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August 1, 2013

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http://TheWrightHouse.com

http://TheWrightHouse.com

Plan ahead, and consider the logistics of your get ready location.  Plan ahead for your get ready room and get ready photography.  You may want to get ready at your parents’ home, a hotel room, or a wedding venue’s bridal suite.  The Wright House (photo to the left) has a gorgeous get ready room fully equipped with natural lighting, space, seating, and an adjoining bathroom.  Weigh the pros and cons of each location.  You will need to factor in time for transportation to get everyone to your ceremony site (unless it is at the same property).   If you are having your ceremony and reception at a hotel, most hotels will provide a get ready room in your agreement, yet may not be able to get you an early check-in (depending on occupancy levels).  You will be less stressed if you pay extra to check into your room the night before your wedding, so everything is easier for your wedding day.

Lighting, timing, space, and minimal clutter is important.  Your “get ready” photos will be taken in your get ready room.  Discuss with your photographer natural lighting and start times so you know to be ready to start photos.  Work with your photographer on lighting since they will LOVE lots of natural lighting with large windows vs. being in a dim light room with no or minimal windows, or florescent lighting.  If you are getting ready in a hotel room, ask your hotel representative if there is an upgrade price (less the room you get included in your plan) so you may pay for a more picturesque room for get ready photos with large windows.  Think about the number of people you will be having in your room too.  Space is important, and think about how many you don’t want clutter of everyone’s bags in the photos.

Focus on a realistic plans for photography, hair and makeup schedules.  Your wedding planner will need to back out additional time for hair and makeup schedules.  Most people will need to be finished with hair and makeup when the photographer starts with the bride getting into her gown.  Most will not want to have photos without their hair done, or without their makeup finished.  Depending on how many faces you have for makeup (average 45 min. per face, and 1 hr. for the bride) and how many heads you have for your hairstylists (average 45 min. – 1 hr. per head, then 1 -1.5 hours for bride), plan on starting early and having touch-ups as needed.

Here are items to consider for your get ready room:

–         Breakfast ordered (dietary restrictions), and scheduled to be delivered to your room for you, your wedding party, MOB (mother of the bride), and MOG (mother of the groom).

–         Lunch ordered (dietary restrictions), and scheduled to be delivered to your room for you, your wedding party, MOB, and MOG.

–         Straws for drinking to not mess up make-up

–         Adequate bathrooms for everyone to shower and go to the restroom too

–         Mirrors (so not everyone crowds the bathroom)

–         Music downloaded on your iPod to play your favorites

–         Fans to circulate air

–         Steamer for wrinkle free dresses

–         Hanger for your dress which is photo worthy for your “gown photo on a hanger”

–         Bar stools for makeup artist (unless they bring their own)

–         Lighting for makeup

–         Power strips for hair dryers, flat irons, curling irons, rollers, etc.

–         Charger for your phone

–         Signs for fun wedding party photos “Just wait until you see her!”

–         If you are at a hotel, find out how many other weddings and/or brides will be on site at the same time.  Find out what locations are the hotels favorite photography locations, when they will be in shade, and when they will be available for photography for you.

–         Chairs and props to help with group photos

–         Wedding party gifts wrapped and packed for opening for great photos

–         (If at a hotel) Bell man scheduled to pickup the bridesmaids bags so housekeeping may clean room

–         Housekeeping requested to clean the room after you leave for your ceremony

–         Arrange for amenities for late night after your wedding – drinks, munchies, turn down of your bed.

–         Arrange for breakfast in bed for the day after your wedding with you and your fiance’s favorites!

 

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

Hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

 

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale Wedding Planner | Paradise Valley Wedding Planner | Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner | Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

 

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

 

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July 29, 2013

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TheWrightHouse.com

TheWrightHouse.com

Phoenix, Arizona, known as the Valley of the Sun, has some of the best weather in the United States year round!  The daily high temperatures from October to April generally remain in the ideal range of 65°F to 85°F.  Phoenix normally has 296 days of sunshine a year.    In the summer, when the weather is hotter, because we have low humidity,  since it is a “dry heat,” even at 100°F, it doesn’t feel as hot since other parts of the country with higher humidity.

Phoenix Average Monthly Temperatures

Month Average High Average Low
January                67

46

February

71

49

March

77

54

April

85

60

May

95

69

June

104

78

July

106

83

August

104

83

September

100

77

October

89

65

November

76

53

December

66

45

Few settings are as gorgeous as the views in Arizona of Camelback Mountain, South Mountain, Desert Botanical Gardens, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, plus there are many more!

