Category Archives: Wedding

What to Tip at a Wedding and How to Tip Your Wedding Minister

Many brides and grooms, or their parents, are very shy when it comes to making payments to a wedding professional in person, but they are generally more embarrassed when dealing with their wedding clergy in regards to payment, and especially a giving a gratuity. I have been on both ends of the wedding altar and I can tell you that it’s much easier to deal with than you think and there is a smart way.

Everyone is a bit unsure of what is proper mostly because wedding ministers as a whole have historically dealt with rituals and properness in situations and most folks do not want to cross the line. But remember that wedding professionals deal with this issue on a daily basis and so they understand your uncomfortableness and they have seen it quite a bit. To them, it is part of the work day.

Do I tip? Definitely, yes. How much? It depends, but it is not unusual to double a fee. How? There is a good time to pay the gratuity when you pay the balance of your officiant fee. Why? Because t.i.p. stands for to insure proper service. Your marriage officiant is still holding your marriage license when you part ways (they are required usually to file it themselves). Where? At the signing.

How do you pay and tip with class? It is not so difficult after all. Tipping anyone should be done with joy and gratitude. Consider the following wedding information.

Most officiants charge from $275 to $900 for a wedding ceremony. It all depends on your wedding ceremony location, what things you feel you need from your wedding minister and how busy they are. The busier the wedding minister, the more expensive they will generally be.

Most wedding vendors will ask for a deposit in advance and the remainder to be paid on the day of the wedding. Do remember to make a prompt deposit as wedding professionals do get calls and emails constantly. A typical wedding professional gets anywhere from 10 to 100 requests a day. That is a lot time requests to be juggling. Frankly, the first person to commit by putting down a deposit is the one who wins that time slot.

We recommend that you send the officiant you have chosen the deposit by check or by credit card immediately so that you do have a hold on their time and also so that there is a paper trail. However, in my experience, the balance should be paid by cash.

When you pay the balance it is usually more embarrassing for people since it is in person and there is no “right moment”. But there is.

The best thing to do is to bring an envelope with each wedding vendor name on it and put the remainder in cash in the envelope. If you are in a large wedding, hand these to your best man or the father of the bride (which makes him feel more important) and tell them to distribute the money for you.

Do make sure to pay by the balance you owe your wedding minister in cash or your license may not be filed in time for the check to clear. Even worse, if you are traveling after your wedding and your check bounces, you may find that you are not married by the time you return from your honeymoon. A wedding officiant is required to file your marriage license within a certain amount of time with the county, usually 10 days. If they are paid by check and it bounces while you are in Tahiti then you may have a bit of a problem as that wedding clergy does not know if you will be paying on your bad check.

The best time to pay is at the signing of the marriage license. There is always a shuffling of papers from each person and when the wedding officiant signs it you can easily hand the envelope over with a “Thank you!”

And do not forget the minister gratuity. You can include that in the envelope as well. What is the proper tip for an officiant? $75 – $150 is the proper officiant gratuity and if that seems to be too much to you, consider this: your wedding officiant is probably the least paid of most of the wedding professionals present at your wedding and yet you need that one person at your wedding ceremony more than anyone else there, or else. . . you would not be married. Yes, you do not need to tip a wedding official but think of it this way: it’s good karma and a good way to start your marriage with a positive vibe from the one person who joined you as husband and wife

Tips on Wedding Favors

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Wedding favors are a gesture of gratitude to friends and family who attend the wedding on behalf of the bride and groom. It is a simple thought that leaves a lasting impression of your wedding and your thoughtfulness. Aside from memories, the favor may stay with the wedding guests forever. So, don’t skip out on the favor, because it really can matter.

Deciding what is the appropriate favor to give to your guests is always a dilemma? Remember that it is not about what you give, but the thought of giving, so a favor can be very inexpensive or very high end. People give out all sorts of wedding favors that fit their personality. There is nothing that is strange to give out as a favor if it reflects the bride and groom’s personality and taste. There are many different types of favors that can be given out depending on the type of wedding.

