Guide For Planning Your Wedding

Some might say that one’s wedding day is the most important day of their lives. It is a union that is only surpassed by the birth of one’s children. The key to a happy and well organized wedding is preparation and organization. That is the goal of this step by step wedding planning guide. Some may think that all the hype about wedding planning is just overplay; however that is not the case. Planning your wedding can be one of the most complicated things to do; especially if you don’t prepare yourself for the long list of things that need to be done. This quick little wedding checklist should help you get all aspects of your wedding moving in the right direction.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- The Breakdown

Let’s break down planning your wedding into 3 sections. First we will talk about the budget, location, guest list and theme for the wedding. Once we have a direction on the where; we will move to the when. Those are the first and foremost things that need to be considered and decided before any further steps are taken.

Then we will move over to all the booking and reservations that are involved with wedding planning. This would include aspects like catering, the band and the photographer. The last thing that we will cover in this wedding checklist will be the maid of honor and the bridesmaids; the best man and the groomsmen; the ushers, the ring bearer and the flower girls.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- Section One

The first thing to consider when you begin planning your wedding is the budget. This is usually a touchy subject; as it is traditionally the parents of the bride who will foot the bill. However; now that we have entered the 21st century; just like many other common traditions; the parents are no longer expected to carry all of the financial weight. The funds can come from anywhere; but the most important thing is getting a realistic estimate of what you will have to spend. Once you know how much you can spend; you know how much you can afford.

The next thing on the wedding checklist in this step by step wedding planning guide is the guest list. Many think that this is the hardest part of wedding planning because it has to be based around the budget. Deciding how many are going to be on your guest list does take presentence, to most people, over the location and theme. This is because of how special this day is. It all revolves around how many close friends and family members you want to share your special day with. Some may want to decide the location, theme and guest list all at once; as these will be the major contributors to the overall expense. Either way; the guest list is a crucial factor when considering the realistic budget you have to divvy up for the other aspects of your wedding.

Now the wedding checklist comes to the location and theme. The further ahead that you book the place in which you want to have the wedding ceremony; the cheaper it will be. Some people are very traditional and want to be married in a church; but for those who want to choose another special place; there are many alternate locations to consider when planning your wedding.

Here are some ideas for planning your wedding location:

  • The Park
  • The Beach
  • A Place of Historical Significance
  • A Place of Personal Significance
  • At A Family or Friends Home
  • Overseas

Once you have decided on the location; the theme is next on the wedding checklist. The theme and location sometimes go hand in hand. For example; if you choose to have a beach wedding; then the theme will most likely be based around a luau of some sort. After choosing a theme to match your budget, location and guest list; you can move onto the more intricate pieces of planning your wedding; like the actual reservations and bookings. (See section two of this step by step wedding planning guide)

The final aspect covered in this wedding planning section is all about the when. Ask yourself: When do I want to have my wedding? There are 12 months every year. Some are warm; some are cool; some are hot; some are cold. You may want to choose a special time of year that is significant to you both when planning your wedding date. This could be a reminder of when you met, based around a special holiday that you shared, or just simply your favorite time of the year.

People come in all different likes and dislikes; meaning the groom may want to have the wedding in the dead of winter; while the bride may want the flowers to be blooming while she walks down the aisle. Coming to a compromise on the time of year to have the wedding is only one of the many compromises that will need to be made throughout the wedding planning stages.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- Section Two

This part of the wedding checklist covers the reservations and booking of all the fine details of a wedding; this includes everything from the caterer to the band; from the wedding location to the photographer.

When planning your wedding; if one thing is not reserved or booked correctly it could throw the whole wedding off course. Double checking and then triple checking again can never hurt. The last thing anyone would want is to show up at their wedding location and there be nothing there set up. For the most part; booking and scheduling your wedding activities months prior to the actual wedding will save lots of money. Last minute weddings always tend to cost more than ones that are scheduled way ahead of time.

This next section basically consists of the more intricate and detailed tasks that are outlined in this step by step wedding planning guide. This is instrumental to the overall flow of the wedding in general. You will need to choose a caterer for the reception meal. The catering company needs to be reliable, professional at what they do and most importantly offer quality of service and great food. Caterers can provide testing samples during your decision stages to assure that the proposed menu will meet the tastes of the bride and groom.

Coordinating the music is usually a pretty easy aspect of planning your wedding. All that is really needed is a musician, band or DJ that can be versatile enough to meet the music likings of the bride and groom. It is important to seek out a semi professional band; as one of the worst things would be if they never even showed up. You would also want to look for someone who has experience with weddings; as they will need to entertain the guests and keep the mood and events of the reception flowing; leading your guests through a series of predesigned reception events.

So at this point of the wedding checklist; one must first look at the type of music that the married to be couple enjoys together. This same logic applies to choosing your photographer; as this is an important decision because the pictures taken will be wedding keepsakes forever.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- Section Three

This is the final section in this wedding checklist and it covers the wedding party. This part of wedding planning may just be the toughest. Choosing the actual wedding party is very important; not only to the bride and groom; but to the ones who are chosen.

It is a great honor for most to be chosen as a best man or maid of honor; that’s a given; but it is also an honor to just be chosen to participate as a bridesmaid, groomsmen, flower girl and/or ring bearer. This is usually what makes up the wedding party; though additional roles and positions can be added or removed depending on the bride and grooms wishes.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- In Review

Though there are other aspects of planning your wedding that should be on your wedding checklist; this Step By Step Wedding Planning Guideshould get you well on your way to making the appropriate arrangements and decisions. The key thing to remember when planning your wedding is the budget. Once you know how much you have to spend; everything else will fall into place!

We here at EtcTrade.com wish you and your loved one good luck in planning your wedding and all the best on your long journey of marital bliss.

 

Tips To Planning Your Wedding Day

Recently Engaged? What’s Next? 5 Tips On How To Get Started Planning Your Dream Wedding Day!

So your fiance has recently proposed, you said “yes” and now you’re gearing up to start your wedding planning. What’s a girl to do next?

Many women are excited and slightly overwhelmed when it comes to getting started with planning their weddings. They really aren’t sure where to start. This is completely normal so don’t panic. If your car broke down and needed repaired you wouldn’t fix it yourself you’d bring your car to a mechanic a trained expert in repairing cars, right? So why would you take one of the most important days in your life, a huge investment of money (average wedding is $25,000) at a very overwhelming time in your life to plan your wedding all on your own? You deserve to have a little help from a professional wedding planner (like me) to get you started on the right direction to help you get on the right track, get organized, spend your time wisely, help you find the best location and wedding professionals for your day and then ensure everything is well organized so that you can really enjoy every moment of the day.

Well I’m here to help you get started with planning your amazing dream wedding. Here are my 5 tips to get you started and put you on the right track to your dream wedding day!

1. You’re Engaged! Celebrate!

This is such a special time in your lives so make sure you celebrate it! If someone offers to host an engagement party then don’t turn them down. This is your time to feel beautiful and get used to becoming a glowing bride to be. Enjoy every moment of your engagement because before you know it; it will be over.

2. Decide what kind of wedding do you want

It’s important before you do anything else you really need to sit down and figure out what your dream wedding day looks like. A lot of couples skip this step entirely and what ends up happening is they don’t have the wedding day of their dreams and afterwards they can’t stop thinking about it. If you talk to a lot of married couples many brides will tell you that they didn’t have the wedding day of their dreams. They might make up excuses about not having enough money or time to plan it. But what they were really missing was a process and an expert in weddings to help them make decisions, see it from another perspective and making the impossible actually possible! But what they did was plan to get it all done and get through their day hoping that everything would go right. That’s a lot of stress! But what if I told you that’s not what your wedding day should be about. It should be about an exciting milestone in your life about the two of you coming together to become husband and wife. Once you say “I do” then you give your guests an amazing experience (your vision) to celebrate with you.

3. Decide how much you want to invest in your dream wedding day?

Wedding budgets don’t have to be scary unless you want them to be. Come up with a figure and make sure that it’s realistic with the number of guests you will be having at your wedding. Where will those funds be coming from? Keep in mind when parents are helping contribute to the wedding they often will start dictating what you can and can’t have. Some couples have no choice they are paying for their wedding themselves and perhaps a student loan, and a new home on top of it. Make sure it’s an amount you are comfortable with and sometimes you may have to sacrifice in certain areas to have your dream day. But I know it’s possible I’ve helped couples achieve their dream weddings on budgets between $15,000-$70,000.

4. Start researching ceremony and reception venues

Once you’ve set a date you really need to secure your DREAM venue as soon as possible. Where do you see yourself getting married outside, inside, in a church, in a garden, by the falls, on a farm, in a rustic setting, in a banquet hall… the possibilities are endless!

5. Get Some Support From A Professional Wedding Planner (for FREE)

I remember what it was like starting to plan my wedding. I sort of felt like “a deer in headlights” not having a clue as to where to begin. I knew what I wanted for my wedding, but it wasn’t possible to achieve (Or was it? Not with that attitude). I spent hours and hours Googling stuff and asking around about vendors and venues from friends and family. I thought back to where other weddings had taken place that I attended and graded the hall. But did I really want someone else’s wedding? No! But I was taking the easiest way out because planning was just too time consuming and stressful. It was a full time job all on its own. And I barely saw Steve while I was planning our wedding all by myself. And even worse… although our wedding was amazing and our guests still talk about it. I listened to everyone else. And I didn’t have my DREAM wedding and now after 2 years I still think about it. I wish I had known about what a wedding planner could have offered me.

