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Wedding Planning Questions & Answers


You just got engaged and should feel like a million bucks... instead, you have a million questions. 

The following is a list of FACTS that may help you quiet those wedding quells.

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Q: How many guests can we invite to our wedding?


A: First things first: With a destination wedding, you are probably getting married at a resort or hotel. Ask the management about guest size limitations. Next ask about specials for groups, many packages offered for couples and their guests will also include a free wedding ceremony. The resort or hotel may give a one day pass (with inclusive amenities at their facility) for your guests staying at other properties.

Q: We found the perfect wedding spot right here in Sandals, but it is an adult only resort. Many of our friends have children, will they be able to attend our wedding?

A: Many of the adult only resorts stick to that golden rule: Adults Only and very few make exceptions. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask as long as it’s ahead of time.

Q: I’ve been married before, can I get married under my maiden name?

A: You can use your maiden name if you have the proper paperwork to confirm that you have officially been using your maiden name. If not then, you need a “Change of Name By Deed Poll” document from your solicitor.

Q: Some of our marriage and personal documents are in a foreign language, how can we tell we have the correct documentation for our wedding?

A: All your documents should be in English (If you are a US citizen). If some are in a foreign language, then a certified translator is required. This can take some time, so allow for a lengthy process before your ceremony.

Q: What documentation is required for my wedding in a foreign country?

A: Check with the Authorities however, usually, you need the following:
1) Birth Certificate 2) Change of Name Deed (if applicable) 3) Death Certificate and Marriage Certificate of Deceased Spouse (if applicable)
4)Divorce Decree Absolute (If applicable) 5) Passport 6) Single Status Affidavit (if applicable)
*Also, age limit without a parents consent in most countries is 18 years of age.

Q: We’re from Vancouver, as are many of our family and guests. We’re getting married in Cabo, what should we know about sun exposure?

A: Baking oneself is never a good idea, especially just before your wedding. Be cautious, encourage your guests to be cautious too and always use sun screen no matter what your skin type (and use one with a higher factor than what you usually wear. The closer to the Equator, the higher the sun exposer). Check the SPF levels and limit your exposure to just a few hours a day. Strap marks aren’t attractive in photos, so be sure to cover up and slap on that sun block. You won’t stay hydrated sipping Margaritas on the beach. You need to drink plenty of bottled water, fruit juice and some sport drinks. These will keep you and your guests from getting dehydrated and sick for your big day.

Q: What kind of clothing do you recommend for our Jamaican wedding?

A: Lightweight clothes, cool cottons, breathable fabrics are great for any humid and hot climate. Traditional dress, like bodice lace or a three-piece tux will be unbearable on a hot beach or tropical rain forest. Many traditional bridal gowns and Groom suits can be light-weight and light-colored.


Accentuate the Accessories

Q: I am worried I will forget something I need for my wedding day. What are my accessory necessities?

A: Engagement and wedding rings, headpiece, crown, designer head pins, flowers or veil, gloves, jewelry, nylons, shoes, shawl or wrap.

Q: My mom wants me to wear my great-grandmothers pearls for my wedding, I want to wear the rhinestones my fiancé gave me. Which do I choose?

A: Depending upon your gowns style and your own, individual taste, why not both? Pearls can be combined in a tasteful manner with many pieces of jewelry, however, keep in mind that in Photographs, rhinestones tend to look like glass dots and don’t show up well. Pearls and crystals photograph best.

Q: Is costume jewelry too tacky for my wedding day?

A: Costume jewelry can be elegant and tasteful, depending upon the designer and which style of gown you are wearing. Be aware of necklines and if your gown has ornate beading on the bodice and neckline, dressing down jewelry wise, is best. Two rules of thumb: Try out jewelry with a blouse that has a similar neckline as your gown. Take a swatch (if possible) of your gown’s material so you may hold the jewelry against it. Some “Ivory” colors in material may wash out Mother of Peals iridescence.

Attending to the bride: Attendants

Q: I have fourteen first cousins alone and also two girlfriends and they all want a place in my wedding. How many attendants are required and limited for a wedding?

A: Size limits depend upon the place you are getting married in. Most churches allow for an orchestra of attendants while boats, hotels and gardens limit the amount. Check before hand on attendant size limits. The only Attendants needed are a best man and maid of honor and even those can be limited to just witnesses. However, since we are talking more than nine maids-a-milking here, you may want one or two cousins and the rest, your girlfriends. It all comes down to cost: That will be nine bridesmaid dresses, nine flower arrangements, nine attendance gifts and nine attending the rehearsal dinner and reception (not to mention their guests).

Q: My fiancé has two good friends he wants as groomsmen. I have five best friends alone plus my college roommates and want to include all of them as my bridesmaids. Won’t that look odd?

A: Many brides today have several bridesmaids walk down the aisle either alone or together with another bridesmaid. Some have the groomsmen wait with the groom by the altar instead of escorting the bridesmaids. Others have a combination of escorted bridesmaids and solitaire bridesmaids. It is totally up to you, the bride, there is no proper or improper way even in a very traditional wedding.

Q: My co-worker is getting married and has asked me to be an attendant. Besides shelling out bucks for a dress, what are my bridesmaid duties?

A: Your main duty is to be there for the bride. It is an honor and there is a reason she asked you to be in her wedding. Ask the maid of honor if you can help with the Bridal and/or Bachelorette party. Ask the bride in the months to come, if you need her to help address invitations or any other help she may need. Are you a computer guru? Perhaps establishing a pre-nuptial web page would be helpful? Anything for the bride. And above all: Go to all your dress fittings, bridal and/or bachelorette parties, be at the rehearsal diner and ceremony on time and remember, this is the brides day.

Be the good the bad or the ugly: Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

Q: I am the maid of honor for my sisters wedding. Many of her friends are pressuring me to hire a stripper for her bachelorette party. She’s never been a party kind of girl, should I just hire one but have a “no touchy” policy?

A: Unfortunately, once you go down the path of strippers, it is difficult to have any kind of rules. Combine the stripper with alcohol and you will end up on U-Tube in your own version of Girls Gone Wild. The best idea is to ask your sister what she wants. Throw in the stripper idea and if she vetoes it, then honor her wishes. Her girlfriends will just have to visit Vegas on their own time and budget. There are many options to the drunken stripper party: Have a naughty lady party (invite a consultant from the Naughty Lady company or have a lingerie party instead), have a scavenger hunt, Pole dancing lessons, salsa dancing lessons, murder-mystery party, attend a comedy or romance performance or host a sophisticated, elegant dinner at her favorite five-star eatery.

Q: As the best man for my friends upcoming wedding, how do I get the word out about his bachelor party? Are E-vites OK? How soon do I send those out and what do I write?

A: E-vites are OK, but follow up with a phone call. The sooner the better. Include time, place, what to wear and bring (dollar bills for the stripper, BYOB, snacks, roast-type photos of the groom, ect) and whether or not the Bachelor party is a surprise. If you are going to take the best step (snail mail) go with an invite that reflects the theme for the party: If it’s a drinking/ stripper party, be sure to include that information in the invitation as some people may avoid those kinds of parties (married men especially). Also, include information about gifts too: Money, Gag and novelty items, or something the couple can use at a future date; such as gift certificates. The more info, the better. You will avoid embarrassment on the grooms part and your guests too.

