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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Top 10 Interlude Ceremony Songs

During a wedding ceremony there are some pauses. Many couples fill those pauses with music that maintains a joyous and solemn mood, reflecting on the excitement and sacredness of the vows they are about to take. Make sure you check with your Officiant about the music you choose to make sure it’s acceptable. Some even have lists of what music is appropriate for all parts of the ceremony.
1. Air-Sheep May Safely Graze Bach, Johann Sebastian
2. Amen! Praise and Glory Peacock
3. Ave Maria Schubert and Gounod
4. Let there be Peace on Earth
5. Spring – Four Seasons Vivaldi
6. O Mio Babbino Caro (Gianna Schicchi) Puccini
7. Lords Prayer
8. The Call From Five Mystical Songs Vaughan Williams
9. Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo Mascagni
10. Sinfonia Bach, Johann Sebastian

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Top 10 Last Dance Wedding Songs

The ceremony has come to a close…
the beautiful couple takes the floor one more time!
1. Last Dance Donna Summers
2. Time of Your Life Green Day
3. Wonderful Tonight David Kersh
4. Save the Best for Last Vanessa Williams
5. From This Moment On Shania Twain
6. Goodnight, Sweetheart David Kersh
7. I’ve Had The Time of My Life Bill Medly & Jennifer Warnes
8. Closing Time Semisonic
9. Could I Have This Dance Anne Murray
10. Never Let You Go Third Eye Blind

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Top 10 Prelude Ceremony Songs

The prelude is the thirty to forty-five minutes before the bride arrives for the ceremony. This allows the guests to be seated, and it gives them a chance to relax and reflect. Many couples choose to play soothing, unobtrusive selections that set a peaceful tone.
1. Adagio from Santana in E-Flat Mozart
2. Air from Water Music Handel
3. Air on the G String (from orchestral suite #3) J.S. Bach
4. Allegro from Brandenburg Concerto #4 in G J.S. Bach
5. Courante from Three Lute Dances
6. Nocturne in E Flat, Op.9 No. 2 Chopin
7. Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun Debussy
8. So this is Love Instrumental “Cinderella” David, Hoffman, Livingston
9. Waltz (From Sleeping Beauty, Act 1) Tchaikovsky
10. Spring – Four Seasons Vivaldi

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Top 10 Recessional Ceremony Songs

Finally…the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The bride and groom have kissed, they are now husband and wife. They start their lives together with a walk up the aisle. This calls for lively and festive music to enhance the excitement of the newly married couple.
1. Traditional Wedding March (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) Mendelssohn
2. Autumn – Four Seasons Vivaldi
3. Siman Tov
4. Ode to Joy Beethoven
5. Love me Tender Phillharmonic Wedding Ensemble
6. Sonata in G Tartini
7. Air – On the G String from Orchestral suite No. 3) Bach, Johann Sebastian
8. Hornpipe – Water Music Handel
9. First Movement from Brandenburg Concerto #1 in F Bach, Johann Sebastian
10. Inseparable Natalie Cole

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Top 10 Processional Ceremony Songs

The Processional begins when the mother of the bride is seated and the bride starts her walk down the aisle. This calls for dramatic or uplifting music that draws attention to the beautiful bride!

1. Traditional Wedding March Mendelssohn or Wagner
2. Ave Maria Harry Conick, Jr.
3. Canon in D Pachelbel
4. Arioso Bach
5. Dodi Li Steven Sher
6. Erev Ba Shoshana Damari
7. Sleeper’s awake Bach, Johann Sebastian
8. Heroic Marches Telemann
9. Processional to Tedeum Charpentier
10. Romance from String Quartet Mozart

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