Unique Cinco de Mayo Ideas

Unique Cinco de Mayo Ideas

Call your amigos and let them know Cinco de Mayo is around the corner and it’s party time!! Not sure what to do or how to decorate? No worries Team JLW has your back. We listed a few helpful tips.


Décor: Brighten up the room with rich, warm colors such as, red, yellow, orange, and green. These colors are popular in Mexican clothing, art, rugs, crafts and jewelry and also work well for theme party décor.

  • Sombreros and maracas make perfect centerpieces for tables.
  • Decorate your entrance with Mexican signs, travel posters, and colorful banners, so when your guests arrive they feel the Mexican culture.
  • If you really want to surprise your guests, greet them in your best Mexican costume.

Food and Drinks: In order to stick with the Mexican theme, foods such as tamales, quesadillas, salsa, refried beans, and homemade corn chips, are great for parties and easy to make.

  • Have a section in your event area for a taco bar, so your guests can build their own. Decorate the food tables by placing colorful vegetables on white platters to add the finishing touch.
  • For deserts, have mini cupcakes in colorful margarita glasses and place them on a desert table.

Let’s not forget, this is a party and what’s a party without a bar.

  • Have a margarita bar and tequila sampling station and an attendant at each station to make sure no one is going overboard.
  • These stations can be decorated with margarita glasses and fruit to add in the drinks.
  • For the guests who are not heavy drinkers, have a Mexican wine sampling with a cheese and cracker display and have a display of Mexican sodas.
    • The colorful sodas can also double as part of your decor

Other Ideas:  

  • Allow your guest to dress up and host a costume contest for the most traditional and/or colorful Mexican outfit.
  • Have Mariachi music playing in the back ground or why not hire a live Mariachi band and have a dance contest to involve guests. This will really have your guest talking.

Remember this is for enjoyment and to celebrate Mexican heritage. Let’s go out and have fun!!!

J. Ladson Weddings

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PHONE: 470-222-JADE

Mahaffey Ever After

Mahaffey Ever After

As a wedding planner we normally work for 6 months to a year, but sometimes due to special circumstances, planning a wedding can take two years. We take every element of the wedding and handle the details to bring it all together seamlessly.

The stationery has to be JUST right since because your wedding invitations are a reflection of your personalities and a visual representation of your love. Thus, they not only provide your guests with the first glimpse of this special day but they also set the expectations. Yes, we’re selecting colors, fabrics, and making sure this day will be the most beautiful day of your life. However, the team at J. Ladson Weddings does much more. We spend countless hours each day ensuring that nothing falls between the cracks and no detail is left unaccounted for.

We conduct vendor reviews to make sure that you have reputable people on your team. We review and negotiate contracts to ensure that you are completely covered and are getting everything promised to you.  Once we have a solid team, we can begin the steps of building your timeline and putting all these tiny and meticulous pieces together. Your wedding is like a very large jigsaw puzzle, it’s elegant and beautiful in design, with very hundreds of pieces from each vendor and a several custom specialty pieces that are unique to the couple.  Each day my team spends several hours making sure that all these tiny shapes and pieces fit intricately together.

Now, imagine that it’s been 623 days and you’re just about to put the final two pieces together and complete your masterpiece. However, right before you can insert that final piece, in walks an angry toddler having the biggest temper tantrum and she flips the entire puzzle on the floor….  Well that’s what COVID-19 did to our April and May brides this year and now we’ve gotta pick up the pieces and finish this puzzle again but with a few new pieces being introduced and shorter time frame.

Luckily, Paul and Breana will still get to celebrate their nuptials on the original planned date with a little help from technology. The family will broadcast the wedding through Zoom and share on Facebook Live. Please join us in congratulating this lucky couple on their special day.



Weddings of the World: India

Weddings of the World: India



Indian wedding celebrations are among the world’s most opulent. Filled with guests wearing vibrant colors and jewelry to the ceremonies and rituals that can go on for about three days. On the first day, the new couple performs the Ganesh puja ceremony, where they honor Lord Ganesh, an important Hindu deity. It’s the start to the wedding festivities because worshipping Lord Ganesh ensures a smooth wedding, and a prosperous future as a couple. To prepare for the ceremony the family decorates an alter with Lord Ganesh’s idol, favorite snacks and flowers, incense, and symbolic items. Only the couple, the bridal party, and close family member witness the Ganesh puja blessing.


