To Inspire You…

For Your Next Wedding Or Event

Black, White, & Pops Of Pink!! March 24, 2009

Filed under: Daily Inspirations,Resource Alley — genesiswse @ 7:56 pm

A few of my favorite things….  I absolutely love the classic black and white with pops of pink everywhere!  The favors below are covered with a beautiful classic damask design and are by one of my favorite vendors, Kate Aspen!  You can check them out at our new online store called Inspiration.

Plus, want your invitations to have that wow factor?  Customize your own stamps at to fit your theme, or even a photo of you and your fiance!



Wedding Invitation Etiquette: How to Address, Assemble, and Mail Wedding Invitations March 17, 2009

Filed under: Resource Alley — genesiswse @ 8:40 pm

Now that you have your beautiful wedding invitations – what is the proper way to address them? Here are traditional formal guidelines to help you put your address list together properly. Although theses are the traditional guidelines in addressing wedding invitations, they are just that – guidelines, so feel free to deviate from these if you prefer to make your invitations more personal or more casual.

Outer Envelope

Inner Envelope

Single Guests

Unmarried female Miss (or Ms.) Mary Smith Miss (or Ms.) Smith (and Guest)
Divorced female, uses married name Mrs. Mary Smith Mrs. Smith (and Guest)
Divorced female, uses maiden name Miss (or Ms.) Mary Smith Miss (or Ms.) Smith (and Guest)
Unmarried male Mr. John Smith Mr. Smith (and Guest)


Married Couple Mr. and Mrs. John Smith Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Married Couple – woman kept maiden name Mrs. Mary Smith
Mr. John Jones
Mrs. Smith
Mr. Jones
Unmarried couples who do not live together – send to the closest friend Miss (or Ms.) Mary Smith Miss (or Ms.) Smith
Mr. Jones
Unmarried couples who live together – alphabetical by last name Miss (or Ms.) Mary Smith
Mr. John Jones
Miss (or Ms.) Smith
Mr. Jones
Same gender couples – alphabetical by last name Mr. John Jones
Mr. David Smith
Mr. Jones
Mr. Smith


Child under age 18 Nothing on outer envelope David, Alexis, and Sarah (first names only, oldest to youngest)
Children over 18 – should receive their own invitation, even if still at home Miss Mary Smith or
Mr. John Smith
Miss Smith (and Guest) or
Mr. Smith (and Guest)


Judge The Honorable and Mrs. John Smith Judge and Mrs. Smith
Clergy The Reverend John Smith The Reverend Smith
Doctor (medical) Doctor John Smith Doctor Smith (and Guest)
Doctor (PhD) Dr. John Smith Dr. Smith (and Guest)
Married Woman Doctor Doctor Mary Smith
Mr. John Smith
Doctor Smith
Mr. Smith
Married Couple, Both Doctors Doctors John and Mary Smith The Doctors Smith
Officer – Man (active or retired) Colonel and Mrs. John Smith Colonel and Mrs. Smith
Officer – Woman Lieutenant Mary Smith, U.S. Navy
Mr. John Smith
Lieutenant Smith
Mr. Smith

General Information / Addresses & Zip Codes

There is nothing more frustrating than having a beautifully addressed invitation be returned to sender with postage markings all over it because of an incorrect address. These are guidelines to help you put your address list together properly. Although these are the traditional formal guidelines in addressing wedding invitations, they are just that ~ guidelines. Feel free to add your own style.

Nicknames or abbreviations should be avoided when possible except for Mr., Mrs., Jr., etc. You may use an initial if you do not know the full name, or if the person never uses his given name. Cities, states and numbered streets are written out in full (with the exception of D.C.). In regards to addresses, the only optional abbreviations are for Saint (St.) or Mount (Mt.), which can be written either way.

Making sure you have the correct address is paramount. There is nothing more frustrating than having a beautifully addressed invitation returned to sender with postage markings all over it because of an incorrect address or insufficient postage. To check zip codes go on the Internet to .

Assembling your invitations

The best way to assemble your invitation is to set everything up on a cleared table, in an assembly line fashion – placing them in the order in which they go. No more than two people should be assembling the invitations at the same time (one on each side of the table), because it creates too much confusion. It also makes it easier if you place stamps on all of your response envelopes before you start assembling.
If your invitations are single fold and the wording is on the outside only, insertions are placed on top. If your invitations are multi-fold and/or the wording is inside the fold then insertions are placed inside the first fold.

The insertions go in the following order (from bottom to top):

  • tissue paper
  • reception card
  • map
  • response envelope
  • response card (tucked under the flap of the response envelope)

This is all placed inside the inner envelope, printed side facing the flap. The inner envelope is then placed inside the outer envelope, flap side facing the front of the outer envelope.

Make sure before you begin that every stack has the exact same count. For instance, if you are starting with a stack of 100 invitations, make sure you have a stack of 100 of everything else (tissue paper, reception card, maps, respond envelopes, and respond cards). Start assembling your invitations one at a time, but do not seal the outer envelope. When you are finished, make sure your counts are still even. If you have 4 invitations left, make sure you have 4 of everything else left. This is why you don’t seal the envelopes – if your counts aren’t the same, then you can check the invitations to see which one is either missing an insertion, or has an extra insertion, and still correct it. Once everything is correct, then you can seal your envelopes!

Here’s another great tip – number your guest list, and then number the response cards somewhere inconspicuously (on the back or inside if they are folded) in pencil with numbers that correspond to your guest list. If you receive a response in the mail that is blank (believe it or not, people forget to write their name in all the time), you will know exactly who it is from by cross referencing the number to your guest list!

When should I send out my Invitations?
Invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before your wedding date. If you have a large number of out of town guests, we suggest eight weeks to give your guests the courtesy of making reservations and securing travel arrangements more economically.

Mailing Your Invitations
When you first receive your invitations, assemble one complete invitation (including the tissue paper, any maps or additional insertions, and the stamp on the return response envelope) and take it to your local Post Office for weight and measurement. Sometimes it’s the size and not the weight which may require more postage than one first class stamp, so we encourage you to take it to the window and have a postal worker weigh and measure it for you. This step can save a lot of aggravation later. Ask to see their selection of wedding stamps and see if they are available as self-stick stamps.
When it is time to mail your invitations, if you hand deliver them to your local post office window, you can request that they be hand canceled with a rubber stamp, instead of by a machine. It makes the front of the envelope look a lot more attractive without the large ugly black postal markings all over it. At our local post office they use a nice maroon colored ink for hand canceling.

That’s it! Enjoy putting your list together and thinking of the close friends and family that will be a part of your special day. Congratulations & Best Wishes!

By Victoria Colcombe


30 Expert Tips & Trip From The Knot February 19, 2009

Filed under: Resource Alley — genesiswse @ 2:20 am

When planning your wedding, there are things that are nice to know, like that trumpet skirts are all the rage or nosegays are making a comeback. Then, there are things you need to know — advice so essential that any bride who’s lucky enough to hear it thinks, “I’m so glad someone told me that!” If you’re wondering whether there’s something you may have missed (or even if you’ve got everything under control), check out our indispensable planning secrets.

