Monday, March 9, 2015

10 Secrets to a Successful Stress-Free Wedding

10 Secrets to a Successful Stress-Free Wedding 10 Secrets to a Successful Stress-Free Wedding
By Chuck Groot
Your wedding is supposed to be the most important day in a your life, and yet for many, just getting there in one piece is harder than fitting stilettos on an elephant. Why is it so difficult? The biggest problem is stress and how the interplay of all the different participants at your wedding adds or subtract from that stress. Here are some wedding ideas to have a truly successful and happy wedding.
Scientists use the term HOMEOSTASIS (homeo = the same; stasis = standing) to define the physiological limits within which the body functions efficiently and comfortably. Stress disturbs homeostasis by creating a state of imbalance. The Lord knows how easily some people can cause us imbalance. Well, the secret of all of this is that, if we know how difficult it is to change ourselves, we must then take for granted that we are not going to be able to change others, especially between now and the wedding date. So what can we do to make or create STASISHOMEO "the ability to maintain the same mental condition we enjoy now on the day of your wedding" (LOL)?
The all time stress-o-meter gives the following scores to different stress events in our lives:
Event Stress Score
Death of spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Jail term 63
Death of a close relative 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage / partnership commitment 50
Loss of job 47
Retirement 45
Illness in family 44
Sexual problems 39
Childbirth 39
Change in finances 38
Death of a close friend 37
Change of job 36
Taking out a mortgage or loan 31
Mortgage foreclosure 30
Increased responsibilities 29
Offspring leaves home 29
Fight with in-laws 29
I don't know girls, but I think that a fight with the boss rates right up there with marriage.
The first thing we must do is to be able to recognize stress in others and ourselves. Stress management involves four main tasks:
- Recognize and understand the signs of stress.
- Identify and understand the sources of stress.
- Learn to manage controllable sources of stress.
- Learn to support yourself and cope with stress reactions to
situations beyond your control.
Signs of Stress
Over-stress reactions include a wide range of symptoms: stomach aches, headaches, sleep problems, poor concentration, moodiness, irritability, and racing thoughts. It's important to recognize that these are all signs of stress overload, probably not signs of a more serious condition.
Now that you know all this good stuff, does it help? No! We need some tools and strategies to help you have a Successful Wedding.
1. A great stress reducer is getting in shape for the wedding.
Let's face it; you are going to have a second full time job. Planning and organizing a wedding is a time-consuming and energy zapping experience, not to mention the marathon parties, the family get togethers, and all that glorious shopping. Don't forget, all the marathon parties, food, drinks, cake, drinks, dinners. Did I mention drinks? This sends your body and nervous system for a loop.
What's the best thing to do? Go for a walk. That's right, a nice calm, stress relieving, pound reducing walk. Or if you are so inclined, go to the gym and work out. Aspiring brides and grooms who want to get fit for their perfect day are latching onto a fitness trend where gyms, personal trainers and spas all promise weight loss, toning and a healthy glow in "bridal boot camps." The more energy you use, the more stress you rid yourself of (and it helps to tone your legs and build your cardiovascular system so that you can dance all night long at your reception!)
It is also very important to be eating right and taking time to rest both of which can vastly improve energy levels. Start drinking more water instead of caffeine and sugar-loaded liquids. Reduce salt intake. Caffeine, sugar and salt, cause chemical reactions to your nervous system by making you jumpy, nervous and high-strung, so make sure you watch your consumption of these items. Salt, or sodium, also helps your body retain water, causing that bloating, puffed-up feeling.
2. Secondly, couples have to realize they shouldn't expect "perfection". Expect a "terrific" day and set reasonable expectations.
This actually is considered the number one stress factor - desperately seeking perfection. You must remember what your main goal is, and that is to get married to the one you love the most in the entire world. Setting expectations that are too high will create stress and lead to frustration, and then more stress.
There will be stress, you can count on it. Why? Because there are not only a lot of decisions to be made but also many details to be worked out, and others may want, or try to influence you. Such pressure is not bad or wrong; it just requires that you and your fiancé be aware of what is really happening. Try to respond to issues and avoid reacting to things. It will make a big difference.
Remember, things will go wrong; you are dealing with people and lots of variables. Don't sweat the small stuff; the key is that if something does go wrong only you will know about it. The best way to make sure that things don't go wrong is to plan carefully, track faithfully, and confirm diligently.
