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Celebrating & Preparing For Your Big Day with OurWeddingDay.com Today is Friday, April 28, 2017

Unique Wedding Centerpieces


Your floral wedding centerpieces are such an important aspect of your wedding reception that it’s imperative you choose wisely. Your guests will spend a good amount of time at their tables, so why not dazzle them with wedding reception centerpieces that are both eye catching and unique?

  1. Floating flowers and candles: There aren’t any rules that state you must choose a traditional flower arrangement as your reception centerpiece so have fun and mix it up! For this type of centerpiece, which is very easy to assemble, you need at least three glass bowls depending on how large your tables are. Once you have added water to each bowl, place silk flowers in one of them, and floating candles in the other two.
  2. Floating flowers and fruit: This centerpiece is very similar to the first one, except instead of floating votives it requires floating fruit candles. What makes this piece so unique is the scent of the fruit candles, which are sure to impress your guests and fill your reception with the sweet smell of grapefruit and oranges. Most suitable for spring or summer weddings.
  3. Glass Pond: One of the most unique wedding centerpieces and one of the coolest. To assemble, you need to find a large glass bowl, preferably 28” in diameter, fill the bottom with river washed stones, and add water. Then add floating flower candles, glass bubbles, and real lily pads (if you can find them).


Wedding Timeline Template


Every aspect of your wedding will affect the overall success of your big day, especially your wedding timeline. When planning a wedding, be aware that the timing is extremely important. If your timeline is even a tad off it could throw your entire wedding reception off course. The last you’ll want is for your guests to be ravenous by the time their first course finally graces it’s presence on their tables, or for the best man speech to take place before everyone has had time to find their seats. Follow this wedding timeline template, and the last thing you’ll have to worry about is a timeline train wreck on your big day.

5:00pm Cocktail Hour: Directly following the ceremony, it is customary for the newlyweds and bridal party to take photos, while their guests enjoy cocktails for an hour prior to the reception. Some couples choose to take formal wedding photos prior to the ceremony, if this is you, then enjoy a glass of champagne in your hotel suite (if you’re getting married at a hotel), or a quiet room. If your reception is at a different location than your ceremony, then you’ll have a relaxing limo ride to share a smooch and toast with your new hubby!

6:00pm: At this time the doors to the reception area are open and everyone should be encouraged to take their seats. Wine or champagne is served and dinner orders are taken if the dinners were not pre-ordered.

6:10pm: Newlywed Entrance/First Dance: The bride and groom are welcomed into the main reception area and perform the first dance. It’s not necessary but some choose to have the entire wedding party introduced prior to the bride and groom.

6:25pm: Serving of first course.

6:35pm: The parents of the bride welcome the guests and thank them for coming.

6:40pm: The best man makes his toast, and the maid of honor’s toast follows.

6:50pm: The main course is served and other family members are welcomed to make speeches in honor of the bride and groom, including the parents of the groom.

7:20pm: The dance floor is open to guests.

8:30pm: Best Man/Maid of Honor Dance, as well as the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dance.

8:45pm: The cake cutting takes place.

8:50pm: At this time the servers offer guests coffee or tea, or more wine or champagne.

9:00pm: The servers place wedding cake slices on reception dining tables.

9:30pm: The tossing of the bouquet and garter toss.

10pm: Final dance for the entire wedding party and all of the guests.

There is countless wedding planning advice that you should keep in mind when putting together one of the most important days of your life, and sticking to a timeline is one of the most important, and could save you from wedding day disasters. If you need any more guidance on this topic, feel free to contact wedding coordinators if you haven’t already.

DIY Online Wedding Planner: One Stop Shop


The fantastic aspect of having a wedding in this day and age is that you can have your very own online wedding planner! Even if you decide to hire a wedding planner, there are so many great resources right here at ourweddingday.com for gathering ideas for all of your wedding decisions such as wedding colors and honeymoon locations.

Gearing up to plan a wedding is no easy task and the first thing you’ll want to do after your engagement is to organize everything you will need to accomplish before your wedding day. On OurWeddingDay.com there are tools and ideas galore that will keep you organized and on the right track beginning as early as your engagement all the way to your last stamped thank you note.

On this site you’ll find the following links to help you along your wedding planning path:

Click on the “Planning Tools” link for guidance with managing your address book, planning your wedding budget, managing your RSVPs, save the date E-cards, managing your task list, and help with your own personal wedding website and blog.

