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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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 lots 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

11 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding That Actually Work

Save Money on Your Wedding
It’s no secret that weddings cost a lot of money.

Here are 11 easy ways to save money without sacrificing your wedding style.

  1. Individual programs or menu cards look pretty, but you can save a bundle by providing this information on a pretty calligraphed sign.
  2. Serve only beer and wine instead of offering a full bar.
  3.  Skip the champagne toast (or just have it for the head table). Your guests will be fine drinking what they have.
  4.  Some vendors offer discounts for a wedding on a weekday or during a non-peak month such as January or March.
  5.  You can save on catering by having a morning or early afternoon ceremony/reception.
  6.  Trim your guest list. You’ll save on food and beverages. And less people means less seating, which = less tables/chairs, centerpieces, and linens.
  7. Offer a meatless entree. A veggie or pasta entree costs less than one with meat.
  8.  Have your ceremony and reception at the same venue. No need for a limo or party bus to transport the wedding party, and you’ll save on multiple site fees.
  9.  Omit favors, your guests won’t miss them.
  10.  Use more greenery and less flowers in your arrangements.
  11.  If your ceremony and reception are at the same location, have your DJ provide the music for both instead of hiring live musicians for the ceremony.

Looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans?
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

Photo credit: rrraum / 123RF Stock Photo

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How to Have Happy Wedding Guests (With 5 Super Easy Tips)

11229839_10206380169797323_821285514982644025_oPhoto by Jack Hoying

You’ve invited friends and family to help you celebrate your wedding. If you are like most couples, you plan to feed them, entertain them, and thank them for being a part of your special day.

While the quality of the food and music can definitely make or break their level of enjoyment (no doubt about that), don’t forget the little things that can impact your guests’ experience.

1. Keep your guests informed (before the wedding day).

Wedding guests appreciate being informed of what to expect. Your invitation will give them some clue, but a wedding website is a wonderful, inexpensive (and even free), convenient place to provide further information your guests will want or need.

Look at it from their perspective. Having clear info – locations, directions, time schedule, hotel accommodations, gift registry options, etc. – easily at their fingertips makes it easier for them to participate.

Many couples include a page for guests to conveniently RSVP, and leave comments or questions they may have.

2. Keep your guests informed (on the wedding day).

You’ve shared plenty of info prior to your wedding day. On the big day itself, make sure guests understand what you want them to do with appropriate signage at your ceremony and reception sites.

Guests tend to err on the side of caution. They need that gentle guidance to let them know what we want them to do, such as: yes, please sign the guest book; yes, please take a favor; and don’t forget to turn off your cell phone (you don’t want someone’s phone to start ringing in the middle of your ceremony!).

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to create signs that are memorable and in keeping with the theme of your event.

3. Plan for a variety of foods available.

Think of your reception dinner as Sunday dinner only amped up a few notches. You don’t have to stick with the tried-and-true – it’s ok to be adventurous – but keep it familiar. Consider guests’ dietary needs, perhaps offer a vegetarian and gluten free options there are any dietary restrictions.

If you are adding a regional specialty or a nationality dish that may be unfamiliar to your guests, explain what it is with elegant tent cards, (remember #2 from above?)

4. Add a little pampering.

Your venue will have some sort of restrooms (either with running water, or hand sanitizer station). Pamper your guests with a few extra amenities like hair spray, hand lotion, tissues, band aids, breath mints, and a mini a sewing kit.

5. Smile, and really enjoy your day!

Make sure that on your wedding day you wear a happy face. You have planned a great event, it’s now time to relax and let the good times roll. You’ve done your best, and you have helpers (family, friends, wedding coordinator) to handle the details. So smile and enjoy what you’ve planned.

Smiling and being happy is contagious. It has a “trickle down effect.” If you are happy and enjoying yourself, your guests will feel it and also be happy and have fun.

On the other hand, if your are grumpy and complaining, your guests are going to feel that negativity. They are less likely to have fun, and will probably leave early.

Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Want Happy Wedding Guests? Here Are the Top 5 Things to Avoid.

11218244_10206380177437514_8387486570021473394_o

Photo by Jack Hoying

Your wedding guests have taken the time to come to your wedding to witness your wedding vows, and many have probably travelled great distances. They want to enjoy themselves, have a good time, and celebrate your first day as newlyweds .

To make their experience more pleasant and memorable (for the right reasons!) the following is a list of the top 5 things wedding guests hate.

1. A long gap between the ceremony and the reception
Try to have the reception start as close to the end of the ceremony as possible. If the ceremony and reception are at the same location this is super easy. If at different locations just figure out the end time of the ceremony and the drive time from there to the reception.

If a long gap between ceremony and reception can’t be avoided, provide something for your guests to do. A list of local sights to see, area shopping, A hospitality room at the hotel where your guests are staying is a simple, yet inexpensive touch. Light snacks (chips and soda) are all that’s needed. Maybe a friend or family member who lives nearby can invite guests over for cookies and light beverages.

2. A ceremony that doesn’t start on time

untitled-354pp_w850_h566Photo by Zac Fisher

A delay of a minute or two is fine. Making them wait 20 minutes or more is not.

3. Slow dinner service
Your guests have already sat through your ceremony, and although you may have provided some yummy appetizers and cocktails, by the time dinner is served they will be hungry. And when your tummy is on the verge of growling, nothing is worse than long buffet lines that take forever, or seeing another table get their dinners served but having to wait for what can seem like an eternity for them to get around to your table.

This can be avoided by having enough wait staff. Rule of thumb is 1 to 2 wait staff per 10 to 12 guests for a served dinner, and 1 wait staff per 25 guests for a buffet. Another easy buffet trick is to have the buffet table(s) double sided instead of having it pushed up against a wall (this gets people through the line twice as quickly).

4. Long lines for the bar or restrooms
bar-50038108_s

Photo by kadmy / 123RF Stock Photo

You can’t celebrate when you’re stuck in a line. For bartenders, figure on having 1 bartender per 50 to 75 guests. For restrooms, 1 potty per 35 to 50 guests (with a minimum of 2 – 1 for the men and 1 for the ladies).

5. Sitting in the hot sun for an outdoor ceremony

violet-outdoor-ceremony-53136495_s

Photo by 279photo / 123RF Stock Photo

Yes, I’m a fan of readings and music during the ceremony, and love the symbolism of the unity candle. But these things take time.

If your wedding ceremony will take place outdoors on a hot, humid day with little or no shade, use the KISS method (keep it short and sweet). Provide hand fans (they are inexpensive, and will help make the heat more tolerable).

Consider providing something to drink before the ceremony. Bottled water or urns with iced water is inexpensive, yet refreshing. Having pre-poured beverages looks nice, will quickly attract little bugs.

Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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