PLANNING: A Father of the Bride Shares His Tips on Wedding Day Toasts

August 1, 2014

Nothing says “gracious” more than hearing the host of the wedding stand up and make an incredible toast to the entire room. Sure, it’s wonderful to eat delicious food and dance the night away to a fabulous band. But, seriously folks, isn’t it the emotion and the inclusion that keeps the memory of the day fresh in our minds? How you were welcomed, how you were treated and how important you felt in a room of many. That’s what these special milestone celebrations are all about.

To us wedding planners, who have seen hundreds of weddings over the years, nothing reminds us of the REASON for the party more than the heartfelt, insightful, and hopefully HUMOROUS words offered by the father of the bride. Having been blown away recently by a client’s toast, we asked him if we could pick his brain on how he developed his amazing “father of the bride” speech and if he would allow us to share his endearing toast on our blog. It was no surprise to us when he agreed and was more than happy to help. Take a look at his authentic words of wisdom as well as his incredible speech. We hope it inspires you as much as it did us…

{Photo courtesy of Cliff Mautner}

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The SECRET to making a thoughtful wedding day toast starts with a simple, straight-forward approach that goes a little something like this:

  1. Welcome everyone;
  2. Thank your out-of-town guests for traveling from afar;
  3. Thank your daughter’s new in-laws;
  4. Thank your spouse profusely;
  5. Offer a general message to all the guests about the occasion;
  6. Offer a message to your new son-in-law;
  7. Offer a message to your daughter; and then end with glass raised and
  8. Make a toast to the bride and groom.

However, here are a few TOASTING RULES I learned from other fathers of the bride who shared their stories with me:

  • Never say anything even remotely disparaging about the wedding, the wedding guests or the bride and groom.  Do NOT say anything negative, even in jest, such as “I hope your marriage lasts” or “things can get tough at times” or “I wasn’t sure we were gonna make it here tonight” or anything like it. Keep it positive, keep it supportive.
  • Absolutely minimize the use of the word AND as it diminishes the importance of what comes after (except when referring to the bride “and” groom).  Make it two sentences, each standing on its own.
  • Refer to the bridal couple as “Bride and Groom” or “Groom and Bride”; but be consistent and do not switch.
  • In my speech (shared below), you will see the places where I wrote PAUSE.  Those pauses were for emphasis and make people really listen to what’s coming next as in “Sharon, PAUSE, you look so beautiful tonight…”
  • Put the microphone close to your mouth.
  • Try NOT to use a written speech, or if you do need one, hold it only for reminders. Don’t read from it.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

Now, for the WEDDING SPEECH. I am so very honored to share it with you, and with any other father of the bride who can be inspired by it for their own upcoming celebration. Every time I read it, I still weep with joy!  What a special night.  Here goes:

Nancy and I welcome all of you and thank you for being here tonight to help us celebrate Sharon and David’s wedding.  We are truly honored to share such a wonderful occasion with our family and friends.  I am especially proud to say that many of you have been our friends for 20 years, some as many as 30 years, and a few have been my friend for 50 years.

We are especially grateful to those of you who have traveled a little farther than the rest of us, including those from as far south as Florida, as far west as California and as far East as England.

To Jessica and Jon (pause), we couldn’t have asked for better machatunim to share the future with.  We look forward to celebrating simchas, holidays, good food, and good wine for many years to come…..and not only with Sharon and David.

Nancy, there is a list (pause), yes an actual list (pause), that is very long, containing the names of people who have stood in this exact position (pause), at this exact moment in their lives (pause), and with sheer amazement and pride, announced how absolutely incredible someone ELSE has been for pulling together the million details that go into creating a fabulous memory for everyone here tonight.  You may now, officially, add my name to that list.  I am truly grateful for everyday that we have each other.  I thank you and I love you.

And to those of you who root for one or more of the following 7 sports teams, (slowly) the Giants, the Redskins, the Devils, the Rangers, the Capitals, the Mets, or the Nationals, and you know exactly who you are; we who live here welcome you to Philadelphia and ask that we put our rivalry on hold ….for tonight.

Speaking of 7, many of you may not know that the number 7 has tremendous significance in Jewish history and culture; the most obvious being that the world was created in 7 days…6 days of work plus Shabbat.  But did you know that the Torah begins with a verse containing 7 words?  Or that there are 7 Jewish holidays, and that Rosh Hashanah occurs in the 7th month?  Or that there are 7 weeks between Passover, the Exodus from Egypt and Shavout, when Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt Sinai. You saw Sharon circle David 7 times during the ceremony, and you heard Sheva Bracha, 7 blessings, recited.  There are 7 continents, 7 seas and the list goes on.

