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September 2, 2012

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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. |

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


February 13, 2012

Bridesmaids, Junior Bridesmaids, and Flower Girls Responsibilities

Bridesmaids, Junior Bridesmaids, and Flower Girls Responsibilities

You are engaged, getting married, and now are getting ready to ask your BFFs to be a part of your wedding.

Who do you ask, and what are their responsibilities?  Your bridesmaids, junior bridesmaids, and flower girls will be a large part of your wedding day.  They will be involved in your journey from being single to walking down the aisle on multiple levels.  

Select your wedding gown first for the style, vision, and formality of your wedding.  Remember your bridesmaids, junior bridesmaids, and flower girls will be your palette of color in many of your photos.  When you choose your color palettes go to – LOVE THEM, and work with colors which you look amazing in.  When choosing bridesmaid dresses remember to keep the wedding gown in mind.  You may come up with a common design which may be a combination of the fabric, sheen, bodice, train, neckline, shoulder treatment,  etc.

Weddings are stressful with emotions running high.  There are many important factors to consider before asking your BFFs to be in your wedding party.  The most important thing to consider is they are there to SUPPORT YOU!

It is your CHOICE to ask these people to be involved in your wedding day, and it should be an honor for them.  Not everyone may see things the way you do.

The day of your wedding IS all about you.  When you choose your wedding party, here are some things to consider BEFORE asking them to be in your wedding party:

1).  Your BFF which has always been “all about herself”, will probably still be all about herself.

2).  Your BFF which has always been there for you, in good times and bad, will be a source of strength for you.

3).  Your BFF which complains about being bloated when she is a size zero, will probably still be bloated.

4).  Your BFF which complains and talks about being too busy, may be too busy to help you.

5).  Your BFF which you haven’t seen since college, you probably won’t see or hear from until your wedding day.

6).  Your fiance’s sister who has been supportive of you becoming a new member of the family, will probably still be supportive.

7).  Your fiance’s sister who is BFF with his ex-girlfriend, will still probably be BFF with the ex.

Bridesmaid’s Responsibilities:

  • Pay for their dress and show up for their fittings.
  • Wear the correct attire.
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal.
  • Be supportive and follow the bride’s wishes.
  • Purchase a wedding gift for the bride and groom.
  • Arrive and be dressed for photos per the timeline for the wedding day.
  • Walk down the aisle with or without the groomsman per the bride’s request.
  • Look after the bride attentively on the day of the wedding.
  • Be available to pose for photos throughout the day.
  • Help plan the bachelorette party based on the bride’s taste.

Junior Bridesmaid Responsibilities:

The junior bridemaid is normally between the ages of nine to fourteen.  She is “too old” to be a flower girl, and “not old enough” to wear a bridesmaid dress.  Some manufacturers have junior bridesmaid dress sizes which are the same fabric and style of the bridesmaids, others may not.  You will want to have her purchase a junior bridesmaid dress which you approve which is in the same style and color as your bridesmaids.  Her parents would be responsible for purchasing her dress, shoes, and accessories.  The florals for the junior bridesmaid may be a scaled down version of the bridesmaids’ bouquet.

Flower Girl Responsibilities:

The flower girl is normally between the ages of three to eight.  Her parents will be responsible for purchasing her dress, shoes, and accessories.  If the flower girl needs a nap, it is best to try to keep her on schedule.  Ask your photographer if they could add the flower girl in the photography timeline when they are rested!   The flower girl traditionally follows the ring bearer (if you are having one).  If you have more than one flower girl, it works well to have them “buddy up” so they support each other.  Depending on the length of your ceremony, you may want the flower girls to be seated with their parents or grandparents.  It helps to have their parents on the center aisle to encourage them to walk to a familiar face.  Remember you may want to ask your makeup artist and hairstylist to make your flower girls feel extra special by touching them up before they walk down the aisle.  Keep in mind when you have children in the ceremony you have minimal control over the outcome.  The flower girl may run down the aisle, lift her dress, cry, or refuse to walk.  Remember, children in a wedding are adorable.  The flower girls are little, and the more supportive you and the bridesmaids are, the more they will feel included and want to impress the “big girls”.

