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A New Twist on Tents

Rachel Moore

Ranch weddings have long been popular in certain states, but recently they've taken on a new twist. Couples are forgoing the standard tented lawn in favor of permanent, centuries-old, post-and-beam barns. We've had quite a few clients build vintage party barns, complete with bars, caterer-friendly kitchens, custom chandeliers, and plenty of room for dancing.

The rustic look definitely comes at a premium. Heritage Restoration is just one company that specializes in relocating and restoring historic barns, mills and houses. Clients can easily spend hundreds of thousands to have a prized barn dismantled and transported to their property. And that doesn't include the additional expenses to update it and make it their own. But once it's done, you'll have the perfect venue for entertaining!

 

 

Destination Wedding: Park City, Utah

Rachel Moore

Thinking of hosting a destination wedding? Trying to decide between a sandy beach or a mountain view? If you’re leaning toward the mountains, there’s no better place than Park City, Utah. With ski lodges, hotel ballrooms, ranches, art galleries and more, there are so many venue options. Here’s a list of some of our favorites:

The Montage Deer Valley — Few venues are as grand and luxurious as this. The Montage is located atop Empire Pass, tucked within the forested slopes of Deer Valley ski resort. Have you always envisioned your wedding ceremony on a beautifully landscaped lawn overlooking the mountains, followed by a rocking reception and fireside s’mores (and maybe even a little late night bowling)? Then, this is your place! Plus, the hotel offers an in-house childcare service called Paintbox, complete with awesome games, arts and crafts, and both indoor and outdoor activities.

Stein Eriksen — Want to feel as though you’re nestled in the aspens in a classic European ski lodge, all the while knowing that the service will be spectacular? Look no further. The only five-Star, five-Diamond resort hotel in Park City, Stein Eriksen is one of the oldest and most unique properties in the area. It offers a wonderful combination of modern amenities and secluded Old World charm.

St. Regis Deer Valley — This truly is a mountainside retreat. Why else would you have to take a funicular to reach the resort?! The St. Regis Deer Valley offers the grandeur known to this brand, while also providing slope-side views and convenient ski-in/ski-out access.

Deer Valley — Do you have fond memories of family ski trips? This is the main reason couples choose a destination wedding in Park City. Proof of Deer Valley’s popularity is that it’s consistently ranked number one in guest service among North American ski resorts. Exceptional customer service, consistent quality and attention to every detail are all part of the Deer Valley experience. Not to mention, with its scenic mountain backdrops, Deer Valley is one of the premier alpine resorts in the world. It boasts three magnificent lodges, each with its own unique characteristics and pristine views.

Park City Mountain Resort — This is the only resort in this iconic ski town that is connected directly to the lodging, dining and shopping of Park City’s historic Main Street. Guests can load on to Town Lift from Main Street and ride directly to one of the mountain’s peaks. Choose from four different wedding ceremony sites in three unique locations, followed by a reception in either the mid-mountain or base area lodge.

The Canyons — It’s no surprise that many couples choose to exchange vows in the alpine setting and natural surroundings of The Canyons Resort. From breathtaking mountain views and intimate settings at Look Out Cabin and Red Pine Lodge to the more formal and elegant ballrooms at the Grand Summit Hotel, this resort is sure to make any wedding memorable.

Sundance Resort — If you’re looking for somewhere quaint, peaceful and stunningly serene, Sundance may be the perfect wedding location for you! The resort features large, adaptable venues in addition to babbling brooks and gorgeous scenery. Your wedding party can bond while participating in a wide array of activities — from creating custom jewelry or pottery in the art studio to fishing or skiing — depending on the time of year. It doesn’t get more “destination” than that!

Blue Sky Ranch — This property combines the rustic feel of a ranch with the most beautiful setting possible. Blue Sky Ranch’s patio is surrounded by mountains and horse-filled pastures that provide a breathtaking backdrop for your ceremony. After the ceremony, you and your guests can celebrate with dinner and dancing in their indoor arena.

