Men’s Lounge Ideas for Your Wedding

Why should the bride get all the attention?  Create a unique men’s lounge for your male guests to enjoy all evening long.  It’s the perfect touch of luxury, relaxation, and fun to any wedding.  Here are some great features to include in your men’s lounge:


{1} Cigar Bar:  Have an outdoor patio space or access to an outdoor area? It’s the perfect area for gents to grab a cigar and kick back. Select a variety of brands to choose from, and be sure to include all the essentials, like ash trays, lighters, and cutters. Personalize this custom cigar bands that marries your wedding theme.


{2} Whiskey Bar: Most men enjoy the sophistication of a nice glass of whiskey. Do some research and select a variety of favorites for your display.  Be sure to include glasses, and even set it up with a personal bartender.  If whiskey’s not your thing, or you want to add more variety, try adding scotch or bourbon.


{3} Finger Food Buffet: A finger food bar is a great addition to your men’s lounge. Include two or three yummy ‘bar’ foods items to snack on. Wings, potato skins or even nachos will go well together! It’s perfect for a late night snack after some dancing.


{4} Craft Beer Selections: Select a variety of craft beers by the bottle, or in kegs to display in your men’s lounge.  For fun, you can even pair with a bartender to create a tasting experience.


{5} Bowtie Bar: Finding favors that aren’t food can be tricky, especially for a large number of guests. Bowties can be a quirky way to incorporate your own style into the wedding reception. Pick classic colors or vibrant patterned bow ties to accommodate what you prefer. Package them in a box with your wedding logo or monogram for a personalized look that will give your guests a meaningful favor to remember this fun day.

Guest Blogger:


Pauleen Vacca, Owner & Head Designer

Lover of all things lifestyle and design, Pauleen simply loves the events business. As an avid social media user, with a love for the platforms Pinterest and Instagram, and a self taught graphic designer, Pauleen believes that learning can never stop. She has a B.A. in English Writing from St. John Fisher College with minors in Communication and Digital Technologies & Culture. After working in both Rochester and New York City, Vacca opened Pauleenanne Design in 2011.  When not busy with the business, Pauleen enjoys going to her favorite Rochester restaurants, finding artistic inspiration, and jet setting whenever possible.

Pauleenanne Design is a full service event planning & marketing firm founded by Pauleen Vacca.  Located in Rochester, NY, we aim to change the local market through our eye for design, client centered approach, and passion for our industry.  Serving the Rochester, Buffalo, Finger Lakes, and beyond, we work with our client’s to offer a fresh, trend setting perspective, while still maintaining the integrity of your personal style or professional brand.  Whether you have a Pinterest board filled with event dreams or you’re a savvy company, we want to take your visions, enhance them, and execute them brilliantly.  Our goal is to make you look even more fabulous!

Pauleenanne Design Events & Marketing
1577 Ridge Road West Suite 218
Rochester, NY 14615
(585) 444-3663, Ext 700


Top Ten First Dance Wedding Songs

Wedding First Dance Song

Whether it’s your own wedding or one you’re attending, a lot of thought usually goes into the choice for the fist dance. Spotify released it’s list of top ten first dance wedding songs. Etta James’ romantic classic “At Last” takes the number one spot as the top first dance wedding song, followed by Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” and Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing.” Here’s the full list for your listening pleasure.


Signature Cocktails for Your Wedding Reception

Signature Cocktail for Wedding Reception in Rochester, NY

Signature Cocktail for Wedding Reception in Rochester, NY

It seems like only a few years ago that every bar in Rochester was simply a dispensing mechanism for gallon after gallon of Labatt’s Blue Light.  Not just here, but in a lot of places across the country refreshments became a lot more interesting with the resurgence of cocktail culture.

Maybe it’s the effect of the Mad Men series on AMC or good PR folks at the liquor companies, but either way mixed drinks are a lot more popular and our friends in the bartending trade kept up with all manner of, “craft cocktails” made with exotic ingredients and things you’ve never heard of.

At wedding receptions all around Rochester, many couples have chosen to create a signature cocktail that aligns with their likes and personality.  You can work with your venue or caterer to develop something unique that works for you.  Here are a few ideas to keep you thinking.

What do you like? Have you resolved never to drink tequila again after that spring break trip in college?  Most of us have drinks or liquor that we don’t care for that much so it stands to reason that you don’t want to build a signature cocktail around something you have to hold your nose to drink.

