Wedding Planning

Spring 2016 Wedding Color Trend: Blush

One of the hottest color trends for Weddings this Spring is Blush. And why not? It goes with everything and is the perfect color to embody the spring season. While blush can stand on its own, it plays very nicely with other colors as well to give your wedding day a sense of personality through a wide use of color. Looking for inspiration for how to use blush in your wedding? We've pulled together 4 wedding color combinations featuring blush that are sure to provide lots of wedding eye-candy.

Blush and Blue

Pantone sure knew what they were doing this year with their 2016 Color of the Year, or more accurately, colors of the year - rose quartz and serenity. These two colors together are absolutely perfect for a spring wedding. The pale blue pairs perfectly with the blush, adding just a touch of pink in the inspiration photos above. So, if you've never thought of yourself as a "pink person" you can still add it to your wedding day as an accent color.

Blush and Gold

Blush and gold is an elegant color combination that can work in any venue during spring - ballroom, outdoors, under a tent or in a barn. The color combination gives you plenty of opportunity to add an extra touch of glamour without being over the top. 

Blush and Teal

If you're looking for a way to use a bit more punch in your color palette for your wedding, consider using blush and teal as your wedding colors. Blush softens the boldness of the teal, while offering a complimentary color. Plus, with all of the variations of the color teal, as you can see above, you can include various shades of teal and blush together to create beautiful details throughout your wedding day.

Blush and Grey

For brides looking for a softer theme for their big day, blush and grey combine to create a romantic feeling for your wedding. Think grey bridesmaid dresses, grey suits and dusty miller in bouquets. 

At Dellwood Plantation, our serene gardens, stately manor house and reception tent goes perfectly with any color combination. Schedule a tour today - we'd love to host your wedding celebration. 



Planning The Wedding Ceremony – A How-To Guide

Photo via Daniel Min Photography

Photo via Daniel Min Photography

It’s no secret that planning a wedding involves the coordination of so many things - from the big items like venue and guest list to the smaller details like programs and table numbers. While all of the details are important, one item that is often left to the last minute is planning the specifics of your wedding ceremony. Although you might be thinking “What? No way is that true,” chances are that you are not fully aware of all the decisions that you need to make regarding your wedding ceremony.

Below you’ll find a complete how-to guide for planning your wedding ceremony. We understand that not all wedding ceremonies will be created equal and there may be specific religious requirements, but we wanted to share a list of general guidelines for how to personalize your wedding ceremony.

Planning Your Wedding Ceremony - A How-To Guide

First, Hire an Officiant

Rabbi, priest, pastor, justice of the peace or friend who has been ordained online, no matter your preference, the first step to planning your wedding ceremony is to decide who is going to marry you. If you have a priest, pastor or rabbi from your church or synagogue, you may want to start there. However, if you don’t have anyone in mind or are getting married out of town, you’ll need to find someone to do the honors. Sites such as Borrowed and Blue and Thumbtack, or Richmond Weddings locally, provide listings of wedding officiants.

Second, Meet with the Officiant to Discuss Ceremony Options

Each faith and officiant conducts marriage ceremonies differently, although many of the basic components remain the same. Schedule a meeting with your officiant to have them talk you through the basic marriage ceremony that they perform. During this meeting and discussion, they will share the various things you can do to personalize the ceremony including music selection, adding a reading, special ceremonies, prayers, etc. as well as the order of events within the ceremony.

Third, Make Your Music Selections

While most couples think about their first dance song, there are MANY more songs to select for your wedding ceremony than you might think. Music can play a big part to set the tone for the type of ceremony you wish to have, from traditional to contemporary. Here’s a quick list of the songs you may need to select:

  • Prelude, light, ambient music that is played while guests are being seated and waiting for the ceremony to begin.

  • Processional, music that is played to accompany the entrance of family, groom & groomsmen, bridal party and the bride. While it is ok for one song to be played for everyone, it is not uncommon to have a different song for each group. However, the most common is to have a single song for the seating of the mothers, entrance of the groom and bridal party, with a different song for the bride’s grand entrance.

  • Recessional, music played at the end of the ceremony while you make your exit together

In addition to the above song selections, some couples elect to have a musical selection performed live during the ceremony as well. It's really up to you to choose the music that best fits your style for your wedding! 

Next, Choose Your Vows

While mostly all marriage ceremonies are pretty standard overall, some officiants give you the opportunity to choose which version of the marriage ceremony you want - formal, non-denominational, etc. And in some cases, you may elect to exchange your own personal vows. By working closely with your pastor, priest or officiant, you’ll be able to make the best choice for your ceremony that fits with your beliefs.

Then, Determine The Order of the Ceremony

This is an important step as it creates the schedule for the ceremony to ensure that everyone goes as planned. This is also where you choose if you’ll have a reading of a special verse or passage that is particularly meaningful to you both. In addition, a reading is a great way to involve a loved one that you have a special relationship with that you’d like to involve in the ceremony. You’ll want the order of ceremony determined a few weeks ahead of your wedding, especially if you are planning on printing physical programs to be distributed to guests. No matter if your ceremony is civil or religious, it will most likely follow the following order of events (with other items inserted in as necessary):

  • Processional
  • Officiant’s Opening Remarks
  • The Charge to the Couple
  • Exchange of Vows
  • Ring Exchange
  • The Pronouncement of Marriage
  • The Kiss
  • Closing Remarks
  • Recessional

Finally, Enjoy The Moment

One thing that most people don’t tell you is that the ceremony is one of the best parts of your wedding day. If you don’t decide to do a first look, for most couples, it is the first time you’ll see your significant other on the day of the wedding. While the rest of the wedding will go by in a blur, take the time to savor and enjoy the moment where you and your significant become husband and wife. Because after all, isn’t that what the day is about anyway?

Have any other advice or tips that we missed that would be helpful for planning a wedding ceremony? We’d love it if you shared them in the comments below!

Let’s Talk Wedding Flowers: Budget Friendly Tips and Tricks

When planning the details of your dream wedding, chances are that flowers are one of the main items you’ve considered for your list of items you need to complete your big day. It’s ok to admit that you’ve spent more than a few hours day-dreaming about your bouquet, centerpieces and ceremony floral arrangements. Wedding day flowers can be a key detail to complete the overall look for your wedding theme. However, we completely understand that if you’ve checked out Pinterest lately for inspiration and shared them with a florist (or have yet to do so!), you’ll quickly realize that your flower budget doesn’t actually align with your vision.

