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


2. Not doing a seating chart for the reception


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!

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Photo credit: foodandmore / 123RF Stock Photo

Surviving A Bridal Show – 9 Easy Tips

Bridal Show season will be here before you know it.

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

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

1. Create a game plan

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

2. Things to bring

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

3. Wear comfortable shoes

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

4. Only bring one or two people with you

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

5. Eat before the show

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

6. Take notes

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

7. The Fashion Show

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

8. When to sign on the dotted line

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

9. Read

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

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

Upcoming 2017 bridal shows in and around Dayton

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by number657

Photo by Sarah Parrott

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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

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

need vs want - wedding planning

While talking with a bride several months ago, she mentioned that a friend of hers told her that she doesn’t need a wedding planner.

She then asked me what I thought.

Of course, since I am a wedding planner, you’re probably thinking that my answer was, ”Yes, you absolutely, positively, unequivocally do need a wedding planner.”

Well, sorry. No, that was not my answer.

Instead I told her that no, she does not NEED a wedding planner. But then again, to get married you also don’t NEED a florist, or a dj, or a photographer, or a caterer . . .

How I Got Started as a Wedding Planner

What DO you need to get married? Well, to get married, there are really only 3 things that you need. They are:

  1. Two people
  2. A marriage license
  3. A person who can legally perform the ceremony

Everything else beyond that depends on what you WANT.

    • Do you want a stunning ambiance to your wedding decor? Do you want to enjoy the day before your wedding sipping mimosas and relaxing at the spa, (instead of spending hours making bouquets)? Do you want your floral arrangements to be fresh, and beautiful, and dazzling, and WOW?

      You hire a florist.

    • Do you want to share a delicious meal with friends and family? Do you want to avoid having your mom slave over a hot stove and oven the week of your wedding? Do you want an experience instead of just “food”?

      You hire a caterer.

  • Do you want your wedding day to be creative, fun, and represent you and your fiancé? Do you want to save money and time? Do you want to remain stress-free and have the peace of mind that your wedding day will turn out how you envision it to be?

    You hire a wedding planner.

So . . .

What do you want?

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Do you have questions or are 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!

Photo credit: wedding flutes with champagne and yellow cake with frosting pink roses flower bouquet and teacup via photopin cc

How I Got Started as a Wedding Planner






I was never one of those girls who dreamt of her wedding day since she was a little girl. Only once did I and my friends stage a wedding for Barbie and Ken (the highlight of that event was when Ken’s head popped off right after their first kiss).

Never threw parties or had big get-togethers. (Still don’t. We’re more of the homey types. Watching tv. Reading a good book. Love board games and cards).






So, how did I discover the world of wedding planning?

Planning our wedding is where I got the spark.

When my husband and I were planning our wedding (back in 1988) I was the most clueless bride ever. Heck, (dare I admit it), I didn’t even realize that there were wedding magazines available.

Because of our crazy work schedules at the time we did most of the planning on our lunch breaks (very few wedding vendors would meet with us after work, and we couldn’t get time off during work hours).

Some vendors were no-shows for our scheduled meetings. Our reception venue was bought out by another company, and the new company’s catering style was ribs. Delicious yes, but very different that what we wanted and had contracted for (thankfully they honored our original menu choices). My aunt made our cake, and my cousin did our bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. That was a tremendous help (2 less vendors that we had to deal with).






However, it was still S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L. But on our wedding day we were surrounded by our family and closest friends. And in the end, we were married, and starting this new stage in our lives together.

The decision to become a wedding planner was never an “aha moment.”

Instead something about planning my wedding stuck in the back of my head, and gradually evolved. I’d often think that planning weddings for others would be fabulous, but was a “wedding planner” really a thing? I didn’t think it was.

But it still stuck with me. I’d find myself thinking that there had to be a right way to plan weddings for other people. Planning your own wedding does not make you a wedding planner – I got that.

My interest and desire to pursue this career grew, and I continued to talk about wanting to be someone who plans weddings. (But is it even a real thing?)

Finally, one day my husband told me to stop talking about it and do something about it, or just stop talking about it. Ok, not those exact words. But he was giving me the push (and his support) to pursue this.

So, in 1994 I joined an wedding organization for wedding planners, took their training courses and shadowed with a local wedding planner. The following year I officially opened Weddings From The Heart.

That’s how I got started.

Through the years (it still doesn’t seem like it’s been over 20 years!) I’ve participated in other training courses, seminars, and workshops to continue to hone my craft. (There is always something new to learn).

Hello. How much do you charge?

It really is an honor and privilege to get to work with couples and help them have the wedding day they’ve imagined and hoped for.