High Star Ranch — Nestled in the mountain valley of Kamas, Utah, about a half hour from Park City, this ranch offers the fresh air, stunning views, gorgeous water features and outdoor recreation typically associated with Utah’s mountains. The property is in the process of building an incredibly beautiful, large-scale party barn that will be a huge hit once it’s complete.

Which venue is ideal for you? Call or email us today. We’ll be happy to help plan your perfect destination wedding!

10 Tips to Finding the Perfect Dress

Rachel Moore

No matter how easy wedding dress shopping looks on TV, believe us, it can be stressful. Our motto is: “Know before you go.” So, keep these 10 tips in mind when heading off to your bridal appointments!

1. Choose your entourage wisely. It may seem like a good idea to ask all 10 of your “best friends” to accompany you, but too many opinions can cloud your judgement. Plus, most bridal gown shops only have room for a few extra people.

2. Try on all different styles. You may have “the perfect dress” in mind, but be open to trying on an array of silhouettes and fabrics. You may surprise yourself!

3. Eat breakfast. We know you want to look your best, but not eating before your appointments will just make you hangry (hungry and angry)! Bridal appointments can take time and the dresses can be heavy, so be prepared by fueling your body.

4. Wear appropriate undergarments and don’t be shy. Your bridal consultant is there to facilitate your appointment, and this includes helping you put the dresses on and take them off. (Don’t worry, she’s seen every shape and figure!) Be prepared by wearing undergarments you don’t mind seeing the light of day.

5. Trust your consultant. You may know exactly what you want, but your consultant knows the dresses. Having seen hundreds of brides with varying figures try them on, she knows what silhouette will look good on your body. Tell her what you envision, but trust her to pull some options for you, and be open to her suggestions.

6. Wear makeup. Believe it or not, many bridal gown shops have overhead fluorescent lighting. So, do yourself a favor and wear a touch more makeup than normal. This will also give you a better idea of how you will look on your wedding day.

7. Don’t just stand there — dance and sit! Your wedding dress may feel very comfortable when you’re standing, but you’re going to be doing a lot more than just standing on your wedding day! Make sure you can dance, sit and walk in it. You may feel foolish in the moment, but we promise you’ll be glad you gave the gown a test drive when you’re able to get down on the dance floor!

8. You may not cry. TV shows tell us that you know it’s “the” dress when you, your mom and your best friend all cry. This may not happen, and that’s okay! Everyone experiences emotion differently, so don’t put pressure on yourself to react a certain way.

9. Just because you’re a  size six in regular clothes doesn’t mean you’ll be a size six in bridal gowns. Bridal gown sizing is completely funky, but your trusty consultant will measure you and make sure you order the perfect size. Focus on how beautiful you feel in the dress, and forget about the size on the tag of the dress!

10. Sharing is caring. You may walk into a bridal shop and see another bride trying on your dress. Keep in mind that you are not the only bride planning a spring wedding and envisioning a lace mermaid gown. Dresses fit everyone differently, and there’s nothing wrong with sharing the mirrors, pedestals and even gowns!

Wedding Planning Don'ts

Rachel Moore

Planning a wedding is exciting, and you’ll get lots of advice about what to do. Just as important, however, is knowing what you shouldn’t do! Here are some helpful tips, based on our years of experience:

Planning

  • Don’t hire vendors before selecting and consulting with your wedding planner. One of the many benefits of hiring a planner is gaining access to her knowledge of vendors.
  • Don’t designate a friend or family member to be the “go-between” between you and your planner. We know you’re busy — but direct communication prevents miscommunication — and we promise not to take up more time than needed!
  • Your wedding planner will probably give you a monthly checklist to keep you on track. Don’t procrastinate! It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll write your vows and choose your music later, but you’ll be busy attending showers, writing thank-you notes, handling last-minute details and getting ready for your big day before you know it.

Guest List

  • Don’t invite more guests than you can actually afford to have accept, and keep in mind that the best way to reduce expenses is to limit your guest list. Among other costs, the guest count will have a direct impact on everything from food and beverage to the number of tables, chairs, linen, centerpieces and even welcome bags you’ll need.
  • Although you can never accurately predict who will and won’t come, don’t create an A and B guest list. Those on the B list will surely know when they receive a last-minute invitation.
  • Don’t invite a guest to more than one bridal shower. Extending numerous invitations may make people to feel like you’re taking advantage of them and seeking gifts.

