The Ideal Summer Wedding in the Outdoors

People believe that the only good weddings are the ones in fall. But what they don’t know is that an outdoor summer wedding can be as good, even better in some cases! Here are some things that make outdoor weddings wonderful and something that will be talked about for long.


Pictures Location

Talk with your fiancé about what your vision for a perfect outdoor wedding location is. You’ll be amazed by what he/she has in mind and how you can work together to make it a reality. Show the colors of the summer with bright hues and fun fabrics. If you are not sure about the location, you can look online for wedding rentals, or hire a wedding planner that can work with you to find the location of your dreams.

Ambient Theme

Drapes and shades are a must have for any outdoor wedding, especially during the summer. If you having a beach wedding, consider covering the altar with white cloths and provide sunglasses for all your guests so they can enjoy the wedding reception in style. But most importantly, the theme of your outdoor summer wedding should represent the summer vibe while keeping your guests cool and refreshed.

Cooling System

It’s a no brainer that your guests will be drained during the wedding week, especially if you are having a destination wedding to a hotter part of the world. For this reason, you must consider putting a cooling system in place for the altar. You can always get stand fans and install them on either side to make promote air circulation. Also, provide your guests with cold bottles of water every now and then. They’ll thank you for it later!

Refreshing Drinks

Summer is the season where fancy cocktails and refreshing drinks are trendy. Remember to talk with the barista to make refreshing cocktails that will keep everyone at the wedding hydrated and chilled. Martinis, fruit punch, iced tea, and iced cocktails are some of the many drinks that you can plan for your wedding!



Ceremony Seating Etiquette

4992033293_000a6af116_zWhether you are getting married in a church, or some other venue, the traditional method for the bride to get to the alter is by way of an isle down the middle of the venue. This means there will be seating on other side of the isle. This brings the question of where your guests should sit.

Seating the Guests

Traditionally, the ushers escort your guests to the correct seating. One usher for every 50 guests is the rule of thumb. However, if you’re having a small or intimate ceremony, you may choose to not use ushers. So that your ushers seat the guests in the correct areas, it is vital that you make a list and give them printouts. Another tradition that most people still like to see observed is for female guests to be escorted to their seats. The usher offers his right arm to the female, or the oldest female, and her male companion steps back and follows them to the seats.

Taking Sides

Traditionally, in Christian ceremonies, the guests of the bride are seated on the left side of the venue as seen from the back of the venue, and the groom’s guests are seated on the right side. This is reversed for Jewish services. As a result, ushers typically ask, “Bride or groom?” However, in many cases the person may be a guest of the couple, not one or the other, or the numbers are unbalanced per ”side”. As a result, in modern weddings people have often chosen to do away with the ”sides”, but instead have ushers simple seat the guests in the order of arrival, moving from left to right across the venue.

However make your guests feel welcome, you’ll want to do it at a magnificent venue. Give us a call today!

How to Welcome Your Wedding Party

Some of your wedding guests will arrive just as your ceremony starts, but your wedding party will arrive ahead of time. Giving them a special welcome can make them feel appreciated and get them in the right frame of mind.


One of the most important ways to welcome your wedding party and family members to your wedding celebration is with the rehearsal dinner. This is generally held the night before your wedding and can be a more relaxed gathering for those closest to you.

Another great way to welcome your wedding party, and any guests who are staying at your venue, is with a welcome tea. Here at the Black Horse Inn, our couples often choose to have their guests welcomed with one of our delicious afternoon teas. This is a fabulous way to get everyone in the Hunt Country mood.

However you welcome guests to your wedding, you’ll want to bring them to a fabulous venue. To find out more about all we can offer for your big day, give us a call today!


Photo: Flickr/Vanessa Hayes

How Many Dresses Should a Bride Wear?

When it comes to your wedding day, how many wardrobe changes will you have? If you’re like a growing number of brides, you’re planning on changing into a different dress for the reception.

Reception dresses are a big trend, with many choosing a second dress because they can have the best of everything. It allows you to wear a family dress for the ceremony and something new for the reception. It can also allow for a more formal style for the ceremony and something more relaxed as you party the night away.


If you’re choosing to change into another dress, it’s important to think about when and where you will change. When you choose your Northern Virginia wedding venue, it can be good to check whether they have a room available for you to change in. Here at the Black Horse Inn, you will have one of our luxury rooms available for your use throughout the day.

To find out more about what we can offer for your wedding, and to see our beautiful venue in person, give us a call today!


Photo: Flickr/Logan Brumm

How to Keep Comfortable at Your Summer Wedding

Summer is one of the most popular times of year for a wedding, but it can also present a whole host of challenges. From keeping guests cool to keeping yourself comfortable, you’ll need to invest some extra time and thought in beating the heat.


The first thing is to figure out whether to have an indoor or outdoor wedding. While the outdoors might call to you in the summer, it’s important to consider the comfort of your guests. One way to have the best of both worlds is to have an outdoor ceremony followed by an indoor reception. Using an outdoor deck area can offer your guests the chance to be indoors or outdoors as they choose.

As the bride and groom, keep the season in mind when you choose your attire. A long, full dress might seem perfect when you first spot it in winter, but think about how you’ll feel wearing it for hours on a hot day. The same applies to the choice of a heavy wool tuxedo! Instead, consider lighter styles that can be added to should it get chilly.

Keeping water and other refreshments around your venue can also help you and your guests in the heat. When you choose a Northern Virginia wedding venue, discuss how and where you can place water stations for both the ceremony and reception.

Here at the Black Horse Inn, we have plenty of experience keeping summer brides and their guests cool and comfortable. To find out more about what we can offer for your big day, give us a call!