So let’s bring it a little closer to home:

  • I’ll bet you didn’t realize that Sharon and David met 7 years after they became Bar and Bat Mitzvah.
  • And, that this weekend marks exactly 7 years since the first time Nancy and I met David when he and Sharon were studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • And, to the entire Rubenstein family, David is about 7 feet tall and we are extremely happy to finally have tall genes in the family
  • And Sharon (pause), you are so beautiful and radiant tonight that Mom and I are in 7th HEAVEN 

David, when I felt the need to confirm, what Nancy and I knew for a long time, that the two of you would make fabulous soul mates and partners, I asked Sharon 7 questions…

  1. Does he treat you as an equal? (pause)
  2. Do you look forward to going home at night just so you can be with him? (pause)
  3. Does he ask for your opinion and does he listen to the answer? (pause)
  4. Is he proud of you? (pause)
  5. Does he respect what’s important to you? (pause)
  6. Does he make you laugh? (pause)
  7. Does he tell you that he loves you? (pause)

Unequivocally, and without hesitation, Sharon gave me 7 Yesses.  David (pause) you are the luckiest person in the room tonight because you are now entrusted with the lion’s share, of the heart, of our favorite daughter in the whole wide world.  Nancy and I are so happy that she chose YOU.  Though your de-facto initiation occurred many years ago, we are thrilled to officially, publicly, and with a tremendous amount of love, welcome you to our family,

(SLOWLY) Sharon, from the first moment we laid eyes on you, Mom and I have been so proud of you.  From You Are My Sunshine, to Har Zion pre school, to the pink corvette, to Do ya, do ya, do ya do yo wanna dance, to the boys baseball team, to Camp PawPaw, Harvard, New York City, the Boston Marathon, and now Penn Health, you’ve had a truly remarkable run that we are absolutely sure will continue with your latest terrific decision (pause) sharing your life with David.

So Sharon and David, here are the last 7 for the evening (pause)…Mom and I hope you will

  1. Stay healthy;
  2. Be involved in your community;
  3. Look South, not North, to see how fortunate your lives are;
  4. Stay close and connected with your family;
  5. Trust your gut – you’ve both experienced plenty of Life’s lessons;
  6. Always, always have each other’s back;
  7. and give each other unconditional love. (pause) ALWAYS.

(PUT DOWN NOTES, PICK UP GLASS)

Please join Nancy and me in a toast to Sharon and David….

You are both so incredibly fortunate to have found each other.  May your lives together always be blessed with happiness, good health and success.  And may you always know how much you are loved.

L’Chaim

 


IN YOUR WORDS: A Musical Note of Thanks

July 3, 2014

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Welcome to our new Thursday “Thank you” blog series where we intend to start sharing some of the truly unbelievable thank you notes and testimonials we are lucky enough to receive from our clients.

As you can imagine, “Thank You” can be an incredibly powerful pair of words and we never tire of hearing them. After spending months or years producing an event there is nothing better than hearing feedback from our client on how they experienced the event. We want to know if we nailed it! Did we achieve the intended goal? Were they blown away by all the details? What did they hear the most from their guests? Did we create magic, if only for one day? We live on this stuff, seriously!

So, here we are, ready to share our first amazing thank you note from one of our recent Bat Mitzvah clients who hosted their daughter’s special event at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia earlier this summer.

Dear Evantine Design Team:

Thank you so much for all of your magnificent recommendations, designs, planning, organizing and execution of Rachel’s Bat Mitzvah! It was truly beyond what I could have ever imagined. There was not a detail left undone. It was just PERFECT!

Brian is truly a creative genius. The graphic arts designs were unbelievable! The flowers, tables, linens, gift boxes and of course custom dance floor were incredible!

I truly feel honored to have had the privilege of working with all of you and seeing what artistic talent truly is.Thank you for making Rachel’s day the most special and a memory we will never forget.

Fondly,
Bill, Bonnie and Rachel Welch

{Photo courtesy of  MK Photo, “Documenting Life”}


Rachel and Jonathan’s Sophisticated Wedding Celebration in Atlantic City

May 12, 2014

We are excited to share Rachel and Jonathan’s wedding highlight film from CinemaCake as we keep meaning to share their wedding photos, and, well, haven’t! Shame on us, right? But as you will see from this amazing highlight reel, their wedding down the Jersey Shore was a stunning event filled with emotion and classic style.  We particularly loved all the glass and architectural details their wedding venue, Revel, inspired in the design. Enjoy!

