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Your wedding day will be one of the most important days of your life. It is a day that marks a turning point in your life, and should be fun yet elegant and memorable. If you’re currently going through the planning process, consider how you can make each portion of your party stand out. Here are several suggestions in order to make your special day unforgettable!
1. Pick a Theme
Couples will find that their creative juices begin to flow once they have selected a wedding theme. Some of the most popular themes are vintage, country, fall, winter wonderland, garden party, and sunflowers. Once the theme is chosen, it becomes easier to plan the rest of the wedding. Planning your wedding will not only be fun, but will also offer you limitless possibilities with your décor, color scheme, cake selection, and even your wedding ensemble. Guests can also get in on the action once you inform them about your theme, indicated by the save-the-date card and wedding invitation you send them.
2. Incorporate Your Personality into the Ceremony
Many couples feel the cookie-cutter ceremony does not suit their style. While most feel it’s just easier to stick with tradition, the ceremony may not exactly suit who you are as a couple. Know that you can infuse your personality and style into your ceremony by customizing your vows. If you are a couple who loves wine, you can ditch the unity candle and drink from the same cup. You can even pass around some pre-filled glasses to guests to join you. Include some of your favorite quotes into your vows, or even invite some friends of family members to say a few inspirational (or even funny) words about your relationship during the ceremony. It’s a great way to do something out of the norm that is fun yet classy and acceptable, but memorable (most of all!).
3. Start the Party Right
If you search YouTube for ceremony entrance or exit songs, you’ll notice that a lot of couples get the party started immediately! They put together dance routines or arrange for their wedding party members to enter and exit to specific songs that suit their personalities. Once guests hear upbeat, celebratory tunes, they are sure to start clapping, smiling, and dancing their way out of the ceremony into the cocktail hour or reception.
These suggestions are simple, fun, and completely memorable for everyone. Consider them if you are in the wedding planning process and are looking for unique ideas that are a huge hit with the guests!
You can make each and every guest feel like they are the guest of honor at your wedding celebration. Your friends and family will appreciate the little extras you throw their way (especially since some of them have traveled a long way to attend your event) and will be impressed with your creativity and thoughtfulness. Here are three little things that you can do that will make one big impression.
Tip #1 Napkin Notes
It’s going to be very difficult to get around and have a lengthy conversation with each guest. Why not say hello and thank friends and family for attending your event by leaving them a personalized note on their dinner napkin? Using the inside of your place cards makes this easy. It will be the first thing they read as they sit down to enjoy dinner and will show them that you took an extra step to show that you care and appreciate their attendance and support!
Tip #2 Goodie Guest Bags
Roll out the red carpet for your guests that are staying the night in a hotel room that you have taken the liberty of reserving for them. Place a goodie bag filled with personalized items to really wow your friends and family from out of town. Fill the bags with each person’s favorite snack, beer, wine, candy, and be sure to write a personal welcome and thank you note to each guest staying the night. It shows that you have taken into consideration their efforts in attending your special day.
Tip #3 Menu Cards
Consider placing a menu card on each guest’s plate that outlines each course and presents guests with their dining options. It is a courtesy that your guests will appreciate so they can put thought into their meal selections, not be put on the spot; and will impress them with your attention to detail.
Every guest should feel like they are the guest of honor at your wedding. Consider trying these three tips to help each friend and family member feel as though you’ve gone above and beyond to thank them and make them comfortable before, during, and after your event.
Many brides-to-be dream of hosting a perfect and beautiful day. They sometimes forget that their wedding day should and could be fun too. Ensuring that your guests have fun at your reception can be a daunting task. They key is to plan something unique but easy for guests to partake in. Here are five ways to ensure that your guests can have fun and you can host an unforgettable event!
Set up a Home Made Photo Booth
Photo booths can be very expensive to rent. Brides on a budget do not have to forego this fun family and friend activity. Set up an oversized ornate frame at a designated corner in your reception hall or a section outside if you are exchanging vows in an outdoor area. Place a digital camera on a stool for guests to pose on and place a number of props nearby (boa, sunglasses, hats, masks). Set directions near the “booth” and allow your friends and family to click away. Print out each image and send it to them as a keepsake in your thank you notes!
