Helpful Tips

10 Tips From Bride To Bride

This article was written by one of our former brides, Lauren, after her wedding! We hope you enjoy these tips.

  • Place a small number on the back corner of each response card, and record that number on your guest list. You WILL get RSVP cards back that do not have a name written on them or a return address on envelops, and the stamp from the post office from where it shipped from will only go so far.

  • Go to Wedding Expos! See what and who your choices are first hand and in person. Expos give you a chance to see everyone in one place, whether you are looking for one vendor or all of them, and you don’t have to drive all over town to find out they are what you are looking for. Hint: Take your fiancé! If he/she isn’t involved in the wedding planning, they sure will appreciate you after a Bridal Show experience!

  • Please, oh please, don’t buy a dress that weighs more than you. I had a light strapless dress and the only thing I could think about 30 minutes until the end of the reception was taking it off! (And no, not only for that reason!) You don’t realize how much a heavy dress can interrupt your night.

  • Do schedule a little night photo-shoot with your photographer. We did pictures around 10:00 pm when everyone was good and comfortable on the dance floor. We snuck away and took some great shots, along with having a little breather so you get a few minutes of sweet alone time.

  • If you choose to wear a veil, as much as you love that veil and won't have another opportunity to wear one, let me just share my experience before you make the decision you don’t want to part with it the whole day. Everyone that hugs you or dances with you will tug on the veil (without knowing of course) and whatever style your hair was at the beginning of the day will look torn up! If I were to do it again, I’d take it of after dinner!

  • Do a fake cake! The bottom layer of our 5-tier cake was the only part of the cake that was real so we could cut into it and get those priceless picture of smashing it in each others faces. The rest of our cake was in the kitchen already sliced and put out right after we cut into it. Instead of having waitstaff at your cake table for 30 minutes making a mess, it was already done.

  • Make an email address only for wedding correspondence. I had (my name)2B(future last name) and it worked great! If you want to stay in contact with any of your wedding vendors after the big day, send an email to specific people politely asking them to update their address book.

  • Do eat! My hubby and I didn’t make it around to everyone’s table; if that’s rude, we sure didn’t get any complaints. We noticed as we were eating, the people that were going to leave early or knew they weren’t going to run into us on the dance floor came to us.

  • I worried up until a few weeks before the wedding about what “Our Song” was going to be. Its really easy getting frustrated finding a song if you don’t already have one when you’re listening to every word making sure its perfect, however, not you, your hubby, or your guests will most likely hear every word like you did listening by yourself. My advice, pick a song that’s just special between the two of you.

  • Make sure both sets of parents have a speech planned. Our wedding was pretty traditional. The groom's parents threw the Rehearsal Dinner, where his parents said a little something, and my father had a toast during the wedding reception. I know it sounds very traditional, but it really sets the tone for two families becoming one. Everyone could feel the love our parents had for us and our new spouse with words they said.

Hurricane Season Is Here

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From The Wedding Protective Plan FAQ section :

We are only 10 days into the six month long Atlantic hurricane season. If you are planning a Florida wedding sometime between June and November you may want to consider protecting all the energy, time, and money you’ve invested in your big day. The Wedding Protective Plan from Travelers Insurance offers coverage for weddings that are postponed due to severe weather, military deployment, and many other unforeseen circumstances.

 

Q: Basically, what does the Wedding Protector PlanSM cover? A: The plan can reimburse you if an important item related to your wedding (for example, your ring) is lost or damaged before you get married. The plan can reimburse you in case you lose your deposit if a vendor (for example, your florist) goes out of business before your wedding. You also can receive funds if events beyond your control cause you to postpone your wedding.  You may add coverage to protect you in case someone at your wedding is injured or causes damage to property of others. Of course, certain terms and conditions apply to these coverages, which you will want to review before you purchase your Wedding Protector Plan.

Visit the Wedding Protector Plan at www.protectmywedding.com for more information, FAQs, a risk assessment quiz, and a premium calculator.

NOAA via Getty ImagesNOAA via Getty Images

Alternatives to the Traditional Ring Bearer Pillow

Who says ring pillows are the only way to go?? There are many other unexpected options for couples who are seeking something different. Just check out some of these creative ideas:

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Workplace Wedding Etiquette

Soon to be brides should be take heed. Tred lightly when it comes to discussing your wedding in the workplace. Although it is easy to be consumed by the planning and details, it is important to be thoughtful when it comes to discussing every shade of pink, and type of rose with the people in your office. You don’t want to be “that” girl.  Save it for meetings with your wedding planner. For further insight on how brides should navigate the workplace we asked etiquette expert Toni Downs of Etiquette For Success for advice on how to gracefully manage these types of situations:

Q: Should you invite coworkers to your wedding?

