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

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!

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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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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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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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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45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner

Spending money on your wedding can be easy – way too easy.

The good news is saving money is easy too! Here are over 45 ways to save.

General

1. Trim your guest list.
Fewer people means less food, beverages, centerpieces, linens, favors, etc.

2. Have a longer engagement.
Not only will you have more time to search and find sales, you’ll also have more time to set aside money.

3. Enter giveaways to win free wedding stuff.
Free is always good.

4. Use coupons and watch for sales when buying items from craft stores.
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Michaels and Hobby Lobby always have coupons and sales. There’s no reason to pay full price.

5. Opt for an adult-only reception.
An easy way to decide who to trim from your guest list. Determine no one under the age of 13 or the age of 16 for example.

6. Seat more guests at larger tables.
You’ll end up needing less tables and chairs, and in turn less centerpieces and linens.

Your Wedding Date/Time

7. Get married on any day but Saturday.
Many venues and vendors offer a discount for any day other than a Saturday.

8. Get married off-peak season.
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Winter months are typically the slow season in the wedding world, so many venues/vendors offer a discount for those months.

9. Have your wedding ceremony and reception earlier in the day.
A late morning ceremony followed by a brunch reception will save you tons of money.

Favors

10. Skip the expensive favors.
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Fancy favors are commonly left behind. Why? Because your guests really don’t want/can’t use them. Edible treats are one of the best favor options. They’re inexpensive, and your guests will actually use them.

11. Or omit favors altogether.

12. Choose escort cards that double as favors.
Double duty is a wonderful money saver.

Invitations & Other Printed Items

13. Send postcard style response cards with your invitations.
Not only will the postcard RSVP cards cost less, you’ll also need less postage on each one.

14. Skip the fancy custom or vintage postage stamps.
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Your guests won’t miss the fancy postage stamps, and regular stamps (check with your post office for pretty floral or LOVE stamps) cost less than the custom ones.

15. Skip square or odd sized invitations.
They may look great, but the post office charges more postage on non standard shaped or sized envelopes.

16. Use a sign instead of a ceremony program.
Rather than printing up programs all of your guests, do one large sign and have it at the entry to your ceremony.

17. Proofread everything twice before ordering.
Having something reprinted is definitely a cost that is not budgeted for. Eliminate this possibility by proofreading everything multiple times. Have someone else proofread them as well – a second pair of eyes can spot things that the first may have missed. Double check all spellings, dates, and addresses.

18. Order thank you cards when you order invitations.
Saves on extra shipping and handling charges.

9 Easy Ways to Contain Your Wedding Costs

19. Print guests names on a board instead of individual escort cards.
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20. DIY your invitation assembly.
From standard envelope stuffing to attaching rhinestone embellishments or pretty belly bands – paying the invitation company to assemble them costs more money. Save by assembling them yourself (or have your wedding party help out).

Wedding Cake

21. Choose a small one or two tiered cake.
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Have the small cake on display for your cake cutting ceremony, but also have unadorned (just iced) cakes hidden in the kitchen.

22. Skip the dessert table.
You don’t need additional desserts. Your wedding cake is enough.

23. Choose buttercream icing instead of fondant.
Fondant may look gorgeous, but you’ll end up paying at least twice as much (maybe more!) for your cake.

24. Skip on the cake fillings.
Fillings typically cost more, and if you’ve got delicious cake to start with, your guests won’t miss a filling.

25. Serve cupcakes instead of cake.
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You’ll save on the serving price (cupcakes can be up to half the cost per serving as cake). Also, since cupcakes don’t have to be cut/plated, you’ll save on the plating fee most venues charge.

Food & Beverages

26. Offer beer and wine, and a signature drink.
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Serving alcohol can get expensive. Save by offering only beer and wine, and perhaps a fun signature drink.

27. Serve champagne to the head table only.
You don’t need to provide champagne to all of your guests, and they will be fine toasting with whatever beverage they’ve chosen from the bar.

28. Skip the late night snack.
Sending your guests off with a yummy little nibble may sound like a fun idea, but it’s a cost that you can easily omit, and no one will miss it.

Flowers/Décor

29. Choose less pricey flowers in your bouquet.
Your florist can give you lost of flower cost-effective options that achieve the look you are going for.

30. Re-use decorations from the ceremony at the reception.
You’ve already paid for them, so why not get more use out of them? This includes altar arrangements, unity candle flowers, and bridesmaids bouquets.

31. Pick simple tablecloths.
Many venues provide standard linens at no additional cost. In love with a pricy specialty linen? Use it on just the cake table and sweetheart/head table.

