9 Things You Must Consider For A Joyous Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

outdoor wedding cermony

I love an outdoor wedding ceremony.

Lush green settings, fragrant flowers, the sounds of birds chirping. And considering the popularity of outdoor wedding venues, it’s obvious that many brides and grooms do too.

But not every outdoor location was designed with the needs of a wedding ceremony in mind, which causes it’s own set of issues that have to be planned for to ensure the enjoyment, ease, and comfort of everyone involved.

Make sure everyone has the best experience by checking out these 9 tips for a joyous outside wedding celebration.

1. Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy (But Not When It’s In My Eyes).

wedding ceremony at sunset

There’s nothing like sitting outdoors, the sun beautifully shining, witnessing a loved ones wedding vows.

Unless the sun is shining directly into your guests’ eyes, making them squint, or having to close their eyes. You know they won’t be thinking happy thoughts for you and your fiancé while their eyes are closed and watering.

Also, you don’t want the sun to be in your or your fiance’s eyes either. How can you exchange vows and say “I do,” if you can’t clearly and comfortably see your fiancé (or have him/her see you)?

How to avoid this? Easy.

Go out to your ceremony site at a similar time of day as well as time of year to see where the sun will be at in the sky. That way you can decide what will be the best placement and orientation for seating.

Sometimes changing the angle that the seats will be facing isn’t a good option. If that’s the case consider providing programs or hand-held fans that guests can also use to shield their eyes, provide inexpensive sunglasses, or getting a tent.

2. “I Think Truth Has No Temperature.” (quote by Cameron Diaz)

blue fans for guests to use at a wedding ceremony on a hot day
Photo credit: joshuaraineyphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Truth may not have a temperature, but your outdoor ceremony will. The question is, how comfortable will that temperature be?

Ok. You’re probably not planning on an outdoor ceremony in December. But considering the potential temperature (and humidity) is important to everyone’s comfort.

June is often comfortable, but it can be humid. October is often warm enough for short sleeves or a light sweater, but is can turn cold.

Doesn’t mean you can’t have your ceremony outside. Just be sure to provide means to provide comfort for your guests. Maybe a fan or an outdoor heater. Bottled water on hot, humid days, and hot chocolate for when it’s cold. Cheap, pashmina wraps for the ladies (Google “cheap pashmina wraps” and you will find lots of sources).

3. “Love Is Like The Wind. You Can’t See It But You Can Feel It.” (Quote by Nicholas Sparks).

The temperature isn’t the only type of weather that can affect your wedding. Even though you may not be able to see the wind, everyone can see the problems it can cause.

Altar arrangements get blown about. Unity candles won’t stay lit. Aisle runners won’t stay in place. Your beautiful up-do can come undone in the wind. Candelabras can topple over.

Some easy remedies include:

  • Securing the base of tall candelabras or other tall decorative pieces.
  • Incorporating a sand ceremony or other unity candle alternative.
  • Placing décor such as pretty containers of flowers along edge of an aisle runner to keep it from blowing up (and becoming a walking hazard).

4. The (Six-Legged) Uninvited Guests

Outside means nature, and nature means bugs. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony chances are there will be pesky bugs. Avoid swatting at mosquitos while you’re saying your “I dos” with these tips.

Outside means nature, and nature means bugs. Especially if you’re in a wooded area or near standing water. They’re also attracted to perfumes with a floral or fruity fragrance.

There may be just a few pesky bugs, or there may be a lot. But they will be there. And they will be distracting and unpleasant for everyone – your guests and you.

Avoid swatting at mosquitos while you’re saying your “I dos.”

Set off bug bombs. Burn citronella candles. Spray for bugs beforehand.

Provide insect repellant (Burt’s Bees makes a nice herbal based repellant). Have a basket with individual insect repellant wipes on hand for your guests. (Google “individual bug repellent wipes in bulk”).

Decorate with flowers and other florals that are a natural insect repellant, such as sprigs of rosemary, lavender, mint, and thyme.

