Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Wedding Speeches

Once the bride and groom decide they want a wedding speeches and toasts event at their reception – which is quite common – the next task is to plan it.

Planning this event takes some thought since the bride and groom don’t want to choose people who are reluctant to speak in public.

As well, some people – the Father of the Bride and the Best Man in particular – are expected to pay tribute to the newlyweds.

Planning the wedding speeches event involves four main areas including…

1. When To Schedule The Speeches and Toasts

This can include before dinner, after dinner, after the Grand Entrance, or even after the cake cutting.

2. Who To Invite To Give A Speech or Toast

The wedding planners should decide whether they want to include those who are traditionally expected to speak, create their own list, or have open speeches and toasts. “Open” speeches are much more time-consuming and while the remarks can be spontaneous, they can also be embarrassing.

3. How Long The Event Will Run

Each speech – including the toast – should run no longer than 5 minutes. Otherwise the guests will find this to be a boring event and will start getting restless. Introductions by the Master of Ceremonies will also take time and open speeches will also affect the length of the event. Accordingly, the Wedding MC should manage the event and ensure it runs on time.

4. What The Order of Speeches Will Be

The bride and groom have a choice here. They can go the traditional route with the order of wedding speeches. Alternatively, they can be creative and create their own order – which is perfectly acceptable.

Which Order of Speeches Format To Choose

Every wedding couple has a different approach to this event.

Some like to stick with tradition and decide upon a more structured or formal format with specific speakers being appointed.

Others like to do something entirely different that reflects the uniqueness of their wedding.

Some also prefer “open” speeches and toasts where all the guests are invited to give impromptu speeches and toasts.

It’s more likely that open speeches and toasts will take place at the reception dinner where the atmosphere is more intimate and informal.

Whichever format the bride and groom prefer, they should sit down with their Wedding MC during the planning of the reception agenda and timeline.

A Preview Into Planning The Wedding Of Your Dreams

Congratulations! You are officially engaged! What should be the happiest time of your life can quickly become one of the most stressful without a level-headed approach and proper planning. If you are like most newly engaged women, you don’t know where to start or how to plan the wedding of your dreams. Wedding planning can be great fun; but the lists and details also can make your head spin.

First, determine what type of wedding you want. Do you want a romantic getaway with just the two of you? Perhaps a large ceremony at a church or hotel? You may even opt for a summer beach side wedding. Whatever setting you decide, remember that it is YOUR wedding and you should cater to what you truly want.

The second step should be developing a budget and deciding who will pay for the ceremony. Make sure you know exactly how much family members are going to contribute. Parents of the bride historically have paid the bill but more often, it is the case that both the bride and groom typically pay for the expenses; especially in older couples or second marriages. As they take on their share of financing the wedding, more grooms start to participate in the planning process, too. Keep the lines of communication open and encourage your soon to be husband to help you make critical decisions. After all, from this point on, the two of you will need to make mutual decisions.
Remember, whoever pays has the say in the invitation list. Just because someone is helping to pay for part of the wedding doesn’t mean it becomes his or her wedding. It’s one thing to be considerate of family and guests; it’s another to be stressing out about accommodating their every whim. Keep a good balance and you will keep your sanity.

After the budget is developed, prioritize items to be purchased. List your vendors in order of their respective importance to you. It will show you exactly where to spend more money on and where not to spend. You are not obligated to have a large reception, fancy invitations or an announcement in the paper. Spend your money on what is important to you.

During the planning process, remember to communicate with all parties involved. Identify expectations early on of your mother and/or future mother-in-law, etc. to avoid conflict down the road. Be aware of opinionated-albeit well-intentioned-family members. Talk early and often. Everyone has an opinion on how a wedding should be run. For every bride that believes her wedding is “the day she’s been dreaming of all her life” there’s a parent who’s paying for a hefty portion of the wedding and who views it as a reflection on him/her above all else.

You have to be firm in letting your friends and relatives know that while you respect their advice and feedback, they need to respect your right to have the wedding you want. Set the tone early so it doesn’t build up into something much more unpleasant later on down the line. You don’t want your special day to turn into a source of ill-will and hurt feelings that may take years to repair.
Speaking of hurt feelings, selecting your bridal party can be very emotional. You should select bridesmaids who are reliable, flexible, and available to help with the details and planning of your wedding. It also helps if your chosen bridesmaids are happy for you, instead of having feelings of jealousy that may be revealed in a passive aggressive manner. When selecting your bridesmaids, keep in mind that those who live locally will need to help you with the wedding preparations, so choose those who will enjoy the pre-wedding tasks and activities. Choose really close friends or family members with whom you do not have to feel shy about asking for help. It doesn’t make much sense to invite a friend to be a bridesmaid if you haven’t talked to her much in the last ten years.

When making your selections, don’t worry about marital status or even gender of the friends you would like to have attend for you. If you have a close male friend or relative you want to participate, you simply call him an honor attendant. You are under no obligation to invite someone to be a bridesmaid just because you may have been one in her wedding previously. Relationships change, so stay true to your closest family and friends.

Remember to enlist help. You don’t have to do it all yourself, especially on the day of the wedding. If you don’t have a wedding coordinator, it is okay to recruit your family and friends. However, make sure you reward them, even if it’s with a heartfelt hug, thank you note, or post-wedding day gift. Just be mindful that asking for help doesn’t mean you can take advantage of your friends or take their help for granted.

