Thursday, June 28, 2012

Can You Throw a "Green" Wedding Without Breaking the Bank?

It's more important than ever to take care of the enviornment.  However, many people think it's too expensive to throw a "green" event.  But there are many low cost or even free ways to help out the environment when planning your wedding.  Read my guest post on the Kijani Dunia blog for some ideas on throwing a green wedding without breaking the bank.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Exciting Wedding Reception Food Ideas

Photo courtesy of Ariel da Silva Parreira.
Thankfully, couples today are planning more interesting food options for their wedding receptions.  No more standing in line at a buffet table for the same wedding food we've had at wedding after wedding.  Couples are realizing that dinner during their reception is more than just a part of the reception to get through in order to get to more exciting things, and foodies all over the world are rejoicing!  Read my latest article on SoIntoWeddings on exciting wedding reception food ideas for some fun and unusal menu ideas that will keep your guests entertained as well as keeping their tummies full!

Are you planning anything unusual for your wedding reception meal?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Alternative Wedding Gift Registries

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Earwicker
The etiquette experts all agree, it's never, and I mean never proper wedding etiquette to ask for cash for a wedding present.  However...the rules are changing.  More and more couples are living together before their weddings, so registering for things like a toaster or flatwear aren't very practical.  Also, many couples are finding their finances strained when planning a wedding and trying to start a new life together - particularly if they are also trying to buy a new house. 

Along with traditional wedding gift registries, now there are a number of alternative registries that allow couples to politely ask for cash for the things they need.  Guests can help contribute to a honeymoon fund, a new house fund or even a baby fund.  What family members could resist contributing to a baby fund?  Read my article on TyingtheKnott about alternative wedding gift registries for more information.

P.S.  A follower on Twitter just mentioned to me that she and her husband actually asked for donations to charity instead of wedding gifts, which is an absolutely LOVELY thing to do on your wedding day.  I didn't specifically mention that as an option in this article, but I do discuss donations to charity in an upcoming article on throwing a "green" wedding.  (I often run of out space when I write so articles get broken up).  Many of the alternative gift registry sites I listed have an option for you to request donations be made to the charity of your choice.  To the Twitter follower who brought that to my attention, thank you for letting me know I neglected mentioning that option in this article.  I appreciate it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Make Your Wedding Unique - The New Trends in Wedding Entertainment

Photo courtesy of Roger Kirby
We've all been to what seems like a million of the same weddings.  The same ceremony, followed by the same reception with the same cocktail hour, the same dinner, the same music and dancing.  Booooorrrrrinnnnnggg.  After all the time, energy and money you spend planning your wedding, don't you want your guests to have an amazing time?  Do you really want your guests checking their watches and wondering if it's too early for them to leave?  No!  Of course you don't!

Couples today want their weddings to stand out, to be unique and remembered.  These weddings all have one thing in common - they are EVENTS.  And events are entertaining for everyone in attendance.  Check out my latest article on the Team Wedding Blog on How to Make Your Wedding Unique - The Newest Trends in Wedding Entertainment for some ideas on how to make your wedding the event everyone talks about for years to come.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Should You Invite Children to Your Wedding?

Flower Girl photo courtesy of Jason Nelson
One of the biggest questions I received as an event planner was if a couple should invite children to their wedding.  This one issue has the potential to create so many hurt feelings if not handled properly.  Personally, I think children are a wonderful addition to a wedding.  Kids have a way of creating those wonderful unexpected moments that you and your guests will remember for years to come. I remember cringing in my seat at my cousin's wedding as my 4-year old daughter stood up when the priest asked if anyone in the congregation had anything to say.  She was the flower girl, so she was seated several rows in front of me, and I was unable to do anything to stop her.  I had no idea what was about to happen, but for a brief second I had visions of dying of embarassment while 200 people looked on. I thought of crawling under the pew to hide.  But then she slowly and clearly (and very loudly) said "I just want everyone to know that I love my cousin Amy and I love this boy she's marrying and I hope they have a nice wedding."  Needless to say there wasn't a dry eye in the church.  We all laughed and cried and it was a wonderful, special moment.  The bride and groom loved it, and even though my daughter is now a teenager, she'll forever be known as the flower girl who had something important to say.  But, not everyone appreciates the unscripted laughs a child might inspire in an otherwise completely scheduled event - yes, I'm looking at you Bridezillas! 

