Think You’re “Naive” About Wedding Planning? Don’t Feel Bad.

Confused Bride, Naive Bride

Not too long ago, I came across this question, “In what ways are brides and grooms naïve during the wedding planning process?”

First of, we need to understand why many couples are “naïve.”

It has absolutely nothing to do with their intelligence, or ability to comprehend. Instead it’s more like the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Think of it this way – it’s highly unlikely that you’ve ever planned an event on this scale before. A wedding is two events (ceremony AND reception) with special attire, special décor, dinner, entertainment . . . So. Many. Details.

Wedding Reception With Decor, Centerpiece, and Food

Sooooo, if you haven’t done something before, how can you know and understand (or be expected to know and understand) all the ins and outs? (BTW – This reasoning can apply to anybody, not just those planning a wedding).

Ok, so in what ways can brides and grooms not fully understand the ins and outs?

Often, couples:

Underestimate the Time Involved
One way that they are “naïve” is that they usually aren’t thinking beyond the 6 – 7 hours of the event itself.

Among other things, there are preparations that need to take place prior to the wedding day on the part of the caterer (food purchasing and prep for their wedding menu), and the wedding coordinator (including timeline creation and vendor confirmations). Also, after the fact – the work for the photographer and videographer isn’t done at the end of the reception (they have hours of editing, creating photo layouts, etc.)

Or the couple has misjudged the timing of the day.

Have you ever heard that 1 hour of “wedding time” is equivalent to 1 ½ hours of “real time” (meaning things will take 1 ½ times longer than anticipated on your wedding day)? Believe it. Things will take longer – from getting ready, to eating dinner, and doing a receiving line.

Wanting to do a receiving line for your 150 guests, then finish after-ceremony photos, (including both sides of the family), then a quick stop at that cute garden for a quick pic of just the two of you, AND get to the reception within an hour? Not gonna happen.

Another area of underestimating time is with DIY projects.

We’ve all seen those funny “nailed it” pictures on Facebook. You know the ones with the original picture of how it’s supposed to look next to the photo of the crazy mess of how it turned out. The “crazy mess” is the result of the project needing more time to properly execute, and/or the person not truly knowing how to properly execute the project.

Which leads us to:

Have Limited Knowledge
Back to “You don’t know what you don’t know.” We base our plans on what we know, or at least what we think we know. Unless it’s an area of expertise, there will be gaps in this knowledge.

A perfect example is with flowers. Unless you are a florist or have worked extensively with flowers, your flower knowledge is probably limited. Don’t feel bad. Even after being in the wedding business for over 20 years, my flower knowledge is still limited, (although I have learned a lot through the years).

Anyway, like most people, you probably know the names of flowers such as roses, lilies, and daisies, but not much beyond those few popular flowers, or a particular flower that you’ve really loved for years. Because of this, most people are unfamiliar with what flowers are in season, and what flowers are hearty enough to stay fresh throughout the entire event, and not be wilted halfway through the reception.

Incorrectly Use Tools
Also, many get too caught up in what they see on tv and online, particularly with Pinterest and styled shoots. Don’t shoot me for saying that. I actually love seeing stylized shoots, and am a Pinterest junkie.

weddings from the heart interest board

But for those of you who are planning your wedding, you need to understand and use tools such as Pinterest as ways to get ideas and inspiration. Then weed through those ideas and bits of inspiration to hone, craft, and build upon to create a wedding that really represents you and your fiancé.

Unfortunately, rather than using these as tools for inspiration and starting points for their own ideas, many couples try to recreate what they see exactly as it appears in the photos.

Stylized Wedding Shoot

There are two problems with this desire and attempt to recreate. 1) There’s no personalization. It completely takes “you” out of the equation because you weren’t there (or even thought about) when it was created; and 2) The expense. Most couples don’t realize the time and expense it took to produce that one look (particularly for a stylized shoot). The specialty items (linens, vases, plates, glassware) and custom-made items can get expensive when trying to recreate the desired table-look for 15 – 20 tables.

How to Avoid the Naïveté?

1) As vendors, we need to continually share our knowledge and wisdom, if you will, with couples so they become educated, and have the opportunity to learn and understand what they need to know for their own event.

2) As brides and grooms, couples need to delve deeper than what’s on the surface, ask questions, and trust what their vendors are telling them, so they can be educated consumers.

Do they have to learn all there is to know about weddings? Of course not. (Guess what? That’s an impossible feat, even for the professionals). But a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.

