The Truth About “Shoulds” and “Have-tos” When Planning Your Wedding

Don't Should Yourself - Shoulds and Have-tos in Weddings “Don’t ‘Should’ Yourself” ~ This quote by Evelyn Kalinosky is a wonderful life motto.

Although this was found in a list of several inspirational life quotes, it applies to weddings and wedding planning too.

Since most of you have never planned a wedding before, one thing that’s probably on the forefront of your mind is “What am I supposed to do.”

There has been so much written about planning a wedding, and what is supposed to be done (during the planning stage and on the wedding day itself) that it is too easy to get caught up in what “should” be done.

Well, as this fabulous quote states, “Don’t ‘should’ yourself.”

In fact, there are really only two things that “should” be done, 1) get a marriage license, and 2) make sure the person who is performing the ceremony can legally do so.

Everything else is optional.

Here are some “shoulds”and “have-tos,” and the real-life options some of my brides and grooms have done instead.

A wedding reception should have a cake.
Believe it or not, but not everyone likes cake. One couple served flan (their favorite dessert), and had an ice cream buffet instead of wedding cake – and their guests LOVED it.

Need vs Want: What Do You Need to Get Married?

Bridesmaids should carry bouquets.
The bride chose lovely satin clutches in her wedding colors for her ladies to carry. The clutches looked lovely with their dresses, and they had a keepsake they could use for years to come.

You have-to have an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Life isn’t symmetrical! Several of my couples had uneven numbers in their bridal party. Think of it this way – a lucky lady gets to walk with two guys, or fella with two ladies.

The bride’s attendants should be female (or the groom’s attendants have to be male).
One of my bride’s best buddies was a man. He walked down the aisle in the processional and stood on her side during the ceremony.

You should choose ‘fall colors’ if your wedding is in September or October or ‘spring’ colors for a May wedding.
Sure, each season has it’s own unique color pallette, but you aren’t limited to those colors for your wedding. Pick colors that you like, and have meaning for you. Several of my brides have gone “non-seasonal” in their color schemes, including black with red and yellow accents for a May wedding, and light pink with white and dark pink accents for an October wedding.

For more inspirational life quotes, check out Inner Affluence by Evelyn Kalinosky.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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If you want more ideas, or need help with your wedding plans contact me at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Money Saving Tips For Your Wedding Day (That Are Also “Green”)

Many money saving tips for your wedding ceremony and reception are also “green.” Here are some easy ideas to save money on your wedding plans, and they’re good for the environment too!

Corner copy
Corner copy is your reception information that is literally printed in the corner (sometimes centered) at the bottom of your wedding invitation. By using corner copy you will save a significant amount of money. It costs about $10, regardless of quantity. Compare this to what you’d be paying for 100 or more Reception cards.

An added bonus is that since you’ll have less items going into your invitation suite, you may end up paying less for postage!

wedding invitation corner copy sample

Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations & Other “Green” Tips

wedding invitation corner copy sample

Re-use your ceremony décor and bouquets
You’ve spend good money on something that otherwise will only be used for an hour or so. Get your moneys worth – reuse altar arrangements, pew décor and your bridesmaids’ bouquets as decorations for your reception.

Use non-florals
Candles in lanterns, individual tiers of wedding cake, bird cages for a garden wedding, seashells for a beach/seaside theme, branches, leaves or acorns for a fall wedding are all fun, budget-conscious décor ideas.

wedding cake centerpiece

Use individual potted plants
Group smaller ones together for centerpieces. Then at the end of the evening these can be sent home with guests as favors. Larger potted plants can be used as aisle décor for your ceremony or a pretty arrangement on the bar or escort card table. Send these home as a special “thank you” to someone who helped out on your wedding day. Since the plants can be taken home and replanted there is less waste – excellent for the environment.

Donate centerpieces and left over food
Check with a local nursing home or hospital. Some may welcome the donation of pretty flowers. Also, if your caterer allows leftover food to be taken off the premises, check with local groups to see who has a program for donating food to local shelters.

A special cake knife set or toasting glasses engraved with your names and wedding date are nice, personalized touches for your wedding. However, afterwards these types of items usually end up in the attic. Instead of purchasing something that will only be used once, borrow your keepsake items.

Wedding Gown
Borrow your wedding gown from a loved one or go to consignment shop or ebay to find your gown. If you purchase your wedding gown you can donate it or sell it on ebay afterwards.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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

F is for Flowers

Perhaps one of the most important areas of planning your wedding is choosing your floral arrangements and other wedding flowers. The right arrangements and flower types chosen are key in expressing your wedding vision.

And what is the most important arrangement that a bride will choose? Her bridal bouquet.

All the latest magazines are filled with beautiful bridal bouquets – but guess what? Most of them are a hand-tied style – where the flower stems are gathered and tied together with a lovely ribbon. Hand tied bouquets are gorgeous, but there are several different bouquet styles that you might want to consider.

The following glossary will show you some other beautiful bouquet styles.


Bride's Cascade Bouquet

A waterfall-like spill of blooms, often composed of ivy and long-stemmed flowers, that is wired to cascade gracefully over the bride’s hands.

Flower Talk – The Language (and Meaning) of Flowers


crescent bridal bouquet

Composed of one full flower and a flowering stem, often orchids, wired together to form a slender handle that can be held in one hand. Designed as either a full crescent — a half circle with a central flower and blossoms emanating from two sides — or a semi-crescent, which has only one trailing stem.


floral pomander kissing ball

A bloom-covered ball suspended from a ribbon. Ideal for child attendants.

Book Review – Bridal Flowers: Arrangements for a Perfect Wedding

Tussy mussy:

tussy mussy wedding bouquet

From the Victorian era, a tussy mussy is a posy carried in a small, metallic, hand-held vase. Today, the term is often used in reference to the holder itself.


Small, round bouquets, approximately 6 to 8 inches in diameter.


A tightly arranged nosegay, consisting of concentric circles of various flowers, with one flower type per circle. Each circle of flowers is often a different color.


Also known as the pageant bouquet, this is a bunch of long stemmed flowers cradled in the bride’s arms.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Have questions or need help with your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit (bride’s cascade bouquet): Thomas Bartler Photography