Money Obligations:

If the bridesmaid or parents of the junior bridesmaid or flower girl are on a budget already, traditionally they pay for their own dress, shoes, and accessories.  Sometimes you may offer to pay for part or all of the gown and/or accessories, knowing the chance of them wear it again is minimal.  Remember the movie 27 dresses! 

Conflicting Personalities:

If the people you are considering to be in your wedding party get along well, great!  If they don’t, think again.  With stress and emotions running high, they will be at a higher level as the wedding day approaches.  Cat fights on your wedding day between your BFFs will not make it an enjoyable day, and your photos will show the stress in your faces.

“Real life” Happens:

Think about the situations which are “real life” to your BFFs.  Maybe one is pregnant, and expecting her first child close to your wedding date.  Maybe one just had a baby, and they need to bring the baby to your wedding.  Maybe one was just laid off from her job and has financial situations.  Maybe one no matter what happens has drama 24/7.  Try to surround yourself with people who are supportive of you and your fiance’s marriage.


By taking the time to hand pick your wedding party based on these specifications, this will help you choose a responsible and supportive group of bridesmaids, junior bridesmaids, and flower girls. 

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. |

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


September 9, 2011


Kim Kardashian’s Wedding Ring. 

Expenses for your wedding add up quickly. Meet early to discuss and determine realistic budgets and who will be responsible for which expenses so there are no misunderstandings or hard feelings later. The following list indicates the traditional division of expenses. Normally the bride’s family pays for the largest share of the expenses. With the average age of couples getting married on the rise, financial responsibility has shifted from the parents to the couple themselves. The bride’s parents should have the opportunity to graciously decline offers of financial help. The question of who pays for what normally comes down to who is most willing and able to pay. When you are planning your budget, remember to be courteous, realistic, and communicate with everyone involved.

Wedding ring for the groom.
Wedding gift for the groom.
Gifts for the bridal attendants.
Personal stationery.
Accommodations for her out-of-town attendants (optional).
Attendants’ dresses (optional).

Engagement party (optional).
Bridal consultant.
Cost of ceremony (location, musicians, rentals, flowers, and decorations).
Entire cost of reception (food, beverage, gratuities, wedding cake, rental fee, rental items, decorations, music, and flowers).
Wedding gift for the couple.
Bride’s wedding attire and accessories.
Bridesmaids’ bouquets.
Flower girl bouquet or basket.
Wedding invitations, save the date cards, announcements, enclosures, and mailing costs.
Wedding programs.
Transportation for the bridal party to the ceremony and the reception site.
Engagement, wedding, and reception photographs.
Bridesmaids’ luncheon.
Gratuities for those directing traffic, valet parking, and checking coats.
Personal wedding attire.
Rehearsal dinner (optional).

Engagement and wedding rings for the bride.
Wedding gift for the bride.
Marriage license.
Gifts for the best man and groomsmen.
Groom’s wedding attire.
Bride’s bouquet and going-away corsage.
Mothers’ and grandmothers’ corsages.
Boutonnieres for all men in the wedding party.
Accommodations for his out-of-town attendants (optional).
Groomsmen wedding attire (optional).
Attendants’ gloves, ties, ascots, and vests (optional).
Fee for the ceremony officiant.
Bachelor dinner (optional).

Personal wedding attire.
Travel and hotel expenses they incur.
Wedding gift for couple.
Bachelor’s dinner (optional).
Rehearsal dinner.

Traveling expenses.
Wedding gift for the couple.

Wedding attire for themselves.
Any traveling expenses.
Wedding gift for the couple.
Showers given by maid of honor or bridesmaids.
Bachelor party given by best man or groomsmen.

Gifts of appreciation for parents or others who helped with the wedding.
Expenses of items desired which have exceeded the original budget.

Copyright 2011, Kim Horn, MBC.

To you have Kim Horn be your wedding planner, contact:

Kim M. Horn, MBC
Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 59 in the World
Publisher | Pres. |
AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants
ABC 2010 Conference Chair

O 480.921.7891
C 602.418.9089
F 480.829.6292

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