Maid of Honor Duties – Day of the Wedding (Part 3 in MOH Series )

Maid of Honor Duties, MOH Duties, Day of Wedding

Maid of Honor Duties -Wedding Day Preparations 

The wedding day has finally arrived.  Everyone (especially the bride) is excited, and stressed, and ready for this thing to happen.  The  Maid of Honor duties and the MOH’s calm successful completion of them are keys to a perfect wedding experience.  We’ve compiled a  list of MOH duties and ideas for you to support the bride and make the most important day of her life run smoothly.  Your bride is gonna love you.

 

 

Breakfast for the Bride – Maid of Honor Duties Start Early 

Breakfast, Maid of Honor duties, MOH duties

Make sure the bride eats breakfast.   This is going to be a very long day for her. Make certain  the bride starts the day with a healthy breakfast. (Not just donuts and coffee.  Brides can get grumpy when they start the day with a sugar rush.)

Help the Bride Relax – An All Day Maid of Honor Duty 

As the MOH you are in the best position to help the bride relax until and including during the ceremony.  Think of things that you can so to make sure there is little or no drama.  Tell her jokes, share memories she has with other members of the bridal party, and her groom, watch a favorite movie.  Make sure the atmosphere is as quiet and away from the hustle bustle of the wedding preparations that do not include the bride.  If there is time, this is a wonderful day for a massage, long soak in the hot tub, or whatever it is that relaxes the bride.  The groom and groomsmen often play golf before the wedding.  What does your bride enjoy.  Do it.

 

Maid Honor, MOH, toast, wedding, Maid of Honor Duties, MOH DutiesBe Alert for Alcohol Consumed By the Wedding Party Before the Wedding

While it is nice to celebrate with the bride before the ceremony, it is never a good idea to let the champagne overflow.   If you are having alcohol, but sure to have plenty of munchies around for everyone.  And don’t forget water and non-alcoholic options.

 

Guidance for Bridesmaids – One of the Maid of Honor Duties That Can Be Tedious

Inform the bridesmaids of the complete schedule for the day and help them remain on the schedule. You’ll want to complete a quick check throughout the day to make sure each of the bridesmaids (and ring bearer and flower girls) are where they need to be and ready at the appointed time.  You don’t have to “be in charge”, just do your best to keep everyone organized and on track. (It may feel like herding cats, but someone has to do it.)

Have the Bride’s Favorite Treat On Hand

Maid of Honor Duties, MOH Duties, Day of wedding

Try to have some of the bride’s favorite snacks or treats on on hand.  It is a wonderful way to calm her if nerves start showing  Dark chocolate is always a good option.  And don’t forget the Tums.

Drop Off Any Reception Items at the Venue

The Maid of Honor Duties are very broad.  You may be able to get this done at the rehearsal; just be sure all the tiny details make it to the ceremony and reception venues.  Guest books with pens, matches or lighter for lighting candles, seating charts and cards, cake knife and server, toasting glasses, signs, any special unity ceremony items should all be dropped off at the venue in advance of when the bride arrives.  Determine if you or someone else will be responsible for placing them on the wedding day, so you can allow adequate time in your schedule.

Confirm with the officiant, that you have the wedding license at the ceremony venue.  He/she will probably want to keep it until after the wedding when it is signed.

Act as a Gatekeeper- MOH Duties – You’re A Policeperson!

If there are family members or “friends” that will stress the bride, it is your job to keep them away from the bride if you can. She has already heard all their issues before the wedding, and it is pointless to rehash them on the best day of her life.

Bring Drinking Straws

Once the bride and bridal party’s makeup is in place, encourage everyone to drink from a straw to avoid smearing lipstick and gloss. This is especially important if the makeup artist used multiple colors for the lips.

Help the Bride Get Ready

Maid of Honor Duties, MOH Duties,One of the primary Maid of Honor duties is assisting the bride in getting into her dress, and putting on veil, shoes and accessories. Be ready and available to grab or do whatever the bride (or her makeup artist, hairdresser, etc. ) need to help her get ready and looking gorgeous from head to toe.  After the ceremony you will also help bustle the bride’s gown, if needed.

Assist the Bride in the Bathroom – Not a Favorite MOH Duty – But Greatly Appreciated

Once the bride has donned her wedding gown,  it may be necessary to have someone help her in the ladies’ room and make sure the dress looks perfect when finished. If possible, do a practice run of this in a space the size of the restroom you will have available to you.  You want to know what works and what you need to rethink before the wedding day.

Vendor Check

Confirm that vendors are in place (Be sure to keep a list of phone numbers handy!).  This duty may be assumed by the coordinator; however, you can convey that all is in place to the bride if she is anxious.  As the officiant, I always communicate with the Maid of  Honor when I arrive at the ceremony venue and ask her to tell that bride that I am onsite.  You would be surprised how many brides have the secret fear that the officiant will forget, have an accident or flat tire, or just not show up.  I remove this worry and the bride relaxes.

Marriage License Signing

Confirm where and when the marriage license will be signed with the officiant, and communicate to the bride, groom, best man and photographer. After the signing, take possession of the signed license so the couple will not have to worry about it until after the honeymoon. (If the bride and groom will see each other before the wedding, and the officiant agrees, the license can be completed before the wedding, with pictures. One less thing to take time between the ceremony and reception.)

Maid of Honor Duties, MOH Duties, carry tissues, happy tears

Carry Tissues

Carry a few tissues in case the bride, groom or bridesmaids shed a few happy tears.

Act as the Bride’s Messenger

The bride is going to be very busy for at least part of her pre-ceremony day.  She will be “stuck” getting her hair and make-up done and unavailable to address the tiny details that are going through her head during these times. Plan to be at her side to grab a snack for her, relay messages to the groom, check her phone, get answers to her questions and worries, so she can relax and remain calm during the stress of the pre-ceremony preparations.

Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Maid of Honor, MOH, Wedding Planning, Bride, Maid of Honor Duties, MOH Duties

Remember that wedding day emergency kit you spend so much time preparing?  Now is when all your hard work pays off.  You are prepared for any last minute emergency that can arise.  Be sure to bring your kit to the bridal suite where the bridal party dresses for the wedding, to the ceremony venue, and to the reception location.  Doesn’t it make you feel like Superwoman knowing you are ready for anything?  Your bride is so lucky to have you at her side.

Groom’s Ring

Maid of Honor Duties, MOH Duties, Groom Ring Keep the groom’s ring safe until the ceremony.  Experts recommend that the Maid of Honor wear the groom’s ring on her thumb.  Nothing is more embarrassing than standing in front of a venue full of guests and realizing you left the groom’s ring in the bridal suite.  Triple check you have it before you leave the suite (Sometimes the Best Man holds both rings.  Be sure you confirm that he has them if this is the case.)

First Look

If the couple is planning a first look, make sure that everything is in place, that the bride is ready.  Some First Look Photos also include the bridal party, so you’ll also be watching the time and making sure everyone is ready and in place.

Before Leaving for the Ceremony

Be sure to check in advance if anyone needs to go to the bathroom, or touch up makeup.  These last-minute tasks are why weddings fall woefully behind schedule  (Remember bride bathroom breaks can take a lot longer than normal once she has he wedding dress on.  Plan accordingly.)

Take One More Look

A few minutes before you leave for the ceremony, ask the bride to stand quietly in place.  Now walk around her and check for any tiny last minute details that may need adjustment.  From the top of her head, ot the soles of her feet – everything is flawless and ready to go.

Maid of Honor Duties, MOH Duties, Day of Wedding

Get Them to the Church on Time

Get the bride and bridal party to the church or ceremony venue on time

 

 

Thank You

Maid of Honor, MOH, MOH & Wedding PlanningFor those who read Parts 1 and 2 and have been lighting up my inbox sending comments and personal ideas, Thank You.  We (and all the brides reading this) appreciate your sharing. ”  Please keep sending me your comments.  I plan to share them in a future post.

I look forward to seeing your ideas and comments  in future posts. Please keep sending them to me. You are the expert I would love to hear from.  Hugs.  My email address: rita@ceremoniestolove.com

 

 

Other Articles You Will Enjoy

Maid of Honor – What You  Need to Know to Be Awesome (Part 1 in Series)

MOH – Maid of Honor  During the Wedding Planning (Part 2)

Wedding Planning Stress Relief (Part 1)

 

Follow Us On Pinterest

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please email me if you have any questions or ideas to share. Hugs.

 

 

 

MOH – Maid of Honor During the Wedding Planning (Part 2)

Maid of Honor, MOH, MOH & Wedding Planning

 

During the Wedding Planning – Maid of Honor (MOH) – Bride Support # 1

This is the second in our series of articles for Maid of Honor (MOH).  The first article focused on what you need to do before the wedding planning begins to be an awesome MOH.  (We’ll add a link at the bottom of this article  so you can read it later.  In this article we look at the Maid of Honor’s duties and the expectations of the bride during the wedding planning process.  Keep in mind that we offer a wide variety of ideas for you to consider  In many areas of  the country and the world traditions differ. If a duty is assumed by someone else, feel free to skip it and move on.

Assist the Bride – The MOH is Her Right Hand Woman

The bride should feel comfortable asking for your help, support and ideas.  The reality is that many brides just assume that you know she needs your help,and you will offer.  No one asks, no one offers –  miscommunication and hurt feelings result.  If the bride does not ask for help, communicate regularly with her to sincerely offer your help and assistance. If you do not have the time or money to help, resist the urge to make the offer.

Help with Pre-wedding  Tasks

There are so many tiny details like sstuffing invitations, assembling favors, attending vendor meetings, etc. that the bride is always looking for help and support.  As MOH, make sure your bride knows your availability schedule and help whenever you can. You can also coordinate the participation of the other bridesmaids for workdays, appointments, etc.   If you are remote, there are still ways you can help.   You can address wedding invitations  and mail from anywhere.  You can share ideas online, do research and offer offer virtual hugs when needed.

Go Dress Shopping with the Bride

Maid of Honor, MOH, wedding dress shopping, wedding planning

This is one of the best parts of being a Maid of Honor (unless your bride cannot make a decision after multiple appointments- then it may become a chore).  Your job is to  stay by the bride’s side through the entire process.  Provide positive, constructive feedback and help the bride see her entire wedding look including veil, shoes and makeup. If needed, you may need to calm the bride’s nerves or mediate differences of opinion within the bride’s entourage at bridal appointments.  Remember you are here to support the bride.

Help Select the Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Accessories

The Bride may elect to include all bridesmaids in this decision.  If so, you may need your negotiation skills to come to a consensus. Remember you job is to support the bride’s wishes.

Bride’s Cheerleader and Shoulder to Cry On

Maid of Honor, MOH,MOH & wedding planning Wedding planning can be stressful for all brides.  In all likelihood, you are comfortable talking with the bride sharing her thoughts and frustrations.  She should feel confident that anything she shares with you  will be held in confidence and not shared with others.  If  you cannot be there in person, reach out electronically, send notes and funny greeting cards and stay in touch with the bride’s feelings.  (We created an entire series on wedding planning stress, be sure to check it out. You may need it for you or  your bride during the wedding planning.)

Registry Information

Guests often need help with wedding registry information.  You can provide support to the bride by having these questions routed to you.

Cash as A Gift

MOH, Mai of Honor, MOH & wWedding Planning

If it is cash is on the couple’s wish list, discuss with the bride and groom in advance how they would like you to respond when you get questions.  This can be a touchy subject with some guests and considered distasteful and down right tacky by many guests, especially those from older generations.

If the couple is requesting cash to help with the purchase or update a new home, for honeymoon expenses be sure you know the details.  When guests call,  you can support the bride and groom by sharing details.  This personalizes the use of the money and guests are more  likely to give.

If the couple is requesting gifts to their favorite charity, do some research on the charity, so you can answer questions about it.  Again, when you make charity real them, guests will be more inclined to give.

No Pressure – It is A Gift

Make sure guests do not feel pressured to give their cash.  If they say no, thank them and let it go.  This is between the couple and the guests.  Remember the old saying “Don’t shoot the messenger”.    Do not try to persuade guests  to give cash.  e are talking about a gift, not a donation to their favorite cause

Gifts

You will be asked to keep track of gifts received at wedding showers and parties.  Make sure the bride has addresses for the Thank You notes.  Be prepared to transport gifts after the party if it is a large event.  Being shopping bagsnor boxes to simplify transport and make sure smaller gifts and envelopes do not get lost

Plan the Bridal Shower

MOH, Maid of Honor, Bridal Shower The bride will provide a list of potential guests.  You are responsible for coordinating the party and in charge of details and the invitations. (Bridesmaids should also help financially, so be sure to include them in your planning.)

Note

In some areas the Mother of the Bride and/or Mother of the Groom give the shower(s).  Check with them before you plan.  No need to step on toes.

Plan the Bachelorette Party

Maid of Honor, MOH, bachelorette party, wedding planning

Be sure you consider the bride’s style when planning.  Ask her if she wants a bachelorette party, and if she declines, respect her wishes.  If she accepts, have a discussion about  what  she would like for her party. Bachelorette parties have a reputation for being risque,  alcohol filled parties. If this is not your bride’s style, consider other options.   Remember this event is for the bride and should be activities she enjoys. Ideas such as taking in a show, a spa day, or day (or weekend) at the beach are becoming increasingly popular with today’s bride.

Keep costs in mind when planning.  If you expect bridesmaids to pay part of the tab (which is customary), they should be asked for their input before final decisions are made, not just told what their contribution will be.

Act as the Point Person for the Bridesmaids 

(and gentlemen if the bride has male attendants) in her bridal party.

MOH, Maid of Honor,Wedding Planning, Bridesmaids

  • Organize everyone to make sure they get dresses, shoes, accessories on time, and that alterations are completed on schedule.
  • Coordinate hair and makeup appointments for the bridal party
  • Coordinate transportation and accommodations for the bridal party as needed
  • Direct and support the other bridesmaids with their wedding duties,
  • Provide details for all pre-wedding parties to the other bridesmaids.
  • Deal with any badly-behaving bridesmaids (You’ll know who they are.) There will inevitably be some tension at some point during your wedding planning or on the wedding day between bridesmaids.  The Maid of Honor is the voice of reason when dealing with issues.  Resist the urge to take sides and try to get the maids to resolve their issues quietly and peaceably.  As Maid of Honor, your goal is to not include the bride in these petty issues.

Attend Cake and Menu Tasting as Requested by the Bride

Your bride may ask you to participate in tasting events.  Try to arrange time to attend, and be sure to provide  your bride with your availability so the meetings fit your schedule as well as hers.

DIY Projects – The Maid of Honor Your  Responsibility to the Bride

Maid of Honor, MOH, wedding planning, DIY weddingIt is great to hone your skills, get ready to craft, and be supportive of the bride’s ideas. But also be realistic about your time and the time of the bride.  Creating wedding favors or wedding centerpieces are top DIY projects for many brides.  Websites and magazine articles promise glamorous results that any amateur can create on a shoestring budget.  Most of the items of these picture-perfect creations are made by professionals, and snapped by professional photographers.   

 

Before the Bride Commits to  DIY 

Before the bride fully commits to a DIY project, encourage her to make one sample item to see if it meets her expectations.  When calculating costs consider cost of supplies, tools and equipment.  What space is available for working and storage?  How will you transport completed items to the venue?  If you will be working with fresh flowers, how will you keep them at the proper temperature until needed?  (And, remember floral work has to be made no earlier than the day before the wedding.)   It is your job as the MOH to be sure the bride understands  what DIY really means other planning time and budget. 

Favors

MOH, Maid of Honors, Wedding Planning, Wedding Favors Help  the bride pick favors (and help make them if it is DIY – again be sure to enlist the help of others.)

If the bride is undecided on having favors, it is a growing trend to bypass favors.  Be supportive of her decision.

Bonus Tip:  Guests # 1 choice for wedding favors is always food.

 

 Addressing Invitations

Maid of Honor, MOH, Addressing Invitations, Wedding planning

Help address invitations.  Some MOH also record RSVP responses when received.  Addressing does not have to be completed in one large session.  It is OK to offer to take some home and complete them when you have time.

If you live out of town, you can still help with addressing envelopes.  It is  inexpensive to bulk mail invitations to you to you with a completed sample.  You can drop  addressed invitations in the mail at agreed upon time.  Make sure you stay on schedule.

You can also have RSVPs returned to you for recording.  You can record online in an app or spreadsheet so the information is readily available to you and the bride, and she does not have to do the keying.

Seating Charts and Place Cards

This is a major project, an the bride will appreciate your help.  It is tempting to ignore this step, but research shows that wedding guests overwhelmingly prefer to be assigned to a table instead of choosing their own seating.  You can encourage the  bride to assign tables instead of individual seats, and use a seating chart rather than place cards.  It will save lots of time and money, especially for a large wedding.

Maid of Honor, MOH, wedding music, ceremony music, reception Help in Creating Music Playlists for the Ceremony and the Reception

You probably know the bride’s music tastes as well as anyone – what artists, style and songs she and the groom like and equally important what they do not like.  You can offer to make an initial list of music for the ceremony and/or reception  (and a list that should be avoided) and share it with the bride.  She can tweak it and make it her own, after you have saved her a lot of research time.

Follow Up With Guests Who Have Not Responded to the RSVP

When guests do not respond, the bride stresses because she needs numbers for the venue, caterer, etc.  While having to follow up with each guest is time consuming, it is also a necessity.  As Maid of Honor, help with this task (and include the other bridesmaids too, to make the task go quickly.)

Maid Honor, MOH, toast, weddingGive a toast at the rehearsal dinner (if requested)

Some brides elect to have their wedding toasts at the rehearsal dinner -especially those with long stories or insider humor.  You can then provide a short formal toast at the reception if asked.  Be sure to  ask the bride to share how she plans for the toasting to occur.

Arrange for a Safe Place to Store Gift Envelopes During the Reception

Sadly, cash gifts have been known to vanish during  hectic receptions. The MOH can prevent this issue, by planning a safe place for envelopes during the reception, and make sure they are retrieved and delivered to couple or held until after the honeymoon, if  requested by the  bride.

Thank You

Maid of Honor, MOH, MOH & Wedding PlanningFor those who read Part 1 and have been lighting up my inbox sending comments and personal ideas, Thank You.  We (and all the brides reading this) appreciate your sharing.  I was a little taken aback by how many MOH commented that they had no idea of how much they were committing to do when they agreed to be the Maid of Honor.  Emma V. from Boston, MA shared:

“I thought I was just going to have to be at the ceremony, straighten Ruth’s train and veil and hold the bouquet. No one told me there was so much needed to do before the wedding day.  I would have still said yes.  Ruth and have been friends since we were kids and I wanted to be there for her.  I just wish I knew what I was getting into before I said yes.”

I look forward to seeing your ideas and comments  in future posts. My email address: rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Other Articles You  Will Enjoy

Maid of Honor – What You  Need to Know to Be Awesome (Part 1 in Series)

Wedding Planning Stress Relief (Part 1)

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

 

Follow Us On Pinterest

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.  

Enjoy your wedding planning and please email me if you have any questions or ideas to share. Hugs.

 

 

Maid of Honor – What You Need to Know to Be Awesome (Part 1 in Series)

Being an awesome Maid of Honor is hard work, takes lots of planning, nerves of steel, a bit of luck,  and often a thick skin.  Brides often assume that being an awesome Maid of Honor just happens.  But that is not so.  The individual the bride selects to serve as  her Maid of Honor can make a huge difference in the wedding. Our series of Maid of Honor articles provides you and your bride with all the information you need about being a Maid of Honor.  We include what to do, what not to do, how to support the bride, expectations, and more.

Maid of Honor, MOH, Bride, Wedding Planning

This article is Part 1 in our Maid of Honor series.  It focuses on things you can do to become an awesome Maid of Honor, providing the support and assistance your bride will need throughout her wedding planning.

In Part 2 we will address your role as Maid of Honor during the wedding planning phase.  To be sure you get the article when it is published, be sure to sign up for our email notifications below.

Part 3 will address the your role as Maid of Honor on the day of the wedding before the ceremony.

Part 4 will include the ceremony and reception.

We also plan to publish an article with your ideas, suggestions, helps and hints about your bridal party. Just email us or send in the comment section below to include your suggestions.

Why Talk About the Maid of Honor?

As a wedding officiant for more than ten years, I have seen far too many weddings where the bride and the Maid of  Honor (MOH) have very different ideas of the duties and responsibilities of the MOH.  This creates misunderstanding, frustration and even ill feelings between what are often best friends.  This is not the time to add stress to the bride, or her MOH, so we wrote this series of articles for you for two reasons:

A Realistic Perspective

We are providing both the bride and Maid of Honor with a realistic idea of the bride’s expectations of the Maid of Honor (and vice versa).

Bride:
  • Brides, we suggest you read this series before you select your Maid of Honor and then genuinely assess if the person you have in mind for the job will be willing and able to fulfill her (or his) duties to meet your exceptions.   If not, you need to consider if you need these duties performed at all, and who will perform them.  There are no required duties for a MOH, just traditions and things to do.  You will want to plan who will do what. If it is important to you to have this individual by your side at the ceremony, then you will just need an alternate plan for the other duties that she will not or cannot assume.
Maid of Honor:
  • Maids of Honor, we suggest you read the series and honestly assess if you are enthusiastically willing  to assume these duties.  Being a truly incredible Maid of Honor can be expensive both in terms of time and money. (Average costs for a Maid of Honor in today’s weddings are between $2,000 and $3,000 and countless hours of preparation, advising, cheer-leading and more.)  It is much more than just showing up on the wedding day and holding the bride’s flowers during the ceremony. ( I know that is the fun part, but there is much work to be done before you get to that point.)  Honestly asses if you are ready and able for the work and expense of  being the Maid of Honor before you accept the position.
  • I know, you are saying “She asked, I have to accept”. But I assure you that your bride will prefer to know up front that this position is beyond what you can do rather than to have you accept and then fall short of her and your expectations or back out later.  It is a difficult conversation but one that should be had early.

A Detailed Checklist

To provide a detailed checklist of items and duties expected of the Maid of Honor.  The list of duties we provide is extensive and may be beyond what the Maid of Honor does in your area.  Each wedding is unique and you can select the duties you want your MOH to assume.  If you have selected your Maid of Honor (or even before if you have concerns that she will accept without understanding all that her duties entail) sit down and review the list  together.  You can decide together what the Maid of Honor will be responsible for and what will be handled by others in this wedding. (No other weddings matter.  Just the one, so stay focused on what you want).   Now you both have the same expectations and there is less chance of things slipping by undone, and hard feelings.

What is a Maid of Honor?

When we use the term Maid of  Honor, it is intended as a generic term for the individual who will serve as the bride’s  chief bridesmaid and support, both during the wedding planning and on the wedding day.  You will participate in planning, herding the bridesmaids, wiping tears, and being the sense of reason in many decisions.) Pretty awesome list of tasks, don’t you think?  May the title should be Wonder Woman, or  Best Woman. Let’start a new tradition!)