1. Guests Come First
Get a grip on the approximate number of guests you’ll invite before settling on a venue. This will ensure there’s ample space for your crew. As a rule of thumb, allow for 25-30 square feet per guest. That may seem like a lot, but it’s not if you count the space you’ll need for the tables, bustling waiters, the band, and the dance floor.

> Start your guest list here.

2. Investigate Blackout Dates
Know ahead of time if your wedding date falls on the same day as a trade conference, charity walk, or other local event that could affect traffic and hotel room availability. Click here for wedding dates to avoid.

3. Listen to Mother Nature
Heed the weather and other potential annoyances. Guests have been known to skip out early from hotter-than-hot, summer tent weddings and improperly heated winter loft receptions. Bugs (gnats, deerflies, chiggers, and no-see-ums) also swarm in certain areas during certain seasons. Consider renting pest control tanks to alleviate the problem or including bug repellent in guests’ gift bags. And if you want a sunset ceremony, make sure you know when to say your vows by checking

4. Check Your Credit
Take advantage of the high cost of weddings and sign up for a credit card with a rewards program. Whether it gives you airline miles or great shopping deals, consolidating all wedding-related purchases to this card will help you accumulate thousands of rewards points (which could be used for your honeymoon).

5. Pay It Forward
Let one vendor lead you to another. Your photographer can tell you which florist’s blooms really pop, and your reception manager should know which band packs the dance floor.

6. Lighten Your List
The easiest way to trim your budget? Cut your guest list. Remember, half of your wedding expenses go to wining and dining your guests. If it’s costing you $100 per person, eliminating one table of 10 can save you $1,000.

7. Ask and You Might Receive
Request an extra hour for cocktails or for your band to throw in that Frank Sinatra sound-alike before you sign on the dotted line. Most vendors would rather secure the reservation than nickel-and-dime you early on and turn you off. Later on, though, they may have less of a motive to meet you halfway.

8. Make a Meal Plan
Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your wedding day crew. Before you sign the contracts, make sure you’re not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive. Otherwise, you could be paying for 20 additional lobster tails. Choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them instead. You will have to let your caterer know a couple of days before the wedding exactly how many vendors you need to feed (don’t forget photography assistants and band roadies) and what you want them to serve.

9. Get Organizationally Focused
In a three-ring binder, compile all your correspondences with vendors; notes you make during meetings; and photos or tear sheets from magazines you want vendors to see. Set up a special email address dedicated to your wedding, and store important vendor numbers in your cell phone.

10. Tend to Your Bar
Typically, you need one bartender per 50 guests to keep the line at a minimum. But if you’re serving a signature cocktail that cannot be made ahead of time (or in large quantities), consider adding an extra server designated to this task.

11. Leave Some Room in Your Wallet
Your wedding budget should follow this formula: 48-50 percent of total budget to reception; 8-10 percent for flowers; 8-10 percent for attire; 8-10 percent for entertainment/music; 10-12 percent for photo/video; 2-3 percent for invites; 2-3 percent for gifts; and 8 percent for miscellaneous items like a wedding coordinator. It’s essential to allocate an extra 5-10 percent of your money for surprise expenses like printing extra invites because of mistakes, additional tailoring needs, umbrellas for a rainy day, and ribbons for the wedding programs. Go to for an interactive budget allows you to add your own items.

12. Don’t Be Afraid to Beg
With vendors, almost everything is negotiable. And it doesn’t even sound insulting. Just say, “I would love to have you, but my budget doesn’t allow for this. Is there any way we can make this work?”

13. Wait for a Date
Sometimes, last-minute planning can work in your favor. The closer your date, the more bargaining power you have. Since most people book their wedding sites at least six months in advance, calling for open dates two months prior to your desired time can save you up to 25 percent. And, Friday and Sunday weddings should cost about 30 percent less than Saturday weddings.

14. Manage the Mail
Of course you want the perfect stamps for your wedding invitations. But not all stamps are widely available at every post office, especially in large quantities. Save yourself scouting time by ordering them online at And be sure to weigh your invitation and all the additional paper products before you send it out so you can attach the right amount of postage. Ask your stationer about the need for additional postage for odd-shaped envelopes.

15. Prepare for Rejection
Know that as a rule, about 30 percent of the people you invite won’t attend. Naturally, this depends on the location of your wedding (destination weddings are harder to attend), how many out-of-towners are on your list, and the timing of the event (some guests may have annual holiday or summer plans). On the other hand, everyone could accept — knowing your wedding will be the can’t-miss party of the year!

16. Make a Uniform Kids Policy
You have four choices: you can welcome children with open arms; you can decide to have an “adults only” wedding; you can include immediate family only; or, you can hire a child care service to provide day care either at the reception space, in a hotel room, or in a family member’s home. To prevent hurt feelings, it’s wise to avoid allowing some families to bring children while excluding others (unless, of course, the children are in your bridal party).

17. Prioritize Your People
Pare down your guest list with the “tiers of priority” trick. Place immediate family, the bridal party, and best friends on top of the list; follow with aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends you couldn’t imagine not being there. Under that, list your parents’ friends, neighbors, coworkers, and so on. If you need to make some cuts, start from the bottom until you reach your ideal number.

18. Take it One Step at a Time
Put together a wedding planning schedule and do things one by one, in a logical order, so you don’t take on too much too fast and end up with everything snowballing around you. Don’t hire any vendors before you’ve confirmed your date; don’t design your cake before you’ve envisioned your flowers; and don’t book a band before you’ve settled on a space.

19. No Ring, No Bring
If your guest list is bursting at the seams, assess the plus-one scenario. Do a faux seating chart in your mind, and imagine whom your single pal would sit with. If it’s a table of singles that she knows pretty well, then you’re all set. If it’s a table of couples (making the single one odd man out) or if it’s a table of singles where she won’t know anyone, consider bending the rules. If asked why you’re not allowing single friends to bring guests, size constraints or your parents’ never-ending guest list are always good fallback white lies.

20. Release Rooms
As soon as you have picked a date, start to look for hotels in a wide variety of price points. Many hotels allow you to reserve rooms for guests under a special wedding block and a reduced rate. You can then release any unbooked rooms a month prior to your wedding. If the hotels you contact insist upon contracts with cancellation penalties, just say no — you don’t want to be responsible for rooms you can’t fill.

21. Provide Accurate Driving Directions
Make sure guests know where they’re going. As easy as online map programs are to use, sometimes the directions are wrong — or there’s a quicker, less traffic-prone route to take. Ask your ceremony and reception sites for printouts of recommended driving directions, which they often keep in stock for weddings and will give to you for free, and test out the routes yourself.

22. Keep a Paper Trail
Get any nonstandard changes to your agreements in writing or send the vendor a confirmation email saying, “Hello, just confirming that you’ll keep the venue open until 2 a.m. versus midnight.” Don’t take anyone on his word — by the time the big day rolls around, your contact may no longer be working there to vouch for you.