Visit any of the following links under “Wedding Ideas” for general wedding planning tips, fashion and beauty advice and ideas, wedding traditions and etiquette, hiring vendors, wedding reception ideas, destination weddings and honeymoon guidance, gift registry, as well as local wedding planning ideas.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Visit the home page and peruse around for a better idea of how ourweddingday.com can make planning your wedding much easier than you thought.

How to Use Wedding Planning Websites


When using wedding planning websites, it is important to consider exactly what type of wedding you are having (large or small, formal or informal, religious or non-religious), as well as what your budget is. There is a plethora of information out there on “planning my wedding,” but much of it may not apply to you unless you specify your searches. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your online research:

  1. Treat the web as you would a wedding exhibition, with each vendor having a booth (or website), and you are visiting each one to take notes and glean inspiration. Perhaps you see a floral arrangement that is too expensive, but you may be able to recreate the same look for a more reasonable price. What do you like about the arrangement? Is it the colors? The texture? The vase that it is displayed in? The height?
  2. Research traditions (religious or otherwise) and wedding etiquette. If you are not sure when to send out your save the date cards, who gives a toast at the rehearsal dinner; or you want to know ways to incorporate Buddhist customs into your ceremony, this is a great way of using wedding planning sites.
  3. Get tips on “DIY” invitations, centerpieces, and decoration. Many wedding planning websites give thorough steps on how to Do-It-Yourself, yielding fantastic results.


Destination Wedding Planners: South America for Lovers of Nature & Culture


For a wedding full of vibrancy, liveliness, culture, drama and music, destination wedding planners should take a closer look at Colombia. Colombia already ranks high among popular honeymoon destinations, so why not consider having your actual celebration and ceremony there, too? Here are a few traditions to consider:

  1. Add gold to your wedding dress.
  2. The wedding cake, placed in the middle of the dance floor, is usually the first thing to be eaten at a wedding reception.
  3. Have your wedding at a hacienda and decorate it with local flowers that are in bloom.
  4. Serve the traditional wedding drink, Aguardienete, which is similar to a black licorice liquor such as Sambuca. Enjoy with Chorizo!

: Guests can explore national parks, jungles, forests, and rivers, or they can experience the culture in cities such as San Augustin and Tierradentro, filled with tombs, monuments and statues. Bogota (the capital) has many arts and entertainment venues, museums, interesting architecture, churches, outdoor markets, and a great nightlife scene.


For the beauty of South America and a bit of European flair, look no further than Argentina. Here are a few traditions you can incorporate into your Argentinian wedding:

  1. Wear a white dress, with “something blue” underneath.
  2. You do not need to have bridesmaids or a best man; instead, the bride and groom stand at the altar, typically with their parents.
  3. Learn how to tango, and perform a dance at your reception. The tango is lively and tastefully seductive. (Plus, it will get you into shape for your wedding, an added bonus).
  4. The reception lasts for hours… no escaping in a getaway car halfway through the festivities! Celebrate, eat, drink and dance with your family and friends late into the night!
  5. Serve traditional Argentinian fare, which is mostly beef-based. For dessert, have the helado, a delectable ice cream dish.

Other highlights:

  • Buenos Aires is a very European, cosmopolitan city, with an excellent opera house and theater, many great restaurants, sophisticated boutiques for shopping, and prestigious museums. Other cities such as Cordoba, La Plata, Rosario and Santa Fe also have some impressive architecture, museums and churches.
  • For those looking for nature, the area of Pampas is known for its agriculture, with lakes, hills and extensive green space. Or, go to the Mar del Plata, with its long of stretch of gorgeous beaches. If you want to see waterfalls, the Iguazu Falls are spectacular.


Brazil is among the most amazing destination wedding locations. To incorporate Brazilian traditions into your wedding, destination wedding planners should do the following:

  1. Do not see each other before you get married! It is bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her dress before the wedding.
  2. The bride should be sure to have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue on her wedding day.
  3. Both rings of the bride and groom should be engraved with each other’s names.
  4. The wedding reception is extremely lively, and Brazilian music should be the theme of the night.
  5. There should be plenty of food and the traditional drink, the Caipirinha (sugar, sugar cane liquor, and fresh lime juice), should flow freely.