Boast a Cake Topping Bar
Guests also find it fun when they get to design and dish up their own desserts. Set up a topping station so guests can embellish their piece of wedding cake or individual cupcake. Toppings like sprinkles, candy, fruit, and whipped cream are affordable and fun to add to plain pieces of cake, made to your guests’ liking.
Host a Dance Off
Nothing puts guests in a dancing mood more than a dance off-with prizes! Fill several bags with items like gas gift cards, massages, pedicures, and bottle of wine or liquor. Have everyone take part in cheering on their favorite dancers and ask your DJ or band to announce the winners of categories like, “Most Original Moves”, “Worst Moves,” “Drunkest Dancer,” or “Best Dance Moves.” It will break up the night and make your guests laugh and eager to get involved in the name of good fun.
Play a Song for Groups of Guests
Have some songs that are special to friends or family members? Maybe certain tunes help you remember your spring break with the ladies, a special moment with your siblings, or simply a fun time with family and friends. Throughout the night, ask the DJ or band to play these specific songs and announce who they are for to get everyone up dancing and reminiscing. It’s easy to do and completely unique.
Make a Signature Drink
If you are getting married at your own home or a friend or family member’s estate, you have more flexibility when it comes to selecting what to serve and offering specialties at the bar. Consider inviting your guests to create or mix their own drinks. It not only saves on a bartender for brides who are pinching pennies, but also allows your guests to get their creative juices (or spirits) flowing!
Making sure your guests have a good time is just as important as hosting a beautiful wedding. Consider trying some of the simple yet affordable suggestions above to help ensure a good time for all in attendance!
Let’s face it. There is nothing funnier than watching those you love the most (grandma?) bust a move on the dance floor in honor of your sacred and celebratory union. You want to make sure you get the entire crowd up and moving to kick off your reception with a bang. The Chicken Dance has been a classic group dance that has been popularly (and annoyingly) played at weddings since the 80’s. Should you have your band or DJ play this notorious tune? Or, are you going to pass on tradition? Here are some pros and cons of the infamous dance to help you decide if you want your guests to flap, clap, and waddle!
- The dance is enticing and catchy. You can’t help but smile when you hear the accordion’s playfully quick beat.
- The song complements informal, outdoor, or retro themed weddings.
- Elder members in your family are familiar with the song and they will be more inclined to dance to “oldies but goodies.”
- You are sure to chuckle when you see the video of your wedding party dance to this tune after cocktail hour and the champagne toast (plus it makes an awesome blackmail).
- The chicken dance has been associated with lacking prestige, so if you want a very formal affair, pass on playing it.
- Chances are if you play this song, you’ll be egged on to dance to the song as well, and your photographer is certain to catch this unflattering, cringe-worthy moment on film!
- Your band or DJ plays for a limited time. This song is long and will take the place of other tunes you genuinely want to hear.
Do the pros outweigh the cons, or vice versa? Be sure to think about the type of event you are putting on and the demeanor and age of your attendees before you flap, clap, and waddle!
We know, we know. When you read “popping the question” in the title of this article, the issue of serving your guests dinner at your reception didn’t exactly spring to mind. In fact, you probably got swept away in thoughts about your sweetheart’s romantic proposal, where he bent down on one knee and presented you with the sparkling diamond that you’ve got on right now.
But when it comes to wedding planning, one of the most crucial questions you can ask yourself will pertain to what type of dinner you’ll be serving your guests at the reception. The two options – buffet and plated dinner – each have their own proponents and naysayers, which might make this a complicated issue for you to dive into.
If you’re on the fence about either dinner option, don’t fret: here are some great ways to decide between serving your guests a buffet or a plated dinner:
- First, consider the type of wedding that you’ll be holding. The dinner plays a crucial role in maintaining the atmosphere of your reception, be it an elegant black-tie affair or a casual backyard wedding. Think about it this way: the more elegant the wedding, the more likely it is that you’ll need to serve a plated dinner. While every couple is free to set their own rules, keep the comfort and expectations of your guest in mind: if they spend several hundred dollars on outfits and gifts for a black-tie affair, they’re probably expecting a similar gesture in the form of a lovely plated dinner.
- If your wedding isn’t a black-tie event, take a careful look at your budget to see what you can afford. You may be surprised at which option is the most affordable for you and your sweetheart. For example, many venues often include the price of plated dinners within the overall fee, while some caterers will charge a great deal of money in addition to the venue fee to serve a buffet. Keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to explore both options.