As a wife and now an experienced wedding planner I’ve been there and done that (over 25 times to be exact). I don’t just plan weddings I help brides (and grooms) through a very overwhelming and often stressful time in their lives. I’m here to hold your hand and guide you through the emotional rollercoaster that is wedding planning. Nothing means more to me than making sure you have the wedding day of YOUR dreams, to get the things that you want for YOUR dream wedding. To make it a personal day that reflects who the two of you are. I want to ensure you stay on target with your budget, match you to the best vendors and venue that would be best for you and then give you the tools to ensure that you can actually SHINE like the star you are and not be doing anything else but enjoying every moment of your day! That’s why I offer lots of tips and advice to hundreds of brides and grooms, because it’s so overwhelming and you need someone to help you through the process.

If you’d like more of my help with designing your dream wedding then you can start here with my Designer Secrets Revealed F*REE Special Report “7 Easy Ways To Get Wedding WOW Factor” and you will also receive a subscription to my popular e-magazine “Wedding Wishes By Stephanie Thompson” with more great wedding planning tips and tricks.

Well beautiful bride to be I hope this helps get you pointed on the right direction to planning your dream wedding. Congratulations and enjoy this amazing time in your lives!

 

 

Benefit of Wedding Themes

Wedding themes are used by more and more couples to turn their big day into an event that is both meaningful to them and enjoyable for their guests. You can always stick with wedding themes that are simple and elegant or go all out and do something that’s never been done before to make your wedding truly special. Remember that a wedding is an important occasion for both the bride and the groom, and a wedding theme needs to reflect that. Take the time to sit down with your partner to explore possible wedding theme ideas that will make you both happy. Consider the mood and atmosphere you want to set for your wedding. Would you like it to be very traditional or fun and quirky? Sophisticated or relaxed? Then go a little deeper and think about your personal style, personality and interests. When you figure out a general direction for coming up with a theme, the ideas will come to you naturally. Take a look at some wedding themes below and the areas of your ceremony and reception that can be influenced by the theme you choose.

Time Period

Medieval – The perfect setting for this theme would be in historical churches or castles. The use of calligraphy is a great way to distinguish this time period. Decorations with a gothic feel and deep rich colors such as blue and purple work best.

Victorian – The ideal ceremony location for this theme is a Victorian style mansion or a garden with a beautiful gazebo, and there is nothing more fitting for the reception than having it in a grand ballroom. Lace can be used to adorn not only the bride’s dress, but also the table setting and other elements for décor. Go with light colors in white, off white and pastels, and do not forget to add tea to the menu.

1920’s – The bride can be very creative with her wedding day look by wearing unique headpieces or donning long strands of pearls. Bridesmaids can opt for a shorter dress that resembles the iconic flapper image of that era and groomsmen can sport a fedora to take them back in time. Your music selection for the reception can center around jazz, couple that with a uniquely cabaret style setting.

Destination

Beach – A wedding that takes place on a beach requires the dress code to be casual, with dresses preferably short. Seashells, starfish, flip flops and sandcastles are all popular beach related items that are frequently used in the décor for this wedding theme. Blues, whites and sandy colors typically represent this beautiful setting, and tropical exotic flowers should be used.

Cities – Whether you are having a destination wedding in a different city or just want to have your wedding feel as if it were in another location, you can include specific elements to make a certain city become your wedding theme. Make good use of colors, historical sites, cultural relics, flowers that represent the city and of course the fashion.

Interests

Rock & Roll – The most important aspect of this wedding theme is the music, let your guests rock and roll all night long. Instead of dressing like a classic bride and groom, go with something a little more rebellious. Think of your favorite rock songs and use elements from the song for decorating ideas.

Fairytale – Most girls who dream about their happily ever after need a wedding that is fit for a princess. Get ideas for your ceremony and reception from your favorite fairytale stories. You can go all out with horse drawn carriages and a grand ballroom or use subtle touches to create this theme.

Movie – The big screen is a great source of inspiration for many couples. If you want to capture the feel of a certain movie for your wedding, the possibilities are endless. From the wedding attire and music to the food and decorations, there are a lot of different things you can do to make the movie come alive. Some great movie themes include Alice in Wonderland, Grease, and Gone with the Wind. What are some of your favorites?

Culture

Asian – There are so many diverse cultures in Asia, each with its own unique wedding customs and traditions. If either the bride or groom is of a particular Asian ethnicity, it’s important to incorporate the traditional dress of that culture into the wedding as well as food. Other cultural elements that can be used throughout include traditional patterns, artwork, colors, writing, etc.

Seasons

Spring – The weather is getting warmer and flowers are in bloom, there is no better season to have your wedding. A garden wedding would be perfect for this season, heavy use of flowers and butterflies are especially common for spring weddings. The colors that are used are usually light and so are the fabrics, pair that with food that contain a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Summer – Everybody loves summer, that is why it is one of the most popular seasons to have a wedding. Outdoor ceremonies are perfect for this time of year and there are many different locations for you to choose from. The use of bright and vibrant colors is ideal for this season. Serve food and drinks that are refreshing, and let your wedding party wear something lightweight and comfortable.

Autumn – This season makes us think of falling leaves and rich colors such as red, orange, gold and brown. If the weather is not too chilly where you are, outdoor weddings can still be very appropriate. The menu should include meals that are made with foods common during this season such as pumpkins and apples. Centerpieces featuring autumn leaves and candles are also great for the reception.

Winter – Winter wonderland wedding themes are popular among many couples. With white being the primary color, it’s easy to have the décor look both sophisticated and elegant especially using silver or gold accents. Think of ways to incorporate snowflakes into the decoration of your venue and for your wedding favors.

Wedding Color Scheme – After deciding on a theme, selecting the color combination to use throughout your wedding becomes a lot easier. Choose colors in shades that are representative of your theme.

Wedding Location – Wedding themes also play a major role when choosing a venue for the ceremony as well as reception. Having a theme helps to narrow down the options you have for holding your wedding.

Wedding Attire – Wedding themes can influence the attire for the bride, groom, wedding party and sometimes even the guests. Whether you decide to wear something traditional or unconventional, formal or casual,it all depends on how it fits in with your theme.

Wedding Decorations – Looking for one of a kind centerpieces and table settings? Let wedding themes inspire the décor of your entire reception.

Wedding Menu – Wedding themes can greatly affect the food that you serve your guests during the reception. Your menu can reflect a certain time period, culture, location or season.

Wedding Favors – Give your guests something special to take home as a little token of your appreciation. Gifts that are related to your wedding theme will remind them of the great time they had.

Wedding Floral Arrangement – With so many flowers to choose from, having a wedding theme makes it much easier to settle on a color combination for your floral arrangement and narrow it down to a specific style.

Wedding Cake – Wedding cakes have become a piece of art in and of itself. Your wedding cake can be one of the best representations of your theme. Discuss your ideas with the expert and let them work their magic.

Wedding Invitations – Let everyone know what to expect on your big day by incorporating the wedding theme into your invitations. It’s a great way to get people excited and looking forward to being there.

Wedding Website – After the invitations go out, your guests can get updates about your wedding, take a look at what you are doing to prepare for the big day and get more information on what to expect through your wedding website. Grab their attention and keep them excited by creating a website entirely in the style of your planned theme.

 

Tips To Hire Videographer For Your Wedding

Recently, my cousin became engaged, and I will be his best man. Naturally, the subject of who will be his wedding videographer came up. His answer was simple: what should I look for in a wedding videographer? Being in the business myself, I would like to shed some light on the subject.

Experience

When you look for a wedding videographer, look for someone who is constantly shooting weddings. On average, a busy wedding cinematographer will record about 20-35 weddings per year. Above 35 weddings could be overkill.

First of all, make sure that your videographer has done more than thirty weddings. If s/he has done more than fifty wedding, it could be easily considered an experienced videographer.

I wouldn’t really put much weight if the videographer says that he or she has two, three or five years of experience. It does not really matter. What matters is how many wedding he or she has done. The more the merrier.

Why is experience so important to me? Because in DSLR video, focusing is extremely important and difficult, and practice makes master. Unless your taste is for video that goes in and out of focus, you should look for a videographer what will keep your video in focus.

One vs Multiple videographers

Ask if the videographer can show you videos that he or she has done alone in a wedding. And then work that they have done with 2 or 3 videographers. This is really important.

Depending on your budget you may want to go with only one wedding videographer instead of multiple ones. Watch samples of his or her work while shooting a wedding video alone. Ask what is the best position he or she adopts during the ceremony and the reception.

Ask to see work while working with several videographers as well. How they position each camera during the ceremony and reception.

Ask to watch excerpts of a wedding video more than a highlight. Many wedding videographers emphasize in the highlight more than the wedding video itself. I have seen videographers missing important parts of the ceremony because they are working to get an exotic angle down from the aisle floor or with the slider. They do this just to create more production value to their highlight to show future clients.

DSLR

Another important matter to discuss is their equipment. If you are paying a wedding videographer, let say more than 2000 dollars, check that they are using DSLR cameras, preferably canon cameras.

There are many, but many videographers still using regular HD cameras, which give you acceptable image, but not cinematic look like DSLR cameras would give you.

Lights

Ask about lighting. Discuss about the lighting at the ceremony. Churches usually have good lighting, but if the church it not well illuminated, ask the wedding videographer how they deal with low light situations.

It’s really important to ask about lighting for the reception. How do they plan to use them and what type of lighting equipment they use?

Reception halls are usually very dark, which makes wedding videography very challenging because you have to manage good lighting while not killing the mood. Confirm that your wedding videographer will have enough lighting for introductions, first dance, dance with parents, speeches, cutting the cake – the all the important moments of the reception.

Ask about lighting while dancing. Check that they do not use too much lighting that could kill the mood of the reception, or the lighting the dj or lighting specialist are using for your wedding. But, make sure they use a good source of lighting to illuminate your guests dancing.

Sound

Image quality is just half of your wedding video, sound is the other half.

A wedding video with bad sound could damage the quality of the video.