Don’t lose hope! We’re here to tell you that there are many ways to have flowers at your wedding without breaking the bank and going over your budget. With these tips, you’ll be able to navigate the appointment with your florist to best work together without sacrificing your vision.

Choose In-Season Blooms

If you are trying to keep things budget-friendly, choosing flowers that are currently in-season for your wedding date is a must. Why? Florists work directly with suppliers and flowers that are in bloom for the season and location of your wedding date will be more readily available vs. flowers that must be custom ordered from a specialty grower or another part of the country where they are in season. If something has to be custom ordered, it is a safe bet to assume it will be pricey. When starting to work with a florist on a quote for your wedding, make sure you ask for a list of flowers that will be in-season on your wedding date that will help to keep costs down.

Questions to Ask

  • What flowers are in season on my wedding date?
  • Are there any flowers available in which price doesn’t change by the season?

Go For Similar Blooms

While there isn’t a bride alive who doesn’t love peonies, if you aren’t having a spring wedding, you will most likely be paying a premium per bloom. However, there are other flower varieties that can give a similar look and feel for less including certain varieties of garden roses and ranunculus to peonies for example. If you aren’t sure which varieties can give a similar look for less, work with your florist to help identify ways to reduce costs without sacrificing a look or style.

Question to Ask

  • Which flowers are a good alternative to the blooms in my inspiration photos that can help reduce overall costs?

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize!

If you are looking for ways to reduce costs within your flower budget, make a list of priorities. For example, perhaps you can splurge on your dream bridal bouquet with all of the exotic and pricey flowers you desire while reducing overall cost of bridesmaid bouquets by reducing blooms or selecting complimentary flowers that aren’t as pricey. Other ways to save on your flower budget is to reduce the total number of arrangements. Consider alternating floral centerpieces with candles or opting out of ceremony floral arrangements if your ceremony location doesn’t need much dressing up.

Questions to Ask

  • How can I make the biggest impact with my wedding flower budget?
  • Can you itemize each item on the quote so I can make decisions to fit my budget?
  • Do you have any suggestions for how to best meet my flower budget?

Consider a Few DIY Projects

If you are really trying to reduce costs, are there some items you can do yourself for your big day that won’t have too big of an impact to your stress level or timeline. Most florists will allow you to purchase flowers by the stem and/or bunch based on quantity. So, if you have a plan to do simple centerpieces of bottles with a single bloom in each, that’s easily something that your wedding coordinator, mom or a friend of the family can put together the morning of the wedding. Pinterest is of course a great source of inspiration. However, a word of caution - don’t over extend yourself. There will be more details and last minute requests of your time and attention the week before and the morning of your wedding than you anticipate no matter how organized you think you will be. You want to be sure that you can enjoy the time leading up to your special day, so be sure to consider the time and effort it will take for DIY projects and if they are really essential to the day or worth the money saved in the long run. Also, be sure that you don’t offend your florist by insinuating that you can easily do her job. Do your best to explain that you are trying to cut costs and want her input on what projects you may be able to tackle yourself and get her advice along the way if needed.

Questions to Ask

  • Do you sell individual flowers or bunches of baby’s breath?
  • Do you think this is a project I can easily do myself?
  • Do you have any tips for how to easily complete this project?

The most important thing when trying to reduce your budget when working with a florist is to be transparent and open about your budget and your expectations from the very beginning. Most florists will ask you for your budget during the initial consultation, so be honest when answering them to set expectations from the get-go. Understand that they are not asking to judge you or over-sell you (although there may be a few exceptions), but simply trying to understand if your budget aligns with their ability to meet it based on your desired vision and number of items required for your wedding day. You should view your chosen florist as your partner in creating your vision for your dream wedding, we promise it will pay off for everyone in the end.

At Dellwood Plantation, we love to work with a variety of vendors to help our couples create the wedding of their dreams at our venue. View our preferred vendors list for our recommended wedding vendors.



How to Plan YOUR Dream Wedding

A common saying you may have already heard if you are planning your wedding is this “Their wedding, your marriage.” It is a common saying to help brides and grooms navigate the wedding planning process as it can often be challenging (to say the least!) with the various family, friends, etc. who want to have input in your wedding. You’ll never make everyone happy, so our advice? Brides and grooms should work together to plan the wedding of YOUR dreams - the wedding that will make the two of you happy and best reflect who you are as a couple.

Understanding that it is often easier said than done to ignore requests from key family members, we’ve pulled together a list of tips to help you plan YOUR dream wedding and (hopefully!) reducing the number of issues along the way.

Have a Clear Vision for Your Wedding Day

Once you get engaged, the questions will start immediately! When’s the big day? Where will you have it? Am I invited? As a couple, discuss your “have to haves” and “nice to haves” for your wedding to get on the same page prior to starting to look for a venue or location. Discuss particulars such as indoors our outdoors, tent or no tent, ballroom or barn, backyard or vineyard, mountains or beach.

Getting on the same page about the type of venue and location will help set the stage for the rest of the wedding. Do you want an intimate wedding with only close friends or family, or do you want to have a big wedding celebration with extended family and lots of friends? Do you want an informal outdoor ceremony or an elaborate ceremony in your family church? Without a clear vision, it will be easier for others to try and insert themselves and their opinions for your wedding.

Create a Sense of Ownership for Key Family Members

If you are finding yourself with an overly opinionated mother or mother-in-law to be, try delegating specific tasks so they feel a sense of ownership over the decisions. For instance, tradition states that the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner. Why not turn over all of the planning to your future mother-in-law? Chances are that she’ll love the autonomy to make decisions but will most likely ask for input too. You can also engage other key family members and friends with specific tasks along the way such as key vendor appointments like cake or food tastings, or help with hotel welcome bags or favors. By delegating tasks or asking for specific assistance, you’ll give each person a purpose and focus, which means they will be less likely to focus on other details.

Get on the Same Page

During the wedding planning process, it is so important that as a couple, you are both on the same page about the details for your wedding day. This helps reduce misunderstandings among family and friends. So, when requests or questions come up, such as why can’t kids come to the wedding or can Mary bring her boyfriend of 2 weeks, either one of you will be able to answer decisively. However, if something comes up and you aren’t sure what to do, be sure to discuss it with your fiance.