The Wright House (gorgeous photo above, right) has both indoor and outdoor capability with an English Garden or a Country French Inn, call 480.833.0902 today to schedule a tour!  Check them out at http://www.TheWrightHouse.com

Here are some tips when planning your outdoor wedding in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Surprise, Glendale, Avondale, or other cities in Arizona.

Create shade.  Sometimes sunny days in Phoenix may be too much of a good thing.  Provide shade for guests who prefer to stay out of the sun.  You may get umbrellas from your venue included, otherwise you may rent some.  Keep in mind the umbrellas may block views of some of your guests.  You may want to opt for a canopy to cover the top with elevation for everyone instead.  Renting a tent would give you coverage on all sides vs. just the top.  Your photographer will need shade for your wedding photography too.

Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate!  Make sure you, your wedding party, and guests stay hydrated, especially if the weather is warm.  Have your caterer set up a water station with filtered water, ice, and a fruit garnish which would match the color or theme of your wedding (lemons for yellow, orange for tangerine, strawberries for red, etc.).

Have a Plan B which is as good as your Plan A.  When you choose your outdoor venue, make sure you have a Plan B for inclement weather which is functional.  Make sure your Plan B option is in writing in your agreement, since when the weather changes, all the events at your outdoor venue of choice will be looking for Plan B.  Your wedding planner and wedding venue can get up-to-the-minute weather reports and forecasts via apps like those offered at weather.com.  Make sure you know if you have a right to make a decision on Plan B, (some properties make the decision for you).  Have in writing in your agreement when you must make the FINAL decision before incurring extra setup costs.

Rent a Tent.  If your Plan B is the same space, regardless of inclement weather, would recommend reserving a tent.  These may be used year round, and allow for heating and air-conditioning units to be mounted on the outside.  This will cover you, your friends, and your family, and will be a wise investment.  Make sure you put a deposit down and order the tent, since you will need a tent permit.  Make sure you have a heating/air-conditioning technician on hand several hours before your wedding is scheduled to start.  If it is too hot, your flowers will not handle this well.  If it is too cold, the musicians when setting up will not be able to tune.

Determine what type of permits you need.  You may need city permits (depending on your location) for tents, noise ordinances, parking, fire marshall inspections, and more.

Be Courteous of Your Neighbors.  If you are having a home wedding, your neighbors may or may not be your BFF.  They may be planning to host an event the same night as yours.  Let them know about your festivities, and it may be easier to invite them to attend.  Make sure no one is mowing their lawn during your ceremony.  You don’t want someone cutting tile for their remodel during your ceremony either.  Be aware of when there is trash and recycling pickup so you don’t hear garbage trucks clanking.  You may want to hire valet parking, or hire a shuttle/bus for round-trip transportation for your guests to park at a local church or school (with permission from the location).

Determine your Insurance Options.  Make sure you take out special event insurance for the time the vendors and your guests will be on your property (if you are having a home wedding).  Check with your homeowner’s insurance to see what they will cover, and you may need to get a recommendation from someone who writes Special Event Insurance to get you the coverage you need.

What is inclement weather?  Typically “inclement weather” means the weather is going to do, or has done something bad, such as excessive rain, wind, or temperatures.   Try to get a definition of “inclement weather” from your venue so you have a common terminology.  Try to get their definition in writing in your agreement.  As an expert wedding planner, my definition of inclement weather would be:

a).  temperatures lower than ____

b).  temperatures higher than ____

c).  wind higher than _____

d).  rain estimated at %_____

Why do I need a tent early, instead of waiting until right before the wedding?  The ground at your wedding may not be level, and you want to make sure your centerpieces and chairs aren’t tipping over.  Had an October bride many years ago who I recommended to rent a tent for her Plan B, (she was having a home wedding at her parent’s home, which was the size of a mansion, with tennis courts, basketball courts, and guest houses).  The only flat location for the size of tent she required for her guest count was on their tennis courts.  The bride did NOT want the tent, saying she didn’t want her dinner/dance on a tennis court.  Told the bride if it rains on the day of your wedding, no one will care about the tennis courts, they will be happy to be dry!  The bride cancelled the tent rental 1 month out, and didn’t tell me.  The rental company called me immediately, and I told them to NOT cancel it, and to hold the tent under my account.  10 days before the wedding I emailed the weather forecast to the bride.  The bride called me in tears, letting me know she made a huge mistake, and she didn’t know what to do.  She thanked me for the weather update (which said RAIN), and confessed to me she had cancelled the tent.  Once she received my email on the weather forecast, she had called every rental company and no one has a tent!  Listened to her story, and then told her I wasn’t worried at all.  She frantically screamed, “How can you not be worried, my wedding is going to be a disaster.”  Then I told her about the rental company calling me, and I already knew about she DID have her tent!  Another reason why an experienced wedding planner is worth every penny!

