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Wedding favors your guests will actually take home.

Most of you don't see it or notice, but Myself and those that do the cleanup see it all the time. Wedding favors that sound cheap enough by themselves, like a buck or two or three, that end up costing you a ton of money, or a ton of time to make, get thrown into the trash after the dust settles. Sometimes at least half of them. Seriously. Generally the way to get the most useful bang isn't a glass plaque, or a packet of expensive teas or coffee, a plant. Even a small jar of jelly gets left.

Wedding dates to try to avoid

When caught up in the excitement of planning your wedding, here are some tips doe dates.Personally Significant Days

Check your own calendar for college reunions, family weddings, anniversaries or other events, like big conventions or festivals in your city and any annual occasions that involve your family or close friends. And from late August through early November, your local college football teams playing games CAN, incredibly, affect attendance, as can the Saturday before the Super Bowl.

Holiday Weekends

Guest List

You've picked the venue and a lot of other things. Now it's time to start a guest list. I know there's always give and take with this list, but PLEASE remember these few ideas because they're based on years of experience.

If you're planning your reception, First and foremost it is YOURS. I have witnessed countless receptions where the couple is in their 20s-30s and the room is packed with people in their 50s-and 60s. Now of course there are family and special guests that should be invited, but if you want your reception to be fun, your list should include a LOT of friends your age.

Toasts

It happened to me again this week. And if you attended a wedding this weekend, maybe it happened to you, too. And of not this past weekend, I'm positive that it's happened to you at some time in the last few receptions you've attended. And that is the toasts, or as they're sometimes referred to as speeches. and wow are they turning into speeches. Typically it's the Maid/Matron of Honor and the Best Man. They've gone from being a congratulatory toast celebrating the wedding to a life story of how long they've know each other to events throughout their lives.

Drinking before and during.

Here's one that can easily be overlooked. Drinking and the Bridal party. This is YOUR day. You've asked them as a sign of honor on your part. It should be met with respect on theirs. This is the biggest day of your life. It is your wedding day, and a wedding reception, NOT a reason or excuse to get drunk.
This sure isn't a $20, $30, or $40 thousand dollar kegger. Drinking in the limo should be done within reason, because when you first arrive, the Bridal party has more responsibility than at any other time of the day/night. Even tipsy is unacceptable at that time. Just ask your photographer and/or videographer how difficult working with an intoxicated Bridal party can be. Being as visible as they are throughout the night, getting bombed really can be considered a sign of disrespect. I've spoken to dozens of wedding professionals who agree 100%. Lastly, shots should be an absolute no-no.  Most halls have banned this practice for that exact reason. It serves no positive purpose at a reception, in addition to the liability aspect. You could, in fact, be sued for negligence especially if your reception was held at a hall where you supplied the alcohol. I know that it may sound prudish, but Brides, YOU have to take the lead here and limit alcohol intake before your reception even starts.

What you do will make a difference!

I try to remind Brides of something that they really do want to have happen, but don't know that they can play a major role in it's success. I, and they, certainly do want a packed dance floor. I'm going to go all in to make sure that happens, but the Bride and her Bridal party can make that easier and the night a lot more fun. The reason is simple: your family and friends have come to celebrate with you, and be with you and around you, so where you are can have a huge impact. If you, your new Hubby and your Bridal party are on the floor, guess when more guests will be. Yep. Conversely, if you're hanging back at the other side of the room at the bar for most of the night, or have gone to spend long periods of time outside in the smoking area, guess where your guests will be. yep. And you'll have a much better and more fun night by being on the floor too.

Where to sit.

I've seen this for years, and realize that it's done without  knowing, but maybe it's time to look at  this, and that's your seating chart. When setting it up, try to remember to not put your elderly guests close to the sound system and dance floor. They will be the first to feel uncomfortable and to complain about the sound level. And sadly then, some of the first to leave. You'd think that if they have hearing issues that it wouldn't matter, but hearing loss is actually a curious mix.

Tips for hiring the right photographer for you!

As a bride- to- be we know you already realize how important a role your photographer will play on your wedding day.  This is the person who will make the decisions about which moments that day should be captured.  Obviously, the memories you have in your mind will stay forever, but it is so important and special to make sure your photographer gives a beautiful representation of those memories.

Tip 1:
Make sure you see enough of his or her work beforehand.  Don't just look at the beautiful landscape photos they can take, or the traditional set up of the bridal party.

Your Wedding Timeline

Picture that your "BIG DAY" has finally arrived! Your friends and family are gathered around you, you have picked out the perfect dress, the perfect venue, perfect menu and the perfect groom for yourself.  The ceremony sweeps by and it's time for the party..the reception! 

Suddenly, you find yourself faced with questions coming from all of the wedding professionals you took the time to sort through and hire.  When will your first dance be? When would you like to cut the cake?

Your wedding...Your style!

It is never a bad thing to get ideas from other weddings...maybe your sister had a cute centerpiece at her reception, or you just love the flower arrangements that you saw JT and Jessica Biel's had in this weeks edition of "People".  Go ahead! Be inspired! While you're remembering all the cute things you've seen at other weddings, also remember to keep in mind that there is only one couple that just like you...and you're it! Don't sell out on what you think other people will like, have your wedding reflect your own personal styles and passions.
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