Choosing Favors of Your Wedding With Smart

Wedding favors are the unacknowledged little treats which drag a number of unwilling parties to ceremonies they absolutely detest. A number of little kids, who are too young to dab their eyes when the vows are taken, but too old to pee on their mother’s lap during the process, are enthusiastic about weddings primarily due to the favors. Same goes for most grandpas and grandmas, let’s face it, these guys have seen far too many weddings to really want to sit through another, their mind therefore hovers off often to the little favors they will be receiving soon. ‘What will it be’ they wonder while the bride swears her undying love ‘Candies? Bubblemakers?’ they rack their brains in silence.

Given the expectations therefore, wedding favors are a must for every ceremony. Too many hearts stand a chance to be crushed if your wedding doesn’t end with one. So be rigorous while choosing your favors in order to make sure that they are just right. Here are a few pointers for you to consider;


Remember your wedding will probably turn up only once…or well twice….in your entire life time (that is, if you aren’t Elizabeth Taylor of course, but I give you the benefit of the doubt), so you wouldn’t want your guests to go back home with a gift which they will stack up with 20 others just like it somewhere on the floor of their closet. Make sure your favors are unique and in some way reflect you, your spouse, and especially your special day. Keep it connected to the theme of your wedding party or make it personal and give a compilation of your favorite songs. A number of people also gift their guests napkins embroidered with the bride and groom’s names. So take your pick.


Weddings are expensive, so you wouldn’t want to add an extra expense in the form of wedding favors. Choose gifts which you can make yourself to save money. A candle for instance is an easy and inexpensive gift which can be made right at your home, personalize it with ribbons and sparkles to give it a unique look and see how it is appreciated by all.


No matter what you choose to send your guests off with make sure you choose it early on. Like everything else in your wedding favors need to be planned for before making purchases. Take your spouse's opinion regarding the gift you have chosen. Remember it’s their special day too and in case you end up gifting people something he/she doesn’t like it might become a sore subject in the years to come. Consult your friends in case they are helping you out with the wedding. Make sure to have purchased or made your gifts at least two weeks before your wedding. Keep them packed and store them in a safe place to avoid any breakage or spoiling.

Your wedding is a special day for you so make sure your wedding favor reflects that. Remember to keep it simple, stylish and unique and ensure that they are packed beautifully. A great wedding favor will make your wedding a memorable affair for all, but especially for those little guys and the oldies who come to weddings just to know what the favors are….

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20 Wedding Tips You May Never Have

20 Wedding Tips You May Never Have
Church and Reception Reservations
-- Consider any events they have booked earlier in the day, so that there is enough time before your wedding to arrive, get ready, decorate and take pictures.

The Church and Reception -- You may have some special requests that are not mentioned or are prohibited that are in print within the information packet. Ask anyway; they may make an exception or their policy may have changed.

Mother-of-the-Groom -- You more than likely will want to have her involved in the wedding plans to some extent. It may be best to gracefully discuss in the beginning how you would like to have her participation and let her know that you do appreciate her input, but, you will want to be sure the final decisions are in line with what you and your fiance want for your special day.

Pre-Marital Counseling -- Be prepared that you will need to talk about private, sensitive issues (like money, sex, kids, weaknesses) with the counselor or couple-mentors.

Pamper Yourself -- Let the day of your wedding be slow paced and an enjoyable time with your mother and bridesmaids. Don't cram every moment with something that has to get done -- even if that is hair, nail and makeup appointments. Plan in the day some down time, power nap, or relaxing with a cool refreshment.

Both Mothers -- In addition to you eliminating any special responsibilities on your wedding day, make sure that your mother and the groom's mother also have delegated all of their responsibilities to others, so they are free to enjoy the day.

The Weather -- Your ideal dream wedding may be outside, but, for the enjoyment of your guests (especially the seniors), make accommodations for them to be comfortable should it be a hot day, a wet day or a cold day. Your venue should have a place for them to relax within a shelter until minutes before the wedding.

Your Guests -- This day is about you and your husband, but keep in mind the enjoyment of your invited guests. You are their hostess -- so having "Hostess-Helpers" or a "House Party" taking care of special requests will allow you to have an opportunity to enjoy your guests. Be sure to have instructions about the kind of help you would want them to provide. Generally 1-2 nieces, nephews, cousins or friends of the family (male or female) per 75-100 guests will be suitable, depending on how much and what kinds of tasks they will be doing.

Service Provider's Attire -- All of your family and guests are dressed exquisitely for the occasion. It is okay to ask everyone that is providing a service on site for your wedding to either be in a clean uniform or in wedding appropriate attire so that you have no surprises.

Delegate, Delegate -- everything you possibly can. Have your friends and family asked "Can I help you with anything?" You may not at the moment have an idea of how they can be of help, but assure them you really appreciate their offer. Keep their name and any ideas of what they enjoy doing (cooking, calling, physical work, baking, crafts, errands or even the one who will organize all of the helpers). The less you have to do, the more you are able to enjoy the time anticipating your big day.

Nourishment -- Have light nutritious snacks available during the time the girls are getting ready for the wedding (and the guys will want to have a snack tray also). This is a great item that your volunteers can contribute.

Bride's Special Entrance -- Assign someone to make sure the path is clear of guests from where you leave the bridal suite to where you walk down the aisle so your special appearance is grand.

The Guests at the Wedding -- Be forewarned that the church will be filled with people when you prepare to walk down the aisle -- but focus on your "True Love" and any anxiety should wash away.

Photographer -- Make sure she/he has the order of service, and also the timing that each part of the service will take so that they know just when to be at the right place for those key pictures. Also, it may not be necessary to have a picture taken of every combination of all of the relatives with the bride and groom. In ample time before the wedding, discuss the specific pictures that you would like to have taken.

