We have been mentioned on WeddingWire!!

We have been blessed to have been mentioned in an article on WeddingWire!!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!

https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/planning-your-own-wedding

 

7 Things to Know Before Planning Your Own Wedding

Jenn Sinrich
By Jenn Sinrich
  
Experts share their top words of wisdom for couples who are planning their own wedding, from creating a budget to deciphering contracts.
couple toast at wedding
KIR2BEN

Whether or not budget is a big concern when it comes to planning your wedding, you may be on the fence about hiring a wedding planner. This is especially true if you want to be very hands-on with the planning. Well, there are plenty of reasons to hire a wedding planner, and many couples say it was one of the best hires they made for their wedding, but some couples choose to go a different route. If you and your partner are planning your own wedding, all the power to you!

So where to begin? When it comes to planning your own wedding without the help of a planning professional, there’s quite a lot to know. You want to make sure you’ve thought of everything before it’s too late—last-minute wedding arrangements aren’t so easy to string together.

To help guide you along the way, here are some important things that can make planning your own wedding smooth sailing, according to experts. 

Determine your budget before you start planning.

Many couples who are planning their own wedding think it’s okay to hire a vendor or two before truly sitting down and ironing out their budget. Big mistake, according to Rothweiler. ​​”You should never just start spending money because you’ll fall down a rabbit hole that you’ll never dig your way out of,” she says. “Have a serious conversation with anyone contributing to the budget to find out exactly how much they are giving you.”

You can hire a planner for a day or two instead.

​Before shutting the door on the wedding-planner idea completely, it’s worth knowing that not all planners are all or nothing. In fact, some offer a variety of packages that can be more practical for a budget-conscious couple. For Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design in Verona, New Jersey, offers mini-packages where couples get 10 hours of her company’s time to use however they want! “This could be helpful in finding the venue, designing the budget or whatever the couple is struggling with,” she explains.

Organization is key.

Any planner will tell you the immense importance of using checklists and spreadsheets for planning any event, but especially such a large-scale one like your wedding. “There are many wedding planning binders available for purchase, and free tools lists online, that will cover all of the relevant categories and details related to planning your own wedding,” says Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio. In fact, WeddingWire offers totally free wedding planning tools keep track of everything in a shareable and concise way.

Friends and family are there to help you.

Without a planner to give you their venue and vendor recommendations, the next best place to turn are your recently married friends, according to Rothweiler. “Did they like their vendors? What did they spend?” she says. “Ask your friends to be open and honest about what they would’ve done differently and look into their recommendations first.”

Consider timing well in advance.

The timing of your wedding day won’t get fully ironed out until about two months before the date, according to Rothweiler, however, she recommends being conscious of these logistics throughout the entire planning process. “For instance, if you have elaborate ideas for floral design, but your venue only allows 90 minutes for set-up, you might want to consider a venue that gives you the whole day, or you’ll have to tell your florist before booking what the time constraints are,” she says.

Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.

Remember that more guests will cost you, so determine which is your priority—having more people you love there at a greater cost or a smaller, more intimate wedding that’s lower cost. Prioritize your budget and see where money can be moved around, suggests Lehman. “Smaller, more intimate weddings are the trend this year,” she says. “I also always advise my couples to select the best services and goods possible, within their budget—for example, excellent photography is a must.”

Read your contracts—twice.

“I cannot tell you how many details have caught my clients off guard that were right there in black and white,” says Rothweiler. “Once you sign on the dotted line and put down that first payment, it’s too late to potentially make changes or discuss anything really.” Also, remember that being told something verbally isn’t a contract—it must be in writing. And if there’s something you don’t understand on a wedding vendor’s contract, never hesitate to ask!

We have been mentioned on WeddingWire!!

We have been blessed to have been included in an article on WeddingWire, with several other wedding planners, sharing their favorite wedding songs.  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich for including us!  Who knows, maybe you will find your favorite wedding song among the list.  Please feel free to share your favorite wedding song in the comments.  Enjoy!

https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/best-wedding-songs-of-all-time

16 Planners Share Their Favorite Wedding Songs of All Time

Jenn Sinrich
By Jenn Sinrich    
  
Looking for the best wedding songs of all time to include in your big day? We asked planning pros for their top picks.
Crossed Keys Designs
CROSSED KEYS DESIGNS

On the laundry list of things you need to plan ahead for in preparation for your big day, one major to-do is choosing your music set list. In addition to hiring your DJ or band, it’s crucial that you go over the songs they plan to play for you on your wedding day. In fact, Farah Saint-Jean of Spectacular Affairs, LLC, in New York City believes music to be one of the most important aspects in setting the mood for a wedding celebration. For this reason, she recommends that the couple not only carefully select their music pros, but provide him or her with a song list that holds special meaning for their relationship or some of the best wedding songs of all time, as well as a list of music that should not be played. “The wrong music can ruin the wedding reception,” she warns. 