The term Matron of Honor is identical to Maid Honor with the exception that the Matron of Honor is married.  And before you ask, yes, many brides include both a Maid of  Honor and Matron of Honor in the wedding party,especially when they have married and unmarried sisters. It is up to you, just be sure you clearly delineate the duties of each to avoid overlap, forgotten duties,  and stepping on toes.

If you select a male for this honored position, all duties are the same, (possibly with the exception of helping you in the bathroom) and he is referred to as the Man of Honor.

Preparing to be an Awesome Maid of Honor

Start a notebook

Maid of Honor, MOH, Wedding Planning, Bridal PartyOne of the keys to being a successful Maid of  Honor is organization  You need to be able to support the bride when she is a little rattled or  forgets details, be in the right place at the right time, and  be prepared to take on the role of “go-to-person” for answers when someone does not way to ask the bride.

You will need a notebook or digital folders dedicated the wedding.  You should have a tabs/sections for the shower, bachelorette party and wedding planning ideas.  Include ones  for what the bride likes, those she wants to exclude (No chicken-dance at the reception?), and those you want to research further.  Add any other sections that will help you to be organized.  It helps to have everything in one place and at your fingertips when the bride calls.

  • Set up a section to jot down random notes and ideas, things you need to remember and reminders.
  • Include a calendar, so you can note important dates you and the bride agree upon, and any meeting, etc. you will need to attend.  You may also want to include the bride’s schedule so you will know when she is  not available.
  • Record the contact information for each bridesmaid.  You will need to follow up with them about dress appointments, pre-bridal parties, and an entire host of things.
  • Record information about the best time to contact them and their preferred method of communication – a call, text, email, message, etc.
  • Be sure to establish a primary contact where you should look for all answers concerning any children in the wedding.  You do not want to get caught in the middle of disagreeing parents.  Then never go to the other parent for an answer. You’ll be amazed how much stress this removes for you and the bride.

Set up a Wedding Only Email Address

Maid of Honor, MOH, Wedding email, bridal partyWhen you set up a separate email address for wedding planning communication, you will be able to focus your time  on wedding planning when you need to do so, and ignore it when you do not.  You will also find that vendors and others who do not know you will respond quicker when they see the association with the wedding.

Use soemthing like MOH-MielkeWedding@gmail.com   or Rita_BoyleMielkeWedding@gmail.com to quickly identity that you are part of the wedding.  This reminds vendors and those you do not know you why you are emailing them and they will respond more quickly.

You will be more comfortable signing up for wedding related emails without getting swamped in your regular email.  You can cancel the address when you no longer need it after the wedding. It’s a great organizer and time saver and it’s free.

Suggest to the bride that your wedding email address be included on the wedding website and provide it to vendors as a backup and to address questions you can respond to.

Assemble An Emergency Wedding Day Kit

Maid of Honor, MOH, Wedding planning, Bride, The emergency wedding day kit contains last minute items the bride and bridal party may need on the wedding day.  You can purchase  pre-maid kits, but it is also an opportunity to personalize your kit for your bride. (it makes a great shower gift too.)

We are currently compiling a separate article on Wedding Day Emergency Kits, and will post it when complete.  If you want to be sure to receive a copy sign up for our email notifications at the bottom of this article.    Check out this great bag for your kit-personalize it too. 

 

Prepare Your Toast to the Bride and Groom for the Reception

It is so tempting to wait until the last minute to create your toast.  Major Mistake.  You will be so busy in the days of leading up to the wedding you will end up postponing until the last minute.  You, the bride, and the guests will quickly see that you did not dedicate time and effort  it takes to write an awesome toast worthy of your bride.  Now is the time.

Don’t just  think about it, actually take the time to jot down thoughts, think about the tone you want to have (funny, sentimental, etc.) and get it all written down.  Have your speech prepared in advance. You can update and change as the wedding draws closer.  (Having the foundation is a major stress reliever for you.) You really will not have the time after the rehearsal or on the morning of the wedding to prepare the heartfelt message you want to deliver. (That is when most poorly thought out Maid of Honor and Best Man speeches are written.)  Enough said.  Get out your pen.

The Series – What The Future Holds for You as the Maid of Honor

This is the end of Part 1- Preparing to be an Awesome Maid of Honor.  It is the beginning of your journey as a Maid of  Honor.

In Part 2 we will address your role as Maid of Honor during the wedding planning phase.  To be sure you get the article when it is published, be sure to sign up for our email notifications below.

Part 3 will address your role as Maid of Honor on the day of the wedding before the ceremony. (Lots to do here, so don’t this one.)

Part 4 will include your role in the ceremony and reception.

We also plan to publish an article with your ideas, suggestions, helps and hints about your bridal party. Just email to us  or send in the comment section below.

There you’ll have it, all you need to know about being an awesome bridesmaid.  Please be sure to follow the entire  series.

We Want to Hear From You

Maid of Honor, MOH, Bridesmaid, hear from you, your input

This series is for for you – the bride and Maid of Honor.  We also know that you have great ideas that will help others on their wedding  journey. And would like to hear from you.  Please share your ideas to help other brides  and  Maids of Honor.   We would like to share your tips and ideas –  things that work for you; OOPs! -things you wish you skipped; or something you wish you knew earlier. Please share in the comments box below or email your suggestions to us.  If we use your idea in a future article we will give you credit (and thanks) for the idea. (Send a picture by email and we will include that too.)

Other Articles You Will Love

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

Dealing with That “One” Bridesmaid – You Know Who She Is

Wedding Planning Stress Relief (Part 1)

Buying Your Wedding Dress – What No One Told You 


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Our Pinterest Boards

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

 

Affiliate Disclosure

While we only link to products and services we think you will love, some of the links on our site are monetized.  We may receive a commission when you click on the link and make a purchase.  This helps us to keep bringing great content to you!  Your price will  not increase.  All opinions are our own.

 

Ring Warming Wording – Creating a New Wedding Tradition – Part 2

In the Ring Warming Ceremony your wedding rings are “warmed” forever by your guests. Guests impart the well wishes, prayers and their love for you onto your wedding rings. This is an extremely personal way to include  your guests in your wedding. The ring warming wording conveys the meaning of your ceremony to your guests and extends your invitation for them to participate.

ring warming wording, wedding, ceremony, traditions, guests

You will find the details and “how-to’s” in our first post Ring Warming Ceremony -(Part 1) – Including Your Guests in Your Ceremony.  (But, don’t worry, we added at the end of this post, so you can read it later.)  In this post, the second in the series, we provide sample ring warming wording.  Feel free to use as written and you can certainly modify them for your own wedding if  you choose.

First, let’s briefly recap your  Ring Warming Ceremony options.  There are two primary ways to include a ring warming ceremony in your wedding.  (And, check out Bonus Idea at end the end of  this article.  It is brand new for us and you.)

Ring Warming Wording for Within Your Wedding Ceremony

Near the beginning of your wedding ceremony (usually after the welcome when everyone is seated), your officiant  introduces the ring warming to your guests.  The ring warming wording he/she explains that your rings will be passed through the guests.  He/she  also invites each guest to participate.  As the ring are passed, each guest holds the rings, says a silent prayer/blessing/warm thought for your marriage, and then passes them to the next guest.

The rings will be passed as the officiant continues with the wedding until the time for the ring exchange.

Before Guests Enter – Ring Warming Wording 

There are practical limitations to a ring warming passing of the rings.  There is simply not enough time to pass the rings to everyone at a large wedding.  You can address this by:

  1. limiting the ring warming to family and the bridal party, or
  2. having the guests warm your rings as they enter the ceremony area and reference it during your ring exchange.
  3. See Bonus at end of this article for brand new idea.

You will find detailed information on both options in our post Ring Warming Ceremony -(Part 1) – Including Your Guests in Your Ceremony.  Here we offer your ring warming wording.

Ring Warming Wording

During Your Ceremony – Passing the Rings

ring warming, traditions, wedding, passing the rings, ring warming wording

Version 1

Officiant says:

(Bride) and (Groom) invite you to participate in their wedding by passing their wedding rings among you.  As the rings are passed to you, please take a few moments to warm them with your wishes, hopes, and blessings, for (Bride) and (Groom).  Your silent prayer or wish for their future together will be embedded in the rings which (Bride and Groom) will wear throughout their life together.  Through your participation in (Bride and Groom’s) ring warming, these rings become a symbol, not only of (Bride and Groom’s) love of each other, but also of your love and the support you have shared with them on their wedding day.

Version 2

Officiant says:

(Bride and Groom) invite you to participate in the passing of their rings.  You will pass the wedding rings among each other and warm them with your wishes, prayers, and blessings for Bride and Groom  As you hold the rings, please say a silent wish or prayer for (Bride and Groom), their marriage and for their future together. (Add Instructions for how rings will be passed.)

Version 3

Ring Warming Wording – Limited Participants- Family, Bridal Party

Officiant says:

It is widely believed that precious metals hold energy. The more durable the object the more the energy will be absorbed. These rings are made from(Include metal(s) rings are made from) which makes them perfect for capturing the energy of your love and support for (Bride) and (Groom) on their wedding day.

I invite (family/the wedding party-whomever your select*)  to pass the rings between one another and to warm the precious metal with your wishes, prayers, and blessings for (Bride) and (Groom).

*You can use this version by using “everyone”, instead of family, etc. and deleting the next paragraph.

As they pass the rings, I ask that all present  extend a silent wish or prayer for (Bride and Groom) that may support them in them as a couple, for their marriage, and their future together.

(Rings are passed then returned  to handed to the officiant before the ring exchange)

During the Ring Exchange

For Versions 1, 2, 3 above, the officiant says the follow when introducing the ring exchange:

(Bride and Groom) these, your rings, now contain within their precious metal, that which is priceless – the love and care of your family and friends.  As you wear your rings let them remind  you that you will always have this community of friends and family to support you and your marriage.

Continue with Ring exchange wording

Ring Warming Ceremony Before the Wedding

Version 4ring warming wording, ring warming, wedding,wedding traditions, bride, wedding guests

For larger weddings, (usually over 50 guests), you may opt to have your ring warming as guests enter the ceremony area.

Place the rings on a table at the entrance to the ceremony.

Rings can be in a box, a beautiful dish, affixed to a pillow or similar object or even tied with ribbons and hanging so that guests can see and touch them as they enter. (It is best to have them secured so they will not roll away if dropped.)

Place a small sign on the table briefly explaining the ring warming ceremony and inviting guests to participate.

Ring Warming Wording for Sign

Option  1

Ring Warming Ceremony

Before you enter, please take a moment to participate in the warming of (Bride) and (Groom’s) wedding rings.

Touch/hold these rings for a moment.  Warm them with your love and make a silent wish or pray for (Bride) and (Groom) for the life together as husband and wife.

Option 2

Our Ring Warming

Please take a moment to warm our wedding rings with your love, support and well wishes (blessing and prayers).  When we exchange these rings in our ceremony, they will carry not only the promises we make to each other, but also the love and support from each of you

Love,

(Bride) and (Groom)

 

You may want a ring attendant present at the ring warming table as this ceremony is seldom seen at weddings.  Your attendant may need familiarize guests with the ceremony and answer any questions.  The attendant can also facilitate the movement of guests into the ceremony. (This job is not for a ring bearer.)

Before Ring Exchange, Officiant Incorporates the Ring Warming into Your Ceremony:

Officiant says:

As you entered the ceremony earlier today, you saw (bride) and (groom’s) wedding rings.  You are an important part of their lives and the community of family and friends here to support them as they begin their new life journey together.  (Bride) and (groom) asked that you warm their rings by touching them and placing your blessing and well wishes into the rings.

It is now time for (bride) and (groom) to exchange these rings as a symbol of their love and commitment to each other.

These rings also contain the love and support for (Bride) and (Groom’s ) marriage that you embedded in them during the ring warming.  (Bride) and (Groom) thank you for sharing your love and will wear these rings as a symbol of their love for each other and the love you have shared with them on their wedding day

Version 5

Ring Warming Ceremony – Including Your Children

Ring warming wording, ring warming ceremony, wedding traditions, unique ceremony ideas
Family Ring Warming

The ring warming ceremony is a wonderful way to include your children in your wedding.  You can include young children who are becoming part of a blended family , or if adult children can also be included to signify their support of the marriage.

Before the exchange of rings, the officiant invites the children (by name) to come forward. After they have gathered

The officiant says:

(Name Children), Your Mom and Dad(or other appropriate wording) ask that each of you hold these wedding rings for a moment, warming them with your love, and blessing/sharing your good wishes for their marriage, before passing them on.

While the children are imparting their wishes to the wedding rings, I ask everyone present to silently send to (bride) and (groom) your best wishes (and blessings) 

After children pass rings – continue –

Children(by name), family and friends, you have added your love and support of this marriage.  As (Bride and Groom) wear these rings they will be an outward sign of their love for each other and the love you have shared with them on their wedding day.

Bonus Idea :

As we were writing this article, I officiated at a wedding where the couple chose to have the Ring Warming between their first look and the wedding ceremony.  I love this idea.  This ceremony could be  performed at the Wedding Rehearsal or Dinner.  Actually it can occur at any time when close family and friends are gathered.  Here is our version of this ceremony.  We hope you like it.

Before the wedding, the couple gathers with their wedding party, close family and friends.  If the officiant is in attendance, you can ask him/her to lead the ceremony.  Otherwise select someone to lead  the ceremony or the bride and groom can do so themselves. (The following is written for the officiant, but can be easily adapted.)

Everyone gathers in a circle with the bride and groom.

Ring Warming Wording

The officiant says:

(Bride) and  (groom) are inviting you to participate in their ring warming ceremony by passing the rings amongst you.  As you accept the rings, please take a few moments to warm them with your wishes, hopes, and blessings for (Bride) and (Groom) and pass them to the next person. You may impart your wishes silently or speak them to bride and groom as you share. Your wishes and blessing for (Bride )and (Groom’s) future together will be embedded in  the rings they will wear throughout their life together.  Through your participation in (Bride and Groom’s) ring warming, these rings become a symbol, not only of (Bride and Groom’s) love of each other, but also of your love and the support you have shared with them on their wedding day.

Rings are passed to all participants and returned to the couple.

Ring Warming Wording, Ring Warming Ceremony, Wedding Tradition, Ring Exchange
Wedding Ring Exchange at the Ceremony

On the wedding day before the ring exchange, the officiant continues. He/she asks for the rings, then said:

Last night at the rehearsal dinner (insert appropriate language), (Bride) and (Groom) gathered for the Warming of the Rings.  In the ring warming, (Bride) and (Groom’s ) wedding rings were passed among the guests in attendance  and each guest  was asked to impart their prayers, blessings and well wishes into the rings.   Before  (Bride) and (Groom ) exchange their rings, they also ask that you silently impart your blessing on the rings as well.  Please take a few moments now, to send your best wishes to (Bride and Groom). Pause while guests send wishes, then continue with the exchange of rings.

Other Articles You Will Enjoy

Ring Warming Ceremony -(Part 1) – Including Your Guests in Your Ceremony

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

 

Wedding Anxiety and Stress – Part 4 in Series of Stress Relief

This is Part 4 in our series about relieving wedding anxiety and stress – feelings that are all too common for brides when planning their weddings.  We have attached links to the earlier posts at the bottom of this post and hope you will read and share them.

Realistic  Expectations Eliminate Your Wedding Anxiety 

Be realistic about your wedding  goals and expectations.  Foremost, are they a fantasy, or something that you can realistic achieve?  Are they manageable considering your timeline, budget, venue, etc.? When you decide you can achieve them, create a plan and go for it.  Likewise, when you know ideas are beyond your bounds, don’t stress yourself by comparing your wedding to a photo-shoot you saw in a magazine or online.  Wedding anxiety and stress are often rooted in unrealistic fantasy.

Wedding planning is filled with images of fairy tale weddings that are beyond many of us. (Did you know that many of the weddings in bridal magazines and online are not even real weddings?  I know, I was bummed when I learned that.  However, it does make me feel better about the real weddings I officiate because none of them are as over-the-top as the magazines and I am working with real people.)

Be realistic in terms of time, money, and your own abilities.  Are you going to be in the frame of mind to enjoy your wedding when it arrives, or are you going to be a hot-mess from the planning that created your wedding anxiety and stress?  Your choice.  Choose wisely.

Staying Hydrated Relieves Wedding Anxiety 

Drink lots of water and herbal teas.  Mint tea soothes indigestion, heartburn, gas and stomachache, and is awesome for calming bridal nerves and relieving stress. (The effect is magnified when you take a few moments to relax and sip your tea rather than guzzling it on the run.)  Carry a small thermos when attend planning meetings or are performing lengthily planning tasks.  A few sips of water or tea will make wash the wedding anxiety away.

Furthermore, health experts tell us that drinking water gives a radiant, healthy, younger-looking complexion, in addition to reducing stress.

Win – Win.

The Power of Scent – Slowly Inhale and Feel Wedding Anxiety Vanish

Aromatherapy is the use of scents to treat your moods and an effective stress reliever.  Burning a scented candle or using essential oils can reduce your feelings of stress and elininate wedding anxiety.  It is also an effective way to improve sleep.

These are some of the most calming scents:

  • Lavender
  • Roman chamomile.
  • Orange or orange blossom.
  • Sandalwood
  • Geranium

Bonus Tip: 

If you don’t have a candle or oils, peel and eat an orange.  The scent will have the same short-term effect as orange oils.  Keep the peels close by for a few hours and give them a twist to release more the natural oils.  It’s unbelievable, how well this works.

Exercise

Physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve wedding anxiety.  When you walk, jog, stretch or participate in your activity of choice,  your body releases endorphins. Because endorphins make you happy,  you feel better about yourself, and are less anxious.  Works like magic!

Remember you must plan and schedule your exercise.  It does not just happen and is one of the first things people tend to give up when they get busy.  Make an exercise date with yourself (and a friend). Be sure to keep it.

Chew Gum

Believe it or not, chewing gum is a quick and easy wedding anxiety buster.  There are many theories about why it works. One suggests that chewing gum creates brain waves that simulate relaxation, another is that chewing promotes blood flow to the brain.  One study says the harder people chew, the greater the stress reduction.  Not sure why it works, but apparently it does, so chew as you will.

Create Your Vision Board

A vision board or dream board is a powerful tool that helps to narrow your wedding wants by making choices. You will be able to see the big picture, and how everything fits together, so you can lay out a plan of how to reach your goal and dreams.   A realistic plan is a major wedding anxiety reliever.

When you see your wedding in its entirety, you can plan the steps you need to get there.  You are taking the edge off your wedding anxiety and avoiding unexpected surprises when wedding elements conflict. Your vision board creates a series of stepping stones, so you can see your way to get what you want for your wedding.  Wedding anxiety and stress – Poof. Gone.

Three Deep Breaths

When you feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, take three slow deep breaths – in through your nose. Then three deep exhales – out  through your mouth.  Repeat as many times as needed throughout your day to relieve your stress and anxiety.  It seems to simple to be true.  Trust me it is a game changer – you just have to remember the exercise when you are anxious or  stressed.

Change Your Mindset

It is easy to become overwhelmed and as a result a bit depressed when you are planning your wedding.  Details seem to be endless and you are constantly called on to make decisions. Can your say Overload?

You are going to have to practice self-love (OK, most people will call it being self-centered, but it is not), and put yourself first.  Learn  to say “No”, when you may prefer to agree, and even step on a few toes.  (We’re not talking bridezilla here, just being able to kindly and pleasantly say “No” when an idea is presented that you really don’t want for your wedding.) Be open to new ideas and making important  decisions about what you want – and yes, the results do fall squarely on your shoulders.

Furthermore, give yourself pep talks.  Talk positively to yourself.   (Yep, I mean right out loud.)

Yes! Yes! Yes!

When I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is shout Yes! Yes! Yes! while pumping my fist in the air.  It gets my blood flowing and starts my day with a can-do attitude.  That may be too much for you, but promise me you will at least try it once, before you pass judgement,

Believe you can make the wedding of your dreams happen, and you will be surprised how quickly your positive outlook will impact your actions and those of others.

Henry Ford is responsible for one of my favorite quotes.  He said:  “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.”

Old Henry really knew what he was talking about – not only did he create the first assembly line for using standardized parts for making cars (It also works great if you are doing DIY wedding crafts – standardize and simplify, works every time.)  he also understood that what we think about ourselves and our own abilities has the biggest impact on how we face a situation and the stress we will feel.

Wedding anxiety and stress will be a distant memories when you have a positive outlook about what you and others can do. “Yes, I can.”

Get Plenty of Rest

There really is no way around this.  Lack of sleep affects your physical health and contributes to increased wedding anxiety. If you are not sleeping well at night or were up very late, it is OK to schedule a quick power-nap in your day.

When I am home on a weekend, I schedule a nap into my Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  It is surprising the big difference a short nap makes and how much more productive I am when I wake up and get back to my wedding planning.

Celebrate Your Daily Successes

Finally, before you fall asleep at night, think of three things that went right with your day or that you feel grateful for.

I keep a pad beside my bed to jot them down with the date.   I call it my “TahDah” list.  You know like on TV when they say “TahDah” and someone takes a bow.

We all have “To Do” lists that help us remember what needs to be done.  I also have my “TahDah” list so I can remember and celebrate what I have accomplished.   Make your own list.  They are a fantastic way to focus on successes and when things are not going so well, to look back and see all that you have accomplished.  It is an awesome way to conclude the day, by putting everything in perspective and reminding me there is no need to stress. You’ve got this.

Thank You

wedding planning stress, bride, wedding, wedding anxietyFor those who read Part 1-3 of this wedding stress relief series thanks for lighting up my inbox.  I love hearing from you and appreciate that you are sending comments and personal stress relievers that work for you.  Thank You.  I (and all the brides reading this) appreciate that you took the time to share.  I look forward to reading more ideas and comments and am working on the article to include them. If you have a tip to share, please email me at: rita@ceremoniestolove.com .  Don’t forget to include a picture and we’ll post that too (with your permission, of course. )

More Posts You’ll Enjoy:

Wedding Planning Stress Relief (Part 1)

Bride Stress – Wedding Stress Relief (Part 2 in Series)

Recognizing Wedding Stress (Stress Relief Series Part 3)

Dealing with That “One” Bridesmaid – You Know Who She Is

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions, vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

 

Affiliate Links:

While we only link to products and services we think you will love, some of the links on our site are monetized.  If you click on the link and make a purchase we may receive a commission, which helps us keep bringing great content to you! It will not increase the cost of  your purchase.  All opinions are our own.

