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wedding planning

How Long do Wedding Bands Play and What Songs Should You Choose?

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EBE Venue Spotlight: Branzino

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Finding a great venue for each step of your wedding weekend can be an overwhelming task. Philadelphia is filled with some incredible venues where couples choose to get married every year. We’ve done the legwork for you and highlighted some of the best venues that Philadelphia has to offer in our EBE Venue Spotlight. This month, we’re featuring Branzino.

Branzino originally opened in October 2003, and was one of Philadelphia’s best Italian restaurants for almost 13 years. Unfortunately, they were affected by a tragic fire in July 2016, which forced them to shut down and start over. Much to our excitement, Branzino has reopened this year and has truly lived up to their previous notoriety!

Branzino is located on 17th Street between Locust and Spruce in Rittenhouse, Philadelphia. The menu consists of a mouth-watering assortment Italian dishes, including their namesake – a Branzino entree with roasted asparagus and lemon caper butter. Operating as a BYOB restaurant, guests are able (and encouraged!) to bring their own wine and beer for dining and private events.

The owners of Branzino are married couple – Dori and Luan. Luan is the head chef, and has decades of experience creating exquisite Italian dishes. Each morning, Chef Luan and his team churn out handmade pasta, bread, and desserts for service. They also use only fresh seafood and homegrown micro greens, and locally obtain as much of their ingredients as possible.

The restaurant features three beautiful spaces to hold private events. Events may utilize the entire restaurant and outdoor space, or just one area.

  • A small, intimate dining room, which seats approximately 35 guests. This space is located in the front of the restaurant and has large windows that open when the weather is nice. This space alone is ideal for small rehearsal dinners.
  • A large dining room in the back, which seats approximately 110-115 guests. This room can also be closed off in the middle with curtains for a smaller group, up to 55-60 guests.
  • Their hidden gem, The Garden, has a vibe that is hard to find in Philadelphia. This secluded and romantic space is set behind the restaurant, and can seat up to 40 guests.

When asking EBE’s Director of Business of Development, Joe Napoli, about Branzino, he told us “It’s very popular for rehearsal dinners! They also have a really pretty courtyard in the back for a private dinner or event, or could even be used for a wedding ceremony. Chef Luan has many years of experience, and wants to get the word out that they have opened back up for business and are available for events. It’s also super close to many wedding venues and hotels, so it’s perfect for a rehearsal dinner or stand-alone wedding.”

Did you host your event at Branzino? If so, contact us! We would love to hear all about it.



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How To Decode The Wedding Guest Dress Code

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When you’re designing your wedding invitations, there are obvious pieces of information to remember to include, such as the venue address and the date and time of the event. There is also one important detail to remember to include that will help guests determine what they’ll wear to your event: the dress code request.

The terms frequently used to define the dress code can be a bit confusing, so we’re here to help you crack the wedding dress code.

White Tie

White Tie Attire is the most formal request, even above most awards ceremonies. Women are expected to wear full length gowns in dark or neutral colors, and men are expected to wear a full black tuxedo with tails, a white shirt, vest, and bow tie, and black shoes.

Black Tie

Weddings are generally a formal event,so requests for black tie dress are fairly common. For men, this means a request to wear a tuxedo. A tuxedo is comprised of a vest, bow tie, patent leather shoes and a cummerbund. For the ladies, this is typically a floor length formal gown. A shorter dress is also acceptable, but stick to dark colors and formal fabrics. A dressy little black dress (LBD) with complementing jewelry would also be acceptable.

Black Tie Optional/Formal

Many couples are choosing the Black Tie Optional/Formal dress code for their weddings. This lets guests know that the wedding party will be wearing formal attire but it is optional for guests. This doesn’t mean guests should show up in jeans and tennis shoes! Women should still opt for formal floor length dresses, the LBD, or a dressy jumpsuit. Men have the option of wearing a tuxedo or a formal suit.

