Off The Beaten Path Weddings loves their Hospitality Ambassadors!

We take *so* much pride and joy in every Off The Beaten Path Wedding, and sharing photos with all of our readers is always such a pleasure. When the photographer sends those files after an event, it’s always fun to oooh and aaah over each image, and choose the best to share with everyone. BUT today, we are taking a minute to share some “behind the scenes” shots of our staff doing their thing. We’ve definitely learned that it takes a village to produce an Off The Beaten Path Wedding, but lucky for us – we have a wonderful group of hospitality ambassadors (also known as service staff) to make every event possible. Now that our season is over at Off The Beaten Path Weddings, it’s nice to look back on the fun moments with staff and appreciate the fact that they are both hard-working and chill… after all, it is the season to share what you are thankful for!

OTBPW-on the job

All of these photos are from Holly & Jim’s chill day, see a snapshot of the Bridechilla™ below!

bridechilla spotted

Thanks again to our wonderful OTBPW staff for being such a chill group of people. And also, thank you to Melissa Phillips for providing these photos!



Bridechilla™ Tip #44

Tip #44 – How to be a BRIDECHILLA™ – Use one of our favorite Fall wedding design details: apples. And guess what? We’re going to help you out.

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Photo via ruffled and nessa k photography

In October, we were chasing the best pumpkin design details, over Summer, we were all about the perfect ways to use produce in your wedding, and now… apples! It may not come by any surprise that we are at it again, falling in love with more farm-to-table touches. That is one of the KEY chill details from our team at Off The Beaten Path Weddings out of Napa, California.. so don’t be surprised when we discover another way nature can embellish your wedding. Now, enjoy our top 5 favorite ways to use apples in your wedding decor – some of these are REALLY chill!


via MEG SMITH AND Snippet & ink

●   APPLE GARLAND    We had to start off with one of our favorites. This apple garland is just too too perfect for an orchard inspired wedding.


via ruffled and nessa k photography

  BOBBING STATION    How fun is this? Imagine how funny it would be to be watching your guests go after these… definitely a lot of laughs to be had!


via ruffled and nessa k photography

  ESCORT CARDS    Or, just use that bobbing station for good looks and let your guests find their seats with apple embellished escort cards.


via southern weddings + JEN HUANG PHOTOGRAPHY

  ON THE TABLE    Bring some color to your table by placing apples on the plates as wedding table decor, or even use them in the centerpieces!


via BEST PHOTOGRAPHY green wedding shoes

  APPLE CIDER  And finally, how could we leave this stunner out? Hallow out the apples and serve hot apple cider (spiked and not spiked options, of course!) to your guests in a fun, unique way.

P.S. Need some ideas on how to keep the dudes entertained at your wedding? Check out Bridechilla™ Tip #43 for ways to get your groom and the rest of the guys having more fun on your chill day.


Tips to Save Money on Your Wedding


No matter how big your budget is, there always seems to be ways to go over it on your big day. Those extra touches and special upgrades on items such as food and flowers can soon push costs skyward. Here are some tips and tricks to try and lower the price of the essentials for your wedding.

Guest article written by Sian Morgan

  • Package deals from your venue – Many hotels and venues that are often used for weddings now offer an all-in-one package deal so you can be clear on costs from the outset. These will often incorporate food and decorations as well as the cost of venue hire and can work out cheaper than hiring in outside caterers. The restriction of these type of deals is that you will need to keep to a certain number of guests, which can work out well if that is a figure you already had in mind.
  • Venues can also be cheaper during the week, meaning the hire fee will be reduced and sometimes waived completely if you are paying for catering and bar services. However this can cause problems for your guests if you are inviting a lot of people, especially at short notice as it can be difficult to get time off from work. It can also mean more traveling expenses if it is not at the weekend.
  • If you’re happy to go with a more simple style of wedding cake, choosing a high quality store bought cake and dressing it up with ribbon and matching flowers from your bouquet can be a great way to get a lovely cake that is a lot cheaper than a custom made design from a wedding baker. It has been noted that cakes from Marks and Spencer’s often taste much nicer than large expensive cakes from a wedding boutique. Having a cupcake stand rather than a multi-tiered cake can also give a modern twist to the traditional wedding style.
  • Consider having your main meal a little later on in the day. If you are getting married at 2pm, typically the meal will be around 4-5pm. Pushing it back an hour to 6pm means you won’t need a second meal later on and can simply provide a small selection of snacks to satisfy hungry guests later on at the reception. Don’t go overboard with catering orders as a lot may get wasted which simply results in the staff eating it rather than your guests!
  • Disposable cameras may seem a good way to get some extra shots of your wedding but it seems you are more than likely to throw 70% of the photos away. Printing and developing costs can be very expensive for little return, as well as the original cost of buying the cameras. It can be a better idea to have a specific email address for guests to email photos to. There are also several photo sharing apps you could use and have projected during the reception. Bear in mind how good the phone signal at your reception is, which can be a problem in more rural areas.
  • The main expense of your wedding is likely to be the food and drink for your guests, depending on how luxurious your standards are and the number of guests. If you don’t want an open bar but want to give your guests something, try offering two drink vouchers per person to be used at the bar. This way you know the upfront cost rather than being presented with an extortionate bill the day after.


  • Creating your own programs and invitations can cut an added expense. Enlist the help of a design-savvy friend or buy one of the lower cost invitation kits. Having them printed at your local print and copy shop can be cheaper than paying for a specific wedding invitation package from your planner.