On the second day of an Indian wedding celebration, the women of the family perform the mehndi ceremony. Popularly known as henna, mehndi is a paste used to create beautiful, traditional designs on women’s arms, hands, and feet. The ceremony is a way for her female friends and family to wish her good health and prosperity in her marriage – mehndi is also a natural herbal ingredient and has a cooling sensation meant to soothe the bride’s nerves.


A few nights before the wedding, Indian couples hold a sangeet. It’s essentially a party for both sides of the family to get to know each other; guests perform traditional songs and choreographed dance in celebration of the wedding.

The final day is the main ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Though the third day’s itinerary might sound familiar, an Indian ceremony is a bit different than a Western one. To begin, the groom is the one with the big entrance. In the baraat, the grooms enters the ceremony on a decorated white horse. Grooms often use decorated luxury cars or even elephants in place of the white horse. His procession is a party – if there aren’t traditional drums being played, a DJ is playing music while guests celebrate the groom going to meet his bride. The ending of the ceremony comes after the grooms streaks a red powder on his wife’s forehead and ties a black necklace on her. Both symbolize her new status as a married woman. If you didn’t know already, Indian weddings are a huge party and the reception is no exception. There’s lots of folk dancing and a huge variety of food. If you’re a guest at an Indian wedding, be sure to check your invitation for information about which of these days you’ve been invited to. Oftentimes, several of the days are family only.















Stay tuned once a month for our Weddings of the World blog. Where we will take a deeper look into the cultures and wedding traditions of countries around the world!


Weddings of the World: China

Weddings of the World: China

Red Symbolizes Happiness

That magical feeling weddings give us is always the same, but the traditions people around the world follow to celebrate their love are very different! Welcome back to Weddings of the World, where we take a look at how different (or surprisingly the same!) weddings in far-away places are. Today, we’ll be learning about Chinese wedding traditions. Chinese culture is often known for strong family structure and respect for tradition – how do you think that shows in their wedding practices?

Beginning with the proposal and engagement, there is a lot of gift giving. If you’re a giver then this would be easy for you! Whether it’s food, wine, clothing, or jewelry, a new groom will use gifts to show appreciation and love for his new family  Isn’t that amazingly beautiful?

Tea is an integral part of Chinese culture; nearly every restaurant serves it, and drinking it together is a popular social activity. In the wedding tradition, the Tea Ceremony is one of the most important events. Both the Bride and Groom are expected to serve their new family tea from a traditional tea pot while following specific etiquette. Drinking the tea together is symbolic of the two families becoming one! Ultimately, the Chinese wedding tea ceremony is a significant way to show respect and gratitude for a lifetime of care and love to the couple’s parents – after the ceremony, the man will love and care for his new wife. In addition to this beautiful ritual, we can’t forget about the iconic red envelopes! Chinese culture considers the color red lucky and symbolic for success, honor, fertility, and warding off of evil spirits. After the tea ceremony is over, the couple is presented with monetary gifts inside of small red envelopes decorated with gold characters and designs. Bonus: save the dates and invitations are usually in an envelope that looks similar to these, just larger and more ornate! Though red and gold are popular colors for traditional Chinese weddings, some couples choose to incorporate more white and other colors.

Image result for china tea ceremony wedding


Here’s the good part… the wedding day! Customarily, the Bride wears a Chinse qipao dress. It’s becoming more and more popular to wear this type of dress and a white Western-style dress, too! Just like American brides switch dresses, it’s normal for a Chinese Bride to switch her outfit at least three times over the course of the reception. Unlike American weddings, though, a Chinese couple’s vows are said in private. The wedding isn’t a legal ceremony, but a celebration of a new marriage with friends and family. The food that follows the short ceremony is extravagant! There are normally between five and ten courses, with a lot of fish because it’s representative of abundance. Even when a Chinese couple opts for a mostly Western-style wedding, the banquet remains traditional out of respect for their families. Fun fact – guests sign a guest book along with their gifts. Attendants record the monetary value of the gift for the newlyweds to see; this way, they can give that person a gift of the same or more value. The day after the wedding, the Bride formally visits her new family, where she receives more gifts and blessings. After another few days, she will visit her own parents’ home as a guest, as she is no longer a part of her family. Chinese wedding traditions are different from American ones, but anyone can tell Chinese couples have deep respect for their families and culture!

Image result for chinese qipao wedding dress      Image result for chinese qipao wedding dress    Image result for traditional chinese wedding banquet

Stay tuned once a month for our Weddings of the World blog. Where we will take a deeper look into the cultures and wedding traditions of countries around the world!

