Friday, February 18, 2011

Annual "Running Of the Brides" At Filene's Draws Huge Crowd

(Credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBS) - They came, they divided, and the lucky ones conquered the Filene’s Basement “Running of the Brides” Friday.

Legions of brides-to-be lined up outside Filene’s overnight, and when the doors opened Friday morning for the annual “Running of the Brides” sale, they raced inside for huge bridal gown bargains.

At 8 a.m., nearly 2,000 brides and their entourages from the Tri-State and beyond, began rifling through the 2,400 gowns on sale in search of the perfect wedding dress. Even more are expected until the doors close at 10 p.m.

“Just grabbing everything we can find and hopefully something works,” said mother of the bride Sherrie Ying.

“We were a little aggressive,” admitted bridesmaid Imani Holman.

Designer, even couture dresses, regularly priced up to $10,000, were available for the bargain price of anywhere from $249 to $699. For many, it’s a deal too good to resist, if you can handle the competition.

“Who doesn’t want to save money? But it’s also fun. This is my sister-in-law and my mom, they both don’t live here, so it’s like a bonding thing too. I mean, who doesn’t want to steal a designer dress?” said another bride.

“This is it, yay!” exclaimed bride Helena Henley of East Strausburg, PA.

Prior to the doors opening on Broadway and 80th St., some of the brides had a strategy in mind. Most groups had team colors, team names and specific tasks for each member.

“My job is to barter. I’m finding new dresses,” said matron of honor Erin Fenton.

“Came in, grabbed armfuls, which was not too easy but we came to this corner, started trying on and in half an hour she found the one she wants,” said bridesmaid Shalazar Brooks of Mt. Olive, N.J.

“My plan is to have my mom hold up the signs, while my bridesmaids go and run in every direction possible, just to grab whatever they can,” one bride said.

What do you think of the “Running of the Brides?” Leave a comment below

Filene’s Basement has been hosting the iconic “Running of the Brides” since 1947.

One bridesmaid described her role before the doors opened: “To grab as many dresses as I can and throw them in the pile and go for more.”

Most brides forego the dressing rooms, opting to wear a swimsuit or sports bra and just strip down anywhere, trying on any and every dress they can get their hands on.

I have leggings on under my jeans, and a strapless bra,” said another bride. “I can strip it all off.”

The bargains were incredible but most brides said they came for the experience as much as anything else.

“For me it started out as the bargain. I’m a med student and definitely can’t afford an expensive dress. And then it turned into an experience because you got to get your friends involved,” said May Elansary of New Haven, CT.

Though while your options may be a bit more limited, store managers said there will be plenty of dresses left for those who didn’t want to rush the doors.

( Newsfeed )

Monday, February 14, 2011

Elaborate DIY Centerpieces For Any Budget

The key is you do not want your centerpieces to look cheap but you are limited on the amount of money you can spend. I could not tell you how many cheap looking silk centerpieces that I have seen in these 15 years of Wedding Planning. Here are some great ideas for any budget even if you do not have a tight budget these centerpieces are spectacular and very easy and fun to make.

These elegant centerpieces are sure to please.

1. Go to your craft store and purchase tall and large vases. These clear vases are priced around 8-10 dollars. They should at least be 2 feet tall and up the taller the better for a more dramatic look find 4 feet vases.

2. You want to fill the vases, here are some examples that you can choose from that would look great; glass stones any color to match your theme or use clear stones, clear stones look nice because it captures different colors from the lights, marbles, silk pedals, rocks any color or choose natural for the ECO look, coffee beans, fruit; lemons, limes, oranges, apples, clear water or you can use food coloring in the water to match your theme.

3. Search the craft store for the isle that has the plastic silk flower bowls these bowls vary in prices you can get one for $2.00. Purchase a large bowl and you will glue that bowl onto the top of your filled vase. I suggest you use a strong glue that will adhere glass to plastic.

4. Purchase a foam floral arrangement ball or flat form to fit your bowl, cut to size.

5. Begin to build the floral arrangement. Use dripping flowers for edges at least hanging 12-40 inches outside bowl and secure glass crystal shape string of beads with floral pins into the foam do not crowed the bowl just use corners for dripping flowers and glass crystal strings between alternating. Then you can begin to cut stems to fill in bowl with silk flowers.

For the table, purchase a pack of square tile mirrors, they usually come in packs of 8. Set one on each table and place your tall centerpiece vase on top. On the four corners of the mirror tile place coordinating votive candles.

Finishing touch, depending on your budget you can use real rose pedals or thin rubber or silk pedals of any flower to sprinkle along with a metallic confetti on the table, some craft shops have confetti letters, you can use that blended with the pedals it makes for a nice conversation amongst your guests.

Using this same idea for your centerpieces you can create the vases and have your florist sit their already made arrangements that you chose with your florist on top of your pedestals for a more dramatic affect on any table.

Note: Some florists have vase stands for rent. It is much cheaper to make them yourself. They can be as high as 900.00 each to rent or 200.00 low balling it. If you create these pedestals yourself you are saving a lot off money and getting the same results.

I rate this DYI project as easy. Fun for you and your wedding party to create.

I hope this has inspired you to create your own spectacular centerpieces easy and elegant.

Submitted by Carolyn Fairley, CWEP,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Finding A Cheap Wedding Dress

Your dream is to walk down the aisle looking gorgeous wearing the perfect wedding dress. Whether it’s a long or short, formal or informal, it must be special. It must be YOU. And it must be CHEAP because you are on a tight budget.

Shopping for the perfect inexpensive dress is a time-consuming process. So start early, at least eight to 12 months ahead of time. Your dress will be on display during the ceremony and reception, set the tone for your wedding, and be immortalized by the photographer. It has to be cheap, but it has to look stunning. How do you buy the dress of your dreams when you’re on a budget? You will be amazed at the possibilities. Here are some suggestions:

1. Be prepared to compromise. You will no doubt fall in love with a gown far more expensive than you can afford. Take the opportunity to discover what features you love. What is it about the dress that makes you look wonderful in it? The high collar? Plunging back? The bell skirt? Note those features and look at cheaper dresses in similar designs.

2. Try on dresses with someone who knows you and your style and has a good eye for fashion. Her mission is to help you choose a style that showcases your best features while steering you away from the expensive gowns.

3. There are often outstanding bargains in regular bridal shops. Some stores in our city carry a selection for $100 or less. Always ask about discounted gowns when you are in a dress shop.

4. As popularity of destination weddings increases, so has the selection of cheap ivory and white dresses in department stores. Look in the dress sections of department stores like Dillards, Macy's, or Nordstrom for clearance or sale-priced dresses. Even full-price formals are cheaper than many wedding dresses.

