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Wedding Ideas Newsletter, Issue #003
October 02, 2009

In this Issue:

Learn more about how you can share your wedding stories, wedding planning stories and opionions on our website.

See what is new at Wedding Ideas in the last month.

Read these Wedding Articles:

  • Little Things Can Make or Break Your Wedding

  • A New Twist on Traditional Wedding Receptions

  • Weddings at Sea

  • 10 Questions to Ask When looking for a Wedding Photographer

  • Inexpensive and Beautiful Wedding Centerpieces

Also Do Not Miss Our Featured Wedding Vendor, Wedding Product and a Coupon Code for a Popular Wedding Store!

Share Your Wedding Stories and Ideas

Last month we added a new feature to our site letting our guests and subscribers to share their stories and ideas on specific wedding topics and wedding planning. If you are interested in being heard or you want to check it out follow this link:

Share Your Wedding Story

New This Month

If you have not been on the website for awhile you may wonder what articles are new this month. Here are a few selections you may not of had the chance to read yet:

October Wedding Flowers

June Wedding Flowers

Outdoor Wedding Reception Ideas

Finally, here is another new article – a short one though – about Stephen Moyer

Don’t know who Stephen Moyer is? He stars on the HBO hit show True Blood as Bill Compton. Him and his costar, Anna Paquin (she plays Sookie Stackhouse) are getting married. They have announced their ring bearer. For more info check the story out.

This story is the first as we will be soon adding a Celebrity Wedding section on the site. We know that what you really want and need is solid planning advice and information, but we figured reading up on celebrity weddings might give you the chance to unwind during your hectic planning process!

As always if you want to see the most recent articles and information available check out our Wedding Planning Blog.

Little Things Can Make or Break Your Wedding

Every bride-to-be has a vision in her mind of a perfect wedding with no hitches to ruin that vision. There are many little details that can either create the perfect wedding or make it stressful to the wedding party or the guests.

When you have been planning your wedding for months, the big things will probably be just fine. You will walk down the aisle and marry your handsome fiance. Your reception will have all the trappings you envisioned, like good music, dancing, great food and happy guests.

In order to make the entire event something special, you need to add little touches of your own personality or creativity to what could be a sterile event. To make it really special, include your groom's interests or personality in the special touches you are planning too. Good politics might suggest that you also include both mothers to help you create your special touches.

To begin with, don't leave necessary items to chance or assume that they come naturally with some of your catered deliveries. It would be a good idea to get your maid of honor involved in checking and double checking the availability of necessary utensils, matches for lighting candles, a bottle opener for the wine, enough wine glasses for all your guests, sufficient ice for cool drinks for the length of your reception, etc. Catering companies can be sloppy, too.

Another good idea is to have a bag with tape, needle and thread for emergency repairs, antacids, Tylenol, Alka-Seltzer tablets, a few Band-Aids and an antiseptic. It wouldn't hurt to have a few sweets or a couple of simple toys to entertain a too-tired child if any are going to be in attendance. Enlist your mothers or your maid of honor.

Your wedding favors for your guests do not have to be the traditional favors given at most wedding receptions. Consider, instead, a CD of the romantic music your and your husband played or danced to while you were courting. Put your pictures and the date of your wedding on the CD label.

Another special favor would be a DVD or PowerPoint presentation of pictures of both of you from childhood to now. Include some of your courting days and the same music suggested above. Both mothers would probably be happy to provide the old family album for really personal photos to share with your guests. It can all be done on your computer.

Disposable cameras on the reception tables will give you a photographic memory of events and expressions you will not notice with all the attention being paid to both of you at the reception. A picture of your 4-year-old nephew sneaking a taste of the frosting on the wedding cake or two tots dancing with each other in the middle of the adults will be priceless later. Have a basket near the door so people can drop off the cameras as they leave.

One way to entertain your guests before you arrive at the reception is to have a quiz at each place setting on the tables with questions about both you and your groom. Provide a nice gift for the one who knew the most about both of you.

Granted, you will be overwhelmed with details during the last few days before your wedding. Have a quick meeting with your maid of honor and both mothers, even a few special friends, and divide the little details between them so you don't have to worry about them at the last minute. Even the best planning can be derailed with a tiny oversight.

It's the little things that make or break your wedding. They don't have to break you.