Jodi R.R. Smith, owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, in Marblehead, Massachusetts, agrees that music plays a major role—and recommends songs to match the ages of your guests. “You could play a few from the 40s for your grandmother, a few from the 50s and 60s for your great aunts and uncles, a few from the 70s and 80s for their kids, some from the 90s and 00s for your aunts and uncles, and 2010 to now for your friends and cousins,” she says. “Everyone should be included and everyone should hear a song that resonates so much that they want to get up and dance.”

When meeting with your DJ to plan song selections, be clear in your vision and expectations. Lindsey Sachs of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs in Boulder, Colorado and Minneapolis  recommends asking how many songs are reasonable to play given your reception duration so you have a better understanding of how your top picks may be mixed with their selections. “Your DJ may also ask if you’re open to accepting guests requests,” she says. “If so, know that the number of songs played from your list may take a back seat to accommodate.”

To give you some inspiration while you’re making your musical selects for your big day, we asked wedding planners to share, in their view, the best wedding song of all time.

“For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder

“I’m biased since this was my wedding song, however, the reason it’s my favorite is because the lyrics are exactly how my husband and I feel about each other,” says Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design in Verona, New Jersey. “I think it’s really important to pick a song that you and your partner can relate to instead of selecting something trendy.”

“For You” by Kenny Latimore

“This is a timeless song that basically expresses one lover’s dedication to the other and evokes emotions of love, gratitude and joy,” says Farah Saint-Jean of Spectacular Affairs, LLC In New York. “It is simply beautiful.”

“I Only Have Eyes For You” by The Flamingos

“This is an unexpected first dance song that has some added interest because of the minor keys it incorporates,” says Kate Lerman of Chicago Vintage Weddings in Chicago. “You also can’t go wrong dancing to it!”

“Feeling Good” by Michael Buble

“The uplifting nature of this song makes me sing out loud every time,” says Lindsey Sachs of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs in Boulder, Colorado. “And, just like a new day, your wedding day is the epitome of the line ‘it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life…and I’m feeling good.’ This song is a beautiful addition to cocktail hour, dinner, or your first dance. When considering the best wedding songs of all time, I think of including songs that most everyone will know, but may not hear that often.”

Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green

“The lyrics are meaningful and unique and opens the doors to a lifetime of love and happiness,” says Amy Katz of Amy Katz Events in New York City. “Also, the tempo is perfect and uplifting!”

“Lovely Day” by Bill Withers

“It is fun and lively to begin with, and easy to dance to!” says Patti Hasting of P.Hasting Design and Event Planning in Columbus, Georgia. “The line, ‘Then I Look at you and the world’s alright with me,’ should be your mantra of how your marriage should be!”

“At Last” by Etta James

“It is a classic song that depicts the excitement of finding your true love at its finest,” says Carine Saint-Jean of Spectacular Affairs, LLC in New York. “‘At last, my love has come along my lonely days are over and life is like a song.’ Those lyrics speak to my soul and so many other people’s souls and it’s such a popular wedding song because it transcends time as this song is older than I am but it resonates with both young and old alike.”

“Whatever It Is” by Zach Brown Band

“This was my first dance song and it talks about the person you love just having that ‘thing,’ the ‘whatever it is’ that draws you to them,” says Amber Anderson of Heavenly Day Events in Austin, Texas.

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley

“This song reminds me of my grandparents dancing together,” says Katelyn Stanis of Wedding Words in Brooklyn, New York. “They were happily married for 61 years. Hearing such a classic and romantic song reminds me of what weddings are all about: true love, family, and legacy.”

“Make You Feel My Love” by Adele

“Adele’s voice is like rocks in a river, strong, fixed, eternal,” says Nahid Farhoud of Nahid’s Global Events in San Diego, California. “This song brings back lots of memories.”