Q: I am a married guy but my friend wants me to plan his bachelor party complete with a stripper. My wife and I have strong religious feelings against drinking and strippers. What are my options?

A: Tell your friend that you can’t plan nor attend the drinking/stripper party, but you will plan a different bachelor party for him. Some options are: A concert or band night, Bowling night, A guys camp/ski/surf weekend, Karaoke lounge hopping, or a day at their favorite sporting event. If they are gamers, have a guys game night at your place, everyone brings their Wii or Guitar Hero challenge, or even a Poker night. Gifts can be gift certificates to restaurants and recreation centers, a gym membership, spa certificate, home improvement items or dinner out.

Q: I’ve been invited to my friends bachelor party. I don’t drink much, but I don’t want to be a weenie. How much is too much drinking at a Bachelor party?

A: If you end up on U-Tube or the shows, Jerry Springer or Cops, then it’s too much. If you and the other guests can’t remember what you did, then it’s too much. Don’t worry about being a weenie, but do eat some as food will absorb alcohol.
To avoid the ‘too much’, limit your drinking and remember, drinkers won’t be driving. Rent a limo, pay for cabs, designated drivers or confiscate car keys. Better to be a weenie than a roast.

Beauty Versus Beast

Q: I’ve never worn make-up, nor had my hair colored. My mom says I have to have make-up on or my wedding photos will look washed out. How do I know, how much is too much make-up and how do I avoid looking like Marge Simpson for my wedding day?

A: Stick to a natural look but ask a beautician and hairdresser for ideas. Look through bridal magazines for options and try different make-up and hair styles. Your mom is correct that sometimes Photographs can wash us out, depending upon our skin tones and the color of dress we have (Ivory is different than crisp-white). However, looking like Tammy Fay Baker in your wedding photos won’t make you nor your future husband happy. Don’t try out hair color two weeks before your wedding. If you do want to try some color, speak with your hairdresser a few months before your wedding about soft highlights or subtle change. Do several “dry runs” with make-up and hair to calculate how much time it takes to get the look and style you want for your wedding day. Practice, practice, practice and you will look perfect.

Q: How do I get that fantastic “hair up” style I see on celebrities for their special events?

A: Your hair should be in good, strong condition. Less is more and ask a stylist to help with the look you want. Take a picture and look through the salon books.

Q: I have extensions. How do I style my hair for the wedding?

A: Always use a good brush; the Raccoon Xtend soft bristle is great. Be sure to use it gently, don’t tie hair up too tight or braid it tightly. Chignons and twists are fine as long as it is kept loose and soft.

Q: I want the latest, hippest hair style for my wedding day. What are the latest?

A: Keep to yourself, and I mean the style. You obviously have your own sense of style and you don’t want to re-vamp yourself too much so you will be unrecognizable. Try styles out ahead of time. When you find the best fit, practice wearing it. By your wedding day, you will be the hippest chic in the chapel.

Q: I have horrible hair! It’s thin, no color looks quite right or stays in (I am a natural mousy blond) and I can never get it to do anything right. How do I get it to look fabulous for my wedding day?

A: Run don’t walk to your nearest and most reputable salon (at least six weeks before your big day).
Ask about conditioning and thickening aides.
Try some temporary color or just highlights. It may be because of hormones or genetics, color just doesn’t take, so temporary will have to do.
Have the stylist try out different hair styles for you.
One week before the wedding, go in for a deep conditioner-in-salon treatment.

Q: I’ve always had problems with my skin. Now that my wedding is three weeks away, I want flawless skin. How do I get it?

A: Hopefully, you already have a good skin routine, if not, then get one.
Ask your Dermatologist about skin care products. Don’t try the new or trendy skin care products or make-up this close to your wedding. And remember, what goes in, must come out: Stick to a great diet and exercise program to obtain and keep that healthy glow.

Q: I love to go tanning, but I’ve seen orange brides. How do I avoid this?

A: Orange-bride syndrome comes from using the wrong or too much self-tanning lotions and going to the tanning salon too often. If you must tan, try out the tanning lotions a few weeks before your wedding (Jergens has a great, natural look with different shades) and limit your tanning salon visits.
Catch yourself in a photo to see if you are accumulating the baked and fried look.

Q: My fiancée is a marathoner. I’d like to lose thirty pounds before our wedding in eight months and I was wondering if I should start to train with her?

A: Before getting out your Nikes, get to a doctor and ask about a good diet and exercise program. If your exercise experience is limited, then you’ll need to start off slow. Find a friend or partner to exercise with that is at your level or below. Though the marathon training may be something in your near future, it isn’t a good idea to crash diet nor speed train your way to a thinner you. Your fiancée doesn’t want to use “Till death do us part” vow before you’ve married.

Q: Our hair and make-up stylist says she’ll do me and my bridesmaids hair and make-up for a special deal, if we go to her salon, clear across town. She doesn’t want to lug around all her tools. The last thing I want to do is drive around town and get stuck in traffic for my wedding. What should I do?

A: Tell your salon person, thanks, but no thanks and fork over the extra bucks to get someone on site. Driving around town to get to your wedding on time is the last thing for you to worry about. I’m betting however, if you ask you salon person for a reference, she will trek to your wedding, tools and all.

Just call me Man, Best Man

Q: My brother is getting married and asked me to be his best man. What do I do now?

A: You’ve already accepted the mission, so you must fulfill your manly duties:
Assist the groom and groomsmen in any way, shape or form.
If your brother isn’t proactive on getting the Tuxedo or suits ordered and sized properly, you do it.
Make sure the groom and groomsmen have their fittings done in a timely manner.
Have the groom and groomsmen pick up their tuxedos or suits on time.
Be in charge of the Bachelor party.
Get the groom to the church on time (Not just a song).
Delegate little errands (like picking Great Aunt Edna from the airport).
Holding the rings.
Paying the officiant.
Signing the marriage license.
Giving the toast at the reception.

Bridal Fairs and Shows

Q: How do I find a bridal show that is close to my house?

A: Click on BridaShowInfo.com and it lists bridal shows state by state and other parts of the world.  Another good web site is AFWPI.com is a good site for local and global destination weddings fairs and shows.  If you don’t have computer or web access, call your local chamber of commerce or bridal shop.

Q: My mom is pushing me to attend a bridal fair and show. Why should I go to one? I already have my wedding designed.

A: Bridal shows are a great place to network with other brides and vendors to gain some insightful ideas. Also there are thousands of vendors with raffle tickets and free give-a-ways, including honeymoon and vacation packages, food sampling, wedding gowns, wedding cakes and many more. You may even meet a wedding coordinator that can help get your wedding design down to the perfect wedding day. Bridal vendors are anxious to gain your business and are happy to answer even the most innate questions. Usually gift bags with treasures such as gift certificates, tokens of jewelry or coupons are given away at Bridal shows.

