Easy Ways to Personalize Your Ceremony

lori & rob's wedding ceremony
Today, more couples whether traditional or more contemporary, are choosing to customize and personalize their wedding ceremony. Although relatively short in comparison to the rest of the wedding day, your ceremonies deserve some thought. After all, it is the point of the day.

Many couples choose to compose part or all of their wedding vows. However, even if you aren’t allowed to alter your vows, or really don’t want to, there are other ceremony elements that you can adjust to make it more personal and unique to you and your groom. Some easy and low cost (or no cost) ways are:

  • A special reading or prayer
  • A special hymn or song (how about a children’s choir or a hand bell choir?)
  • Observance of ethnic or family customs
  • Carry your grandmother’s handkerchief or wear your mother’s pin
  • Use a type of flower that was in your sister’s bouquetOne bride who wanted to wear her mother’s wedding gown, was disappointed to find out that it had deteriorated to a point where it couldn’t be worn. She chose to use fabric from mom’s gown to make her ring bearer pillow and garter. This idea also works well for brides who are having their gowns custom made. Use leftover fabric for the ring pillow, or to make special handkerchiefs for your mom and future mother-in-law.

    For another wedding, the couple was under the impression that since they decided not to have scripture readings, they couldn’t have any type of reading at all. The bride was very excited when I suggested poetry – she wrote poetry as a hobby, and one of her poems was absolutely perfect for their ceremony reading.

    Let your imagination be your guide. But before making any specific changes, as always, check with your officiant. He/she may have specific ideas on what can or cannot be included in the ceremony, and you don’t want to get your heart set of something, only to be told on your wedding day, “No, you can’t do that!”

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: Monique Studios

Please Vote For Me

Voting has begun for Prime Time Party Rental’s tabletop competition.

Please vote for my entry (by leaving a comment or clicking on the “like” button).

I had a blast designing Silence, Waterfall and Forest (named after the painting of the same name on display at the Dayton Art Institute), and coming up with the details to bring the painting to life.

I chose elements that would bring the outside in — such as the textured table linen, the faux suede mini-runners (to represent the little deer in the painting) with moss and nests,

the leaf chargers, the wood-look favor boxes, the glass flower salad plate, and the double chair sash treatment (the white organza representing the waterfall).

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Alterations Alert

For all of your fittings, the following is very important —

Wear the same undergarments and shoes to all of your fittings that you will be wearing on your wedding day.

Why? Because different undergarments hold and tuck and pull and lift differently. To achieve a perfect fit, your body and undergarments and gown should all act like one complete unit.

If you wear something different, or even similar, you run the risk of your gown not fitting properly on your wedding day. It will pull and gap and won’t feel right.

And what happens if the gown doesn’t feel right? You’ll be pulling and tugging, not standing straight, and just plain will be uncomfortable and unhappy. Wear different shoes and your dress will end up either too long or too short. Again uncomfortable. And again unhappy.

Not a way to be on your wedding day, is it?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Bride & Groom’s Q & A – Receiving Lines

Receiving Lines

receiving line following the wedding ceremony

Q. – Any advice on receiving lines? Is it necessary to have one?

A. – The purpose of a receiving line is to guarantee face-to-face time with each of your guests (“Thank you for coming! We’re so glad you could come and celebrate with us. We’ll see you over at the reception.”) And for you and your new husband to introduce each other to guests they may not know.

Are they necessary? Depends on how many guests you have. With a medium to large sized guest list, you’ll be hard pressed to be able to mingle with everyone and still get a chance to truly enjoy your own reception.

Remember to schedule adequate time for a receiving line. Even with a group of 100 guests, it will take nearly 1/2 hour (and that’s estimating only a mere 15 seconds per guest!).

The line up of a traditional receiving line is: Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom, Bride, Groom, Maid of Honor, and Bridesmaids. Other than the groom, the other men aren’t typically part of the receiving line. It is acceptable to omit your MoH & ‘maids (shortens the time it will take and avoids some of the awkward chit-chat as people feel they must converse with everyone in the line), and in some cases the moms (as, in this day and age, fewer weddings are hosted by parents, and fewer guests are colleagues & contemporaries of the parents).

If you do choose to omit the moms, make sure to tell them before the wedding day. You don’t want any confusion or hurt feelings on your wedding day in case this was something that they were expecting or looking forward to.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Inspiration

I love to play – especially with color, texture, and coming up with new uses for items.

Inspiration fuels my play, and can be found in a variety of places including magazines, movies, websites & blogs, a gorgeous sunset, an amazing painting . . .

