Wedding Q&A – What Should the Flower Girl Carry?

flower girl with basket of flowers

Q – I’m working on my wedding flowers and have two flower girls for my wedding. One flower girl (3 years old) will be carrying a sign that says “here comes the bride.”

I’m not sure what to have the other flower girl (6 years old) carry. I do not want her to drop flower petals.

The ceremony decor and reception centerpieces are lanterns, and I was thinking maybe she could carry a lantern with a flameless candle (but I’m concerned that it could break or the candle won’t stay in place).

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

I handmade all of my flowers out of satin fabric so I guess I could do a mini bouquet but I don’t want her to match the bridesmaids either! Any thoughts?

A – A mini bouquet is a cute idea, as it is scaled down for smaller hands, and it lets the flower girl feel like one of the “big girls” in the wedding party.

flower girls with wedding party

Other options you can try are:

– Colorful pinwheels


– Ring a bell

– Balloons

flower girls with balloons

– Ribbon wands

– Floral pomanders aka kissing balls (my favorite!)

floral pomander

– Something seasonal (a pine bough if in winter, for example)

– A tambourine or kazoo if your ceremony will heavily feature music

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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For more ideas, contact me today at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647 or at!

Photo credits:
Flower girl – © iofoto
Flower girls with wedding party – Jack Hoying Photography
Pinwheels – Pinwheels via photopin cc
Flower girls with balloon – © Kzenon
Floral pomander – © Susan

iPhones at Weddings – Should We or Shouldn’t We?

Camera phones / iPhones at weddings. We’ve all seen guests use them. But do they really need to?

cell phone at wedding ceremony

We’ve all seen this Microsoft commercial. You know the one where all the wedding guests have their camera phones out during the ceremony, and everyone ends up in a big brawl.

Sure, it seems funny, but in reality, this is becoming a big headache for the wedding industry – and it’s not a make-more-money scheme to prevent anyone else but the hired photographer from taking pictures so guests have to shell out money to purchase photos either.

No one wants to prevent Aunt Sally or your BFFs from taking pictures at your wedding. But . . . very real issues can crop up when other people decide to take pictures at someone’s wedding.

Handling wedding guests with camera phones so that the privacy and security of the wedding events is preserved, not to mention preserving the sanctity of the wedding ceremony, and provide non-interference for the professional photographer to whom you’ve paid a lot of money for your wedding pictures, is a growing challenge.

Unfortunately with the increase of better technology which is supposed to make our lives better and easier – the problem has gotten worse! The proliferation of camera phones and other devices has made taking – and sharing – pictures so much quicker and easier that people don’t stop and think if they should be taking a picture right now.

I asked Jennifer Gilman with Mark Garber Photography for her thoughts on camera phones / iphones at weddings. Here are her comments:

1. Underneath it all, what bothers us the most is the fact that the vast majority of people never print or even download the photos taken on their phones. While an official study or poll hasn’t been conducted yet, it’s been estimated that fewer than 30% of people print their cell phone photos. In this digital era, cell photos get uploaded to instagram, Facebook, etc. where they get instant gratification, but then disappear into cyberspace forever. Good stats on those numbers:

Our thoughts are this: As professionals who are there to ‘document’ and ‘archive’ an event to be cherished and viewed by generations of family members, it’s extremely annoying and detrimental to get once-in-a-lifetime moments ruined by a wedding guest who just wants to just update their Facebook status. Isn’t that like saying to the bride, “I know this is a big day and all, but my instant gratification on social media is far more important.’

Technology and Your Wedding Day

2. From a professional photographer’s view it can ultimately hurt your creativity and what you deliver to the client. Two common issues that occur are slowing down the day’s timeline and reducing creativity. First, guests with cameras/phones are always slow. They never have their camera turned on, set in the right mode, flash turned on, etc. and therefore say “I want this photo, but I need to stop everything while I get my camera figured out.’ They then take minutes to take the photo. Most count to 3, snap, look at the photo, and then try to take another. This takes minutes, while a pro would take seconds. Repeat this process with a hundred guests and it gets tedious and slows down the day. Second, every so often we get the ‘stalker’ guest. The one that feels compelled to follow us everywhere and photograph over our shoulders all day. This has to be the equivalent of a heckler to a comedian…basically someone there to just give you grief all day. These pesky stalkers instantly change our moods, which in turn effects our creativity, patience and ultimately our end product. While we have things in our contract to help prevent this, it still happens and can make for an awkward and annoying situation on the wedding day for both us and the bride and groom.