23. Schedule the Setup
You must make sure there’s ample time for setup. If you’re renting a venue and bringing in outside help, ask, “What time can people come in to set things up?” Preston Bailey, author of Preston Bailey’s Fantasy Weddings, recommends seeing if they can do it the day before, or at the very least the entire wedding day, before the event starts.

24. Learn About Marriage Licenses
You can check your state’s license requirements online, but confirm with a call to the county clerk’s office to see when they’re open. Even if it’s open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., they may issue marriage licenses only during slower times like, say, Thursdays from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Give a copy of your marriage license to your mom or your maid of honor (just in case you lose yours during the final days before your wedding).

25. Go Over Ground Rules
Be prepared! Ask the manager of the house of worship or site where you will be married for the list of restrictions (if any). For instance, are flash photography or bare shoulders prohibited? Or, if you’re exchanging vows outdoors, are you allowed to plant tent stakes in the lawn (which is often a no-no)?

26. Classify Your Cash
Wedding budgets are all about balance. Start your budget planning by making a list of the crucial details, like the music, your wedding gown, the invitations, the flowers, and the photographer, and assign a number to each — one being the most important and three being the least. Invest your money in all your number ones and cut corners on your number threes. (But everything can’t fall into the number one category!) For example, if a designer gown and fabulous food are what really matter, you may have to choose simple invitations and smaller floral arrangements.

27. Help Guests Pay Attention
Make sure your guests can see — and hear. If people are seated farther than 15 rows back from your ceremony altar or podium, consider renting a mic and a riser. This could range anywhere from $50-$100, depending on the equipment used. You’ll need to coordinate the delivery and setup with your ceremony space, so put your wedding planner or best man in charge of this task.

28. Write Down Your Digits
Carry an emergency contact sheet on your wedding day. Keep the paper with names and phone numbers of all your vendors in your purse — it may come in handy in case your limo driver gets lost or you decide you’d like your photographer to take some behind-the-scenes shots.

29. Call the Fashion Police
Don’t go dress shopping on your own — all the gowns will start to look the same after a while and it will be harder to recall which style you really loved. But be careful about who you do bring. If your mom or sibling can’t make the trip, ask a friend who is truly honest. This is the time when you really need to know which dress looks best.

30. Be Realistic With Your Time
When it comes down to the last month of your planning (and when you’re particularly harried) look at your mile long to-do list and cut three things. Yes, cut three things. Not crucial things that you just don’t feel like doing, such as picking a processional song or confirming final details with all of your vendors. Eliminate only the over-the-top tasks like hand-painting “Just Married” signs, or baking cookies for all of the welcome bags. Make a pledge to not think about them ever again.


Wedding Songs For Everyone

Filed under: Resource Alley — genesiswse @ 1:56 am

The following is a list of the most popular wedding songs played at ceremonies and receptions. We broke down each section of a traditional wedding, in order, from the ceremony to the reception.

Ceremony music:

Prelude music: Played prior to the ceremony, while guests are arriving.

* Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)
* Isn’t It Romantic (Glenn Miller)
* Water Music (Handel)
* Ave Maria (Schubert / Gounod)
* The Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
* Greensleeves (Traditional)
* Rhapsody In Blue (Gershwin)
* God Only Knows (The Beach Boys)
* As Time Goes By (A Kiss Is Just A Kiss) (Tony Bennett)
* Arioso (Bach)
* Ode To Joy (Beethoven)
* Brandenburg Concerto #2 (Bach)
* Gloria (Vivaldi)
* Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers)

Processional & Bridal music: Played during the time the family, wedding party, and the bride walk down the aisle.

* Bridal Chorus (Here Comes The Bride) from “Lohengrin” (Wagner)
* Trumpet Voluntary in D (The Prince of Denmark’s March) (Clarke or Purcell)
* Canon in D (Pachelbel)
* The Four Seasons (Handel)
* Water Music (Handel)
* What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
* Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)
* I Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley)
* When A Man Loves A Woman (Percy Sledge)
* In My Life (The Beatles)
* March From Lohengrin (Wagner)

Interlude music (optional): The songs played during the ceremony.

* Ave Maria (Schubert)
* Amazing Grace (Traditional)
* La Traviata (Verdi)
* Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
* And I Love Her (The Beatles)
* Primavera: First Movement, Allegro (Vivaldi)
* Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley)
* Für Elise (Beethoven)
* We’ve Only Just Begun (The Carpenters)
* Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison)

Recessional music: Music played as the new husband and wife walk up the aisle together.

* Wedding March (from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) (Mendelssohn)
* Ode To Joy (from The Ninth Symphony) (Beethoven)
* Hallelujah Chorus (from “The Messiah”) (Handel)
* Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
* Magnificat In D (Bach)
* The Long And Winding Road (The Beatles)
* I Got You (I Feel Good) (James Brown)
* How Sweet It Is (James Taylor)
* Then He Kissed Me (The Crystals)
* I Got You Babe (Sonny and Cher)

Reception music:

First Dance music: First dance as husband and wife.
* Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)
* Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley)
* Can I Have This Dance? (Ann Murray)
* The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra)
* It Had To Be You (Harry Connick, Jr.)
* What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
* Endless Love (Diana Ross and Lionel Richie)
* I Cross My Heart (George Strait)
* I Swear (John M. Montgomery or All 4 One)
* A Whole New World (Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle)
* As Time Goes By (A Kiss Is Just A Kiss) (Michael Feinstein)
* When You Say Nothing At All (Allison Krauss)
* Faithfully (Journey)
* No Ordinary Love (Sade)
* Here And Now (Luther Vandross)
* I Can Love you Like That (John M. Montgomery)
* Power Of Love (Celine Dion)
* Tonight I Celebrate My Love (Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson)
* Everything I Do {I Do For You} (Bryan Adams)
* When A Man Loves A Woman (Percy Sledge or Michael Bolton)
* All My Life (Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville)
* I’ll Be There (Mariah Carey)
* On Bended Knee (Boyz II Men)
* At Last (Etta James)
* Don’t Know Much (Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville)
* From This Moment On (Shania Twain)
* Our Love Is Here To Stay (Harry Connick, Jr.)
* Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers)

*These are the most requested songs, but there are many others.

Father/Daughter music: The dance between the new bride and her father.

* My Girl (The Temptations)
* Thank Heaven For Little Girls (Gigi)
* Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
* Unforgettable (Nat King Cole / Natalie Cole)
* The Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
* My Dad (Paul Petersen)
* Hero (Mariah Carey)
* Butterfly Kisses (Bob Carlisle)
* Times of Your Life (Paul Anka)
* A Song For My Daughter (Steve Moser, Mikki Viereck, Ray Allaire)
* Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Elton John)
* The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra)
* Have I Told You Lately (Rod Stewart)
* Because You Loved Me (Celine Dion)
* My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)
* Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison)
* What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
* Through The Years (Kenny Rogers)
* Daddy’s Hand (Holly Dunn)
* Daddy’s little Girl (Kippi Brannon)
* Daddy’s Girl (Peter Cetera)
* Sunrise, Sunset (Fiddler On The Roof – Sndtrk)
* Lullabye (Billy Joel)
* A Whole New World (Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle)
* How Do You Fall In Love (Alabama)
* Isn’t She Lovely (Stevie Wonder)
* Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
* Thank Heaven For Little Girls (Gigi)
* Father’s Eyes (Amy Grant)
* Friends (Elton John)
* In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)

Mother/Son music: The dance between the husband and his mother.