What are your Wedding Colors?  If you have deep aubergine purple bridesmaid dresses, perhaps something with a dash of pomegranate juice or cranberry will coordinate well.  If you choose an interesting garnish that coordinates with your colors you can make even a simple drink look elegant.

What’s the Location or Theme of Your Wedding?  Having an elegant reception at Belhurst Castle in Geneva?  How about a casual clam bake at Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte?  Each one might call for a different style signature cocktail.

Season?  A hot liquor drink that warms you down to your toes is great during the winter months.  In July it may make your guests spontaneously burst into flame.  Something more refreshing may be the order of the day at a summer or early fall wedding.

Ease of Making It  – When you’re serving 175 people, choosing a cocktail that doesn’t require five minutes of prep per drink is probably a good idea.   Pre-mixed batches are even better.  We were at a summer wedding last year and the wait staff had pre-mixed glasses that they were distributing at the beginning of the reception.  The unexpected bonus?  No lines at the bar right off the bat.

Cost Control – unless you have an unlimited liquor budget, some cost control ideas include adjusting the quality of the liquor.  No, you don’t need to use that stuff that comes in the plastic gallon jug but you also don’t need to use the Johnnie Walker Gold Label at $75 a bottle either.  Limiting the signature cocktail to one pour and then cash after that is another option

Resources – Absolut offers a great app for phones called Drinkspiration and also has a website with a drink builder.  You just click what base liquor you want and the type of drink such as sweet, fruity, spicy, etc. and it will give you some assorted options.  This is a good place to start to build your signature cocktail.

For those playing at home, the drink in the picture is a Cuba Libre.  There are a few ways to make it, but it’s basically a Rum and Coke with lime juice to lighten it up.  Whatever you decide, have a great time and make sure that anyone enjoying too many of your signature cocktails has a safe way to get back home or to their hotel.

Stay Cool Tips for Summer Weddings

One of the nice things about living in the Rochester area is that we have four great seasons.  Most of the time the temperatures aren’t too extreme, but this summer seems like it’s been a scorcher so far.  Good if you sell air conditioners, not so good if you have to dress up for a wedding.  Here are a few planning tips to make things a little more bearable.

Summer Wedding Tips

Hot Summer in Rochester, NY

1. The time of your ceremony and reception.  Okay, date and time decisions are one of the first things to check off the list when you’re planning a wedding but we all know that 2pm outdoors in the baking sun won’t be fun for a lot of guests. If you haven’t firmed up the date and you’re set on an August wedding, keep in mind that mornings and evenings are generally cooler so shifting events to those times may help.

2. Take it inside.  While a garden event can be a lot of fun in milder weather, an inside ceremony and reception gives you more possibilities to control for temperature or (heaven forbid), rain.  Also, scope out the venue by asking other couples who’ve had summer weddings there about the a/c. Cram 200 guests into a small room with weak air conditioning and everyone will be ready for a shower before the first dance.

3. How about a hand fan as a favor? There are a number of companies online that provide general wedding themed hand fans or even personalized ones with the bride and groom’s name on them.   Some do double duty with the program for the ceremony printed on them.

4. Sunglasses for your guests. Buying in bulk, you can get a quantity of inexpensive sunglasses for your guests during an outdoor ceremony or reception.  You reduce the ‘squint factor’ by a lot and your guests won’t be disappointed if they forgot their own.  Another fancier, albeit more expensive alternative is to grab nicer sunglasses as a gift for your groomsmen or bridesmaids.  Most couples do something for their attendants, so it may as well be something useful instead of those cute porcelain figurines you found.

5. Under the big top.  There are tents, an then there are *tents* – the one you bought at the big box store for your backyard party is not what we mean.  Many local venues and the party rental places like Spatola’s have great tents for summer events.  Some even feature ice cold air conditioning to keep things comfy on a summer day.  There’s really two factors here – the overall temperature and humidity and just keeping people out of the baking sun.  A quality tent rental company can help you do both.

6. SPF 9000?  It doesn’t really go that high, but some of us with fair complexions sometimes wish it did.  Consider having a supply of sunscreen available for your guests if there’s a significant outdoor component to things. A nice extra gesture is to include a few varieties for kids or those with sensitive skin so nobody walks away looking like a lobster.