Keep your wedding at an acceptable temperature.  With heating and cooling in a tent, you will be able to maintain an acceptable temperature.  You may also want to get a mist system, or fans.  For your outdoor wedding ceremony, you may want to have the servers hand out chilled, scented towels during the event.   Another idea for your wedding ceremony is to have your ceremony program double as a fan for each guest.

Do you need to rent power and lighting?  What time is sunset on the day of your wedding?  When and where do you need additional lighting (parking, restrooms, bar, dance floor, guest tables, just to name a few locations)?  How much power do you need for lighting?  You will want to make sure your vendors have the power they need to perform/provide their service/product.  Ask your wedding planner and caterer to get a complete list for your type of event for power needs.  Make sure you have enough power, or order generators.  Make sure your guests have lighting (since they may not be familiar with the area) to get comfortably from one place to another at your wedding.  You will want the DJ and band to make sure they can read their song list.  You will want lighting at the table so your guests will see what they are eating.

Insects may be an uninvited guest to your wedding.  Mosquitoes, ants, bees, and flies are a part of nature, yet you don’t need them to be part of your outdoor wedding.  You may want to use decorative citronella tiki torches or candles (normally available at Lowes.com) to discourage insects.

How many Bathrooms are there, and Are they Clean?  Nothing ruins an event worse than a not enough bathrooms, or the bathrooms you have being dirty, or out of toilet paper.  If your venue has restrooms, great, yet if they don’t have something in close proximity, you may want to rent a posh bathroom for your guests.  Check with local rental companies like ClassicPartyRentals.com for options on flushing toilets, running faucets, soap dispensers, built-in trash receptacles, and indoor/outdoor carpeting.

Sprinklers need to be shut off during setup, during the event, and during strike (take down of your event).  Imagine the heels of your shoes sinking in the grass, since someone forgot to shut off the sprinklers, and “just watered” the grass.  Make sure the sprinklers are shut off so the lawn is not damp from the start of setup through the end of strike (take down of your event).  Discuss this with your wedding planner and your wedding venue.

Sunset times and positioning of the sun’s angle.  For an outdoor wedding ceremony, the last thing you want is the sun in the eyes of your guests.  Position chairs and the front of your ceremony to be in a functional direction.

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

Hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale Wedding Planner | Paradise Valley Wedding Planner | Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner | Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

 

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

 

 

 

 

 

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May 16, 2013

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Wedding Ceremony Reading - "The Promise" by Heather Berry

Wedding Ceremony Reading - "The Promise" by Heather Berry

Within this blessed union of souls, where two hearts intertwine to become one, there lies a promise.  Perfectly born, divinely created, and intimately shared, it is a place where the hope and majesty of beginnings reside.  Where all things are made possible by the astounding love shared by two spirits.  As you hold each other’s hands in this promise, and eagerly look into the future in each other’s eyes, may your unconditional love and devotion take you to places were you’ve both only dreamed.  Where you’ll dwell for a lifetime of happiness, sheltered in the warmth of each other’s arms.

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

 

 

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Wedding Ceremony Reading - "The Union" by Robert Fulghum

Wedding Ceremony Reading - "The Union" by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment.  At some point, you decided to marry.  From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.  All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.  All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed – well, I meant it after all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time.  Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years.  Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you.  For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife.

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

 

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February 22, 2013

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Brides by Demetrios - Twist Options for Bridesmaid Dresses

You are engaged, and finally said YES to your wedding dress!  Congratulations, on having one major decision out of the way, many more to go!  Shopping for bridesmaid dresses is not an easy task since the average wedding has five bridesmaids, giving you a multitude of body types, skin tones, hair colors, and personalities.  Have you seen the movie 27 Dresses?  It is a must see before you go bridesmaid dress shopping!

This blog will put some “sanity” into your search for the right dress for your bridesmaids.  They will be thankful for your kindness since you are an informed bride by reading this.  At the end of the day, it is your choice, yet try to choose a dress everyone at your wedding will comment on how incredibly classy you are, since it is a reflection of you too!  As an expert wedding planner (1 of 61 in the world at Master Bridal Consultant level) and a matron of honor many times, have seen and have had to wear some HIDEOUS bridesmaid dresses.  This was not a master plan by the bride to intentionally choose dresses that were not flattering, it may have been the only dress they found in a color they loved.

