Potential Bad Bridesmaid? – 7 Telltale Signs to Look For

If you are planning your wedding, you might be already looking for candidates to be your bridesmaid.

There are so many things to arrange for your weddings, such as the venue, photographer, dress, band/dj, decorations, the cake, and the people who will be standing by your side.

Picking the wrong bridesmaid can, however, have disastrous consequences. While you might not be a mind reader, you can pay attention to the person’s behavior and look out for the telling signs of a bad bridesmaid to avoid disappointment. Find out below how to spot a potential bad bridesmaid.

1. She Can’t Keep Her Mouth Shut

A bridesmaid needs to be chatty and good with people, but she also must listen. If you are planning your wedding and all you hear about is someone else’s marriage or her relationship issues, you should think twice before you ask her to be your bridesmaid. If she loves gossip, it’s likely that you too could soon find yourself in the spotlight (and not in a good way), and every guest will know more about your wedding plans (including disasters) than you.

A bridesmaid needs to be discreet, especially if you are planning a surprise for some of the guests. Look out for girls who talk too much: they don’t make good bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids!
“Bridesmaids!” by Joseph Novak is licensed under CC BY 2.0

2. She Has The Green Eyes

No, I don’t mean her eye color, but the jealous “green eyed monster.” We often feel obligated to ask our childhood friend to be a bridesmaid. Sometimes it’s not such a good idea.

If you used to go out partying and she’d get upset when you had a boyfriend to go with and she didn’t, or she didn’t feel comfortable joining you and your partner for dinner if she was single, you might have a problem. Even if she doesn’t show it, she might have the green eyed monster eating away all her goodwill, and she could end up sabotaging your wedding, even unintentionally. Pay close attention to her attitude and check again to make sure that you are on the same page and she is really happy for you.

3. She Is A Party Animal

Bridesmaids who love partying and drink too much can ruin your wedding reception. Before you ask your friend to be your bridesmaid, you need to do a reality check. You don’t want your wedding getting ruined by her after a night of heavy drinking. Make sure that she knows when to stop, and she doesn’t get overly argumentative when she had a few glasses of wine.

You don’t want your bridesmaid to cause drama and run off in the middle of the night to get drunk and forget about her important role. The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is have to search for her and find her blacked out in the toilet.

4. She Is Constantly Late

If she turns up late all the time without a good reason, you might be heading towards a disaster if you ask her to be your bridesmaid. Constantly being late is a sign of a lack of organizational and planning skills. A bridesmaid needs to keep deadlines you have for your wedding. If she is in charge of ordering the flowers and she forgets about it, your wedding can be ruined.

Make sure you can trust and depend on her with simple tasks and she can turn up for meetings on time, or you will have to spend extra time and energy picking up the pieces after her.

5. She Is Disorganized And Messy

If she cannot keep her own place in order, how can you expect your future bridesmaid to check the arrangements of flowers, tables, and adjust the dresses of flower girls? What if she misplaces her dress and can’t find it on your special day? You don’t want your bridesmaid to create chaos on your wedding by losing accessories, leaving her makeup around to stain the white dress, or burn a hole on a shirt because she forgot that the iron is on.

6. She Loves The Spotlight

One of the worst types of bridesmaids is the one that wants to be the center of attention all the time. Just imagine that you’re having photos taken by your professional photographer, such as Kortni Ellett Wedding Photographer, before the wedding, and your bridesmaid photobombs each picture.

A self-centered bridesmaid loves hearing her own voice and will become bossy. She will want to be in charge, and forget to ask you for permission before ordering flowers or other decorations. She will praise her skills in front of everyone, belittling your efforts, and take credit for everything done right. She will brag about her choice of dress, and pose for hours instead of helping out. She might even post the pictures on social media out of pure vanity before your wedding day.

7. She Is Overly Competitive

Bride With Bridesmaids
“Bride With Bridesmaids” by Eden, Janine and Jim is licensed under CC BY 2.0

While being competitive can be a good thing, it’s not the best if you are trying to work as a team. She has to have the best ideas, and doesn’t want to listen to the other bridesmaids. She’ll constantly seek attention and confirmation, and in the end, cause more headache than you can imagine. She might want to pick the one dress that suits her but looks like a potato sack on the rest of your bridesmaids so she’ll look better than others. She might even want to outshine you and have extraordinary makeup on your wedding day, so people look at her instead of you.

Picking the right bridesmaid can be a challenging task. Make sure that you look out for these telltale signs and choose somebody who is reliable, a good team player, and organized.

You want everything to go smoothly on your wedding, and a good bridesmaid can help you with this. Pick the wrong friend, and disaster is practically guaranteed.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

3 Ways To Keep Your Wedding From Emptying Your Bank Account

Money-Saving Tips - 3 Ways To Keep Your Wedding From Emptying Your Bank Account

When it comes to the big purchases that you expect to make in your lifetime, there are few that spring to mind faster than your wedding day. With many weddings costing in the tens of thousands, many couples worry about how it’s going to affect their finances from the moment they start planning.

