It’s my turn to take the helm of our Ask the Experts column, and today I’ll be answering three questions from three lovely readers!
First up is Allie, who wrote:
“I absolutely loved your blog post on cowboy boots! I am from Indiana and am getting married this October on an old historic farm. So my question is what do you or your readers think of using hay bales as seating for the ceremony? It will be taking place on the front lawn of the old farm house with the reception in the barn. We are trying to keep things very rustic and casual.”
Image credits, from top to bottom: Love Me Do Photography via Green Wedding Shoes, Tec Petaja, and W. Scott Chester via Southern Weddings
Allie, we are all for using hay bales as seating — how perfect for the farm fresh wedding you’re planning! There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:
— Nice hay bales can actually be expensive (they are food, after all!), so I’d inquire with a local horse farm to see whether they’d be willing to lend you a few bales for the day rather than buying them. You might have to pay a bit more to have the farmer cart the bales to your site and then haul them away afterward, but I’d say that would be money well spent.
— Hay is stiff and itchy, and can be uncomfortable to sit on. To ensure guest comfort, I’d recommend accessorizing the bales with quilts or blankets (something with some heft). You can go super casual and simply drape the fabric, or tie it off at each end for a more polished look. We’ve also seen long boards laid across the tops of bales, which might not be the most comfortable option for a long ceremony or reception, but would cut down on poking hay.
— Keep in mind that some of your guests might either be allergic to hay, or have back problems. It would be a nice gesture to offer some alternative seating — a folding chair or two at the end of each row should do the trick.
Readers, if you’ve been to a wedding with hay bale seating, we’d love to hear about it in the comments! How did it go?
Our next question comes from Robin. She writes:
“Hi ladies! I love the website and have been using it constantly while planning my wedding. Something that has been on my mind lately is escort cards. Should I do one per couple or one per guest, and do I need to do them for the wedding party, as well?”
Image credit: Cooper Carras Photography
Hi, Robin! In my opinion, you can absolutely use one escort card per couple! Not a problem at all. Whether you do cards for the wedding party is up to you, but I would say that you should — I’m sure your guys and girls will be able to figure out that they’re supposed to be up front, but adding in a few extra cards for them requires minimal work and expense on your part and could cut down on questions and confusion at the reception! Plus, some people (most likely the girls!) like to save things like escort cards as a souvenir, particularly if they have their name written out in beautiful calligraphy.
Our last question comes from Erin, who writes:
“I was wondering if there are any current traditions on the first homemade meal a bride makes for her new groom? This may seem a little old school, but I LOVE to cook–and despite how much my fiance likes to cook, I have been widely known to go Betty Draper on him, kicking him out of the kitchen, giving him a beer, and telling him to watch everything he’s missed on the DVR. Anyway, I’m getting courthouse married in just under three weeks, before the fiance deploys, but we’re having a ceremony/reception in September 2012 as well. I was wondering if anyone had ideas, tips, or “been-there, done-that” stories about the first homemade meals they’ve made for their new husbands so I can get pointed in the right direction for my less-than-three-weeks-away wedding!”
Image credit: Smitten Kitchen, a veritable treasure trove of delicious recipes!
Readers, I’ll largely leave this one up to you! What’s your favorite meal or dessert to enjoy with your hubby or fiance? Leave a link or comment below! I have to admit that I don’t do much of the cooking in my house — John loves to cook, so I simply get to enjoy most of the time! I will say that my favorite meal he makes is Giada de Laurentis’ Chicken Piccata with Jacques Pepin’s green beans. How about y’all — any advice for Miss Erin?
That’s it for this week’s installment of Ask the Expert! As always, feel free to email your editors a question at any time.