Choose Your Battles

Sometimes a request or suggestion will be shared with you, and honestly you don’t really have a strong opinion either way about including it within your wedding day. In those cases, learning to compromise and go with the flow will go a long way to make a key family member or friend feel their opinion was heard. For example, if your mother thinks printed programs are an absolute MUST but you could go either way, it is probably easier to print programs and let her win that battle. That way, if you are strongly opposed to another suggestion in the future, you’ll have your ammo saved up to fight and win.

Hire a Wedding Planner

Hiring a wedding planner can be the an excellent way to to have an unbiased third party in the mix to help you make key decisions for your wedding day. A wedding planner is a professional with years of experience planning weddings, so they have most likely seen it all when it comes to dealing with difficult family members or delicate situations. Lean on your wedding planner to help with communication to invested parties as necessary - let them be the bad guy!

The bottom line? There is no “right way” or “wrong way” to plan the wedding of YOUR dreams, as your wedding should be as unique as you are as a couple. By having a clear vision for your day and plan to make it happen, all you have to do is stay firm in your must-haves and learn to choose your battles wisely to ensure a smooth wedding planning process for everyone involved.

With over 15 years of weddings under our belt, we know that it can sometimes be challenging to navigate family dynamics. We work with our brides and grooms to ensure a flawless wedding day. Contact us to schedule a tour of the plantation today.

Natural Greenery Spring Wedding Inspiration

With just a few weeks of winter left here in Virginia, we're thinking thoughts of spring. And, along with spring comes the start of wedding season. While we love all of the color combinations that make each wedding celebration unique, today we wanted to focus on a beautiful, classic color combination that makes us think of spring: green and white. 

Before the flowers and trees bloom, spring is filled with fresh greenery all around. So, we've pulled together our favorites to inspire you to make use of the abundant greenery available for your spring wedding. 

Spring Wedding Inspiration: Natural Greenery 

Beautifully Natural Cakes

These cakes are stunningly beautiful in their natural simplicity. Who doesn't love the stark contrast of natural greenery against pristine white icing. And, the idea for small cakes in various designs and flavors is one to steal for certain. 

Freshly Cut Blooms

A big trend in bridal bouquets for 2016 is LOTS of natural greenery. These example bridal bouquets show a variety of how to utilize natural greenery - from a focus on various green plants to the use of white florals with lots of green accents. One thing is for sure, the various colors and textures create a beautiful, fresh look for your spring wedding. 

Natural Inspired Invitations

Adding natural greenery to your wedding stationary takes classic to new heights! The inspiration from these examples is endless as you incorporate these ideas into your wedding day!

Greenry Inspired Details

And, just because we LOVE the details (and thought you would too!) we wanted to share a few greenery inspired details to round out the theme for your spring wedding. Plus, can we just swoon over the flower girl with a crown of greens?! 

So, have we inspired you to consider fresh greenery for an elegant spring wedding? Do you have any other inspiration to share? We'd love to hear it! 

At Dellwood Plantation, we specialize in Spring Weddings! We would love to be your wedding venue. Contact us today to schedule a tour and experience all we have to offer!

Bridesmaid Gift Ideas They'll Actually Love

When planning a wedding, the bride has a very long list of to-dos. And, for the busy bride, sometimes it can all be a bit overwhelming! However, there is one very fun task that you get to do as a bride, and that is thanking the girls who will be by your side on your big day. Shopping for bridesmaid gifts is a task you should definitely not delegate. Why? This is one occasion where purchasing one for yourself is perfectly acceptable AND encouraged. Plus, who better to find gifts that your bridesmaids will love other than you? But, we know you are busy and stressed, so in efforts to be as helpful as possible, we've put together a list of bridesmaid gift ideas that your bridesmaids will LOVE. 

Monogram Love

What girl doesn't love a monogrammed gift? These jewelry dishes are the perfect gift for your bridesmaids as they are fun, colorful and the best part? Practical!

She'll love it... because its actually useful and reflects her unique personality.

You'll love it... because at $14, the price won't break the bank, even with large bridal parties!

Totes Adorbs!

Your bridesmaids will need something to tote around all of their makeup, accessories, shoes, champagne, etc. on your big day. Why not get them a cute, calligraphy tote bag showing them how much you love them?

She'll love it... because she can keep everything in one place.

You'll love it... because it fits with your unique sense of style. Plus, at $10 each, the price doesn't hurt either.

Things That Sparkle 

Jewelry is a common gift for bridesmaids. But, why not up the ante on the traditional bulk jewelry purchase and go handmade, and local. Helena Noelle Couture is located right here in Richmond and offers the most stunning jewelry, bridal belts and headpieces for the bride who wants something to make a statement.

She'll love it... because its handmade and GORGEOUS!

You'll love it... because your girls will be stunning on your wedding day.

All Wrapped Up

While getting ready robes are nothing new, you may not have heard of Plum Pretty Sugar. They have robe sets for your bridesmaids in soft, comfy fabrics that your maids will be more than happy to wear again and again.

She'll love it... because she can wear it again and again.

You'll love it... because of the gorgeous getting ready photos you'll have with your maids!

Have any other ideas to add to our list? We hope we shared a bit of unique inspiration for gifts for your bridesmaids. 

Did you know that we also offer space in our manor house for bridal showers? Let your bridesmaids know that we can help them host a southern bridal shower that will be the talk of the town. Request information on our availability and pricing today.

Valentine's Day Wedding Color Palette Inspiration

Love is in the air as Valentine's Day approaches in February. While Valentine's Day in Virginia is typically during the off season due to the winter months, there are plenty of reasons to consider a wedding on the most romantic day of the year. The possibilities of snowy backdrops, a hot chocolate bar and the possibility of cheaper rates from vendors during their typical slow season. Or, perhaps Valentine's Day has always held a special meaning to you and your significant other.

Whatever the reason, we thought we would pull together a few inspiration boards with various color palettes that include both the traditional and slightly updated Valentine's Day wedding inspiration. Enjoy! 

Traditionally Modern: Red, Pink and Gold

While red and pink may be the traditional color combination for Valentine's Day, this modern and sophisticated update of Red, Pink and Gold is far from expected. Rich, bold florals come together to set the stage for an amazing seasonal celebration. And seriously, gold leaf detail on the cake? We swoon!

