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Celebrating & Preparing For Your Big Day with OurWeddingDay.com Today is Saturday, May 27, 2017

Should you go to a Trade Show?

Mar01

Although you may not choose a dress from one of the expensive wedding dress designers, this does not mean that you should ignore designer dresses altogether. In fact, one of the best ways to understand your personal taste, to hone your wedding style, and to glean inspiration is to go to a bridal expo where there are hundreds of vendors, wedding dress designers, photographers, florists, catering companies, DJs, and professional wedding planners. You may not end up using any of them, but you will significantly narrow down what you want and (perhaps more important) what you don’t want.

A wedding trade show will help you figure out where you want to put your money. For example, you may see a wedding dress that you know exemplifies the overall theme of your wedding. Remember that the dress sets the tone, and should be chosen early in the planning process (usually after the date and the venue). Though you may not be able to afford the $12,000 gown, you now have a keen eye for emulating that dress. Also, you may want to consider having a dress custom made (though this can still be expensive, depending on your tailor).

You may also find plenty of inspiration for other elements such as color schemes, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, cake flavors, and centerpieces. Remember that wedding planning has a huge learning curve, and bridal expos are a great way to jump start that process.

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4 Advantages of Online Wedding Registries

Mar01

Though many people are weary of building online wedding registries, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Here are a few reasons why many wedding planning services recommend you register online:

  1. With most online registries, you can edit your registry as you see fit. For example, if you walk into a store and register for chocolate brown bath towels, and then change your mind about the color scheme in your bathroom a few weeks later, you can simply go online and delete them (or replace them with the appropriate color).
  2. For grooms who do not like setting foot in a store, online wedding registries are perfect! Your fiancé can even sip a beer while looking at vacuum cleaners, bath towels, dishes and bed sheets. (Remember, your registry does not need to be limited to household items. Electronics are also valid items. Even if you do not get the 70-inch flat-screen television, you may receive some gift cards to put towards the total).
  3. Many items are available online and not in the store. Sometimes the reverse is true as well, but more often than not, online retailers have a larger selection.
  4. Many guests appreciate the convenience of being able to go online, purchase a gift, and have it shipped straight to you. Some guests will prefer going to the store to pick out your gift, but many just want to “get in and get out” while getting you exactly what you want.

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Wedding Officiant: Where to Look

Feb25

Unless you grew up in the church you’re getting married in, or you already have a friend picked out, then you might wonder how to find ceremony officiants. Fortunately there are plenty of places to look, so you won’t have to worry about finding wedding officiants that fit perfectly into your big day.

Secular Officiant
The best place to find a secular officiant is Justice of the Peace. If you visit the county clerk’s office you will find a list of Justices of the Peace who are certified for wedding ceremonies.

City Hall
Give your City Hall a call and make an appointment if you’d like to get married asap, and without any bells or whistles.

Relative or Friend
The choice to have a friend or relative marry you is a trend that’s growing in popularity because it’s the most personal out of all your choices. A lot of couples feel more comfortable having someone near and dear marry them. If you want a friend to marry you who has not been ordained, then have them get a one-day designation of Deputy Commissioner of Marriages for only $35. For friends who are ordained, their certification may not be recognized by your state, so double check before your wedding day.

Religious
It’s also common for couples to get married by a priest that one or both of them have known for a long time through their church. For example, the same Priest that gave the bride or groom First Communion or Confirmation. Regardless of which house of worship you belong to, it’s important to make sure you are comfortable with the officiant you choose to marry you, since each person has a varying style, pace, and personality.

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Spring Wedding Ideas: Color Schemes

Feb23

Spring is a magical season for color schemes, and spring wedding ideas can span everything from intimate Victorian garden celebrations, to ritzy, well-lit indoor banquet halls for a spring wedding reception.

Here are a few ideas for color schemes:

Pink: Pink is a fabulous wedding color because it is so lighthearted, yet elegant. Some combinations are soft, some are earthy, and some are more dramatic. Here are a few examples: pink and green (optional blue accents); blues and whites (with accents of a lighter pink), pink and blue; pink, ivory, and sage; or pink, white and chocolate brown.

Lavender: Lavender, like pink, is also elegant, but adds a coolness that can be the perfect match for another warmer color. Consider: Lavender and pale yellow; lavender and chocolate brown; ivory, lavender, and pastel green; ivory, lavender and sage; lavender and blue (with an accent shade of berry); lavender and a darker purple (with a warmer accent color such as coral), or lavender and pink.

