Saturday, July 30, 2011

Step 93 - Determine What Alcoholic Drinks to Serve for your Wedding

(2 Weeks to 4 Weeks before your Wedding)
If you want your wedding to be special, tradition states you should serve alcohol at your wedding. It's a grand occasion and serving alcohol has become part of the American tradition, and to celebrate the big occasion many wedding guests look forward to seeing the beautiful bride, a beautiful wedding cake and they look forward to top off the big occasion with a very special drink. If it's at all possible, you should try your best to accommodate your wedding guests and serve alcohol at your wedding.

If the budget is no object for your wedding, you should consider an open bar. No guest is suppose to pay for anything at the wedding they were invited to the event after all, but with an open bar this tends to get mighty expensive for the wedding couple. Guests can order any drink on the planet and the tab will be hearty once the party is over, because there is no limit, some guests will take full advantage. Just be sure if you know of anyone who has a reputation on imbibing too much, put an APB to your bartender to be on the lookout on any individuals that aren't good with their liquor intake?

Some couple's decide to have a cash bar for their wedding. A cash bar in the world of weddings is an absolute positive no-no. To have one will ruin the wedding, it's not considered a good cost cutting solution and besides is considered very offensive to many of your wedding guests.

Some wedding couples don't drink at all and would rather have a dry house. They instead might opt for something like an Italian soda bar, or serve non-alcoholic mixers with juice called mocktails, or serve flavored mineral water, or serve sparkling water or cider, or serve flavored Gatorade, Powerade and Energy Drinks. They may even create a wedding punch that has no or very little alcohol. Just be aware, if there is no alcohol served at the wedding, some of your guests may become very disappointed and choose to leave early and hunt down a local pub, hotel, or restaurant to satisfy their wedding drink craving.

If you are a savvy wedding couple and have a limited budget you may opt for a limited bar. Instead you offer a selection of drinks, maybe beer, wine, champagne, and a couple of signature drinks. You determine the signature drinks by first figuring out your top drinker's alcohol of choice and next apply your color scheme to their drink and see if you can come up with a few different liquored drinks, maybe one drink with vodka, one with scotch, and one with rum. Try to find and create signature drinks to your color scheme. If the color is red one might be a bloody Mary, another strawberry daiquiri, and another cosmopolitan.

The modern definition of a cocktail is a drink composed of at least two ingredients which have been shaken together or stirred together, and served as a tall or short drink. Cocktails are American as apple pie and became popular in the 1920's when many of today's popular cocktails were invented. The experts recommend your basic bar for a wedding begins with these choices; red wine, white wine, champagne, beer, vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, and scotch. Your average wedding guest will average drinking about one drink per hour. Most wedding receptions tend to last about 4 and a half hours meaning to expect to serve each guest from 4 to 5 drinks for the wedding reception.

For a larger wedding the experts recommend adding additional amounts of bottled stock. You might include additional choices of red and white wine, cherry brandy, Cognac, Cointreau, creme de cassis, creme de menthe, Curacao, Galliano, gin, Grenadine, Kahlua, Malibu, melon liquor, light and dark rum, tequila, dry and sweet vermouth, and a couple of types of scotch and whiskey. You might call a few of your drinkers or consult with your bartender on any additional liquor and liqueurs to include.

Also keep a range of mixers and seasonings on hand in order to make a variety of drinks. Mixers for tall drinks should be chilled in the refrigerator. The following drinks are considered basic to have at bars, apple juice, coconut creme, grape juice, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lemonade, lime juice, milk, orange juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice, tropical fruit juices, mineral water, soda, and tonic water.

A good bar also keeps a selection of ingredients for garnishing or flavoring of drinks. Include garnishments such as olives, cherries, canned consomme, salt, celery salt, grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, oranges, lemons, limes, cucumber, mint, Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce. There are thousands of drinks you can find in bartender's guides, there are specific guidelines for making specific drinks.

The equipment used to make each drink is as import as the ingredients required, the basic bar should have at least the following equipment. Cocktail shaker, strainer, mixing glass or pitcher, blender, long handed mixing spoon, teaspoon, tablespoon, jigger, ice bucket and tongs, corkscrew, bottle opener, chopping board, paring knife, lemon squeezer, cloth, cocktail picks, straws, stirrers, ice crusher such as a wooden mallet or rolling pin, and a vegetable knife or canelle knife is useful for preparing decorated fruit and vegetable garnishes.

There are also many different types of glasses that are recommended for many types of drinks. Certain glasses are expected to be used depending on the cocktail. Some glasses you should have at the bar are Cocktail or Martini glasses, Brandy snifter, red wine glass, white wine glass, Champagne glass, Liqueur glass, Highball or Tall glass, Large goblet, and Old fashioned or whiskey tumbler and Tulip glass. You might include a special type of glass for Tropical drinks such as a carved coconut or a designer free form large glass.

Classic Cocktail Drinks

Amaretto Sour, Americano, Apple Martini, B-52, Bacardi Cocktail, Bahama Mama, Banana Daiquiri, Bellini, Black Russian, Bloody Mary, Brandy Alexander, Brandy Eggnog, Bronx, Buck's Fizz, Bull Shot, Caipirinha, Champagne Cocktail, Cosmopolitan, Cranberry Vodka, Creamsickle, Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, Dry Martini, French Connection, Frozen Daiquiri, Gibson, Gin Fizz, Godfather, Godmother, Golden Cadillac, Golden Dream, Grasshopper, Harvey Wallbanger, Horse's Neck, Hurricane, Irish Coffee, Jack Rose, Japanese Slipper, Kamikaze, Kir, Kir Royale, Lemon Drop, Long Island Iced tea, Mai Tai, Manhatten, Manhatten Medium, Margarita, Martini, Martini Dry 5-to-1, Martini Sweet, Mimosa, Mojito, Mudslide, Negroni, Old Fashioned, Orgasm, Paradise, Pina Colada, Planter's Punch, Porto Flip, Rob Roy, Rose Cocktail English, Rum and Coke, Rusty Nail, Salty Dog, Scotch on the Rocks, Screwdriver, Sea Breeze, Seven and Seven, Sex on the Beach, Singapore Sling, Sloe Gin Fizz, Smirnoff Island Punch, Tequila Sunrise, Three Wisemen, Tom Collins, Vodka Martini, Whiskey Sour, and White Russian.

To set up your wedding bar, either talk to your bartender or some wedding guides suggest to set up your wedding bar as follows. Include a few extra wine bottles if you have 50 wedding guests.

For every 50 wedding guests include:

Red Wine                   5 Bottles
White Wine                5 Bottles
Champagne               10 Bottles
Beer                          60 Bottles
Vodka                         2 Bottles
Gin                              1 Bottle
Rum                            1 Bottle
Bourbon                      1 Bottle
Scotch                         1 Bottle
Liqueur                        1 Bottle (different type for every 50)

For a simple bar include some soda's, mineral water, Gatorade, Powerade, energy drinks, or some type of coffee for your non-alcoholic drinkers. Keep a few juices on hand such as orange juice and lemonade. Some guests these days like flavored teas such as blueberry or peach. Include milk and tonic water at your bar and you might include Bailey's Irish Cream and Kahlua.

Like an artist using his pallet and brush, the savvy wedding couple can create exotic wedding cocktail recipes that are a popular hit with wedding guests and at the same time reduce their bar tab at the wedding. Start with the couple's color scheme and come up with a few drink's the wedding guests will enjoy, use some crazy naming conventions and your wedding guests may never realize they are at a wedding with a limited bar. Some idea's of drinks that are color schemed are listed below. You can serve the amount of signature drinks that you are comfortable with that fits your budget. If your budget is extremely tight you could go with one signature drink with beer and wine. But to satisfy your wedding guest's varied tastes your are best to go with at least three signature drinks each with a different liquor base.