*The week before the wedding call all your vendors and check the date, time and location with them to verify the correct details. Give a list of their phone numbers to someone in case any of them don't show up on the day.*
3. Picture your wedding the way you want it, visualize all of your details clearly in your mind, and stay focused on what you want.
Couples are constantly re-defining weddings. They seem to place more importance on their wedding being a celebration of individual love than on fussiness, formalities or old-fashioned, outdated etiquette. They are celebrating who they are, right now.
Remember, if you fail to dream, you will live your nightmare, so figure out what it is you want and go for it. With this mental image, you can list down all the details, and one by one, when you have either completed them or delegated them to someone you trust to make sure that they get done the way you want them to be done, you can check them off. Having this list is a huge stress buster and it helps you sleep at night. Another secret for a good night's sleep is to have a notebook beside your bed, and every time you wake up thinking that there is something you think you missed, write it down.
Often simplicity in a wedding ceremony is much more beautiful than having too much. This helps keep stress levels down as well. You can also create a great wedding website at [] where you can keep everybody informed about what is happening and that will help keep you focused.
4. Time is always another stressful factor.
Another great stress reducer and wedding success maker is time management. Couples who begin planning early and pace themselves should be able to avoid last minute chaos. The old saying, "An hour late and a dollar short" could never be more applicable than for a wedding. Give yourself as much time as possible to dream about your wedding, write down all your goals (things you need to do), budget for each area, and give yourself time for a breather. Below you will find a basic wedding planner with guidelines as to what you might need to do and when it would be appropriate to get done.
Speaking of a breather, while planning your wedding you may have found that it has essentially taken over your life. You need to reclaim your life, even if it is only for a day or for a few hours, and take some time to yourself. Make time to connect with your partner and spend positive time together.
What is it you used to do before all of this planning? Do you like to read? Do you enjoy gardening? How about going for walks? Whatever it is that you may have let slip or sacrificed for the greater good, you need to take that time to yourself and your loved one and enjoy the relaxation that comes with doing something that you enjoy.
Learning to delegate is vital, especially the day of the wedding. Put someone else in charge of paying the vendors, moving the guest book from the ceremony to the reception site, double-checking with the caterers, or any other small task. Read through your list and assign everything! Hey, it's your day - enjoy it!!!
5. Relationships themselves, between the bride and groom, can be stressful and can become even more stressful prior to the marriage.
Back on the stress-o-meter, we see that getting married in itself is a very stressful change in a person's life. When we further add to that: late nights, changes in eating habits, changes in drinking habits, fear of all kinds (failure, things going wrong, anxiety attacks, tripping down the aisle, etc), we see that things can get out of perspective with the one we love.
As the old song says, "You always hurt the one you Love", and there are other relationships other than the one with your fiancé': those between the bride and her family, her sisters, her bridesmaids, the groom and his friends and family. The "relationships" I'm speaking of, are everywhere and not limited to the relationship between the bride and groom.
Take some time to reconnect with your closest friends. Try not to talk too much about your planning, but realize that it is a part of your life right now and your friends probably are interested. However, they also want you to be interested in their lives, so don't forget to ask them questions and turn the attention towards them, too.
To get away from centering on ourselves, we need to do something for someone else. You will be surprised how good (and relaxed) you will feel by making someone else feel good. Cook a friend dinner, serve a meal at your local soup kitchen, baby-sit for a couple who could use a break, take your niece or nephew out for an ice cream cone...there are so many things you can do for so many people - give it a try and see how good you feel!
Another really important aspect to remember is that there are always some people (relatives or friends) who know how to "push your buttons". When you are feeling very stressed... be sure to stay away from or at least limit your time with these people. I know it's hard, but force yourself to - it will pay dividends in the long run.
Speaking about being hard - JUST SAY NO! Now is not the time to be a people-pleaser. There may be many people around you who want to have their say about how your wedding should be arranged. Nevertheless, this is your day, and while you will want to accommodate others' views, much stress can be avoided if you start as you mean to go on, clearly asserting your wishes and plans wherever possible, and not encouraging suggestions that you know will eventually be turned down. Being honest is the best policy all round.
