Bridal Show Tips

Bridal shows can be informative and fun with the right attitude and preparation! Here’s some great tips and ideas you should consider when attending a show.

*Where to Find Them – Bridal shows are just about everywhere these days – hotels, malls, department stores and wedding reception halls. Some are small, some are huge! Don’t hesitate to attend a few. Have some fun, bring your fiancé, your mom, or your best friend.

*Register Before the Show – If you registered before the show, most admission is free! If not, some will charge up to a $9.00 admission fee. Now, when you pre-register, some will give you a set of labels when you arrive at the door with your name, address, telephone and wedding date. Most every vendor at the show will have some sort of prize giveaway, and these labels are used for the drawing.

For the smaller, local shows, you might want to make up some pre-printed labels on the computer ahead of time. If you do want to enter the drawings then you won’t have to fill out your name and address a hundred times!

*Prize Giveaways and a Word of Caution – Just about every wedding vendor at these bridal shows, has some type of promotion or prize giveaway, from a drawing for FREE wedding invitations, a FREE engagement portrait or a FREE tuxedo for the groom with rental of four others. Be aware that some of these “free” prizes may have a few strings attached.

Also, realize that when you put your name in for a drawing, that you may not win a prize, but you’ll most certainly get on every wedding-related mailing list for the next year!

* Bring a Pad and Pen – Bring a small notebook and pen. You never know what tips or ideas you’ll find out and want to write down. There’s so much to see that by the time you get home, you may forget!

* Get a Big Bag – Most shows offer a small to medium size carry-all bag when you enter the show. There’s so much information at each booth you can easily fill it up. Grab all the information you can! Take it home and go through it all later.

*Meet Vendors – Most of the vendors are very friendly and will talk to you about their products and services in as much detail as you want. However, the shows are very hectic and noisy, so if you find a vendor that you like, it’s best to set up an appointment and meet with them later.

If a vendor tries to “pressure” you into booking their services and placing a deposit with them TODAY (at the show)… keep walking!

*The Fashion Show – The centerpiece of any bridal show is the fashion show and you won’t want to miss it. Keep a pen and notebook handy in case you see a style or designer you really like.

* Don’t Get Overwhelmed – When brides and grooms visit these bridal shows they can sometimes feel overwhelmed. There’s so much to see and so many vendors. Many can feel overwhelmed by all the choices and decisions that need to be made. But remember wedding planning is usually done over the course of a year… not in one day! It’s one decision at a time!

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I’m Engaged!! So Now What Do I Do?

Congratulations, you’re getting married! If you’re like most, you’ve dreamed about your wedding day ever since you were a child. Now the time has come, but the difficulty is knowing where to begin…

First, you should announce your engagement and share your wonderful news with family and friends. Some brides like to formally announce their engagement in their local newspapers. Others simply prefer word of mouth or maybe an engagement party. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to enjoy this wonderful and magical time in your life.

Now, just like with any large undertaking, you first start with the big picture and then work your way down to the details. The first issue you need to think about, as it will effect the rest of your wedding planning, is money.

I know that doesn’t sound very romantic, but let’s face it, unless you’re among a chosen few in which the “skies the limit”…You need to set a budget. You’ve got to determine how much you can spend on your wedding and who’s going to contribute to your wedding expenses.

With that in mind, your next step is to develop an overall framework for your wedding. You need to begin thinking about what kind of wedding you want. Maybe a particular theme? Do you want a small, intimate wedding or a grand, lavish celebration, or maybe something in between?

By making a few decisions about what you like and what you don’t like, it can really help you to narrow down the vast array of choices. Here are a few questions you should answer to help you on your way…

* How much money do you want to spend on your wedding?

* Do you want a small or a large wedding?

* Do you want an indoor or outdoor wedding?

* What time of year do you want to get married?
* Do you want to get married during the day or in the evening?

*Do you want a traditional style wedding or something more contemporary?
*Do you want an elegant, formal setting or something more romantic and intimate?

*Do you want a formal sit down dinner, a cocktail reception or something in between?

* Do you want to get married close to home or at some other “exciting” or romantic destination location?

* Do you want to get married and have your reception at the same location?

Once you’ve answered some of these general questions… it’s time to move on to your first big decision! It’s one of the most challenging and important decisions you’ll have to make – choosing a location for your reception.

Your reception site is the most influential in determining the overall mood and atmosphere of your wedding. You want to select a reception site that matches your individual style, taste and budget. This is not an easy task and can certainly require a significant amount of time and effort.

Keep in mind that many popular reception sites book up a year or more in advance. So, if you have a particular reception site or certain date in mind, don’t wait!