- If you love the casual atmosphere of a buffet but want to keep things elegant, consider food “bars.” Each bar will have a specific theme, like a steak bar, a sushi bar, or a mashed potato bar. This adds a fun and unique twist without sacrificing the fun of a buffet setting.
No matter which option you pick, make sure it’s the right one for you and your sweetheart. After all, no one wants to start their married lives in debt due to the food served at the wedding.
Let’s face it: you don’t want to have just any wedding – you want to have the party of the year. You want to throw the kind of wedding that’s so fun and exciting, your friends will be talking about it for years to come. You’ve got the food in place, the perfect venue booked, and a dress that will stun and amaze…
Now all you need to do is hire a DJ or a band.
Not surprisingly, this can be one of the biggest dilemmas couples face when planning a wedding. The music at a reception can set a critical tone in determining the events of the night: play the right music, and the wedding’s a blast. Play the wrong music, however, and the reception quickly becomes a letdown.
You want your guests to have the time of their lives, which is why you’re taking this question so seriously. So if you’re still on the fence as to whether you should hire a DJ or a wedding band, keep the following advice in mind:
- Think about the type of bride you are and your musical tastes. If you and your sweetheart love an eclectic array of music that many bands won’t know about, you might want to consider hiring a DJ. If, however, you love nothing more than getting down to the latest hits and the classics of yesteryear, a wedding band can be a viable option.
- Consider your budget. While a wedding band and DJ can both run at similar price ranges, you’ll be expected to feed your band while they’re at the reception. This could end up costing you a few extra hundred dollars in costs, depending on the size of the band and the price of the plates. However, don’t emphasize cost over quality – the DJ or the wedding band singer is going to be the one introducing you and your sweetheart as a newly married couple. If someone has a wonderful vibe and truly “gets” you as a DJ or wedding band, you should go with your gut instinct.
- Read customer reviews before hiring any DJ or wedding band. You don’t want to discover any nasty surprises on the night of your wedding – like your DJ likes to go to gigs drunk or the wedding singer who loves to play every Whitney Houston song known to man.
If you’re still confused about the issue, outsource it to your future husband; one of the traditional tasks of the groom is to pick the music for the wedding. It’s a great way to check another task off your growing wedding to-do list!
Admit it: you’re struggling with an important decision about your wedding. You want to plan the kind of wedding that your friends and family will be talking about for years to come – but you don’t want to bankrupt your savings just to do it. That’s why you’re considering slashing the cocktail reception altogether. After all, that single hour of an open bar and hors d’oeuvres can save you thousands of dollars – so why is there a need for a cocktail reception before dinner?
Don’t be too quick to forgo the cocktail reception – take a look at the following reasons why you may want to keep that hour sandwiched between your ceremony and reception:
- The cocktail reception gives you and your wedding party the chance to sneak away with the photographer for posed pictures. This is especially important if you’re holding your ceremony and reception in the same area, as you don’t want your guests wandering around without anything to do. The cocktail reception keeps your wedding guests happy while you and your new hubby take all the cute pictures you want together as a newly wed couple.
- A cocktail reception puts your guests in a happy and relaxed mood. Remember, your wedding is as much about your guests as it is about you and your new husband. Some of your guests may have even spent the last hour or two on the road before your ceremony. The cocktail hour is the first chance your guests may have for a bite to eat, to relax and start getting in the party mood.
- A cocktail reception gives your guests the time to socialize with friends and introduce themselves to one another before they start getting seated for the reception. Having your guests break the ice is a critical part of ensuring that your wedding is a hit. After all, you don’t want the ice breaking to occur when you’re ready to hit the dance floor – you want your guests to jump out there as soon as the music starts playing!
As you can see, having the cocktail reception is a critical part of throwing a memorable and fun wedding. But if you want to save money on your cocktail reception, ask your venue if they can include it with the overall price of the venue. If not, forgo the happy hour and have a cash bar instead. It’s a great way to enjoy the benefits of a cocktail hour without spending thousands of dollars on alcohol.
