple will probably appreciate your original gift amongst their many blenders, china sets, and carving blocks. Here are a few budget-friendly ideas compiled from the web (along with a few of our own.)

For the couple that loves to host game night—a “game night” themed basket with a couple of new board games and snacks to complete the night.

For the bride (or groom) who loves to cook—a collection of your own family recipes paired with a cookbook or two from his or her favorite celebrity chef.

For the outdoor explorer type—fill a cooler with all of the goods for the perfect picnic… a tablecloth, paper plates, plastic utensils, ice packs, and hand wipes. Depending on your budget, you could also include a gift card for a grocery store or market.

 For the wine enthusiasts – Ask an expert to recommend a bottle within your budget that will be at its peak in ten years. Attach a note that says “To be enjoyed on your 10th anniversary.”

For the movie fanatics –A 3 or 6-month subscription to Netflix is a gift anyone can enjoy. Throw in a few movie snacks and they’ll be enjoying your gift over and over again.

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Black is Back!

I was browsing wedding cake photos online recently (I have been known to experiment with cake decorating in my spare time) and realized I was coming across a lot of black and white cakes. My first thought was, “Black at a wedding?” After a few pages of cakes, however, I realized that there was something special about these black and white cakes. They were very classy and elegant and did not need a whole lot of extra frill to look spectacular.  This is thrilling news for any cake decorator… and great news for brides who are watching their budgets! The simpler a cake is to make, the lower the price. I thought I’d share a few pictures of my favorites. Maybe you’ll be convinced to use black and white at your wedding… or at least gain a new appreciation for the color as I have.

Wow... This cake has a lot of class and, believe it or not, would be rather simple for your baker to create.

Adding a third color to the mix is also trendy!

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Look Like a Star on Your Wedding Day

Roll out the red carpet for one of the newest trends in wedding photography.

Engagement and wedding photographs provide couples with a way to remember their wedding day for years to come. Most couples rely on their photographers to capture the most important moments of the ceremony.  However, one of the newest trends in wedding photography is a bit less candid. Many couples are choosing to look like celebrities or pop culture icons in their photographs. Photographers use simple digital imaging techniques to take real photos of the bride and groom and plant them onto backgrounds that make them look like stars. Another suggestion… have your photos taken at the Castle and edited to make you look like true royalty!

Have your photographer impose your image on a red-carpet worthy background!

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Signature Cocktails Make Your Reception Memorable

Make your own twist on a classic!

Are you looking for a unique way to add a splash of color to your reception? Signature cocktails allow you to do just that, while providing a unique and tasty element that your guests will remember for years to come! These cocktails can be served to your guests once they are seated, or available at the bar throughout the evening. We have had several brides at the Tonawanda Castle request signature cocktails and they have been beautiful additions to the receptions.

Most brides choose their signature cocktail based on color and appearance. However, if you have a unique story tied to a certain beverage, you may want to play up that idea. One bride met her groom while ordering Bahama Mamas at a resort he was working at for the summer. She insisted all week that he was the only bartender at the resort that knew how to make them properly and sought him out whenever she ordered a drink. Years later, they were married and featured his Bahama Mamas as the signature drink at their wedding.

Design a signature chocolate martini to serve with dessert as the perfect compliment to wedding cake.

If you do not have any ties to a certain drink, designing your signature cocktail can be a memorable experience. A good way to start is to take a classic drink and add your own unique twist. Design a beautiful Godiva chocolate martini complete with dark chocolate drizzle and shavings. Chocolate flavored vodka can be used to add even more chocolatey goodness.

Fora lighter, fruitier take, try a Cranberry Kiss made with Captain Morgan, cranberry juice, and a splash of sweet and sour mix. You can add a touch of triple sec, lime juice, or even fresh fruit puree as you see fit. Serve this over ice in a decorative glass and garnish with a slice of lime. You could even feature a Blue Hawaiian or another blue beverage as your “something blue!” The possibilities are as endless as your own  creativity. Your bartenders and catering staff will be happy to help you select or deign the perfect cocktail if you need a little guidance.

Keep your wedding colors in mind when choosing a signature cocktail.

Could this be your "something blue?"

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June Wedding Favors

Last week we posted about the history of June weddings, so this week I thought it appropriate to focus on the here and now of  June weddings! If are planning a wedding this June, you have probably picked out flowers, dresses, menus, and the perfect cake. One planning item that is commonly left to the last minute is the favors. Here are a few unique ideas for favors in the month of June (and in the other summer months as well!)

Take advantage of the fresh fruit of this season. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries come to mind! These take a little time to prepare and have to be dipped at the last minute, but if you have a friend with the culinary skills to do so, they can’t be beat! Food Network tells you how.

Sparklers! Who doesn’t like to play with a few fireworks in the summer… Your guests will take them home and have a great time later. You can purchase special heart-shaped wedding sparklers at Moments of Elegance.

Pre-planted pots. Flowers and small floral arrangements are somewhat traditional when it comes to favors. Take a step away from the ordinary and give your guests tiny pots in which seeds have already been planted. Don’t tell them what kind of flowers will come up… the surprise is part of the fun!

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