* Don’t Know Much (Linda Rondstadt and Aaron Neville)
* Butterfly Kisses (Bob Carlisle)
* I.O.U (Jimmy Dean)
* Moon River (Andy Williams)
* Moon Dance (Van Morrison)
* ‘Til The End Of Time (Perry Como)
* Through The Years (Kenny Rogers)
* Have I Told You Lately (Rod Stewart)
* Because You Loved Me (Celine Dion)
* Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
* Unforgettable (Nat King Cole / Natalie Cole)
* What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstong)
* In This Life (Bette Midler)
* You’re The Inspiration (Chicago)
* Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
* Friends (Elton John)
* Wishing Tree (Sonia Dada)
* Blessed (Elton John)
* Hero (Mariah Carey)
* In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)
* A Song For My Son (Steve Moser, Mikki Viereck, Ray Allaire)
* Sunrise, Sunset (Fiddler On The Roof – Sndtrk)
* In My Life (The Beatles)
* Ever I Saw Your face (Roberta Flasck)
* Greatest Love Of All (Whitney Houston)
* I Wish You Love (Natalie Cole)
* Thanks Again (Ricky Skaggs)
* Stand By Me (Ben E. King)

Bridal Party Dances music: The dance including the Bride & Groom, Bridesmaids & Groomsmen, and family members.

* That’s What Friends Are For (Dionne & Friends: Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder)
* Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Elton John)
* Friends In Low Places (Garth Brooks)
* We Are Family (Sister Sledge)
* Friends (Elton John)
* Heroes and Friends (Randy Travis)
* In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)
* Celebration (Kool & The Gang)

Cutting The Cake music: Played while the Bride & Groom cut the cake.

* Cut the Cake (Average White Band)
* I Wanna Grow Old With You (Adam Sandler)
* How Sweet It Is (James Taylor)
* Sugar, Sugar (The Archies)
* Hit me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar)
* When I’m 64 (The Beatles)
* Recipe For Love (Harry Connick Jr.)
* That’s Amore’ (Dean Martin)
* Happy Together (The Turtles)
* Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leppard)
* I Got You Babe (Sunny & Cher)
* Love & Marriage (Frank Sinatra)
* Oh Yeah! (Yello)
* Axel F (Harold Faltermeyer)
* Peter Gunn Theme

Money/Dollar (Honeymoon) Dance music (Optional) Played during the time the Bride & Groom dance with guests while the Best man and Maid of Honor collect the money for their honeymoon.

* See music list above: “Bridal Party Music”
* Ask your DJ for suggestions

Garter And Bouquet Toss music: Played during the bouquet toss and garter toss.

* The Stripper (David Rose)
* Legs (ZZ Top)
* You Sexy Thing (Hot Chocolate)
* Oh Yeah! (Yello)
* Macho Man (Village People)
* Theme From Mission Impossible (Danny Elfman)
* Wild Thing (The Troggs or Tone Loc)
* Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye)
* Bad Boys (Inner Circle)
* Another One Bites The Dust (Queen)
* Curly Shuffle (Jump n’ The Saddle)
* Kiss (Prince)
* Do Ya Think I’m Sexy (Rod Stewart)
* Gimme All Your Lovin’ (ZZ Top)
* Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)
* Freak Me (Silk)
* Hungry Eyes (Eric Carmen)
* Heaven (Bryan Adams)
* U Can’t Touch This (MC Hammer)
* Shameless (Garth Brooks)
* *Girls Night Out (The Judds)
* *Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper)
* *Whipped Cream {Dating Game Theme} (Herb Alpert)
* *Miss America Theme (Various)

*Songs for Bouquet Toss Only.

Last Dance music: The last song of the night for the Bride & Groom and their remaining guests.

* Last Dance (Donna Summer)
* New York, New York (Frank Sinatra)
* Good Riddance {Time Of Your Life} (Green Day)
* From This Moment On (Shania Twain & Bryan White)
* Save The Best For Last (Vanessa Williams)
* Wonderful Tonight (David Kersh)
* Could I Have This Dance (Anne Murray)
* You’re Still The One (Shania Twain)
* Closing Time (Semisonic)
* Unforgettable (Nat King Cole / Natalie Cole)
* I’ve Had The Time Of My Life (Bill Medly & Jennifer Warnes)
* How Your Love Makes Me Feel (Diamond Rio)
* Goodnight, Sweetheart (David Kersh)
* The Party’s Over (Nat King Cole)
* Goodnight Sweetheart (Spaniels)
* What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
* The Dance (Garth Brooks)
* Truly, Madly, Deeply (Savage Garden)
* Always And Forever (Heatwave)


Ultimate Flower Guide

Filed under: Resource Alley — genesiswse @ 1:37 am

Flowers can be one of the most beautiful elements of your day. Used creatively, they can add color, drama and fragrance. In an excerpt from the book, The Modern Bride Survival Guide by John Wiley & Sons, we show you how to pull your floral look together, from hiring the right florist to picking the perfect blooms.

~~~Talent Search~~~

Here’s how to find the right florist for your big day.

Scout around. Besides checking out the centerpieces at friends weddings, check out the arrangements at your favorite restaurant, watch for great flowers being delivered to your coworkers and ask for suggestions from anyone who sends flowers as part of their job (assistants, event planners, etc.)

Sense the style. Is the florist’s work similar to what you’re envisioning? One who does mostly free-form centerpieces may no be the right choice to create a manicured topiary.

Talk about your budget. You should let your florist know up front how much you can afford. Even if you can’t get the lavish orchid bouquets you wanted on your budget, your florist should have plenty of ideas for creating a similar look more affordable.

Share the details. Bring swatches and photos of everything you’ve decided on so far – the sites, the dresses, the cake, the menu. These images will help give a picture of the wedding as a whole so bouquets and arrangements can be created to fit your wedding style.

Sign the contract. The contract should include your wedding date, time and location; addresses where various flowers should be delivered (you might want your bouquets ahead of time for photos at your parents’ house, for example): details about the number of each type of arrangement needed; what types of flowers will be used; and the color scheme you’ve chosen. Try to be as specific as possible, so your florist won’t forget that you discussed using pale pink roses instead of hot pink.

Arrange to see a sample. Your florist can create a protype of the centerpiece once you’ve signed the contract, to ensure you’re both on the same page.