It is critical to stay organized and create a working schedule during the planning process. A schedule is not only helpful to you, but also to the wedding party, family members, vendors, and anyone else with an important role in the wedding. Putting things off because you have ample time is fine sometimes, but not when you’re throwing the biggest celebration of your life. Good organization and early planning are key. In fact, it will be obvious the day of your wedding and people tend to remember bad weddings more than they remember the good ones.

Lastly, remember to have fun in the planning process. Every bride has at least one nightmare wedding story to tell. Remember what your wedding day is about and who is important to you. Whenever you find yourself stressed or ready to cry, take a step outside and just take a deep breath. It’ll clear your mind and allow you to regain perspective.

Congratulations again on your engagement! Remember, as you prepare to walk down the aisle, you are also entering on a new path. You don’t have to walk alone anymore.

Your Budget Before Planning the Wedding

The most important aspect of planning your wedding is having a budget. This allows you to work within your means and not have to cut back on plans once you have decided on them. It gets very draining and frustrating when you get something done and then have to go back and change it because it doesn’t work financially. With that in mind here are some reasons to have your budget ready before you start planning your wedding.

Debt: While some are more fortunate to have parents to pay for their wedding, there are also those who have to pay their own way. Surprisingly enough, many people end their wedding with quite a bit of debt. This is something you want to avoid if possible. If money is that tight, elope at the court house and have a cookout at your place afterwards.

On the other hand if you have some money to spend, go through your finances and figure how much you can afford. Then you can plan according to your budget instead of going into debt.

Guest List: When you write your guest list, make three categories of people; must have, should have and can do without. This allows you to cut out any guests that you don’t have to invite given your financial circumstance or venue allowance.

If the venue in your budget doesn’t allow all your guests on the list then you can start taking people off the “can do without” list. This way you don’t ever have to un-invite people or run into a space shortage at the church or venue.

Theme: While most people want an elaborate wedding with all the bells and whistles, have more financial restrictions. By knowing your budget when you choose the theme or create your “big idea” there won’t be any disappointment. If your budget is small, a simpler wedding theme like “traditional” can help. Maybe you can’t have the huge centerpieces or the fancy tablecloths, but its ok, all that matters is that the wedding happens.

On the other hand if you have an enormous budget a getaway on the beach in a tropical place is always a nice choice. There you can have a fashionable theme with tropical flowers.

Allocating the Money: When planning the wedding you have to divide the money up into groups; for instance; food, attire, ceremony, flowers, venue and alcohol. The best way to do this is create a list. Write down all the necessities in one column and the extras in another. Then once you price the must haves you can use the left over money for the extras. This way if you don’t have enough money for the extras the wedding can still happen in a simpler form.

Let Your Groom Plan the Wedding

I just saw the most fascinating wedding show on BBC America about grooms planning the wedding while the bride has to sit back and be surprised on the big day. It was a very interesting idea, and it was hard to say who had it worse: the groom who had to make all of the preparations or the bride who had to give up all control over her own wedding. It got me to thinking, would you let your groom plan the wedding?

If you think about it, in almost every case, it is the bride who is in charge of planning the wedding. She makes all of the big decisions about style, vendors, and all of the rest. Sure, some grooms may have opinions and may even have a nearly equal say in matters, but the reality is that the wedding is usually the bride’s show. After all, most women have a picture of a perfect wedding in their mind (even if they won’t confess to it), but very few men have even given the subject a moment’s thought before they become engaged.

So what would it be like for a man to throw a surprise wedding for his bride? On the BBC program “Don’t Tell the Bride”, the groom is given $20,00 and one month to plan what he hopes is his bride’s idea of a dream wedding. During that time, not only must he keep all of the plans a secret, but the couple cannot see each other. This is probably to prevent the bride from leaving copies of Martha Stewart Weddings all over their house with favorite dresses, centerpieces, and bouquets marked. No, in this case, the groom is entirely on his own, without any helpful hints from the bride.

By far the most stressful part of the entire thing was when the groom had to choose the bridal gown, crystal jewelry, and even the bride’s hairstyle and tiara. It was difficult enough for the groom, but it was pure agony for the bride. She knew that even if she hated the dress, she would have to wear it down the aisle (or decide to call off the wedding!).

This got me to thinking, how many brides would allow someone else to choose their entire bridal ensemble, including the gown, crystal bridal jewelry, headpieces, veil, and even shoes? Would it be worth it for a free wedding? The day before the featured wedding on “Don’t Tell the Bride”, the bride-to-be decided that giving up control of her gown was so stressful that if she had to do it all over again, she would not have done the show, even though it meant a free wedding. I have to say that I feel the same way!

In the end, the groom in the program acquitted himself nicely. He chose a gown that the bride liked, and even more than that, he made careful and tasteful choices about everything from the flowers to the cake to the pink bridesmaid dresses. It wasn’t just a case of, hey, this wedding is pretty nice for one planned by a guy. Not at all; it was a very nice wedding, period. The bride was delighted at all of the effort the groom put into giving her the perfect wedding, and he was justifiably proud of the results.

Which just goes to show that, given a chance, a man can plan a wedding. He just needs the right motivation (which is where the $20, 000 comes in). So ladies, the next time that your groom declines to help you with your wedding plans, cue up an episode of “Don’t Tell the Bride”, and let him know that the secret is out: men can plan weddings too!