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

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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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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Wedding Planning Q & A – I’m Vegan and Really Don’t Want Meat at My Wedding

Vegetarian Burger
Vegetarian Burger
Q. – I’m a vegan. I really don’t want to serve meat or other animal products at my wedding. Am I expected to?

A. – No you do not have to serve animal products. It’s your wedding and you can serve (or not serve) whatever you choose.

Your wedding reception is to celebrate your brand new marriage, and create a wedding day that represents you and your fiancé. The choices you make – flowers, music, food, etc. – will reflect the two of you. So naturally, if your personal dietary choices lean towards or away from something specific, it is absolutely ok for you to include those choices in your wedding day meal.

44430990 - mexican vegan vegetable pilaf with haricot beans and pumpkin
Mexican Vegan Vegetable Pilaf

You are not “making a statement” or trying to convert anyone. Instead you are staying true to yourself by following this dietary choice.

A good caterer will be able to create for you a delicious, flavorful menu that will keep your guests tummys happy, yet follow your daily dietary guidelines.

20169118 - salad with tofu tomatoes arugula and sesame seeds
Tomato, Tofu, and Arugula Salad

We all know the importance food plays in any get-together. As long as you serve good food, your guests will survive. Pick foods that are colorful and full of flavor and you will have a big hit. Ok, at first some of your guests may wonder what’s on their plates, but since your caterer has whipped up something that smells amazing, and tastes great, their focus on the food will soon be back where it should be, (Mmmmm, this is good!)

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Have questions or need 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!

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Photo credits:
Vegetarian Burger & Tomato Tofu Arugula Salad – marcomayer / 123RF Stock Photo
Mexican Pilaf – timolina / 123RF Stock Photo

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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A Fun New (Old) Approach for Your Wedding Processional

wedding ceremony aisle ready for processional

What’s an easy way to set the tone and mood of your wedding?

Make an entrance, of course! Your ceremony processional, where the wedding party and the happy couple enter, is the official start of your wedding, and is full of drama and anticipation.

Unless you’re having an extremely casual wedding, having everyone just sort of walk in is anti-climactic. (And who wants to start off that day like that?)

Walking to the pace of a slower tempoed song, such as Wagner’s Bridal Chorus (aka Here Comes the Bride), or Canon in D is more solemn and traditional.

These days, it’s not uncommon for couples to choose more current songs to walk down the aisle to, such as “Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran or “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.

Other couples are taking it up still another notch. They’ve got to come in somehow, right? So to get the energy going, and expressing a light-hearted and whimsical tone, they’re dancing up the aisle.

Hundreds of years ago, the wedding ceremony was preceded by dancing to the ceremony locale. This represented the celebration of the joy of life. Through the years the dancing evolved into the modern processional.

Go back to the wedding ceremony roots and dance in.

Check out this fun wedding, featuring Bruno Mars and “Marry Me.”

“Well I know this little chapel on the boulevard we can go”

Love the song (yeah, I’m a Bruno fan). But really LOVE the energy of this processional. You can already feel the joy through the computer screen. Can you imagine how the guests were feeling experiencing this in person?

What do you think of the dancing wedding processional? Would you consider this type of entrance for your wedding ceremony?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

If you’re looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Photo credit: The Flower Studio in Austin, TX via photopin