  • Rio de Janeiro is an amazing city to visit, especially with the backdrop of the mountains and the ocean. The city is also famous for its fantastic carnivals. Copacabana Beach is also nearby.
  • Sau Paulo is the largest city in South America, with tons of nightlife, an art museum, and theaters.
  • The Amazon covers a large part of the country. The city of Manaus is a great reference point for exploring the country’s awe-inspiring natural beauty.

Wedding Flowers: What You Need and How to Choose Them


There is more to wedding flowers than just selecting your bouquet. A lot of work needs to be done even before you start exploring local wedding florists—know what to expect before it’s time to choose. Different areas of your wedding require varying amounts of flower placement.

  • Wedding Party: You will need to obtain bridal bouquets for you and your bridesmaids, boutonnieres for the groom, groomsmen, and fathers. You may need additional boutonnieres for stepparents and grandparents. You will also need corsages for the mother of the bride and groom, and choose the perfect petals for the flower girl to drop along the aisle. Wedding flower etiquette varies from family to family, so it boils down to what feels best for you.
  • Decoration: You will also need to choose centerpieces for the reception dining tables, as well as any other tables that would be bare if not adorned with flowers. Flowers for your ceremony are not a requirement, but will make your ceremony setting that much more special and esthetically pleasing for you and your guests, and don’t forget about your wedding photos.
  • Cake: Many couples forget about cake flowers. Though you’re not required to decorate your cake with flowers, many couples do. If you’re on the fence, consult your wedding cake designer and they will help you explore your options.

How you design your flower arrangements and the specific varietals you choose is entirely up to you, but you might want to explore various arrangements before making any final decisions. A great way to explore your options is by visiting your local florist and asking to see photos and live arrangements. Also, use the Internet to find countless photos of wedding flower arrangements.

It may seem daunting at first, but as soon as you pick out the first few bouquets you’ll realize how much fun it is and you’ll forget about the list. If you have any questions regarding what flowers you need, consult your wedding coordinator. Just remember to remain focused on your vision and taste, and your wedding flowers will be exactly what you’ve always dreamt of on your wedding day

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No Matter How Long Your To-Do List, You Need Plenty of Sleep!


Elysa Ross, owner of Another Look Weddings, is an event planner, aesthetician and makeup artist with over 15 year’s experience.  Check back next week for more tidbits & ideas.  Add another look weddings to your Facebook page for special promotions.

Your mother in law wants a 50’s diner theme for your wedding-polka dots and all.  Your Grandmother wants to invite her entire canasta group.  Your maid of honor decided she hates the bridesmaids’ dresses, and your Mom wants you to sit at her table on the wedding day, when you really want a table for just you and your man.  Wedding plans stressing you out?  Here’s some advice to help you weather the storm:

Give yourself a physical and mental break:
About an hour before bed, put your laptop and Blackberry down.  Turn off the television and iPod.  Grab a cheesy romantic novel (not a self help book, not a biography and most certainly not a diet manual).  Fill your tub with an aromatic bubble bath and soak for half an hour.  Then, apply a moisturizing eye cream; cover with a satin eye mask and hit the sack for a full eight hours of sleep.  No matter how much is on your “To Do” list, enough sleep is a priority.  Not only will it renew your energy, and give your skin a fresh appearance-sleep will help your focus and spirit, which is essential while planning a wedding.  

Make sure you exercise even if it’s a quick walk during your lunch hour.  Exercise is a definite stress-buster. Getting your heart rate up will cause your lungs to expand.  This will cause you to take deep breaths, which in turn relax and invigorate.  Exercise also increases your circulation, which make your look better.  When one looks good, one feels good.  

Go to a movie!  Focusing on a story other than your wedding story will give you a break from reality.  Getting lost in dreamy fantasy, feeling the adrenaline rush of a drama or chuckling out loud at a comedy is a sure-fire way to forget about putting the postage on all those invitations, fitting into your dress on your last fitting and staying on budget while still having that dessert table that you are dying for.


Read more wedding fashion & beauty advice from Elysa Ross

Winter Wedding Invitation Ideas


The convenient aspect of having a winter wedding is it makes the planning process easier because you can steal ideas from the holidays and the winter elements. Not only do you have Hanukah and Christmas to gather ideas from, but snowflakes, snowmen, mistletoe, tasty winter treats, and a gorgeous pallet of winter colors. Use the following ideas when exploring wedding invitation designs.