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

“This song spans across multiple generations and is relatable to practically every wedding guest out there!” says Jen Avey of DestinationWeddings in Wayland, Massachusetts. “It’s energizing and high tempo, but not overplayed or too cheesy. It’s a constant crowd pleaser; something everyone can sing along to and keep everyone’s energy levels up!”

“You & Me Song” by The Wannadies

“I love it because it was my wedding song, but, I also love it because it’s real,” says Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events in Los Altos, California. “The relationship between two people is you and me. And most of the time, it’s not all romantic or like the movies. It’s about being a team. It’s about choosing each other every day. It’s the silly things, the fights, the simple things like watching TV and still it’s you and me.”

“You for Me” by Johnny Gill

“This song resonates with literally everyone,” says Joanna Sheppard of ValiaRose Events in Birmingham, Alabama. “It tells how the two people were living their lives alone and the universe aligned the couple to meet and fall in love. From that moment, dreams came true and they never wanted to separate.”

“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey

“It’s such a fun way to end the night,” says Lindsey Nickel at Lovely Day Events in Napa, California. “Most of the guests know the words, they gather around to sing and dance together. It’s a classic song that a lot of people know, so it gets them on the dance floor.”

“Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

“Love this song for the recessional to an on-site ceremony,” says Alexis Eliopoulos O’Mara of Unique Weddings by Alexis in Boston, Massachusetts. “ It’s modern, but love the variety of instruments in the song.”

“Perfect Duet” by Ed Sheeran feat Beyoncé

“The song is literally PERFECT!” says Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio. “With the vocals of both Ed and Beyonce singing their words of love. I think it’s perfect for a first dance wedding song.”

“Kissing You” by Des’ree

“I have loved this song for over 20 years,” says Ashley Espinal of Dulce Dreams Events in Ozone Park, New York. “It is powerful yet romantic and has this beautiful sense of longing and desire. It evokes so many different emotions all surrounded by love! I had a quartet play this song as I walked down the aisle, and it was truly overwhelming. I’ve seen several other couples play this song in different versions and during different times in their celebrations. It is always a tear jerker!”

We have been mentioned on WeddingWire!!

We have been blessed, again, to have been quoted in an article on WeddingWire!!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!

https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/stop-being-indecisive-wedding-planning

How to Stop Being Indecisive About Wedding Planning

By Jenn Sinrich – 
 Is indecisiveness causing you some wedding-planning drama? Here’s how to stop being indecisive and move forward in your planning journey.
couple shopping for wedding flowers
Elizabeth Fogarty

Although wedding planning is most definitely fun and exciting, it can also be quite overwhelming, especially considering the myriad of decisions, both big and small, you’ll have to make in a relatively short period of time. As a result, couples planning their big day might come across a few situations where they just can’t choose and will need to just stop being indecisive.

This can happen for many reasons. According to Leah Weinberg of Color Pop Events in Long Island City, New York, the most common reason for indecisiveness over planning your wedding is that the experience is entirely brand new. “All of the different options to choose from can sometimes lead to decision paralysis, not to mention the fact that the couple is likely spending more money than they even imagined on their big day,” she says. “While you can’t necessarily take all the time in the world to make decisions during the wedding planning process, you should make sure that the decisions you do make are informed and thought out.”

If this sounds like you and your soon-to-be-spouse at the moment, don’t fret! Consider putting these expert-approved solutions to help you stop being indecisive about wedding planning.

Make a list of non-negotiables.

Early on in the planning process, Deb Erb of Simply Events Inc. in Lititz, Pennsylvania, suggests that couples make a concrete list of what is most important to them. “If flowers and pictures are a big deal to you, know that you should spend more time selecting your photographer and florist than perhaps your DJ or band,” she says. “Thinking through the most important aspects of a wedding day early on will also make it easier to stay within a budget.”

Block out the chatter.

Everyone is going to have opinions on your big day, from your best friend to your boss. While it’s fine to lend an ear to their dos and don’ts, you have to be careful when soliciting too much of their advice in order to stop being indecisive. “The more people you involve, the more opinions you are going to get,” warns Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design in Verona, New Jersey. “Without a doubt, those opinions will eventually conflict and you’ll be confused with whom to believe and not wanting to offend anyone.” She suggests keeping your circle small and making a pact with your partner that you two have to agree before deciding on anything.

Trust your vendors.