32. Choose flowers that are in-season.
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Flowers that are in-season are more abundant, and will cost less than flowers that have to be imported.

33. Choose short centerpieces.
Tall centerpieces are elegant, but often need more flowers to look so grand. More flowers = more cost.

34. Skip the chair covers and sashes.
Unless the chairs are ghastly, save money by not getting covers. Another option is renting resin or samsonite folding chairs. These common chair rental styles often cost less than renting chair covers/sashes.

35. Choose a ceremony venue and/or reception venue that requires little decoration.

Not All Money Saving Ideas Are Good

36. Skip the aisle runner.
In reality, aisle runners don’t enhance the overall look of your ceremony. Save yourself a bit of cash by omitting an aisle runner altogether.

37. Use more greenery and less blooms.
Greenery is elegant, abundant, and less costly that flowers.

38. Use non-florals in your centerpiece design.
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Candles, books, bird cages, lanterns, and bowls of fruit are just some non-floral ideas that cost less than a floral arrangement, yet are still pretty and stylish.

Attire

39. Borrow a veil.
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Borrowing is always cost-friendly. Plus you’ll have your “Something Borrowed” covered.

40. Buy shoes you’ll actually wear again.
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Why spend money on shoes you’re only going to wear just once? Save money by choosing a pair that you will be able to wear again and again.

Vendors

41. Hire a DJ instead of a band.
45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner
Simply put, having a DJ costs less than having a band.

42. Skip the limousine.
A fancy ride is fun, but you’re only going to be in it for a relatively short time.

43. Hire a wedding planner.
A wedding planner has the know-how to stay on budget, yet stay stylish with creative alternatives.

44. Have ceremony & reception at same place.

45. Choose a venue that doesn’t require you to use their vendors.
Not having to use their “short list” of vendors gives you more options.

46. Borrow items.
45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner
Not interested in keeping the cake knife/server or toasting glasses? Borrow them.

47. Buy items instead of renting them.
You can purchase just about everything for your wedding, from table linens to vases. What to do with them after the wedding? Sell them of course. These days, many areas have bridal resale shops. Or check out online sites such as Wedding Recycle.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

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3 Money Saving Tips Without Sacrificing Style for Your Wedding

wedding
Looking for ways to save money without sacrificing the overall feel of your wedding? Check out these tips.

Decor

Greenery and candles are still one of the best ways to save money on centerpieces. It’s elegant and cost effective.

Want something with big impact, but not the big price tag? How about a graceful candelabra,
Tall silver candelabra
or a large, elegant vase or candle holder? Gorgeous, but costs a fraction of a large floral arrangement.

You can also add some pizzazz by easily dressing up plain glass candle holders with adhesive rhinestones, ribbon, lace, glitter or paint.

Word of caution: If you do use real candles, get the unscented kind. When you get a room full of candles, a scent will get overpowering, can aggravate someone’s allergies, and (believe it or not) will affect the taste of the food.

Not All Money Saving Ideas Are Good

Dessert

Serve cupcakes or cake pops rather than a traditional tiered wedding cake.

Chocolate and pink wedding cake pops, wedding cake alternative, wedding dessert
You’ll save money per serving (cupcakes & cake pops are often .50 – $1 less per serving than cake). You won’t be paying a cake cutting fee (that most venues charge).

And you’ll be able to order just the amount you need.

For example, if you have 100 guests, you’ll want 100 servings. For a tiered cake, you’ll end up with at least 118 servings as an 8″ tier serves 24, a 10″ serves 38, and a 12″ serves 56. Not that there’s anything wrong with having extra leftover cake, some couples do so on purpose, but if you need to shave something off your budget, this is an easy way to do so.

Fun Stuff

Photo booths are still popular. And with good reason – they’re fun, a great activity for your guests, people can be silly or or serious . . .

However, many couples whose budget doesn’t allow for a traditional photo booth are changing it up.

Wedding photo booth

Ok, DIY Photo Booths are a bit more effort on your part than having a professional photo booth, (not to mention that there won’t be the fun extras that the pros offer, such as a custom logo, booth attendant, professional equipment, and on-site prints). However the DIY route can be relatively easy. Get a digital camera on a tripod, and guests can snap away. You’ll have to wait until after the event to load up all the photos online for you and your guests to see.

