Destination Wedding Ideas and Resources

Destination weddings have become more and more popular and for good reason. Getting married in an exotic locale is a dream come true for many couples.

Maybe your destination is somewhere very special for you and your loved one. Or maybe it’s just someplace you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Whatever your reason, if both of you have your heart set on it, then go for it. One of the nice things about destination weddings is that they can be very affordable, depending on the location and the number of guests you invite. So whatever your budget, most likely you can pull it off.

Booking Your Location

Once you’ve decided that a destination wedding is for you, it’s important to begin planning. You’ll want to book your location as soon as possible, as you would for a traditional wedding. But unlike planning for a traditional wedding, you may not have as much control, since your wedding location isn’t nearby.

In this case, you’ll have to be willing to rely on others, like family members or friends who are closer to the destination to make some decisions for you. You may be fortunate enough to make a trip or two to your destination prior to the wedding, but if you can’t, choose people you know and trust and delegate responsibility to them, even though all final decisions will be yours.

Choosing Your Invitations

After you’ve settled on your location, it’s time to invite your guests. As with any wedding, your invitations are important because they set the stage for your wedding’s theme. Think how excited your guests will be when they receive an invitation to your destination wedding!

Guest Accommodations and Expenses

As you plan your destination wedding, keep in mind that you may be asking your guests to travel a great distance. Since guests are responsible for paying for their own travel and hotel expenses as well as any other expenses normally incurred with a wedding, you should do some advance scouting for them regarding airfare and hotel accommodations. Often, you can reserve a block of rooms at a discounted rate as well as alert them to any deals with airlines.

The cost of the wedding itself falls upon the couple or the couple’s families, just as it would for a traditional wedding. Because guests usually arrive a day or two before the wedding, you might want to plan an additional dinner or activity to include them. The couple would absorb any of these costs.

The Honeymoon

Another benefit of a destination wedding is that newlyweds can honeymoon at their destination wedding location. This alleviates additional travel and hotel expenses. Likewise, guests have the option of extending their stay and enjoying a mini-vacation for themselves. Everybody wins at a destination wedding!

Depending on how many guests attended the wedding, many couples host a party after their destination wedding or mail announcements to those who didn’t attend. Typically, these celebrations allow friends and family the opportunity to congratulate the newly married couple. Gifts are not required, but it’s not unusual for some guests to bring them anyways.

More Planning Tips

So after reading this, do you think a destination wedding is right for you? As with planning any wedding, there are endless details to consider. Although this article touched upon many of the basic points of destination wedding planning, there is much, much more.

With that in mind, I’ve included the following Web site links to help you perform further research. Each one has a wealth of information about destination weddings so you’ll be sure to get every question you have answered.

Steps to Planning a Successful Destination Wedding

Planning a destination wedding can easily become overwhelming and stressful if you have never planned such an event before, and you end up asking the age-old question, where do I begin?

The good news is you’re here, where I will take you step by step through the process of planning your wedding at destination, and help you ease your mind as our goal is to always take couples through a fun and stress-free journey.

Step #1: Discuss Your Destination, Budget, and Departure Date

We always recommend that you both sit down and discuss where you would like to see yourselves getting married. When you go on vacation, what do you like to do the most while at destination, and also ask the question, are you planning on inviting many guests to attend your ceremony?

If you’re looking to invite family members, wedding party, and friends, you want to make sure the destination you choose is accessible from all cities where your guests are coming from. If you select a destination where you don’t have direct flights, or it has several connections, this may deter some of your guests from joining you.

Discuss Destination:

Your destination selection should be a favorite vacation spot, or a dream location where you both agree will be the best option for the both of you, and for your guests if you’re planning on inviting them. We always recommend that you choose your top 3 destinations, and then casually discuss your selections with immediate family members, close friends, and especially with your wedding party if you have already selected and notified them that you’re having a destination ceremony.

This is an important step as the feedback is crucial to help you during the beginning stages of the planning process. You may receive some valuable tips, along with some positive and negative comments. Keep in mind though, you’re planning your special “once-in-a-lifetime” event, and even though the feedback should be helpful, it should not get to the point where it’s swaying you one way or the other. In the end, you both make the final decision where you want to have your wedding, and it should not be influenced by others that may have their own agenda.

Discuss Budget:

When we say discuss your budget, we not only mean your wedding budget, but also discuss what you believe will be your guests budget as well. Getting this magic number helps you during the process eliminate any destination that may end up being too expensive for you and your guests. As the end results will be that not many will attend your ceremony.

However, budget can be a sensitive issue, and should be discussed with compassion, because if you let it take over, you both may end up selecting a destination and venue that was not your first choice, but it ends up becoming the compromised option. Be careful as you will see that I mention several times throughout this article that when planning your wedding, you need to think about yourselves first, and focus on your needs and wants. The reality when planning a destination wedding, is that you’re not going to make everyone happy, and you’re unfortunately are not going to be able to accommodate all your guests needs and wants. It’s just not realistic!

Discuss Departure Date:

You may think this is the obvious and easiest part of the planning process, but it may end up being your nightmare if you end up selecting the wrong dates. Of course the dates must work for the both of you and your schedules, but also choosing the right date for your guests is beneficial if you’re wanting to make sure as many as possible can attend. Select the wrong date, and you may have guests quickly declining for several reasons, including vacation schedules or they just can’t travel during your chosen dates.

Other reasons may be your date might fall on a popular holiday season or annual event that is in high travel demand. This increases your price dramatically, and may fall outside of yours and many of your guests budget.

In the end, if you really don’t care who shows up for your wedding, then you can choose any date you like and works best for you.

Step #2: Seek Out a Specialist for Help

Now that you both have an idea where you would like to get married, and what your rough budget is, plus your departure dates, the next step is then to seek out a company and/or specialist that will help you with your planning, and this step may be one of your most important decisions to make.

We understand that your first reaction may be to contact your local travel agency, and even though I agree they may have all the resources to assist you further, these agencies and travel agents may not have the experience to handle all your wedding details! Of course they will tell you they can handle it in the beginning, but as time goes by and many of the important wedding details need to be addressed, this may be end up being out of many travel agents experience and comfort levels. In the end, they unfortunately pass most of the important and daunting tasks on to the couple to take care of them, and this may be something you wanted to avoid doing in the first place.

Search for a Destination Wedding Specialist – You Won’t Regret it!

Getting in-depth on the major differences it would be when choosing a destination wedding specialist is for another discussion, but I will highlight some of the importance of going this route:

Destination Wedding specialists are travel agents that have taken it to the next level. We dedicate our time, resources, experiences, skills, and knowledge to couples looking to have a wedding at destination. This is what we focus on, as we are fully aware of the importance of your special event, and we want to ensure that you’re taken care of from beginning to the moment you are married.

Specialists take the time to continue their designations, education, and training. Our goal is to see that all couples are kept up to date to the changes in the industry, including legal ceremony requirements, and so much more…

Finding a destination wedding specialist will put all your needs and interests first, and will make sure that all details are not overlooked. Unfortunately, many travel agencies and agents out there today start out with true intentions to help and treat you as a priority, but the reality is, they always get caught up with other office tasks that eventually take their attention away. What eventually happens is that all the details that were supposed to be handled by this agent is now being neglected, and in most cases not on purpose.

In conclusion, the moment you have all the information in order above, a travel specialist will be able to help every step of the way in finding the perfect location and venue for your wedding ceremony. Then once all the details are in place will continue to provide you valuable tips and steps to move forward in making all the necessary reservations, and assure that they will stay on top of your wedding group.

Bill Parise (ACC) has been involved in the travel industry offering trip and vacation advice since 2000. Bill and his wife Maria currently run their own home-based travel business and have been doing so since 2007.

As a Destination Wedding and Group Vacation Specialist, Bill has helped plan and arrange a number of wedding ceremonies over the years for couples to several exciting destinations such as Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe as well.

Not only has Bill and his wife Maria been assisting couples plan their dream ceremonies at exotic locations, but they also planned their very own destination wedding ceremony that took place in Varadero, Cuba back in 2004. So Bill truly believes that it’s extremely important in being well rounded in this ever growing market.

Destination Wedding Locations – Past Wedding Couples Top Choices!

When talking to couples looking to plan for their destination wedding for the first time, one of the most common questions we get asked is “What are the top destination wedding locations available departing from Canada?”

Now please keep in mind the choices here were based on a majority of our couples that were departing out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and because we are classified as a smaller market, we don’t have the luxury of having access to many other destinations that bigger cities have, such as Toronto, Vancouver, and also Calgary. So our couple’s recommendations surely will be different than from other couples that live in the bigger Canadian cities. Overall though, no matter which departure city we talk about, the consensus is clear on the popularity of the locations we talk about in this article.

We have been planning and arranging weddings at destination for over 14+ years now out of Winnipeg and surrounding Provinces here in Canada, and we are lucky enough to have some of this hands on knowledge available to pass on to you! Here, we’ll give you the scoop on what we believe are the best locations expressed through our valued wedding clients, and to this day, still going strong is the Caribbean and Mexico for Canadians, which are currently the most popular destinations for tying the knot.

Picking Your Ideal Destination Location

Some key factors for wedding couples when selecting a certain destination, which normally starts with yours and your guests:

Budget
Weather
Duration of flying time from your home Province
Plus if you’re planning on inviting a lot of guests to attend your ceremony, the amount of services and activities to keep everyone busy is extremely important in your final decision making process.

Whether it’s a family oriented resort or an adults-only resort you’re looking for, here are the top locations we’ve compiled from our past brides and grooms.

The “Mayan Riviera, Mexico”

This beautiful beach and resort area in Mexico always comes out on top for several reasons, one being that many vacation suppliers from Canada offers direct (non-stop) charter flights from most Canadian popular gateway cities. You’ll be able to have your dream wedding while being surrounded by the historical charm and vibrancy of Mexico. From touring the Mayan ruins, and zip-lining into a cenote, to Golf and spectacular white sand beaches, there are so many things that make the Riviera Maya number one for destination weddings. Along the Riviera strip there are so many All-Inclusive Resort properties to choose from, and many of them offer fantastic and affordable wedding ceremony packages that meet all couples requirements and budgets.