Rachel + Jonathan’s Coming Soon Trailer from CinemaCake Filmmakers on Vimeo.


SHOP: Mother’s Day is May 11

April 21, 2014

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SEND MOM A SPRING BOUQUET OR FIND A GIFT THAT THANKS HER FOR ALL THAT SHE DOES.

With Passover and Easter behind us, you know it’s time to start thinking about MOM. Our floral boutique at The Rittenhouse is now taking orders for Mother’s Day bouquets and floral deliveries.

You can also let one of our sales consultants help you create that perfect gift combining flowers with a little something extra. Here are a few ideas to consider for Mom:

Mothers Day Gifts Evantine Design Philadelphia Gift Shops

Pretty totes, colorful scarves and summer wraps, travel accessories, fragrance, body lotions and fine bath products , picture frames, decorative accessories, and potted plants, to name a few. Shop Philadelphia, Gift Shops, Rittenhouse Hotel Gift Shop, Botanical Gifts, Potted Flowers, BLue

And, of course, a bouquet of beautiful Spring flowers, like this bouquet of purple Vanda Orchids, Magenta Pink Hyacinth, Yellow Roses, White Hydrangea and Green Viburnum, will brighten her day. Our floral designers are more than happy to make a duplicate arrangement, or they’ll create something for Mother’s Day that is inspired by this bouquet using the freshest seasonal and exotic blooms available.

Come on in, meet with one of our floral designers in person, or call the boutique to place your order.

Evantine Boutique at The Rittenhouse, 210 West Rittenhouse Square, Upper Lobby Level, 215-790-2576.

 

 

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{Photos courtesy of Anthony Mendicino; Styling by Tina Cordero Karam, Store Manager and Head Floral Designer}


FLOWERS: The Design Studio is Awash in Spring Flowers!

April 9, 2014

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Can you smell that? If only we could share the delicious, sweet perfumes wafting from these sensational Spring flowers!

Truly, nothing beats arriving to the floral studio, the heart of our 50,000 square foot design studio and warehouse, to see the floral boxes stacked high with gorgeous flowers. Seasonal flowers shipped in from local growers and from flower farms around the globe! It can take teams of our floral designers DAYS to process all of the flowers, freeing them from their cold, tissue-beds, and welcoming them into the warm water to stretch their stems. They will all be partying hard in some of the biggest ballrooms in Atlantic City! Every bucket of blue Hydrangea, green Viburnum, pink Parrot Tulips, purple Tulips, coral Peonies, purple Vanda orchids, green Ranunculus, yellow and red Parrot Tulips, white Calla Lilies, yellow Daffodils, red Double Tulips, white Casablanca Lilies, plum purple Sweet Peas, and purple Lisianthus will be displayed to perfection in tomorrow night’s corporate awards gala at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. So many blooms, so little time…

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VIDEO: Real Wedding Highlight Film of Sara and Sean’s Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia Wedding

April 4, 2014

We’re going to start dubbing Fridays and “Film Fridays” as there are so many sensational wedding and bar/bat mitzvah videos to share!

Wedding videography, or filmography, or cinema; however you refer to it these days in modern terms, has come such a long way in artistry, technology, and emotion. We truly love experiencing each celebration not just as a highlight reel, but as the love story it represents, and which can be shared over and over again with others.

The talent, professionalism, and dedication to the film craft is shown beautifully in CinemaCake’s wedding highlight film of Sara and Sean’s recent wedding at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia. Enjoy!


REAL STORIES: Jake’s Brown, Black & Gold Plaid Bar Mitzvah at The Phoenixville Foundry, Philadelphia

March 5, 2014

evantinedesign:

In putting together the final design details for this weekend’s super special mitzvah celebration at the Phoenixville Foundry, we thought about the sunshine-filled bar mitzvah we planned there for Jake in 2011. And when we say sunshine, we mean bright, happy sunflowers, mango calla lilies, coral amaryllis, and tangerine roses. Could we be dreaming about the warmth of summer? Are we ready for Spring? Oh yes, we are definitely ready to leave the cold, gray days of Winter behind. {Photo by Susan Beard Design}

Originally posted on Evantine Design Blog:

We planned and designed a family-style celebration for Jake’s bar mitzvah at the historic Phoenixville Foundry in suburban Philadelphia.

[Photos courtesy of Susan Beard Design]

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