Gift Registry

  • Don’t skip registering for gifts even if you’d prefer cash. If you don’t register for gifts, you will end up receiving items you didn’t want in the first place. Guests who like giving checks will give you checks. Go ahead and register for those who like to give tangible gifts.

Bridesmaids

  • Don’t give your bridesmaids free reign to choose their own dresses. Choose a color in a certain designer’s line of dresses. Give them input about the neckline and length. You want to ensure that they look cohesive in pictures.

Top Ten First Dance Songs

Rachel Moore

Clueless as to what song you and your hubby-to-be should use for your first dance? According to Spotify, here are the top 10 most popular choices these days.

1. “At Last,” Etta James

2. “I Won’t Give Up,” Jason Mraz

3. “You Are the Best Thing,” Ray LaMontagne

4. “All of Me,” John Legend

5. “Better Together,” Jack Johnson

6. “A Thousand Years,” Christina Perri

7. “Everything,” Michael Buble

8. “First Day of My Life,” Bright Eyes

9. “Then,” Brad Paisley

10. “Make You Feel My Love,” Adele

Proposing with Panache

Rachel Moore

Judging by social media and YouTube, the pressure is on to propose to your significant other in a creative or romantic way. That’s why an increasing number of guys are choosing to pop the question with the help of professional planners. These planned proposals range from the intimate to the elaborate. With just a simple call to an event planner, you can hire a pro to handle all the details of arranging a picnic for two, a flash mob of 20, a spot on the Jumbotron, a musical ensemble, a fireworks display or whatever else you happen to have in mind. This advanced planning also gives friends and family the ability to share in the proposal, resulting in an overjoyed fiance (and some serious social media glory)!

Wedding Lore

Rachel Moore

Brides wear a white dress and a veil, grooms toss garters, and we save the top tier of our wedding cakes. But why? Weddings are full of traditions. Have you ever wondered where they originated? Wonder no more!

The white wedding dress. Before Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, brides typically wore colorful wedding gowns. The trendsetting queen elected to wear a white ball gown instead of royal silver for her wedding, thereby giving rise to the tradition of wearing white. Queen Victoria also introduced the fresh flower bouquet. Prior to her wedding, brides held wreaths of herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits. Her offspring proved equally influential. “Here Comes the Bride” only became the go-to tune for walking down the aisle after Princess Victoria had it played at her wedding in 1858.

Lifting the veil. Back when marriage was considered more of a business deal than a romantic commitment, the father would lift the bride’s veil at the altar, symbolically offering her to the groom, or the groom would lift the veil after the ceremony to signify his ownership or dominance. In Jewish tradition, the veil was lifted before the ceremony to ensure the groom was marrying the right woman.

Something old, new, borrowed and blue. The tradition of the bride wearing something old (for continuity), new (optimism for the future), borrowed (happiness) and blue (fidelity, good fortune and love) on her wedding day stems from an old English rhyme. Brides often forget that there’s a fifth line to the rhyme: “A penny in your shoe.” Each token is said to help ensure a lifetime of fortune. Also, because happiness was believed to rub off on others, the “something borrowed” was to come from a happily married woman.

Wedding rings. A symbol of eternity and everlasting love (marked by its circular shape), the wedding ring’s origins can be traced back thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, a band of hemp or rush was worn on the third finger of the left hand, as it was believed that the vein on this finger led directly to the heart. Gold was traditionally used to represent enduring beauty, purity and strength.

Matching bridesmaids. Attendants originally served as protection against jealous demons out to get the bridal couple. Bridesmaids wore the exact same outfits as each other and the bride in order to confuse evil spirits.

The garter toss. Throwing the garter originated from old English custom called “flinging the stocking.” Guests would invade the bridal chamber, steal the bride’s stockings and take turns flinging them. Whoever threw the one that landed on the groom’s nose would be the next to marry.

The bouquet toss. It was considered good luck for guests at medieval weddings to tear off and take a piece of the bride’s dress. To distract them from grabbing and ripping their wedding dresses, brides began throwing their flowers.