Festive Attire

Festive Attire is not frequently used, yet more common in the winter months. This attire suggests that the guests take liberty in being a little creative with their outfits. Patterns, sequins, velvet, and other eccentric pieces are perfect for these weddings. Outfits should follow the semi-formal or formal guidelines, but steer away from simple black dresses. Suits and ties of any season-appropriate color are perfect for gentlemen, and we recommend a funky patterned tie if the suit is simple black.

Cocktail Attire/Semi-Formal

This dress code is in between formal and casual. A formal dark suit with a tie for men is appropriate. For the ladies, the infamous LBD with complementing accessories or a brightly colored cocktail dress are great options.

Garden/Beach Attire

Typically used during the spring and summer months, Garden and Beach Attire are becoming more and more popular. Sundresses and floral jumpsuits are appropriate, and should fit the vibe of a garden or beach. Soft colors are recommended for all guests, so khaki, pastel, and neutral tones are great for the gentlemen. Trousers with a button down shirt is suitable, and a tie is optional.

Casual

For a relaxed wedding, the casual dress code is appropriate. This allows guests to wear what they want within reason, of course. Casual dresses such as sundresses are great for the spring/summer months, whereas a midi or flowy dress with sleeves would be great for the colder months. Gentlemen should wear trousers and a button down or a polo shirt depending on the season, and a tie nor jacket are necessary.

We hope this information has helped you understand the wedding dress code a little better to make the best decision for your wedding. We would love to hear all about your wedding event, so contact us today!



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EBE Wedding Venue Spotlight: The Fitler Club

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Finding a great wedding venue to set the stage where your marriage vows will be recited can be an overwhelming task. Philadelphia is filled with some incredible venues where couples choose to get married every year. We’ve done the legwork for you and highlighted some of the best venues that Philadelphia has to offer in our Wedding Venue Spotlight. This month, we’re featuring The Fitler Club.

The Fitler Club is one of Philadelphia’s up-and-coming private clubs. The membership offers some pretty incredible benefits such as hotel suites, an incredible restaurant, and an outstanding game room. One pretty cool feature of the Fitler Club is that you don’t have to be a member to host your wedding event here. Everything within the Fitler Club is brand new, modern, and provides the perfect environment to celebrate love.

The Wedding Spaces

Upon arrival to the club, guests are greeted by the Garden, which is a perfect 1,800 square foot outdoor space to host an outdoor ceremony or cocktail hour. For an indoor wedding, the Ballroom takes run of the mill luxury and elevates to your wildest dreams. The space is modern and sleek, and is very customizable to any theme or color palette.

The Ballroom

If you’re looking for a unique event space that offers more than just dancing, the Trophy Room is the space for you. This room features bowling, shuffleboard, table tennis, arcade games, and more.

The Trophy Room

Guest Accommodations

Out of town guests can stay at the luxurious hotel rooms on site for convenience, and can take advantage of all membership benefits during their stay. Membership benefits include access to the Dining Room, the movie theater, the on-site spa, and so much more.

Catering

An incredible menu will be crafted to the couple’s desires with Chef and Culinary Director Kevin Sbraga, who is well known for his experience on the TV show “Top Chef”.

Ask The Experts

EBE’s Director of Business Development, Joe Napoli, shared some great advice with us about planning a wedding at The Fitler Club, “Take full advantage of all the extras, and you will love working with Daniel and Stephanie!” The Fitler Club is becoming one of the most popular places to tie the knot here in Philadelphia. Learn more about planning your wedding at this incredible club here, and tell them we sent you!Did you host your wedding at the Fitler Club? If so, contact us! We would love to hear all about it.



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How to Make Your Wedding Reception Entrance Unforgettable

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

The wedding reception entrance is the first time that the newlyweds present themselves to the public after the ceremony. Making your grand entrance to your wedding reception makes the special day even more memorable for everyone. Check out some of the ideas that we’ve put together to make your wedding reception entrance unforgettable.

Take Advantage of Your Venue

If your wedding venue has a grand staircase or a glass elevator that leads to the event space, take advantage of it. Entering the space as newlyweds by one of these lavish methods will ensure all eyes are on you.

