Whiteface Lodge: Awesome Adirondack Wedding Destination

Whiteface Lodge

By Rev. Alan Viau

A relaxing and scenic drive to Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, NY, is just the start of an awesome wedding experience. Embracing the Grand Lodge tradition, it offers an intimate yet grand scale wedding location and memories. A full thumbs up for this undiscovered jewel in the beautiful Adirondacks.

The drive to Lake Placid is a pleasant 3 hour journey through pastoral landscapes. Tall trees and curvy roads enchant you. Before you know it you are there; Whiteface Lodge.

Road

Upon first impressions, the Lodge reminds me of Chateau Montebello with its large log construction and vaulting ceilings. However, I discover that Whiteface Lodge was actually built in 2005.  The timber for the site was hand-milled on-site, and accents such as handcrafted Adirondack furnishings adorn the interior spaces, creating a wonderfully authentic ambiance. The Lodge consists of only suites; all 94 of them are equipped with modern conveniences including washer/dryer, kitchenette, jet tub and separate powder room.. and each has a breath taking view off the patio or balcony.

I was very fortunate as there was a wedding in progress when we arrived. A 50 person wedding, the bride and groom had the ceremony in the Kanu restaurant area because it was raining. The Lodge offers outdoor ceremony locations as well.

Wedding

Cocktails were held in a room adjacent to the reception hall. All the decorations were consistent with the rustic decor.

Dinner

Whiteface Lodge hosts about 50 weddings per year, mostly around the fall foliage time. They can accommodate up to about 200 guests for a wedding and have special mini-wedding packages. There is so much to do and see around Lake Placid that any time of year is a great time to have a wedding. I found their wedding package pricing to be very affordable!

As far as activities go, the Lodge has a huge choice. Their spa is amazing and is appropriately called a sanctuary. There is an on-site beauty parlor and workout room. I participated in the pool-side yoga class. They even have a nightly campfire with S’mores.

poolside

There is a movie cinema with three showings a day going from G, PG and PG-13. A fabulous games room with an authentic 1960’s two lane bowling alley – where my wife beat me hands down!

Bowling

Now a great location deserves to have an awesome food service. After all that can make or break your wedding reception.

My wife and I occasionally like have a food adventure. First, we tell the waitress that my wife is non-meat eating (but can eat fish, eggs and cheese) and that I am gluten-free. Then not looking at the menu, we ask her if the Chef would like to just go ahead and serve us what he feels is right.

So that night we asked if Executive Chef David Haick would like to treat us to such an adventure. What followed was pure delight of food and wine pairings.

We were first served with one of the Lodge’s signature drinks, the Campfire. It is comprised of bourbon, lemon, maple syrup, apple cider and Peat Monsters scotch with a leaf of sage. A smokey drink to set the evening off.

Drinks

Our first course was quail eggs and truffle. Yummmm.

eggs

Which was followed by a mouth watering mushroom baked risotto.

Risotto

The main courses were different because of our dietary issues. My wife had a wonderful serving of salmon and line-caught bluefish.

Fish

I was served a tender Angus filet. Both mains were perfectly seasoned and cooked!

Steak

I must mention that Whiteface Lodge prides itself in sourcing local foods. It starts looking at areas near Lake Placid and then goes out from there. For example, their jams come from Vermont.

After a totally delicious meal, I delivered Chef a Tumbs Up verdict!

Chef

All in all, Whiteface Lodge is a fabulous location to host your wedding. A superb location and decor, activities and great food. All the elements to build memories that last a lifetime and to draw you back. Truly an awesome Adirondacks wedding destination.

Ride Off Into the Sunset: 5 Unique Wedding Transportation Ideas

wedding transportation ideas

There is so much to plan and organize when you’re getting ready for your wedding day. You have to find the dress and the venue, pick the flower arrangements and color scheme, send out invitations and organize the reception, the list goes on. One commonly overlooked wedding essential, however, is your transportation after the reception. Wedding after wedding, you’ve seen couples ride away in a rented limo or town car. But if you are customizing everything for your special day, why not choose one of these unique getaway rides for the end of the ceremony?

wedding transportation ideas

Vintage Car

Instead of a traditional limo or town car, rent a vehicle with some character and class. There are several car companies that pick you up in a vintage hot rod or an elegant classic car. For example, the Toronto company A Rolls Choice has antique Rolls Royce vehicles from the 1940s and 1950s that have been restored to look brand new. They offer special wedding transportation packages to pick you up from your reception in style. Your guests are sure to talk about that kind of send off for years to come.

