Relationships

Weddings

Changing Times

Bride and her parents

Many of the traditions that we follow in weddings today have their origins in Elizabethan or Renaissance eras.  It is no wonder that some changes have occurred.

  • VOWS - the phrase "Honor and Obey" has been replaced with various alternatives that reflect equality in the relationship.

  • BRIDAL ESCORTS - More and more brides and couples are having both parents escort them down the aisle.  In some ceremonies, the groom comes down the aisle with both his mother and father, followed by the bride on the arms of both of her parents.  This honors both parents and recognizes each of their roles in preparing their sons/daughters for this day.  In fact, if the bride's father is not available or this is a second marriage, a bride may choose to walk down the aisle alone or she may choose anyone to escort her.  A sibling, her mother, her grandfather, , her son or a friend may do the honors.

  • PARENTAL ROLES - Parents are no longer limited to escort duty.  Many grooms are choosing their father to be the best man and brides are asking mom to be the matron of honor.
  • RECEIVING LINES - These may still be a part of a very formal wedding where the ceremony and reception are at different venues, but for smaller weddings with the same site for ceremony and reception, more and more couples are foregoing the receiving line and instead making it a point to acknowledge and thank each guest at his/her table throughout the evening.

We know how to help your wedding uniquely yours or tie it comfortably to tradition.

~ Best

Laura

Weddings

Gifts You Give

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There are many special people who help make your wedding day a success.  It is a nice token to say thank you for their help or their presence.  Brides ask us for advice on what to give members of the bridal party to families and to guests.  Here are some of our guest gift favorites.

Some of the most popular wedding favors are edibles.  Wrapped chocolates or truffles in an attractive box that is imprinted with the couple's names and date are a big favorite.  Also popular are chocolate covered pretzels, nuts, fruits as well as chocolate hearts.  In many areas, couples choose to give cookies frosted in wedding colors and packaged in tulle or color matched gift boxes.  Some brides have chosen to give small wine bottles with personalized labels with or without wine charms that bear the wedding date and/or names of the couples.

Couples are also giving items that bloom and grow like your marriage.  Weddings with garden motifs, environmentally themed weddings and ceremo9nies in outdoor or rustic settings choose favors like potted plants, seedlings, flower seed packets and miniature bamboo shoot plants.

Other brides prefer a permanent keepsake that is both useful and attractive.  Some of the favorites are picture frames, candles and candleholders, glass bowls filled with colored sand or rocks, small books or albums, CD's with favorite songs, ornaments for Christmas weddings, coffee mugs with coffee or hot chocolate packets tucked inside.

Some couples are choosing to make a donation to a favorite charity rather than provide a gift item.   In that case, a printed card is included in each place setting which informs the guest of the donation.

Be sure that each item has a thank you note attached.  They are likely to be printed although hand written notes are lovely as well.

The placement of the favors depends on the space available.  Many brides have the favors arranged on a separate table near the exit for guests to make their own selections.  Or you can have your wedding consultant help with the distribution as guests leave the party.

~ Best,

Laura

Weddings

Jon and Lauren ~ Real Wedding

"Jonathan and Lauren's story began a little over 11 years ago.  Details aside, their love for one another definitely forced the hands of fate.  They realized that life seemed perfect with the other in it, and their love for one another was unstoppable." I met this couple for the first time and knew that this wedding would be off the charts!  The ceremony and reception was held at The Prairie Street Brewhouse in Rockford, Illinois.   When planning the ceremony they wanted to do something non-traditional so they wrote their own vows which included a "Beer Ceremony" instead of a traditional unity candle.  They wanted the largest dance floor they could have and planned to be on it all night long.  With that said ~ that is what exactly happened!  What a transformation we made.  The original color palette started with a pale yellow and gray with a little bit of the vintage look.  Halfway through our meetings the colors came alive and below is what we ended up with.  Such a whimsical and fun look!  The day called for rain in the forecast but all that we ended up with were some pretty blustery winds!!