That point brings me to the topic of arguing. Where weddings are concerned, the emotionally tense environment can lead people to make mountains out of molehills. How spoons and forks are placed on tables may never have mattered before, but they may become a hot topic of debate between parents and the bride/groom-to-be.
Try to avoid arguing over petty things. Remember that it's better to have a simpler wedding and that in the end; it's not the minute details of your wedding that will really make your marriage or your relationship with your family members successful.
Finally, remember the intention behind the tension. Why is your mother insisting you wear that horrid dress on your wedding day? Why is your father insisting on getting to the hall on the day of the wedding by taking the most complicated route?
It's not because they're your worst enemies. Their reasons are that they love you and want what's the best for you. Reminding yourself of the intention behind the source of conflict will help you realize that while you are getting stressed over the disagreements over certain issues pertaining to the wedding, behind that disagreement there is love and concern. Your families, especially your parents, want what's best for you and that concern is what is motivating them.
6. Money issues also frequently come up and create stressful situations.
Don't forget to budget! Since money is such an easy thing to fight about, make sure you sit down at the beginning of the process, agree on how much money you're going to spend, and stick to it! I know, I know, budget is as close to a four-letter word as you can get, but it also can bring you closer to those you love. If everyone is on the same page and in agreement, everything will go much more smoothly.
Grooms might find themselves more concerned about, or "stressed out" about money. Subconsciously, rightly or wrongly, men often will have the concept that they will have to take care of the women, and that includes financially taking care of them. Money and financial issues are almost always stress-inducing, and it doesn't necessarily matter how much money someone has! Whether you are a bride or a groom, a wedding is a time where all kinds of stress can manifest itself. So do not dodge this bullet. Meet it head on and openly discuss each and every detail of the wedding with those who are financially responsible so that you can arrive at a consensus.
7. Venus and Mars Stress (taken from the pop-psychology of John Grey)
Are you and your fiancé arguing more than normal? Realize that this friction is normal because you are spending more time on wedding planning versus spending time on your relationship. Not always, but usually, guys look at the big picture and gals look at specifics, so take this difference into account when you are planning and expecting things from each other. Naturally, we are going to approach things from different angles and perspectives. Use this to your best advantage; work with your strengths and try not to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Above all, brides and grooms need to respect each other and each other's uniqueness. Individually, they should be aware of their thresholds for stress, and how much stress they can handle in a given time period. Remember: words said in explosive or high stress situations cannot be taken back once they are said. If you're feeling stressed out...Stop, Relax, Listen, and Communicate with each other. Look around you to see what is REALLY happening. Respond to situations and issues and avoid knee-jerk reactions.
That's why it is so important to take time away from wedding planning and spend time with each other. A romantic dinner, a bike ride -- whatever you both like to do together. (Just don't discuss the wedding plans!)
Girls, if your guy is being rather quiet or distant, don't take this personally. He is just crawling into his cave for a bit to get centered again - let him. Let him deal with whatever he needs to deal with and know that he will eventually come out again for a breathe of fresh air, and he will be his usual loving self again.
Guys, your beautiful bride-to-be is working overtime to make this a super special day for the two of you. If you feel left out or that you are not getting enough attention, don't mope or whine - talk to her. Let her know your feelings and ask if there is anything that you can do to help her, and mean it. When her voice gets a little high-pitched or she becomes short-tempered and shrill, just go with the flow - this too will pass. Give her a big hug and take her out for dinner and dancing, and she will be back to her usual loving, caring, and considerate self in no time. Remember the five most important words ever "What ever you want honey". Or the four most important words, "I will do that." Or the three most important words, " I Love you." Or the two most important words, " Yes dear." The most important word, "O.K."
8. Many brides fear that they will forget something important.
One way to handle stress is to stay organized while planning. Writing everything down in a special wedding notebook is a good idea.
Take a few moments each day, preferably at night before going to sleep, and do breathing exercises. Then go over your list with your mate and see if there is anything that you forgot. Check off things that are done, and then mentally redo the list as if it has never been done at all to see if there was an item that you missed. This is a great way to include your fiancé in the details so that he will feel part of things.