Gray: If you are looking for spring wedding ideas that are more unique, incorporate a shade of metallic gray or silver into your color combination as an accent. Here are some combos: plum, gray and mauve; gray and cherry red (with an accent of yellow), orange and gray, or lavender, gray and coral. (Hint: gray or silver also makes a wedding appear more vintage, if you are going for that look).

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Practical Wedding Planning Timeline

Feb22

Planning for your wedding can be overwhelming. You may find, however, that breaking the job into smaller chunks will help alleviate stress and keep you organized along the way. Here are some tips on when to start planning various aspects of your wedding.

Wedding Planning Timeline: One year to nine months before:

  • Book your date and your venue.
  • Figure out your budget, what you are going to spend and how much your family members are going to spend.
  • Decide who is going to be in your wedding party.
  • Decide on a head count, and start putting together a database of contact information.
  • Have an engagement party, but make sure that each person is also invited to the wedding
  • If you are going to book a planner, do so now, as she will help with booking the other vendors.
  • Book an officiant.

Wedding Planning Timeline: Eight to seven months before:

  • Register at a minimum of two retailers.
  • Book the photographer and videographer.
  • Purchase your dress.
  • Book a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
  • Start meeting caterers, DJ’s, and potentially other entertainment (such as bands).

Wedding Planning Timeline: Six months before:

  • Shop for the bridesmaids’ dresses. Allow at least 5 months to get dresses ordered and sized.
  • Meet with your officiant and plan out the ceremony.
  • Make sure that you have all official documents for the ceremony, including wedding license.
  • Book your florist.
  • Choose your invitations.
  • Send out save-the-date cards.
  • Reserve other reception necessities that depend on the venue and the weather season, such as heaters (if it’s cold), outdoor toilets, lighting, or extra chairs.
  • Start planning your honeymoon.

Wedding Planning Timeline: Five to Four months before:

  • Go cake tasting and choose your cake.
  • Begin your dress fittings.
  • Choose your shoes.
  • Choose accessories for your bridesmaids, including shoes and jewelry.
  • Begin putting together your song list (which songs to be played during dinner, which songs you do not want played, which song you want for your first dance).
  • Research hair and makeup artists, and potentially do some trial runs.
  • Decide on a date for your bridal shower and send your hostess a list of guests and their contact information.
  • Set the date (and book a restaurant/venue) for your rehearsal dinner.

Wedding Planning Timeline: Three months before:

  • Order wedding favors.
  • Decide who is going to give the toast.
  • Choose your caterer and finalize the menu.
  • Choose your florist and finalize the flowers.
  • Print menu cards and programs.
  • Have a second dress fitting.
  • Purchase wedding favors.
  • Decide on your wedding readings and/or write your wedding vows.

Wedding Planning Timeline: Two months before:

  • Meet with your DJ and go over your wedding playlist.
  • If you hired a band, meet with them to go over which songs are to be played (and when).
  • Send your invitations. Set your RSVP at about 3 weeks to a month from the time you send your invitation.
  • Have a bachelorette party.
  • Meet with your photographer to go over what types of shots you want, as well as locations that you like for photos.

Wedding Planning Timeline: One month before:

  • Get your marriage license.
  • Mail rehearsal dinner invitations or call guests to let them know the date.
  • Confirm times and schedules with all vendors.
  • Have your last dress fitting.
  • Draw out your seating arrangement.
  • Send out final payments, if possible.
  • Purchase gifts for your bridal party.
  • Have your hair colored and cut. (If you are purchasing hair pieces, now is a good time to get them to match your hair color).

Wedding Planning Timeline: The Week Of:

  • Again, confirm arrival times with all vendors.
  • Set aside final checks to be given to the vendors.
  • Pack for your honeymoon.
  • Send your final guest list to the caterer.
  • Have a manicure and pedicure (one to two days before, if possible).
  • Break in your shoes.
  • Delegate small tasks, such as bustling the dress, handing out tips to the waiters, etc.
  • Book a spa treatment to help you relax!

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Bridal Expos 101

Feb21

Bridal expos are a fantastic place to find anything and everything you’ll need to ensure your wedding is nothing short of perfect. They are your one stop shop for all of your wedding needs. They are also easy to find! Just type in “bridal expos 2011” online and you'll be one step closer to making your wedding day planning much easier.

Time Saver
Bridal expos are ideal for the busy bride who doesn’t have time to schlep around from bridal gown shops to wedding cake bakeries. Since many of your local vendors will likely have booths at a bridal expo near you, you can pick out everything you might need for your big day in one fell swoop. If you visit a bridal expo you’ll have the opportunity to explore and book your wedding photographer, entertainment, florists, cake designer, etc.