Elegant Romantic: Pink and Grey

A much softer and modern color palette choice, soft pink and cool grey is the perfect ultra chic color combination for a more sophisticated couple into clean lines. Add a blush wedding gown and soft, flowing bridesmaids dresses for a touch of elegance and romance to your Valentine's Day wedding.

Classically Bold: Black and Blush

What could possibly be more bold than a black wedding dress? Although not traditional, take classic black and add in blush pink and a touch of gold and you have a classic palette that is sure to remain timelessly in vogue. We just love the stark black contrast against the soft blush. Pure perfection!

Are you considering a Winter or Valentine's Day Wedding? Dellwood Plantation offers everything you need to have the wedding of your dreams - no matter the season! Contact us today to schedule a tour to see the beauty of the plantation in all seasons. 

5 Tips to Set a Realistic Wedding Budget

Yes, we did it, we said the "B" word. And while its not THAT "B" word, some feel that a wedding budget is a bad word during the wedding planning process. However, when it comes to planning your wedding, you need to embrace your budget. Why? According to Borrowed and Blue, the average cost of a wedding in Richmond is $31,000, so you'll want to manage your budget and spending accordingly to stay sane during the planning process. Knowing that it can be difficult to discuss money, we've put together our top 5 tips to set and most importantly, KEEP, your wedding budget. 

5 Tips to Set and Keep A Realistic Wedding Budget

1. Take Stock of Your Finances

If you and your fiancé are funding the entire wedding yourself, take a look at your current financial situation to determine what you can realistically afford for your wedding. If parents or other family are helping to finance the wedding, be sure to have a frank discussion about the budget and any expectations for the wedding.

2. Make an Initial Guest List

Nothing has a greater impact on your total budget like guest count. Why? Well, for starters, the bigger the guest count, the bigger the budget. All catering, plus cake, is all charged at a per person rate. And, only certain venues offer space for up to 250 guests, so you'll want to make sure you think through how many second cousins you put on the guest list.

3. Determine Your "Must Haves"

Once you've determined the amount you have for your wedding, the next step is to think about the "must-have" items on your list. Are you and your fiancé serious foodies? Have your eye on a couture wedding dress? Have you dreamt of a 7-tired cake confection? The items that are important to you and your fiancé should be appropriately prioritized within your wedding budget.

4. Consider Multiple Dates

Unless you are 100% set on a specific date, consider shopping for dates in what's typically considered the "off season" for many venues and vendors. The off season here on the east coast is typically January-March, with some dates in November, December and April that can be lower cost than the typical wedding season of May-October. There can be a lot of beauty in a winter wedding - just check out our winter wedding post for lots of great inspiration.

5. Resist the Urge to Splurge

It doesn't take more than a 5 minute look at "wedding inspiration" on Pinterest to see how easy it is to get caught up in all of the beauty available. Setting a realistic budget is the first step to keeping it. 

The most important thing to keep in mind when planning your wedding is to remember what's absolutely needed to have the wedding of your dreams - not someone else's. Resist the urge to splurge on extras that no one will notice but you, and instead, spend time investing on a once-in-a-lifetime experience you and your fiancé will always remember, rather than remembering the debt and/or stress for the fancy getaway car or custom ice sculpture. 

At Dellwood, we offer a variety of packages and pricing options to meet the needs of any wedding celebration and budget. Request information today and we'll send you our latest packages and availability. 

The Most Important Questions to Ask on a Wedding Venue Tour

Choosing your wedding venue is almost just as important as choosing the person you are going to marry. When you stop to think about it, your wedding venue is the place where you will say your vows and pledge to be husband and wife if you are not to be married in a church. Even if your ceremony will take place at a church or place of worship, your venue will be the place of the celebration of your new union with family and friends.

Because choosing a wedding venue is an important decision, you'll want to be prepared with questions for when you tour the location. However, before we get to the questions to ask on a tour, here are a few questions to discuss with your fiancé prior to choosing venues to tour.

Questions to Ask Your Fiancé Before Scheduling a Wedding Venue Tour

  • What city do we want to get married?
  • Do we want our wedding ceremony in a church or place of worship?
  • Do we want our wedding ceremony outside or inside?
  • What type of place do we want our ceremony and/or reception, i.e. a vineyard, plantation, hotel or barn?
  • Do we want our reception in a ballroom, under a tent or open air outside?
  • How many guests do we expect?
  • What is our budget for the venue?

Questions to Ask on a Wedding Venue Tour 

Once you've answered the above questions, you are ready to schedule wedding venue tours. You'll want to be sure that you tour venues that meet the requirements from the discussions with your Fiancé or your parents if they are also helping to pay for some of the wedding costs. Why? You'll want to be sure that you only tour venues that are true possibilities and fit your budget. Keeping all of your criteria in mind, here's a list of additional questions you'll want to ask while on your venue tour.

  • How many guests does the venue accommodate?
  • Is the venue available on the date(s) we are interested?
  • What is the cost for the venue on those dates?
  • Does the venue offer different prices and/or packages for different days of the week?
  • What amenities are included with the venue fees?
  • Are there any additional requirements of the venue?
  • Is a security deposit required? If so, how much? How is it returned?
  • Does the venue have a preferred vendor list and/or require use of an in-house caterer?
  • How many hours are included in the venue rental?
  • What additional rentals are required for the venue (ie. tables, chairs, etc.)?
  • Is a tent rental required?
  • If outdoors, what is the rain plan alternative?
  • Is parking free and readily available?
  • Does the venue provide parking attendants?
  • Is there a bridal suite available? What time is the room available the day of the wedding?
  • Will we be allowed early access to the venue to decorate?
  • Does the venue offer a day-of-wedding coordinator or a facilities coordinator?
  • Do I have to acquire my own ABC license to serve alcoholic beverages?
  • Can we bring our own alcohol to the event? If so, does the venue offer a bartender?
  • Do we have exclusive use of the property on the day of our wedding?
  • What time of day can we start our wedding ceremony and/or reception?
  • What time does the wedding reception have to end?
  • Are there any local noise ordinances we should be aware of for music to end by?
  • Does the venue offer overnight accommodations?
  • How close is the nearest hotel for out of town guests?
  • Does the venue offer a walk-through with the caterer and other key wedding vendors? If so, when is that typically scheduled?
  • If we are interested in booking, what type of deposit is required to hold the venue for our date?
  • When is the final balance due?