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 (confused bride): ljupco / 123RF Stock Photo

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Not Hiring a Professional Wedding Videographer? You Need To Reconsider.

wedding video with bride and groom through video camera

A video of your wedding is a wonderful way to capture your wedding story. Unfortunately, many brides and grooms view the wedding videographer as one of the most expendable vendors for their wedding day. Some of the more common reasons couples forgo having a professional videographer is:

(1) They have a friend or family member who has a video camera.

(2) They have a professional photographer, and don’t see any reason for a videographer.

(3) They aren’t going to watch a video of their wedding day over and over.

Too often, couples don’t think about the fact (until it is too late) that professional videographers are trained and experienced, and take their profession and the medium seriously and absolutely love what they do. The combination of training, experience, and love shows in a beautiful finished product.

wedding video with bride and groom kiss ceremony

So you have a friend or relative with a video camera.

Sure, you can have Uncle Joe with his home video camera — but it will probably be blurry, wobbly, or on a tripod the whole evening with no closeups (BORING!) He only has the microphone which is attached to the camera, and when that baby in the back pew with mommy starts to cry during the vows the mic will only pick that up. Even if there are no crying babies, it will be very difficult for him to clearly record your voices, as well as your readers and vocalist.

 

He will start and stop the camera at the wrong moments, so your processional music will sound like someone continually changing radio stations without stopping to listen to any one song — and he won’t know how to dub in sound to fix this either. There won’t be any editing, so the finished product will look like a cheap, home video (which is what it is) and no one will ever want to watch it, including the you.

Of course you’ve got your photographer to take lovely photos on your wedding day.

But stop and consider what having your wedding professionally recorded offers. It is important to remember that videography is a vastly different medium than still photography. Its purpose is not the same as still photography either.

Photography captures a single instant, a fraction of a second, while videography captures the events themselves as they unfold. One of the most common complaints from a bride after her wedding day is, “I don’t remember half of what happened on my wedding day! It went by all too fast!” Having a video of your wedding day will allow you to see and hear everything that happened so you don’t have to miss a thing.

Say “Cheese!” 5 Ways to Make the Most of Posed Photos at Your Wedding

A key element that video offers can’t possible be reproduced by still photography is sound – the ceremony music, grandma’s voice, the laughter of your guests as they’re enjoying your reception, your vows.

You think you probably won’t watch your own wedding video very often.

You know, you’re probably right on this one. You’ll pull out the video on your anniversary, or to show special people in your life who weren’t at your wedding.

But why miss out on a precious family heirloom?

strip of film

If you’re still wondering “who’s going to watch that video?”, ask yourself this – if you had access to a video of your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding day, wouldn’t you want to watch it?

Your wedding videography, especially now with digital technology and DVD’s, will last a life time. Wouldn’t a beautifully recorded and edited wedding video (or DVD) make a wonderful edition to your family history?

So what do you think? Are you going to hire a professional videographer for your wedding?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

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Wedding Gifts – Presents vs Money

wedding gifts

Wedding gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Some are chosen from the gift registry the happy couple have put together at a couple local (or online) stores. Others aren’t, and are something the gift giver thinks (or hopes) the couple will like and use. Sometimes the gift isn’t something that comes in a prettily wrapped box, but in the form of cash or a check in an envelope.

Earlier today I read an article that was questioning whether giving a monetary gift instead of one that is purchased, wrapped, and tied up with a pretty bow. No, it wasn’t meaning if asking for money instead of a present is wrong, but whether giving money instead of a present is wrong.

While the article didn’t come up with an end all/be all answer, no definitive right or wrong, it did give some food for thought to help determine wrapped present vs money.

It mentioned some pros and cons – such as “a physical gift will be remembered and cherished for a long time. Cash is appreciated in the short term,” and that “some couples also don’t want any gifts . . . and would prefer that a donation be made to their favorite charities or organizations.”

A wonderful tip the writer offers regarding giving money is to “write something meaningful in the card about how you hope they spend it . . . so that they don’t think you just stopped at an ATM on the way to the ceremony.”

But to suggest or make someone thing that giving money is wrong . . .

I mean, a gift is a gift. The gift giver can give whatever he/she wants to.

Why Is Another Bride Angry Over A Wedding Gift?

Did the couple register for gifts? Even if they did, giving money, (or giving something not on the list) is the givers choice. After all, a gift registry is not a list of the only options that the gift giver can choose. Instead, it is a list of items the couple would like to have.

So, would it be nice, would it be a good idea to choose a gift from the registry, instead of going rogue? Well, yes, because the giver knows that the couple will in fact like and use the item.