5. Can You Hear Me Now?

Your guests want to hear your vows. I mean, how can you expect them to be engaged and enjoy being there for you if they’re struggling to hear what’s going on?

If they can’t hear, they’re going to be thinking (or worse, whispering) “what’d she say?” “What part are they up to?” “How much longer?” “I can’t hear a thing!”, instead of “Oh, I’m so happy for them,” and “Their vows are so beautiful,” while dabbing tears from the corners of their eyes.

Many indoor ceremony venues have a sound/PA system. Others venues were built with beautiful acoustics.

However, that’s not the case outside.

Unless the size of your guest list is relatively small, consider renting a microphone and speaker.

6. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (But How Far Is That Walk?)

walking to remote wedding location
Photo credit: arinahabich / 123RF Stock Photo

Chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

This may sound romantic, and is probably part of the charm that made you choose that site. But it may prove tricky for some to actually get to. Or awkward for those ladies wearing heels. (Help avoid this by clearly indicating on your invitations of the outdoor nuances of your ceremony so your guests can choose proper footwear).

Think about how far is the distance between parking and the actual site? Are there long meandering paths? Uneven terrain? Trails through tall grass? Rocky walkways?

If that’s the case, it is likely that it will take more effort on everyone’s part to actually get to the ceremony site.

Is there a closer access road for your elderly guests?

If possible, arrange to have golf carts or a shuttle available to help get guests as close as possible. Designate a few hearty bodied gentlemen to help those who may need assistance.

For the ladies in heels, provide plastic heel protectors, such as The Solemates, Heels Above. or Grass Walkers. They keep high heels from sinking into the ground. Makes it easier for them, and protects their shows at the same time.

7. Baby, You Can Drive My Car (But Where Will It Be Parked?)

Again, chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

So, where will your guests have to park?

Is there a nearby parking lot? A parking lot that’s a 5 minute walk from your ceremony site? Or is parking more scattered?

You will need to be more creative with the parking situation if yours is not a traditional ceremony site. Parking may be off the street, in a field, or down a gravel lane. Will it be easy for your guests to see their way to find their cars at the end of your event?

8. It’s All About Location, Location, Location. Unless It Isn’t Easy To Find Your Ceremony Site.

wooden sign pointing towards a wedding ceremony
Photo credit: chrishumphreys / 123RF Stock Photo

I don’t mean finding the address, that’s the easy part (especially the help of a GPS). I’m talking about them finding your ceremony site once they get out of their car.

It may be obvious to you as to how to get to your ceremony site, but if there are other paths that lead elsewhere, your guests can become confused or lost.

Reaching some remote outdoor ceremony sites isn’t always obvious. Do we take that close by path on the right, or do we have to walk down that lane?

Make it foolproof with some simple signage. Providing a sign that states, “Ceremony this way” with an arrow pointing the way works wonders.

9. Extra! Extra! (Fees, That Is).

Perhaps the cost to use your outdoor wedding ceremony location is minimal (particularly so for private homes or sites that are open to the public, like parks or arboretums).

However, with some non-typical ceremony sites come additional planning and fees.

  • If it’s harder for your vendors to access, will extra delivery fees be incurred?
  • Outdoor sites may not have restrooms nearby. For the comfort of your guests, will you need to provide port-a-potties?
  • Will you need valet parking if the nearest parking area is a good distance away?
  • The outdoors doesn’t come with electrical outlets. Will you need to provide generators?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations & Other “Green” Tips

Incorporating eco-friendly, green ideas into your wedding is easy, and affordable. Check out these eco-friendly wedding planning tips. | Weddings From The Heart

This post was published in cooperation with Paperless Post.

Looking for wedding ideas that aren’t only earth-friendly but wallet friendly too?

INVITATIONS AND OTHER PAPER PRODUCTS
• Like the idea of menu cards? Do only 2 or 3 per table instead of one for each person (your guests won’t miss having their own).

• Reduce the amount of paper used in your invitations by omitting the inner envelopes and using RSVP postcards instead of the traditional card and envelope.

