Wedding Planning

By Maria Lanides
Updated  09/22/11


        You met...and soon became friends.  It didn't take long to realize that you fell in love.  It became more difficult to say goodnight and leave her - or to leave him - to go back to your place. You missed him or her terribly when she or he  left Friday morning  to out of town as a guest to someone else's wedding. You couldn't keep your mind on what you were doing at work. You had all your laundry done by midnight on Friday night.  Your apartment was all cleaned by 11am Saturday morning.  When you didn't have to work on a Saturday, you wandered around by yourself and even visited your parent's home and hung out for awhile - for no reason at all!  The bells are ringing and - at times you can't think straight.    It is time to seriously talk about where your relationship is headed.  You both start thinking  and questions like these race in and out of your thoughts:   "Should I pop the questions?"   or  "Will he pop the question?"  or "How are we going to handle this?" 

         The above sounded too easy so let's do that first paragraph over.  

        You met.....and soon became friends.    You broke up and you got back together again.   This time, you  got to know each other a little more.  Again, one of you became angry over something and expected the other to change.     Expecting the other to make small changes isn't unreasonable.   A lot of big  changes may be considered unreasonable.     Think about what attracted you to each other in the first place and discuss them.   If either of you asks for too many changes....you may find an entirely  different individual sitting next to you and you may find you have nothing to say to each other.    Through it all...........Time moves on and you find you still enjoy each other's company.   Ask yourself  "What is the hold up?"    Spending days away from each other is indeed getting harder  to do because now you really know each other a lot more.   The good and the bad you've kind of worked through on both sides and more time has passed.    There comes a point where you need to ask yourself   "Maybe it is time that I should realize I get along real well with this person.    Maybe  I should be thinking about spending the rest of my life working through the good and the bad - getting to know each other along the way as two committed individuals in marriage..    There are certain days that you appreciate the easy way in which you are able to call or text your thoughts back and forth.    The person on the other ends always appreciates receiving your words and thoughts.   This communicating and interacting day by day works even better after you make the decision together to commit yourselves to one another.

         OK the big step has been  discussed and you finally commit yourselves to one another.   You agree to be a companion to one another, to support one another through all the good and bad.......you know the drill.......you've been through it over and over again.    Only this time -  when you lean on each other it will be in a more comfortable and on a more intimate level.   You've arrived at a communion of minds!   You've realized that you don't have to be combative to get a point across.

        It is the tradition in most counties that the groom-to-be presents an engagement ring to the bride-to-be.

       What type of engagement ring setting will she want?  Will it be a Platinum engagement ring or a white gold engagement ring.  She loves her grandmother's jewelry...possibly she will want to go with an antique engagement ring.  Should you make the decision by yourself on the type of engagement ring design?  So many questions are going through your mind because you know this ring has to be special.  Visit the jewelers in your area and learn about the four C's -- carat, cut, clarity and color in diamonds prior to making your decision on style and design of your diamond engagement ring.

       Will it be a surprise or should you ask the big question and then go pick out a diamond engagement ring together?  Will you be "gallant" and approach her father? It never hurts to score a few points so think about asking her Father for his daughter's hand in marriage.  Even if you go with surprising her with a diamond engagement ring - you can still ask her father for his blessing. 

       Where will you ask the big question?  What about going down to the lake at sunset and arrange for a violinist to play your favorite songs at the base of the bridge or by the gazebo?  What about having the ring ready to slip in to her desert at her favorite restaurant?  What about making a short digital film with your proposal and asking a local movie theatre if they will put it on the screen for you?   What about asking the big question at a local historical site?  Will she want you to get down on one knee?  Yes, I know she'd like that!  What about going to her place of employment and ask to talk to her for a few minutes.....and then get right to the point and ask for her hand in marriage?  They have a loud speaker system where she works....do I want to surprise her and ask for her hand in marriage over the speaker system?  Should I have flowers and balloons delivered separately to her the day after she accepts my proposal?  Shall I also send flowers to her Mom? It never hurts to score a few points so think about giving her Mom flowers!

         Once she has accepted to share your life, start on your guest lists. Parent's (both sides) and bride/groom's wedding guest lists need to be decided upon right away. Discuss who will be paying for wedding day expenses.  Decide upon a wedding day budget and determine how many guests your wedding day budget can afford.

        Once budget and guest lists are determined, decide upon the season for your wedding... and then proceed to select reception and ceremony locations.  The actual wedding date should be determined after you find a date that is available at your selected reception and ceremony locations.

        Engagement parties are delightful!    Once a wedding date is selected, it is time to decide if there will be an engagement party.    Make the time prior to the wedding date more fun!  Discuss all plans with both parents.  Engagement parties should be at least 10 months to one year prior to the actual wedding date.  Engagement parties can be formal or informal.  Engagement parties are often held at the bride's parent's home.   Many religions have a special engagement ceremony that takes place at the engagement party.   Sunday afternoons are a great time for engagement parties.

        Once she has accepted to share your life, it is now time to start planning your wedding!   First step is for both sides to make a guest list.   After guest list established - then a budget has to be decided on.   The big day - the wedding day - is a day to share with family and friends. Wedding planning takes time.  Let friends help with your wedding plans - even if they aren't in the bridal party.  Assign tasks to your bridal party because they want to help and you need the help!  If a family member acts rejected....ask their opinion on a particular wedding planning task and you'll see a smile go back on their face!  Family and friends want to be included in your wedding plans.  Right from when the engagement is announced, make it easy for yourself and accept help!

        The Bride is the most important person at a wedding.  The Mother of the Bride and the Mother of the Groom share 2nd place for being the most important person at a wedding.  The Fathers and the Groom are not really.....necessarily... truly... not even... somewhat...important.... until they pass out chocolate cigars to all their friends.    since cigars are slowly losing popularity - keep in mind that men and woman alike will love any type of chocolate treat to celebrate the birth of the 1st baby ( as well as for subsequent births).  And, of course - you got it - now we all know.... without any argument from Mothers or Fathers that  -   the most important person is now - the "New Baby"!

        Seriously, the bride and groom should be like a king and queen on a chess board...all moves pre-arranged for the wedding day. Precise wedding plans and taking care of details will assure you of a wedding day that runs as smooth as silk.  Do not rush your special day so that you can remember and treasure every memory.


Wedding Planning Guide and Ideas:



1. Assemble Guest List - This should be your 1st wedding planning step. Once number of guests is determined - figure your wedding day budget - then select date and locations.

11. How Many Attendants


2. Floor Plan

12. Lady-in-Waiting


3. Selecting Wedding date & time - Locations for ceremony & reception-
Reception Schedule

13. Protect Gowns


4. Gratuities

14. Bride and Groom - Bachelor Party Planning and Bachelorette Party Planning.  Also Gifts to each other.


5. Photographs - Most important

15. Bridal Shows


6. Bridal Shows

17. Receiving Lines

7. Invitations

18. Transportation
   8. Plan an Invitation Party 19.  Poems
   9. Timeliness 20. Wedding Planning

10. Wedding Day Expenses


Hint #1:   Assemble Guest List - Before Selecting Wedding Date and Reception Location

After you are engaged, assembling your guest list should be a priority - even before selecting a wedding date and reception location.  This is almost always a difficult task for everyone involved. 