I can’t imaging doing anything else.

Photo credit (Barbie and Ken): The flowers were the easy part. via photopin (license)
Photo credit (Monopoly Board): Monopoly via photopin (license)

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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I’d love to help you make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way YOU want! Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Why Your Wedding Planner Needs To Be At Your Ceremony Rehearsal

wedding rehearsal

Came across an inquiry for a wedding planner. For the planning services requested, the bride-to-be checked off yes for “ceremony,” yes for “reception,” and no for “wedding rehearsal.”

Ladies, you may think you’ll save some money if your planner doesn’t have to be at the rehearsal. But IT IS IMPERATIVE that anyone involved with the ceremony to also be at the rehearsal.

Sure, you’ll discuss with your planner in great detail the way you want the ceremony to be, the order that the wedding party will go down the aisle, if there will be a unity candle, what songs will be played for the processional . . .

But, things can change. And even the slightest change can throw things off IF THE PLANNER WAS NOT AT THE REHEARSAL!

So You Want to Be a Wedding Planner – Some of My FAQ’s

What could possibly be changed?

  • The order of the wedding party is different than what the couple decided at first
  • Programs will be passed out (when originally there were none)
  • The bride’s processional song is different than what she initially chose
  • An aisle runner has been added
  • There won’t be a unity candle (or sand ceremony or the like)

Can you imagine what would happen if any of the above occurred at the rehearsal, and the planner wasn’t there?

There would be confusion, and the likelihood that something would not go right.

In over 20 years as a professional planner, I have never left a wedding rehearsal without having any changes or updates to be made to the timeline. Sometimes the changes were minimal and minor. Other times the ceremony timeline had major revisions.

A couple years ago, I was told that I didn’t have to come to the rehearsal. There ceremony site was a bit of a drive, and she didn’t want me to have to make the trip two days in a row.

A very kind gesture. But, I explained to her that yes, I will definitely be (and have to be) at the rehearsal. Although I have done hundreds of wedding ceremonies, I have not done YOUR ceremony.

Being at the rehearsal ensures that all of my information is up to date, any last minute questions are answered, your wedding party knows who I am, and I will know the “lay of the land” if it is at a venue I haven’t been to before.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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

Photo credit: The Bride via photopin cc

9 Things No One Tells You About Wedding Planning – Why Aren’t They?

wedding planningNot too long ago, I read an article titled “9 Things No One Tells You About Wedding Planning.”

It has lots of helpful information that will help ensure that the wedding day turns out they way the couple want it to be.

These tips, such as . . .

  • Don’t start planning the second you get engaged
  • Make a list of all the most important photos you want taken on your wedding day
  • It takes approximately 250 hours to plan a wedding
  • Allow time to call people on your invitation list who didn’t send back the rsvp
  • Plan a budget

. . . are spot on.

I’m just wondering why is no one sharing this info with their brides and grooms?

These tips are all things I regularly tell my couples. Ok, probably not exactly verbatim, but the info gets passed along.

How I Got Started as a Wedding Planner

I wholeheartedly agree with the first sentence of the article, “It’s an unfortunate, but often inevitable, part of planning a wedding that there are just some things you won’t know or realize until after the big day is over.” I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know. (And when you start planning your wedding it’s inevitable that you won’t know stuff, unless you’ve planned several weddings before).

But your vendor team should be keeping this “unknown information” to a minimum so your planning and wedding day will go as smoothly as possible.

So you don’t end up stressing out over the idea of “what am I missing” here is a link to the original article.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Photo credit: Rustic style marquee via photopin

Let’s make sure you aren’t missing anything! Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

10 Easy (and Invisible) Money Saving Ideas






Planning a wedding requires more than just money. What gets remembered is creativity and the unusual that is meaningful to the couple.

We can help you plan a memorable event without putting dents in your budget. Here are some tried and true budget savers:

  1. Avoid peak season dates. Being married mid week instead of a weekend or in less popular months can save upwards of 20% off location costs.
  2. When you make adjustments to the guest list, make cuts in groups. For instance, if you are planning round tables that seat 8 or 10 guests, cut by that number or multiples of that number.
  3. Try to find a venue that hosts both ceremony and reception events in one place. Look for an all inclusive venue.
  4. Have a smaller wedding party (VIPs) – have two instead of six bridesmaids.
  5. Serve four appetizers instead of ten.
  6. 11 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding That Actually Work

  7. Have your photographer stop at a specific time. Tell him when the formalities are done and the party is underway rather than expect him to stay till the last guest turns out the light.
  8. Make a grand entrance or a grand exit but don’t pay a limo to stay for both.
  9. Consider earning extra cash to assist in paying for the wedding. Get a part time job, sell some items on EBay or Craig’s List. Don’t use plastic!!!!
  10. Save on postage by including a post card RSVP.
  11. Make choices based on your personal style – choose a cocktail party reception rather than hosting a sit down dinner.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Do you have questions or are looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or by phone at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: rich piggy via photopin (license)

Real Wedding by Weddings From The Heart – Jennifer & Kurt

Real Wedding – Jennifer & Kurt

Jennifer & Kurt were married on a beautiful, sunny October afternoon.

