Note to Brides and Grooms: Don't Forget to Buy Each Other a Present (436)
(NewsUSA) - If you're reading this story, you're probably one of the approximately 825,000 couples who've just gotten engaged since Thanksgiving and are now planning your wedding. So here's perhaps the single most important reminder -- and grooms do seem to need more reminding than brides -- anyone will offer: Tradition holds that you both exchange wedding presents.
(Yes, grooms, even though you just bought her an engagement ring.)
But what to get?
"Gifts should come from the heart," says WeddingChannel.com.
Well, yeah. But that still leaves a lot of room for error. So here's some tips to keep in mind whether you two opt for some type of jewelry -- the traditional and most popular choice -- or something else.
* Practicality can wait. Etiquette dictates that gifts be exchanged at one of three times: the night before the wedding, the morning of the ceremony, or right before you leave on your honeymoon. So you could see where this has the potential for becoming a bigger disaster than Chernobyl if the groom's idea of "practical" is, say, a toaster.
* Being uniquely personal is appreciated. One of the best examples we've heard of is a guy who had a photographer secretly capture the moment he proposed in New York's Central Park, and then presented the results to his bride on the day of their wedding.
"So cute!" read a typical blog post.
The downside, of course, is that pulling it off requires imagination and -- in this instance -- a lot of advance planning.
* Jewelry can be "traditional" without being boring. Case in point: the very hot Argyle diamonds trend (www.diamondswithastory.com), which fulfills the quest of even the most eco-minded couples for diamond fashion jewelry since the stones are produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way from the Argyle mine in Australia. And the diamonds, themselves, come in gorgeous neutral shades like champagne, cognac, silver and gray.
"If your bride likes something different from what all her friends have," says jewelry and style expert Michael O'Connor, "then the Argyle diamond bracelets, necklaces and earrings are perfect and available at many retailers across the country -- I've even spotted women at gyms wearing the diamond pendants. And the cufflinks for men are truly elegant."
Perhaps because prices start at as little as a few hundred dollars for some pieces, O'Connor calls them "the ideal gateway gift." Meaning, you can use other occasions -- think birthdays and anniversaries -- to add to your collection through the years.
Yes, brides and grooms, you'll soon have to start planning your next milestone together.
8 Steps to Crafting Your Wedding HashtagConsider yourself officially enrolled in Wedding Hashtags 101.
by www.theknot.comThe Knot
Unless you're having an unplugged wedding, we're betting that shortly after getting engaged, you started thinking of the perfect wedding hashtag. We don't blame you—it's one of the first fun things to start planning! Read on for the top tips from wedding planner Jesi Haack and social wedding concierge Sophie Pyle of Tweet the Bride for the scoop on how to create a successful hashtag.
Step 1: Start with your names.This may be a bit obvious, but let's start with the basics. Use your first, last and nicknames as your starting point. Remember that cutesy mash-up name your friends gave you guys in college that stuck for some reason? Well, this may be the time you actually want to embrace it. "It makes it easier for the guests to remember, which means more people will actually use it," Haack says.
Step 2: Use numbers for a simple way to set your hashtag apart.If you don't have any standout monikers or can't come up with anything quirky, using the year or date of your wedding is an easy way to make it your own. There might be a lot of #JackandJill in the world, but you'll probably be the only #JackandJill111717.
Step 3: Get punny.This is one part of your wedding you can really have fun with, especially when it comes to word play. Look for alliterations, rhymes, synonyms and puns for a hashtag that's both clever and memorable.
Step 4: Avoid easy misspellings.Read over your hashtag for any obvious ways it could be misspelled by your guests (especially when the drinks start flowing). For example, you may want to shorten longer last names or move words around if there are two of the same letters in different words next to each other. It could be as simple as flipping #saraanddave to be #daveandsara.
Step 5: Capitalize the first letter of each word.Capitalizing the first letter of each word can help with readability if guests can see where each word starts and ends. Doing this will also make it more likely that everyone will get your joke or pun. With or without the capitalization, your hashtag will work the same either way.
Step 6: Check the hashtag.Before you print those save-the-dates, do a quick check of the hashtag to see if there's already been something tagged to it and, if so, how many photos. If there's only a handful of other photos that don't seem wedding related, go ahead and use it, but if there's an entire other wedding with the same exact hashtag, you may want to switch a letter to a number or pick a different rhyme to avoid getting the photos mixed up. "Hijacking someone else's hashtag is no bueno," Haack says.