Many people will choose to coordinate the favor with the theme of the wedding. For example, sometimes it is nice to give out a favors that are in season with the wedding. There are a variety of fall, winter, as well as summer and spring favors. However, for spring and summer weddings, brides and grooms will often opt for a garden wedding theme or a beach theme. Thus, there are fabulous beach and nautical wedding favors to select from, as well as favors for spring themes, such as garden wedding favors. Festive favors are available for any time of the year. With the current wedding favor industry launching new designs every year, couples have an array of seasonal tokens and gifts to select from.

No one wants their favors to be tossed out and some brainstorming about practical keepsakes is a good idea. Practical favors are always appreciated. If you have a summer wedding or an out door wedding, shield guests from the sun with pretty parasols that they’ll be able to use long after your wedding day. Keep guest cool with sandalwood fans that have a lovely fragrance as well. For a winter wedding, present guests with an ornament that guests can put on their Christmas tree for years to come. One of the classic ways to avoid a wasteful favor is give guests edible wedding favors. Chocolate truffles in pretty bon bon boxes are always a delicious treat for guests. You can never go wrong with chocolate, but don’t forget less traditional (and less expensive) sweets that can make a lasting impression, such as taffy sticks or caramels. Carmel candy favors are also perfect for fall themed weddings.

It is a nice touch when favors reflect the bride and groom’s personality or have symbolism for the couple. A traditional favor is always appreciated by wedding guests. Celebrate your culture through your gifts. Think maracas for a Latin or Mexican themed wedding. Also pewter chopsticks or personalized chopsticks are a great idea for an Asian theme.

Wedding favors are also great to add to the decor of the day. If you’re having a theme wedding, offer a favor that echoes the motif. Think strawberry-flavored lobster suckers for beach side bashes or candles with seashells and tea lights. Personalized corkscrews and chrome bottle stoppers for winery weddings are a classy idea. It is also appropriate to choose favors that also serve as place cards, or even centerpieces. These favors serve a dual purpose and also save money. Think small wrapped favor boxes of chocolate that you can stack as centerpieces or labeled Champagne bottles that double as place cards.

If you choose scented favors, such as candle favors, avoid setting scented favors on the table as they may interfere with the aromas of the dinner. Have them distributed by the wait staff after dinner has been served. A nice touch would be to have your bride’s maids distribute the wedding favors to your guests.

How to distribute the favors and how many are needed is often a dilemma with most couples. If you’re opting for a gift like almonds or candy, provide one per guest. Each individual guest should always receive an edible wedding favor. If you want to splurge on the favors, then think bottle stoppers or gourmet coffee favors, and other personalized favors. Pricier items like votive candleholders can be distributed one per couple.

There is an abundance of wedding favors to select from and the wedding industry provides easy access to these favors. Remember that wedding favors do not have to be expensive if budget is an issue. Creativity and thoughtfulness is what should be reflected from the little tokens of thank you. Although, bride’s often don’t spend a lot of time on wedding favors, there is wedding favor etiquette to think about. With the help of wedding planners you can sort out exactly what you want to do when it comes to wedding favors for your wedding.

Preparing For Your Wedding

Planning and organizing your dream wedding can be a difficult task especially when budget is a major concern. Especially if you are staying in the big city, you will realize how expensive wedding can be. If you have unique wedding ideas, creative and have done a good research, there are many ways in reducing your wedding budget and still achieve wedding of your dream. I would like to share my ideas and tips on wedding planning on a budget that I have personally experienced and still achieve wedding of my dream.

The most obvious way in reducing the cost is by reducing the numbers of guests attending your wedding. Screen through the wedding invitation list again and just invites those close and important relatives and friends. Appropriate decision and selection in your invitation guest will ensure you really scrutinize the list and still maintain wedding invitation etiquette.

Select a day which is non-peak or not in holiday season to get the best price. Catering, wedding facilities and other wedding related services usually will be in high demand on Saturday, Sunday and holiday seasons and thus it will be more expensive. If Saturday or Sunday is unavoidable, try to avoid Saturday or Sunday during holiday season. You still be able to find a good deal on Saturday or Sunday in non-holiday season.

Plan and make an advance booking at least a year of all your major wedding items and expenses such as wedding gowns and wedding gowns designer, wedding dresses, catering services, wedding cakes, wedding ring, men’s wedding bands, wedding limousine, wedding facilities and other wedding accessories. Last minutes planning and booking will usually cost higher due to extra work and additional resources involved.