The wedding cake. In ancient Rome, the wedding ended when a wheat or barley cake was broken over the bride’s head as a symbol of fertility. It wasn’t until later that edible confections began to appear at European weddings. Queen Victoria’s son Prince Leopold served the first entirely edible cake at his nuptials. Ever hear the rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage?” Back in the day, when it was common for newlyweds to start families right away, the leftover top tier of the wedding cake was saved for the christening (usually one year later).

Carrying the bride across the threshold. Grooms in ancient cultures would carry brides over the threshold to prevent evil spirits from possessing the brides through the soles of their feet. In medieval Europe, the groom carried his virginal bride inside the home so she wouldn’t look too eager about what was expected to ensue and, thus, have her innocence called into question. Lifting the bride was more of a preventative measure in Western Europe, where it was considered unlucky for the bride to trip on her way inside.

For more information, check out The Knot.

Taking the Stress out of Wedding Dress Shopping

Rachel Moore

Purchasing a wedding dress should be one of the first things you do after he pops the question. The general rule of thumb is to purchase your dress nine months in advance, giving you plenty of time to receive it and make alterations. If you’re having a dress custom-made, however, be sure to give yourself additional time.

With so many to choose from, wedding dress shopping can be overwhelming. But follow these tips, and you’re more likely to have a good time!

Date. The season you’re getting married will help you narrow down your choices. Having an outdoor ceremony in the summer? You may want to avoid ball gowns or full skirts, which will add weight to your dress and leave you simmering.

Location. Keep in mind the location of your wedding ceremony and reception. A lightweight, airy dress will work best for the beach, for instance. You’ll also want to consider a different style for a vintage rustic wedding than you will for a traditional black-tie affair.

Budget. If you watch Say Yes To The Dress, you know it’s risky to try on gowns that are beyond your budget. Once you establish a budget, only shop in stores that you know carry dresses within your price point. Remember that few bridal boutiques allow walk-ins; most insist that you make an appointment.

Style. Know the style basics (silhouette, style, fabric), but remain open minded. Even if you have an image of what you want on your big day, be willing to consider other looks. Our brides often think they want one silhouette but completely change their minds after trying on other options. And that’s perfectly okay!

Pictures. A picture’s worth a thousand words! Make sure you bring pictures of dresses you like to your bridal appointment. You don’t have to like everything about the dresses but, if your bridal consultant has an idea of the kind of silhouette, neckline, style and fabric you like, he or she will be that much more likely to pull your perfect dress.

 

Picking up the Tab

Rachel Moore

Clients often ask us to give them a breakdown of who is responsible for paying for each part of a wedding. The answer is pretty complicated, as traditions have changed over the years. With the help of our friends at The Knot, however, here’s a list of what each family is generally expected to cover.

Bride’s Family Pays:

  • Reception costs — including food, decorations, rentals, music, etc.
  • Wedding planner
  • Bride’s appearance — dress, veil, accessories, hair and makeup, etc.
  • Stationary — including postage
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Ceremony expenses — including flowers
  • Bridal party transportation
  • Groom’s wedding ring
  • Bridesmaids’ and other attendants’ gifts
  • All tips
  • Bridesmaids’ luncheon

Groom’s Family Pays:

  • Bride’s rings
  • Alcohol for reception
  • Honeymoon
  • Marriage license
  • Groomsmen’s gifts
  • Personal flowers for ceremony — bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for the men (other than the groom) and corsages for mothers and grandmothers
  • Officiant’s fee
  • Groom’s attire
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Wedding gift for the newlyweds
  • Bachelor’s dinner

Cakes Through the Ages

Rachel Moore

Did you know that wedding cakes originated in ancient Rome? And so did the tradition of missing your betrothed’s mouth with said cake! According to a Yahoo! article, Roman marriages were “solidified by the groom smashing barley cake over his bride’s head.” (Sounds like a recipe for divorce to us!) Later, as “sugar became more plentiful in England in the 16th century,” refined sugar was used “to create pure white icing to symbolize not only the bride’s purity but the families’ affluence as well.” Click here to view this Yahoo! article, which features wedding cakes from 1947, 1951, 1952, and 1963.