These two were such a fun couple!  Always having new ideas and incorporating them through the whole planning process.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

 

Wedding Planning and Coordination Services:  Accent on Events

Photography:  Heirlooms by Stephanie

Venue:  Prairie Street Brewhouse ~ Rockford, IL

DJ and Lighting Services:  Luxe Productions

Florist:  Event Floral

Specialty Linens:  Beautiful Day Linens

Cake:  Sweet Pans Shoppe

Officiant:   Ryan Krause ~ Elegant Wedding Services

Catering:  Famous Dave's

 

Best ~ Laura

Weddings

Wedding Themes and Trends

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While is is fun to get ideas from these themes, what matters most is that the bride and groom have a wedding which is true to their vision.  The theme that the couple selects should have some personal relevance and meaning to them as a couple.  Why bother with a theme?  It provides a sense of community to all decisions made about the wedding - from the gowns to the lowers to the reception venue and the foods chosen. Decisions are so much easier once the theme for the wedding is established.  Whether it is a color or a location or a time period or event, the focus is there to insure that this life changing celebration is memorable for participants and guests alike.

  • History lovers may wish to be married in the "Roaring Twenties" of F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Art Deco can be the design focus.  Jazz was king and flappers wore short gowns and bling was everywhere.

  • World travelers  - or - dreamers will find a wonderful theme in exotic locations.  Tropical isles, far Eastern spots or Scottish highlands all provide a structure for food, decor, dress or paper products.

  • Bright colors against neutral backgrounds can be very effective.  Instead of carrying out a color theme in the brides maids dresses, have them in a basic shade like platinum and carry out the color theme in the flowers and reception decor.

  • The ceremony and/or reception location can provide the theme for a wedding.  If a museum is chose as the venue, art and sculpture become the theme.  If a garden or beach or ranch is chosen as the site, the theme becomes clear.

  • Medieval accents combines with fairy tail touches work well in historic buildings or modern redos which retain the original stone walls and structures.

If you are confused about how to execute a themed wedding or want to avoid overdoing it ~ Contact us!!  We know weddings!!

 

Best ~ Laura

Uncategorized, Weddings

A Wedding Dream....Etsy

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For day three ~ our blog post today is about our favorite finds on Etsy for Weddings.  There are so many that it took quite awhile to narrow it down and show just a few of our favorites.  If you are looking for something unique and fabulous you will be sure to find it on Etsy.  

Our favorite Item #1 ~ Chevron Clutch from This Lady Made it

This is perfect for Brides to give for Bridesmaids Gifts and keep one to use for themselves.

 

Our Favorite Item #2 ~ Guest Book Puzzle from Puzzled One

What a unique way to keep your guest book over the years.

 

Our Favorite Item #3 ~ Cuff Links for the Groom from The Pretty Peacock

These will be a keepsake for the Groom of their wedding day.

 

Our Favorite Item #4 ~ Personalized Hanger from Get Hung Up

A perfect keepsake for your wedding dress.

 

 Our Favorite Item #5 ~ Card Holder from Kelly Marie Collection

This is ideal to show your engagement Photos to your guests as they place the card in the holder on your wedding day.

 

Our Favorite Item #6 ~ Monogram Sign from Script and Style

This is definitely something to hang in your new home as husband and wife.

 

Our Favorite Item # 7 ~ Wedding Bandeau Veil from Fascinating Creations

A beautiful addition to your wedding dress!

 

Our Favorite Item #8 ~ Wedding Dress Pendant from Green Grass Gifts

Take a piece of your wedding with you everyday.

 

Our Favorite Item #9 ~ Wedding Ring Pillow from Paloma's Nest

A fabulous keepsake to put your rings in every night!

 

Our Favorite Item #10 ~ Thank you cards from That Pretty Invitation

An amazing idea to thank your guests as they sit down for your wedding reception!

Enjoy all these items and everything more that Etsy can bring you when looking for wedding inspiration!!

Best ~ Laura

Weddings

Tips from a Planner

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We know that is takes a happy combination of events and planning to produce a "perfect" wedding.  here are a few tips from Accent on Events ~ Certified Wedding Specialist. If you are concerned about a guest list that has gotten out of hand and is too long for your taste or budget, assemble an unedited list of names (potential guests) and ask everyone involved to rank the names from most to least important.  Count up the "most important" names and see what the list looks like.  If it is close to budget, thank everyone and settle the list.  If the numbers are still off, then ask people to cut a designated percentage from their lists.  Take stock of the new total and see if the process needs to be repeated.