Ring Warming Ceremony (Part I) – Including Guests In Your Ceremony

Warming of the Rings

A ring warming ceremony is a meaningful way to include your guests in your marriage ceremony.  Each guest holds the wedding rings and silently wishes the couple good luck in their marriage, places their blessing on the rings or offers words of encouragement and love to the couple.  Letting everyone hold your rings and bless them is a very powerful feeling for your guests and a memorable  way for  them to be connect with you and your wedding.Ring warming, wedding, ceremony, including guests

Explaining Ring Warming to Guests

Most of your guests will not have seen this tradition included in a wedding, so you will need to inform them about how the ceremony works and their part in it.

  1. For a “passing” ring warming, have the officiant announce and explain the ceremony immediately following the welcoming to the ceremony.
  2. For an “entrance” ring warming, place a small sign on the table with the rings. You can also have your Ring Attendant welcome guests and invite them to participate.
  3. Another option is to include a brief note in the invitations, explaining the ring warming, the guest instructions, and giving guests an opportunity to prepare their thoughts.

Who Takes Part in a Ring Warming?

It is completely up to you who participates.  You can have all guests participate, limit it to the bridal party, or have a few select guests.  We’ve included ideas for both small intimate wedding – where the ring warming can be easily incorporated with passing of the rings , to those for large weddings -where all (or selected) guests participate.

Immediate Family and Wedding Party Only

Many brides prefer to keep the ring warming small, even in a large wedding.  You can include limit your ceremony to parents, grandparents, your children, or the wedding party.

Reserve spaces in the first two or three rows of your venue for the ring warming participants. Have the officiant explain the ceremony to all guests, then pass the rings to the select few.  He/she can also invite the guests to silently pass their best wishes/blessing to the bride and groom while the rings are passed, or pause at the end and hold the rings aloft for all to see and invite them to send their wishes forward at that time.

Including Your Children

Ring warming as a family is a beautiful way to have children share their love for the couple and show their support of the marriage.

Ring Warming During the Ceremony  

The wedding rings are passed from guest to guest during the ceremony, receiving well wishes and blessings from each guest.  When planning this type of ring warming, the biggest consideration is usually the time it will take your guests to pass the rings.

If you have a large wedding, it will be difficult to have everyone touch and warm your rings unless your ceremony is very long.  Some guests will want to take their time with the rings and will not want to feel under pressure to hurry.  You should allow 15 – 30 seconds per guest.  So, with 50 guests you will need to allow between 12 and 25 minutes for your rings to be passed.

Passing the rings is best for ceremonies with a small number of guests (under 50 people) or selecting a small number to guests to participate and including the others verbally.

Ask the officiant to explain the ceremony, its meaning, and how it works to the guests at the beginning of the ceremony (immediately after the welcome is an appropriate time).

Have a plan for passing the rings – and tell guests how it will progress. (see more about creating your plan later.)

Don’t forget to include your wedding party in your ring warming.  This can awkward logistically especially for the bridesmaids who are already holding the flowers.  An alternative is to have them impart their wishes/blessing before the ceremony.  (Just be sure to have officiant announce that your wedding party participated before their entry).

Tips for Passing the Ringswedding ring, ring warming, ceremony

Avoid lost, dropped, or rolling rings

  • Place them in small organza bag or a box (one box for both works best.)
  • Tie the rings together with a piece of ribbon
  • Place them on a pillow –a ring bearer’s pillow works great for passing the rings

Place a small tag on/with the rings explaining what guests should do (you would be surprised how many people forget between when they receive instructions, and when the rings are passed to them.)  Something like this will help:

  • Share Your Love and Pass It On
  • Please silently bless/wish us luck and pass our rings on to the next guest. Signed (Bride) and Groom)
  • Please warm our rings with the love in your heart.

Creating a Ring Warming Path Plan 

To create the path your rings will travel, decide where you want the rings to be at the end of the ring warming ceremony – in the front of the venue or the back.

If you want your ring bearer to bring the rings to the front of the venue following the warming, you will want them to be at the back, when the ring warming is complete. (Not recommended for young ring bearers)

If you have a single aisle venue, and you want your rings to end up at the front, start passing them at the back of the venue.

If you have two aisles, and want them to end up at the front, start at the front, have them passed down one side, and up the other  ending in the front.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you not only plan the path of your rings’ journey, but walk or draw it out, so you can see  the results.  Don’t assume.  It may not work out as you visualize.

Your officiant should clearly  explain the path to your guests, to avoid confusion as the rings are passed.

Be sure to allow adequate time for the rings to be passed and in place when the ring exchange begins.  If time is an issue, here is an alternate warming ceremony that works well for larger weddings.

Ring Warming Before the Ceremony

Guests can participate in the ring warming as they enter the venue.

  • Have the rings displayed on a table at the ceremony entrance.  Ask guests to touch the rings and warm them as they enter the ceremony.
  • Place rings near the guest book, but not so close that they will create congestion as guests enter. A little distance allows multiple guests to be performing the functions at the same time.
  • Have your ring attendant beside the table to explain the ring warming and invite guests to participate.
  • Create a clear path for guests to sign the guest book, warm rings, and enter the ceremony. It will eliminate confusion.
  • Having the ring warming before the ceremony works best for larger weddings – 50 guests.  It can be used for any size wedding.
  • Securely place the rings  on a pillow or in a small box, so guests can touch the rings. There is no need to them to pick up and handle them.  You want them to be available to all guests, not held while someone gets distracted or is having a conversation.
  • Plan ahead who will be responsible for transferring the rings to the individual(s) responsible for bringing them to the ceremony. Work out the details in advance, including the timing.  This will be a last-minute task.  Have a definite cut off time.  Sadly, last minute stragglers will not be able to participate in the ring warming.  This cannot be avoided to keep your ceremony on schedule.  (see Ring Attendant)

Ring Attendant

It’s a good idea to put someone in charge of the rings during.  The Ring Attendant will keep an eye on the rings, facilitate their movement when passed, and ensure they are in place for the ring exchange.

Your attendant should be someone old enough to handle any issues that occur.  (This is not the job for a young ring bearer.) If you have your ring warming at the entrance, the attendant explains the ring warming to your guests and invites them to participate.

If you are passing the rings among your guests, it is important to keep them moving so that they will be in place for the ring exchange.

Your ring attendant will make sure that the passing of the rings runs smoothly, picking up the rings if they fall, nudging guests if they stall, helping in passing rings across seating gaps, as well as when they move across the aisles.

The Ring Attendant position is ideal for an older child/teenager.

Ring Bearer

If you are having a ring bearer, and want to include the ring warming ceremony:

  1. Provide substitute rings for the ring bearer to carry and have him/her enter the ceremony as part of the bridal party. (In most weddings young children fill the ring bearer role. Few brides entrust their rings to the children to carry.  Therefore using alternate disposable rings is an accepted custom in all weddings.)
  2. If you want the ring bearer to carry the actual rings, have him/her wait at the back of the venue after the bride enters and bring the rings forward after they are passed among guests (works best with older ring bearers.)

Bonus Idea – Including Mom

One of my favorite additions to the ring warming ceremony is including the couple’s mothers.   I add this to my own weddings and have never seen it at weddings other than those I perform.  My gift to you – feel free to use for your own wedding.

After the rings have passed among guests, have them returned to the Mothers.  The Mother of the Groom will hold the bride’s ring; the Mother of the Bride will hold the groom’s ring. For the ring exchange, the mothers stand and present the ring to their child. This is spacial way of welcoming the new bride/groom to the family.

The rings can also be returned to the best man if you prefer to keep this tradition in your ceremony.

 

Pre-Wedding Ring Warming

If you are creating a intimate ring warming, with just your family members and the bridal party, you can also warm the rings at your rehearsal dinner and have a symbolic, ring warming at your wedding.

At the wedding have the Maid of Honor and Best Man hold the rings and represent your guests as the officiant invites your guests to silently warm the rings with their blessings and wishes.  This does not have quite the emotional ties for guests as actually touching the rings, but is a way to include all guests in a shorter time period than passing the rings.

 

So now, you have a new tradition to include in your wedding.  Your guests will feel they participated, not just attended your ceremony.

In Part II, we will provide sample wordings for your Ring Warming.

Other Posts You Will Like

Making Wedding Memories – Fresh New Ideas for You

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

Dealing with That “One” Bridesmaid – You Know Who She Is


Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com .  

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

 

Recognizing Wedding Stress  ( Stress Relief Series Part 3)

Recognizing Wedding Stress  ( Stress Relief Series Part 3)

It has been exciting for me to read your emails from art 1 and Part 2 of our Wedding Stress series.    (If you have not read the articles,  that’s OK, we included the links below.)  I read all of your comments. (Thanks for some awesome stress relief ideas.   You have already mastered recognizing wedding stress and dealing with it! – Double Win.  Furthermore, you will see them in future articles.)

I listened to you.  Several brides, including Melody from LA, asked me to address recognizing wedding stress.  She said “I don’t even realize how stressed I am until later. I wish I could see it when it happens, so I could get over it and concentrate on all the good things about my wedding”.   Similarly, Others  asked for advice recognizing wedding stress and  how to focus on the positive things and knowing when to let go. While this probably should have been the first article in series, (sorry for the misstep on my part) it is never too late for me to respond to your requests. You asked for it.  So, here it is:  Recognizing Wedding Stress  (Stress Relief Series Part 3).

Types of Wedding Stress 

recognizing wedding stress, wedding, bride, planning stressFirst, let’s step back and look at the types of wedding stress you will encounter. We left out technical/scientific terms, so if you are a stress expert, please forgive the omission   Why did we bypass them? Because, brides asked for help, not intimidating psycho-babble and all those heavy explanations just stress me more.

While experts use a wide variety of terms to describe stress,  there are three main types of stress in its simplest form. Because we experience two and usually all three of them as wedding stress, it is important to understand which is affecting you when you are feeling stressed.

Why does it matter what type of stress we are experiencing? When we understand the different stress types we are prepared to use them in a positive manner.  Likewise, when a positive response is not an option, we  may be able to reduce and hopefully eliminate the stressor by our reaction to it.

Our emotional response to a stressful situation is the key to successful stress management.  You’ll find lots ideas and advice in the other articles.  So, for now, concentrate on understanding your wedding stress.

1. Recognizing Wedding Stress We Can’t Control

We usually associate this stress with negative life changing experiences such as loss of a job, death of a loved one, or major health issue.  Although a wedding is not a negative life changing event, you the bride may also feel out of control when dealing with people and situations in your wedding planning that you simply cannot avoid. (Such as  – a MIL who does not approve of your reception plans, an unpleasant vendor  you  contracted and cannot afford to cancel, or an overbearing “helpful” friend.)

Certainly, many experts will tell you that these situations are all avoidable. Hence, they advise that you can just walk away or ignore them.   And in theory, they are correct.  However, in the real life of wedding stress when  you don’t have an unlimited budget (few of us do), don’t want to separate your future husband from his family (lifetime nightmare) , or lose a lifelong friend who loves you and believes she is helping,  you will have to deal with these situations without being able to control them.  You can control how you react and how stressed you become, but the situation itself and how others act is beyond your control.

2.  Natural Stress

Natural stress affects all brides.  No doubt, you feel it when you set your wedding goals or push yourself outside your comfort zone.  Natural stress is usually associated with anticipation of or reaction to an event in our lives.  It is those “butterflies in your stomach” that affect most of us when we have to give a speech, or watch our children play sports, or think about standing in front of 100 guests and saying our wedding vows.  It is your body’s way of telling you that you care and that what is happening is important to you.  Then adrenaline kicks in, energy flows, and your body is ready to take on anything (Enter Super Bride!!)

Above all, the key to dealing with natural stress is to understand that your reactions are good, to recognize it when it appears and use the excess energy it creates.  It is OK to have butterflies about your wedding planning.  It shows it is important to you (as it should be).   Wedding planning is a new experience and you are probably way outside your comfort zone.

Remember, the object is not to get ride of the butterflies. The object is to have them fly in formation and work for you.  It takes a little practice.  You got this.

 

recognizing wedding stress, planning stress, wedding stress, bride, engagement ring

3.   Recognizing Wedding Stress We Can Control

For me, this is usually self-inflicted stress.  Admittedly, we do not realize we were creating our own stress or that we could control it.  We were so busy getting things done and looking to other people as the ones who are creating the stress  that we do not realize we are the problem.  Furthermore, stress we can control is often small things such as being late to an appointment, having a argument over a tiny detail that really does not matter, or getting upset when something does not go exactly as we planned.    You are the only one who can control how much you stress over these small daily issues.  Remember it is often your reaction to a situation, not  the event itself that is creating your stress.

For example, assume you have your final dress fitting appointment.  Because of a major traffic jam you can’t avoid  you are going to be late.  (Don’t you feel the wedding stress just thinking about it?)  What will you do?  Of course, you will call and explain why you are late and when you expect (hope) to arrive.  You deal with the realities of the situation.  That is a given.

Now Deal With the Stress

What’s  next?  Controlling stress is all about choices.  Option 1 – Sit in your car wating for the jam to  clear and stewing over  the situation.  “I wonder what some stupid driver did to create this mess?”, “I have important things to do, and don’t have time for  this.”  It’s not fair, why did this happen now?”  “#$%#$%$#.”  Remind you of anyone?

Option 2 – Accept that it is what it is. Take out your planning book and update it. Do that piece of research on the internet you have been meaning to get to. Listen to music.  Read a book.  Relax and rest for a few minutes.  Sound like a better option?

Remember, recognizing wedding stress you can control it is not about the situation, it is how you react to it that creates your wedding stress.  Easy,peasy when you know what to look for.

Have You Ever Been Bit By an Elephant? – Recognizing Wedding Stress for What It Is

It is the little things that often stress us most – especially when they keep piling up.  I am reminded of the old question: “Have your ever been bit by an elephant?”  Most people laugh and emphatically say “NO”.  “Well have you ever been bit by a mosquito?”  More laughter, and “Of course.”  That is how it is dealing with wedding stress.  We spend our time worrying about being stressed over the big things for the wedding – while most of them go smoothly, so we will never be bitten by an elephant.  All the while, the little incidents, the tiny stressors we can avoid (yes, the mosquitoes) are buzzing around annoying us and creating stress that keeps accumulating until POP! You know better than anyone what happens when you reach your maximum stress point (Not a pretty thought is it?)

Recognizing Wedding Stress – The Physical Signs 

This comprehensive list of the signs of stress in general was created by The American Institute of Stress.  It provides the effects to identify the impact wedding stress can have on you, physically and mentally.   (Don’t let reading the list stress you.  It can be daunting.  Hopefully you will not experience more than the lesser symptoms of stress in your wedding planning, if any.)

We included the entire list here (I know it is long, but they will not all apply to you.), not to stress you more, but to prepare you in recognizing the wedding stress you may face and eliminating it (or in the case of positive stress- make it work for you).  It is perfectly natural when you experience any/some/even all of these indicators.  Relax.  You need to stop and manage the stressor so you get back in control of yourself, your feelings, and your planning. Time to get things accomplished and enjoy your wedding planning.

Stress Symptoms

  • Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  • Gritting, grinding teeth
  • Stuttering or stammering
  • Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  • Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  • Light-headed, faintness, dizziness
  • Ringing, buzzing or “popping soundswedding party, dresses, bridal, recognizing wedding stress
  • Frequent blushing, sweating
  • Cold or sweaty hands, feet
  • Dry mouth, problems swallowing
  • Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
  • Rashes, itching, hives, “goose bumps”
  • Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacks
  • Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
  • Excess belching, flatulence
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of control
  • Difficulty breathing, frequent sighing
  • Sudden attacks of life threatening panic
  • Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse
  • Frequent urination
  • Diminished sexual desire or performance
  • Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
  • Increased anger, frustration, hostility
  • Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
  • Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts
  • Trouble learning new information
  • Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
  • Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
  • Little interest in appearance, punctuality
  • Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping
  • Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
  • Overreaction to petty annoyances
  • Increased number of minor accidents
  • Obsessive or compulsive behavior
  • Reduced work efficiency or productivity
  • Lies or excuses to cover up poor work
  • Rapid or mumbled speech
  • Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness
  • Problems in communication, sharing
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue
  • Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs
  • Weight gain or loss without diet change
  • Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
  • Excessive gambling or impulse buying

Share Your Wedding Stress Relief Ideas

We  included a comment box at the end of each post.  If you have a wedding stress reliever that works for you, please share in the comment box or email me.  If we use your suggestion in a future article we will, with your permission, give you credit (and thanks) for the idea. (Send a picture by email and we will include your wedding or engagement picture too. )

I welcome your questions about anything wedding related and your suggestions for future articles.  Hugs.

Affiliate Links:

While we only link to products and services we think you will love, some of the links on our site are monetized.  If you click on the link and make a purchase we may receive a commission, which helps us keep bringing great content to you! It will not increase the cost of  your purchase.  All opinions are our own.

bride stress, bride, wedding, recognizing wedding stressThank You

For those who read Part 1 and Part 2 of this wedding stress relief series thanks for lighting up my inbox.  I love hearing from you and appreciate that you are sending comments and personal stress relievers that work for you.  Thank You.  I (and all the brides reading this) appreciate that you took the time to share.  I look forward to reading more ideas and comments and am working on the article to include them . My email address: rita@ceremoniestolove.com

 

Other Articles You Will Enjoy:

Wedding Planning Stress Relief (Part 1 in Series )

Bride Stress – Wedding Stress Relief (Part 2 in Series)

Buying Your Dress – What You Need To Know and Nobody Told You

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions, vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

 

 

 

Bride Stress – Wedding Stress Relief (Part 2 in Series)

I am so excited you found Wedding Planning Stress – Part 1 helpful.  (If you have not read it, I included a link below.)  The second in the wedding stress relief series is here for you:   Bride Stress – Wedding Stress (Part 2)

Bride stress on top of daily stresses can be overwhelming and take the joy out of planning for the most important day of your life.  It can be so intense that it impacts your health, happiness, and the joy of your wedding day.(I know at least some of you are already nodding your head in agreement.)  It does not have to be like that.

It upsets me when I see how so many brides experience bride stress to the point that they are unable to enjoy their wedding day.  When I hear a bride say “I’ll be so glad when this is over.” or “We should have eloped.”, my heart sinks.

Share Your Bride Stress Relief Ideas

As I mentioned, this is one of a series of articles.  You can return to  Wedding Planning Stress Relief – Part 1   later if  you have not read it.  I will also add a link at the bottom of this post for it and later articles as they are posted. (You can also sign up below to get them delivered to your email.)

We also included a comment box at the end of each post.  If you have a bride stress reliever that works for you, please share in the comment box or.  If we use your suggestion in a future article we will, with your permission, give you credit (and thanks) for the idea. (Send a picture by email and we will include that too.)

bride stress, bride, wedding Thank You

For those who read Part 1 and have been lighting up my inbox sending comments and personal stress relievers that work for you , Thank You.  I (and all the brides reading this) appreciate your sharing and including pictures in your emails.  I look forward to seeing your ideas and comments  in future posts. My email address: rita@ceremoniestolove.com

 

Stop Expecting People to Live by Your Rules

You are the bride.  You are in charge.  It is YOUR wedding.  Agreed.  BUT… Dealing with unmet expectations is a huge source of stress for everyone. Be sure you set realistic expectations for yourself and for others. When you set your expectations, confirm that you fully communicate them, and the listener understands what you expect from them. Expecting people to fulfill your unspoken or misunderstood expectations is a sure way to get a dose of unwanted bride stress and strained relationships.

Expectations and disappointments often surface when dealing with your bridal party and point straight back to lack of communication..  Make sure to clearly (clear to them, not just you) communicate what you consider to be their “duties”.  Are you expecting them to be there for the entire week before the wedding, to help with your DIY projects, to spend more than they make in a week for their bridesmaid dress?  Be realistic, communicate, and discuss your expectations and their ability to meet them.  It is a major stress reliever when everyone has the same expectations.

Give people the opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions and even repeat back to you what they believe you are expecting from them based on what you said.  (I know, it sounds like overreacting at first, until they start talking, and you are amazed what you said was not what they heard.) Be calm and repeat until everyone has the same expectations before you start your planned task.

(In the instance of your bridesmaids, be prepared if they cannot meet your expectations, and plan how you will respond.  They may even decline the honor of being part of your wedding because of their own financial or life stressors.  Be kind. )

Take Time to Eat Properly –  Bride Stress – Gone 

When we get caught up in a major project like wedding planning, we tend to grab snacks and quick food on the run.

Stop and take the time to eat and to enjoy your food.  Like your mama said: Eat your fruits and vegetables.

According to an American Psychological Association (APA) survey, women are more than three times more likely than men to turn to comfort foods –  ice cream, cookies, and snacks – to ease stress.  It is  also common for brides  to deny themselves favorite foods because they’re trying to lose weight before the wedding.  Then under bride stress, the urge for these foods grows and the binge begins, followed by guilt and even more dieting. (Been there, done that.)

The key to avoiding bride stress eating is to not deprive yourself. Keep three or four healthy snacks on hand that you know you’ll probably want – nuts, if you like salty; string cheese, if you crave protein; a small piece of chocolate for something sweet (dark chocolate is best) – so you aren’t tempted to binge.

When you eat, be in the moment – focus on what the food looks like, how it feels in your mouth, and of course its smell and taste. Good food in proper amounts is a small distraction and a wonderful way to relieve bride stress and focus on the small joys of life and wedding planning.

Resist the habit of eating on the run, no matter how busy you feel.  The few minutes gained gulping down your food  (or not eating at all) are not worth the additional bride stress you feel when you skip this part of your day.  Sit down to eat in a place away from what is stressing you, preferably with people you enjoy being with, relax and enjoy.   You’ll be refreshed and ready to get back to wedding planning.

groom gift, bride stress, wedding

Pray or Meditate – Gentle Bride Stress Relief

Countless people turn to spirituality for stress relief.  Studies  show it is physically relaxing as well as emotionally comforting and spiritually uplifting for those who pray or meditate.

If this area is important to you, now is the time, in the midst of the hustle bustle of wedding planning,  to refocus and enjoy the peace you find from praying or meditating.  Don’t just take the time – make the time  – to connect with your spiritual side.

Let Go of Perfect – Bride Stress #1 

I understand that this is your wedding.  You want (maybe even feel you need) everything to be perfect and if it is not, you have failed, and it was not worth it.  (Not true at all, but it’s the way many brides feel.)  So here is some tough love:

Let It Go! Stop making one more adjustment, adding one more detail, looking for things that  you “could”improve.  At the hundreds of weddings I have officiated, I have never attended one where everything went perfectly. ( Just spending more money and creating bride stress is no promise of a perfect wedding.)  Perfect weddings may exist, but probably only on Pinterest and in bridal magazines.

Nothing will create more bride stress in your planning and on your wedding day that insisting on perfection.  When something unplanned happens, (and it will) be grateful it is, in the big picture of the life ahead of you, minuscule – tiny – unimportant. Let it go!

Remember why you are planning your wedding – to marry the man of your dreams and start a new life together. (Your chartreuse napkins that are one shade off what you ordered is small “disaster” compared to a lifetime of happiness ahead of you, don’t you think?) And, I hope you will not be surprised to learn, that most wedding guests don’t notice the tiny things that go astray in your wedding unless you made a big issue of it.   I repeat.  Let it go!