Have your maid or matron of honor help you with the search.  Don’t be a control freak and try to do everything on your own.  You gave your MOH this prestigious position since you trust her.  Your MOH may be willing to run “interference” for you.  Your bridesmaids may be hesitant to tell you the dress costs too much, doesn’t flatter their body type, the color is wrong for their complexion, they will NEVER wear that dress again, yet may talk to your MOH about it, in order to not hurt your feelings.  Be ready to listen to feedback and be sensitive to their thoughts.

“I want to select a dress they will wear again.”  Many brides say this, yet in reality, because of the gown being uncomfortable, unflattering, or a color they would never wear again, this rarely happens.  If you are considering dark colored dresses, they may be worn to formal events later.  If you are fortunate to choose a dress which may be worn again, make sure you have the discussion with your bridesmaids to let them know the FIRST time they should wear the gown should be on your wedding day.  Be a friend, and treat them the way you would like to be treated if you were their bridesmaid.  If you were already in their wedding, and were not treated well, forgive them.  You, the bride, have the final decision in the choice of bridesmaid dresses, yet remember, this is not a dictatorship.

Discuss budgets, since friendships may be strengthened or broken.  Communication with your bridesmaids is important.  They have already made a commitment and are excited and honored to be in your wedding party.  Remember to think about everyone’s financial situation, since this is a sensitive topic.  (Bridesmaid dresses range from $100 – $300 on average.)  If you fall in love with a dress which is over their budget, are you willing to cover the difference for each bridesmaid?  When budgeting, remember this may include their dress, shoes, alterations, shipping, bra, slip, hose, earrings, necklace, bracelet, hair, makeup, travel expenses (airfare, hotel, rent a car, time off work, etc.) to get to the wedding, and expenses while they are at the wedding.  At the end of the day, everything adds up, and quickly.  You may want to give a part as your gift to them for being in your wedding, so they still look and feel incredible for photos, yet stay within the budget.  This will be a sensitive subject, yet the alternative is someone special to you may have to bow out of being in your wedding party because of financial concerns.  Better to know BEFORE ordering the dress.

Color selection is critical since this is your background color palette for your wedding photos.  You don’t want your bridesmaids to upstage you, yet you want them to look and feel their best!  The color palette you choose needs to be one you LOVE, look good in, plus helps set the theme and formality for your wedding.  Go to ColourLovers.com – and experiment with color palettes.  Try on the bridesmaid dress yourself to see how the color looks on you.  Have your MOH try on the gown next to your wedding gown.  Make sure you see this in different lighting too (if you are having an afternoon church wedding vs. sunset wedding, the lighting will be drastically different).  How will the gowns look in photographs?

Bridesmaid dresses must complement your wedding gown and formality of your wedding, and the body type of the bridesmaids.  Find a style and fabric which flatters your wedding gown, yet does not make them look like a bride.  Search for a style and fabric which flatters the different sizes and shapes of your wedding party.  Unless you have a group of ladies which are 34B and wear a size 6 jean, there are certain styles you should avoid.  If you have a 6’, size 0 jean, and voluptuous bridesmaid, don’t expect her to fit or look incredible in the same dress as a 5’, size 14 jean bridesmaid – it would not be fair to either of them.  If they feel they don’t look great in the dress, it will show in your pictures.  A strategically placed cover-up such as a shawl or bolero jacket helps make a body-conscious bridesmaid more comfortable with dress styles.  Think of your wedding gown fabric, formality, color, and style of neckline, bodice, and waist, and length.   You want the bridesmaid dresses to complement this.

Bridesmaid skin tones and hair colors need to be considered.  If the majority of your wedding party is light skinned and fair-haired, don’t choose a pastel color unless you want them to appear washed out.  This is also true with olive skin and colors like yellow or light green.  When choosing a color, try to find one that will complement all skin tones.  Of course, if your wedding party is fairly diverse, this will be more difficult.  In general, deep rich colors look better on most skin tones than lighter pale colors.  For example, emerald (hot color for 2013), crimson, black, eggplant, or midnight blue look incredible on the lightest ivory to the darkest coffee skin tone.  If you’re really hoping to have a light color, try working with a two tone effect.  If emerald is too overwhelming for an entire dress, while a mint will make most skin tones look pale or washed out, consider a mint green dress with emerald accents.  Most importantly, have the brighter color around the neck line and edges of the dress.  This way the skin color won’t be so washed out by the pale color.  You may also want to try a different skirt color.    Think of the floral bouquets and types of flower you love.  It may be easier to get the dress first, then work with your florist to include florals which complement your gown vs. trying to select a dress which has to work with a flower color which is subject to the rules of mother nature.