5. Look in upscale consignment stores. The better shops carefully screen incoming dresses for tears, stains, and other signs of wear and have like new inventory. They also tend to carry more brand name dresses and gowns than less discriminating stores. Some cities even have bridal consignments. Check the online yellow pages for options near you (

6. Cheap wedding dresses in like-new condition are plentiful on eBay. There were over 5,000 bridal gowns listed as of this writing.

7. Free is wonderful relief on a budget. Make your wedding dress the "something borrowed" in your wedding and ask a friend or relative if you can wear hers. (There can be a lot of emotions attached to a dress, so consider carefully before asking to wear someone's dress. They may be flattered, or offended.)

8. There are several outlet chains that carry designer dresses at cheap prices. Find Bridal Mart, Cinderella Bridal, JC Penny Outlets and other bridal outlet locations through

9. Samples are another source of cheap designer wedding dresses. With a bit of online research you can find original designer gowns 50% or more off retail. Search Google for "designer wedding gown samples" (without quotes), or something similar, and you will find many deeply discounted wedding dresses.
By researching and carefully choosing a cheap wedding dress, you can walk down the aisle in style without breaking the bank!

Bobette Kyle-Wagner is publisher at, a Website helping engaged couples get the most use from Internet wedding resources. The site includes online wedding tips, original articles, and tutorials. Read more cheap wedding dress shopping tips at

Submitted by Bobette Kyle-Wagner,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Creating A Video Montage For Your Wedding

10 Tips for Creating a Great Slide Show or Video Montage

Creating a captivating video montage or slide show that you can enjoy for years is not difficult, but by taking a few steps prior to creating a slide show or having one created for you can go along way. Here are some lessons that we've learned at while creating our slide shows.

1. Know who your audience is

Knowing who your intended audience is an obvious, but sometimes overlooked step in the process of developing your slide show. For instance, if you're showing your slide show at your wedding reception, perhaps you'll want to include some pictures of the guests, and not just pictures of you and your fiancé.

2. Shorter is sometimes better

After you've determined who your intended audience is you can start to get an idea as to how many pictures you'll want to include in your slide show. We've found that video montages that are between 8 - 12 minutes in length are ideal for wedding receptions. This usually works out to about 3 songs and 75-100 pictures. While you can certainly display more photos during your slide show, you want to be careful not to overdo it. You may want to create two slide shows, one you show at your wedding, and another you keep for yourself.

3. Choose Quality Photographs

While recent advances in digital photo restoration have allowed torn and poorly developed photographs to be brought back to life, there is only so much that the software can do. Pictures that look great printed (correct lighting, framing, developed properly) will also look great while scanned. Pictures that are extremely dark or grainy, while perhaps improved somewhat, will still not appear the best. Make sure to choose a photo montage company that can make digital enhancements to your pictures.

4. Choose a Variety of Photographs

Even though you may love all the pictures of your dog Rusty, the audience may not want to sit through all the pictures of him. Instead of showing 10 pictures of Rusty, perhaps choose the best 2 or 3. Using a variety of photographs can keep your audience interest.

5. Landscape pictures show better than Portrait pictures

Given the standard dimensions of television monitors, photographs that are in landscape mode (vertical) as opposed to portrait mode (horizontal) show better on a TV. While portrait photographs certainly can and SHOULD be used, you should be aware that there will typically be a black border that appears around the photograph. It's best to use these sparingly throughout the slide show and not clump them all together.

6. Give some thought to music

Choose music that has meaning to you, music whose lyrics go well with the pictures. Also pay attention to how long the music you're choosing is. If you're only showing 30 pictures, you might not want to choose a 8 minute song. The photo montage company should be able to give you some suggestions as to the number of pictures with your selected songs.

7. Add short video clips

Do you have any home videos sitting around gathering dust? Think about adding perhaps a 10-15 second video clip in the middle of the slide show. The video clip can help break up the video montage and is a great way to keep your audiences interest. Make sure to choose a slide show company that can convert your video clips.

8. Add motion to your slide shows

Slide shows developed on PowerPoint and other consumer level software will typically be just static photos that go from one picture to the next. Consider having your slide shows created with the "Ken Burns" effects that Pan and Zoom on each photograph. This can help bring your pictures to life. Make sure you inquire to see if your photo montage company can create motion with your pictures.

9. Add transitions to your slide shows

Transitions such as fade in/fade out, dissolve, and image peel are also an effective way to move from one photograph to the next. Be careful not to get too carried away with transitions as they too many of them can distract from the overall slide show.

10. Test! Test! Test!

An event as big as your wedding requires that you make sure you test ALL the equipment prior to the big day. Make sure the projector or television, DVD Player or Laptop, and sound is all working.

Creating a captivating slide show or video montage can be done successfully with keeping a few of these tips in mind. Pictures that are preserved to DVD can be enjoyed for years to come. Partnering with an experienced slide show company like can help create a slide show you'll be proud of.

Submitted by Michael Yared,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tips For The Best Man's Speech

A best man's speech can make or break a wedding but by using common sense you can make sure your toast is remembered for all the right reasons.

A wedding is certainly a nerve racking day for the couple of the day, but the nerves also extend to the best man who has the difficult job of coming up with a memorable speech at the reception.

The main problem people have with their speech is that they overcomplicate things and make things harder for themselves. A good best man's speech should be short and snappy - more than five minutes and people's thought start to wander, longer than seven and people start to get bored. While brevity is important, it's good to use two minutes as your minimum marker.

Confidence is key to delivering a good speech so try to get it written and ready a good while before the day and practice as much as you can. The better you know the key points of your speech, the more relaxed you will be and, remember, the groom chose you to be best man so be yourself.

A good best man's speech includes jokes (good jokes, not dirty ones), a story or two about the couple (how they met, how happy they are together - stories that are appropriate for all ages), a thank you to all who made the wedding possible (such as whoever paid for the event) and, finally, a toast to a successful future.

You should try to make your stories balanced between the bride and the groom, but as you are the groom's best man you may not know the bride as well. In this case, it's always good to talk about the groom's feeling for the bride. This is generally the time to act as a salesman, talking up your friend to the bride's family who may not know the groom - what you tell them may help to form their first impression.

It is always best to err on the side of caution with your speech - being boring or soppy is a lot better than being offensive. Telling dirty jokes or speaking about the groom's ex-girlfriend may get a few laughs from your friends, but the bride's parents and elderly relatives may not be amused and if it's you that's blamed for ruining the wedding with your inappropriate speech it's more likely to be you than the wedding insurance providers who ends up shelling out compensation.