  • When shopping for bridesmaids’ dresses, go for upmarket high street options rather than heading straight for a wedding boutique. There are often a greater selection of colors and styles, as well as more modern, fashionable dresses if you are after something a little different than a classic style. If you are savvy enough and shop ahead, getting each bridesmaid’s size or measurements, you can then watch out for the items when there is a discount event or sale on.
  • If you are looking to save money on the bride’s dress, choosing a second-hand dress can be a great way to get the dress you want at a much lower dress. Many people do not like the idea of having another bride’s dress, however it is a shame that they only get worn for one day and then never again. Also, many charity shops such as Oxfam have specialist bridal shops, meaning you will save money as well as donating to a good cause. Spending a small amount on getting a dress tailored to fit you will often still be much less than buying an expensive dress new.

Sian is a keen freelance writer who has a passion for all things wedding related. Her favorite north east wedding band is Funk Conspiracy, who she has worked with on numerous occasions to make the happy couple’s day extra special.

All photos from McKenzie and Tim’s
Off The Beaten Path Wedding, photographed by Michelle Kim.


Bridechilla™ Tip #43

Tip #43 – How to be a BRIDECHILLA™ – Keep the guys chill too, and check out these three ways to keep men married on the chill day.

men get married too
 Photo via Kyle Hale

There are plenty of astonishing ways to keep a wedding day appealing to the guests. While everyone loves to dance and hear the toasts, we must admit every wedding is dominantly entertaining mostly for the guests that are women. There are heaps of flowers to admire, cute cupcake or macaroon towers, wedding rings to gawk over, the list goes on. Meanwhile, what’s keeping the guys entertained? As a Bridechilla™, it’s important that we remember that men get married too, so let’s talk about a few little ways to keep them included on one of the chillest day of your lives.

scotchbarvia Off The Beaten Path Weddings

●   SCOTCH BAR    Some of us at Off The Beaten Path Weddings might say this is something EVERYONE can enjoy, but we think it’s safe to say the guys will gravitate towards this rather a lot more than they would a blushing bride cocktail or a bouquet toss… so let’s let them have their fun too.

scotch for the boys
via EmmalineBride + Pinterest

Seriously, try this one out for your wedding day, the guys will not be disappointed! This also brings us to our next dude-friendly wedding treat…

cigar rolling
via Off The Beaten Path Weddings

  CIGAR ROLLING    This was a huge hit at previous Off The Beaten Path Weddings. Nothing says wine country charm like someone rolling fresh cigars for the guys to enjoy. Feel free to keep this one a secret from your groom until the reception, it will make a great surprise gift!

photo booth fun
via Pinterest + Off The Beaten Path Weddings, Wendy K Yalom Photography

  PHOTO BOOTH    Everyone loves a photo booth, but we all know the guys secretly love wrapping boas around their neck for a silly photo or five. You can even hire companies like the Flying Camera or simply talk to your photographer about having a photo booth at the reception for guests to take some snapshots to remember the day with.

men get married too akvia Off The Beaten Path Weddings, Tanja Lippert

P.S. Need some ideas on how to keep him involved in the planning process? Check out our 5 ways to get your groom to help out with wedding planning.


5 Ways to Get Your Groom to Help Out with Wedding Planning

Traditionally, a wedding day is all about the bride. All of that fanfare that surrounds the bride, however, can often leave the groom feeling left in the dust. After all, the bride isn’t the only person getting married;  the groom is a pretty integral part of the wedding.

Guest Article written by Amber Kingsley

If you are getting married, don’t let your groom feel like he is playing second fiddle. While he may not be able to help you pick out your gown, you can let him feel like he is part of all of the planning and excitement by giving him some special tasks to attend to. He will appreciate the attention, and you will appreciate the help.

Groom1via Shutterstock

Registry Duty: Registering for all of the things that you will need as you start your life together is a really fun process, and it is one that your groom should certainly be a part of. In fact, you can put him in charge of this important task. Of course, you want to be a part of the registration process (you don’t want to sleep on bedding that you think is completely dreadful), but you can let your groom handle setting up and updating the registry. He’ll get a kick out of having this duty and it is one less thing that you will have to worry about.

via Off The Beaten Path Weddings & Jessica Burke

Venue Shopping: Your wedding is a celebration that will honor both you and your groom, so it is only fair that he help pick out the place where this grand event will occur. Ask him to do some research with you on potential venues. Let him choose a few places to look at. Of course, have him go with you to check out the different venues and welcome his opinions and reviews. You can even take it one step further; once you have both decided on a venue for your affair, have you groom handle all further communications with the staff.

cigar roller 3
via Off The Beaten Path Weddings

Vendor Visiting: You will require the services of a bunch of people in order to successfully pull off your big event; a florist, a caterer, a photographer and videographer, limo drivers, music and whoever else you think you will require the services to make your big day your dream come true. Let your groom help out with choosing the vendors. Ask him if he wouldn’t mind helping you choose some vendors to consider and bring him along on your visits to each one. You can even ask him if he thinks that there are any other special vendors that will add an extra special something to your day; a cigar roller, perhaps.


Tuxedos: You have your wedding dress and the bridesmaid’s dress to pick out. Why not let your groom pick out the attire that he and his guys will be wearing. Go along with him so that you can offer your opinion and see what choices he is considering (and so that you can nix anything that is an absolute no), but let him have his moment in the sun while picking out and trying on different tuxedos.

0f6c56ea0bb3f45c9009a3c25eb57e44via Off The Beaten Path Weddings & Catherine Hall

If it weren’t for your groom, you wouldn’t be getting married. Make him feel like he is as big a part of the day as he truly is by involving him in the planning process.

Amber Kingsley is a freelance writer from Southern California. She has contributed to a number of blogs, covering travel and style. When she’s not writing she loves traveling and spending time with her dog. To view more of her writing, visit the Bellezza Spa blog.