The buzz around wedding programs often falls into two camps: those people who believe that wedding programs are indispensable for weddings, and those who think it’s pretty intuitive and unnecessary to include. You, on the other hand, aren’t in any particular camp – and that’s exactly why you’re still wondering if you need to have a wedding program.
So when it comes down to it, do you actually need to have a wedding program? Whether you’re having a traditional ceremony or an outdoor affair, consider these pros and cons of having a wedding program:
Pros of the Wedding Program
If you’re having a wedding that incorporates a great deal of cultural or traditional ceremonies that your guests might not understand, a wedding program is absolutely indispensable. In fact, any traditional Catholic, Jewish, Hindi or religious ceremony that involves a great deal of prayer or cultural rituals should have a wedding program to provide guests information about what they should say, when they should stand, and explain the significance of the prayers and rituals.
Wedding programs can also provide your guests with the information they need to get to a different location. If your reception is held at a different venue than your ceremony, a wedding program can give your guests the directions they need to arrive right on time.
Don’t forget, wedding programs are an appropriate manner in which to formally recognize your bridal party, including ushers, and everyone else who was helpful in making your big day possible. Programs are also especially helpful to guests who want to identify and remember the names of parents from both sides, best man, maid-of-honor and the officiant, so that they don’t have to embarrass themselves if they don’t know or can’t remember the names of key people in the bridal party.
Cons of the Wedding Program
The cost of having a wedding program can be high, especially if you have to include a great deal of information about your ceremony and reception. If you’re already on a budget, you might be tempted to reallocate the money reserved for a wedding program to another part of your big day.
Some couples are also very adamant about having “green” weddings, which is why wedding programs might be a drawback. Throughout the course of the night, your wedding guests may be tossing around your program or leaving them behind while they tear up the dance floor. This means your wedding could potentially produce a lot of waste, which might not fit into an environmental-friendly wedding.
So What’s the Bottom Line?
Wedding programs can provide your guests with an invaluable amount of information, including directions to different venue locations and the significance of prayers and cultural traditions.
However, make sure your budget allows for wedding programs, as you don’t want to stretch your money more than you have to. If you’d like to have a program, consider printing black & white programs to save money as B&W printing costs significantly less then color printing. SaveTheDateForLess offers the ability to opt for a color cover with B&W insides pages so you can have a splash of color without breaking the bank.
It is also possible to have a short program on “green” paper that is FSC-certified. Look out for this logo:
FSC certified papers ensure sustainable forest management and environmentally responsible forestry. In addition to multiple FSC certified papers, SaveTheDateForLess.com also offers 100% cotton rag fine art paper isn’t made from any wood pulp, instead it uses environmentally-friendly cotton fibers.
Savethedateforless.com can print a program that you already designed, or you can even have us design one for you to match your invitations and wedding theme.
You prepare yourself for the inevitable waterworks as your best man or maid of honor smiles lovingly at you, opens his or her mouth…
And then proceeds to tell that wildly embarrassing story from college when you got stuck in a dorm window…for three whole hours.
It’s not exactly a standout moment for your wedding, especially if you’re going for an elegant affair. And with more best men and maids of honor pressured to provide funny speeches, it’s no surprise they’re crossing the line between funny and just plain cringe-worthy.
Which leaves you to mull over the inevitable question: Should I have the best man and maid of honor provide their speeches in advance?
Let’s explore the pros and cons of this urgent issue:
- The benefits of having these crucial members of your wedding party provide their speeches to you in advance are tenfold. The most obvious reason, of course, is your ability to veto any stories that might embarrass or upset you on what’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life. If you see that your maid of honor is gearing up to reveal your not-so-flattering childhood nickname or your best man wants to tell a story that’s not fit for Grandma’s ears, gently remind them that while you think the speech is great, it’ll need to be edited due to elderly members of the audience. It’s a great way to get the edits to stick without hurting his or her feelings.
- While you may be mulling over the benefit listed above, the drawback to knowing what your best man or maid of honor is going to say at your reception is…well, knowing exactly what they’re going to say! Best man and maid of honor speeches are meant to be touching tributes – and if you start editing the content, you may be undermining the sentiments expressed in the speeches.
So how do you decide between these very valid arguments? Simple: consider your audience. If you have a large number of conservative family members attending your wedding, let your best man or maid of honor know that the speeches need to be PG rated.
Other than that, it’s all fair game…so good luck