 Many couples have more than two sets of parents.  This means each parent has friends and family that they would like to invite.  The bride and  the groom also have friends that they would like to invite. 

Everyone (including bride and groom) needs to start writing down everyone they would like to invite. 

Equally important as making up a guest list.... is "how many guests can your budget afford"?

Sometimes you can cut your wedding day budget and not cut your guest list by changing the type of reception.  Partial sit-down with food stations are less costly than full sit-down dinners and still can be elegant.  A change in dinner and cocktail menus can also reduce cost.  If you are set on the reception location...Friday and Sunday reception cost is most likely less cost than cost for a Saturday reception.

Most everyone underestimates the number of guests they would like to invite to a wedding.  When reception location has been selected prior to completing a guest list - families agonize and explore ways to increase their guest list.  Do we move the date from Saturday to a Friday or Sunday?  Will the new date be available at the desired and selected location?  Do we change the menu?  How do I mention to my future Daughter-in-law that we'd like to invite 8 more guests.  The advantage to completing your guest list first allows you to visit reception locations that will accommodate the number of guests you desire at a cost that fits in to your budget! If budget demands that guest lists be reduced, it is best to ask all parents, bride and groom to eliminate an equal number of guests from each list.  Be truthful and state ahead of time (before you receive everyone's list) that sticking to your budget is important.  

Arrange a meeting prior to selecting a wedding date with all the parents to discuss guest lists, budget and other items..  Also discuss whether or not a receiving line will take place after the ceremony.  Discuss whether or not Groom's family is able to chip in if they have a large guest list that will exceed budgeted amount.   At this meeting you may find that everyone is more willing to cut a few guests than spend beyond their budget.  It is so important keep family up-to-date as to  how your wedding planning is progressing.  Remember - a wedding is a day to share with friends and family!

Hint #2: Floor Plan - Prepare at the same time as your Guest List!

Don't agonize over a guest list.  Make it easy and save time by preparing the  guest list and floor plan at the same timeIf you are planning 160 guests, in addition to those individuals in the bridal party, that usually means you’ll have 20 tables with 8 guests at each table. Let’s assume the bride's side of the family and groom's side of the family are each inviting 80 guests. 

      a. If you don't have a computer program for guests list - follow this simple procedure: 
Number 10 sheets with Bride 1, Bride 2, Bride 3…thru Bride 10. (Representing Tables 1-10 on the Bride’s side) Bride Page 1 will have #1 - #8, Bride Page 2 will have #9 - #16 etc.  Each number should have 3 lines.  First line for Name, second line for address, 3rd line for City, State  and Telephone #.  (
Many Brides-to-be told the writer they made one master sheet and typed Guest Page at the center top. Then they typed Name, Address, City, State and telephone # - eight times on the sheet. They made copies of the Master Guest Page Sheets, gave each page a number and then numbered each line where a guest name will be written.) 

      b. Number 10 sheets with Groom 1, Groom 2, Groom 3…thru Groom 10. (Representing Tables 1-10 on the Groom’s side)  Groom Page 1 will have #1 - #8, Groom Page 2 will have #9 - #16 etc.

      c. Guest list for Groom's side and Guest list for Bride's side may not be of equal number.  For our example we are using 80 guests for Bride's side and 80 guests for Groom's side.

      d.  If bride wants to invite 24 friends (3 tables) that means her parents can invite 56 guests (or 7 tables).  If most of the groom's friends are already included in the bridal party, and the groom only wants to invite 17 more friends ( then the groom only has 2 tables - one of which has 9 seats)  - that means the groom's parents can invite 63 guests (or 9 tables).

      e. Give your Parents 7 Guest Table Sheets, give your Groom 2 Guest Table Sheets and give his Parents 9 Guest Table Sheets and explain the procedures to everyone.  Many Brides-to-be have told me they decorated the tops and sides of each page - because  it felt better to hand a decorated sheet to their parents and future in-laws - than handing them a bunch of sheets with just numbers!  Other brides told me they included all the sheets in a decorated folder as well!

      f. It is easiest if parents start their lists with -  Parents, Grandparents, Godparents, Uncles and Aunts, Cousins and then friends. Quite often once all the family is placed at the tables, families discover they have very few tables left for their friends.

      g. As invitation replies are returned, cross out the name of those unable to attend.

      h. After all replies are received, take the individuals from the last tables and insert their names in place of those individuals who could not attend…thereby eliminating a table or two.

      i. Ask everyone to return the Guest List Sheets  to you.  Most brides entered all the guest names on to their computer to save.  Make copies of all Guest Table Sheets.   Use one set of copies to cross off individuals who can't attend.  Use one set for Bridal Shower Invitations.  

      j.  Save your list on your computer -  you will be surprised how many times in the future your guest list will come in handy especially if you type your addresses on your computer.  You can use for thank you notes, invitations and "baby" announcements in the future!

Hint #3:    Selecting Wedding Date and Time,
                  Ceremony & Reception Locations -

                  and Reception Schedule

      a.  Selecting the Wedding Date

        Select your date from the dates available at the reception and ceremony locations  you have chosen.   Selecting reception location is much easier once you have a completed guest list and know  your budget restrictions.

      As mentioned in Hint #1 -  - Most locations and services are less costly on a Friday and Sunday than Saturday Weddings.  November through April weddings usually are less costly than May through October weddings. 

       b  Selecting Time of Ceremony

       The end of April, May and the first 3 weeks of June (Prom Season), it is best to have your ceremony start  prior to 3pm.  

       During Prom
Season (end of April, May and first 3 weeks of June) there are never enough limos for proms and costs are high.  Because of prom season, brides that select a ceremony time after 2:30 pm can expect to pay much higher prices for limos!   Yes, you can have a candlelight reception with a 2pm ceremony.  

     You can estimate at least 1-1/2 hours before guests will be leaving ceremony and 2-1/4 hours before bride/groom and bridal party will be leaving ceremony site.   It is important to leave enough time for ceremony, receiving line, pictures and travel to reception.

     Remember, if the ceremony is early in the day - you have more time to celebrate with family and friends!

      Many brides tell the writer that if they had it to do over.....they would have their wedding either in the morning or early afternoon......mostly because they have more time for celebrating at the reception and after reception.  Also, when there is a morning or early afternoon wedding, there is no rushing if they want to take extra time to go to a park or somewhere else for more pictures.  Best of all, the bride and groom would have been able to party with their friends after the reception -  if the ceremony had been earlier and - if the reception ended earlier! 

        c.  Selecting Ceremony Location

         Whether it be a religious ceremony or a wedding in your back yard - a wedding is a wedding and the meaning and occasion - is always  important!   Most brides select the place of worship location  where they grew up and where their family has been a member as their ceremony site.  Many brides prefer to have their wedding ceremony at the same location as is their reception.  Other brides select a private and unique chapel location and many brides select a college chapel for their ceremony location


         d.  Receiving Line
 Here is procedure to follow if not planning a receiving line at ceremony,    So that guests don’t crowd around you after you walk back down the aisle – forcing you to have an unplanned receiving line -  include the following in your program:

     “After the newlyweds take their traditional walk back down the aisle, kindly remain in your pews so that the bridal party and family can go back up front for pictures.  The newlyweds and their families will greet you informally during the reception.  Thank you!”