7. H2O is everyone’s friend.  Have a bucket of small water bottles or a water cooler with cups available for your guests to grab while they’re waiting for things to start.  Having to call 911 because your guest passed out mid-ceremony makes for a great story five years from now, but not in the moment it happens.

8. Think about your dress/formal wear selections. There are lots of great options for summer weddings that won’t overheat your bridesmaids or groomsmen.  For guys, check out some of the tropical wool wedding suits in lighter colors.  They can be a great look and a nice choice for a summer or destination wedding in a warm climate.

9. Makeup.  While your guys may not be wearing makeup, think about your makeup choices for the bride and bridesmaids. Stay away from any liquid eyeliners, foundations or blushes. Instead, pick the powdered or crayon versions to ensure that your makeup stays put from start to finish. Consider applying a primer to help everything stay put. Above all else, top off your look with waterproof mascara. A few tears or sweat droplets are all it takes to make you look like a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills.

10. Early Pictures Before Everyone Melts into a Puddle.  Scheduling picture taking early allows you to get people when they look their best.  Once the party starts it’s usually off with the coats for the guys and you want everyone’s best foot forward for the main tangible thing you’ll have to remember your day with.

11. Light and Cool Menu Selections. Put some thought into your menu choices – offering your guests lighter fare, seasonal fruits and things like shaved ice or ice cream can be a great way to keep the everyone’s heat index under control.

12. Spritzing Stations. These are specialized misters that atomize water droplets and cool things off.  They don’t throw off enough water to soak you like the log flume ride at Seabreeze, but provide just enough to keep people cool when they walk through the area where you have them set up.

Our wedding research shows that nearly 40% off all weddings happen during the months of June, July and August and with a little preparation there will be a little less perspiration (okay, maybe not but at least your guests will have a great time).



TGIF – Scheduling a Friday Wedding

Friday Wedding

Setting the date is one of the first things couples do when planning their wedding.  While you may have some thoughts on the season you want to get married, for most couples the actual date is dependent on availability and scheduling at the ceremony and reception locations.  Rochester loves tradition, but here are a few reasons why you might consider a Friday night ceremony:

Discounts and Availability – Hands down, Saturday is the most popular day of the week to get married.  In fact, the most recent industry statistics that we see show that about two thirds of all weddings happen on a Saturday.  When you’re competing with all those other couples for venues and catering and all the other items that go into planning a traditional wedding, it’s not likely that you’ll get rock bottom pricing or your first choice on dates.

On a Friday night, there are far fewer events planned and you’re more likely to be able to schedule something on the weekend you want and pay less overall than the couple getting married at the same place the next day.  Sometimes it’s just less total cost but it can also be added amenities or upgrades at no additional charge that you wouldn’t have available to you for a Saturday event.  You also may have a better shot at your first choice for a venue or service providers without having to book 18 – 24 months out.

Timing Between Ceremony and Reception – Many churches or other faith communities have Saturday evening services and if you’re planning a Saturday wedding you may need to be out fairly early to accommodate their service schedule.  If you have to be out by 3:30 but your reception doesn’t start until 6:30, you and your guests may have to hang out for a couple of hours in-between.   A Friday evening event allows a much smoother transition from one to the other without the big gap in the middle. A later event also means you don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn to start to get ready on your big day.

Ambiance of an Evening Wedding – Imagine a moon-lit terrace, dancing under the stars or the possibilities that come with having a candle light ceremony for your wedding. Elegant evening gowns for your bridesmaids and perhaps a black tie theme for your gentleman can make for an affair to remember for your guests.  Not to be forgotten in the summer months is the fact that it’s cooler in the evening so your guests are likely to be more comfortable dressed up than in the heat of the afternoon.

Time with Out of Town Guests – For a traditional Saturday afternoon wedding, guests have to rush out Sunday morning to get back home in time for work or school.  A Friday night wedding can allow you some additional time to spend with them before they go.

Downsides – It may be less convenient for out of town guests who may need to take extra vacation time to make it into town in time for a Friday wedding.  On the other hand, they may like the idea of a long weekend and being able to catch up with friends and family.  A Friday night wedding is a bit easier to manage for in-town guests.  Your guest count may end up being a little smaller if many/most of your guests are from out of town though.

Of course, whatever day of the week you get married, we’d be delighted to have our tuxedos or wedding suits be invited to your wedding.  Give us a call or stop in to chat, we’d be happy to share our experiences with you and help you find just the right look.