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10 Tips to Make Your Wedding Grand!

1. To add a touch of color to the wedding invitation ensemble, choose a bold color for the return envelope. When the invitation is opened, the colored envelope adds interest.

2. On the reception menu, add the bride and groom's name at the top which will make a keepsake for family members. If you can afford it, print each guest's name on the menu. The latter adds a personal touch and makes each guest feel welcome and appreciated.

3. If you were the sole planner for your wedding, then choose a day coordinator on the day of the wedding. You want to ensure things go smoothly and it allows you to relax and enjoy the day.

4. To ensure the wedding couple's safety, have a private driver/chauffeur pick them up after the send off at the reception.

5. Number the invitation response card on the back per the numbered guest list. Often, you receive a response with no name indicated. In cases, such as this, you can verify the name based on the number on the back as it corresponds to the guest list.

10 Tips to Make Your Wedding Grand

Margot I. Schulman Photography

6. The older family members should be seated in an area that provides an optimal view of the activities during the reception. Often, the guests will surround the dance floor, especially when the bride and groom arrive and the view is blocked for the elderly who are seated.

7. To ward off possible theft, assign a reliable family member to monitor the gifts as they are received.

8. Have your ushers manage crowd control. They should be the first to arrive before the ceremony and prepared to eagerly answer questions that a guest may have. For example, where is the bathroom or water fountain? Do you have directions to the reception venue? Where should I sit?

9. Purchase Wedding Insurance; specifically, liability insurance.

10. Your invitation sets the tone for your wedding.  The appearance should be flawless-grammatically worded, properly addressed, and hand-cancelled to prevent damage which usually happens when envelopes are sent through a machine.  Not all post offices will be accommodating, but search for those that would be considerate enough to help you.

Money in Piggy Bank

How to Broach the Tough Question—the “B” word, Budget

Many brides find that the initial planning of their wedding was difficult because the word “Budget” forces you to think about impending expenses.   Your thoughts of a dream wedding must tailor what you can afford.  Honestly, establishing a budget must be done before any planning can take place. There is no simple way around this needed discussion and it may temporarily kill the joy of becoming engaged.  However, unless you know how much money you have, then overspending can cause major conflicts early in the marriage.

My suggestion is to arrange a time to speak with those loved ones you are closest to and played a major part in your upbringing (i.e. Parents, aunts or uncles, godparents) that you feel will contribute to the cost of your wedding.  This meeting should be done in a private setting not at an initial meet and greet with your future in-laws.

How to phrase the question? Here is how Kristin Koch in the spring/summer 2016 issue of The Knot New Jersey writes. Simply say:

 “We would love for you to be a part of our wedding plans, but before we decide anything, we want to talk to you about how you would like to contribute in terms of the budget and planning.”

Be up front with your conversations: costs, expectations, appreciative of contributions and most importantly, respectful of their financial situations. To be fair, you should develop a draft of the costs and be prepared to answer financial questions that may arise. After all, you cannot expect someone to help you financially if you haven’t developed a plan.

In some cases, the contributor may want to control the decision making.  Again, Koch suggests you follow up with this question:

“What ways would you like to assist in planning?”

Listen carefully to any suggestions made, but make it clear that all final decisions will be made by you.  This is your special day and all planning should be reflective of what you and your fiancé desire.

Once you’ve gotten a confirmed budget out of the way, then the planning is the exciting part of being newly engaged!


Bridal Shows

You cannot beat the advantages of attending a bridal show production.  You will meet and speak directly with wedding professionals.  Invite your wedding party, mother, and groom and make it a fun day.   I attended the Elegant Bridal Productions show held at Meadowlands Racetrack this past weekend and enjoyed meeting newly engaged couples. I especially enjoy having the one-on-one conversations.  Like most, bridal shows will offer prizes and individual vendors may also give away prizes; allow you to gather Information and talk with wedding professionals; compare vendor services and prices; register for prizes, try samples, collect new ideas, and enjoy latest fashions both for the bride and groom.