Which begs the question: does it have to be that way? Does a wedding have to be something that completely drains your bank account?

Of course not! The truth is that weddings have so many details and “moving parts” (ex. special decor, food, entertainment, photographers, etc.) a great deal of money is often spent. However, if you have a lower budget in mind, there are plenty of ways to help keep costs down for your big day. Here are 3 money-saving tips to help from emptying your bank account.

1. Keep things simple

One of the major things that causes weddings to be so expensive is when couples (and their parents) insist on inviting everyone – the co-workers, the second (and third) cousins they haven’t seen in years, the neighbor whose wedding they attended 5 years ago . . .

By keeping things simple and small with your wedding, you can save huge amounts of money. You don’t need to invite everyone you’ve ever known (the bigger the guest list, the bigger the price tag). Instead, just include the people that you really care about.

Another thing that can quickly cause a wedding budget to get out of hand is when couples go overboard on the endless details that they really don’t need.

Things like complex flower arrangements with imported flowers, an unusual venue, pricy favors, elaborate paper goods (such as menu cards and individual escort cards for each guest), and all kinds of decorations might be nice, but they don’t necessarily add to the specialness of your wedding when you get right down to it.

2. Try something different

Of course, if you want to get married without having to spend huge amounts of money then you could try something a bit different. Eloping is never going to be the most common or popular style of wedding but going away and having a quiet ceremony without too much fuss can be incredibly exciting as well as being easier on the wallet.

Think what you want about the stereotype around Vegas weddings, but places like the Little Church of the West offer lovely, intimate ceremonies that aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg. It’s certainly not going to be for everyone, but if you want a wedding that won’t be too expensive, then it’s at least worth considering.

3. Go the homemade route

Of course, if you really want lots of detailed decorations, food, and place settings, there is one thing that you can do instead of spending money on buying them or hiring someone to do them: make them yourself.

Taking a homemade route with your wedding can save you huge amounts of money. Just be careful that you aren’t planning on too many DIY wedding projects, which can end up making life more stressful and gives you a lot more work to do. Get your friends and family involved to help so that you’re not dealing with all of the work by yourself (you can “pay” them with a pizza lunch or dinner).

A lot of couples don’t like the idea of having to make compromises on their wedding plans because they feel like they won’t have a “real wedding” unless it has all of the bells and whistles. It’s important to remember that the most important part of any wedding is getting to promise yourself to the person you love most in this world. That’s what makes it a “real wedding.” As long as you have that, just about everything else is optional.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

5 Things That Wedding Planners Love

What Wedding Planners Love - Weddings From The Heart
Wedding planners love getting to work with amazing brides and grooms . . . Providing vendor referrals and decor suggestions that are a perfect fit for the couples vision . . . Figuring out wedding day logistics so the day flows smoothly . . .

Yes, it’s a “labor of love.”

Here are 5 things that wedding planners particularly love.

1. When you have a vision for your wedding day
Believe me, we want to help you create your ideal wedding, but when our questions and suggestions are met with, “Um, I don’t know,” we have nothing to work with. You don’t have to have every single little detail figured out, because yes, we love to have some creative input. Also, some ideas sound good “on paper” but just aren’t practical in real life. But when you have some idea of what you’d like, the pieces can be pulled together so much easier.

2. Pinterest
Wedding Planners Love Seeing Our Bride & Grooms Pinterest Board
It’s a wonderful tool to find and save inspiration and ideas for your wedding. It helps in expressing your ideas and vision. Sometimes words can’t really express what you mean, but a photo – they’re not wrong when they say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” (Just don’t try to exactly recreate something you’ve seen – you want to inject your personalities into the decor and plans, not just re-do what someone else did).

3. When you do a First Look and do all of your photos (or as many as possible) before the ceremony
Wedding Planners Love When The Bride & Groom Share a First Look Before Their Wedding Ceremony

Photo credit: Prima Vista Photography

Why? For brides, your hair and makeup are at their freshest. Also, the more photos done before hand will make your after-ceremony photo session go much quicker. You’ll get to your reception sooner, and may actually get to enjoy some of your cocktail hour. You’ll get the party started on time, guests won’t have to wait.

4. When you have a reading or two during your wedding ceremony
Why? Readings add an extra bit of personalization to your ceremony without adding any cost, or a lot of time to your ceremony. Plus it gives us planners a brief 5 minute or so “breather.”

How I Got Started as a Wedding Planner

5. When you and your new husband/wife are smiling and enjoying yourselves
Wedding Planners Love When The Bride & Groom Are Smiling and Enjoying Themselves

Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

Why? Joy is contagious. If you’re enjoying yourself, your guests will feel it, and have an even better time at your reception. Also, if you’re happy, we know we’ve done our jobs.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

“I Take Thee… Erm…”: What Are You Forgetting About In Your Wedding Planning?