When we talked to our past wedding couples and asked them to give us their top 5 reasons why they chose the Mayan, here’s what they said:

1. The white sandy beaches and the Caribbean Sea is what attracted them the most.

2. All the Resort options available that was able to fit their requirements and needs. You can easily find top 4 – 5 Star resorts that offer everything you need for your wedding and guests, which is important when groups can grow to large amounts.

3. The available direct non-stop flights out of Canadian cities. This was a very important criteria for many couples as they expressed that many of their guests were limited with holiday time and didn’t want to waste any of it having to do flight connections or take part in any forced overnights in other cities.

4. Amount of activities and tours in the Mayan and Cancun area. As the couples understood that they were having a good number of guests joining them at destination, they wanted to ensure there was enough for them to do. Nothing worse than having over 40+ family members and friends complaining that there is not enough to do. In the Mayan you have everything from top Golf courses, and Cultural Parks offering local entertainment, to Adventure Parks with included snorkelling, zip-lining, and more. You have access to Playa Del Carmen and Cancun where guests experience exciting nightlife, shopping, and restaurants.

5. Most important was that our couples were happy to find everything they wanted and needed in the Riviera Maya and it was all within the budget they expected for them and their guests.

The Caribbean Island of “Jamaica”

Ya Mon! Jamaica is the place to go if you’re looking for that laid back, lush picturesque backdrop for your nuptuals. You can experience the Seven Mile Beach in Negril known to be one of the most famous stretches of beach in the world! It is home to some amazing boutique style hotels and Luxury Resorts such as the Rockhouse and Sandals and Beaches Negril. If you’re looking for something a bit closer to Montego Bay, we suggest the Grand Palladium Jamaica which is a resort selection that was just made for amazing wedding pictures to be taken.

Other areas of Jamaica include, Ocho Rios where you will find many of the top Tour excursions available, including the Mystic Mountain and Dunn’s River Fall’s which is a must see and to be experienced if you’re in that area. Plus the town of Ocho Rio’s provides plenty to do for shopping in the local markets, and has a vibrant nightlife. For a more secluded and relaxing experience, consider the Whitemouth area, which we normally recommend to couples that are planning to have their wedding ceremony with not a lot of guests attending. It is more laid back and not much to do in the area, but offers lush landscapes and tranquil beach areas.

When discussing with past wedding couples on why Jamaica was most appealing to them, here were their top reasons.

1. Locations were most of our couple’s top reason why they chose Jamaica, as there were no shortage of amazing powdery white sand beaches, and the views to die for. Couples that wanted Negril for their wedding focused on the fact that that area offered the most spectacular sunsets in the Caribbean.

2. Culture and Food was also a top choice for the couples selecting this Island, as you will quickly notice that the Rhythms of the Caribbean and the local cuisine are top notch. If you love Reggae and the Jamaican vibe, then this is the location for you.

3. No language barrier. This was extremely important to many of our couples as they felt during their stay leading up to their wedding day, that communication was crucial to them. The joy of having an island where they spoke English fluently assured the couples that they would have no miss-communications during their important special event.

4. Many of the couples that did choose Jamaica were not so much concerned about budget for them and their guests, but when compared to other Islands in the Caribbean, Jamaica offered a lot of value.

The Island of “Punta Cana, Dominican Republic”

Located on the Southern coast of the Island, this destination is famous for its powdery white sand beaches with endless turquoise waters. Add in mega-resorts such as the Hard Rock Hotel, the Barcelo, and the Majestic resorts and you’ve got the tropical paradise that is Punta Cana with all the amenities, services, and cultural experiences you would want and need. Punta Cana is easy access from several Canadian cities, and when you finally arrive at the PUJ airport, you will quickly realize you’re about to experience the Caribbean first hand.

If you were to speak to any of our couples that decided to have their wedding in Punta Cana, here’s the main reasons they expressed:

1. Beach, beach, beach! When couples chose Punta Cana it was all about having the most spectacular beach available to them. They are huge, powdery soft, and as far as the eyes could see. If you want to have a beach ceremony with the most spectacular views, this is the very reason this destination is selected.

2. A wide variety of top notch Resort options. As Punta Cana is known for having mega-resorts, this appeals to couples that are looking to invite large numbers of guests, and they want to make sure the property has all the amenities and services to accommodate them and their guests.

3. Direct flights were very important, and via many Canadian cities, there were options for non-stop flights, however, some of the smaller cities had direct flights with a short stop in another city. This was acceptable as they did not have to do any long layovers or forced overnights.

4. Budget was on the forefront of the couples minds, but compared to some other Islands it was not the most important when selecting Punta Cana. It was more based on the beach, location of the resort on the beach, and what the resort had to offer during their stay.

As mentioned earlier, there are so many other destinations available throughout the Caribbean and Mexico that could also be considered a really good choice for your wedding, however, based on our couples needs and the convenience they experienced from their departure city made the above destinations the top choice for them. Depending on where you live, you may have access to many other options, but our overall experience and feedback seemed to always tell us that the above locations were the best when it came to meeting all the wedding couple’s criteria. So by saying this…

Which Island Suits You the Best?

As we are fully aware that each island or popular areas of Mexico has so much to offer in its own unique ways. Your next step would be to sit down with your partner and write out the pros and cons, including all the criteria our couples mentioned above. Find out which one suits your style and tastes the best? Choosing your destination and resort may seem to be a hard task, but when narrow down what is most important for you and your guests, the rest will be smooth sailing and you’ll then realize why you’ve picked a particular destination for your wedding. We hope you keep this top destination wedding locations list in mind for when you make your big decision, and that it helps you achieve your goal in having the most memorable ceremony ever!

Bill Parise (ACC) has been involved in the travel industry offering trip and vacation advice since 2000. Bill and his wife Maria currently run their own home-based travel business and have been doing so since 2007.

As a Destination Wedding and Group Vacation Specialist, Bill has helped plan and arrange a number of wedding ceremonies over the years for couples to several exciting destinations such as Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe as well.

Not only has Bill and his wife Maria been assisting couples plan their dream ceremonies at exotic locations, but they also planned their very own destination wedding ceremony that took place in Varadero, Cuba back in 2004. So Bill truly believes that it’s extremely important in being well rounded in this ever growing market.

Top 10 Ways to Customize Destination Weddings

Adding a certain uniqueness to a destination wedding means finding the right kinds of wedding accessories and other little odds and ends to make it absolutely perfect. There are all sorts of things, which can help add the certain “something” to any destination wedding. However, there are ten particular inexpensive ways that should be considered or even used as inspiration for creating that personalized touch.

1. Customized Wedding Cake Topper

It might not seem like the most important thing, but even the cake topper can be customized for a destination wedding. Whether the wedding is in Hawaii or the English countryside, take inspiration from the destination’s surroundings and add them to the topper inexpensively.

2. Personalized Wedding Apparel

When it comes to destination weddings, the bridesmaids and groomsmen can have inexpensive and personal wedding apparel, such as the beach side wedding with tasteful and decorative flip-flops. There is no need to go out to the dollar store and return home disappointed.

3. Unique Wedding Accessories

Speaking of customized wedding apparel, there are also unique wedding accessories you can use to accent your special day without having to go overboard on a “theme” destination. Small touches such as handmade table cards or customized groom cufflinks are all ways to keep your wedding budget reasonable without having to sacrifice personalization.

4. Specialized Wedding Jewelry

There are options out there for gorgeous but affordable wedding jewelry that will match your wedding colors and theme perfectly, contrary to popular belief. Whether it needs to sparkle or be down to earth, there are endless options for elegant and tasteful jewelry and accessories for the bride, Maid-of-Honor and bridesmaids.

5. Memorable Wedding Invitations

The invitations don’t need to be designed by a huge printing company in order to be memorable. In fact, invitations personally designed by the bride and groom can be much more unique and welcoming. Destination wedding invitations can tie into the overall theme, such as seashell mementos or scrolls with wax seals.

6. Affordable Wedding Stationery

The guestbook and other stationery should be something that the happy couple can cherish, which is why they are perfect to customize for a destination wedding. There are countless ways to remember the day instead of the common guestbook, too.

7. Customized Wedding Decor

Whether it’s fresh flowers from the countryside, braided knots and anchors or something other unique item; customized wedding decor doesn’t have to mean spending thousands on decorations. Also, the scenery of the destination can be great decor in itself.

8. Destination Wedding Gifts

While the couple will be receiving many gifts, why not add a personal touch to party favors for the guests? Or better yet, to the close family attending the wedding. Each gift can be personalized for each person, making it all the more personal during this unforgettable occasion.

9. Cute Flower Girl Baskets

Since wedding accessories happen to be the easiest and most inexpensive to customize, here’s another consideration for that perfect destination wedding: the flower girl basket. While flower girls are certainly more traditional, her flower basket doesn’t have to be.

10. Individualized Wedding Candles

No matter what kind of wedding destinations are popular, one wedding accessory that will always be a staple are candles. They are affordable, can be easily customized, and don’t always have to be the traditional white candles.

Destination weddings are getaways first and foremost to your dream location, and having the right kind of customized wedding accessories, decor, apparel and more, can certainly be included in your special day without being so costly. All of these mementos and accessories become great inspirations for an unforgettable and affordable wedding day away!

The World’s Top Places For Destination Weddings

Planning a wedding is hard enough in your own home town, but pulling off an event out of town is a true challenge. You barely know your own way around, and now you have dozens if not hundreds of people to account for. But the perks of a destination wedding (and planning one) truly outweigh the negative elements – you experience the romance and mystique of another location while having a wedding/honeymoon/getaway all at the same time.

Many couples choose certain locales because they cater specifically to destination weddings and hosting numerous guests; they are the places that everyone on your list wants to go to and may not have had a chance before, but now have an iron-clad reason to make the trek. Here are the most popular spots for destination weddings – as well as what you can do while you’re there! (Just remember to choose a locale that suits you both; if you love water, a beach wedding is best, but if you would rather have a more rustic affair, opt for the mountains!)

