Proper Scheduling=Less Stressed Wedding Guests By AAWP

AAWP’s Weekly Words of Wedding Wisdom™

Proper Scheduling = Stressed-Less Wedding Guests!

Copyright 2009 Deborah McCoy, all rights reserved.

Today we’d like to talk to you about the importance of scheduling your reception as close to the time of your ceremony as possible. It’s not only a matter of logistics and timing but of being a gracious and considerate host and hostess. Don’t forget that a wedding reception is the first party the bride and groom host as husband and wife!

Too often brides and grooms schedule their weddings and receptions hours apart putting undue stress on their guests-and even on themselves and their bridal party.

A ceremony that takes place, for example, at three in the afternoon with the reception starting at seven, means that guests must get dressed and drive to a the ceremony-only to have to drive home again to wait a few hours, to get “re-dressed” to drive to the evening reception.

Here’s what we mean by re-dressed: The outfits worn to a ceremony in the middle of the afternoon are not the type of clothes that one wears to a formal evening reception; hence two outfits are required of your quests.

And what happens to out-of-town family and guests when the ceremony ends? Are they to return to their hotel rooms to await the evening reception? And what if they don’t have transportation? All of this puts undue stress on the guests as well as the wedding’s hosts.

But there’s more. A florist told us of one wedding where he found the bride, groom and the bridal party at the hotel bar after the ceremony awaiting the reception which was hours away. No amount of coaxing could drag them from that bar; they were having too much fun. Unfortunately, they were in no shape to attend the reception hours later. Photographers will tell you that while tipsy brides may be funny, they make for ugly pictures.

Moral of the story: Schedule your wedding and reception times as close as possible, even if you have to change the date to accommodate this scenario. Your guests, families and friends will be more than grateful.

Be a gracious hostess and host and just think, things may go better than you ever expected-not only for your families and friends but for you!

Perfect Wedding Guide Show June 2009

Thank you to Morning Glory Florist for decorating our booth and providing the linens for our tables.

Booth Pic 1Close up Morning Glory TopiaryMorning Glory Cocktail TableMorning Glory Pic Close upMorning Glory Topiary 1Staff 27 PWG Bridal Show June 2009Topiary 2Winner of PWG DOC through 12 month giveaway

Congratulations Jennifer Poorman the winner of the Perfect Wedding Guide 12 month giveaway, she has won a Day of Coordination from 27 Miracles Wedding Consulting.  We look forward to helping you plan your special day on November 13 2009 at the Metrowest Golf and Country Club.

Beware of Terrible time Lines by AAWP

AAWP’s Weekly Words of Wedding Wisdom™

Beware! Those Terrible Time-Lines!

Copyright 2009 Deborah McCoy, all rights reserved.

AAWP gets a ton of email from brides-to-be about “time-lines”, those ugly little schedules that are supposed to be the perfect planners for the perfect day. But are they?

In the AAWP professional wedding-planning course, we don’t mention time-lines except to decry them. Here’s why: Most time-lines look like this:

7:15 Awake.
7:30 Shower.
8:30 Bride and party arrive at hair salon…
Etc. Etc. Etc.
1:00 Florist arrives, reception
3:00 DJ arrives, reception…
Etc.Etc.Etc.
5:00 Bride arrives, ceremony site
5:30 Bride walks down the aisle
6:00 Ceremony ends
6:10 Photos start
Etc.Etc.Etc.

This is enough to make one pull one’s hair out and a bride sure doesn’t need a “bad hair day” on the most important day of her life. So what’s the solution?

If you can’t afford a wedding planner in these tough economic times, then be sure to hire one to do “day of” consulting. This is a consultant who will coordinate your day for you and make sure that everything runs smoothly, coordinating your vendors, making sure they arrive on time… while making sure that you, the bride, is at the church when YOU should be, etc. and the groom, too! LOL

Day-of consulting eliminates stress and not just for the bride but for her mom, too, who should be enjoying the day as much as she is. So throw the time-line away and enjoy your day, knowing that a qualified consultant is handling the details for you. She/he is the one who will tell you when to arrive at the beauty salon and what time to arrive at the ceremony. She/he will also make sure you’re vendors arrive on time… and the limo, too.

