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8 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them
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Brides Checklist
8 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them
Wedding Tip
10 Tips for Combating Wedding Stress!
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Wedding Tip

The best course of strategy when it comes to inviting guests to the wedding is to set parameters. If 120 people are invited to the wedding, then the parents of the bride are given 20 invitations; the bride and groom 20; and the groom's parents, 20 (for a total of 60 invitations and 120 guests since one invitation = one couple).

Setting parameters ahead of time prevents one family from inviting more guests than another and avoids hard feelings and the problems they will generate.

Brides Checklist

Brides Checklist

12 – 18 months
_____ Purchase Engagement Rings
_____ Take Engagement Photos
_____ Send Engagement Announcement to Newspaper
_____ Send Engagement Announcement by email to friends
_____ Set Wedding Budget
_____ Set Wedding Date
_____ Decide type of Wedding ( Informal or Formal)
_____ Interview Wedding Consultants
_____ Determine number of guest to be invited
_____ Select Ceremony Site
_____ Select Reception Site
_____ Choose Caterer
_____ Choose Photographer
_____ Choose Videographer


6 – 12 months
_____ Final Selection on Wedding Rings
_____ Open joint bank accounts
_____ Take dancing lessons for first dance if you wish (start practicing)
_____ Choose and order Wedding Gown
_____ Reserve Limousine/ Wedding Transportation
_____ Choose color theme for wedding
_____ Choose bridal party
_____ Select Bridesmaid Dresses
_____ Plan details of decorations ( Balloons, Flowers)
_____ Select Florist
_____ Select Musicians ( Live Band, DJ, Harpist)
_____ Select Officiant (Pastor, Judge) for wedding ceremony
_____ Select Hair & Make-up Artist
_____ Shop for Trousseau & Going away attire
_____ Select Baker (Wedding Cake)


4 – 6 months
_____ Consult with Attorneys ( Prenuptial Agreement and other legal matters)
_____ Select Bridal Registry items
_____ Select Music for Wedding Ceremony and Reception
_____ Reserve rental equipment if needed
_____ Prepare accommodations for Out of Town Guest
_____ Plan Bridal Shower Party
_____ Plan Bridesmaid luncheon
_____ Purchase Veil and Bridal Accessories – See Bridal Accessories Checklist
_____ Purchase gifts for Bridal Party – See Gift Ideas
_____ Make appointment for practice session for Hair & Make-up
_____ Order Wedding Favors
_____ Review plans for Wedding Ceremony & Reception
_____ Have Mothers choose their own dresses
_____ Make Honeymoon Plans


2 – 3 months
_____ Pick-up wedding rings – make sure they fit and are engraved correctly
_____ If changing your name – Order name change kit – See Name Change Checklist
_____ Update Immunization for out of country travel
_____ Send out Invitations to Out of Town Guest
_____ Make out a photographer ‘s Checklist – See Photographers Checklist
_____ Purchase Gifts for each other
_____ Apply for Marriage License
_____ Address & Send out Invitations
_____ Select & Coordinate Wedding Ceremony Program
_____ Appoint Guestbook Attendants for Wedding Ceremony & Reception
_____ Confirm Out of Town Guest accommodations
_____ Get your Hair Trimmed
_____ Confirm & Finalize details with Florist
_____ Confirm Rehearsal Program Officiant
_____ Confirm Guest count with Caterer/Restaurant
_____ Final Fitting for Bridesmaids Dresses & Wedding Gown
_____ Select Tux Styles for Groomsmen & Fathers
_____ Finalize Wedding Day Schedule (Itinerary)
_____ Confirm Transportation Schedule
_____ Reserve restaurant for rehearsal dinner
_____ Have Bridal Shower
_____ Have Bachelor Party (Groom)
_____ Change mailing address if moving
_____ Have Formal Wedding Portrait taken
_____ Review Checklist for Wedding Day Ceremony & Reception
_____ Make reservations for Bridesmaids luncheon
_____ Complete Trousseau shopping
_____ Purchase Floater Insurance for wedding gifts (if necessary)
_____Hire security for wedding reception (if necessary)