Step 7: Spread the word.After you've decided on a hashtag, it's time to get the word out. Start early by telling your wedding party and putting it on your save-the-date and wedding website. At the wedding, you should also have reminders in case they forget. Pyle suggests using a cute sign that matches your décor. "Putting it on the menu is nice too," she says.
Step 8: Don't overthink it.Will you remember your wedding hashtag forever? Maybe. Will you love the photos everyone took forever? Definitely. So if it turns out your couple nickname happens to be the word for a delicacy in another language and you start seeing food photos that aren't on your catering menu, just roll with it. "Turn it into a light joke," Pyle says. At the end of the day, it's the photos you'll really care about having, and that everyone had fun with it.
Find your perfect wedding hashtag template here.
Looking for ways to creatively display your wedding hashtag? Right here.
Including this sweet tradition at your wedding? Here's all the cake-cutting know-how you need.
by The Knot
The wedding cake has long been a symbolic detail—the tradition of breaking the cake over the bride's head dates back to the Ancient Romans. Customs evolve with the times, of course, and today the ceremonial cutting of the wedding cake has remained a popular and meaningful wedding reception activity (The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study reveals 89 percent of couples include the cake cutting during their reception). It provides both a fabulous photo opportunity and symbolizes the couple's first joint task as newlyweds. Find out all you need to know about this wedding tradition below.
Cake Décor and Extras
Since the wedding cake is the main focus, many couples decorate their dessert with a festive and personal cake topper. Use a traditional miniature or look for something modern and unique to suit your style. Some couples throw it way back and include vintage Victorian cake charms or a Southern ribbon pulling ceremony for good luck.
Making the Cut
Even if you think you're a pro at cutting sweets—at birthday parties or entertaining—check with your cake baker or caterer for special instructions to make the first cut. You wouldn't want to place the knife in the wrong spot and cause the delicate tower to topple over. Your baker will often recommend you cut from the bottom tier. This might sound obvious, but remember to use the knife, not the server, for the quickest and cleanest cut. (The slice can be modest since you really only need two bites' worth.) Slide the slice onto the server, then place it on a plate. Use the knife to cut the slice into two small pieces. You can each take your pieces from the same plate for the ceremonial feeding.
Smashing Is Optional
Once the initial piece is cut, the newlyweds usually feed each other the first slice, symbolizing their commitment to provide for one another. In some cases, this moment is replaced by a different tradition: smashing cake into each other's faces. How you feed each other the cake is up to you, but remember—you don't need to smear frosting on your new spouse simply because you think your guests expect it. You just had your hair and makeup done and you're probably both in pricey outfits—don't risk any staining if you don't want to. Either way, ask your baker or caterer to have napkins (or even a warm, damp cloth) nearby to wipe up any rogue crumbs and frosting quickly.
Get the Best Shots
The cake cutting is often one of wedding photographers' favorite images to capture. Before the celebration, be clear and specific with them about your shot list. Do you want the traditional posed shot of the two of you cutting the caketogether, or do you prefer a more candid, documentary-style one? Is a close-up of your hands on the knife important, or are you only interested in the big picture? Nailing down these must-have photos will steer your pro in the right direction so you can be totally in the moment instead of worrying about whether or not they're capturing the right shots.
Feeding the Crowd
Once you've cut the cake, the catering staff will take over and often bring it back into the kitchen to slice for the rest of your guests. Couples used to freeze the top tier of their wedding cake for the baby christening that was expected to follow soon after. Today, many still opt to save a tier or even a few slices to enjoy on their first anniversary, Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve together. In the past, couples actually sent their guests home with cake, or sent pieces to those unable to attend. While this tradition isn't as common anymore—replaced by separate favors—it's still a nice gesture (and a great way to avoid wasting cake) to offer boxed slices for guests at the end of the evening as a sweet takeaway.
Ready to talk wedding cake? Search cake bakers in your area here.
38 Bible Verses About Marriage
Looking for wedding readings or guidance for your marriage? Read these 38 Bible verses about marriage and love.
Couples who wish to show their devotion to each other and to their faith often turn to Bible verses about marriage when planning their nuptials. These scriptures on love from the Holy Book serve as spiritual and sentimental reminders of the love that you share, and provide you with a way to honor your religious beliefs while celebrating with friends and family.