Five of the Best Destination Wedding Planning Picks

Italy: There’s nothing more romantic than Italian destination weddings. Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan – you name it; this is the ultimate getaway for many couples and their families. But going overseas also has a lot of challenges. As part of your destination wedding planning, you’ll have to ensure that all guests have or acquire a passport well in advance, and you’ll be responsible for finding suitable accommodations and transportation to and from the events. Your guests will want to do a little sightseeing while in town, so creating a list of places to visit and how to get there is a must. Fortunately, there are many destination wedding planning specialists who cater to foreign couples, so use their abilities fully. And the true perk of destination weddings: you can honeymoon right where you got married!
Hawaii: This tropical island is a mecca for couples who want a relaxed beach wedding with little fuss. And hundreds of thousands of couples flock here to celebrate their nuptials Hawaiian-style. Many airports in the U.S. have direct flights to Honolulu, but if you decide to get married on another island, your guests can easily catch a flight the same or next day, giving them time to explore. And whether you choose to have an impromptu, informal affair or a giant, tropical bash, there are many knowledgeable destination wedding planning companies that can help you decide where to have your event, what to serve, where to spend your honeymoon, and much more.
The Bahamas: One of the top destination wedding locations, the Bahamas truly evokes the Caribbean spirit in more ways than one. If all of your guests are U.S. citizens, then you’re in the clear (though, based on recent legislation, you are required to have a valid passport to enter). Citizens of other countries are advised to check entry requirements before booking tickets, and you can make it easier on your guests if they are flying from another country by verifying the requirements beforehand. Many couples choose to have their destination weddings take place among the centuries-old cathedrals or fortresses or at the famed city harbor in Nassau. And once the wedding is over, you and your guests can experience the best seafood, golfing, shopping, and casinos available!
Napa Valley: For couples who love wine and/or the idea of getting married in a vineyard, Napa Valley is a great choice for destination weddings. Proximity to the big city – San Francisco and all of its unique sights – and the pastoral beauty of countless vineyards lure thousands of couples here each year to tie the knot with the help of a destination wedding planning specialist. From Spring to Winter, the change in seasons provides a new and different look to the Napa Valley countryside. Some wineries even host on site and have event planners at your disposal who specialize in destination weddings! And what would be more fun than touring the Wine Country on The Napa Valley Wine Train for your honeymoon?
Lake Tahoe: For many years, the scenic charms of Lake Tahoe have routinely been voted one of the top spots for destination weddings. And it’s no wonder why this vibrant city appeals to so many different people. There’s biking, hiking, boating, camping, fishing, golfing, and skiing, all right there for you and your guests to enjoy. If you choose a wedding resort, which not only takes care of the accommodations for you and your guests, you’ll be provided with a dedicated destination wedding planning guide who will see to all of the details.

Destination Weddings: a Break from the Norm

Many couples think these weddings are an outrageous expenditure. While this belief is true in some instances, you’re actually saving yourself from many hassles. Wherever you choose to have your ceremony and reception, you’ll be matched with event planners skilled at making sure that the tiniest aspects of destination weddings flow smoothly. And, you’ll also have your honeymoon built in to the cost. The best part you ask?…experiencing a brand new place with your family, friends, and loved ones.

The Process Of Hiring A Wedding Photographer

Although most people have attended a wedding, that doesn’t mean that they will know the process when it’s their turn to go down the aisle. Below is a step by step guide on the process of hiring a wedding photographer.

Step One: Hiring a photographer.

This can be a daunting task even for someone who follows hundreds of wedding photographers blogs. It is recommended that you hire someone within the state that you are getting married. Most wedding professionals travel all over and even if they do not live in the area you are getting married they have most likely photographed there before. Ask them to Narrow your search down to five wedding photographers that you really like. They can be in several different price brackets at this point. Begin communicating with them-choose three you want to meet with in person. The in person meeting is huge because the photographer will be with you the entire day and you want someone not only competent in wedding photography but someone you know you can get along with and wont mind having around. After your meetings you can then choose your photographer.

Step Two: Choosing a package

Hopefully you spoke with your photographer at the meeting about what kind of coverage they offer, and what kind of coverage you will need. Let them help with this they shouldn’t sell you more than you need, but they also should be there to cover all the important moments that will happen on your wedding day. Wedding photographer typical day is 8 hours just like any other professionals work day. That said often 10 hours of coverage is needed in order to begin with the bridal prep and end well into the reception. Your wedding photographer should help you decide if you would like a wedding album (recommended so that your memories are secure in print and digitally) and they should talk you through if they give you the rights to the wedding images or if they keep the digital files etc.

Step Three: Deciding how the wedding day works

There are two models for the photographer on wedding day… the first one is traditional, and the second is with a first look. These models are how we structure the time needed and schedule of the day for photographs.

Traditional: Photographer will come and start with the details at the hotel. Dress, shoes, invitation, rings, bridesmaid dresses, perfume, jewelry, and flowers. After those details have been photographed the wedding photographer will turn their attention to the women and their photojournalistic getting ready photos. This is where the wedding photographer begins to capture moments and build the story of the day. After the bride is in her dress an experienced photographer will often have a first look with the parents-so dad and mom will come in and see their baby girl for the first time in her wedding gown. Meanwhile the second photographer is with the men and taking candid shots of them tying their ties and just hanging out being men before the ceremony. As the bride walks down the aisle at the ceremony the second photographer is taking shots of the grooms expression, and the main photographer is photographing the processional with the bridesmaids and the bride walking down the aisle. After the ceremony the wedding photographer will (with help from the appointed family member) gather up the full family for their portraits. The wedding photographer will begin with the brides side of the family and break it down until the smallest family breakdown (mom and bride, dad and bride, siblings and bride) have been photographed. The wedding photographer will then move onto the grooms family and do the same thing starting with the biggest grouping and breaking it down to the smallest groups. When that is finished it is time to photograph the bridal party. An experienced wedding photographer should be able to get three different posed bridal party shots done in 15 minutes. From there the photographer will photograph just the group of men, and then just the group of women. These two groupings should only take 10-15 minutes and the wedding photographer should know exactly how they want each member of the party or grouping to stand. From there the wedding photographer will take a few portraits of the bride, then the groom, and finally finish up (this whole thing from family to finish should take an hour) with the bride and the groom together. At this point the wedding photographer turns everyone over to the coordinator and the band or DJ. They are in charge of how the reception flows. The wedding photographer will photojournalistic capture the moments from this point on. Even the formalities like the first dances, cake cutting, and bouquet throwing are done in a candid style.

First Look: The Wedding photographer will still meet you at hair and makeup and do the detail shots first. But after the bride is ready the wedding photographer has scheduled the day so that there is an hour and a half of photo time before the ceremony. It begins with a private viewing of the bride from her parents, and then the photographer has chosen an intimate spot with good light for the groom to see his bride for the first time in her dress. The wedding photographer will tell the bride and the groom how to walk to each other before so that they can be in the wings with their long lens getting great emotional moments. After this (generally 15 minutes) the bridal party will be gathered for the bridal party pictures, the women, and the men pictures. This will be about 30 minutes. Finally about 45 minutes before the ceremony the family will be photographed. The bridal party and bride and groom should be finished 30 minutes before the ceremony with all pictures as guests begin to arrive and often the bride doesn’t want to be where she can be seen by everyone. After the ceremony the bride and the groom can take a few moments to be husband and wife and the photographer can take pictures with little to no direction. Then the bride and the groom are able to go to cocktail hour with their bridal party and talk to all of their guests. It is recommended that in the traditional line up of a day there is a receiving line so that you meet all of your guests and don’t have to do it at dinner time. In the first look scenario you can do that at cocktail hour. Again the reception is photojournalistic and candid based for all events.

Step Four: What happens after the wedding

The wedding photographer hopefully explained how they work already in a meeting or in an email. After the wedding many wedding photographers will edit a photographers favorites set within several days and send you an email as well as post them to their blog/FB sites. If the wedding photographer is very busy make sure to ask what their turn around time for all of the wedding photos are. Often times a month is a reasonable amount of time. Also chat with them about their process for culling down the set of final images. It is very important part of a wedding photographers job to edit through and choose the best photos as we have the ability to process thousands of high-resolution images but it is often overwhelming for you the bride to process through that many which is why it is important that we are presenting only the best one of each of the images we take on the wedding day. That will be more than enough wedding images. Talk to your wedding photographer about how they send you the final set of images is it via web or is it via hard drive.

Step Five: The wedding album

If applicable one of the last formal business interactions (as hopefully you are friends at this point) is the wedding album design. Most wedding photographers will begin by creating a version for you telling your wedding story. Then from there you can make changes, edit it, and perfect it to be your favorite images. The wedding album is to take your readers in 10-40 years through your wedding day, so it is often best if you do not choose the images if you let the photographer choose the images to work from. Then as said you can make changes to the album. Wedding photographers are storytellers and this is where their final vision and style can be really seen. In your initial meeting with wedding photographers you saw their album style and hopefully choose someone whose design elements you liked and whose overall feel of the wedding day story through the albums you related too.

That is a summary of the involvement of the wedding photographer, and the process in which the wedding photographer evaluates your day. Each photographer will look for different things on a wedding day, and each wedding photographer will have a unique style but we all will follow a professional and meticulous formula for getting the wedding photos.

Complete Details for Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation

Complete Facts on Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation

Getting your wedding gown cleaned and preserved as soon after your wedding as possible helps to give you the very best possible results. You can still have your gown cleaned and preserved years later, but the delay can cause problems. Which of the three wedding gown preservation methods is best?

There are many wedding gown preservation companies that all claim their particular method is best. It doesn’t need to be confusing when you have the facts. This special report is designed to educate you, so that you can understand for yourself the three methods with their various pros and cons.

When you’ve competed this report you’ll have the facts you need to decide which method you want to use for your wedding gown preservation.

What you’ll find inside this Wedding Gown Preservation Report:

Chapter 1
The 5 Top Reasons to Have Your Wedding Gown Cleaned and Preserved:
-Remember your special day
-Celebrate an anniversary
-For use by a family member
-For a christening dress
-For a bassinette cover

Chapter 2
How should your wedding gown be cleaned:
-Dry-cleaning
-Wet-cleaning

Chapter 3
The three types of wedding gown preservation:
-Boxed method
-Sealed Boxed method
-Bagging method

Chapter 4
Debunking the myths, misinformation and out right lies:
-Boxed vs. Bagging
-”Museum” storage
-Cloth bag storage
-Boxed storage
-Sealed boxed storage
-Examining the dress
-Mold and mildew growth
-Insect infestation
-Allowing the fabric to breathe

Chapter 5
The goals of wedding gown preservation:
-Yellowing
-Permanent creases
-Brown spots and oxidation

Chapter 6
Upgrade offers:
-What’s included in an upgrade
-What’s the value of an upgrade
-Why is an upgrade offered

Chapter 7
Wedding gown cleaning and preservation summary.