Submitted by Reagan Blackpool,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tips For Buying Your Wedding Rings

As Valentine's Day approaches, please keep these top 5 tips in mind...

1. Get the timing right.

You might have a year or more to buy your rings, depending on how long your engagement is. If you are buying a gold or platinum ring - and most couples do - then remember that the price of these rings can change quite a lot over the course of several months. This is because the price of gold and platinum rings is affected by the world markets in precious metals, and these markets have been particularly volatile lately. If you've got the time to do a bit of research, you can avoid buying at peak prices and save yourself some cash.

2. Know your carats.

Most gold jewellery comes in two types: 18 carat and 9 carat. 18 carat gold has a purity of 75%. 9 carat gold has a purity of only 38%, which makes it a lot cheaper. Most people prefer 18 carat for a wedding ring. Platinum does not come in different carats - any genuine platinum jewellery is almost completely pure. This is one of the reasons why platinum is more expensive than any type of gold.

3. Know your ring style.

Rings can be curved or flat on the inside. The shape of the inside affects the comfort of the ring. If you are not used to wearing rings, you will probably find that a ring which is curved on the inside is more comfortable than one which is flat. Rings can also be curved or flat on the outside. The shape of the outside affects the look of the ring. For a classic look, go for a ring which is curved on the outside. Rings which are flat on the outside look more modern.

4. Check your ring size.

Ring sizes are on a scale from A (smallest) to Z (largest). Larger rings cost more. Some jewellers have a different price for every size, whereas other jewellers have a price for men's sizes (bigger) and a price for women's sizes (smaller). If you are just looking for a plain band, remember that men with small enough fingers can sometimes fit a woman's size. This is often exactly the same style as the man's size ring, but cheaper.

5. Be prepared to haggle.

Some jewellers are prepared to haggle, especially if you are buying the bride's and groom's rings together. It never hurts to ask. If you're uncomfortable with this, start with a standard: "Can you give us a discount for two?" or "Is that the best price you can do?". You will soon know if the jeweller is prepared to play ball.

Submitted by Benjamin Parker,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wedding Ideas For The Budget Bride

Not every bride these days has a Wedding Pot full of Mom and Dad’s money. So here are 20 unnoticeable ways to save without creating a wedding drag.

1. More Intimate Affairs - Smaller weddings of 100 guests or less are more popular than ever. Couples have caught on that smaller weddings lend affordability for more lavish elements. Fewer guests equal options for a smaller venue, a lower food and bar bill and less tables to seat guests. Cozy seating builds intimacy, including long feasting tables and furniture “lounge” seating. Family-style food makes for a sharing atmosphere and requires less wait staff. Every element will equate savings, even invitations. Less guests is win-win! Savings $$$$

2. Destination… Destination Weddings have become more popular than ever as a combined “wedding-moon,” that is part wedding, party honeymoon all in one. Normally these gatherings are primarily family or a small group of close friends and family. Most destination resorts do offer comprehensive packaged weddings with bells and whistles of your choosing. The U.S. dollar exchange rate is fluctuating heavily however, so research travel costs prior to setting your heart on an Italian Destination for example. The travel expenses for your guests can really add up fast if you aren’t careful. The more comprehensive the trip you book, the more locked in and pre-determined the costs will be. Savings $$

3. Save the Stamp- Save-The-Date by email or instead of sending one out in the mail. If your friends and family are e-mailers, use an email RSVP for your actual invitations too. Keep in mind that if you don’t stamp RSVP cards for guests to mail back however, those choosing to mail their response will have to provide their own stamp. Savings $

4. Get Resourceful - Do it yourself, design and print your own wedding invitations and programs, they will be one-of-a-kind. This is a great place to use the help of friends that have offered assistance with your wedding. Make your own party favors or better yet save more money by skipping the party favors altogether, nobody will miss them. If a friend or family member offers to host a Sunday brunch or other weekend festivities for your out of town guests, take them up on the offer. There is no shame in accepting help from others in order to make your wedding more special. Savings $$

5. Skip the Gift Registry- When guests see that you have not registered they should get the “monetary” hint. Besides, if you prefer to pay off your wedding rather than buy household goods that aren’t a necessity, then why register? Many couples are also registering at Honeymoon websites to save on their travel expenses. Sites with low surcharge % include and Savings $$$

6. Rent or Design Couture- If you’ve got to have that designer gown then rent it. Major cities have boutiques where temporary alterations can be done on the hottest dresses and each dress is only kept in rotation for several rentals. If you need more major alterations however then save on the label. The best dress seamstresses can tailor a gown to look just like a real Carmen Suttera for far less money. Savings $$$

7. Get It ON PAPER- When planning early on, get costs from vendors put on paper. Prices can rise unexpectedly, particularly in an unsure economy, so if you don’t get a quote on paper you might lose out on the current rate! Also be sure to find out up front what the policy is on your deposit if the business were to go under. Savings $

8. Shop Around - Take the time to price shop. The gown you fall in love with may be cheaper elsewhere and you might be able to find a better deal on a limo. Even a specially designed wedding cake may be cheaper to have designed somewhere else. Also keep in mind that dress shops, bakeries, even hotel rooms tend to cost less in lower-priced neighborhoods because retailers have less overhead. So step outside Manhattan and Beverly Hills when shopping for your wedding vendors. Savings $

9. Skip the steak - Less expensive food options such as chicken or pasta will cut dollars. Cocktail hour appetizers such as veggie platters and guacamole/chips are inexpensive yet large portions for guests to nosh on. Savings $$$

10. Simplify Photography - Go with a basic photography package that covers your shooting needs for the wedding day and editing only. You can always order and pay for albums, photo prints and framed portraits after the wedding when your pocketbook is not so tight. Savings $$

11. Order Your Own Pics - If you have the ability to receive your wedding photos on disk from the Photographer, print them on your own through a professional lab just like the pros, but for a fraction of the cost ( Savings $

12. Ditch valet - Unless you really need valet for parking logistics, skipping the hotel or country club valet will save you thousands. If the weather is poor or women are wearing tall heels their escorts can always drop ladies off before parking their cars. Savings $$$

13. Location Caution - A wedding held at a beautiful chapel or outdoor setting may cost a bit more up front, but you can save on decorations and flowers when your existing setting is already worthy. Savings $

14. Budget Caterers - When times are tough some independent caterers are more likely to noodle prices for you than a country club. Choose a less expensive location where you can bring in your own caterer or choose from a list of affordable (approved) caterers. These same locations that allow outside caterers may also allow you to bring in your own liquor, equaling a significant cost savings. Keep in mind however that rentals (china, flatware, glassware, ovens, etc.) can really add up fast if the caterer doesn’t own them. Also, when a location is more bare bones you most likely won’t have the luxuries of valet, a concierge or on-site wedding coordinator. Savings $$