3. People have a ‘flash or smile limit.’ Brides and grooms don’t know this because most have never done an 8-10 hour photo shoot before their wedding day, but everyone reaches a “I’m tired of looking and smiling at the camera’ moment. By the time the reception hits, I can see the weary look on brides and grooms’ faces as they are stopped for the millionth time for a photo op by a guest. You do get very tired of having a camera in your face all day and it’s only gotten worse with the increased use of cell phones. And again, what’s the point if they are ultimately going to fade away into digital dust.

4. There is a time and place for everything. Turn the phone off. Unplug from the world and enjoy the presence of the people in front of you. Relish in the moment and enjoy what is around you. Be involved in what is happening and not be partially present as you try to figure out your phone/camera and then upload to the Internet.

Thanks Jennifer for your insight!

If you feel that cell phones or other electronic devices will be a problem, I suggest putting a notice in your wedding program that states that the ceremony is an “unplugged” event. Reinforce this request by asking your officiant to remind the guests to silence their electronics. Also post signs at the entrance to the ceremony or by the guest book asking people to refrain from using electronics.

Be sure to visit Mark Garber Photography for your wedding photography needs!

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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If you have questions, or are looking for ideas, contact me at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

How To Choose Ceremony Music to Express Your Wedding Vision – Part 4

violinist at a wedding ceremony, playing wedding marchHere’s the rest of our list of wedding ceremony music selections. Since there are so many wonderful wedding songs out there, I’m sure I’ve left off several.


“Canon in D Major” – Pachelbel
“Bridal Chorus” from Lohengrin (Here Comes the Bride)- Wagner
“St. Anthony Chorale” – Haydn
“Trumpet, Tune, and Air” – Purcell
“Air on the G String” – Bach
“Water Music” – Handel
“Wedding March (from the Marriage of Figaro)” – Mozart
“Trumpet Voluntary (the Prince of Denmark’s March)” – Clarke
“Prelude to ‘Te Deum'” – Marc-Antoine Charpentier
“The Rondeau” – Mouret
“Coronation March” – Meyerbeer

“Theme from Chariots of Fire” – Vangelis
“Nadia’s Theme”
“Can’t Help Falling In Love” – Elvis Presley


“Ave Maria” – Bach or Schubert
“Alleluia” (from Maccabaeus) – Handel
“Holy, Holy, Holy” – Heber-Dykes
“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” – Bach
“Sheep May Safely Graze” – Bach
“Bless O Lord These Rings” – Roff
“He Crowns You With Love” – Conly

“Allegro (from Spring of The Four Seasons)” – Vivaldi
“The Call” (from Five Mystic Songs) – Vaughan Williams

“Oh Promise Me” – De Koven
“Sunrise/Sunset” (from Fiddler on the Roof) – Harnick, Bock
“Love One Another” – Chepponis
“I Will Be With You” – Moore
“No Greater Love” – Joncas
“Behold How Good” – Peloquin
“A Wedding Song” – Carroll
“Our Love Is Precious” – Young
“We’ve Only Just Begun” – Williams/Nichols
“Evergreen” – Williams
“Endless Love” – Lionel Richie
“Wing Beneath My Wings” – Henley/Silbar

Appropriate for the Unity Candle lighting
“Unity Candle Song” – Haan
“Walk Hand In Hand” – Cowell
“One Hand, One Heart” – Leonard Bernstein


“Hallelujah Chorus” (from the Messiah) – Handel
“Ode to Joy” (from the Ninth Symphony) – Beethoven

“Trumpet Voluntary (the Prince of Denmark’s March)” – Clarke
“Trumpet Tune” – Stanley
“Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” – Handel
“First Movement from Brandenburg Concerto #1 in F” – Bach
“Toccata from Organ Symphony #5” -Widor
“Rejoicing” (from the Royal Fireworks Suite) – Handel
“Trumpet Fanfare” – Mouret
“Wedding March” (from a Midsummer Night’s Dream) – Mendelssohn
“Bridal March” – Parry
“Pomp and Circumstance March #4” – Elgar
“Priest’s March” (from The Magic Flute) – Mozart
“Radetzky March” – Johann Strauss
“Prelude and Fugue in G Major” (from Solomon) – Handel

Tell me what songs you’re thinking about or planning on using for your wedding ceremony music. I’d love to know!