     Remember.......if you don't have a receiving line after your ceremony, proper etiquette dictates that you either have a receiving line during the Cocktail Hour or bride and groom must visit every table during the reception.

        e.  Selecting the Reception Location

      Many families have a difficult time finding a reception location for the date they selected.  Also, many families are caught between a rock and a hard stone because the reception location they have chosen can not accommodate the number of guests on their invitation list. 

     You will save yourself and your family a great deal of anguish if you select a reception location "after" completing your guest list. 

        Reception/banquet locations usually reserve their services in blocks of time.  (Limos, Carriage Services,  Photographers, DJ's, Bands, String groups, Harpists etc. most always reserve their services in blocks of time as well.)  Be sure you are clear with your reception location's policy on time frame for what you require for your cocktail hour and reception! 

      Cocktail hour time is usually one hour but a few brides select 1-1/2 hours.  Reception time is between 4 and 5 hours.  Check with reception/banquet location to clarify if total time reserved  and reception is 4 - 5 or more hours      

      Here's a helpful Procedure Guide when calling reception locations! 

1. Call in advance and ask if date requested is available.
2.  Ask which season best for lower rate.....Ask which day of week is lower rate.
3.  Make appointment to view site and talk with representative. 
4.  Ask cost difference for buffet vs. sit down vs. stations. 
5.  Fill out Contract/reservation form – give required deposit.   
6.  Sign contract – take copy with you.
7.  Clearly note name, telephone number and email of contact person.  
8.  Any changes – put in writing and send to contact person. 
9.  Follow up to make sure changes acknowledged and OK’d by contact person.
 10.  Note on your calendar - date final payment due - make payment on time.
11.  Call 2 weeks ahead for final checks.  Obtain/confirm on site contact person's name for your date.
12.  Send "thank you note" for job well done!

Reception Schedule-  The couple needs to leave time and plan for  -  Cocktail Hour, Arrival Time of Bridal Party, Announcement of Newlyweds, Schedule for first dance, Father/daughter Dance, Son/Mother dance, Dance with entire Bridal Party, Dance with entire family, Making sure all family pix scheduled for members of both bride and groom's Mom & Dad's side of family with Bride and Groom,  Time for Start of Dinner, Who is giving a Toast and When, Money Dance, Cutting the cake, Throw Garter, Throw Bouquet, time to Leave and of course, time for fun with family and friends!.                  

      Most brides arrive later than planned at their reception.  So, when talking to your wedding consultant or the consultant at your reception location, keep in mind to leave enough time for your ceremony, receiving line, photographs and travel time to the reception from your ceremony location - before setting time of arrival of guests at your cocktail hour!

          Be realistic with times for your wedding day!     Don't rush one of the most important days in your life!   Example:   25 minutes to ceremony from bride’s location – 50 minute ceremony – (5 min in between) – 30 minutes receiving line (165 guests) – (5 min in between) - 40 minutes pix at ceremony location (many photographers like 60 minutes) – 10 min to get out of ceremony location and in to vehicles – 30 minutes to reception  -= Total Time: 3-1/4 hours!


Hint #4: Gratuities - Tip envelopes and Decorated tip boxes.

     All suppliers to your wedding day appreciate a tip.  Families tip the videographer, photographer, DJ, clergy, limo driver, florist, caterer, etc..  Most people tip between 18-20%.  Many times there is a set minimum tip. Sometimes there is a suggested minimum tip and other times, using the clergy as an example, families tip a generous amount just to show appreciation.

     Many months prior to your wedding date, make out an envelope for each tip that you plan to give on your wedding day.  Write the name of the recipient on the front of the envelope (ex. limo driver or DJ) and write the amount of tip on the inside flap of the envelope.  Store all the tip envelopes in a shoe box and as you have a few dollars - place those extra dollars in one of the  tip envelopes.  When the money inside equals the amount stated on the envelope - it is time to seal the envelope and the next time you have extra dollars insert the dollars in to another envelope...etc..  Before you know it, all the envelopes are full and sealed!

    If you want help with the tips and you are a little creative, decorate 3 or 4 shoe boxes with wedding paper. Make an opening  on the top of the box.  If you use 4 boxes, cut out 4 small paper flags and tape the double sided flags on to rulers or giant pencil sticks. On the paper flags, write these words, "Help with our Wedding Day Tips".  Insert the giant pencil stick or ruler in the top cover openings of the shoe boxes.  Now tape a "Thank You" note to the top of each of the shoe boxes. 

     On the Thank You note, write "Your contribution is appreciated no matter if  $1, $5 or 50 cents is placed in the box.  Also write,  "please sign your name."  Include plenty of "Thank You, Thank you" messages on the card.  Most important...include on the card, "Your contributions will be used for tipping the DJ, limo driver etc., on our wedding day, the porter at the airport, and 3 breakfasts in bed on our honeymoon - forget that....make it five breakfasts in bed."    Place a decorated shoe box on your Mom's kitchen counter, and one on your future Mother-in-law's kitchen counter.  Many brides have told me they put one on their Grandparent's kitchen counter and even put a decorated shoe box in their own apartment.   One bride told me she received over $400 from the Shoe Box Contributions.  Many tell me they received $200 and more from their parents house in change and dollar bills.

     Years ago, when I first started suggesting this idea to brides,  I thought this  "cute type of thing" was something you only can do before your wedding day.  I was wrong.  Countless brides have taken the time to call me back saying, we decorated shoe boxes with Baby wrapping paper and collected loads of money towards whatever we might need when the baby comes."  One "New Mom"  called me and said, "we decorated shoe boxes with new baby wrapping paper and quietly left them on our parents, grandparents, brother's and sister's kitchen counters as a way of announcing we were expecting! Our families just delivered the shoe boxes to us and together we counted $1,200 in contributions!

     Of course, a thank you note should be sent to each contributor!


Hint # 5: Photographs - Most important part of your wedding planning.   Don't rush, take the time to capture memories!

    Plan your picture taking carefully.  Pictures are your memories.  Many, many brides-to-be thought someone would take pictures during their bridal shower and at the end of the day - no pictures.  Plan every detail and you will be happy!

    Take time to plan and make a list of what pictures you want taken after the ceremony and during the reception. Many brides and their Moms have told me - after the wedding - that they wished they had taken a picture with a grandmother or a favorite aunt - because that favorite person had passed away shortly after the wedding.  Be considerate and ahead of time ask both Moms which family members should have pictures taken with the bride and groom.   These pictures are easily taken at the ceremony site but, of course, can also be taken during the reception.

     It is thoughtful and considerate when the bride and groom take pictures with various members of their Mom's family and with various members of their Dad's family.  Taking pictures with these relatives says that you hold them in high esteem. 

     Make a list for the photographer as to what pictures you want taken and where they are to be taken.  Most brides have a list of family pictures to be taken after  ceremony as well as a list of bridal party pictures of  bride and groom and each set of grandparents and parents. Finally a scene with bride, groom, parents, grandparents and any brothers or sisters of  newlyweds - even if they are in  bridal party.   Many brides include Godparents in group pictures and many just take a separate picture with them.