But, what is given, be it a boxed, wrapped present, or a card with money, remains the choice of the giver, not of the receiver.

So what are your thoughts on giving money as a gift?

Check out the article here Faux Pas Or Not: Money As A Gift.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Need wedding planning tips and ideas? Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Wedding Q & A – When Are Aisle Runners Used in a Wedding?

Bride's processional with her father, entering wedding ceremony on a traditional white aisle runner
Photo credit: Childers Photography

Q. – When is an aisle runner used?

A. – The use of aisle runners at wedding ceremonies originated centuries ago.

The three main reasons for their use were:

1) Out of superstition – it provides a barrier between the bride and any evil spirits that may come up from below the ground

2) The bride was considered “royalty” and an aisle runner prevents her from having to walk directly on the ground

3) Cleanliness – since roads were unpaved and guests would track in dirt and mud an aisle runner kept the bride from dragging the hem of her gown and her train through the dirt

These days it is done out of tradition. When asked to imagine a bride walking down the aisle, most people imagine her walking on a white aisle runner.

bride and groom's wedding ceremony recessional, walking on traditional white aisle runner
Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

When is the aisle runner put in place?

A wedding aisle runner is most commonly put in place after the mothers of the bride and the groom have entered, and before the ceremony processional (when the bridal party enters).

Groomsmen putting traditional white wedding ceremony aisle runner in place
Photo credit: Shiloh Photography

It is secured at the front of the aisle with pins and tape so it can be easily unrolled, then, once completely unrolled, is secured at the back so it won’t roll back up which helps prevent anyone from tripping.

Sometimes couples prefer to have the aisle runner already in place before the start of the ceremony.

In this case, the center aisle is blocked with ribbon preventing guests from walking on the runner, and guests are seated from the outside aisles (not the center aisle). The ribbon is removed right before the moms are escorted in.

There are many options for aisle runner styles. The most common and economical are made from a durable heavy-weight plastic or rayon. You can find these in the wedding section of some craft stores or in a floral supply store. You can also get them from your florist.

You may also want to read: Alternatives to the White Aisle Runner

Aisle runners can also be personalized, with your names, monogram, or a romantic saying. They can even coordinate with your wedding colors or season.


Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

Be extra careful when using an aisle runner for an outdoor wedding ceremony. Since ground is rarely smooth and level (even the best manicured lawns will have some minor bumps and soft spots. May not be easily seen, but easy to find with your foot and potentially wobble, trip, or sprain an ankle).

For an outdoor ceremony, either omit the use of an aisle runner for safety’s sake, or choose one that is more durable such as a carpet runner (can be found in different colors and patterns), or heavy fabric such as burlap.

Make sure to get the length of the aisle before purchasing an aisle runner. They come in 25′ increments, starting at 25′ long and going up to 150′ or more.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

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Ha! Ha! – Let’s Celebrate National "Tell A Joke" Day

laughing dog

Tomorrow is National Tell A Joke Day. It is observed every August 16th.

What’s better than a day filled with laughter?

laughing emoji

 

A joke, quite simply, is something that is said with the purpose to cause amusement or laughter. The final sentence, known as a punchline, often provides a humorous twist or ending.

 

Jokes come in many different styles, including:

  • One-liners – As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools.
  • Puns – Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time consuming.
  • Stories or anecdotes – Remember when people had diaries and got mad when someone read them? Now they put everything online and get mad when people don’t.
  • Non Sequiturs (jokes that make no sense) – “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Parodies – “Like a Surgeon” and pretty much everything else by Weird Al Yankovic.
  • Knock-Knock jokes  –“Knock, knock,” “Who’s There?” “Little old lady.” “Little old lady who?” “I didn’t know you could yodel.”

They can also be physical such as screwball, pranks, pratfalls, and slapstick. The Three Stooges (a personal favorite!) were the epitome of slapstick.

Three Stooges

Regardless of the method of delivery, the main purpose of a joke is to entertain by providing humor, even though jokes can sometimes be used to make serious commentary like in the case of satire, (think “The New Yorker” or “Saturday Night Live”).

Jokes have been an integral part of human history for centuries, (it is thought that Palamedes, a Greek mythological figure, invented jokes as well as counting, currency, weights and measures, and several letters of the alphabet), and many great minds have spent time and energy in trying to understand what makes jokes funny.

How to Celebrate?

    • Tell a joke to every person you meet on that day.
    • Pick up a joke book and read it in your spare time.