Bridal Showers

Q: I am the matron of honor for my friends wedding. I’ve been to lots of bridal showers but I’ve forgotten how they go. What are the sequence of events?

A: As with any party you’re hosting, you want to make your guests feel welcome. Have refreshments available even if this is a catered affair. Break the ice by having everyone introduce themselves (or wear name tags) and go around the room to ask how they know or are related to the bride. After the introductions, play one or two games (a good idea for games is to have a game that is physical-depending upon agility of your guests, and one that is seated), eat and then open presents. Be sure to write down who gave what so the bride can send thank-you notes. Make sure the bride has transportation for her and her gifts.

Q: I am in charge of my cousins bridal shower, who gets invited?

A: Anyone involved in the wedding: The wedding party, special friends, relatives and future relatives. It’s always a good idea to have the bride make a list of people she wants invited, with contact numbers.

Q: What are traditional bridal shower games that even my grandma would play?

A: One of the most familiar games is the clothes pin tag game: Hand out clothes pins to all the guests (including you and the bride) and whoever crosses their legs loses their clothes pin to the one who spotted the crossing of the legs. The lady with the most clothes pins at the end of the shower, wins.

The toilet paper gown game: Have 2-3 “brides” and teams of “designers” with them. Hand each group rolls of toilet paper. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes and each group must design and dress their “bride” complete with veil by the time the buzzer goes off. Everyone votes for the best “bride.”

How well do you know them Game: Guests answer pre-written questionnaires about the bride and groom in a certain amount of time. The guest with the most questions correct, wins.

What’s in your purse Game: List random items usually found in a purse. Delegate a point system for those items (have some hard-to-find items listed for higher points. IE: Glittery blue eye shadow, a picture of your mother-in-law or future-mother-in-law). The guest with the most points, wins.

Magazine Scavenger hunt Game: Divide guests into small groups. Give each group several different magazines, a large poster board and tape. Have them cut out and tape the grooms name and brides name, wedding items, places where they met, etc. with the magazine cut outs. The group with the most items listed and taped, wins.

What did she say Spoof Game: Have one of the bridesmaids or friends secretly write down everything the bride says after she opens each present. At the end of the party, have the bridesmaid preface reading them out loud as, “This is what the bride will say on her honeymoon and wedding night.”

Betrothed Budgets

Q: How do we begin to budget for our wedding?

A: The best way to ascertain a budget is to review the budget sheet in the Wedding Book's Management Forms on this website.  Your styles range from affordable to luxury and every bride and groom decide certain areas require more or less funds.   Is your wedding going to be traditional all frills? Plain and simple? Or, will you have elegant and extravagant? Once you’ve decided the style/theme for your wedding you can go through the WeddingLinks.com list of wedding vendors in your region and get an estimated cost for each item.   

Q: What are the services or vendors to budget for our wedding?

A: From A-V: Accessories, Attendant, Baker, Beauty/hair dresser, Caterers, Clergy, Coordinator, Dresses and Tuxedos, Favors, Flowers, Gifts for helpers, Guests, Honeymoon, Invitations, License, Location, Long-distance relative/friend accommodations, rings, Music, Photographer, Reception, Rehearsal and dinner, transportation and Videographer.

Q: When is the least expensive time of year to get married?

A: The off season: Like planning a vacation, getting married November through March (with the exception of holiday weddings) will save you some big bucks and you’ll beat the crowds.

Q: Saturdays seem to be the most popular day to get married. After calling around, they are also the most expensive day, which day of the week is the least expensive?

A: Not many people want to get married on a Tuesday, but a Friday afternoon or evening is a great alternative as well as a lovely Sunday brunch, afternoon or evening wedding will save you money.

Q: When we budgeted for our wedding we had two-hundred guests. Now with my family and future in-laws input, we have over four-hundred. How do we stretch our budget to accommodate those extra guests?

A: Unless your family or your fiance’s want to divvy up, I say cut the guest list down. This is your wedding, not theirs and though you want to include their wishes, sometimes you have to cut corners. Usually, the first casualty of wedding budgeting is the guest list. Not only do you have to take into account the extra seating, but you also need to consider their accommodations, transportation, extra food, invitations (and postage) and favors.

Q: I’ve found everything I need for my wedding on sale, except my dress and bridesmaid dresses. My fiancé is having trouble with his tux too. How can we find inexpensive wedding wardrobes?

A: Look in used clothing stores, on craigslist, ebay.  Wear a friends gown. Look in the want ads for never before used wedding gowns.  Make certain the gown gains a cleaning by a professional cleaner.  
Hire a seamstress to imitate a designer dress and your bridesmaid dresses. Visit the local outlet stores. Also BridesAgainstBreastCancer.com is another possibility for once worn gowns by movie stars and high profile brides.
Consider renting your attire.
Have the guys wear suits and the girls wear nice dresses in the same color or styles.
Check an antique shop.

Q: How can we save on Flowers for our wedding?

A: Just like a merchant in the toy business during the holidays, florists will try to talk you into the most expensive flowers for your wedding. A little sneakiness goes a long way: Tell them you’re shopping for a party or reunion.
Ask the florist to do a “merchant special.” The day before the wedding, the merchant will get whatever is on special for the ceremony and reception.

Just have one bouquet for the bride.

Everyone’s going green! Use greenery instead of blooms and sometimes, florists will throw them in for free.
Use small motif candles, potted plants, unique or comical center pieces with a few scattered flower petals on the reception tables.
Instead of flowering bouquets on the reception tables and chapel aisles, have ribbons and vines.

Q: The cake I want has fondant icing. The Baker said I could save $200 just by changing the fondant icing to something plainer, would everyone notice I switched to a cheaper icing?

A: Fondants, fillings, deep rich colors, unique shapes and handmade flowers on wedding cakes are always additional. Unless your guests attend weddings on a weekly basis or are bakers themselves, they won’t notice the difference.

Q: We have a large guest list but a small budget for a small cake. Without becoming miracle workers, how do we pull this off?

A: You are right, the loaves and fishes trick only worked once, however, Sheet cakes are inexpensive and you can get away with serving those in the privacy of an off set kitchen, after you cut your decorative wedding cake. No one will know the difference.

Q: My mom wants me to have this expensive rice runner for my wedding, but I was just at my friends wedding and she nearly toppled over from her runner. Is it traditional to have a runner?

A: Skip the runner. Tradition is what you make it. It sounds like you’re leaning that way anyway. Runners are expensive, they can be easily ripped, trip people and don’t last long. Use a tastefully decorated aisle end(Large ribbon bow) instead.

Q: We want to have our food catered for the reception but we don’t want to pay through the nose. Any ideas for cutting cater costs?

A: Change the time of your wedding from evening to afternoon or if you must have an evening wedding, just have a dessert reception.

Q: Is it less expensive to make your own invitations than to order them?