BONUS Tip  Make yourself reminder notes and paste them everywhere you find yourself stressing- Tiny reminders.   Hugh Bride Stress Relief.  Here’s a  reminder image you can copy, paste and print.

wedding planning stress, wedding, bride

Prepare for Tomorrow

Nothing will stress you quicker than being unprepared.  Take a few minutes at the end of the day to make a written to-do list for tomorrow.  Think about what you will plan to accomplish and what you need to accomplish tasks.

When you start your morning, you’ll feel focused, in control, and comfortable that you can handle the day. You have set a positive tone for your day, which helps you get more accomplished without stress.  That nasty stress never even gets a foothold in your mind.  Magic!

Positive Energy – Bride Stress Disappears

It probably seems like an oversimplification to say that when we feel stressed we should remove ourselves from stressful situations.  (My sons say “Duh! Mom”. ) It really is that easy.  When we surround ourselves with supportive people who radiate positive energy, bridal stress disappears.

Avoid People Who Stress You Out

If someone in your wedding planning circle is a constant source of stress and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person.  It is your wedding.

Think carefully about those who will be close to you during your planning and on your wedding day. A childhood friend who is always negative may not be the best choice for a bridesmaid. (Just sayin’.)

Don’t Over Commit – Guaranteed Bride Stress Dissolves

Planning a wedding is exciting and rewarding, but when you’re exhausted and overwhelmed, (Sorry, but at some point, it happens to all brides), you are not enjoying the experience.

Stop and prioritize  things you must do, things you can delegate to others, and those you can eliminate.  Cutting some of the most stressful or least necessary activities can do wonders for your bride stress levels.

Do you really have the skills and time to personally make 12 bridesmaid bouquets on the day before you wedding?

Do you really want to work two jobs for the next year so you can have a bigger reception?

It just may be time to step back, reflect  and include bride the stress factor in your decision.  Some things are just worth the stress or not meant to be.  Accept it and move on.

Transition Back to Real Life

When you have completed your planning tasks for the day, STOP.  Resist the urge to do one more thing.  Take time to transition back physically and emotionally to the real world that continues to exist outside of your wedding planning.  I understand how important your wedding is to you, but there is a entire world waiting for you including your family, friends and future husband who just want to spend quality time with you now – the one they love, not the over-stressed bride.

Don’t Forget to Send Us Your Bride Stress Relief Ideas

  1. Use the contact link below, or
  2. Email it to rita@ceremoniestolove.com 

Here is the Link for Part 1.  Enjoy.

Wedding Planning Stress Relief (Part 1)

Other Posts You Will Like:

Desperate Bride’s Guide to Changing Your Vendor Contract – After It Is Signed

Dealing With That “One” Bridesmaid – You Know Who She Is

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

 

 

 

Wedding Planning Stress – Relief for Every Bride (Part 1)

We all experience stress on a regular basis, though the type and intensity can vary from minor challenges to major crises. When we add wedding planning stress on top of everything else in life,  it takes stress to a whole new level. (Not  a good way to level up!) It can become intense, and if  not managed, will take a toll on your health, happiness, and the joy of your wedding day. Every bride needs effective stress relievers to restore her inner peace and sustain physical health.wedding party, bridal party, planning stress bride, groom, bridesmaid, groomsmen

When we started working on this article, our goal was to provide a few tips and a bit of advice to brides to relieve wedding planning stress.  How hard can that be?  Well, the reality is there are a wide range of stress relievers (some we knew about, others new to us too).  Our research showed a couple of significant things that impact stress relief:

  1. Different stress relievers work for different people, and in different situations.
  2. You may not always be in the mood or able to practice your favorite stress reliever.  You need multiple options.

More to Come Soon

There are so many stress relievers available (all free – we are not selling medications, though it may be something to discuss with your doctor if your stress is extreme)  we could not share them in a single article. (And we only listed our favorites.)

So, we have created a series of wedding planning stress relief blogs (Five to start,  but they may grow with your help.) I’ll add the links to the bottom as each is posted. They are designed with versatility in mind and offer proven effective methods of stress relief.  They can be used in a variety of situations. Try them and see what works best for you.

Your Input Requested – Your Planning Stress Relief

We also included a comment box at the end of each post.  If you have a wedding planning stress reliever that works for you, please share in the comments box.  If we use your reliever in a future article we will, with your permission, give you credit (and thanks) for the idea. (Send a picture by email and we will include that too.)

Easy for Me to Say

I know that it is all well and good for me to say these things and tell you how to relieve your planning stress.  The reality is that each of our situations are different, and we all react to stress differently.  Some of you may even say you are not stressed.  Congratulations.  You are a lucky bride indeed.

Dealing with stress is very difficult and sometimes feels insurmountable, but you are very strong and very resilient.  You can make the wedding planning process an exciting journey.

So here we go.  We’ll start with a little background, then jump right in.  Don’t forget to check back as more advice and tips are posted and let us know what works for you. You got this!

Acknowledge That Planning Stress Is Real

budget, flowers, planning, wedding, planning stressStart dealing with wedding planning stress by acknowledging that you are experiencing it.  The first step to solving a problem is recognizing that you have one.  This may seem oversimplified, but it is an important first step.

For the bride who has been looking forward to planning her wedding for years, admitting to being stressed makes her feel weak and concerned that others will see it as an inability to manage the planning.  It  can be difficult to admit when stress becomes overwhelming, but the reality is that when you are stressed the people who are near and dear to you see it, even when you refuse to admit it to them or yourself.

Give yourself a break.  You are the  bride, not Superwoman.  You are adding wedding planning to what is probably already a hectic full lifestyle.  Take the time to take care of you.  Pause the planning when you need a break.  Seek advice  when you need it and ignore it when you did not ask.  Enjoy the experience and the memories you are making.

Treat Yourself! Chocolate – Poof! Planning Stress Gone

Oh, happy day, we now know that chocolate in moderation is good for us.  (Growing up believing that chocolate was “evil” was a huge stressor for me.)  Eating anything sweet, especially chocolate, curbs the production of the stress hormone, glucocorticoid.  That’s the nasty little hormone that makes us eat the whole bag of candy instead of just one. The delightful flavor of chocolate, even a single Hershey’s Kiss, makes stress evaporate like a puffy cloud on a sunny day.  And dark chocolate brings additional benefits too. I am so excited.

Recognize When You’re Stressed

It might seem obvious that you’d know when you’re stressed, but many brides spend so much time feeling frazzled when they are wedding planning, that they forget what it feels like when they are in balance – calm, alert and focused. Some signs you may be overly stressed include:Cheap Wedding Foods, Honeymoon, planning stress

  • Low energy,
  • Headaches,
  • Digestive issues,
  • Irritability,
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles,
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat,
  • Insomnia,
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability.

Once a Day – Get Away From Planning Stress

Quietly begin your day with yourself, reflecting on the things that are right with your life and the world.  Think about the positive goals you have for the day.

When you spend 5-10 quiet minutes in the morning it establishes the tone for the rest of your day.  This is particularly important when you have a hectic and potentially stressful day ahead,  i.e. wedding planning.

Now, I must admit, I am a “jump up and go” type of  person, and it took me quite a while to train myself to slow down and enjoy my mornings.  (Experts tell us it takes 21 days to break or make a new habit, but it took me longer than that.)  It was a personal struggle and well worth the time I invested in creating this new habit that I continue today.

If you are simply not a morning person, you can take your break any time (even multiple times) during your day.  Find a place where you can be alone (without your cell phone) and clear your mind. Do whatever relaxes you: meditate, read a chapter of a novel, take a quiet walk, play with your cat, or sip tea.

It’s vital to take just a few minutes every day to allow your body to destress. It’s not how much time you allot but that you do this for yourself consistently that’s important.

Manage Your Time – Planning Stress Can’t Take Root

Having a few basic daily routines lowers the stress of larger projects – like planning your wedding.  Resist the urge to transform your entire life into “Wedding Planning” mode.

Experts tell us that the average bride spends a minimum of 15 hours per week in the three months immediately prior to the wedding on wedding planning and preparation.  That is a part time job!

So, how do you fit it all in?  Most people give up the little things of daily life that are important to them and keep them grounded, give up on sleep, or both. (Wrong answers.)

Do not give up your rituals – like a quiet cup of coffee, your exercise routine or spending quality (not wedding planning time) with your future husband.  You need these stress relievers.

There will be days when you must skip your favorite routines but make those days exceptions rather than the rule.

Instead of giving up what grounds you, schedule it into your planner and give it the priority it deserves.  We are talking about taking care of the bride, here.  What could be more important?

When someone asks for your time and you are planning to exercise, it is OK, to say “I’m sorry, I already have another commitment at that time”.  You do not  have to say “I  was planning on exercising”.  No one is responsible for how you utilize your time but you.  You do not have to explain it to others.  “I’m busy”. – Enough said.

Spend Time With Your Pet – George Is My Planning Stress Relief

George, wedding, planning stress

 

Dog owners report lower levels of stress than non-dog owners.  Interacting with our pet releases oxytocin, a natural brain chemical that relieves stress and promotes positive  thoughts.

A pet also relieves stress by keeping you active and providing companionship. Our dog George is one of the best stress relievers I have. Isn’t he precious?

Eat a Frog Every Morning – That is Planning Stress Relief?

Mark Twain brilliantly said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. Now that is a true stress reliever!

Your frog is your worst task, and you should do it first thing in the morning. Make it a priority and get it out of the way.  In real life, do we do that? No! Instead we procrastinate until later, all the while the stress is creeping up, knowing that whatever the task, it is  looming over us waiting to be done.  Just do it.  Put on your big girl panties, make the dreaded phone call, finish addressing envelopes, decide on bridesmaids’ dresses – whatever it is that you dread doing – do it early in the day.

Surprise! The stress vanishes, and you see the dread was often worse than completing the task itself  Once I look back on the actual experience, it was not nearly as unpleasant as I made it in my mind.

Task complete.  Stress gone.  Enjoy the rest of your day.

Disclosure:

While we only link to products and services we think you will love, some of the links on our site are monetized.  If you click on the link and make a purchase we may receive a commission, which helps us keep bringing great content to you!  Your price will not change.  All opinions are our own.

 

Other Articles You Will Enjoy:

11 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Your Wedding Planning

8 Things Not to Say When Talking to Wedding Vendors

Desperate Bride’s Guide to Changing Your Vendor Contract – After It Is Signed

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

 

Buying Your Wedding Dress – What No One Told You

Wedding dress shopping can be fun, and exciting, and yes, a bit stressful.  We’ve gathered ideas and advice  -things that no one ever tells you –  that relieve the stress. Have the fun – you deserve it.

Be Prepared for Bridal Sizing 

The size of your gown in bridal sizing will usually be at least one or two sizes larger than your regular clothing.  Yes that’s right you will need a larger size than you usually wear, and so does every other bride.  It can be discouraging for the bride who shops by size and refuses to wear a larger size when nothing fits.

Resist the urge to buy the smaller size “you always wear” and fit into it.  You are not making a fair comparison and only you will suffer.

It is so much easier to just cut the size tag out if it really bothers you.  And remember that no one will know what size you are wearing other than you and your consultant (and she knows how to keep a secret).

Shop True to Your Bridal Size 

If you are already depressed by bridal sizing (you’ll need one or two sizes larger  than normal sizes) you will be setting yourself up for failure if you buy a dress that is too small because you plan to lose weight before your wedding day.  Unless you have a very long time before your wedding, losing weight is going to be difficult.  It is tough already, now consider the limited time you will have to exercise, the irregular meals, and inherent stress of your wedding planning.   Now is not the time to add the stress of dieting to your life.

Buy the size that fits. And if you do lose  weight?  It is much easier to take a dress in when you lose the weight than trying to add fabric to one that is to small.

Costs You May Not Have Considered in Your Dress Budget

When you set your wedding attire budget, do not think this is the amount you have to spend on your dress.  In addition to the base piece of the gown, you’ll pay taxes, (possibly shipping) and may need special undergarments including petticoats for some styles.

Alterations can add up to as much as one-third the cost of the dress.

Dress, earrings, accessories, wedding, bridalYou will also need to consider the cost of your veil or headdress, shoes and jewelry.

And don’t forget that you will have a cleaning bill after the wedding, and possibly the cost of having your gown preserved.

Before you shop, itemize all these items and know what you are willing and able to spend within your budget.  Be realistic and know where you are prepared to cut costs, if needed,  before you shop.

Dress Embellishments Are Expensive

Beading, crystals, pearls, and hand embroidery contribute beauty and elegance to almost any wedding gown.  They also add significantly to the cost.  Embellishments are almost always applied by hand, and in our automated world, high quality handwork is costly.  It may be worth it to you to have your dress sparkle and glitter.  Just be sure to factor it into your budget before you shop.

Be Wary of Mirrors

dress, wedding, bridal Mirrors can vary greatly and make you look very different from mirror to mirror.  Some unscrupulous bridal salons may even have the mirrors that are intended to make you look smaller, which is great for the ego, but not giving you a realistic look.

Want to true idea at what you look like in your dress?  Take photos or even videos from several different angles to see what you really look like in your dress. Take lots of angles.

Don’t forget to get pictures when you are sitting, walking, dancing, etc.  Do you get the look of what you see?  Are you comfortable?

The Pedestal

Do you know why many bridal salons place the bride on a pedestal when viewing the dress?  It is because the dress will hang straighter, when it does not touch the floor AND it make you look taller.  The elongated look also makes you look slimmer.  Magic!

Step off the pedestal before you buy and look at your dress from your natural height.

Fabric Matters

Dress, wedding, bride, budget

The color, silhouette, and embellishments play a huge part in how your dress looks on you.    And the fabric itself is the key piece of how it will display on your physical frame.

Heavy, structured fabrics such as silk shantung, satin, taffeta, and laces hold their shapes and  will tend to smooth your figure.

The lighter fabrics including chiffon, unstructured silk, and organza tend to be more flowing,

Dress, wedding, bride, budget

weightless and provide a floating look.  They are less flattering for brides with curves or body features you are looking to camouflage.

Think About Your Favorite Pieces of Clothing

Why do you like your favorite top or dress so much? Fit? Fabric? Color? Neckline? Silhouette?  The compliments you get when you wear it?

Consider the best components of your wardrobe and your everyday style as you look for wedding dress styles.  When you consider those elements in your dream dress, you will find a style and look that you are comfortable with and will make you a beautiful, confident bride.

Neckline and Top of the Dress

Every aspect of your wedding dress is important.  The top will be in most of your photos, especially close up pictures during the ceremony and dancing. Make sure the gown fits comfortably when you’re sitting down, does not slide out of place when dancing,  and that the neckline won’t require adjusting throughout the big day. You’ll be more comfortable and feel more beautiful when your gown’s neckline fits you.

Buying Your Dress Online

There are awesome deals when buying dresses online.  Sadly, there are also poorly reproduce knock-offs.  When you shop online, be sure to read site reviews.  And if the price looks too good to be true, then it probably is.  Move on to a site you can trust.

One way to have a high quality dress is purchasing pre-owned or sample gown.  I love this website.  they save you huge money on gorgeous gowns and have a full range of sizes.  Shop early and check back often  as their inventory changes constantly.  When you see what you want, go ahead and buy as it may not be there tomorrow.  (They will also help you sell your dress after the wedding. )

The Right Undergarments 

Select undergarments to wear when trying on dresses that are similar to what you plan t0 wear on your wedding day  If you are planning a strapless dress, don’t wear a bright red bra that will be sticking out or a black thong that will show shadows through a sheer dress.

If you know you are planning to buy shape wear use it when you try on dresses.  You will get a much more realistic picture of how the dress will look on you.

For your dress shopping appointments plan to wear nude or light blue panties (they camouflage even better than white under white) , a strapless bra and the shape wear of your choice.

A Wedding Day Beauty Look for Your Dress Appointment

To get the true effect of how you will look in your dress, try to copy your wedding day beauty look as closely as possible when you are dress shopping.  Apply makeup in the style you plan to wear, and hair up or down – the way you plan to wear it on your wedding day.  You will get a much more accurate picture of your total wedding look and you will feel more beautiful as you try on dresses when you look like a bride.

The Right Shoes are Important Too

I hope you did not read this heading and think “Oh, bother, here comes the lecture about what bridal shoes should look like.”  Not to worry, it is your day and I hope you will wear the shows you want to wear – from flip-flops to heels (or the currently trending sneakers, if you like.)

When shopping, be prepared to get the real look of your dress by wearing shoes with the heel height and style you plan to wear on your wedding day.  It is your choice if you want to wear bejeweled sneakers, or sky-high stilettos.  Itwedding,shoes, bridal, accessories is your day.

Wear shoes to your dress appointments that make you the same height you will be on your wedding day and with a similar style, so you will know how they feel with your dress and you get a clearer vision of how you will look.

The style of the shoe is also significant as you move.  We walk differently and adjust our gait according to the shoes we wear.  Do your stilettos catch in the lace trim of your dress when you walk?  Do you hold your shoulders back giving the regal bridal look when you wear sneakers?  You will only get the full vision of yourself as a bride when you wear the right shoes.

Move in Your Dress

Don’t forget to walk and sit and dance in your dress when you try it on, so you will know how you feel when you move, and how the dress reacts with your movements.

Hug someone about the height of your groom.  Put your hands over your head and shout YES.  Are you having a church wedding where you will need to kneel?  Try whatever moves you are likely to do on your wedding day. Give your dress a trial run.  Does it fall into place gracefully or will someone have to be arranging your dress all day to maintain your look when you move?

Looking for a Plus Size Dress? – Call Ahead Before You Shop

wedding, dress, plus sizeMany bridal salons sell plus size wedding gowns, but only stock a few, if any, in plus sizes.  You simply are not going to be able to gauge how much you like a dress if it is four or five sizes too small.  No amount of talk from your consultant will give you the vision  to love a dress.  (I know this from personal experience.)

Call ahead and ask how many dresses they have in their samples in or near your size (remember, bridal sizing is one or two sizes different from everyday sizing.)  If you have a particular style or designer in mind, ask if they have those, and if not, ask if they can get them for your appointment.

Don’t settle for excuses.  There are lots of salons who seek the business of us curvy brides.

Bonus & Often Overlooked:

Can you fit in the bathroom stall and go to the bathroom wearing your dress?  It is going to be a very loooong day if you cannot solve this issue.

Relax and Stop Looking

When shopping, don’t settle for a dress you will not be happy with.  If you feel pressured by the consultant, your mom, or your bossy bridesmaid, stop and refuse to buy until you are sure YOU love the dress and want to wear it on your wedding day.

Now that you have found your dream dress, stop looking.  You will end up second guessing yourself about your purchase if you (or others on your behalf) keep shopping.  Your dress is perfect.  Your groom will love it.  Focus your time and energy on all the other details that will make your wedding day the one you have dreamed about since you were five years old.

Disclosure:

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost it you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Here are some of our other articles you will enjoy.

How to Make Your Wedding Ceremony Memorable

Vendors – 8 Things Not to Say When Talking to Wedding Vendors

Wedding on a Budget – 14 Ways to Save You Real Money

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

Contract Changes – After the Vendor Contract is Signed

Most brides enjoy the excitement of wedding planning and seeing your visions come  to life. You meet with vendors, sign contracts and all is well.  Then it happens, you must make contract changes – it may be as large as the date or location.  Or it can be as small as adding five guests to your meal count with your  caterer.

contract changes, wedding , vendor

Changes made after the contract is signed are the most frequent disputes about the terms of wedding vendor contracts,  Why?  Because the parties agreed verbally on changes in a stressful atmosphere.  The bride is relieved the changes were made.  The vendor is pleased to have a happy bride.  Then they are forgotten or misunderstood and the change is not documented.  The result is there is no legal proof of what change was made and they are never done.

So, how do you protect yourself legally(and emotionally), and make sure your changes occur as you verbally agreed? It is much simpler than you think:

Insist that all contract changes are in writing.

While changes are often made verbally, and when everyone is in a rush, they still must be documented as carefully, if not more so, than the original contract.  The little details  of a change can be easily overlooked or forgotten in the hustle and bustle of planning and then remain undone on your wedding day (tears, frustration, anger).

Follow this rule of thumb:  If the items is  important/large  enough to be covered by a written contract, the same standard should be applied to any changes.

Amended Contract

Have the vendor create an amended contract, signed by all the original contract signers. It should reference the original contact, contain all the terms exactly as agreed upon in the original contract , (except the one being changed which, reflects the changes.)  Include a statement that the amended contract  supersedes the original contract.

Entire New Contract

If you are going to sign an entire new contract, make sure you compare it to the signed original before signing.  You need to verify all other terms are as you originally agreed, and the modified terms you verbally agreed to correct and  included.  Pay particular attention to any modifications made to the original contract and that they are incorporated into the new amended contract.  I know, it will take time, but you will be glad you took this extra step if any disputes occur later.

 

contract changes, wedding vendors, bridesmaids, dresses

 Single Contract Changes of Terms

If the amendment only addresses the single issue that is being changed, rather than a full new contract, the amendment should state that all other terms of the original contract remain in force.

Minor  Contract Changes

For minor changes, you may send the vendor an email or text stating the change and asking  him/her to reply acknowledging and accepting the changes.  Don’t be surprised or upset if you do not get a response  Keep sending requests and making calls until you get the written acknowledgement.

Here is a sample email or text for minor changes:

You: Hi Pamela, I am confirming our earlier conversation where we agreed that you will add five additional adult meals to our contract for an additional $250.  Please confirm by return text/ email that this is correct.

Pamela.  : Yes, that is correct.  Thanks.

You have now modified your contract and confirmed the modification in writing. How easy was that!

Keep the correspondence for your records.  Make a note with your original contract of when and what modifications were made, and where you stored the documentation.

Authorized to Make Contract Changes

contract changes, vendor, weddingMake sure an individual authorized by the vendor to change your contract provides the acknowledgement to you.  Your vendor may transfer performance of the contract to an assistant once it is signed.   Then when changes are needed, the assistant (usually in good faith) agrees to them on behalf of the vendor.  These changes may not be legally binding on the vendor if teh assistant is not authorized to make changes.  Don’t assume that anyone other than a signer of original contract can make changes to it.

Fortunately, it is rare when a vendor does not stand behind commitments made by his/her staff.  When it does happen, it is a large or expensive change being disputed.  If the vendor claims he/she did not authorize the change, it may not be enforceable under the contract (a costly monetary and/or emotional mistake for you).

You can avoid any confusion, by requesting the vendor include in the original contract who, if anyone, other than the signers of the original contract can make modifications on behalf of the vendor.

Verify that who has the authority to make changes for you is included in the original contract.  The bride and groom sign most wedding contracts jointly and individually. If you do so, the contract should clearly state whether both signatures are required for a change or if either can act on the behalf of both.