In conclusion: Hiring a “day-of” wedding consultant is one of the best decisions you can make and one that will turn your wedding-DAY dreams into reality!

Happy Wedding Planning!

Wedding Flowers by AAWP

AAWP’s Weekly Words of Wedding Wisdom™

The Wonder of Beauteous Blooms!

Copyright 2009 Deborah McCoy, all rights reserved.

Everyone knows that flowers are critical to the beauty and elegance of a wedding, and always remember that flowers will appear forever in your wedding photos, which make them timeless.

Let us give you an example: Deborah McCoy often talks of the photo she has of her mother-in-law’s wedding. The flowers are so magnificent that she often just stares at them in awe. Sumptuous blooms flow from the hands of the bride and her maids like waterfalls.

But this photo conveys a message. One look and you know that this wedding was an elegant affair. the flowers say it all.

So many times, we get email:

Dear AAWP: Is it OK to use silk flowers for my wedding? I’m on a budget.

Answer: Well, you might, but we advise against it. Here’s why:

If you want to save money, use FRESH flowers. They are much less in price than good-quality silks-which usually cost three times more than their fresh counterparts. And take note: You don’t need to use expensive flowers like lilies and stephanotis or gardenias to create an elegant look.

Why even a daisy can look elegant if it’s styled elegantly.

We know that everyone wants to have flowers like the ones featured in the movie Father of the Bride, but how many folks have $30,000 to spend on elegant blooms?

Well, we say that you don’t have to! To get an elegant look when it comes to flowers, you need a florist who will work with you to realize your goals-and one who will work within your budget.

In conclusion: Shop wisely, shop well, put your money in those bridal-party flowers!

Everyone knows that flowers are critical to the beauty and elegance of a wedding and it’s best to note that flowers will appear forever in your wedding photos, which makes them timeless.

Happy Wedding Planning!

Budgeting Your Wedding Courtesy of Beau Coup

How to Create a Wedding Budget & Have Fun With It

written by Linda Liu

Congratulations! If you are reading this article, it probably means you are engaged and planning your wedding. Our goal is to help you do it without going into debt. According to the Bridal Association in America in 2006, the average cost of a wedding in America will be approximately $27,000 in 2007. Although some couples choose to spend even more on a wedding, most of us do not have or may not be willing to spend close to $30,000 on one day.

Although your wedding day will be one of the most memorable days of your life, keep in mind that you will have a lifetime of memorable days with your husband or wife to be. Have fun with your budget. Think of it as being creative instead of being cheap.

Below are a few tips and ideas to help you create the perfect wedding for you and your fiance while staying within your means.

Set a Budget!Be realistic and set a budget you can and will stick to. It can be based on a percentage of your current savings or your monthly income. If you don’t have the funds already saved up, feel free to set up a wedding account with your fiance and commit to contributing a percentage of your income every month. You will be surprised by how much you can save over a period of time.

Take the budget and prioritize!A helpful tool may be an online wedding budget calculator or a wedding planning guide book.

Determine what the top 5 things you care about are, prioritize them and allot a budget. One of the most popular is probably “THE GOWN”, other priorities include photography, flowers, food, music, number of guests,venue location, stationary, hair and makeup and of course bridal gifts and favors.

If your parents will be paying for the wedding, you can ask them what their budget is. For some, the reception may not be as high of a priority as life after the wedding. If parents offer to contribute $20,000, consider only spending $15,000 and put the extra $5,000 towards new furniture or even a nicer car. Who knows, you can always decide to elope and use the entire fund towards a down payment on a house!

Keep your eye on the ball!

Everyone will have her moment of weakness and run into an item that is not in her budget but she just can’t live without. If that happens to you and it’s a small percentage of your budget, indulge yourself, but don’t forget to remove a few stems of flowers from each of those centerpieces you had your heart set on. Your willingness to compromise will be the key to how successful you are at sticking to your budget. You don’t necessarily need to compromise on quality. Many times, you can simply compromise on the color, or quantity of an item, but still get the quality you are looking for.

For example, instead of having a five course meal, make it 3 or even 2 courses instead. Or instead of hiring a mediocre photographer for 8 hours, hire a great one for 5 hours instead. Another option is always to select a smaller package.

