3 Money Saving Tips Without Sacrificing Style for Your Wedding

wedding
Looking for ways to save money without sacrificing the overall feel of your wedding? Check out these tips.

Decor

Greenery and candles are still one of the best ways to save money on centerpieces. It’s elegant and cost effective.

Want something with big impact, but not the big price tag? How about a graceful candelabra,
Silver Light Brass Candelabraor a large, elegant vase or candle holder? Gorgeous, but costs a fraction of a large floral arrangement.

You can also add some pizzazz by easily dressing up plain glass candle holders with adhesive rhinestones, ribbon, lace, glitter or paint.

Word of caution: If you do use real candles, get the unscented kind. When you get a room full of candles, a scent will get overpowering, can aggravate someone’s allergies, and (believe it or not) will affect the taste of the food.

Dessert

Serve cupcakes or cake pops rather than a traditional tiered wedding cake.

Chocolate and Pink Cake Pops
You’ll save money per serving (cupcakes & cake pops are often .50 – $1 less per serving than cake). You won’t be paying a cake cutting fee (that most venues charge).

And you’ll be able to order just the amount you need.

For example, if you have 100 guests, you’ll want 100 servings. For a tiered cake, you’ll end up with at least 118 servings as an 8″ tier serves 24, a 10″ serves 38, and a 12″ serves 56. Not that there’s anything wrong with having extra leftover cake, some couples do so on purpose, but if you need to shave something off your budget, this is an easy way to do so.

Fun Stuff

Photo booths are still popular. And with good reason – they’re fun, a great activity for your guests, people can be silly or or serious . . .

However, many couples whose budget doesn’t allow for a traditional photo booth are changing it up.

photo booth wedding party bridesmaids girls

Ok, DIY Photo Booths are a bit more effort on your part than having a professional photo booth, (not to mention that there won’t be the fun extras that the pros offer, such as a custom logo, booth attendant, professional equipment, and on-site prints). However the DIY route can be relatively easy. Get a digital camera on a tripod, and guests can snap away. You’ll have to wait until after the event to load up all the photos online for you and your guests to see.

A relatively new service is perfect for use with a DIY photo booth. Veri is a photo and video sharing product which was created specifically for weddings. Before your wedding day, your guests will get a link for the Veri app. Then any photos and videos they take at your wedding will be shared instantly. Unlike a hashtag where the photo has to be uploaded, with this app your guests won’t have to do anything other than snap the picture. Be sure to check out www.veri.com for more details.

For more money saving tips, or unique ideas for your wedding, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Wedding Ideas – What’s New, Fun, and Gaining Popularity?

After seeing more “what’s the latest trend” articles, I wanted to see what is new and popular in our area (Dayton, Ohio). And where best to find this out, but to go right to the source.

Thanks to some of our local wedding pros, here’s what’s new in their areas of expertise.

Textured Wedding Cakes

Textured wedding cakes are still quite popular, from structured art deco-ish designs to an icing with a rough finish.

Textured Wedding Cake

Bobbi and Brittany with ele Cake Co. tells us that one of the more unexpected, yet popular wedding cake designs (and a unique texture) is their Geode Wedding Cake.

Geode Wedding Cake

Elegant. Stunning. Simple. And totally gorgeous!

Geode wedding cakes look like the real thing, but are completely edible, made from rock candy and granulated sugar.

Slow-Motion Video Booths

Photo booths combine a fun activity with a nice take-home for wedding guests.

So, what’s better than a photo booth? A 240 frame per second HD Slow-Motion Video Booth, of course!

Mark’s Camera Bag’s Slo-Mo Video Booths are a big hit , with guests showing their best dance moves, tossing confetti, making outrageous faces, and overall, having an awesome fun time. A 40” monitor that sits outside the booth allows all of your guests to enjoy the live action.

Check it out here –

Yes, guests get a ‘take-home,’ receiving a download of their slow-mo session. And the happy couple get a final edited production of all sessions with special edits and music on DVD.

Thematic Elements in Unexpected Places

Themed weddings are still popular, with the theme commonly being expressed in the couples’ choice of color pallette, centerpieces, and menu choices.

But what about your ceremony?

Rev. Cindy Lee Carver embraces different themes by donning coordinating attire – including Cosplay, Halloween, Steampunk, and recently Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.

Steampunk
Gandalf

Besides the off-beat and themed weddings, she also specializes in officiating traditional, inter-faith, humanistic, alternative, non-traditional, and LGBTQ weddings.

Up In Lights

Sure, you can put your initials on top of your cake, and have your monogram projected on your dance floor or printed on your programs.