Follow Up with Your  Vendors on Contract Changes

I am sure you plan to follow up with your vendors a few days before the wedding.  You will resolve any unanswered questions and  verify all the details.  This is a great time to reaffirm that any contract changes you made are incorporated into your plans as agreed.  You will relax when you know they have not been overlooked by the vendor.

Again, these seem like another bothersome detail to consume your time.  We hope there are no issues with wedding or you vendors.  Most weddings do occur with no major problems.  But on the rare occasion when you have to refer back to your contract,  you will be glad you took the time to document the details.

Legal Disclaimers

The author and Ceremonies  provided the information in this post to serve as general information and guidance. It does not constitute or serve in place of specific legal advice and does not create any attorney-client relationship. The law changes very rapidly, differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and is subject to interpretation by the courts. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and this post should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

While we only link to products and services we think you will love, some of the links on our site are monetized.  If you click on the link and make a purchase we may receive a commission, which helps us keep bringing great content to you! It will not increase the cost of  your purchase.  All opinions are our own.

Here are other articles you will enjoy:

Vendors – 8 Things Not to Say When Talking to Wedding Vendors

Conflict – 11 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Your Wedding Planning

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

Vendors – 8 Things Not to Say When Talking to Wedding Vendors

Much of your wedding planning time is spent meeting with and interacting with your vendors  How you work with and relate to them can have a significant impact on the bottom line of your wedding budget and your overall wedding experience. Your words can have a powerful impact on the way your vendors see you as a bride and a client. Here are some everyday phrases brides should avoid when meeting with wedding vendors – at least for the initial meeting.  Once you establish a relationship with your vendors, your conversations may take a more casual tone.

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

“I just…” 

Vendors think  “She will do it my way.”

Beginning a sentence with “I just…” diminishes the value of your thoughts and ideas.  It sounds like you are apologizing without actually saying “I’m sorry.” Refrain from using this phrase when you speak and especially don’t include it in your emails. If something is important enough for you to mention, then there is no “just” about it.

 

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

 “Uhh, Uhm, Like” 

Vendors say “Does she know what she wants?”

Avoid using these “filler words”.  They show a lack of confidence in your ideas and requests.    If you lace your conversations with “Uhh” or “Uhm” or even “Like” it has become a habit and probably believe it is impossible to quit. It does take time and practice, but it is worth it to shake this old habit.  Here’s how:

First, keep your sentences short.  And when you are finished talking, stop.  Don’t feel compelled to explain further or to fill silent pauses in a conversation.  Wait for a response, and give your a vendor time to think.  ( I know that period of silence will seem like it goes on forever, but it really is just a few seconds.)  You are dealing with professionals and they are prepared to ask you questions to get the information they need.  They will  also take time to reply so they can offer their best response.  Don’t assume you need to explain further unless they ask for more information.  vendors, wedding, vendor, bridesmaid

Second, rehearse what you plan to say before your meeting. I am not suggesting you rehearse like for a play but do rehearse to the point that you will know what you want to say. Make bullet points, and feel free to carry notes.  They show your vendors you are prepared. and ready to talk business.

Avoid distractions.  When you are talking to a vendor, give your full attention.  I know there are hundreds of details you need to handle.  Have you heard the old joke about how do you eat an elephant?  Give up?  The answer is simple – one bite at a time.  The same goes for your wedding planning – one thing at a time. Focus on your current task.

I know this will sound silly but take your hands out of your pockets when you speak.  Researchers tell us that most people who constantly say “Uhm, or like”, have their hands in their pockets when they talk.  I am not a psychologist, so I don’t know why this works, but trust me, it does.

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

Is that okay?”

Vendors think – “She wants me to decide for her.”

While you want your vendors to provide insight and ideas, asking them to validate your request  makes you sound insecure, and  allows them to take an easier path.

To sound more confident, remove the question from your statements. Instead, you  say, “Let me know if you have any questions.”  Or “ I welcome your ideas and input”.  Essentially, the less inquisitive you sound, the more likely you are to have your request dreams come true.

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

“I’m sorry” 

Vendors think “ This is going to be easy.  She’ll do whatever I suggest. ”

Unless you’ve have  made a mistake and do owe an apology, (it’s OK, I’ve been there more often than I like to think about) there’s absolutely no reason why you need to apologize – especially for posing your ideas and plans or asking questions.

While you should show respect for your vendors’ knowledge and advice, that does not mean you shouldn’t respect your own self-worth,  and ideas. Instead of saying, “Sorry, it was just an idea”,  you can say, “Thank you for taking the time to help me understand this better (or answering my questions).”  Then follow with your own ideas.  If the vendor will no listen to your ideas at the beginning, consider how well you will work with them through the planning process. (Stress, frustration, disappointment – all come to my mind.  Sigh.)

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

“I hate to bother you, but…” 

Vendors think “No bother, it is your money.”

The fact is that you are not bothering the vendors.  You are seeking information about their services, and you will be paying them for what they provide.    They are not doing your a favor.  It is your money, get what you want, not just vendors, wedding, ring, bride what they offer.   If it is a bother to the vendor, perhaps it is time to look elsewhere for the service.

When you imply that it is and bother or inconvenience, you giving control to the vendor and they will feel comfortable providing less instead of more or declining a request.  (After all you already told them you do  not want to inconvenience them.)

Instead, when confronted with an issue that you are not comfortable with, say “I believe we need to discuss this further.”  or “Whenever you have a few moments, I would like to discuss something with you.” These two phrases show your competence while still letting you have control in the conversation.

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

“If it’s alright with you …”

 Vendors think “I’m in control of this.”

If you have decided on an issue or item, and there must be a change that affects a vendor, don’t put the situation completely in their control.   This phrase gives them the opportunity to say, “It’s not alright,” when you know it must work- you have no other options.

First, be sure you know and are prepared to lay out the facts and work together to a compromise that meets everyone’s needs.

Remain calm, be prepared to discuss and reach a win-win.

Instead say “This has happened… and this is what I need you to do….” or “This has happened, and this is you will be affected…” Let’s work together to resolve this.

 

vendors, vendor, wedding, don't say

Hopefully, you can get it done.”

Vendors think ” I am a professional, and you don’t trust my work.”

Hopefully is not a word of positive anticipation but one of  desperation and doubt.  No matter how large or small your plans, “hopefully” shows your lack of confidence in your vendor’s ability to complete a task. If you have concerns, provide the vendor the opportunity to address them, then ask for periodic progress reports and be prepared for alter plans if necessary.  Ask your vendor for references for similar projects he/she has completed and follow up on them. When you contact references, ask not only if the project was completed satisfactorily, but any concerns the bride had during the process. If all else fails, and you really doubt the vendor’s ability, look elsewhere.  Saving a few dollars is not worth the stress and worry and a potential disappointment on your wedding day.

Vendors , vendor, don't say, wedding

“I’ll try”

Vendors think “This is never going to work.”

Yes, brides should be open to try new and compromise.  So, don’t be afraid to try something different than you originally planned,  if in fact you  really are trying.  When you say, “I’ll try” ( especially with your head hung low and a long sigh) you are suggesting you aren’t willing to accept the proposal when it is completed, so it will surely fail or at best you anticipate being disappointed.

When faced with a challenging situation,  “I can do this …  or I have additional ideas on how to make this work “.

 

So there you have it,8 simple ways to make your vendors take you seriously as a bride and as someone who will purchase their services.   Best of luck on your planning.

I would love to hear  your thoughts and comments.

 

While we only link to products and services we think you will love, some of the links on our site are monetized.  If you click on the link and make a purchase we may receive a commission, which helps us keep bringing great content to you! All opinions are our own.

Other Articles You Will Like

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

Bubbles Fun For All Ages at Your Wedding

Conflict – 11 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Your Wedding Planning

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me. rita@ceremoniestolove.com (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

Conflict – 11 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Wedding Planning

Wedding planning sounds so exciting.  You will be making plans and creating your perfect day.  Then reality sets in and you realize that much of your planning time is absorbed by dealing with conflict.

Your conflict may be on a personal level.  What type of wedding do you and your groom really want – large or small, rustic or elegant?

You may be feeling a conflict between your dreams and the reality of wedding planning (mostly related to budget.  Ugh!!)

Or you may experience conflict with those around you concerning all the above or their ideas of what your wedding day should look and feel like. (Ugh!!, Ugh!!)

Whatever conflicts you face as you plan for your big day, you need to be able to resolve them, put them behind you and think positively.  So how do you do that?  Read on…

Pause and Focus – The Conflict is Not What You Expected

wedding, conflict, bride, planning Sometimes it is more than the issue at hand that creates the tension.  It may be how you feel physically – tired, stressed, or hungry.

Breathe. Take at least 3 deep breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth – to calm yourself.

If possible, resolve your needs before you deal with the conflict.  If you can’t take care of the physical, complete a quick mental assessment.  You are more prepared to deal with an issue on a non-emotional level or to postpone the discussion until you are ready and able to give it your appropriate attention when  you consciously recognize that your emotions may be inflamed by these physical conditions.

 

Step Back to Gain Perspective of the Conflict

While this will be difficult to do, after all, it is your wedding,  step back and view the conflict from a neutral perspective at a greater distance.

Are you really upset because one of your bridesmaids does not like the dresses you have selected -the issue at hand – or are you displacing your anger – you had a big disagreement this morning with your mom about the venue location?

Make sure you address what is really bothering you and with the appropriate person. Identify the actual issue that is bothering you and don’t get caught up in smaller (to you at the time) decisions when there is a larger one looming that you need to address before moving on. When you have a large impending issue, smaller decisions seem to take on a negative tinge that is unrelated to them.   For example, resolve the venue issue with your mom before you tackle the dress decision.  And you may need to delve deeper into your thoughts and feelings.  Are you upset because of the venue or because you are feeling unsupported by your mom?

Let the little stuff go (for now) and care about yourself enough to address the important matters before you move forward.  You will find your perspective and decision making will be more positive.

Nonverbal Communication – Conflict Thrives

Did you know that as much as 95% of our communication is nonverbal?  Facial expressions as small as a raised eyebrow, hand gestures, and body language are interpreted by the “listener” and often have more influence than the words you speak.  Be aware of your nonverbal communications to ensure you are sending the same message nonverbally that you want to be received.

When you are communicating electronically, remember that that 95% of communication we have come to rely on is not available.  Your written words and even phone messages can and often are interpreted differently by the receiver.  If you detect tension, go back and rethink how the message was received before the conflict escalates based on perceived emotions rather than content of the issue.

 

conflict, wedding, planning

Avoid Behaviors That Accelerate The Conflict

There are some behaviors that we are not even be aware of that are perceived as negative.

Avoid these:

  • Criticism – attacking the other person’s character. Stick to the issue at hand.
  • Showing contempt – insults and nonverbal hostility such as eyerolling or smirking.
  • Stonewalling – shutting down and refusing to communicate.
  • Defensiveness – seeing yourself as a victim.

 

Show Empathy – Conflict Vanishes

Perhaps the most important communication skill we can acquire is the ability and willingness to understand how the other person feels.  You do not have to agree but recognizing how they feel is an important step to communication.  It allows the other person to feel like they are heard, and their opinion is appreciation.  Saying something as simple as “I can understand why you believe __________ is what  we should do.” can go a long way to resolving the issue at hand.

You Are Responsible For Yourself  – That’s All

When you make a mistake, whether it is in actions or a decision, sincerely apologize.  This is not a sign of your weakness, rather it is self-awareness and integrity and will likely hasten a successful resolution. If needed make  sincere and timely amends.  If it was behavior related, make a mental plan of how you can avoid this response in future conflicts.

Assertive Communication

Being assertive does not mean being overbearing or domineering.  It simply means being self-confident about your wants and needs,  while still being considerate of the rights, needs, and wants of others.

Ask for what you need and be ready to say no to what you do not want or need.  Be open to negotiation and compromise.

The first step may be in deciding what you want – not always easy when wedding planning.  If you don’t know what you want, don’t expect those around you to know either.

Avoid Being:

Passive – weak in setting boundaries, especially if it is something you care deeply about. Perhaps you dislike roses and when your maid of honor shows pictures of her favorite rose bouquet, you respond “Those are nice, we might be able to use something similar to that.”  A better choice may be “I know you like roses, but I am thinking more about daisies.”

Aggressive – hostile or entitled.  You do not have to remind people that it is your wedding and your way.  They already know and are trying to make your dreams come true.   Believe it or not, no one intentionally aggravates the bride -especially one with a volatile personality.  Becoming a bridezilla will not solve any issues and will ultimately create more.

Passive-aggressive – Acting out through indirect behaviors like slamming a door, pouting, whining, or not responding to an email. This makes you come across as childlike and will only devalue your opinion in the eyes of others.

Open and Flexible  – Resolve Conflicts

Truly listen to the other person.  Block out distractions, and listen while they speak, then prepare your response.

Ask “Why” questions to get to the real issue and get clarification.  The” Five Levels of Why” is a conflict resolution method that says that if you ask “Why” in a series of 5, digging deeper each time, you will get to the base issue of virtually any question in the world.  I use it often.  It really works.

Consider other perspectives or solutions. Look for the compromise or “win-win.”

Focus On What You Can Control

You can control your behaviors and responses, but you cannot control others.  You may not even be able to control the outcome  of the issue.  And what happens when you simply cannot agree?  You may still have to make decisions and implement them, when an acceptable resolution to everyone cannot be achieved.   When this happens, no matter what the outcome, you have entered the implementation phase, and should  leave the conflict behind.

If you cannot control it, let it go.  It is not worth wasting time, emotions and effort on what you cannot control.

What to Do When Dealing with Conflict

  • Remain in the present and avoid bringing up old issues from the past. You must look to the future and forget past conflict, or you will become caught in a circle of indecision and recurring conflict.
  • When you sense a misunderstanding brewing, communicate directly in-person with the other person. If distance is an issue, you can certainly call as a second choice, but remember you will lose the 95% of  communication – non verbal – that we all depend upon.
  • Stop emailing/texting. If you have not resolved an issue with a total of 3 emails or messages exchanged, it is unlikely you will do so electronically, and it is very likely that there is some level of communication misunderstanding clouding the real issue.  Text battles are never productive.
  • Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements when you are communicating to reduce defensiveness on both sides. Consider, “I am upset that I did not select a dress that you prefer” rather than “You are an idiot.”

conflict, wedding , planning

Forgive (And Yes, Forget) – Past Conflict

There will be many conflicts –  some tiny and some almost overwhelming – that you will need to resolve as you plan for your wedding.  For the tiny ones, don’t allow them to fester and ruin your experience.  Deal with them, put them behind you, forgive and forget.

For the larger ones, keep in mind the real reason you are planning this special day – it is the beginning of your new life as a married couple.  Is there really any wedding planning decision that is more important to you than that new life?  Work towards acceptance, forgive and let go of the past. Consciously choose how you want to move forward and what is most important to you.

Other Articles You Will Enjoy

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

Something Borrowed, Something Blue -Wedding Memories (Part II)

Bubbles Fun For All Ages at Your Wedding

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

BUBBLES – FUN FOR ALL AGES AT YOUR WEDDING

Let’s step back to our childhood and summer days blowing bubbles.  Those were such peaceful, soothing times.  We stood and watched those magical orbs glisten in the sun as they gently floated back to earth.  Bring that same feeling to your wedding reception by creating a bubble haven for all to enjoy.

BUBBLES – ALWAYS A FUN WEDDING FAVOR 

Bubbles are a magical element that makes everyone smile.  Guests greet the couple with a wall of bubbles as they leave the ceremony or enter the reception. Spontaneous bubble blowing erupts on the dance floor.  And you capture some unique and awe struck  expressions in photos.  I think it is impossible to look unhappy when blowing bubbles- at least I have never seen it.

Here is a selection of wedding bubbles at varying price points that are available and ready to use.

reception, bubbles, wedding
Wedding Cake Bubbles
bubbles, wedding, reception
Champagne Bottle Bubbles
bubbles, wedding, reception
                     Diamond Bubbles

BUBBLES AT YOUR RECEPTION

Why not level up your use of bubbles at your reception?  Bring that joy of childhood back, if only for a day, by providing  oceans of bubble mix and wands for all your guests. (No age discrimination, please.  Everyone loves bubbles). Carry the theme even further by having some well placed iridescent balloons near the bubble stations.

If you really want guests to get involved, be sure to participate yourself.  Remember guests follow where the bride and groom lead.

MAKING YOUR OWN BUBBLE MIX

bubbles, wedding, reception It is quite simple to make your own bubble mix, and it is generally much heartier than what you buy so the bubbles are stronger and last longer.   I have been making bubbles since I was a child.  Here are two recipes.  I decide which I use depending on the look I am going for in a particular situation.  (You can make the mixes, well in advance.  I keep some of each on hand all the time.)

Weather, particularly humidity, has a huge effect on bubbles.  Try both recipes and to see which works best for you.  Or do both. They really do react differently.

Floating Bubbles:

These are lightweight, and often soar from sight before popping.

You can multiply this recipe as many times as you want.  I usually make a couple of gallons at a time.

  • Add 6 cups of water to a container.
  • Slowly add 1 cup dish soap and mix slowly so you do not form foam or bubbles as you stir.
  • Add in 2 Tablespoons of glycerin or ¼ cup corn syrup.  Stir until mixed together.
  • Allow to sit if bubbles have formed,  then place in big bowl or individual containers and you are ready to go.

Tough Bubbles:

These bubbles are much heavier than the ones above.  The recipe is best for larger bubbles.  They will hover close to the ground before popping.  They do not usually float away unless there is a stiff breeze.  These bubbles are  best blown outside, as they leave a bit of a sugary residue when they land which is a bit messy indoors.

  • Add 2 cups hot water
  • Slowly add 1/4 cup dish soap
  • 1 (.25 oz)  packet unflavored gelatin.  Not Jello.
  • 2 tablespoons glycerin
  • Mix all ingredients together slowly and place in small bubble bottles or large bowl/tray for bubble blowing.

Bubble Wands:

You can purchase bubble wands and bubble blowers in all sizes and shapes at the dollar or discount store, or reuse those you have on hand.  But why not create your own?

Plastic cup:

Punch a hole in the bottom to blow through. Dip the large open end into the solution and blow.

Plastic soft drink bottles:

Cut the bottom off the bottle ( at least 1/2 -3/4 way up the side.  Dip bottom in bubble mix.  Use the lip end of the bottle to blow bubbles.

Pipe cleaners:

You can create just about any shape you like from pipe cleaners, just make sure you keep a small section as a handle.  Twist multiple pipe cleaners together for larger shapes.  Try making  circles, stars, squares or an irregular shape.

Wire coat hanger :

This works just like the pipe cleaner but is a bit sturdier for large bubbles.

Plastic funnel:

A funnel is the perfect shape for a bubble wand.  Dip the large end in the bubble solution and use the small end to blow.  This is a sure winner, especially for small hands that may have trouble coordinating a wand.

Drinking straws:

Bunch several plastic drinking straws together and secure.  Be sure you do not tie too tightly cutting off the air flow.  These will create many small but fast flowing bubbles. If you have small children using these,  mark the dipping end with permanent marker, so children will know which end to dip in the bubble mixture each time.

Giant Wand – Giant Bubbles:

bubbles, wedding, receptionWe have all seen these giant wands on TV.  Super simple to make your own or you can purchase.  We have had one in our home since I was a small child, and yes, they really do work.  They work best when the user is elevated, like on a second story deck because the bubbles are so large.  Tough bubbles mix is best because of the size of these elegant monsters.

Use a coarse twine, light rope or porous ribbon when you make your wands.  The rough surface will give the soap tiny crevices it can stick to when the wand is dipped in the solution.

Here is a video I found on YouTube that shows how to make your own giant wand.  (Make several, so the adults do not fight over them.)

BUBBLE TIPS:

  • If you want pictures of you and your new husband  walking through the bubbles when exiting the ceremony, make sure the guests at the end of the row know they will need to start blowing bubbles (and keep blowing) before the happy couple reaches them so there will be bubbles in the air.
  • Refrigerate bubble mix before using.   Bubbles will last longer.
  • Bubbles need moisture to survive. If you live in an area with very low humidity, you may want to look for another option for your reception.  First try increasing the glycerin in the recipe to see if they work well in your area.
  • When making my own bubble mix I prefer Joy or Dawn dish-washing liquid. Don’t use the bargain brand, it just does not hold up as well.
  • Bubbles for a crowd work  best with the smaller wands when the solution is in a wide bottom pan or tray in a stable location.  There is more surface area and less spillage.
  • The giant wand requires a deeper bowl so the string is fully immersed.  You will also use a lot more bubble mix.
  • You can usually find glycerin in the drugstore aisle near band aids or beauty supplies. It is not expensive or in short supply, just hard to locate in the store.
  • Unflavored gelatin is in the baking section of the grocery store. (Do not buy Jello)
  • Bubbles in the winter can create an incredible visual. If it is freezing outside, they may even freeze before they reach the ground and stand for a few extra moments.

Wedding bubbles are a creative way to add fun to your wedding.  Whether you are making a shining entrance, a grand exit, or providing joyful entertainment to guests at your reception, bubbles are a unique way to stretch your wedding budget while not compromising your happily ever after.  They create a special way to include your guests and allow them to participate in the festivities.  Expect happy smiles.

Other Articles You Will Enjoy:

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

Something Borrowed, Something Blue -Wedding Memories (Part II

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

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Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

Something Borrowed, Something Blue -Wedding Memories (Part II)

something old, something borrowed, tradition

Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed signifies the support from the community of family and friends surrounding you, the bride and groom, on your wedding day and in your new life as a married couple.

The possibilities for something borrowed are nearly endless.  If you need something on your wedding day, and someone you know has one, ask if you can borrow it.  It really is that simple.

Borrowed can be anything from something very special such as your grandmother’s earrings or your mother’s pearls that she wore on her wedding day, or it could something that you just like.

Something Borrowed from Your Mother-in -Law

something borrowed something blue, wedding, tradition One special idea a bride shared with me is that on the Mother’s Day before his wedding, her groom, Adam, gave pearl earrings  (something his Mom had always wanted) to his mother thanking her for her love and support through his life and into his future life as a new husband.  For the wedding, his new bride Amy borrowed the earrings from her new-mother-in-law and explained that they were significant to her because they symbolized a lifelong dream that Adam had turned into reality, and they  represented the love Adam had for his mother and her love for  him.  It was a touching moment for everyone.  A special note was printed in the wedding programs so that everyone understood the significance of the earrings Amy wore. A new  tradition was born.

Something Borrowed – Wedding Words

As an officiant, I often get referrals from couples I have married (Thank You!) or from guests who have attended weddings where I officiated.  While I create every ceremony uniquely, I hear requests to include a certain reading that the couple particularly enjoyed at the earlier wedding.