Wrist Corsages -- They seem to be fragile because of the movement and bumping they receive on an active wrist. Attaching the wrist corsage on the wrist that is not the dominant hand is recommended.

Carrying Your Bouquet -- It is easy to tense-up when you walk down the aisle to your husband-to-be (and also when you walk back down the aisle with your husband). The inclination is to pull your arms up toward your chin. OOPS! You are hiding your beautiful gown. Take a deep breath, get calm and let your arms relax on your hips.

Eat During the Reception -- It may be easy to stay busy during the reception and never take time to eat -- especially if there is a buffet. One of the Hostess Helpers can be assigned to make sure you and your Husband try some of the food and have some refreshment from time to time during the reception, so that you do not have a low spot between the wedding and your final destination that evening.

Wedding Goodbyes -- If you are imagining a big farewell by your guests, be sensitive to when family and other guests will want to leave in the evening, and plan your big Get Away before the attendance winds down.

Wedding Planner -- There are many details to tend to concerning a wedding. You can liken the experience to training for a new occupation. If you think you could use some help, consider the services that a wedding planner can offer. Often she knows the best service providers and can pass on to you special pricing she has negotiated with them. The wedding planner can be secured for the entire planning process or just for 'The Wedding Day'.

It's Your Wedding -- It is okay for you to eliminate a tradition or to add a new tradition. Expect that some may be dismayed about your selections, but, making your wedding unique for you and your fiance is more valuable.

Posted with permission from The Bloomin' Texan, March 2007 issue, Texas State Florists' Association, P.O. Box 140255, Austin, TX 78714

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Wedding Dresses: What Not to Wear

So you've set a date with the man of your dreams? The only thing, well one of the many things, you have to do to get ready is choose the perfect dress. If you want help with that, you're reading the wrong article. This advice is to keep you from choosing the WRONG wedding dress. Below are practical ideas to keep you from making a very expensive mistake (no, I'm not talking about your fiance).

  • It's gotta fit. This might seem obvious to you, but many brides swear they are a size six and cram their bodies into dresses much too small for them. This unflattering approach to wedding dress shopping can make for bad pictures, not to mention discomfort on your big day.

  • Style is a must. Not every woman has the desire to be current with wedding dress fashions, but there are some definite no-nos. Stay away from halters, giant puffy sleeves, and mermaid style skirts (tight around the hips and knees and flared at the ankles). Also avoid any dress that you saw in a wedding more than 5 years ago.
  • Consider the setting. Don't choose a dress for a different wedding, even if it's been your dream since you were a little girl. Long sleeved dresses should NOT be worn at an outdoor wedding in August. (I knew a bride once who did this and put a ziploc bag of ice down the back of her dress) Conversely, don't choose a sleeveless dress for an outdoor reception in November. (Again, the bride who did this turned into the Wicked Witch of the West during pictures) Lastly, and this is a little known fact, don't wear lots of tulle for an outdoor event. This one I learned personally. The fabric attracts bees like crazy. I had those flying pests in between all 12 layers of my tulle skirt.
  • Love it. Don't buy a dress that you don't absolutely love. You only get one chance to have your perfect day. Choosing the cheapest, or the most sensible, or even the one that your best friend likes the most will not cut it for your wedding. If you don't love it, leave it.
Hopefully this advice will keep you from making a mistake when it comes to your wedding dress. This is one of the only elements of planning a wedding that is almost entirely in your control. You may order flowers that come in silk instead of fresh. Perhaps your invitations spell your parents names “Joan and Jill.” Maybe your caterer had a death in the family. Well, you won't have all of these things happen. At least, probably not. But, at least you will have not picked a bad dress.

by: Jessica Deets

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Wedding Hairstyles

How you wear your hair at your wedding is important. Above all else you Wedding Hairstyle has to be comfortable. It should compliment not only your face but your dress as well.

It does no harm to have your regular hairdresser practise on you a few times. By doing this you may decide that the particular Wedding Hairstyle you have dreamt about having since you were a small child actually does nothing for the shape of your face!

If you want a wedding updo and you have relatively short hair then although with many grips and much hairspray it is possible, do remember that your hairdresser can do the impossible but miracles are outwith their reach!

Try to get a rough idea of what sort of style you are looking at for your wedding hairstyle as far in advance as possible. This gives your hair a chance to grow to a length that is more manageable for your hairdresser. After all long hair can easily be cut but it is harder and more expensive to add to your hair.

Always remember it is you that is getting married and not some fairytale image of you that you have held in your imagination since you were six! You dont want to walk down the aisle to your beloved and have him not recognize you because you wedding hairstyle is so different!

Try not to go for something very different. Chances are you will get fed up with it. If an updo requires a lot of help to stay up then as a wedding hairstyle it probably isn't right. Your wedding hairstyle has to stay in place for up to 10 hours, a lot to ask of any hairstyle but particularly difficult when a veil is shoved in, you are being swung around the dance floor and everyone wants to hug you!!

If you decide to opt for flowers or a tiara amongst your wedding hairstyle then make sure that they are securely attached but not hurting.

I would suggest go for elegance and comfort. Something that suits you and brings out your best features. If you can mange a wedding hairstyle that looks just as good down as up then you grab it with both hands, a comb and some grips!!

by: Lorna Mclaren

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Wedding Cake

The is one of the most important features of your reception. In fact, it is the centerpiece of your reception. You should begin shopping for a baker 6-8 months before the wedding. If you plan on having your reception catered, ask your caterer if they will bake your wedding cake. However, you do not have to choose the caterer to bake your cake. You can also buy cakes from commercial and boutique bakeries, custom wedding cake designer, a culinary school or someone you know who makes cakes from home.