Here’s a glimpse of “Tranquil Woodland” – my entry for Prime Time Party Rental’s tabletop competition. It was inspired by “Silence, Waterfall and Forest”, an oil painting by Arthur Bowen Davies (on display at the Dayton Art Institute).

Photos of all the entries will be posted on Prime Time Party Rental’s facebook page the week of Feb. 15. Fans of Prime Time’s Facebook page will be able to vote on their favorite design.

If you like my design, vote for me. I’ll post the voting link once it’s available.

Jean’s Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 4

Wedding Planning Tips: Tip #4 – Budget

wedding planning tips budget

4. Set a workable budget

Stay away from budgets that are little more than an “expense report.” I’m sure you’ve seen the kind — you to enter your “estimated” budget and your “actual amount spent.” This is really nothing more than a tally of receipts instead of a true budget.

With no – or an incorrect type of – budget, it will be too easy for your wedding expenses to get out of hand and you end up paying more that what you wanted to, or what you could afford.

Jean’s Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 1

Before you make any purchases or put down any deposits determine a feasible budget. Start out with knowing how much you’ll have to spend on your entire wedding. This can include money you and your fiancé can comfortable take from savings, how much you’ll be setting aside from your paychecks, as well as money that either your parents or his parents (or anyone else) may contribute.

Once you’ve got this dollar amount, divide it up by percentages based on national average. (Example, the reception is typically 33%-50% of the total budget, transportation 2%, invitations/wedding stationery 4% . . .). This will be your starting point.

Jean’s Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 7

Next, grab your priorities list (remember Tip #2?) and determine where to make adjustments.

Maybe having lots of gorgeous flowers at the top of your list, but special transportation at the bottom. Then move the amount you’ve have allocated for transportation up to your floral category. Or perhaps you’ve been dreaming about hiring a great band, but although you want the food to be good, it doesn’t have to be too fancy. Then shave off a bit from your reception category and add it to entertainment.

This will help you to know where to splurge and where to save. Spend your money on what’s important to you and cut backless on what’s not so important. Then if you come in under budget in a category you can reallocate the difference elsewhere, and if you go over budget it will be by choice, not by accident.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more wedding planning tips and ideas contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Similar and boring? I don’t think so.

I love to read just about anything out there on weddings. But every now and then I come across something that makes me stop and wonder, “What are they thinking?”

Recently I read an article that said weddings are very similar and boring, which is why people drink at weddings.

Huh? Similar and boring? And this is why people drink?

Sure, there are similarities to most weddings – there’s usually bouquets, a cake, music, food – and I suppose the article’s author wanted to express that a theme should be incorporated to induce interest and excitement for the guests. But is this cause to label weddings boring?

A plethora of information is readily available and right at our fingertips which makes it so easy to make sure your wedding isn’t similar or boring. We’ve got:

    • Magazines (Brides, Martha Stewart Weddings, Get Married . . .)
    • TV shows (Whose Wedding Is It Anyway, Say Yes to the Dress, My Fair Wedding with David Tutera, Platinum Weddings . . .)
    • Websites (TheKnot.com, MarthaStewartWeddings.com, Get Married, WeddingChannel.com, . . .)
    • Not to mention all of the different wedding related books and blogs.

And don’t forget your wedding professionals. Your photographer, DJ, and caterer can give you ideas to personalize your wedding and make it stand out from the others.

If you don’t have a professional wedding planner, you might want to consider hiring one for some hourly consultations, which are perfect for coming up with some fun and non-boring ideas.

So, are weddings really very similar and boring? I’d love to hear what you think.

P. S. We’ll save why people drink at weddings for some other time.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

It’s In The Looks

Mmmmm, food. Glorious, delicious food.

You’ll want to serve food that’s special enough for your wonderful celebration – but, at the same time, familiar enough so your guests won’t be staring at their plates wondering what it is.

An easy way to solve this dilemma? Presentation.

It’s an easy way to jack up the experience, but not jack up the price tag.

Instead of salad greens simply placed in a bowl, why not try something like this yummy cucumber wrap salad? The ingredients are easily identifiable, your guests won’t have to scratch their heads, and it looks so fun.

Or jazz up dessert with a little plate garnishing such as the fruit compote surrounding a piece of cake,

or chocolate flourishes (the ice cream melted while I was enjoying my room service dinner).

Doesn’t need a lot of extra ingredients, nor a lot of extra time and labor. But it adds just a little extra something to the specialness, don’t you think?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!