Some ideas for offering signature wedding drinks with a color scheme are listed below. If you create color schemed drinks have fun with it, create fun names that have wedding connotations or names associated with the wedding couple. A Bloody Mary could be called "Mary's Lost Virginity", Strawberry Daiquiri could be called "Charlie's Orgasm", etc. Create names that will get your drinks to become a topic of conversation for your wedding guests. If you have many conservative wedding guests, keep the names conservative.

Colored Alcoholic Drink Ideas

Black Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Amaretto and Coke
Black Russian
Dark Ale Beer
Espresso Martini
Irish Coffee
Root Beer Scnapps
Rum and Coke

Blue Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Absolut Blue Souvenir
Alaska Iced Tea
Blue Hawaiian
Blue Lagoon
Polar Bear
Ritz Fizz

Brown Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Brandy Alexander
Brown Russian
Bumble Bee
Italian Wedding Cake Martini
Long Island Iced Tea
Mai Tai
Toasted Almond

Green Colored Alcoholic Drinks
747 Drink
Absolut Green Wedding
Electric Lemonade
Green Apple Martini
Midori Margarita

Orange Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Grand Margarita
Grand Marnier Orange
Rosy Bikini Martini
Sweet Manhatten
Tequila Sunrise

Pink Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Good Morning Monaco
Peach Schnapps
Pink Cadillac
Pink Elizabeth
Pink Lemonade and Vodka
Rum Punch
Sunset Martini

Purple Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Crystal Cocktail
Purple Glaze Martini
Purple Russian
Tequila Twilight
Victory Collins

Red Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Blind Date
Bloody Mary
Cape Codder
Kir Royale
Singapore Sling
Strawberry Daiquiri

White Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Banana Daiquiri
Chi Chi
Pina Colada
Snow White
White Russian

Yellow Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Dry Manhatten
Frozen Mango Daiquiri
Harvey Wallbanger
Rusty Nail
Salty Dog
Vodka Lemonade
Whiskey Sour

There are thousands of alcoholic drinks to choose from, there are many other drinks that can comprise your signature drink list. There are some cocktail websites you can help you find drinks just right for your wedding. You can use "Youtube" and put in your drink's keyword to show just how exactly you can make many of the drinks or use a bartender's guide.

Cocktail Related Websites

The key to having a limited bar, is first to find what your heavy alcohol drinkers drink and build your signature drinks around what they like. Another point about purchasing alcohol for your wedding, if you are able, buy the liquor yourself from a local liquor store, brewery, or winery, work with your bartender on what drinks to get.

Last point, in the world of bartending, the best bartenders tend to be experienced bartenders. Experienced bartenders know how to set up a busy bar and they know the drinks in their head, they know, they don't have to think. If you are having a larger wedding, you are much better off having an experienced bartender, they make drinks to perfection, tend to have the bar set up more efficiently, and you tend to have less liquor waste.

When you order liquor for the wedding, see if you can return unopened bottles for a refund or if you have no interest in keeping specific liquor, give them as wedding favors to guests that like specific drinks. Just be sure you make no promises until after the wedding reception is over.

So if you set up your liquor bar the right way, you've increased the likelihood the wedding will be a huge success. When wedding guests have a good drink, they tend to have a good time!

See you on the other side!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Step 92 - Prepare and Wrap your Wedding Favors and Gifts

(2 Weeks to 4 Weeks before your Wedding)
With the high cost of weddings, many couples look for any savings they can and one way to save sometimes hundreds of dollars at your wedding is to create do it yourself (diy) wedding favors. Even if wedding favors are ordered bulk from online websites, it is far less expensive for the couple to wrap the favors themselves. Not only does the couple save money from wrapping the favors but the favors can be wrapped in accordance to the color scheme and wedding theme of the wedding or in white for a more monochromatic appearance.

When ordering wedding favors, make sure you factor the cost of wrapping the wedding favors into your overall budget for wedding favors. Having a wedding favor company wrap the favors can add a significant amount of cost to the favors. Most wedding favor distributors can ship the favors already wrapped but expect a costly fee for this service.

If you should decide to wrap the wedding favors yourself, first do a measurement of how much material you will need per a wedding favor sample and measure the length, width, and height and have this information available when ordering packaging for your wedding favors.

There are many styles of wrapping you can go with, the goal is to have a unique style for your wedding favors, a decorative style that is different, will leave your guests a memory, something that matches to the couples taste and fits within their wedding budget. You might find special packaging in some gift shops, craft stores, arts & supply houses, and candy shops. Often though you might be better to find packaging from websites online. Local businesses may have to special order packages and tend not to have the amount of supplies on hand. A list of wedding websites that provide wedding packaging including favor bags, organza bags, color tulle circles, and wedding boxes are listed below.

Wedding Bag and Box Websites

Make sure you decorate your wedding favor too, decorate or wrap with decorative string, ribbons, yarn, tulle, decorative tags and labels. Additional websites that provide decorations are listed below.

Decorative Ribbon Websites

If you have a lot of favors to wrap don't feel they have to be wrapped in one full swoop, solicit members of the wedding party and family. Often, because of the occasion and excitement of the upcoming wedding, special people to you are more than happy to help you prepare for your special day. Just be ready with all your wedding supplies laid out on a dining table, office, or folding table and have the process ready to explain how you want the favors wrapped. After your wedding favors are wrapped, make sure all the favors are secured in a secluded room, away from prying eyes, could be a back bedroom, closet, storage room, or office currently not in use. Keep the favors away from the elements such as sun, wind, cool, or hot rooms. Try not to show the wedding favors to too many people, try as best to keep them as a surprise for your wedding day.

A popular wedding favor that couples often go for is wrapped chocolate favors, candies, flavored popcorn, or chocolate covered fruits and pretzels. Some reputable websites where you can order chocolate favors are listed below.

Chocolate Wedding Favor Websites

With the cost of weddings these days, a popular idea for many couples is to make chocolate wedding favors themselves. Many couples find that making homemade chocolates is enjoyable and fun. Start out by finding a candy mold that a couple likes and matches their style. Candy or chocolate molds can be found in confection stores, baking stores, kitchen supply stores, and sometimes restaurant stores. They also can be found on websites that specialize in candy making. There are many molds to choose from, do you create a candy in a specific shape, or do you choose a wedding couple, a wedding sleigh, hearts, wedding bells, or joined rings?

Next melt your chocolate, this could be milk, dark, white, or make with butterscotch, or use vanilla mixed with dyes and flavored extracts and make candies to your color scheme. The chocolate or product you have to work with might come in chips, chunks, or bars. Be careful not to overmelt the mixture, because melted chocolate can scorch easily and you can end up with a bitter taste. You can either melt the chocolate in a microwave in a microwave safe bowl or if you would rather use a double boiler and melt the chocolate slowly over hot water.

Third, ready your molds for the pouring of your chocolate or other mixture, don't overfill the molds, or it may become difficult in removing them once the candy hardens, make sure the crevices of the molds are filled, gently tap them on the counter and make sure the candy is evenly spread in the mold. The melted chocolate will quickly harden in a matter of minutes if placed in a freezer, you can remove them as soon as they have hardened. Some couples opt to leave them overnight in the freezer.

The final step involves packaging your chocolate favors. You can use drawstring pouches, tiny favor boxes, cellophane, candy bar wrappers, color tulle circles, organza bags. or small plastic bags. Chocolate favor boxes, bags, and containers can be found at craft stores, art and supply stores, and at local candy shops. Many types of containers can be found on online stores. Decide on the amount of chocolate each container, box, or bag will have, in some cases you may need to use wax paper for protection so that the chocolate doesn't stick to the container if exposed at certain temperatures.