Begin by calling bakeries or cake decorators in your area to check for date availability. If they are available, make an appointment to go in and check out the designs, taste and skill level of the business. Many specialty cake decorators require that you book six months to a year in advance to reserve your date, whereas commercial bakeries may require 3 months due to larger staff and their ability to do a larger quantity of cakes.

Since most weddings are on the weekends, baker's deadlines also coincide with that timetable. A phone call to make an appointment to visit with the individual or bakery about your cake will be appreciated. If you just walk in and expect undivided attention, you may be disappointed if they do not have time to visit with you at that time.

Ask the baker to provide samples of the cake flavors, icings, fillings, etc., during your interview. The taste, flavor and texture of the cake itself will be the most important decision you will make when you order your cake. The outside beauty of your wedding cake will be important for your pictures and your personal statement, but the inside of the cake is what you will be serving to your guests. You want a cake that is flavorful, moist and good to eat.

Before your meeting with the baker, collect pictures of wedding cakes that appeal to you. Be sure to take those pictures with you on your interviews so that you can give your baker an illustrated idea of what you are looking for in a wedding cake. Here are some key questions you need to ask them:

Flexibility-Will they bake a cake according to your specifications?
Is the cake made from scratch or is it from a cake mix?
Request to see pictures of their work. Most bakers will have a portfolio of their cakes.
Certain cakes are not good for particular seasons. For example, if you are planning an outdoor wedding in August, you want to avoid cakes with mousse, meringue, whipped cream or buttercream filling. Ask the baker what cakes are in season.
What is the price per serving? Prices can average between $1.50 a slice to $15 a slice depending on the cake you choose. The price depends on frosting, decorations, architecture, etc. Understand that the more elaborate the cake, the more expensive the "per serving" price will be.
What are the extra charges? Most bakers charge for renting the pillars, columns, cake toppers, delivery and set-up. There may also be extra charges for certain cake fillings, flavors, styles, etc.
Who will be setting up the cake?
What do they provide in the set-up? Talk to your baker about how you'd like the cake table to be set up.
If you plan on using fresh flowers on your cake, who is responsible for providing the flowers, the baker or the florist?

When interviewing the baker, make sure you know the number of servings required, your desired type and design, and your budget for the cake. Be up front with the baker about the maximum amount you are willing to spend on your cake and ask them if they are willing to negotiate. Click here to see how you can save money on your wedding cake.

After you have decided on a baker and all the details, make sure to get everything in writing. Your contract should include the following:

Detailed description of the cake type, style, and description of the decorations.
The number of layers and fillings for each layer if applicable.
Type of frosting.
Wedding date, time and location of delivery
When, how, where and by whom the cake will be delivered (or picked up). Make sure to include the complete address where the cake is to be delivered.
Name and contact information of the baker
List of rented items (pillars, cake stand, cake table, etc.)
Delivery and set-up fees
Total price
Deposit amount
Balance and due date
Baker's cancellation and/or refund policy

If you do your homework, buying your wedding cake will be a smooth process. Remember to be realistic, and don't spend your entire wedding budget on your wedding cake.

by: Tom Tsatsos

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Choosing the Perfect Wedding Ring

Traditionally, a wedding band was worn on the ring finger of the left hand because it was believed that the vein in that finger went straight to the heart. A wedding ring is a piece of jewelry which will be worn everyday of your life to signify your love and fidelity to your significant other. That being said, you want to ensure you choose the perfect ring, which can be difficult for someone who is inexperienced in this area. Luckily we can help you through the steps of finding the perfect wedding ring for the special person in your life.

The first thing to consider is the kind of metal you want for your wedding rings. Most wedding rings are found in yellow gold, white gold or platinum. These forms of metal vary in price and most likely this decision will be quite easy since most women already know what kind of ring they want.

The next step is choosing the stone for the ring. You will need to decide which kind of stone you want as well as the shape of the stone. Diamonds are still the most popular choice when it comes to stones for wedding rings however colored stones such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires are becoming more and more popular.

The last step is to find a reputable jeweler who you will be comfortable purchasing such an expensive piece of jewelry from. Perhaps it is best to use a jeweler who one of your friends or family members have already used and would recommend for you because of such great results.

If you are like most couples who are marrying, you will likely choose a diamond wedding ring. If you are doing so, you may want to keep the four C's in mind while doing so. The four C's are the diamond's color, cut, clarity and carat weight.

1. Color – Diamonds are available in number of colors and shades including white, yellow, green, blue and pink. The color range starts at D and moves through the alphabet towards Z. The scale moves from white to yellow as it makes its way through the alphabet.

2. Cut – The cut of the diamond is what gives the diamond personality. Diamonds which are cut well will be bright and sparkly, however diamonds that are cut poorly may end up looking dull and boring. Choosing and making sure the cut is perfect is a crucial step in the overall outcome of your wedding ring.

3. Clarity – An inclusion in a diamond is an imperfection inside the stone which will greatly affect the overall worth of the ring. The size, color and position of the inclusions in your ring affect the clarity of the diamond. You want to ensure the diamond has good clarity.

4. Carat Weight – A carat is divided into 100 equal parts (also known as points). Therefore a one carat diamond equals 100 points; half carat equals 50 and so on. When the diamonds are loose (before they are mounted on the ring), the weight is easy to determine, however, after the diamond has been mounted only a gemologist can determine the weight of the diamond(s).

Take your time when choosing a wedding ring for yourself or for your significant other. A wedding ring is a sign of your everlasting love to one another and is something that will be cherished for the rest of your lives.

by: Samantha Taylor

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Wedding Video Tips

Some of the same considerations involved in selecting a photographer for your wedding photos also apply to choosing the right videographer. Wedding video, however, is a newer art than wedding photography, and the two forms of preserving your memories cannot really be lumped together when shopping for these professional services.