When this happens, I recommend that they contact the prior couple and ask if they can borrow the words, and then we work to incorporate them into their vows or ceremony.  The original couple is always pleased to hear their ceremony was remembered and the new couple does not have to search for something similar (but not quite as good).

Something Old Can Be Something Borrowed too.

Take a quick peak back at the Something Old, Something New post after you finish reading this.  It is quite common for Something Old to also serve as the bride’s Something Borrowed.

Something Borrowed could be:

  • Your grandmother’s wedding veil or one from anyone in your family (or friend). ( A side benefit is that veils ca be very expensive, and only worn until the reception.  Borrowing is a huge relief to your budget.)
  • Your mother’s wedding dress.
  • The cake knife and server from a sibling’s wedding. No one really pays attention to these items, so give your budget a tiny break and borrow them.
  • Centerpiece containers or table numbers from a friend’s earlier wedding.
  • Ask your maid of honor to lend you her evening clutch. You’ll need a place for makeup, cell phone, etc. ( If she does not have one, gift one to her as her bridesmaid’s gift and borrow it back.)
  • Borrow one of your dad’s handkerchiefs for shedding your happy tears. (Warning: He may never want to wash it again.)
  • For your first dance, borrow the song your parents danced to as their first song at their wedding. (You better  bring an extra one of dad’s handkerchiefs.  Mom is going to need it.)

If you really cannot think of something to borrow, do not stress over it.  As a wedding officiant, I have seen that most bride’s forget something or did not plan to bring something they suddenly need.  They borrow from a member of the wedding party and the tradition continues as it was meant to – with a member of your community supporting you on your wedding day.  It’s amazing how things work out!

Something Blue

Something blue is said to stand for purity, love, and fidelity in the new marriage.  Now  we know this is just an excuse to wear another gorgeous blue rock on your wedding day.  Work with me here and maybe your future husband will gift something blue to you!!

Something Blue Jewelry

something old something blue wedding tradition

 

There is a wide selection of wedding earrings, necklaces, bracelets and cocktail rings available for brides to choose from.   I love these sapphire earrings.   You will be surprised how reasonably they are priced.

 

 

Not Elvis’ Blue Suede Shoes

Blue shoes,  blue heels,  blue bows on your shoes, or even blue soles.  Take your pick, blue seems to be the new trend in wedding shoes.  And while you are at it, make sure you take care of your aching feet.  No one has a good time when their feet hurt.

Something Blue  – Signature Drink

something new something blue, tradition, weddngHow about a blue signature cocktail? There are many blue drinks available today.  If blue does not fit your wedding reception theme, you can always mix up  a batch to serve to your wedding party and family while you are having pictures taken.  How nice – a special treat for the special people in your life.

Here is one recipe that has become a huge hit at wedding receptions I attend.  You can mix as individual drinks, or save on the cost of  bartenders by making large batches and serving in a punch bowl or dispenser.  Provide plenty of ice as this best served over ice.

Something Blue Wedding Signature Drink 

1 part vodka (any brand.  Don’t waste money on the expensive stuff.)

1 part Triple Sec

1 Part Blue Curacao

Lime juice to taste (approximately juice of 1 lime per serving) I use frozen limeade concentrate when preparing this for a crowd.

Mix all together and serve over ice.  Small ice cubes work the best.  If guests like a milder drink, they can add a bit ( or a lot) of lemon lime soda (Sprite, 7Up, or store brand will all work well.)

 

Something Blue – Flowers  – In Your Bouquet – Centerpieces – Whatever Works

Ask your florist about adding tiny touches of blue to your bouquet and/or centerpieces.  There are many tiny blue  blooms available today that add just a splash of blue and coordinate with almost any color scheme.

If you are arranging your own flowers  do some research and determine what blue flowers will be in season locally at  the time of your wedding.  Then ask ahead of time if your flower provider can get them for you, or shop at your local farmers market for this tiny special touch.   (Be sure to check prices as blue flowers are still considered “exotic” in some places, which drives the price up. )

BONUS:

A Sixpence in Her Shoe

something borrowed something blue, tradition, wedding
Australian sixpence 1951

The final line of the tradition is often forgotten or overlooked.  It is the easiest one to include, and you can have personalized wedding mementos that literally cost you pennies.

A coin placed in the bride’s left (tradition says it must be the left, sorry I do not know why ) shoe is a British custom that symbolizes great wealth for the bride and her future husband.  When the coin (originally a sixpence coin) is gifted to the bride by her father, it is symbolizing his wish for the bride’s  lifelong prosperity, fertility, and love and happiness in her marriage.

While you can buy a sixpence coin online or at a coin shop, most modern brides substitute pennies or other current coins for the sixpence.

Brides often include multiple coins  representing the wedding year, the birth years of the bride and groom,  the year they met, the years their children were born, or any other special dates.

Tape the coins into the shoe and practice walking to be sure the coin(s) are comfortable.  They can also be removed between the wedding and the reception.

If you end up with multiple coins, or are wearing open shoes, you can also have the coins sewn into the hem of your wedding dress rather than carried in a shoe.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Coins sliding around in my shoe nearly drove me crazy on my wedding day. (No one told me to tape them in place. )  I had not anticipated  the sliding coins, but I was ready for a day of aching feet until  found these.  Gotta love it when you can find a product that makes you look great without aching feet!!

New Twist for Your Sixpence Tradition

Kathy and Jeff, expanded on the tradition by having Jeff carrying two coins – one for the wedding year and a second with his date of birth.  Kathy did the same with her date of birth.  At the reception, they exchanged coins as their first gifts to each other as husband and wife.  Exchanging coins is a symbol of wealth and happiness in many cultures.  Another new tradition is born.

 

Well, there it is.  Our version of :something old

I hope you have enjoyed it.  If you missed Part 1 – Somthing Old, Something New, you can read it here

Something Old, Something New for Your Wedding Memories

More Articles You Will Like:

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions, vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com. 

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,  Rita

 

 

 

 

 

Something Old, Something New For Your Wedding Memories

something old

Affiliate Disclosure for Blog

According to legend, the bride who follows the tradition by wearing ” something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” on her wedding day will have good luck in her marriage. Modern brides who carry on the tradition have expanded it to include anything the bride uses on her wedding day.

I officiated at a recent wedding where the bride arrived in an antique Bentley, part of her father’s vintage car collection.  (You have never seen a prouder father as Jenny gracefully exited his restored car.)

Something Old

Something old represents the bride’s past, which is why many brides choose to incorporate family heirlooms into their accessories.

Photos of Loved Ones – Something to Cherish for Years to Come

Add a photo locket to your bouquet or frame pictures of loved ones and place them in your bridal suite or at the entrance to your reception.  Choose a special frame and you can display the photo in your home for years to come.   What a wonderful way to honor those who are no longer physically with us but will always remain in our hearts.

Something Old Becomes Something New – Incorporating Your Mother/Grandmother’s Dress Into Your Wedding Day

Mothers and grandmothers are super sentimental when it comes to weddings. They are honored to have their dress included in your wedding day, but you often find it is just not your style.  If they will permit you to cut the vintage dress, here are some ideas:

  • Use parts of the trim from the original dress as an enhancement to your dress or your veil.
  • If the original dress had buttons, consider having them placed down the back of your dress.
  • A lace sleeve makes an elegant wrap for your bridal bouquet.
  • The skirt can be made into a ring bearer’s pillow or to create a fabric basket for the flower girl
  • Have a lace handkerchief made from the dress. Embroider the wedding date and names of the original bride and groom, and your names and dates.

While you are  having one made for yourself, have handkerchiefs made for sisters and cousins at the same time.  You’ll just have to fill in the new bride and groom names and date when the time arrives.  One bride did this and later shared that her male cousins came and asked for their pocket handkerchief made from the same fabric to wear on their wedding day.  Now that grandmother was truly loved!!

  • Your something old can be re-purposed antique jewelry that you use as hair accessories or bouquet embellishments. Your hairdresser can easily add removable bobby pins to brooches or entwine necklaces through your wedding updo.

Childhood Memories- Something Old from Your Past

  • Stitch fabric saved from childhood memories inside the wedding dress.
something old smething new, wedding, tradition
Childhood “blanket”- still treasured

Other ideas my brides have shared over the years:

  • Her Snoopy and Charlie Brown pillow case
  • A snippet from favorite childhood ballet tutu or clothing.
  • The number from her high school (or college)  jersey
  • Part of her “blankey” that she carried everywhere as a child.

A favorite tiny toy tucked into the bridal bouquet holds a special memory for me. I tucked  a teddy bear in my bouquet that my husband gave me when we first dated.  It’s 43 years later.   I still have the bear and the husband, so there must be something to this tradition.

Memories of Dad

My brother Carl passed away before his daughters were married.  To honor him on her wedding day, one daughter, Carly, had a heart made from the fabric of one of her dad’s favorite shirts sewn inside her wedding gown.  Very few people knew it was there, but it as very special to her when her Mom Peggy walked Carly down the aisle.  She said she felt like Carl was walking with her too.

When Shannon married, she used the same shirt and had ribbons from it tucked into her bouquet.

I had the honor of officiating at both of their  ceremonies, and I can tell you there was not dry eye anywhere.

You could use these ideas for any clothing item from a loved one, even a vintage wedding veil.  Be creative in how your can include your memories.

Keeping the Dress Alive- Something Old & Treasured

If your mom or grandmother cannot bear to have her dress cut up, but still asks you to include it as part of your wedding day, you can display it at the reception, with their wedding picture.  Ask the groom’s mother if she would like to participate as well, then be sure to get lots of pictures of you everyone  together, so you can later compare the generations.  A new custom is born and everyone is happy.

Something New

Your something new should consist of items that reflect how you want to look and feel on your big day and as a new couple.

Your Wedding Dress

something old something new, tradition, wedding

Many brides see their wedding dress as their “something new”.  If you are budget conscious and purchase a sample or  pre-owned wedding dress, it is new to you. (Or count it as something old, it really does not matter as long as your get the dress you love. )

I could not believe the spectacular dresses that brides are finding at this site at a huge discount off retail prices.  They  carry plus size too at unbelievable savings.

Level up your dress without killing your budget.  Win-Win.

BONUS:  When you are ready to sell your dress, they will buy your wedding dress too!!  Win-Win-Win.

 

Glassware- Becomes “Something old” for every anniversary.

something old something new

Champagne flutes, with  Mr. & Mrs. or with your initials on them add a special touch to your first drink as husband and wife.   If you drink beer or other beverages, don’t limit yourself to champagne glasses.

You will create a lifetime memento of your wedding day.  Marci and Jim have created an annual tradition of drinking from their toasting glasses on every anniversary.  Marci tells me they make drinking her favorite ice tea special too.

 

Perfume

something old something new. wedding, traditionSurprise your new husband with a new perfume on your wedding day.  The sense of smell is one to the strongest links to memory we experience. Every time you use the new perfume it will remind you both of your wedding day.  Be sure to wear it on special occasions, and of course wedding anniversaries.

If you already have a signature scent, it can be your something old.  If it brings back memories of a special time you had together, you may want to hold onto those memories.   For my son Will’s wedding,  was married, I wore a scent I had worn when he was a child.  I will never forget the tears in his eyes when we were dancing as he took a deep breath and said, “You smell like mom”.    A lifetime memory was created for this mom whose baby boy was entering a new life stage.

 Your New Last Name

something old something new, Mrs., Wedding, traditionIf you are planning to take your future husband’s last name, you can have your new initials or entire name embroidered into your wedding dress.  To make it super special, ask the seamstress to make the swatch for the embroidery large enough that it can be removed and turned into a pillow or picture for your new home.  You will be able to enjoy seeing it every day.

I particularly like the idea of having your new name embroidered on the ring bearer’s pillow or  monogrammed onto your veil.  Anything with your new name will create a stunning image and a lifetime memory for you.

 Lingerie 

something old something new

 

There is no requirement that your something new must been seen by everyone.  How about purchasing new sexy bridal lingerie – something new just for him.

Be creative, sexy,  or bridal. White or a hot new color.  Let your imagination run wild.    Think of a piece you would not usually buy and that your groom will love.  The pictured  set has a detachable skirt, so you get two looks in one.   Whew!!

 

 

 

 

Today we have looked at “Something Old” and “Something New”.  Our next post will  be all about “Something Borrowed” and Something Blue.”  You can read it here.

Be sure to sign up for our email list and you will receive a copy of every blog post when it is published.

Hugs.

Other Articles You Will Like:

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Unplugged Bride – Focusing on Your Wedding Without Interruptions

I will be the first to admit, the thought of being unplugged is difficult to accept, especially on the most important day of your life.  Trust me, make the decision to be unplugged.  You will be glad you did.

 “Please sit back, relax, enjoy the celebration, and most importantly, we urge you to unplug and be present in the festivities and events of the day.”  This quote is often seen on wedding invitations and signs requesting guests to unplug for the wedding ceremony and reception.  But how many brides and grooms take their own advice?

Unplugged, bride, wedding, ceremony, reception, memories,

Why Get Unplugged?

Take the time to focus on your wedding day – every moment is special and memorable to you.  How much will you remember of your day when you are constantly checking your phone, responding to texts, even viewing social media?

As you transition to a new life, this is the opportunity to focus in appreciation and gratitude for the life you were given and the future that lies before you. Don’t miss out by being online.

Solitude – An Unexpected Benefit of Being Unplugged

Solitude provides the stillness and quiet required to evaluate our lives and reflect on the message in our hearts.  We are in a world where outside noise is coming quicker and louder than ever.  The need for a bit of solitude is apparent, especially on one of the most important days of your life.

Life Is Happening Right in Front of You. – Get Unplugged and Enjoy It.

While you live in an electronic age, the true nature of life has not changed. Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you.  Your wedding experiences will never repeat themselves. These conversations are unfiltered and authentic. And the love is real. But if you are too busy staring down at your screen, or returning messages, you will miss them  (and never have a chance to experience them again).

Live in the moment, enjoy the people, the atmosphere, your own thoughts – all the feelings of your wedding day.

Avoid  An Emotional Roller Coaster by Being Unplugged

unplugged, bride, wedding, roller coaster, groom, ceremony, wedding dayBeing constantly connected puts you on an emotional roller coaster.  Think about how many times you have received an “urgent” text message, followed in a few moments by the notice that the disaster has been averted and all is well. You do not need to know if the caterer is ten minutes late, or there is a 10% chance of showers later in the evening.  There is nothing you can do about it anyway.  You do not need this kind of added stress on your wedding day.  You have others in place and ready to handle any issues that may arise.  Relax and allow them to do their jobs for you.

The Start of Your Unplugged Day

Instead of reaching for your phone as soon as you wake up, take the time to concentrate on yourself and your wedding day.  You will have a more relaxed day when you focus solely on yourself, your groom, and your wedding.   Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day.”  Spend it and the rest of your day wisely.    Remember the world continued to spin without your input while you slept, so it can surely do so for the most important day of your life. What could possibly be more important today than your wedding?

 Spare Time

There may be quiet time on your wedding day, but there really is no spare time to spend surfing the net, reading texts, or answering calls.  They are all just distractions that will take you from the serenity and joy of your wedding day. Resist the urge to fill quiet moments by plugging in.

Write Your Thoughts

unplugged, wedding day, calm, bride, groomRecord your thoughts and feelings in a wedding journal you can share with your new spouse and preserve for a lifetime.

By putting your quiet time to appropriate use, and jotting down your thoughts and feelings, you are saving once in a lifetime moments that flash by quickly. You will be glad you took the time to jot them down so you can recall them later.  Don’t worry about full sentences, grammar, or punctuation.  You are preserving thoughts and feelings, not publishing a book.

 

Streamline Who You Need To Connect With

 Make a list of people you  need to be in contact with, then provide them with an alternate contact number. (Keep your list as brief as possible.)   Set their minds at ease that nothing is wrong when you do not respond, but make sure they understand you will not be available. They can get an “urgent” (be sure to stress “urgent”) message to you if needed, and you will contact them if you need them too.

You may also need to be connected to some people such as vendors, your officiant etc.   Delegate this responsibility to someone you trust and  then relax.  A designated contact can handle and convey all messages that you really need to see and handle those that you do not need to see.

Tell People in Advance

Tell people in advance who routinely call, text, message or email you, that you are unplugged for your wedding, and when you will be online again.  Ask them for their support by not contacting you during this time.  If you feel you must, provide them with the alternate contact information but make sure they understand they should not expect to connect with you directly until after the wedding.

Do You Need to Connect with Your Bride/Groom?

 Decide in advance if you will talk to each other before you meet on your wedding day.  Stick to your decision.  Preserve the mystery of your wedding day by allowing the anticipation of talking to each other to grow until you first see each other.  You really do not need to know every preparation detail while it is happening.  Agree that all is well, unless your designated contact receives an important message from your significant other (and it had better be a legitimate need, not just a “Hi. Whatcha doing?”).

Lock It Up

unplugged, wedding day, ceremony, bride, groom, calm, stress-free

Don’t trust yourself to keep your anti-tech word? Give your phone to someone else to hold or simply leave it at home.

You could even ask a friend to install a password that only he/she can unlock on your wedding day.  There is no way you can cheat if you do not have access.

Can’t Go Cold Turkey?

Turn your phone off, not just to screen saver.  Don’t race to answer messages or calls.  Let them go to voicemail and then check in from time to time if you must.

Studies show that mobile phone owners routinely check their devices every 6.5 minutes.   That is 65 times in a 10-hour period.  Do you really want your special day interrupted that many times?

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

The Fear of Missing Out is an emerging psychological disorder brought on by technology. We are accustomed to a constant stream of notifications.  The fear of being left out is real.  Just remember that everyone who is important to you is preparing for your wedding too.  You will be seeing them today and you are the center of attention that everyone is talking about.  You can’t miss out, when you are the center of all that is happening.  Make yourself content with knowing they can fill you in on the details you may have missed later.

 

SOME OF OUR OTHER POSTS YOU WILL LIKE

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

 

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

 

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

 

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

 

 

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs,

Rita

 

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

Knowing how many people to expect at your wedding is a key to your planning in terms of space, expenses, and guest comfort.  Wedding experts tell us that fewer people are doing an RSVP response, making it difficult for brides to plan and control expenses.  Here are ideas of what you  can do to increase your responses.

 

Reduce Misunderstanding About RSVP Response

RSVP Response

You know the initials.  RSVP. They stand for the French phrase “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” which literally means “respond if you please.”  Today, invitations that include an RSVP come with the expectation that guests will respond to accept or decline the invitation, but many guests do no respond at all.

Your Solution:

Change the wording from RSVP to “Please Respond” or “Please Respond By  (DATE)”  to avoid confusion and prompt people to respond.  There is less chance the guest will misunderstand your request when your clearly state the expected action

Remind Your Guests Why Their RSVP Response Matters

 Guest response is a practical matter for you, but few guests consider why you need their response and the impact on your planning.

Your Solution:

Add a gentle reminder to your RSVP card:

“We’ll be embarrassed if we don’t have enough for everyone, so please respond to this invitation promptly.”

“Seating is limited, so please respond so we can reserve your space”

“We need to prepare for everyone in advance, please respond.”

“Please respond to reserve your slice of the wedding cake.  We’ve had the taste test and it is incredible.”

“We’re so excited and can’t wait for your response. Please respond NOW, before you forget.”

Adding a note of humor and scarcity will often generate more responses. The last two responses are a sure way to get attention, (even from those who don’t want cake).

Arrange information Clearly on Your RSVP Response Card

If there is too much or confusing wording, your guests might misinterpret the purpose of your invitation  and their need to respond.

Your Solution:

Limit your invitation and RSV cards to only necessary information, such as names, location, time and date.  You may also include menu choices, if needed;  If ancillary information is not important to the response, include it on a separate sheet, or even better on your wedding website.

 

Set a Deadline for RSVP Responses 

Deadline, RSVP Response

 People receive your invitation, set it aside until later,  and then often forget or fail to respond.

Keep your response time frame short. This will encourage  guests to get their responses back to you rather than putting them off, which often results in them not responding at all.

Draw attention to the RSVP deadline on your invitation so that it can’t be missed!

Use an eye-catching design or character to draw attention to your deadline. An arrow pointing to the date is a universal sign that the information is important.  You can find arrows in elegant fonts to keep with the theme of your invitation.

If you are printing your own RSVP cards, consider printing the response date in a bright color with a border around it to draw attention.

Use all caps, italics, underlining, or special font for the date when you need a response.

 

Verify Your Contact Information Twice

You are not receiving any response – Yikes!

Your solution: 

A simple typo or outdated auto-fill settings could result in responses not reaching you.  Check and double check your contact information before you send your invitations.  It is best to have some else check it too.   If you do find an error after sending, act quickly to resolve it, inform guests of the change and offer sincere apologies.

Send invitations out well in advance

People already have something planned

Your Solution:

Ideally invitations should be sent six to eight weeks before the wedding with a RSVP deadline three to four  weeks later.

Send paper or email request for your guests to “save the date.”   They are generally send six to eight months before the wedding (longer for destination weddings) and will improve the chances of your wedding making it on calendars but won’t necessarily increase your RSVP response rate.  If someone comments that they received your “save the date” and plan to attend,  or cannot make it, make a note on your guest list.  If they have already responded negatively, there is no need to follow up if they do not respond.

Do a test run before sending out your invitations.  Know, don’t just believe, everything is in working.

Timing When Sending Your Invites for Optimal RSVP Response

 People misplace or did not receive your invitation.

Your Solution:

Avoid sending invitations close to holidays or at times when you know people are particularly busy.

Offer RSVP Response Options

The more options you give guests for ways to response, the more responses you are likely to receive.

Review your guest list carefully and make a notation as to what method your guests are most likely to respond.  Be sure to include the top choices in your response methods.

Some guests may prefer communicating electronically, others prefer traditional methods.

Traditional RSVP Response Options 

If you are requesting paper responses, be sure to include a stamped pre-addressed envelope.  You may find this to be expensive, and a waste when people do not respond, but most people simply will not take the time to locate a stamp to return your RSVP.

While strict etiquette requires a written response to a written invitation, now is not the time to stand on tradition.  You need answers.  Provide a telephone number and name, email address or wedding website email address for these guests to use in case if they prefer or forget to mail.

For calls, if you have voice mail, encourage guests to leave a message.  Be sure to change your voice response message to prompt for the information you need. Then check your messages often, record the information and delete the message so no one will reach a full mailbox.

Electronic RSVP Response Options

 Response rates  are normally higher when people can respond electronically, but you must make it convenient for the guest.

 Your Solutions:

 Offer electronic  response options, including email, text message, your wedding website, or even a google form for guests to respond.  Provide response addresses clearly so it is easy for guests to respond.

If you are sending electronic invitations to personal email addresses, send them on a weekday evening, or other times when people are likely to be home and checking email.

If you are using a work address, emails at the beginning of the day or immediately following lunch get the most attention.

Use the “Important” designation on your email to get attention.  You can also get  a notification when to see if people opened your email.

