I’m Dreaming of . . . My Wedding!

bride dreaming of her wedding

If you’re engaged and planning your wedding, (or even if you aren’t engaged, but thinking about “someday”), I imagine you’ve can safely say “I’m dreaming of my wedding.” And why not? There’s a lot to think and dream about . . .

. . . the dress

. . . the cake

. . . the flowers

EVERYTHING!

You’ve probably spent some time looking at wedding magazines, surfing through Pinterest, checking out the wedding planning sites like The Knot, Wedding Wire, and MyWedding.

And you’re getting ideas and inspiration of how you want YOUR wedding day to be.

Recently in the “wedding industry world” it’s been floating around that we, as wedding professionals/vendors, should not be telling you that we will help you have your dream wedding.

Um, WHAT??!!

Of course we’re going to help you with that.

I mean, how can we not help you achieve what you are wanting?

Any wedding professional who is good, respectable, and has integrity will help you achieve this.

In the process we are also going to be honest and realistic with you, because, let’s face it, sometimes our dreams are bigger than what is realistically possible, and bigger than our wallets.

Your Engagement – The First Thing to Do When You Get Engaged

Like I tell my couples, after your wedding I want you to be able to have money to buy groceries, put gas in the car, and not have just racked up a boatload of debt for your wedding day.

But it’s fun to dream about different aspects of your wedding day. We’ll help you take those dreams, and translate, tweak, and edit them to create your real wedding day.

We’re not going to promise a “perfect” day. Sorry, perfection does not exist in real life.

We’re not going to guarantee that everything will be exactly as imagined, or planned. Again, sorry. There are just too many factors and too many details that just cannot be controlled (such as the exact shades of the flower colors).

“Dream” is not a taboo word. There is nothing wrong for a bride to dream about her wedding. And, as wedding professionals, there’s nothing wrong with us encouraging her to dream. For that dream is the spark, the inkling, the inspiration that ultimately takes shape, evolves, and becomes her very real wedding day.

Wedding professionals are creative people. If necessary, we can offer suggestions to help you create that dream, yet not break the bank.

So . . .

In the immortal words of Steven Tyler and Aerosmith,

Dream On!

And when you’re choosing your wedding vendor team, choose those who will be happy to help you reach that dream.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans?
Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: ismagilov / 123RF Stock

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11 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding That Actually Work

save money on your wedding

It’s no secret that weddings cost a lot of money.

Here are 11 easy ways to save money without sacrificing your wedding style.

  1. Individual programs or menu cards look pretty, but you can save a bundle by providing this information on a pretty calligraphed sign.
  2. Serve only beer and wine instead of offering a full bar.
  3.  Skip the champagne toast (or just have it for the head table). Your guests will be fine drinking what they have.
  4.  Some vendors offer discounts for a wedding on a weekday or during a non-peak month such as January or March.
  5.  You can save on catering by having a morning or early afternoon ceremony/reception.
  6.  Trim your guest list. You’ll save on food and beverages. And less people means less seating, which = less tables/chairs, centerpieces, and linens.
  7. 10 Easy (and Invisible) Money Saving Ideas

  8. Offer a meatless entree. A veggie or pasta entree costs less than one with meat.
  9.  Have your ceremony and reception at the same venue. No need for a limo or party bus to transport the wedding party, and you’ll save on multiple site fees.
  10.  Omit favors, your guests won’t miss them.
  11.  Use more greenery and less flowers in your arrangements.
  12.  If your ceremony and reception are at the same location, have your DJ provide the music for both instead of hiring live musicians for the ceremony.

Looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans?
Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Photo credit: rrraum / 123RF Stock Photo

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XOXO – Kisses and Hugs

xoxo

XOXO – You see those letters and automatically know what it means. Kiss, Hug, Kiss, Hug.

But when where these letters first used to express these affections?

The custom of placing X on envelopes, notes, and the bottom of letters to mean kisses dates back to the Middle Ages. Many of the common people were illiterate. Since they were unable to sign their names they put an X in its place.

X first started being used as a substitute for “Christ” by religious scholars about a millennia ago, with the X representing the Greek letter Chi, not the English X.

The Chi Rho, often represented with the letter X, was used as a holy symbol throughout Christian history as it represented the Greek word for Christ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, (which is actually how we ultimately got Xmas as an alternative name for Christmas).