15. Keep with Standard - Check out what comes with a caterer or location “package”. Do they include table linens, and in what colors? Are tables, chairs and dance floor included in the costs? Are chairs in nice condition, are chair covers included? For the most part try to stick with standard china, glassware and flatware as opposed to upgrading to specialty ware. Truly your guests will not notice a difference. Savings $$

16. Spend Where It Shows - Spend where your guests will be spending their time on your wedding day. If your guests will only spend one hour in the cocktail area then save the money on decorations and music in that space and spend for example, where guests will be eating dinner instead. Savings $

17. Seasonal Flowers - If you love peonies but your wedding is in January you will need to change your expectations. Be realistic. Flowers grow seasonally and they won’t grow unseasonably just for your wedding day. If you love orchids but don’t love the cost, mix them with other less expensive seasonal varieties. Savings $$

18. Re-use - Get a second use out of flowers. Pew flowers can be moved during the cocktail hour to double as centerpieces for guest tables. Large ceremony arrangements can be used as buffet floral pieces. The best part is that nobody will notice they are the same flowers because they are being used for completely different purposes. But remember somebody has to do the work during the cocktail hour! Savings $

19. Avoid Honeymoon Overindulgence - Yes, the honeymoon is important and lately it had become the trend for couples to increasingly spend more on these extravagant getaways. But keep in mind that if this cuts into your wedding budget you do have a choice of where to spend. Even if that means delaying the Honeymoon all together until a later date. Besides, you will most likely want some time to regroup and get organized after the big day. Savings $$$

20. Put Your Life on a Budget - Here are five simple cutbacks for your life the six months prior to your wedding. If cutting back your spending prior to the wedding means Vera Wang bridal shoes you may think twice about purchasing your daily Starbucks. In short, the more you are aware of where your dollars are going, the less you will spend. Remember that men are not always as willing to sacrifice their daily simple luxuries so that you can splurge on one day. Be understanding. But remember, a budget only works if you to stick with it. Savings $$$$

* Cut back! Instead of going out to dinner and a movie, try cooking dinner together and renting a flick at home. See if you can get a better rate on both of your car insurance policies… seriously! Look for a better rate to refinance your student loans and car loan. Have your hair trimmed and manicure done at a beauty college for a few months, or do your nails yourself.

* Replace the gift exchange with your honey (Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Christmas) and put the money towards your honeymoon or wedding night. Or if you know you will both cheat and buy for one another, then set a $20 limit and stick to it. Tell your friends that you are skipping Christmas gifts this year to pay for the wedding, they should be understanding. For family and other special occasions put together gift baskets and shop around to purchase thoughtful themed gifts. You will find that you can get away with spending less money if you put time, thought and energy into gift giving. When the wedding arrives, purchase small gifts for attendants and don’t go overboard. Any gift of thanks will be appreciated no matter how large or small.

* Grocery shop with a list and don’t give in to temptations that aren’t on it. Cut coupons for the trip, it can add up to substantial savings over time. Buy food that is on sale and remember that if it’s not on sale, it might be next week. Also, buy the generic or store brand products. Make your lunches to bring to work with you instead of eating out or buying fast food every day.

* Carpool, if you and your fiancé live together and drive the same direction, carpooling will give you that added time together each day and save on gas.

* Sell it! if you have stuff you don’t use or clothes you don’t wear, sell them. Have a garage sale to get rid of household items and unwanted furniture, and sell your barely worn/unworn clothing at a consignment store. Between the two of you it might turn out you have a lot of unnecessary stuff to get rid of before married life begins.

$ - Save hundreds
$$ - Save hundreds or thousands
$$$ - Save thousands
$$$$ - Save HUGE

Submitted by Jackie Baird,

Monday, February 7, 2011

St Barts Destination Weddings And Honeymoons

Destination Weddings are weddings that take place away from where the bride and groom live. They happen in some of the most exotic and wonderful places in the world. These types of non-traditional weddings provide the bride and groom with dreamy settings, while doubling as an opportunity for guests to experience a place they have never been before.

“Today’s couples are more educated, sophisticated, and better traveled than couples of past generations. More affluent than past marrying couples, 27% of these Generation Y couples (children of the baby boomers and twice the numbers) will pay for their entire wedding, and they want something different for themselves and their guests; they want to be pampered and taken seriously.

“Although women are still the primary decision makers of the wedding plans, men are more involved today than couples of the generation that preceded them, 83% of today’s couples are employed full time; they work hard (they are paying a mortgage and own one or two automobiles between them). Equally, they want to play hard; realizing that they are together rarely, they want to plan events that will bring them closer. As well, they want to create deep and meaningful memories for the family and friends. Since most couples are not getting married in the areas where they grew up, their time with family and friends is all the more precious and important to them. If they can do this in a unique or even an exotic setting, all the more enticing,” Ernst adds.

St Barthelemy, located in the French West Indies, is that exotic setting today’s bride is looking for. It is the Monte Carlo of the Caribbean, without the traffic jams but with the added advantage of flawless beaches. Shortened to Saint Barth in French and St Barts in English it is an exclusive eight square mile (21 sq km) embodiment of 24-carat French chic. It attracts millionaires on luxury yachts, movie stars and French expatriates fleeing the European winter. It is a Caribbean island where relaxation and Gallic style under a tropical sun have been refined to perfection.

Few islands worldwide, can match the unique blend of style, nature and history that is St. Barts. This tiny island has significant appeal where 'quality' is most certainly more important than 'quantity'... an island far away from the normality of life, making it the perfect wedding destination.

St. Barts is surrounded with turquoise waters, situated near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles group in the French West Indies. At a distance of 200 kms from the island of Guadeloupe and 25 kms from Saint-Martin. It is a mountainous island whose only flat area is occupied by the airport’s runway. As the climate is rather dry, agriculture has never been developed, thus throughout history few slaves had ever been employed. For the most part, St. Bartians are descendants of Breton and Norman fisher folk. Many are of French and Swedish ancestry, the latter evident in their fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes.

St. Barts’ beaches are renowned for being some of the most beautiful and pristine in the world. Many are found in small coves, which have been protected from development by strict environmentally friendly zoning. Unlike many of its neighboring Caribbean islands, it has not been overrun with prefab condos and large chain hotels. There are six 4 star hotels all featuring romance packages for the wedding or honeymoon couple. All are of single story design, some as one building and others as separate single bedroom villas. Four are located on the beach (perfect for reading-of-the-vows ceremony) the other two are high on the hills with magnificent views of the island and setting sun. Each hotel has been uniquely designed, blending into the surrounding terrain. Luxury and elegance is felt in each environment.