If you are using a special “wedding email” address be sure to notify guests in advance so they will be on the lookout for your invitation.

Allow people to respond by hitting reply.  Most already know if they will attend when they receive your invitation, so make it easy for them to respond immediately and your response rates will soar.

Some experts recommend sending your electronic invitations very early in the day or late at night.  Your  invitation will have a higher chance at being at the top of your guests’ inbox, making it more visible.

Offer guests an off-line option just in case some don’t have regular online access.

Send a Gift With Your RSVP Response Card

People forget before they reply.

RSVP Response, Don't ForgetYour Solution:

By including a small trinket/reminder gift with your invite, you can increase the rate at which your guests RSVP.  Your gift doesn’t have to be extravagant for you to enjoy this effect. With a paper invitation, you might include:

  • A piece of string to tie around their finger as a reminder
  • A Post-It note for their bathroom mirror
  • For electronic invitations, include the option to automatically add the response date to their calendar.

 

Offer a Bribe for Guests’ RSVP Response

You know your friends, and they probably won’t respond

Your Solution:

A fun way to get people to respond is to add an offer in your invitation that says something like “First 50 people to respond will be entered in a drawing for – now you add the prize”.  It could be a bottle of wine, a gift certificate, special seating at the reception, reserved parking, whatever your guests will enjoy and get them to respond.

Be sure you follow up and conduct the drawing either at your reception on in advance if you need to notify the guest of their win.  Also announce the winner at your reception.  Great fun for everyone.

“Regrets Only” – RSVP Response Not Required 

If you are considering a “regrets only” response, reconsider

Your Solution

Don’t.  People who receive “regrets only” are no better at (and often worse) than responding to a traditional RSVP.  You will not get a better count with “regrets only”, and will probably end up with lots of leftovers if you are using your response numbers for seating and caterers.

Ask for Participation on Your RSVP Response Card

Your Solution:

Many brides are seeing increased response rates when asking guests to list a favorite song or their favorite memory of the bride and groom.  It will take a little time, but you can compile lists, use in your decorations, or adjust your song list to include some of these items.  Guests love the feeling they are participating in the wedding even before the big day.

 

BONUS TIP:

Accept No Graciously

People Declined.

Your Solution:

When people are kind enough to RSVP and their answer is no, accept it without questioning the reason or asking whether they won’t reconsider.  Resist the urge to ask why.  There could be a million reasons, and many they do not want to share.  When someone cannot attend and does not offer an explanation, the most gracious thing is to say, “You’ll be missed”.

Other Articles For You:

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

 

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy.   

Hugs,  Rita 

 

 

Guest List Planning – Mistakes to Avoid

Deciding who you share your special day with is an important part of your wedding planning. Sidestep stress and make your decisions quicker and easier when assembling your guest list by dodging these mistakes.

Your Parents Take Control of Your Guest List

wedding, guest list, brideUnless you want to have a room full of guests that you really do not know, and who are more important to parents than they are to you, don’t give up control of your guest list.  This can be difficult if parents are paying for most or all the wedding expenses.

It is best to sit down early and discuss the size of wedding you want.  Be prepared to compromise to make the guest distribution equitable.  Deciding how many guests to have and how the numbers will be allocated is much easier if you do it before you attach names to the list.

Don’t forget to include your groom and his parents as part of the discussion, after all it is his wedding too.

A good rule of thumb is to allocate one quarter of your list to both parents and retain half for you and the groom.  But this is just a guideline, not a rule, and only you can decide how you split your list.

 

Totally Dominating the Guest List

Be sure to consider the groom and his family when creating your guest list.  You and your parents may be paying wedding expenses, but it is you and your groom’s wedding – as a couple.  Allocate an appropriate number of guest seats for their use.  You don’t want your groom to feel like the wedding day was solely about you. Or to start off your marriage offending your in-laws when they feel excluded on the most important day in their son’s life.

 

Booking the Venue First – Before Making Your Guest List

Before you can book your venue, you really do need to prepare your guest list.  It will save you stress and aggravation and possibly re-booking another place, if you find out it is too small for the number of guests you plan to invite.  Don’t forget  to allow adequate space for guests to be comfortable at their tables and when they move about.  Then there is room for dancing, the cake, and your head table. Commit to a venue only when you know how much space you will need for an enjoyable event.

 

Not Considering Food and Drink Costs – The Impact of Your Guest List 

reception food, wedding, DIY, home cooked. restaurantwedding reception, open bar, bride, groom, bar,Because food and drinks are usually the largest costs associated with a wedding, and they are determined on a per-person basis, each guest added to your list increases your budget.  Keeping your guest list small is a major money saver. For today’s wedding each guest can add from $20 to $200 to the cost of your wedding.

Make lists of your top priorities for both your wedding budget and guest list.  Don’t be surprised if they conflict.  Only you can decide if you would rather serve less expensive food and drinks to a larger group or pare down your guest list and serve more expensive food and drinks.  That is a decision that you and your groom should make together before you start inviting guests.

 Forgetting the 20 Percent Rule of Your Guest List 

When making your guest list, keep in mind the general rule is that between 10%-20%  of invited guests will not attend. In some areas it can be as much as 30%, especially if guests must travel.  Don’t take this personally.  Some will have prior plans, last minute emergencies, or just don’t get around to returning their RSVP.

Don’t assume that someone who does not respond either will or will not attend.  You are just guessing, unless you know them well.

Remember to include yourselves, the wedding party, and parents when you are counting the number of guests.

Because you will need a close estimate of the number of seats to plan , it is important for you to consider all these in your guest count.  If your venue has a minimum number of guests required at a certain price point you may also want to keep this in mind as it affects cost per person if you do not meet the minimum.

 

Allowing Everyone to Bring A Plus-One

Plus One, Wedding, Guest, ListMany brides fall into the trap of trying to keep their single friends happy by including a plus one invitation, so they can bring a guest.  Please resist the urge to automatically include plus-ones until you sit down and calculate how much each one of these people represents in money and the total hit your budget will take.  They really so add up quickly and can make a big difference on what you can afford in other areas, like flowers, decorations, and even food choices.

Decide what your “rule” for plus-ones will be and stick to it so there are no hurt feelings.  You can invite all, none, of somewhere in between. Some brides include only those in a committed relationship, but that can get tricky defining what committed means.  You may settle for living together or engaged as the guiding rule.

Make sure you and the groom agree when you decide how you will handle this issue.  You must be consistent.  Prepare to support each other and your joint decision when people come begging for “just one more”.

Children on Your Guest List – Be Consistent

children in wedding, bridal party, flower girl, ring bearer, bride, groomIf you want a child free wedding, be sure to make it very clear on your invitations that children are not invited.  Don’t use wording including “Family” on your invitation envelopes unless you are including children.

Instead of saying “No children” on your invitation, consider a gentler approach.  “We’re making our wedding an adult affair and hope that the parents among you can take the opportunity to have an evening without the children”.  People will accept this positive tone, especially when you tell them early giving them time to plan for the children.

Share your plan with your family gossip and prep him/her on what to say when people ask.  When you send a positive message, it goes a long way to spread the word and support your decision not to include children.  Ask your wedding party and parents to prepare to address questions from guests who have children they want to attend.

If your wedding is at a commercial venue that offers babysitting, share the information with your guests so they can plan accordingly.  You may even get a group discount.  If you plan to offer this service, have someone other than yourself coordinate it.  A relative with children who will use the service is the ideal person for the job.

And most importantly, be consistent in your treatment of children attending.  Avoid hurt feelings by not allowing some guests to bring children while others can.

The only exception should be for children who are in the bridal party, and siblings of the bride and groom.   You may want to make alternate arrangements for them when the time grows long and the get cranky or bored.

 

Including  Coworkers on Your Guest List 

If you have close friends among your coworkers, you can certainly invite them.  But this does not mean who must include everyone you work with – this could take up half your guest list.

If you do invite a few select coworkers, ask them not to discuss their invitations with other coworkers to avoid hurt feelings.

Don’t feel obligated to invite the boss, just because she is the boss.  If she is not a close friend, she will understand that you are limited in the number of guests.

If you are not inviting any coworkers, consider hosting a separate party for them.  Explain that the wedding is a close friends and family affair.

 

Adding Everyone You Know To Your Guest List

This is one of the biggest days of your life and you will want to share it. It’s best to limit your list to people you care about and want to be a part of your wedding memories.

If you are really on the fence of whether to include someone on the list, the answer is probably “no”. You will know who it is important to have at your wedding, of if you are just adding people.  Inviting near-strangers adds nothing to your wedding except costs and stress on your wedding day.

OTHER POSTS YOU WILL LIKE:

Wedding on A Budget – 14 Ways to Save Real Money on Your Wedding

 

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

 

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

 

How to Make Your Wedding Memorable

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs,

Rita

How to Make Your Wedding Ceremony Memorable

While your wedding day will be full of excitement and the reception will surely be an awesome party, the ceremony is the reason you are here. You enter as individuals and leave as a couple formally bound together for a lifetime. The “I DO” is definitely what it is all about.

Add these simple but memorable moments to your ceremony to make it the highlight of the wedding day.

 

Walking Down the Aisle – The Ceremony Begins

ceremony, groom, walking down aisle, wedding

Walking down the aisle, and the first moment the groom sees his beautiful bride are truly magical moments in any wedding ceremony.  Before the wedding, make sure that your photographers and videographers clearly understand that while you want pictures nothing, and I do mean nothing, even for a single moment, comes between the bride and groom and blocks the view of the groom as his bride enters.   As an officiant, I have seen far too many weddings where all the groom saw was the back of the videographer’s head as his bride walked down the aisle.

Hold Hands – The Bond During Your Ceremony

Altar, Holding hands, ceremony

Your ceremony is the first step in your new life together.  You may be nervous in front of so many guests,  but they are not the reason you are here.  It really is all about you.  Stay focused on each other.  Hold hands.  Wipe the tear from her (or his) cheek.  Whisper sweet words to each other.  Share a secret love signal that only the two of you know.   Bring  your love for each other to the foreground of your ceremony.  You are making memories to last a lifetime.

 

Write Your Own Vows – A Ceremony of Magic

Vows that tug at the heartstrings will never be forgotten by the bride, groom, or wedding guests.  They are the soul of your wedding, your life together, and among the things you will remember most about your wedding.

You can write your own vows or adapt the more traditional ones to reflect your thoughts and proclaim your love for each other.  Couples who are having conventional vows, perhaps required by their religion, are adding their own vows to their ceremony.  Others who cannot change the ceremony, or prefer to share privately, are planning a few minutes on their wedding day to spend quiet time together and recite their personal vows to each other.  Don’t overlook this chance to make your day a special memory.

 

Cry Happy Tears – A Ceremony Stopper

ceremony, bride, groom, happy tears

 

Weddings are emotional, and it is OK to cry.  This is true for both bride and groom.  Don’t be afraid to show your emotions to your spouse and to your guests.  Having said that, it is OK not to cry.  If your tears are not authentic or are overly dramatic, everyone will quickly see that they are not genuine.  The key is to let your honest emotions show through however you feel. And,  come prepared to support your spouse by gently wiping the tears away.

 

Laugh – A Joyful Ceremony 

Wedding ceremonies don’t have to be solemn and serious.  Some of the best ceremonies are filled with infectious laughter from the couple and guests.  Don’t be afraid to include light moments in your vows and words you share.  How about adding a vow that promises you will support her favorite sports team, even when they play your team?  You will want to look back on your wedding day and remember it as a light and joyful time.  Adding these personal touches makes your day unique to you.   Your guests will connect with you and see how happy you are as a couple.

Ring Exchange –  Your Ceremony Gets Real

rings, ceremony, ring exchange

The exchanging of rings is the moment most couples tell us when the wedding and commitments become real to them.  The physical act of exchanging rings can be magical and breathtaking.  Don’t just rush through it.  Spend time in advance to create (or find) the perfect words you want to recite when placing the ring on your new spouse’s finger.  Remember you do not have the say the same thing to each other. Make your words come from your heart and add to the magic of your day.

 

Level Up Your Recessional – The Ceremony Ends 

Your recessional should be a show of overwhelming joy.  Forget the traditional pomp and circumstance and choose an upbeat song you both love for your recessional.  It does not matter the genre- from big band, country, or a jazz band.  What do you love?  Pick a song that defines you as a couple.  When you send your ceremony on an upbeat note, it will really get the party started as you head to your reception.  What an awesome way to create a smooth transition between the ceremony and the reception.

If you want to take it up another level, let the groom pick the recessional song, and have it played as a surprise to the bride. ( Brides, I promise you will be pleased with his selection.)

BONUS:

A Quiet Romantic Moment- After The Ceremony

Your wedding day will be hectic, so be sure to plan some time when the two of you can be alone  It does not have to be a long time, just enough so that you can breathe and share the emotions you will both be feeling.

The ideal time is between the ceremony and the reception.  Taking an “us” break in the middle of the reception can be a welcomed break too.

Time will pass quickly, and you want to be sure that you have time for just the two of you. Kiss, hug, laugh, breathe. Make sure you have time to cherish the day with personal moments.  You are creating lifetime memories.  Don’t allow them all to be hustle and bustle.

 

Adding these simple ideas to your wedding ceremony will transform it into one that you will trying cherish and remember for a lifetime.

OTHER POSTS YOU WILL LIKE:

Wedding on a Budget – 14 Ways to Save Money

 

Questions Every Bride Should Ask Before Selecting Her Bridal Party

 

Cheap Wedding Foods Your Guests Will Love – DIY 

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs, Rita

Cheap Reception Foods That Save You Money and Your Guests Will Love

Feeding your guests at your  wedding reception can quickly become expensive.  Many brides see cheap DIY reception foods as lower quality and not for them.  Read on and you will find this is a misconception you will be glad you overcame.  You can save money and have a fabulous reception your guests will remember and appreciate, while saving money on your reception foods.

Cheap Wedding Reception Foods

Planning Your Reception Foods

Here are some things to look at when planning your cheap DIY reception foods menu:

Number Of People Attending  – Why It Matters When Picking Reception Foods

Reception Food, Favor, weddingIf your guest list is large, don’t serve steak.  If you are having a small wedding, the more expensive foods can be more reasonable, but still are not a necessity to create a delicious memorable menu.

Always ask for an RSVP by a certain date so you can get an accurate number. Contact guests to get a response from those who miss the deadline.  Most people already overestimate how much food to provide for fear of running out.  Assuming people who have not responded to your RSVP will attend, can be a budget breaker.

If you are having trouble getting responses to your RSVP’s (and who doesn’t), here are some ideas help:

RSVP Response – Increasing Your Response Rate

 

Time of Day  – It Matters For What Reception Foods You’ll Serve

Time of day is an enormous factor in determining what types of food your guests will expect.  This chart will help determine what you should serve and what they will expect to see.  The times listed are serving times, not the time your ceremony begins.honeymoon, vacation, reception food

Time of Day

Foods to Serve

7 am-9:30 am Full breakfast
10 am-11:30 am Light finger foods
12 noon-1:30 pm Full lunch
2 pm – 4:30 pm Finger foods (the later the time, the heavier the foods should be)
5 pm – 7:30 pm Full dinner
8 pm and later Finger foods, desserts

 

Keep the age of your guests in mind.  To seniors, anything approaching 5:00 pm is their dinner time.

People will eat and drink more at night than during the day, so plan portions appropriately.

If you are only serving desserts or light foods, note it on the invitation so guests will know what to expect and if they should eat before they come.  “Dessert reception following ceremony” is all you need to say.

Food Variety- So Many Choices In Reception Foods

When working with a slim budget, less variety means more savings.

When you have multiple selections, guests will want to try some of each.  (Remember the adage, my eyes were bigger than my stomach? It applies here.  While guests may take some of everything, the seldom eat it all.)

If you do have a variety, cut servings sizes smaller – bite size for desserts.  Guests are likely to take more than one choice when offered.

If you have a single choice, make servings larger.

If you have unusual or ethnic items on your menu, label them.  Guests will know what they contain and will not take them just to try them, if they are not likely to take them when they know what it contains.

 

Budget –  A Big Part of Your Reception Foods Decision

Setting your budget is key. Decide before you start planning the menu what you can spend and base your menu around it. Believe it or not, it’s easy to have an inexpensive reception when you plan ahead.  Pasta, desserts only, and finger foods – when you carefully plan the menu, can all be done for only a few dollars.

Breakfast is a particularly budget friendly meal, so why not have an early wedding following by breakfast, or even breakfast first?  Or a late evening wedding, followed by breakfast foods?

Be creative when considering your options.  Savings are generally found in the unusual, not the traditional.

Seating – What To Consider When Selecting Reception Foods

If people will be standing and mostly mingling, finger foods are best.  Consider if they have a place to eat and hold a drink. (This is also a major thing brides overlook when setting up their cocktail hour before the reception.)

If guests will be seated, you can offer tacos, soups, casseroles, full meals, even cold salads.

If you are having children, plan a separate menu for them, that is less expensive and more to their tastes. Avoid dark colored punch, soups, and foods that make a mess. (Macaroni and cheese, and applesauce are usually kids’ favorites.

A new trend in weddings is serving meats at stations, then serving sides family style.  You will need more staff than a buffet to serve, but family style is a wonderful way to get guests talking to each other, and they only take the foods they really want.

Atmosphere- Reception Foods Help Set The Tone 

Cheap Wedding Reception Foods DIYKeep the overall feel of your wedding in mind when planning your menu.

If your wedding is casual, then barbecue or a salad bar may be the perfect fit.

If it is very hot, and you have an outside wedding, avoid heavy foods and have plenty of liquids for guests. You may need more snack type foods to accompany alcohol too.

If your wedding is very formal, then you probably are going to serve a full dinner.  You can still serve buffet style, which is cheaper than a sit-down dinner, make sure you have your buffet lines set up so the wait time is not excessive

Just keep the overall atmosphere of your wedding you and your attendees in mind so everyone will be happy.

 

Time Of Year – A Big Aspect of Your Perfect Reception Foods 

Heavier foods are always appreciated in fall and winter months.  How about serving a variety of homemade soups?  Purchase inexpensive mugs and give them to guests to take home as their favors.

Baked potato bars (for variety, be sure to include some sweet potatoes) and pasta dishes are chilly weather favorites.

A fresh salad bar and barbecues are perfect for spring and summer weddings.  Add some homemade cookies or brownies for dessert if you want to serve more than wedding cake, and you are set to go.

If you are having an offsite wedding, there is no need to keep foods hot when you select a menu of chicken salad, cold meats, and dishes that are served at room temperature.  (Do keep food safety in mind for all cold foods, especially anything containing egg or mayonnaise.) .

Crepe bars and waffle bars are also a fun and inexpensive reception idea. Toppings can include everything from ice cream and chocolate syrup, yogurt, candies, peanut butter, sprinkles, and chopped nuts.

Shopping For Your Reception Foods 

Stock Up – Buy Early For Saving on Reception Foods 

Once you set your menu, create a complete ingredient list including the total quantities you will need for all menu items.

Throughout the year, watch for sales and purchase the non-perishables you will need.  You can also buy chips, paper products, and drinks. If you have freezer space, you can freeze cheese, meat, etc. Just make sure you wrap them well to protect from freezer burn, and thaw according to directions for that food type.

Consider using store brands, when you can.  Create a test batch of the recipe.  Does it really require pink Himalayan salt or is it delicious with the salt you already have?  Don’t buy the specialty items if everyday items will work.

Use What You Have

Before you start shopping, check what you have.  You may only need a small quantity of something on hand.  No need to buy more.

Be Flexible When Selecting Ingredients for Your Reception Foods 

When trying recipes be flexible on the brand of the ingredient you use.  Just because a recipe recommends a certain brand of mayonnaise, look for less expensive alternatives, or your favorite and use those.

If one major brand of sodas is on sale, buy it rather than what you usually buy.  Remember you are not going to be the one drinking it anyway. Comparison shop between sizes of sodas.  The cans may be cheaper but could go to waste when guests (particularly children) open and do not drink all before grabbing another.  Another tip for sodas – keep your selection small, and offer at least one diet, caffeine free choice, as well as water.

Flexibility is key to saving with decorations too – such as flower vases for centerpieces.  What do you or family already have that you can use?  You’ll feel the difference in your budget when you are creative and use things already on hand.  (When you borrow decorations, but a sticker or tape on the bottom with the name, so you will know who to return them to after the wedding.)

Buy In Bulk

Cheap Wedding Reception Foods DIYBuying in bulk can save you tons of money.  If you belong to a big box membership program, take advantage of it.  Many grocery stores also offer limited bulk items too.

Paper products are always cheaper when you buy in bulk.  Can you use plain white plates and napkins, and dress up your table with colorful decorations?  There is huge savings here if you are creative with your look.

Plan Ahead Before You Shop

Create a list, shop from it, and stick to it.  Last minute additions are expensive and often wasted.wedding ring, reception food, bride

If you have carefully calculated how much you will need of any item, resist the temptation to buy and extra one, “just to  be safe”.  Waste is expensive.

Use Home Delivery Service

Many grocery stores offer personal shopping and home delivery service for grocery shopping.  These can be a huge savings both in terms of time and buying exactly what you need.  These stores have trained their shoppers to select their best and freshest produce and meats, and you won’t be tempted by any last-minute impulse buying.

If your store offers it, take advantage of their delivery service  (usually less than $5) and have them deliver your bulk groceries to your door.  It’s a small price to pay for lugging all that stuff.

See how easy it is?  Your reception will be unforgettable when you are creative, plan ahead, and fill it with love.

OTHER POSTS FOR YOU:

Wedding on a Budget – 14 Ways to Save You Real Money

Your Wedding Party – 11 Questions To Ask Before Choosing

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. Enjoy 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs, Rita

Your Wedding Party – 11 Questions To Ask Before Choosing

Who should I include?  How large should my wedding party be?  Determining who to  include in your wedding party is the biggest “people decision” for the bride and groom in planning your wedding.  Resist the urge to issue invitations to potential bridesmaids and groomsmen before you have taken the time to honestly answer these questions.  Your bridal party will have an unbelievable impact about your feelings and experiences on your wedding day.  Be sure you make the best choices.

 

 1.  What Do We Want Our Wedding to Look Like?

wedding party, bridal party, bride, groom, bridesmaid, groomsmen

 

Before you start asking people to be a part of your wedding sit down with your groom and talk about what you want your wedding day to look like.  Are you dreaming of a small intimate ceremony, or longing for a big party atmosphere?

Remember the part in Alice in Wonderland when Alice asked the Cheshire Cat which way she should go from here?  The Cat responds by saying it depends on where you want to go, and when Alice says she does not know, the Cat wisely says, “Then it does not matter which way you go.”

Don’t allow this to happen with your wedding.  Know where you want to go – what you want it to look and feel like, before making any decisions, including how many and who should be in your wedding party.

