wedding planning

Wedding 101: The Language of Flowers

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The Language 

of Flowers

Wedding flowers and their meanings...

Flowers have been a part of wedding celebrations for as long as we have recorded history.  Early Greek and Roman brides wore garlands of fresh herbs or ivy in their hair as a talisman against evil spirits.  They also symbolized fertility and wishes for good fortune to shine on the new couple. 

No one is quite sure when garlands evolved into hand held bouquets but from time immemorial flowers have been an integral part of the wedding decor.  Favorite flowers change over the years but over time, certain flowers have assumed a coded identity.  In Victorian times (mid to late 1800s) flowers held messages for those who knew the "code". 

Couples may want their wedding flowers to convey a message, here are some of the meanings attached to 23 common wedding flower choices: 

Baby's Breath - innocence and purity 

Cactus- Endurance

Calla Lily - magnificent beauty 

Carnation - Devotion, women's love (pink), pure love (white) 

Daffodil - Regard/respect 

Daisy - Loyal Love 

Fern - Magic, fascination 

Forget-me-not - True Love 

Gardenia - Secret Love 

Hyacinth (blue)- Constancy

Iris - Passion 

Ivy - Wedded Love 

Lilac- First feelings of love

Lily of the Valley - Happiness 

Orange Blossoms - Eternal love 

Orchid -Love and beauty 

Peony - Happy Marriage 

Ranunculus- Radiant and charming

Rose - Love, beauty, passion and joy 

Roses (Red & White)- Unity

Sweet Pea- Delicate pleasures

Tulip- Love, fame

Zinnia -Thoughts of those absent

Planning a Brunch Wedding

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Weekend brunch already feels like a treat, so it's no surprise that bunch weddings have been a money saving trend for many wedding planners and couples.

If you have a couple's dream venue is already booked for their choice of wedding date, consider making a time adjustment and rather than a sit down dinner at 7 PM ask about availability of brunch at 11 AM.

Wedding planners may also suggest a brunch if clients are having a smaller wedding. It usually starts at 10 or 11 AM and runs for about four hours as opposed to the typical evening wedding that can go for 6-7 hours. In addition to saving money on the venue, clients will pay less for food and for cocktails and leave plenty of time to spend the day together, with family, or catch a flight for their honeymoon.

Brunch wedding menus are easily planned, and the decor and flowers are simpler - no less elegant - just simpler. Table linens, silver, china, can be chosen with care to reflect the couple's color palette or theme.

Consider the brunch buffet with fresh juices, waffles, custom omelettes, quiche, ham, bacon. Hors d'oeuvres like mini "pigs in a blanket" or toffee-dipped bacon kabobs and French toast sticks with maple syrup are also a great option. It is unlikely that you will host an open bar at a brunch but you can do personalized bloody Mary bars or mimosas and champagne and of course, you'll want coffee and tea.

A traditional wedding cake may feel a bit heavy in the morning, so a brunch wedding is the perfect time to adopt the "naked cake" trend which has minimal icing.  A wedding cake can even be made with tiers of crepes or pancakes, or for go the cake all together and have the caterer construct towers of doughnuts or mini cinnamon rolls.

In keeping with the theme and to add a fun touch, gifts for guest can include vintage coffee mugs, chocolate covered espresso beans, or custom teas. 

Have an exit strategy for when the party is over. A 10pm end time has a different feel than a mid-afternoon end time.  A couple may want to think about renting a car for their exit.  Some people may expect and after party, a clear getaway will make that transition easier. If families are traveling from out of town, couples may want to provide them a list of things to do in the area, particularly if the wedding is on a Saturday morning.

As one bride said about her brunch wedding - "it's more about the guests and a lot less pressure".

 Everyone loves breakfast foods, and a daytime celebration can be very special. For many couples, brunch is the answer.

Church Guidelines

We find that many brides are not aware that most churches have policies in place that govern what can and cannot be done at a wedding.  While your individual church will have its own rules and regulations, in general most churches have these guidelines in place. 