A relatively new service is perfect for use with a DIY photo booth. Veri is a photo and video sharing product which was created specifically for weddings. Before your wedding day, your guests will get a link for the Veri app. Then any photos and videos they take at your wedding will be shared instantly. Unlike a hashtag where the photo has to be uploaded, with this app your guests won’t have to do anything other than snap the picture. Be sure to check out www.veri.com for more details.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more money saving tips, or unique ideas for your wedding, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Why I Have a Love-Hate Relationship with Wedding “Trends”

small wreath on wooden rustic table
Ugh. My Love-Hate relationship with wedding trends continues.

However, this time it’s not because of any specific practice or trend that is currently showing popularity among engaged couples . . .

. . . but with the seemingly loose usage of the word “Trend.”

Over 60 million couples got married in the U.S. last year alone. With that many people, it only make sense that many will be making similar choices.

However, just because a lot of couples followed a similar practice for their wedding, it’s not always enough to call it a trend.

Sometimes it’s merely choices.

Peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and dahlias are popular flower selections; Greenery is Pantone’s 2017 color of the year; Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” is the top requested song – these choices are trends as there are many options (literally hundreds) that couples could have chosen.

However, other choices are merely the same “are you or aren’t you” choices that have been made for decades. Choices, not trends.

Fun Wedding Trends

Most recently, two non-trend choices have somehow been deemed as the latest trends. They are:

1. Not inviting children to the wedding

AND

2. Not doing a seating chart for the reception

People – THESE ARE NOT TRENDS.

These practices are not something new. They are not suddenly the “in” thing.

For years, many couples have chosen to not invite children to their wedding.

For years, many couples have chosen not to do a seating chart, opting for open seating instead.

But guess what? Just as many DID invite children, and just as many HAD assigned seating at their reception.

Which makes them choices, not trends. Choices that brides and grooms have been making for years. And they’re just a couple of the gazillion other choices that every couple makes when planning their wedding.

Ok, Thanks for letting me rant. I’ll climb down from my soapbox now.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Photo credit: foodandmore / 123RF Stock Photo

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Tips for Crafting Your Perfect Wedding Reception Playlist

musical notes

Without question, you’re going to have music at your wedding reception. But picking out these wedding songs and other music may be one of the most difficult things you’ll do. With the hundreds of thousands of songs out there, yeah, it can definitely be daunting.

You’ll want songs that you and your fiancé like (it is YOUR wedding, after all). But what about your guests?

Brian Harris, DJ and MC with Brian Harris Entertainment says, “When choosing songs that you want to dance to, think about the guests that you have invited. Try to choose songs that fit their taste in music as well as your own. Typically a wide range from oldies to hip hop will satisfy everybody’s love of music.”

Include a variety of songs (and styles) that will

• please a diverse group of people (from grandma and other elderly guests, to 10 year olds)

and

• keep people on the dance floor, (while making guests feel like they’re at your wedding reception and not out clubbing)

Where to start?

• What songs and music genres do you and your fiancé like (and don’t like)?

• What is the energy level that you want for your reception? Do you want high energy, or more low key?

• Are your guests a “dancing crowd” or do they prefer to sit back, listen to the music, and visit with each other?

Need inspiration?

Sometimes you need more inspiration than just flipping through your CD collection.big stack of cd`sDJ Intelligence has compiled multiple music lists based on the most requested songs across the country, including the “Top 200 Most Requested Songs,” the “Top 100 Most Requested DO NOT PLAY Songs,” and the “Top 50 Most Requested First Dances” to help you determine what you want to hear (and don’t want to hear) at your wedding.

So what’s popular in our neck of the woods (Dayton, Ohio)?

Brian Harris also shared the Top 5 Requested Wedding Reception Songs he’s been seeing:

1) Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”

2) Justin Timberlake – “Can’t Stop This Feeling”
3) Journey – “Don’t Stop Believing”
4) V.I.C. – “Wobble”
5) Silento – “Watch Me”

and the

Top 5 Do Not Play Wedding Reception Songs are:

1) Chicken Dance
2) Hokey Pokey
3) Village People – “YMCA”
4) Rednex – “Cotton Eyed Joe”
5) Los Del Rio – “Macarena”

Once you’ve selected songs for your reception, be sure to give your DJ room to go “off script.” Sometimes the songs you’ve picked out (even if they are great songs) just don’t keep guests on the dance floor. A professional DJ knows how to read the crowd and play the music that will have the effect you want.