9. Do a practice run
Go hear your intended DJ in action, or at least, get three recommendations and talk to them about his/her work.
Why is music such an important part of a wedding? It creates an atmosphere that fulfills the dreams of the bride, groom and their families. "Many brides dream of the perfect wedding, and most 'hear' certain music in the background. We help to create the desired atmosphere, while coordinating the event to make sure it's a success, Because every wedding is unique, it's important to select a DJ that has a good variety of music.
Have a meal where you intend to have your reception.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to create the affair of your dreams, long after everything is said and done, people always remember the food. It would be wise to go once or twice times to see if the quality is consistent or, as previously mentioned, to talk to at least three other couples who have had their reception at the same venue.
At least four to six months in advance, have your portraits taken by the photographer who is going to photograph your wedding.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you want to remember it with all of its beauty. That being said, your portraits are one of the very few things that will last forever. The relationship you have with your photographer is critical: it is very hard to capture fabulous photographs when you don't get along with the photographer or that his/her style doesn't match yours. Make sure that you get together with the photographer several time before the wedding and have a clear understanding of what the expectations are. Create a list of all the photographs that are really important to you. Create a list of all the people that you really want to have a special portrait with because the photographer can't read minds. The photographer hasn't a clue that Aunt Grisellda from Upper Podunk is your favourite aunt. You need to let them know.
The biggest secret to a successful wedding is to not worry yourself to death, enjoy the day, and enjoy the moment because it will not come again.
Think it through. Go ahead and fret a little. It's better than trying to suppress all the anxiety. The more you try to suppress unwanted thoughts, the more likely you are to become obsessed with them. That's particularly true when you're under a lot of pressure, stress or mental overload. So just when you're trying to avoid unhappy thoughts, you'll actually get sadder than if you'd confront those unhappy thoughts head-on. Ninety-nine percent of what we worry about never happens. Feel the fear, that's part of being human. Regardless, go out and do things anyway, knowing that most of your fears are unfounded.
Take your time. It's one thing to think about your problems. It's another to let them dominate your thoughts. Don't let people pressure you into making a decision you don't want to make. If there are things about your wedding that are worrying you, focus on your worry for thirty minutes, and try to think of solutions to the problem. Research on chronic worriers shows that if they spend time at night actively worrying about their problems, the degree of worrying in their lives goes down overall
Write a new ending. People who worry can be amazingly creative. They turn any harmless scenario into a disaster by imagining the worst. Try putting that creativity to good use by turning your fears into fantasies. If you worry about tripping while you go down the aisle and falling into a candle destroying your hair-do because the veil exploded in fire, try picturing yourself being light as air and, to the amazement of all your guests, floating down the aisle while a chorus of angels sings "You are the Wind Beneath My Wings". (How's that for "lightening up"!)
Tally your troubles. List all your worries. Are you afraid that it's going to rain on the day of the wedding? You can't control the weather, so file it under the heading "Beyond My Skills." Do you worry that other people find you unattractive, even when you really know you're not? That goes on the "Creative Fiction" list.
What's the sense of worrying about things in these categories? There isn't any. Why worry about the weather? Why worry about things that aren't true? Once you expose these thoughts as worthless worries, it's easier to dismiss them.
Take action. Some worries are more legitimate. Are you concerned about your health? Well, list all the things you could do to improve things. Maybe you could start walking every day, or eat better. Then decide which items on the list you're going to do. The secret is doing, doing, doing. When you're actively working on a solution, worry is less likely to be a problem, and you'll begin to feel as if you're the designer of your life, not a victim of it.
Be a willing participant and creator of your wedding - HAVE FUN!!!
One way to let all your friends and family enjoy the planning process is to have a personal website that allows interaction and a diary up to and including the wedding day. This idea is particularly useful if you have family or friends who are out of town and can't attend the wedding. A great website to check out would be
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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Do Not Give Up Your Dream Wedding Even in the Current Economy