National Tell a Joke Day - joke book

    • Watch your favorite comedians.

Jeff Dunham and Achmed

  • Take a comedy/improv class, or sign up for open mic night at a local club.

Did You Know . . .

. . . Laughing can make us healthier. It improves our immunity, helps regulate blood sugar levels, improves sleep, and releases endorphins (natural “feel good” chemicals) into the brain.

. . . Gelotology (from the Greek gelos “laughter”) is the study of laughter and humor, and their effect on the human body.

. . . Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes can burn up to 40 calories.

Planning a wedding?

Honor National Tell A Joke Day on your wedding day by:

  • Print a little humorous joke on your programs.
  • Have a comedian entertain your guests at your reception.
  • Incorporate jokes into speeches and toasts, . . .
  • . . . and the MC’s comments.
  • Jokes can be on little signs or table numbers, . . .
  • . . .in your ceremony readings,
  • . . . and in your ceremony vows.

Be sure to clear any jokes that are to be used during the ceremony with your officiant first, and make sure that all jokes (for ceremony and reception) are appropriate for all ages (remember you’ve got grandma and the ring bearer listening).

Here’s a few that you may want to try –

“They’ve been going together for so many years, instead of the Wedding March the organist should have played the Hallelujah Chorus.”

“The bride looks absolutely stunning, the groom looks absolutely stunned!”

“The groom was not a pretty baby – his mother got morning sickness after he was born.”

“The bride wept, the bridesmaids cried – and even the wedding cake was in tiers.”

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

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Real Wedding – Heidi and Luke (Dennenhof – Genk, Belgium)

(This “Real Wedding” was submitted by Adorn Wedding Invitations, located in London. Hope you enjoy it, and find inspiration for your wedding).

The Details

How did you and your partner meet?
I came travelling in Australia for 6 months, staying in hostels. I started my Australian adventure in Perth.

Luke was working in the mines in Western Australian on a FIFO basis and on his time off he stayed in hostels around Perth.

2 days after I arrived in Perth, Luke showed up in the same hostel as where I was staying.

The rest is history.

How did he propose?
Our favourite weekend getaway was Gilgare Retreat in Margaret River.

A few weeks before we would be moving to Melbourne, he treated me to a few nights away here.

We went on a beautiful nature walk which we would do every time we were there.

On a little bridge, he stopped me and proposed.

What’s your most important piece of advice for creating and maintaining a strong relationship?

Being patient with each other.

Tell us about your wedding gown and how you chose it:

My wedding gown was actually a Christmas gift from Luke 3 years before we got married.

Around Christmas time 2014 we were doing our Christmas shopping. I tried on my wedding dress, but decided not to buy it because it was pricey and I wouldn’t have many occasions wearing it.

We went on buying another dress, but Luke went back and bought me the Carla Zampatti dress as a Christmas present.

At the time of his proposal I hadn’t had a chance to wear the dress yet, so I decided that this dress would become my wedding dress.

What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
Indi style wedding.

What was your favorite moment from the day?

We included our daughter Stella’s baptism in the wedding ceremony. My favourite moment was seeing her in de cape that my grandmother made for my mum when she was baptised.

Any DIY décor elements?

    • Instead of a traditional guest book, we enlarged a photo of our family (Luke, our daughter and me) on canvas and had people write a little message on this. The idea being that a traditional guestbook would rarely be looked at again, but the canvas photo is hanging in our living room and we can enjoy it every day.
    • Little thank you presents for the guest. I bought little jam jars and filled them with corn for people to make pop-corn of. I attached a note to the jar saying “Thank you for popping by.”
    • The seating chart for the evening dinner.

    • Bird cage for envelopes (we included a wishing well with our invitation).
    • At the entry of the evening venue, I put a frame with 2 half hearts. Each half of the heart was a map of the town where Luke and I grew up in.

    • Flower arrangements and wedding bouquet were made by an aunt of mine.

    • Table numbers: I used large jam jars filled with lollies. On the jam jar, I put the table numbers.

  • I also wrote the entire Ceremony myself and made the booklet. Seeing the wedding was attended by both my family (Flemish) and my husband’s family (English) I included the both languages in the booklet. (Hats off to the priest who fluently switched between Flemish and English sections).

If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
Honestly, nothing!

Any tips that you can give to future brides?
Delegate everything on the wedding day itself; ask bridesmaids, groomsmen or parents to look after a certain part of the day. Try to divide the day up between different people to keep it manageable for them.

Invest in a good photographer, it is the only memento of your wedding.

