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.

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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!

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Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Are You Coming? – What to Do When Your Guests Don’t RSVP

Sadly it’s not unusual when seemingly well informed people don’t RSVP when the invitation clearly requests it.

Having an accurate number of expected guests is critical at weddings and other large events. You need this for:

  • your caterer for meal planning and preparation
  • for your rental company for accurate quantities of chairs, linens, etc.
  • for your florist for quantities of centerpieces
  • your bartender for accurate numbers of alcohol and other beverages
  • making a seating chart

You may wonder why some people don’t feel the need to reply. In reality it’s probably more of an “I’ll take care of that later” than an “I don’t have to.” It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday goings on, that filling in and sending back an RSVP gets forgotten.

Emily Post has said, “No one is obligated to accept an invitation or to explain their reasons for not accepting. However, when someone is kind enough to extend an invitation, one should be just as kind and reply to the invitation.”

Unfortunately not everyone gets it!

You’ve sent an RSVP card with the “reply by” date clearly on it, and have included a pre-addressed and stamped envelope. You’d think that it couldn’t be any easier, but lo and behold, you still haven’t heard from them by the time the return date that is on the card.

What to do?

Easy! You need to contact those people who have yet to reply and find out if they will be attending.

The simplest way is to make a phone call. All you have to say is, “Hi ______. We’re looking forward to seeing you at our wedding, but haven’t gotten your RSVP back yet. Will you be able to make it?” Also ask their desired menu selections if you are offering a choice of entree options.

Don’t say anything like, “You haven’t sent the RSVP card back,” because they may have, but it got lost in the mail. (Even if they haven’t mailed it back, you don’t want to put them on the defensive). There’s also an off chance that they never received your invitation in the first place. Again, it may have gotten lost in the mail, or the address you have for them is incorrect.

Anyway, stick to “We’re looking forward to celebrating with you. Will you be there?”

Make sure you get a definite yes or no, not a maybe. Your caterer needs definite numbers, not “maybes.”

If you feel that if you make the calls yourself that you will end up stuck in big conversations, enlist for help of others to make some phone calls for you. Family members, your bridesmaids, and your wedding planner can all call on your behalf.

If you are an invited guest, here are a few helpful hints for you to remember.

  • Reply as soon as possible. Don’t put the invitation in your “to do” pile unless you need to ask the availability of another person whose name may be on the invitation with yours.
  • Keep your reply brief. If you cannot attend, there is no need to go into great detail about why you can’t be there.
  • If a reply is not requested, it is not necessary to respond. However, it is nice to let the host know when you cannot attend.

Weddings From The Heart offers affordable guest list and RSVP management. Contact me today at at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net to see how!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Photo credit: shpak / 123RF Stock Photo

Wedding Rings – Why Are They Placed on the Left Hand Ring Finger?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The symbolism of exchanging wedding rings originates with the ancient Egyptians.

Egyptians are one of the first cultures to use rings in their wedding ceremonies because of what the shape of the ring, a circle, represents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A circle represents eternity because it has no beginning nor end. This makes a ring the perfect symbol for a long-lasting marriage.

Egyptians were also the first to designate the third finger as the “ring finger,” and the ring finger of the left hand as the finger where the wedding ring is to be worn. They believed that a vein from this finger went directly to the heart and if this finger were circled with a ring, the love was captured and would not escape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And they believed that the third finger of the left hand is the weakest. (Technically it’s not the weakest, but its movement is limited due to the way the muscles and tendons are connected).

Anyway . . . What “does a weak finger have to do with weddings” you ask?

Because of this perceived weakness, the Egyptians felt this finger is the most dependent on the others for help in lifting and holding. For couples who are marrying, this is a symbol of their dependence on each other and combined strength as a couple.

Alone they can do many things, but together they can do even more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The double ring ceremony, where both partners give and receive a ring came into practice in the 20th century. There has never been a law requiring the exchange of rings, but this is one tradition that remains strong.

Do you have a question or wedding concern? Let me know at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Photo credits
Two rings: rasoft / 123RF Stock Photo
Egyptians: mohamedifm / 123RF Stock Photo
Rings on left hands: wajan / 123RF Stock Photo
Rings on pumpkin: Faye Sommer Photography

Super Easy Ways to Decorate the Newlyweds’ Car for a Stylish Getaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Just Married via photopin (license)

Q. – What are the best decoration ideas for the bride and groom’s getaway car?

A. – Back in the 5th century people threw shoes at the bride and groom. This practice eventually evolved to shoes being tied to the couples’ getaway carriage. This was done to wish the couple luck and to represent the happy couple being tied (or committed) to each other.

And back in Tudor England (14th – 16th centuries), tin cans were tied to the back of the vehicle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: © Romaset | Dreamstime.com

The noise they created scared off any evil spirits who may try to cause trouble for the newlyweds.

Today, decorating the couple’s getaway car is a fun gesture, to call attention to the newlyweds as they drive away from their wedding reception.

There are many fun and easy ways to creatively decorate the newlyweds’ getaway car.

* Window clings (quick and easy).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: liorpt / 123RF Stock Photo”target=”_blank”>liorpt | 123RF Stock

* A floral arrangement on the hood of the car.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Photo credit: © Pfluegler | Dreamstime.com

* “Just Married” or “Honk! We’re Married!” signs or banners. Other sign/banner ideas: “Lovebirds,“Tied the Knot,“Newlyweds on Board.” Don’t you just love the “Marriage Rocks” sign?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: © Joshua Rainey | Dreamstime.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: © Janinaj | Dreamstime.com

* Glass markers work great to write on the car’s windows. You could also use soap, but soap is difficult to write with and doesn’t show up as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Acte manqué via photopin (license)

A couple other fun décor ideas are:

* Steamers are fun and colorful. If there’s potential for rain use metallic streamers instead of crepe paper ones (the metallic ones won’t “bleed”).

* Balloons (attached to the outside, or stuffed inside).

A few car decorating “Don’ts”

* Don’t use shaving cream or whipped cream as they may damage the paint on the vehicle (not to mention extremely messy – what newlyweds want to spend their wedding night cleaning the car?)

* Don’t use glitter or silly string (way too messy).

* Don’t attach anything with electrical or masking tape (can pull off paint).

Have questions or looking for fun 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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