Anyway, back to the symbol for kisses . . .

Once the X was placed on the document, the signer then placed a kiss upon the X, in the same way they kissed the Bible when taking an oath. It was a display of their sworn oath.

With time, the X became the symbol of the kiss.

It is less clear as to why the O represents a hug. One theory refers to when Jewish immigrants were arriving in the United States. Not wanting to use a symbol of a cross, they instead used an O to sign documents.

While this use of O is quite similar to the use of X for signing documents, no one knows how O eventually came to be the written symbol for a hug.

A more simplified theory is that the X looks like two people kissing, and the O looks like two people embracing.

Another theory involves the game of tic-tac-toe.

xoxo tic tac toe Photo credit: delcreations / 123RF Stock Photo

I guess someone thought the X hugs were lonely, and wanted to pair it with something. Since Xs are paired with Os on a tic-tac-to board, why not pair them to represent kisses and another form of affection? Hmmm, what would go with a kiss? A hug of course.
xoxo in red circle Photo credit: embroiderypatterns / 123RF Stock Photo

Although no one can really be 100% sure of these origins, XOXO will forever be recognized as kisses and hugs.

So what are your thoughts on where the use of Xs and Os started? Let us know if you’ve heard of any different theories.

Looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans?
Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Surviving A Bridal Show – 9 Easy Tips

Bridal Show season will be here before you know it.

A Bridal Show is a great place to get started with your wedding plans. Held at various types of venues – including convention centers, banquet halls, even your local shopping mall — they can be quite large (100 different vendors or more!) or much smaller, and more intimate (only 10-20 different vendors). Regardless of size, the main purpose is still the same, you get a chance to take a sneak peek at the local professionals – see examples of their work, taste samples of cakes and foods, and collect vendor brochures and literature.

While tempting, now is not the time to get all of your planning done in a whirlwind of a few hours. You want to be a savvy shopper, and select just the right vendors for you. Here are a few easy tips to help you along.

1. Create a game plan

Which types of vendors you are most interested in? Are you looking for a DJ? Perhaps you still need a florist. Figure out the types of vendors you most want to see, then plan on visiting their booths first.

2. Things to bring

  • Pen and paper, (you’ll want to take notes)
  • A tote bag (to carry all those flyers and brochures you’ll be picking up)
  • Address labels (saves time filling out all those contest and door prize slips)
  • Cash (to pay for admission and to purchase a light snack or beverage)
  • Checkbook or credit card (in case you find the perfect vendor and want to put down a deposit)

3. Wear comfortable shoes

And if possible, leave your coat in the car. You’ll have enough to carry without having to lug around a coat. And you’ll be that much happier if you’re comfortable. Also, wear clothing with pockets. When you come across a vendor that you especially want to remember, place his or her card in your pocket instead of in the tote bag where it can get mixed up with all of the other cards and flyers you’ll be getting.

4. Only bring one or two people with you

Have mom, your maid of honor, a bridesmaid, or fiancé come along. They can help you carry the brochures you’ve picked up, and you’ll have someone who knows you to bounce ideas off of. Just don’t bring a whole entourage. It’s harder to keep a large group together (you don’t want to be spending your time looking for who you came with!) Also, too many people will offer too many different opinions, which will be confusing and not much fun.

5. Eat before the show

Not all shows offer snacks for purchase, and you don’t want to be walking around on an empty tummy! While there will be plenty of yummy samples of foods and cakes to try, this is not the place to load up your plate for a meal.

6. Take notes

Jot down pricing and package information, as well as your personal opinions. Is there anything about a vendors’ personality that stands out to you? Is he or she courteous and polite, or unfriendly and grumpy? Are they enjoying themselves, or do they seem to want to be somewhere else? After you get home and are sorting through that pile of flyers you’ve picked up, it will be hard to remember who was who. A few notes will help remind you who you’ll want to contact later, (and who you want to steer clear of!).

7. The Fashion Show

A popular portion of most bridal shows is the Fashion Show. If you’re like most brides, you’ll want to attend it, so find a seat early – at least 20-30 minutes before it starts. However, if you already have your gown, or otherwise aren’t planning on attending the fashion show, use this time to talk with the vendors you are most interested in. Things will be much more quiet and calm, and you’ll have a better chance at getting their undivided attention.

