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A few years ago, Merriam-Webster Dictionary selected “Locovore” as the new word of the year. What is a Locovore? It is someone who prefers to eat locally grown food.

Kris Phillips, the Events Sales Manager at Sky Ranch Lodge, has noticed that more locovore couples are designing their own farm-to-table weddings because they prefer a local, sustainable, and artisan approach to food. By opting for locally, organically grown tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and herbs as well as locally grown flowers, these couples are supporting the farm-to-table movement. Working with their caterer’s suppliers, the couples are partnering with local, sustainable farms which grow fresh, healthy foods. Certain farms working in the farm-to-table niche are taking this a step further and are working with caterers to create grown-to-order menus and event options.

Tip 1: To control costs, farm-to-table menus rely heavily on what is in season at the time of your wedding. For instance, for a fall wedding, you might want to consider wine grapes, heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers.

Tip 2: For your libations, consider selecting Verde Valley wines and locally brewed craft beers to give your guests a taste of Sedona. There are over 100 wineries and wine tasting rooms in this area, many of which have won awards at international competitions. In recent years, several craft beer breweries and spirit distilleries have sprung up in the area. Superstition Meadery in Prescott, produces hard cider and mead, a fermented honey drink traditionally served at weddings.

Stay tuned for more tips for Sedona farm-to-table weddings!

Organic Produce for Sedona Farm-to-Wedding Tables

Engaged couples love to come up with creative titles for those they have asked to be the best man or groomsmen at their wedding.

At Sedona Sky Weddings, we appreciate how inventive engaged couples are and want to share some of the most innovative alternative titles we’ve heard!

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Alternative Titles for Best Man:

“Henchman/Head Henchman”
“Brother of Honor”
“Head Usher”
“Groomsman of Honor”
“Man of Honor”
“Best Man in Waiting”
“Best Boy” (if he is younger than 16)
“Groom’s Best Friend”
“Vest Man” (If he is wearing a tuxedo or suit vest…)
“Blessed Man” (If he is officiating or giving the bridal couple a blessing…)
“Jest Man” (If he delivers a humorous toast at the reception…)
“Captain of the Guard” (Appropriate for military, police, or fire personnel weddings)
“Reader” (If you ask the person to read from the Bible or other book during the wedding as a blessing for you.)

Alternative Titles for Best Man and Groomsmen:

“The Henchmen”
“Groom Squad”
“Marital Squires”
“Groom’s Folk”
“Gents in Waiting” or “Gents-in-Waiting”
“Honorable Mates”

At Sedona Sky Weddings, we love how innovative couples have become. As more brides and grooms have attendants of the opposite sex, engaged couples are selecting more gender-neutral titles for the entire wedding party. Here are a few of our favorites.

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Gender Neutral/Alternative Titles for the Entire Wedding Party of Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids, Best Man, and Groomsmen:

“The Pew Crew” (for church or synagogue weddings)
“The Commitment Crew”
“I Do Crew”
“Harbingers of Wedding Cheer”
“Party People”
“The Con-Glom”
“Bridal Party”
“Bridal Band”
“Bridal Bevy”
“Bridal Junkies”
“Bridal Buds”
“Friends of Honor”
“Honor Guard”
“Honor Attendants”
“Honorable Mates”
“Adventuring Party” (Term has its roots in the online gaming community.)
“Attendants”
“Support Staff”
“Cohorts”
“The Convoy”
“The Wedding Train”
“Pillars of Strength” (Although the acronym is um, well….)
“The Menagerie” (Title selected by a couple who rescued cats.)
“The Mob”
“Roadies” (for a rock ‘n roll-themed wedding)
“Posse”
“Wedding Posse”
“Co-Conspirators”
“Bridesperson’s Anarcho-Syndicalist Collective”
“The Wedding Party”
“Wedding Party Members” (Invokes the term “Communist Party Members” from previous decades.)
“Comrades” (If you are feeling the old Soviet Union…)
“Allies” (If you want to be on the winning side in both world wars…)
“Crew Mates” (Lovers of pirate movies picked that title. They asked their friends to participate by handing each a personalized bottle of rum months ahead of the wedding.)
“The Coven” (For Twilight novel or movie fans)
“The Nuptial Cabinet” (You can give each person a title such as Minister or Secretary of State, Minister or Secretary of Justice, etc. “Minister” is more British while “Secretary” is the American term for a Cabinet officer.)
“Matrimonial Homies”
“Homies of Honor”
“Minions”

As more bridal couples want to personalize their weddings, one of the aspects where that individuality comes out is in the titles given to the “Maid of Honor,” “Matron of Honor,” and “Bridesmaids.”

“Maid of Honor” was the title used for an unmarried woman of any age who arranged the bridal shower and stood closest to the bride during the wedding.

“Matron of Honor” was the title used by a married woman who filled this same role for the bride.

However, as many recent brides have pointed out, the title “Best Man” does not change whether the man selected is single or married. For that reason, many brides have inventively created titles for the woman who is her closest friend and holds this place of honor at the wedding.

At Sedona Sky Weddings, here are a few of our favorite alternative titles!