Nowadays, nearly everyone has a home video camera, and the quality of pictures they produce is quite good; better, in fact, than professional equipment could turn out just a few years ago. This has led many people to neglect the importance of using a professional videographer to record once-in-a-lifetime events. Yes, your friend Bob's nifty new handy-dandy super camcorder can turn out some pretty good-looking stuff, but if you depend on friend Bob to provide your wedding video, you are setting yourself up to be sadly disappointed.

First of all, Bob's new camera, while quite snazzy, still will not be up to the level of equipment the serious professional videographer will bring to your wedding. When shopping for video, ask the videographer to explain to you what a 3-chip camera is, and why it makes better video than a home camcorder. Also ask him about the various tape formats used by the pros...SVHS, HI8, Betacam, and get him to explain the advantages of these over standard home formats. Oh, and wouldn't it be nice to have great sound quality on your video, so you can actually hear your wedding vows, and your music? Chances are pretty good that friend Bob won't own the sophisticated wireless microphones the professional uses to record even a whisper.

Ever sat and watched Bob's 6-hour production of Little Bobby's Birthday Party? This brings us to one of the areas where the pros really excel, editing. No, editing is NOT "cutting out" or throwing away any of your wedding video. Editing is an almost magical process whereby the professional videographer refines and assembles the pictures he carefully gathered at your wedding into a polished, pleasing record of your wedding day. Every videographer has his own style, and there are as many types of wedding video available as there are videographers. Look at lots of sample videos, find the videographer with a style that pleases you, and with a personality you can be comfortable with for six or eight hours on your wedding day.

by: Shawn Hickman

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Wedding Hairstyles

How you wear your hair at your wedding is important. Above all else you Wedding Hairstyle has to be comfortable. It should compliment not only your face but your dress as well.

It does no harm to have your regular hairdresser practise on you a few times. By doing this you may decide that the particular Wedding Hairstyle you have dreamt about having since you were a small child actually does nothing for the shape of your face!

If you want a wedding updo and you have relatively short hair then although with many grips and much hairspray it is possible, do remember that your hairdresser can do the impossible but miracles are outwith their reach!

Try to get a rough idea of what sort of style you are looking at for your wedding hairstyle as far in advance as possible. This gives your hair a chance to grow to a length that is more manageable for your hairdresser. After all long hair can easily be cut but it is harder and more expensive to add to your hair.

Always remember it is you that is getting married and not some fairytale image of you that you have held in your imagination since you were six! You dont want to walk down the aisle to your beloved and have him not recognize you because you wedding hairstyle is so different!

Try not to go for something very different. Chances are you will get fed up with it. If an updo requires a lot of help to stay up then as a wedding hairstyle it probably isn't right. Your wedding hairstyle has to stay in place for up to 10 hours, a lot to ask of any hairstyle but particularly difficult when a veil is shoved in, you are being swung around the dance floor and everyone wants to hug you!!

If you decide to opt for flowers or a tiara amongst your wedding hairstyle then make sure that they are securely attached but not hurting.

I would suggest go for elegance and comfort. Something that suits you and brings out your best features. If you can mange a wedding hairstyle that looks just as good down as up then you grab it with both hands, a comb and some grips!!

by: Lorna Mclaren

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Capturing Your Wedding On Video

Today professional videographers have become as natural a part of the wedding as the photographer. Because your wedding day goes by so quickly, recording all of the activities on video will preserve the precious moments for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.

Unlike photographs, a video camera records sounds, action and more of the overall atmosphere of the event. Rather than focusing on just a few people like photographs, video can easily record a little bit of all of your guests.

The typical wedding video package costs anywhere between $500 and $1500, depending on the quality of the equipment, the number of hours of coverage, the number of cameras, the amount of editing, and other factors. As always, remember what's most important to you, determine what you can afford, and go from there.

Recording Your Wedding on a Tight Budget
If you don't have money in the budget for a professional videographer, you have other options. You could ask a close friend or family member with a video camera to record your wedding. Of course don't expect the same quality and coverage that you would get from a professional videographer. Remember, is an awful lot to ask friend or family member to tape the bulk of the wedding day. So, the best way to ensure that your most precious moments get recorded is to make a list. Pick out only a handful of moments that you definitely want on tape, such as the bride walking down the aisle, exchanging vows and rings during the ceremony, the best man's toast, the bride and groom's first dance, etc. Then anything extra that gets on film is a bonus, but you have the important stuff covered.

Special Touches for the Video
A nice touch for your wedding video is to have your videographer or a friend wielding a video camera pull your guests aside throughout the night to record a personal message to the bride and groom. This is something that a friend did for us at our wedding, and it was absolutely wonderful to watch. This is a lovely way to record all of your friends and family who attended your wedding and adds a personal touch to the video.

Another nice idea for the wedding video is to record a short message from the bride and groom to each other. Arrange for the videographer to meet with the bride and groom separately right before the wedding ceremony. Each can talk to the camera as if they were talking to their soon-to-be other half. These messages truly capture all of the love and emotion of the couple on their wedding day. And they are so much fun to watch after the wedding and many years down the road!

by: Shawn Hickman

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Unique Wedding Favors - How to Find Unique Wedding Favors for Your Wedding

Wedding favors have become an integral part of a wedding. And many brides, and couples, search for unique wedding favors which will make a statement and from which the guests will remember this wedding with fond memories.

So when you’re planning your wedding, one of the decisions you’ll undoubtedly need to make is in the selection of wedding favors for your guests - and what better wedding favors than heirloom wedding favors. These small gifts are a wonderful way to show your guests that you appreciate them coming to
celebrate your special day and to say a small, personal “thank you” to your guests for their attendance, their friendship, and their wedding gifts to you.

No longer limited to weddings for the wealthy or well-to-do, unique wedding favors can now be ordered from a number of sources, including online companies, for a fraction of what they once cost. Even a modest or small wedding can be made much more special by providing thoughtful and even unique wedding favors for the guests.