Don't even consider sending invitations to an "A" list of guests, only to invite someone from a "B" list when someone from the first list declines.

To determine the size of the site you'll need for your reception, be sure to investigate the parking facilities and the rest rooms as well as the since of the reception room(s).  The rule of thumb for toilets is that there should be at least one for every 25 guests.  The parking lot should accommodate one parking space for every two guests.

Always have at least one attendant assigned to your gift table at your reception (this is something that we will do for you) even if you are not planning to open and display the gifts there.  Money and gifts should be kept in special receptacles and secured.  Many weddings hire special security for the reception to keep an eye on the gifts and to assist in their proper transport after the celebration is over.

If your parents and stepparents are contributing money for your reception, it is much better to pool the money in advance.  Then no contributor will demand to take control of how the money is spent.  If someone feels strongly about "sponsoring" a particular wedding expense, it is far better to know that up front and working with that person to accommodate preferences.

For more helpful advice, call or email us, as we have answers to the most perplexing situations.

Weddings

The Bride's Mother

Mother and Bride

The Mother of the bride has a very special place in the wedding planning process.  The special role is there whether or not she chooses to accept it.  For some, it is truly a "Mission Impossible".  For others it is the role of a lifetime.  But what is important is that she is included.

With families frequently separated by miles, jobs, schools or military service, the parental roles have changed but what has not changed is the importance of including mom in the planning process whenever possible.  Remember to include mothers who feel left out of the plans.

What can you do?  It's great to involve the groom in the plans but don't forget mom.  She can make wonderful suggestions - so ask her opinion and advice.  Chances are excellent that she has more experience in dealing with things like receptions, parties, caterers and florists than has the bride.

Most bridal fashion stores would counsel a bride to bring only one person with her to select her gown.  That person could/should be mom.  Today's tendency to bring the entire wedding party and solicit each of their opinions on THE GOWN, generally is not a productive event.  Who knows you and your tastes and dreams better than MOM?

She is also a good person to have along when you choose wedding accessories and gifts for your attendants.  After all, she has known you for a long time.

She is the perfect person to take charge of the master guest list.  She can eliminate duplicates, help make decisions on the final list and gather the addresses.

Seek advice on, or let her plan the seating arrangements for the reception.  She'll be the one who knows who should sit with whom and who shouldn't be at the same table.

Among all your friends, she'll be the best at helping you put things in perspective when you feel overwhelmed by it all.  That's what mom's do!

Weddings

Illinois Meets Texas

It was May 1, 2012 when I received a phone call from Penny saying that she needed assistance with planning her wedding.  After meeting with 3 different wedding planners, she explained her situation and what she needed.  I knew that I could meet her expectations and create wedding that she had always dreamed of. After my initial meeting with Penny we clicked!!  I knew that this would be more than just a client relationship ~ that we would actually form a friendship for years to come.  My first encounter with her Fiancé Drew was just as great ~ he has the same sense of humor that I do and enjoyed watching the two of them together.  We all had so many laughs together!

Now coming from the City Girl – I knew nothing about ranches and horses, but learning about everything was fascinating.  The wedding was August 4, 2012 on the Perks Ranch in Rockford, Illinois.  This was definitely a wedding that I couldn’t have done without the professional vendors that we used.  As always I was watching the weather the evening before all hours of the night.  The morning of the 4th the decision was made to move the entire reception into the arena.  We worked hard but we got it done.  This was a wise decision because we had a downpour with 70 mile per hour winds at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon just as the ceremony was about to begin.  The weather cleared up and it was a joyous evening for all who attended.

Here is a story that is so fitting for this perfect couple:

Where Illinois meets Texas ~ They were introduced while working horses in Texas and the rest is history

Photography: Ryan Davis Photography

Save the Dates: Printers Specialty Services, Inc.

