Time To Practice

I have been asked many questions throughout my years of wedding planning.  The one that I get asked more often than not however, is why there needs to be a rehearsal.  The rehearsal is an essential part of the wedding process.  The day of the wedding can be very stressful, and that is not the time to decideDinner 1 who is walking in where, and with whom.  Most of the questions about the ceremony can be answered during the rehearsal.

The rehearsal gives an opportunity for the minister to go over with the couple for the final time what will be said during the ceremony and it also give the bridal party timing tips.  In order for anything to run smoothly there needs to be a practice.  A football team would go out on the field to play a game without practicing, so why should a bride walk down the aisle without it.

The best part of the rehearsal is the dinner.  This is where the essential family members can get together for the first time, and enjoy each other’s company.  The dinner is just meant to be a fun get together the day before the wedding.  This is the appropriate time to give the bridal party gifts, and also any gifts that may have been purchased for the parents (not a necessity, but something sometimes donDinner 2e).

Many restaurants all over have rooms that can be rented out for parties of this nature.  There are places like Claim Jumper, Flowing Tide Pub, PF Changs, and many many others.  Some have tried potlucks in the past, but they don’t always work out, and this is not really a good time for something like that.  This is a time to relax and have someone else do the work.

Have fun and enjoy this time with your family and friends.  The wedding day can be stressful, and hard to enjoy, but the rehearsal dinner should be a time to relax, have a couple drinks, and not think about the next day.

Let’s talk about the plans that you have for your rehearsal dinner, and see what ideas we can come up with so that you can have a great time, and enjoy yourself.  I can’t wait to hear from you.

Just to say Thank you!

As the wedding approaches there are a few small tasks that need to be taken care of. One of the more important small tasks is getting a gift for all the members of your bridal party. This gift is intended to show them the appreciation that you have for them taking the time to share your special day with you. The bridal party also takes time to plan events such as a bridal shower, and a bachelor/bachelorette party, and you should show your gratitude to them.

The gifts can be anything that might mean something to you. Some ideas are purchasing your bride’s maid’s dresses, and groomsmen’s tux. This however can be a very expensive endeavor. The gift that you give does not need to be expensive it just needs to be meaningful. Many places have gifts such as David’s Bridal. There is also a great website called The Knot that has many great ideas.

Whatever you decide make it something personal. Don’t just give a blanket gift to everyone, although it is easier to keep track of that way, it means more when the gift is personalized and from the heart. You want to show you’re appreciation to them, and it says more when the gift is from the heart.

The bridal party gifts are the one thing that is most often forgotten on the budget. Don’t panic! A lot of times there are things on the budget that don’t cost as much as you anticipate, and this is a great place to get that money from. There are also very cheap ideas that work just as well. I had one bride about a year ago write a poem for each of her bridesmaids. The poem talked about what that person meant to her, and what it meant that they were sharing that day with her. They were very touching, and the girls loved them. Another bride took a picture of all the girls at the bachelorette party and put them in a frame with each girls name on it.

It can be very simple, but sometimes the simplest gift is that one that means the most. I would love to hear what you have done, or have gotten. Contact me and we can discuss different ideas for a great bridal party gift.

Where Do I Sit?

Another hotly debated subject regarding the wedding planning process is whether to have a seating chart or not.  There is really no right or wrong answer to this which makes it more difficult.  Many people feel that a seating chart will keep people who don’t like each other from sitting together.  However, I have found that if someone doesn’t like someone else they generally try to stay away from that person.

If the seating chart is the way that you want to go, please keep in mind that it can be very time consuming, and difficult to accomplish well.  The larger your guest list the harder it is going to be to do a seating chart.  A seating chart however can be really easy if you have very few guests, and you have one long table.

There are many ways to help guests identify where they are to sit if the seating chart is the way that you go.  There is the chalk board, which can look very nice if done well, and there is also the map approach.  However, the easiest thing to do is to have name plates that are set at each place setting with the person’s name on it.  This can be difficult for set up however, and close attention needs to be paid.

An alternative to the seating chart are the family tables.  This is a much easier process, and allows families to sit together.  In this approach you just reserve two to four tables and put a sign on them that says family.  You can also put the last name on the sign if you want specific family to sit at a certain table.  This approach tends to work well, and it is much easier then assigning every guest their own seat.

There are many different opinions on this subject, and I would be glad to hear what you think.  Contact me, and we can discuss your ideas.

Drinks Are On You!

I am not sure why this is but one of the more difficult decisions that needs to be made is whether to have an open bar or not.  This should really be an easy decision, but in the past few years it has been hotly debated by many couples.  While making sure that your guests are having a good time is essential, the cost of having said open bar can be astronomical.

There are a few good points to having an open bar.  However there are many downsides, not only do you have extremely drunk guests, but also you have an enormous cost that you might not have anticipated.

A suggestion that I always recommend to my brides are put a limit on the bar.  When you say that as soon as your guests reach a certain amount of money at the bar that is when they must begin to pay for their own. There is also the solution for buying bottles of wine, and they can have wine for free, but anything else they must pay for on their own.  There is also the host bar where the guest pays for any alcohol.

The reason that this is such a hot issue is because some feel that if you are inviting people to your wedding, they should not have to pay for their own drinks.  However, the bigger issue here is the safety of your guests.  No one on their wedding day should have to worry about who they are going to have to call a cab for at the end of the night.  There will always be one or two people whatever you decide, who enjoy themselves a little too much, but that is more manageable then your entire guest list.