Ask the wedding cinematographer how they capture sound during the ceremony and reception, specially if you are getting married at a church, which has a lot a reverberation. Just make sure they mic the officiant or officiants, the groom and podium. They should be able to capture good sound from anywhere people will be talking or singing.

Make certain that they put a microphone on the singer, or at least put a recording equipment close to them if they do not have more lavaliere microphones or there are more than one singer.

Sound at the reception hall:

The reception is very noisy. People cheering, talking, etc. Talk to your videographer and make sure they get the sound from different sources like plugging their recording device right from the dj or band. Wedding videographers must also capture ambiance sound (ambience sound is important to get reactions from your guests)

Being unobtrusive

One important matter to discuss is how they work. I have seen videographers who are very obtrusive, so much, that they have 2 or 3 videographers very close to the bride and groom while doing the first dance or when they are dancing with their parents. They are very obtrusive in a way that it is impossible for the wedding photographers to capture a decent picture of the couple. Many videographers, trying to capture exotic angles or images for their highlights, become noisy and noticeable during the wedding ceremony and during the reception. Make sure they are respectful, unobtrusive and share a good working relationship with the photographers or any other vendor.

Video Length

Ask how long your wedding video will be. I have heard of wedding cinematographers that charge a great amount of money for their service, but only provide a 5 minute highlight and unedited raw footage. If you pay a couple thousands more, they give you 20 to 30 minutes wedding video. They reason that a video of more than 30 minutes could be boring and people would not enjoy it. I am one of those wedding videographers, who does not believe that. I think that the client could get a nicely edited wedding video of the entire wedding without being boring. If you would like to jump to certain part of the video, there are always the chapters. Just go to the scene selection on your dvd or blu ray and select whatever you would like to watch. Don’t take me wrong, a shorter version of your wedding video is awesome, and we do offer it. In fact, we were one of the first studios to introduce this concept, but I just don’t think that it should replace a long version of your complete wedding video.

Turnaround

Ask about the turnaround of the work. There are many studios that promise a first draft of your wedding video in five or six months. In my opinion that is too long. I provide a first draft of a wedding video within 2 months from the wedding day, so I can’t really comprehend six months.

Check how the final product is delivered. Many companies that are still providing their clients with dvd only, and what good is it to record something in hd if it will be delivered in standard definition. Other wedding videographers will charge extra for blu rays. So make sure you know the final format. Even if you don’t have Blu-ray, make sure you get Blu-rays.

Ask if they provide unlimited access to the video online or the digital copies for your mobile device.

Check if they allow changes to your wedding video and how the terms are for these changes.

A wedding video is one of the best memories you will have from your wedding day. You need to make sure that you will get the best possible wedding video.

Have a happy wedding!

 

Things You Should Know Before Hiring Photographer

Although most people have attended a wedding, that doesn’t mean that they will know the process when it’s their turn to go down the aisle. Below is a step by step guide on the process of hiring a wedding photographer.

Step One: Hiring a photographer.

This can be a daunting task even for someone who follows hundreds of wedding photographers blogs. It is recommended that you hire someone within the state that you are getting married. Most wedding professionals travel all over and even if they do not live in the area you are getting married they have most likely photographed there before. Ask them to Narrow your search down to five wedding photographers that you really like. They can be in several different price brackets at this point. Begin communicating with them-choose three you want to meet with in person. The in person meeting is huge because the photographer will be with you the entire day and you want someone not only competent in wedding photography but someone you know you can get along with and wont mind having around. After your meetings you can then choose your photographer.

Step Two: Choosing a package

Hopefully you spoke with your photographer at the meeting about what kind of coverage they offer, and what kind of coverage you will need. Let them help with this they shouldn’t sell you more than you need, but they also should be there to cover all the important moments that will happen on your wedding day. Wedding photographer typical day is 8 hours just like any other professionals work day. That said often 10 hours of coverage is needed in order to begin with the bridal prep and end well into the reception. Your wedding photographer should help you decide if you would like a wedding album (recommended so that your memories are secure in print and digitally) and they should talk you through if they give you the rights to the wedding images or if they keep the digital files etc.

Step Three: Deciding how the wedding day works

There are two models for the photographer on wedding day… the first one is traditional, and the second is with a first look. These models are how we structure the time needed and schedule of the day for photographs.

Traditional: Photographer will come and start with the details at the hotel. Dress, shoes, invitation, rings, bridesmaid dresses, perfume, jewelry, and flowers. After those details have been photographed the wedding photographer will turn their attention to the women and their photojournalistic getting ready photos. This is where the wedding photographer begins to capture moments and build the story of the day. After the bride is in her dress an experienced photographer will often have a first look with the parents-so dad and mom will come in and see their baby girl for the first time in her wedding gown. Meanwhile the second photographer is with the men and taking candid shots of them tying their ties and just hanging out being men before the ceremony. As the bride walks down the aisle at the ceremony the second photographer is taking shots of the grooms expression, and the main photographer is photographing the processional with the bridesmaids and the bride walking down the aisle. After the ceremony the wedding photographer will (with help from the appointed family member) gather up the full family for their portraits. The wedding photographer will begin with the brides side of the family and break it down until the smallest family breakdown (mom and bride, dad and bride, siblings and bride) have been photographed. The wedding photographer will then move onto the grooms family and do the same thing starting with the biggest grouping and breaking it down to the smallest groups. When that is finished it is time to photograph the bridal party. An experienced wedding photographer should be able to get three different posed bridal party shots done in 15 minutes. From there the photographer will photograph just the group of men, and then just the group of women. These two groupings should only take 10-15 minutes and the wedding photographer should know exactly how they want each member of the party or grouping to stand. From there the wedding photographer will take a few portraits of the bride, then the groom, and finally finish up (this whole thing from family to finish should take an hour) with the bride and the groom together. At this point the wedding photographer turns everyone over to the coordinator and the band or DJ. They are in charge of how the reception flows. The wedding photographer will photojournalistic capture the moments from this point on. Even the formalities like the first dances, cake cutting, and bouquet throwing are done in a candid style.

First Look: The Wedding photographer will still meet you at hair and makeup and do the detail shots first. But after the bride is ready the wedding photographer has scheduled the day so that there is an hour and a half of photo time before the ceremony. It begins with a private viewing of the bride from her parents, and then the photographer has chosen an intimate spot with good light for the groom to see his bride for the first time in her dress. The wedding photographer will tell the bride and the groom how to walk to each other before so that they can be in the wings with their long lens getting great emotional moments. After this (generally 15 minutes) the bridal party will be gathered for the bridal party pictures, the women, and the men pictures. This will be about 30 minutes. Finally about 45 minutes before the ceremony the family will be photographed. The bridal party and bride and groom should be finished 30 minutes before the ceremony with all pictures as guests begin to arrive and often the bride doesn’t want to be where she can be seen by everyone. After the ceremony the bride and the groom can take a few moments to be husband and wife and the photographer can take pictures with little to no direction. Then the bride and the groom are able to go to cocktail hour with their bridal party and talk to all of their guests. It is recommended that in the traditional line up of a day there is a receiving line so that you meet all of your guests and don’t have to do it at dinner time. In the first look scenario you can do that at cocktail hour. Again the reception is photojournalistic and candid based for all events.

Step Four: What happens after the wedding

The wedding photographer hopefully explained how they work already in a meeting or in an email. After the wedding many wedding photographers will edit a photographers favorites set within several days and send you an email as well as post them to their blog/FB sites. If the wedding photographer is very busy make sure to ask what their turn around time for all of the wedding photos are. Often times a month is a reasonable amount of time. Also chat with them about their process for culling down the set of final images. It is very important part of a wedding photographers job to edit through and choose the best photos as we have the ability to process thousands of high-resolution images but it is often overwhelming for you the bride to process through that many which is why it is important that we are presenting only the best one of each of the images we take on the wedding day. That will be more than enough wedding images. Talk to your wedding photographer about how they send you the final set of images is it via web or is it via hard drive.

Step Five: The wedding album

If applicable one of the last formal business interactions (as hopefully you are friends at this point) is the wedding album design. Most wedding photographers will begin by creating a version for you telling your wedding story. Then from there you can make changes, edit it, and perfect it to be your favorite images. The wedding album is to take your readers in 10-40 years through your wedding day, so it is often best if you do not choose the images if you let the photographer choose the images to work from. Then as said you can make changes to the album. Wedding photographers are storytellers and this is where their final vision and style can be really seen. In your initial meeting with wedding photographers you saw their album style and hopefully choose someone whose design elements you liked and whose overall feel of the wedding day story through the albums you related too.

That is a summary of the involvement of the wedding photographer, and the process in which the wedding photographer evaluates your day. Each photographer will look for different things on a wedding day, and each wedding photographer will have a unique style but we all will follow a professional and meticulous formula for getting the wedding photos.

 

How To Saving Your Money For Wedding Venue

These 6 top money-saving tips on cheap wedding venues are the result of extensive research coupled with experiences from couples who have benefited from them. These strategies have helped them spend less on their wedding while still ensuring that they have their dream wedding.

1. The wedding date

Take some time to choose and agree on a wedding date that falls during the wedding off-season period but still holds special meaning to the both of you. The off-season period may differ depending on the country you are going to celebrate your wedding in. It could mean certain months of the year, certain days of the week or even certain times of the day. You can easily negotiate to secure cheap wedding venues during the off-season period when the business is not as competitive.

2. Number of invited guests

Your wedding is the most important day of your life. You want this to be an unforgettable and memorable event. Of course, it’s your wedding! Both of you will have to agree on who to invite to your wedding. The number of invited guests will decide the choice of cheap wedding venues.