Wedding Planner Image

The Wedding Planner

At first, the wedding planning seems easy enough for you to handle but imagine your wedding day. Ask yourself: Who is going to make sure the reception venue is set up properly? When do we cut the cake? Who will ensure my timeline is followed? Who will make sure the vendors are on time? When a problem arises, who do you turn to? These kinds of responsibilities are handled by a wedding coordinator. The coordinator will keep you from becoming stressed or overwhelmed, advises you when you are uncertain, and ensures your timeline is followed. Should you find that you cannot afford a wedding planner (i.e. a professional who offers full service from the beginning of your engagement to the wedding day), then a day-of-coordinator should really be considered. I would be honored to ensure your wedding day vision is implemented as you wish.



White Necklace

Wedding Day Reminders

Having researched numerous published writings on weddings, I have developed a list of items consistently forgotten by brides in preparation for their wedding day. Here is a checklist of 10 important tips to have as a reminder:

  •  Make a list of pictures you want taken to ensure the photographer captures those moments you deem important.
  •  Have a plan for transportation after the reception; the send off. If all else fails, call Uber.
  •  Carry breath mints; interacting with all your guest can dry out your mouth.
  •  Don't forget the Marriage License which must be signed by the officiant.
  •  Have available stain remover for any possible mishap.
  •  Aspirin for a headache will help to relieve your discomfort.
  •  Eat breakfast; you will have little time to eat at the reception.
  •  Make sure you and your new life partner share a moment together privately before you greet your guests at the reception. My daughter packed a lunch basket to share an intimate picnic in a park where they had many walks while dating.
  •  Lay out all accessories (jewelry, shoes, etc.) the night before the wedding.
  • If possible, refrain from alcohol the night before to keep from feeling exhausted the next day. You want to look refreshed and glowing for your special celebration.


Woman and Man


How To Save Money On Your Wedding Day

I know you want to have that dream wedding but always keep your budget in mind. Let me reiterate this point--watch your expenses; you will thank me one day. No one wants to come back from a honeymoon and face a debt that could last for years creating friction early in your marriage.

I want to suggest a few ways to save on the reception:

  • Hire a DJ instead of a band or even assign the groomsmen to DJ
  • Theme stations are much more economical during the cocktail hour; for example, a Thai station or even a Panini bar. Guests can help themselves to food without use of a wait staff to pass around finger foods
  • Serve a duet meal rather than individual choices
  • A buttercream cake is less expensive than the fondant because of the labor involved
  • Have a dessert buffet for guest and purchase a small cake for the cake cutting
  • The wait staff should not open a bottle if glasses on the table still have wine or remove glasses that have wine; saves on bottles used. Close bar early to trim the bar tab
  • Consider serving non-alcoholic beverages such as lemonade or seltzer water decorated with fresh fruits to add color--perfect for a summer day
  • Use non-floral centerpieces; a candle display arranged on a mirror is a lot less expensive
  • Consider having your ceremony and wedding at the same venue
  • A weekday wedding is less expensive; for example, a Friday instead of Saturday could save hundreds
  • A cocktail party reception is an ideal way to save and have become increasingly popular. Instead, entertain your guests in a beautiful backyard, local park setting, or a historical/government building after wedding.

A wedding is affordable but using alternative ways to celebrate your nuptials and save money is a wise endeavor!



Couple on the Beach

Church Wedding? Honey, Imagine a Different Setting.

While you may have envisioned the traditional church wedding, a destination wedding with family and a few close friends would open the door to more creative ideas, downsize the drama, and prove less costly. Imaginative is popular: no boring sit down rehearsal dinner but consider a barbecue on the beach, a wine and cheese reception at a vineyard with jazz music playing in the background, a luau featuring the roasted pig with tiki torches, or a cruise on the Mediterranean. Imagine the end of your intimate wedding on a fabulous resort, you go off to your honeymoon while your guest remains and create their individual post wedding vacation: golf, spa experiences, shopping, cultural tours, hiking, non-motorized sport activities, snorkeling, sailing. If you prefer to continue your celebration with the group, then a cruise is another alternative. Keep in mind that the destination does not have to be at a faraway or exotic location. Why not check out unique or domestic regions which could be less expensive. For example, imagine a vineyard with breathtaking views (Oregon Willamette Valley) or scenic desert views (Sedona Red Rock) amid a sunset.



Contact Sherra Jones at (862) 345-7278 in Palm Coast, Florida, for more information about her party favors and event design services.