This video by Hatfield Productions, although it’s just the highlights, shows the classic elegance of their wedding day, from the hair & make-up appointments, to their ceremony at Holy Angels in Sidney, and reception at Piqua Country Club.

jennifer + kurt – highlight cincinnati wedding from Hatfield Productions on Vimeo. 

Videographer – Brett Hatfield Productions
Ceremony Site – Holy Angels Catholic Church
Reception Site/Catering – Piqua Country Club
Florist – Flowers by Dudley/Larry Winner
Baker – Fancy Cakes by Peg Pleiman
Band – Next Exit
Photographer – Jeff Shaefer Photography
Hair & Make-Up – Escape to Panache Salon and Day Spa
Transportation – Beats Feet

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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

Hearts, Joy, Love!

Real Wedding by Weddings From The Heart Cortnie & Zach video sneak peek by Justin Morter

Real Wedding – Cortnie & Zach

Cortnie and Zach's Rustic Barn Wedding

outdoor wedding ceremony Canopy Creek Farm Dayton, Ohio

Cortnie & Zach’s gorgeous wedding was held at the beautiful Canopy Creek Farm in Miamisburg, Ohio. Following their ceremony in the woods, their rustic wedding reception in their country chic barn.

This fun sneak peek video by Justin Morter highlights their September wedding. I loved the romantic details that Cortnie came up with for their vintage/woodsy theme.


Hearts, Joy, Love!

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If you’re looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

video credit: Justin Morter
photo credit: Zac Fisher

While Planning Your Wedding, Sometimes More Isn’t Necessarily a Good Thing

AND - Why "more" isn't always a good thing Here’s a quick wedding planning tip –

While we’re talking about words to watch out for . . .

Let’s take a moment and think about the word “And.”

Such a small, innocent looking word. When used, it usually means something positive. (You mean I get cake AND ice cream?)

However, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing – particularly when it comes to wedding planning and the services that are offered.

Think of it this way. You hire someone to provide a particular service (say a photographer or baker) because that is the area of their expertise. (Ok, I know there are also many more reasons than just this, but this reason is a biggie).

It’s when they start throwing in the “ands” that you can run into problems.

For example, I offer wedding planning/coordination. Do I offer wedding planning/coordination and wedding cakes? Um, no.

How about ‘and florals’? Nope.

What about ‘and rentals’? No, not that either.

Now I do offer assistance in finding the right baker, florist, and rental company for you that fits your budget and unique style and can help in figuring out what you need, putting together your order, etc.

Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts

But my company does not provide those services.

Why? Simple.

My area of expertise is in wedding planning and coordination. The people/companies that I refer to provide your wedding cake, your flowers, and all the other items/services you will need for your wedding day are experts in their field. I can’t arrange flowers if my life depended on it. (But I can fix a boutonniere or make a simple toss bouquet in a pinch!) Also, I can bake a tasty cake, but it wouldn’t be pretty. Not to mention that I’m not licensed to be a home bakery.

Also, typically we’re only given a limited amount of time in which to provide these services (some venues only allow for a 2 hour window before the start of the event for set-up!). Until they legalize human cloning, there just isn’t time to be trying to provide 2 (or 3) different services at the same time.

What do you often get when you hire someone who isn’t experienced, or doesn’t really have enough time to get the job done right? A big mess.

Ok, some of you may be thinking, “well, you can hire extra help to get it all done.” True enough.

But . . . this goes back to our reason (that’s a biggie) for hiring someone. They’d just be an extra pair of hands, instead of being an expert in what they are doing. Or if they are an expert, why (as a conscientious wedding planner) didn’t I recommend that you hire them in the first place?

Of course, there are exceptions. Not everyone offers multiple types of services does so poorly.

But you need to be aware, and ask questions, so you know that what you are wanting, and what they are claiming are the same thing.

Yeah, it’s convenient to have easy access to something else that’s wanted or needed.

Then again, sometimes it’s better to go that extra mile to find that right piece.

This brings to mind the old adage, “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.”

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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If you have questions or are looking for fun ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or by phone at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647.