3. Combine the venues of the wedding reception and ceremony

You could save a lot of money if you have your wedding ceremony and reception at the same place. Don’t forget that you have to be mindful of the number of guests invited; especially if the ceremony and reception is held in an enclosed area like a chapel or hall. However, you could always avoid this restriction by having a beach wedding!

4. Cheap wedding venues that are just right for you

Once you have determined your wedding date and the number of guests, you can start looking through a list of cheap wedding venues and pick the one that suits you best. The following cheap wedding venues can offer you a unique and cheap wedding with the right planning:

• At a park – Start from the list of parks you two are familiar with. You would usually have some special romantic memories in one of these parks so it would be especially meaningful to get married here. This option will also save you the expenses of at least the facilities hiring fee.

• By a river – A riverside wedding is quite special and unique. A River Foreshore is so beautiful that your wedding will be romantic for you and enjoyable for your guests. Remember to check with the local council for any restriction to have your wedding at the river foreshore. You can also choose to have your wedding on a River Cruise liner. This unique experience may become the highlight of your town.

• At the beach – Many of you dream of a beach wedding. The crashing waves and sand beneath your feet; everything is just so naturally and amazingly beautiful. The beach is one of the most popular cheap wedding venues. You could make this experience even more memorable by having a sunset beach wedding ceremony followed by a simple wedding reception, which would also definitely cut down your wedding expenses. Keep in mind that getting married at a public beach or a private beach may have different restrictions. Confirm and adhere to these restrictions as part of your wedding ceremony and wedding reception plan. Make sure to include cleaning up after the event as another part of your plan too.

• Your backyard – When you decide to have a private and small wedding, a backyard wedding is at the top of the list. The savings will include wedding venue expenses and also food and beverages. Your backyard would already offer beautiful and natural floral arrangements. All you need to add is a bit of party decor to make it even more beautiful. Your choice of food could be from catering; or you could mix it up and do a wedding barbeque or even a tea party! Of course, having your wedding in your backyard may involve a lot of work. However, with careful planning and a bit of creativity, you can turn your backyard into the fairytale wedding of your dream. It is definitely well worth the effort.

• Local community halls – Another option for cheap wedding venues is the local community halls. These are usually available for hire at a very low rate. Besides, they tend to be equipped with tables and chairs which are available for rent. Inquire about their preferred vendors who give other facilities for any event as you can often get a very special rate if you use their regular vendors. When you need to invite a bigger group of guests, a local community hall would usually be a more affordable option.

• Institution halls – Many universities and colleges have big campus halls which are available for rent to hold the wedding ceremony and reception. Some cities also have city halls which are available for rent. Take some time to check these out. This is definitely another option for a cheap wedding venue that’s worth exploring.

• Churches – Walking down the aisle at the church symbolizes the beginning of a new life with your spouse. This is especially meaningful for Christian couples. There is no specific rental fee if you choose to use a church chapel to carry out your wedding ceremony before proceeding to use the church hall for your wedding reception. However, you should present a voluntary gift to the church for making use of the facilities.

• Any new venues that are less popular – Look for restaurants or hotels that have recently opened. They are usually more open to negotiations and can offer a good discount. This could work out to be a win-win situation for both parties as a perfect wedding reception would help them to promote their future business, and you would reap the benefits of reduced costs without compromising on quality.

5. Work out the total expenses

Decide on your wedding venue option from the list of cheap wedding venues available. Then remember to work out the total expenses required. The expenses may include the rental of tables and chairs, decorations, stage set up etc. You should also consider the type of wedding menu.

6. Have a Backup Plan

Cheap wedding venues may save you thousands of dollars. But no one can guarantee you perfect weather on your wedding day. Therefore, I cannot stress enough that you should always have a backup plan if you have chosen an outdoor wedding venue. Having said that, you should not let a little rain ruin your perfect day.

 

Tips For Choosing Wedding Venue

Is the wedding venue available on our wedding day?

Sounds like an obvious first question doesn’t it, but you really need to ask it first. There is no point visiting a potential wedding venue, falling in love with the idea of getting married there and not being able to make your dreams happen because another bride and groom got there first.

If you’ve already chosen your special date, then we suggest you telephone the wedding venue ahead of the visit and state you can only make that date, if they are already booked up then get back to the list and find another fantastic wedding venue.

How many guests can be seated for a meal at the wedding venue?

This is fairly crucial, you don’t want to book a wedding venue that have a seating area for 250 people if you’re only inviting 60 to a sit down meal.

In turn you also want to ensure your guests can sit comfortably without being crammed into a small venue, or even worse, being left to feel as if they’re shoved in at the back, and can barely see the top table. Once you’ve got a rough idea of how many wedding guests are being invited, you need to make sure your chosen wedding venue suits your requirements.

Request to see a sample seating plan, ask about whether they have round tables, maybe even ask to see photos of previous wedding meals and how the tables are laid out. This will give you a good indication of whether you can seat your wedding party and ensure everyone is happy.

How many guests can the wedding venue accommodate for the wedding reception?

Some couples prefer to have a small and intimate wedding ceremony, and then follow that with the mother of all parties in the evening. If this is your plan, be sure that the wedding venue can accommodate this. You don’t want to have 200 evening guests descend on your wedding and find them all squeezed in, or unable to get to the bar. Again, the flip-side is that you don’t want to find out your wedding venue has a separate dance floor and bar area that resembles a barn – the single easiest way to have zero-atmosphere at your wedding reception is to find the wedding DJ or band playing to a half empty hall, with your wedding guests sitting around the edges not mingling.

What time can we access the wedding venue?

“Exclusively yours for the entire day!”… says their website. But what does that mean exactly? Each wedding venue will have their own rules of when you can access the building on your wedding day.

Simply confirm what time you can arrive ahead of the wedding, you don’t want to be left standing outside waiting for the cleaner to turn up.

Can the bridal party get ready at the wedding venue?

Maybe this is something the bride would prefer, instead of rushing around in the morning, why not ask the venue if they have the facilities for the bride to prepare for her wedding day in the comfort of her wedding venue.

Obviously you’ll want something nicer then a conference room, or a ladies changing room at a golf club, but if the wedding venue has a nice quiet comfortable room for the bride to arrive and perhaps have her hairdresser, make-up artist and the rest of her entourage help her prepare for her wedding day then all the easier.

Can we give you a CD of our wedding music for the bride’s entrance?

If you’re having a civil ceremony performed in an approved premises you won’t be able to use any music that has religious references in the song at all. By this we mean, terms like: Angels, Heaven, God etc etc. So no Robbie Williams ballads. The wedding venue will be fully aware of this and may have a CD of acceptable music, which is fine. However, if you want to make your wedding entrance to music of your choice you need to ensure that the wedding venue does actually allow this.

Assuming they are OK with you bringing along your own CD with your favourite song on it to play at the bridal entrance, it’s well worth dropping it off a day or two in advance to the wedding venue and asking them to test the CD on their player. You don’t want for them to try and play it as you’re nervously standing there only to find out your old CD is scratched or your CD-R won’t work on their machine.

The registrar will have to approve the songs you’ve chosen ahead of the wedding, but they should clarify all of this when you meet them.

Can we agree a timetable of the day, or are we set to your times?

Obviously a good wedding venue will suggest times to you, they’ll know how long each stage of the day will take. Ensure you can discuss the day’s timetable, agree when the ceremony will start (you’ll also need to approve that time with the registrar), plan how long the photos will take, agree the start time of the meal, decide what time to invite the evening wedding guests, and when the cutting of the cake and first dance will take place.

Can we bring our own drinks to the wedding venue, if not can we see the bar prices?

This is an interesting one, and well worth asking the question. Even if a wedding venue has a licensed bar available they still may agree that you could bring your own drinks along – even if it’s just fruit juices for the kids, it could save you money.

If you’re hiring a marquee at a venue, they will have a temporary bar for your guests – ask if you can stock the bar yourself, maybe even do a deal with someone who’ll buy all the booze for you and manage the bar for the night.

Should the wedding venue insist that you must use their bar facilities, ensure you ask to see the bar prices first, whether you or your guests are paying, no one wants a huge bar bill. Also check about wine served at the meal, and champagne for toasts.

Do we have to use your caterers, or can we instruct our own?

Some wedding venues insist that you must use their caters. This may be a restriction, however their own caters obviously have the knowledge of the venue and their kitchens, and would of catered for many weddings before – so maybe it’s not a bad thing.

However, it’s worth asking the question as if you are not committed to their caters you can shop around, and enjoy plenty of food tasting along the way.

If it’s raining, where would be the best spot to take our photos?

It won’t rain on your wedding day, surely not. Hopefully not. Maybe.

If the sun lets you down on the most important day of your life, you need a back-up plan. Have a good look around the wedding venue and ask where photos are normally taken during rainy days.

You really want to avoid having an awful backdrop indoors, when you were planning lovely photos out on the lawn. Most wedding venues are beautiful places anyhow, so they’ll be used to the British weather letting down brides before, and no doubt have a proffered beauty spot indoors to act as the back-drop for your wedding photographers to take your photos.

Is there a sound limiter on our wedding DJ or band?

Not a question most brides or grooms would consider asking, hence we threw it in the mix.

The thought is that if you’ve paid up to £500 for a wedding DJ, or potentially even more for a wedding band, then you want to be able to hear them at the back.

Unfortunately a lot of wedding venues in residential areas will be restricted to acceptable noise levels – this may mean your live entertainment loses some atmosphere on the dance floor. If you are planning a huge party for your wedding – check this first.

Do we need to order the full amount of guests for the buffet?

If you have 100 wedding guests in the evening, do you need to book a buffet for 100 people? You know that your mates will be more interested in the bar, most people who ate the wedding breakfast won’t be too hungry, so why not ask the wedding venue if you can just pay for 80% of the expected guests.