     Usually the bride and groom take a separate picture with the maid of honor, best man, each flower girl and ring bearer.  A group scene is usually planned with all  bridesmaids, one with all groomsmen and finally a group photograph of everyone in bridal party.

     Type up a list and print up copies of your list showing where everyone should be standing.  Ask someone to pass out Photo List  during your rehearsal dinner.   Ask someone else to get next group scene ready for  photographer  on your wedding day.  Also give your list to your photographer.   Your photographer is the creative one.  The photographer will "pose you" in formal photographs but will also capture the happiness in your smile while taking candid shots.

      Extended Families:  Having a picture list makes individuals in extended families feel recognized and many  times  the picture list  has eased tension.  Quite often a bride or groom wants a picture with Mom and Dad - even though  parents may be separated or divorced.  In this situation, it is  appropriate for Mother of  Bride to stand next to  Bride and  Father of  Bride next to  Groom.    If  Father of Bride has remarried,  it is appropriate also to have a separate picture to be taken with  his Wife next to Bride and  Father of Bride next to his  Wife.  If  Father of the Groom has remarried, it is appropriate for  Wife to stand next to Groom and   Father of groom next to his Wife.  For group pictures, have Grandparents stand between parents and their present spouses or significant others.


      Family Group Photos........it is really easiest if  family group photos are planned for the beginning of the photo session - after ceremony -  at the ceremony location.........rather than trying to  get everyone at one place during reception.   Many brides have had to delay their entrance into the reception 20 minutes or more because no one could find everyone to get the Mother's family photo with the newlyweds as well as the Father's family photo with the newlyweds..........for both the groom and bride's side.     When photos are taken at the ceremony.........it is best to do these photos right at the beginning of the photo session while family is right there.   These photos are memories and important to both bride and groom's families.

      Save some money!  If your wedding is in the summer, select your pictures from the proofs but don't show the finished albums to anyone.  Wait and give framed pictures to your family and friends as their Holiday Gift. 


Hint #6: Bridal Showers

     The value of your wedding and shower gifts received is higher when the bridal shower date at least two and one half to three months before the wedding.  Unless there are extenuating circumstances, it is inconsiderate to wedding guests if the shower is less than eight weeks before the wedding. Wedding and shower gifts are important...so when selecting a date it is important to be considerate and not schedule the bridal shower too close to the wedding date!

Hint #7: Invitations

     Many people don't reply on time. Sometimes they forget and sometimes they get dates mixed up.  Reception locations usually request that you inform them of a final head count of guests by a certain date.  Many families take it down to the wire and insert a date on the invitation that is too close to the reception location's final date.   I suggest that families insert a date on invitation at least 16 days before Reception locations final head count date is due.

     If you are trying to keep costs down, it’s ok to purchase invitations that are not lavish. The more lavish, the more expensive!   Plain invitations can be also be elegant.  It's ok to be different!
Be creative!  Here are some suggestions on how to be creative and personalize your invitations:

a.  Ask a member of your bridal party, a friend or family member who is has an artistic talent if they would draw two small gold bells, or a flower on a corner of each invitation. Art supply stores have a marvelous selection of stencils and gold pens!  (Test how quickly the gold dries before you place one invitation upon another.)  

b.  Purchase stencils that have some type of appropriate design such as a pair of doves or small bells.  Stencil design of choice in gold on each invitation to transform a plain invitation into an elegant invite!  If  you use a stencil, be careful how you lift the stencil off the invitation so you do not smear the gold.    (Again, test how quickly the gold dries before you place one invitation upon another.)

c.   A simple gold line (just a few inches in length placed somewhere appropriately on the invitation) can also transform a plain invitation to an elegant invitation.


Directions are often included with invitations.  Be careful as to how you write-up your directions for your guests.  Give directions starting from a major highway/route/road.  Start each direction line with a right or left.  Not necessary to add the words "take a" before either words  "right"  or "left". 

Try to include some major markers such as:  Right on to George St.- (4 lights past large high school entrance sign).

Wherever possible....give only one (1) direction per line - example of  a line with too many directions is:  "Right on Jones St., Left in to high school  parking lot & go around back at light."

Best to make two lines of the above example direction line. Also, directions that are double spaced are easiest to read.

The above suggestions take extra time but the effect is well worth the effort.

Hint #8:  Plan an Invitation Party!      Big Time Saver.....

      Save time and write out your wedding invitations at the same time as your bridal party addresses the "bridal shower invitations".

      If you are inviting 160 guests as in Hint #3, invite ten of your friends to attend your Invitation Party!  Do not hesitate to ask for help!  If you have 6 in your bridal party to ask...then also ask 4 members of your family to help...and there's your ten writers!.  Your friends and family want to help...but you need to ask them!

      Ask each "helper" to bring a telephone book and a few pens and let them know they are coming to work! Ask them to also bring a dessert, a dip, or something else tasty! You supply a big sub sandwich and everyone else supplies the other goodies for snacking! 

      Order your wedding invitations and wedding thank you notes ASAP.  Also order your shower gift thank-you notes. Talk to the powers that be (Maid of Honor and Mom) and have them order the shower invitations ASAP.  Purchase stamps.  Once all invitations are in-hand and invitation lists done, you are ready for your "Invitation Party".

a.    Place 6 stacks in front of each worker.  One stack of wedding invitation envelopes, one stack of wedding invitations, one stack of  wedding gift thank you envelopes, one stack of shower invitation envelopes, one stack of shower invitations, and one stack of your shower gift thank you envelopes. Don’t forget to purchase an adequate number of self stick first class stamps for all envelopes including the wedding invitation response envelopes!!

b.    Based on 160 wedding guests, 8 per table, give each of ten workers two invitation list sheets with 8 names each.

c.    Each worker will be responsible for looking up addresses on two sheets containing 8 names each. These 8 names per sheet mean the worker will have to look up a 4 addresses per sheet for a total of 8 addresses.  Each worker will place the wedding and shower invitation in the appropriate envelopes and place a stamp on all envelopes.

d.    Based on 160 wedding guests, each worker will address and stamp approximately 32 envelopes as well as fill 16 invitation envelopes. That’s a total of 320 envelopes addressed and stamped for a total of 160 invitations placed in their respective envelopes (80 wedding invites and approximately 80 bridal  shower invites).

e.    Maid of Honor takes the shower invitations and mails them at least six weeks before the shower date.

f.    Bride takes the wedding invitations and mails them at least 10 weeks before the wedding date.

g.    Bride has her wedding gift and shower gift thank you envelopes all ready – way ahead of time!

h.    All the invitations have been addressed and stamped!

i.    All the workers have been fed and everyone has had fun - even though they were working!

j.  All the invitation party work (except clean-up) is done!

k.  Congratulate each other on a big job well done!!!

      PLACE CARDS:  Order them early. Place a pile of place cards in front of each helper along with the invitation envelopes. Each "helper" can also write out a place card for the guests listed on her designated sheet of names. Each "helper" can put a rubber band around the finished place cards and place them in an envelope. Marked each envelope with the appropriate table number. As the responses come in, simply take out the place card for the guest who can not attend.