Wedding Party Coordinated Dance

This will take a bit of practice, planning, and commitment from your wedding party, but the effort will make a spectacular impact on your big day! Choose a song that has a catchy beat and plan a dance for your wedding party to learn the steps… then perform it as the grand entrance. If it is in the budget, hiring a professional to help the process will make things much easier! Check out our blog post on the five Philly-area dance instructors that we love.

A Tunnel of Sparklers

Not only will this be fun for all of your guests, but it will also set the stage to create some incredible photos! Dim any lighting and supply sparklers for all of your guests to hold and line the walkway to the event space. When the newlyweds are announced, everyone will ignite the sparklers and create a glittery display. Just make sure safety measures are put into place and you have pre-approval from your venue!

A Red Carpet Entrance

Much like the red carpet that your favorite celebrities walk on at award shows, you can celebrate your newlywed celeb status by entering on a red carpet. Lighting is a key factor to make your entrance, so dim the overhead lights in the venue and have a bright pinspot or spotlight to make a big appearance! Your wedding band can play romantic or upbeat music, depending on the mood you want to set.

Enter By Land or Sea

Based on the location of your venue and availability, one of the most memorable ways to make a grand entrance is by transportation! If your ceremony and reception venues are at different locations, consider making a grand entrance by arriving to the reception venue in a beautifully restored classic car or horse and carriage. If your venue is near a lake or river, consider taking a ride down stream in a row boat. Guests will love it!

Did you use one of these Grand Entrances? We would love to hear all about it, so contact us today!



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5 Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Writing your own wedding vows adds a personal touch to your wedding ceremony. Traditional vows are lovely, but there is something so romantic about a ceremony with personalized vows. That being said, writing your own vows probably won’t come naturally for most people!

Writing from the heart is a totally different experience than writing a high school or college essay in the middle of the night before the due date. Your graded written words are important, but don’t hold as much value as your wedding vows in the grand story of your life. We are naturally our own worst critics and, because this writing of love and devotion isn’t easy, we have put together a list of our top tips to help you write the best wedding vows possible.

  1. Think About Your Relationship

Before you even put pen to paper, think about the relationship that you have with your love. Paint a picture in your mind about what it really means to you. Think about the story of how you met, and what you’ve accomplished – separately and together. Think about where you have traveled and what you’ve experience together. This storied past should help inspire your vows.

  1. Quotes Are Helpful Inspiration

The internet is full of websites that are nothing but quotes dedicated to love. If you prefer not to include a direct quote in your vows and would like it to be 100% original, no problem. A simple quote can bring thoughts and emotions to the forefront of your mind, helping you take that pen to paper. The words will spill onto the page before you know it.

  1. Talk With Your Fiance Often

A healthy part of a relationship is to be able to connect emotionally on a deep level. Talk openly about how you feel with one another and what your relationship means to you both. Discuss what makes your relationship unique, and talk about the past, present, and future with one another. Frequent conversations can help with inspiration for your wedding vows.

  1. Avoid The Bad Things

Humans are imperfect creatures. As a result, hiccups may happen in relationships. Keep the negative out of your vows – this is the first day of your married life and you want to step into it on the right foot. Avoiding phrases like, “it wasn’t always easy” or the like are a surefire way to make your fiancé and your guests don’t want to feel uncomfortable.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

The first time that you recite your vows out loud shouldn’t be in front of the love of your life. You should practice standing up in front of a mirror and reading them out loud. Doing so is always the best way to avoid awkward sentence structures, overly long sentences, or words that may trip you up as you speak.

We hope these tips help with writing your wedding vows! We would love to hear all about your wedding plans, so contact us today!