Wedding video and photographer can be expensive as well during high demand seasons. Avoiding high demand seasons will definitely save cost. Need to ensure photos negatives are part of your photography package as to avoid relying on your wedding photography studios for reprinting. Instruct your photographer for “wedding poses must have” and look for quality photos rather than quantity. This will ease the final photo selections and limit non-quality photos. Take this wedding photography tips seriously as it will save you a lot.

Paying cash in major wedding items can reduce cost as well and this can be done through requesting cash discount. The merchant usually will bear 2% to 3% of bank charges if the client pay using credit card. By paying cash, the bank charges can be transfer to consumer as a discount. Credit cards only to be used as a guarantee and once you have received the goods and services, payment can be settled by cash.

If you hire a consultant or wedding planner, select a wedding planner that charge based on hours rather than based on percentage of the total bill. An experienced wedding planner will be able to guide you in reducing cost further by avoiding mistakes and unnecessary cost. Experienced and well known wedding planner usually has a good connection and this will be added advantage for you to get additional discount on wedding services and goods.

Wedding flower arrangements can be saved as well by ordering in advance. Avoid high demand season flowers such as high demand flowers during Valentine’s Day. There are also flowers renting services that can be considered as well.

As for your wedding entertainment and music, booking in advance will give advantage in negotiating the price and get a good discount. If you would like to save further, using just a background music rather than live band will be another good alternative.

There are also many free written materials as well that can be found on internet such as free wedding checklist, free wedding speeches and poems, clip art, wedding program and invitation templates, wedding catalog and many more. All these free materials not only can save your cost but will save your time as well.

6 Tips That Wedding Bands Should Use To Play Good Music

A wedding party is an eventful day that you should live to remember. Apart from decorating the venue to suit the occasion, you might want to hire a wedding band that will entertain your guests throughout the occasion. Beginning from the ceremony processional towards the first dance, it is often challenging figuring out the correct songs for the weddings. You could be interested in keeping your guests engaged with sweet music to honor the occasion.

Wedding bands may find it easy to choose the right music according to the theme of the wedding and its set-up. Also, the band has a wide collection of songs and all they can do for you is to choose a collection that is going to be compatible with the colorful day. They will match up to the standard of the songs that the bride or groom desires. There are various tips that wedding bands can use to get good music for the wedding parties:

  • The band should ensure that it has a right collection of songs and tests them to ensure that it can actually play the songs in question. If you choose a jazz band for instance, they might want to include other kinds of songs that will kill monotony and instead, liven up the atmosphere. The band will have to choose what it is “in” currently and advise you on the different kind of songs that will suit different events during the wedding party.
  • They will also get songs that are fillers on a CD and try them through their equipment. It is a much popular choice as it is the least hassle that enables the band to create an impact when it kicks off the first set immediately. Of course, the band does not rely on the CDs only but only utilize the CDs for filling gaps between performances.
  • Prelude songs are also chosen to be played just before the start of the service, when guests are seated. This would require a pianist who would play some nice and soothing music to the audience.
  • The band should choose a great meaningful father-daughter song, which signifies an emotional moment. The song is always a symbolic one between the bride and her father when the moment of walking away arrives. A song with a meaning is often chosen at this time and one that represents their relationship.
  • The wedding band has the freedom to choose a traditional song to play because all weddings have a traditional side to them so make sure this song is practised well.
  • During the reception, the music being played should be engaging such that people, both young and old, can dance along.

There are a number of songs that all wedding bands play and ones that are preferred in the wedding ceremony. These particular songs bring glamour and joy in a wedding despite the fact that there are a million nice songs to be sung in a wedding. Choosing a wedding band enables you to have some good music during your wedding ceremony. It is important to check out on various things like tastes and preferences, the budget, reputation of the wedding band in question and the budget for you to hire the service. You might want to hire a wedding band that is characterized by the kind of songs it performs or sings so that it matches your wedding theme.

Seven Tips For Wedding Invitation Wording

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If you want to make your wedding invitations you know the importance of wedding invitation wording.

Careful use of words and establishing them correctly is very important in wedding announcements. This is because wedding announcement wording becomes the first symbol your guests have to decide the setting they will expect.