Chapter 1

5 Top Reasons to Have Your Wedding Gown Clean and Preserved.

1. The first and foremost reason is obviously because it is your wedding gown. It is the most expensive dress you’ll ever own and it’s part of the celebration of the most important day of your life. It is the dress in all of your wedding pictures. It is one of the things you’ll remember most about your wedding.

Sure you have your pictures, but to actually be able to see your actual wedding dress beautifully preserved will always bring back a flood of wonderful memories.

2. You may want to wear it to celebrate your 5th, or 10th or 25th wedding anniversary. You could put it on a mannequin and display it for an anniversary celebration.

3. Wedding gown preservation keeps your dress in perfect condition so your sister or your own daughter or even granddaughter can wear it on their wedding day. (It happens more often then you may think and is a wonderful opportunity for you and the lucky girl who wears it.)

4. Many brides are making a christening dress from their wedding gown. Being able to make your wedding gown into a dress that your precious daughter will wear on this important day is something to look forward to. It can start a great family tradition and heirloom.

5. Something that is beginning to take off in popularity is making a bassinette cover made out of it. This can easily be done and provides a wonderful reminder of your special day and the special little one inside the bassinette.

No matter the reason, wedding gown preservation is important. You may not think so now, but years from now you don’t want to regret that you missed the opportunity. There will be a time when you’ll want your wedding gown in beautiful condition again.

After the wedding many brides just leave their dress in the plastic garment bag thinking they’ll get it preserved “sometime”. There is always good intentions, but that “sometime” turns into weeks or even years. By procrastinating you may be in for some serious risks to your gown.

You know your wedding gown has some stains on it. There is the dirt, grass stains, and sometimes asphalt parking lot oil on the hem of your dress. Then there is the underarm deodorant, the perspiration, the body oils, the make-up, the spray tan that gets on the dress. There may even be a wine spill or two.

There can also be stains that are not easily visible, like soda, champagne, or cake frosting. Stains caused by any liquid will oxidize over time and turn brown. The longer any stain sets, or oxidizes the more difficult it is to remove. It’s important to have your wedding gown cleaned and preserved to prevent this from happening.

Keeping your gown in a plastic bag is probably the worst storage situation possible. Plastic is made from petroleum and gives off fumes. These chemical fumes causes yellowing in your dress. That’s also why you should never take your dress to a dry-cleaner and leave it in the plastic bag it comes home in.

Hanging your dress can cause additional problems. Your wedding gown is very heavy and hanging it will stretch the fabric and the seams. If your dress has sleeves then the weight of the dress will stretch the seams in the sleeve. If it’s strapless or you hang your dress by the side-seam hanging loops the manufacturer provides you’ll stretch the fabric and the side-seams. And for those dresses with a long heavy train the same can be true of the hanging loop for the train.

Wedding gown preservation done right can protect your treasured keepsake.

Chapter 2

How should your wedding gown be cleaned?

There are two types of cleaning methods: dry-cleaning and wet-cleaning.

Dry-cleaning really isn’t dry at all. Dry-cleaning refers to not using water for cleaning. It is cleaning with a petroleum solvent as the cleaning agent. The most common agent for dry-cleaning is perchloroethylene – “perc” for short. It is an excellent degreaser and can be used on all fabrics including silk, acetate, rayon and polyester. It can cause damage to some sequins and beads. It can melt the coating on some beads and melt the glue if the beads and sequins are glued onto the fabric.

Stoddard solvent is not as popular because it is more expensive and it has more regulations for it’s use – like it cannot be used in a facility in a strip mall. It is an excellent degreaser but has the added advantage that it will not harm beads or sequins.

Exxon DF-2000 is also a petroleum based solvent. It will not harm beads or sequins, but is not as good of a degreaser as Stoddard solvent. It does have fewer regulations so it is more popular for some dry-cleaning establishments.

Cleaning should be done with what is called “Virgin Solvent”. Virgin solvent is solvent that has been specially cleaned and filtered before each use. Many dry-cleaners use the same solvent over and over which means the solvent can retain residual oils and “dirt” which can be re-deposited on your dress. Dirty solvent will also leave a “dry-clean” smell on your dress.

Wet-cleaning, using water to clean your dress has several advantages. Water is best for removing any type of sugar stain, food stain or plain dirt on the hem. It is a poor degreaser, (but petroleum solvents cannot remove sugar or food stains.) Wet-cleaning also removes the sizing in fabrics (sizing is a starch like substance that is used to give “body” to the fabric by the manufacturer). Sizing in fabrics attract mice and insects. Proper wet-cleaning will not leave any odor in your gown.

The care label inside your wedding gown should indicate which method is recommended by the manufacturer.

Experience is the most important criteria to consider in selecting who should do your wedding gown cleaning and preservation. Asking questions is the most effective method to determine their experience. How long have they been in business? Do they specialize in wedding gowns, or only clean them once in awhile? Do they examine each dress individually or just place it in with all of their regular cleaning?

Chapter 3

The 3 Types of Wedding Gown Preservation

The three types of wedding gown preservation are:
1. Plain Boxed method
2. Sealed Box method
3. Bagging method. Let’s examine each.

The Plain Boxed method. Your wedding gown is cleaned first and then is placed on a cardboard bust form. The bust form and dress are secured in the box. If the bust form was not secured properly in the box, the dress would slide and end up in a messy heap in the bottom of the box. The dress is folded and layered with tissue paper. The box may or may not have a windowed display area. The box is closed and sent to you.

Sealed Boxed method. This method is the same as the Plain Boxed method except it goes a step further in your wedding gown preservation protection. The box is sealed completely. It is sealed to keep out moisture and to keep out insects.

Bagging method. Again the gown is cleaned first and then it is hung usually on a padded hanger and then placed in some kind of cloth bag.

Chapter 4

Debunking the myths, lies and misinformation.

Let’s discuss these methods and debunk some of the misinformation, misunderstanding and out right lies being published on the internet about wedding gown preservation methods.

First, understand that the companies who use each of these methods try and get you to believe that their method is best. But let’s look at the logical and scientific facts.

Boxed vs. Bagging. The Boxed methods provide a convenient sized preservation box that can easily be stored under a bed or in the bottom of a closet. Bagging, depending on the size of your wedding gown can be very bulky and take up a considerable amount of closet space, especially if your gown was fuller or had a train. Consider where you would store your preserved wedding gown and how much storage space you have.

The Bagging method is also referred to as “Museum” storage or “Museum Quality” storage. The pitch behind this is that museums store their dresses in bags and not boxes. That is partially true. Even their own information explains that these museums also store dresses folded in drawers.

Museums do store most of their dresses in bags. Most of their dresses are thin A-lines and regular women’s wear dresses throughout the ages. These can easily be hung, take up very little “closet” space and will only need light touch-up and preparation for display.

It is different with bulky dresses, dresses with trains and wedding dresses. As mentioned before, if they are bagged and hung they take up a considerable amount of closet space. Also if they are hung the weight of the dress can cause the fabric the stretch. Have you felt the weight of some of the wedding dresses?

The dress manufacturer sews a ribbon loop into the seam of the dress and recommends hanging it from those loops. Yes, the loops can be reinforced but still the entire weight of the dress is suspended from the seams and it will cause the fabric to stretch. If the dress is a light weight “destination style” dress then this won’t matter.

If the dress has sleeves and it is hung from the sleeves the stretching can be worse. The shape of the sleeve can be deformed. The hanger can leave permanent marks in the top of the sleeves.
Other advantages this method purports to have is inspection of the dress and no folding of the fabric. When the wedding gown preservation is done with the Bagging method you can open the bag and easily examine the dress. If the dress is short with no train, then it shouldn’t have any folds. If it has a train then the train will be hung by a ribbon loop in its seam and will be folded about half way up the train, this will cause a double fold back for the last 12″-24″ of the train, from the hanging loop to the hem of the train. Remember how the train on your wedding dress was hung in the bag when you took it to your wedding. It will be hung the same way for this method. So dresses with trains will always have at least two folds in them using the Bagging method. (If they really don’t hang the train by the hanging loops then the entire train will be a wrinkled mess piled in the bottom of the bag – there is no place else for it to go).

Lastly, the cloth storage bag that is used in the Bagging method should be addressed. There are two areas of concern in regards to insect infestation when using a cloth bag for storage. Insects can get into the tiniest places and through the smallest cracks and openings. We have all experienced spiders, earwigs, pill bugs and other insects in some pretty unusual locations. The closure area, in many bags it’s a zipper in the Bagging method it is usually tied shut. This can provide an opportunity of insects entering at the ties or in between them. Second is the hole in the top of the bag where the hanger goes through. Insects can enter at this opening and get in a ruin your dress.

Cloth bags do let air pass through but that also means moisture can also pass through to the dress. As the humidity rises there’s more moisture in the air and therefore in the fabric of your dress. It really doesn’t mater much unless the humidity gets too high and that can promote mildew growth on the fabric.

Something else that can happen with the cloth bags. Cats, dogs and mice especially like to “mark” their territory. It has happened where an animal has urinated on the bag to mark their territory. Obviously it can soak through the cloth bag and onto the wedding dress. The dress would then have to be re-cleaned.

OK, now lets discuss the Boxed method. Two types of boxes can be used, one with a windowed display area in the top and the other just plain cardboard box. This is really a personal preference for each individual to decide.

With this method of wedding gown preservation the dress is cleaned first. It is then steamed and pressed. Then it is placed on a shaped bust form to fill out the top of the dress and makes it display better. The bust form is attached to the box so that the dress doesn’t slide around in the box and end up in a heap at the bottom of the box.

As the dress is placed in the box it is folded and layered with acid free tissue paper. This layering is to protect and soften the folds. If it is a plain cardboard box then a final layer of tissue paper is placed on top of the dress. If the box is a windowed display box then this layer is not used so you can see your dress through the display window.

The box can then be stored under a bed or in the bottom of a closet.

The Sealed Box method goes through the same process with the added step of sealing the entire box.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to each. The Boxed method says you can open the box see the dress to make sure it’s yours and to examine it. If it’s a windowed display box, you don’t need to open it to make sure it’s your dress – you can see it through the window.

However, there are problems if you think you can just open the box and examine the dress. First, you should never touch a cleaned and preserved wedding gown unless you have white cloth gloves on. You may or may not have clean hands, but your hands will have body oils on them and so you need gloves.