Ask advice to time the different parts of the day. Get a clear idea of how long the make-up/hair, ceremony, photos, etc will take so you can make a flowing day planning.

Sitting down during the ceremony (you’ll be on your feet (bride in heels!!) most of the day)

Anything else you’d like to add?
I have to add the amazing surprise we had when arriving at our photo location/wedding night location.

I booked to have our wedding night in a castle (Ter dolen, Helchteren, Belgium) where I used to work during my University days (The castle has a bed & breakfast, brewery and pub attached to it.

I booked it early 2015 because our original wedding date was 24 September 2016. Due to medical reason, we had to postpone our wedding to 2017, so I notified the B&B owner.

Arriving at the castle in the afternoon of 08/04/2017, the owner told me they actually stopped running the B&B from the castle and she moved into the castle with her family. But because we made reservations so long ago and because she still knew me from working there, she was staying elsewhere for the night and Luke and I had the entire caste to ourselves (including the family dog).

Heidi and Luke’s Vendor Team
Dress: Carla Zampatti
Makeup & Hair: Café Beauté (Hasselt, Belgium)
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Accessories: Miracles by Annelien Coorevits
Jewellery: Love On Jewellery
Grooms Suit: Peter Jackson
Invitations: Adorn Invitations
Photographer: Dieter Decuypere – Speaking through Silence
On the day stationery: BWedding Invitations
Food: Dennenhof (Genk, Belgium)
Flowers: Provided by family member
Ceremony Venue: Chapel Ten Eikenen (Zonhoven Belgium)
Reception Venue: Dennenhof (Genk, Belgium)
Car: Dreamday Cars (Koersel, Belgium)
DJ: Kurt’s DJ team (Hoeselt, Belgium)
Wedding rings: B & S Lyncris Jewellers

Thank you Alyssa/Adorn Wedding Invitations for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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It’s Here! Pour a Cold One & Celebrate "International Beer Day"

beer in mugs

International Beer Day, a global celebration of beer, is held on the First Friday in August. This year it’s tomorrow, August 4th.

Beer is an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented grains, such as wheat or barley.
international beer day - hops
Typically flavored with hops, herbs and fruits can be added for a different flavor. It is one of the world’s oldest beverages, thought to date back to the early Neolithic era (~9500 BC).

A popular beverage, beer is listed on many Top-5-Beverages-In-The-World lists, following water, soft drinks, and tea. (With coffee taking the #5 spot).

How to Celebrate?
• Try your hand at brewing your own beer. At-home beer making kits are readily available and cost less than you’d think (many start under $50).
• Spend your evening at a bar trying out new types of beer. Local craft beer bars and microbreweries are popular.
• Take a brewery tour and spend time learning the science behind beer making.
• Be adventurous. Sample beers varieties that you haven’t tried before.
• Enjoy beers from other cultures.

international beers

Fun facts . . .

. . . Beer is the name of craters on Mars and on the Moon. They are named in honor of the German astronomer, Wilhelm Beer.

. . . Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.

. . . Banana beer is made from the fermentation of mashed, ripe East-African Highland bananas. Commercial brands of banana beer include Mongozo Banana Beer, Raha, and Agashya.

Serving beer at your wedding?

Get creative by:

• Offering beer flights for your guests to sample different beers.
beer flight

• Want a fun summertime drink? Try a Shandy. It’s half beer/half lemonade. For a fall wedding do a half beer/half apple cider mix.
International Beer Day - summer shandy

• Decorate with wheat and hops. Create a hops garland, or boutonniere, or use a bundle of wheat as a centerpiece.
International Beer Day - Standing Preserved Wheat Grass Bundle

• Give little jars of beer jam as favors.
International Beer Day - Raspberry Vanilla Jam Beer

• Give personalized bottle openers as favors.
silver heart bottle opener keyring wedding favor personalized favors

• Incorporate beer in your menu. Serve a delicious beer bread, chocolate Guinness cake, beer cheese dip, honey beer braised ribs, or chili beer glazed steaks.
Beer Bread

Do you have any good recipes using beer, or other fun ideas using beer?

So raise your pilsner glass and give a toast to brewers and bartenders and beer!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

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Bad Brides – or How Not To Treat Your Bridesmaids

How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Bride & Bridesmaids
You’re just starting with your wedding planning and it’s time to choose your wedding party. “Hmmm. Who will be my bridesmaids?”

Choosing a bridesmaid is a very important task of wedding planning. These ladies (or men, who are called bridesmen, or wedding attendants) have been by your side through the years. They’ve supported you through thick and thin. They are your besties – the people you couldn’t imagine not having by your side during this exciting time of your life.