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10 New Flower Trends for Your Wedding

Brides are no longer relegated to choosing the traditional bouquet of plain white flowers with ferns. These days, the sky is the limit! There is an unlimited number and variety of beautiful flowers to choose from. Consider the following trends in flowers, and use your imagination to build the bouquet of your dreams:

1. Think about using some flowers as a pleasant way of saying “thank you”. Corsages and boutonnieres can be given to your close family, friends or to wedding participants who have helped in the coordination of your wedding day. You could also offer a corsage or boutonniere to your organist and Officiant.
2. There are many different styles of bouquets to choose from. One bouquet style rising in popularity is the hand tied bouquet. This fresh bunch of flowers, or posy style, will give a “just been picked” look of simple elegance to the bride and the bridal party alike.
3. Some brides are choosing to write romantic messages with their flowers! Selecting flowers with special meanings is an old-fashioned and sentimental way to express your feelings. Sweet peas, musk rose and lisianthus all offer a great way to personalize your flowers.
4. You not only want your flowers to look good, they should smell good too. Fragrance is becoming an important consideration for many brides, who are choosing the flowers in their bouquet to give a lovely scent. Some of these fragrant beauties include: gardenias, peonies, stephanotis and tuberoses.
5. The classic and timeless all white bridal bouquet is still a popular choice for some brides. This bouquet generally includes lily of the valley and orchids. The flowers are arranged into a soft and romantic style of bouquet. The bouquet can be held in the hands, or cradled lightly in the arm.
6. One new trend that you might like to consider, is the “champagne wedding”. With this theme, both the bride and attendants carry all-white, fragrant bouquets.
7. In contrast to the trend-setting theme of the “champagne wedding”, the rich, deep floral colors are rising in popularity. Many bride’s and attendant’s bouquets are now being chosen in the rich, saturated colors of rose, burgundy and deep violet.
8. If you are looking to have a modern style to your wedding, consider some of the more modern bouquet looks. Some favorites include: large, yellow sunflowers, or colorful posy bouquets consisting of many different kinds of flowers. If you have chosen a gown with a simple, but stylish, line you may like to carry one single lily. This can look positively stunning!
9. The Victorian influence is also becoming more popular. The Victorian style includes romantic, soft colored blush roses and baby’s breath. These flowers can be placed in the bride’s hair, as well as in the bouquet, and can also be carried by the flower girls. Mothers of the bride can be given a single flower to carry, or can be offered a simple, pretty nosegay.
10. Many brides are coordinating their florist with their caterer and cake baker to provide floral decorations for their cake and buffet table. You may like to have flowers on your cake knife, goblets, or serving plates. Adding this type of floral detail can truly make a difference to the appearance and festive atmosphere of your reception.

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Wedding Corsages

Corsages are meant to designate special family members. Typically, the mothers and grandmothers of both the bride and the groom wear corsages. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your corsages…

1. The price of corsages can range anywhere from $15.00 to $30.00 or more, depending on the size and type of flowers. If you are on a budget, stay with a simple corsage.
2. Be careful not to make the corsage so elaborate, that it becomes large and heavy. Today, there are many delicate fabrics, such as silk, that can not withstand a pin through the fabric or the ability to support a heavy corsage. In most cases, when it comes to corsages — smaller is better.
3. Corsages can be worn in many different ways. They can be pinned to the dress, attached to a purse or worn around the wrist. It’s a good idea to ask the person who will be wearing the corsage, which style they prefer to wear. You might also ask about the color of their dress in order to help you choose flowers for the corsage that best compliments their wedding attire. Then, give all this information to your florist.
4. A great alternative to the corsage (and cost effective too) — give that special person a single rose or very small bouquet tied with tulle and ribbon. The hand held flower or bouquet looks great in the wedding pictures and when the mothers are escorted down the aisle.
5. Corsages are meant to designate special family members. However, you may also give corsages to special friends or those participating in your wedding ceremony, such as your readers, soloist or musician.

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Bridal Bouquet Basics

A beautiful and fragrant bridal bouquet is the perfect compliment to any bridal attire. The bridal bouquet should enhance the beauty of the gown, but not overpower it.

A “traditional” bridal bouquet is designed with all white flowers so that it does not draw attention away from the bride and her wedding gown! However, there is an increasing trend toward adding color to the bridal bouquet from soft pinks and pastels to fuchsia and ruby reds. bridal bouquet

The bridal bouquet should compliment the personal style of the bride as well as the overall theme and atmosphere of the wedding. So, if hot pink suits your personality…there should be nothing stopping you!

Bridal bouquets come in all colors, shapes and styles. It’s best to work with a reputable florist who can design a bouquet that’s just right for you. Here are some of the basic designs for bouquets…

The Cascade Bouquet
The most traditional and formal style for the bridal bouquet. As the name implies, it resembles a cascade or waterfall with the flowers flowing downward. Traditional wedding flowers used in the cascade bouquet are white and include roses, stephanotis, white or calla lilies, and mingled with some greenery. The bouquet has the appearance of being loose and free flowing.

