Monday, November 28, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - The Choice is Yours

Very few couples get to "have it all"!  But coming close is the result of making good choices and establishing a list of priorities.  That will be your first order of business.  Together establish a list of "must" haves or items that have top billing.  Agree on this list together so there are few surprises later.  With this list in hand, you can budget and then begin planning.

Wedding planners suggest that you start with the top 5 items - the ones on which you are least likely to compromise.  If you go over budget on any of those you can "borrow" from other categories to keep your budget in balance.  For example, if your reception site is the most important to you, book it early and then you'll know how much is left to allocate for photographs or flowers.  You may choose to rent greens to spend less on cut flowers in expensive arrangements.  If you decide that the food you serve is more important than the beverages, then discard the idea of an open bar and have champagne served by roving waiters.  If having "the" gown is your dream, and it's price is over your budget, you'll need to fund it from other wedding items.

If you are lucky enough to receive a cash contribution to your wedding from parents, consider investing it in a short term CD that will earn interest before you need to start paying vendors.

One of the most effective ways to manage the budget is to pare down the guest list.  More and more couples are choosing smaller and more intimate weddings.

Wise couples order all of their wedding stationery needs at one time.  Reorders are expensive.  That means that you will need to carefully plan that number.

Monday, November 7, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - A Very Big Party!

Your wedding ceremony is the most important part of your day!  No argument there.  But once that memorable event is completed, it is time to celebrate that extraordinary milestone.  That is what your reception is all about - thanking your guests for being part of this wonderful time in your lives and inviting them to help you celebrate.  This is the first time you greet family and friends as a married couple, so it is understandable that you want this first party to be unique, memorable and very special both for you and your guests.

Here are some guidelines to help you plan and deliver an event that will keep everyone talking.

* Give yourself plenty of time by planning your reception at least 9 - 12 months in advance - more if you have your eye on a specific venue that is very popular.  Hot spots can book 18 months in advance or longer.

*Unless you have previously attended a wedding reception at the venue of your choice, it always wise to ask facility personnel if you can observe another reception they are doing so you can see the flow of traffic and how the site handles set up.  Check the number of bathrooms available and the number of servers working the reception.

* Plan to serve food appropriate for the time of day- no dinner food for a 4 PM reception but certainly more than hors d'oeuvres at a 6 PM reception.

*Avoid a cash bar.  If your budget does not cover an open bar, serve something you can afford.  Charging for drinks is like charging a guest for dinner in your home.  You invited these guests.  Also, it is much better to demand that bartenders and musicians do not put out a tip jar.  All gratuities should be handled with the final payments.

* Be sure that musicians are clear about the type of music to play.  There should be a variety so that guests of all ages can enjoy dancing.  Make sure that your MC knows what and when introductions and/or announcements are to be made.

*Guests will continue to bring gifts to the reception.  Make sure that they are kept in a secure room and hire security for the evening if you have any doubts.

*While photos are a critical part of the day, try to make sure photo sessions are not too long and delay reception activities.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Congratulations!  You are engaged to be married.  Exciting times.  Busy times ahead.  Decisions to be made.   The biggest - setting the date!  As you consider various dates, times and places for your wedding, here are some points to consider.
  • ·         Think about your budget!  It is true that weddings in some months can be more expensive than in other months.  (Think about the Law of Supply and Demand that you learned about in Econ 101).  In popular months - May through September - some bands, florists, photographers and reception venues may charge more than in other off season times.  If you can pick a different date and time you may stage the same wedding and save money doing it.
  • ·         Think about the season.  If you are determined to have a Christmas wedding in spite of potential weather issues, go for it.  Just plan well in advance and try to be flexible about venues and the possibility that many guests may not be able to travel in winter weather.
  • ·         Consider scheduling your wedding around a holiday.  If you have family in another state, planning a wedding over a long weekend may make it possible for more members to attend.
  • It can give you a theme for the wedding as well as weekend celebration rather than just one day.
  • ·         If you are in a job that requires huge time commitments and blocks of your time, you will want to schedule around those requirements.  It may be the best move you make to hire a professional wedding planner to assist you.
  • ·         If you are planning on a destination wedding, you will likely need to be more flexible in your choice of dates and times.  You may have to choose between a dateor a place.
  • ·         If you are determined to have your wedding in a very special place to you and the groom, you will definitely need to be flexible.  If that is THE PLACE then you work within the dates it has available.

If you need help with ideas for locations, be sure to chat with our experienced planners who are used to working with schedules and helping busy brides create a schedule for the event.  Plus they can help with all of the details necessary to create a day to remember for you and your guests.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Guest Etiquette

You have received an invitation to the wedding of a good friend or family member.  Consider it an honor to be selected to help those close to you celebrate a wonderful part of their lives.

Once you have sent an RSVP with a positive response, you become an official guest at this party.  You will no doubt bring an appropriate gift, but did you realize that another gift you give to the couple is the knowledge of how to be a good guest and the wisdom to use that knowledge.

Here is a check list of do's and don'ts that you can use to insure that your behavior will fit the occasion and not be a reason for the couple to grimace on their anniversary.


  • ·         Send back your RSVP in a timely manner.
  • ·         Arrive at the wedding at least 15-20 minutes before the ceremony is to begin.

  • ·         If you are unavoidably delayed, stay standing in the back of the church.

  • ·         Keep your phone on silent.

  • ·         Dress appropriately.

  • ·         Have fun dancing at the reception but do not call attention to yourself or partner.

  • ·         Respect your host's choices even if they aren't what you would choose.

  • ·         Send your gift to the bride or the couple at least a week prior to the event.


  • ·         Change your mind about attending once the RSVP is sent.  Don't cancel and they decide to show up anyway.

  • ·         Sit in the front rows.  They are reserved for family.

  • ·         Text or tweet during the ceremony.  Don't take and send photos of the bride before she does.

  • ·         Wear jeans or sweats unless specifically requested by the couple.

  • ·         Get in the way of the professional photographer hired to capture the moments of the wedding.

  • ·         Trash talk the couple's choices.

  • ·         Don't take ceremony or reception photos without the couple's approval.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Great Shape

All brides search for a wedding gown that has the "look" and features they want.  Whether it is simple or ornate, there truly is THE GOWN for every bride.  The guidance of an experienced consultant who knows each designer's specialty can put her in the perfect dress.  The hands of a skilled alterations expert can make the gown of choice fit beautifully.  But even those professionals can't change body shapes without help.

Some designers construct a wedding gown with built in bras or corsets.  That can come as a surprise to a bride from a generation that thought corsets disappeared with the end of the Civil War. But the designer who adds the proper "infrastructure" to a gown knows what he or she is doing.

If your gown of choice does not have a built in minimizer or enhancer, rely on the skill and advice of a trained consultant who can help you find the proper undergarments to make the most of you and your gown.  The proper bra and slop and other "control" items like Spanx can help you feel and look your very best on this special day.

Be sure that the undergarments you choose are neutral or skin toned.  You don't want a surprise color peeping out our showing through.  Be sure to try on the undergarments with your gown and have a friend or relative take photographs front, back and side so you know all is secure.

Far from being uncomfortable, today's undergarments are designed for both comfort and camouflage.