They’re Fun!
One great reason to check out a wedding trade show is because they are tons of fun! Not only are they exciting and festive, but will provide you with countless great ideas for your wedding day.

Be Prepared
Before showing up, make sure you have a clear idea of your wedding budget and what you need, that way you can maximize your time by being efficient and visiting the vendors you know you’ll need to hire. Since bridal expos tend to get crowded and showcase a great number of vendors it will help you to stay focused if you have a list of specific needs, that way you don’t get confused or sidetracked

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Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette for Delicate Situations

Feb17

Your rehearsal dinner is a chance for you, your wedding party and close family to unwind and enjoy each other's company before the wedding day, and you'll want to make sure that you and all of your guests are comfortable. The following tips will guide you along if you find yourself facing any number of delicate situations on your big day.

Act gracefully, with the best manners possible, as a generous hostess would. “Etiquette” is a new point of study, as our more relaxed culture has allowed for much grey area surrounding the issue. However, if there is an opportunity to show off your grace and elegance, it’s a wedding! With rehearsal dinner etiquette, it is important to treat everyone kindly and respectfully, even if, for example, you do not respect a particular person.

This is not the time to bring up disagreements or other issues, or to “snub” anyone. Make sure that you invite everyone that wedding rehearsal etiquette dictates that you invite. If your parents are divorced, and your mother or father is dating (or married to) someone who is difficult or unlikable, you should still invite them. Some will argue that as the bride, you can do whatever you want. Many strongly disagree, as following this advice does not reflect well upon your character. Unless something absolutely terrible has happened, do not snub anyone. The same principle applies to wedding reception etiquette.

If you want to pay for the rehearsal dinner so that you can dictate where it will take place (specifically, the atmosphere), this is absolutely acceptable. Just make sure that you present this to your parents in a diplomatic and eloquent way. Tell them that you want to pay for the rehearsal dinner as a way to thank everyone involved in the wedding for their hard work.

Figure out who is giving toasts and let them know, so that they can prepare beforehand. With rehearsal dinner etiquette, usually the father or mother of the groom gives a toast if he or she is paying for the wedding. If not, it is up to your discretion. The rehearsal dinner presents a great opportunity for either the bride or groom to give a toast, and to present gifts to their bridal party. This can also be a great way to smooth over any tension that families may feel. (Check out: Tips for a Great Rehearsal Dinner Toast)

Have drinks available, but don’t encourage a night of drinking. Drinking inevitably escalates any issues that already exist. It is important to strike a balance with alcoholic beverages. Have them available for those who would like to relax, but don’t encourage a boozy night. Also, you need all of your wits about you to prepare for your wedding.

Do your best to enjoy the evening, and try to make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable. As the bride, you set the tone for the rehearsal dinner, for the wedding ceremony, and for the wedding reception. The best weddings are not those where every last detail is perfect, where everything goes off without a single hitch. The most enjoyable weddings are those where the bride is having the time of her life and looking forward to her life with her new husband. As the bride, you have a role to execute. Even if you are nervous, do your best to treat everyone gracefully.

Remember that you cannot control the way people act. You can do your best to make everyone comfortable and happy, but you still cannot control what they do or say. Don’t focus on the negative things that can or may occur. Instead, focus on the wedding and the wonderful celebration ahead!

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Choosing the Right Florist For Your Wedding Day Flowers

Feb17

For some people, choosing a florist is one of the most important aspects of wedding planning; for others, it’s the DJ and venue. For those who adore wedding day flowers and believe that they add the final bit of elegance, detail and charm to a celebration, read ahead for tips on choosing the right florist:

Finding the right florist
If you have been to a wedding (or other event) and appreciated the detail and design of the flower arrangements, ask the event coordinator who did them. Even if the event was a while ago, you can still find out who the florist was. Most coordinators are happy to give you that information.

When you meet with the florist in person, ask the right questions. First of all, how many bridal wedding flowers has she done? Does she have a team of people who help with arrangements on that day, or does she do all of the work herself? Does she have references who you can speak with? Depending on how large your wedding is, you may also want to verify that she has done big weddings. Because flowers are a living organism and a lot of technicality is involved, it is not enough for the florist to be a good designer. She absolutely MUST have experience doing large events and executing a large number of arrangements under deadline. One of the worst wedding disasters possible is for the flowers to be absent or late, especially if they arrive after the ceremony is over.

Ask to see her portfolio. Seeing the portfolio will give you a good idea as to what type of events she has done and whether she can execute on a large scale. Also, make sure you speak with her references to find out what it is like to work with this person. (Even if the flowers are amazing, if the person is unpleasant to work with, it would be better to choose someone else).