St. Barts features some of the best cuisine in the Caribbean. The island has over eighty restaurants featuring culinary styles ranging from classic French to Asian to West Indian.

Many of the restaurants attract gourmet chefs trained in France to oversee their kitchens. These chefs can also be reserved to serve guests in the intimate privacy of their own villa for any special event or treasured evening. Villas on the island offer breath taking views and the perfect setting for your reception, especially with your own private French chef.

Nightlife of St. Barts is diverse as well. Visitors looking for late-night pleasures can listen to live jazz at a café or dance the night away at one of the local discos or after hours clubs.

St. Barts is also a duty-free port, rated as one of the premier shopping destinations in the Caribbean. The capital Gustavia is the principal shopping area of the island. There are boutiques and emporiums for the most sophisticated shoppers, featuring luxury brands such as Cartier, Hermes, Dior to name a few. The island hosts numerous health and beauty clinics and fitness centers catering to the island's upscale clientele.

It is important to realize that planning a wedding in a foreign country still has the usual concerns and worries of any home based event; there is the additional stress that something could go wrong in a different location. Aside from making travel reservations for the group, a couple needs to consider local legal issues. For instance, marriage in St Barts is not a legal ceremony, rather it is viewed as a spiritual ceremony. For this reason and others, travelers planning to marry in any foreign country should give serious consideration to hiring a local, home based Wedding Consultant for guidance and advice as well as an on-site Wedding Consultant at the particular destination. .The on-site Consultant will insure that the hosts of the event have all the required documentation, that every detail is planned long before arrival and that only the most competent, professional and expert wedding vendors with proper contracts will provide their services . These on-site Consultants can also provide any needed assistance if the couple chooses to bring along some of their own vendors (e.g. the photographer, floral designer, videographer, etc.). They will check that each client and guest is properly retrieved at the airport, that they are provided with the planned-for-accommodations, and that they are well rested from travel before beginning the schedule of any local tours and sightseeing prepared for in advance. Moreover, the on-site consultant can also suggest local customs that will make the wedding truly unique, one that family and friends alike will talk about for a very long time.

“Premium IV is truly one of the foremost on-site specialists. Located on St Barts they are members of AFWPI (Association for Wedding Professionals International) and JWI (June Wedding, Inc®). The management team of Premium IV is made up of three experts in service: a successful Canadian entrepreneur, an English expert in receptive tourism and a French restaurateur who have provided magnificent service in the best restaurants and hotels in France, the UK, USA, and St Barts. Additionally, the highly qualified and bilingual staff (French and English) have many years of experience in the island way of life.

They will provide the ultimate in V.I.P. services. Premium IV has brought together, under one umbrella, only the best that St Barts has to offer. With over 120 contracted partners providing approximately 450 products and services. There is virtually no request that Premium IV cannot arrange,” says International Travel Writer, Jesse Nash.

Any special event wedding, honeymoon or other special event that takes place on St. Barts is special and memorable simply due to the Island’s own enchanted ambiance and unique hospitality. The St. Barts experience is all the more enhanced when it is under the direction of a competent Consultant and Director, at home and on the Island. But the Consultant or Director who leaves nothing to chance, who sees to it that not only is the St. Barts experience itself is magical, one that will be treasured forever in the hearts and memories of the travelers, the staff of Premium IV takes the added steps of communicating with the client and/or their home based Consultant before arrival on St. Barts so that every detail is discussed, decisions determined and firmed up in writing, and that from the moment the client and guests set foot on St. Barts, they enter into a well scripted, stress-free atmosphere and they will be completely at ease and confident that all the planning will play out like as closely as possible to their dreams.

Submitted by John Day, President, Premium IV, St Barthelemy,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Celebrity Weddings Are "Destined" For Europe

Celebrity weddings are "destined" for Europe. Discover tips from a travel insider and a former bride on how to plan your own destination wedding.

As more celebrities tie the knot in Europe, many couples have become interested in having their own destination wedding. Doorways, Ltd. is a travel agency that specializes in European villas. President Kit Burns has planned several dream weddings abroad, including her own daughter's. She offers nine steps with her insider tips for planning your own dream wedding in Europe...

Decide on the location

Burns suggests choosing a country that has personal meaning to the couple. Ethnic ties, scenery, or pure love of a country's culture often guide the couple's choice. Whatever country you decide on, always choose an agency that specializes in your destination.

Calculate your budget and number of guests

Happily, destination weddings often cost the same as or less than at-home weddings because the guest list can be trimmed down to only very close family and friends. Normally a destination wedding is between 12-40 people, including immediate family, best friends and close cousins. This is exactly why destination weddings are so appealing; they are personal, romantic, and surprisingly affordable.

Find the right place to stay within your country of choice

Some areas are perfect wedding spots. Burns recommends newly-restored Villa Buonvisi, nestled among olive groves, mountains, and vineyards in Lucca, Tuscany. The villa is fully-staffed, and its gracious owners offer guests free wine, olive oil, and personalized wedding planning. Doorways also offers properties ideal for weddings in France and Spain.

Locate a good wedding planner abroad

It is important to establish contact with a planner while you are still in the States. When brides call Doorways, Ltd. to rent a villa for their destination wedding, they are matched with villa owners who offer personal service and experience. For Trea Robinson, a Doorways destination wedding bride, the villa owners served as an integral part of the planning process. Robinson says, "The villa owners had everything under control and never let us see them under any pressure if there was any. They recommended restaurants, handled translations, the florist, cook, pastry chef, and numerous details that made our wedding day and week - absolutely perfect!"

Find out the legal regulations of your destination

To avoid a lot of red tape, Burns suggests couples have the legal marriage at home then a symbolic wedding ceremony in the destination country. Some countries, such as Italy offer civil ceremonies that are internationally recognized. Your travel consultant should be familiar with the legalities of your destination.

Notify your family and friends

Send out a "save the date" email as soon as your date and location are confirmed. Keep in mind that some people plan their vacations a year in advance, so you should let everyone know the date and country as soon as possible.

Buy your dress and figure out how you will transport it

Have it fitted in advance. Then, wrap it in tissue paper and pack it in a large box. If you check it with your luggage, be sure to label your destination address and phone number clearly, and insure the dress separately. Some brides prefer to ship the dress ahead and there are delivery services you can use. They are expensive, but can be worth it. Be sure to arrange the delivery and storage of the dress with your villa in advance.