Photo: Flickr/Wicker Paradise

How to Include Kids In Your Wedding

Many of the weddings here at the Black Horse Inn are big family affairs, and this means that kids are included. Whether or not to include children can be a big decision for couples planning their weddings. They worry that kids might be a disruption, or that they might alienate guests who are told not to bring their children.


One way to get the best of both worlds is to include a babysitter in your wedding planning. Children, including an adorable flower girl and ring bearer, can be a part of the ceremony and start of the reception. After a certain time, they can be moved to one of our other spacious rooms, where a babysitter can look after them and keep them entertained.

Meanwhile, their parents can relax and enjoy the rest of your reception. You can be happy knowing that you have had the day you wanted with the guests you wanted, and they can be happy they didn’t have to find extra child care to share your happy day with you.

For more solutions to this and other common wedding planning problems, give us a call and find out why we’re the Northern Virginia wedding venue that’s right for you!


Photo: Flickr/Old Fashioned Principle

Great Ways to Include Your Dad

Father’s Day is less than a week away and that has us thinking about dads and how to include them in your wedding. There are traditional options, but don’t be afraid to get a bit more creative, too.

The traditional choice is to have your dad walk you down the aisle and give you away. This is a ceremonial way of him giving your hand in marriage to your fiance, showing he approves of the union.


Another popular way of including your dad is through a father-daughter dance. This is done during the reception, usually after the first dance. It offers you a special moment together and is often a highly emotional event for everyone!

If you’re looking for something less traditional, there are still many choices available. You can include something that belongs to your dad as part of your attire. A tie pin can be a great addition to your bouquet, or he might even let you turn a pair of cufflinks into a special pair of earrings.

For brides who have a dad and step-dad, the challenge is to balance the roles of both men at the wedding. Depending on their relationship with you, and each other, you can split the normal “dad duties” or work with them to create a special part of the ceremony that acknowledges both of them.

One thing that every dad can help with in the wedding planning is finding the perfect wedding venue. If you need a venue for your Northern Virginia wedding, come visit the Black Horse Inn with your dad! Give us a call to find out more!


Photo: Flickr/Simon Powell

All-White Wedding is a Fabulous Trend

As you plan your wedding color scheme, have you considered going with an all white palette? This fabulous trend lends itself to a very romantic, beautiful style that is perfect for many couples.

This trend is big for bridesmaids. Kate Middleton’s bridesmaid, her sister Pippa, famously wore white for the royal wedding, and this past week Kim Kardashian’s sisters wore white as her bridesmaids. Both of these famous brides are great examples of how the bride will always stand out from her maids, even if everyone is in white.


An all-white decor can give a crisp, clean look. This lends itself to a minimalist style, but it doesn’t have to be a sterile feel. The use of white flowers can soften an all-white color palette. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West also used this for their wedding, combining white roses and peonies for the backdrop for their ceremony.

A white wedding palette will also make tiny splashes of color really pop. Whether this is limited to the groom’s black tuxedo, a bold pair of bridal shoes, or a bright color added to the cake’s decoration, they will stand out and have much more impact than when mixed with a lot of other colors.

Creating any wedding requires finding the perfect wedding venue. To find out what we can offer for your Northern Virginia wedding, give us a call today!


Photo: Flickr/Maegan Tintari

Writing Your Own Wedding Vows? Read These Tips!

More and more couples are choosing to write their own wedding vows. It’s a great way to personalize your wedding ceremony and directly express your love for one another. If you’re planning on writing your own vows, our tips can help make the process much less stressful for you.

Plan ahead: Start jotting down ideas early. Whenever you think of something special you’d like to say to or about your fiance, jot it down. Write love letters to each other, keeping copies of both letters. Getting the bigger ideas of what you want to include will help you when it comes time to write the actual vows.


Talk about them: While you may want to keep your actual vows a surprise, it’s certainly worth discussing the style of vows you want with your fiance. This can keep you on the same page, so that you don’t work on a heartfelt speech only to find that your fiance has written a themed knock knock joke. You should also discuss your vows with your officiant, who can offer expert advice on crafting the perfect vows.

Practice… a lot: When you’ve written a draft of your vows, start practicing. Read them to family members, your officiant, and members of your bridal party. Along with getting their input, you’ll also get more comfortable saying the special words you want to share on your big day. You’re likely to be nervous on your wedding day, so this practice will come in very handy!

Relax: More than anything, it’s important to relax. Know that even if you skip over a sentence, start to cry, or drop your notes, the main thing is that you say what you feel. Saying your vows is a special moment between you and your fiance, and one that you’ll fondly remember.

If you want more tips for making your wedding ceremony and reception go perfectly, or if you’re looking for the perfect Northern Virginia wedding venue, give us a call today!


Photo: Flickr/Ryan Polei

How to Plan Your Wedding Ceremony Seating

You might not need to assign every guest a specific seat, but you do need to give them some guidance when it comes to your ceremony seating. Here are a few ways to ensure that everyone sits where they need to without any stress.


Use ushers: A simple way to help your guests is to have a few ushers who can direct guests to the right seat. If you’re having a bride’s side and groom’s side, they can point people in the right direction. If not, they can ensure that both sides are evenly filled.

Set aside seats for the bridal party: It’s easy to overlook the bridal party when it comes to seating, so be prepared. Have the first row or two of seats marked as reserved. This gives your parents and other members of the wedding party a guaranteed place to sit.

Create special areas: Nobody wants to be stuck behind somebody holding up a camera, so have a camera seating area at the back. If you have elderly or disabled guests, mark the seats at the ends of each row as being for them. Have your ushers direct guests to the area that is right for them.

Whether you have set sides or want everyone to mingle, your guests will want help finding the seat that is right for them. To find out more about planning great ceremony seating, or to see the beautiful ceremony locations around our Northern Virginia wedding venue, give us a call today.


Photo: Flickr/Bill McChesney