“I Take Thee... Erm...": What Are You Forgetting About In Your Wedding Planning?
Pixabay

Right from the moment he (or she) popped the question, there is a never-ending cavalcade of things to do, details to plan, and a constant feeling of “have I forgotten something?”

With an almost never-ending amount of things to have to remember while planning your perfect day, it can seem like this feeling never goes away. While you can draw up lists and plans and make sure that everything you have prepared is thoroughly in your control, there may be things that escape your thoughts, especially if you are blindsided by bigger issues at the time.

Here are some things that you may want to think about that can have a major impact leading up to your big day itself, and afterwards.

Include The Helpers

In other words, your vendors, from the people in the band, your photographer and videographer, as well as your wedding planner. These people need to be taken into account during the big day, and while you may have thought purely in terms of feeding your guests, these people who have worked so tirelessly to make your day so special need feeding too! A lot of caterers will consider your vendor meals at a price concession (couldn’t hurt to ask), so while it is a little bit extra on your budget, you want them to be working at full capacity, so make sure they are fed!

A Guestbook

You may want to make a trip to a local bookstore for a type of book that is characteristic of where you’re getting married. But there are also plenty of great guest book suppliers. Pure Invitation provides various designs, depending on your individual style. Also, you don’t want to forget the pens! Having a guest book for your guests to give you their well wishes when they arrive at the reception adds a lovely little touch and gives you a fantastic memento of your perfect day.

The Seating

If you are not doing assigned seating, you’ll need to think about the fact that people don’t sit next to each other naturally. So make sure that you get an extra few chairs than the amount on your guest list. In addition to this, it’s beneficial to get an extra set of chairs for the ceremony as well as the reception.

If you are getting married in the same venue as you are having the reception, it may be practical to reuse the same set of chairs for the ceremony and the reception.

You’ll also need to think about providing canapés (also called hors d’oeuvres or appetizers) for your guests, as well as the room layout/flow so there isn’t going to be caterers and helpers coming through destroying the ambience.

Your Marriage License

It depends on where you are in the world, but you will need to take your marriage license with you to the venue. Be sure to check for deadlines in applying for this license, and if there are any special documents needed so that your application is completed.

Also, make sure you have somewhere safe to keep your documents. Make sure they are in a secure folder, in a place that is out of the way of any pets or children, because without this piece of paper, you will not be able to get married! There are plenty of folders you can purchase that are nice and secure, but there are ones you can purchase from places like Abbey Stationery that do the job just fine. This folder is also a great place for you to put all your other relevant documentation, such as your ID and your passport, so when you are ready to jet off on honeymoon, it is all in one secure place.

If you’ll need to renew your driver’s license or passport before heading off, try and do this at least 8 weeks before the wedding.

Get Someone To Corral People

It is always helpful to have someone who is able to wrangle people together for photos. Remember, the photographer doesn’t know who the important members of the family are, (and neither does your wedding planner), so it may be worth assigning a member of the family this duty so they can get the desired people quickly. That way, you are able to get through all of the photos you need, without the photographer running over time, and therefore you running over budget.

Check For Food Allergies

While you may love barbecue chicken sticky ribs, your gluten-free vegan guest may not take so kindly to it! So, it’s important to make a note early on in the proceedings of who has food allergies, intolerances, or are vegetarian or vegan. A handy little tip, if you can get a list to your caterer that states where these people are sitting, it is going to be a godsend for them, and makes your day that much smoother.

Thank You Notes

You are obviously grateful that people have come to spend your big day with you, but it’s a thoughtful little touch to send everybody a thank you note, especially for those that bought you gifts. Make sure these notes don’t go out any later than two months after your wedding day.

It can be overwhelming to write personalized and heartfelt thank you notes, especially if you have more than 200 guests in attendance, but be sure to allocate a little bit of time each day to writing these notes, maybe 30 minutes. And, not just your guests, be sure to thank your bridal party, your family, and your parents.

We can get so overwhelmed by the whole process that we will inevitably forget about something, but the important thing in this respect is to plan and to allow sufficient time to think about what you really want for your big day. Little details mean a lot in your wedding, and you want your guests to feel like they have been looked after, so take a few of these ideas into account, and use them in your planning to make their day, as well as yours, extra special.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

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!

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

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

wedding video with bride and groom through video camera

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

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

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

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

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

wedding video with bride and groom kiss ceremony

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But why miss out on a precious family heirloom?

strip of film

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

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

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

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

9 Things You Must Consider For A Joyous Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

outdoor wedding ceremony

I love an outdoor ceremony.

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

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

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

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

sunset wedding

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

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

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

How to avoid this? Easy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some easy remedies include:

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

4. The (Six-Legged) Uninvited Guests

Mosquito

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunshine, Rain, and Your Wedding Day

5. Can You Hear Me Now?

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

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

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

However, that’s not the case outside.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there a closer access road for your elderly guests?

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

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

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

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

So, where will your guests have to park?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

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

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

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.
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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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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

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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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!