Do Not Give Up Your Dream Wedding Even in the Current Economy - Learn How to Plan and Budget It

Do Not Give Up Your Dream Wedding Even in the Current Economy - Learn How to Plan and Budget It
By Nily Glaser

Does the cost of having the wedding of your dreams frightens you? With the rise of oil prices and in view of the current economy, many brides and groom are afraid that having the wedding of their dreams is out of the question. Is it? No! You can have your dream wedding for a fraction of the price you thought it would cost, as long as the bride and groom plan together, set and adhere to a realistic fixed budget, use good organizational skills, ingenuity, flexibility, hone your negotiating skills, and enlist the help of friends and family. Many components go into planning a wedding day. Many details need to be completed and intertwined to create not only a wedding but a dream wedding as the bride and groom pictured it. Today, about 70% of the marrying couples pay for their own weddings so, setting a realistic wedding budget and sticking to it is a must if you are to keep the cost of your wedding within your budget. There are many options to choose from and many ways to save. So keep on reading.

Now, get creative and examine your options.


Search the Internet thoroughly and you can save time and money. The World Wide Web Provides you with information and resources for making purchases on-line. Many wedding web sites provide links to wedding related businesses that could be your answer to quality products and services. A-wedding Day offers you a series of wedding planning articles that concentrate on how to choose and work with wedding vendors, professionals and service providers, a wedding resource directory, a wedding planning checklist and a discount bridal mall where you save on wedding gifts and accessories.


As you plan your wedding create three categories:

  • Must have

  • Optional

  • Nice to have.
  • Base your decisions on availability, on your budget and on your ingenuity. Once you decide what your priorities are, use your ingenuity and creativity. Involve yourselves, your friends and your families in at least some of the preparations. Loved ones will appreciate the opportunity to contribute to your happy day, have fun and save you money. Choose vendors and service providers who can assure that your priorities will be met and that yours will be the wedding you dreamed of. Before you do, read the series of wedding planning articles devoted to choosing and working with wedding vendors, professionals and service providers.

    When you negotiate with vendors and service providers, be firm. Stick to what you decided you want and to what you budgeted for. Do not let them talk you into anything you neither budgeted for, nor want. But by the same token, be flexible enough to spend more or substitute, if you cannot find exactly what you considered a priority, within your budget. Be sure you are familiar with all changes, return and / or cancellation policies before you sign any contract or finalize any arrangement. Having to buy something twice, or having to pay additional fees for changes can and does add up. Always keep documentation of every contract and receipt in a safe place and pay special attention to deadlines for returning items. Whether you are looking for a service provider, wedding accessories or wedding supplies, always comparison shop. Interview at lease 3 service providers before you select the one who will accommodate you best.Look for discount malls on and off the Internet. Shop for bargains and clearance sales. If you are careful, you can save a lot of money. Do not get confused between inexpensive and cheap. If you purchase at a discount mall, you'll generally receive the same merchandise you would at a more expensive shop and be able to return or exchange items. However, when shopping for reduced priced and clearance items, check to make sure that they are not of inferior quality since most closeout or special sale items indicate Final Sale and can not be returned or exchanged.


    Here too, base your decision on your budget. If your budget permits, engage a wedding consultant to help you with tasks as small as locating trusted vendors and service providers, to tasks as large as organizing your entire wedding event from A-Z. Wedding consultants work with local vendors and service providers, who like the referrals generated by them. As a fair trade, they often have special arrangements for reduced rates which when added up will save you money. Yet, the least you engage outsiders and the more you enlist friends and family and do yourself, the more money you save. It is not only a wonderful feeling of great satisfaction to plan your own wedding, it is also a lot of fun.


    You'll probably want to send engagement announcements, save the day, invitations etc... If you are willing to depart from the traditional printed invitations you can save not only money but time and anxiety. Create your own wedding stationery and invitation right on your computer and print it on blanks. You can purchase all your wedding stationery needs including papers used by professional printers, and print your own wedding invitations and stationery. If you have a good printer, your stationery and invitation will look just as professional as the expensive ones ordered from printers. So, get creative and design your own invitation and stationery. Do you have a wedding theme? Do you want to insert a photo? Go ahead, incorporate them.