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Wedding Venue Spotlight: College of Physicians of Philadelphia

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Finding a great wedding venue to set the stage where your marriage vows will be recited can be an overwhelming task. Philadelphia is filled with some incredible venues where couples choose to get married every year. We’ve done the legwork for you and highlighted some of the best venues that Philadelphia has to offer in our Wedding Venue Spotlight. This month, we’re featuring The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Photo Credit: Asya Photography

How cool would it be to get married at one of the oldest professional medical organizations in the United States? Located in the Rittenhouse historic district and close to some of Philadelphia’s best hotels for out of town guests, College of Physicians of Philadelphia sets the stage for elegant weddings.

The 22nd Street building plays host to the majority of the private events held at the College. Guests are greeted by Aesculapius, the greek God of Medicine, upon stepping foot into this national historic landmark. Marble accents and a beautiful grand staircase set the stage for the occasion.

Couples have 5 different event spaces to choose from, ranging in guest capacity from 140 to 240 people. The pebble walkways and garden benches in the Templeton Veranda and Medicinal Herb Garden set the atmosphere to create a gorgeous garden wedding. Ashhurst Room, which is one of the building’s grand halls, features a beautifully carved mahogany mantelpiece and large windows that reach to the ceiling. The Marble Rotunda is the perfect location where couples can take some uniquely beautiful wedding photos.

Photo Credit: Asya Photography

Hosting a wedding event at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia is a breeze. Catering By Design, the exclusive hospitality provider, meets and exceeds the desires of the soon to be wedded couple.

EBE’s very own Director of Business Development, Joe Napoli, gave us some insight to hosting weddings at The College of Physicians. “The spaces are beautiful, unique, and need to be seen to be believed. The ballroom has such beauty and historic charm, and the Catering By Design staff are true professionals who are a joy for us to work with.”

Photo Credit: Asya Photography

If you’re interested in hosting your wedding at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, you can reach out to them hereDid you host your wedding at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia? If so, contact us! We would love to hear all about it.



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5 Wedding Traditions And The Interesting History Behind Them

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Traditions are the center of wedding celebrations, whether or not you abide by them. Everything from the ceremony, wedding rings, attire, and the wedding cake are considered traditions, but do you know where they came from? We’ve put together a list of 5 wedding traditions and some interesting facts about them!

The White Wedding Dress

In history’s past, most brides wouldn’t buy a dress just to wear on their wedding day. Instead, they would wear the finest gown in their wardrobe to exchange vows. A white dress didn’t come onto the scene until the mid 1800s when Godey’s Lady Book, a woman’s magazine, announced that white was most appropriate for a wedding dress. This trend took a sharp decline around The Great Depression, but in the 20th century after an economic boom, white became the color of choice again and was worn by iconic women such as Grace Kelly and Princess Diana.

The Bride’s Flower Bouquet

Origins of this wedding tradition are a little difficult to nail down. The most logical reason is that the flowers were used to cover up odor when bathing was an infrequent task. Warding off evil spirits by carrying herbs, garlic, and spices in their bouquet is another way brides would walk down the aisle. Brides would also toss their bouquet to wedding guests to share the good luck of her day.

The Best Man

The best man’s duties have changed quite a bit since the origins of the role. In Judaism, the best man’s duties are to ensure the groom has a worry-free wedding. In the Gothic Germanic period when weddings were seen as a transaction, the groom would act as a swordsman to fend off angry family members or watch over the soon-to-be-bride before the wedding.

The Wedding Cake

The extravagant multi-layer cakes that we see at weddings today first appeared at Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s wedding in 1840. Their cake was an absolute show stopper – weighing in at nearly 300 pounds and measured 9 feet in diameter! The wedding cake has humble origins dating to ancient Rome when a loaf of bread was broken over the wedded couple to symbolize fertility. Cake icing became popular in Europe when sugar was widely available and white frosting was used to symbolize purity.

The Wedding Bells

Church bells ringing is a common occurrence after a wedding ceremony is over. Ringing of the bells dates back to the Celtic lands, or modern day Ireland, when bells were rung to ward off evil spirits and provide good luck to the newlyweds. Even though many couples choose to opt for venues other than churches, bells are still commonplace at weddings today – symbolizing happiness and celebration.