• Or you can completely reduce the amount of paper for your invitations by going paperless.

Beautiful wedding invitation from Paperless Post

Our friends at PAPERLESS POST help you create online and paper stationery that reflects your individual style. You can choose, and customize, from hundreds of styles/designs for your wedding invitations, including gorgeous styles by world famous designers such as Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, and Vera Wang.

Beautiful wedding invitation from Paperless Post

Beautiful wedding invitation from Paperless Post

Benefits of Using Online Invitations

• It’s totally eco-friendly. No paper or inks at all.

• Easy for guests to RSVP. With a click of a button they can respond with their accepts or regrets. There’s even a button to remind them to RSVP later.

• It’s a breeze to include additional information for your guests’ convenience (ex. parking info, hotel info).

• Directions from their doorstep to your venue are at your guest’s fingertips with the click of a button.

• You can add a comment wall for guests to leave a personalized message.

• Are you giving your guests menu options (Beef or Chicken)? Add additional RSVP question for your guests to answer. Also great for song requests.

• Need to make a change to the time or place? Updating is easy.

• Easily track who has responded. Need to check in with those who haven’t RSVP’d? There’s a button for that too.

• There’s more than just Wedding invitations. Holiday cards, Birthday, Thinking of You, Graduation announcements, and personalized stationery are just some of what they offer.

• It’s affordable.

Choose a card design. Add your text. Change the font style and color. Add a motif or logo. Want to add your own motif, logo, or photo? It’s easily done, and just takes a few seconds.

Your invitation/card is saved and put into a draft folder until you’re ready to send. Then when you’re ready to send, you can either send it immediately or schedule it for a future date.

It really is that simple.

Disadvantages

Ok, gotta be real. There are a few disadvantages to using online wedding invitations.

• Lost E-Mail
Occasionally an online invitation will get lost in cyberspace, and not reach it’s recipient. (But hey, things can get lost with the regular mail too). If someone says they haven’t received your paperless invitation, make sure you’ve got the right email address, or that your guest hasn’t changed their email address.

• Not All Guests Have Email
These days, most people have email, (and if they’re like me, they check it several times throughout the day). However, some of your guests, usually older folks, like grandparents or great aunts/uncles may not.

• No Keepsake
Some couples, and their parents like to save the invitation for a lovely keepsake. You can print out the online invitation, but doing a ‘print screen’ is not the same as an invitation that’s actually been printed.

The good thing here is that Paperless Post offers all of their designs in paper form as well.

Other Ways to Go Green for Your Wedding

DECOR
We can all agree that candles provide a romantic ambience.

Candles are an economical way to provide a romantic ambience to your wedding reception/celebration. For an eco-friendly, green touch, use soy or honeycomb candles.
Photo credit: ekkarat / 123RF Stock Photo

But did you ever notice soot on the edges of the glass of the candleholder, or going into the air when a candle is blown out? For your wedding why not use soy or honeycomb candles? They’re much cleaner than regular wax candles, and like other candles, come in any size or color you’d want.

After a wedding reception when the room is being cleaned up, it is kind of sad watching those beautiful floral centerpieces being thrown away.
Group potted flowers on tables as centerpieces. Then at the end of your wedding reception, your guests can take them home.

Photo credit: annete / 123RF Stock Photo

Instead of using cut flowers, group potted flowers on tables as centerpieces. Then at the end of the evening, your guests can take them home. The potted flowers enjoy a new life (either appreciated in your guests’ homes, or replanted in their yard). Plus, this serves double-duty so you don’t have to get separate favors.

FAVORS

If you prefer offering favors for your guests, go with an edible treat.

Your wedding guests will love a yummy edible wedding favor to take home at the end (or enjoy during) your wedding reception.

In reality, your guests often can’t use or don’t want the cute favors that are non-edible, and will either end up throwing the favor away, or leaving it at the reception. But if it’s something for them to nibble on – they’ll be snacking on them during your reception, and maybe even looking for more!