The Nosegay or Round Cluster Bouquet
Round in shape and usually smaller than the other styles. It can be created with all the same variety of flowers or a mix. A popular version of this bouquet is the tight round cluster in white or pastel pink roses. This type of bouquet usually has very little greenery.

The Hand-tied or Lose-tied Bouquet
A little less formal than the others. It gives the illusion of a “just picked” bouquet of spring flowers tied loosely with delicate ribbon or lace. The bouquet is put together with a variety of different types of flowers. In this bouquet, the flowers can actually have some movement, or just the appearance of being free flowing. It all depends on the preference of the bride.

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Selecting Your Florist

Here are some great tips to help you in selecting your florist.

First, before you begin your appointment with the florist, look around their shop…

* What is the decor of the shop like?
* Is it nicely and creatively decorated?
* Do they have interesting floral arrangements?
* Do they use unique vases or baskets in their arrangements?

Next, look in the cooler…

* Do the flowers look fresh?
* Do they have interesting varieties of flowers or just your standard roses or carnations.

Remember, you’re not just buying flowers… your buying CREATIVITY and STYLE of the floral designer.

Your florist should listen and offer ideas and suggestions.

Here are a few questions you should ask your florist…

* Ask to see photographs of other weddings done by the florist. Do they look different or do the arrangements all look the same? You’re looking for creativity and style. Be sure to tell the florist what you like and what you don’t like about certain arrangements.
* Ask about their service the day of the wedding. Who will be setting up the day of the wedding? Ask how many weddings are done in one day. Ask if they are familiar with both the ceremony and reception location. If not, can they make arrangements to visit them prior to the wedding?
* Ask about delivery and set up times. This is especially important when it comes to the hotter weather. If the flowers are dropped off too early they can wilt and won’t stay fresh throughout the entire reception.

When you choose your florist, make sure that your contract or receipt details:

* ALL of the arrangements, bouquets and any other decorations that the florist is to provide.
* A detailed description of the color and variety of flowers to be included in the bouquets and floral arrangements. You don’t want to ask (and pay for) roses and end up with carnations and lilies.

Make sure delivery time and the number of hours of set up time is specified in your contract or on your receipt.

The last words of advice…try and find a florist who’s style (and price) you like. Be specific about your tastes and what you want. Don’t just say I’d like a bouquet that’s white with roses. There are so many different styles, shapes and sizes, you don’t want to be disappointed when you open the box!

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Tips for Choosing a Bridal Bouquet

1. Select flowers that are in season. This will keep costs down tremendously. Consider purchasing silk flowers if you have your heart set on a flower that is not in bloom.
2. Some brides choose silk flowers because they are usually less expensive than fresh flowers and the bouquet can be kept and displayed in their home after the wedding.
3. Select flowers that will hold up for the entire day. Particularly if you are taking pictures before the ceremony or outside, you want to make sure that you select flowers that will hold up to the sun and wind and still look gorgeous when you walk down the aisle. Another option is to use a bouquet holder, which will keep your flowers hydrated with water for most of the day.
4. Don’t let your bouquet overwhelm you. A beautiful waistline will be covered by a large, cascading bouquet. If you are petite, the weight of a large bouquet could become a problem during the ceremony. Consider your gown and your stature before making selections.
5. Show the florist what you like. Don’t just tell your florists the gowns are “pink”… bring in fabric swatches if at all possible. (I mean, there are probably more than 50 different shades of pink!)
Cut out magazine pictures of bouquets you like and some that you don’t. This will give your florist a really good feel for your particular tastes.
6. Select flowers with special meaning. Most flowers have a specific meaning. For example, ivy means fidelity, friendship and marriage, violets mean modesty and hope, zinnias mean thoughts of absent friends, jasmine is for happiness and tulips mean enchantment.

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The Perfect Wedding Flowers

Selecting your wedding flowers should be a joyous experience. Lush bouquets in antique urns for the ceremony, fragrant, pristine flowers for your bouquet, and the final touch on the wedding cake – the beauty of the flowers will enhance your wedding from beginning to end. In order to create the perfect wedding atmosphere, you need to find the perfect floral designer for you.

Do your research and ask a lot of questions. Remember there are no silly or stupid questions!! A floral designer that is proud of their work will be eager to show you photographs of their designs and to listen to the vision you have for your wedding.

Just as all brides are different so are designers. If you do not “click” with the first person you meet continue your search for your “floral Soul mate” so to speak. A talented, creative designer will offer Knowledge, guidance & numerous ideas. As the bride, you need to feel comfortable with the person with which you will be working.