Liked this article? Here are some more you might enjoy:

Merging Two Cultures

Telling Your Ex

Telling Your parents

A New Twist on Traditional Wedding Receptions

The traditional church weddings and formal receptions are not that attractive to many of today's brides. Weddings are taking place in hot air balloons, on beaches, in airplanes and in fast food parking lots, to name a few currently popular non-traditional sites.

An emerging trend, highly creative wedding receptions, is a total flight from tradition and will make memories for your wedding guests that they won't easily forget. You and your new spouse can add touches to your wedding reception that highlight your whimsical side, major interests or elements of your personalities.

Some couples have hosted two receptions, brunch for the family following their ceremony, with some of the traditional aspects their mothers wanted and the relatives were comfortable with.

Later that evening, they host a less formal reception for their friends. This reception could be an old-fashioned ice cream social or a barbecue on the beach, with youthful music and a party atmosphere. The bride's wedding dress and the groom's tux are abandoned for casual attire. Friends truly happy for the new couple, a relaxed, unfussy atmosphere, a tub of iced cool ones, chicken on the barbecue and dancing barefoot on the beach in the moonlight, would definitely make memories of your special wedding.

Even if you want a reception with familiar trappings, you can still jazz it up with some creative presentations.

If your reception hall is not huge, inflate balloons, with a small, light favor inside them. This favor could be a small token, like a map to the real favors hidden in the hall or a small snapshot of you and your new spouse. It does not have to be elaborate. The appreciation would be in the presentation.

Tie them off with a ribbon long enough to reach without ladders and have a guest's name hanging from each ribbon, including the children at the reception. Let them hang from the ceiling around the walls, so as not to interfere with the meal or buffet you will be serving. This decoration would not only be colorful, but it would give your reception an intimate, closer feeling. At some point, have the guests find their name and get their wedding favor.

The way you present your food can add dramatic accents to plain food. Buffet tables are perfect for creative presentations. Tiered plates of strawberries dipped in chocolate are always an attraction at buffet tables. Consider dipping the strawberries in the hot chocolate mixture and letting them set up on a chocolate spoon. The dramatic effect could be enhanced by dipping the berries in white chocolate and then placing them on chocolate spoons. Other fruits can be strung on a bamboo skewer, dipped in chocolate and presented in silver goblets.

Martini glasses with their stems wrapped with pretty ribbons can be used to present almost any vegetable, fruit or candy. Instead of sit-down dinners of chicken or meat, served by caterers, consider bamboo skewers loaded with anything you can combine that doesn't need to be kept warm in a sauce.

Try ice-cold shrimp, lightly brushed with a shrimp marinade and strung on a skewer. Separate the shrimp with red or black grapes. Creative salads can be put on a skewer and marinated with an elegant dressing before placing on the buffet table. Load salad skewers with cherry or grape tomatoes, chunks of red, green and yellow Bell peppers, whole, pitted olives, cocktail onions or slices of red onions, other veggies of your choice.

If your guest list is smaller, consider a river cruise with dinner, dancing and maybe a turn at the gambling tables, if they have them. Your wedding favors could be small bags of chips for your guests to try their luck at the tables.

You could schedule a hay ride by moonlight, with a surprise barbecue or candle-lit buffet tables arranged around a fire pit at the end of the ride. Be creative.

Instead of an organized wedding reception, you might try having a mystery party, like Clue. Some cities have Victorian houses you can rent for parties and events. Let your guests have some fun discovering "Who Dunnit." Have a special prize for the one who unravels the mystery and smaller ones (themed favors) for the rest of the participants. In one room have a buffet table and a few bottles of wine.

There's no reason to follow the old traditions with your reception if you don't want to. Make it fun and memorable in your own way.

Here are some other articles you might enjoy:

Wedding Finger Food Reception

Blue Wedding Flowers

Halloween Wedding Cake

Wedding At Sea

You’re probably going to go on a honeymoon after you get married. In fact, you may have even thought about going on a cruise for that honeymoon. But have you ever thought about combining the two and having your wedding on a cruise ship, affectionately called a cruise wedding? The idea is becoming more popular by the day, and can easily be one of the best ways to have a stress free, yet exotic wedding.