Why not put your initials up in lights – classic theater marquee letter lights?

Initials
L-O-V-E

Event Lites specializes in these unique, four feet tall décor pieces – including numbers, letters, and some symbols.

Light up your night with your initials. Spell out Mr. & Mrs., Love, or even your names.

The possibilities are endless.

Perfect for helping you build the right environment and decor for your event. Use them for:

• A modern ceremony backdrop
• A fun, diy photo booth backdrop
• A cool prop for your engagement photos
• Reception décor

Looking for fun ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Confidently Display Your Wedding Ring In 1 Easy Step

bride and groom's hands with wedding rings

Your photographer is going to be getting a lot of great photos to capture your wedding day. And some of those pictures will be close ups of your hands with your wedding rings.

So why not schedule an appointment with a manicurist to get those fingers photo ready?

Ladies, you’ve got this on your agenda already. But I’m talking to you fellas.

Whoa! What? Get a manicure?

Yes! Let’s put the MAN in those MANi’s.

Of course, I’m not talking high gloss and color, or French tips, but your hands will be on display and your photographer is going to be taking several hand shots with your wedding bands, so your fingers need to look presentable too.

Man's Manicure
Besides, you deserve a little pampering too!

Be a well-groomed groom. Ditch the dirty or ragged fingernails. Relax at the nail salon and get:

• Trimmed (so your nails are neat and tidy)
• Filed (to even out ragged nails)
• Buffed (instead of polish, for a healthy shine)
• Moisturized (to soften dry skin)
• Treated Cuticles (with an orange stick and cuticle oil, NEVER cut this skin)

Worried that you’re going to be subject to a woman-dominated space getting your “nails done” with all the girls hanging around, talking about all the latest gossip, and girly stuff like shopping?

When scheduling the appointment, be sure to let the folks at the salon know that you’d prefer some privacy.

Carly Mote with Destiny Salon & Spa in Clayton, Ohio tells us that at their salon men can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere in a private room as they get their manicure.

You can contact Destiny Salon & Spa at 937-771-0950.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more tips and ideas for your wedding day (and the days leading up to it!), contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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5 Quotes about Love and Marriage

Love Marriage Romance Hearts
Romantic Red Hearts

Although much has been said on the topics of love and marriage, sometimes nothing sums it up so succinctly than a good quote.

Short, sweet, and to the point, here are five lovely quotes that you can use on your wedding invitations or ceremony programs, include in readings, signage at your reception, or just as inspiration.

Love with Red Heart
Love with Red Heart

1. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lao Tze

2. “Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” ~ Franz Schubert

3. “A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in individuals and in the way they express their love.” ~ Pearl S. Buck

4. “Men always want to be a woman’s first love and women want to be a man’s last romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde

5. “A successful marriage is an edifice that must be built every day.” ~ Andre Maurois

Heart with Arrow
Hearts with Arrow

Be sure to share with us in the comments below other quotes on love and marriage that you particularly love.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Need inspiration or ideas for your wedding? Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Tungsten, Titanium, and Alternative Metal Wedding Rings: What’s the Difference?

Titanium Rings

Today’s bride and groom are ready to think outside the box. With so many options available in wedding planning, dresses, and rings, the time is now to have a unique, memorable ceremony that is totally you. But with all those options comes a new kind of stress: how do you choose between all these possibilities?

Luckily, the jewelry world is full of beautiful, affordable rings made out of alternative metals like tungsten and titanium. Every kind of metal is different, and each has its own properties. This infographic, courtesy of Titanium Style, can help you understand the differences. That way, you can pick exactly what you want—and get on the road to having a wedding that is totally you.

titanium ring infographic

There are no “right” or “wrong” choices here. Whether your tastes lean more towards the traditional or more avant garde, there are many designs and metal choices to suit your personal style.

Thanks to Titanium Style for sharing this information on alternative metals for your wedding ring.

For more ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Fun Engagement Party Themes and Planning Tips

Engagement party decor
The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here—you’re engaged!

Congratulations are in order but first, take in the moment. Enjoy your now fiancé and the fact that no one knows this awesome news. When you’re ready to share your engagement, get creative with how you tell family and friends.

One of the best ways to share the news is with a party! These days, couples are taking over and planning their own engagement party. If you’re not sure where to start, wedding stationery company, Wedding Paper Divas, compiled 50 ideas and themes that you can browse through. Check it out here!

After you figure out which direction you want to head for your engagement party, it’s time to start thinking of the venue, decor and guest list. If this is all new to you, keep reading for my engagement party planning tips.