1461832_643946768990270_1376449134_nAlternative titles for “Maid of Honor” or “Matron of Honor:”

“Woman of Awesome”
“Best Sister”
“Best Woman/Best Girl/Best Gal” (Same word pattern as “Best Man.”)
“Bride’s Best Friend”
“VP of Fun”
“Director of Words”
“Lady of Honor”
“Woman of Honor”
“Honor Attendant”
“Woman of Distinction” (Refers only to the Maid of Honor.)
“Handmaiden” (Title was selected by a woman interested in Medieval studies and online role play games.)

“Maid of Dishonor” (Back story: She got the bride so inebriated before the wedding that the bride could barely function on her wedding day.)

sadowski-2018Alternative Titles for the Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids:

“Women of Distinction”
“Entourage”
“Dazzling Dames” (Term used by a bride from Texas to refer to all her women attendants.)
“Ladies of Love”
“Ladies in Waiting” or “Ladies-in-Waiting” (Women who waited on the queen.)
“Bride’s Minions” (Obviously, a fan of the movie created that!)
“Friends of Honor”
“Bridal Brigade”
“Bride’s Gang”
“Bride’s Peeps”
“Bride’s Folk”
“Bridal Band”
“Bride Attendants”
“Honor Attendants”
“Ladies of the Bride”
“Bride’s Ladies”

Alternative Titles for “Flower Girl”
“Ladies of the Leaf” (They threw leaves instead of flowers for environmental reasons.)

Alternative Title for a Male “Bridesmaid”

“Man of Honor”
“Bride’s Butler”

Each bride is different. If your bride wants to have one last blast of a party, here are three great ideas, Ms. Bridesmaid, you might want to consider. After all, this is the last time you and your gal pals will be able to PARTY!

SBG-spelled-web-logo-II 1. Sound Bites Grill has live music five nights each week. Their Upscale American Cuisine includes fresh Maine lobster, grass-fed steaks, tantalizing chicken, and great vegan dishes. Depending on the night, you could get up and boogie to a blues band, rock out with an indie band, or even cozy up to Chance Tinder (one of the top 3 Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas) or be entertained by the phenomenal Esteban, the ONLY classical Spanish guitarist with 8 Gold records! Yes, the party can get a little loud and crazy if you want it to!

You_Gotta_Do_It2. Take a Jeep tour. Pink Jeep can take you into the exquisite red rock back country on Broken Arrow (their most famous and exclusive tour) or, if you really want a rambunctious off-road adventure, try Diamondback Gulch. Want a full day excursion? Take their enclosed van to the Grand Canyon. Learn about the flora, fauna, history, and Native American lore related to this natural treasure.

3. Sedona Wine Adventures can take you on a wine exploration! With over 100 wineries and wine tasting rooms in Sedona and the Verde Valley, your guide can work with you to customize your super-fun tour. The best part? Your guide picks you up and drops you off so no one in your bridal party has to be the designated driver on this day! Enjoy your day!

Sedona Wine Adventures

At Sedona Sky Weddings, we are noticing a trend: now, more than ever, engaged couples are making a donation in the name of their guests to the couple’s favorite charity or supporting a non-profit through the couple’s buying power. Here is one example:

Charitable Donations

When she set about to plan her 2012 Chicago wedding, Donna Kahn looked for ways to include her older brother, who is severely developmentally disabled. He is a longtime resident of Misericordia, a Chicago organization that provides residential care and other types of services to disabled people and their families. Ms. Kahn opted to use brownies from the Misericordia bakery — staffed by its residents — as party favors for the 400 wedding guests. For her, it represented multiple things: financially supporting Misericordia, giving the resident bakers meaningful work, and exposing her wedding guests — many of them in town from her husband’s native New York — to an organization dear to her family.
“Even if two more people read up about Misericordia, that to me is even more meaningful than that amount of money,” said Ms. Kahn, now 29.–Megan O’Neil, “More Engaged Couples Request Charitable Donations Instead of Gifts,” The Chronicle of Philanthropy, April 20, 2015 (https://www.philanthropy.com/article/More-Engaged-Couples-Request/229521)

What is the reason for this trend of brides and grooms giving back to their community during their wedding?

Shifting demographics could be a factor, Ms. Culver said. The average age at which people marry climbed to 26.5 for women and 28.4 for men in 2009, compared to 20.6 and 22.5 in 1970, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Market research firms put the current average age of marriage at 29 for women and 31 for men. So many people set up house before tying the knot that traditional gifts of serving platters and toaster ovens are less relevant.

“But I also think we need to give some credit to a more socially aware and active generation,” she said. “They can be more committed and engaged in causes, I think to the surprise of a lot of people.”–Megan O’Neil

According to Tara Pickle, Giving Outreach Coordinator at the Wounded Warrior Project, there has been a steady increase in bridal couples requesting table cards which state that in lieu of giving wedding favors, the bride and groom have made a contribution to Wounded Warriors in the names of the guests at that table. “Last May, with demand growing, she ordered 10,000 new cards and has doled out about half of them.”

Think about honoring a loved one who has passed on by using your wedding favor budget to make a donation in the loved one’s name to a medical charity or hospital. Think about causes which you support already and how you can show your support during your wedding.