~~~Centerpieces 101~~~

Your centerpieces can be the most admired arrangements in your wedding celebration – guests will be staring at them for a few hours or more. But deciding what you want (Tall or short? Natural-looking or highly stylized? Flowers only or something more?) can be challenging. Here’s how to pick the best arrangements for your wedding.

Consider the size of the space. A room with low ceilings calls for shorter centerpieces so the space doesn’t feel cramped, while soaring spaces need tall arrangements to fill in that dead air above the table.

Choose a cool container. Although simple glass bowls are nice, you can consider vessels with personality, like tin watering cans or antique teapots.

Include some unusual ingredients. Incorporate fruit or other non-floral elements like glass “bubbles” or faux jewels.

Go beyond the cookie-cutter arrangements. While identical arrangements throughout the room give your reception a cohesive look, they aren’t always scintillating to look at. Ask your florist about varying the look from table to table, whether you opt to keep everything in the same color family but use different blooms – white roses on one table, Casablanca lilies at the next – or you decide to use variations on the color scheme, displaying pale lavender flowers at one table and bright purple at another.

Think inside the vase. Many florists are doing cool vase treatments – using citrus slices, cranberries or other interesting elements to line the inside and hide flower stems.

Consider recycling. Breakaway centerpieces – groupings of several small containers to creat a cohesive whole – can become favors or be donated to hospitals or nursing homes.

~~~Bouquet Basics~~~

There are a number of different bouquet styles to choose from Here’s a description of each.

Biedermeier: Concentric rings of blooms fan out from the center of this graphic bouquet, which looks a bit like a flowering bull’s-eye when finished.

Nosegay: This classic style – a tightly packed, round bouquet of blooms – has been the most popular for years.

Pomanders and wreaths: Ball-shaped pomanders or ringlike wreaths are a fresh twist on the classic bridal bouquet.

Arm bouquet: Think beauty-pageant winner. This grand bouquet is held flat in the crook of your arm.
Cascade: Flowers drape down from the bouquet , which came into its prime in the “bigger-is-better” ‘80’s. Modern cascades are more compact and don’t hang to the ground.

Hand-tied: This is another popular style among brides. The florist wraps the stems with ribbon instead of inserting them into a foam-filled holder.

~~~Make the Most of Your Floral Budget~~~

If you’re looking to stretch your floral dollars, follow these tips.

Find out what’s in season. You may pay a fortune for lilacs in the fall or tulips in the summer because your florist will be paying to ship them from another hemisphere. Stick with flowers blooming in your locale at the time of your wedding, and you’ll get more abundant and fresher arrangements.

Authorize a market buy. Consider giving you florist a little artistic freedom: Let her pick the best flower-market bargains in your color scheme and other parameters. That way, you’ll get grander arrangements at a great price.

Get back to basics. Exotic orchids are lovely, but simple carnations or other ordinary blooms can be extraordinary if they’re artfully arranged.

Bulk up beyond the blooms. Add greenery or berries (bear grass, rosemary and pepperberries), small fruits (lady apples, kumquats and grapes) or even things like beads, feathers and crystal sticks to your bouquets and centerpieces. You’ll get the unique looking flowers and save money in the process.

Reuse your flowers. Bridesmaids’ bouquets can serve as centerpieces, and larger arrangements from your ceremony can flank the dance floor or adorn buffet tables. (Get permission first if your wedding’s happening at a house of worship: They may ask you to donate your flowers to the congregation.)

Choose hardier blooms, such as sunflowers and calla lilies. Your florist won’t need to order extras the way he would for delicate flowers like sweet pea and gardenias, which can easily be damaged in transit or when being handled. Even stronger blooms like tulips and roses can show bruising if they’re white, so consider using colorful flowers instead.

Be bold. Opt for big dramatic flowers, such as peonies, hydrangeas and sunflowers, and your florist may need to buy only a few for each of your bridesmaids to carry down the aisle.

~~~Unique Ways To Use Flowers~~~

Accessory: Yes, flowers can dress up a lapel or a chignon, but consider working with your florist to create a unique addition to your wedding ensemble – a dramatic flower boa or a beautiful lei. Use silk blooms or flowers with limited pollen to avoid damaging your dress.

Menu Enhance: Edible flowers can add a sweet touch to various dishes: Ask your caterer to dress up your salad with pansies, consider a lavender- or rose-infused sorbet for a mid-meal palate cleanser, or adorn your wedding cake with sugared violets. Just make sure that the flowers you use were organically grown to avoid pesticide-laden blooms.

Drink Decoration: Flowers can be frozen into ice cubes or threaded onto straws or stirrers to add flair to your favorite cocktails. To dress up the bar, have your favorite blooms frozen into ice bowls or sculptures.

Favor: Have your florist set up a “flower stand” toward the end of your reception, offering several colors and styles of stems, plus paper and twine. Guests can choose their favorite and wrap them up to go.

Sendoff! Have guests toss rose petals or tiny blossoms like stephanotis to make a gorgeous (and fragrant) shower of blooms as you exit.

~~~Modern Bride Wisdom~~~

When choosing the flowers for your bouquets and centerpieces, don’t forget to consider what they smell like. You’ll be spending a lot of time near these blooms (posing for photographs with your bouquet and sitting near a centerpiece at your table), and you should love the fragrance the flowers give off.

~~~Aisle Ideas~~~

Topiaries: These tall, scuplted plants can give your aisle a more dramatic look. To really set off the aisle you can drape ribbon from one topiary to the next, or wrap each topiary in tulle to give it a softer feel.

Rose Petals or Leaves: Skip the aisle runner and create more natural (and dramatic) path by having your florist lay down a thick blanket of rose petals, autumn leaves or other colorful foliage.

Flower-Filled Cones or Baskets: Give this classic look a twist by encouraging your guests to toss the flowers as you walk back up the aisle.

Wreaths or Garlands: Berries, foliage, flowers or decorative elements like seashells and beads can be wired into gorgeous ropes or sweet circles to adorn each row.

Candles: Give your ceremony site an ethereal glow by setting candles along the way, either hanging in lanterns from poles or in hurricane globes along the ground. (Just be very sure that you’ll have plenty of room to walk among the candles.)