After all responses are received, take each table envelope and write the appropriate table number on each place card.  Assign someone to be responsible for alphabetizing and neatly arranging the place cards on a table close to the dining room entrance so that guests will know  where to sit. (Mr. & Mrs. can go on one place card and the names of an invited individual and "their guest" can  also be on one place card. Other invited individuals should each have their own place card).

Hint #9:  Timeliness

     Starting in kindergarten, teachers constantly stress the importance of being on time for school.  As we grew up, we were reminded to apply the principle of being on time to all our assignments and other events. There are some of us that interpret being on time as arriving anywhere from fifteen minutes to one hour after the designated time! When one is invited to a wedding they must make every effort to arrive at least ten minutes prior to the scheduled ceremony time.

      Since transportation companies always block out periods of time, it is important to  have transportation at your home for 10 minutes prior to scheduled leave time to get to ceremony.   To allow for traffic  and to reduce your stress on your wedding day - it is a good idea to ask transportation company to arrive between  a ten minute leeway of time.  This way  you know they'll arrive by a certain time and will feel more comfortable knowing that once transportation does arrive - you've got ten (10) minutes without worry for your own last minute tasks!

The bride should arrive at ceremony location at least ten (10) minutes prior so she has time to get out of the limo, walk in to the ceremony location and get in to position to be ready to go down the aisle at the scheduled time.  It also shows respect to guests when the bride arrives on time for her ceremony.

     Ultimately the bride must make the decision on whether she arrives on time or not. I feel compelled to mention at this point that there are some credible reasons encouraging brides to be on time. It is a statistical fact known through out the word, or maybe it could be an "old wives tale", but.....
99 and 44/100% of brides who are late for their ceremony.... always have ten (10) month pregnancies!  Do some investigating!  Ask Moms if they were late for their wedding and how many months did they carry.  You'll be surprised how many of the moms will say they carried in to their 10th month.......and yes.....these same moms admitted they were also late for their wedding!!!  One can only wonder how much this “alleged fact” has to do with a bride making sure - she is on time for her ceremony!


Hint #10:  Wedding Day Expenses  

     If you want to save loads of money ($$$) and are having your reception at a banquet facility that allows you to bring in appetizers or desserts, here’s a much appreciated hint. Since the wedding day is a day to share with family and friends - reach out and ask family and friends to help. You’ll score points by involving family and friends and asking for their help!

     Let’s talk appetizers! For 150 guests, ask fifteen (15) individuals from the bride’s side and fifteen (15) individuals from the groom’s side to prepare an appetizer enough for twenty (20) guests for a total of 600 appetizer portions (4 servings per guest).

     Let’s talk desserts!  For 150 guests, 192 assorted portions of dessert in addition to your wedding cake, should be more than enough to please everyone. Ask sixteen (16) individuals, eight (8) individuals from the bride’s side and eight (8) individuals from the groom’s side, to each prepare a dessert for twelve (12) guests. Note: If you are having desserts in addition to the wedding cake for 150 guests, I would suggest ordering a cake for 110 guests. Instruct the wait staff to cut smaller slices.

     Remember to keep record of who is bringing what dessert/appetizer so there is an assortment of fu dessert/appetizer prepared and state on the card “lovingly prepared by the bride’s 2nd cousin, or the groom’s aunt. Of course include the name of the individual who prepared the item as well as the name of the dessert/appetizer. Fold the descriptive cards like a guest’s place card and place the card in front of the appropriate item.

     Designate someone with a “Van” to be at the ceremony location. This individual can collect desserts/appetizers and take them to the reception location. Ask another individual (or someone on the wait staff) to arrange the desserts/appetizers.  Note: Large doughnut boxes obtained from your local bakery are ideal for securing the desserts/appetizers while transporting them to the reception location.

     Prepare thank you notes for those who prepare the desserts/appetizers way ahead of time and have them ready to send out after the wedding. Enjoy a smorgasbord of the best recipes each lovingly prepared to help make your wedding reception absolutely wonderful!


Hint #11: Number of Attendants 

      When it's time to select your bridesmaids, keep in mind that the number of attendants will effect your budget!

a. A gift must be given to each attendant, usually given at the rehearsal dinner. The more attendants - the higher your budget for gifts.

b. Each female attendant carries some type of bouquet or long stem flowers and each male attendant wears a boutonniere. The more attendants - the higher your budget for flowers.

c. Most always, all members of the bridal party are transported to the ceremony and to the reception. The more attendants - the higher your budget for transportation.

d.  If you were good friends with someone all through grammar school and high school and live in a small  town or attend the same place of worship....include them in your wedding party.  You might have lost touch with one another during the college years but once you come back to town or back to your place of worship...you will once again become close friends.  

Note: There should be an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. There can be more ushers/groomsmen than bridesmaids, but there shouldn't be more bridesmaids than ushers/groomsmen.

Hint #12:  Lady-in Waiting  - Origination - Folklore or Truth?

      If a few months before the wedding… and months after the bride announces her selection of bridal party members,…. the bride realizes (for any number of reasons) she should have included a certain individual, here’s a marvelous idea.

       Don’t fret…ask the individual to be your “Lady-in-Waiting”!  A lady in waiting can also be announced at the same time as announcing the rest of the bridal party. The “Lady-in Waiting” can be most helpful and she can be invited to join the bridal party at any point before the wedding. 

       The Lady-in-Waiting........

a.   is included in everything the bridesmaids do, except the procession up the aisle.
b.   is mentioned separately as the “Lady-In-Waiting” in the Wedding Program.

c.   wears the same length gown as the bridesmaids’ gowns. If possible, the color should be in the same family of color (lighter or darker) as the bridesmaids’ gowns.
d.   helps with the Bridal Shower along with the bridesmaids.

e.   Attends the rehearsal dinner and takes notes as to who goes down the aisle in what order. On the wedding day makes sure each individual going down the aisle is spaced far enough away from the previous individual so that the procession doesn’t resemble a stampede!
f.   arranges the Bride’s gown along with the Maid/Matron of honor, just before the Bride goes down the aisle.

g.   sits next to parents and grandparents after the bride goes down the aisle.
h.   has her picture taken separately with the Bride and Groom as well as in the bridal party group picture.

i.   is included in the announcements in to the reception before the flower girl and ring bearer.
j. sits with the Bride’s family during the reception.

Origination of the term “Lady-in-Waiting” .  According to folklore, once upon a time, a young princess was sent unwillingly to another kingdom to marry. She was very unhappy. She did not want to talk or associate with members of her future groom’s family. She could not understand why her family sent her to such a cold, dreary castle.

       The sad princess missed her family and didn’t want to marry anyone. She would often cry while sitting alone in her room. The princess did not know anything about her groom-to-be since custom did not allow them to meet before the ceremony. She imagined him to be ugly, mean and very old.  A young female cousin of the groom-to-be would sneak in to the princess’s room and try to cheer her up. At first the princess would cry even more whenever the cousin would enter her room. The cousin was cheerful and explained to the princess that she was from another kingdom and also felt homesick. Eventually the cousin and the princess became close friends but the princesses still didn't want to marry anyone ugly, mean and very old.