Read my latest article on Bridal Tweet for more information on inviting children to your wedding.  Tell me in the comments - are you inviting children to your wedding, or are you having an adults only reception?  How do you feel about the issue of children at weddings? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Find the Best Wedding Gown for Your Shape

Shopping for a wedding gown is one of the most exciting moments during the wedding planning process.  It can also be completely overwhelming and stressful for some brides, especially when you start hearing about A-line, mermaid and sheath dresses, all various necklines and so many different materials.

If you're ready to start shopping for your wedding gown, read my post on the Pittsburgh Bride Forum to help you determine the best wedding gown style based on your shape.   Then, you can go shopping armed with the knowledge of the style that is best for your body type and shape.  It will help eliminate alot of the stress you may feel when confronted with rows and rows of dresses and a sales consultant asking what you're looking for.  Happy shopping everyone!

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Band

People often wonder why things seem so much more romantic or exciting in the movies.  Here’s a little secret…It’s the background music.   What would Titanic have been like without Celine Dion’s hauntingly beautiful voice?  Yes, it still would have been a beautiful love story, but the music gave you chills, touched your heart and echoed in your memory long after the film was over.  The same can be said for your wedding.  Music can make your wedding an event to remember or one your guests can’t wait to forget.

Finding the right wedding band is crucial.  Their music and interaction with your guests will set the tone for the entire evening.  If you are considering hiring a wedding band here are some things to consider and the questions you need to ask, other than discussing price, before you book them.

What type of music do you play?

You need to decide what kind of music you want at your reception.  Do you want a band that can plan traditional wedding dance music, with something included for every generation?  Or are you looking for more of a specialty band, like a jazz band, swing band or Scottish wedding band?  Narrow down what you’re looking for then meet with potential bands.  They should be able to provide you with a playlist of their music, as well as audio samples of their songs, or even a video of them performing.

Will the band leader act as emcee during the reception?

Its important that someone directs the activities during your reception.  Typically, the DJ or wedding bandleader will act as the emcee, usually being directed by your wedding planner or the site coordinator.

Will the band play different, softer music during cocktails and dinner so your guests can chat easily?

Most couples prefer the cocktail hour and dinner to be a quieter portion of the evening, with soft background music    This makes it easier for guests to relax, enjoy their food and drinks and have conversations without having to yell over loud music   Does the band have the ability to play dinner music or can they play pre-recorded music on a CD player?

How long will the band play?   How many breaks will the band take between sets?

Live bands typically do not play as long as a DJ will, and they need to take breaks during the evening.  Make sure you know how many breaks to expect and how long the band will be away during each break   Also, be sure to find out if they will play pre-recorded music during their breaks   Dead air is sure to put a damper on the party atmosphere.

Can I watch your band in action at a wedding?

All the CD’s and videos you watch of a band can’t begin to compare to seeing them live. Most bands will welcome the opportunity for you to visit while they are performing at another wedding.  This certainly doesn’t mean to crash another couple’s special day, but you can peek in from the back of the room to see and hear the band.   Is the dance floor full or empty?   How does the band relate to the guests?   These are all important points to take into consideration.

If the unimaginable happens and my wedding is cancelled, what is your policy on refunds?

As difficult as it is to think about, these things do happen.  Weddings do sometimes get called off or family emergencies force a couple to postpone their wedding. Find out up front what their policy is on cancellations and refunds and be sure that it is spelled out, word for word in the contract.

When you are just beginning your search for a wedding band, it may seem completely overwhelming  Take your time, do your research and always remember that it is your day   Finding the right band will make your wedding a day to remember – for you, your new spouse and all the guests lucky enough to celebrate with you!