Wedding favors are typically small but thoughtful items that serve as a memento of your beautiful day. Traditional items include things like ornate bottle-stoppers, cake servers, and serving spoons. Such items are intended to be a keepsake for the wedding guests rather than something they will actually use in everyday life.

Some couples, however, will choose wedding favors that serve double duty as a reminder of the event as well as a useful item. Small picture frames, decorated place card holders, lovely candy dishes, pen and pencil sets, and other such favors fall into this category. Edible wedding favors such as mints or candies in an attractive tin are also available. The choices are truly limited only by your imagination.

Typical wedding favors come with traditional wedding theme designs including bells, doves, hearts, flowers, and flowing ribbons, but can also include more modern motifs like dolphins. With the more costly but far more personalized option of custom ordering, virtually anything is possible.

The most important consideration is selecting wedding favors is to remember that these are items meant simply to say “thank you.” You’re not going to find the perfect item that will please each and every guest at your wedding, but a little thoughtfulness will result in favors that will at least let your guests know that you’re thinking of them. The guests at your wedding are primarily your family and your friends, and they will invariably appreciate a small souvenir of the event.

Wedding favors should not be confused with the traditional gifts provided by the bride and groom to members of their wedding party. It is proper to provide the bridesmaids and groomsmen with a more personal and separate gift. Anything that says you appreciate their friendship and participation in your special day is appropriate for these close friends or family members.

Your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most important days in your life and all of the planning that goes into this momentous event reflects that importance, helping to make your special day a beautiful experience for all involved. Selecting the perfect wedding favors - unique wedding favors - can help make that dream of beauty and perfection into a reality!

by: Brigitte Smith

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Wedding Gifts – Not Just for the Bride and Groom!

With most contemporary weddings there is a huge entourage of individuals who are extremely important to the success of the big day. Bearing this in mind, it seems only fitting that these people should be recognized for their time and effort with specifically chosen wedding gifts all of their own.

Who Should Receive Wedding Gifts?

The obvious answer is anyone who helps out to the extent that the bride and groom feel that they deserve special wedding gifts. Typical individuals who should be considered for such wedding gifts include bridesmaids, best men, ushers and the parents of the bride and groom.

Wedding gifts are also often given to the professionals that help make the day happen, such as your hairdresser or the wedding planner, although these gifts are more token gifts and can be as simple as a nice card or a small bouquet of flowers.

With larger weddings, it is also common practice to offer a small gift to every guest in the form of a favor, placed at each place setting. Due to the large quantity of these wedding gifts that you are required to purchase, they tend to be much smaller and cheaper such as sugared almonds or small chocolates.

Choosing Wedding Gifts

Of course, your choice of wedding gifts depends largely on the known likes and dislikes of the people whom you have invited to attend your wedding party. If you have a small number of people involved you may be able to purchase individually chosen, more expensive wedding gifts such as a special ornament or piece of jewelry. But remember that it is the thought which counts, and token wedding gifts such as cufflinks, teddy bears and mugs can be just as effective.

As part of the wedding speeches, bouquets of flowers are often given to the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom; this is particularly the case with more traditional wedding ceremonies.

A great cheap way to please the wedding party guests is to offer them pictures of the day as well as any attire that you have purchased especially for them. It is very difficult to think of anything else to do with the bridesmaid dresses and jewelry, so why not use them as unique wedding gifts?

By giving the critical members of the wedding party wedding gifts you will ensure that your important helpers feel that their efforts have been noticed and they will feel that they have truly been a vital part of your big day.

Giving wedding gifts to guests may seem a little odd, but why not share the good fortune of your day and spread a little happiness?

by: Elsie Gilbert

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Wedding Gowns – Getting the Best Out of Your Photographs

One of the most important things to any bride is the wedding photography that captures the magical day, for years to come. Most wedding gowns are made to make the bride look absolutely stunning; however, not all wedding gowns photograph as well as they should, so it is important to consider what your short listed wedding gowns will actually look like, in the photographs.

Wedding Gowns and the Accessories that Make Photographs Special

The types of wedding gowns that will look best in your wedding photographs depend largely on the style of wedding photographs that you have chosen. If you are opting for the contemporary style of photographs that are not staged but actually follow the day, on a more informal basis, then you need to be aware that your choice of wedding gowns will be viewed from every angle.

On the other hand, if you are opting for a small selection of formal photographs purely from the front, then your choice of wedding gowns should focus on the detail at the front of the dress. If you have chosen to have only black and white photographs, it is worth considering what your chosen colors of wedding gowns will look like in monochrome.

Top Photography Hints for Wedding Gowns

Never forget how important the detail on the back of wedding gowns is. During the ceremony, your guests will have little to look at other than the back of your wedding gown. Therefore, it is important that all wedding gowns have some special detail and unique look; it is also a great opportunity for the wedding photographer and a picture from the back of the ceremony venue can be stunning!

Bear in mind that accessories can look a little strange in wedding photographs so it may be worth investing in accessories that are detachable from wedding gowns, so that you can choose whether to have them in a given photograph or not. This is a really good idea when the accessory is particularly detailed as it may be superb as part of a close-up picture, however, it may just look like a stain from a distance!

Another good idea is to have a cardigan or jacket as an accessory for your choice of wedding gowns. This way you can vary the photographs and the look that you present, throughout the day. Wedding photographs can appear a little repetitive; therefore it is a great idea to have a range of accessories and additions so that you can vary the photographs and make it look like you had several wedding gowns and not just the one!