Normally the preference is to have wedding favors ready two to four weeks prior to the wedding. Unfortunately, with chocolate favors you want the candies to be fresh at the wedding, they should be prepared a week to ten days before the wedding. Make sure they are kept in a freezer or cooler after they are made and brought out and prepared a couple of days before the wedding. Assign someone to gather them and set them out on the reception tables just after all the place settings are set.

There are a number of websites where you can purchase chocolate molds to make your chocolate favors. There are hundreds of shapes you can make your chocolate favors, you just have to decide the shapes you want and the type of container and how you want the chocolate favor decorated.

Chocolate Mold Websites

Chocolate is not the only thing you can mold info wedding favors. Some other things you can mold are candles, soaps, flavored popcorn, and fudge. Another treat you can make are many types of liqueur balls. You can make varied types of rum balls, bourbon balls, chocolate balls, kahlua balls, eggnog balls, irish creme balls, creme de menthe balls, cherry cordial balls, peanut butter cup balls, and the list goes on and on. Look up recipes on the internet and you can create a box of varied liqueur ball treats. You can also create varied candied or chocolate covered fruits. You can have chocolate covered apples, pineapples, bananas, strawberries or other fruits you can think of. You might take some of these ideas and get visual ideas by putting some of thoughts you have by putting keywords into the "Youtube" cursor.

You might even consider creating a wedding welcome gift bag or basket for out of town guests. This special gift bag or basket might be an assorted creation or a specialty that you know the special guest loves. The bag or basket might be filled with all sorts of things like coffee, coffee mugs, fruits, dried fruits, snacks, cheese and crackers, jams and jellies, salami, pepperoni, potato chips, pretzels, gum, candies, breath mints, life savers, or bottle water or energy drinks and maybe include a deck of cards to pass the time.

The gift bag or basket does not necessarily have to be all food items, you can include sunscreen products, anti-bug repellent, lip balm, throw away camera, body lotions, shower gels, soaps, gift cards, and magazines. Make sure the bag or basket is big enough to hold all the products you want and get a bag or basket that can be used over and over again for carting, storage, or for decorating.

You can also create a gift basket that represents the region or a specialty. You might fill it with goodies of products from the local area or create a basket with all sorts of coffees, fruits, candies, jellies, meats and cheeses or something you know the guest will love. Use tape or some type of glue stick to secure each product in the bag or basket. The bag or basket is a thank you to your traveling wedding guest from so far for your special day and provides treats and saves your visitor from buying expensive goodies or munchies that tend to be overpriced in hotels and tourist trap places.

So when creating wedding favors, consider a (diy) wedding favor, use your ingenuity and make a wedding favor that your wedding guest will always remember when they open it at your wedding reception. Make it unique, something a little different that adds another memory to the couple's special day.

See you on the other side!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Step 91 - Decide on your Wedding Table Place Settings

(2 Weeks to 4 Weeks before your Wedding)
Before deciding on your wedding reception table place settings, you want to decide on your specialty table linens. Your specialty linens include table cloths, napkins, and chair covers and are the perfect way to transform an ordinary wedding reception facility into an awe inspiring place. The influence of these decor items can leave a powerful impression upon your wedding guests when they first walk into the wedding reception room, since the tables and chairs that linens cover tend to cumulatively take up the largest surface space in the room. Use of these three fabrics pieces together overwhelms the wedding guest and leaves them with a feeling and sense that they are at a very special event.

The fabrics that are chosen should be determined by the bridal couple's color scheme and theme very early in the wedding planning process and matched with colors that are near or complement the main color using a color wheel. The colors then should be applied to other items at the wedding including bridal wear, florals, decorations, invitations, wedding favors, table centerpieces and event lighting.

When deciding on wedding colors, make sure the linens don't clash with the color of the carpet, walls, or decorations built into the walls. Popular linens can be ordered about a month before the wedding while uncommon colors it may be better to order them about 10 weeks in advance of the wedding. The rule of thumb for ordering fabric napkins is to start with the amount of wedding guests and then add about 20 percent to the total, for wedding guests who ask for an extra napkin and wait staff sometimes use the napkins to clean up crumbs. Don't forget to order table linens for your cocktail hour tables and for your buffet tables too.

Table Linen Websites

After you have chosen the color of the table linen fabrics, your attention now moves on to your table place setting. You first look at the meal you are going to present and determine the dishes that you will need for the meal. Are you having a salad with the meal, and if so you should include a salad bowl and a salad fork? Are you having a soup with the meal, and if so you should include a soup bowl and soup spoon? Are you have bread or dinner rolls with the meal, then you should include a bread plate and butter knife? Are you having red wine, white wine, or champagne with the meal, then you should include the appropriate drinking glass with the meal? There are other possibilities too, you may include shrimp cocktail, a fruit cup, or sherbet dish or you may have entrees that include lobster or barbecued ribs and will need special dishes for those.

As you are laying out the table place settings you want to insure each seat is at least 30 inches apart and each chair is easy to get out from the seat. You don't want each place setting to look too crowded. Event planners recommend the table place settings are laid out the following way.

1. Charger plates or Service plates - If you are looking to enhance the wedding reception table and if it fits your budget you may consider using what is called a charger plate. A charger plate is a decorative plate that goes underneath the dinner plate, sometimes like or is a circular placemat. The charger plate stays on the table through the whole meal. If charger plates aren't in the budget some couples opt to use them as a table centerpiece instead. Other couples use them for buffet table items, under a guest book, or cocktail table.
The charger plate should be stationed 1 inch from the edge in front of each seat.

2. Dinner plates - Sits directly on top of the Charger plate or Service plate. The dinner plate is always used for the main entree and may or may not be setup at the start of the wedding reception depending on what foods are being served prior to the main course. If there are no Charger plates or Server plates, the Dinner plate should be about one inch from the edge of the table in front of the seat.

3. Salad plates - Are usually placed on the Charger plate or Service plate. Depending on the meal, sometimes they can be set upon the Dinner plate, if there are no Charger plates or Service plate the Salad plate may be placed directly on the Table linen but preference is to be placed on some plate.

4. Soup bowl - Can either be placed on a Salad plate or a Salad plate can be removed and replaced by a Soup Bowl. Soup Bowls can also be placed on a Charger plate or Service plate or right upon the Table linen. Preference though is the Soup bowl be served on another dish

5. Dinner knife - Should be placed directly to the right of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate.

6. Teaspoon - Should be placed directly to the right of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate next to the Dinner knife.

7. Soup spoon - Should be placed directly to the right of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate next to the Teaspoon.

8. Oyster or Seafood fork - Should be placed directly to the right of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate next to the Soup spoon.

9. Dinner fork - Should be placed directly to the left of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned with the bottom plate.

10. Salad fork - Should be placed directly to the left of the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate aligned to the bottom plate next to the Dinner fork.

11. Napkin - Should be placed to the left of the Salad fork or directly on top of all the plates. Another option is the Napkin can be placed into the Water glass into a decorative design.

12. Cup and Saucer - Should be placed directly to the right of the Soup spoon centered to the plates directly after the Soup spoon or Oyster fork. The preference is the Cup and Saucer should not be put out on the table until the Dessert course begins.

13. Cake fork - Should be placed directly above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate laid horizontal with handle on the left and fork prong on the right.

14. Dessert spoon - Should be placed directly above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate laid horizontal with handle on the right and spoon scoop to the left above the Cake fork.

