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For Your Next Wedding Or Event

Cost Cutting Tips for Wedding Flowers March 7, 2009

Filed under: Tips & Tricks — genesiswse @ 6:00 pm

Flowers are treasured for their ability to add romance and elegance to any space; yet, many brides on a budget believe it will be too expensive to create the memorable floral arrangements of their dreams. However, with a little creativity and willingness to try something new, you can easily purchase all of the flowers for your wedding for $200 to $500.

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The most affordable route is to order your flowers wholesale through an online provider. The flowers are extra fresh and are shipped next-day from the grower to your front door. For peace of mind, it can be a good idea to place a small order prior to the wedding to ensure that the flowers are exactly what you want (color, size, etc.) and that they are shipped as expected. Consult our directory to find a flower provider with good recommendations. It is also a good opportunity to practice making bouquets, corsages, and table arrangements. There are many “how to” books available on floral arrangements in addition to the articles available on this site. Be sure to consider fillers, such as spray roses, for table arrangements. Depending on the size of your wedding, you will probably need a small team of friends to help you on the day of the wedding with making the various arrangements and transporting them to their appropriate locations. You will also need to carefully consider the types of flowers you choose and how well they will withstand various weather.

If taking responsibility for your wedding flowers terrifies you, or if you have always dreamt of an extravagant bouquet, look to your local florist to make your bridal party bouquets and corsages or even just the bridal bouquet. You can then rest easy knowing that all of the vital flowers are taken care of, and you only need to worry about miscellaneous arrangements. Keep in mind that certain venues will need less decorating, such as a unique church or outdoor garden, and have the potential to save time and money.

The bottom line when it comes to wedding flowers is that the bride is happy! If flowers are very important to you and finances allow, do not hesitate to use a florist. But if you like the idea of having more control over your flowers, want to save money, and are not afraid to do your floral arrangements yourself, then try using a wholesale grower. You may be pleasantly surprised!

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Give A Great Toast! February 24, 2009

Filed under: Tips & Tricks — genesiswse @ 6:00 pm

Deliver a heartfelt wedding speech with these tips

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Evaluate if and why you want to speak.
Assess how comfortable you feel with public speaking, advises Sharon Naylor, author of Your Special Wedding Toasts. Think about what you want to share: Even if the thought of holding a microphone makes you quiver, you may find the momentous occasion inspiring enough to help you overcome your nerves. “A toast is a great way to convey your emotions,” Naylor says. “But it should not be considered a replacement for greeting your guests at their tables or in a receiving line.”

Be prepared.
Write out your speech before the wedding festivities begin, and get an objective opinion about it. If you try to wing it, your nerves may get in the way, says Naylor. Practice, practice, practice. And, on the wedding day, try to not have more than one or two drinks before toast time so you’re as clear-headed as possible.

Time it right.
NYC-based event planner Marcy Blum recommends making a toast at the cake cut-ting. But, if the anticipation of giving the toast will distract you all night, you may want to do it at the beginning of the wedding meal. Blum has seen brides tweak the bouquet-toss tradition by making a toast instead, and closing by offering the bouquet to a special guest, like the friend who introduced them or a treasured family member, and explaining why.

Keep it short and sweet.
Your toast should be two minutes, maximum. Speak slowly, breathe between sentences and make eye contact with your guests. Don’t panic if you lose your train of thought, Naylor says. Just make a joke like, “Now I know how Oscar winners feel… Whew!” Guests will understand. Blum suggests writing down important phrases on an index card. Or, you can write out the toast word for word, but you may appear stiff reading it that way.

Acknowledge the people who made it happen.
Thank your parents, in-laws and anyone who traveled from far away or made a special effort to be there. Don’t spend the whole time thanking your best friends or bridal party members individually, says Naylor. The rehearsal dinner is a more appropriate time to highlight their contributions.

Get personal.
Not everyone knows you and the groom as a couple, so share an anecdote about your relationship. If you don’t consider yourself a comedian, don’t try to bring the house down. Express what the day has meant to you, but skip superlatives—being gushy and overly intimate can make guests uncomfortable. Stay positive, but don’t worry about getting emotional. “Wedding guests would rather see real feelings than a beauty-pageant speech,” Naylor says.

Be thoughtful and creative.
Consider delivering your toast with your groom. Read from old letters you wrote each other, or prerecord a video message. Blum recounts a wedding of a Chinese bride and an American groom where he learned to speak Chinese and gave the toast in her native tongue, which she translated into English. For a similar effect, give the salutation or final words of the speech in one or your families’ native languages.

* Written By: Zibby Right
* Illustration By: Yuki Hatori
* Originally appeared in Elegant Bride magazine