1 Month
_____ Call guests that have not yet RSVP'd
_____ Get your teeth cleaned/whiten
_____ Confirm honeymoon plans & pick-up airline tickets
_____ Assign Wedding day helpers
_____ Keep track of gifts received and start on thank you notes
_____ Arrange for a professional to preserve and heirloom your Gown & Bouquet
_____ Pick-up Bridesmaids Dresses & Wedding Gown (Already Pressed)
_____ Start seating arrangement & prepare seating name cards
_____ Confirm final details with Florist
_____ Confirm final details with Photographer
_____ Confirm final details with Officiant
_____ Confirm final details with Videographer
_____ Confirm final details with Baker
_____ Confirm final details with Restaurant/Caterer
_____ Confirm final details with Coordinator
_____ Confirm final details for Wedding Transportation
_____ Confirm final details with Bridal party
_____ Confirm final details with Wedding Helpers
_____ Confirm final details with Rental Equipment Company
_____ Confirm final details with Musicians
_____ Double Check Attire and Accessories for Bridal Party & Yourself
_____ Confirm schedule for Hair & Make-up Artist
_____ Plan and create Wedding Day Itinerary (15 minute interval)
_____ Get a Facial


1 Week
_____ Final Guest count with Caterer/Restaurant
_____ Arrange for Postal Office to hold or forward your email during your honeymoon
_____ Relax – take a long leisurely bath
_____ Re-confirm with Travel Agent or Airlines
_____ Review all seating arrangement with ushers and helpers
_____ Pack for Honeymoon Trip
_____ Arrange for Bridal Party, Parents & Family and Photographer and Videographer to all meet at a designated location (when taking pictures prior to the Wedding ceremony)


1 – 2 Days
_____ Get a Manicure & Pedicure
_____ Get a Massage
_____ Attend Wedding Rehearsal Dinner
_____ Pick-up Rental Tux for Groomsmen (Groom or Bestman)
_____ Prepare Final payment in individual envelopes for each Professional


Wedding Day
_____ Nice long bath or shower - Relax
_____ Go to Hair & Make-up appointment
_____ Get Dressed
_____ Have Fun – It’s your Wedding Day!

8 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them

8 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them
 
Hiring the right team is critical to planning your dream wedding…and it can also be quite stressful.
 
How do you find the right match for you?  How do you know who to trust?  Where do you go for advice?
 
First of all, this is not an easy task and it’s totally normal for couples to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or confused. 
It’s not like you plan a wedding every day!  This is all probably brand new to you, so be patient with yourself.
 
A few tips to finding the right ones for you…
 
  • Do Your Homework.  You’ll get much more out of a meeting or conversation with a wedding professional if you do a little background homework first. 
 
Spend some time on the internet or talking to friends who’ve recently been married.  Find out the average prices in your area and what services are available.  Get an idea of what you like and don’t like.  Wedding websites and chat rooms can be a great resource.  This way when you meet with a wedding professional you’ll be able to ask better questions and have an idea of what to look out for.
 
  • Meet With Them.  An in person meeting is the best way to interview a potential wedding vendor.  It lets you get the full experience of their personality, style and professionalism.  If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation.   
 
  • Ask Questions.  There are no stupid questions!  Make sure you get clear, specific answers to your questions. If you aren't sure what something means, ask them to clarify. Keep asking questions until you completely understand.
 
If a wedding vendor has a problem with you asking questions, they probably aren’t the one for you.  The best wedding professionals are patient, understanding and take the time to help you make the best choices for your wedding.
 
  • Listen.Don’t just hear the words they say, really listen.Watch the vendor’s body language.Are they confident and comfortable with their response?Do they look and sound nervous?Do you get a “funny feeling” about them?Take all the sights, sounds and feelings into account along with their responses; if your gut tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.
  • Check References.  Portfolios are hand-picked to show off the best work, but they may not represent the “average” wedding performance.  Videos are edited for the optimum presentation.  But real referrals from satisfied clients are hard to fake.
 