It’s your wedding! Giving back to your community and your world is one of your many options!

As brunch weddings become more popular, we’ve noticed certain very creative ways that couples are using to entertain their guests. Since it’s cooler outside in the morning, playing outside whether your are 8 or 80, is a whole lot more fun! Whether you have a professional entertainment company orchestrate the fun or you DIY (Do It Yourself), you can make a memorable wedding reception!

Let the Games Begin:

  1. Use the prize wheel to entertain. Each location asks the person spinning the wheel to do something to entertain the group. It could be giving a heart-felt or humorous toast to the bride and groom. It could be to sing a song or dance the “Electric Slide” (or other dance). The person spinning the wheel might be asked to tell a joke. Or
  2. At the prize wheel, place a large box which you have wrapped by channeling your inner Martha Stewart. Leave the top open. Into the box, place a bunch of wrapped small presents which people can win by spinning the prize wheel. Station a trusted bridesmaid or best man to dole out the prizes! The gifts could be your wedding souvenirs or other gifts.
  3. Set up lawn games such as croquet or lawn bowling.
  4. Have wedding-themed coloring books and washable crayons for the young (and young at heart). Offer to place the best pictures in your wedding album!
  5. Set up chess and checker board games for those craving a good match.
  6. Have a variety of board games such as “Monopoly” and “Clue.”
  7. Ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to help organize interactive games such as “I Spy” or “21 Questions.”

The world is your oyster so get creative!20160324_154309 (1)

Now than more people are celebrating the dawn of their lives together by getting married in the morning, our Event Sales Manager, Kris Phillips, would like to share her tips for saving money.

How To Save Money on Your Reception Alcohol:

Providing alcohol to your guests at a large wedding can be a large expense. By offering a mixed drink like a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary rather than a top shelf vodka or single malt Scotch, you can hold your costs down.

Since a brunch wedding and it is early in the day, people are less likely to drink heavily. This situation will hold down your costs also.

You can add coffee, punch, juices, hot cocoa, water (with mint, strawberries, or cucumber) and milk to your array of beverages.

How To Save Money on Your Reception Food:

Caters often charge less for a brunch wedding than they do for an afternoon or evening wedding because more couples wish to get married at those hours of the day. As a result, a caterer is often in the “driver’s seat” and can select the wedding for which there is the greatest profit for them. A brunch wedding is a great way to hire a top caterer when there is less competition—and a lower price.

Not only does the time of day have an impact on your price, but the day of week does as well. Saturdays are the most expensive day of the week and you can pay significantly more for the privilege of having a Saturday wedding. Conversely, having your wedding on a Thursday or Sunday can save you up to 50% or more on your catering. Yay!

You can have your breakfast cake and eat it, too.

Let Sedona Sky Weddings help you plan your brunch wedding!20160512_185553

Not everyone is a morning person.

Some of us wake up, jump out of bed, and are ready to face the day instantly. Some of us…not so much. Consider these factors when you contemplate a morning wedding.

Early Morning Schedule:

Having a brunch wedding means that everyone has to get up early to get ready. If your or your significant other want to look perfect and polished on your special day, take into consideration how long that would take. If your getting ready routine would take up to two hours to complete and your wedding is at 8 A.M., you would have to get up at 4 or 5 so that you aren’t in a rush. If you take 4 hours to get ready, you might want to move your morning wedding to 10 AM or so.

If you’re not a morning person or you have a late bachelor/bachelorette party, you may want to reconsider your plans.

On the other hand, if you think your routine will be simply short, by all means, get up at 6 A.M. and rock that wedding dress!20151005_165547-1-1

In Sedona—the rest of the Southwest–it can get very warm for at six (6) months of the year—and that’s if you’re lucky. For this reason, it’s not enjoyable for some people (like your cranky little flower girl who really prefer not to be wearing a crinoline petticoat, your frail great-grandmother, or your bridesmaid in heavy brocade) to be outside at mid-day.

If you and your significant other are thinking about planning a wedding, be it indoors or outdoors in the Southwest, the times of the day in which venturing outside (and feeling comfortable in your clothes) is limited to the early beginning and late ending of the day. Here’s why you should consider having a brunch wedding.

Weather and Temperature:

Most of us know that as soon as the sun rises, so does the temperature—and, unfortunately, it does not cool down as soon as the sun sets. During the evening, it cools down considerably. When the dew sets in overnight, the cool dampness stays during the early hours of the day. For the couples who consider having an outdoor wedding, this is the optimal time of day to say your vows. Not only do your guests feel comfortable in their seats, but you two do not have the added stress of reading your vows and baking in your clothes (unless you’re into that kind of thing). If you’re thinking about having an indoor venue or in a tent, all is well.

Reception:

One aspect to consider is your reception. if you have a reception in a completely different location, you have to take into consideration traveling from your wedding venue to the reception and whether you all will travel by foot, bike, or car. If there are children or senior citizens in your group, take into consideration what will be the most convenient for them so that they do not endure the heat for a long period of time.

So there are several great reasons to have—and plan—your Sedona Sky brunch wedding at Sky Ranch Lodge.20160422_124448