Florist: Stems Floral and More

Lighting, Music and Sound:  Luxe Productions

Linens and Draping: Beautiful Day Linens

Aisle Runner:  Buttercup Runways

Catering:  Powerhouse BBQ of Oregon and Giovanni’s Restaurant Rockford

Cake: Patricia’s Patisserie

Bride’s Dress: Mahin’s of Monroe

Bridesmaids Dresses: Sara Grace and Co.

Hair and Make up:  Arch Apothecary

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Sturtevant’s

Live Music:  Brandon Rhyder

Gift Registries

Gifts to Remember

Wine Glasses

 

 

Selecting locations for the gift registries for one's wedding is important and fun.  For your guest's sake, it is wise to select at least three different resources.  Your purpose is to give guests a variety of options and price ranges when it comes time to select your gift.  To that end, experts recommend that you choose at a minimum, one "high-end" store, one moderate/lower priced retailer and perhaps one "non traditional" resource like a charity.  Idofoundation.org is a good place to start as it can help you register for donations to a variety of charities.

As you peruse items for your gift choices, most consultants would remind you to expand your vision of gifts to include items beyond the "usual".  Many couples end up realizing that they have the best equipped kitchen in town, but have no bedroom furnishings.  Seek input and advice from family and friends before you sit down together to develop your list of preferences.  Their ideas may help you to include items that would be helpful that you would never have considered.

REAL SIMPLE magazine asked brides to identify items for the "Things I Wished I'd Registered For" list they were compiling.  Here are some items that made the list:

  • Extra Wine Glasses
  • Oven to table bake ware - one or two casseroles that can go to parties and events and look good.
  • Fine China - too many couples are selecting only something practical to use now.  Brides miss having some fine china to use for special occasions and to "pass on".
  • Bar B Q Grill
  • Art pieces for home decor (consider including an art gallery in your list of registry locations)
  • A cordless drill
  • Decorative pillows and throws for a living room - a quick and effective way to add dash
  • Christmas decorations - something special and classic that the couple could bring out each year
  • Outdoor gear and equipment like Coleman stoves, backyard hammocks or lawn chairs

For more help with your gift registry, please do not hesitate to contact us.  With our experience we can be sure to assist you.

Weddings

Alternate Sites

Outdoor Reception

When a bride asks about ideas for a non traditional wedding site, before we offer suggestions, we ask how flexible she is.  Planning a wedding at an outdoor site requires arranging two sites.  One is the prime location and the other is an alternate.  The weather has been known to ruin many original plans. Don't let that discourage you from having the wedding you want, but do have backup plans in place. An outdoor site can be a perfect spot for those of different religious faiths.  It is a perfect choice for couples who love the outdoors or have families with extensive gardens or grounds.  Often outdoor sites are less expensive than closed venues.

The intimate setting of a chapel, beach, park or backyard offers the freedom to add personal touches to the ceremony.  The location will set the theme for your wedding celebration and once selected make many subsequent choices easier.  Canopies, tents and gazebos may be rented and needed.

Once you have secured Plan A and Plan B. other plans and decisions will flow more easily.  Decorations, food, refreshments, entertainment and guest list will all be governed by the location decisions you have made.

It is good to have another viewpoint and advice on the unusual celebration that you have in mind.  Give me a call at 815-979-7214 or email at Laura@accentonevents.com

 

Weddings

Centerpiece Choices

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Seen at current weddings - a variety of centerpiece options which complement the theme of the wedding and/or reflect the couple's search for "something unique"! For fans of the traditional floral arrangements, there is the assurance that given the right color combo and size, guests will feel right at home with the idea of flowers on the table that complete the look of elegant special occasions.  Flowers work beautifully as long as the arrangements are either low enough (under 12-14 inches) or high enough (at least 30 inches) so that guests can converse across the table - or at least see each other.  Formal arrangements in glass or silver containers send one message, while daisies or sunflowers in canning jars send another.

With the changing view of wedding cakes, many brides are opting to make dessert the centerpiece of guest tables.  Cupcake trees, lollipop cakes, cookie and dessert bar assortments and miniature versions of the bridal cake make perfect centerpiece options.