Remember, your choice of wedding gown is going to be captured in your photographs for years to come. When you are choosing your perfect dress, consider its ‘photograph ability’ as well as what it will look like in the flesh – they are both equally important!

by: Elsie Gilbert

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Wedding Decorations – Less is More

Often overlooked, wedding decorations can make a real difference to your wedding. The correct wedding decorations can really help to add that extra touch of sparkle to your wedding day. Having said this, no one wants to spend a fortune on wedding decorations that will more than likely end up in the trash can at the end of the day!

Wedding Decorations – Modern Trends

Modern trends in wedding decorations suggest that less is most certainly more. A few simple touches are normally enough to change an ordinary room into a venue fit for your special day. Ideally, wedding decorations should follow the same theme that runs throughout the wedding day. Don’t forget the smallest of details and make sure that the wedding decorations are placed in the ceremony venue, in the reception venue and even as part of the transport.

Wedding Decorations – Budget Conscious Ideas

The cost of wedding decorations can really spiral out of control, so make sure that you budget correctly and that you shop around for the best deals. You may be surprised by how many artistic people you have as friends and family; ask around to see if some of these people would be prepared to help you create that special look.

If you cannot find a friend or relative to help you out, then why not try the local college or art school as this will offer a dedicated, skilled yet cheap option. It is vital that you plan ahead, because the cost of wedding decorations will normally be a lot less if you buy them all together and not bit by bit.

Wedding Decorations – Dare to be Different

Traditional wedding decorations, such as flowers, are generally very expensive so take a different approach by creating your own decorations. Give your wedding an individual feel and save some money, into the bargain, by daring to be different!

Material of various types can be a really useful way of creating effective wedding decorations. Large bows, for example, make superb decorations for chairs in both the ceremony and the reception venue.

As a centerpiece, why not have a glass bowl with some small stones and a floating candle. Not only will these decorations be cheaper than large flower displays, but they are also more permanent and can be given as gifts or retained as a memento of your wedding day.

Wedding decorations are a matter of personal choice, but remember, be different, be organized and be consistent and you won’t go far wrong!

by: Elsie Gilbert

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Wedding Rings

Don’t tend to get the public airing that they deserve, in your average wedding celebration. However, wedding rings are likely to be worn for the rest of the bride and grooms’ living days, so they are, arguably, the most important element of the wedding accessories.

Wedding Rings – The Basics

Wedding rings are exchanged as part of the ceremony, normally as vows are said by both parties. The guests do not normally see the wedding rings until after the ceremony is well and truly over, so it can be tempting to skimp on this element and save money.

Bear in mind that the bride will almost certainly wear her wedding ring alongside her engagement ring. It is essential, therefore, that they both rings work together well. This is particularly important if the engagement ring is of an atypical shape or with a particularly large stone.

Always consider your everyday jewelry. Although it is possible to accessorize on your wedding day to complement you choice of wedding rings, this ring will be worn every day, for many years, so it must fit in well with your general style. This is equally important for the groom, as he too will have to wear the ring for some time, so he should also consider what would go well with his usual attire.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not essential to choose golden rings. If you prefer silver colored rings but want to retain the quality, why not consider white gold? It is also possible for the bride and groom to have different styles of ring, so do not feel pressured into selecting matching styled rings.

Wedding Rings – Ideas for Slashing the Budget

Whilst you want the best wedding rings possible, you do not need to spend a small fortune! Often, wedding rings are passed through the generations, particularly on the male side, so find out whether this is the case so that you can avoid the time and energy of searching for the perfect wedding rings!

When you are selecting an engagement ring, it may be possible to negotiate a discount on wedding rings, if they are purchased at the same time. Another possible option is to consider using cheaper wedding rings for the ceremony itself and to purchase the more permanent wedding rings, at a later day. The real point of this is to spread the major expenses – weddings do not come cheaply!

A great way to make cheaper wedding rings look unique is to have them engraved with your wedding date and your initials.
With a little imagination, wedding rings can truly look magical, without costing the earth!

by: Elsie Gilbert

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Wedding Video - Selecting a Wedding Videographer

Selecting the right wedding videographer is very important because wedding videos hold special moments from your wedding day. Just like you need to find the perfect wedding dress, it should be without question that you need a quality wedding videographer.

Now I don’t mean a wedding videographer that asks Aunt Gretchen to say a few words about her little niece Sharon who is all grown up. And I don’t mean a wedding videographer that likes to force everyone to smile in the middle of dinner time because he is always in your face with that video camera. Run from those wedding videographers.

The Right Wedding Videographer
Albert Ling of Encore Weddings, was the right videographer for me. He was unobtrusive (we hardly knew he was around), he didn’t use crazy special effects in his previous wedding videos and he had a demeanor that made it easy to feel comfortable around him. Don’t worry, the right wedding videographer for you is out there. And once you find him, hold on tight because he is an important part of your wedding budget and he (along with the wedding photographer) has your once in your lifetime moments in his hands. Make sure your wedding videographer is experienced. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is for someone to just call themselves a videographer. Do you really want to be one of their early wedding video mistakes? Albert had hundreds of video that my husband went through with him during the consultation but even though he had done so many wedding videos, our wedding video was still different from all the others.

I just popped in my wedding DVD (that’s right, I didn’t get my wedding video on VHS) in order to give you some important tips on what to look for in your wedding videographer’s portfolio. Yes, you need to see the wedding videographer’s portfolio.

The Wedding Videographer’s Portfolio
You need to make sure he hasn’t done 1,000 wedding videos that are exactly the opposite approach you want. It also matters if he clearly understands what you want from him. Can he produce that? And has he done that before? You don’t have to see all his videos but you don’t want to see a video montage of what he thinks are his best clips. You want to see what he has done from start to finish. See if the videos were steady if he uses a hand held video camera instead of a tripod. Watch for editing – do they make sense? Are you going from the wedding ceremony to the reception or from the reception decorations to the ceremony? Has he captured all of the members of the wedding party? Was he too slow and didn’t get the “here comes the bride” entrance? Where the close ups “too close up”? Are you having an outdoor wedding? What if it is windy? Does he have unobtrusive mikes for the wedding party? Or will you end up with the sound of wind on the wedding video and muted voices? You also want to be able to speak with happy clients from the wedding videos you liked the most.