Call up both client and professional references.  Ask questions and use those listening skills.  Even if they give a rave review, you’ll often be able to “read between the lines” if there were any issues or problems.
 
Ask around and search the internet for reviews.  Check the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding complaints against the business.  Weigh all of this information into your choices.       
 
Here are 8 Must Ask Questions to ask ALL your potential wedding professionals before booking:
1.     How many weddings do you do per year?  How much experience do you have?
This is an extremely important question.  Ideally, your wedding professional should have ample experience specifically with weddings.  Not only will they be more skilled in their craft, this also makes them a valuable source of information and ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly.
2.
How much do you cost?
Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expert skill.
Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.

3.     How much is the deposit?
4.
What specifically is included in that cost?
Because packages often vary, it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one vendor exactly to the next without doing a little figuring.
The lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages.
Make sure you take this into account.


5.
What happens if I cancel?  What happens if you cancel?
Find out if your deposit is refundable under any conditions.
Does the wedding professional have a back up plan if something happens to them?

6.
Do you use a contract?
If the answer is No, RUN!
A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional.
Don’t settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court.

7.
Are there any additional fees?
Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly.
Make sure you understand exactly what is included and if there are any other fees you’ll have to pay.
This should be clearly defined in your contract.

8.
Do you carry liability insurance?
The answer you’re looking for here is Yes.
This protects you in case an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day.
It’s also a sign that this is a reputable business, since most “fly by night” operations don’t invest in insurance.

If chosen wisely, with the right wedding vendors you get expert help and advice…for free!

10 Tips for Combating Wedding Stress!

10 Tips for Combating Wedding Stress!
A woman is stress out about her wedding.   PlanningMany times, brides and grooms experience different kinds of stress. Brides are usually more emotional about the wedding plans and grooms can be more concerned about, or “stressed out” about money. Whether you are a bride or a groom, it is a time where all kinds of stress can manifest itself. Here are a few tips:
Expect that there will be stress in planning your wedding. Why? There are a lot of decisions to be made, many details to be worked out, and others may want, or try to influence you. That is not bad or wrong; it just requires that you and your fiancé be aware of what is really happening. Try to respond to issues and avoid reacting to things.
One of the greatest challenges facing brides and grooms is their feelings of wanting to satisfy everyone. There are so many people involved - family, friends and relatives. Setting realistic expectations is very important.
Don’t expect perfection. Expect a “terrific” day. Setting expectations that are too high will create stress and lead to frustration, and then more stress.
Feeling stressed about certain elements of the wedding such as, saying your wedding vows or your first dance? Then, visualize the event. Spend some quiet time alone, relax and really visualize in your mind the events going smoothly. Does this exercise several times a day if you need to!
One of the best ways to combat stress is to exercise. When things start getting out of control - STOP. Take a break and go to the gym or go for a brisk walk.  
10 Tips for Combating Wedding Stress!
There are always some people (relatives or friends) that know how to “push your buttons”. When you are feeling very stressed… be sure to stay away from or at least limit your time with these people.
Wedding planning can cause a great deal of stress between the bride and the groom. Individually, they should be aware of their thresholds for stress, and how much stress they can handle in a given time period. If you notice that one of you is nearing your “threshold”, then take a short break from your wedding planning and does something fun together.
A man is stress out about the bill of their wedding. PlanningParents can also experience wedding stress as their children get married and leave “the nest”. This is commonly referred to as “separation anxiety”. It can be a time of great anxiety for the parents which can then create stress and highly emotional issues for the bride and groom. Being aware of what is happening, REALLY happening, is a big part of dealing and managing stress.
Time pressure can cause a great deal of stress. Don’t try and do everything yourself. Delegate as much as you can to others. Use the Internet.
Are you and your fiancé arguing more than normal? Realize that this is normal because you are spending more time on wedding planning versus spending time on your relationship. That’s why it is so important to take time away from wedding planning and spend time with each other. A romantic dinner, a bike ride—whatever you both like to do together (just don’t discuss the wedding plans!)
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