FOOD & BEVERAGES
More and more caterers are thinking green

More and more caterers are creating wedding reception menus that are green - using ingredients that are organic, and locally grown.

– using ingredients that are organic, and locally grown.

Why not include some green, eco-friendly choices for your wedding? They’re just as easy, and often either cost the same or less than non-green options.

Let us know what you think. Are/would you consider including some eco-friendly elements to your wedding?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

Expressing the 2017 Color Trends in Your Spring Wedding Style

Blue Color Palette

Spring is finally here and it’s time to celebrate the upcoming wedding season, and the fabulous color palettes that express the freshness of the season.

Of the top color schemes of 2017, several incorporate shades of blue. Blue is such a versatile color, evoking feelings of such as sophistication, playfulness, and sweetness.

blue color palette

From deep midnight blue and sapphire to pale shades such as aqua or French blue, there is the perfect blue hue for every taste and wedding style – whether it’s rustic and more causal to an event that is elegant, which is further expressed in the choice of accent colors.

Blush, French Blue, and Gold

Fuchsia, Grape, and Dark Turquoise

Navy, Gold, Coral Navy, Gold, and Coral

What’s one of the first things couples think of?

What they’re going to wear, of course!

Attire

For Her

How about a white wedding gown with blue accents?

wedding gown with blue sash

Or for something more daring, walk down the aisle in a wedding gown that is entirely blue.

blue wedding gown

Accessories

blue swarovski crystal earrings

blue nail polish

blue bridal shoes

For Him

Grooms and men in the wedding party will need a tuxedo or suit fitting with the formality of your wedding.

The Black Tux offers several stylish attire for the men, as well as ties, vests and shoes.

Here are some fashionably elegant and sophisticated choices that will coordinate with your blue color scheme.

royal navy blue suit Royal Navy Blue Suit

midnight blue tuxedo Midnight Blue Tuxedo

midnight pin dot tuxedo Midnight Blue Pin Dot Tuxedo

navy suit Navy Blue Suit

Flowers

Let’s start with the bridal bouquet. This gorgeous blue bouquet is a show-stopper with orchids accented with a few white roses.

blue bridal bouquet
Photo Credit ktay21 / 123RF Stock Photo

If your taste leans more toward a traditional bouquet, accent a white bouquet with a few blue blooms.

White and Blue Bridal Bouquet

If your wedding party will be in blue, bouquets with lighter colored blooms will look fabulous and really pop against the blue fabric.

blue bridesmaids dresses

For your centerpieces and decor, you have many options –

Floral arrangements that are pink . . .

Pink roses

Photo Credit: yeko / 123RF Stock Photo https://www.123rf.com/profile_yeko

shades of blue . . .

white and blue floral centerpiece

Photo credit: darkkong / 123RF Stock Photo

or a mix of colors.

pink roses, ranunculus, and grape hyacinth

Photo credit: funlovingvolvo / 123RF Stock Photo

Color Tip: When talking with your wedding pros, don’t rely on color name only. One person’s idea of Indigo for example will be way different than the next person’s. Bring color swatches, photos, paint chips, whatever it takes to show them the color you are actually thinking of.

Other Decor

Seating Chart
blue wedding seating chart Seating chart by Yellow Belly Project

Lighting
blue lighting wedding reception

Linens
blue wedding reception table linens

Napkins
blue napkin folds

Cake

Just a touch color . . .

wedding cake with blue fondant swirls

or in full color.

tiffany blue wedding cake

Of course there are a gazillion more ways to incorporate your color scheme into your wedding. How have you chosen to express your color palette for your wedding day?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For unique ideas for your wedding day contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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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Why I Have a Love-Hate Relationship with Wedding “Trends”

small wreath on wooden rustic table
Ugh. My Love-Hate relationship with trends continues.

However, this time it’s not because of any specific practice or trend that is currently showing popularity among engaged couples . . .

. . . but with the seemingly loose usage of the word “Trend.”

Over 60 million couples got married in the U.S. last year alone. With that many people, it only make sense that many will be making similar choices.