    Following are the basic wedding accessories: ring pillow, champagne flutes, cake serving set, guest book, pen, garter, a unity candle set. Additional accessories most brides add are a flower girl basket, a bridal purse, a keep sake cake top and a photo album. As most brides opt for coordinating accessories, complete collections are available. You can purchase your collections in an online discount mall and save anywhere from 10 to 25 percent, or you can have others purchase your desired accessories as gifts. Your friends and family will most probably celebrate your engagement and up-coming wedding with engagement parties and bridal showers and of course gift giving holidays. Most guests need some guidance regarding appropriate gifts but few consider items for the wedding. This is why bridal registries are so helpful. So if you let the hosts of your wedding celebrations know what you want, not only will they be able to coordinate it but they will assure the guests that their gifts are wanted and will be highly appreciated. A win win.


    The only decorations expected in the ceremony site or sanctuary, are 2 standing flower bouquets. Use flowers that are plentiful and inexpensive. Today, many supermarkets, even Costco and Sams Club sell wonderful fresh and silk flowers and bouquets at a very reasonable price. You may wish to add pew bows. If you make your own you'll save a lot of money. Making the bows is easy and fun and all you need is wide ribbon, scissors and a little time. You can make your ceremony special by lighting a unity candle and if you have children, involving them in the ceremony. You can buy unity candles in stores, you can order custom designed candles from artisans who will create personalized candles just for you, or you can create your own.


    Wedding gown

    Wedding gowns are very expensive but there are many options you may exercise to get what you want and save money. Do you have a friend or a family member who sews? Engage them and in return give them the honor of serving as an attendant at your wedding party. If you shop for a gown, before you decide to have it custom made, go to department stores and check their sale corner. Occasionally, Department stores have wedding gowns on clearance and you can buy a gown at a fraction of its original price and save a "ton" of money. Another option is buying a sample gown which was used for a fashion show or a display. If you still can not find just that special gown, and you need to purchase one, consider a simple gown off the rack. Or comb the wedding ads and auction sites on and off the web. You'll probably be able to buy a gown that was used only once or even a brand new one for peanuts. To save even more, you may considered a white "prom" or a bridesmaid dress.

    Bridesmaids dresses

    Today it is customary for the bridesmaids to purchase their own dresses shoes and accessories. Since they intend to gift their maid of honor and bridesmaids, most brides provide the bridesmaids with custom jewelry that coordinate well with their gowns or dresses. The jewelry does not have to be expensive but does need to be of good quality and look good.

    Groom and grooms men

    Depending on your wedding motif, the groom and grooms men can wear a dark suit and white shirt they probably own. Gift them with matching ties for uniformity. If your wedding calls for tuxedos, have the men in the wedding party rent the tuxedos, shoes and accessories. Here too it is customary for the groomsmen to pay for the rental of their attire. Many rental places will furnish the groom's attire for free if all the men from the wedding party rent at the same time as one package. A saving for you.


    You can save money on your flower arrangements if you are willing to be 'original' and creative. If any of your guests create flower arrangements even as a hobby, ask them to do the flower arrangements. If you can not find a capable guest, you'll need to purchase the bridal bouquet and the flowers for the altar at a reputable florist. But, consider giving the bridesmaids mixed seasonal flowers. They are available in supermarkets and Even at Costco and Sams Club, at a fraction of the price charged by a florist. Ask your bridesmaids to insert their bouquets in vases to serve as centerpieces for the reception tables. Your bridesmaids will oblige with pleasure knowing that after the reception they will take home not only their flowers but the vases as well. The flowers will not keep forever, but the vases will become keepsake mementos of your wedding and, you'll save money.


    The reception is the most expensive part of your wedding. But, you can plan it within your budget and have a memorable event. You must be very particular when choosing the site. It must be appropriate and fit in with your reception plan. It does not have to be a traditional hall. How about having your wedding in a historical home, a park, a museum, fair grounds, public gardens, on the beach, etc... You also need to know if it supplies you with all your furniture and dining needs. If not, you must calculate rental fees. When choosing a wedding site, choose slow period and either a Friday evening or a Sunday afternoon and you'll be able to negotiate the best deals.