If you have white cloth gloves then when you open the box you’ll discover the bust form is attached to the box, so you’ll need to unattached it. Next you’ll need to unfold the dress, layer by layer to examine the train which will be the bottom layer in the box. Once you are satisfied you’ll need to refold the dress as it was before and reattach the bust form. This sounds considerably easier than it is.
If you actually take the dress out of the box, you’ll find it even more difficult getting everything back in the box properly.

Something else to absolutely make sure of before you open the box and try to examine your dress is the wedding gown preservation company’s guarantee. It may or may not say you can open the box and examine your dress. It may say you can open the box to examine your dress but doesn’t specifically say whether you can take the dress out of the box. If it isn’t specific then you should ask specific questions to make sure of what you can or can’t do that would void their guarantee.

Wedding gown preservation companies must protect themselves from the situation where a bride can take her dress out of the box, wear it, get something on it, put it back in the box and claim that the stain or dirt or whatever was never gotten out in the original cleaning and preservation process and demand it be reprocessed for free.

Don’t assume that just because the box is not sealed that you can open it, examine the dress and or take it out and not void the guarantee… you need to check first.

Boxes that are not sealed are susceptible to insect infestation. Insects love to get into small thin opening and into the fabric to build their nests. Just because the box is closed doesn’t mean insects can’t get in.

The same warning applies to Boxes as to the Bags when it comes to animals marking their territory. Cardboard protects better than a cloth bag but still can be ruined by an animal urinating on it.
Moisture and humidity can also vary in an unsealed box – same warnings apply.

What about the Sealed Box method then? It provides all of the benefits of the Boxed method with much more protection. You don’t have to worry about animals or insects.

What about examining the dress and the question of moisture and mildew in a sealed box? A number of the wedding gown preservation companies site these two reasons as a warning to not use the Sealed Box method.

Let’s address them one at a time.

Here’s the actual science on mold and mildew growth from a publication by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science. Optimal conditions for mildew to grow is 70%-98% relative humidity and 77-88 degrees Fahrenheit. When relative humidity is less than 62% mildew growth ceases completely.

So if your wedding gown is either boxed or bagged but not sealed you run the risk of mildew if you have high humidity and warm temperatures. If you live in an area of the country where the humidity level can be higher than 70% your unsealed exposed wedding gown can run the risk of mildew growing on it. You could also run the same risk of mildew if your box is sealed and you have sealed in that high moisture content in the box and dress.

So for optimal wedding gown preservation you want to have the Sealed Boxed method with little or no moisture sealed in the box. That would mean you need to make sure that your wedding gown preservation company dries your dress and controls the humidity prior to sealing the box.

Another objection some companies have about the Sealed Boxed method is that the fabric should be allowed to breathe. That’s almost comical when you think about it. Fabric doesn’t have any lungs – it doesn’t and in fact shouldn’t breathe. Having the fabric breathe means that air is allowed to flow through the fabric.

The problem with air flowing through the fabric is that the air carries dust, dirt, pollen, mold pores and bacteria. The fabric acts as a natural filter. So if the air is allowed to circulate through the dress then more and more of the contaminants can build up on the fabric. A sealed box does not allow the air to circulate and eliminates this problem. So what some companies pitch as a determent actually turns out in reality to be a benefit for sealing the box.

When it comes to wedding gown inspection with the Sealed Boxed method you simply can’t thoroughly examine the dress. You will want to choose a company that has a windowed display box so can see and verify it’s your gown. You will void their guarantee if you open the box to take your dress out and examine it.

That means you will have to “trust” the wedding gown preservation company that you use to do the cleaning and preservation right.

Check out the company. What type of reputation do they have? Read their testimonials. Are they members of the Better Business Bureau and with what kind of rating. How long have they been in business? Do they specialize in just wedding gowns, or do they do every kind of dry-cleaning? Can you call and get your questions answered personally?

Chapter 5

What do you want your wedding gown preservation to do for you and your dress?

1. You want your wedding gown preservation to prevent your dress from yellowing. Yellowing can be caused by several situations. Don’t use a plastic bag for long term storage. Plastic bags give off petroleum distillates that can yellow your dress over time. Storing your dress in a non-acid free environment can also cause yellowing of your dress. This would include a regular cardboard box, or using regular tissue paper instead of acid free tissue.

2. You want your wedding gown preservation to prevent any permanent creases in your dress. Make sure that the company you use properly cares for your dress. If you insist on using the Bagging method they should make provisions for your train especially so it does not double fold back on itself in the bag. If you use the Boxed or Seal Boxed methods they should carefully fold the dress and buffer each fold with acid free tissue paper. This buffering will make the folds gentile and keep them from creasing.

(Be aware that some companies will promote the idea that your wedding gown should be re-folded every few years to prevent permanent creases. Although this sounds good in theory it isn’t true at all. First if your gown is stored properly, buffered with acid free tissue paper, the folds will remain folds. Unless there is some force that “squishes” the dress flat, or specifically flattens the folds into creases, creases won’t happen. Folds don’t “automatically” flatten themselves into creases. The fact actually is – creases can be removed from the fabric by proper steaming and or ironing. Seamstresses do this all of the time. If a seam or hem has to be changed they can easily make the “creases” disappear when they steam and or iron it.)

3. You want your wedding gown preservation to prevent and mold, mildew or insect growth or infestation. This can only be guaranteed when you use the Sealed Boxed method – see that section under “Wedding Gown Preservation methods”.

4. You want your wedding gown preservation to prevent brown spots or oxidation spots on your dress. Brown spots usually occur when a stain in the dress was not properly cleaned. The stain will oxidize over time and turn brown. This is especially true for any sugar based stain – ones caused from soda, wine, cake frosting or food.

These stains may not be visible when you send your dress in to be cleaned and preserved. It’s important that the company you use not only does a careful visual inspection but also a black-light inspection to reveal any hidden stains. And that the company completely removes all of the stains in your dress.

Chapter 6

Upgrade Offers

Some wedding gown preservation companies offer an upgrade service. The upgrade consists of using muslin in place of acid free tissue paper, additional insurance, and a upgraded storage container. Upgrades can cost anywhere from $40.00 to $100.00 more than their standard offer.

Upgrades are a “rip-off”!

Muslin is a very cheap fabric and offers no added benefit over acid free tissue paper. It sounds great, but it does nothing to make a better storage environment or keep the dress safer or better. Acid free tissue does everything muslin can do – and saves you money.

Most wedding gown preservation companies automatically provide $500.00 of insurance on their cleaning and preservation insurance. The insurance is actually provided for and through U.P.S. (or Fed-Ex). An upgrade increases the insurance to $1,500. You can purchase additional insurance when you ship your dress for $2 per $100 value, so for $10-$20 you can get the maximum insurance.
Remember insurance is provided so that the company providing the insurance can make money. It is a huge profit center for U.P.S. and Fed-Ex. Realize also that insurance companies do not like to pay out on claims and will minimize the payout as much as they can. They will claim your dress is used – (which it is) – that it is in poor condition – (that’s why you are having it cleaned) – that it’s last seasons or older model dress – (which it is, bridal manufacturer’s bring out new dresses twice per year, creating two seasons per year, so your dress is at least 1 to 3 or more seasons old). Get the picture, insurance is for the insurance company. Oh, and as and aside, in 12 years that I personally have dealt with U.P.S. shipping wedding dress for cleaning and preservation they have yet to lose a dress. I guess wedding dress boxes are too big to lose.

The last of the upgrade items is a different storage container. Check and you’ll see that the box is exactly the same except it’s a different color. The size, shape, it’s materials are all the same, the only difference is the outside color of the box.

So is there really any significant value in purchasing an upgrade? Absolutely not. It’s just a great ploy by that particular wedding gown preservation company to get you to spend more – thus increasing their profits dramatically.

Chapter 7

Wedding gown cleaning and preservation summary.

Cleaning summary:

Determine the fabric of your wedding gown. If it is polyester then it can usually safely be wet-cleaned. If it is silk, acetate or rayon then you have a few choices. Does it have beading or sequins on the dress? Percloroethylene (perc) is the most common dry-cleaning solvent but can discolor or melt the coating on the beads and sequins and can dissolve the glue if they are glued on. The better alternative is Stoddard Solvent or DF-2000. These dry-cleaning solvents are still excellent degreasers but will not harm the beads and sequins. Stoddard solvent is the best degreaser of the two.

Read the manufacturer’s fabric care label to help guide you on your choices.

Select a wedding gown preservation company that uses virgin solvent. You don’t want your dress being “cleaned” in dirty solvent that can leave an unpleasant odor in your dress.
Select a company that specializes in wedding gown cleaning and preservation. Choose a company that has been in business for a substantial time, is a member of the Better Business Bureau and has excellent reviews.

It’s also best to use a company that carefully hand inspects your dress and then does a further inspection using a black light. The company should do minor repairs at no additional cost to you. They can fix those loose beads, replace a button or fix a small tear in the fabric as part of their service.

Carefully examine the entire wedding gown preservation method. Select a company that will provide you the peace of mind, where you know your treasured keepsake will be put in an acid free environment, will be protected from unwanted creasing, protected from mold, mildew and insects, and provides a lifetime guarantee.

How to Become a Successful Wedding Planner With Inexpensive Weddings

Can you make a living planning weddings? Yes. As a self-employed professional, you can either charge a set fee for the wedding or a percentage of the total cost. Your income can be uncertain when you first start planning these extravaganzas, but as your reputation spreads and you gain more experience, your income can increase dramatically.

Of course, you will make more income on an elaborate, huge wedding, but several smaller and simple weddings will be less stressful when you are starting out and, when the separate income is added together, you will probably make the same amount of money.

Some agencies who track salaries report yearly incomes in the $50,000 range for wedding planners. One such agency, PayScale, currently reports these average hourly rates for the profession:

* California $28.00

* Georgia $27.50

* Massachusetts $20.64

* New York $15.00

* Louisiana $14.00

* Pennsylvania $10.23

* Texas $9.00

As with any self-employment, your success depends entirely on your creativity, reliability and marketing skills. There are online courses you can take to teach you the skills you need to plan the perfect wedding for your clients. Some of those courses will lead to certification as a Wedding Planner, which will give you more credibility with your clients and improve your professional standing with your colleagues.