      When the princess threatened to run away, because she didn't want to marry someone she didn't know...... her new friend arranged for the groom-to-be to secretly meet the princess.   If they were caught with one another.....it would surely mean.....immediate death for both of them!  Whenever the prince and princess would meet, the cousin was never far away.... the cousin would be  either waiting in a hallway, listening for footsteps or somewhere else always waiting and waiting to make sure no one would see the prince and princess together.   The groom-to-be was a very handsome young prince and the princess was delighted. Soon the prince and princess fell in love.

      When it came time for the wedding day, the princess surprised the prince’s family by happily asking if the cousin could help her get ready for the wedding. The two giggled and laughed all day and were happy that no one had discovered anything about their secret meetings. From that day on, the princess always referred to her new friend and cousin as “my Lady-in-Waiting”.   “Of course, the prince and the princess lived happily ever after!”

Hint #13: Protect Gowns - Bride, Mom and Bridesmaids

      This idea has become of favorite of brides-to-be!

      Purchase an inexpensive ($1.99 - $3.99) plain white or clear shower curtain.  Thread a pretty colored wide ribbon through the hook holes. Have the shower curtain "at hand" on your Wedding Day to use, if necessary, before you leave for the ceremony.   After you are dressed, if you want to enjoy a snack, wear the curtain (tie ribbon bow in back) over your gown to protect spilling of drinks or food.

      Many, many "moms" and "brides" have called our office saying, "your idea saved the day". One mom was trying to be extra careful serving soda to the brides maids when her daughter (the bride) told her the soda was dripping all the way down her curtain....they all laughed ....but this could have been a disaster without the shower curtain!

      Your shower curtain can become a welcome covering (tie ribbon bow in front) to give extra protection to your gown in case of heavy rain. Don't get the "rain day blues". Rain or shine...your wedding day will be wonderful!


Hint #14: Bride and Groom -

        Bachelorette Party Planning and Bachelor Party Planning -   Both parties are fun to plan.  Try to keep these parties simple......to keep cost down.  Out of town parties are expensive and if you have married groomsmen or bridesmaids......their spouses will not be happy that they are going out of town to some exciting location for a bachelor or bachelorette party.   Out of town locations also add extra expense to your friends and bridal party.   Maid of Honor and Best Man need to discuss with everyone what type of event to plan.......so you are considerate to finances.  

       Many groomsmen/bridesmaids and friends want to be invited and don't want to be excluded - so the don't speak up and say..."hey, my wife won't like this" or "hey, this trip will really be tough on my budget" - but they feel it and may say it to others.   Plan a party that takes everyone's situation into account so that  unnecessary pressures aren't put on anyone.

       Going to an island can be great fun for both parties......if spouses are invited and plans are agreed upon by all.........way in advance.......so that finances can be planned.

       Going on a cruise together for bachelor and bachelorette party can be fun....and again.... if spouses are invited and plans are agreed upon by all.........way in advance.......so that finances can be planned.

        Preparing a video about the honoree is a fun and memorable project.  Be creative.   Show the video at the gathering location for your group.   Follow up with going out to dinner and maybe hitting a few clubs.   End the evening where both Bachelor and Bachelorette party attendees join up together at a designated time at a local diner for breakfast.    Having the Bachelor Party meet up with the ladies....... will certainly score points with fiancee and all other partners.

         Your gifts to each other  -  Have fun visiting bookstores in search of a great COOK BOOK. Once you find your special selection, write something similar to the following  on the inside cover:  "Let's start a tradition!  One Sunday each month - you are in charge of dinner and the kitchen!  I must -  assist/help/make you feel better - in any way you request!!  One Sunday each month - I will be in charge of dinner and it will be your turn to assist/help/make you feel better - in any way I want!   A couple that cooks together - stays together!!  I look forward to a life time of tasty treats  and love!!!"  Give this gift to your mate on your wedding day and soon you will realize that  strawberries and whipped cream can be fun foods whether it be morning, afternoon or night!!   

      I also suggest you give a Bible to your spouse as a gift on your wedding day. After the reception, give your  spouse the Bible and each of you take a few minutes and write on the inside cover just how you feel about each other on this - your wedding day.   Marriage is for a lifetime and we need all the help we can get - just to get through each day.  After the wedding, it would be a good idea if at least every couple of  weeks,  you read the words you wrote on your wedding day. Reading what you wrote helps remind you of the importance of your love for each other. Reflect on what the words meant on your wedding day and what they mean to you now.    Reading each others thoughts on how  you both felt on your wedding day will help reiterate the  importance of your vows so that you will always treasure the meaning of your marriage!


Hint #15:  Bridal Shows - Bring Address Labels for Prize Drawings

Brides-to-be attend Bridal Shows to get ideas for their wedding day.  Businesses exhibit in Bridal Shows to introduce their business to the bride-to-be.  These exhibitors want the bride to purchase service and other items from them.   Bridal Shows are bridges of information between businesses and brides-to-be.

     Brides-to-be attend bridal shows so that they can meet many businesses at one location.  These women want to meet experts to help them plan their day.  Brides-to-be often arrange all their purchases from the businesses that they meet at Bridal Shows. 

     This  wedding hint is another favorite of brides-to-be.  It is a good idea to print up labels to save you time writing out your information when entering prize drawings  at Bridal Shows. First line: on left print your telephone number and on  same line on the right side print the date of our wedding. The next line should contain name of bride first and then the name of groom. Next line the street address (including apt. #) and the last line should be the city and state including the zip.

     If you already have address labels....before attending a bridal show....simply write in your date of wedding and telephone number on your pre-addressed labels and you will be ready to enter any and all prize drawings at bridal shows. 


Hint #16:  Bridal Registry

     Businesses often offer a Bridal Registry.  After meeting the representative from the Exhibiting Business at a Bridal Show, the Bride-to-be either registers at the show or goes in to their store to register or registers on-line.   The bride-to-be registers for gifts she would like to receive for her engagement, bridal shower and wedding. 

    Invited guests receive notice of where the bride is registered along with the invitation to both the bridal shower or wedding..

    Many businesses supply small sheets or cards showing their business name, address and telephone number that can be included with invitations.   Quite often invitations are sent with  a detailed typed sheet showing all the different places where the bride has registered.   The guest looks at this Bridal Registry List and decides where to go to purchase a gift.

    Brides will often state that she would like more than one of the item selected on the Gift Registry.  Stores keep track of how many of each item the bride selected so that if bride selected 12 place settings and a guest purchases 2 place settings - the business will immediately show 10 place settings remaining for purchase on the registry at the store as well as on line.

Examples of popular types of Store Registry for Brides-to-be:

  1. Patterns for formal dishes, silverware and stemware (glasses), as well as informal (everyday) dishes, silverware and stemware (glasses).
  1. Patterns for bathroom towels, wash cloths, hand towels, floor bath mat, etc. and registers for how many of each different size.
  1. Patterns for bedroom bedspread, blankets, sheets, pillow cases, etc., and registers for how many of each different item selected.
  1. Small appliances, knife sets, roasting pans, baking sheets, and other kitchen items.
  1. Washer, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and microwave..
  1. Gardening and home repair tools.
  2. Jewelry, clocks, silver/gold embellished serving pieces, picture frames, collectables, etc..  Furniture, lamps, etc..
  1. TV, Sound System, Computer, Digital Camera etc..
  1. Mortgage Company or Bank, the bride and groom open up a bank account and invited guests mail in or go in to the Mortgage or Bank office and deposit various amounts of money.   This Bridal Registry is used towards down payment of a home.