“Professionals know how to guide couples because they have the experience needed to know what works and how to cater toward the couple’s likes and dislikes and things they have dreamed about,” says Deb. “Vendors who only want the best for their clients will steer them in the right direction and help them stay on budget.”

Set social media limits.

While Instagram and wedding websites are amazing resources to plan out your big day, Deb warns that they can also make a couple feel pressured to keep up with what other couples are doing. “When a bride feels like she needs to include every décor idea and Pinterest suggestion into her day, it becomes very hard to make simple decisions, let alone difficult ones,” she adds.

Create a timeline—and stick to it.

Just as you would for your job, it’s helpful to create a checklist for when you should ideally have a wedding to-do crossed off your list. “Any accountability coach will tell you that the only way to truly get something done is to see it, formalize it, plan it and then tackle it,” says Jenny Orsini of Jenny Orsini Events in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.” “Can’t figure out if you want your color palette to be blush and white or lavender and cream? Give yourself a limited amount of time to ponder the options and assign a due date by which you must decide.”

Ask for help when you need it.

This can include your mom, aunt, sister, grandma, BFFs—essentially anyone who is close to you and whose opinion you value and trust, advises Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio. “A few positive opinions will reinforce your decisions and help you stop being indecisive, which will help you to go on to the next step in the planning process,” she adds.

Keep things in perspective.

At the end of the day, wedding planning is a huge endeavor, so of course some of the decisions are going to be met with a little hesitation to say the least. However, while it’s one of the most amazing days of your life, you do need to keep things in perspective. “You’re marrying your best friend, while surrounded by dear friends and family,” says Jenny. “Your guests will only remember the amazing energy of the party and how you glowed when you walked down the aisle, not whether the roses were purple or pink.”

We were quoted in an article on WeddingWire!!

Sometimes I like to share personal experiences of when I was a young bride myself, and not just nuggets of wedding planning knowledge gained over the last 20 years or so.  Jenn Sinrich recently asked for brides to weigh in on whether they would or would not wear a veil on their wedding day.  I was happy to share my thoughts.  Thank you, Jenn!!

https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/veil-or-no-veil

BRIDE & BRIDESMAIDS

Veil or No Veil? Real Brides Weigh In

Jenn Sinrich
By Jenn Sinrich
 Once you’ve said yes to the dress, there’s another important question to answer: Veil or no veil? Here’s how real brides made the call.
couple kissing bride with veil
HD Studio

“Veil or no veil?” is a question most modern-day brides might be asked. However, decades ago, it was a no brainer that a bride would wear a veil. It has long been a tradition embedded in a myriad of different cultures and societies all around the world. While veils are an undeniably beautiful aspect of wedding day attire, their purpose was for far more than appearance. In fact, a veil symbolized virginity. The act of “unveiling” the bride, or having the father lift the veil and present his daughter to the groom, was symbolically meant to represent the allowance of her to essentially no longer be a virgin. Kind of crazy when you think of it in modern terms, right?

Clearly, nowadays veils have lost most of that symbolism, of course depending on the culture. And, in modern American society, they’re not even an essential, or required, part of the ceremony or wedding day. In fact, many brides choose to forgo wearing a veil altogether. While some choose not to wear a veil because, well, they’re often quite expensive, ranging in price from $200 to $1,000+, others choose to keep their bridal look less traditional. For some women, walking down the aisle with their face covered feels belittling, while for others it’s an important and romantic tradition to uphold.

If you’re still trying to come up with your own answer to the “veil or no veil” question, these opinions of brides who’ve come before you might help you arrive at a decision.

“I never even considered not wearing one”

“I’m very much a traditionalist when it comes to weddings. I love the romance and softness of veils and I wanted to feel like a princess on my wedding day. I wore my veil for my entire wedding ceremony and reception and hated having to take it off at the end of the night along with my wedding gown. I recently pulled my veil out of storage and was showing it to my seven-year-old daughter, when she looked up at me and said, ‘Mom, can I wear that for my wedding?’ My heart just melted. I told her of course she could wear it. Of course, she may change her mind as she gets older, but I will hold onto that dream for her.”—Kimberly L.

“I was back and forth about veil or no veil”

“I tried on so many different types of veils—long, short, small, feathered, you name it. I ended up deciding on a two-tier ivory veil with gems up the sides and it was perfect! I was told by a few people that it tied my whole wedding look together. Looking back, especially at the pictures, I’m so happy that I decided to wear one—it’s the only time in my life that I will be able to!”—Sally L.