Getting Started

What a professional Wedding Planner actually does is take on the details and responsibility of the event, relieving the bride and groom and their families, from the stresses involved. In turn, this allows them to enjoy the preliminary wedding events, like bridal showers and picking a honeymoon location.

There are lots of details you, as a Wedding Planner, need to know to keep things running smoothly and within the budget available. You will have to have a set of resources you can tap into to get the best service at the best prices, like reserving the church or chapel, catering the reception, ordering flowers, getting the wedding dress designed and ordered, selecting invitations and announcements, booking the music and hiring a professional photographer, among many other tasks.

It would probably be very good advice to start your career on small and somewhat inexpensive weddings. Giant extravaganzas can be very complex and time consuming to the most experienced Wedding Planner and you would be well-advised to start smaller and work up.

Some of the following tips should help you get started on planning a smaller wedding that will save money on several of the more expensive features of normal weddings. The bride’s father will love you for it.

The Wedding Gown

* The wedding gown can be expensive enough to break any budget. You can offer your client several options that are affordable and will still make the bride look like an angel as she floats down the aisle.

Renting a gown is becoming more popular every day. Think about it. The bride is going to wear it once and it was probably worn once before she rented it. It also avoids the storage problem for 20 years if the bride will not be saving it for her firstborn child to wear at her own wedding.

* If a member of the bride’s family is a good seamstress, suggest that she ask the family member to make the dress. Providing all the material and even paying the family member for the service will more than likely be less expensive than buying one from a bridal store.

* Another way would be for the bride to wear her mother’s wedding gown, if she saved it. You might want to check it carefully for any deterioration before the bride commits to wearing it. The mother is probably from a generation that thought saving her wedding gown was an obligation of the marriage and believed for several decades that her daughter would wear it at her own wedding.

The Reception

Another budget-buster is the reception, but some planning with a true reality check can reduce your client’s expenditures here.

* Think smaller. Talk to your clients about how they can downsize the guest list. When the excitement of the coming event takes over, your clients and their parents will many times have a very long list of people to invite to the wedding and the reception after.

Many of the parents’ visions of the reception can resemble an extravaganza with hundreds of guests, munching caviar and drinking champagne all night long in a huge ballroom. If their budget will not cover the considerable expenses involved in their dream reception, your skills as the Wedding Planner will be well served here.

To start with, keeping the guest list small and only inviting close family and friends will save money and still provide the dream celebration your clients want. If your client hasn’t had a close relationship with college friends or neighbors from four moves back, don’t put them on the list.

Instead of renting the largest hall or club banquet room in your town for the reception, you have a couple of inexpensive options that might appeal to your clients:

* Check out restaurants in the area. Some have banquet rooms that they will either rent out or provide free if you use their services for the sit-down meal or the buffet.

* Consider suggesting that your clients hold the reception at their home. The party does not have to include a full meal. Catered hors d’oeuvres and a champagne fountain will set the festive mood your clients want.

* Weddings held in gardens or other natural settings are very popular and beautiful. There’s minimal decoration needed and the only expense might be for the minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace.

* Not having a full bar will save a lot of money, regardless of where the reception is held. The champagne fountain mentioned above can also be combined with beer or wine if the clients want to provide additional libations for their guests.

The Photography

The formal wedding service requires a professional photographer who will create a beautiful album to record the special day and preserve the memories to relive as they wish. If you create a relationship with several photographers as you build your career, you will know which one to hire for your client’s purposes.

The rest of the celebration can be recorded by all their friends and relatives with a digital camera in their pockets. Some clients put disposable cameras on tables for anyone to use. Have a decorated basket nearby and visible to give your guests a place to leave the cameras when they go home.

The Wedding Invitations

Newly engaged couples can go way overboard on their wedding invitations and your task, as their Wedding Planner, is to suggest ways for them to save money on this expensive item.

Those engraved invitations with the ribbon attached or the edges cut into curvy designs are expensive. The same effect can be achieved with a good card stock and one of those edge cutters used for scrapbooking. The necessary items can be found in any good craft store and some stationary stores. They come with matching envelopes, too. The actual text can easily be printed with a good inkjet or laser printer.

One way to make homemade invitations special and very personal is to order stamps from the US Post Office with the couple’s engagement picture on them.

Consider suggesting that your client include making her own thank you notes and, even the place cards, if you are including a sit-down reception for their wedding. Once again, a good laser or inkjet printer can do the fancy fonts and include a picture of the couple to make them personal. The thank you notes would stand out if they were sent with a wedding picture on the stamps.

The Flowers

It is not necessary to buy fancy floral arrangements and pay for the floral designer’s time and expertise. Simple flowers arranged beautifully in clusters or cascades can be created by either the bride’s family or a crafty friend. They can be delivered to the church by you or by friends.

If you are building your business, create some relationships with flower vendors and provide that service to your clients. They will be delighted at the savings and the vendors will love you for the business.

Depending on the time of the year, the flowers can be picked from the bride’s own backyard or from a friend’s yard. A few inexpensive vases, some ribbon and both the wedding and the reception will be beautifully decorated while not breaking the family’s budget.

A few flower arrangements can attractively set off a buffet table or on the tables at a sit-down dinner. Think about several weddings you have attended as a guest. How many flower arrangements do you really remember? During the entire wedding ritual, most of the guests were focused on the bride and groom; weren’t they?

A simple floral bouquet can be easily arranged from flowers out of a garden with the stems wrapped in a ribbon that complements or matches the bride’s gown. When you toss the bridal bouquet before you leave the reception, you will be tossing out a truly personal memento of your wedding and not one that was exorbitantly priced.

Any flowers left over can be scattered in the bride’s hair to make her even more beautiful as she walks down the aisle.

The Wedding Cake

There’s lots of tradition around the wedding cake, including saving a piece to be eaten on the first anniversary of the wedding. The top layer of the cake is normally put aside before the cake is cut and frozen to preserve it. Some bakers have been making a top layer that is a light fruitcake. It freezes well and thaws better a year later.

Wedding cake history can be traced as far back at the Roman Empire and the traditions have gone through so many changes between now and then that there is no comparison.

Today’s “traditional” wedding cake practices can be anything the couple wants them to be. Some have abandoned the white wedding cake and substituted frosting colors and decorations that reflect the bride’s choice of décor or the color of the bridesmaid dresses.

The multi-tiered cake is not an obligation and can be a heavy drain on a limited budget. Friends can make the cake for the reception or something else can replace the cake entirely, like a wedding cake made of frosted cupcakes stacked in layers. The cupcake wedding cake is becoming very popular, not only for economy, but for it’s novelty and the range of cupcake flavors that can be offered.

As the Wedding Planner, you will need to have a list of different and affordable wedding cakes to give the couple choices. If no one in the family or set of friends can make the wedding cake, you will also need a list of economical bakeries.

Lists – How To Plan A Small Wedding

When you first begin to work as a Wedding Planner, you will be buried in details that can only be managed if you know how to make ordered lists. Over time, you will probably create your own templates on your computer and be able to print out a complete set of templates whenever you book a new wedding.

Your templates will be your “spare brain” and will keep you informed of what needs to be done and when, along with favored vendors, the services they provide and what their fees are.

Your templates should include the following information:

* A reasonable timeline for all activities concerning the wedding from start to finish. That should include preliminary details, like scheduling the bride’s appointments for fittings, reserving the banquet room or restaurant for the reception, booking the chapel and anything else that needs advance scheduling.

Waiting too long may require rescheduling that might interfere with the travel arrangements made by the out-of-town guests or make finding a caterer difficult, to name only a couple of serious possible problems.

* After your templates are printed and initially filled out, you need to make a preliminary wedding budget and include the fees for your services. As the director of this event, you will be spending the money and have a responsibility to provide records when requested.

* The actual wedding ceremony should be painstakingly detailed to ensure that all aspects are taken care of in advance. Leave nothing to the last minute.

o Have the bride and groom choose their wedding date as soon as possible. Everything needed to be in place for that date has to be scheduled and confirmed before any other plan can be completed.

o Decide upon the wedding site, church, chapel, garden, park, etc. Make that decision specific. Get the details of the church or chapel, the address of the garden and the phone number of the relative or friend who owns it or permission of the agency controlling the park.

o Book and confirm the minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace who will be performing the wedding ceremony.

o Start selecting the music with the couple for the actual ceremony. Include the music for the reception and book who will be providing it…disk jockey, small band, etc.

o Send the couple to get the marriage license. For their book of memories, see if a friend or family member will take a few photos of this necessity.

One thing you might consider is using your own digital camera and recording most of the less dramatic events of preparing for the wedding, like getting the marriage certificate, making or addressing the invitations, trying on wedding dresses.

A CD or DVD given to the couple after they return from their honeymoon will serve two important purposes.

1. They will have something to remember all that went into the ceremony that will not be included in the normal wedding album.

2. When they share the CD or DVD with their friends, some of whom might be contemplating their own wedding, your name and contact details will be prominent.

Referrals are what will build your business. Subliminal ads, like on the CD or DVD label and at the beginning and end of the photos might bring you some business. At the very least, your unexpected gift after the excitement that goes with any wedding, will be remembered by the bride and groom.

The wedding ceremony rehearsal needs to be scheduled as soon as possible. It normally takes place a night or two before the actual ceremony (after work) and can be easily forgotten in the rush of last minute details. Additionally, the church or chapel might be previously booked by another wedding party.

Some have a small dinner party in a restaurant after the rehearsal. If your couple is planning one with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, make the reservations as soon as possible and confirm a few days before the rehearsal.

Make sure that everyone knows who will be in the wedding processional and the recessional and what to do. Practice it with the actual music, if possible, so it looks graceful during the actual event. Never forget that you are creating life-long memories for the couple.

The wedding reception has its own set of details to schedule and set in motion.

1. You need to determine the time of day for the reception. Be sure to allow enough time for the photographer to take the album photos after the ceremony and for the newly married couple to travel from the church to the reception.

2. Make sure the place for the reception is set up, decorated and stocked. It would be a wise decision to check with the restaurant or hall about a week before the wedding to check details and to discuss any changes in the menu or times with the manager. A phone call the day before the event wouldn’t be a bad idea.

3. Normal wedding reception activities need to be scheduled and coordinated so they feel like a natural progression before the couple leaves the reception.

Those activities can include the receiving line, the first dance, cake cutting, tossing the bouquet, speeches and toasting from the best man, parents or friends.