15. Bread plate - Should be placed to the left above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate at a 45 degree angle with a Bread knife on top of the plate with handle pointing at main course plates.

16. Water Glass - Should be placed to the right above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate at a 45 degree angle.

17. Red, White, Champagne glass - Wine glasses should be placed to the right above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate at a 45 degree angle aligned either in a row or in a triangle formation above the Water Glass.

18. Place cards - Should be placed above the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate almost directly in the middle but a tad to the left next to the Dessert spoon.

19. Wedding favors - Can either be placed directly on the Charger, Service, or Dinner plate or at a 45 degree angle opposite the Bread plate.

20. Table centerpieces - Whatever table centerpieces you create the Table centerpieces should be set low or high, never at head level. The goal is to have beautiful centerpieces so as to not obstruct wedding guest's views as they can see each other when they are conversing. Best centerpieces have a tower tree like structure.

Place Setting Websites

Being that a wedding is an extraordinary event, decorative folding of napkins should mark the occasion which furthers adds to the glamour of the decorative reception table. There are a couple of dozen ways that a napkins can be folded or displayed. Napkins and napkin ring holders can be picked up from many bridal registry type stores including Bed Bath, and Beyond, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Target, and Williams-Sonoma. Napkins with ideas on ideas on how to fold them and online websites from which napkins can be ordered from reputable websites are shown below.

Linen and Napkin Folding Websites

Wedding place cards that displays the names of where each wedding guest is assigned a seat should also be displayed on each table. Place cards enhance the beauty of the wedding reception table and can be designed in many ways. Another option is to pick up a picture place card and add a picture of the wedding couple, a picture of the wedding cake, a picture of the ice sculpture, or picture of the candy bar. Some reputable companies that have websites where you can order place cards are listed below.

Wedding Place Card Websites

Instead of assigning numbers to each wedding reception table, many couples have fun with the naming of each wedding reception table.  Often the naming conventions of the tables are geared to a hobby one of the couple has or something that interests the couple. Some ideas on the naming of the tables are listed below.

Ideas for Naming Reception Tables

Beach Terminology
Cartoon Characters
Classes Taught in School
Cruise Stops
Disney Characters
Disney Movies
Fairy Tale Names
Family Surnames
Famous Beaches
Famous Couples
Famous Movies
Favorite Chocolates or Candies
Flowers or Garden Terminology
Historic Names of Places
Honeymoon Spots
Pictures of Couple at Special Places Around Town
Places Special to the Wedding Couple
Popular Animals
Signs of the Zodiac
Sports Teams
Table Numbers in Different Languages
Television Shows
The Word "Love" in Different Languages
Trivia Questions about Bride and Groom
Types of Cakes or Desserts
Victorian Themes

Also it's a good idea to leave a menu of what is being served at each wedding guest's seat. Some other ideas is to include recipes of the entrees being served at the wedding or leave about 5 trivial pursuit cards at each table to leave a little fun activity for each wedding guest.

If it's an outdoor wedding, and you are using disposable plates. Make sure any disposable plates, silverware, and glasses are ones that are strong and elegant. It's a wedding after all, don't use cheap paper plates, plastic silverware and glasses, if you can avoid it.

Make sure when you set your flatware on your table setting that the spacing is equal. After you know what foods are being served and what dishes you need at your wedding, play around with your table setting a little and come up with the display that looks best with the spacing you have available.

Have fun with decorating your wedding table and make it look impressive to your wedding guests!

See you on the other side!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Step 90 - Touch Base with your Wedding Vendors

(1 Month to 2 Months before the Wedding)
At about the one month mark and again at the one week mark before your wedding you want to touch base with all your wedding vendors. This serves as a reminder to the wedding vendors that they need to start making you a priority and give you status of where they are at and you can answer any questions they may have such as delivery and timetables.

If you are working but are able, you would be smart to take a few days off of work the few days before your wedding day, if you can, sleep in a little late so you are well rested for your wedding day, during this period concentrate on eating light and healthy meals, get in some light exercising (jogging, health club, yoga), get a massage and soak in a hot tub. Your goal is to eliminate stress, be well rested and energetic for your big day.

Your last month before the wedding, tends to be one of the most hectic times of your life. You need to pack for your honeymoon, pack for a house move, pack an emergency bridal kit, prepare wedding favors for your wedding guests, prepare special favors for all the bridesmaids, prepare special favors for the groomsmen, attend bridal showers, attend bachelorette parties and touch base with about two dozen wedding vendors. All this happens along with friends popping in your home unexpectantly and trying to do a little extra and staying ahead so you can enjoy your vacation honeymoon time from from work. It seems like an impossible undertaking but it always comes miraculously together if you stayed organized in your wedding planning.

The key for your final month of wedding planning is formulate a checklist of all the things that have to be done and mark them off once you have completed the task. If the bride is using a wedding planner, she should get status of where things are at with all the wedding vendors. Most wedding planners are top notch but occasionally talking through things with wedding planners, your discussions help remind them to check on wedding vendors and have them do things the way you want. Talking through all the wedding vendors and what their status helps put the bride's mind at ease and takes away any worry.

If the bride is planning the wedding herself there are a number of wedding vendors, bridal party members, and future in-laws she needs to touch base with, at about the one month mark before the wedding and the week before the wedding. She need to make contact with the officiant, the ceremony site location or the church, the wedding reception venue, the caterer of the food, the beverage company if there are any, party store or rental services company, the photographer, the videographer, all musicians, disc jockeys, any places that are providing accommodations such as hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, your wedding cake baker and any places providing sweets and treats for your wedding, your florist, any decorators, your limousine company, any special needs your calligrapher is providing for your wedding reception, any bridal registries, the place you are ordering your wedding favors from, your hair stylist for your wedding, and makeup artist, whew! You are likely to have other vendors not even mentioned in this list!

If you don't think of all the wedding vendors to contact, with all that has to be done you can very easily miss someone and something may be missed, it may be that the limousine forgot to pick up the groomsmen, the wedding rings were left at the house or something other. During the last month as you talk to all the wedding vendors take notes on all that is talked about, what time are you expecting deliveries, who is doing what, when, and where and at what time. At the end of the day move the notes to your wedding planner if you don't already have a wedding planner binder or device following you throughout the day. Don't forget to take names and phone numbers of people you haven't marked as contacts with, such as delivery people or assistants to wedding vendors.

First make contact with vendors related to your wedding ceremony, arrange to meet with them with ceremony musicians to check out the acoustics of the ceremony site, plus where they will perform and do they have equipment needs such as access to an electrical outlet and when will they play their music and how will they get cued. You need to discuss the ceremony and is there a way for flowers to get shared with other weddings and decorations you can use or rent for the wedding.

You need to contact the wedding reception facility and caterer, make sure you firm up the food count for entrees, hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and other needs such as coffee. At what times should food go out and who is the contact for when food should go out and identify an emcee to give cues when the bridal party arrives, the cutting of the wedding cake, when the music begins, and when to dance. Are there enough wait staff to handle the event or are more needed and who will clean the wedding reception and what to do with the extra food. Bartender arrangements need to be discussed too, is there enough bartenders and wait staff and enough bar ware and how much liquor and the type of liquor along with embellishments.

As for your wedding reception, do you have all the chairs, tables, and serving tables that you need or do you need more? Do you have enough place settings and all that makes a place setting? Make sure you have more than enough plates, dishes, glasses, flatware, salt and pepper shakers, napkins, creamers, sugars, coffee cups and saucers. Verify the linen needs and the design for all the tables. Don't forget the amount of room taken up by table centerpieces and wedding favors, and how should each table placing be put together, does the table layout look extravagant and identify your day of wedding coordinator. Is there enough places and preparation room in the kitchen and do you have all the equipment you need.