We hope that the above questions will be helpful to you as you tour potential wedding venues for your big day!

At Dellwood, we provide exceptional value to all of our couples. While most venues only offer an empty space, we provide a tent, tables, chairs and bridal suite with every package. Schedule a tour today - we'd be happy to answer all of your questions!

Best Wedding Websites for Wedding Planning Advice

Congratulations to all of the newly engaged couples! The holiday season is a busy one for engagements. In fact, according to WeddingWire, over 30% of all engagements occur November through January. We understand that starting to plan a wedding can be a very overwhelming task - and it can be difficult to know where to begin. So, that's why we thought we'd pull together the best wedding websites out there for wedding planning advice for brides to be so you can find a great place to start planning the wedding of your dreams.


Top 5 Best Wedding Websites for Wedding Planning Advice


1. Wedding Wire

WeddingWire is a one-stop-shop for brides to be! This easy to use and navigate website includes helpful features including a master wedding checklist, budget tracker, guest list manager, plus lots of inspiration from real weddings. Brides can also search for reputable, local wedding vendors to pull together a dream team for your wedding. 

Bonus Feature: The Hashtag Generator! Add in all of the pertinent information and hit submit to get your personalized wedding hashtag - a must for today's social savvy brides. 


Just like their website says, you can truly plan your wedding from start to finish using They have a wedding checklist, budget planner tool, free wedding websites and a mobile app to help with planning on the go. You can also find local wedding vendors along with reviews from real brides. 

Plus, they also have a very informative blog (although not much to look at) with valuable information such as Engagement Ring Insurance and answers to common etiquette questions. 

Bonus Feature: Sign up for local offers and receive emails from local wedding vendors with special offers and discounts on services.

3. Borrowed & Blue

For local Richmond brides, Borrowed & Blue is an excellent resource for local vendors. In addition, they focus content on real weddings held right here in Richmond to give inspiration and help you find the right vendors to pull of your unique vision. 

Bonus Feature: Sign up for their email list to get planning emails customized to you and your wedding date!

4. Style Me Pretty

If you are looking for mostly inspiration with a side of helpful, Style Me Pretty is an absolute must for this list of the best wedding websites. Style Me Pretty includes daily posts of inspiration from classic to modern and romanic to vintage - and everything in between for the modern bride to be. 

Bonus Feature: The Vault! Think of Pinterest with only the most beautifully curated wedding inspiration photos and the vendors that made them possible. 

5. Intimate Weddings

A new trend is emerging with weddings - intimate weddings of 75 guests or less. Couples looking for an intimate gathering with family and close friends are opting for smaller affairs. Intimate Weddings is the source for inspiration, venues, DIY projects and real wedding inspiration for brides to plan the intimate wedding that fits your vision. 

Bonus Feature: The DIY project gallery features hundreds of projects and tutorials for the do-it-herself bride.

Do you have any other wedding websites to add to our best list? Let us know in the comments!

Winter Wedding Inspiration

Traditionally, here in Virginia, winter is a time of year that is often overlooked for weddings. However, as the weather has shown so far this December, the weather can often be just as mild as the fall and can create unique opportunities to create a beautiful wedding. Plus, since it is often the off season for venues and vendors, you can often snag a discounted rate and negotiate on pricing that can have a big impact on your overall budget. 

So, for brides looking for a few reasons to consider a winter wedding, we've pulled together some stunning inspiration to get the creative juices flowing for winter weddings. 

Jewel Tones

Fall isn't the only season in which jewel tones can really shine - winter is also the perfect time to use jewel tones to your wedding day. Plus, different tones such as deep amethyst, burgundy and cranberry are the perfect cure for the traditional winter blues and provide a great deal of warmth to your wedding. 

Natural Elements

Winter is a great time to incorporate natural elements, such as evergreens, greenery, twigs, cranberries and pinecones. All of these items are readily available during the winter months and provide a great natural touch to all sorts of items including table decor, florals and even your cake.


Plaid is a common pattern and texture to think about for winter, but maybe not something you have thought about for your wedding. However, you shouldn't shy away from plaid - as it is a great way to add a winter twist to a rustic themed wedding. Plus, plaid can be used as a great accent color/pattern instead of traditional wedding colors to be used to add a "touch of plaid" or as a strong visual element as the shirts for the groom and groomsmen. 

Beautiful Photo Backdrops

Seriously, how amazing and romantic are these photos in the snow?! You can't get photos like this in any other season. And, if you don't have snow near you in the winter, you can always have a reverse destination wedding to a cozy mountain town and enjoy everything the season has to offer. 

Winter Wedding Inspiration on Pinterest

Are you planning a winter wedding? Find more inspiration on our Winter Wedding Pinterest board.

How to Create Your Own Wedding Timeline

When planning a wedding yourself, it is easy to overlook the tiny details of your wedding day. Sure, you've got the big things down like ceremony start time and when its time to start getting your hair and make-up done, but what about what time does the photographer need to arrive prior to the ceremony based on the length of your contract? So, in an effort to help DIY brides, we've pulled together a list of questions to help you start to pull together a day-of timeline for your wedding to ensure all things go smoothly. 

How to Build Your Wedding Day Timeline

First, check your venue contract and find out: 

What time can you have access to the venue for decorating?

Some venues, such as wineries and other locations, have reception start times for a reason, as they have other customers there during the day. Be sure to check on how early you can arrive to decorate and/or gain access for the caterer and florist to begin set-up.

Who will be setting up items such as the guest book, favors, table decor, etc.?

If you have a day-of wedding coordinator, this will fall under their responsibilities. However, you might have a friend or family member (it might even be your Mom) who will be responsible for setting up small details at the venue. Be sure to plan plenty of time for that person to be able to complete set-up and get ready for the wedding.

Photo Courtesy Daniel Min Photography

Photo Courtesy Daniel Min Photography

Will you be getting ready there? What time can you arrive?

If your ceremony and reception are at the same venue, chances are you may be getting ready there. If so, you can probably gain access to the bridal suite hours before your ceremony starts. Be sure to check on that time and coordinate with your hair and make-up person so things go as planned. 

If you are not getting ready at the venue, how will you and the bridal party get to the venue?

Sometimes, you may choose to get ready at home or at a hotel suite for everyone to be together. If so, you'll need to plan for transportation for you and the bridal party to get to the venue. You may want to call a car or limo service to make things easier and have extra space, especially considering you'll be in your dress.