Toni D: I believe it depends on how close you are to your co-workers. If you are close to several, go out socially, and if the budget allows it, ask them.

Q: What if there are some coworkers I want to invite, but not others?

Toni D: You may tell your other co-workers there is a limit to how many people you can invite to your wedding.

Q: What if all your coworkers chipped in for a wedding present?

Toni D: If everyone at the office chips in to buy you a wedding present, then everyone should receive a personal thank you note. This is a thoughtful way to share you care about your coworkers.

Q: What if a coworker is angry with me for not inviting them to the wedding?

Toni D.: There will always be hurt feelings with someone, but it is your and your man’s day. Don’t let other people ruin it.

Thank you Toni for sharing your great advice with us!

Why Hiring a Professional Baker is a Smart Investment

Although it might sound like a budget friendly idea to let a friend or relative bake the cake for your wedding cake, allowing a nonprofessional to bake your cake, you may end up with results like this:

Or this....

and even this....

So although initially it may seem like a great way to save money to have a family member to bake your cake for free or at a low cost, your results are not guaranteed. Professionals on the other hand will stand by their product, guaranteeing you will get your cake packaged and delivered on time, using high quality ingredients and staged in a way that will make your cake look beautiful. So do yourself a favor and hire a professional! You won't regret it.

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

All pictures of ugly cakes feature are courtesy of Cake Wrecks

Wedding Colors Quiz

The Knot's website conveniently offers a Wedding Colors Quiz for all you brides-to-be who just don't know what colors your wedding will entail. While it may be right on the dot for you, don't take it too seriously. If you agree with the results, go for it! If it couldn't be further from the truth, disregard it with a laugh. If nothing else, let if give you something to ponder on! Take the quiz here!

Table Setting 101

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If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you have spent the past week reading about my adventures on my vacation to Cape Cod.  One thing that I always notice, whether at a restaurant, banquet, or friend's house, is the table.

So today as I was catching up on some blog-reading, I found two great articles from my friends at Special Moments Wedding and Events in St. Pete that I just had to share:

I love the preciseness, down to the how many inches of spacing there should be. As a former catering manager, I can tell you that getting your service staff this way is not the easiest thing to do!  Just another reason you need a well-trained wedding coordinator to double check the room setup before your reception!

Tell the Men You Love: Choking Will Kill Them

This weekend, I attended the Association of Bridal Consultants Florida State Conference, where one of the seminars was a CPR certification class.  Almost 3,000 people die in the U.S. each year due to choking.  The good news is, the Heimlich Manuever, the traditional treatment for choking, is extremely effective in saving thousands of lives each year. However, there is one catch:  You have to ask for help!

We were told that more women suffer from choking (probably because we talk so much while eating so fast!) but more men die from choking.  The reason?  Men won't ask for help.  They go somewhere, usually the restroom, and think that they can use their finger to dislodge the food they are choking on.   90% of men who die of choking do so on a bathroom floor, alone.

Please pass this message along to all the men in your life!  If you are interested in CPR/Rescue Breathing/Choking Rescue classes in North Florida, check out the local American Red Cross website.

Making Memories Last

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Journal - The KnotI was one of the last of my friends to get married, so of course I was always getting advice on what to do and what not to do. One of the best pieces of advice I had gotten came through a bridal shower gift. I was given a beautiful journal with the advice for my husband and me to write down our wedding day memories together while relaxing on our honeymoon. So while sitting in a hammock overlooking the Caribbean Sea we did just that. It was a great way to capture our memories while they were still fresh in our minds, and we were still on our wedding “high”. We also took it one step further and wrote down our honeymoon adventures, (well the PG ones anyway). It was really cool to read again shortly after returning to the real world, it helped us stay in denial about being back. And almost two years later we can instantly relive our wedding day or travel back to the beaches of St. Lucia just by perusing a few pages in our journal.

Besides photos or video what are some of the ways you plan to preserve your wedding day memories?

Charity Donations as Wedding Favors

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We're busy getting ready for another wonderful wedding at TPC Sawgrass this weekend, and bride Lauren had a question that I thought might good to share.

Lauren and her fiance Jeff are making a donation to a charity, rather than giving their guests favors at the wedding.  So how is it best to let the guests know that they just didn't overlook the favors?

We considered a few options:

  • 2 small cards placed on each table around the centerpiece
  • a note tucked into each napkin (they were not having a sit-down dinner so we didn't have menu cards to compete with)
  • a small sign near the guest book
  • a note in the ceremony programs

We finally made the decision to go with the small sign near the guest book, with a few small cards (business-card sized) scattered around the sign for the guests to pick up in case they wanted to visit the charity's website for more information about this special cause.

Do you have other ideas you'd like to share?