~~~Florist Vs. Floral Designer: What’s the Difference?~~~

The term “floral designer” may sound like a more pretentious way of saying florist. But there are differences between the two designations. A florist generally operates from a storefront, where he sells everyday arrangements in addition to special-occasion blooms; a floral designer probably works out of a studio and focuses solely on events. A florist can make and deliver centerpieces and bouquets, while a floral designer may become involved with lighting and helping you choose rental linens, furniture and other decorative pieces to create your reception’s overall mood, in addition to crafting unique centerpieces and bouquets for the big day.

~~~Dress Up Your Site~~~

The entrance: A beautiful floral wreath or a lavish garland can adorn the doorway to your ceremony space, or flank the entryway with big, bloom-filled urns or a pair of stately topiaries.

The altar: These arrangements need to be on a grand scale so guests seated far from the action can still get a sense of the blooms. If you’re marrying in a hotel ballroom or outdoors, you can craft a canopy or a simple arch adorned with blooms. If you’re marrying in a house of worship, be sure to ask where you are allowed to place floral arrangements. Some churches and synagogues have rules prohibiting flowers on the altar, for example

The aisle: You can make the most momentous walk of your life even more special by embellishing the aisle. Start with something simple – pretty little cones filled with roses and tied to the ends of the rows – or go elaborate, with a lush rose petal-covered aisle and towering floral arrangements flanking the rows. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you decide how to do it up.

o Consider the venue’s overall look. Sleek, modern topiaries may look out of place along a historic church’s aisle.

o Measure the aisle. You’ll need to leave enough room for at least two people to walk down side by side, so a narrower aisle calls for small, simple arrangements that don’t take up space.

o Determine how many rows to decorate. For a smaller site, you might opt to decorate the ends of every row; in larger spaces, you can skip one or two rows between arrangements, or just adorn the aisles near the altar.

o Keep it simple. If your budget is limited, stick with simple ribbons or small arrangements and save money for the altar and centerpieces.

* Article from original blog.


50 Tips For Your Reception

Filed under: Resource Alley — genesiswse @ 1:27 am

he exchange of vows may be at the heart of your nuptials, but if you’re like many brides-to-be, you’ve already started to focus much of your energy on the celebration afterward. It’s no wonder. Not only does the post-ceremony party take up the most amount of time on the wedding day (typically five hours), it also tends to eat up the biggest portion of your overall budget — about 40 percent to 50 percent. To make matters more stressful, a reception requires you to consider a seemingly endless array of details and logistics. There’s the menu to draw up, the space to dress up, and a slew of other choices to make, from favors and flavors of icing to when to send your save-the-dates. A few ideas on how to save some money here and there wouldn’t hurt either. Take a deep breath. The job may be big, but it doesn’t have to be tough. The key is to think like a professional. Here are dozens of tricks designed to make your planning easier and ensure that you pull off an affair to remember. So without further ado, let’s get this party started.

Reception Decor



1. Take Stock of Your Location
Do a walk-through of your venue as soon as you’re able, noting features to highlight — a grand staircase or a grove of trees, perhaps — and areas that need to be spruced up or downplayed. Above, photographed at Oheka Castle Hotel and Estate in Huntington, New York. Floral arrangements by Livia Cetti for the Green Vase; tent from Sperry Tents. Tables, chairs, table linens, and place settings from Water Mill Party.

2. Get Glowing
Lighting can make or break an event, but to create the right ambiance, you don’t necessarily need to hire professionals to cast patterns on the dance floor. You can set the mood simply by flanking an outdoor walkway with dozens of luminaries or setting dining tables with elegant candelabra or clusters of small candles; you might also replace harsh white bulbs in fixtures with more flattering amber ones.

3. Dress Up Your Entryway
Beautiful front-door decorations, which can be as low-key as swags of greenery, serve as a visual welcome whether adorning a building or a tent and ensure that everyone’s first glimpse of the party is from its best vantage point. Below, garland, topiary, and centerpieces by Livia Cetti for the Green Vase. Tent from Sperry Tents. Tables, chairs, table linens, and place settings from Water Mill Party.

4. Work with What You Have
An all-white theme won’t do in a hotel ballroom papered in red and gold, nor does it make sense to try to transform a rustic lodge into the Crystal Palace.

5. Choose a Theme
Whether it’s a monogram, a color pairing, or a food or flower that evokes a favorite place, a repeated element helps to both personalize and unify your event.

6. Don’t Overlook Small Details
A few well-placed touches, such as monogrammed cocktail napkins or an interesting charger, can go a long way toward making your party look extra-special.

7. Think Outside the Box
A silver bowl of sugared fruit makes a stunning and unexpected alternative to a traditional floral centerpiece, and one long banquet table may fit a sleekly modern space better than several round ones do.

8. Size Up Your Centerpieces
Keep floral arrangements and other table decor under 14 or over 20 inches high, so guests can view and converse with each other across the table.

Planning and Logistics
9. Build in Flexibility
Look for ways that allow you to change things easily at the last minute. The seating cards below keep names and table numbers separate, so you can shift guests’ assignments without having to rewrite the cards. Left, calligraphy by Gail Brill.

10. Tackle Big Tasks First
Your immediate “to do” list: Book the venue, hire a caterer, decide on basic decor. With these major tasks done, you’ll be ready to focus on the smaller details.

11. Know Your Time Line
You’ll need to choose your florist at least six months ahead of time and reserve your party rentals two months after that.

12. Send Save-the-Dates
Especially if you are planning a destination wedding or marrying on a holiday, ask guests to mark their calendars. Ideally, mail out these announcements at least four months before the wedding.

13. Invite Carefully
Be prepared: Up to 80 to 90 percent of those invited may attend. (The smaller the list, the more yeses you should expect percentage-wise, because you will likely be asking only those closest to you.)

14. Get It in Writing
Make sure you have signed contracts from all your vendors and that you’ve read the fine print and resolved any questions.

15. Map Out Your Space
Be sure you have ample room for tables (figure 10 to 15 square feet per person, assuming that the tables are round and seat six to 10 guests); also check that the dance floor is big enough (four to five square feet per guest is about right).

16. Arrange for a Backup
Planning an outdoor reception? You can’t count on sunshine, so either reserve a tent or opt for a location with an indoor alternative in the event of inclement weather.

17. Enlist Help
Even if you’ve decided against an overall wedding planner, you’ll want a cool-headed pro on hand to ask guests to be seated for dinner, help organize toasts, and handle any problems. Ask if your venue can provide this service; if not, some independent planners will work for a single day.

18. Don’t Let the Seams Show
If possible, designate a separate cocktail area and close the reception space to early arrivals. To create a sense of drama, neither you nor your guests should see the behind-the-scenes machinations and last-minute setup gaffes. Keeping the doors closed will also let your photographer take unhurried shots of the reception decor before the crowd arrives.

19. Whip Up Affordable Favors