A: It depends upon the style of the invitations. Making them on your own will save you the hassle of waiting for your order. However, keep in mind you still have to print in color, on special parchment and adjust any mistakes. Ordered invitations will print your invitations and are responsible to replace mistakes.

Cakes and Caterers

Q: How do we get the cake from the bakery to the wedding site?

A: When you’ve chosen a cake, ask the baker about delivery. Today, bakers will usually deliver or have a good box for transportation.

Q: My fiance and I have chosen a cake from a celebrity magazine. But we haven’t seen anything like it at the local bakery. How do we get the cake of our dreams?

A: Take a picture of the cake into your baker and ask how close they can get it. Bakers are artists and can usually imitate cakes to perfection.

Q: What if the day before the wedding, we discover we got the wrong cake?

A: Take back the cake immediately. Always get a contract between you and your baker, even if it seems silly. With a contract you don’t procure any added “hidden costs” like icing tax or something dumb like that. The baker in the end is responsible for the cake and will have to remake or fix their mistake.

Q: How do you know if the cake that looks great in the display is going to look and taste great?

A: The sweet success of a great wedding is it’s cake. Always try out a few samples of wedding cake, and keep track of what’s hot and what’s not. The good news about this wedding chore is that most people (including the groom) will be willing to help you “try out” some cakes.

Q: How do you pick a good caterer?

A: Reputations go a long way. Ask your co-workers, boss (who did she hire for the Christmas party last year?) and friends who have recently wed. Attend a bridal fair or show and taste their work. Research and check them out through the better business bureau. And as with all your vendors, get every agreement in writing. Make sure they know amount of guests, menu details, dates, locations and times.

Q: Am I responsible or is the caterer responsible for storage, transport and heating food for the wedding and reception?

A: A reputable and knowledgeable caterer will always ask beforehand about storage, transporting and heating facilities. If they don’t ask, you will need to ask your facility.

Q: Is there a standard wedding menu, or do we have to pick one?

A: Usually the caterer will help go over menus with you. If you are having a theme wedding, the caterer will offer suggestions for that theme. Caterers are trained in the culinary arts as to which food would be best for a particular time of day, dress and location.

Q: Am I supposed to supply the dishes for our reception or does the caterer?

A: A catering service usually includes the place settings, crystal and silverware for the menu, however, some request you pick out and pay for what you want from a party rental company.

Clergy and Officiants

Q: My family is Jewish, My fiancé is Catholic. Having a rabbi and a priest sounds like the start of a bad joke. How do we chose?
A: Ask both your Rabbi and your fiancé's priest about possibly sharing in the ceremony. Usually, clergy are cooperative and will help in any way. If they can’t come to an agreement, then have two ceremonies, back to back if possible to avid dress fiascos, and one reception.

Q: How much is a minister?
A: A Minister or officiants fee varies from region to region. Some clergy just want a small, flat fee, others want a flattering letter of recommendation. A good source to ask is your officiant or their secretary. If either of them do not offer a suggestion or tell you there is no fee, a nice letter of recommendation or certificate to a great restaurant is always a good idea.

Q: Our pastor has told us we have to attend pre-marital counseling before we can get married. Why is this a requirement?
A: Just like any wedding vendor, Pastors and Clergy want to see their work succeed. A good marriage starts with pre-marital counseling, because it is designed to help you as a couple tackle any issues which may come up later in your married lives. Most pre-marital counseling involves classes with other pre-nuptial couples and are fun to attend.

Coordinators and Planners


Q: Why is hiring a coordinator so important? Can’t we just do this ourselves?

A: You can plan a wedding yourself and it would probably come off without a hitch. However, wedding coordinators and planners are schooled and trained to be micro-managing, detailed and organized people for one event: Your wedding and reception. Most coordinators and planners have several weddings under their belt to know what’s good, what’s bad and what can be very ugly during the wedding and reception. Unless you are a highly organized, micro-managing, detailed, organized person, it’s a good idea to hire someone who can take an objective view and make the wedding of your dreams. In addition, most coordinators and planners have the inside scoop of vendor savings and can save you some big bucks in the long run.

Q: We just got engaged last week. How soon do we shop for a wedding planner?

A: The sooner, the better. Most wedding planners and coordinators need at least six months to one year to plan your wedding. In addition, some are in high demand, so finding a professional for your date may be difficult.

Q: I’ve never hired even a caterer, how do I find a wedding coordinator?

A: Check online for wedding coordinators and wedding planners. Many have services where you can chose from several different professionals. Also ask your friends or co-workers about finding just the right person for your needs. A little reference goes a long way. Attending Bridal fairs and shows will put you in immediate contact with wedding planners and coordinators. The better business bureau is a good source too.

Q: What if we hired a wedding planner and she goes overboard with cost?

A: A wedding planner is similar to a realtor: You give them a budget or price range and they will stick to it. They want your business. Your wedding planner will go over themes, ideas and the nitty gritty costs to you long before she and you hire vendors.

Dates and Decisions

Q: We are having trouble picking a wedding date. We can’t seem to narrow down a good time. How do we pick one that will mean something special?

A: Check your past. When was your first kiss? Your grandparents anniversary? College graduation? Check with family and friends to see when a good time would be for them to join your special day.

Q: My fiancé wants a Christmas wedding. I want Easter. How do we chose?

A: Both holidays make for a festive and beautiful wedding. Narrow down work times, availability, cost and you will have your answer.

Dresses, Gowns and Tuxedos

Q: I’m a little weary of my figure, I’ve always been kind of chunky. What do I look for in a wedding gown?

A: Show off your best assets. If you don’t like the shape of your waist, then don’t get a gown with lots of detail in the waist (no sequined beads, ect). If you really don’t care for your derriere, then don’t get a gown with silk flowers or a big bow on the rear. Be sure to take your wedding shoes and a friend or relative with you. Another idea is to take an instant or digital camera and capture your bride-dom in a photo. You can look at it between gowns and decide which one suits you best and remember, every bride is beautiful on her wedding day!

Q: We are getting married in New York this summer. I’ve only been there in the fall and Spring. How do I shop for a gown that will make me look elegant yet, not windblown?

A: Always keep the weather in mind when shopping for your gown. New York in the summer is hot and humid. Stick to something that will let you breathe so you won’t look and feel sticky in photos. Having a lot of different gathers and beading will make material hotter, heavier and hard to manage.

Q: I have trouble purchasing dresses for work. How do I even begin shopping for a wedding gown?

A: Even if you have a theme or idea for the wedding, keep an open mind for your dress. Look through bridal magazines. Do you have a favorite celebrity or someone famous you admire? See what they wore for their big day and pick out a style that emulates the look. Try several different styles and take a friend or relative with you for input.

Q: My mom purchased my gown. I am concerned because she doesn’t really want me to get married. How do I make sure I make it to the altar in my wedding dress?

A: In the dress business, whoever has the paper, wins. March back into the dress shop (with the receipt in hand) and return and then re-purchase your gown in your name. Verify with the store that you and only you will have the final say in regards to your purchase. Be sure to get a new receipt. It is easier to track down who is responsible for the gown when you pay with plastic. In this manner if something should go wrong with your dress before your big day (the wrong size or color came in) they credit card company is inevitably responsible.