If your ceremony is at a church, what time does the ceremony start? Who is responsible for decorations at the church?

Some churches have a coordinator to help, however, you will most likely have to designate someone to ensure flowers, programs, etc. are in the right places.

How long do you have the venue for in your contract?

Typical contract length is 4 hours for the reception, 5 hours for ceremony and reception if both are held in the same place. Based on your timeline, you might also want to consider if you need another hour at the  venue and potentially plan for an additional charge.

Based on the above answers, review your other vendor contracts to determine the following:

What time will the florist be delivering the flowers to the church and/or venue?

One common item most brides forget is to have their bouquets delivered to the location where you are getting ready to have them with you for pre-ceremony photos, your first look if you are doing one, etc.

What time is the cake being delivered to the venue?

Most times you'll get a window, so you'll want to be sure someone will be at the venue for them to get in.

How long have you contracted your photographer?

Based on the length of time, be sure to plan for the photographer to arrive in plenty of time to take pre-ceremony getting ready photos and then stay to the end, especially if you have a special exit planned.  

How early will the caterer need to arrive?

Be sure to coordinate with the venue to be sure someone will be there and the caterer can gain access at the appropriate time to begin set-up.

Once you've thought through everything pre-ceremony, you have to think about the order of events of the ceremony and reception. Be sure to think about the following:

Photo Courtesy Kathryn Ivy Photography

Photo Courtesy Kathryn Ivy Photography

What music will be playing during the various parts of the ceremony and reception?

While you may think its only a few songs, there are potentially multiple songs needed for various parts of the ceremony and reception. Here's a list:

  • Processional - Seating of the grandparents and parents, groom's entrance, and bridesmaids entrance. This can be the same song or different songs. 
  • Bridal Processional - The song for the bride to come down the aisle.
  • Recessional - The song for the bride and groom to walk back down the aisle as husband and wife.
  • Ceremony Entrance Music - The song for everyone to be announced at the reception.
  • First Dance - The song to play during your first dance as husband and wife.
  • Father-Daughter Dance/Mother-Son Dance - Songs to play during the special dances at the reception.

How long will you take photos after the ceremony?

Work with your photographer on how much time he or she needs to take the formal family photos and your portraits after the ceremony prior to the reception. This is why most couples plan a cocktail hour to get guests into the celebration while waiting for the bride and groom to take photos. 

What is the order of events at the reception?

Once you are announced, do you want to do your first dance right away or do you want to start eating? When will you cut the cake and do toasts? What time will you plan your exit to ensure guests are still there?

Who will be responsible for gathering gifts and any remaining decor items?

Most venues require that all personal items are removed and that the venue is fully cleaned at the end of the night. You and your groom will be long gone after your planned exit, so be sure to plan for someone to gather gifts, all remaining decor items, any remaining items from the bridal suite, etc.

Whew! We know that is a lot to think about, however, those details are the important details to think about ahead of time to ensure that your wedding day runs smoothly and you can enjoy the party that you've spent months planning - rather than answering questions on the fly during the event. 

At Dellwood Plantation, we have over 15 years of experience running smooth weddings. All of our packages come with a mistress of ceremonies to ensure that your wedding will run smoothly once you start your walk down the aisle to your new husband. We invite you visit the plantation and learn more about our comprehensive wedding packages. 

Why You Need a Day Of Wedding Coordinator

Planning a wedding is no small task! While there are plenty of items you can do yourself to plan such a large event, there is one budget item that many brides overlook and often regret later - a day of wedding coordinator. While pricing and packages may vary, the roles and responsibilities of a day of wedding coordinator at the highest level includes making sure your wedding day runs smoothly. She is the keeper of the timeline, the master problem-solver (but there won't be any problems right?!) and the magician behind the scenes to ensure you, the bride, don't have a care in the world on the day of your wedding. Here's a brief list of the reasons why you need a day-of wedding to help make your wedding the best day ever!

Top 3 Reasons Why You Need a Day Of Wedding Coordinator

She's The Keeper of the Timeline

On the day of your wedding, the last thing you want to worry about is ensuring the caterer puts the food for the cocktail hour out on time, that the officiant is in place on time, and that the toast and cake cutting happens at the right time during the reception. Your main goal on your wedding day should be to enjoy it! 

She's The Ultimate Decision Maker

During the day, there are bound to be a few questions and last minute decisions that come up that you shouldn't have to worry about - such as where should the cake table go now that the gift table can't be moved, etc. You've hired her to act on your behalf for the day to ensure that everything goes smoothly. And, if the DJ set up is a bit larger than anticipated, she'll work with the right folks to create a solution with your ultimate vision in mind.

She's A Seasoned Problem Solver

This isn't her first rodeo or trip down the aisle with a bride - she has years of experience coordinating weddings to perfection. While we plan to ensure problems don't arise on your wedding day, she's there just in case and ready to put a solution in place to make you and guests non the wiser that something has not gone as planned. Did the boutonnieres arrive one short? A serving utensil short? A couple of cases of beer short? She's been there, done that, and knows where the closest place to buy beer is located near the reception.

It is important to note that you should begin searching for a day of wedding coordinator once you have a date and venue in mind to ensure they are available, as their schedule gets booked up fast! That way, as you plan your wedding, you will have someone available to ask questions and seek guidance throughout the months leading up to your wedding. Also, ask about available packages and details about what's included to ensure you get the right package to meet your individual needs. 

At Dellwood Plantation, while other venues offer only an empty space to fill, we offer comprehensive wedding packages that includes way more than the basics. We invite you to schedule a visit today.

Creative Wedding Guest Book Alternatives

In our last post, we shared unique wedding favor ideas to consider as you plan your wedding. Today, we're here to share a few creative ideas for alternatives to the traditional wedding guest book. While the traditional guest book may work for some folks, many new and creative options are now available for couples to incorporate their unique style and create a true wedding keepsake - rather than just putting another book on a shelf. With all of the wedding guest book alternatives to consider, we pulled together a list of our top picks to inspire you that will work with any theme or budget.