Stylish tokens needn’t be expensive. These biodegradable bowls (left and below) look sumptuous when wrapped with gauzy fabric and labeled with paper strips that are laser printed in a pretty font. Fill with mini meringues, an economical treat; either make them yourself or ask your caterer to provide them.

20. Go for Daytime Drama
Many venues charge more for after-dark affairs. With an outdoor reception, if you opt for a luncheon event, you’ll also cut back on or eliminate costs associated with lighting, such as setup and generators.

21. Narrow Your Tables
By seating diners family-style at long tables no wider than 36 inches, you’ll shrink the amount of empty space to decorate, cutting down on centerpiece costs. Guests will still have plenty of room and will find conversation easier as well.

22. Reuse Your Blooms
There’s no reason why ceremony flowers can’t come to the reception. Ask for altar arrangements that will also complement the party site. Alternatively, your florist may be able to refashion them into small gift bouquets for your bridal party.

23. Play with Time
You’ll save on liquor, food, and possibly vendors’ fees if you shave 30 minutes or an hour off the party. So it doesn’t feel rushed, cut a little from everything (make the cocktail hour a “cocktail 45 minutes”) instead of eliminating events.

24. Consider a Full-Service Deal
A site with a fee that includes necessities such as linens and furniture may at first appear more expensive than an a la carte venue, but once you factor in rental fees, you may ultimately keep costs down.

25. Stay in One Place
Have your wedding and reception in the same location. You’ll spend less on decor as well as on transportation costs for you and your wedding attendants.

26. Rethink Humble Decorations
Balloons have long been used to fill party spaces at low cost. For a sophisticated feel, opt for a few large balloons instead of masses of birthday-party-style ones. Those with a diameter of 36 inches have an elegant globe shape.

27. Put Big Smiles on Little Faces
Young guests will enjoy goody bags that are all theirs. Fill a toteable container like ours with treats that aren’t messy, such as age-appropriate toys, or animal crackers and Smarties. Add paper and washable crayons, and kids might even create one-of-a-kind cards for the bride and groom. Left, photographed on location at Oheka Castle Hotel and Estate in Huntington, New York. Flower-girl dresses by Bella Bliss. Satin slippers by Rachel Riley. Hyacinth hair wreaths by Livia Cetti for the Green Vase.

28. Eschew the Receiving Line
If you will be hosting more than 50 people, the traditional meet-and-greet can take an hour or more. For groups of this size, it’s more gracious of the newlyweds to thank guests by visiting every table.

29. Tame the Toasts
An unplanned ramble can interrupt the flow of a party and make everyone uncomfortable. Encourage spur-of-the-moment speeches at the rehearsal dinner so the reception includes only words from the host, the newlyweds, and the best man and maid of honor. If you’re concerned that your speakers may overindulge, schedule toasts to take place early in the festivities.

30. Break the Ice
At a less formal reception, a short written quiz about you and your new husband, with questions about where you met and how he proposed, can get conversation started between guests who’ve never met.

31. Set a Time Limit
Your guests have already spent hours, if not days, at pre-wedding events and at the ceremony itself; they’re likely to be tired. Though you may wish the reception would never end, it should last no more than five hours. Also, make it clear that any after parties you schedule are entirely optional.

32. Add Thoughtful Extras
A few small comfort items are always appreciated. Consider stashing a basket of inexpensive slippers near the dance floor for women who are tired of their high heels. Have hand lotion, tissues, or hair spray in the restrooms. At an outdoor fete, stock sunscreen, bug repellent, paper fans, and perhaps even a few cozy wraps for the women in case of a sudden evening chill.

33. Restrain Yourselves
Less is more when it comes to a wedding reception, so consider ditching the 30-minute video montage or the fireworks display for something less elaborate. Even a gesture as simple as distributing sparklers at night’s end can charm guests and keep them from feeling overloaded.

34. Keep Your Helpers Happy
Your hospitality should extend to photographers, videographers, waiters, and musicians, as well as any other vendors working at your reception. Make sure they have water, scheduled breaks, and, most important, a meal. It need not be the same one that you’re serving to guests, but it should be nourishing and delicious.

35. Offer Small Amusements
Unexpected entertainment is wonderful when your guests tire of dancing. A portrait station of do-it-yourself Polaroids, a cigar roller, or a strolling palm reader can offer a touch of surprise and whimsy.

Food and Drink
36. Have Fun with Finger Food
Hors d’oeuvres are best when they are easy to serve and eat. You’re offering a choice, so go ahead and pick something exotic; plan on about six options and six pieces per person. Vegetable spring rolls (left) by Callahan Catering.

37. Show Off a Beautiful Cake
You may be able to afford a premium baker even on a tight budget. Skip labor-intensive iced decorations and ask for a simpler style, then dress it up with ribbon and fresh flowers. Be sure the flowers you use are food safe and pesticide free.

38. Be Seated
If your budget allows, pamper guests with a plated meal instead of a buffet — it’s an especially nice gesture. If you’d prefer a buffet, be sure to have enough serving stations to prevent long lines, and ask your caterer to prepare and serve plates of food for any elderly guests in attendance.

39. Set Up a “Nonalcoholic” Bar
For an event that includes many children or abstaining adults, consider having a separate table with sparkling and flat water, as well as a spirit-free version of your signature drink if you’re serving one.

40. Streamline the Bar
There’s no need at many weddings to stock your bar with a full selection of liquor. A red and a white wine, a sparkling wine, and a signature cocktail (like the “mintinis”) are plenty, and they’re economical to boot. Below, photographed on location at Oheka Castle Hotel and Estate in Huntington, New York. Bar design and drinks by Callahan Catering. Floral garlands by Livia Cetti for the Green Vase.

41. Stick with One Entree
It’s perfectly acceptable (and more budget-friendly) to offer a single entree instead of letting guests choose from among a few. Arrange to have a “silent” vegetarian option on hand in case people ask for it.

42. Limit Your Courses
Unless the meal will be the focus of the evening, as with an intimate party at a five-star restaurant, your menu can consist of an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert (the last could even be the wedding cake).

43. Serve a Mini Meal
If you choose to have an after party, you’ll need to provide refreshments, such as a light buffet of snacks or breakfast treats. Plan on enough for about one-quarter to one-third of your total original invitees.

44. Have It Both Ways
Can’t decide — or can’t agree — on whether to have live entertainment or a DJ? Split the difference and hire musicians for cocktails and a disc jockey for dancing.

45. Build the Best Band
If you’re hiring a cover band, a good one requires at least seven pieces. A male and a female vocalist, plus guitar, bass, keyboard, trumpet or sax, and drums generally make the most versatile combination.

46. Offer Guidelines
If there are specific songs you must hear, make a list beforehand for your band or DJ. Are there tunes you absolutely don’t want? Draw up a do-not-play list as well.

47. Keep Mealtime Tunes Soft
If your entertainers aren’t taking a break during this time, they should be considerate of diners by turning down the mike and avoiding any energetic selections.

48. Ask What They’ll Wear
Most DJs or bands will don tuxedos or suits, but it’s best to clarify attire with them to avoid surprises. For a casual event, such as a beach reception, you may want them in something less formal.

Wrapping It Up
49. Depart in Style