Marriage Bible verses give you the opportunity to share your thoughts and emotions, even when other sentiments may fall short. There are times when only a carefully chosen piece of scripture will suffice, and now you don't have to peruse the Bible on your own to find the right words. You can use these Bible verses about marriage and love to express the joy, gratitude and happiness that you feel toward your significant other while paying tribute to your faith. Here are some of the most treasured Bible verses about love, marriage and relationships that you can incorporate into your wedding day.
Bible Verses About Marriage
The Bible contains numerous references to the sanctity and beauty of marriage. Its poetic love scriptures eloquently sum up what it means to be in love and to commit yourself to your significant other for the rest of your life. These Bible verses about marriage are the ideal addition to your wedding vows, however, for your reception toast or invitations, consider using Bible verses about love that everyone can relate to. After all, there’s a myriad of ways to love one another outside of marriage.
Genesis 1:27-28: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.' "
Malachi 2:14-15: “But you say, 'Why does he not?' Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant."
Isaiah 54:5: “For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called."
Song of Solomon 8:6-7: “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised."
Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Colossians 3:14: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?"
Ephesians 5:25: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her."
Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
Ephesians 5:25-33: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, ..."
Bible Verses About LoveThe Bible has a lot to say about the bonds of love and devotion. Bible verses about love speak of the perfect love that everyone should have toward their friends, family and mankind, not to mention the Lord. However, Bible verses about love also offer a revealing look at the strength and hope that romantic love can provide. It can be difficult to put your feelings for one another into words, but these Bible verses about love seem to capture its essence just right.
Romans 13:8: “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law."
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
1 Corinthians 13:2: “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing."
1 Corinthians 16:14: “Do everything in love."
Song of Solomon 8:7: “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned."
Psalm 143:8: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."
Proverbs 3:3-4: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man."
1 John 4:16: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."
Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."
1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Song of Solomon 4:9: “You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace."
Bible Verses About Relationship
There is no relationship manual that tells you how to overcome obstacles and strengthen the ties you have with your loved ones. Thankfully, Bible verses about love serve as excellent guides; these scriptures offer jewels of wisdom that can help you navigate the ups and downs of love, as well as convey your heartfelt thoughts to your future spouse. There are a number of wedding scriptures and Bible verses about love that touch on the subject of relationships that you may want to mention on your wedding day.
Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Proverbs 30:18-19: “There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don't understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman."
1 John 4:12: “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."
Proverbs 31:10: "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."
Ruth 1:16-17: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me."
Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."
1 Peter 4:8: “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins."
Ephesians 5:21: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."
Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."
Genesis 2:18–25: “Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.' ... So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man."
1 Peter 3:7: “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered."
In addition to these Bible verses about marriage, love and relationships, we have these Bible love quotes and an additional 150 quotes about love.
7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer (453)
(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Some moments are simply too important to trust to a camera phone.
Your wedding will be one of the most memorable times of your life, and no one can capture it better than a professional photographer. So how do you find the right one? As you interview photographers, ask them these questions to help you determine if he or she is the right photographer for you.
1. Do you have a portfolio I can review?
Reviewing sample work allows you to see the photographer's style. Is it more formal or candid? Look for images you can see yourself in. Think of three words that describe you and share those with your photographer.
2. Will you create a detailed shot list?
This list will ensure no important photo is missed during your wedding. You should be able to create that list together. Take an honest look at what images really matter and fill your photographer in on situations he or she might need to be aware of in order to prevent awkward moments.
3. Do you belong to any professional associations, like the Professional Photographers of America?
You want to work with the best, and PPA photographers do more than just snap pictures. They have the technical expertise and artistry to make you look your best and bring your vision to life. Watch this video at PPA.com/SeeTheDifference/Wedding to see why you should always use a professional photographer in these true horror stories from real brides!
4. Do you have backup equipment?
You've prepared contingency plans for every other aspect of your wedding; your photographer should as well. A true professional will always bring one or two backup cameras, lenses, flashes, lighting equipment, extra memory cards and batteries.
5. Do you have liability insurance?
Accidents happen, and if one of your guests trips over your photographer's light stand, it's good to know you both are protected. Your reception venue may even ask the photographer to submit a certificate of liability ahead of time.