Bridesmaid dresses are sized differently from manufacturer to manufacturer.  If your bridesmaid is normally a size 0 and says “order it, I don’t have the time, and don’t need to be measured,” it will help if you insist each bridesmaid be individually measured for her gown.  You need time for the gown to be made, shipped, and altered to her unique measurements.  This will take time and normally more than one fitting.  Plan ahead, and understand everyone may gain weight, lose weight, or you may have a pregnancy in the mix, which will cause dress drama for alterations!  Plan ahead, you will be glad you did!

Order all the bridesmaid dresses at the same time from the same store.  Let them know this is for the same wedding, and make sure the gown store can verify these gowns will be cut from the same dye lot, (which is the only way to know your colors will match.)  If you are ordering the same color, yet different dress styles, these may be cut and sewed at a different time, meaning NOT from the same dye lot.  If you are ordering the same gown style, yet different fabric, make sure the fabrics complement each other, your wedding gown, your theme, and your formality.

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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September 2, 2012

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DulceCreative.com - Jamie Denke Portfolio

DulceCreative.com - Jamie Denke Portfolio

As a bride or groom, your Wedding Guest List may be easy to compile, or may be your worst nightmare.  This is the first time you will be combining both of your families for multiple events, and everyone has their own opinion on what is appropriate or inappropriate.  Trimming the guest list may turn into a heated debate, yet this blog (since you cannot be with me 24/7) will fast track you to realistic solutions which work best for you!  Your guest list WILL dictate how much you spend and your ceremony and reception location.  If you invite 150 couples, this may easily translate into 300 guests.

The Ultimate Guest List.  A magical number of family and friends which fits the size and style of your ceremony and reception sites, while staying within your wedding budget.

Invite Your Inner Circle of Family and Friends to Reduce Expenses.  Your wedding guest list should be your closest, most intimate friends and family members.   Focus on people who matter to you most.  Who was your priority to announce personally you just got engaged?  Although you may have an enormous family and circle of friends, it is important to trim the size of your wedding guest list to reduce expenses.  Trimming your wedding guest list is the number one way to save money!  If you haven’t seen or talked to them in a few years, they may be the easiest to cut first.

Make an Extensive List.  Ask your parents, your fiancé, and his parents to compile a wedding guest list including everyone they would imagine inviting.  Have them include and list their people in categories so it is easier when you are making table arrangements (i.e., wedding party, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family, friends, neighbors, bosses, co-workers, business acquaintances, college friends, high school friends, and distant relatives).  Make sure everyone knows this is the “Fantasy Wish List”, and cuts will need to be made to stay within your budget.

Be Respectful.  Count on one thing when deciding on your wedding guest list, disagreement.  Everyone will have an opinion about your wedding, and especially about who should be invited.  When you get your red pen to trim your list, make sure you are respectful to your fiancé, your parents, and his parents.

Who is Paying, Divide Equally, and Apply Rules Fairly.  If you are running into conflicts when trimming your list, consider who will be paying the bill.  Budgeting for the wedding is something you must discuss at the beginning of your wedding planning.  If your parents are paying for most of the wedding, they will obviously have more control of your guest list.  Try to divide the guest list evenly.  Make across-the-board, and clear-cut decisions on who to cut, (i.e., invite all aunts and uncles, yet eliminate third generation cousins).

Make Your MUST Have  List.  This is your “A List” of who you MUST have at your wedding.  This may be your parents, siblings, grandparents, and wedding party.  The ones left on your list which did not make it to your “A List”, will be your “B List”.

Who Should be Easier to Cut?  When you start making cuts, your colleagues, out-of-touch friends, and distant relatives you haven’t seen or talked to in over one year should understand if you want to keep your wedding guest list to your closest family and friends.  Don’t feel obligated to invite neighbors or other brides which have recently invited you to their wedding.

Limit Your Plus Ones.  It is up to you if you will allow a friend to bring a date.  Common courtesy dictates if your friend lives with, or is in a serious relationship with someone, this “plus one” should be invited to the wedding.  If your friend has a different person each month, this doesn’t mean they should be invited.  Talk with your friend first before assuming, and this is an easy way to get the name of their guest.  If they can’t give you a name, probably a good candidate for “no plus one”!

Realistic Guest Counts, Holidays, and Special Events.  On an average, 15% to 20% of your invited guests will not be able to attend.  They may have prior commitments, may not be able to take time off from work, or have other obstacles.  Your wedding date selection is important.  Holiday weekends are when airlines are extremely busy, and airfares will be more expensive.  If you plan your wedding during a major sporting event like Super Bowl weekend, your guests may have a difficult time finding hotel rooms, especially if the Super Bowl is in the same city as your wedding.