How To Find A Job In The Wedding Industry

There’s over a dozen different industries that might be interested in hiring Wedding Planners or consultants, if you were interested in working with companies.

Resorts in popular vacation spots are becoming sites for destination weddings and would have the need for a Wedding Planner. This would be a way to work and enjoy all the amenities available in some of the world’s most beautiful spots.

Hotels almost anywhere, even in your current location, are always sites for weddings or receptions in their banquet rooms and many might need a Wedding Planner or Event Coordinator to keep their wedding parties from becoming a disaster.

Churches and synagogues might be on the lookout for someone to handle the weddings being scheduled at their churches and temples. Distributing a well-designed flyer at each facility might get you referrals, if not an actual job. Make sure to include some business cards with the flyers.

Finally, do not forget to leave your business cards with local bridal shops, caterers and florists. These businesses handle some aspect of the wedding preparations every day. They would be good reciprocal referrals for your services. If you, in return, used their services in the wedding planning, it would be a Win-Win situation for all involved.

You should have enough information to decide if being a Wedding Planner is the career for you. You can find eCourses to take online and several step-by-step eBooks or manuals that explain everything you need to know and even provide templates to help you organize the details.

Wedding Traditions and Superstitions That You Should Observe

Over the past fifty plus years that I have been alive I have had many occasions to watch friends and loved ones marry. There are more than a few things I have learned about weddings as a result of all this, but adhering to some of the most common traditions and superstitions associated with weddings are the most important. Why? Because it just so happens that many of those who chose to ignore these seemingly nonsensical and sometimes almost comical steps to get to the alter have often paid a high price for their disrespect of these long standing customs.

The Wedding Dress

We have all heard that it is bad luck for the groom to see bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony. The truth is that a longer standing tradition says that it is bad luck for the bride to wear the complete wedding outfit before the day that she takes her wedding vows. That is why you almost never see a bride trying on a wedding dress with her wedding shoes, veil and so on. A female college friend of mine knew a young girl who decided to ignore that tradition and display her complete wedding outfit to her bridal party for the purpose of having “some photos taken with her friends” the night before her wedding. So she said, most of those present think she was just showing off. The dress seemed unusually tight to some who saw the bride all decked out that night and soon gossiping tongues spread the news quickly.

The next day the groom decided not to show up for the ceremony after my college friend said that she called and told him that his bride looked “fat or pregnant” when she saw the bride in her outfit the night before. My friend was not being mean, but she felt sorry for the groom who had gone out of his way to keep his bride pure (she had claimed to be a virgin) by abstaining from sex with her. He had never seen her in the wedding dress, but even his sister said that she noticed an unusually rapid weight gain in the bride who was not one known to fluctuate in her weight or overeat. There could have been a lot more to the story than that, but I have no doubt that the catalyst for the groom’s cancellation was that phone call from my friend and the call would never had been made if the bride had not been showing off and scoffing at a long-standing tradition.

The Wedding Shoes

Both bride and groom should know that the superstitious among us say it is unlucky to wear any shoes for the ceremony that are not to be used specifically and only for the wedding. They claim that it is also bad luck to wear the shoes before the day of the ceremony, or to ever wear them again after the bride and groom take their vows. The shoes should be ripped apart or burned sometime shortly after the ceremony and never given away to anyone else. This tradition began sometime in the late 1800s and probably came from merchants eager to sell shoes. However, there may be some truth to it.

A friend of mine reports that a neighborhood friend of his who got married about twenty years ago had some very bad luck as a result of ignoring this odd superstition. Ben was a thrifty guy who hated wasting money. Sometime in the year before he was married he had purchased an expensive pair of shoes to wear for weddings, funerals and other special occasions. When my friend went out with him to help choose an outfit for his own wedding, he asked Ben about shoes. Ben told him that he was going to wear his best pair of shoes because they had barely been worn and were like new. After all, even back then a new pair of quality shoes could easily cost over one hundred dollars and Ben felt that money would be better spent elsewhere.

My friend told Ben about the wedding tradition regarding shoes that he had heard about from his mother, father and grandparents. My friend took the advice himself, got married without incident and has remained married ever since. Admittedly, he and his family are very superstitious about things like weddings, but there have been few divorces in his family line and many successful weddings and marriages. Ben wore his “best pair of shoes” on the day of the wedding despite the warning he received from my friend. Amazingly, his bride had her own unique plan for wedding footwear. She decided to wear sneakers for the wedding as a kind of joke as to say that she might be a runaway bride. The joke backfired.

Ben and his family were highly insulted by the presence of the sneakers and an argument began during the wedding reception which continued throughout the honeymoon and for weeks afterward. Things really came to a head when relatives on both sides viewed the wedding photos. The photographer became fixated on the bride’s sneakers and kept taking pictures featuring them. Many of the guests were captured displaying a scowl on their face as they spoke to the bride and stared down at the sneakers. The couple broke up and divorced within three months of their wedding. I say that we should add wearing sneakers to a wedding to the bad luck list for wedding footwear, apparel and choices.

Placing a coin (especially a silver dollar) in one of your wedding shoes is considered extremely good luck. Although this applies mainly to the bride, I suppose that the groom has nothing to lose by trying it as well. This tradition goes back to the “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe” wedding superstition from old England. Relatives and close friends would give the bride small tokens of their affection to wear or carry with her on her special day. These items were presented just before the wedding began and were not wedding gifts, just mementos to remind the bride that she has family and friends that care about her and support her decision to marry.

Something Old was usually a token carried by another bride at a previous wedding who has had good luck or a successful and happy marriage. This gift is about sending the previous bride’s good luck and fortune on to the present one. Something New is supposed to impart good luck to the bride giving her hope and confidence for the future. Something Borrowed is said to represent happiness that is imparted to the bride from her family and friends. Any happiness that they have experienced they offer to loan to the bride while she makes her own happy memories. Something Blue is given with the hope that the bride’s marriage will be filled with an honest and pure love, as well as fidelity. A Sixpence (Coin) In Your Shoe is said to impart a financial blessing on the marriage. Few brides dare to ignore this tradition which many consider the most important of all. I know one that did.

She insisted on a marriage ceremony with included just her, the groom and a clergyman. Most of the bride’s family and friends, as well as those of the groom, were against the marriage due to a huge age difference between the bride (who was very young) and the groom (who was thirty five years older). Most of the groom’s family thought she was a gold digger because he had a substantial fortune and his family was well known in the city where they lived. However, the bride also came from money, but it was new money. Sadly, I think her decision to marry this man really had more to do with the fact that she may have wanted to enjoy the status of being married into a family with a major standing in society than real love. Anyway, she decided to punish all the nay sayers who were against the marriage and prove them wrong by insisting that her wedding be held in a public park with no guests. The couple spent the money that a huge wedding would have cost on an elaborate honeymoon.

That bride broke nearly all the rules of tradition and superstition involving weddings. This included the tradition of bringing tokens to her wedding given to her by a friend who thought the age difference thing was no big deal. That friend could not attend the ceremony regardless of whether she was invited or not because she was living in another country at the time, but she hoped that the tokens would bring the couple good luck. And they might have done their job if those items had been brought to the small ceremony by the bride. They were not. Despite what seemed like a marriage filled with bliss during and just after the honeymoon, the couple divorced after just five years citing irreconcilable differences.

The Wedding Rings

It is considered extremely unlucky to go shopping for a wedding ring on a Friday because that is a tradition Sale Day and a highly discounted ring set is considered bad luck overall. It is even more unlucky to wear a wedding ring (other than trying it on) for any length of time before the ceremony. I know of at least a dozen occasions where either the bride or groom wore their ring (for whatever reasons) for hours or days before the wedding and could not for the life of them remove it. This not only caused physical and emotional discomfit, but ultimately ended up in arguments that broke up four of those couples before the day of their weddings. There could have been a million other reasons for those break ups, but why take the chance?

There are other things to watch for when it comes to wedding rings. Too loose and that could mean a husband or wife might stray from the marriage bed because they would forget the full meaning of their wedding vows. Too tight could curse the couple to a marriage full of arguments and fights bringing out the worst in one or both people. Wearing the ring on the left hand is considered very good luck. That tradition goes back centuries to when most work was done with the right hand making it appear more aged or dirty than the left. A plain wedding band is good luck compared to a highly decorated one in some societies, while a ring with religious or cultural icons on it is considered very lucky in nations with people from a Celtic background.

I cannot say that anyone I know has ever broken up over a plain or decorated wedding ring, but more than a few have had major disagreements over the cost and style of wedding bands which may expose a lack of character on the part of the bride, the groom, or both. The biggest superstition surrounding a wedding ring involves dropping it. Superstition says that a bride or groom who drops a wedding ring during the ceremony will be the first to die. This is said to be almost guaranteed if the ring rolls to a stop on a memorial or remembrance stone in the church or chapel. Wow! Be careful not to drop the ring.

The Flowers

Tradition says that the best choice of flowers for the bridal bouquet are either orange blossoms or roses. Orange blossoms are said to represent chastity and fertility, while roses stand for true love. It is also considered extremely good luck for members of the wedding party to wear garlands. This is a very old tradition, but one which has been making a comeback over the past several decades. If the bride tosses her bouquet and it is dropped, the bad luck is not on the bride, but on the person who failed to catch it; so no worries there. It is thought of as good luck to catch the bouquet even if that does not lead to the person catching it being the next to marry. No good or bad stories to share here, but fresh flowers do often help make the wedding and/or reception photos all the more precious when the wedding album is complete. Beware of the presence of wilted flowers which are considered extremely bad luck.

The Wedding Cake and Reception

There are many traditions involving wedding cakes. One of the most popular has been that when a couple agrees to place a statuette of the bride and one of the groom on the cake these should be of equal height. This is said to represent equality in a marriage. However, more often than not, people these days choose not to include likenesses of the bride and groom on their wedding cake. Instead, many are choosing eatable representations of their favorite flowers on the cake presented in various styles and set in all kinds of positions. Another popular trend is for the wedding cake to include the favorite flavors of the bride, while a separate cake is prepared called the Groom’s Cake which is designed to please his taste buds.