Unlike in the past, today’s wedding cakes — especially groom’s cakes — are becoming increasingly more creative, delicious and downright artistic. Couples are choosing cakes that fit the theme of their wedding, like cowboy boots if they are having a ranch wedding or a football stadium if they share a favorite sports team.\

Cutting Costs Without Sacrificing Elegance

Rachel Moore

Have champagne taste but lack the funds to support it? No problem, here are our top three tips for hosting an elegant affair on a budget.

1. Reduce the guest list. The more people you invite, the more money you spend. There is no way around this!

2. Make a list of your priorities. If you REALLY care about hiring a certain band, cut back on other aspects of the event.

3. The food and beverage expense will be one of the larger items. Therefore, offer heavy hors d’oeuvres as opposed to a formal plated meal, or serve beer, wine and a specialty cocktail instead of a full bar.

First Dance

Rachel Moore

Having just been declared “husband and wife,” you take the floor for your first dance. While some couples have a special song that is meaningful to their relationship, many do not. For the latter, here are some popular tunes to consider:

Ray Lamontagne, “You Are The Best Thing”

Christina Perri, “A Thousand Years”

Etta James, “At Last”

Elvis Presley, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”

Trends

Rachel Moore

1. Bringing back the 90’s. This means featuring 1990’s tunes on the dance floor, passing out temporary tattoos as favors, hiring break dancing troupes to perform and wearing 90’s-inspired bridal gowns. (By the way, we LOVE the Hayley Paige two-piece, crop-top dress pictured above).

2. Social media bans. It’s disappointing for brides and grooms to see their family and friends tweeting, instagraming and facebooking instead of enjoying the action. Hosts want guests to relax, put their phones down and have a good time. After all, that’s why they hired a photographer! Many couples also want to monitor which pictures get posted. (No, Instagram filters cannot make everything look good!)

3. Action-packed long weekend weddings. It makes sense. Your guests flew into town for your wedding weekend, and you want to entertain them. Guests really do appreciate this. However, make sure they know they are not obligated to attend festivities all weekend long.

4. Flowers. Flowers have always been an important aspect of weddings. But expect floral arrangements to be bigger and better than ever this year. You’ll see more elaborate flowers — from floral walls to cascading arrangements.

5. Bright colors. Say goodbye to muted tones. In 2014, it’s all about bright, fun colors. Think pops of fuchsia, tangerine and deep indigo. The key to pulling off color is to pick a single color and use it to accent more muted tones.

6. Sharable weddings. We were introduced to wedding hashtags last year, and that trend will continue to gain momentum. We’ll also see more cell phone charging stations,  social media buttons installed in photo booths and even live-streamed weddings.

7. Dramatic photo booths. Hello, slow motion photo booths! If you’ve never seen one before, we urge you to check it out. You won’t be able to refrain from smiling! For more information on slow motion photo booths, see this Huffington Post article and video — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/30/slow-motion-video-booth_n_4179176.html

8. Woodland weddings. Sean Parker took this theme literally. He threw a multimillion dollar Lord of the Rings-type wedding, complete with custom bridges, stone castle, artificial pond and live bunnies. But, you don’t have to go to extremes. Create your fairytale vibe using lush greenery, ethereal decor and dreamy floral instead.

9. Blingy necklines. This year is all about the jeweled neckline. We highly encourage brides sporting interesting necklines or keyhole backs to wear their hair up to show off the intricacies of their dress. (The jeweled-top dress featured above is also from Hayley Paige!)

For more information on these trends, click here.

Equal Time

Rachel Moore

First, there was boudoir photography. You know, classy yet sexually suggestive photos of women either partially clothed or wearing lingerie, with nudity more often implied than implicit. While boudoir photography isn’t a new concept — Kathleen Meyers, Clara Bow, Mae West and Jean Harlow were all photographed in a boudoir style — it regained momentum a few years back among brides wanting to surprise their grooms with scantily clad images of themselves. (Grooms love this gift!)