Engaged couple

Engagement Party Etiquette and Tips

Purpose of an engagement party – The purpose of an engagement party is to celebrate the couple’s engagement, pure and simple, and to help family members to get to know each another before the wedding day.

Who do we invite? – Keep in mind that just as with a bridal shower, those invited to an engagement party should also be invited to the wedding. The absolute “have to invite” people include the immediate families of the couple, their close friends, and the wedding party members (if they have been selected already).

Are gifts required? – No they are not. Again, the purpose of an engagement party is to formally announce and celebrate the engagement, and allow family members of both sides to get to know each other. Some guests may wish to bring a gift, but it isn’t necessary.

Who hosts the engagement party? – Unlike a shower, gifts are not expected. Because of this, anyone can host an engagement party (the couple can host if they choose, or either set of parents).

What should guests be served? – It depends on the style of the party. If it’s a dinner party, then some sort of substantial meal is expected, although a party with just snacks and simple desserts, or a buffet with finger foods can be just as enjoyable (as long as the time of the event doesn’t fall during a typical dinner time).

Cupcakes

Does the engagement party’s theme have to match the theme of the wedding? – Not at all. The host can choose any theme he/she wants, as long as it is reflective of the happy couple. Like the rehearsal dinner, an engagement party should not be grander than the wedding. Remember to check out Wedding Paper Divas for fun engagement party ideas.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Sunshine, Rain, and Your Wedding Day

lightning

Sitting here in my family room listening to the rain. Not a relaxing patter on the window. It is thundering and coming down hard.

I mean HARD!

So hard, that even with a rain coat and umbrella you’d get drenched.

The sun was shining not just 20 minutes ago! It was nice enough to do a little yard work, or sit outside and have lunch.

But now we’ve got a thunderstorm.

“Why in the world is she talking about the weather?” you’re probably thinking.

From weddings held at parks and shelter houses, to backyards, and venues with lovely outdoor settings – outdoor weddings are on the rise. And with outdoor weddings, you’ve got to contend with the weather.

In a perfect world, it would never rain (and the wind would only be a comfortable breeze) on your wedding day.

In the real world, Mother Nature may have other ideas. And it’s not just rain. There may be wind storms, an unusual cold front, or high humidity or a heat wave.

Sun

You can’t really combat this (the weather is going to be what it is), but you can plan ahead in case the weather isn’t cooperative.

Have a “Plan B” with an alternate indoor (or appropriately sheltered/air conditioned/heated) site, and discuss this with your wedding coordinator, as other set-up logistics will be affected. Inform your venue manager and other vendors of your “Plan B,” and let them know who the person is who will designate if “Plan B” has to be put in place.

rainy wedding ceremony at seashore

Some things to take into consideration:

1) Your other vendors needs
• How long does your florist need to set up? Is she decorating an arch and placing lots of flowers along the sides of the aisle, or does she just have to set down a couple floral arrangements?
• Your photographer, videographer, dj, musicians all have equipment that cannot get wet.

2) The comfort of your guests.
• Will there be high humidity, compounded by guests having to sit in the sun?
• Even if the rain has stopped, has the ground been left so slick and muddy that it is unsafe to walk on?

3) The proximity of the site for “Plan B” from your original site
• Is it close enough to be able to direct guests to the “building on the right” instead of the “clearing on the left?”
• Or will your guests have to drive to a second location?

Most of the time plans go as intended, and here’s hoping that you have beautiful weather on your wedding day. But, have a solid “Plan B” in place, and remember, you’re marrying the love of your life, and celebrating this with your closest friends and family!

Just Married Rain

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more wedding planning tips and ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Tips for Crafting Your Perfect Wedding Reception Playlist

musical notes
Without question, you’re going to have music at your wedding reception. But picking out this music may be one of the most difficult things you’ll do. With the hundreds of thousands of songs out there, yeah, it can definitely be daunting.

You’ll want songs that you and your fiancé like (it is YOUR wedding, after all). But what about your guests?

Brian Harris, DJ and MC with Brian Harris Entertainment says, “When choosing songs that you want to dance to, think about the guests that you have invited. Try to choose songs that fit their taste in music as well as your own. Typically a wide range from oldies to hip hop will satisfy everybody’s love of music.”

Include a variety of songs (and styles) that will

• please a diverse group of people (from grandma and other elderly guests, to 10 year olds)

and

• keep people on the dance floor, (while making guests feel like they’re at your wedding reception and not out clubbing)

Where to start?