8. When to sign on the dotted line

Guess what? You don’t have to make a hurried decision at the show. Sure, all of the vendors would love for you to sign on the dotted line right then, and may even offer a discount if you do. But wouldn’t you rather be a savvy shopper and take time to carefully look over everything and figure out which vendors will truly best suit the style of wedding you and your fiancé envision?

9. Read

Before you decide to book someone, be very thorough. Carefully read everything (literature, samples, flyers, contract – EVERYTHING!!) before you sign and put down a deposit. Make sure what they offer is really right for your wedding vision, is what you and your fiancé really want, and that their terms are acceptable. Ask questions so there is a complete understanding between you and the vendor. You don’t want that ‘great deal’ to turn out to be a headache because you didn’t notice the “additional costs” or the “fine print.”

So go and enjoy yourself! It’s just a bridal show!

Upcoming 2017 bridal shows in and around Dayton

Dayton Bridal Expos
Saturday, January 7 & Sunday, January 8, 2017
Dayton Convention Center
11am – 4pm

A Bridal Affair
Hilton Garden Inn Austin Landing
Sunday, January 22, 2017
11am – 3pm

Dayton Bridal Expos
Saturday, February 19, 2017
Dayton Mariott
11am – 4pm

Dorothy Lane Bridal Showcase
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Dorothy Lane Market – Springboro
11am – 3pm

Prime Time Party Rental Bridal Open House
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Prime Time Party Rental
9am – 2pm

Photo by number657

Photo by Sarah Parrott

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Did you attend a bridal show, and just end up feeling overwhelmed? I can help. Contact Jean at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647.

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How to Have Happy Wedding Guests (With 5 Super Easy Tips)

Happy Wedding Guests

happy guests with bride & groom

You’ve invited friends and family to help you celebrate your wedding. If you are like most couples, you plan to feed them, entertain them, and thank them for being a part of your special day.

While the quality of the food and music can definitely make or break their level of enjoyment (no doubt about that), don’t forget the little things that can impact your guests’ experience.

1. Keep your guests informed (before the wedding day).

Wedding guests appreciate being informed of what to expect. Your invitation will give them some clue, but a wedding website is a wonderful, inexpensive (and even free), convenient place to provide further information your guests will want or need.

Look at it from their perspective. Having clear info – locations, directions, time schedule, hotel accommodations, gift registry options, etc. – easily at their fingertips makes it easier for them to participate.

Many couples include a page for guests to conveniently RSVP, and leave comments or questions they may have.

2. Keep your guests informed (on the wedding day).

You’ve shared plenty of info prior to your wedding day. On the big day itself, make sure guests understand what you want them to do with appropriate signage at your ceremony and reception sites.

Guests tend to err on the side of caution. They need that gentle guidance to let them know what we want them to do, such as: yes, please sign the guest book; yes, please take a favor; and don’t forget to turn off your cell phone (you don’t want someone’s phone to start ringing in the middle of your ceremony!).

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to create signs that are memorable and in keeping with the theme of your event.

3. Plan for a variety of foods available.

Think of your reception dinner as Sunday dinner only amped up a few notches. You don’t have to stick with the tried-and-true – it’s ok to be adventurous – but keep it familiar. Consider guests’ dietary needs, perhaps offer a vegetarian and gluten free options there are any dietary restrictions.

If you are adding a regional specialty or a nationality dish that may be unfamiliar to your guests, explain what it is with elegant tent cards, (remember #2 from above?)

Want Happy Wedding Guests? Here Are the Top 5 Things to Avoid.

4. Add a little pampering.

Your venue will have some sort of restrooms (either with running water, or hand sanitizer station). Pamper your guests with a few extra amenities like hair spray, hand lotion, tissues, band aids, breath mints, and a mini a sewing kit.

5. Smile, and really enjoy your day!

Make sure that on your wedding day you wear a happy face. You have planned a great event, it’s now time to relax and let the good times roll. You’ve done your best, and you have helpers (family, friends, wedding coordinator) to handle the details. So smile and enjoy what you’ve planned.

Smiling and being happy is contagious. It has a “trickle down effect.” If you are happy and enjoying yourself, your guests will feel it and also be happy and have fun.

On the other hand, if your are grumpy and complaining, your guests are going to feel that negativity. They are less likely to have fun, and will probably leave early.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Photo credit: Jack Hoying

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