Tips from the newlyweds: Lee Singletary and Nathan Bland

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    Lee Singletary and Nathan Bland were married Oct. 5 in Lancaster in front of family and friends. The happy couple shared their engagement story with PGN last year, and we caught up with them for their tips and tricks to having a successful wedding.

    1. Pick your venue.

    The couple said the biggest and most important thing to figure out is the location and venue so you can focus on the other finer details.
    “We picked our venue within one month of the proposal. That gave us the freedom and the ability to really plan, and go into the details that we wanted for the wedding and [for] everyone who was attending,” Bland said. “I felt like we didn’t have so much stress because we had the biggest thing taken care of right away.”

    2. Sweat the small stuff.

    Singletary said that while this contradicts many wedding guides, it proved helpful to think about the smaller tasks first to relieve future troubles.
    “We found that a whole lot of potential stress was relieved when we got the DIY out of the way and some of the other things,” he said. “Things like table numbers, family photos, extra candles, signage, furniture layout pertaining to the rentals, etc. When it came time to actually solidify those decisions, we had already pretty much given so much thought to each of those areas that it just made it significantly easier.”

    3. Think about the guests’ experience.

    The couple noted aspects where they ensured the guests had a positive experience. Bland said every guest had a glass of champagne as soon as they arrived to the big event. Additionally, Singletary made sure guests had a great experience outside of the ceremony as well.
    “We gave everyone a note — a sort-of ‘Welcome to Lancaster’ [note] — and I designed a map in the shape of a heart to let [the guests] know all of our favorite places, so they could plan their weekend without asking us one million questions,” Singletary said with a laugh. Singletary said the couple also sent out detailed emails one week and two days before the wedding so the guests and the wedding party knew the run of the show.

    4. Go local, when possible.

    The couple suggested using locally grown flowers and to check with your caterer to create a modified menu of local food. Furthermore, they suggested reducing your carbon footprint by hiring vendors and rentals within the venue’s vicinity.
    Bland noted the misconceptions about working with local companies.
    “People sometimes think that going local can be more expensive because a lot of times, ‘local’ means a smaller company or a mom-and-pop operation, so they are not putting out the quantity or the volume of these larger companies and businesses that can do things on the cheaper side. But a lot of times when you are working local, there’s no delivery and maybe there is no upcharge because you’re hearing directly from the vendor and not a third party.”

    5. Incorporate your personality.

    The couple made sure the personal traits of each of them shined through before and during the ceremony. Since Bland is a ballet dancer, they decided to incorporate a theatrical quality. This included bringing in the talents of Bland’s sister, an opera singer, as well as a string quartet, DJ and live band.
    Singletary works in marketing and he made sure the entire event had a consistent brand, and put thought into the colors, fonts and other choices.
    “The wedding really starts with the announcement,” he said, pointing out that the brand had the same through line from the beginning.