Brian says, “The less that the DJ’s hands are tied the more fun he/she can make the mix of music throughout the open dancing portion of the evening and keep your guests there even later into the night, which is probably what you really want, right!? :)”

Song titles that he recommends for a great reception include:

1) Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”
2) Justin Timberlake – “Can’t Stop This Feeling”

3) Bruno Mars – ” Uptown Funk”
4) KC & the Sunshine Band – ” Boogie Shoes”

5) Usher – “Yeah”

The 2 biggest mistakes couples make when picking out their reception music

1) Choosing way too many songs

We all know nothing stops the momentum of a great party than “dead air” (you know, when the music just stops, and there is nothing playing). To avoid this, you’re probably going to pick out lots of great songs.

But . . .

In reality, a DJ will only be able to play 10 – 15 songs per hour. And at key points of the evening, other things will be going on (ex. announcements, toasts) where there won’t be any music at all. Picking too many songs means you won’t even hear half of what you chose.

2) Wanting all the songs played in a specific order

Don’t try to put all of your chosen songs is a specified order to be played. During the reception, your DJ may need to omit some songs because there just isn’t enough time to play them all, or change up the order to keep the energy going (or to pop in a slow song or two to give your guests a little breather).

Instead, pick out songs that you really want to hear sometime during the night, as well as songs to be played at specific moments, (you know, the Grand Entrance, the First Dance, and Cutting the Cake). Give your DJ guidelines such as what genres and artists you want played, (or don’t want played), then let him/her work their magic.

So, what kind of music do you plan to have at your reception?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

Photo Credit (Music Notes): angelp / 123RF Stock Photo

Photo Credit (Stack of CDs): gemenacom / 123RF Stock Photo

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Wedding Planning Q & A – I’m Vegan and Really Don’t Want Meat at My Wedding

vegetarian hamburger with soy sprout radish and salad
Vegetarian Burger
Q. – I’m a vegan. I really don’t want to serve meat or other animal products at my wedding. Am I expected to?

A. – No you do not have to serve animal products. It’s your wedding and you can serve (or not serve) whatever you choose. If you want to have a vegan wedding menu, go right ahead.

Your wedding reception is to celebrate your brand new marriage, and create a wedding day that represents you and your fiancé. The choices you make – flowers, music, food, etc. – will reflect the two of you. So naturally, if your personal dietary choices lean towards or away from something specific, it is absolutely ok for you to include those choices in your wedding day meal.

mexican vegan vegetable pilaf with haricot beans and pumpkin
Mexican Vegan Vegetable Pilaf

You are not “making a statement” or trying to convert anyone. Instead you are staying true to yourself by following this dietary choice.

A good caterer will be able to create for you a delicious, flavorful vegan wedding menu that will keep your guests tummys happy, yet follow your daily dietary guidelines.

salad with tofu tomatoes arugula and sesame seeds
Tomato, Tofu, and Arugula Salad

Not your everyday . . . Food

We all know the importance food plays in any get-together. As long as you serve good food, your guests will survive. Pick foods that are colorful and full of flavor and you will have a big hit. Ok, at first some of your guests may wonder what’s on their plates, but since your caterer has whipped up something that smells amazing, and tastes great, their focus on the food will soon be back where it should be, (Mmmmm, this is good!)

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Have questions or need fun 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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Photo credits:
Vegetarian Burger & Tomato Tofu Arugula Salad – marcomayer / 123RF Stock Photo
Mexican Pilaf – timolina / 123RF Stock Photo

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

diamond engagement ring in a red rose

Congratulations to all the couples who got engaged over the holidays.

The next thing you should be doing is . . .

. . . enjoy your engagement and being an engaged couple.

I know you’re excited (and rightly so!), and probably want to dive in with all of the fun of planning your big day.

But, I repeat,

Enjoy being engaged!

Getting and being engaged is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so for right now savor this time and . . .

. . . show off your ring

. . . lose yourself while gazing into your beloved’s eyes

. . . relish being a “fiance/fiancee”

Of course it’s normal to want to start working on your wedding plans, and some folks even wonder why it’s recommended to just enjoy this period without doing any actual planning.

  • It will give you a little breather before you get knee-deep in the plans and details.
  • If your honey spent a lot of time and effort on the proposal, give him (or her) a break from another round of planning.
  • It’s very likely that the two of you haven’t even talked about how you’re envisioning your wedding day to be. So how can you really start planning it?
  • Once you do start in on your wedding plans, you may experience “wedding overload” – where you’re thinking about wedding stuff 24/7, everywhere you turn someone is asking about your wedding. If you do, you’re going to thank yourself later for taking this “newly engaged period.”

Then, when you do start in on your wedding plans, give me a call so we can create a “game plan” that allows you to enjoy the next phase of your engagement.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Have questions or looking for fun ideas for your wedding? Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

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Photo credit: dragon_fang | 123RF Stock Photo

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