One Videographer or Two? One Video Camera or Two?
For my wedding, we had one videographer with one handheld camera. Having a second camera can help obtain extra points of view which may be needed during editing and sometimes if the first camera man is unable to get a shot, the second camera will hopefully be able to pick it up. Our wedding videographer was experienced so we didn’t feel like we needed a second camera or videographer.

Wedding Video on DVD or VHS?
After watching the wedding video once, most people don’t sit through it in full many times after. They usually fast forward to parts that they like which over time wears out your wedding video. If you choose to have your wedding video on DVD, you can easily jump to the parts you want to highlight instead of having to sit through a few hours or constantly fast forward and rewind your videotape.

And speaking of wedding videos that last a few hours - please spare your friends and family. You don’t need every single moment from your wedding day on the wedding video. My wedding video is 30 minutes long. It was set up like a story book with scenes from throughout the day highlighting the wedding ceremony, my father’s speech and the cutting of the cake. The other scenes were played with one of four songs we chose.

Special Additions to Your Wedding Video
The wedding videographer will probably offer you a few additions to your package. I personally felt they were unnecessary but you may feel differently. You may include a prelude of some wedding planning, commentary about the couple from their family and friends, photo montages and video from before the couple met and special effects (slow motion and fading in and out).

Wedding Videographer Cost
You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for your wedding video. The wedding videographer will be one of your biggest wedding budget expenses.

And now some advice that was given to me that I want to share with you.

My matron of honor gave me some advice when I was planning my wedding … even if you are on the fence about a wedding video – just get it! You may never watch it or your grandmother may be the only one that watches it but one day if you want to watch it and you don’t have a wedding video, you will feel incredibly sad about not having one to watch.

One last thing! Make sure you include your wedding videographer (and camera man) on the list for a meal at the reception or else you risk having them take an hour break so they can get some lunch/dinner. (Remember they are working straight close to 8 hours if not more! Feed them! No exceptions.)

by: Shawn Hickman

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Wedding Flowers

No wedding is complete without a selection of wedding flowers! However, bear in mind that the price of wedding flowers can escalate and most of these flowers will simply be thrown out, at the end of the day.

Choosing your Wedding Flowers

Your choice of wedding flowers can make such a difference to both the look of your wedding and of course your budget. Wedding flowers are largely seasonal; if you choose a flower that is not in season, it may not be as good as you would hope and it will certainly cost more!

Obtain professional advice from someone who regularly provides wedding flowers; they will almost certainly be better placed to advise you on the easiest way to achieve your desired look.

Wedding Flowers for the Bride

A bride will normally, as part of her outfit, hold some wedding flowers. Traditionally, these bouquets were large and flamboyant, however trends are changing. Many brides now prefer simple wedding flowers, such as a single rose or lily. This can be incredibly effective, not to mention a lot cheaper and easier to handle.

The bridal wedding flowers must complement your dress; so choose the wedding flowers with your dress in mind. As a very simple dress may be swamped by a large bouquet, pay careful attention to the combination, not just the actual wedding flowers themselves.

Wedding Flowers for the Bridal Party

It’s not just the bride who has to be considered when it comes to wedding flowers. Bridesmaids, the groom and best man will also be wearing flowers so their outfits must also be considered.

Male buttonholes are generally very small and inconspicuous, in fact it isn’t even necessary to use flowers, a small fabric attachment can be just as nice and can also double up as a keepsake as it will not wilt, in time.

When it comes to wedding flowers for your bridesmaids, it is vital that you consider their ages. A 3-year old is unlikely to be able to handle a large bouquet and similarly it may be a disaster with a thorny rose collection.

With wedding flowers, simple is often best. All of the wedding party will have many other things to consider, not just the wedding flowers; keep them simple and easy to handle.

Your choice of wedding flowers is extremely important so do give it the time it deserves. Plan in advance and take professional advice, it will be worth it, in the end.

About the author:
Elsie Gilbert offers great insights to all different types of wedding ceremonies, wedding styles, wedding accessories. From traditional to the exotic she makes it easy for the bride and groom to review and choose. For more details on all types of wedding ideas visit this site now

by: Elsie Gilbert
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Wedding Dresses – The Latest Trends!

Wedding dresses are such an opportunity for any bride to show their unique sense of style and to really make a fashion statement. Gone are the days of the plain ‘meringue’ style wedding dresses with a little cute well-placed bow; now we are daring to be different!

In fact, one of the latest trends is to offer wedding dresses that can be used again. Not only is this a great idea from a budget point of view, but it is also reflective of the simple lines that are part of the modern trend in wedding dresses. Arguably, this fashion is due to the ever increasing age of first time brides as well as the large number of second weddings.

Wedding Dresses for the Winter Wedding

Whenever we think about wedding dresses, we automatically think of a warm, summer’s day, with a crisp, wafting white dress to match. However, there is a growing trend towards winter weddings. Winter wedding dresses may not be pure white and are often the preferred choice for second time brides.

Trends in winter wedding dresses include deep red colored dresses or dresses that include a large amount of black. Another great idea is to include a fur collar, or long fake fur coat. If you love a touch of luxury and you want something a little different, then winter wedding dresses may just be the thing for you!

Wedding Dresses for the Summer Wedding

The key to summer wedding dresses, this year, is color. Many wedding dresses are now using substantial amounts of colored fabric to add a classic touch to an otherwise traditional white or cream dress.