So why in recent years are we hearing of more and more brides behaving like bridesmaids aren’t cherished friends and family members at all, but, well . . . are going ‘zilla on them, with unreasonable demands and lofty expectations?

Changing Their Appearance

How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Sad Bridesmaid

One bride asked her bridesmaids to gain weight so she would look better by comparison.

Another she expected her ‘maids to wear heel varying heights so they would all appear to be the same height. The bridesmaids’ heights ranged from 5’2″ to 5’9″, meaning that one lady was to wear 7 inch heels.

One asked her ladies to all dye their hair blonde so that she (the bride) would be the only brunette.

Another bridesmaid was asked to have a breast reduction so she would fit into the same dress as the rest of the bridesmaids.

Your bridesmaids are your best gal (or guy) pals. They are the people in your life who you love and cherish. You’ve chosen them for who they are. Why change them?

Exchanging Them

How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Angry Bridesmaids

You’ve chosen your bridesmaids based on your relationship with them, not on how they look. Most women don’t look like models. So don’t base your bridesmaid choices on appearance.

Check out this episode of Absolutely Fabulous. Fast forward to 36:52 and watch mother-of-the-bride Edina (“Sweetie, Darling!”) swap her daughter’s bridesmaid for a Gucci model.

Hopefully no one will do that for real, but believe it or not, you can hire a professional bridesmaid. I get hiring someone for assistance behind the scenes, but yes you can actually hire someone who will walk down the aisle and stand up at the altar with you.

Bridesmaid Banishment
How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Firing a Bridesmaid

Some brides have even gone so far as to threaten to fire their bridesmaids if they didn’t follow her “ground rules.”

These ground rules included:

  • Enforced bed times leading up to the wedding (can’t have saggy, baggy eyes)
  • Bathing suits must be strapless (can’t have terrible tan lines)
  • Changes in haircuts/coloring must be pre-approved

A follow-up note ended with, “Failure to adhere to my commandments, can result in Bridalparty banishment!”

Pay For The Honor
How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Face Palm - Head in Hands

Ok, this one will make you face palm and ask “why, oh why?”

The most recent bit of bad bride behavior with bridesmaids is fairly recent. Apparently this bride “sent out dozens of…invitations, to various girls. . . to attend and participate in a ‘bidding auction’ on the six spots in her bridal party.” Apparently the bride and groom plan to use the money to pay for the wedding and honeymoon.

It’s unclear why this bride sent out invitations to a bidding auction. It doesn’t appear that she just couldn’t choose from so many people (as many were acquaintances, and not close buds). Was it a grab for money? Some other reason entirely?

Regardless as to her “why,” you just don’t do that to people!

Other things brides have asked of their ladies were:

  • cover tattoos
  • not getting tattoos
  • not getting a haircut
  • grow out their bangs
  • get a fake tan (the bridesmaid had a pale complexion)
  • get botox
  • Wedding dress contribution – one bride ended up buying a wedding gown that was way out of her budget. She then wanted her bridesmaids to contribute $150 each to help pay for it.

Want to read the entire details of these bad bride behaviors? You can find the original articles here:

Bid to be a bridesmaid
Professional bridesmaids
Demands made on bridesmaids
And more demands
Help pay for wedding gown

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Need help with your wedding plans? Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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9 Things You Must Consider For A Joyous Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

outdoor wedding ceremony

I love an outdoor ceremony.

Lush green settings, fragrant flowers, the sounds of birds chirping. And considering the popularity of outdoor wedding venues, it’s obvious that many brides and grooms do too.

But not every outdoor location was designed with the needs of a wedding ceremony in mind, which causes it’s own set of issues that have to be planned for to ensure the enjoyment, ease, and comfort of everyone involved.

Make sure everyone has the best experience by checking out these 9 tips for a joyous outside wedding celebration.

1. Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy (But Not When It’s In My Eyes).

sunset wedding

There’s nothing like sitting outdoors, the sun beautifully shining, witnessing a loved ones wedding vows.

Unless the sun is shining directly into your guests’ eyes, making them squint, or having to close their eyes. You know they won’t be thinking happy thoughts for you and your fiancé while their eyes are closed and watering.

Also, you don’t want the sun to be in your or your fiance’s eyes either. How can you exchange vows and say “I do,” if you can’t clearly and comfortably see your fiancé (or have him/her see you)?

How to avoid this? Easy.