Next is checking in with your photographers and videographers and reviewing their timetables for your wedding day. You need to review all the locations and times and photos and videos wanted and all the wedding guests and bridal party that need to be where and when for all the photo shoots. Are there any special needs or outlets needed and what happens in the event of inclement whether and are there any special requests such as a family shoot or a picture with Uncle Charlie.

You also want to check in with your ceremony and reception musicians and your disc jockeys. Do the musicians that are playing the music you requested, have they mastered the special music selections you have requested and can you hear a snippet to insure it's to your liking. Can you hear a little of the wedding reception music and review the disc jockey's wedding selections (good mix of music selections 40% requests from the wedding couple, 30% from bridal party and wedding guest requests, and 30% chosen by the disc jockeys themselves). Are there special equipment needs, high voltage outlets, lighting needs, or a dance floor.

If your guests are staying at a hotel, resort, or bed & breakfast, you want to check in with these places, are their any issues and do you plan on leaving a gift basket and if anything comes up with the rooms, whom should be contacted. Are there enough rooms booked for the wedding couple to get a discount, upgrade, or free room.

You want to check in with the wedding florist too. How many bouquets in total are needed for all the bridesmaid? How many boutonnieres? How many carnations? How many floral centerpieces are needed and any more floral decorations are needed, any for the wedding ceremony? Who delivers the flowers or do we pick them up and when will they be ready? How do you pin flowers on?

What about the wedding cake baker, what is the final count of wedding cake pieces needed for the wedding, what flavors are needed for each layer of the cake and what is the final cake piece count? What will the final design of the cake look like, what decorations will the cake have? When will the cake be baked and when will it be iced and how and who gets the cake to the wedding reception.

How will the decorator design the wedding reception hall? When can the decorator gain access to the reception and how long should the decorations take? Do some of the decorations need to be done when the hall is empty such as fabric draping or updraft flood lighting. Do table centerpieces need to be complete before the tables are set with silverware. Are any decorations being done for the wedding ceremony?

Is the calligrapher providing any additional services for the wedding, providing decorative name cards at each table setting, creating a seating chart at the entrance of the wedding reception, or an alphabetical list of name cards at the reception entrance, is there a guest book sign in, and is the calligrapher creating a wedding day program, or any other special requests and when can you review the material to be sure all the names on all produced is correct. Are the seating arrangements all correct and include any late changes.

You also need to check in with the limousine company, and print out directions of all routes and drop off a copy to the limousine company and make sure you have a copy yourselves in the event there is a change of limousine drivers on the wedding day. You want the limousine have a map from location to location which can be obtained from Mapquest and what times they are expected.

Next you want to check in with your hair stylist and makeup artist and firm up appointments with them, you should have a major appointment with your hair stylist about two weeks before the wedding along with your bridesmaids, hopefully the groomsmen will have their hair cut about one to two weeks before the wedding also. You need to firm up your wedding day schedule also, where are you going to get your hair prepped at the salon or in your home.

You also need to be in touch with your future in-laws for the wedding too, you want to keep them in the loop on all wedding activities. With your in-laws you get one chance to leave a good impression, for them it's not only one impression but about a dozen first impressions, they want their son to be marrying someone special in their eyes. Don't forget to be in contact too with every member of the bridal party.

The last month before your wedding there is so much to do, and in order to stay on top of things it is best to put together a checklist. Just remember, your wedding day is one special day of your life, all the wedding planning to make your wedding day is well worth it, and the month of your wedding with all the chaos in it is the most rewarding and enjoyable time of your life. Do your best at planning, don't stress, and enjoy your wedding period.

See you on the other side!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Step 89 - Decide on Using Water Beads for your Wedding

(1 Month to 2 Months before the Wedding)
If you don't have wedding decorations down pat for your wedding, an inexpensive relatively new thing on the market that is exploding onto the wedding scene are water beads. Water beads look a lot like marbles and are made from a substance called polymer.

Water beads start out as tiny hard pellets. Simply soak the tiny pellets in a large bowl of water and let them stand for about 6 to 8 hours. Drain off the excess water, rinse and place into a beautiful clear vase or bowl.

The water beads currently come in about a dozen colors including green, clear, purple, orange, gold, teal, black, coral, red, blue, pink, white, and yellow. They have become a big hit for use for wedding decorations over the last couple of years. Choose a color that matches to the color scheme of the wedding or  layer the colors offering even more stunning effects.

With the water beads, you can make amazing wedding centerpieces, place the water beads into a tower like vase. Top the vase with floral arrangements, varied plants, artificial flowers, wedding bouquets, silk, tea lite candles, or pillar candles. You can also add fragrance oils to the water beads and soak overnight which puts pleasant fragrances into the air. Also, inside the bottom of the vase you might place a floral immersion light base or include a myriad of water proof Christmas lights which shines on the water beads for a dazzling effect.

Besides table wedding centerpieces, water beads can make specialty tables look more elegant too. Inter-space water beads according to the wedding color scheme with glass candy jars, clear vases and bowls along with candy bars, dessert tables, or ice sculptures to create a wow sight. Be careful though that little ones don't mistake the water beads for delicious candies.

The water bead table centerpiece decorations not only decorate the wedding reception venue but the table centerpieces make a great wedding favors for wedding guests to take home after the wedding as well. Wedding guests can take home the galss bowls and vases or create wedding favors at each seat with a bag of pellets. The water beads not only make beautiful wedding decorations, they also help household plants to thrive just as well for plants soak up the water in the beads as they need them and plants tend to last much longer sitting in the water beads.

Water beads can be found at many craft stores and art & supply stores as well as florists along with many online websites. Just a year ago they were hard to find, but have become so popular, they are much easier to find. You can get many ideas on how to create centerpieces from many of the websites and get ideas from Youtube on water bead decorations too. Some of the more reputable online websites that sell water beads are listed below.

Reputable Websites that sell Water Beads

There are dozens of plant possibilities that can be combined with water beads using a clear vase to make beautiful decorations may it be for weddings or plant decorations for your home. Some of the plants you might think of creating a table centerpieces along with the beads include algerian ivy, arrow head vine, bromeliads, caladiums, Chinese evergreen, cordatum, devil ivy, dieffenbachia, dragon plants, dumb cane, fern, gold dust dracaena, gold dust ivy, gold dust pothos, heart leaf philodendron, ivy, marble queen, nephythis, peace lily, pencil cactus, pepronia, philodendron, red veined prayer, sandar's dracaena, spider plant, t1 plants and palms, white butterfly, and many more.

Water beads were originally invented for the farming industry to help keep moisture from evaporating out of the soil too quickly, you are starting to see many florists utilize them at their florist shops and green houses as water beads actually water your plants for you, automatically. These water absorbing beads allow plants to absorb lots of water and slowly dispenses water to plants nourishing them over a long period of time.

Since their invention, water beads have many other uses too. Besides using them for wedding decorations, they are used to germinate seeds, allow the growing of plants in very arid climates, allow growing of plants on vertical structures, allow root treatment and storage, allow for growth of plants without soil, help clean oil and petroleum spills, provide dust abatement in construction and mining, used for protection lined helmets and headbands, and provide diaper protection too.

The water bead was originally created for the world of plants but have found many other uses including creating stunning decorations at weddings which are saving couples money in their decoration budget.

Water beads have become a big hit, make it a beautiful wedding!

See you on the other side!  