    If you invite some good cooks to your wedding, you may ask them to prepare their favorite recipes for your wedding reception. Also, if you invite some good bakers, ask if they could prepare sweets and desserts or maybe even your wedding cake. You'll save money and they will feel honored for being asked. In fact they'll be delighted to serve too. If you have your reception catered, you must consider the number of guests, the time of day and the manner in which food will be served. Will it be refreshments only? dessert only? light snack? a sit-down? a buffet? will you serve alcohol? If bar tenders will serve alcohol will it be an open bar? will you or the guests pay for the drinks? There is an enormous difference in price between a light brunch, for example, and a five course sit-down catered dinner. Following are some suggestions you may check out to fit your budget. Have a brunch or an early lunch and you need to serve fruit and vegetables, salads, eggs, cheeses, pastries, coffee, tea and cold drinks buffet style. Have a late lunch and you'll need to add some meats and poultry. You may still serve it buffet style, or as a sit-down meal. A sit-down dinner is by far your most expensive choice.


    Purchase the drinks yourself, at a location that will accept the return of un-opened cans and bottles.


    When it comes to music, you'll need to decide what fits in with your personalities when choosing whether to use instrumental music, a band or a disc jockey. Check out the local colleges and universities and find out if they have a music department. If so, inquire if there are students in the music program who will be able to perform at your wedding. We thank Meredith from Phoenix, AZ who sent us the following information about how she is saving money on wedding music while helping the local high school band in their fund raising efforts. She writes:I am getting married and paying for it myself. So, I have had to cut costs like you wouldn't imaging! One thing that was very important to me and my fiance is music. We both were in band and choir in high school and love music to this day. Unfortunately, having a string quartet was entirely too expensive and forget the live band or even a DJ at our reception, so i had an idea. I was in jazz band in high school and we were very good, winning all kinds of awards and stuff. High school bands are always looking for fund raisers and so we approached my old high school jazz band about playing at our reception. We worked out a great deal for paying them but significantly lower than getting a professional band. AND, the school usually has uniforms already - just request that as part of the package. Thank you for you web site it has been very helpful. Meredith from Phoenix, AZ. Do not overlook your guests. If you invited singers, let them sing. Have them sing a solo or as a group during the ceremony And / or at the reception.


    When it comes to photographers and videographers, choose your professionals very carefully. Your wedding day will come and go and the photos and video will serve as mementos and memories of your big day. Viewing them you shall re-live it and be able to share it with your kids and theirs building a family history. Before hiring a photographer or a videographer compare prices and references. Choose the very best that are within your budget. Even if you need to choose a smaller package. Here is where you want the very best. Go for it. Just like personalized wedding gifts and accessories, photos and videos will become treasured keep sakes to share with and hand down your children. However, consider placing disposable cameras on each table at your reception so your guest will take pictures too. These pictures will usually be real and spontaneous and reflect your wedding as seen by your guests.

    MISC. Ask friends to serve as your drivers and save. Instead of a limo, rent a luxury car and have a friend drive. Ask friends to

    • help decorate the reception room,
    • be the disc jockey,
    • help with the seating, etc... Good friends and family will be honored and you'll save money and know that your wedding needs were fulfilled with love and care.

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    Ideas for Wedding Planning

    Ideas for Wedding Planning

    Ideas for Wedding Planning
    By Kevin Hemminger

    Your wedding day should be the happiest day of your life. Ensuring that things go smoothly on this day should be the priority of every bride. The key to a flawless wedding day is proper wedding planning. What is wedding planning? This all-encompassing term simply means that you plan for everything that should happen on your wedding day, and you plan to avoid everything that should not happen. There are thousands of things to consider, from the color theme of your wedding to the travel arrangements of your guests. Some brides thrive on actively participating in every aspect of the planning of their wedding, while others prefer to delegate many tasks to a professional wedding planner.

    Wedding Planning Checklist

    Regardless of whether you intend to plan every aspect of your nuptials, or whether you wish to use the services of a wedding planner, you should at least be aware of the key elements that need to be planned for your wedding day. Here is a checklist for wedding planning and a guide for selecting necessary wedding vendors.


    From wedding invitations to napkins, there are many pieces of stationary that will need to be matched to your wedding color theme or printed with your nuptial details. Following are some of the important stationary you need to plan for your special day.

    • Announce Engagement and "Save the Date" cards. Proper engagement announcement etiquette dictates that the groom should inform the parents of the bride in person of an engagement before anyone else discovers your intentions. Thereafter, announce to everyone your intentions to become married with engagement announcement cards and "Save the Date" cards. Engagement announcing cards can also invite your loved ones to an engagement party. Save the date cards are for when you have decided on the date of your wedding.
    • Wedding Invitations. What is the difference between a wedding invitation and save the date cards? Often times, you will decide on the date of your wedding long before you have decided upon all the details of your big day. Once you have the date of your wedding nailed down, it is appropriate to immediately send "Save the Date" cards. This lets everyone set aside your wedding day so that conflicts in schedule do not happen. Later on, when you know the location of your wedding, the reception and all other necessary details is when you send your wedding invitation.
    • Place cards, napkins and programs. To let your guests know their seating arrangements at the reception, place cards must be printed. Customized napkins are an excellent way to accent the celebration and provide a keep-sake for those attending. Programs notify your guests of the flow of activities at your wedding and reception, allowing for a celebration that is more ordered.

    Wedding Vendors

    There are many elements that comprise a successful ceremony, and many professionals are required to help you pull off your big day. Following is a list of wedding vendors that should be arranged for your wedding day.

    • Cake. The cake is a memorable centerpiece for your reception celebration. Select the right bakery who will make a cake that tastes as good as it looks. Most wedding cake vendors will have a portfolio of photographed wedding cakes for you to examine their past work, and to select a cake that matches your tastes.
    • Catering. Locate the professionals you feel confident can prepare exceptional food for your guests. Consider special diet requirements that any of your wedding guests may have, such as vegetarian or other dish preferences and whether your intended caterer can accommodate these requests.
    • Dress. Whether having a custom wedding dress sewn, or choosing from a selection of pre-made bridal gowns, it is important to find a bridal shop that features quality dresses and can custom fit a bridal gown professionally.
    • DJs and Musicians. Dance and music are elements of happy wedding celebrations. Locate the band, DJ or musicians you feel best suit your tastes in advance to secure their services at your celebration.
    • Flowers. From bridal bouquets to corsages, flowers are an integral part of wedding celebrations. Book your flower arrangements far in advance, including the bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, centerpieces, headpieces, corsages, the "throw away" bouquet and other decorative flowers for your wedding.
    • Limousine Service. Schedule a limousine in advance to make certain they can be available for your wedding day.
    • Photographer. Selecting the best wedding photographer is extremely important, as they will capture the special moments of your wedding for you to remember always. Interview several wedding photographers and review their portfolio of work to ensure they are skilled photographers, and that the style of their photography reflects your own personal tastes.
    • Videographer. Wedding videos are as important as photos when it comes to remembering the most important day of your life. A skilled wedding videographer will not only take exceptional video of your wedding, they will be able to edit the recorded segments into an appealing single movie experience that will appear professional and of excellent quality.

    Wedding Ideas

    Planning a wedding is more than selecting the right wedding vendors. There are a myriad of wedding ideas that you can pursue which will make your wedding day a memorable and joyous occasion. From researching wedding day traditions, to following proper etiquette, it is a good idea to research ideas for your wedding by reading wedding magazines and visiting blogs that are centered on ideas for your wedding day. Do you need some wedding ideas? See if you already know the answer to the following questions.

    • Maid of Honor duties. What are the required activities of the maid of honor? What about the best man?
    • Wedding speeches. Can you use any ideas on what to say during your vows? What members of your wedding party should give speeches?
    • Hair Styles. Do you already know the hair style you wish to use at your wedding?
    • Wedding fashion. Perhaps you could use some ideas on the wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, groomswear and other members of your wedding party?

    The answers to all these questions, and other questions you haven't even thought of yet, can be discovered through researching proper wedding ideas. Researching wedding ideas is an important part of proper wedding planning.

    Are you looking for ideas for your wedding? Visit and research wedding planning and discover many local wedding vendors to help plan your special day.

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