“I am NOT a veil girl”

“I sort of suspected that would be the case before I started shopping for a wedding dress, and I only had to try one on for a few seconds before confirming the fact. I know that in Say Yes to the Dress (which I love) the veil is always the piece that makes it feel ‘real’ to the clients—the missing piece that ‘makes them feel like a bride,’ but it felt costume-y to me (which is funny considering we had a Moulin Rouge-themed wedding that was full of costumes). I did, however, recognize that I needed something on my head to make the outfit complete, so I had a friend who’s a professional hat maker create a tea hat for me using the lace from my grandmother’s wedding dress as the foundation and border. Not only is it stunning, but it helped me feel close to her on a day I really wish she could’ve been there for. Plus I’ve worn it like six times now, which is a lot more use than I would get out of a veil.”—Molly C.

“I was team ‘no veil’ until a month before my wedding”

“I consider my style pretty modern and was never into the whole puffy dress and ‘princess’ bride look, so wearing a veil seemed a little over the top. Another factor that turned me off from veils was the price! Like many other brides, I was on a budget, so it was hard to imagine spending over $100 on a piece of tulle that I’d wear for five hours tops. Closing in on less than 30 days before the big day, I had been browsing Etsy every day and found a simple, delicate and pretty veil for around $60. I decided to go for it and figured, if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t feel bad about spending that amount. Well, that last-minute decision was one of the best decisions I made during my wedding planning. As soon as I took the veil out of its box, I got butterflies and instantly fell in love.”—Jannelle G.

“I felt pressured into wearing a veil”

“I never wanted to wear a veil, especially because I was having a more casual beach wedding, but felt pressured into it by family members. Eventually, I gave in and bought one. It ended up being so windy that day there was no way the veil was going to work, so I didn’t even put it on. Ultimately, it was a waste of money and I really wish I had stuck to my gut feeling. I think it depends on the bride’s personality and the formality of the event. If you’re Meghan Markle, for example, you probably didn’t have a choice in the matter!”—Kristin C.

“I wore two veils during my wedding!”

“Deciding ‘veil or no veil’ at my wedding wasn’t even a question for me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do even before I found my dress. For me, it was all about the photos during the ceremony and getting those forever memories. I wanted that ethereal look in the church with the light pouring through the windows, and a veil can help capture that light and create that feeling around a bride. I’m also no-fuss when it comes to my personal style. A wedding dress can be a lot to handle on it’s own, and a piece of tulle getting caught in the breeze or in the door or in a cactus (as was my experience) isn’t exactly ‘no fuss,’ so, I opted for both options. I wore a cathedral length veil during my ceremony and photos then switched it up with a floral accent piece in my hair for my reception. Best of both worlds!”—Jessica F.

“My veil caused so much chaos”

“I was ambivalent about the veil or no veil question, but my mom really wanted me to wear one, so I got one to make her happy. Truth be told, I was happy with how it looked, but I didn’t really think it through when it came to our venue. There was a spiral, carpeted staircase I was to descend. As I started going down, I felt the veil’s comb start to pull at the back of my head because my veil had stubbornly attached itself to the carpet at the top of the staircase. I was alone at the top of those steps and had to turn halfway around to tug at the veil to prevent it from yanking my hair back even further or popping right off, which would have been quite the surprise to the 150 people watching. Minor veil disaster averted until we said our vows and began to make our way through the crowd, at which point my husband stepped right through my veil.” —Amy B.

We have been mentioned on WeddingWire!

We have been blessed, to have been featured in an article on WeddingWire.com!!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!

 

7 Signs You’re Being a Good Bridesmaid

Written by Jenn Sinrich  Photo: Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography

Being asked to be someone’s bridesmaid is a big deal. It’s an honor that this person deems you important enough to stand by their side on the most important day of their life. But that’s not the only responsibility that comes along with the bridesmaid title. Standing witness to the actual marriage is just one small, but important, task in a laundry list of responsibilities required of the modern day bridesmaid. Helping the bride with her day-to-day planning (which can go on for months and even years!), coordinating events like the shower and bachelorette party, selecting and purchasing bridesmaid dresses and being the bride’s right-hand gal on your big day are just some of the things you’re signing up for as a member of #teambride.

Here are some signs that you’re rockin’ it when it comes to your bridesmaid responsibilities.