Guest favors artfully arranged on glass trays work well when accompanied by thank you notes from the bride and groom.

Candles of varying height and shape arranged on mirrors make a wonderful centerpiece for each table and their accumulated impact is wonderful.  However, be sure to check the reception venue's heating and cooling system.  If a lot of air is going to be blowing over the tables, your candles won't last long.  If your reception is in a tented area, think about LED tapers that look almost real.

Some brides have made the wine being served with dinner an integral part of the centerpiece.  With some greenery and/or wrapped cheese miniatures the different bottles make an intriguing focal point.

Collect a variety of glass serving pieces and fill them with beverages (or water) the theme color of the wedding.

Photos of the bride and groom as children framed and grouped in the center of the table, work well as centerpieces and conversation starters.

For more good ideas, give me a call at 815.979.7214 or email me at Laura@accentonevents.com

Weddings

Contemporary Traditional

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DO these two terms seem contradictory?  At one time they may have, but more and more couples are looking for ways to place their personal stamp on their wedding plans.  The term “unique” is heard more and more as brides search for ways to make their weddings memorable for them and their guests.

We have a lot of ideas on how to do just that so contact us about ways to personalize your wedding ceremony and reception.

  • Consider replacing the traditional bachelor or bachelorette party with a get together that combines both events.  Consider a hike, beach party, bike ride, cook-out, softball game or evening out at a skating rink or bowling alley.
  • Rather than hold the rehearsal dinner at a typical restaurant’s party room, book an art museum, a university facility, a park or a historical building to serve as a special setting for your event.
  • Supplement your florist’s handiwork and creative reception décor with native wild flowers, leaves, twigs, fruits and herbs from a local grower or farmer’s market.
  • Some brides have decided to let their bridesmaids select their own gowns based on a color scheme and degree of formality.  This works well when you admire their taste in clothes.  It is wise to get some guidelines – degree of coverage desired, tailored or fluffy, plain or elaborate, length, etc.  But within those parameters, maids, can choose their own wearable outfits.  Many bridal salons have several designers who can work to truly individualize a bridesmaid’s gown within the “look” of the wedding.
  • If you have a unique reception venue chosen consider hiring a local chef you admire or a culinary school to put a special spin on your reception menu.  Think about including family food traditions that may be important to both the bride and groom.  If you can’t afford a sit down dinner, there is nothing wrong with having a desert reception or a small plate limited cocktail reception and wedding cake.

Inspiration Boards, Weddings

Be A Good Guest

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An invitation is coming your way from a family member or a good friend or both.  It is an honor to be selected to help those close to you celebrate a wonderful part of their life.

If you RSVP with a positive response, you become an official guest at this party.  You will no doubt bring an appropriate wedding gift, but did you know that another gift you could give the couple is the knowledge of how to be a good guest, and the wisdom to use that knowledge.

Here is a checklist of do’s and don’t that can follow to insure that your behavior will not cause the couple to grimace on their 10th wedding anniversary as they recall events from their wedding.

DO

  • Make sure to send your RSVP in a timely manner.
  • Arrive at the wedding at least 15-20 minutes before the ceremony is to begin.
  • Stay standing at the back of the church if you are going to be late.
  • Keep your cell phone on silent.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Have fun dancing but do not call attention to yourself or your partner.
  • Respect the couple’s wishes even if they aren’t what you would choose.

 

DON’T

  • Change your mind about attending.  Don’t cancel and then show up anyway.
  • Sit in a front row.  That is for immediate family only.
  • Text, tweet or blog during the ceremony.
  • Wear jeans or sweats unless requested by the couple.
  • Get in the way of the professional photographer doing his job.
  • Take ceremony or reception photos unless the couple approve.
  • Trash talk the couple’s choices.

 

Weddings

Music to Celebrate

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Selecting the music for a wedding ceremony and reception is an important consideration.  Music should frame the ceremony – not dominate it.  Picking the music should be an important aspect of the planning process. Make an early meeting with the officiator a must.  Churches tend to have constraints imposed on the kind of music allowed.  It is good to have that information early in the planning process.  Some churches limit the options by presenting the bride a list of music from which she must choose.  Others may opt to screen her choices.