Hand Painted Vintage Globe Wedding Guest Book

Having a travel theme wedding? Love to travel? Hope to have a marriage full of adventure? Then this gorgeous, hand-painted vintage globe would be perfect for your wedding guest book. Grab a few gold metallic sharpie pens and guests signatures will compliment the globe perfectly. Not only will it serve as an amazing detail on your wedding day, but it will continue to be a conversation piece proudly displayed in your home for years to come. Bonus: Add decorative pins every time you and your husband travel to new places. You can purchase one for your wedding at PrettyLittleDooDads on Etsy.

Photo Guest Book

There are so many ways to utilize photos for a unique and fun wedding guest book. You can buy an Intax Camera and film for guests to capture a hard copy selfie to put in a book with a fun message. Or, you can create a personalized guest book with photos from your engagement session on Shutterfly. That way you can create an album of engagement photos to enjoy next to messages from your friends and family.

Decorative Art Guest Book

There are so many decorative guest book options to create a memorable and unique guest book that you will proudly display in your new home. This anchor is perfect for a nautical themed wedding or a couple that loves the open seas. Other options include a wooden initial or plank board for guest signatures.

A Quilt Guest Book

Wrap yourself in the warm messages from your family and friends with a guest book quilt. There are many ways to display the quilt at the reception. You can display individual blocks for the complete quilt. Plus, you can utilize fabrics in colors that compliment your wedding colors and theme.

Need more inspiration? You can see more unique guest book ideas on our Pinterest Board.

What are your favorite wedding guest book alternatives? What unique ideas have you seen? Share them in the comments - we'd love to hear your thoughts!

Unique Wedding Favor Ideas

Wedding favors are a highly debated item when it comes to planning a wedding. However, since the sixteenth century, couples have been giving gifts to wedding guests as a gesture of gratitude for sharing the beginning of their new life together. Today, there are so many unique ideas for wedding favors to fit with any theme and budget. We've pulled together a few fun ideas for wedding favors that your guests will love - that won't break your budget!

Edible Wedding Favors

You can't go wrong with edible wedding favors. Providing a treat to guests will always be appreciated and enjoyed. You can go personal and provide your Grandmother's recipe for strawberry jam (with the secret ingredient she won't give up!) or share your favorite flavor of gourmet popcorn from the place you went on your first date. It doesn't have to be too meaningful - it can be your favorite food or sweet treat too. Bonus for edible favors - guests will extra love it as edible treats won't end up catching dust on a shelf or taking up space in a kitchen drawer. 

Environmentally Friendly Wedding Favors

Environmentally friendly wedding favors provide a win/win for couples - they are generally inexpensive and they don't create needless waste. Plus, they are very cute and your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Bonus - how cute are these two options?! Who wouldn't want a heart birdseed feeder or an adorable succulent plant?! 

Useful Accessories

There are many favor ideas that fall into the useful accessories category - these items can also be thought of as keepsakes or souvenir from the event. These can be personalized to match your event to either be used at the event or in the future - your guests always remembering your special day. 

Favors That Match Your Theme

Most favors are designed with a particular theme or season in mind - and the above ideas are meant to go along with a winter-themed wedding. Can't you just imagine the snow lightly falling, guests wrapped in a warm fleece blanket next to a crackling fire eating a s'more? No? Just us? You get the idea! Themed favors can be pulled together to compliment every season and setting.

Need more inspiration? We've created a Pinterest Board with a bunch of favor ideas - plus lots of other ideas as you plan your wedding. 


Do you have any favor ideas to share? What did you give your guests or are you planning to give as a favor? We'd love to hear it in the comments below! 

Fall Wedding Ideas and Inspiration

We just love fall weddings here at Dellwood. There's something about fall in Virginia that is absolutely magical. We're clearly not alone, as late September and October are very popular months for weddings at Dellwood Plantation. And, what's not to love? The weather isn't too hot or too cold, the leaves start to change and create the most majestic backgrounds and the evening light creates instant romance. Because we have so many brides that choose fall weddings, we pulled together some inspiration for planning a fall wedding.

Gorgeous Fall Florals

While most people think of spring and summer for the height of florals, fall gives us so many in-season options that are absolutely gorgeous - no matter your color palette. Right now, we're loving the infusion of Pantone's Color of the Year Marsala into fall weddings. 

Dramatic Wedding Cakes

Fall provides so many dramatic color palettes, and we just love when those colors, florals, etc. translate onto the cake! There are so many ways to pull your theme into your cake for something completely unique - and delicious too!

Yummy Seasonal Treats

Source:  Left ,  Right

Source: Left, Right

Fall brings yummy seasonal treats for guests to enjoy including caramel corn, smoores, hot apple cider or hot chocolate - the options and flavors are endless! Plus, guests will absolutely love the delicious treat at the end of the night!

So, what are you loving for fall? What color palettes are inspiring you this season? Tell us in the comments!

Where To Start When Planning A Wedding

Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now that you’ve got the guy and the ring, along with the congratulations from family and friends you’ll start to get asked, “So, when’s the big day?” While you should take a moment to bask in the joy of the moment, you’ll quickly want to transition into wedding planning mode so all of the important people in your life can start planning and making arrangements. So, where do you start? Here’s a list of the first things you should do when planning a wedding.

1. Take a Moment to Enjoy Being Engaged

Yes, this is number one! Once you start planning, there will be plenty of time for coordinating and stressing about the details, however, its really important to enjoy being engaged too. Be sure to take the time to enjoy this season of your life and focus on what’s important, your marriage and the life the two of you are starting together!

2. Determine Your Budget and Guest Count

Prior to discussing with both of your parents, you and your fiancé should discuss the type of wedding you want to have – big or small, just close family or second cousins too. Once you have an idea of the type of wedding you want to have, discuss budget and expectations with both sets of parents to get everyone on the same page. Having a budget and guest count is important when starting to reach out to all of your important vendors including venue, caterer, cake, etc.

3. Research and Visit Possible Wedding Venues

Once you have a budget and a guest count, you can start to research and schedule visits with venues in and near your desired location for your wedding. Based on your guest count, many venues offer various pricing options or rooms to accommodate the needs of your wedding. When reaching out to a venue to ask for information, include your guest count along with a tentative date, month or time of year. Be as specific as possible, however, it’s not necessary to have a specific date picked out. Venues will respond with packages and pricing for the time of year and let you know their available dates. Prior to booking, take a tour to ensure that it meets your vision and be sure to get all of your questions answered.