Friday, July 8, 2011

Step 88 - Create your Wedding Photo Album

(1 Month to 2 Months before the Wedding)
Your wedding album is one of the most important keepsakes you will ever have. If your home ever gets hit by a natural disaster (i.e., a flood or other natural disaster) and you only have a moment's notice to collect a few precious things, your wedding album is always near the top of the list of things that a couple wants saved. The wedding album keeps the memory and tells the story of the biggest day of your life which of course is your wedding day and often includes photos of most of the important people in your life.

The wedding album brings you back to that special day as if you were there, it's created to reminisce with family and friends and after many years it also is a reminder of past family and friends that were part of your life and to share your wedding story with future generations, your children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

In many weddings, professional wedding photographers include the creation of a wedding album as part of the wedding photography packages that is offered to the couple. Often couples, use a wedding photographer to take pictures of the wedding and then purchase the photographs from the photographer and create the wedding album themselves to help cut down on wedding costs. What some couples like, they have more control on the design of the wedding album, they can create the wedding album to match their style.

Basically there are three options when it comes to creating a wedding album. Let the wedding photographer create the wedding album, allow the wedding photographer create the wedding album per your instructions, or have a professional wedding photographer take the pictures and purchase all the high resolution digital photos from him or her and create your wedding album yourselves.

One thing is certain for your wedding, you can't have this biggest day of your life with photos taken by an amateur. You either must have your wedding day photos taken by a professional wedding photographer or if the pictures are taken by someone you trust who you are absolutely positive can take great photographs.

Only a great photographer can get pictures centered perfectly, uses steady hands, gets the colorization adjusted, gets the subjects with the right pose and make cropping adjustments of photos if necessary. The photos for your photo album, not only have to look good but need to look as good many years from now. If should you decide to create your own pictures you need to concern yourself with four main things, create good pictures, get good photo paper, get good ink, and print them off a good printer and have a good integrated system.

If you are creating the photo album yourselves, you will either want to purchase all the photos from your wedding and have them downloaded to a computer album type package that is available on your personal computer or have the pictures put on a CD. Currently there are dozens of album sharing packages that are available that you can put on your PC and manage your pictures into categories. Some of the more popular online wedding album packages are listed below (Please note, Picasa is expected to be renamed "Google Photo" in August of 2011).

Online Wedding Software Packages

Ideally, if you can afford it, you should use two printers for printing needs, Inkjet printers work best for creating photos, laser toners are faster and sharper for printing text such as for creating invitations, wedding programs, and seating charts.

Highly Recommended Printers for Wedding Photography

Epson B-510DN Business Color Inkjet Printer
HP OfficeJet Pro 8000 Wireless Printer
HP OfficeJet 6000 Wireless
Canon Pixma IP4820

The professional's recommend that you get yourselves a good-quality printer that has individual ink cartridges rather than a single color cartridge printer, as for photo paper you want a premium acid-free photo paper that is made to control ink absorption and produces a moisture barrier that preserves your paper. Photo glossy paper works best, which reflects the most light and interacts well with the inkjet process.

Before placing photo paper in your printer, fan your stack of photo paper to insure there is no dust or humidity on it's surface. After printing, wait for the ink to completely dry before moving onto the next step such as mounting, framing, storing, or shipping. Make sure you store images and photo paper in a cool, humid-free, acid-free, sunlight free environment for protection and minimize chances of fading. If you stack prints, use protective tissue paper or blank paper to prevent rubbing or paper sticking especially if the paper is stacked for a period of time. Try to avoid touching, folding, creasing, smudging, scraping and especially avoid touching the prints with your fingers.

Lastly, you want to purchase a high quality wedding album to place all your important pictures in and design it to your liking, one that is a high quality and sturdy that will last many years. What type of material do you want for your wedding album, should it be leather, canvas, faux leather, suede, or something other. Be sure the wedding album has protective sleeves or some type of covering for all the pictures. Also, do you create one that lays out on a coffee table or one that is stored and pulled out for special occasions.

As you begin the transformation of the wedding album into your personal wedding album, you should begin with a hot glue gun, lace or other embellishments and a small light picture frame. It's a good idea to include a photo of you, the wedding couple on the front cover of the wedding album. Maybe include the date of the wedding and the bride's and groom's names along with the words "wedding album".

Cut out a piece of fabric, with a design you love to cover the entire cover. It should be about 1 inch longer and wider than on each side. Next, with the glue gun, cover the back cover with the fabric. Fold the fabric over so the extra fabric sits on the inside all the way around and glue the fabric to the inside cover. Also, using the hot glue, add lace or ribbon that you want to decorate the album around the album's edge, and glue this material to the inside edge.

For the front of the album, add a frame to hold the couple's photo, cover the front with the same fabric you used on the back using the hot glue. Do any writings with fabric pens or with calligraphy pens, add embellishments like rhinestones, lace, pearls, or ribbons with glue. Blank wedding albums from local calligraphers or art & supply studios or from online websites, some of the higher rated websites can be found below.

Websites That Sell Wedding Albums

If a wedding couple is creating a wedding album themselves, they should have reviewed with the photographer what pictures are wanted from the wedding, at least a month before the wedding. The wedding album should be created soon after the wedding while the wedding is still fresh on their minds. The wedding album should be soon after the couple gets back from their honeymoon. First thing the couple should take care of is updating the bride's name change, next take care of thank you cards for the wedding gifts, and then the next focus should be on the creation of the couple's wedding album if the couple is creating the wedding album themselves instead of the wedding photographer.

Nowadays, couples often get digital files of all the photos taken at the wedding. This is an ideal situation for couples, many of the photo's can be included on the couple's website, some of the photo's can be created as a portrait as a gift to parents and grandparents. Others can be placed into an online sharing digital photo system so they can be uploaded onto family and friend's photo albums and can be used for years to come.

After you get the photos or proofs from the wedding photographer or person shooting your wedding, try not to share wedding photographs until after the wedding pictures are reviewed. Your wedding photos need to be in tip top shape, if you get others involved in your photos you may find some of your photos may get lost or damaged. Ideally at first, you want three people involved in the first look of the wedding photos, the bride, the groom, and an independent person you trust, it may be the maid-of-honor, your mother, or a best friend.

Creating your wedding album is a tedious process, but it's also one of the most rewarding parts of planning your own wedding. You are creating one of the most precious things you will ever have in your entire life, a snapshot of your wedding day and you want to create a beautiful album. This album needs to last you a lifetime, your instinct may be to jump right in. You want to slow down, you are creating a keepsake that will be shared with future generations.

Before you begin creating your wedding album, get ideas from other albums on how you want your pictures laid out and how do you want your wedding story told. You should include some comments from your wedding. Years from now some people's names and place's will be forgotten and for others not born at the time of the wedding the album will serve as an introduction to wedding guests your children and grandchildren have heard in stories.

After you figure out the style you want for your pages in the wedding album including the background that surrounds the wedding pictures. Figure out how many pictures will you put on a page is it one, two three, or four. When choosing photos, you should look for a good mix of photojournalism (candid shots) and portraits. You should choose images you enjoy looking at and you should try to include all family and friends that the wedding couple is close to with at least a photo somewhere in the photo album.

As you begin looking through wedding photographs, the bride, the groom and a third party should discuss each of the pictures, which pile should each picture go in, using post-it notes create three piles, create a definite pile, maybe pile, and a no pile, come to a consensus on which pile each photo should go.

Next create a chronological order of your wedding pictures again using post-it notes. Break the piles into piles such as 1)Rehearsal Dinner, 2) Bride and Bridesmaid's Getting Ready, 3) Arriving at the Wedding Ceremony, 4) Wedding Ceremony, 5) Bridal Party Photo-Shoot, 6) Wedding Site Pictures (Longshot of Venues just setup), 7) Candid Cocktail Hour, 8) Best Man Speeches and Toasts, 9) Cake Cutting, 10) Wedding Dance 11) Wedding Guest Candid Shots, 12) Departing to the Honeymoon, 13) Honeymoon Shots, 14) Opening Wedding Gifts.