Master Guest List.  Combine your personal guest list, your parents’ list, your fiance’s list, and your fiance’s parents’ list into one alphabetical master list.  Check out this free template google docs – Wedding Guest List Template.  Enter your data or download from your computer in a format which is easily sorted in a multitude of ways.  You will refer to this list repetitively to address invitations, check off RSVPs, keep track of RSVPs NOT received, for accurate guest counts, record gifts, mail thank-you notes, and much more.  Here are some categories to include when making your Master Guest List:

a).  Contact information.  Include each guest’s full name, address, city, state, zip, phone, and e-mail address.

b).  Communication Tracker.  Keep track of who you have sent the save-the-date, invitation, and thank-you cards to.

c).  RSVPs.  Use a check mark or a “X” when the guest has RSVPed, with how many family members will be attending.

d).  Record Gifts.  Write down gifts received.

e).  Out-of-Town Guests.  These guests will need information on guest rooms, and you may want to arrange for transportation to pick them from the airport, take them to the ceremony, and return them to their hotel at the conclusion of the reception.

f).  Multiple Events.  If they are invited to one event, by etiquette they must be invited to the wedding.  You may want to have various spreadsheets for multiple events such as your Engagement Party, Bridal Shower, Bachelor Party, Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, Golf Outing, Spa Day, Ceremony /Reception, and Brunch the Day After.

g).  Dietary Restrictions.  Indicate if they are a vegetarian, gluten free, diabetic, and list dietary restrictions to share with your caterer.

h).  Children vs. Adult Count vs. Vendor Food Count.  Note the age range of children so when you give the final guest count to your caterer you know numbers for adults, children, and vendor meals.

i).  Guest Code by Relationship.   Make a code for each guest so you know who is issuing the invitation, is it the Bride (B), Parents of the Bride (POB), Groom (G), Parents of the Groom (POG), Sibling (SOB – sister of bride), Wedding Party (WP), Aunt (A), Uncle (U), etc.  This will help you with seating arrangements, and if RSVPs are missing, it will be easier at selecting who would be best to delegate to confirm their RSVP status.

j).  Table Numbers.  If you are having reserved seating to a table, it will be easier to group your guests before you alphabetize your list.

k).  Handicap Guests.  If you have anyone in a wheelchair, you may want to seat them closest to the exit door so they have easy entrance and exit options.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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May 12, 2012

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First Dance at Your Wedding

A DJ or band will set the tempo and mood of your wedding.  Music is one of the first impressions your guests experience when they arrive.  It pays to do your homework when hiring a DJ and band.  You do get what you pay for, if it appears to be too good, it probably is.  The personality, knowledge, and expertise of your DJ and band will make your event.  A professional DJ and band will be able give you guidelines on the flow of your wedding, and to assist you as you select your “must play” songs and your “must NOT play” songs.

Select Music for a Diverse Group of family and friends.  As a bride and groom, you have your favorite songs, yet your parents and grandparents may have an entirely different song list.  Review your guest list to see what type of music will work best, and ask your DJ and band for recommendations.  As you review your guest list, it normally narrows down to a diverse group of family and friends, which translates to a diverse group of music selections.   You may want live music for a portion, and a DJ for another portion. Music played during dinner will be an entirely different selection compared to the last hour for dance music.

Load In and Set Up.  Your DJ and band need to be scheduled to have enough time to load in, set up, have a sound check, trouble shoot, change clothes, and be ready for the arrival of your guests.   The last thing you want is your DJ or band loading in as your guests arrive.  If you have a band, they will have multiple breaks.  Make sure you have someone play music during breaks.

Are you a musiczilla?  As a wedding planner, always have lots of stories!  One bride had a song list of what she wanted played to the minute for her entire three hour wedding reception.  This is not recommended!  As her wedding planner, let her know it was not recommended, yet the DJ would follow her plan “her way”, yet she needed to understand if it wasn’t working we needed a Plan B.  Plan B was the most of the same songs, yet played in an order and timing the DJ felt worked best for the flow.  After 10 minutes of no one dancing, I approached the bride, and she agreed to go to Plan B.  Please remember you hire a professional for a reason, and each song may be three to four minutes long.  If you have a MUST PLAY list of 150 songs, you may have 600 minutes of music, translating to 10 hours of music.  Allow your DJ or band leader to guide you in selections which will get your guests up on the dance floor.  If there are songs which you do NOT want played, even if requested by a guest, make sure they honor your requests first.