Maintain communication

Create a website where guests can find answers to their questions without calling the bride and groom. The theme of the website can match your invitations. It is also helpful to provide guests with your travel consultant's contact information. This can be your US villa rental company, like Doorways, or it can be one of the other guests who loves to do this as a hobby.

Arrive early and finalize details

For Trea Robinson, it was the details of her destination wedding that were most memorable. "The fields of mint that we walked through to get to the vineyards for pictures were amazing. Guests enjoyed cocktails under the villa's arbor that was brimming with grapes." The magical aura of Europe can make any bride feel like a star.

For information on renting a villa for your destination wedding, vow renewal or honeymoon, visit or call 1 800-261-4460.

Doorways, Ltd. specializes in villa, chateau and apartment rentals in Italy, Spain, and France. Since 1994, the company has provided each of its clients with personalized service and genuine care. All properties have been personally seen and approved by the Doorways staff.

Article written by Susan Russo

Submitted by Kit Burns, President, Doorways, Ltd.,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Simple Things To Help Your Wedding Photographer

A little help goes a long way. Here are some simple things to help your wedding photographer make your memories last forever.

Let’s Be Friends

First and foremost, understand that even the most professional photographer can only capture that which you portray. They may be able to get great angles and a fairytale setting, but how you feel and what you think will most certainly be evident in you facial expression and level of comfort in front of the camera. It is, therefore, of utmost value to be comfortable with your photographer and their camera. A very good idea would be to get to know your photographer before the wedding in order to achieve this. Many photographers will be more than happy to arrange a pre-shoot to help you and your fiancée become more comfortable with the lens and it truly is advisable to grab the opportunity with both hands. Not only will it help you and your fiancée to become more comfortable, but it should also be a time in which your photographer will couch you in the little things that really matter on the day of your wedding like “chin up, elbows away from your sides, breath” and so on. All in an effort to capture your most precious memories in the best possible way. Remember that your photographer is the one person who will be there ALL THE TIME. They are probably going to be the one calming you when table settings aren’t right or the correct accessories to your dress have not arrived (I’m speaking from experience of-course). Yes, they will be the one standing by with that glass of wine, the cigarette or the calming tablet, whilst still capturing every moment in eternity. In getting to know your photographer, it will offer the photographer a glimpse into your personality and give them the opportunity of capturing YOU in your photos.

A great way of allowing your photographer to get to know you is to invite your photographer to your bridal shower to capture a few shots there. It will also offer your photographer a chance to get acquainted with some of your key guests. Most photographers would love to get to know the couple before the wedding. Make the photographer a friend.


Now most photographers will be able to deal with any lighting condition, but the best photos are usually achieved using natural light. Please keep this in mind when planning the time of your wedding. Remember that if the ceremony is scheduled for just before sunset and the ceremony is an hour long, there won’t be much light left for your photographer to work with. Also keep in mind that once you step outside the ceremony venue, there will be a stampede of guests who will want to congratulate you. This is very time consuming and can take an hour or more. You may not expect that it will be so time consuming, but experience has taught me that it always does, so please be sure to cater for this in your schedule. If you are planning a late or evening wedding, your photographer will probably ask to take photos of you and your fiancée before the ceremony or the next day, or they may take a more photojournalistic approach and have no formal shoot with the bride and groom at all.

Also keep your photographer in mind at the reception. Dimming the lights to almost complete darkness when opening the dance floor or cutting the cake, may add to the romantic atmosphere, but may leave your photographer in complete disaster, especially if he/she does not even have enough light to see you through the camera’s view finder.

Event Schedule

Please ensure that your photographer knows what will be happening at approximately what time. Remember that your photographer needs to be aware of important moments at your wedding in order to capture them e.g. Speeches, opening dance, throwing of the bouquet and so on. There is nothing worse for a photographer than sitting down to that well deserved meal, taking a bit bite of that lovely food, and being caught completely off-guard by the announcement of the wedding cake being cut, and having jump up, mouth full of food, hands full of gravy – need I say more?

Event Guide

An event guide is someone who knows the rest of the guests at the wedding, who can help the photographer to get the right people together for the photos of friends and family that you have requested. You have many other things to concentrate on and will probably not have the time to help your photographer co-ordinate this. Besides, you will probably be in most of those photographs and will have to stay put while the rest of the crowd is being gathered. Remember that your photographer is great at what they do, but unfortunately, probably not clairvoyant, and will not know who Uncle Frank and Aunt Sally are. Having an event guide will help to ensure that the process is quick and efficient and that all those special guests get photographed.

Guests and Guest Photography

Usually, most photographers will be more than happy to allow your guests to take photos here and there. I even joke around with the guests who are taking photos and call them my fellow paparazzi and give them some pointers to help them achieve better shots. Unfortunately, time on your special day is precious and rather pricey when it comes to a professional photographer. Try to limit the amount of guest photography during vital moments of your wedding. Keep in mind that your photographer may be using a special lens for low lighting conditions during the ceremony, if it is indoors, to avoid using a flash, and a flash from a guest’s camera may cost you and your photography that great photo of “You may kiss the bride”. It is also very time consuming during the photo shoot of friends, family and the bridal couple if the photographer has to wait for the 10 other people who want to take that same shot and has to fight for your attention while you are looking at the 10 other camera’s clicking away. It may mean that the photographer may not have enough time to get all the desired photos and it may prove to be very disappointing for you.

When it comes to guests, it is rather unfortunate that you will have one or two who will refuse to co-operate with your photographer and who may even be extremely rude. Now, some people will just persist in their behavior no matter what you do or say, but for the rest of the friendly folk, it may be a good idea to add a little sentence to your invitation like “Watch out for the paparazzi. When in there presence, look straight into the lens, be quiet and smile, and no-one gets hurt” or have your master of ceremony just make a short announcement to encourage guest co-operation. I am always friendly with the guests and find that 9 times out of 10 a little courtesy from my side and a bit of encouragement from the couple’s side goes a long way in creating great and fun photos.

Enjoy It

Enjoy the experience. Take that bottle of wine along. Have fun. Chat to your beloved. Laugh. Relax. Remember your photographs can only reflect what you are feeling. Many a bride and groom have said that their photo session was one of the most wonderful, fun highlights of their day, and some have said that it was exhausting and frustrating. You photo shoot will greatly depend on what you make of it. The photographer will do the rest.