Weddings are becoming much more sophisticated; generally, brides will select a theme that they will maintain throughout all aspects of their wedding. Wedding dresses must, of course, fit into this theme and as such colors and accessories are vital. Popular, seasonal colors for wedding dresses include lilac, pink, blue and yellow. Often, brides will choose a half-color theme where the bodice is colored or the skirt is colored, but the other half of the dress is kept in a plain cream or white.

Subtle is the name of the game with modern wedding dresses.

Wedding Dresses – Standing Out From the Crowd

Today, wedding dresses are all different; no-one wants to look the same as the next bride and, naturally, brides go to extreme lengths to make sure that they stand out from the crowd. Of course everyone wants to do so in a classy and not trashy way! It seems that individually designed wedding dresses are the way of the future. By commissioning a made to measure dress you can make sure that it fits perfectly, is exactly what you want and above all, is unique.

Wedding dresses are an expression of your personality, so don’t hold back; let your imagination run wild!

About the author:
Elsie Gilbert offers great insights to all different types of wedding ceremonies, wedding styles, wedding accessories. From traditional to the exotic she makes it easy for the bride and groom to review and choose. For more details on all types of wedding ideas visit this site now
by: Elsie Gilbert
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Wedding Planning

Depending on your personal preferences and the preferences of your husband or wife-to-be, a wedding can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 years to plan. If one step in the planning process is missed, the whole wedding could be ruined. To prevent this from happening, we have created a wedding checklist in order to ensure everything goes according to plan on your big day.

7-12 Months Prior
• Announce Engagement and have your engagement party
• Decide on the wedding style and create a guest list
• Choose who you both want in the wedding party
• Set the date and time of the wedding
• Book your wedding officiant
• Choose your wedding song
• Decide on "extras" (cake, flowers, dj, photographers etc)
• Purchase your wedding dress and bridal accessories
• Purchase bridesmaids dresses and accessories (maid of honor as well)
• Start planning your honeymoon
• Buy (or make) your wedding favors
• Purchase your wedding invitations
• Plan your rehearsal ceremony and dinner

2-6 Months Prior
• Arrange accommodations for out-of-town guests
• Finalize the dinner menu
• Book your limo (or other form of transportation)
• Book the rehearsal dinner site
• Book your honeymoon
• Purchase your wedding rings
• Purchase your gifts for the wedding party
• Rent the tuxedos for groom and groomsmen (including bestman)
• Schedule a dress fitting (bride)
• Book hair and makeup appointment (bride)
• Have your bridal shower
• Send out the invitations to your guests
• Plan the wedding program

1 Month Prior
• Get your marriage license (and blood tests if needed)
• Final dress fitting (bride)
• Arrange seating for your guests
• Have your stag and doe party

1-2 Weeks Prior
• Pick up the wedding dress
• Have your bachelor and bachelorette parties

The Day Before
• Give the wedding party their gifts
• Pick up the tuxedo(s)
• Decorate the wedding site
• Have your rehearsal dinner and greet out-of-town guests

Follow these steps in the first step towards a lifetime of marital bliss!

by: Samantha Taylor
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5 Tips for Affordable Pre-Wedding Celebrations

Perhaps one of the most popular and best loved wedding traditions is the pre-wedding celebrations like the wedding shower and bachelor parties. Usually these parties are supplied by the mother of the bride or the best man etc. Some couples find that they would rather host their own either out of necessity or desire.

Really, it does not matter who throws the party because in the end, it should still be affordable. There are ways to make this happen.

1. Throw a jack and Jill party which combines the bachelor and bachelor party together. If it is hosted at a home, your guests can bring their own alcoholic beverages.

2. Have your bridal shower at your own home providing home cooked food.

3. At your bridal shower purchase decorations that can also be used as parting gifts such as personalized candles etc.

4. Celebrate your wedding at a local pub or tavern. This will give you the benefits of having all of your friends with you and none of the financial responsibility. Basically this night is no different than spending an evening with friends to celebrate a promotion, only the focus is on your wedding instead. Many couples will do this together instead of a bachelor/bachelorette party.

5. If you or a family member have memberships at a local legion, you can often convince them to let you use their halls for you bridal shower. by: Mike Lindsey

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Wedding Photography That will last a lifetime

Having pictures that you can look at in the years that follow your wedding is just one of the things that you want to invest your money in. But if you’re on a constricted budget, then there are also options for you.

Things to consider

One of the main things to consider when it comes to photography is what you want from your pictures. Do you want pictures of your while family or mainly of the two of you? If it a larger wedding or is a more private celebration?

You and your soon-to-be spouse should sit down and list all of the pictures that you would like to have in your wedding album—that is, poses for pictures. With this list, you’ll be able to see if you should invest in a professional or consider other options.

Where do you want your pictures taken? Some couples like to have outdoor shots, so they will need to find a photographer that does that as part of their services. The length of time you would like the photographer to be at the wedding will also factor into the price.

Look at photographer samples to see if your styles match. If they don’t, the photographer may recommend someone else. They want you to have good pictures, even if it’s not with them.

When you’re on a budget

If you’re nervous about spending a lot of money on your photographer, but still want a lot of pictures—you’re in luck. With the new and improved digital cameras, you have a better shot (no pun intended) to get great pictures.

Have a good friend (who isn’t in the wedding party) volunteer to take the pictures. Since digital cameras show you what the picture looks like instantly, you can take as many as you need in order to get it just right. And the quality is just as good as many professional photographers.

Another way to get a lot of chances for good pictures is to place disposable cameras at every table. People love to take pictures of other people, so you’ll get a lot of candid shots of your relatives and friends. Plus, the quality is pretty good, so you’re not wasting your money at all.

It doesn’t matter who takes your pictures as long as you get the ones that you want. If you want to have someone else do it, then invest in the professional. But for the budget conscious, having a friend or relative take charge is just as good. (by: Amy Spade)

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