Team and Timeline.  As your wedding planner, one crucial item requested of you is to be respectful to your vendors and give them a realistic timeframe to do what they feel they need to do it in.  You will need a timeline from your photographer to know how much time they need to photograph you, your wedding party, your family, and  your room before guests enter.  Depending on your menu selection and service style, you may want to position songs like the Father/Daughter dance after the servers have cleared tables, while everyone is waiting for your next course to be served.  You want your vendors to be able to do their personal best in a realistic timeframe.

Cake Cutting vs. Cake Service.  One of the key issues when timing your dinner is when to cut the cake.  Many feel when you cut the cake, your guests leave.  There is a “gap” in time from when you physically “cut the cake”, to when the cake is “served” to your guests.  Most people eat dessert and have coffee after their entrée (they don’t wait an hour or two for dessert).  Would recommend the bride and groom to cut their cake when most of the guests are finished eating their entrée.  Once the cake is cut, then have the DJ and band open the dance floor for dancing (approximately 20 – 30 minutes) while the catering staff disassembles, cuts, and prepares the cake to be served to the guests.  After 20 – 30 minutes of dancing, your guests are normally ready to take a break, and return to their table to eat their cake.

Check references, and meet with the DJ and band directly.   The DJ and band leader should give you recommendations or a guideline to help you with song selections for your:

  • Grand Entrance
  • Dinner Music
  • First Dance
  • Father/Daughter Dance
  • Mother/Son Dance
  • Cake Cutting Song
  • Dance Music (slow and fast selections)
  • Last Dance

Read and understand your agreement before signing it.

What time will they start and end?

What is included in their fee?

What is an additional fee?

Who is your DJ?

Who is your emcee?

Who are your band members and what instrumentation or vocals will they include?

What are overtime charges?

What will they wear?

If it is a band, how many breaks do they have and for how long?

What and who will be play on band breaks (or do they have a DJ to handle this)?

If it is a band, are they willing to learn the music of your First Dance, and other special requested dances?

Do they have a wireless microphone for announcements?

Do they include lighting, or is it extra?

Two recommended DJ companies:

http://www.CitronSound.com (ask for Jon)

http://www.RayTheDJ.com (ask for Ray)

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – April 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

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February 17, 2012

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Negotiate and read agreements before signing.

Negotiate and read agreements before signing.

When planning your wedding you have a multitude of lists.  One major “to do list” is to get your wedding team hired (i.e., wedding planner, ceremony site, reception site, caterer (if not on site), bakery (if not on site) finding THE dress, groom’s apparel, wedding party attire, photographer, ceremony musicians, DJ or band, officiant, florists, make-up artist, hair stylist, invitations, transportation, hotel accommodations, honeymoon, and there may be more, depending on your type of wedding!

Hiring an experienced wedding planner saves you time, energy, and is helpful in finding professionals which match your vision, budget, and style.  Experienced wedding planners know the reputation and have relationships with these vendors.  Yes, your BFF or a co-worker may have just gotten married and have the vendors they used for their wedding–yet do you want a wedding just like your BFFs wedding?.

Hiring an experienced wedding planner to finalize and negotiate your agreements is crucial.  They will know how to negotiate IN what you need, and negotiate OUT what you don’t need. 

Contract tips:

1).  Read the contract carefully before signing.

2).  Get clarifications on items you don’t understand.

3).  Negotiate what you don’t want out, negotiate what you do want in the agreement.  (BTW if you don’t know what you want – hire a professional planner to give you guidance)

4).  Specify the cost for the product and/or service(s) you are receiving in writing, and confirm if taxes, delivery, set up, take down, and gratuities are included, or at an additional expense.

5).  What happens if there is  a change of date or cancellation of the wedding?

6).  What happens if they do not deliver or perform the goods and or services you are paying for?

7).  When are payments due, and how are payment accepted?

8).  What if the company you hire changes ownership?

9).  If there needs to be updates and changes to the agreement, how is this done at a later date?

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 59 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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February 13, 2012

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Note to self – these are items your BFFs in your wedding party will not mention to you. 

Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridesmaid Dresses

When you say:

1).  “I don’t want to be a Bridezilla, but…” your bridesmaid thinks you have just become one.

2).  “I want your bridesmaid dress to be one you will wear again…” your bridesmaid thinks the chances of that happening are slim.

3).  “Since you are not in a serious relationship…” your bridesmaid thinks she should have the opportunity to invite and bring a guest. 

4).  “Do you want your hair and make-up done…” your bridesmaid thinks yes, if you are paying for it yes, or no, if you are not. 

5).  “What shoes do you think work with your gown…” your bridesmaid thinks the comfortable ones since my feet aren’t going to show in the full length gown you chose.