Beware of Seasons and Location!

Choose flowers that are in season or a venue during its off season.  Seasonal and local flowers are always a lot less expensive as well. Keep an open mind and listen to the advice of professionals you have chosen to work with. You will find that when you find the right people to work with and build a relationship with them, they do have your best interests at heart.

Find a location just outside of a major metropolitan city so that hotel rooms for guests who should not be driving home will be more affordable. With the money you’ve been saving, you may even be able to pay for a few of those hotel rooms!

One of the most unexpected expenses many couples forget to budget for is their alcohol tab. This of course is always dependent on your guest list. Instead of having an open bar, it is much more cost effective to just serve unlimited wine and beer.

Don’t Compare!

It is vital not to feel that you have to do everything your friend or family member did at his or her wedding. If music isn’t your thing, hire a DJ instead of a band or orchestra. If you like simple arrangements, create single stem bouquets for your bridesmaids and you can even use the money towards helping them with their dresses. Just because your friend had her wedding at the Ritz Carlton, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a more suitable wedding for you and your fiance at a park. Be yourself and don’t be pressured into doing anything you or your fiance are not comfortable with.

Final Thoughts

Your wedding day will be what you make of it. Remember to always respect your fiance, your families and your friends. After all, a wedding is all about celebrating this momentous occasion with the people you care about most. Arguing or ruining relations over it defeats the whole purpose. Stay positive and keep an optimistic outlook about planning your wedding and the big day itself. Things are bound to go wrong, even with most careful execution. How you deal with it will either make it a positive memory you can laugh about or one that can ruin your day. Even the most expensive or beautiful wedding is meaningless unless you have a great time sharing it with the people you love and care about.

Thank you Linda Liu for your contribution

Dress Codes, Weddings and You courtesy of AAWP

AAWP’s Weekly Words of Wedding Wisdom™

Dress Codes, Weddings and YOU!

Copyright 2009 Deborah McCoy, all rights reserved.

We at AAWP know that many of you will be going to a wedding this year-maybe even your own. But whether you’re a family member or a guest, there’s something about the way Americans dress to attend weddings that troubles us.

We frequent a lot of weddings and get the shakes when we think of the DUDS we’ve seen at these sacred occasions. We’ve been to fantastic semi-formal ceremonies held in the morning or late afternoon, in church, no less-where female guests come in shorts or slacks, and gentlemen come in khakis.

We know that many people don’t dress to go to church any longer, just like they don’t dress to see a Broadway show, which is a result of our laid-back society. but a wedding is a different cup of tea.

A wedding is one of the most important days in the life of a couple. In some religions, like Catholicism, a wedding ceremony is a sacrament, meaning that God is in attendance. Just think about that. If God is at the wedding, what’s he going to think about you, if you’re dressed in khakis or shorts? :=)

On the flip side of the coin, we’ve attended afternoon weddings in church or at a hotel or catering facility, where the female family members of the bride and groom were dressed in long, slinky, beaded gowns in the middle of the afternoon-the gentleman in tuxes. They looked like they should be going to a casino in Vegas instead of a wedding ceremony.

The rules are this:

* If you’re a guest, and you’re invited to a wedding in the middle of the day, men should wear business suits, dark in winter, light in summer. The women should wear beautiful suits or dresses, cut to the knee or below, with very little glitz. If the wedding is held in temple or church, the attire should not be flashy or provocative.

* If a formal or semi-formal reception is held hours after the wedding ceremony ends, in the evening, for example, guests (if able) are required to change into flashier evening attire, which may include cocktail or long dresses for women and tuxes and business suits for men, respectively.

* If invited to a semi-formal evening affair, men wear business suits; women short or mid-calf cocktail dresses, dressy pants’ attire, etc.

* Formal weddings, held in the evening, are a different story. These “black tie” affairs require guests to wear to come formally dressed. Women wear fancy long, or short, or mid-calf gowns. Men wear tuxes, no exceptions (they may also wear white dinner jackets in summer of tropical climates)!

These rules also hold true for the family members of the bride and groom!

Moral of the Story: When it comes to a wedding, dress appropriately and make everyone proud of you-even the Lord above!