Article written by Roberta Strydom

Submitted by Giovanna Clarichetti Photography,

Friday, February 4, 2011

An Interfaith Minister Can Be An Answer To Your Prayers

When a couple who come from different religions and backgrounds get engaged and start looking for an officiant for their big day, the task can be daunting and confusing. Many feel that if you are of two different faiths the path of least resistance would be to have a civil or non spiritual ceremony. Many interfaith couples may find that there is parental pressure to have a ceremony that reflects each family’s beliefs and comfort zone. Those couples can feel that they are caught in a game of wedding ceremony tug of war and what should be a happy time starts becoming stressful and problematic. Or many interfaith couples have their family’s support but do not know how to go about having a ceremony that reflects each of their spiritual beliefs.

For those interfaith couples who want to bring their individual backgrounds, religions and traditions into a beautiful and cohesive ceremony finding the right Ordained Interfaith Minister can in fact be “an answer to your prayers”.

You may be confused to what exactly is an Interfaith Minister. Many couples don’t know or understand the background and the education an Interfaith Minister has. An Ordained Interfaith Minister, like myself, who graduated from seminary were taught by respected leaders and teachers of all religions. I spent years working with and taking classes from Rabbis and Priests, Pastors, Ministers, Buddhist Priests and even Monks. We delved deeply in each religion’s rich history and beliefs. We spent many months with religious leaders studying each religion’s bible and Holy Scriptures.

We are taught that to understand and enjoy full spiritual fellowship with all religions of the world. "Never Instead of, Always In Addition To” is the foundation of our beliefs. It would be ludicrous to suggest we have the ability to wholly change the attitudes of the world. It is our desire to transcend the religious and cultural difficulties that those in need have experienced. We wish to extend our compassion, concern, love and caring, which has been the tradition of the Interfaith Minister.

Many people who are not of a Christian background may be put off by the title of “Minister”. They may feel that the title of Minister is always connected to one particular Christian-based belief. This is not necessarily true, the dictionary describes the meaning of a minister:

1. To attend to the wants and needs of others

2. To perform the functions of a cleric

So in actuality an Interfaith Minister performs the functions of a cleric and attends to the needs and wants of people that come from diverse religious and traditional backgrounds.

An Ordained Interfaith Minister will be able to take important pieces from each religions and background and blend them together to create a beautiful and cohesive ceremony. Asking parents and family members to participate in different symbolic facets of the ceremony can also generate a feeling of togetherness as two families become one.

As with any wedding officiant, an engaged couple should find an Interfaith Minister who brings warmth, humor and a willingness to listen, understanding and creatively put into action the individual needs of the couple.

Submitted by Rev Alison Caiola,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wedding Photographers: How To Choose The Best

If you are reading this, chances are you are recently engaged. Congratulations! The task in front of you to plan your wedding may seem overwhelming but this article should help you in at least one major area - choosing your wedding photographer.

Hiring your wedding photographer now will have consequences for life, so it is incredibly important that you choose a reputable photographer. If the cake turns out chocolate instead of marble or if daisies are in your bouquet instead of carnations will you remember it five years from now? Will it really matter? Probably not, but what will matter is having bad photographs or video of your wedding day.

Just as soon as you’ve chosen a date for your ceremony, you should choose a photographer. Peter Clayman, senior photographer for NH Images, says his business typically books up to 10 to 14 months in advance. He stresses the importance of booking as soon as possible, “In a perfect world, they should book twelve months in advance. If that’s not possible, they should do it as absolutely soon as possible.” This is because many photography companies that consist of a sole photographer can handle only one wedding in any given day. NH Images, for example, has a team of photographers that can shoot up to five weddings at a time.

After setting the big date, determine your photography budget. Photographers are among the highest-paid vendors for weddings so be sure to plan proportionately. Next, decide on the style of photography you like. According to Peter, there are several photography styles to consider. Photographers may shoot all styles or just one or two. Knowing the style(s) you want will help you select the appropriate photographer.

Photography Styles

Photojournalist-style photography (AKA candids) is a very popular way to document your day in a non-obtrusive fashion while capturing all the emotion and events as they unfold.

Conservative photography (AKA formal portraits) usually consists of groups that are organized and posed. They are usually shot after the ceremony but before the reception but can take place at any point when there is “down time” and the groups can be assembled.

Artistic photography is an unconventional, edgy way of presenting lasting memories. The way the photo and/or subjects are cropped, the use of special filters and creativeness with location are just a few examples.

After you have decided which style(s) you prefer, you can research photographers and schedule interviews. You can find photographers through online searches, regional wedding directories and specialty magazines and books. Before setting up the interview, email or call with these questions first.

Questions to Ask Before the Interview

“Do you have my particular date available?” There’s really no sense continuing if they are already booked.

“What photography style(s) do you shoot?”

“Where will we meet for an interview?” Find out if you will be meeting at his/her studio office or if you will be meeting in a neutral location. It is easier to confirm if you are dealing with a legitimate business when you have seen a physical address associated with it.

“How long have you been in business?” This answer will give you a better understanding of whether or not you want to proceed based on their experience level.
Ask the photographer to send his/her references and any unsolicited kudos of any kind that you can check up on before the interview.

During the interview, expect to learn about the pricing and packages available, see samples of the photographer’s work and get a feel for his/her personality. Liking his/her personality is important because you will all be spending a lot of time together on your special day; therefore, you need to find someone that you “click” with and who won’t pressure or intimidate you.

Take this list of questions with you to ensure you are getting a professional, high-quality photographer.

Questions to Ask the Photographer During an Interview

“How many weddings have you shot in the last few years?” Even though they may have been in business for awhile, ensure they have shot a number of weddings that complement the number of years they have been in experience.

“How many weddings have you booked so far this year?”

“Are you affiliated with any professional organizations?” Although not a requirement, belonging to organizations such as the Digital Wedding Forum and Professional Photographer’s Association to name a few, demonstrate the photographer’s desire to remain current with industry standards and technology.

If you know your venue: “Have you shot at my specific venue?” If so, there is value because he/she already knows the logistics.

If the photographer has not shot at your venue before: “Will we have a planning meeting?” This is a meeting where you and the photographer meet on location ahead of time to go over the specifics of the ceremony and/or reception. This is very valuable because the photographer needs to understand how much space he/she will have to work with as well as an understanding of light and other technical aspects.

Something to consider is whether or not you will want videography. There are at least two benefits to hiring a company like NH Images who offers both stills and video. For one, if you hire the photographer and videographer from the same company, chances are good that you will save money because they often offer package deals. Secondly, when hiring from the same company, you can be confident that the still photographer and videographer have worked together before and will stay out of each other’s way. Hiring the photo/video team from the same company makes for a smoother day and cleaner end result.