Once you’ve chosen your florist
If at all possible, have the florist visit the venue with you. The venue, as well as the bride’s wedding dress, set the tone for flowers in weddings and the wedding décor more than anything else. The unique space—both for the ceremony and reception—can offer plenty of inspiration.

Collect photos from magazines and bridal publications to exemplify what type of wedding day flowers you’d want. You can choose words that capture the mood of your wedding, such as “romantic,” or “breezy,” or “dramatic.” Yet having a visual reference is the best way to communicate the colors and textures that you want.

Bring a swatch of fabric from the bridesmaids’ dresses as another color reference. This will help your florist envision the colors in your ceremony as a whole.

Have your florist make up a mock arrangement (the bridal bouquet, the centerpieces, etc.) This is extremely important! Seeing a tangible arrangement will let you know if your florist is on the right track. And if she isn’t, you will have plenty of time to fix it!

To minimize cost, go with flowers that are in season. Your florist should know what type of flowers are the most reasonable, and you should be able to work them into your arrangements.

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Planning Tools for Choosing the Right Caterer

Feb16

You’ll find that you have quite a few checklists to tend to as you plan your wedding. There is a wedding planner checklist, photographer checklist, as well as a caterer checklist. Even if you have the help of wedding event planners, you should definitely have a say in which caterers you do and do not hire to serve at your wedding. If you choose the wrong vendor, in any area of your wedding, it could be disastrous. The following information should all be included in your catering binder when deciding what you would like to serve along with a list of potential catering companies.

Firstly, make notes about what you would like to serve at your wedding:

  • Appetizers
  • Entrees
  • Sides
  • Desserts
  • Beverages
  • Other menu ideas

Then have a list of prospective caterers with the following information attached:

  • Contact name
  • Appointment date and time
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Proposal price
  • Notes

Once you’ve made your final choice on a caterer, organize their information like so:

  • Contact name
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Notes
  • Cancellation/Refund Policy
  • Total Cost (include all services and fees)
  • The deposit amount
  • Total balance
  • Reserved date and hours


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How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Colors

Feb15

Choosing the perfect spring, summer, fall, and winter wedding colors can be tricky if you’re not sure where to begin. One place to start is by exploring the most trendy and popular wedding colors. Another option is to allow the season to choose your colors for you. Once you’ve chosen your wedding colors, it’s important to know how to use them. Finding fun and creative ways to use your prefect wedding colors is one of the thrills of planning a wedding.

Trending: The popular color picks for 2011 weddings thus far are as follows: black & white, deep red, chartreuse, slate grey, turquoise, coral, latte, and purple. If you want to choose colors that pop you won’t have any trouble getting that result with the aforementioned color options.

Allow these questions to guide you to the perfect wedding color combo:

  • Where is your wedding taking place? Your colors will differ if you’re getting married on a cliff overlooking the beach instead of a hotel ballroom.
  • What type of mood do you want to create for your guests? Color psychology proves that colors do in fact affect our mood. For example, the color green has a calming affect, and the color yellow more anxious.
  • What season are you getting married during? Obviously fall colors vary from winter, spring, and summer. Feel free to use the season as your launching off point when choosing your colors.


Use the color wheel:
The color wheel, comprised of three primary colors: blue, yellow, and red and also a combination of in-between colors, can help you choose colors that complement each other. How does one choose a perfectly coordinated color scheme? You’re able to choose colors that are complementary to each other by picking opposites. For example a warm and a cold color would be considered complementary to each other. The wheel also helps you choose “monochromatic” colors, which means colors of the same tone, like blue and dark blue.

The easy part of choosing the right colors is that you only need to choose two or three. Any more than that will cause your wedding décor to appear a bit too busy.

Where you make use of your colors is a key factor when creating the overall feel and style of your wedding:

  • Stationary: Even beginning with your save-the-date cards you’ll be using your wedding colors. Make sure to not forget about thank you cards as well!
  • Bridesmaids dresses: If the color isn’t too bold then go ahead and choose bridesmaid dresses that are one, two, or all three of your wedding colors.
  • Groom and groomsmen attire: Spice up that side of the altar by giving your groom and groomsmen bow-ties that match your wedding color scheme.
  • Flowers: With an abundance of varietals to choose from for your wedding flowers, create a bouquet and centerpiece that encapsulates your wedding colors.
  • Ribbon: You’ll be surprised by how many opportunities you’ll have to use ribbon that matches your wedding colors, fore example on your stationary, to hold your bouquet together, wedding programs etc.

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