 

2. How Large Will My Wedding Be?

Consider the size of your wedding.  If you are having a small intimate wedding, a wedding party of 10 or 15 Wedding Party, Bridal, Planning attendants will look overwhelming and awkward compared to the number of guests.

When the guest list is larger, then the size of your wedding party can be as well.  But it does not have to be.  Wedding trends today are showing more brides avoiding the expense and hassles associated with a large wedding party.  They are having a Maid of Honor and Best Man without other attendants.  You’ll have an element of intimacy to your ceremony that cannot be achieved with a large wedding party.

 

3.   Have I Really Thought About My Wedding Party?

When you are first engaged, it is natural to be excited and want to include everyone in your wedding.  But in the case of your wedding party think carefully before you ask.  Once you ask, you can’t take the invitation back.  Wait at least a month before you ask anyone to be in your wedding.  Then ask yourself if this is a person who you truly want to have a key role in your wedding day.  A truthful, thoughtful answer to yourself will quickly tell if this person should be included.

 

4. What Are My Expectations For My Wedding Party?

bridesmaid, wedding party, groomsmen, best man, maid of honor

Make sure that you are clear on your expectations for your wedding attendants.  Take the time to really give this some thought.  Are your expecting them to be at every pre-wedding party, provide help with the planning, or just show up at the rehearsal and wedding and participate?   Or planning lots of DIY and expect them to be there to help?  Consider personality  conflicts with others in the wedding party (or you/FH) that will make your wedding day miserable if you include someone?

Be realistic and let everyone know up front what your expectations for them is.  Word your invitation in such a way that they can gracefully decline and do not insist on an immediate answer.

 

 

5. Will The Members Of Our Wedding Party Be In Our Future?

 Your life priorities will change when you get married.  Before you ask someone to be in your wedding party, think about the likelihood that they will be in your future life, or if they are simply a reminder of the past.

Those who were a big part of your life before you met your fiancé, but not so much in the picture now; those you feel obligated to include because you were in their wedding years ago, but you seldom have contact now; and those who are dedicated to life as a single person, will probably slowing gravitate towards being a part of your past after the wedding.  For those you categorize more as past than future, , you may want to have them attend the wedding, but probably not include them in the wedding party.

 

6.  Who Do I “Have” To Include In My Wedding Party?

In all honesty, there is no one that you must include, though you probably have some people you really want to be part of your day.  To help you decide, first make a list of your (and fiance’s) ideal list.  It is likely you will have brothers and sisters of the couple, school and college friends, and even a few individuals I’ll call “political invites” – you know who I am talking about, your brother’s wife who you do not care for, but you know he would be hurt if she is left out.

Once you have this wish list, start paring it down to the numbers of attendants you have already decided on.  That is not always easy to do, but if you start with a set number, you will be more likely to keep the numbers in line with your wedding vision.  When deciding between two individuals, consider having neither instead of both, especially if budget I a concern.

 

7. Can They Afford The Expenses Of Being In My Wedding Party?

bridal party, wedding party, bridesmaid, maid of honor, best man, groomsmen, wedding decisions, wedding ideas

Some people dread being asked to be in a wedding simply because they cannot afford it.  Whenbridal party, wedding, dress you consider the costs of travel, hotel, wedding attire, shower and wedding gifts, being in a wedding can be expensive and create financial hardship for some.  If this fits someone you know, consider asking them to play an individual role in your wedding – such as being a reader during the ceremony -that will not require them to spend so much money.

If you have someone who is a wedding party “must”, consider privately offering to help with their expenses- perhaps pay for the dress.  Be cautious that your offer remains private or you may have other upset members, or expenses you did not expect if others learn of your financial help.

 

8. Will These Individuals Be Helpful In Our Planning Process?

wedding, wedding help, wedding stress

wedding party, dress, bridal
I love the variety this style offers. Check it out.

It is an honor to be included in your wedding, but it is also commitment to help with the wedding planning, especially for the Maid of Honor and Best Man.  If your friend or relative is not willing to help or able to help  with the wedding planning, you may want to consider someone else, or look for someone else to help.

It really is up to you to decide what you expect in terms of support in your planning process.  Then honestly assess if you candidates meet those expectations, of if you re going to disappointed and stressed by their actions.  The key is for you to be realistic and accept the positives and negatives of each individual. Then relax and enjoy.

 

9. Are They Supportive Of Marriage And Our Relationship?

If you have friends who constantly put down marriage, or even worse, don’t like or approve of your ne spouse, do yourself a huge favor, and do not include them to be part of your wedding party.  It may initially cause hurt feelings, but in the long run everyone will be happier if they are not in the center of your wedding planning and your wedding day.  Remember you want your wedding to be filled with joyful memories, not overshadowed  by a negative Nellie or Neal.  Again, having them is a guest may be the way to go.

 

10. Do I Want/Need Children In Our Wedding?

children in wedding, bridal party, flower girl, ring bearer, bride, groom

 

If seeing this scene at your wedding causes you stress and anxiety, then you probably do not want to take the chance of including children in your wedding.  First and foremost, children are unpredictable, even those you know well and are well behaved.

vendors, wedding, ring, bride, wedding partyLet’s be clear.  There is nothing requiring you to include children in your wedding.  If they are not a part of your vision for the perfect wedding day, don’t include them.  Don’t let children or parents beg, plead, or guilt you into including them  Their presence in your wedding party has nothing to do with your love for the child.  It is all about you enjoying your wedding.   If you feel guilty about not including them, buy them a small gift, include them in some of you DIYs, if they are old enough, give them a small job such as placing programs on chairs, or a job ahead of time. How about asking a child to be your “ring security” before the wedding?  Place the ring in a safe place where they can check it on, but not actually hold it.  But do not give in to including them in the wedding itself.  Decision made.  Your day.  Not about them.  Period.  Skip  this advice and read the next.

Precious flower girls and adorable ring bearers are part of many brides dream weddings.  The reality is often overtired cranky children, who are overwhelmed when confronted with a sea of strange faces.

Things to Remember About Kids

Children should not be expected to act like little adults.  While some children enjoy large crowds, most do not, and few act exactly as you expect them to do.  Consider not only how cute the children will be, but also how comfortable and happy they will be on your wedding day.

Be particularly cautious of inviting children under four years of age or those who are immature and may not be up to fulfilling their wedding responsibilities.  If you are unsure, ask parents for their honest input before extending your invitation to the child.

Remember, children are not required in a wedding, and if you do not have children you are close to, resist the urge to reach out to others, just so you will have a flower girl or ring bearer.  It is simply not worth the stress on all involved.

When deciding to include children, consider not only the perfect vision, but the worst disaster.  Most weddings end up somewhere in between.  Think about the worst thing that can happen, and if you are prepared for this on your wedding day and without letting it upset you.  If the answer is yes, then children in your wedding may be a wonderful experience.  Otherwise, include them in the festivities and even the pictures, if you would like, but not in the ceremony itself.  Everyone will be happier.

11. What If Someone Says No?

 As mentioned earlier, being in a wedding party can be expensive.  Participation may be outside of some people’s financial means, especially if they are from out of town.  Dates do not always work with everyone.  Not everything will coordinate perfectly with your wedding day.  And there is a host of other reasons why someone may decline you offer to be part of the wedding party.

Prepare yourself that someone may say no.  It is OK to be disappointed but try not to take it personally.  Don’t allow it to harm your friendship.

If you have time and want to ask someone else to fill the space, you may, but also remember that today’s weddings do not have an equal number of bridal and groom attendants.

 

BONUS:

12. How Do The Wedding Party Individuals Act with Alcohol?

This is a tough question that few couples seriously consider before selecting their attendants.

Think back to the last time you partied, – and I mean really partied, with these individuals.  If thoughts that wedding party, bridal party, bride, groom wedding planning make you cringe  immediately popped into your head when you remembered the party, you may want to reconsider.  Did they act the way you want to see on your wedding day?  The sad answer is that sometimes those who party the best, are not ideal candidates for your wedding party.  Remember your attendants will often be the focus of your guests’ attention.  If you anticipate any behavior that you must explain, apologize for or embarrasses you and your guests, you will be happier  and worry free by not including and over exuberant friend.

 

 

OTHER POSTS YOU WILL LIKE:

Cheap Reception Foods Your Guests Will Love

Wedding on a Budget – 14 Ways to Save You Real Money

 

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groom

 

Please check our Pinterest Boards.  www.pinterest.com/ceremonies0324/.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily. 

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs,

Rita

 

Wedding on a Budget – 14 Ways to Save You Real Money

For most brides, planning their wedding is the first large event they have coordinated in their lives.  This can be anWedding, dress, budget, bride

exciting time, but also a bit overwhelming when faced with budget vs. dream decisions, timelines, and even knowing what you want. Your wedding day is special and unique.  You have dreamed about it since you were a little girl.

Now it is time to bring your dream to life, without breaking your pocketbook.  We’re here to

For more ideas to plan your perfect wedding ceremony and reception, please follow our Pinterest Board.

 

 

1. Keep Your Guest List Small

wedding, small wedding, wedding guests

 

With each additional guest, you increase costs and reduce the intimacy of your wedding. Eliminate people you have not been in contact with for years, acquaintances who are not really friends, plus ones, and even children to get your list to a manageable size.  If your parents ask you to invite their friends and associates that you don’t know, calmly discuss with them, and decide together why these individuals should be there and the impact on space and budget.

The real secret is to understand that few people will feel offended they are not invited to your wedding when others they consider their peers are not invited either.  Be consistent in your planning, but also remember it is your wedding.

2. Ask for Help As Your Wedding Gift

wedding, wedding help, wedding stress

 

wedding, budget, flowers, planning

If you know talented musicians, a photographer, or even an officiant, who you would invite to your wedding regardless of their skills, ask them to perform their service at a discount (or even free if they are very close) instead of purchasing a wedding gift. If you would not invite them otherwise, it’s best to skip this tip.  You can still employ them. but don’t ask for a discount.  (They may surprise you and offer it, but do not ask.)

If you are planning DIY, you will need help there as well. Don’t just assume that people have the time or desire to help you create your perfect wedding.  You can design your gorgeous flowers, bouquets and centerpieces with help and planning and save tons of money.  Just be sure to ask.

 

3. Have Your Ceremony in a Free Space

wedding, ceremony, venue, outdoor wedding, cheap wedding

 

 Instead of renting space, how about using your home or the home of a parent or friend for your ceremony and reception.  Many people have beautiful gardens they would love to show off.   Keep in mind, you will need to give them lots of advance notice, and make it clear that you do not expect them to spend money or paining, and other improvements for your wedding.  Public parks and beaches offer gorgeous views at a very low costs.  Don’t forget a backup plan if you are planning an outdoor wedding.

4. Fraternal Organizations & Community Halls

wedding ceremony, venue,
Photo courtesy of New Tradition Photography

Particularly in rural America, fraternal and community groups often have halls for rent at a cost much less than commercial venues.  The revenue created from the rentals is a major source of income for the community projects and activities the organization supports.  Check  your local volunteer fire company, Elks Lodge, Lions Club, Ruritan or  similar location for your wedding ceremony and/or reception.  Most  of these halls include the tables and chairs, are easy to decorate and have lots of free parking.  They may even offer catering for your reception, and their food is usually homemade and delicious.   Because they are staffed by volunteers you may also save labor costs.   Be sure to offer a tip as an additional donation so the volunteers will know you appreciate their time.  (The barbecued chicken our local fire company offers twice a year is always a sellout.  Your guests would love having it for your reception too.) What a great way to have community friends attend your reception without running up your budget

5. One Location for Ceremony & Reception

wedding location, wedding venue, one venue, ceremony, reception

 

You can save thousands of dollars by having your entire day in a single location.  You will need fewer decorations and flowers and have far fewer logistical issues to deal with.  Some venues have two rooms, while at others, your guests are seated at the tables where you will hold your reception.  If you are seating at the tables, ask your officiant to invite guests to turn their chairs around to face the front of the venue to everyone will be able to comfortably see the ceremony.  Guests will also be thankful that they only need to drive and park at a single location.

 

6. Cater Your Own Wedding or Hire a Local Family-Owned Restaurant

reception food, wedding, DIY, home cooked. restaurant

 

You may be able to handle the food preparation with a lot of help from family and friends. Hire servers for the day, so those who helped prepare will not feel obligated to work on your wedding day.  One lead adult and  students from a high school  or college club are often available at a great price.  And you are supporting their club goals too.  Don’t forget to acknowledge their organization, and offer tips to show your appreciation.

If cooking is not your passion or strength, look for a local family-owned restaurant and ask the owners to cater your wedding.  They usually offer great food and will work to make your wedding special.  You can ask them to have the food as carry-out and have someone pick it up  and others  serve it or have them deliver or cater the entire event.

7. Fewer Flowers Saves You A Lot of Money & Looks Gorgeous

 wedding, flower, bouquet, fewer flowers, bridal flowers, bridesmaids flowers

Live flowers are very expensive.  Keep it simple and minimize the number of flowers to buy.  Have bridesmaids carry a single flower or a purse or other object that is meaningful to them (it can double as your bridesmaid gift.)  Cut your own flowers and even use everlasting flowers.   (I love the word “everlasting”. It  sounds so much more elegant than “fake” flowers  Feel free to use it in describing your flowers if you use them.)  Consider using more candles and greenery.  You will be surprised how much you will save and how beautiful your wedding will be.

8. Another Flower Tip

 

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If you must have fresh flowers, purchase local, in season flowers to minimize your costs and make sure your florist knows that cheap is your favorite word.  Many large grocery and big block stores also floral departments that create beautiful arrangements about half the cost.  And they will customize for you.  Farmers markets carry a wide selection of flowers, and may even arrange them for you.  Be sure to order early.  Check it out.

9. Just One More Thing About Flowers

wedding flowers, artificial, fake flowers, bride, grooms, bouquet

flowers, wedding, budget

DIY flowers are always a consideration if you have a creative side, or someone you know can make your arrangements and bouquets for you.  You can have part of your flowers (perhaps your bouquet) professionally done and do the rest yourself. Another half and half solution is to use part fresh and part artificial flowers. The hit on your floral budget will be reduced drastically.  Using artificial flowers with real greenery is a sure way to have your guests think “real”, as it adding a tiny hint of scent to your bouquet. (Be sure to test the scent before applying to your flowers, you do not want it to smell fake or overpowering.  If it does – don’t use it.)

 

 

10. Skip the Groomsmen & Bridesmaid Invitation Gifts

wedding, bridesmaid gifts,,groomsmen, wedding party gifts

 

 A relatively new idea is providing gift boxes to your wedding party when asking them to be in your wedding. If these are good friends, most know that you are trying to have a frugal wedding and they will understand.  A personal phone call or creative note is all you really need. (That is not cheap, it is just being realistic about your spending limits).

11. Make Your Own Invitations 

 wedding, invitation, budget

If you are the crafty sort and have a quality home printer, you can make your own invitations.  Buy invitation kits that already have fonts and text prepared for you.  All you do is fill in the details.  It does take some time, so start early if you are going to make your own invitations.

Online wedding invitations – Another inexpensive option, where you can include photos or other special touches withe the professional at considerable cost savings.  You’ll save lots of time and money if you do not want to create your own.

12. Skip the DJ

DJ, wedding music, reception, first dance, bride

I have attended several weddings this year where the bride and groom created their own playlists on their phones or iPod, and just plugged in a speaker.  All set for a night of dancing.  Choosing your own songs is a fantastic way to personalize your wedding.  You can create lists of songs or artists you want included. Then ask a friend to create the playlist for you – as your wedding gift.  Be sure you also have someone to coordinate your reception.  A DJ usually does more than just play music.

 13. Stock Your Own Bar

 bar, stocking your own bar, reception, alcohol, reception bar, alcohol, wedding drinks

Alcohol is one of your largest expenses, especially if you rent a venue for the reception.  Commercial venue alcohol prices are as much 10x  more than will pay for alcohol you provide yourself.  Consider this additional expense when renting your location.  It is one wedding budget variable you can control.

When purchasing shop discount stores and ask if you can return unopened cases/bottles after the wedding.  Some will charge a restocking fee, which is a small price to pay to make sure you do not run short at your reception.

14. Full Open Bar?

wedding reception, open bar, bride, groom, bar,

Instead of a full open bar, consider beer and wine, and possibly a signature drink.  Limiting choices reduces costs.

A keg of beer may seem less expensive, but also consider that left overs are wasted.  If you use bottles or cans, you can save them for months after the reception (or possibly even return them.)

Have plenty of water and ice on hand, and non-alcoholic options for guests to switch to at the end of the evening.

Finally, consider offering a paid cocktail period at the beginning of the reception, then switching to a cash bar later in the evening.  (Make sure you tell guests in advance, so they will come prepared with cash.)

I hope you have found these tips useful.

Here are more articles you will enjoy.  Many more for you on our Ceremonies blog.

 

 

Something Old, Something New For Your Wedding Memories

 

Contract Changes – After the Vendor Contract is Signed

Pinterest, repin, follow board, ideas, tips, advice, wedding, bride, groomPlease check our Pinterest Boards for more tips and ideas.    We love it when you repin and follow our  boards, as well as share with friends.

Some photos courtesy of New Tradition Photography.  Visit them at www.facebook.com/newtraditionphotography

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

Hugs,  Rita

 

 

Nick & Anna

Hindu ceremonies are usually conducted totally or at least partially in Sanskrit, the language of the Hindu scriptures. The wedding celebrations may last for several days and they can be extremely diverse, depending upon the region, denomination and caste. Mehendi ceremony is a traditional ritual in Hindu weddings, where Henna application takes place on bride’s hands and legs, before the wedding. On the wedding day, the bride and the bridegroom garland each other in front of the guests. Most guests witness only this short ceremony and then socialize, have food and leave. The religious part (if applicable) comes hours later, witnessed by close friends and relatives. In cases where a religious ceremony is present, a Brahmin (Hindu priest) arranges a sacred yajna (fire-sacrifice), and the sacred fire (Agni) is considered the prime witness (sākshī) of the marriage.

He chants mantras from the Vedas and subsidiary texts while the couple are seated before the fire. The most important step is saptapadi or saat phere, wherein the bride and the groom, hand-in-hand, encircle the sacred fire seven times, each circle representing a matrimonial vow. Then the groom marks the bride’s hair parting with vermilion (sindoor) and puts a gold necklace (mangalsutra) around her neck. Several other rituals may precede or follow these afore-mentioned rites. Then the bride formally departs from her blood-relatives to join the groom’s family.
A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (offering, ring(s), symbolic item, flowers, money), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony.

Most Christian churches give some form of blessing to a marriage; the wedding ceremony typically includes some sort of pledge by the community to support the couple’s relationship. A church wedding is a ceremony presided over by a Christian priest or pastor. Ceremonies are based on reference to God, and are frequently embodied into other church ceremonies such as Mass.Customs may vary widely between denominations. In the Roman Catholic Church “Holy Matrimony” is considered to be one of the seven sacraments, in this case one that the spouses bestow upon each other in front of a priest and members of the community as witnesses. As with all sacraments, it is seen as having been instituted by Jesus himself (see Gospel of Matthew 19:1-2, Catechism of the Catholic Church §1614-1615). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is one of the Mysteries, and is seen as an ordination and a martyrdom. The wedding ceremony of Saint Thomas Christians, an ethnoreligious group of Christians in India incorporate elements from Hindu, Jewish and Christian weddings.

“The Order for the Service of Marriage” in the Methodist Book of Worship for Church and Home (1965) specifies the important of premarital counseling, stating that the “minister is enjoined diligently to instruct those requesting his offices for their prospective marriage in the Christian significance of the holy estate into which they seek to enter”. In the Free Methodist Church and African Methodist Episcopal Church, both apart of the World Methodist Council, contain a rubric for the reading of the banns.The Service of Christian Marriage (Rite I) includes the elements found in a standard liturgy celebrated on the Lord’s Day as well as other elements unique to this Mass: the Entrance, Opening Prayer, Old Testament Reading, Psalm, New Testament Reading, Alleluia, Gospel Reading, Sermon, Recitation of one of the ecumenical creeds, prayers of the faithful, Offertory, the Declaration by the Man and the Woman, Response of the Families and the People, Exchange of Vows, Blessing and Exchange of Rings, Declaration of Marriage and celebration of the Eucharist, and Benediction.

Marty & April

In Europe and North America, the typical attire for a bride is a formal dress and a veil. Usually, in the “white wedding” model, the bride’s dress is bought specifically for the wedding, and is not in a style that could be worn for any subsequent events. Previously, until at least the middle of the 19th century, the bride generally wore her best dress, whatever color it was, or if the bride was well-off, she ordered a new dress in her favorite color and expected to wear it again.

For first marriages in Western countries, a white wedding dress is usually worn, a tradition started by Queen Victoria, who wore a white court dress for her wedding. Through the earlier parts of the 20th century, Western etiquette prescribed that a white dress should not be worn for subsequent marriages, since the wearing of white was mistakenly regarded by some as an ancient symbol of virginity, despite the fact that wearing white is a fairly recent development in wedding traditions, and its origin has more to do with conspicuous consumption from an era when a white dress was luxurious, even prodigal, because of difficulties with laundering delicate clothes.

Today, Western brides frequently wear white, cream, or ivory dresses for any number of marriages; the color of the dress is not a comment on the bride’s sexual history. Outside of Western countries, brides most commonly wear national dress. White wedding dresses are particularly uncommon in Asian traditions, because white is the color of mourning and death in those cultures. In many Asian cultures, red is usual for brides, as this colour indicates vibrance and health and has over time been associated with brides. However, in modern times other colours may be worn, or Western styles preferred. Regardless of colour in most Asian cultures bridal clothes are highly decorative, often covered with embroidery, beading or gold. In some traditions brides may wear more than one outfit, this is true for example in Japan,[citation needed] parts of India, and, archaically, in parts of the Arab world.

Particular styles of jewelry are often associated with bridal wear, for example wedding rings in most Western cultures, or chura (red and white bangles) in Punjabi Sikh culture. Hindu brides are presented with a mangalsutra during the wedding ceremony, which has much of the same significance as a wedding ring in other parts of the world. Wedding jewellery has traditionally been used to demonstrate the value of the bride’s dowry.

In addition to the gown, brides often wear a veil and carry a bouquet of flowers, a small heirloom such as a lucky coin, a prayer book, or other token. In Western countries, a bride may wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”; a bridal purse (or money bag) is also common.

The term bride appears in combination with many words, some of which are obsolete. Thus “bridegroom” is a newly married man, and “bride-bell,” “bride-banquet” are old equivalents of wedding-bells, wedding-breakfast. “Bridal” (from Bride-ale), originally the wedding-feast itself, has grown into a general descriptive adjective, the bridal ceremony. The bride-cake had its origin in the Roman confarreatio, an upper-class form of marriage, the essential features of whose ceremony were the eating by the couple of a cake made of salt, water and spelt flour, and the holding by the bride of three wheat-ears, a symbol of plenty.