How to Get Started

You will want to start your search as soon as a reception location has been secured. Preferably 12-14 months before the event. Talented, creative floral designers book up quickly. Some designers only book one event per day – some book one event per weekend.

It is a misconception that a bride needs to have all the gowns selected before she meets with a designer. This is simply not true. A second appointment can be arranged to solidify all the details. Your primary concern is contracting with a professional that shares your wedding ideas & one that can offer assistance & expertise.

Some Things To Look For

If the designer is a retailer, look around their shop. Mentally ask yourself some questions:

* What type of environment have they created?

* Is it pleasing to you?

* Are the members of their staff helpful & courteous?

* Do you feel your wedding will receive the attention it deserves?

* What is the overall impression you have about the shop and the work designed there?

* If your wedding falls on a holiday weekend or during a holiday season, will your wedding be top priority or will the 50 poinsettia plants bump your wedding to the bottom of the list?

* Can you meet with the designer who will actually be making your flowers?

* How long has the shop been designing flowers for weddings?
If the designer works out of a studio or warehouse space, do not be concerned. Many designers today prefer to concentrate on special events and not the everyday workings of a traditional shop. Many brides prefer the one-on-one atmosphere. They feel they get more personal attention, a wider variety of flowers and more unique designs.

Wherever the designer works, always request a contract reserving the date and always request to see photographs of their work. Not a magazine of what they could do, ask to see what they have actually done and as you look at the photographs look for the following:

* Do the flowers look crisp and fresh?

* Are the photos current?

* Can you tell whether the gowns are currently in style?

* Are the designs pleasing to your eye or not too memorable.

* Do the flowers complement the setting?

* Do the designs all look the same or are there a wide variety of styles?

* Is the designer willing to create something new just for you?

Choosing Your Own Style

Now it is time for the details!! In the months before the wedding, try to become more aware of flowers. Save photos of styles you like, shapes of bouquets or just a color palate pleasing to you. Magazines, books & websites are great resources – garden, home & wedding-related media will be of great assistance. Bring all these ideas, plus your own personal style to your final “flower meeting”. These items added to your designer’s portfolio and expertise, would expedite the selection process.

Having a problem finding things you like in print or cannot verbalize your ideas?? A qualified designer will know the right questions to ask to “pull” the ideas from you. A little extra time & patience will make it all come together.

Selecting all the necessary items for the bridal party, ceremony & reception can seem like an overwhelming task, but once the style and feeling of the flowers are determined it quickly falls into place. Start with the bouquets, move on to the ceremony decor and finish up with the reception.

Day of the Wedding Services

In order to alleviate anxiety on your wedding day, you will need to ask these questions ahead of time.

* What type of services will be offered the day of the wedding??

* Where and when will the flowers be delivered and by whom?

* Will there be an assistant at the ceremony to pin on boutonnieres & corsages, set-up the altar designs, pew decor, runner, etc?

* Will the floral designer transfer the ceremony flowers to the reception or do I need to arrange to have a friend do this for me?

A full service floral design company will be your best friend on the day of the wedding. All the flowers will be delivered to the locations specified in the contract.

Your family & friends are attending your wedding as guests, not workers. Fine wedding attire is not conducive to working with large arrangements or loading items in cars, not to mention that flowers are perishable and need special handling. A trained professional knows how to transport & reset these delicate items so they will look as fantastic at the reception as they did at the ceremony.

Final Pearls of Wisdom

The flowers you select for your wedding will be a reflection of you, your taste, style, color & design. If you invest a little time before the wedding day and select a floral designer that shares your enthusiasm you will be more than delighted with the end result.
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Top 10 Cake Cutting Songs

The joyous event of cake cutting… gentle, gentle, gentle aaaaaaah!!
1. Bride Cuts the Cake Average White Band
2. How Sweet It Is James Taylor
3. I Got You Babe Sonny & Cher
4. Love and Marriage Frank Sinatra
5. Theme Song from “Jaws” Ronnie Neuman
6. When I’m Sixty Four Beatles
7. Chapel of Love Dixie Cups
8. That’s Amoré Dean Martin
9. Hit me with your Best Shot Pat Benetar
10. Eat it Weird Al Yankovic

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Top 10 Father and Daughter Wedding Songs

Here are some magical songs for the Father, Daughter Dance.

1. Butterfly Kisses Bob Carlisle
2. Because You Loved Me Celine Dion
3. Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Middler
4. Through the Years Kenny Rogers
5. The Way You Look Tonight Frank Sinatra or Harry Conick Jr.
6. Can You Feel The Love Tonight Elton John
7. Isn’t She Lovely Stevie Wonder
8. Father’s Eyes Amy Grant
9. Unforgettable Nat King Cole
10. Daddy’s Little Girl Kippi Brannon or Mills Brothers or Al Martino

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