6. What happens to my images after the wedding?
Will your images be backed up to a hard drive or the cloud once processed? How long will your photographer keep the images afterward? If you have any concerns about losing your photos, knowing what the photographer plans to do with your images after your wedding is important.
7. When will I get my photos?
Printed photos usually take several weeks, but your photographer may be able to get you some images for social media quickly. Just ask.
You won't be able to see everything that happens at your wedding. The right photographer will capture moments you never knew existed. To learn how you can find the perfect photographer for your wedding, visit PPA.com/WeddingPhotos.
5 Tips for Perfect Wedding Photos (385)
(NewsUSA) - Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion -- something to be celebrated and cherished. Planning it, on the other hand, can feel as if you're preparing for war -- between ensuring that Uncle Sal isn't sitting next to his brother, who owes him money, to budgeting for everything you want and need. The one thing you don't want to skimp on is the memories.
Which is why choosing your photographer is one of the biggest decisions you will make. To help ensure that you get the most romantic photos of your fairytale day, Professional Photographers of America, a 29,000-plus-member association, offers these suggestions:
* Express yourself. What kind of photos do you like? Do they tend toward the journalistic or is your style more whimsical, classical, or romantic? Whatever your style, be clear with your photographer so that he or she can capture your personality.
* Say yes to the dress. It starts and ends with this iconic garment. What will make you feel like the bride you've always dreamed of being? Is it a flowing sundress, a formal gown complete with train and veil? Or maybe your idea is more modern and it's a strapless dress, in a color other than white. Whatever it is, dare to wear your dream dress.
* Buy the shoes?or not. Carrie Bradshaw knows shoes. And you should too. Will you walk down the aisle in stilettos or kitten heels? Maybe cowboy boots are more your style? Can't decide? Then leave the shoes at home, and feel free to walk barefoot.
* Rejoice in style. Your wedding day isn't just a ceremony, it's a celebration that brings all your family and friends together (for better or worse), and pictures of this memorable party are a great way to inject your own sense of style. Be it a backyard BBQ, a tail gate at your favorite stadium, or a formal dinner, pictures of this event are a must-have.
* Decide on your ride. Some people prefer to be whisked away by horse and carriage as if they were Cinderella herself. Others prefer luxury limos and cars as their modern equivalent. For the unique free-spirits of the world, maybe a motorcycle is more your thing. Either way, a great photo opp awaits as you leave your wedding.
For more information, visit FindAPhotographer.com/weddings.
Saying ?I Do' and Enjoying It Too (685)
(NewsUSA) - For many brides, the quest to plan the perfect day can quickly turn into a nightmare trip down the aisle. Here are a few tips to keep your wedding day bliss from turning into the honeymoon blues.
* Marriage Planning 101: Once the ring goes on, the race to plan the perfect wedding begins, giving couples little time to think about the marriage itself or how their wedding spending decisions could affect their future. But smart couples are now setting aside time to address pre-wedding issues such as what they will do when it comes to financial planning, spending money, raising children and family politics.
With nearly half of all newlyweds taking on debt to finance their "big day," couples should take every opportunity to make their wedding-related and everyday spending count toward their future.
One unique new rewards program, uTANGO.com, offers couples $10,000, $100,000 and even $1 million in cash rewards to stay married and shop with uTANGO's 250-plus merchants such as Expedia, Target.com, Nordstrom.com and BlueNile.
In addition to helping couples save for their future, uTANGO.com offers free advice from wedding, financial and relationship experts. By taking a proactive approach, couples can leverage their wedding spending to ease financial worries and start building toward their future.
* Destination USA: While destination weddings, especially to international locales, continue to be one of the hottest wedding trends in recent years, they can also present challenges such as increased costs, security concerns, language barriers and unreliable vendors.
A less expensive alternative is to pick a centrally located U.S. city like Chicago, known for fantastic wedding and party venues, choice accommodations and activities to suit any taste and budget. It may not be as exotic as Tahiti, but couples often find that more family and friends can attend and planning challenges are drastically reduced when the nuptials stay stateside.
* Managing wedding expectations: For many brides, planning the perfect wedding is a major life event decades in the making. With this in mind, it's easy to see how wedding expectations can get out of hand in a hurry.
With wedding euphoria taking over, busy brides and grooms can quickly lose sight of spending, causing the perfect wedding to turn into fights over money. By managing expectations of what a "dream" wedding should be, it is still possible to have a lovely and elegant wedding without breaking the bank.