This way you’re saving some more money, and potentially saving wasted food at the end of the night.

Is there accommodation available at the wedding venue?

Maybe the wedding venue has a honeymoon suite available? A lot of weddings have visiting relatives from far afield, this means they’ll need somewhere to stay. You need to check in advance where you are going to spend your first night as a married couple, and if the venue has accommodation available then this could be your best option.

Even if you chosen wedding venue happens to be part of a hotel complex, you’ll still need to book accommodation for those who need it, so get your bookings in early.

Do you have a wedding cake stand we can use?

Your wedding cake needs to sit on something, it’s a focal point of your wedding day, and will set you back a fair few quid. No doubt the wedding cake maker will offer you a cake stand and knife for hire, but quite often the wedding venue will have a top quality cake stand ready for you.

If they do, it’s another little saving and one less thing to worry about.

Will there be any other weddings on at the same venue?

Why have we left this one so late? Well, it’s a personal choice whether you want a wedding venue entirely to yourself for the day, or whether you mind having another wedding party on the same day.

Whether it makes much difference or not depends on the size of the wedding venue. A small wedding venue may not have the space, or the different rooms for two large weddings.

You may find yourself sharing facilities, do you mind bumping into another bride?

Large hotels or golf clubs or private manor houses are often designed in a way that they can easily accommodate more then one wedding. Lets face it, weddings are big business so they want to attract as many as possible. If your chosen wedding venue will be playing host to more then one wedding on YOUR wedding day, ask to see where the two parties take place and ensure you’re comfortable with the idea.

What time does the bar shut, and what time do we have to leave?

Surely the most important question, what time can we party until? A good wedding venue will not go around at the end of the night throwing guests out of the door, however they will expect your wedding guests to leave at an appropriate time. Clarify with the venue what time is last orders at the bar, and what time does the music have to be finished by.

You’ll want one big farewell and send-off at the end of the night, so ensure your DJ is aware of the closing time and that he is prepared for the last dance and farewell to the new Mr & Mrs!

 

All about Wedding Traditions

Over the past fifty plus years that I have been alive I have had many occasions to watch friends and loved ones marry. There are more than a few things I have learned about weddings as a result of all this, but adhering to some of the most common traditions and superstitions associated with weddings are the most important. Why? Because it just so happens that many of those who chose to ignore these seemingly nonsensical and sometimes almost comical steps to get to the alter have often paid a high price for their disrespect of these long standing customs.

The Wedding Dress

We have all heard that it is bad luck for the groom to see bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony. The truth is that a longer standing tradition says that it is bad luck for the bride to wear the complete wedding outfit before the day that she takes her wedding vows. That is why you almost never see a bride trying on a wedding dress with her wedding shoes, veil and so on. A female college friend of mine knew a young girl who decided to ignore that tradition and display her complete wedding outfit to her bridal party for the purpose of having “some photos taken with her friends” the night before her wedding. So she said, most of those present think she was just showing off. The dress seemed unusually tight to some who saw the bride all decked out that night and soon gossiping tongues spread the news quickly.

The next day the groom decided not to show up for the ceremony after my college friend said that she called and told him that his bride looked “fat or pregnant” when she saw the bride in her outfit the night before. My friend was not being mean, but she felt sorry for the groom who had gone out of his way to keep his bride pure (she had claimed to be a virgin) by abstaining from sex with her. He had never seen her in the wedding dress, but even his sister said that she noticed an unusually rapid weight gain in the bride who was not one known to fluctuate in her weight or overeat. There could have been a lot more to the story than that, but I have no doubt that the catalyst for the groom’s cancellation was that phone call from my friend and the call would never had been made if the bride had not been showing off and scoffing at a long-standing tradition.

The Wedding Shoes

Both bride and groom should know that the superstitious among us say it is unlucky to wear any shoes for the ceremony that are not to be used specifically and only for the wedding. They claim that it is also bad luck to wear the shoes before the day of the ceremony, or to ever wear them again after the bride and groom take their vows. The shoes should be ripped apart or burned sometime shortly after the ceremony and never given away to anyone else. This tradition began sometime in the late 1800s and probably came from merchants eager to sell shoes. However, there may be some truth to it.

A friend of mine reports that a neighborhood friend of his who got married about twenty years ago had some very bad luck as a result of ignoring this odd superstition. Ben was a thrifty guy who hated wasting money. Sometime in the year before he was married he had purchased an expensive pair of shoes to wear for weddings, funerals and other special occasions. When my friend went out with him to help choose an outfit for his own wedding, he asked Ben about shoes. Ben told him that he was going to wear his best pair of shoes because they had barely been worn and were like new. After all, even back then a new pair of quality shoes could easily cost over one hundred dollars and Ben felt that money would be better spent elsewhere.

My friend told Ben about the wedding tradition regarding shoes that he had heard about from his mother, father and grandparents. My friend took the advice himself, got married without incident and has remained married ever since. Admittedly, he and his family are very superstitious about things like weddings, but there have been few divorces in his family line and many successful weddings and marriages. Ben wore his “best pair of shoes” on the day of the wedding despite the warning he received from my friend. Amazingly, his bride had her own unique plan for wedding footwear. She decided to wear sneakers for the wedding as a kind of joke as to say that she might be a runaway bride. The joke backfired.

Ben and his family were highly insulted by the presence of the sneakers and an argument began during the wedding reception which continued throughout the honeymoon and for weeks afterward. Things really came to a head when relatives on both sides viewed the wedding photos. The photographer became fixated on the bride’s sneakers and kept taking pictures featuring them. Many of the guests were captured displaying a scowl on their face as they spoke to the bride and stared down at the sneakers. The couple broke up and divorced within three months of their wedding. I say that we should add wearing sneakers to a wedding to the bad luck list for wedding footwear, apparel and choices.

Placing a coin (especially a silver dollar) in one of your wedding shoes is considered extremely good luck. Although this applies mainly to the bride, I suppose that the groom has nothing to lose by trying it as well. This tradition goes back to the “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe” wedding superstition from old England. Relatives and close friends would give the bride small tokens of their affection to wear or carry with her on her special day. These items were presented just before the wedding began and were not wedding gifts, just mementos to remind the bride that she has family and friends that care about her and support her decision to marry.

Something Old was usually a token carried by another bride at a previous wedding who has had good luck or a successful and happy marriage. This gift is about sending the previous bride’s good luck and fortune on to the present one. Something New is supposed to impart good luck to the bride giving her hope and confidence for the future. Something Borrowed is said to represent happiness that is imparted to the bride from her family and friends. Any happiness that they have experienced they offer to loan to the bride while she makes her own happy memories. Something Blue is given with the hope that the bride’s marriage will be filled with an honest and pure love, as well as fidelity. A Sixpence (Coin) In Your Shoe is said to impart a financial blessing on the marriage. Few brides dare to ignore this tradition which many consider the most important of all. I know one that did.

She insisted on a marriage ceremony with included just her, the groom and a clergyman. Most of the bride’s family and friends, as well as those of the groom, were against the marriage due to a huge age difference between the bride (who was very young) and the groom (who was thirty five years older). Most of the groom’s family thought she was a gold digger because he had a substantial fortune and his family was well known in the city where they lived. However, the bride also came from money, but it was new money. Sadly, I think her decision to marry this man really had more to do with the fact that she may have wanted to enjoy the status of being married into a family with a major standing in society than real love. Anyway, she decided to punish all the nay sayers who were against the marriage and prove them wrong by insisting that her wedding be held in a public park with no guests. The couple spent the money that a huge wedding would have cost on an elaborate honeymoon.

That bride broke nearly all the rules of tradition and superstition involving weddings. This included the tradition of bringing tokens to her wedding given to her by a friend who thought the age difference thing was no big deal. That friend could not attend the ceremony regardless of whether she was invited or not because she was living in another country at the time, but she hoped that the tokens would bring the couple good luck. And they might have done their job if those items had been brought to the small ceremony by the bride. They were not. Despite what seemed like a marriage filled with bliss during and just after the honeymoon, the couple divorced after just five years citing irreconcilable differences.

The Wedding Rings

It is considered extremely unlucky to go shopping for a wedding ring on a Friday because that is a tradition Sale Day and a highly discounted ring set is considered bad luck overall. It is even more unlucky to wear a wedding ring (other than trying it on) for any length of time before the ceremony. I know of at least a dozen occasions where either the bride or groom wore their ring (for whatever reasons) for hours or days before the wedding and could not for the life of them remove it. This not only caused physical and emotional discomfit, but ultimately ended up in arguments that broke up four of those couples before the day of their weddings. There could have been a million other reasons for those break ups, but why take the chance?

There are other things to watch for when it comes to wedding rings. Too loose and that could mean a husband or wife might stray from the marriage bed because they would forget the full meaning of their wedding vows. Too tight could curse the couple to a marriage full of arguments and fights bringing out the worst in one or both people. Wearing the ring on the left hand is considered very good luck. That tradition goes back centuries to when most work was done with the right hand making it appear more aged or dirty than the left. A plain wedding band is good luck compared to a highly decorated one in some societies, while a ring with religious or cultural icons on it is considered very lucky in nations with people from a Celtic background.

I cannot say that anyone I know has ever broken up over a plain or decorated wedding ring, but more than a few have had major disagreements over the cost and style of wedding bands which may expose a lack of character on the part of the bride, the groom, or both. The biggest superstition surrounding a wedding ring involves dropping it. Superstition says that a bride or groom who drops a wedding ring during the ceremony will be the first to die. This is said to be almost guaranteed if the ring rolls to a stop on a memorial or remembrance stone in the church or chapel. Wow! Be careful not to drop the ring.