Making the wording easy to understand and most you can will help your guests.

Here are seven tips for wedding invitation wording:

  1. The date should be written out. The day of the week and the day and month. An example of this is Saturday, The Fourth of August, Twenty-Twelve .
  2. The exact time is important to spell out. You can write this as O’clock but if you have it as Five-thirty you can write just as that or Half past five o’clock. The formal way is to use o’clock in the time wording. Usually the time is only at the o’clock or half past. But you can change that if you like.
  3. The place where the wedding ceremony will take place should be very specific. Normally you would write the name of the location and the address with the city and state written also.
  4. When you do your reception card you would write the address but not the city and state if it is the same as the wedding. If you are having it at a different city you would write out the city and state
  5. If the couple chooses a small exclusive wedding but larger reception, wording is different from standard wedding invitations. The guests are asked to attend the reception only. When inviting to the wedding reception only it is traditional to use the pleasure of your company and not request the honour of your presence. This is also usually a less formal event than a wedding and reception
  6. As for the top of the invitation it is best to choose words that would pay respect to the party who hosts or pays for the wedding. But be cautious, you want to avoid any hurt feelings. Remember money is not the only contribution that is made. For example, if the bride’s parents are the ones who will pay for the wedding, then, the wordings on the invitation should state that it is the bride’s parent s who are requesting for the presence of the guests.
  7. If the wedding is informal and will only take place in a home, then it is best to replace the usual words being used in formal invitations to a more casual tone but still with respect.

So whether you make your wedding announcements or not the wording is important. Take the time to make sure they are properly worded. It can be a very big detail in making sure you have guests at your wedding. Having a good impression from your invitations can be the beginning of having happy quests to share your big day.

Basically any kind of wedding invitation wording should consider the situation and the type of wedding you will be having. You should learn some wedding announcement etiquette to avoid any hurt feelings.

Try These Tips For Wedding Planning

Have any of your friends married recently? Now would be a good time to have a chat with them, listening to their tips for wedding planning. They will be able to pinpoint the mistakes they made while planning, and you can learn from their experience.

Talking to any “wedding professional”, you will most probably be told one thing time and again: Start planning as early as possible. Simply drawing up a list will help, but there could still be a lot of smaller details you fail to note. Get a wedding planning worksheet from the internet, or go out and buy a wedding planning book.

Next on the list of essential tips for wedding planning concerns your budget: Before you are able to start forming a plan, never mind spending, you have to know what you can afford in total. You will have to break this down to include every little detail, and then stick with it. If you spend too much in one area, you will have to give up in another, and that is simply not an option.

Create a “complete by” schedule, and stick to it, no matter what. There will be times when you feel there is plenty of time left, or that small simple tasks feel senseless so long before the wedding. If leave it till later you will run into the same problems you were warned against (by people who took the same route).

Follow these tips for wedding planning, and plan carefully. A sensible plan will reduce your stress levels considerably, and you could even save some money, having allowed yourself more time to shop around.

10 Budgeting Tips for Wedding Decorations

Trying to manage the budget for your wedding? It might be a great idea to cut down on decorations. Wedding decorations convey the atmosphere of the wedding and add the ‘you’ element in your big day since they reflect your personal preferences. This does not change when trying to budget your decorations since the idea of do-it-yourself is a major forerunner when thinking of a budget wedding. And it is easy to guess why. Because there are quite some things you can make yourself and save a lot of money that you can use elsewhere.

Here are 10 tips for wedding decorations on a budget. With a little creativity, you can still manage to pull a very stylish and beautiful wedding celebration.

  1. Location

Choosing the venue has much to do with how much you will need to spend on your wedding decorations. Pick a special wedding venue. This will be the background of your big day and if you choose smartly, it will save you a lot of decoration costs. Think of outside locations such as the beach, a garden or a forest. Here, you will not need much decoration. An indoor venue, on the other hand, will require a lot of effort to do up.

  1. Do it yourself

DIY decorations, although time-consuming, are the cheapest. Invite your bridesmaids out for an afternoon of tinkering and make your own centerpieces, place cards, wreaths, wall decorations, wedding favors, guest books etc. Opt for decorations involving faux flowers or craft material other than fresh flowers as these will need to be made well in advance if you will consider making them yourself. This effort saves a lot of money and makes your wedding site more personal.

