Helpful Tips

Holiday Weekend Weddings

Memorial Day at Arlington National CemeteryThis weekend, we’re enjoying a rare Memorial Day weekend off from weddings.  But holiday weekend weddings are extremely popular – is it a good choice for your wedding?

With a long weekend like Memorial Day or Labor Day, your guests may be more inclined to stay longer if they are traveling. They won’t have to rush back to work on Monday, so they can relax on Sunday. This is great, if you plan to leave for your honeymoon Monday or later.

However, travel fees tend to be higher around the holidays, so it may be more of a financial burden for your out of town guests.

Because your guests may be in town longer, you may also need to host additional parties – a welcome reception, a post-wedding brunch, a Sunday beach party, etc. While this means more time to spend with your friends and family, it can also affect your budget significantly.

If you decide on a holiday weekend wedding, be sure to block off hotel rooms well in advance, as popular destinations may sell out. Also, send your save-the-dates out as soon as possible, so that your guests can begin making travel plans.

We’d also like to take a moment to honor our nation’s heroes, and encourage you to do the same this weekend!

Who kept the faith and fought the fight;
The glory theirs, the duty ours.
~Wallace Bruce

Inside the Wedding Day Emergency Kit: Fishing Line’s Many Uses

Sewing a bridesmaids dressWedding planners usually travel with an extensive emergency kit. Ours includes things like hair spray, bobby pins, white pipe cleaners, and lots of pairs of scissors. This past weekend, I got to use one particular item in a whole new way.

Fishing line (yes, the clear stuff you attach to your fishing pole) comes in handy for lots of uses, mostly decor related. Maybe it’s attaching a wreath to a door, or affixing the alter flowers to a staircase at the reception. But this weekend, I got to sew with it.

You heard me right, sew with it. The entire zipper on a bridesmaid’s dress broke, because the seamstress (in Texas, not local!) made it a bit too snug three days before the wedding. No problem, right? We’ll just get out the needle and thread and stitch it closed. Well, because the dress was so tight, the thread kept breaking. Keep in mind, it’s now one hour until the ceremony starts! I stopped to think for a moment – “What else do I have the we could use?” And then it dawned on me. Fishing line!

I was a little nervous at first that it wouldn’t fit through the eye of the needle. But sure enough, it did. And we were off to the races! I stitched several small sections, tying off each one in case it did break – so hopefully, one a small section would break and not the whole thing.

Four hours later, I spoke to the bridesmaid at the reception about her dress. “I feel very secure!” she replied. I’m glad I actually learned how to sew (a little bit!) when I was young. Just one more skill a wedding planner should have!

Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony

Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony

We see a lot of short and simple, get-the-job-done wedding ceremonies. In all honesty, it takes about 10 minutes to actually “get married.” But what if you want to incorporate some personality or pizzazz to your wedding?

We’ve had several ceremonies recently where the bride and groom traveled to Ponte Vedra Beach for their weddings.  But rather than hiring a local minister, they brought theirs with them! When an officiant has a personal connection with the couple, the ceremony is so much more meaningful. They can offer little anecdotes, and put the bride and groom more at ease during one of the more serious parts of the wedding day.

Lots of couples chose to include a unity candle or sand ceremony into their wedding. But there are also other options – rose ceremonies, handfasting, seashell/stone blessings, wine ceremonies, to name a few. Ask your officiant if they have suggestions. Also look to your religion or culture for ideas. Even if you aren’t have a “religious” ceremony, there may be little nods to your heritage that you can include.

Of course, the best way to personalize your ceremony is to write your own vows! If you decide to do so, be sure to give yourself plenty of time! This isn’t something to be rushed. Also, discuss the tone of your vows with your significant other. You don’t want to make yours funny while his are super serious. You may also want to ask a close friend or family member to read both sets of vows (if you plan don’t plan to read them to each other before the wedding) to be sure they match in tone and length.

However you chose to personalize your wedding ceremony, remember that you are promising to love, honor and cherish your fiance til death do you part. Make it a special and meaningful time for the two of you!

Selecting The Perfect Church For Your Wedding

StAugustineWedding117One would think choosing a church for one’s ceremony would be simple, but I found it to be a bit more complicated than expected. It was very important to me to have our wedding in my hometown, Orlando, FL. Picking our reception location was easy; my godparents live on a beautiful property in the Gotha area of Orlando. They have seven and a half acres on a lake, and I knew it would make for an ideal tented, rustic/chic reception location.

I grew up Methodist, and still belong to a Methodist church in Orlando, but Charles was brought up Catholic, and we both decided that we wanted our ceremony to be Catholic. I had to basically start from scratch when it came to selecting our Catholic ceremony location.

I started by looking up all the Catholic churches that were near my godparents’ house. The closest church to their home was a very large and well known Catholic church in the Orlando area. My mother and I attended the Christmas Eve mass to examine the size, look and feel of the church. It was very voluminous and grand, and all of the people who were there seemed to truly love their church. I thought “This could very well be the church!” After Christmas settled down, I emailed the church to gather all the information for having a ceremony there, and what the pricing situation was. I’d always assumed that a church rental for a ceremony wouldn’t be more than a couple hundred dollars; this church started at $1,200.00 for non-members. There was also a complication in booking the church. For a Catholic ceremony, you have to take pre-marital classes that last 6-8 months, and this church wasn’t going to allow me to reserve my date until after my classes were complete. I didn’t want to take the gamble of someone else stealing my date, so I decided that church just would not do.

After researching a few more Catholic church options, I stumbled upon a charming little Catholic church that I often passed when I lived in Orlando. The church is also close my reception location, but I overlooked it at first because it was a Maronite Catholic Church, as opposed to a Roman Catholic Church. I did my homework and found that there are many types of Catholic Churches, and that they’re all recognized by the Pope as equal. My fiancé, mother and I attended a mass one Sunday and absolutely fell in love with the people, charm, and most importantly the priest. Everyone in the congregation made us feel at home. We all knew right away that we’d found our church.

Finding the all-important perfect church location for your ceremony can be overwhelming, but just remember to do your research early, attend a service before-hand, and get on the church calendar/marriage class roster as soon as your decision is made.  Once these steps are underway, you can feel excited that you are well on your way toward your perfect church wedding!

The Most Important Day Of Your Life (And Why Your Wedding Day Isn’t It)

I’m about to type something that many people will find controversial.

wedding day

I know – I spend my days surround by all things wedding. How can I possibly say this?! Because it’s the truth. I’ve had some wedding reality shows playing in the office lately as I’ve been stuffing envelopes and assembling welcome gifts for some of our spring/summer weddings. I normally don’t watch them, and now I know why. They insist on perpetuating this mantra that “your wedding day is the best day of your life” and creating the hype that everything must be perfect. So much emphasis is put on the party that the marriage part tends to get overlooked.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a gorgeous wedding, but don’t forget that there are many more “best” days to come.

The day you close on your first house.
The days your children are born.
The day  your spouse returns home safely from a military deployment.
The day you beat cancer.
The day you get that big promotion you’ve worked so hard for.
The day you save someone’s life.
The day you win the lottery. (we can all dream, right?)

Hopefully, your wedding day means marrying your best friend, surrounded by friends and family that mean the world to you. Anything beyond that is just gravy.