It is considered bad luck for anyone except the bride or groom to be the first people to taste the wedding cake. So I guess the tradition of getting a piece of cake shoved into your face will continue for some time to come. The bride usually does that to the groom first, then some grooms reciprocate. Others fear the wrath of ruining that expensive make up job that most brides have professionally applied shortly before most weddings. On multi-tier cakes it is considered very good luck to save the top tier, freeze it and eat it about three months later or after all the wedding photos have been entered into the wedding album. Most couples serve the remainder of the cake to a small circle of family and friends who stop by to view the completed wedding photo album.

Many brides like to include special charms into their bridal shower or wedding cake. This long-standing tradition brings good luck and normally includes gold or silver charms in the shapes of hearts, clover, horseshoes, wedding bells, baby carriages or money purses donated by bridal shower attendees or wedding party members. Sometime in the 1980s it became a new tradition to include one or more French-style Cream Puff Trees (croquembouche) in the bridal shower and wedding reception among with the cake. This amazing creation is made of many individual cream puffs covered in caramel and presented in the shape of a tree. Guests can use a small spoon or fork to remove as many cream puffs as they care to eat and place them on small plates.

Some couples opt to have their wedding cake divided up carefully and plated by serving staff out of sight of the wedding guests after the cake is shown to everyone and the bride and groom take the first piece or pieces. This is a popular way to make sure the cake is carefully and equally divided. However, the bride and groom should always be sure that the first piece or pieces of cake are cut with a silver cake knife and silver server. Those first pieces should be placed on fine china and eaten with silver or high quality forks. This is considered extremely good luck. Having been to a number of wedding receptions, I can tell you that nothing says cheap and nasty like a couple who choose to cut their cake with a regular kitchen knife and serve it with a pie server. The only thing worse is slopping those first pieces of cake on to paper plates. Once the bride and groom are served, cake should always be served to guests on ceramic plates.

Beware of cracked or damaged plates. The presence of cracked or nicked plates is considered extremely bad luck for the bride, groom and wedding guests. I have never personally seen this (or, I should say I am personally unaware of it), but some of my older family members claim that almost anything bad that happens during or after the reception is brought on by the improper presentation of the wedding cake and other food items. I have heard of everything from fist fights to auto accidents and missed flights blamed on bad or improper presentation of the cake and food during the wedding reception. Even bad toasts are extremely unlucky and usually the cause of spats and fights, so never hand a microphone to someone that you know will say something stupid or improper.

The Wedding Vows

People who write their own wedding vows may think this is the best way to express their love, but wait! A newer wedding tradition says that writing your own vows is not the best of ideas and could mean disaster to a newly married couple. This is probably because of all the hippie marriages that took place in the sixties and seventies. People used pet names for each other and authored often long, convoluted and embarrassing vows that made no sense to anyone at the ceremony and sometimes had nothing to do with the couple’s promises to each other. I sat through one of those types of weddings and wished I had not. No one knew what the couple was talking about and they even appeared to confuse each other. This is why people should never do drugs. The couple I spoke of broke up within two years and now hate one another.

A long-standing tradition says that wedding vows should be set by the minister. A more recent tradition states that it is good luck for the vows to be written by the bridesmaid for the bride and best man for the groom when the minister suggests the couple provide their own vows. Superstition says that parents should keep quiet during the ceremony accept for occasions when a father or mother is asked if he or she gives their daughter or son away to marry. Having a stand in for the bride’s father is considered bad luck. I know of at least two weddings where both the parents refused to attend and both marriages later ended in divorce. I am sure there were other causes for those break ups, but why take the chance?

The Parent’s Blessing

Finally, it is extremely good luck for the groom to be given the blessing of the bride’s parents or parent. This goes back to Biblical teaching and tradition, and also happens to be a tradition that I think is essential for a long and happy marriage. That is just my opinion. I guess I have just seen too many couples torn apart by family influences and interference because someone had something against the groom (or the bride for that matter) to begin with and that remained a matter of contention until it caused an eventual break up and divorce. Only the strongest of couples can stand up to that kind of pressure, so I do not recommend ignoring this tradition. If worse comes to worse try to get on the good side of the family of the bride or groom well before you announce an engagement or wedding date.

Simple Centerpiece Ideas for a Wedding That Add Beauty to the Table

These unique centerpiece ideas for a wedding will leave a lasting impression on everyone that takes part in your ceremony and reception. Every bride wants her big day to be incredibly special, and creating a unique wedding that everyone remembers fondly is the ultimate goal of most engaged couples.

One of the first decisions that a bride and groom must make together is the season in which they’d like to get married. After all, winter weddings are typically much different than spring and summer weddings, so it’s important to select the time of year that’s right for you. After the season has been narrowed down and an official wedding date has been chosen, it’s time to begin selecting wedding colors!

The wedding color palette is crucial because it must be incorporated into all aspects of the wedding such as the bridesmaid dresses, the floral arrangements, the ceremony and reception decorations, and often times the wedding cake, too! Once a color or group of colors has been chosen, you should begin thinking of ideas for your wedding reception.

wedding centerpiece idea Your wedding is supposed to be a beautiful event, not one that makes you want to rip your hair out, so you should try your best to avoid stressing out! That’s why these simple yet elegant centerpiece ideas for a wedding will come in handy.

Round reception tables are the norm at most wedding receptions, and they typically have some sort of tablecloth or table linens. Tablecloths in a basic, muted shade such as cream or light beige will work best with these centerpiece ideas for a wedding. Depending on the size of the table, six to eight place settings will most likely be present. Set a tall clear glass wine goblet in front of each plate and stuff a cloth napkin inside each so that it puffs out and looks like a flower. Use cloth napkins that are the main color of your wedding – for example, napkins that are the same color as the bridesmaid dresses. The colored napkins will add emphasis to your table, especially since you have such basic-colored tablecloths. These “floral glasses” are simple yet elegant, and they are also completely functional because they are composed of two items that need to be on the table anyway.

Place a round mirror in the middle of the table, and set a glass bowl or vase filled with a floral arrangement that includes flowers which are the same color as your napkins. For an extra bit of “oomph” you can scatter flower petals on the table as well. These simple ideas are stylish, unique, and classy, and your friends and family will be sure to remember your special day!

Pink Wedding Table Centerpiece Ideas

Flowers and candles have always been popular wedding table centerpiece ideas, but if you can’t make up your mind between the two there’s no reason you can’t have both! There are countless ways of combining floral arrangements and candles into stunning wedding centerpieces, and with a little thought and little effort you can create some of the prettiest wedding reception table decorations that you’ve ever seen. In fact, the blushing bride may wind up sharing the spotlight with her reception centerpieces on the big day!

Pink has always been a fashionable wedding color because it’s so romantic. Pastel shades of pink symbolize youthfulness and innocence while bright pinks and hot pinks give off a trendy, up-to-the-minute vibe. Whichever shade of pink you prefer, including pink flowers in your wedding centerpieces shouldn’t be a problem because there are so many pink flowers to choose from! Dahlias, pansies, daisies, gladiolas, lilies, and peonies are just a few… and let’s not forget the all-time wedding favorite, roses!

Your wedding florist should be able to help you choose the perfect combination of flowers and greenery for your centerpieces, and you’re going to need some clear glass vases in which to display the floral arrangements. Square or rectangular-shaped vases are great wedding table centerpiece ideas! Place the pink floral arrangements in the center of your reception tables. wedding centerpiece idea Set them on top of round mirrors in order to create a bit of shine.

Now it’s time to throw some candles into the mix. You can find tea light candles and small glass candleholders at just about any discount store in town, and they’re relatively inexpensive. Place two candles on top of the mirror beside your pink floral arrangement. White candles will add a bit of contrast to all of the pink, but pastel pink candles will work as well – it’s up to you!

Providing guests with wedding favors to take home with them is a tradition that most brides enjoy, and incorporating the color pink into these little gifts can also help you think of wedding table centerpiece ideas. Place small candies, such as mints, Jordan almonds, or M&Ms into individual pink pouches or bags. You can tie them with pink ribbons and attach a small tag that includes the bride and groom’s name and wedding date. Place one of these pink wedding favors in front of each place setting in order to add even more pink to the reception table.

The use of pink floral arrangements, small tea light candles, and pink wedding favors is an easy way to incorporate the color pink into your wedding table centerpieces. Whether you follow these plans exactly or tweak them to make them your own, you’ll be sure to have attractive reception tables!

Outdoor Wedding Reception Centerpiece Ideas

Whether it’s at the beach or in your own backyard, our wedding reception centerpiece ideas will come in handy as you plan your outdoor wedding. Outdoor weddings usually take a bit more planning and effort than indoor weddings because of their location, but your reception centerpieces don’t have to be difficult to make! Even if you decide to hold your reception indoors once the wedding ceremony is over, you can give your wedding centerpieces an outdoorsy feel that goes along with the overall theme of your special day.

Weddings held on white sandy beaches automatically have a tropical feel to them, and using seashells and palm branches as table decorations are wonderful wedding reception centerpiece ideas. Place a few pieces of palm on the center of each table, beach wedding centerpiece and set a large conch shell on top. You can then scatter a variety of smaller seashells around the large shell. Surround your tropical creation with white candles in clear glass jars that have been wrapped with strands of twine. This is an easy centerpiece that can go along with a tropical beach wedding or simply add a tropical vibe to a wedding held in your own backyard.

Speaking of which, backyard weddings are growing in popularity as more and more people decide to scale down and save money by holding inexpensive weddings and receptions at home. Patio tables and picnic tables are a great place to eat dinner and socialize during a wedding reception, and you can easily decorate them with great centerpieces. Small metal buckets full of wild flowers may be all that you need, but if you’d like to skip the flowers altogether you can use food as centerpieces. Red and white checkered tablecloths and homemade apple pies can give your backyard reception tables a “country” appearance, and baskets of fruit can act as both decoration and healthy alternatives to sweet desserts.

Gardens can provide a quaint, romantic setting for outdoor weddings, and many also have adequate space for outdoor receptions. Tables can be set up among gorgeous trees and flowers, and additional floral arrangements are easy outdoor wedding reception centerpiece ideas. Vases of flowers that grew in the garden add charm to the reception, and you can even scatter additional flower petals on each reception table for an extra touch of romance.

Outdoor weddings and receptions may involve a bit of extra work, but coming up with ideas for your wedding reception centerpieces should be a fun process. Save money by creating them yourself, and work together with your fiancé to create special memories together. Be sure to remind your wedding photographer to take a lot of pictures of them!