Whatever the choice, it is up to the couple or the person paying for the wedding.  An open bar can run up the tab by a few thousand dollars, and if the couple is on a budget this in not a good idea.  Remember though whatever ever the choice, have fun, be safe, and enjoy your wedding day.

Contact me I am open to discussing any ideas anyone has on this topic.

It’s Time To Party!!

I know what you are thinking, when is it time to relax and have fun?  Well that will come at your reception.  The reception is a time to celebrate the union that the two of you just entered into.  There are so many traditions surrounding the reception.

The first reception tradition is usually the dancing.  This tradition started in ancient Africa.  The tribes would dance around the bride and groom to fend off any evil spirits that are trying to creep in and ruin the union.  It was also popular in Native American tribes and signified good luck, and prosperity.

The cake cutting ritual started in parts of the ancient world.  This is where the local priest, or religious leader would break bread over the brides head, and if crumbs fell onto her head that means that she would have a lot of children.  Good thing we don’t do that now, that is a lot of wasted cake, and you would have some unhappy guests.

The ritual of the toasting started first in Australia, and then moved to England in the 1600’s, and as a result came to the United States with the first colonists.  This was an opportunity for people to wish well the bride and groom.  Australian lore says that if no toast was given at the wedding then the bride and groom would die within months of their wedding.  If that was the case I would have toasting also.

The tossing of the bouquet and the garter are things that started in the United States, and have slowly moved to other countries due to the influence of Hollywood, and marketing American Movies in other countries.  This just started out as a match making proposition that started in the 1920’s and grew into the tradition that we know it today.

Every nation, religious belief and country has their own way of doing the reception.  Whatever you decide make it your own.  Have fun, and make sure that there is not a lot of pressure for you to be doing many things during the reception.  This is a time for you to enjoy your guests and enjoy each other.

The master of ceremonies will be your DJ, and they will be able to walk you through the process on the day of your wedding.  This should be the least stress that you will have.  You will talk to your DJ about what music you want played, and what type of activities you will have at your reception, and you can leave the rest to them.

Do you have stories of things you have seen at receptions?  I would love to hear them, contact me and lets talk.

Say Cheese!!!

Everybody smile for the camera!!  You probably never thought that in your whole life you would ever hate to smile.  Well get ready cause wedding photos take a lot of time, and you will by the end of the session you will be tired of smiling.  However, these will be the moments that are captured in time forever.

This is another aspect of your wedding where you want to do some research.  You really want to make sure that you have someone who you know has a good reputation, and someone who you think has a good eye.  You will want to see samples of their work to make sure that the poses that they use, and the types of photos they take are the ones that you really want.

Get to know your photographer, and go over with them what types of things that you want, and what types of photos you want them to take.  This will be one of the more expensive aspects of your big day.  This is a case where you don’t want to go with the cheapest person that you find.  Often in cases like photographers you get what you pay for.  If you pay a lower price it is likely that you will get poor quality photos.  There are the rare exceptions to the rules, but for the most part this holds true.

Some good places in the Reno Tahoe Area are John Stone Studios, Or Monique.  They both do great photography.  You again need to get to know your photographer, the better they know you, the better the chances of you loving every one of your pictures. 

This is an important step in the process.  This is where you can decide if you want to do a photo guest book, and you can even have the same person do your engagement photos.  This gives you as a couple an opportunity to see the quality of work that is going to be done at your wedding.

Please keep in mind that this is not the time to have a family friend do you a favor.  Unless they are a professional photographer that does weddings say no.  You do not want an amateur photographer photographing your wedding.  There are other opportunities to have friends or family help out with your wedding but this is not one of them.

Do you have any great photographer stories?  I would love to hear from you!

I Do!

Are you traditional?  Are you modern? Are you eclectic? Are you religious? Whatever your personality type, or belief system, there is a wedding ceremony that will fit your needs.  This is an opportunity to really show your guests who the two of you are together.

This will also be the cheapest part of your wedding.  Coming up with the ceremony script is FREE!!!! I am sorry to tell you that this is probably the only time that you will hear that word in the wedding planning process.  This might be the only free part of the wedding, but it is very important, and can be very difficult to come up with.

If you are going to have a more traditional wedding, your script will already be written for you, and the person who is officiating the wedding will just ask you to repeat after them.  In a more modern wedding the same can also hold true, however you may be required to write your own vows. Some religious ceremonies will allow you to write your own vows, but most have a standard script that they tend to stick to. The more original and creative you are the more fun the ceremony can be for you.  Just remember that you must have someone officiate who is registered in the state that you will be married in.  If you do not follow this one rule, you will not be legally married.

The length of the ceremony really depends on what type of ceremony you are going to have.  In a more traditional religious ceremony it (the ceremony) can last any where from 20 minutes to an hour.  Unless you are getting married in the catholic church where mass can last anywhere from and hour and a half to four hours depending on what part of the world the ceremony is held.

Keep in mind that the ceremony is really for the two of you, and your guests are just witnessing your nuptials.  You need to make it what you want it to be.  As part of most ceremonies there is some sort of union tradition.  It can be a unity candle, this is where you take two candles and light one symbolizing the coming together of the bride and groom.  There is also a sand ceremony, this is where the bride and groom choose two different colors of sand, and during the ceremony the sands are combined together, also symbolizing the union of the couple.  Then there is the rose ceremony.  This is where the officiate gives the couple a rose plant.  This plant will grow and flourish with love, sometimes it will look sad, but just like love with understanding and care, everything can prosper.

Now I know that I said that writing the ceremony was free, but remember that you need to pay the person conducting the ceremony, and it is customary to tip at least 10%.  Whatever you choose make it your own and enjoy.

Lets’ discuss some other ideas that you might have.