* Bridezilla-free zone: The term "Bridezilla" has been used to describe a difficult, unpleasant, perfectionist bride whose obsession with planning the perfect wedding day leaves frustrated family, friends, bridal vendors and even her groom distraught in her wake.
Belligerent Bridezillas beware: Horror stories of fist fights, hair pulling, kicking and screaming from out of control brides-to-be have put wedding planners, vendors and bridesmaids on the offensive. Some wedding vendors now go as far as to include language in their contracts reserving the right to cancel if the bride's behavior is determined to be "out of control or abusive." So, whether you hit the gym or hit the spa, have a plan in place to handle wedding-related stress and keep Bridezilla at bay.
* Just say "no": Brides place such demands on their bridesmaids these days that it is not uncommon for them to decline, even when it's one of their best friends. Not only is the financial responsibility of being a bridesmaid staggering, but the time commitment demanded by some brides is also daunting.
The massive to-do lists handed out by brides, coupled with the obligatory appearances for shopping, parties and showers, can leave bridesmaids feeling underappreciated, overworked and broke after the wedding is over.
Brides should be upfront about both time and financial expectations with their friends when asking them to join their wedding party and understand if the answer is no.
Martie Duncan is a nationally renowned wedding expert who has worked in the bridal industry for more than 20 years. Duncan has consulted on episodes of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and the film "My Best Friend's Wedding" and is currently editor in chief of the
uTANGO.com LifeMatters e-magazine (www.utango.com/LifeMatters).
Just Engaged? Your First Wedding Planning To-Dos
you should definitely take your time celebrating your engagement—but when you're ready to officially start planning, here's how to dive in.
by The Knot
Once the initial shock of being engaged wears off (and you take a second to peel your eyes away from the new ring on your finger!), you'll need to start making decisions. Here are the 11 most important things you need to do to really kick off your wedding planning.
Set a Timetable The minute you get engaged, everyone will be asking for your wedding date. But in reality, you won't be able to set an exact date until other major decisions--like choosing (and booking) your venue—are made. So first, focus on determining a range of dates that'll work for you. The average engagement lasts 15 months, but also think about what season you'd prefer, any major holidays or family events you'd like to avoid conflicting with, and how long you predict you'll need to plan.
Dream Up Your Style and Pick a Location Before you try on a single gown, book a band or sample a bite of cake, look at the big picture and imagine what kind of style and vibe you want to set for your wedding—and where you want to hold it. Close your eyes and picture your fantasy wedding. What do you see? Is it a candlelit ceremony in a mansion? Are you walking barefoot on a beach in the tropics? Or maybe it's in your hometown's botanical garden. While you're picturing your perfect wedding, here are some key questions to consider: Big (everyone you know) or small (just close friends and family)? Outdoors or in? Home (one of your hometowns or your current city) or away (a destination wedding)? Modern, classic, romantic, vintage, rustic or all-out glam? Fancy, casual or somewhere in between? To help you get a better idea of what you want (and what you don't want), spend some time gathering inspiration. Check out magazines, books and real wedding photos online, but don't limit yourself to the obvious sources. Something as unlikely as a wallpaper pattern, a scene from a favorite movie, or a family heirloom can spark your creativity. Bottom line: Always keep your eyes open for inspiration.
Set Your Budge tSit down with your families and figure out how much everyone is contributing. This number will affect every decision and purchase you make, so be sure to work out your budget before you start planning with our online wedding budget tool. It can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it's better to get it out of the way now so you have a realistic picture about what you can spend.
Draft a Guest List As you begin to build your guest list, you'll need to consider a number of factors. If you have a particular ceremony or reception site in mind, for instance, you're going to be limited by how many people it can accommodate (you can't squeeze 300 people into a lighthouse). Would you rather have quality one-on-one time with each guest or throw a once-in-a-lifetime party for all your friends and family? If mom and dad won't budge about inviting throngs of friends and family, you'll have to hear them out—especially if they're footing a major part of the bill. Keep in mind that more guests means higher prices, as catering costs are generally calculated on a per-head basis. So, in addition to location, your budget will have a big influence on the size of your guest list.