Now, boudoir photo shoots are expanding to include bachelorette parties! Friends are forgoing a traditional evening of debauchery, opting instead for a sexy photo session. According to the New York Post, at “a cost of around $400 to $500 a person per session, bachelorette parties get hair and makeup makeovers and a chance to play dress-up together in lingerie.” One bride-to-be told the New York Post, “It was all about bonding and having fun with my friends.”

What’s next? In the interests of equal time, how about dudeoir photography? That’s right, a service for men to show off their bodies (partially or even totally nude) has recently gone mainstream, boosted by publicity from a New York Post story. This trend, which began in California, has already attracted male clients as young as 18 and as old as 70!

What do you think of these trends?

Mix and Match

Rachel Moore

If you’re like most bridesmaids, you’ve probably been forced to purchase a dress that you (1) didn’t want to buy, (2) don’t feel beautiful in, and (3) will never wear again. Bridesmaid dresses are normally designed to fit every shape and taste and, as a result, often seem generic. Moreover, they’re usually made of less expensive, synthetic fibers because they are typically constructed with one-time-wear in mind. But, good news! According to the Wall Street Journal, unflattering, synchronized bridesmaid dresses from bridal houses are becoming a thing of the past. (HOORAY!)

Instead, brides are outfitting their best pals in “flattering, non-identical dresses from fashion-forward ready-to-wear designers.” In fact, Annelise Peterson, director of client relations and special projects for Net-a-Porter, insists that not only are synchronized dresses outdated, but “the idea of the cookie-cutter fairy-tale wedding has gone out of fashion.” Net-a-Porter’s personal shopping service is a frequent resource for brides interested in selecting mismatched dresses from different designers for their wedding party. Alternatively, many brides-to-be are allowing bridesmaids to choose their own dresses within specific guidelines (i.e., length, color palate, etc.). This ensures that each bridesmaid’s personality, which is likely what you love about your friends, shines through.

And what about groomsmen? We haven’t forgotten about you! The trend for groomsmen is to allow each to wear a suit he already owns, thereby eliminating the ill-fitting, rented suits and tuxedos. Then, matching ties and pocket squares are added for a more uniform look. Grooms can even fill two needs with one deed by presenting their groomsmen with ties and pocket squares as gifts!

For a look at this WSJ article, click here.

A Matter of Taste

Rachel Moore

Your guests will be drinking and dancing well into the night. The last thing you want is to send them away with an empty stomach! Late-night snacks, whether served at the venue or placed in cars by valets, are a tasty way to leave a lasting impression. From sliders, milkshakes, and milk and cookies to ice cream bars and Frito pies in chip bags, we’ve seen it all! But the most memorable late-night snacks are those that have a personal connection to the newlyweds. Here are some examples:

Do you and your fiancee have a favorite late-night, fast food joint? If so, bring in the fries, burgers, tacos, etc. from that establishment.

Are you a coffee-loving couple? Arrange for baristas from your local coffee shop to serve beverages. They may even be able to whip up a signature drink and top it with a latte foam heart!

Do you both love baseball? Why not offer ballpark fare like hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn?

If you have a special vacation spot, bring in treats from that region. Beignets from New Orleans, for example, are always a big hit!

Do you have a favorite food truck? If so, hire that food truck to park outside your reception and allow guests to help themselves.

The possibilities are endless…if you just let your taste buds lead the way!

Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

Rachel Moore

Anyone who’s ever watched Say Yes to the Dress knows how stressful wedding dress shopping can be. With so many choices, how do you find the right one (or two!) for you? Just follow the tips below to help narrow the selection and ensure that you’ll look your best on your big day.

Know your budget. There’s nothing worse than trying on a dress and falling in love with it, only to realize it’s beyond your price range.

Abide by your dress code. You’d be surprised how many brides look completely out of place at their own wedding. Yes, your personality should shine through your dress, but choose something that befits the ambiance. A princess ball gown, for instance, will look completely out of place at a beach wedding.

Plan ahead. Wear undergarments to the consultation that are similar to those you plan to wear on your wedding day so your dress will fit correctly. Likewise, wear the same style of shoes to the consultation that you plan to wear on your big day. You’d be surprised how much shoes can effect the way a dress falls, let alone the length of the hem.