  • Christmas: Adding some Christmas cheer to your custom wedding invitations is a great idea, just make sure to do so in a tasteful manner. For example, an all white and silver invitation with a Christmas tree adorned with ornaments and lights would be more tasteful than one with a multitude of colors. The reason being because too many designs and colors typically appear tacky.
  • Hanukah: Pull from the various Hanukah symbols for your invitation such as the Star of David, a dreidel, or a menorah. The Hanukah colors of white and blue are nothing less than perfect for a simple, classic, yet festive wedding invitation.
  • Color: You might think you’re limited to only winter colors but you aren’t, just make sure that if you use summer or spring colors that they are over a base winter color such as silver, blue, or chocolate brown. The exception to that rule: You can use whatever colors you’d like as long as the invitations have some winter elements such as snowflakes or white capped pine trees.


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6 DIY Wedding Favors Ideas


Leave your guests with a piece of you by giving them DIY wedding favors. There’s something special about giving a homemade gift that feels more personal than something store bought. If you’re looking to put your time, energy, and creativity into your wedding favors then use the following DIY wedding ideas and you’ll feel like Martha Stuart in no time.

  • Homemade candles: Keep the flame of your wedding memory alive by giving your guests homemade candles. The best part is that you get to choose the size, color, and scent if any.
  • Homemade Scented or Herbal Soap: Easier to make than you might think, and will give your guests an excuse to indulge in aromatherapy.
  • Bath Scrub: A perfect homemade favor to pass out to your lovely bridesmaids, thanking them for their contribution to your big day.

Eco Friendly: Use recycled materials to create personalized wedding favors.

  • Mini-notebooks with you and your husband's names and the date of your wedding stamped on the top or bottom..
  • Staple recycled paper to create a mini- envelope and place organically cultivated seeds. This will encourage your guests to grow plants, which is great for the soul, the environment, and is a fantastic wedding memento that will live on.
  • Edible favors are always a great gift; just make sure to buy delectable delights that are made from organic ingredients.


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5 Things to Know When Choosing Destination Wedding Planners


There are many people who claim to be destination wedding planners, as well as numerous websites boasting their destination wedding locations and planning services. How do you sort through who is legitimate and who is not? After you do that, how do you narrow down your choices?

The most important thing you do when planning your destination wedding is to choose your planner/ coordinator. It will involve some research, but it is absolutely essential to know who you are working with. Destination wedding disasters can be worse than local wedding disasters because travel arrangements, airports and hotels, foreign countries, language barriers and other factors are often involved (and likely, not all of your guests will be seasoned travelers). Remember that you will not have as good of a time if you know your guests are unhappy or uncomfortable with their accommodations. Your guests are an important part of this equation—otherwise, you would just elope. Here are a few tips for finding the right destination wedding planner:

  1. Ask to see whether they are accredited by the local Better Business Bureau. (If not, choosing them is probably too risky).
  2. Find out if they are officially certified as a wedding planner. Also, find out if they have been recognized by the wedding industry. See what other clients have said about them. If possible, get the names and contact information of people who have used their services. Talking with people who have worked directly with them is extremely helpful when narrowing down your choice, and it often gives you clues as to their strengths (as well as things they could improve on).
  3. Figure out how much experience they have had. Ask specific questions with direct answers, such as “How many weddings do you do each year?” “What is the average size of the wedding?” “Can you show me pictures of weddings you have done?” Experience is ultimately what separates someone who is good from someone who is excellent. You want a planner who knows exactly what they are doing, who has done this a million times, who has excellent contacts, who can negotiate well on your behalf, and who is extremely detail-oriented.
  4. Use only reputable online services. There are a lot of scams on the web, with many websites promising things that they will not deliver. You need to be absolutely certain that the service you are choosing is not only reputable, but also has a near perfect track record. If at all possible, speak directly with a prospective planner on the phone. If you are not able to have a face-to-face meeting, remember to ask the right questions.
  5. Final Note: Decide before working with your coordinator whether your wedding location will be the same place as your honeymoon. The choice of honeymoon destinations can be difficult, and remember that you can save a lot of money, effort, and time if you join the wedding and honeymoon (If you are worried about privacy, you can always take a less expensive and more local romantic weekend getaway when you get back home). If have already paid the airfare and taken the time to make the arrangements, take advantage of it. Certain destinations are geared towards weddings and honeymoons, and destination wedding planners should be able to leverage this in negotiating prices.

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