Now go back and take your time to create each page of the wedding album, brainstorm how you want each page of the wedding album laid out with comments. Don't expect the album to come together quickly, on average, a wedding album takes about 6 hours to create and often even more hours. No one says the album must be created in a day, take a few days to create the wedding album if you must. Remember the wedding album is your beautiful keepsake that should last you a lifetime.

You can include somewhere in your wedding album, momentos from your wedding day such as dried flowers from your wedding, your wedding garter, the wedding program, some even include your marriage certificate in the back of their album. Some include pictures scattered about the wedding including pictures of the wedding cake, food served at the wedding, and musicians who played at the wedding.

Some couples include collage or a scrapbook page in the back of their wedding album either from candid shots or from a photo booth. Also if you have special features at the wedding such as an ice sculpture or candy bar or a coffee bar or something other you want to include photos of those somewhere in the wedding album as well. A picture from the outside of the church, ceremony site, and reception facility should be also be included.

There are talks that soon there will be gadgets such as something like IPad which will offer a wedding album on devices, you may be on the lookout for these type of devices and create a wedding album like product you can take with you. You can also create like a wedding album on your website or even create a wedding album into a slideshow.

Make sure you create a wedding album that is precious to your and your love. Many couples make a tradition of it to look at their wedding album for their anniversary along with watching the videography from their wedding, then exchange an anniversary gift and then go out or make a special dinner and renewing their commitment to each other. Those that create this annual tradition, tend to have stronger marriages!

See you on the other side!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Step 87 - Decide to Write Wedding Vows for your Wedding

(1 Month to 2 Months before your Wedding)
To show the couple's love and commitment to each other, often couple's write wedding vows as part of the wedding ceremony. As couple's start to put down their thoughts of what they want to say to each other, their thoughts often get a healthy dose of writer's block. They want the wording to be perfect to say to each other, but find that heavy life-altering feelings are not so easy to put into a string of coherent words.

Before you proceed with putting your wedding vows together, you first need to check in with your officiant and church affiliation on what they will allow in regards to wedding vows. At many ceremonies, depending on the church, traditional vows are part of the wedding ceremony, but often the vows you can use are left to the officiant's discretion. many officiant's are accommodating but what words you both want to say to each other, the officiant usually will want to review your vows in advance.

You also will need to decide how you want to write your wedding vows, write your wedding vows together, write your wedding vows on your own then let the other review it or each write their own vows and let the wedding vows be a surprise. Any way is fine as long as it's acceptable by your church and your officiant. Please note however, if there is something you want to say at your wedding but are kind of shy to include it as part of the ceremony, you can say it privately in a card, either sometime during the wedding day or present the card on your honeymoon.

The tone of the wedding vows can be delivered in a number of different ways too. The wedding vows can be presented in a serious light, or make it humorous, or even poetic, it really should be presented in accordance with the personality of the couple. The important thing that the vow sounds true and the meaning comes from the heart.

As you begin work on putting together your wedding vows, you might want to start by outlining of what you want to say. Some experts advise to break your wedding vows into about 10 different pieces. You also want to try to keep the wedding vows to no more than two minutes apiece by both the groom and the bride. If the wedding vows are longer than two minutes it's about to the point when you start to lose wedding guest's attention.

There is another point made by wedding vow experts, and that you need to find your voice when stating your wedding vows. First of all you should practice giving your wedding vows a number of times, you don't want your voice to be too loud or too soft. You want to show your voice in a medium romantic tone and you also don't want to state your wedding vows too fast or too slow. If you are saying your wedding vows at an outdoor location, its recommended to get your hands on a microphone so all your wedding guests can hear you, the outdoors often muffles your voice and you don't want to sound too loud.

Another point that experts make, is have a copy of your wedding vows in your hand, it's up to you if you want to read them or say them from memory, but often at weddings both brides and grooms often get nervous and even if you know what you want to say by heart, brain freeze often happens at weddings. If you ever find yourself in a brain freeze situation, you always have your vows on paper to refer to as a backup. Having the vows on paper adds to the special occasion too, you should include your wedding vows in the back of your wedding album or in your family wedding bible. If you keep a written copy of your wedding vows put the vows on nice paper too.

You want to lay out about ten points that have meaning to you as a couple and write your wedding vows accordingly. The following is just an example to show how you might come up with an outline and how to pull your wedding vows together. Try to keep your points in chronological order, you might include points that matter to your marriage too and these points don't necessarily have an order to them. Remember wedding vows can be your commitments to each other or express your love of each other, every couple may have their own way of writing wedding vows.

1. How was the state of your life before the two of you met?

Describe how your world was, did your life have meaning, did your life have purpose, were you in a state of flux?

2. When and how did you first meet each other?

Was your first meeting, did it seem like it was destiny, put your first meeting into a little story.

3. When did you realize you were in love?

Was it love at first sight, or did you fall in love little by little?

4. What have you learned from each other?

Did each of you have weaknesses, or were there things your partner brought to your life, maybe it is new experiences, different cooking pleasures, exposed to different types of movies or becoming familiar with new sports or a different perspective on politics, have you become more patient, cut down on smoking and drinking, become a better person?

5. Has the view of the world changed since you met?

Was your life at a stand still before you met, and now you are looking forward and making plans together now?

6. What things do you miss when you are apart?

For some couples it's somebody to do things together with, for some there is romance and being around your best friend, for some it's having someone to talk over the events of the day, and for others it's having a comfort zone, instead of tackling life yourself, now you can tackle life together with a partner.

7. What plans do you have for your future?

After you get engaged, it's usually followed by major plans, where are you going to live and what are your career plans, are you going to start a family. It helps if you talk the future over with your partner, where do you see yourselves in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, and 40 years?

8. What do you look forward to in your lives together?

If you fell in love with each other, there must be a reason why you decided to get married, there is something in your partner that you really fell in love with and you look forward to having in your life. Also ask yourself, what makes the two of you a perfect pair.

9. What special moments you remember since the two of you met?

Talk about a couple of special moments that your partner impressed you and is a fond memory, was it how your partner handled a situation, or proposing at a special place, or is it a choice of friends, or playing it cool in a crisis.

10. What happened at the proposal and how did you feel?

Was the proposal a surprise, you thought it was never going to happen, a yes yes moment or do you need a bit of time to make a decision.

Your wedding vows should be written so it's important to the both of you, some vows include what to expect to keep a happy marriage. For some couples, it's important to continue golfing with their friends, or playing bridge, or shopping with friends or meeting work friends at happy hour. It's helpful to use wedding vows to allow some compromise but make commitments to each other to keep the marriage strong. The first couple of years of marriage, couples tend to look their best and share new adventures. After awhile couples get into a routine and the marriage will take extra effort. It's so important to keep romance in a relationship and many marriages work by committing to your wedding vows.

You might think of giving a charm bracelet or necklace with ten or whatever amulets that matches up with important matters of your wedding vows and bring attention to any matters that come up. It's important to continue to make a commitment to each other and to keep romance in your lives and you can use your wedding vows as your guide.

See you on the other side!