You’re saving money.

Your love might not cost a thing, but being a bridesmaid surely will. That’s why it’s smart to consider whether or not you have the funds to manage all the expenses that come along with being a bridesmaid. “The cost of a bridesmaid gown, any alterations, undergarments, shoes and accessories and hair styling and makeup application are just some of the things you’ll have to shell out money for,” says Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio. “If you need to travel any distance for the wedding, you will need to account for airfare or train tickets, a rental car or taxi service and lodging.” Additionally, don’t forget that you’ll also be expected to purchase a wedding gift for the couple, as well as a bridal shower gift should they have one.

You’re generous when it comes to sharing your time and effort.

Not only is being a bridesmaid an investment, but it also requires a great deal of you physically and emotionally. “You will be contributing considerable amounts of time and effort in making the planning process go smoothly and ensuring that the bride happy,” says Lehman. If she’s not a type A personality, she might not feel so comfortable delegating tasks. In this case, ask her how you can help during the planning process. “Offer to go on appointments or put together favors or décor for the wedding day,” suggests Deb Erb of Simply Events Inc. in Lititz, Pennsylvania. “Always keep the planning and wedding day about the bride and what she desires for her day.”

You’re a great listener.

Not every part of your job as bridesmaid will have to do with wedding planning. In fact, much of it will have to do with whatever the bride has going on in her busy life that’s 10x busier now that her nuptials are on the horizon. “When the to-dos start piling up or she simply needs an opinion, be there to listen,” says Lindsey Sachs of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs in Boulder, Colorado and Minneapolis. “She may just need to vent, to run an idea by you or to have a safe space to share her inner feelings.”

bridesmaid wearing pink labeled robe

Photo: Olli Studio

You’re reminding the bride what’s REALLY important.

With so much going on and so many people piping in to share their opinions, it’s no surprise if the bride becomes overwhelmed and loses sight of what’s important and what really matters in regards to her big day. “Given your relationship with her and knowing her authentic personality, you have the leeway to remind her what is important (a.k.a. don’t sweat the small stuff) and also ensure that she’s making decisions that are authentic to her and her partner,” says Sachs.

You go with the flow.

It can be frustrating to have to be so flexible and attentive to someone else’s needs over the course of months or years, but that’s the commitment you made when you said yes to being a bridesmaid. That’s why Lehman says a willingness to go with the flow is crucial if you’re to be successful in this role. “Being able to adapt as situations, locations and emotions change in the blink of an eye is invaluable,” she says. “Sometimes a difference of opinions may arise between bridal party members or there might be a small problem with one of the wedding vendors that needs to be attended to right away. Try to remain calm, and offer solutions that will help the wedding day go smoothly for everyone.”

You’re having fun with the bride.

Depending on the circumstance and whatever you’ve got going on in your own life, you might not be mood to party—and that’s okay. But experts agree that it’s important to remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the bride-to-be who deserves to be celebrated by smiling and admiring bridesmaids. “Help be her eyes and ears throughout the process, ensuring that she’s able to be present and in the moment to soak in the experiences of her wedding journey,” says Sachs. “Once it’s over, you’ll only have the memories. As a bridesmaid, you can to ensure she has no regrets!”

You’re nailing your day-of duties.

On the day of the wedding is when your job as bridesmaid really kicks into high gear. “Bridesmaids may help the bride put on her wedding gown, veil and shoes, help manage the bride’s bouquet, or to hold or bustle the train on her wedding gown,” says Lehman. “Bridesmaids may also act as a legal witness to the signing of the marriage license before or after the ceremony.” Whatever your role on the big day, make sure to give it your all because it’s a whirlwind of a weekend the bride will never forget!

We have been mentioned on WeddingWire!

We have been blessed again, to have been mentioned in an article on WeddingWire.com!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!

 

5 Steps to Postponing a Wedding Because of Bad Weather

Written by Jenn Sinrich  Photo: Sam Stroud Photography

Any wedding planner or person who’s walked down the aisle can attest to the fact that there’s no such thing as a wedding going perfectly as planned. There will be bumps in the road to planning and executing your big day. And, while many of the obstacles that may arise can be overcome, others may be completely out of your control, for example postponing a wedding due to weather.

Most winter brides, especially those located in northern regions, are aware that their designated wedding date comes with the chance of snow, but those getting married during the three other seasons usually don’t have the slightest concern over anything more than rain preventing their wedding bells from ringing.