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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For more wedding planning tips and ideas contact me at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: pashapixel | 123RF Stock Photo

Bride's Q & A – Wedding Programs

Q – We’re not sure if we want to use programs at our ceremony. Are we required to have one?

A – There is no requirement or obligation to use a program for your wedding ceremony. Programs also make a wonderful, and relatively inexpensive, keepsake for your guests. The basic purpose of a program is to keep your guests informed. The simplest and most basic wedding program provides a list of all of the participants in your ceremony as well as an order of events for the ceremony itself. It is a lovely keepsake, and will help guide your guests through the ceremony.

However, you can get as detailed as you wish. Instead of merely including names of the members of the bridal party, also add their relationship to the bride and groom. Include titles and composers of the music being played, as well as any special poems or readings included in the ceremony. Also, explanations of any religious or cultural traditions during your ceremony, if these are unfamiliar to some of your guests is a thoughtful way to keep them informed and allow your guests to fully appreciate the ceremony.

The look of a wedding program can take many different forms, from a simple bi-fold or tri-fold, to something more elaborate such as an accordion fold or multi-page booklet. They can be circular or fan shaped.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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For more wedding planning tips and ideas contact me at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Alternatives to the White Aisle Runner

Having a lovely white aisle runner for a wedding ceremony is a popular choice. The practice dates hundreds of years when brides were considered “royalty,” and as such were not expected to walk on the same ground at the “commoners.”

However, the traditional white aisle runner may not be your style.

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

If you like the idea of an aisle runner, but don’t want white, there are other options. Many different colors, including pink, green, blue, gold, and silver are available, and are just about as affordable as the white ones. Or you can have one custom made with virtually any color, design or pattern you want, and can even be embellished with Swarovski crystals and ribbon borders.

But an aisle runner may not be your idea of ceremony décor, or your ceremony may take place outdoors where an aisle runner can be hazardous. There are still plenty of options to decorate your aisle if you wish.

  • Potted plants placed alongside the edge of the aisle
  • Pumpkins and gourds placed along the edge for a fall wedding
  • A thick bed or border of petals
  • Pine boughs or fake snow along the edge for a winter wedding
  • Fabric or ribbon swags on the pews or chairs along the aisle
  • Ivy garland swags on the pews or chairs along the aisle
  • Flowers or Floral pomanders
  • Small shepherds hooks with a lantern or candle holder
  • Seashells and sand along the edge for a beach theme

Jean’s Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 5

Wedding Planning Tips: Tip #5 – No hard and fast rules to weddings

6. There are very few hard and fast rules when it comes to weddings

Now I’m not talking about Emily Post etiquette but the “you gotta do this or that” that well-meaning friends and family members insist has to be included for a wedding to be “right.”

Other than obtaining a marriage license and having an officiant who can legally preside over a ceremony, there are truly no “shoulds” or “musts.”

Jean’s Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 3

Gone are the days when you married a hometown boy in the same church where everyone in town gets married, and have your reception in the same hall where everyone in town has theirs, with basically little variation on the food, cake, music, etc. from one couples wedding to the next. So, let yourself step “out-of-the-box” and see the wonderful options available.

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

Don’t let anyone talk you into something you truly don’t want. There’s no rule that says you have to have “The Stripper” played during the removal of the garter for the garter toss. You don’t have to have equal numbers of men and women in the bridal party. Your attendants don’t have to be female and your fiances don’t have to be male. If you have a male cousin or friend that you are especially close to, then why not ask him to be one of your attendants? There’s also no rule that says you have to wear white – or that you cannot wear white. In fact, it was Queen Victoria who thought out-of-the-box and broke tradition by wearing a white gown for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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For more wedding planning tips and ideas contact me at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!