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Kaiser Wedding Blog - July 2011 Index Page

Wedding Vendors Location

Orlando - February 2011 - March 2011
Atlanta - March 2011 - April 2011
Dallas - April 2011 - June 2011
San Diego - June 2011 - July 2011

Kaiser's Wedding Blog

Step 1 - Get Engaged/Announce Your Engagement
Orlando Wedding Planners

Step 2 - Host an Engagement Party
Orlando Officiants & Counseling

Step 3 - Start a Wedding Folder/Binder
Orlando Churches & Chapels

Step 4 - Decide on Communications Mediums
Orlando Ceremony Sites

Step 5 - Set Your Wedding Date
Orlando Reception Facilties

Step 6 - Determine a Wedding Budget
Orlando Catering

Step 7 - Decide on the Level of Formality of Wedding
Orlando Honeymoon & Activities

Step 8 - Decide on Pre-Marriage Counseling and/or Prenup Agreement
Orlando Jewelers

Step 9 - Decide on a Wedding Planner
Orlando Bridal Fashions & Tuxedos

Step 10 - Create a Guest List for your Wedding
Orlando Photographers

Step 11 - Send Thank You Notes for Engagement Gifts
Orlando Videographers

Step 12 - Select Members for your Bridal Party
Orlando Disc Jockeys

Step 13 - Do Preliminary Research for your Wedding
Orlando Live Music

Step 14 - Attend Bridal Shows and Expos
Orlando Dance Instruction & Fitness

Step 15 - Create a Wedding Budget Worksheet
Orlando Transportation

Step 16 - Interview and Book your Officiant
Orlando Rental Services

Step 17 - Interview and Book your Ceremony Site
Orlando Florists

Step 18 - Interview and Book your Wedding Reception Facility
Orlando Decorations

Step 19 - Interview and Book your Caterer
Orlando Wedding Cake

Step 20 - Research and Book your Honeymoon
Orlando Bed & Breakfast

Step 21 - Select Readers and Toasters for the Ceremony
Orlando Hotels & Resorts

Step 22 - Send out "Save-the-Date" Cards
Orlando Rehearsal Dinner

Step 23 - Research and Order your Engagement/Wedding Ring
Orlando Invitations

Step 24 - Research and Order your Wedding Dress
Orlando Gifts & Registries

Step 25 - Order Bridal Accessories that go along with the Wedding Dress
Orlando Favors

Step 26 - Order Bridesmaid Dresses and Tuxedos for the Wedding party
Orlando Health & Beauty

Step 27 - Order Accessories for the Bridal Party
Orlando Makeup Artists & Cosmetics

Step 28 - Interview and Book your Photographer
Atlanta Wedding Planners

Step 29 - Interview and Book your Videographer
Atlanta Counseling and Officiants

Step 30 - Submit your Engagement Announcement to the Newpaper
Atlanta Churches and Chapels

Step 31 - Interview and Book your Disc Jockey
Atlanta Ceremony Sites

Step 32 - Interview and Book your Ceremony Musicians
Atlanta Reception Facility

Step 33 - Interview and Book your Wedding Reception Musicians
Atlanta Catering

Step 34 - Decide on Dance Lessons before the Wedding
Atlanta Honeymoon & Activities

Step 35 - Determine What Rental Services can offer your Wedding
Atlanta Jewelers

Step 36 - Interview and Book your Wedding Florist
Atlanta Bridal Fashions and Tuxedos

Step 37 - Interview and Book your Wedding Decorator
Atlanta Photographers

Step 38 - Interview and Book your Wedding Cake Baker
Atlanta Videographers

Step 39 - Reserve a Bridal Suite for your Wedding Night
Atlanta Disc Jockeys

Step 40 - Research Bed and Breakfasts for Out-of-town Guests
Atlantic Live Music

Step 41 - Decide if you want an Ice Sculpture to Decorate your Wedding
Atlanta Dance Instruction and Fitness

Step 42 - Identify and Notify a Rehearsal Dinner Site
Atlanta Transportation

Step 43 - Research and Book your Calligrapher
Atlanta Rental Services

Step 44 - Consider a Wedding Carriage or Specialty Limo for your Wedding
Atlanta Florists

Step 45 - Finalize your Wedding Guest List and Track Expenditures
Atlanta Decorations

Step 46 - Decide on a Health Club and/or a Diet Plan for you Wedding
Atlanta Wedding Cakes

Step 47 - Find and Register a couple of Bridal Registries
Atlanta Bed and Breakfast

Step 48 - Decide on Mother's of Bride Day of Shopping
Atlanta Hotels and Resorts

Step 49 - Consider Fireworks for your Wedding
Atlanta Rehearsal Dinner

Step 50 - Decide on Wedding Favors
Atlanta Invitations

Step 51 - Meet with Wedding Officiant or Pre-Marriage Counselor
Atlanta Gifts and Registries

Step 52 - Interview and Book your Wedding Hairdresses
Atlanta Favors

Step 53 - Interview and Book your Makeup Artist
Atlanta Sweets and Treats

Step 54 - Have a Food Tasting with your Caterer and Decide on Wedding Hors d'oeuvres
Atlanta Health and Beauty

Step 55 - Consider Renting a Photo Booth for your Wedding
Atlanta Makeup Artists

Step 56 - Decide on a Chocolate Fountain for your Wedding
Dallas Wedding Planners

Step 57 - Take Care of Honeymoon Requirements
Dallas Officiants and Counseling

Step 58 - Decide on a Fun Wedding Week Activity
Dallas Churches and Chapels

Step 59 - Determine if you need a Wedding Bartender
Dallas Ceremony Sites

Step 60 - Decide if you need Wait Staff/Valets for your Wedding
Dallas Reception Facilities

Step 61 - Send your Invitations out to Wedding Guests
Dallas Catering

Step 62 - Meet and Review Song List with Disc Jockey
Dallas Honeymoon & Activities

Step 63 - Meet and Review Song List with Wedding Musicians
Dallas Jewelers

Step 64 - Develop your Honeymoon Itinerary
Dallas Bridal Fashions & Tuxedos

Step 65 - Review Photography Checklist with Wedding Photographer
Dallas Photographers

Step 66 - Decide if you want a Candy Buffet for your Wedding
Dallas Videographers

Step 67 - Decide on a Specialty Bar for your Wedding
Dallas Disc Jockeys

Step 68 - Collect RSVPs/Develop your Seating Chart
Dallas Live Music

Step 69 - Decide if you want Wine Served for your Wedding
Dallas Dance Instruction

Step 70 - Decide if you want Beer Served for you Wedding
Dallas Transportation

Step 71 - Revisit your Wedding Reception with your Wedding Vendors
Dallas Rental Services

Step 72 - Order your Wedding Favors for your Wedding
Dallas Florists

Step 73 - Order Remaining Needs for Wedding Ceremony
Dallas Decorations

Step 74 - Interview and Book a Limousine for your Wedding
Dallas Wedding Cake

Step 75 - Verify Accommodations for Out-of-Town Guests
Dallas Bed & Breakfast

Step 76 - Review Order of Ceremony with Officiant/Create Wedding Program
Dallas Hotels & Resorts

Step 77 - Decide on Having a Coffee Bar for your Wedding
Dallas Rehearsal Dinner

Step 78 - Decide on Showing a Slideshow for your Wedding
Dallas Invitations

Step 79 - Consider a Bridesmaid Day of Pampering
Dallas Gifts & Registries

Step 80 - Organize a Bridal Shower
Dallas Favors

Step 81 - Decide on the Rules for a Bachelor Party
Dallas Sweets & Treats

Step 82 - Make Arrangements for your Bridal Party
Dallas Health & Beauty

Step 83 - Buy Weddings Gifts for Each Other
Dallas Makeup Artists & Cosmetics

Step 84 - Develop and Distribute Day of Wedding Schedule
San Diego Wedding Planners

Step 85 - Prepare a Bridal Emergency Kit
San Diego Officiants & Counseling

Step 86 - Check Marriage License Requirements
San Diego Churches & Chapels