Primp a little. Don’t come straight from the gym. Do your makeup. Think you want your hair up for your wedding? Give yourself a quick, loose updo. When you gaze into the mirror, you should be able to visualize your wedding day look without having to see beyond your unmade face and hair!

Enjoy the experience. Relax and have fun. You’ll know the right dress when you see it!

For more information, check out this Yahoo article by clicking here.

Butterflies

Rachel Moore

Everyone has butterflies on his or her wedding day. We’re not talking about the beautiful, winged creatures released into the air. Rather, we mean the kind that flit and flutter around in your belly!

With so many details, expectations and logistics whirling around in their heads, what do most brides worry about? You might be surprised. Here are some fears that real brides shared with TheKnot.com:

“I’m scared that my dress won’t fit.” – Batta

“Being an ugly crier and getting makeup on the dress.” – Christina

“People wearing white to my wedding.” – Nicole

“My biggest fear is Mother Nature.” – Elizabeth

Whether you loathe public speaking and are nervous about your vows or are always late and want to ensure you’re on time for your big day, don’t fret. You’re not alone. Every bride has something she’s nervous about. (Shameless plug alert: Unless, of course, she’s hired a wedding planner to make sure her big day goes off without a hitch!)

What are your fears?

For more information on this article, click here.

Make Martha Proud

Rachel Moore

If you’ve ever planned a party, you know how important it is to have a fairly accurate head count. After all, you want enough food, drink and party favors to go around! The last thing any host wants to do is track people down to find out if they’re coming. Don’t be one of THOSE people. Make your mother (and Martha Stewart) proud by following these simple RSVP etiquette tips.

Always RSVP. Just because you can’t attend a wedding, Bar Mitzvah, birthday party or other event doesn’t mean you don’t have to RSVP. In fact, letting  hosts know that you can’t be there is equally as important as letting them know you can! You should alwaysRSVP. If you cannot attend, feel free to provide an explanation when you RSVP. This personal touch will ensure that there are no hurt feelings.

Don’t change your mind. If you RSVP that you will attend, make sure to be there. Likewise, if you RSVP that you will not attend, do not show up. Once you RSVP, stick to that decision even if your plans change.

Only bring a guest if you’ve been given a plus one. Your host has worked hard on the seating assignments. The venue has put out the exact number of tables and chairs. And the chef has ordered and prepared the perfect amount of food. Bringing just one extra person who is not on the guest list can cause chaos by throwing off all these plans.

So be considerate of your host. It’s really easy to do. And when you host a party, hope that all of your guests have read our blog, too!

How to host a Fun Reception

Rachel Moore

In our initial meetings with brides and grooms, we find that most say their top priority is that guests have “fun.” Now fun can be had in many different ways, so we always delve deeper into their definition. Does that mean a rocking band, an open bar, a photo booth or something completely different?

Courtesy of The Knot, here are a few secrets to hosting a fun wedding reception. We hope that some will apply to your definition of “FUN!”

Set up an area specifically for kids. This could be as elaborate as a separate room with games and babysitters or as simple as a designated table with activities to occupy the young ones while their parents hit the dance floor.

Give out party favors. Guests LOVE party favors! Whether you offer glow sticks, light-up sunglasses, boas, necklaces or fun masks, make sure the party favors reflect your personality!

Pass out late night snacks. Your guests have been drinking and dancing all night, so keep them fueled! What do you crave after a night of partying? Ask the caterer to pass out late-night munchies like sliders, cookies, french fries, ice cream, etc.

Think about the “break” music. If you hired a band, the musicians are going to take breaks. What music are you going to play while they’re gone? Make sure to plan these breaks during opportune times like the toasts or cake cutting, for example.

Keep the toasts short. Nothing kills the party atmosphere more than toasts that drone on and on. When it comes to toasts, quality is far more important than quantity. Try to choose people you know will give good speeches, and give them a suggested time limit. We recommend that the majority of toasts take place during the rehearsal dinner.

Jazz up your first dance. Start with a slow, traditional song and switch to an upbeat tune halfway through the dance. This is a great way to encourage guests to join you on the dance floor.