  1. Keep it Simple

Less is more, especially when you are looking to achieve an elegant look. You do not have to do much to dress a place beautifully. Fill a wine glass with water and a floating candle, sprinkle some confetti and rose petals on the tables or clean a soda bottle and place a beautiful single flower into it. A gerbera or calla is a beautiful flower to use single. Skip the expensive and elaborate floral centerpieces. The combined colors of the floating candle, confetti and flowers will give an equally stunning look.

  1. Flowers

The cost of flowers will explode higher than you can expect. Save money by making the corsages yourself and replace the bridesmaids’ bouquets with a large single bloom mixed with foliage. Check your own garden or that of your parents or other close family members and friends to see which flowers you can find that suit the purpose. You will be surprised at the choices. Don’t be afraid to make a non-traditional choice and be different. If it pleases you, it will look good. Consider the flowing ivy or you might fancy the classy rose bush, perhaps. Gather what you can find and bunch into something you will love to carry or decorate with.

You must also consider the season when you are getting married. Ask your florist for seasonal flowers. Flowers are mostly expensive in winter compared to summer.

  1. Holidays

An important tip is to avoid holidays. Flowers are super expensive around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. A great time to shop for decorations on a discount is just after Christmas. The sale after the holidays is a perfect time to start storing for your oncoming wedding!

  1. Fruits

Ever gave the combination of fruits and decorations a thought? This produces the most beautiful color combinations. Think bright green apples in large vases on a pristine white tablecloth. Or you could place fall pumpkins on the tables. Choose bright colored fruits of the season and cut costs.

  1. Candles

Candles lend the atmosphere a warm touch in dim light and are beautiful to use as decoration. Moreover, they are much cheaper than flowers. Look for candles in your choice of sizes, shapes, colors and fragrances. Use feathers or some foliage to accent the candles and create elegant table decorations.

  1. Styling

Think like an expert stylist who uses everyday things to create glossy magazine layouts that you love to ogle at. Use inexpensive materials to dress a room. For example, linen cloth in solid colors, balloons and ribbons. Use linen to cover tables and create swags to add drama. Tie ribbons to the balloons and let them float to the ceiling. Fill jars with different kinds of candy or bake cakes themselves. This one is an eye-catcher!

  1. Recycle

Make a trip to the attic and get together all the treasures you manage to find. Clocks, books, lamps, chandeliers, picture frames, old jewelry. You can use all of these creatively at your wedding venue. Give that old iron cage a paint job and use it to hold cash gifts and cards. The glass icicles from an old chandelier can be used with flower arrangements etc.

  1. Research

Gather as much information about how to budget your wedding decorations responsibly. Ask around your friends and enlist creative help of family members. Research books, magazines and the internet and you will have at your fingertips hundreds of creative ideas to style your wedding for less.

Tips for Wedding Programs

Are you going to use a wedding program? I’ll give you some tips on what to include in your wedding program. There are three main sections that will need to be included in your program.

The first thing everyone will see is the cover. The cover of the wedding program you will need to include a picture of yourselves, date, location and your names. The cover does not need to be extravagant but should have some design element to it.

The second thing you need to let everyone know about is all the events you are having and in some cases the time of that specific event. List everything that will be happening at the ceremony such as scripture readings, the music that you are having, prayers, exchanging of your vows and so on. You do not have to include everything you are doing at your ceremony but the main parts of the ceremony are essential.

The third thing you will need to list is all of your bridesmaid and groomsmen and everyone in your bridal party. Just keep it simple list the names and the role they have at your wedding. Here is an example list. Parents of the Bride: Ron and Rita Nash, Maid of Honor: Jane Doe and so on. Just keep it simple. You do not have to list everyone but a thank you note would be nice to the people who play the smaller roles.

Make it fun by including your heritage and some other rituals and traditions your families might have. List all the items when you request singing, praying times, or guest participation. Just list everything that will be special to your wedding when you require a specific time. Make it memorable to everyone by writing a few lines about how you appreciate every ones help and participation and any other special notes you wish to include. Make the program a summary of events and it will guide you through your transformation.