Go out to your ceremony site at a similar time of day as well as time of year to see where the sun will be at in the sky. That way you can decide what will be the best placement and orientation for seating.

Sometimes changing the angle that the seats will be facing isn’t a good option. If that’s the case consider providing programs or hand-held fans that guests can also use to shield their eyes, provide inexpensive sunglasses, or getting a tent.

2. “I Think Truth Has No Temperature.” (quote by Cameron Diaz)

blue fans for guests to use at a wedding ceremony on a hot day
Photo credit: joshuaraineyphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Truth may not have a temperature, but your outdoor ceremony will. The question is, how comfortable will that temperature be?

Ok. You’re probably not planning on an outdoor ceremony in December. But considering the potential temperature (and humidity) is important to everyone’s comfort.

June is often comfortable, but it can be humid. October is often warm enough for short sleeves or a light sweater, but is can turn cold.

Doesn’t mean you can’t have your ceremony outside. Just be sure to provide means to provide comfort for your guests. Maybe a fan or an outdoor heater. Bottled water on hot, humid days, and hot chocolate for when it’s cold. Cheap, pashmina wraps for the ladies (Google “cheap pashmina wraps” and you will find lots of sources).

3. “Love Is Like The Wind. You Can’t See It But You Can Feel It.” (Quote by Nicholas Sparks).

The temperature isn’t the only type of weather that can affect your wedding. Even though you may not be able to see the wind, everyone can see the problems it can cause.

Altar arrangements get blown about. Unity candles won’t stay lit. Aisle runners won’t stay in place. Your beautiful up-do can come undone in the wind. Candelabras can topple over.

Some easy remedies include:

  • Securing the base of tall candelabras or other tall decorative pieces.
  • Incorporating a sand ceremony or other unity candle alternative.
  • Placing décor such as pretty containers of flowers along edge of an aisle runner to keep it from blowing up (and becoming a walking hazard).

4. The (Six-Legged) Uninvited Guests

Mosquito

Outside means nature, and nature means bugs. Especially if you’re in a wooded area or near standing water. They’re also attracted to perfumes with a floral or fruity fragrance.

There may be just a few pesky bugs, or there may be a lot. But they will be there. And they will be distracting and unpleasant for everyone – your guests and you.

Avoid swatting at mosquitos while you’re saying your “I dos.”

Set off bug bombs. Burn citronella candles. Spray for bugs beforehand.

Provide insect repellant (Burt’s Bees makes a nice herbal based repellant). Have a basket with individual insect repellant wipes on hand for your guests. (Google “individual bug repellent wipes in bulk”).

Decorate with flowers and other florals that are a natural insect repellant, such as sprigs of rosemary, lavender, mint, and thyme.

Sunshine, Rain, and Your Wedding Day

5. Can You Hear Me Now?

Your guests want to hear your vows. I mean, how can you expect them to be engaged and enjoy being there for you if they’re struggling to hear what’s going on?

If they can’t hear, they’re going to be thinking (or worse, whispering) “what’d she say?” “What part are they up to?” “How much longer?” “I can’t hear a thing!”, instead of “Oh, I’m so happy for them,” and “Their vows are so beautiful,” while dabbing tears from the corners of their eyes.

Many indoor ceremony venues have a sound/PA system. Others venues were built with beautiful acoustics.

However, that’s not the case outside.

Unless the size of your guest list is relatively small, consider renting a microphone and speaker.

6. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (But How Far Is That Walk?)

walking to remote outdoor wedding ceremony location
Photo credit: arinahabich / 123RF Stock Photo

Chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

This may sound romantic, and is probably part of the charm that made you choose that site. But it may prove tricky for some to actually get to. Or awkward for those ladies wearing heels. (Help avoid this by clearly indicating on your invitations of the outdoor nuances of your ceremony so your guests can choose proper footwear).

Think about how far is the distance between parking and the actual site? Are there long meandering paths? Uneven terrain? Trails through tall grass? Rocky walkways?

If that’s the case, it is likely that it will take more effort on everyone’s part to actually get to the ceremony site.

Is there a closer access road for your elderly guests?

If possible, arrange to have golf carts or a shuttle available to help get guests as close as possible. Designate a few hearty bodied gentlemen to help those who may need assistance.

For the ladies in heels, provide plastic heel protectors, such as The Solemates, Heels Above. or Grass Walkers. They keep high heels from sinking into the ground. Makes it easier for them, and protects their shows at the same time.

7. Baby, You Can Drive My Car (But Where Will It Be Parked?)

Again, chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

So, where will your guests have to park?