Bus or Trolley

If you are leaving the wedding or going to a different venue with guests or your wedding party, a fun option is to rent a large vehicle that can fit a lot of people. TLC suggests using a school bus for a cute and whimsical ride, a party bus if you and your bridesmaids and groomsmen want to get a little rowdy or a trolley car for a fun photo opportunity. There is no written rule that says you have to ride away from your ceremony alone, so why not bring friends and family along for a unique wedding send off?

Snowmobile

We all know Ottawa winters can be unforgiving. But if you’re having a cold-weather wedding, make the best of it by using a snowmobile to ride off into the sunset as man and wife. Guests won’t expect it and will be impressed by your ingenuity, especially if you can figure out a trick or two to do as you ride away. Just make sure you practice and are comfortable on a snowmobile before you attempt to use one for your wedding. As Drivetime states, snowmobiles can be dangerous and even the pros can get seriously injured. So if you want a more adrenaline-fueled transportation method, a snowmobile may be for you.

Helicopter or Other Air Transport

It can be quite pricey, but if you have the budget for it, nothing looks cooler than being airlifted out of your wedding. One way to surely surprise your guests is to have a helicopter unexpectedly show up at your reception and whisk you away to your hotel or honeymoon destination if you’re not flying too far. This is also an awe-inspiring wedding entrance idea if you want something truly unique. Just remember, you need to make sure there is a lot of open space to land a helicopter at your reception or wedding venue and that you need to clear it with the property owners.

Bicycle or Pedicab

If you want to go green and inexpensive with your transportation choice, a trendy option is hiring a pedicab to pick you up or pedaling your own bicycles. You can still hang cans and a “Just Married” sign from a pedicab or your bikes. To be really unique, use a two-person bicycle or unicycles. This also is a fun photo opportunity.

8 Things to Know Before Popping the Question Over the Holidays

8 Things to Know Before Popping the Question Over the Holidays

For those guys who are so in love that they just can’t wait to pop the Big Question — about marriage, that is — know this: a diamond engagement ring definitely counts as her Christmas or Hannukah present.

“If a guy’s gonna pop the question eventually, he might as well use the opportunity to avoid shopping for a holiday gift and kill two birds with — ahem — one stone,” the Washington Post declared.

And you won’t be alone: While 39 percent of all marriage proposals occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, what man wants to be the one who waited until February to give his girlfriend a ring she was expecting in December?

To make the process easier, the following myths and facts can help you with buying the ultimate engagement ring. (For those not quite ready to propose — or, for that matter, who have other diamond jewelry lovers on their list to buy for — we’ve also got you covered.)

HolidayProposalsCMYTH: You need to be prepared to spend two months’ salary on a ring.

FACT: That’s just a rule of thumb. Your financial circumstances — and your girlfriend or fiancee’s taste — ultimately win out.

MYTH: There’s no way of telling whether a diamond has been produced “ethically” or not.

FACT: This is an important issue for some couples, so know that the Diavik mine in Canada’s North West Territories, for one, has done its utmost to provide buyers with proof that it’s adhering to international standards of labor, health, safety and environmental practices in producing the nicely sized diamonds of good color and gem quality it’s famous for.

“Each certified gem is laser-etched with a unique number that indicates the date mined, and each gem’s unique optical fingerprint is recorded in an international database so that it can be positively identified,” says an expert in the field, noting that many insurance companies offer discounted rates in such cases.

MYTH: Most women want a pear-shaped or princess-cut diamond engagement ring.

FACT: Round is the most popular.

MYTH: You must pick the ring out yourself to maximize the effect.

FACT: Thankfully, this is not always the case. But if you prefer shopping solo, at least keep your girlfriend’s hints in mind.

Finally, about those other diamond jewelry gift-giving tips we promised.

“Classic diamond stud earrings will never go out of fashion,” says jewelry and style ex-pert Michael O’Connor, “and diamond line bracelets can be worn with any outfit.”

Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

Wedding vows

Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

wedding vowsExchanging your wedding vows will be one of the most remembered moments of your ceremony.  That is when you say true words from your heart to each other.  Very few couples can come up with a last minute vow on the day of the wedding so take some time over the  weeks leading up to the wedding.  Do make sure that you discuss this with your officiant to ensure they will allow you to write them.  Many prefer that you used the traditional scripts.