Q: One of my bridesmaids is complaining about her dress. She hates the color, the style and refuses to wear it. She has purchased a totally different dress and insists on wearing that instead.

A: Your bridesmaid forgot the number one rule of being an attendant: It’s not about her, it’s about you. If she still refuses to wear the dress, tell her she will have to bow out and you’ll find a substitute or if someone else can’t fit into the dress, forgo one less bridesmaid.

Q: We have looked all over and can’t find any bridesmaid dresses that match in my attendants sizes. What do I do now?

A: Aside from ordering dresses and guaranteeing sizes, you may have to find dresses that are similar (either color or style) in your attendants sizes. It is totally acceptable to have bridesmaids in different dresses with similar colors, in fact it is a new trend.

Q: When do I order my Tux for my wedding?

A: The sooner the better. As soon as you know the colors of the bridesmaid dresses you and your groomsmen can order the tuxedos.

Q: My dad says he is supposed to wear a tux too. Is this correct? He isn’t in the wedding.

A: If your wedding is very formal, then yes, he should wear a tuxedo. However, since he isn’t in the wedding party then a suit will do nicely.

Q: How do they make alterations? Do they take as long as the bridesmaid dresses?

A: Usually the tuxedo alterations can be done on the spot within five minutes.

Q: My mom says I have to pick up my tuxedo the Monday before the wedding or they will accidently give it to someone else. Is this true?

A: Tuxedos are usually picked up either the Thursday or Friday before the wedding, even if you wedding falls on the next weeks weekday. Since most Tuxedo shops carry theirs "in stock"then it is almost impossible we would not have your size in store, even if someone accidently gave it to someone else. If you are having a wedding out of town, it is recommended you make arrangements early to have them picked up earlier.

Q: Is the groom's tuxedo different than the groomsmen?

A: The difference can be as slight as a darker vest color or a lighter tuxedo altogether.

The 411 on the 911-Wedding Emergencies

Q: What if something terrible happens during my wedding, like I cut myself shaving or the ring bearer gets a bloody nose?

A: You can’t prevent what may happen but you can be prepared. Bring along a satchel or backpack full with first aid items such as: Ice packs, band-Aids, ace bandages, paper towels, sanitary napkins, anti-bacterial lotion and ointment. If you are having an outdoor wedding and/or reception, be sure to bring any bee sting kits, mosquito repellent and anti itch lotion. Above all, someone in your wedding party should have a cell phone and make sure it is turned off during the ceremony.

Q: I feel like I am forgetting something for my wedding. What are some "must haves" in my bridal chamber?

A: Aside from general first aide items, you should always have: An extra camera, extra panty hose, sanitary items, clear nail polish, smelling salts or Vics vapor rub (in case someone feels faint), anti acids, Kleenex, aspirin, needle and thread, safety pins, small-not-messy snack items, bottled water, hand lotion, your make-up and hair accessories and in case of make-up or greasy stains on your gown, bring baby/talcum powder to soak it up(also baby or talcum powder can soak up body odor). A good idea is to pack some acrylic paint that matches your dress and the bridesmaids, in case something doesn’t come out.

Favorite Favors

Q: We are both eco-friendly and want our wedding to reflect our feelings about the environment. Which favors do you suggest to get our point across?

A: It isn’t easy being green, but it can be done. Ask your florist about potted plants, small trees or potted vines (some vines can made in heart shapes for the romantic in you). The latest trend is to have small donation cards in centerpieces, telling your guests that they have each contributed an amount to your favorite environmental cause in their name. Seeds, gardening books and tools may be other ideas.

Q: What are some edible favors?

A: Jordon almonds are the most popular and you can get them all in the color of your choice at most bridal and craft stores. Hershey kisses, mints, assorted nuts fortune cookies, tiny jams with snack crackers, jelly beans, gummy bears and even bubble gum are some favorites.

Q: We’re both in the theater business and like unusual things. What favors would be a good idea for our wedding?

A: The classic Greek comedy and tragedy masks in different style and shapes used as centerpieces, different bride and groom cake toppers, playbills with the wedding party names printed inside. Comical pieces such as old records, cookie cutters with recipes attached and disposable cameras, coffee mugs with gourmet coffee and flower pots with candles.

Questions in Full Bloom: Flowers


Q: When I visit the flower shop to order flowers, should I bring some ideas or would that be too pushy of me?

A: Hardly. The more information the better. Bring your wedding consultant (if you have one), any photos of favorite flower arrangements (look in magazines, wedding books, the web) and your colors and theme. Also bring a photo of your dress and any material so the florist will know what they are going to be working with.

Q: We want an estimate of the flowers before actually ordering them. Is it like a car dealership; you tell the florist you’re shopping around?

A: Most florists charge a consultant fee, however, if you inform them of your intentions, they may just have you come in for a short meeting. Be sure to have a list of what kinds of flowers you need.

Q: When do I order my flowers?

A: As with most wedding vendors, the sooner, the better. Florists are artists after all and need time to work in the colors and style you want for your wedding. Most require from 6-12 months notice. As with all vendors, get a contract or agreement in writing after signing your check.

Q: We don’t have a big budget for flowers. Do we need a lot of money to order our flowers?

A: Most florists will work with couples on budgets and have inexpensive, wonderful ideas.

Flower Girl Power

Q: My sister has triplets. How many is too many flower girls?

A: You can have as many as you desire. Keep in mind they are attendants too and you must take into consideration their dresses, flower baskets and/or bouquets as well as their attendant gifts and invites to the rehearsal dinner.

Q: Is it OK for the flower girl to wear a sun dress?

A: In very formal weddings, the flower girl is wearing a smaller version of the bridal gown. However, some casual weddings have the flower girl dressed as a bridesmaid or a simple dress of the same colors.

Gifts


Q: I’m getting married next month and am not sure about the gift thing. Besides my bridesmaids, who gets a gift from me?

A: Usually a bride will give the bridesmaids some token of appreciation they can wear during the wedding (matching jewelry, lingerie or fancy hair pins). Often the hair stylist and/or makeup artist, the photographer, videographer and anyone else who helped with the wedding (like a wedding planner or a friend/relative who went above and beyond the call of duty). Some ideas are: Spa or restaurant certificates, gift baskets, concert/movie/play/sports tickets, a picture with you and them together in a nice frame and just about any small token of appreciation. A gift isn’t necessary but is encouraged.

Q: My mom said I have to give my future mother-in-law a small gift. Is this true?

A: If your future mother-in-law has helped with your wedding plans then yes, you do need to give her a present, however, if she has been on the sidelines, then a gift is not required. I think it would be a nice touch to include her in a post-wedding brunch or make a future get-together date with her. When it is a destination wedding, a nice basket with fruit, candy or goodies/wine is great for her room.

Q: How do we register for gifts?