As we’ve come to realize, however, especially in recent years, natural disasters are happening more and more frequently. For this reason, it’s important for brides and grooms, as well as their families and friends, to be prepared for the unimaginable—and uncontrollable.

“It’s important to have a backup plan year round,” says Emily Sullivan of Emily Sullivan Events in New Orleans, Louisiana. “You could be contending with any kind of weather on your big day—it really varies depending on the region and situation, so it’s wise to have these conversations about the possibility of postponing a wedding with your wedding planner or coordinator prior to your wedding date.”

While having a plan B, C and even D early on is helpful, not all brides and grooms will—or can—be completely prepared. So if you get to the point in your wedding where postponing your wedding is imminent, here are expert strategies for how to handle the situation.

Step One: Ask for help

Even the most precise, organized and by-the-book wedding has its share of missing components. This means you likely won’t be able to handle all the tiny to-dos yourself. And this is especially true when dealing with something as catastrophic as a natural disaster. “If you are also personally affected with the crisis of a weather-related scenario (like we had here in Texas recently where bride’s home and her wedding venues were under water), you’ll need to enlist supportive help,” explains Cheryl Bailey of Yellow Umbrella Events in Austin, Texas. “Ideally, get the help of someone who’s not in the same situation as you, like your wedding planner or a friend or family member outside of the affected area, who can help you make decisions and start emailing and making calls.”

Step Two: Contact your venue immediately

“The sooner a couple gets in touch with their venue, the more options they will have surrounding the cancellation and hopefully not lose out on their deposits,” says Wendy Collins of Stowe Mountain Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Remember that your venue is at the very center of your big day, as it will virtually house all of the rest of your vendors, like your DJ or band, florist, officiant, etc. Bailey suggests working out a plan with your venue in regards to how you should move forward when it comes to postponing your wedding. For example, moving your wedding to the night before or the next day. If this option isn’t available to you, Bailey recommends choosing an entirely new wedding date and time. “It’s important to try and secure this new date immediately, as other weddings will likely be in the same situation as you and the next available dates may fill up quickly.”

Step Three: Contact the rest of your vendors

Once you’ve established a plan of attack, and have a new wedding date secured, email all of your vendors and make them aware of the situation. “It’s easiest to email the entire group of vendors at once with a blanket statement about what is happening and then all vendors can be in the loop,” says Bailey. “Most vendors are very understanding when it comes to a weather-related situation that’s out of your control and will be very accommodating if you need to reschedule, as long as they have your new date available.” Do remember, however, that some of them may be booked on your new date, so you may lose your security deposit. “If you should need to book new vendors, such as a DJ or a photographer, your wedding planner can help you find the right ones quickly through their extensive network,” adds Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio.

Step Four: Reach out to your guests

This one will likely be the most time-consuming, since you’ll likely have to reach out to certain friends or relatives via telephone as opposed to easier methods like email or social media. Bailey suggests starting by including as many guests as you have emails for on one email with information regarding the cancellation of your wedding and including information for a contact person they can reach out to in case they need further assistance.” Don’t hesitate to use your social media network, too. “Social media is your friend when postponing a wedding” she says. “You can always post on Facebook to let guests know what’s happening, or even start a private Facebook group where you add all of your guests, and even vendors, with the details of the cancellation and the reschedule date and details.” And be sure to update your wedding websitewith any updated information.

Step Five: Take a deep breath

By this point, overwhelmed doesn’t come close to describe how you and your partner are feeling. But, Bailey points out that the most important thing is that you and your guests are safe and out of harm’s way. “Stop, breathe deeply and calmly and focus on yourself and your partner and the fact that you are both together and able to handle this situation as a couple,” she says. Hold hands, hug, cry, laugh, pray—whatever you need to do to get by until you finally get to say say “I do!”

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https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/how-to-find-a-wedding-officiant

6 Steps to Finding the Right Wedding Officiant for You

Written by Jenn Sinrich  Photo: Andrea Hallgren Photography

 

On the long, seemingly endless list of decisions to make about your big day, figuring out how to find a wedding officiant and choosing the right person for the job are pretty big ones. This person will not only officiate your wedding ceremony, but he or she will work with you in the months leading up to your nuptials to ensure that you’re ready for those wedding bells to ring. Some officiants even take engaged couples through what is similar to premarital counseling, which has shown to be an important part of the wedding process.