What to say?  You and your fiance know each other best so speak from your heart.  Do you want to make it very traditional, create your own words or perhaps add a little humour?  Don’t make your vows sound as if you are doing a comedy show though.  This is a serious time so ensure to share your love and feelings for one another.  Perhaps you  want to write your vows together.  For some couples, they prefer to write them separately and share them for the first time at the altar.  Do your best to keep it short and no longer than a minute or two.  Remember, there is still plenty of time at the reception during the bride/groom speech to say a few more words.

Once you have it completed take sometime to practice it and memorize what you wrote.  If you feel comfortable then feel free to share with a family member or close friend.

The ceremony is truly the most meaningful part of a wedding.  Many times we forget this and concentrate so much time and energy on the reception, glitz and glamour and overlook on what is really important.

The Unavoidable Wet Wedding

By Rev. Alan Viau
I instruct brides and grooms to always have a rain back up plan. That works out great when you can predict that the weather will not look so good. But what about when it starts raining when you didn’t expect it?
Brides and grooms love to have their weddings held outdoors. It is wonderfully close to nature. For me it is truly performing a wedding in God’s church.
When I go through the wedding planning process with a couple, I stress the importance of having a rain back-up plan ready to go. We discuss that the call to go indoors should be made well in advance so that the guests are not surprised at the change in location. And that I know where to go if the back-up location is not at the same place.
Stephanie and Kurt were getting married at Stonefield’s Heritage Farms. As I am driving to the location, I am pondering whether we will get rain. The sky is overcast, but without heavy clouds.
We are all getting ready, starting to get the guests to gather in their seats. It is five minutes before 4:00pm. I feel some rain on my head.
All of us scurry to get things going. The string duo moves into the barn next to the ceremony space. I suggest to Stephanie and Kurt that we cut the signing of the register during the ceremony and get that completed afterwards. Stonefield’s starts handing out as many umbrellas as they can to the guests.
The ring bearer starts down the aisle … and we are committed.
Unfortunately, the rain becomes a steady drizzle as Stephanie walks down the aisle.
Unavoidable Wet Wedding
I look down at my script. The pages are sopping wet. The ink is running down the page (note to self – try laserjet printing instead of inkjet). When Stephanie and Kurt are finally in position, I quietly suggest that I cut some of the blah-blah text – to which they agree.
We quickly get to the kiss and off they go!
The Unavoidable Wet Wedding Kiss

We all dart into the cottage and get the legal signing of the paperwork completed. Whew.
The Unavoidable Wet Wedding

 

 

 
Stephanie tells me after we are all finished. “It didn’t matter to me that it was raining, I just wanted to get married.” When it starts raining and nothing can be done about it, you just gotta go with it.

How to Choose the Dresses for your Bridesmaids

How to Choose the Dresses for your Bridesmaids

Finding the perfect dress for your bridesmaids can be a daunting task. Depending on how many girls you have you need to choose a gown that best compliments all of them.  Look for dresses that flatter the different shapes and sizes of your bridesmaids.  Empire waists and A-line or princess skirts will tend to suit most.

Everyone has different financial situations so when looking for gowns try to select ones that are reasonably priced.   You will get a sense from the girls if the cost is too high.   Make note of the gowns they tried on and the cost.  This way you can sit down with them and ask what is their budget.  These girls are most likely your sisters or very close friends so it should not be awkward to discuss with them.  Most will pay for their own dress but many bride’s do like to cover the cost of the jewellery, shoes or hair and make-up as their gift to the girls.

Once you have decided on your own theme and color then you can start looking for the bridesmaid dresses that would compliment and enhance your wedding dress as well.   Long, short, off shoulder, v-neck, we are seeing all different styles on the wedding scene.  The monochromatic look is still popular but the dresses are being accented with bold accessories such as coloured shoes, bulkier jewelery and unique bouquets.  Now, you are even seeing more of each bridesmaid wearing a different style and color.

Take the girls shopping or go through wedding magazine while sitting around your home one evening and see what they all like and can agree on. The last thing you want is for them to purchase a dress they dislike but most importantly, feel very uncomfortable in.  Be conscientious of everyone’s feelings so the end result will be a happy one.