How to Plan a Last-Minute Wedding

Last minute weddings can be a wonderful spur-of-the-moment experience that changes your life — something romantic, spontaneous and a little adventurous. Naturally, things will be happening at the speed of light, and you might not have time to get that decoration you've always wanted or fly in your friend who lives in Europe. But, with little preparation and sound judgment, you can have a wedding that's the talk of the town!

Of course, there's nothing like the helping hand of a team who's had their fair share of last-minute weddings to plan and prepare, like the one at The Links at Union Vale. Here are a few tips on planning a wedding when you have limited time and a whirlwind of activity to keep things organized and under control.

  • Leave the finishing touches to the experts: Don't stress over the little things. Brides love to be in control and sign off on every detail surrounding their big day, but it's not the worst thing to relinquish control. If you surround yourself with a trusted team of helpers, they'll be able to take a lot off your plate. As for a season-appropriate decoration, let the staff at the venue sprinkle blossoms or rose petals on the tables or simple snowflake decorations to add the wow factor.
  • Go digital: Save-the-dates are pretty romantic, but everyone is online these days. Cut to the chase and send your guests an email save-the-date. This will save days and even weeks in ordering save the date stationery, sending them and waiting for a reply from your guests. Facebook events and groups are also a great way of letting your guests know about your last-minute wedding, and they will help you keep track of how many people will be attending.
  • Loosen the dress code: Your bridesmaids don't have to have identical frocks to have your wedding seem elegant and refined. Give them a bit of creative freedom to choose their dresses in different shades of the same color. This may improve everyone's experience as your friends know their figures, insecurities and how to accentuate their best features. This will also save money as you won't have to budget in for bridesmaids dresses.
  • Getting married last minute is possible: A lot will depend on the destination in which you're getting married, so check local requirements and make sure you'll qualify in time. Do some research on local venues, and remember that there's a reason why The Links at Union Vale is a preferred location for couples who want to become Mr & Mrs just a little bit sooner!

Brooklyn Feel in the Hudson Valley

A millennial wedding is even special on its own — and not just because it's a wedding. There's a certain type of energy when millennials attend and take part of a wedding. They are looking for and are bringing the cosmopolitan feel of the big city to the romantic scenery of the countryside. They are most excited about dressing up, dancing, and visiting a new place, and the Hudson Valley is the perfect destination for those things.

Venues, like The Links at Union Vale, are finding that the tastes and expectations of the new generation looking to tie the knot are changing. Food, decor and presentation are now the main points of focus. Guests are looking forward to what surprises, like what the food is going to be, and couples want something different and really good.

It's all about having a dedicated team who puts care into the little things that will have guests Instagramming everything from your wedding cake to the decorations. It's interesting that the little details everyone likes on Instagram or Pinterest are things that guests aren't paying attention to, but still, create the ambiance they so much enjoy.

In fact, one of the ceremony elements millennial guests value the most is the wedding location — the setting, the area, the arrangement. And The Links at Union Vale brings a Brooklyn feel in the Hudson Valley to introduce some charm to your special day. If you want your guests having the time of their lives and snapping pictures left and right, our team can brand your wedding by creating something "unique and meaningful to the couple."

Taking your wedding out of town to a location that combines the best of both worlds is one way to go above and beyond to make your wedding stand out from the crowd. And venues, like The Links at Union Vale, have the flexibility to disperse the dinner and ceremony between the serene outdoor grounds and the elegant room with glass windows. This can create the impression of having two venues for your wedding and double the fun and capacity.

There is an expectation for less formal celebration at weddings these days as couples and guests emphasized feeling comfortable and having fun. We're totally on board with that! Many millennials who book us for their wedding interpret formal attire as flannel shirts with bow ties and bohemian-style sundresses. The Links at Union Vale provides the perfect backdrop to their Brooklyn-feel, Hudson-style wedding.

Why a Rehearsal Dinner is Important

Most couples think the wedding ceremony and reception to be the most prominent parts of the wedding and the determining factor in its effectiveness. They spend hours, days and weeks planning them without realizing that another important element is being overlooked. The most underrated event of the wedding process is the rehearsal dinner that happens the night before you say your vows.

The rehearsal dinner is important because it is the first time that most close relatives from both sides of the family will meet and intermingle. This gives them the ideal opportunity to get to know each other at this event before the actual wedding. You have the opportunity to see just what the vibe will be like the next day and make any table rearrangements if necessary.

Next, the rehearsal dinner is influential because it sets the tone for the type of wedding day that you want. If you're planning a formal and traditional wedding or a laid-back, relaxed wedding, this is your opportunity to make sure everything is thought through. Don't overlook the power of the rehearsal dinner, as it could make or break the actual wedding day for everyone.

A rehearsal dinner is an ideal occasion to say a few words of appreciation to your guests and family. During the wedding itself, it's only logical that all attention is on the newlyweds, but the rehearsal dinner is a bit more intimate and informal. It is a time when the bride and groom can thank their wedding party for doing all that they have done to "make the wedding happen."

Most venues that host weddings will recommend having a rehearsal dinner to make sure your wedding runs smoothly. In fact, some of them offer it as part of the wedding planning package. Venues, like The Links at Union Vale, even have different wedding packages to meet the individual needs of all couples with or without rehearsal dinners and a variety of customizations. These services can really help you show your bridal party how appreciative you are of them.

Most of the time, those who attend the rehearsal dinner are the bride and groom's parents, siblings and their bridal party. However, that is not to say that you can't invite other close friends, as well as give your bridesmaids/groomsmen the chance to bring a date. In the end, who you end up inviting will be entirely dependent upon how much you are willing to spend.

The most appropriate place to host the rehearsal dinner depends upon your budget. Some people can choose to have them in their home, at a restaurant, or even at the actual wedding venue itself. Inevitably, this dinner is typically on the smaller side, so choosing a place where you can all be close to one another is ideal.

Whatever you choose, know that it's not necessary to spend a fortune on the event, and many brides and couples are opting for less formal rehearsal dinners. You may even use part of the decorations you won't be using at the actual wedding. It may be the perfect way to involve your mother or mother-in-law in the planning of the wedding, as a rehearsal dinner is more focused on family to begin with. Again, don't say "yes" to anything that's outside of your comfort zone, relax and enjoy this night surrounded by loved ones and close friends as you prepare for the most special day of your life.

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