Great Tips on Wedding

One of the most important things whenever somebody wants to get married is to have a complete line-up of the couple’s guests. Along with this preparation is the creation of wedding invitations that should reflect your earnest desire to invite those you want to be present on your very special day.

For so many years now, it has long been a part of the tradition that wedding invitations should be distributed so that the people will know that they are invited. It also makes them feeling special because of the fact that the couple had included them as their guests.

Today, wedding invitations need not be the usual unfussy cards that our ancestors had long been using. The concept of the modern wedding invitations lies on the premise that they are a part of the wedding and any neglected details of the invitation would reflect how haphazard the wedding plans were made.

So, for people who wish to know some useful tips regarding wedding invitations, here are some of pointers that you may use.

  1. Use a reply card with your wedding invitation.

In reality, the main reason of creating and giving out wedding invitations is to approximately determine the number of guests that will attend on your wedding day. Hence, it would be better for if you place a reply card along with the invitation card. In this way, you will get to know the estimated number of guests that you will be expecting.

  1. Specify on the wedding invitation what type of occasion you will use.

In most cases, weddings are formal events. However, there are instances wherein the couples prefer informal celebration. So, it is best to specify exactly what type of celebration will be imposed.

Moreover, it is also important to specify the dress code so that the guests will know if they need to comply or not as far as clothing is concerned.

  1. For smaller wedding, it is best to have the wedding invitations personalized.

In cases where the wedding celebration entails only quite a few numbers of guests, it would be better to make your own wedding invitation.

Usually, wedding invitations are more expensive and requires the least number of orders. So, if you would not be ordering a lot, then, it would be better to make your own wedding invitation.

  1. For a more innovative look, choose the colors you will use with your wedding invitation.

White will always be the color of the wedding and will never go out of style. However, because of the continuous change that technology is bringing us, it is best to try some bright colors that will reflect your personality or your partner.

The key point is not to use one color but a conglomeration of all the bright colors you can use.

  1. Choose a design that will best reflect your taste or your partner’s personality.

Before, wedding invitations come in the traditional rectangular adorned with laces and flowers. It has been deemed as good design for so many years now but the fact remains the same: it is dull and lifeless.

What you need to present them is the beauty of life that you and your partner had agreed to cherish forever. Hence, it is strongly recommended to come up with a modern designs embedded with pure beauty.

Boiled down, wedding invitations are not just mere invitations that you usually have in your other occasions like birthday party or victory party. Wedding invitations are ways of inviting somebody whom you want to be a part of your wonderful moment with your partner.

As they say, wedding invitations are not just papers, they are the breath of the couple’s desire to tell the whole world how much they love each other, and they want their guests to witness that.

Tips on Wedding Decor

These 6 cost saving tips on wedding decor can help you transform a drab wedding venue to a magical one at half the price. Wanting to create the right atmosphere for your wedding is very important. But brides tend to spend a large portion of their budget on wedding decorations to make the venue look magical. Do not let this happen to you. Here are 6 cost saving tips on wedding decor that can help you curb your wedding budget and let you spend more wisely.

  1. Have you ever heard the saying the more the better? Do one thing on mass and you will not believe the impact it will have. My favorite thing to do is have tons of candles everywhere, the visual impact is amazing.
  2. Rather than using flowers why not have pot plants. I did a wedding where we placed orchid pot plants in mirror boxes and it looked amazing. We used a lot less plants and it was much cheaper than flowers. The added bonus is that you can use them as thank you gifts afterwards. Kill two birds with one stone.
  3. If your following trends, then using fruit and veggies as decor is hot right now. Add these in your arrangements or a stand alones and then you will need fewer flowers. It is cheaper to buy a pear than a rose.
  4. Candles are a girls new best friend for weddings. If there is one cost saving tips on wedding decor that I would recommend, it is candles. The more the better to create a romantic atmosphere and they are cheap.
  5. Check with your venue if you are getting married around a holiday, if the venue has not already been decked out. You might be lucky and just have to add a few more touches.
  6. If you are the arty type or have a friend that is good at art then create your own personalized motif or monogram on a computer. For a chic, personal feel add these motifs that you have created on different elements of your wedding such as programs and menus.

Fire Your Wedding Planner Today and Plan Your Own Dream Wedding Without the Stress Or The Debt.