Do you know the origin of other wedding traditions? If so, we want to hear all about it. Contact us today!

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5 Ways To Incorporate Succulents Into Your Wedding Floral Design

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Succulents are teensy tiny little plants that are making a big impact on the wedding scene these days. They are making appearances in unexpected places like ceremony backdrops, cake decor, wedding invitations, and more! We’ve put together a list of some creative ways that you can incorporate this hearty little plant into your wedding day.

Wedding Bouquet

The floral star of the show is typically the Bride’s flower bouquet. Adding succulents to the bouquet brings drama, greenery, and texture. With hundreds of varieties of succulents, you will certainly find something to compliment your wedding colors and flowers. We especially love the dynamic contrast of reds and yellows paired with the green hues of the succulent plant.

Wedding Favors

A little potted succulent can make a big impact as a wedding favor for guests to take home! These hearty little plants prefer a dry climate, so even those with not-so-green thumbs shouldn’t have a problem keeping one of these plants alive. Include a “Care For Me” card with your plant so guests can keep their new little house guest alive for years to come.

Hanging Succulent Vases

Bring major style to your aisle by hanging vases filled with succulents and flowers on the chairs. Guests will love this personalized touch, as you can incorporate incorporate your wedding colors easily. This can be a fun DIY project for your bridal party to put together before the event!

 

Place Setting Decor

Subtle accents of succulents will add major appeal to your table! Place a succulent plant on the center of each folded napkin laid on each plate. This simple yet beautiful addition to your decor adds contrast and texture to the table.

 

Table Centerpieces

Skip traditional roses and add a taste of trendy flair by incorporating succulents into your table centerpieces. The texture and contrast provided by the succulents will add drama to your tablescape that guests will absolutely love.

 

Did you incorporate succulents into your wedding day? If so, we want to hear all about it. Contact us today!

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How To Create The Perfect Wedding #Hashtag

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Etsy: dodidoodlesTwitter, Facebook, and Instagram basically run on Hashtags. Creating a unique wedding hashtag is all the rage within the land of social media. By creating a wedding hashtag, loved ones who couldn’t make it to the event can get updates in real-time and guests who do attend can post photos, which is always fun for the couple to see! The wedded couple can use the hashtag to document the planning process to look back and remember the incredible wedding journey.

What is a hashtag? It is a word or string of words that have the “#” in front of them. Once the post or comment is saved with the tag, it creates a hyperlink. If the hyperlink is clicked, then any other posts that have used the same hashtag in the past will show up in a search.

We have put together some ideas to help you create the perfect hashtag for your wedding event!

The easiest way to create a wedding hashtag is to is a free generator. A quick Google search will produce tons of results but there are a couple that we like best:

Wedding Wire’s Generator

Wedding Wire’s generator uses details like names, nicknames, the wedding date, the wedding location, and more to create a unique hashtag to celebrate the event.

Wedding Hashtag Wall

Wedding Hashtag Wall keeps things a bit more simple by using your names and date to create your hashtag.

Find a Freelance Hashtag Creator

Paying someone to make a hashtag may seem a bit unusual, but it is actually a popular decision that couples make as part of planning their wedding! Websites like Wedding Hashers craft customized hashtags for couples after answering a few simple questions.

 

Etsy: BigDayPrintsIf you choose to create your own hashtag, keep it short and sweet so guests can remember it easily. Guests should be able to snap a photo, then post it to social media with the hashtag easily so they can get back on the dance floor and enjoy the event. Also, double check that the hashtag hasn’t been used in the past so your photos don’t mingle in the land of social media with another wedding event.

Some great examples of unique hashtags are:
#FOREVERINGREEN2019
#ONCLOUDGAVIN
#BAKERSINTHEBARN
#TOHAVEANDTOHOLTON

Lastly, don’t forget to post a few signs in high traffic areas around the reception to remind guests to use the hashtag when they snap and post photos to social media!

Did you use a custom hashtag for your wedding? If so, we want to hear all about it. Contact us today!

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