One of the first questions you will have to answer when you plan your cruise wedding is whether or not you are going to bring guests. While you may think you know the answer, the costs quickly add up, and to ask a wedding guest to bear the brunt of those costs is asking a lot. You then have to ask the question of who will pay for the guests? Some couples get a good group rate on a cruise line and then offer to pay for half of the ticket. Interesting enough, they sometimes end up spending less than if they had the wedding and a formal reception afterward.

If you do decide to have guests, you will then face the fact that you’ll have your guests with you for the rest of your honeymoon. That may be a good idea for some, but for others, it may not. It depends on how well you get along with the close friends and family that will be a part of your wedding party.

What you may not know is that you cannot get married on a cruise ship and have the United States recognize that marriage. In order to have a legal, lawful marriage in the US, you must be married either in the United States or one of its territories. This can include any one of the ports that the cruise sails into, or its departing port. Many decide to get married in Puerto Rico; a common US territory port call.

If you’re not one for planning, one of the greatest aspects about a cruise wedding is that the cruise line will do all of the planning. They have very experienced planners working for the line that will take care of every last detail for you. They may even have packages where the only decision you will have to make is which package you would like. This can certainly take a huge load off the bride's mind and she can enjoy this special time of being engaged.

While a cruise wedding may seem like a dream to some, it may not be for everyone. Talk to your fiance about the possibility of going on a cruise for your wedding and explore all of the positives and negatives associated with one. Make some phone calls and use the Internet to further explore your options and the expenses involved. You’ll be glad you at least entertained the idea and if you decide to do it, this may be the best memory of your married lives.

Found that interesting? Check out these articles:

Caneel Bay

Costa Rica Weddings

Wedding Planning In Vegas

10 Questions To Ask When Looking for a Wedding Photographer

When it comes to preparing for your wedding, you are probably up to your elbows in magazines, paperwork, bills, and glitter. But even though there seems to be a never-ending list of things to do in order to be properly prepared for the big day, you have to make sure that you are not skipping certain details.

Here are 10 questions to ask when checking out wedding photographers. This is not just about making sure that you are spending your money wisely but it is also about making sure you are going to end up with photos you will be able to proudly cherish for the rest of your life.

1. Will he or she be the exact person at your wedding taking your photos?

If he or she cannot guarantee that, you will want to look somewhere else. You want to make sure you are interviewing and reviewing the work of the exact person who will be at your wedding taking photos. The last thing you want is to be surprised on the day of your wedding and end up with photos that are not worth a dime.

2. What styles does he or she specialize in?

Photos are not just photos. Every photographer out there has their own special style or way of doing things that you want to be familiar with. Do you like the photographer's style? Is it your style? In order to be a happy bride, make sure that you are getting a photographer that is capable of taking the shots you want on your wedding day.

3. What kind or type of camera will be used for your photos?

It is important to make sure that some inexpensive 35mm camera available at any WalMart is not being used. There is nothing wrong with an everyday camera for everyday photos, but your wedding is special. You want high quality photos so make sure that your photographer has the right equipment.

4. Is there a backup plan?

What happens if that camera breaks? Make sure the photographer has a back up plan such as having spare cameras on hand and an assistant who is qualified to work in his or her place should an emergency occur.

5. How large is the photo package and what is the price breakdown for each photo?

By understanding all of the pricing and what you get within each package you will be able to make an educated decision on what you should be going with. Ask questions if you don't understand. It's better to not be surprised when the bill and the proofs come in.

6. How long before the proofs are ready?

You will want to know how long it will take for the proofs to be finished for your review.

7. Do they automatically give the negatives or is there an extra charge for this?

Some will give you the negatives free of charge while others will not unless you ask for them and then there is an additional charge.

8. Is he or she covered by liability insurance?

In case something goes wrong or there is an accident, the photographer needs to have liability insurance to cover costs.

9. Can you request specific types of photos to be taken?

This will help to ensure that you are getting exactly what you want. If the photographer seems rigid and uptight about your input, you should look elsewhere.

10. Is there an additional cost for staying longer then scheduled?

If there is a delay or the event simply lasts longer than you expected you probably want the photographer to stay. Is he or she available to stay longer, and do they charge extra for doing so?

Your wedding photographer can be like a magician creating beautiful photos of your very special wedding. Don't hesitate to ask questions when you're deciding who to hire - it's that important.