A: Happily the mystery of registering for wedding gifts is solved with department store registries. Popular stores such as Macy’s, Target and even Home Depot, have a computerized register system and with a click of a mouse or touch screen, you are registered. Most stores have bridal gift consultants on hand to help with the register process.

Q: My boss gave me a wedding present but we didn’t invite her to my wedding. Should I give back the gift?

A: I am assuming your boss just wanted to give you the gift out of the kindness of her heart, not with strings attached. Be sure to thank her in person and then send a gracious thank-you note.

Q: I’ve never been to a wedding before and I recently printed out the wedding registry. Do I have to buy an entire place setting for the couple, or can I just buy a dessert plate?

A: If you are buying fine china, then you can just buy the dessert plate. However, if you are buying everyday dishes, then an entire place setting is difficult to break up. It all depends upon the store.

Q: Our budget is limited and we’ve been invited to our friends wedding, what kind of gifts can we get?

A: If the couple has registered at a store, then the choosing an inexpensive gift is pretty easy to narrow down. If they haven’t registered, then a small gift certificate in a nice card will do.

Q: We’re going to my cousins wedding next week. They are having a money tree and also have a gift registry. My mom says we have to do both, is this true?

A: There is no rule that says you must do both. However, you can make a budget for a gift, divide it up and put half on the money tree, the other half on a small gift.

Q: I was just at a couples wedding shower and was dismayed to see another guest got the exact same goblets I gave. Should I offer to take them back?

A: Offering is always nice, however, just mail the couple the receipt and take heart, because most registries make returning gifts easy. Chances are the couple will have many gifts to exchange or take back.

aking the Guess WTork Out of Guests

Q: Many of my co-workers think they are invited to my wedding. How do I gracefully tell them that I am having a small ceremony?

A: The word "wedding" can send people into a frenzy of the social-event-of the-year, mode. If you are still hearing comments like, "See you at the wedding," or co-workers asking specifics about the wedding, gently pull them aside and tell them you are having a private ceremony and keeping it small. A tactful person will understand.

Q: Our church says they have a maximum of 200 seats. Can’t we ask about folding chairs to accommodate other guests?

A: You can ask but a church and most wedding sites have a fire code they must oblige to.

Q: What happens if guests bring a guest, and we didn’t know ahead of time?

A: Your invitation to your guest should stipulate whether or not they were allowed to bring a guest. If they do so without giving you a heads up, then they will have to wait to be seated until everyone invited is seated and wait to eat until everyone invited has their plate of food. Your attendants and ushers can inform them of this upon their unexpected arrival.

Q: My husband doesn’t have a lot of family or friends. Won’t it look funny with the brides side of the church filled with guests and the grooms side, empty?

A: In years past, it was tradition to seat guests on the side of the person they were close to or were related to. Currently, your attendants can ask the guests. As one side fills up quickly, have them balance it out by avoiding the question (unless a guest insists) and evenly seat them.

Q: My Great Grandmother wants to attend my wedding, but she is wheel chair bound, has to have oxygen and a nurse. Won’t she will have problems sitting for a long ceremony?

A: Disabled persons can have a special aisle seat so they may sit on the end of a pew. The nurse can sit right beside her in the pew. If she has issues or health concerns during the ceremony, the nurse and attendants can wheel her into the foyer. Give your attendants a heads up so they can jump in and help when the time comes. Though you and your wedding party may have to march around your great-grandmother, it would be a crime to discount having someone as precious as a her at your wedding.

Q: My family comes from a long-line of hillbillies. I am worried those relatives will do something embarrassing at my wedding and reception. What can I do?

A: We can’t control how others act and a stressful (even joyful stress) can make people do odd things. Aside from hiring hillbilly babysitters, the only thing you can do is control how you will re-act. Be gracious and tell them how very glad you are to have them there. Besides, you may find that some of your most embarrassing guests may not even be related to you.

Q: We have to cut our guest list down by almost half. How do we do this?

A: Guest lists are usually the first casualty of a wedding. List the people you must have at your wedding (family or friends that are currently in your life) and go from there. Co-workers, distant relatives, your families wishes must take second fiddle to who is important to you.

Q: My parents want to be involved in helping me cross off my to-do list for the wedding, but they live across the country. What can they do?

A: Long-distance guests need to be treated with kid gloves. They are traveling great distances all for you, so honoring them and keeping them in the loop is important. Have your folks send a specified amount for a specified vendor. Send them a photo or magazine cut out of favors and have them make or buy them ahead of time. They can also address invitations and help with other guests. Give them a special task that no one else can or will do the day of the wedding.

Honeymoon Hang-Ups

Q: How do I save for my honeymoon?

A: Open an account at a travel agency or a credit union. Another good idea is a new trend called a Honeymoon Gift Registry. You can find several linked on HoneymoonLinks.co.  Guests can make monetary gift donations to your honeymoon.

Q: Is booking a honeymoon online cheaper and easier than going with a travel agent?

A: Whether you are booking online or with a travel agent, be sure to speak with a human about the destination you are planning. Though the travel agent does get a percentage and fee from helping you plan your trip, if you’ve never been to that particular place, they may offer helpful hints like packing ideas, where to dine, shop, party and other tasty tidbits you may not get from an online booking. Understand the travel agent may gain her commission through the site she books for you and not through you.

Q: My sister said we can get some extra goodies by mentioning that we are on our honeymoon. Is this true?

A: In most cases, mentioning that you are on your honeymoon may get you an upgraded suite, gift baskets and complimentary champagne. It’s free advertisement for those services and vendors.

Q: Besides my bikini, what do I pack for my honeymoon?

A: Depending upon where you are going, you need your personal ID (passport, picture ID), personal clothing and one very nice outfit, in case you go out somewhere to dance and dine. Keep packing to a minimum: One or two pairs of shorts, tops and shoes. Be sure to bring some kind of a jacket or wrap, any sun screen and hat too. Most resorts have hair dryers and laundry service but ask your husband (if he made the arrangements) to check into that for you.

Q: What is a trousseau?

A: The french word, Trousseau means the bridal attire and dress for the reception. In American terms, trousseau is the dress or outfit you change into directly after the reception (the get-away outfit) and the clothes you will take on your honeymoon. It is usually a set of clothing the groom hasn’t seen you in.

Invitations

Q: If we are paying for our wedding, do we put our parents names on the invitation?

A: Today, most couples are paying for their own weddings so the best way to word the invitations is: Miss Jane Smith and Mr. James Jones request the honor of your presence at their wedding.

Q: How far in advance do we order our invitations?

A: Four to six months in advance is the going time line.

Q: My parents are divorced but are both chipping in for the wedding, how do we word the invitations?

A: Just like a married couple giving the bride or groom away, state it like so: Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Doe (If your mom has kept her married name, say, Ms. Jane Smith) request the honor of your presence at their son/daughters wedding.

Q: How soon do I send the invitations out?

A: At least three months before your wedding.

Q: Are invitations the same as announcements?

A: No. Your wedding announcement is usually put in the newspaper dictating how your wedding went. An invitation tells about the wedding to happen.