Final Steps

Expect to sign a contract and read it thoroughly. Make sure that you understand the policy regarding deposits in the event you must cancel. Also, make sure there is a contingency plan clearly outlined in the event an emergency arises and the photographer cannot perform his/her duties. Oftentimes, there will be a statement in the contract explaining a backup photographer. Make sure this exists and that there is a backup plan in writing. You can also expect to pay approximately 25 to 50 percent at the time of the contract signing with the remainder due by the wedding.

Most of the time the photographer will not be able to “hold” the date for you while you decide to hire him/her. Usually, only a deposit will secure the date. Keep in mind, holiday and long weekends are especially popular and will be the first to book. When meeting with the photographer, if you determine that he/she is reputable, has a great personality and falls within your budget, book that person immediately. Chances are good that if you are planning twelve months in advance, so are other determined brides-to-be.

Candy Osborne is a freelance writer and former photojournalist with experience hiring photographers. NH Images is a reputable wedding photography and videography company for couples planning weddings in the New England area and beyond.

Submitted by Candy Osborne,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Make Your Tight Wedding Budget Your Greatest Asset!

Tight wedding budget got you down? We know what you mean! As planners of our own beautiful wedding on a budget of just $2,000, we understand the challenges facing you.

Planning a wedding on a tight budget need not tie your stomach up in knots. In fact, your tight budget can make your wedding truly remarkable!

Do you want to know how to make your tight budget a major ally instead of your adversary? How would you like to stop hating your budget restrictions and start appreciating the advantages you have over other wedding planners?

To know this freedom, you need to know the positives to planning your wedding on a tight budget. Then, simply make the choice to major on those positives to achieve the
wonderful wedding of your dreams. Focusing on the helpful aspects of your budget will lead you to the amazing side benefits that you never knew accompanied your wedding budget.

In this article, we look at several of the great assets your tight budget can give your wedding planning.

Right at the top of the list we find the value of increased creativity that comes with your tight budget. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. The needy wedding planner discovers her inventive, creative wedding planning skills. Your wedding will not turn out like another "cookie cutter" wedding. Instead, your budget will force you to think outside of the airtight box that suffocates most

So go ahead and let those creative juices flow! Instead of planning an ordinary wedding, plan an extraordinary wedding!

As a wedding planner who must abide by a tight budget, you will not find yourself ordering straight out of the wedding catalog. Instead of simply ordering a pre-made, one-size-fits-all wedding, you will choose to piece together a wedding that truly reflects your personality. Your wedding will truly be YOUR wedding!

Relax, let your hair down! Allow your personality to permeate your wedding planning. Welcome to your wedding! Traditions and magazines know about weddings in general but they don't know about your wedding!

As a wedding planner on a strict budget, you will have good reason to rely on your family and friends for support. Instead of simply plopping down a chunk of change and
letting the professionals handle everything for you, you will benefit from working with your family and friends to bring your wedding dreams into reality.

Every wedding event requires a community for its success. Your budget will help you keep your community involved all the way through the planning process to your wedding day! With your friends and family involved in your wedding planning, you will find your wedding to be extra special to you and your community.

Since you cannot afford the fees charged by the professionals, you carefully plan your event to reflect your personality and keep your family involved. You also put lots of your own creativity into the wedding. Your creativity, personality, and community all infuse themselves into your wedding planning and two more advantages emerge from your tight budget:

A sense of ownership pervades your planning experience. Your wedding really feels like your wedding to you since you created it and poured yourself into it. Your sense of ownership will in turn produce a great sense of satisfaction in you as you realize that you created a great master piece - your wedding day.

In the end, your budget can help produce for your wedding these five assets: creativity, personality, community, ownership, and satisfaction. By focusing on these five positives, your budget will take its place among your most powerful wedding planning aids. You must live with your budget limitations anyway. Why fight it? Let your budget work for you!

Look on the web and you will find many helpful resources out there, such as our blog and book, just waiting to help you make your wedding budget work for you. Do not settle for anything less than the beautiful wedding of your dreams!

Show Your Budget Who Is In Charge! Get Tim and Lisa's FREE eBook, visit their blog for daily advice, and see how they planned the wedding of their dreams for just $2,000.

Submitted by Tim and Lisa Spooner,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

DIY Wedding Flower Guide

When it comes to choosing wedding flowers, many brides may know the wedding flower they want in their own bouquet, but are a little mystified about the rest of the wedding flowers needed to fill out the ceremony and reception.

While you can leave all your wedding flower selections in the hands of a capable professional florist and get great results, you may want to take a more hands on approach. We hope this wedding flower guide will help making planning your most special day just a little easier.

Your first decision should be whether you plan to use a professional florist to create a wedding flower arrangement and bouquets, or if you would rather visit a wholesale wedding flower retailer and order flowers to make your own bridal bouquets, boutonnieres and so forth.

If you are the creative type, a simple floral craft book will give you all the tips and tool lists necessary to create your own custom wedding flowers that reflect your personal style. It's a good idea to purchase some flowers to practice with ahead of time to make sure you'll be happy with your results. Whatever you decide, there are some standard traditions and suggestions to help make sure you've covered all your wedding flower needs.

Wedding Flower Guide

Wedding flowers for the church would include:

* Altar wedding flower arrangements
* Pew markers/decorations

Wedding flowers for the reception would include:

* Wedding flower arrangement for the bridal table
* Table centerpieces
* Buffet table decorations

Wedding flowers for the bridal party would include:

* Bridal bouquet
* Small Bridal bouquet to toss
* Groom's boutonniere
* Maid/Matron of Honor bouquet
* Bridesmaid bouquets
* Best Man boutonniere
* Groomsman boutonnieres
* Flower Girl bouquet or petal basket
* Mother of the Bride/Groom corsages
* Father of the Bride/Groom boutonnieres
* Step-parent corsages/boutonnieres
* Grandparent corsages/boutonnieres

A Few Extra Wedding Flower Tips

Maid/Matron of Honor wedding bouquets should be slightly more elaborate or in a different color shade than the rest of the bridesmaid wedding bouquets.

The Best Man boutonniere should be slightly more elaborate than the rest of the groomsmen boutonnieres.

The corsages/boutonnieres for the parents should differ slightly from the step-parents, and all grandparent corsages/boutonnieres should be different as well. It makes it easier for guests to keep track of who's who.

Wedding flower arrangements from the church can be transferred to the reception hall for double duty.

Bridesmaid wedding bouquets could be set in waiting vases and used as decoration for the bridal table.

Remember, these are just wedding flower guidelines. When it comes to your special day, your wedding flower selections and arrangements should reflect your personal taste and style. You can keep things simple or get as elaborate as you like, as long as your wedding flowers help you create the perfectly romantic wedding day you've always dreamed of.

Submitted by Muzrak Maksidov