6).  “Do you want to walk down the aisle with a groomsman, or by yourself…” your bridesmaid thinks (if she is single) definitely if it is my significant other, or possibly if it is the hottie groomsman, otherwise, alone works for me!

7).  “As your bridesmaid gift I was going to get you matching jewelry…” your bridesmaid thinks she would prefer something more personal from you.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 59 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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December 30, 2011

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Organize your guest list (if you haven’t already) all in one place.  Make an alphabetized guest list which includes your guests’ full names with their complete addresses.  Depending on which program you use, would highly recommend separating each field (so you may sort as the need arises) by:

  • assign a “special” number to each guest as a “couple”* (see #1 below for details on why you will thank me a billion times for this tip)
  • first name
  • last name (easy to make an alphabetical list by last name of each guest) and title (if any)
  • address
  • city
  • state/country
  • zip/postal code
  • phone number (in case they don’t RSVP and you need to call them)
  • # RSVPed for reception
  • # RSVPed for brunch (the day after your wedding)
    dietary restrictions (if any, especially if you are having a choice of beef, fish, vegetarian, etc.)
  • table number (if you are having assigned seating at your reception)
  • thank-you sent
  • make brief notes of relationships (“Andrew’s mom’s best friend,” “Elena’s fiancé”) NOTE:  as you assemble your list these details will be helpful when you greet guests, arrange table seating, and when you write your thank-you notes.
Birchcraft.com
Birchcraft.com

Read through these tips to make it easier for you:

1).  Make an assembly line so you do each step one by one (one task at a time will make sure you don’t forget to do it for one invitation)!

2).   To keep your sanity once you receive your RSVPs, use your “special” assigned number to each guest on the back of their RSVP card.  Many of your guests will forget to write or fill in their name on their RSVP card when they see the M________________.  When this happens, you receive their RSVP with the number attending, yet you do NOT know who they are!  Easily solve this by being proactive and printing the guest’s “special” number lightly in pencil or an invisible ink pen on the back of your RSVP card.  If your guest forgets to write their name on the line, you will know who is responding.

3).  Consider hiring a calligrapher, or ask your wedding planner for a recommendation of someone who has nice hand writing to address your invitations.   Depending on your envelopes, they may fit into your printer if you are a DIY, check one before continuing this so you don’t damage multiple envelopes.

4).  Do not abbreviate streets, cities, or states.

5).  Write the guests’ full names on the outer envelope (without abbreviations).  Traditionally invitations are inserted into two envelopes, an inner envelope and an outer envelope.  The outer envelope is the one that is addressed and stamped, while the inner envelope has only the names of the people the invitation is addressed to.  For example a married couple’s inner envelope is addressed to “Mr. and Mrs.  Anderson” with neither first names nor address.   You may want to write the names of intimate relatives and lifelong friends in informal terms such as “Uncle Tom and Aunt Sadie”. 

6).  Avoid writing “and guest” or “and family” so everyone invited feels the invitation is especially for him or her.

7).  Before mailing, take an assembled invitation (don’t forget all of your enclosures such as  your maps, RSVP cards, etc.) to your local post office to have them measure and weigh your assembled invitation and confirm you have the correct postage on your invitations.  (The last thing you need is to have your invitations  returned for improper postage or even worse having them delivered to your guests with “postage due”).

8).  In addition to your invitation you may have other enclosures  such as response cards, maps, and tissues.  Make sure everything is assembled one by one so you don’t omit an important item from your invitation mailing.

9).  Stuffing the envelopes:

  • When 2 envelopes are used (inner and outer envelope) put all the enclosures in the inner envelope facing the back.
  • The inner envelope is placed unsealed in the outer envelope with the flap away from the person.
  • When there are insertions, they are placed in front of the invitation, so they face the flap (and the person inserting them).
  • In the case of a folded invitation, insertions are placed in the same direction but within the fold.

10).  Mail invitations eight weeks before the wedding (especially if you are inviting many out-of-town guests). 

11).  Make sure your return address appears on the invitation on the upper left-hand corner, or on the envelope’s flap.  This lets your guests know where to send replies and gifts to in case your return address does not appear on the invitation.

12).  Expect that not everyone will attend.  25 percent of those you invite will not be able to attend.   You will receive your “yes” RSVPs before the “can’t make it”.  

13).  A and B list etiquette.  If you have a “wish” list or “B” list, try to mail all your invitations on the same day regardless of their “list” category.  Remember your “B” list may know some of your “A” list, and vice versa.  You don’t want to hurt the feelings of others by thinking they are not invited to your wedding.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 59 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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