The Flowers

Tradition says that the best choice of flowers for the bridal bouquet are either orange blossoms or roses. Orange blossoms are said to represent chastity and fertility, while roses stand for true love. It is also considered extremely good luck for members of the wedding party to wear garlands. This is a very old tradition, but one which has been making a comeback over the past several decades. If the bride tosses her bouquet and it is dropped, the bad luck is not on the bride, but on the person who failed to catch it; so no worries there. It is thought of as good luck to catch the bouquet even if that does not lead to the person catching it being the next to marry. No good or bad stories to share here, but fresh flowers do often help make the wedding and/or reception photos all the more precious when the wedding album is complete. Beware of the presence of wilted flowers which are considered extremely bad luck.

The Wedding Cake and Reception

There are many traditions involving wedding cakes. One of the most popular has been that when a couple agrees to place a statuette of the bride and one of the groom on the cake these should be of equal height. This is said to represent equality in a marriage. However, more often than not, people these days choose not to include likenesses of the bride and groom on their wedding cake. Instead, many are choosing eatable representations of their favorite flowers on the cake presented in various styles and set in all kinds of positions. Another popular trend is for the wedding cake to include the favorite flavors of the bride, while a separate cake is prepared called the Groom’s Cake which is designed to please his taste buds.

It is considered bad luck for anyone except the bride or groom to be the first people to taste the wedding cake. So I guess the tradition of getting a piece of cake shoved into your face will continue for some time to come. The bride usually does that to the groom first, then some grooms reciprocate. Others fear the wrath of ruining that expensive make up job that most brides have professionally applied shortly before most weddings. On multi-tier cakes it is considered very good luck to save the top tier, freeze it and eat it about three months later or after all the wedding photos have been entered into the wedding album. Most couples serve the remainder of the cake to a small circle of family and friends who stop by to view the completed wedding photo album.

Many brides like to include special charms into their bridal shower or wedding cake. This long-standing tradition brings good luck and normally includes gold or silver charms in the shapes of hearts, clover, horseshoes, wedding bells, baby carriages or money purses donated by bridal shower attendees or wedding party members. Sometime in the 1980s it became a new tradition to include one or more French-style Cream Puff Trees (croquembouche) in the bridal shower and wedding reception among with the cake. This amazing creation is made of many individual cream puffs covered in caramel and presented in the shape of a tree. Guests can use a small spoon or fork to remove as many cream puffs as they care to eat and place them on small plates.

Some couples opt to have their wedding cake divided up carefully and plated by serving staff out of sight of the wedding guests after the cake is shown to everyone and the bride and groom take the first piece or pieces. This is a popular way to make sure the cake is carefully and equally divided. However, the bride and groom should always be sure that the first piece or pieces of cake are cut with a silver cake knife and silver server. Those first pieces should be placed on fine china and eaten with silver or high quality forks. This is considered extremely good luck. Having been to a number of wedding receptions, I can tell you that nothing says cheap and nasty like a couple who choose to cut their cake with a regular kitchen knife and serve it with a pie server. The only thing worse is slopping those first pieces of cake on to paper plates. Once the bride and groom are served, cake should always be served to guests on ceramic plates.

Beware of cracked or damaged plates. The presence of cracked or nicked plates is considered extremely bad luck for the bride, groom and wedding guests. I have never personally seen this (or, I should say I am personally unaware of it), but some of my older family members claim that almost anything bad that happens during or after the reception is brought on by the improper presentation of the wedding cake and other food items. I have heard of everything from fist fights to auto accidents and missed flights blamed on bad or improper presentation of the cake and food during the wedding reception. Even bad toasts are extremely unlucky and usually the cause of spats and fights, so never hand a microphone to someone that you know will say something stupid or improper.

The Wedding Vows

People who write their own wedding vows may think this is the best way to express their love, but wait! A newer wedding tradition says that writing your own vows is not the best of ideas and could mean disaster to a newly married couple. This is probably because of all the hippie marriages that took place in the sixties and seventies. People used pet names for each other and authored often long, convoluted and embarrassing vows that made no sense to anyone at the ceremony and sometimes had nothing to do with the couple’s promises to each other. I sat through one of those types of weddings and wished I had not. No one knew what the couple was talking about and they even appeared to confuse each other. This is why people should never do drugs. The couple I spoke of broke up within two years and now hate one another.

A long-standing tradition says that wedding vows should be set by the minister. A more recent tradition states that it is good luck for the vows to be written by the bridesmaid for the bride and best man for the groom when the minister suggests the couple provide their own vows. Superstition says that parents should keep quiet during the ceremony accept for occasions when a father or mother is asked if he or she gives their daughter or son away to marry. Having a stand in for the bride’s father is considered bad luck. I know of at least two weddings where both the parents refused to attend and both marriages later ended in divorce. I am sure there were other causes for those break ups, but why take the chance?

The Parent’s Blessing

Finally, it is extremely good luck for the groom to be given the blessing of the bride’s parents or parent. This goes back to Biblical teaching and tradition, and also happens to be a tradition that I think is essential for a long and happy marriage. That is just my opinion. I guess I have just seen too many couples torn apart by family influences and interference because someone had something against the groom (or the bride for that matter) to begin with and that remained a matter of contention until it caused an eventual break up and divorce. Only the strongest of couples can stand up to that kind of pressure, so I do not recommend ignoring this tradition. If worse comes to worse try to get on the good side of the family of the bride or groom well before you announce an engagement or wedding date.

 

Tips For Wedding Planner

Can you make a living planning weddings? Yes. As a self-employed professional, you can either charge a set fee for the wedding or a percentage of the total cost. Your income can be uncertain when you first start planning these extravaganzas, but as your reputation spreads and you gain more experience, your income can increase dramatically.

Of course, you will make more income on an elaborate, huge wedding, but several smaller and simple weddings will be less stressful when you are starting out and, when the separate income is added together, you will probably make the same amount of money.

Some agencies who track salaries report yearly incomes in the $50,000 range for wedding planners. One such agency, PayScale, currently reports these average hourly rates for the profession:

* California $28.00

* Georgia $27.50

* Massachusetts $20.64

* New York $15.00

* Louisiana $14.00

* Pennsylvania $10.23

* Texas $9.00

As with any self-employment, your success depends entirely on your creativity, reliability and marketing skills. There are online courses you can take to teach you the skills you need to plan the perfect wedding for your clients. Some of those courses will lead to certification as a Wedding Planner, which will give you more credibility with your clients and improve your professional standing with your colleagues.

Getting Started

What a professional Wedding Planner actually does is take on the details and responsibility of the event, relieving the bride and groom and their families, from the stresses involved. In turn, this allows them to enjoy the preliminary wedding events, like bridal showers and picking a honeymoon location.

There are lots of details you, as a Wedding Planner, need to know to keep things running smoothly and within the budget available. You will have to have a set of resources you can tap into to get the best service at the best prices, like reserving the church or chapel, catering the reception, ordering flowers, getting the wedding dress designed and ordered, selecting invitations and announcements, booking the music and hiring a professional photographer, among many other tasks.

It would probably be very good advice to start your career on small and somewhat inexpensive weddings. Giant extravaganzas can be very complex and time consuming to the most experienced Wedding Planner and you would be well-advised to start smaller and work up.

Some of the following tips should help you get started on planning a smaller wedding that will save money on several of the more expensive features of normal weddings. The bride’s father will love you for it.

The Wedding Gown

* The wedding gown can be expensive enough to break any budget. You can offer your client several options that are affordable and will still make the bride look like an angel as she floats down the aisle.

Renting a gown is becoming more popular every day. Think about it. The bride is going to wear it once and it was probably worn once before she rented it. It also avoids the storage problem for 20 years if the bride will not be saving it for her firstborn child to wear at her own wedding.

* If a member of the bride’s family is a good seamstress, suggest that she ask the family member to make the dress. Providing all the material and even paying the family member for the service will more than likely be less expensive than buying one from a bridal store.

* Another way would be for the bride to wear her mother’s wedding gown, if she saved it. You might want to check it carefully for any deterioration before the bride commits to wearing it. The mother is probably from a generation that thought saving her wedding gown was an obligation of the marriage and believed for several decades that her daughter would wear it at her own wedding.

The Reception

Another budget-buster is the reception, but some planning with a true reality check can reduce your client’s expenditures here.

* Think smaller. Talk to your clients about how they can downsize the guest list. When the excitement of the coming event takes over, your clients and their parents will many times have a very long list of people to invite to the wedding and the reception after.

Many of the parents’ visions of the reception can resemble an extravaganza with hundreds of guests, munching caviar and drinking champagne all night long in a huge ballroom. If their budget will not cover the considerable expenses involved in their dream reception, your skills as the Wedding Planner will be well served here.

To start with, keeping the guest list small and only inviting close family and friends will save money and still provide the dream celebration your clients want. If your client hasn’t had a close relationship with college friends or neighbors from four moves back, don’t put them on the list.

Instead of renting the largest hall or club banquet room in your town for the reception, you have a couple of inexpensive options that might appeal to your clients:

* Check out restaurants in the area. Some have banquet rooms that they will either rent out or provide free if you use their services for the sit-down meal or the buffet.

* Consider suggesting that your clients hold the reception at their home. The party does not have to include a full meal. Catered hors d’oeuvres and a champagne fountain will set the festive mood your clients want.

* Weddings held in gardens or other natural settings are very popular and beautiful. There’s minimal decoration needed and the only expense might be for the minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace.

* Not having a full bar will save a lot of money, regardless of where the reception is held. The champagne fountain mentioned above can also be combined with beer or wine if the clients want to provide additional libations for their guests.

The Photography

The formal wedding service requires a professional photographer who will create a beautiful album to record the special day and preserve the memories to relive as they wish. If you create a relationship with several photographers as you build your career, you will know which one to hire for your client’s purposes.

The rest of the celebration can be recorded by all their friends and relatives with a digital camera in their pockets. Some clients put disposable cameras on tables for anyone to use. Have a decorated basket nearby and visible to give your guests a place to leave the cameras when they go home.

The Wedding Invitations

Newly engaged couples can go way overboard on their wedding invitations and your task, as their Wedding Planner, is to suggest ways for them to save money on this expensive item.

Those engraved invitations with the ribbon attached or the edges cut into curvy designs are expensive. The same effect can be achieved with a good card stock and one of those edge cutters used for scrapbooking. The necessary items can be found in any good craft store and some stationary stores. They come with matching envelopes, too. The actual text can easily be printed with a good inkjet or laser printer.

One way to make homemade invitations special and very personal is to order stamps from the US Post Office with the couple’s engagement picture on them.

Consider suggesting that your client include making her own thank you notes and, even the place cards, if you are including a sit-down reception for their wedding. Once again, a good laser or inkjet printer can do the fancy fonts and include a picture of the couple to make them personal. The thank you notes would stand out if they were sent with a wedding picture on the stamps.

The Flowers

It is not necessary to buy fancy floral arrangements and pay for the floral designer’s time and expertise. Simple flowers arranged beautifully in clusters or cascades can be created by either the bride’s family or a crafty friend. They can be delivered to the church by you or by friends.

If you are building your business, create some relationships with flower vendors and provide that service to your clients. They will be delighted at the savings and the vendors will love you for the business.

Depending on the time of the year, the flowers can be picked from the bride’s own backyard or from a friend’s yard. A few inexpensive vases, some ribbon and both the wedding and the reception will be beautifully decorated while not breaking the family’s budget.

A few flower arrangements can attractively set off a buffet table or on the tables at a sit-down dinner. Think about several weddings you have attended as a guest. How many flower arrangements do you really remember? During the entire wedding ritual, most of the guests were focused on the bride and groom; weren’t they?

A simple floral bouquet can be easily arranged from flowers out of a garden with the stems wrapped in a ribbon that complements or matches the bride’s gown. When you toss the bridal bouquet before you leave the reception, you will be tossing out a truly personal memento of your wedding and not one that was exorbitantly priced.

Any flowers left over can be scattered in the bride’s hair to make her even more beautiful as she walks down the aisle.

The Wedding Cake

There’s lots of tradition around the wedding cake, including saving a piece to be eaten on the first anniversary of the wedding. The top layer of the cake is normally put aside before the cake is cut and frozen to preserve it. Some bakers have been making a top layer that is a light fruitcake. It freezes well and thaws better a year later.

Wedding cake history can be traced as far back at the Roman Empire and the traditions have gone through so many changes between now and then that there is no comparison.

Today’s “traditional” wedding cake practices can be anything the couple wants them to be. Some have abandoned the white wedding cake and substituted frosting colors and decorations that reflect the bride’s choice of décor or the color of the bridesmaid dresses.

The multi-tiered cake is not an obligation and can be a heavy drain on a limited budget. Friends can make the cake for the reception or something else can replace the cake entirely, like a wedding cake made of frosted cupcakes stacked in layers. The cupcake wedding cake is becoming very popular, not only for economy, but for it’s novelty and the range of cupcake flavors that can be offered.

As the Wedding Planner, you will need to have a list of different and affordable wedding cakes to give the couple choices. If no one in the family or set of friends can make the wedding cake, you will also need a list of economical bakeries.

Lists – How To Plan A Small Wedding

When you first begin to work as a Wedding Planner, you will be buried in details that can only be managed if you know how to make ordered lists. Over time, you will probably create your own templates on your computer and be able to print out a complete set of templates whenever you book a new wedding.

Your templates will be your “spare brain” and will keep you informed of what needs to be done and when, along with favored vendors, the services they provide and what their fees are.

Your templates should include the following information:

* A reasonable timeline for all activities concerning the wedding from start to finish. That should include preliminary details, like scheduling the bride’s appointments for fittings, reserving the banquet room or restaurant for the reception, booking the chapel and anything else that needs advance scheduling.

Waiting too long may require rescheduling that might interfere with the travel arrangements made by the out-of-town guests or make finding a caterer difficult, to name only a couple of serious possible problems.

* After your templates are printed and initially filled out, you need to make a preliminary wedding budget and include the fees for your services. As the director of this event, you will be spending the money and have a responsibility to provide records when requested.

* The actual wedding ceremony should be painstakingly detailed to ensure that all aspects are taken care of in advance. Leave nothing to the last minute.

o Have the bride and groom choose their wedding date as soon as possible. Everything needed to be in place for that date has to be scheduled and confirmed before any other plan can be completed.

o Decide upon the wedding site, church, chapel, garden, park, etc. Make that decision specific. Get the details of the church or chapel, the address of the garden and the phone number of the relative or friend who owns it or permission of the agency controlling the park.

o Book and confirm the minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace who will be performing the wedding ceremony.

o Start selecting the music with the couple for the actual ceremony. Include the music for the reception and book who will be providing it…disk jockey, small band, etc.

o Send the couple to get the marriage license. For their book of memories, see if a friend or family member will take a few photos of this necessity.

One thing you might consider is using your own digital camera and recording most of the less dramatic events of preparing for the wedding, like getting the marriage certificate, making or addressing the invitations, trying on wedding dresses.

A CD or DVD given to the couple after they return from their honeymoon will serve two important purposes.

1. They will have something to remember all that went into the ceremony that will not be included in the normal wedding album.

2. When they share the CD or DVD with their friends, some of whom might be contemplating their own wedding, your name and contact details will be prominent.

Referrals are what will build your business. Subliminal ads, like on the CD or DVD label and at the beginning and end of the photos might bring you some business. At the very least, your unexpected gift after the excitement that goes with any wedding, will be remembered by the bride and groom.

The wedding ceremony rehearsal needs to be scheduled as soon as possible. It normally takes place a night or two before the actual ceremony (after work) and can be easily forgotten in the rush of last minute details. Additionally, the church or chapel might be previously booked by another wedding party.

Some have a small dinner party in a restaurant after the rehearsal. If your couple is planning one with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, make the reservations as soon as possible and confirm a few days before the rehearsal.

Make sure that everyone knows who will be in the wedding processional and the recessional and what to do. Practice it with the actual music, if possible, so it looks graceful during the actual event. Never forget that you are creating life-long memories for the couple.

The wedding reception has its own set of details to schedule and set in motion.

1. You need to determine the time of day for the reception. Be sure to allow enough time for the photographer to take the album photos after the ceremony and for the newly married couple to travel from the church to the reception.

2. Make sure the place for the reception is set up, decorated and stocked. It would be a wise decision to check with the restaurant or hall about a week before the wedding to check details and to discuss any changes in the menu or times with the manager. A phone call the day before the event wouldn’t be a bad idea.

3. Normal wedding reception activities need to be scheduled and coordinated so they feel like a natural progression before the couple leaves the reception.

Those activities can include the receiving line, the first dance, cake cutting, tossing the bouquet, speeches and toasting from the best man, parents or friends.

How To Find A Job In The Wedding Industry

There’s over a dozen different industries that might be interested in hiring Wedding Planners or consultants, if you were interested in working with companies.

Resorts in popular vacation spots are becoming sites for destination weddings and would have the need for a Wedding Planner. This would be a way to work and enjoy all the amenities available in some of the world’s most beautiful spots.

Hotels almost anywhere, even in your current location, are always sites for weddings or receptions in their banquet rooms and many might need a Wedding Planner or Event Coordinator to keep their wedding parties from becoming a disaster.

Churches and synagogues might be on the lookout for someone to handle the weddings being scheduled at their churches and temples. Distributing a well-designed flyer at each facility might get you referrals, if not an actual job. Make sure to include some business cards with the flyers.

Finally, do not forget to leave your business cards with local bridal shops, caterers and florists. These businesses handle some aspect of the wedding preparations every day. They would be good reciprocal referrals for your services. If you, in return, used their services in the wedding planning, it would be a Win-Win situation for all involved.

You should have enough information to decide if being a Wedding Planner is the career for you. You can find eCourses to take online and several step-by-step eBooks or manuals that explain everything you need to know and even provide templates to help you organize the details.

Start out slowly. Make a list and check it twice. Learn to network with all the appropriate vendors. Have some fun. You can do it! Here is a link to a great site for more info on becoming a wedding planner or to plan your own wedding.

 

Guide To Planning Your Wedding

  • A is for Atmosphere

Setting the scene for the perfect wedding can be a daunting task and with wedding trends changing rapidly over time, it can mean decision making is hard. Often the best place to start is by thinking about the formality of the event and how you would like your guests to feel on your wedding day! Whether you choose a relaxed garden wedding with subtle coloring and natural tones or a themed wedding at a wild venue with bold wedding colors and outlandish wedding decorations, whichever way you go it is the wedding atmosphere that you create that will generate the most memories!

  • B is for Bachelorette Party & Bridal Shower

Second to choosing your bridesmaids, this is often the next stage in the planning of your pre-wedding activities! This is the event, other than the wedding itself, that the girls look forward to most! Renowned as the tamer of the two, a bridal shower is a gift-giving party held for a bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding, it is a time for the females in your life to get to know each other and to share advice before your big day.

The Bachelorette Party also known as a hens night, hens party or hens do on the other hand is deemed “an evening of debauchery,” a girls night out in honor of the bride-to-be in the style that is common to that social circle. This is when the bridesmaids take control, organising silly outfits for the bride, dares and games along with gifts for the girls including name tags, fun drinking straws along with personalised bachelorette koozies for a unique gift idea!

  • C is for Ceremony

Ultimately your ceremony, the moment where two people are united in marriage, is the reason you are planning this special day. The way that you choose to perform your ceremony and the wedding reception that follows are often linked in formality and theme and the options are endless.

For the ceremony you will have to give some thought to the location, a church or temple, beach, garden or formal venue often this is driven by the choice for a civil or religious ceremony. Most ceremonies have a similar structure, with your vows, readings and music making a personal service.

  • D is for Destination Wedding

More and more couples are escaping the traditional big celebration wedding in favor of a smaller more intimate ceremony in an exotic location. Whether your destination wedding is overseas or interstate it can still take a lot of organization, not only for the couple and the wedding day itself but in making it fabulous for the guests that have gone that extra mile to share in your special day!

  • E is for Engagement

Congratulations on your Engagement, let the fun begin. Start with your engagement announcements, maybe a notice in the newspaper to inform the community or an item that you can send in the mail to let your friends and family know the good news! If you are moving fast you could even add your wedding save the date to your engagement announcement to help with your planning budget.

Some couples will choose to have an engagement party, an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends and for future guests to get to know each other before the big day. Engagement party favors are often handed out to the guests as a thank you for attending, such as candy treats or custom beer koozies to take home as a memento.

  • F is for Favors

Wedding favors also known as bonbonniere are small gifts given as a gesture of thanks to guests from the bride and groom. Wedding favor ideas have become a major part of wedding planning, with modern gift trends including: CDs with the favorite music of the bride and groom, candy jars, picture frames and wedding koozies. Gifts may also be personalized with the couple’s names, initials or wedding date and even an individual guest name to create a gift and place card.

If you choose wedding Koozies as your wedding favors then it is a great idea to start browsing the designs a few weeks before you need them to be delivered. There is an extensive range of designs available to help you create the perfect match to your wedding color scheme, theme and more. Please read a previous article to help with your design; Personalized Wedding Favors on a Budget – Inspiration for Wedding Koozies to Wow Your Guests!

  • G is for Gift

A wedding present is a gift taken by a guest to congratulate the couple on their marriage. There is usually some etiquette when it comes to gift giving, some couples may choose to take the hard work out of this for their guests and have a gift registry with a wish list to choose from. Others may have a wishing well, this is where guests can anonymously drop cards and monetary gifts into a box known as a wishing well to help the couple on their way to starting a new life together.

  • H is for Honeymoon

A honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in seclusion. Jetting off to somewhere exotic and romantic is not uncommon although the holiday should be something of choice that suits the couple’s outlook and interests. For couples on a budget a destination wedding can be a great way to spread the cost making the addition of a few days for a honeymoon easy.

  • I is for Invitations

Wedding invitations are a great way to set the scene for your guests. As a follow on from your wedding announcement or save the dates, your wedding invitations can be fun or formal but should be informative and hold an RSVP date so that you can keep to a deadline in your wedding planning.

In modern times the way an invitation arrives is becoming more and more imaginative, you might choose a link to an online wedding website where guests can respond electronically or include a link to a video message. Items sent in the mail can also be creative and unique such as origami style folded gifts, printing a message on a balloon that can only be read once blown up or sending custom wedding koozies for your guests to enjoy at home and on bring on the day!

  • J is for Jewellery

Wedding jewellery can be simple and sophisticated or bold and colorful. This is a very personal choice that that bride will make when choosing her wedding dress and bridal party attire.

Sometimes traditional jewellery will be passed down the generations within a family, bridal accessories can include earrings, bracelets, tiaras and hair combs to name a few.

  • K is for Kiss

“You may now kiss the bride”… the words that the groom has been waiting for all day! Many couples will have a discussion prior to the wedding about the kiss, some even finding this the moment that makes them most nervous! Questions like, how long should it be? Should it be a full-on smooch? Or just a peck? What is the etiquette in wedding kisses? The answer to which is that there is not really an etiquette, just show each other how happy you are to be making this promise to each other and show this off to your guests, just bear in mind that you might be in front of your parents, grandparents and young children.

  • L is for Love

LOVE. An intense feeling of deep affection and the reason you have been ploughing all of your time into planning the ultimate wedding celebration. Say no more.

  • M is for is for Music

One big question for your wedding reception, DJ or Band? Often the answer to which is dependent on budget, formality of your event and location. There is also the decision of which music you should be walking down the aisle to, creating an amazing playlist that will get your guests on their feet and of course the first dance! Here are our choices for a first dance song;

Top 5 First Dance Wedding Songs

  1. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  2. You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
  3. Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
  4. The Way You Look Tonight – Michael Bublé
  5. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • N is for New

If you are following tradition in the sense of the rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” then this is your something NEW! You can include your wedding dress as your something new if it is made to order, or perhaps one of your bridal accessories or a fancy new pair of shoes. Let’s face it when it comes to your wedding there will be a whole heap of items that you can consider using to tick this box!

  • O is for Outdoor Wedding Venue

Weddings are often planned for the perfect weather, the most popular seasons for a wedding are spring and summer so that you can have great light for your wedding photographs and that you have the best chance of enjoying sunny spells outdoors with your guests over welcome drinks.

Your outdoor wedding venue might be in a national park, flower garden, winery or a beautiful beach, whichever you choose for your outdoor wedding be sure to have a wet weather plan on hand, just in case!

  • P is for Photographer

Wedding photography for a lot of couples is a big box to tick. It is lovely to be able to capture your big day and all of that hard work into images that you can cherish for years to come. Choosing a photographer can be a daunting task, be sure to ask around for recommendations, view portfolios of previous work and get to know your photographer so that they learn to capture what is important to you. Looking at your photographs together as a family is a beautiful way to connect after the event, each image will tell its own story and each story will be a memory captured for life!

  • Q is for Quiz

The Mr & Mrs Quiz, the ultimate quiz that any bachelorette should have to complete on their ‘last night of freedom’..! It is a fun way for the maid of honor to connect with and get to know the groom before the event. She will prepare a series of questions that the groom will answer, things can of course get a little cheeky depending on the formality of the bridal shower or bachelorette party, the bride will then need to see how many answers she can match to the groom’s responses, often followed by a forfeit for every wrong answer.

  • R is for Reception

Wedding reception, this is the fun part, after you have nervously said your vows in front of your family and friends you can relax with food, drinks and dancing at your wedding reception. Wedding reception ideas include a formal sit-down meal, cocktail reception or a casual beach BBQ. You can usually leave this up to your wedding planner or venue to organise, that way you can enjoy the celebration and spending time with your guests.

  • S is for Save the Dates & Stationery

Your wedding announcement and first item of wedding stationery is your Save the Date! An ideal gift used for long engagements this is designed to be sent out to your guests well in advance of the formal invitation, once you have your date set you can mail these out so that your guests can save the date in their diary. Some popular methods of sending a save the date include; postcards, calendars, tickets, magnets, custom beer koozies and more.

  • T is for Table Plan

T is also for troublesome, often considered one of the most controversial parts of the wedding planning process, the dreaded table plan! Great aunt Joan cannot be near second cousin John and really you’d like to sit with your pals rather than follow the traditional top table style with your parents… at the end of the day this is your wedding and as a couple you should be able to choose a seating plan to suit your wedding formality and your guests.

  • U is for Ushers

An usher, also known as a groomsman is normally a friend of the groom that has been recruited to direct guests at the ceremony, and generally be available to the bride and groom for assistance throughout the whole wedding event. The ushers would generally be dressed in the same wedding attire as the groom and best man and would feature in the formal wedding photographs alongside the bridesmaids.

  • V is for Vows

The exchange of wedding vows is an important part of your wedding ceremony. It can be a very romantic moment and often the perfect place to express your feelings for each other. Vows can be modern or traditional, led by a minister or celebrant, written for you or by you and can be tailored to your individual personalities.

  • W is for Wedding Dress

Almost every girls wedding dream begins with the dress! There are so many gorgeous styles available and all designed to suit different shapes and sizes… you can find the perfect wedding dress style amongst these… Ball gown, mermaid, A-line, Sheath. Strapless, V-neck, halter-neck, one-shoulder, illusion and more!

Once you have found the perfect style, you can start to create a unique look through the color and density of the material, heavier fabrics such as brocade and jacquard or lighter materials like silk and chiffon, traditionally a wedding dress would be predominantly white or ivory in color, but these days anything goes!

  • X is for X -rated (entertainment at bachelor party)

Although it is not necessarily the way every groom will spend their last night of ‘freedom’, the bachelor party, as portrayed in the movie The Hangover, certainly has a reputation for being a night or indeed a weekend of debauchery! Some will go all out with a weekend in Vegas, but generally the party vibe will include trendy bars, nightclubs and, most importantly, strip clubs!

Much like the bachelorette party, this is where the best man and other members of the bridal party will shine with ideas, organising embarrassing outfits for the groom, along with drinking games and dares! Gifts for the guys might include matching t-shirts, shot glasses, beer horns or custom beer koozies personalised for each of the guys!

  • Y is for Years

The number of years spent together, number of years engaged and then number of years married. Once your wedding day becomes a wonderful memory you have the many years of wedding anniversaries to look forward to and to celebrate. Each anniversary that passes will have a symbolic gift that is presented, there is both a traditional and modern gift here is the traditional list;

  • 1st Paper
  • 2nd Cotton
  • 3rd Leather
  • 4th Fruit/Flowers
  • 5th Wood
  • 10th Tin/Aluminium
  • 15th Crystal
  • 20th China
  • 25th Silver
  • 30th Pearl
  • 35th Coral
  • 40th Ruby
  • 45th Sapphire
  • 50th Gold
  • 60th Diamond
  • Z is for Zero Regrets

In a perfect world, every bride and groom would have the perfect wedding with absolutely no mishaps. However, this is not the perfect world and every turn makes for a new story! Our only advice is to enjoy every minute of your special day, spend as much time with each guest as you possibly, and have zero regrets!