Typically a church will not allow permanently attached furniture to be moved.  No thumbtacks or nails can be driven into the woodwork nor can anything be used that might deface it. 

Saucers or mats must be placed under all palms, greenery or floral arrangements that rest on the floor/carpeting or are not in waterproof containers. 

All arrangements for music, ceremony and decorations must be submitted in advance and are subject to the approval of the officiant or the wedding coordinator for that particular church. 

Floral arrangements or candles that must be taped to each pew are likely to be forbidden.  The best rule to follow is that decorations should be kept to a minimum so as not to detract from the dignity of the sanctuary. 

The church may require that its organist be engaged.  It may require that no photos -especially flash photos - be taken during the ceremony. 

In order to streamline procedures on the ceremony day, many may require that all fees be paid prior to or at the rehearsal. 

It is expected that no trash or personal belongings be left behind in the building. 

If you have not been provided with a printed set of guidelines for the place you have chosen for your ceremony, be sure to ask for clarification.  In popular months, certain weekends will likely host multiple ceremonies so churches have a right to expect cooperation from all of their wedding parties. 

Invisible Budgeting Cutting Wedding Costs Without Sacrificing Style

We hear brides lament that they want a big wedding, but they have a smaller budget.  The good news is that with the help of a wedding planner and some creativity, it can be done.  A budgeted wedding does not have to mean cheap.   Here are a few suggestions to help your client have the wedding of her dreams on a tight budget:

  • Consider invitations that are on quality paper but are not genuine engraving. 
  • For décor drama in the church or reception area, consider using rental greens in place of large floral arrangements.  The greenery adds an elegant touch and provides a perfect background for flowers added to set or reflect your color scheme.  (Visit our Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration.) Be sure that you choose flowers grown locally and in season. 

  • While a band for dancing may be your first choice, know that a good DJ can provide music and entertainment for far less than a band.   

  • Ask what events are happening before or after the wedding to see if you can share the cost of equipment.

  • Cut the cake earlier in the evening to reduce the per-hour rate for a photographer or videographer

  • Cut down on alcohol costs by providing an open bar during a cocktail hour but switching to beer and wine at dinner.

  • Stream music for the cocktail hour and save on the hourly cost for the DJ/Band.

  • Pay attention to fees, shipping costs, taxes etc. The fine print can really add up.

  • Cut a decorated cake but serve sheet cake to the guests. As an added bonus this can be pre-cut in the kitchen to streamline the serving process.

  • Encouraging guests to take pictures during the reception and share them on social media can cut back on the photographer’s bill, but you will still want a professional at the helm to insure that the critical photographs you will keep for a lifetime are beautifully done. 

  • Use seating charts instead of place cards to cut printing/calligraphy costs.

  • Consider having an hors d’oeuvres /cocktail reception rather than a sit down dinner.  In addition to being less expensive (depending on how much and what you decide to serve) it keeps the party moving as guests nibble and move among tables. 

 

 

What's in Your Wedding Emergency Kit?

 

You’ve planned a flawless wedding and believe with all your heart that it will go off without a hitch. 

Your family has thought about and planned for any eventuality. However, should “Murphy’s Law” show up, the wise bride and her wedding consultant always have an emergency kit available. 

What should go in your kit? These are the basic items we recommend for every kit. Add your own items as you see fit. 

  1. A small sewing kit. At a minimum be sure it has thread to match your gown, the bridesmaid dresses, the mothers’ dresses and the tuxedos. There should be a variety of needle sizes, small scissors and a collection of extra buttons for your gown (if appropriate) for shirt fronts, safety pins and hemming tape just in case.
     

  2. A roll of Hollywood tape. This is used to keep low cut necklines in place among other handy uses. If you can’t find it in your area, you can find it online.  
     
  3. A small medical supplies box. This should include aspirin or Tylenol, Tums or other antacids, band aids, smelling salts, breath mints and some Pepto Bismal tablets. 
     