However, just because a lot of couples followed a similar practice for their wedding, it’s not always enough to call it a trend.

Sometimes it’s merely choices.

Peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and dahlias are popular flower selections; Greenery is Pantone’s 2017 color of the year; Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” is the top requested song – these choices are trends as there are many options (literally hundreds) that couples could have chosen.

However, other choices are merely the same “are you or aren’t you” choices that have been made for decades. Choices, not trends.

Most recently, two non-trend choices have somehow been deemed as the latest trends. They are:

1. Not inviting children to the wedding

AND

2. Not doing a seating chart for the reception

People – THESE ARE NOT TRENDS.

These practices are not something new. They are not suddenly the “in” thing.

For years, many couples have chosen to not invite children to their wedding.

For years, many couples have chosen not to do a seating chart, opting for open seating instead.

But guess what? Just as many DID invite children, and just as many HAD assigned seating at their reception.

Which makes them choices, not trends. Choices that brides and grooms have been making for years. And they’re just a couple of the gazillion other choices that every couple makes when planning their wedding.

Ok, Thanks for letting me rant. I’ll climb down from my soapbox now.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Photo credit: foodandmore / 123RF Stock Photo

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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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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The First Thing to Do When You Get Engaged

diamond engagement ring in a red rose
Congratulations to all the couples who got engaged over the holidays.

The next thing you should be doing is . . .

. . . enjoy being an engaged couple.

I know you’re excited (and rightly so!), and probably want to dive in with all of the fun of planning your big day.

But, I repeat,

Enjoy being engaged!

Getting and being engaged is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so for right now savor this time and . . .

. . . show off your ring

. . . lose yourself while gazing into your beloved’s eyes

. . . relish being a “fiance/fiancee”

Of course it’s normal to want to start working on your wedding plans, and some folks even wonder why it’s recommended to just enjoy this period without doing any actual planning.

  • It will give you a little breather before you get knee-deep in the plans and details.
  • If your honey spent a lot of time and effort on the proposal, give him (or her) a break from another round of planning.
  • It’s very likely that the two of you haven’t even talked about how you’re envisioning your wedding day to be. So how can you really start planning it?
  • Once you do start in on your wedding plans, you may experience “wedding overload” – where you’re thinking about wedding stuff 24/7, everywhere you turn someone is asking about your wedding. If you do, you’re going to thank yourself later for taking this “newly engaged period.”

Then, when you do start in on your wedding plans, give me a call so we can create a “game plan” that allows you to enjoy the next phase of your engagement.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Have questions or looking for fun ideas for your wedding? Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

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Photo credit: dragon_fang | 123RF Stock Photo

Surviving A Bridal Show – 9 Easy Tips

Bridal Show season will be here before you know it.

A Bridal Show is a great place to get started with your wedding plans. Held at various types of venues – including convention centers, banquet halls, even your local shopping mall — they can be quite large (100 different vendors or more!) or much smaller, and more intimate (only 10-20 different vendors). Regardless of size, the main purpose is still the same, you get a chance to take a sneak peek at the local professionals – see examples of their work, taste samples of cakes and foods, and collect vendor brochures and literature.

While tempting, now is not the time to get all of your planning done in a whirlwind of a few hours. You want to be a savvy shopper, and select just the right vendors for you. Here are a few easy tips to help you along.

1. Create a game plan

Which types of vendors you are most interested in? Are you looking for a DJ? Perhaps you still need a florist. Figure out the types of vendors you most want to see, then plan on visiting their booths first.

2. Things to bring

  • Pen and paper, (you’ll want to take notes)
  • A tote bag (to carry all those flyers and brochures you’ll be picking up)
  • Address labels (saves time filling out all those contest and door prize slips)
  • Cash (to pay for admission and to purchase a light snack or beverage)
  • Checkbook or credit card (in case you find the perfect vendor and want to put down a deposit)

3. Wear comfortable shoes

And if possible, leave your coat in the car. You’ll have enough to carry without having to lug around a coat. And you’ll be that much happier if you’re comfortable. Also, wear clothing with pockets. When you come across a vendor that you especially want to remember, place his or her card in your pocket instead of in the tote bag where it can get mixed up with all of the other cards and flyers you’ll be getting.

