Archive | Wedding Planning Tips

Tips On Selecting Wedding Flowers

Many brides love flowers and delight in planning the flowers for their wedding ceremony and reception. Fresh and healthy flowers really create a beautiful and polished atmosphere both for the wedding ceremony and reception. All those brides and grooms who have gardening and horticultural knowledge will be able to utilize their experiences when it comes to deciding upon which flowers and floral designs you would like for your special day.

I myself have been gardening for fifteen years and have experience working in a flower shop, so I will share my own tips for selecting bridal flowers.

1. Consider the bride and the groom’s favorite flowers and colors.

2. Consider the appearance, size, shape, color and fragrance of the flowers.

3. Consider buying flowers in season and locally grown, as this is cheaper and better for the environment as the flowers don’t have to be imported from another country or state.

4. It is recommended that the bride and groom make a consultation with florists at two or three different flower shops. Come prepared with your questions, your price range, and a list of your favorite flowers.

5. Select flowers with shapes and colors that compliment the bride’s complexion, hair color, overall appearance and wedding gown.

6. Choose flowers that flatter bridesmaids and their dresses, and the groom, groomsmen and their tuxedos.

7. Think about the style your want to achieve:

a. traditional
b. contemporary/modern

8. Think about the time of day of wedding ceremony, wedding photographs and wedding reception. The goal is to have the flowers remain fresh and healthy for the ceremony, photographs and reception. Flowers like roses need water picks to hold water and Gerbera daisies require a lot of water to remain healthy.

9. Keep in mind the location of your ceremony and purchase flowers to decorate that flatter the colors and lighting of the church or hall.

10. Think about the location of your reception and purchase flowers to decorate that flatter the colors, furniture and lighting of the reception site.

11. Get recommendations from family and friends on the flowers that they had at their own weddings.

12. Discover ideas for floral designs in wedding magazines and on bridal websites.

13. Remember to keep in mind the cost of each flower. Flowers that are readily available are cheaper than more exotic and hard-to-find flowers.

14. Reflect on all of your wedding floral needs:

  • for ceremony; flowers for church pews, altar, registry table, front platform, outside church doors, church foyer
  • for reception; floral centerpiece for each dinner table, special centerpieces for wedding party’s table
  • bridal bouquet
  • bridesmaids bouquets
  • groom’s boutonniere
  • mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom corsages
  • groomsmen’s boutonniere
  • boutonniere for father-of-the-bride and father-of-the-groom
  • bride’s bouquet for bouquet toss
  • flower girl’s flowers
  • ring bearer’s boutonniere

Enjoy planning your wedding. Take time to smell the roses!

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How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Dress

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Congratulations, bride-to-be, on your engagement! As you begin your journey towards becoming husband and wife, close your eyes and envision how you want to look on your wedding day. Long traditional bridal gown with cascading train? Knee-length strapless dress with short silk veil? Every little girl dreams about getting married someday and walking down the aisle in a beautiful dress.

Here are a variety of tips and suggestions for selecting the perfect bridal gown.

1. Talk to trusted friends and family about where they purchased their wedding dresses.

2. Ask to see photographs of friends, family and co-workers wedding dresses for ideas.

3. Research wedding dresses online. Ask friends and family to recommend bridal websites.

4. Purchase several good quality wedding magazines to search for ideas. Pay attention to the specific styles, fabrics, and colors that appeal to you. Cut out photos of wedding dresses that you like and place them in a notebook or scrapbook.

5. Have your mother and/or bridesmaids accompany you to various wedding boutiques. Try on various dresses. Avoid settling for first or second dress you try on. Don’t settle shopping in just one boutique.

6. Consider putting several possible dresses on hold and return to the wedding boutique several days later to try on the dresses again with a fresh perspective.

7. Consider the style that you want:

  • with straps
  • with long sleeves
  • with short sleeves
  • high-waist
  • low-waist

8. Consider the length that best suits your needs:

  • floor length dress with long train
  • floor length dress with short train
  • floor length dress with no train
  • ankle length dress with or without train
  • knee-length dress

9. Think about the head-piece that you desire:

  • long veil
  • short veil
  • no veil
  • tiara

10. Think about the color that you would like:

  • shades of white
  • shades of ivory
  • shade of cream

11. Consider the material/ fabric that you would feel most comfortable in:

  • silk
  • satin
  • lace
  • chiffon
  • brocade
  • organza
  • taffeta
  • velvet

12. Consider your body type and what dress style best flatters your figure.

13. Consider the month of your wedding and the typical weather at that time.

14. Consider the destination of your wedding:

  • local wedding – traditional theme – cold or warm
  • destination wedding – casual theme – tropical or cool

15. Consider any cultural or familial traditions that you want to uphold.

16. Try on your bridal shoes with your gown:

  • flats
  • small heel
  • high heel
  • sandals

17. Purchase jewelry that compliments your body type, face and your wedding dress.

18. Practice good time management. Begin looking for your dress shortly after getting engaged, so that you allow for plenty of time to shop at various boutiques and getting necessary fittings and alterations.

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Do’s And Don’ts For Planning For Wedding Reception

DO: Book your reception site/ hall as soon as possible, ideally within several weeks after getting engaged and selecting your wedding date.

DO: Go together as bride and groom to various possible reception sites. Arrange meetings with a representative from each location. Ask about pricing, special features and amenities. Inquire about sample menus if the reception site requires that you use their own catering service.

DO: Brainstorm together what you both consider to be your “ideal wedding reception.”

DO: Consider different creative places to hold your wedding reception: hall, restaurant, art gallery, museum, church, park, country club, own home or family’s home.

DO: Remember the following expenses that need to be planned and budgeted for:

  • rental of reception site
  • flowers
  • cost of entertainment – band or DJ
  • lighting and sound system
  • wedding lunch or dinner

DO: Think about the following catering fees:

  • cost of lunch or dinner
  • cost of catering services
  • cost of tables & chairs rentals
  • cost of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; decide whether or not to serve alcohol; cash bar versus open bar
  • cost of desserts and appetizers

DO: Decide as a couple whether you would like to have buffet-style or traditional plate-dinners served by the wait staff.

DO: Remember that it is less expensive to have buffet-style meal.

DO: Remember that a lunch reception is less expensive than a dinner reception.

DO: Regarding menu options, make sure that both the bride and the groom get the opportunity to sample all of the different menu options, including the appetizers, salads, soups, entrees, and desserts.

DO: Look in wedding magazines and search on-line wedding websites for photographs of various wedding reception. Figure out what flowers, decorations, colors and themes appeal to both the bride and the groom.

DO: Cut out photos from magazines or print out photos from websites of wedding reception dΘcor that you enjoy.

DO: Talk to family and friends in order to find out what DJ or band or musicians they hired for their weddings. Get recommendations from family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.

DO: Meet with at least two or three different DJs or bands. Find out what genres of music they specialize in and what types of music they feel comfortable playing.

DO: Listen to the band or musicians play one or two sample songs for you

DO: If time allows, attend one of the band’s or musician’s performances to evaluate how they would sing and play with an actual audience.

DON’T: Just select a band or musician in a hurry without listening to them perform.

DO: Go as bride and groom to wedding exhibitions and talk to and listen to various DJs, bands and musicians. Get their contact information, find out about the services provided, music specialties and fees.

DON’T: Invite friends, family, coworkers, neighbors simply because you feel obligated to invite them.

DO: Invite the people who genuinely support you two as a couple. Keep it smaller and more intimate.

DO: Plan your seating arrangement carefully.

DO: Seat family members and couples together.

DON’T: Seat strangers together.

DON’T: Seat people who don’t get along together.

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Why Choose A Destination Wedding?

Many girls dream of someday meeting their Prince Charming and enjoying a fairy tale wedding. Destination weddings help make that dream become reality.

Let’s discuss the benefits of a destination wedding:

(1) Holding your wedding ceremony and reception in an exotic location like Europe or the Caribbean provides a special
vacation opportunity for both the bridal couple and the honored guests who attend. Getting away from the chaos and business of everyday life and flying off to an adventurous new location can make the wedding into a special one-week or two-week lovely holiday, instead of a rushed and sometimes disappointing one-day event. Brides and grooms often have to take a week off before their local wedding, scurrying around with last-minute details, which often results in having a shortened honeymoon. With a destination wedding, your honeymoon really begins the moment you arrive at your glorious destination.

(2) Imagine holding your beloved’s hand as you stroll along the ocean the evening before your wedding. Romance is in the air. Everywhere you look, you feel love and romance; a beautiful sunset, the relaxing sounds of waves on the beach, tropical birds singing in the distance. Choosing a destination wedding increases the “romance factor!” Getting married in a foreign location also provides countless opportunities for romantic, one-of-a-kind wedding photographs that will be cherished forever.

(3) Many couples spend months worrying over the wedding guest list and often feel pressure from both the bride and groom’s families to invite distant relatives or their parents’ friends, leading to a potential guest list of 200 or more people. Deciding on a special destination wedding automatically means having a smaller guest list. Distant relatives and parents’ friends and colleagues would feel less inclined to accept the invitation, due to time restrictions and financial considerations. For all of those brides and grooms wishing to have a small, intimate wedding of 20 to 50 guests, the destination wedding is the ideal choice. A lovely small wedding allows the families to have a wonderful reunion and explore the area together over the course of one or two weeks.

(4) The destination wedding is a cost-saving measure for the bridal couple. The average American couple invests about $30 000 into their wedding. A smaller destination wedding saves hundreds of dollars, as fewer guests equates to a much less expensive reception lunch or dinner. With some time and effort, engaged couples can search wedding and travel websites and consult travel companies to find some wonderful yet affordable destinations for their big day. Many foreign resorts offer excellent wedding packages, including accommodations and food, plus discounts on the accommodations for the wedding guests.

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Saving Money On A Wedding Cake

Planning and paying for a wedding ceremony and reception can easily become very expensive. The average American wedding costs $30,000. Many financially-conscious couples are eagerly searching for ways to reduce the tremendous wedding bills. Be comforted in knowing that there are a whole variety of techniques that couples can follow to reduce the cost of their wedding ceremony and reception.

One effective way that money-savvy couples save on their wedding is by saving money on their wedding cake. Listed below are some ideas to save on your wedding cake and wedding desserts:

(1) Telephone and visit various bakeries in your city or town, and consider expanding the geographical search to include maybe a 30 mile radius. Ask about price quotes for various styles of cakes and accompanying desserts. Record the price quotes and additional information in your wedding planner or notebook.

(2) Ask a trusted family member or friend to bake your wedding cake themselves and give it to you as their wedding present.

(3)
Ask a close family member or friend to purchase the wedding cake from bakery and give it to you as their wedding present.

(4) Consider alternate desserts that are less expensive:

  • cupcakes
  • fruit (berries, grapes, orange and kiwi slices) and cookies
  • tarts
  • pastries

(5) Consider purchasing a small wedding cake for guests to eat and for you and your partner for the cake-cutting ceremony.

(6) You could purchase a non-edible cake for decorative reasons, meaning that it is a cake made of a foam cake-frame, decorated with icing, to look good for photo opportunities.

(7) Consider purchasing two smaller-sized cakes rather than one more expensive larger cake.

(8) Consider purchasing a cake with less fancy and ornate decorating.

(9) Look in local newspapers and magazines for coupons offered by bakeries for discounts on wedding cakes.

(10) Search wedding and bakery websites on-line for affordable yet beautiful wedding cakes.

(11) Attend local wedding shows for ideas about different bakeries, different cake styles, colors, designs and flavors.

(12) Some ambitious and domestic brides or grooms take cake decorating classes and actually design, bake and decorate their own wedding cake. However, special skill and extra time and pre-planning are required to bake your own cake.

(13) If having a beautiful and top-quality wedding cake is very important to you as the bride or groom, consider splurging on the wedding cake expense and cutting back finances in another area, such as musical entertainment for the reception, or the amount of alcohol being served.

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Wedding Planning For Two: 11 Ways To Get The Groom Involved

Now you are a happily engaged couple, planning the wedding of your dreams. Traditionally, the bride has taken the most responsibility for planning the wedding ceremony and honeymoon. Thankfully, gender stereotypes are being challenged and more and more grooms are stepping up to the plate and helping to plan their weddings.
The following lists some simple ways for you to get your groom interested in the planning process:

1) Have one-on-one discussion with your groom.

2) Make wedding planning fun for groom. Try to lower his anxiety about wedding planning and boost his self-confidence. For example, compliment him on his creativity, organizational skills, musical tastes, etc.

3) Create manageable tasks that the groom can be involved with and take accountability for, such as ordering the wedding invitations, addressing them and mailing them to your guests.

4) Ask your groom to what degree he would like to be involved regarding wedding planning. Avoid trying to read his mind about his feelings about being involved in planning your wedding.

5) Ask your groom if there is a special area that he would like to be responsible for one of the following areas:

  • wedding music
  • flowers for ceremony
  • flowers for reception
  • planning your wedding lunch or dinner menu
  • finding tuxedos or suits for himself and his groomsmen
  • listening to different DJs and bands and selecting his favorite one
  • researching and visiting reception sites
  • planning honeymoon (destination, accommodations, itinerary)
  • selecting and ordering wedding cakes and desserts

6) Work with your groom’s special interests and talents. For example, if your groom loves cooking, have him plan the menu for your wedding lunch or dinner. If your groom loves music, have him plan the musical entertainment for your reception.

7) Delegate certain simple tasks to your groom.

8) Brides, avoid the “Bridezilla” phenomenon. A “Bridezilla” is defined by the following behaviors and characteristics:

  • controlling behavior
  • irritability
  • yelling
  • making all the decisions
  • being hard-to-please
  • criticizing the groom’s tastes, ideas and preferences

9) Encourage your groom to think about planning your wedding together as a special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you two to bond in a unique way and learn more about one another through the wedding planning process.

10) Ensure that you have open and honest discussions about your wedding budget, including the overall budget, budget for ceremony, reception and honeymoon. Discuss what expenses the groom, the bride, the couple, the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents will be responsible for.

11) AVOID fighting over wedding planning and wedding budgets. Finances is the number one topic married couples fight over. Start your marriage on the healthy path by having loving, mature, productive discussions about your wedding finances.

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Who Gets To Choose The Honeymoon Destination (Bride Or Groom)?

Being engaged to your beloved is a wonderful experience. As you two plan the many details of your wedding ceremony and reception, you both realize that what you are really looking forward to is a relaxing and romantic honeymoon. You both have your own ideas as to what constitutes the “perfect honeymoon.” Who gets to choose the honeymoon destination?

There are four options that you as an engaged couple may wish to consider.

Option 1:
The bride selects the honeymoon destination, the resort or hotel, and the activities and itinerary.

Option 2:
The groom selects the honeymoon destination, the resort or hotel, and the activities and itinerary.

Option 3:
The bride and the groom work together to decide on the honeymoon destination, resort or hotel, and the activities and itinerary.

Option 4:
Have an honest and loving discussion about what partner would like to plan each part of the honeymoon. Maybe the bride selects the honeymoon destination, the groom selects the resort or hotel, and the couple decides on their activities, itinerary, special day trips and dates together.

To guide you in figuring out what responsibilities to keep and what responsibilities to give your future spouse, consider each partner’s special interests and talents. Who cares more about the honeymoon destination, the accommodations, the restaurant venues and the itinerary? If the groom loves cooking, allow him to decide upon the restaurants the two of you intend to visit. If the bride is an art lover, allow her to plan out your travel itinerary, including trips to special art galleries and museums.

Planning your wedding and honeymoon together provide many opportunities for you as a couple to develop your communication skills and problem-solving skills with one another. Compromise is a key component of a healthy marriage, so learn to compromise with your honeymoon planning. Stick to your preference when it comes to something that it really important to you, like the destination, and compromise with a detail that matters more to your partner, like the accommodations.

It is worth mentioning that a fifth option exists when it comes to who is responsible for planning the honeymoon. Some grooms like to surprise their new wife by planning the entire honeymoon, figuring out all details, covering all expenses, and flying with their wife after their wedding to destination that the bride only discovers at airport or upon arrival. Would your bride enjoy such a memorable surprise? It just depends on the bride’s personality. Some brides like surprises and spontaneity, and would consider it incredibly romantic and stress-relieving for their new spouse to take full responsibility for planning the myriad of details associated with the honeymoon. Other brides, however, favor having control over all aspects of the wedding planning and feel more comfortable and relaxed by not having to deal with any major surprises or changes.

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