Ask your site manager beforehand whether rice, rose petals, sparklers, and the like are allowed. When it comes time to leave, have someone round up guests and pass out props, then say a heartfelt goodbye. Left, photographed on location at Oheka Castle Hotel and Estate in Huntington, New York. Gown by Redux Charles Chang-Lima for Mark Ingram. Veil by Kleinfeld. Bride’s shoes by Valentino. Groom’s suit by J.Crew.

50. Show Appreciation
Make sure you’ve designated someone, such as the best man, to distribute gratuity envelopes you’ve prepared at party’s end. You’ll need to tip all service providers, including the catering and reception staff (unless gratuity is added to the total bill), cleanup crew, and limousine drivers.

*Article from original blog.


Countdown To The Big Day

Filed under: Resource Alley — genesiswse @ 1:16 am

12 Months…

o Announce you r engagement.
o Choose a wedding theme and style.
o Work out a basic budget, research reception venues.
o Determine number of guests.
o Look through magazines for attire ideas.
o Meet potential wedding consultants; obtain bids.
o Research wedding pros (photographers, videographers, reception bands or DJs, ceremony musicians). Set up appointments, and review portfolios, tapes and recordings.

11 Months…

o Select a wedding consultant and meet to discuss details.
o Determine theme/decorations for your reception.
o Meet with several caterers; arrange for tastings.
o Select and book a caterer.
o Reserve musicians /DJs for reception.
o Determine ceremony musicians and make musical selections.
o Book wedding videographer and photographer; make a list of photos, such as ceremony and reception shots.
o Research and interview florists.
o Select and reserve your ceremony venue and schedule a rehearsal time.
o Choose reception venue; negotiate contract; leave a deposit.
o Secure parking and/or transportation for your guests at the reception location.
o Visit local bridal stores to browse their selection of gowns.
o Choose your wedding party members and ask them to participate in your celebration.
o Meet with your officiant to discuss the ceremony.
o Determine your honeymoon budget.
o Mail save-the-date notices for a destination wedding.

10 Months…

o Select and order your wedding gown.
o If your ceremony or reception will be held in a park or recreational area, obtain necessary permits.
o Discuss attendants’ duties with your maid of honor and bridesmaids.

9 Months…

o Register for gifts.
o Coordinate with vendors to incorporate your theme/style into all aspects of your wedding.
o Decide on the food and liquor to be served at your reception.
o Prepare a playlist of wedding reception musical selections.
o Select and order your headpiece, veil, gloves and shoes.
o Confirm orders or and delivery dates for your wedding attire.
o Research airline, hotel and rental car reservations for guests.

8 Months…

o Go to first gown fitting; invite your maid of honor to attend.
o Choose and order bridesmaid dresses and accessories.
o Research a variety of wedding ring styles.
o Select florist; discuss wedding theme and style.

7 Months…

o Review and finalize your wedding details with consultant.
o Notify bridesmaids about dress fittings.
o Discuss attire with groomsmen and make referrals to local formal wear store.
o Select attire for flower girl and/or ring bearer.
o Determine the design, wording, font and paper stock for your wedding invitations, stationary, table cards and thank-you notes; finalize order.
o Arrange a printer or hire a calligrapher for table cards.
o Determine order of ceremony events and choose appropriate wording for your programs.
o Negotiate rates and book a block of hotel rooms for guests.
o Select and order your wedding rings.
o Purchase bridal accessories; jewelry, lingerie and so on.
o Choose and order something fun for guests to throw after your ceremony (rose petals, confetti or birdseed).

6 Months…

o Review and approve proofs of invitations and stationery.
o Discuss the type of honeymoon you want, start reading up on potential destinations and consult a travel agent for ideas and suggestions.

5 Months…

o Order table cards; place print order for programs.
o Finalize choice of honeymoon destination.
o Taste a variety of wedding cakes a select a baker; place cake order and arrange for delivery.
o Secure reservations for rehearsal dinner and select menu.

4 Months..

o Determine method of addressing invitations and hire a calligrapher; if applicable.
o Print labels, and hand-address – or have a calligrapher address – invitations.
o Write or choose your wedding vows.
o Have groom visit formal wear shops and try on tuxedos.
o Purchase or rent groom’s wedding accessories; including tuxedo, cuff links, shoes, socks, and so on.
o Make honeymoon reservations and place all deposits.

3 Months…

o Review and approve wedding announcement and printed program proofs.
o Book venue or secure reservations for post-wedding brunch.
o Discuss bachelorette party plans with your attendants.
o Plan your bridesmaids’ luncheon or dinner
o Make appointment with stylist and/or hairdresser to discuss your wedding hairstyle.
o Take another look at your registry and update or add items.
o Create hotel information cards and maps to include with your invitations.

2 Months…

o Secure a wedding-day dressing room for your bridesmaids.
o Weigh, purchase postage for and mail invitations.
o Go to final gown fitting; arrange pickup or delivery.
o Have a groom’s formal wear fitted.
o If you plan to have a prenuptial agreement; meet with your attorney to discuss it.
o Purchase gifts for all wedding-party members.
o Arrange transportation for bride and groom from the ceremony site of the reception.
o Purchase ceremony accessories (Unity candle, wineglasses and so on).

6 Weeks…

o Purchase a new camera, if needed.
o Send rehearsal dinner invitations.
o Write thank-you notes as you receive gifts.
o Confirm music selections (“playlist”) with musicians/DJ.
o Select menu for post-wedding brunch.
o Select menu for post-wedding brunch.
o Write newspaper announcement and gather photos.
o Purchase a gift for your spouse-to-be.
o Shop for wedding favors.
o Purchase honeymoon clothing, baggage and accessories.
o Go in for a practice hairstyling and make day-of wedding hair appointment.

4 Weeks…

o Confirm floral order and arrange for delivery times.
o Meet with ushers and assign duties for the ceremony and reception.
o Discuss the details of your ceremony with your officiant.
o Determine the placement or distribution of programs at the ceremony venue.
o Arrange for preparation, storage and break areas for musicians/DJs at the reception venue.
o Determine seating arrangements for guests.
o If you color your hair, make appointment for a touch-up the week before your wedding.
o Go in for a dry run with a professional makeup artist and make a day-of-wedding appointment.
o Schedule an appointment for a manicure and/or pedicure the day before your wedding.
o Finalize details with photographer and videographer, determining arrival times at each nuptial venue.
o Arrange for preparation/storage area for photographer and videographer at each nuptial venue.
o Sign your prenuptial agreement, if applicable.
o Finalize honeymoon plans/itinerary and confirm all travel and hotel reservations.
o Arrange for transportation to and from the airport.
o Make all necessary arrangements for care of pet(s), plants and mail while you’re away on honeymoon.
o Post announcement and photo on your website.
o Arrange for table card setup at reception venue.
o Schedule pickup/return of groom’s formal wear.

3 Weeks…

o Finalize list of reception guests.
o Give the final headcount to the caterer and review details.
o Arrange for delivery and placement of wedding flowers.
o Call anyone who has not responded to his or her invitation.

1 Week…

o Confirm your honeymoon travel arrangements.
o Start packing bags for your honeymoon.
o Get traveler’s checks and/or a small amount of foreign cash.
o Pick up your wedding dress.

Wedding Day…

o Eat a good breakfast.
o Attend hairstyle appointment.
o Give yourself plenty of time to get ready.
o Relax and enjoy yourself.

Post-Wedding – 3 Days…

o Arrange for transport of gifts.
o Have a family or friends mail wedding announcements.
After the Honeymoon…
o Take wedding gown and veil to a dry cleaner who specializes in gown preservation.
o Submit name-change forms for driver’s license, passport, Social Security card, state and federal tax boards, banks, credit cards and so on.

* Sidenote:  Article from original blog.