Q: Do I need to send out a separate reception and response card or do those all go in the invitation?

A: Your pre-addressed, post-marked reception card and pre-addressed, post-marked response card should be included in the invitation.

Q: How do I address an invitation to two room mates?

A: If they are a couple, then address one invitation as, Mr. John Jones and Mrs. (Or Mr whichever the case may be) Jane Smith. If they are not a couple then they will each need their own invitation.

Q: How late do I wait for the invitation responses to come in?

A: Since you have vendors waiting on guest counts, then the latest your guest should respond is three weeks prior to the wedding, most people realize this and that is why you send out invitations three to four months in advance.

Q: Do we include postage on the response cards too?

A: One of the most expensive things for a wedding are the invitations and postage. You must include postage on the response cards or you may not get any back and end up with un accounted for guests at your reception.

License To Wed

Q:
Where do we get a Marriage License?

A: In most states, the marriage license can be obtained through the county in which the couple resides. If the couple is out-of -state, then the license may be obtained through the county which the wedding will take place.  Some states have a time prior to license use, some can be the same day.

Q: How long does it take to get a wedding license?

A: You can get a license up to 60 days before the wedding. In most states, there is no waiting period and can be used the same day you receive your license. The painless process takes about 15-20 minutes. Be sure to ask if your license is to be mailed or if you have to pick it up.

Q: What do we need to get our marriage license?

A: In most states, a blood test may be required, a picture ID and if one party has been divorced or widowed, a copy of the divorce papers or death certificate in addition to their previous marriage license is required. You will also need cash to pay for the license, cost varies. Most Probate courts do not allow checks or credit cards.

Location, Location, Location

Q: We are having an outdoor wedding and reception. What are some things we should keep in mind?

A: Be weather savvy. Make sure there are plenty of umbrellas and seating for your guests in case of rain or heat. Keep pests away with mosquito torches and/or zappers. Have a good way to keep food covered from bugs.
Always have an escape claus: Have a plan B site in case Hurricane X arrives on your special day.

Q: We are having a tent for our outdoor wedding reception. When does it get set up?

A: Usually the tent will arrive one or two mornings before the wedding. If they don’t arrive by the afternoon before your big day, a curt phone call is in order. As with any vendor, get all details in writing so the tent vendor knows exactly when, where and what time to set up the tent.

Q: The reception hall we are having our reception in has a party just before our reception. Will they be able to clean it up and set up in time for ours?

A: I am assuming the reception hall is no stranger to multiple events. However, a good idea is to call and quell your fears by offering some attendants to help set up.

Q: My church doesn’t allow alcohol for weddings, but for the reception, wouldn’t they allow champagne for the toast?

A: If your church doesn’t have a liquor license, then they cannot have alcohol on it’s premises without exception. Use Martinelli Sparkling cider instead.

Maid/Matron Of Honor Roll

Q: What are my duties as the maid of honor?


A: The list is long, but the duty an honor:
If asked, you will help the bride pick out her wedding gown and the bridesmaid dresses.
Make sure the bridesmaids get to their fittings and pick up on time.
Provides transportation to the bride for her bridal shower/bachelorette party(and gifts).
Helps or hosts the bridal shower/bachelorette party
Writes down gifts for thank-you notes
Makes the bow bouquet for the rehearsal
Helps plan the rehearsal dinner if needed
Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
Intervene trouble spots and unnecessary drama
Attend all salon and hair appointments
Delegate and locate for missing items, errands and the like prior to the wedding
Check with the best man about rings, ect
Helps get the bride and dress the bride for the wedding
Make sure everyone, including herself is in the Photographs
Coordinate with the best man for transportation after the wedding
Attend the wedding and reception
If asked, make a toast.

Matrimony Music or Mayhem?

Q: We are in the process of interviewing wedding singers. They are all awful. How do we get a good one?

A: References go a long way. Ask around and if you still can’t find one, hire a flutist, harpist, band or DJ instead.

Q: How do we pick our wedding song?

A: Go through a list of songs with your betrothed and see which ones strike a chord.

Q: How do we avoid the cookie cutter first dance?

A: Be creative. Organize a duo or instead of just the two of you dancing, do an organized group dance.

Q: At my sisters wedding, the DJ never showed up so they skipped the dancing. What can we do to avoid this scenario?

A: Always get your vendors service in writing and have a plan B: Check with your site as to what sound system is available and delegate someone to be the back up.

Organization Is The Key

Q: I am not an organized person and we can’t hire a wedding planner, how do I keep everything straight for our wedding?   Read the Wedding Book on this website. It has all the management tools; pitfalls, problem solving tips and ideas.

A: Get a three-ring binder. Ideas can be alphabetized, clips from magazines inserted in the topic and wedding vendors (with notes) can be kept neatly in the binder. Take it with you whenever you have wedding business and you will find that organization can be easily attained.

Q: I have four ideas for my wedding and don’t know which one to choose. How do I narrow it down?

A: You can do this by cost or alphabetize it. Start calculating time frames for each idea–which one will take the longest, etc. Before you know it, you’ll have it narrowed down.

Q: I am a control freak and worry that nothing will go the way I planned for my wedding, should I have a back up plan?

A: A back up plan or two are always a great idea. However, weddings rarely work out as they look on paper, so keeping a flexible mind, letting go and enjoying your day is the best way to control your wedding.

Flattering Photography

Q: What do I look for in a photographer?

A: Check their sample items and references. Look at candid, portraits and illusive photos to see their style. Also, personality goes a long way, make sure you click with your photographer or your wedding day could be miserable.

Q: How much do photographers cost?

A: Wedding photographers cost anywhere from $1000 to $5000 depending upon how many proofs you choose and what you want covered (pre-wedding pictures, reception, etc.).  Photographers often have several wedding packages to choose from.

Q: My sister got to take her proofs home, but nowadays, I heard that you have to view them in the photographers studio on a TV screen, why is that?

A: Like most good ideas, some people just have to ruin them. Photographers found that dishonest clients were scanning their proofs and then not paying for the pictures. To avoid this, photographers now have "viewing studio sessions."

Q: How long does it take for the photographer to do our wedding?

A: This depends upon what you want. If you want to have professional pictures done in the bridal chambers up until after the reception then it depends upon how long your wedding and reception are. Most high-quality photographers will stay on their own from dress to after the reception, however, as with any vendors, getting it in writing with specifics is a must.

Q: What is an album?

A: A wedding album has specific hours and poses to be placed in the album. Several different types are available for album packages.

Reputable Receptions and Toasts

Q: What is the order during the reception?

A: After the bride and groom are welcomed by the MC or Clergy (or there is a reception line and everyone has greeted the wedding party), the guests are seated and everyone dines or has small refreshments. The toast is announced and made, the first dance, cake and then open dancing.

Q: Do we open our wedding gifts at the reception?

A: If it is a small wedding then yes. Otherwise, have pre-arrangements for the gifts to be stored safely until you return from your honeymoon.

Q: What is an open bar?

A: For a wedding reception, it is free drinks served during the reception and toast.