If the bride wants a certain music that is important to her and/or the groom, and the church can’t /won’t play it, she has the option of diplomatically asking if she can bring in her own musicians.  More and more brides are requesting instruments instead of the “old” organ.  Some brides want to be lead up or down the aisle by bagpipes.  Others prefer the sounds of a string quartet.  Allowing sufficient lead time to clarify any issues around music is a smart move.

Brides must remember that music needs to be selected for the prelude, the processional, the ceremony and for the reception.  Musicians need to be chosen and booked early in the process.

Many budget conscious brides are opting to use MP3 players or other electronic media for their cocktail hour or as background music during dinner.

The bride should spend time researching her music.  Screen pieces, listen to CD’s and take advice from musicians you know.   Audition any musicians before hiring them.  Check references.  Volumes of advice and suggestions are available online.  Think about your personal preferences and music that matters to you both as a couple as you assemble your “must play list”.

Many couples are creating a CD of their favorite music and making it available as a thank you gift to their guests.

For other ideas about the role of music in your wedding, please feel free to contact us for assistance.

Weddings

A Few Dont's

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As society changes, so do the social amenities that prevailed.  But class is class and something we see done in the name of the “princess bride’s wishes” remain in poor taste. A bridal store reported having a bride ask how to let her guests know that she wanted all of them to dress in black or white or a combination of both.  Her wedding theme was that of a black and white ball and she didn’t want it ruined by someone in a blue suit or a colorful print dress.  The store gave her good advice – “You can’t.”  One doesn’t tell people what to wear anymore than one would tell a hostess what kind of food to serve.  The bride can control the dress of the wedding party, but that is all.  Shad heard the phrase, “It’s the bride’s day”, but had to learn that it didn’t mean everyone must bow to her wishes.  Friends can spread the word but no demands must be made.

Another store reported dealing with a bride who wanted 250 guests to attend her wedding but she planned to walk away from the ceremony and to save money, meet 45 of her favorite guests for a sit down dinner at a restaurant.  The advice to her was Don’t Do It!  She was advised that it would be far better to serve light refreshments to all guests following the ceremony.  This would give everyone a chance to extend their best wishes to the couple and socialize with others in attendance.  If she wished to celebrate with a special group of friends, she should do it after the official reception.  The guiding principle here is that a couple should never do anything to show preferences to one guest over another.

The same advice holds for brides who insist on adding corner copy to their wedding invitation that reads: Cash Gifts Preferred.  Granted, more and more couples would prefer cash as a help for a down payment on a house for instance, but that does not mean that it is ok to include on the invitation to the ceremony.  That kind of news needs to be spread by word of mouth by the bride’s family or friends, or may be included in the website if one has been created.  This kind of request is known in some circles as doing a “Kardashian”.

Let us help you solve puzzles and questions as they arise in the course of your planning needs.

Brides

Setting the Date

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He asked and you said “yes”.  Congratulations to you both.  Your engagement signals the beginning of a wonderful and exciting time in your lives.  Where to start?  Setting the date! As you consider various dates, times and places for your wedding, here are some points to think about.

Think about your budget.  It is true that some months are more expensive than others.  (Think about the Law of Supply and Demand you learned in Econ 101).  In popular months (usually May through September) some reception locations, photographers, florists, and bands may charge more for their services.  If you can wait for a less crowded month, you may be able to stage the same wedding for less money.

Think about the season.  If you have been dreaming of a Christmas wedding your whole life, then go for it.  But think about the time needed for preparations and plan accordingly.  If you want a certain church, certain reception site and a certain gown and flowers, you may have to adjust time frames.  Your answer is to book early and be prepared to be flexible on dates and/or times.

If you are on a fast track at work or have a job that requires huge blocks of your time, be sure to engage the services of a professional wedding consultant.  He/she will end up saving you both time and sanity (and maybe even money).

Consider scheduling your wedding around a holiday.  That can give you both a theme for your wedding and time for your out of town guests to attend.