• What songs and music genres do you and your fiancé like (and don’t like)?

• What is the energy level that you want for your reception? Do you want high energy, or more low key?

• Are your guests a “dancing crowd” or do they prefer to sit back, listen to the music, and visit with each other?

Need inspiration?

Sometimes you need more inspiration than just flipping through your CD collection.Big stack of music CDs
DJ Intelligence has compiled multiple music lists based on the most requested songs across the country, including the “Top 200 Most Requested Songs,” the “Top 100 Most Requested DO NOT PLAY Songs,” and the “Top 50 Most Requested First Dances” to help you determine what you want to hear (and don’t want to hear) at your wedding.

So what’s popular in our neck of the woods (Dayton, Ohio)?

Brian Harris also shared the Top 5 Requested Wedding Reception Songs he’s been seeing:

1) Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”

2) Justin Timberlake – “Can’t Stop This Feeling”
3) Journey – “Don’t Stop Believing”
4) V.I.C. – “Wobble”
5) Silento – “Watch Me”

and the

Top 5 Do Not Play Wedding Reception Songs are:

1) Chicken Dance
2) Hokey Pokey
3) Village People – “YMCA”
4) Rednex – “Cotton Eyed Joe”
5) Los Del Rio – “Macarena”

Once you’ve selected songs for your reception, be sure to give your DJ room to go “off script.” Sometimes the songs you’ve picked out (even if they are great songs) just don’t keep guests on the dance floor. A professional DJ knows how to read the crowd and play the music that will have the effect you want.

Brian says, “The less that the DJ’s hands are tied the more fun he/she can make the mix of music throughout the open dancing portion of the evening and keep your guests there even later into the night, which is probably what you really want, right!? :)”

Song titles that he recommends for a great reception include:

1) Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”
2) Justin Timberlake – “Can’t Stop This Feeling”


3) Bruno Mars – ” Uptown Funk”
4) KC & the Sunshine Band – ” Boogie Shoes”


5) Usher – “Yeah”

The 2 biggest mistakes couples make when picking out their reception music

1) Choosing way too many songs

We all know nothing stops the momentum of a great party than “dead air” (you know, when the music just stops, and there is nothing playing). To avoid this, you’re probably going to pick out lost of great songs.

But . . .

In reality, a DJ will only be able to play 10 – 15 songs per hour. And at key points of the evening, other things will be going on (ex. announcements, toasts) where there won’t be any music at all. Picking too many songs means you won’t even hear half of what you chose.

2) Wanting all the songs played in a specific order

Don’t try to put all of your chosen songs is a specified order to be played. During the reception, your DJ may need to omit some songs because there just isn’t enough time to play them all, or change up the order to keep the energy going (or to pop in a slow song or two to give your guests a little breather).

Instead, pick out songs that you really want to hear sometime during the night, as well as songs to be played at specific moments, (you know, the Grand Entrance, the First Dance, and Cutting the Cake). Give your DJ guidelines such as what genres and artists you want played, (or don’t want played), then let him/her work their magic.

So, what kind of music do you plan to have at your reception?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Photo Credit (Music Notes): angelp / 123RF Stock Photo

Photo Credit (Stack of CDs): gemenacom / 123RF Stock Photo

More Ways to Stay Stress Free Before Your Wedding

wedding_plan

In January I shared 5 proven ways to beat your wedding stress. The following month, Martha Stewart Weddings came out with the article Smart Coping Strategies for the Overwhelmed Bride.

Offering fabulous tips, and stating, “If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by all things wedding-related, take heart in knowing you are not alone,” their wonderful advice includes “Divvy up your to-do list,” “Take a break,” and “Hire an event planner.”

Check out the entire article here, as well as their Tips to Be Stress-Free Before Your Wedding.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Stay Sane While Planning Your Wedding with “The Bride’s Manifesto”

The Bride's Manifesto

A few weeks back I shared several tips to deal with any stress you may be experiencing while planning your wedding. (If you missed it, check it out here).

Since then I came across this great infographic full of great quotes and words of wisdom to help you stay relaxed and confident during your wedding planning.

The Bride's Manifesto by IntimateWeddings.com

“The Bride’s Manifesto” by Christina Friedrichsen with IntimateWeddings.com is a way to help you “stay grounded and keep your eyes on the prize; marrying the love of your life”.

I hope you find inspiration in these words of wisdom, and that they ease your mind.

For an 8.5″ x 11″ printable version of The Bride’s Manifesto visit Intimate Weddings.

Weddings From The Heart can help keep you sane through the wedding planning and on your wedding day itself! Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!
Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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