Q: What is the difference between a toast and a roast?

A: For a wedding reception, the best man and or maid of honor will toast the couple. The toast is a list of accolades of the groom and bride, or a fond memory of them. A roast is considered rude to do at a wedding reception as it is the direct opposite of a toast.

Q: I don’t know what toast to give for my best friend's wedding, how do I find one?

A: Look online for famous toasts, list a fond memory of your friend, their attributes or use romantic poetry or a famous matrimonial quote.

Q: When do we leave our reception for our honeymoon?

A: When the cake is cut and the toasts given it is a good time to either steal away of make a show of your get-away.

Practice Makes Perfect...Rehearse!

Q: When do we have our rehearsal?

A: Usually the rehearsal is the day before the wedding and can be three days ahead.

Q: Who attends the rehearsal?

A: Everyone involved in the wedding: The wedding party, parents, ring-bearers, flower girls, attendants, clergy, the vocalist or musicians and possibly the photographer.

Q: Who is invited to the rehearsal diner?

A: All the people involved, including the officiant in your wedding and one guest each, in addition to your immediate family members.

Q: We are having a small private, inexpensive wedding. Is it OK to have the rehearsal dinner at the pizza parlor?

A: Anything goes with rehearsal dinners so having one in the pizza parlor is fun too. A BBQ, Picnic or even a Swim party are also some quirky exceptions to the standard rehearsal dinner.

The Buck Stops Here: Who is responsible for what?

Q: My folks are paying for the wedding and said that my fiances family has yet to offer hosting the rehearsal dinner. Are they responsible for the rehearsal diner?

A: Traditionally, the grooms family will host the rehearsal dinner. However, if they are unaware of this responsibility, offer to have it at a restaurant or have a small dessert gathering at your place instead.

Q: We are paying for the wedding, but my future in-laws have offered to pay for the reception. Should I take them up on this?

A: By all means, take them up on it. To avoid any misunderstandings later, go over your ideas for the reception so your future-in-laws will have the bottom line on costs without sticker shock.

Q: I am getting married next week and my soon-to-be bride said I am responsible for paying the clergy. I disagree. Who is correct?

A: A wise man gets used to saying, "Yes dear." Your bride is correct in this manner as it is the grooms responsibility to pay the officiant. He can either pay with money or a nice gift certificate. Also, delegate your best man to hand over the envelope on the big day as you will be slightly pre-occupied.

The Run-Down on Rings

Q: I am a little confused as to what ring I wear on my wedding day, do I wear my engagement ring?

A: Usually, your engagement ring is placed on your right hand during the ceremony and then you transfer it to your left after your wedding ring is on.

Q: My brother is my best man. Does he hold the bride's wedding ring?

A: Unless you have a ring-bearer then yes, he holds your brides wedding ring and the officiant will let him know when to hand it to you. It is the same for the Maid of honor.

Ring Bearers not Bears

Q: Can a girl be a ring bearer?

A: Today’s weddings have many role reversals. Flower boys and ring-bearing girls are perfectly acceptable.

Q: When does the ring-bearer come down the aisle?

A: The ring bearer comes down the aisle with the flower girl, following the flower girl or ahead of the groom and groomsman.

Q: What does the ring-bearer wear?

A: The ring-bearer usually wears a small version of what the groom wears.

Keeping Romance Alive

Q: All my fiancé wants to do is talk about wedding stuff. How do I get her to stop for a minute?

A: Wedding on the brain is a known illness of brides. Take her away for a night on the town. Preface it by telling her you are both taking a night off from the wedding and just being a couple.

Q: I feel like I haven’t had any time with my fiancé lately. My demands at work, family and the wedding have my head swimming. Lately, we’ve just been room mates. How can I get back into the romance of being engaged?

A: Surprise your betrothed with a picnic or night on the town. Show up at his work for lunch and don’t talk about the wedding, just enjoy each other.

Wedding & Reception Themes

Q: Why is a wedding theme so important?   Review the Style Sheet with the Book on this website. 

A: A wedding theme can provide you with an idea of vendors to hire, keep you within your budget and take the guess work out of designs.

Q: Does a theme wedding mean a "Princess" theme or something like that? I am a tomboy and have never been a princess kind of girl.

A: A theme in the wedding can be as simple as a favorite color or style, shape, Holiday or cartoon character.

Q: What are the latest themes in weddings?

A: The latest trend is to have everything one color, right down to the flowers, table clothes and clothing–even the guests are required to wear the color. Also, emulating celebrity weddings is a new theme.

To Tip Or Not To Tip

Q: Which of our vendors get tips?

A: Before you reach into your pocket, reach for your reading glasses and make sure the tip isn’t already included in the bill. Usually, anyone who is involved with your wedding service: Florists, Beauty/hair stylist, vocalist or musician, bartenders, Disc Jockeys, Caterers, Bakers, other professionals like your wedding coordinator or planner, photographer, videographer, any transportation drivers and clergy. Check first if they would rather skip the tip or have something other than monetary tipping. A nice thank-you note goes a long way.

Q: How much are tips these days?

A: The standard tipping is 10-15% of the total bill.

Q: Are we in charge of the tipping even if my parents paid for the wedding?

A: Speak with your parents about the tipping even if they have paid the bill.

Q: How do we tip everyone on my big day? There is so much to worry about.

A: Delegate someone to give specified envelopes for each vendor. It is usually the best man and or maid of honor that can help with this chore.

Getting To The Church On Time: Transportation

Q: We want to rent a limo service for our entire wedding party. What do we need to know?

A: Ask up front how much you put down, their cancellation policy, how much are penalty fees and go over exact times of pick-up and delivery. As with all vendors, get everything in writing and check out the limo you will ride in, not a brochure.

Q: How do we get from the chapel to the reception in style besides renting the usual limo service?

A: Rent or borrow cars in the same color, vintage cars, or horse and carriage , cable car buses, rickshaw services, fire engines.

Q: We are "green conscious" and have our entire wedding theme eco-friendly. How do we express this in transportation from the wedding to the park reception?

A: Decorate a rickshaw or ride your own bikes. Rent a horse-drawn carriage or a hybrid. I have even seen a couple roller skate complete with helmets and knee pads.

Making Memories: Video Services

Q: If we have a photographer why would we need a videographer?

A: You don’t need a videographer, but they are a nice asset to the wedding as movement and people look different on film as opposed to a flat photographs.  Some do both services and do not forget about the photo booth fun.

Q: Do we look for the same things in a videographer as a photographer?

A: Yes, references and clips are also something to go over.

Q: How much are videographers?

A: Prices range from $1000-$5000 depending upon area and hours.

Q: Besides seeing their clips at their studio, what else should we ask the videographer?

A: Always ask about cancellation policies and viewing. Get an agreement in writing as to time, place and date of the wedding.

Q: Can’t we just have a friend do our videography?

A: You can have whomever you want. Keep in mind though that an agreement in writing is still a good idea.  Also this friend/relative may not know how to edit your beautiful wedding day celebration and you end up with a five hour video or more....





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