For many couples, finding the officiant that will marry them, is a task that is often overlooked until the last moment, but as Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio, points out, it’s a decision that should be made early on—at least eight months before the big day. Doing so not only helps you plan for the kind of ceremony and wedding you will have, but also the kind of marriage you are both hoping to have.

To help you choose wisely, we talked to wedding experts to uncover how to find a wedding officiant.

Decide whether you’ll be having a religious ceremony.

More and more weddings are taking place in non-religious or neutral venues, such as banquet halls or hotels. But this doesn’t limit you in choosing to have your officiant be religion-based. “If you decide that a religious ceremony is right for you, the first step is to seek an officiant from the pool of people already in you lives,” suggests Leah Weinberg of Color Pop Events in Long Island City, New York. This could be a rabbi or pastor at your place of worship, or perhaps someone you used to attend services with when you were younger. If a couple decides to have a non-religious ceremony, there are many officiants who are not affiliated with a particular religion and can perform secular ceremonies.

Do some research on potential officiants.

When it comes to figuring out how to find a wedding officiant, there are many ways to go about this process. Unless you know your chosen officiant well, be sure to check out the credentials of those you may consider. Lehman suggests seeking out the references of other couples who’s this person officiated. “Additionally, make sure that they have the necessary licensing from their local community, and the state of residence,” she adds. “Too often, I hear stories about how an officiant performed a ceremony, and then the marriage was not considered valid since the person was not legally registered in their state.” Also, ask if the officiant has any advanced training or academic degrees in their field. The latter is not always necessary, but can be an asset. Be sure to use WeddingWire’s wedding officiant finder to read reviews of officiants in your area.

Confirm that he or she is a confident speaker.

“A good officiant is a good orator,” says Larissa Banting of Weddings Costa Rica in Santa Ana, Costa Rica. “They have confidence, speak clearly and understand how to create dramatic tension when necessary as well as levity, taking everyone on a journey with their words and voice.” While your ceremony is, indeed, about you and your spouse-to-be, and the love you share between the two of you, your officiant will be the ‘host of the show;’ the show being your wedding. “You don’t want someone who is overly dramatic, as they can drag everything down into the realms of parody,” she says. “Try to see them ‘in action’ either at a service or in a video from another wedding to gauge how strong their presentation skills are.”

Get to know your officiant on a more personal basis.

This individual is not only going to play an important role in your wedding, but the rest of your life, too. You will always remember the person who stood in front of you as you said your vows and put a ring on each other’s finger. For this reason, as well as many more, it’s wise to spend time getting to know this person if you do not already. “It’s impossible for me to imagine officiating at a wedding without meeting with the couple at least four times,” says Rabbi Robert Scheinberg, rabbi of the United Synagogue of Hoboken. “This is in part because of the large number of questions and issues that must be discussed when planning a Jewish wedding, but it is also because I want to make sure to really know the couple if I am going to be accompanying them at such a special and holy moment in their lives.”

Figure out is any planning obligations are involved.

“Most officiants require couples to fulfill a certain set of requirements and planning obligations,” explains Lauren Chitwood of Lauren Chitwood Events in Louisville, Kentucky. “The first, of course, is financial, but some officiants require premarital counseling, online training sessions or one-on-one meetings to determine if the couple is ready for marriage.” For this reason, it’s smart for couples to determine early on if they’re able to attend all of the necessary premarital meetings and fulfill the officiant’s requirements.

Rabbi Scheinberg, for example, requires that the couples he marries go through a sort of premarital counseling with him. “Considering that the marriage will last tens or hundreds of thousands of times longer than the wedding, it would make sense to devote much more time during the months leading up to the wedding to planning for the marriage in addition to planning for the wedding!” he says.

Make sure their values line up with yours.

Especially when it comes to religious ceremonies, values and levels of conservative or orthodox policies can cause issues when not ironed out early on. “A more conservative priest or minister may insist on including ‘obey’ in the bride’s vows or readings that have the wife as a subordinate to the husband, which can make a more modern bride’s blood pressure rise,” notes Banting. “If you’re a regular attendee of your house of worship, you likely will have an idea of what ideals your clergy holds and if they reflect yours, but if you’re not familiar with your potential officiant, be sure to ask for their ceremony script, complete with vows and any readings they want included.”

 

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