    To register in-store means that the store has a sheet /card – very much like an order form – where the bride selects items that she wants offered by the store.  Most stores offer this service via a computer in store and on line.    When an invited guest purchases an item, the order form shows whether or not the item has already been purchased.

    If the bride has selected six (6) of the same items and an invited guest purchases two (2), after the purchase…. the order sheet will be changed and will now show 4 items.

    If you find a store with item or items..  that you would like............and the store doesn't have a Bridal Registry.....ask their representative if they could keep record of the different items you selected.  Also advise their representative that you will be including their store name with invitations to your bridal shower and wedding.  Because it means more business - many stores have established a Bridal Registry because of a suggestion from a bride!


Hint #17 - Receiving Lines

It is a misconception that  number of people in receiving line determines length of time.  It is incorrect to think that only having the parents and newlyweds in the receiving line will shorten the time of a receiving line.  The number of guests that go through the receiving line determines how long it will take!

Brides need to be very careful that their veil is pushed away from their face during the receiving line - so that no lipstick gets on the veil. 

 More and more couples opt not to have a receiving line because of time constraints.   In the summer months - because of the heat, many families choose not to have a receiving line.

If any of the parents really want a receiving line after the ceremony- then it is best to have a receiving line.  If you don't have a receiving line after the ceremony - you can always have a receiving line during the cocktail hour at your reception!

After receiving line is finished - wedding guests usually stay at the ceremony site another 10 - 20 minutes.   Because of receiving line, be careful in scheduling time when cocktail hour starts.  Brides have often told the writer that  their cocktail hour was empty of guests for the first half hour -  because the guests didn't get there as early as the bride planned!    Other times, by the time the guests arrived - it was too close to the dinner hour to really enjoy the cocktail hour.   When cocktail hour is scheduled without figuring time for the receiving line and travel time to reception location  - there is either a lot of food that goes uneaten from the cocktail hour  or guests leave half their dinner meal - because they quickly ate just a little while ago during the cocktail hour!

If not planning a receiving line at ceremony - so that guests don’t crowd around you after you walk back down the aisle – forcing you to have an unplanned receiving line -  include the following in your Wedding Day printed program:

      “After the newlyweds take their traditional walk back down the aisle, kindly remain in your pews so that the bridal party and family can go back up front for pictures.  The newlyweds and their families will greet you informally during the reception.  Thank you!”

 Hint #18:  Transportation   - 

  Transportation on a wedding day started with using someone’s car ”that was nicer looking” than your own.    The bride and her father usually rode in “that nicer looking car” to the ceremony and the bride and groom rode in “that nice looking car” to the reception.

 In 1989, usually only the bride and the bridesmaids were transported to the ceremony and maybe 50% of the time the bride also arranged for the bridesmaids to be transported to the reception.  Approximately 25% of the grooms and their groomsmen were transported to the ceremony and to the reception.   Since most of the time the groomsmen drove their own cars to the ceremony - they happily drove the bridesmaids to the reception.

 In the year 2006 - it’s a whole different ballgame.   Today’s brides are careful with spending for their wedding day.   Keep in mind that members of your bridal party are all your friends, and you don’t have to try to impress them with the most expensive and newest vehicles.  Good idea to inform bridal party as to what type of vehicle you’ve reserved.    Brides and their bridal parties ride in all sorts of vehicles to the ceremony…. large and small, old and new.   Not only does the bride and groom get transported to the ceremony and reception… but the entire bridal party is also transported to the ceremony and to the reception.   Six and ten passenger Limos are still the favorite means of transportation because one limo can be sent for the groom and groomsmen and one limo can be sent for the bride and bridesmaids.  Two or three ten passenger limos can comfortably transport most bridal parties.   Quite often, a new sedan or an older  classic car transports the bride to the ceremony and the bride and groom to the reception.   

 The larger vehicles (Excursions/Hummers, etc.) have enough room in one vehicle to transport everyone in the bridal party to the reception.    Larger vehicles are often used to transport bridal parties to the ceremony and reception all in one vehicle.   However, using 2 or more ten passenger limos will continue to be popular as a more affordable way to transport large groups.  

 Most wedding planning books state that it is the groom’s responsibility to arrange for wedding day transportation.   I don’t know who set that rule but as in all wedding planning……it is best for bride and groom-to-be to sit down with the parents and discuss who will be covering which expenses.

 Usually the bride or her parents arrange for a limo to transport the bridal party to ceremony and reception.   It is interesting to note that when the bride arranges for wedding day transportation,   75% of the time she also arranges for the groom and groomsmen to be transported to the ceremony and reception.   When the bride’s parents arrange for wedding day transportation, 50% of  the parents - only make arrangements for the groom and groomsmen to be transported to the reception and not to the ceremony.    When the groom’s parents arrange for wedding day transportation……most of the time they include transporting the groom and the groomsmen to both the ceremony and reception.  When the groom arranges for wedding day transportation, most of the time he only arranges for the bride and bridesmaids to be transported to the ceremony but almost all the time arranges for the groomsmen to be transported to the reception.

 Limo rates are much higher during prom season….because there are never enough limos available on any given prom night.    If your wedding is during prom season, hopefully your ceremony is scheduled by 2:00pm so you don’t have problems arranging transportation.  A 2pm ceremony means cocktail hour starts at 4:30pm and candlelight dinner starts by 5:30 or 6pm.

 Finally it is time for the reception festivities to begin.   Instead of giving the driver’s tip upon arrival at reception, it is best to have an envelope ready at 1st pick up location for each driver.   

 Also - arrange in advance for someone in the bridal party to be responsible for checking for items that might be left inside limo and/or in trunk when bridal party exits vehicle at ceremony as well as upon arrival at reception location.  Assigning someone to take care of this matter will certainly avoid stress on your wedding day.

NOTES:     Certain situations  are often referred to as "limo horror stories".   Most of the time these "horror" stories are exaggerated and expanded many times over.   When someone tells me about a horror story....I always try to get names, dates and locations......and somehow....that information is never available.....that is why they are called "stories".

  Weather conditions also effect timeliness.  It is best to address these situations - and say it like it is -  so that everyone can deal with these issues and not think their limo company arrived late... or had a breakdown on purpose.   Transportation companies work with people, machines, traffic and weather.   All companies endeavor to be on time for all pick ups - but machines are machines...and as such...even with preventable maintenance....limos and other vehicles do have breakdowns. 

Most transportation companies maintain a 4-6 % margin of error.   This means....everything goes fine 96% of the time. 

1.  Arrival time is not same as Leave time:   If travel time from limo company garage to your pick up location is 30 minutes.. too often families arrange pick up time - at the same time - as leave for ceremony time.     To save money....most families cut time too short and don't want limo to arrive too early.    It is best to schedule extra wait time at both bride and groom's pick up location to avoid problems.  