Is there a nearby parking lot? A parking lot that’s a 5 minute walk from your ceremony site? Or is parking more scattered?

You will need to be more creative with the parking situation if yours is not a traditional ceremony site. Parking may be off the street, in a field, or down a gravel lane. Will it be easy for your guests to see their way to find their cars at the end of your event?

8. It’s All About Location, Location, Location. Unless It Isn’t Easy To Find Your Ceremony Site.

 wooden sign pointing towards an outdoor wedding ceremony Photo credit: chrishumphreys / 123RF Stock Photo

I don’t mean finding the address, that’s the easy part (especially the help of a GPS). I’m talking about them finding your ceremony site once they get out of their car.

It may be obvious to you as to how to get to your ceremony site, but if there are other paths that lead elsewhere, your guests can become confused or lost.

Reaching some remote outdoor ceremony sites isn’t always obvious. Do we take that close by path on the right, or do we have to walk down that lane?

Make it foolproof with some simple signage. Providing a sign that states, “Ceremony this way” with an arrow pointing the way works wonders.

9. Extra! Extra! (Fees, That Is).

Perhaps the cost to use your outdoor wedding ceremony location is minimal (particularly so for private homes or sites that are open to the public, like parks or arboretums).

However, with some non-typical ceremony sites come additional planning and fees.

  • If it’s harder for your vendors to access, will extra delivery fees be incurred?
  • Outdoor sites may not have restrooms nearby. For the comfort of your guests, will you need to provide port-a-potties?
  • Will you need valet parking if the nearest parking area is a good distance away?
  • The outdoors doesn’t come with electrical outlets. Will you need to provide generators?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

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Dog of Honor? – Including Your Dogs in Your Wedding Ceremony

Tips for including your dog in your wedding ceremony - the bride and her dog Photo credit: Tammy Pressnell

Well, after 23 years of planning weddings, Weddings From The Heart experienced a first.

Earlier this month was the first time that one of my couples included their dogs in their wedding ceremony.

And things could not have gone smoother!

Their dogs, Molly and Kava, were the sweetest, most well behaved pups ever! (Molly even gave me doggie kisses!)

Tips When Including Your Four-Legged Family Members

Our pets are our family, so for many people it makes sense to include them in their big day.

The following are some tips to help make things go smooth for everyone involved.

1. Before you start in on planning for including your pet, make sure your ceremony and reception venues permit pets.

Confirm that pets are welcome. The last thing you want is to arrive on your wedding day only to find that your dogs can’t be there.

Let the folks at the venues know in what capacity your pet will play. Will they just be present for the ceremony? At the ceremony and reception? On a leash or free range?

2. Consider your pet’s personality.

Are they shy? Social? Vocal? Quiet?

Are your pups comfortable around a large group of people? You don’t want them to be overwhelmed.

Does your pet have good “doggie manners”? Your wedding day is not the time or place for friendly little Fido to be greeting people by jumping on them, or begging for food.

Does a little hunter come out in them at the sight of a squirrel, or will they ignore it?

3. Are any of your key people (parents, wedding party members, photographer) allergic to dogs?

If so, are there precautions they can take that will alleviate their allergy symptoms without leaving them drowsy?

4. Are any of your key people afraid of dogs?

Discuss with them what you have in mind for including your dogs and see if that may be acceptable to them. Or consider limiting your dogs’ participation to ceremony only, on leashes.

5. Consider the role you want your pet to play.

Are they merely guests of honor or will they play a more active role such as being the ring bearer?

Have them practice at the rehearsal too.

6. Have a designated handler for the wedding day.

You’re going to be busy with everything else going on to have to be the one to feed, walk, or clean up after your pets when “nature calls.” Also they can keep an eye on your four-legged babies in case some chocolate cake or wedding favors accidently gets dropped on the floor (don’t want them getting into that and getting sick – or worse!)

7. Do you want your pet to wear a special little outfit?

Make sure your pet in comfortable wearing a little doggie tux or hat. (As handsome as my dog would look with a hat, he’d paw it off the second it was placed on his head). You don’t want them to be tugging at it trying to get it off during your vows.

Keep it simple. A little bow tie or flower attached to it’s collar will look adorable!

8. Have some familiar items on hand.

Unless you typically have a hundred or so people around, your pooch is going to be out of his element. Bring along a favorite toy, dog bed, and treats. Your pet will be in an unfamiliar environment (different location, different people), so having some familiar items on hand can make things more comforting for your pet.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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

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