For most couples, the minute they get engaged, a wedding-planning frenzy begins. It's a fun time to show friends and family just what kind of a party you can put on, as well as a display of the love and affection the couple has for each other.
Trends in wedding themes, decorations - everything from the napkins on the table to the music that's played - have all become a show of personality and flare.
Most couples have a budget in mind, so they come up with interesting, yet cost-effective ideas that guests will appreciate.
Shown is a DIY centerpiece, created by gathering an arrangement of flowers and placing them in a canning jar. The jar is surrounded by other jars and candle holders with votive candles. Many couples have opted for DIY items at their wedding.
Bride-to-be Ashley Brooks, of DuBoistown, and her fiance, Kevin Chase, of Ramey, have decided to join their love of camping in with their wedding theme.
"We are having our wedding and reception at a campground where all of our guests are welcome to spend the whole weekend with us," Brooks said. "The campground made it a private event so it will be family and friends only." Brooks added that the campground has a mini-golf course and she plans on having "classic backyard games" to entertain guests during cocktail hour.
"We wanted to include things that were special to us and camping was one of them. We also have large families who we are very close with," Brooks said. "We thought this would be both different and a way to bring not only our families together for a weekend event - but friends as well."
Although the wedding festivities will be outside, Brooks said she wanted to keep some of the formal feel of a wedding, by dressing the groomsmen in tuxedos and the bridesmaids in summer dresses. "It's relaxing and not too uptight," she said.
Brooks is keeping with the popular do-it-yourself theme. "I've cut my costs in about half by doing most myself," she said.
She is making all of the centerpieces, including placemats and silverware holders which are made out of colored burlap, and also decorations and seating charts, using old barn boards, twined with mini clothes pins holding the seat tags.
The food Brooks is planning on having goes with the camping theme, with a smores bar and classic picnic food, including pasta and potato salads and barbecue. Guests also will drink out of masons jars.
Another great tool that has come in handy for wedding planning has been the website Pinterest.com. There you can "pin" ideas from other pinners or you can "pin" from other websites.
Pinterest even has a specific tab for weddings.
Bride-to-be Abby Bosler and her fiance, Justin Brown, formerly of Rome, Pa., but currently residing in Montoursville, both utilized Pinterest, each of them having their own pin boards.
"This way, stuff that he likes and stuff that I like will get incorporated," Bosler said.
For their upcoming nuptials, Bosler not only has been doing do-it-yourself projects for decorations and centerpieces, but also has incorporated family antiques into her theme.
"We are doing a lot of it ourselves. We are making the table runners out of book pages and we will have a few homemade chalkboard signs, etc.," Bosler said. "Plus I'll be doing the centerpieces, which are more like table-scapes than anything. I will be planting succulents in old tea cups and stacking them on books with some up-cycled mason jars that will be filled with gypsophila." Bosler and Brown have been receiving antiques from both of their families; including books, tea pots, brass pieces and old suitcase for the card box.
"Basically, all of the items that we will be using for decoration are antiques that we are getting from our families. We think it makes it so much more special," Bosler said.
For her bouquet stem, Bosler will use Brown's great-great-grandmother's blue handkerchief and will pin it with an antique bee broach that her grandmother gave to her when she found out the two were engaged.
"We both have old souls," Bosler said of the theme she and Brown picked for their wedding. "We love antiques and items that are handmade in the U.S.
There is a special charm about something old; a lot of memories are tired to the items, even though these memories may not be our own. I also have a degree in history, so I have always had an ingrained appreciation for old pieces."
The couple picked a rustic venue for their wedding as well, choosing to be married at the Battlefield Brew Works brewery and distillery in Gettsyburg, which was a working farm during the war. Now a microbrewery which Bosler's father helped renovate years ago, Bosler felt it was the perfect location.
"Green" themes and "upcycling" have also been a rampant theme in weddings for 2014 and the couple is giving back to the community with their wedding as well - using it as a food drive and a pet drive. "All food items will be donated to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. The pet items will be split between the Adams County SPCA and the Lycoming County SPCA," Bosler said. "We are very proactive about helping our community and the environment."