  4. A box of personal grooming aids. Include a hair brush for touch ups, hair spray (used for both hair and for eliminating static cling on fabrics, hair or bobby pins, hat pins (for securing boutonnieres), your make up, mouthwash, deodorant. 
     

  5. Rolls of Scotch Tape and white gaffer’s tape (you should be able to get at a local hardware store.) These are to be used on emergency fabric tears and on bouquets that “come undone”. Also bring a couple of sticks of white chalk to cover up stains on your white gown. 
     

  6. Other miscellaneous items include: a lint brush, a pair of white or ivory ballet slippers for when your feet scream “take off the heels”, a small hand towel and washcloth, a couple of zip top plastic bags, Kleenex and a bed sheet (to cover the floor in the dressing room to protect your gown as you step into it).

Knowing that you can cover most emergency situations should give you peace of mind. Of course, when you are prepared emergencies are less likely to happen.

Helpful Hints and Tips for Planning Your Wedding from the Experts at Weddings Beautiful

With years of experience in helping brides create their perfect day, we have developed a list of "things to do" as you plan your wedding.   Here are some helpful hints to remember when planning your wedding:

Beyond the obvious of determining your date and time, we urge you to book the church or wedding site before your reception area.  Be sure to read the church policies concerning weddings to have a clear understanding of what is and is not allowed.  If you are planning an interfaith marriage, be sure that it is allowed in the church you have chosen and that the officiant will indeed perform the wedding ceremony.

Get every detail in writing.  That includes expected delivery dates for your gown and the bridesmaids as well as written contracts that spell out all details with all vendors.

Double/triple check on details for the reception, photography, flowers and musicians if you are not employing a wedding planner.

While they are adorable, rethink your desire to use very young children in your ceremony.  If you decide to use them, be prepared for the unexpected.  They can either complement your ceremony or cause such a commotion that guests remember the child's behavior and not your lovely ceremony.

If your bridesmaids are all to be dressed alike, be sure that all of the dresses are ordered at the same time from the same bridal shop because dye lots can and do vary.

To share your happiness and good fortune, arrange to donate leftover food from your reception to a food shelf or "community cafe".  Have someone in charge of taking flowers to a nursing home or hospital if they are not being left at the church for its Sunday services.

Ask two good friends or relatives to be your official reception hosts.  Parents get busy, after ceremony photos can take longer than expected and the wedding party may be delayed.  Having official hosts whose names are listed in the programs, lets you relax and know that your guests are attended to and made comfortable.

This is likely to be the biggest party you will ever give.  A Weddings Beautiful CWS can help make sure it goes off without a hitch.  

Why Choose Weddings Beautiful

You're excited to start your career as a wedding planner but you aren't sure where to get your certification. There are many programs available for becoming a certified wedding planner and it may be hard to know who to trust to give you proper training and support for your business. We believe one of the things that sets Weddings Beautiful apart from other programs is our history.

Weddings Beautiful was founded in 1968 with the vision of Gary Wright, to provide quality education and support to aspiring wedding planners worldwide. Weddings Beautiful currently has two certification programs, a membership association and licensees in Japan, China, Mexico, Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and the Caribbean. The course is available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and French.

The Certified Wedding Specialist course was first offered in 1954 as part of the National Bridal Service, America’s first national association of bridal consultants and wedding related businesses. In 1968, the course was adapted to the training of wedding planners and coordinators. Since then, Weddings Beautiful has been providing professional home study training, recognition and support to individuals that have or desire to have a successful wedding planning business. The 18-assignment course is designed to educate you on becoming a successful and professional wedding planner. When you have completed and passed all assignments, you will receive the CWS title and a Certified Wedding Specialist certificate.

The Certified Wedding Planner program was developed in 2008 for the established wedding planner who would like to add the CWP certification to their credentials. To qualify for this program, you must have been in business as a wedding planner for at least two years and performed a minimum of ten weddings. This certification distinguishes the most professional planners from the rest.