Register (Before Your Engagement Party!)Worried that you'll look gift-grabby if you register too early? Don't! With all the engagement parties, showers and well-wishing relatives in your future, everyone will appreciate your foresight. And although gifts are optional for engagement parties, some of your guests may want to give you something to commemorate the occasion, so register for at least a few items beforehand so they don't have to ask (or guess) what you'd like. One thing to note: Don't include registry information in your engagement party invitations or in any other formal manner. Stick to using word of mouth or links on your wedding website.
Choose Your Wedding Party Now it's your turn to propose to your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner you can enlist their help. And keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their money and donate their time—be considerate and kind by informing everyone about all your plans (including costs for attire, bachelor and bachelorette parties and more), showing them a good time and making sure they know how much you appreciate them.
Consider a Consultant If you're a super-busy couple, have demanding jobs or have big (read: complicated) dreams for your wedding weekend, then you should hire a full-time wedding planner to help you prepare your entire event, from the engagement party to the honeymoon. You can also hire a part-time consultant to devise a wedding blueprint—including budget, schedule, and lists of good vendor and site choices—before you launch solo into the preparations. Another option is a day-of coordinator, who will make sure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day. (Find a consultant in your area with our local wedding vendor search.)
Book a Venue (and Set Your Date)Your reception venue will become the backdrop for virtually all your photos and can influence everything from heavy hitters like your budget and guest list to smaller details like your menu (if you choose a venue with in-house catering). Ensure that you get the look, price and extras you want by scouring local listings, shopping around, scheduling visits and booking early. Bonus: By signing your venue contract, you will officially have your wedding date (congrats!).
Hire Priority Vendors If you just can't imagine getting married without a certain local band playing at the reception or a photographer whose work you love, act fast. Many top wedding photographers and other in-demand vendors are hired more than a year in advance, and once they're booked, they're gone. Translation: Figure out what your highest wedding priorities are, whether it's world-class catering or exquisite flowers, and snap up the vendors whose work you love.
Shop Dresses! Begin your search by browsing dress photos online (and saving your favorites—you'll want to take them with you to your appointments). Then, learn the lingo before setting foot in a dress salon. Read up on silhouettes, necklines, trains and hues that might flatter you. The season will also affect your choice. Getting married in the sweltering summer? Go with lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, linen or organza. Having a winter wedding? Brocade, faux fur and velvet will keep you warm. Satin, shantung, silk and tulle are perfect year-round.
Every couple have great dreams about their weddings as weddings are highly special events occurring just once in most people's lives. Therefore, it is highly appropriate that we innovate and land on some incredibly stunning kind of ideas to make them unique and highly original. There are a lot of wedding ideas and barn weddings have infinite potentials to accommodate variety and a novel kind of experience to all your guests.
Owing to the huge demand for barn wedding venues, a large number of farm owners are equipping their farms with several sophisticated kinds of arrangements and facilities to make them highly suitable and convenient for arranging wedding ceremonies. Therefore, you need not have any apprehensions whether barns shall suit and satisfy the needs of the guests who are going to grace the wedding ceremony.
Once you plan for a barn wedding, in the first place, it makes a great sense to visit the barn wedding venue of your choice. While a great deal of information about the various facilities and pricing of barn wedding venues are available online, you can also contact them to know the recent updates if there are any over phone. Once you are satisfied that the venue you have chosen shall suffice your needs and expectations and meet your budget, then you can make a personal visit to the venue to explore the setting, ambience, facilities and arrangements by yourself so that you get a firsthand experience that shall enable you make the right decision.
Barn wedding venues have so much to enhance the wedding experience. Right from additional arrangements for your guests that you shall feel appropriate and decorations, barn wedding venues have several arrangements in place to meet your precise needs. In fact, they can help you make use of the facility in a more constructive, innovative and productive way. You can plan the different events and ceremonies of the wedding in different spots and settings. Your guests can also try out some new experiences in the barns depending on what is available there. Thus, once you plan what you can do, there are infinite possibilities to explore.
The only hassle probably you might have with regard to barn weddings is to transport the entire party from their places to the barn wedding venue. However, given the availability of sophisticated, cost effective and convenient travel modes today, you can solve this issue easily with a proper planning and systematic approach. However, when it comes to thrilling your visitors with a highly novel kind of experience, no other choice can ever beat barn wedding ideas and therefore, it is really worthy giving a try so that your wedding ceremony stands out from the rest.
Crystal Vandegrift is a wedding photographer covering Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.