2.  Limos are vehicles just like your own vehicle:  Limo companies do as much preventative maintenance as possible - but parts can break down at any time.   Often there is enough time to make a repair and still be on time.   Limo companies may have another vehicle to substitute for your limo whenever possible...but in a less than perfect world......it is just not economically feasible to always have an extra vehicle just sitting around for the few times when a breakdown happens.   So if a breakdown happens.......try to keep it in perspective and try not to crucify the driver, dispatcher and company owner.   None of them want a breakdown to occur.

3.  Weather and accidents can effect the timeliness of your scheduled limo:   The driver and dispatcher did not arrange for a downpour that caused a delay of 15 minutes or more....so please do not try to crucify your driver, dispatcher or owner of company.   Weather and accidents effect timeliness.   An accident 10 cars up ahead of your limo can delay limo 30 minutes or more.   The driver, dispatcher and owner all feel bad and are upset when a limo is delayed.   Again,  the driver,  dispatcher and owner did not arrange for an accident just so your limo would be late.  Please stay calm and  try not to attack, threaten or scream at  your driver, dispatcher or owner of company.  

4. Refunds:   Most companies divide their wedding package service in to three parts:  a.) Getting to ceremony   b.) Time at ceremony  and    c.) Getting to reception.    If a company misses pick up to get you to ceremony....usually there is a 1/3 cash refund due.   If limo takes you to ceremony and is at ceremony and somehow the limo overheated and won't start to get you to reception....then there usually is a 1/3 cash refund due.     However, a universally accepted refund policy is whenever a limo has been used to take group to ceremony and reception and client has a complaint.......when a refund is justified......refund is always given in service credits because limo was accepted and service was used.    Cash refunds are not given when vehicle accepted and used.

  If limo is late because of circumstances beyond the limo company's control.........and limo is accepted and service is used to ceremony and/or reception......Limo companies do not give a cash refund but usually will offer a few hours of free service to acknowledge they feel bad because they were late.   Whether free service is donated to a fund raising group or if  a client receives free service, recipient pays for gas and minimums to driver.

5.  Extra Vehicle available:  The writer mentions these issues so that families can also try to arrange in advance.....to have another vehicle on hand....in case something unforeseen happens to their scheduled limo.    Again, most important is to try to stay calm.   Every limo company owner and all drivers feel extremely terrible when a breakdown happens.  Limos are machines and machines do have breakdowns.    Most limo companies maintain a 4-6% margin of error.   No matter what the margin of error.....you can either look at the bottom side that you had to ride in a substitute vehicle.....or look at the top side - which is... if there is a breakdown on your wedding day..... let it be the worst thing that ever happens to you during your life as man and wife!   

When lateness occurs or a breakdown happens on your wedding day - please - again....try not to attack, threaten or scream at your driver, dispatcher or owner of company.   I'm sure drivers, dispatcher and owner of company all try their best to rectify situation wherever possible.   Most important is to keep everything in perspective and stay calm and enjoy your day.  

 Hint #19: Poems  - Wedding Poems  and an unsigned poem - "The Changing Image of Mother".

There is nothing more romantic than a "love letter"!   Everyone should write a love letter to their fiancee and possibly schedule to read the letters during ceremony or during the reception!    Save these letters and bring them out to read on every anniversary!  So much enjoyment can be received over and over again when you re-read these letters of love that you wrote prior to your wedding day!  Keep the letters in a decorated box or a simple box - or keep the letters in your family bible - but most important - aways keep them close at hand!                  

A love letter can also be a poem borrowed from a literary great!  On page 142 and page 143 of "Selected Poems & Letters of Emily Dickenson" edited by Robert N. Linscott -  was this poem:

"That I did always love,
I bring thee proof:
That till I loved
I did not love enough.

That I shall love alway,
I offer thee
That love is life,
And life hath immortality."

This, dost though doubt, sweet?
Then have I
Nothing to show
But Calvary."

On page 165 - Emily Dickenson also writes

"We outgrow love like other things
And put it in the drawer,
Till it an antique fashion shows
Like costumes grandsires wore."

    Renewal -  Many of us need reminders of our love and letters of love can offer hopes of  renewal in a marriage.  Reading your love letters, on a regular basis, will be a reminder to us of how we felt about each other on our wedding day! 

     When you are having a small argument..... - call a "time-out" and bring out those love letters and hand your love letter to your spouse - and then - you begin reading his love letter!  Establish this procedure early on in your marriage as a habit  - and those your little squabbles will not grow in to big ones!  Each of you have to work extremely hard to keep your love alive and to keep the wonderful feeling that goes along with being in love.  

    Share a goal on your wedding day.  A wonderful goal is to keep that feeling of "being in love" so that it will last forever.   As you grow old together - this feeling of always being in love will grow more important!  Cherish the feeling and work at it - so you don't lose your love for each other!

     Do everything you can early in your marriage to develop good habits and traditions - so that good reactions becomes a habit!  Don't outgrow love like other things!

     Every poem takes on a different meaning to the reader.  You don't have to be an "Emily Dickenson" to write a love letter that will hold special meaning to you and your fiancé!

     Where love is concerned - even though centuries have past - thoughts and expectations haven't changed very much - as evidenced by what Homer wrote hundreds of years ago!

                     There is nothing nobler or more admirable
                      than when two people who see eye to eye
                      Keep house as man and wife,
                      Confounding their enemies
                      And delighting their friends.
                                                               Homer, Odyssey


 Time goes by so fast........enjoy the short time you have with family and friends.

 An unsigned poem - "The Changing Image of Mother".

    4 year old:  "My mommy can do anything!"
    8 year old:  "My mom knows a lot! A whole lot!"
  12 year old:  "My mother really doesn't know quite everything."
  14 year old:  "Naturally, Mom doesn't know that, ether."
  16 year old:  "Mom?  She's hopelessly old-fashioned."
  18 year old:  "That woman?  She's way out-of-date!"
   25 year old:  "Well, she might know a little bit abut it!"
   30 year old:  "She's smarter than she used to be - but we really don't need her opinion!"
   40 year old:  "Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion."
   50 year old:  "Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?"
   60 year old:  "Wish I could talk it over with Mom."

Hint# 20:  Wedding Planning - Reminder Lists - Last - but most important!

      Most important, start your plans early and stick to them until you are finished.

      Check your lists daily and set deadlines for each task, stick to your schedule, complete all your plans early.  Don't expect to complete too many tasks on any one day.  Be realistic with your mini-goals each day. 

     Try to get everything done on time, but don't be too hard on yourself if you don't get everything done as planned.  


     Your wedding day is a day "to share with family and friends".  
Moms of both the bride and groom would love to give you a helping hand with your plans - they want to be involved.  Other family members and friends would also like to assist.   All you need to do is ask!    When family and friends are involved.....they feel  like..... they are a part of your day.    Don't try to do everything yourself.  Delegate and ask for help!!   By asking someone for help.... you make that person feel important!   Good Luck and Congratulations!!


Call Maria for advice on wedding plans, etiquette, relationship questions...

438-1035  (Monday through Friday 11 am - 5pm )




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