~ZG & AW~

Moroccan Weddings

Moroccan Weddings

So many traditions go into a Moroccan wedding, but first things first, the marriage contract! After getting the legal and religious aspects clear, the fun begins! PARTY, PARTY, PARTY! In the Moroccan wedding tradition, there is this celebration called, a “Three Day Party” where the bride will have her personal celebration, the groom will have his, and the last day everyone will get together and celebrate the new and in love couple.

Who’s ready for a girl’s day?! Well for the Moroccan wedding party, the bride has her own day of relaxation called, Hammam Day. The bride will get her female friends and family and together they will go to a “hammam” where the bride will be bathed and pampered before her big day. Who doesn’t like a beautiful and meaningful henna design to grace their hands and feet for their big wedding day? The great thing about henna is that it is beautiful and not permanent! The henna design is meaningful towards the bride and groom’s future in marriage. It symbolizes hope, fertility, and blessings throughout the marriage.

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In Morocco, as soon as the bride and groom are engaged and officially set a date, they will have to book out the venue a year, sometimes more, in advance. Moroccan wedding meals are usually similar with all sorts of juices and almond milk flavored with orange water. Too bad for the ones who love to have alcohol at a party, it’s BANNED! Alcohol is forbidden in the Islam religion. But you don’t need alcohol to have the time of your life at the wedding! Morocco weddings usually start at 9pm or later and they party to the band playing “Chaabi” music all night. Literally! Breakfast is usually served at the end of the party which would typically be 6 or 7 in the morning. I’m guessing the party must have a great music all night long to get the party goers dancing all night.

The bride in Moroccan Amaria


There is so much that goes into a Moroccan wedding ceremony, but it is all worth it in the end because you get to celebrate the whole thing with your family, friends, and the newest blessing in your life, your bride or groom.

Image result for traditional moroccan wedding                    Image result for traditional moroccan wedding dancing

(http://raculture.blogspot.com/2014/10/moroccan-traditional-wedding.html)         (https://www.insideweddings.com/weddings/modern-destination-wedding-with-traditional-elements-in-morocco/921/)
Weddings of the World – South Sudan

Weddings of the World – South Sudan


Being a South Sudanese bride is an extravagant and joyous experience filled with overwhelming celebration, community, tradition, love and exclusive treatments. It is not a simple one-day event, but a continuous year of celebration. 

So before he can put a ring on it, your hubby-to-be and his male relatives must go to the bride’s home to ask for permission to marry. Both families conduct a “background check” to evaluate the family and tribal history. Once approved, the male elders of both families set up meetings to negotiate on the bride price. Bride price must be paid for the bride, by the groom, typically with the help of his whole extended family. Many factors are taken into account when deciding on the amount, such as level of education, family status, physical qualities, and others. Back in Africa, these payments may be made through assets such as cows, goats, gold, and more, but in the US, it would be translated to $$$. 

On the date the groom is ready to pay the specified amount, a big “engagement party” is hosted. It is usually at a venue with lots of food, dancing, gifts exchanged, and traditional attire. This is also when the groom is supposed to officially give the bride her engagement ring. 

A South Sudanese bride is pampered like royalty during her entire wedding experiences by the women of the community. The home is a continuous festive place for the bride with lots of dancing, gifts, advice and joy surrounding her. Special indulging such as homemade sugar body waxes, scrub and bath treatments, and other lavish regimens start weeks in advance to prepare the bride to be glowing and gorgeous her big day.

A few days before the wedding, the bride-to-be spends hours receiving beautiful intricate henna designs from her fingers to forearms and toes to ankles. Some brides in South Sudan have a henna party the night before the wedding, which is a tradition adopted from northern Sudan from when they were one country. It is an all women’s event filled with dancing, singing, and eating. 

For the main wedding, the couple has a traditional church wedding. The reception is typically buffet style and filled with many toasts. The bride and groom’s tribal groups and families perform traditional dances as they bring out gifts. During the cake cutting, the bride and groom each walk to their new in-laws, get on their knees, and serve them cake as a sign of respect and unity. The rest of the reception is a dance celebration with all music styles, lasting all night. On the next day, most families usually host a BBQ or some kind of going away event for guests. 

Community is such a crucial element in South Sudanese culture, and weddings are a prime time when you see the whole community abundantly celebrating and embracing the newly weds as if it was their own child, ensuring it is a memorable and enjoyable journey. It is definitely an experience worth joining if you ever have an opportunity to experience a South Sudanese wedding!



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