4. Book Your Venue

Once you tour venues and find the right place, book it! Its important to book your venue first to lock in your date and begin to build the rest of your wedding around the venue. Your wedding venue will have an impact on every other decision you’ll make. Don’t believe us? If your wedding is at the beach, the type of dress you wear, the flowers you select and food you eat may be different than if you choose a ballroom downtown. However, booking your venue is the first important decision you will make that requires a deposit, so you’ll want to be sure you’re certain.  

What’s Next?

Once you have your venue booked and a date in place, you can start contacting other vendors to ensure their availability. Many venues have a preferred caterer list that is approved to provide food at the venue, so you’ll want to start with that list if required. Plus, you can schedule engagement photos (perhaps at your venue!) and start to design save the dates to get your special date on the calendar for loved ones.

There will be plenty of decisions to make when you start planning your wedding, and everything can quickly become overwhelming. However, if you focus on getting things done in a systematic way, you’ll start to check things off your list in no time!


At Dellwood Plantation, we have everything you need for the wedding of your dreams including our pristine gardens, rustic barn and stately manor house. We’d love to invite you over for a visit and a tour of our venue. Contact us today for more information on our available packages, pricing and to set up a tour today.

Tips for Gorgeous Bridal Portraits

Dellwood Plantation Bridal Portrait Tips

According to Southern Weddings, the southern tradition of the bridal portrait most likely started prior to World War II it was rare for a photographer to attend a wedding, so bridal portraits would be taken in a photographer’s studio prior to the wedding. While the traditional studio portraits are becoming a thing of the past, the tradition is still very much in style for today’s modern brides. We’ve had our fair share of gorgeous bridal portraits taken here at Dellwood over the years, so we wanted to share a few tips for brides planning for bridal portraits.

Tips for Gorgeous Bridal Portraits

Tip #1: Schedule Your Hair and Make-up Trial to Coincide with Your Portraits

Since you are most likely planning a hair and make-up trial, schedule the trial for the same day so you can give yourself a full trial run of the look you want for your wedding day – the dress, the shoes, the jewelry and the flowers. Not only will you get an idea of your full bridal look, but you’ll get an idea of how easily you’ll move in dress and how it feels to carry your bouquet.

Tip #2: Determine the Look You Want

Understanding your personal style and the "look" you want in your photos is very important to discuss with your photographer. Are you going for rustic? Vintage? A little bit of both? Talk through the options with your photographer and decide on locations that will work best for your vision. Not sure the style you want for your bridal portraits? Check out our Pinterest board for bridal portrait inspiration.

Tip #3: Be Open to Suggestions from Your Photographer

While you may have a Pinterest board with various poses and looks you want, your photographer has years of experience to help you look your best. Be sure to work with your photographer to not only convey your ideas and vision for your bridal portraits, but also be open to multiple angles and locations. Also, be open to trying something a little different – that might get you your favorite photo!

Dellwood Plantation Bridal Portrait Inspiration

Tip #4: Be Yourself!

Most importantly, just be yourself! Do not be afraid to let your personality shine through with different poses or photo locations that show your true personality. We couldn't help but include this amazing photo of Priscilla in the tub in the bridal suite - now she looks like a girl who is up for anything! Photos like this will be treasured for years to come and be great conversation pieces with family, friends and future generations to come.

Do you have any bridal portrait advice you'd like to share with future brides? Did you take bridal photos or not? We'd love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below to share with new brides-to-be!

5 Questions Brides Forget To Ask When Evaluating a Wedding Venue

Congratulations! You’re engaged! But now what? While there are so many things to think about when starting to plan your wedding such as colors and themes, the first big decision will be to find your wedding venue. And since we know choosing a wedding venue shouldn’t be a decision you take lightly, we wanted to share the questions you should be sure to ask when searching for the wedding venue for your big day.

5 Questions Brides Forget to Ask When Evaluating a Wedding Venue

1. How many people can the venue accommodate?

While this is usually a question most brides don’t forget to ask up front, they often forget to ask if there are different areas or rooms within the venue that are best to accommodate different sized weddings from intimate (usually around 50-65) to large (250+). If the venue says they can accommodate your guest count, be sure to ask how its usually done and the layout of the venue, as you might not be 100% on board with how they’ll make it work. Also, sometimes with larger guest counts, some venues require a tent or only allow a standing reception vs. seated dinner.

2. What’s included in the venue fees?

Unfortunately, when searching for a venue, no two proposals or fees are created equal. Some venues provide you with a blank slate for your wedding in which only the basics are included, which most times is just an empty space and restroom facilities, while other venues can include much more including a tent, tables, chairs, linens, floral arrangements, etc. When comparing venues, be sure to add up all possible hidden costs when making the final decision, as sometimes the option that can appear to be low cost might include hidden fees you were not expecting.

3. What are the venue’s rental policies?

Some venues have specific policies that could end up costing you more in the long run as well. Some venues require that every wedding have a wedding coordinator or planner to be the point of contact for all vendors, while others have strict policies regarding the use of sparklers, confetti or flower petals. Its best to check the fine print of your contract prior to signing to ensure there are no surprises later, as you wouldn’t want to have your heart set on a sparkler exit and learn your venue doesn’t allow it. Pro tip: try to ask as many questions as possible prior to signing and negotiate any special requests up-front.

4. Does the venue allow outside caterers?

Many venues have a preferred caterer list, which is a list of caterers the venue approves to provide services at their venue. These caterers are selected and provided for brides to choose from because the venue knows they will do a great job for the bride while working within the guidelines and policies of the venue, which often times includes set-up, break-down and clean up. Always ask for the list of preferred caterers and their contact information when touring the venue to start the catering proposal process to ensure the venue and catering fees will fit within your planned budget.

5. When can we have access to the venue?

When evaluating a potential wedding venue, you may not think about the actual logistics of the day – as it may seem so very far away, especially if you have a year-long engagement. However, you’ll want to understand if your wedding is the only wedding that day or the night before and how early you’ll be able to set-up decorations, etc. Also, you won’t just want to think about access to the venue the day of the wedding, but also how flexible and responsive your contact is at the venue to be able to set-up appointments with vendors to make plans for layout, décor, etc.

Here at Dellwood Plantation, we provide more than just an empty space for our brides and include a tent, tables, chairs, restroom facilities and a mistress of ceremonies for our brides for one all-inclusive price. We also have packages that can accommodate any guest count and budget. Contact us today for more information on our pricing packages and availability for your big day.