4. Only bring one or two people with you

Have mom, your maid of honor, a bridesmaid, or fiancé come along. They can help you carry the brochures you’ve picked up, and you’ll have someone who knows you to bounce ideas off of. Just don’t bring a whole entourage. It’s harder to keep a large group together (you don’t want to be spending your time looking for who you came with!) Also, too many people will offer too many different opinions, which will be confusing and not much fun.

5. Eat before the show

Not all shows offer snacks for purchase, and you don’t want to be walking around on an empty tummy! While there will be plenty of yummy samples of foods and cakes to try, this is not the place to load up your plate for a meal.

6. Take notes

Jot down pricing and package information, as well as your personal opinions. Is there anything about a vendors’ personality that stands out to you? Is he or she courteous and polite, or unfriendly and grumpy? Are they enjoying themselves, or do they seem to want to be somewhere else? After you get home and are sorting through that pile of flyers you’ve picked up, it will be hard to remember who was who. A few notes will help remind you who you’ll want to contact later, (and who you want to steer clear of!).

7. The Fashion Show

A popular portion of most bridal shows is the Fashion Show. If you’re like most brides, you’ll want to attend it, so find a seat early – at least 20-30 minutes before it starts. However, if you already have your gown, or otherwise aren’t planning on attending the fashion show, use this time to talk with the vendors you are most interested in. Things will be much more quiet and calm, and you’ll have a better chance at getting their undivided attention.

8. When to sign on the dotted line

Guess what? You don’t have to make a hurried decision at the show. Sure, all of the vendors would love for you to sign on the dotted line right then, and may even offer a discount if you do. But wouldn’t you rather be a savvy shopper and take time to carefully look over everything and figure out which vendors will truly best suit the style of wedding you and your fiancé envision?

9. Read

Before you decide to book someone, be very thorough. Carefully read everything (literature, samples, flyers, contract – EVERYTHING!!) before you sign and put down a deposit. Make sure what they offer is really right for your wedding vision, is what you and your fiancé really want, and that their terms are acceptable. Ask questions so there is a complete understanding between you and the vendor. You don’t want that ‘great deal’ to turn out to be a headache because you didn’t notice the “additional costs” or the “fine print.”

So go and enjoy yourself! It’s just a bridal show!

Upcoming 2017 bridal shows in and around Dayton

Dayton Bridal Expos
Saturday, January 7 & Sunday, January 8, 2017
Dayton Convention Center
11am – 4pm

A Bridal Affair
Hilton Garden Inn Austin Landing
Sunday, January 22, 2017
11am – 3pm

Dayton Bridal Expos
Saturday, February 19, 2017
Dayton Mariott
11am – 4pm

Dorothy Lane Bridal Showcase
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Dorothy Lane Market – Springboro
11am – 3pm

Prime Time Party Rental Bridal Open House
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Prime Time Party Rental
9am – 2pm

Photo by number657

Photo by Sarah Parrott

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Did you attend a bridal show, and just end up feeling overwhelmed? I can help. Contact Jean at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time for chocolate and dessert lovers to celebrate! Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day.

Ways to observe this delicious holiday include:

* Mix up a batch of your favorite chocolate cupcakes – grab a friend or two and bake some together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: lenyvavsha / 123RF Stock Photo
* Go to your local bakery and pick up a variety – how about devil’s food, German chocolate, white chocolate, or turtle?

* Do you collect cookbooks? Add a couple cupcake books to your collection, maybe The Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cupcakes, or Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.

Planning a wedding?

Consider serving cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake. You can still have a small tier for the cake cutting ceremony, or get a jumbo cupcake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Prima Vista Photography

Cupcakes can be as elegant or as whimsical as you want!

Photo credit: Weddings From The Heart

Photo credit: maximkabb / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: ruthblack / 123RF Stock Photo

For fun ideas for your wedding day, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean