Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wedding Etiquette

A bride recently asked us how to let her guest know that she wanted them to all dress in black or white or a combination of both. Her theme of a black and white wedding was going a bit far. Our answer to her - there is no way. On doesn't tell people what to wear anymore than you would tell a hostess what food to provide. One can control the dress of the wedding party, but that is all. Just because she had heard that "It's the bride's day" doesn't mean everyone must bow to her wishes. Frequently the guidelines of etiquette and common sense take priority. Another bride wanted two hundred and fifty guest to attend her wedding, but she planned to walkaway from the ceremony and meet forty-five of her favorite guests for a sit down dinner. She wondered what we thought. Our advice was DON'T DO IT. It would be far better to serve light refreshments to all guests following the ceremony. This gives everyone a chance to extend their best wishes to the couple and socialize with others in attendance. If she wished to celebrate later withe a special group of friends, that should be done after the official reception. The guiding principle here is that a couple should never do anything to show preference for one gust over another.

Happy Planning,

Monday, April 5, 2010

Something Old, Something New

Brides often buy a blue garter to wear with their wedding gown, and then ask the meaning of the old rhyme, "Something Old, Something New".

The something old - usually the bride chooses a piece of jewelry or a family wedding gown or accessory to represent the continuity of happiness from generation to generation. This item symbolizes the ties between families.

The something new - the marriage represents a new beginning, so wearing something new helps bring good fortune and success to this new union.

The something borrowed - is usually something from a married friend to bring happiness to the new couple. a handkerchief, jewelry or pieces of wedding attire are possibilities.

The something blue - the tradition dates back to biblical times when blue stood for purity and fidelity. Today the tradition continues whether the bride chooses a garter or has her own gown trimmed in blue.

And an addition to the rhyme - "and a six pence in your shoe" is one that many brides like as well. Placing a coin in the left shoe is to ensure wealth so the bride will always have money.

Happy Planning,


Monday, March 8, 2010


Our consultants have plenty of wonderful ideas for you as you consider favors for friends and family who have come to help you celebrate your big day. A thoughtful gift - a token of your appreciation and affection - can mean a great deal to the recipient. While it is standard to give a gift to those friends who are your close attendants, there are likely to be others to who you'd like to say "thanks so much" for being a part of our lives. Let's start with the obvious - what are you planning to give as wedding favors? More and more brides are choosing to give edible items for favors. Chocolates - personalized with your names and date top the list. Some brides prefer other candies or nuts. Some like decorated cookies, brownies, or bars wrapped in a decorative box. Other couples choose to give bottles of wine - either with their own custom label or with a gift card attached to a fine local vintage. An environmentally friendly wedding theme makes the gift of seeds, potted plants, or flowers are very appropriate. Many couples are choosing to create Cd's of their own special music and giving one to each guest at the reception. Consider seasonal items - tree ornaments for Christmas weddings, mugs and hot chocolate mix for winter weddings, or sunscreen for beach weddings. Choose votive candles and holders for a candle light wedding. Whatever your choice, be sure the item carries a message of thanks from you both. Arrange favors on a special table near the exit as your guests leave or even better, place them at each individual seat for the guest. Be sure to call for even more special ideas.

Happy Planning,


Monday, March 1, 2010

A Beautiful Wedding Budget

As a wedding planner; I emphasize that no wedding is "average", so the published costs of an "average" wedding really has little to do with what you plan to spend. What is important is that do have a budget and that you stick to it with a realistic portion of it being allocated to each part of your wedding. More couples are funding portions or the entire wedding themselves so it becomes critical to plan ahead. It is also important to prioritize those budget items. Identify those aspects of your wedding that are most important. Also, list items that are less important so that if you need to shift funds from one category to another you can without compromising your overall plan. Generally speaking, the following categories need to be part of your budget: ceremony and reception sites, reception food and beverages, flowers, photograph, invitations and paper trousseau, attendant gifts, rings, grooms attire and honeymoon. You may have additional costs associated with a wedding planner hired to assist you. This is a good idea to consider as they can save you time and money. A sit-down dinner or buffet will be at least 50% of the total budget. If your budget is a problem, consider a small intimate affair with all the "stops pulled out". Having the best on a smaller scale is usually better than inviting many casual acquaintances to a cake and punch reception. What ever you do, do it Beautifully.

Happy Planning,


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


As a weddings planner, brides often ask me about what they should include in their wedding programs and if they even need one. We suggest that they do have a program especially when the attendants are not known by a majority of the guests. The important thing is to familiarize guest with the participants and the order of the service. Programs can be very simple-listing only the names of the bride, groom attendants, the clergy, both sets of parents, musicians, soloists, and date, time, and place. The attendants should be listed in the order they walk down the aisle. Other couples use the program to detail the entire wedding event. They may include details of how they were chosen. Programs often include the vows, readings, music and explanations of any ethnic customs that are included in the ceremony. If a song or any portion of the ceremony is dedicated to a deceased loved one that is also listed in the program. Programs may be as simple as a bi-fold , computer - generated sheet or as elegant as an elaborate ribbon-trimmed printed booklet. Programs are handed to each guest by designated attendants. They may also be in decorative containers and placed where the guests will pick them up. A program makes a wonderful souvenir.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Schedule of Events 2

As a wedding planner, I am often asked about the toasting order at receptions. While we know that the rules of toasting are not "carved in stone", there are some traditions which make the process simpler and less confusing for everyone. Traditionally the best man makes the first toast to the bride and groom. This is done anytime after the receiving line has ended and everybody has been served a glass of champagne or whatever beverage is being served. Next, the groom thanks the best man and proposes a toast to his bride and both sets of parents. The bride might then thank her husband. Family friends, relatives and anyone else who wishes may then toast the newlyweds.

Here are some other hints that make toasting easier

  • The person being toasted NEVER raises the glass or drinks from it during the toast itself. It is fine to take a sip after everyone else has done so.

  • If you are in a position where you may be asked to propose a toast , be sure to have a few short appropriate toasts memorized.

  • Don't mix your toast with another message. It can be confusing and too long.

Happy Planning,


Monday, February 8, 2010

A Schedule of Events

As a wedding planner, I believe that the secret of planning a fabulous stress-free reception begins with finding the right venue. We provide the following tips to help you avoid costly mistakes. Location: As soon as the day is confirmed with the clergy, contact should be made with the managers of the sites you are considering. You need to determine availability as soon as possible. If you do not have a specific place in mind, explore options considering hotels, parks, boats, historical sites, clubs, and gardens. When choosing a location, you should keep the convenience of you guests in mind. It is recommended that reception venues be no more than half an hour away from the ceremony site. Space: The facility coordinator will know the maximum number of people the site will accommodate as well as the optimum seating arrangements. Privacy: Check to see how many events will be taking place at a multi-event location and/or how much time is allowed between events scheduled the same day. Is parking adequate? Restrictions: Are there restrictions regarding the type, volume or duration of the music? Is there a public address system? Is there an adequate power supply for speakers, instruments and amplifiers? Support: Does the facility provide someone to cue musicians for the first dance, toast, cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss or do you have to provide a person for these events? Menu: Does the food service provided offer you the settings you wish, the china and table settings you like and the food quality you want your guests to experience?

Happy Planning,