If your plans include a destination wedding, you will need to be more flexible in your dates and times.  Decide which is most important – the date of the wedding or the place of the wedding.   Once that decision is made, you can proceed.

We are used to working with schedules and helping busy brides create a schedule for your event and follow through with all the details necessary to create a day to remember for you and your guests.

Brides

I'm Happy....But Stressed

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The good news?  You’re engaged.  The less wonderful news?  You’re feeling the stress. It is a happy time, but we know that stress can set in as you try to deal with the myriad of details that threaten to drown you.  You have decisions to make about the ceremony and reception locations, what to wear, attendants to select, whom to invite, what flowers, music and photographers to choose.  There are budget questions to solve.  All these issues can generate a case of “wedding jitters.”

To relieve your stress or at least make it manageable, we offer these key points:

If money issues generate the stress, take the time as a couple to determine your priorities.  List the items of most important to you both.  From a list of 10-20, select the top 5.  These five – listed in priority order – are the items on which you are less likely to compromise.  Then as your review your budget, you can “borrow” from the other items on your list to keep the budget in balance.  If you have your heart set on a particular gown, you can help pay for it by saving money on flowers, photography, etc.

If the stress is coming from family, be clear about the source of the stress and firm about communicating your feelings.  Talk out the issues you see with your parents, friends, and those involved.  Be gracious but firm about expressing views and concerns.  Don’t “stuff” the feelings so they end up hurting a relationship.

If the stress is coming from the crush of events and the sense of being overwhelmed by everything you sense must be done, SHARE the responsibilities.  Hire a wedding planner, enlist the groom, ask your parents to take over specific jobs.  Get yourself a wedding planning book (hard copy or online version) and be faithful about entering plans made,  Follow its suggestions for organizing projects.

Get enough sleep and take care of your health by eating well.  Make good use of your gym membership and exercise away the stress.

When it all seems too much, speak with us.  We can help you put it all in perspective and remind you of what is really important in this wedding you are planning.

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids

The history of bridesmaids is time and culture dependent.  However, their main charge seems to have been to “protect” the bride, “intervene” on her behalf and/or help outsmart the evil spirits who gathered as a group at weddings or other happy events. Today’s bridesmaids still fulfill some of those roles, even if the evil spirit happens to be a former boyfriend with too much champagne and too little class, or a college roommate who thinks it would be fun to “steal” the bride between the ceremony and reception.  Bridesmaids can often be the voice of reason when they hear “Let’s ________, it’ll be funny.  You’ll see.”  They can put a stop to the nonsense early.

Bridesmaids give up time and money in return for the honor of being witnesses to the bride’s very special day.  We urge our bridesmaids to remember the important role they play in her wedding and to pay attention to thanking them for their help and caring.

Here are some tips we have gathered over the years.

Selecting bridesmaids’ dresses does not have to be an occasion of conflict.  Cost, style, color and accessories can be issues only if you let them.  If you can help financially, by all means do so.  If your wedding party represents a wide collection of shapes and sizes, work closely with a skilled and experienced wedding consultant who knows the best vendors to choose to work with your wedding.  An experienced retailer will work hard to make sure that the shopping experience is rewarding for all, and will insure that what you have ordered is what you’ll receive.  If the bridal retailer is a member of National Bridal Service, you can relax and know that all will be well.

Make sure that your bridesmaids are getting enough attention from you.  Keep them in the loop about events and plans.  Accept help if it is offered.

Make sure they have a clear idea of what to do and what you expect.  Your maid of honor can take on the responsibility of keeping all maids in the loop.  Don’t be too demanding.  Just because your wedding is consuming your every waking moment, bridesmaids do have lives beyond the wedding.

Be sure to assemble a survival kit for the wedding.  Work with your personal attendant to make sure all necessary items are in the kit and trust her to bring it to the dressing area of the ceremony locations, and to reclaim it after the ceremony.  A good wedding planner will always take care of this.

Make sure to thank bridesmaids often.  Thoughtful gifts are appreciated.

Take time to ask questions, share concerns and plan ways to make bridesmaids feel truly a part of this very special day.