Want to know more about Wedding Photography? Here are some articles that might interest you:

Wedding Photography Poses

Wedding Photography Tips

Wedding Reception Pictures

Inexpensive and Beautiful Wedding Centerpieces

A very expensive wedding "must have" is gorgeous wedding centerpieces to set off your reception tables. When you order them from the local florist, you are paying high prices for quality flowers, shipping, special order fees and the floral designer's talent and time.

With a little creativity and thought, you can make your own centerpieces that will not only radiate a special ambiance for your guests, but will make you proud of your own ingenuity.

Baby's Breath is a staple in elegant centerpieces for any occasion and normally inexpensive. Combine large quantities of Baby's Breath with roses or other dramatically colored flowers and you will have a centerpiece your guests will remember. Add ribbons that match your wedding colors to bring it all together. Put a large centerpiece on the head table and smaller replicas on the others.

You can also make a large centerpiece, as described above, for the head table and create related, but different centerpieces very inexpensively by spreading Baby's Breath down the center of the tables, with an occasional rose tucked in. String ribbon in your wedding colors freely through the informal design to complete it.

Another option that produces spectacular results is to float large flowers in a shallow glass bowl of water with a few floating votives. Layer the bottom of each bowl with clear glass buttons (found at any craft store) for a sparkle effect. Glitter sprinkled lightly on the water will add to the sparkle. Light the votives just before the bride and groom arrive at the reception.

Some flowers that work well for this use are magnolias, azaleas, camellias, gardenias, hydrangeas, hibiscus and bougainvillea. If a friend or relative has any of these blooming bushes or trees in their yards, ask them for some blooms for your wedding.

If your wedding is scheduled for a time when fresh local flowers are scarce, gather slender branches from bushes or trees with large leaves, wrap their stems in ribbon and string them down the center of the tables. Lay flowers on top of the branches for a natural contrast.

Think about spraying the branches and leaves gold or silver to add sparkle to your table decorations and to easily create a different effect. Colorful flowers on top of gold or silver leaves are elegant. Wrap the flower stems with ribbon to complete the design.

Other items that can be used for inexpensive dramatic effects in your centerpieces are strings of pearls or gold or silver beads that any craft or bead store will stock. Glitter lightly sprinkled down the center of a table and decorated with flower petals and strings of craft store beads is an easy solution for your reception.

Another idea is to make small rings of leaves and flowers and place a jar candle in the middle. The flickering candlelight will set the mood for your reception. Use unscented candles to avoid allergy problems with your guests. You could also use assorted jars, instead of candles, covered in a decorative material, like tulle, and used to hold simple flower bouquets.

Fruit displays are popular and create a very colorful design when piled as a pyramid in a pillar on a pedestal plate or glass bowl. Colorful ribbons that complement your wedding colors will complete this centerpiece.

These suggestions should get your own imagination and creativity started. Beautiful, elegant wedding receptions do not have to be expensive. Ribbons, beads, candles, glitter and an assortment of flowers and leaves can transform your reception hall into a wedding wonderland and not break your budget.

Want to know more about themes and wedding centerpieces? Check out the following links:

Winter Wedding Themes

Wedding Centerpiece Ideas

Decoration For Wedding Receptions

Have you started shopping for your wedding yet? If you need some places to shop we have some suggestions.

We have our own wedding store which offers thousands of items to choose from, so check it out and bookmark it for later:

Wedding Store

If you are looking for more reading material to help you plan your wedding, check this out:

Wedding Books and Magazines

Here is our featured wedding vendor of the month:

Magnet Street Weddings offers a wide variety of wedding stationery including save the date magnets, wedding invitations and thank you cards.

Here is our featured product of the month:

Fresh from the patisserie, this favor offers oven-baked goodness with a decorative edge! Each is elegantly iced with a chic design and is then personalized with the names of the bride and groom, an initial, or a monogram. Choose from three designs. Minimum order is 24 cookies. Size: 5" H x 4.5".

If you are considering giving out edible favors - this might be for you. It is yummy and beautiful. What more can a bride ask for?

And finally, for those of us wishing to save some money here is a coupon for you.

Visit Apples of Gold Jewelry store and save $20.00 on any order by typing in 20APPLES at checkout!

You can use this coupon to purchase wedding jewelry, jewelry for your bridesmaids, family or a special treat for yourself!

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter. As always good look with planning your wedding and contact me if there is anything I can help you with!
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