Guest List

The reception is the most costly unit of a great wedding and the Food & Music is the most important! If you have bad food and terrible music you & your guests will not enjoy the party and you will have deep regrets. That is why a strict guest list has so much importance in the planning.  Yes. . Your wedding gown is very important and you will find that it is much easier to make your selection, once you have your finances in order.  Now, on to selecting the people (Guests)who you choose to share in your joy on that wedding day. Note: "Share in your Joy".  Do not invite those who are only there to mix and mingle, or those who will write you a big check. Your guests must be Happy to see you get married and want to share in your JOY. That being said here are some guidelines:


Yellow & Gray

For Fall it can be great to use the changing scenery to tie in with your decor by utilizing reds, oranges, and yellows, especially if your ceremony or reception is taking place outdoors. If you are interested in picking a more simplistic or modern look than try integrating deep grays, latte shades, and even a sage green with a deep red, yellow or orange. Leafs and natural outdoor elements make wonderful centerpieces and will be very easy to find in the cooler climates. How about Yellow & Gray for your wedding?
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Make the rented Space Yours. Just because the reception space is a rented hotel ballroom or a plain white tent doesn't mean you can't revamp it and make it totally your own. In fact, whether you want to give your venue a minor face-lift or completely re-design it, you can make your reception look like none other - just start with LIGHTING.  Yes!  Upward lighting can make a room of basic white linens look Spectacular!

Source: Pinterest
Blue, Purple, Green, Red, Pink & Orange colored Lighting projected on the walls and ceiling can make quite an impact.  You will have to search for companies that have the equipment in your locale but, it's way cheaper than renting colored linens, tie-backs and overlays for 180 guests. Before you jump and let your fingers do the walking, check with your location and make sure that you can bring this to the site. Most hotels will require proof of insurance for any vendors you use on-site so, before you book the hall, get it in writing.
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Silver/Grey Wedding

At the start of a New Year, think of January as a clean & crisp start of your life together. There is still left over holiday decorations on display in hotels & banquet halls of silver & gold that you can use as part of your wedding décor.  Just, be sure there is no red & green in your space, you do not want Christmas past to be reflected in your photos.
There's more Silver/Grey Here.
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" I'll Drink to That ". . .
Joyous occasions call for kind words--and what better way to share them than with a toast? Just a few words or thoughts, spoken from the heart, can spread a feeling of cheer throughout the room--regardless of its size.  Whether you've been asked to speak at a special occasion or the moment calls for an impromptu toast, it's always best to be prepared. 
The exact origin of toasting is unknown, but its purpose of promoting good feelings has certainly been enjoyed worldwide throughout history (perhaps over-enjoyed in some cases!). The term "toast" originated in 17th Century England, when it was customary to place a piece of toast or


Winter White Wedding

Winter weddings are known for snow and ice in the cooler terrains, but that should not stop you from having an ALL WHITE wedding in the islands. Being on a Beach in Jamaica can transport you to calm and serene with the motion of the ocean in the background. There are so many white flowers that can accompany an all white theme and if you must, add a small pop of color in your bouquet to accentuate that glorious dress.
See more all-white here. . .
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Black/White Weddings

When most Brides are thinking Red & Gold for December. Dare to be different in Black & White.
Create a sophisticated style with any black design against a white background. Think of black feathers, dark chandeliers, classic scroll & damask patterns. Select a venue that has no Christmas décor in the main banquet hall where your reception will be held. Choose white or cream flowers paired with black berries or black jewels. Or white gerberas with black centers to continue the theme for your stylish black & white wedding.  If you dare. . . wear a Black Wedding Gown and dress your bridesmaids in white to surprise all your guests. See more Black & White HERE!
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The Attendants

Most wedding couples select friends that have been in their life for a long time to be their Bridesmaids and Groomsmen and some choose distinct family members. Whichever you choose, make sure they know what is required and are willing to go above board to make your day stress free. Many a friendships have been broken during this time of planning and they always will. I have been in the middle of arguments with brides and their maids when problems arise from the bride's selection of dresses. Note: This day belongs to the Bride & Groom not the MOH!  Instead of calling up your BFF to tell her she is your MOH, why not send her a card and give her time to think. A written request says a lot.
Now, how many attendants do you need? Not how many friends you have.  So many bride


Colorful Wedding Gowns

During wedding planning, brides choose color for their bridesmaid dresses, flowers, table settings and more. But they do not always take time to consider what color their own dress will be. Usually white or ivory has been the choices, but now they can just about choose whatever color they like and make a grand entrance that guests will be talking about forever.
Bright and Beautiful are the new breed of wedding gowns and if you like Red, there are several shades and designs in red for your selection. Designer Vera Wang has some awesome selections and she previewed them in her Spring 2013 Bridal collection here. She is not the only one,


Wedding Colors

If you are in the midst of your wedding planning and organizing yourself, its likely that you probably have changed your wedding colors over and over!  Here on this Blog you will find easy and unique wedding ideas to turn up the Awesomness just a notch! 
Colors and trends change almost every month and certainly over the seasons, so take this into consideration when planning long term. It is hard to keep up with fashion these days and a lot of Brides struggle to find something special and unique for their big day without breaking the bank!  By putting together a series of color combinations my aim is to help you make this decision with interesting ideas from venue décor to bridesmaids dresses and more. Do not forget that you can bring in your color scheme at the very beginning when you select save the date and invitations.  There will be lots more about colors and colorful Brides, so stay tuned. . .


Maid of Honor

A wedding is supposed to unite two souls in a single bond, but it can create more dissension than a congressional tax hike. That's where the Maid (or Matron) of Honor comes in. As the bride's closest friend and ally, the Maid/Matron of Honor has a single objective: make things go as smoothly as possible. You're there with clear nail polish when the bride's stockings get a snag; to squash bridezilla when she make an appearance; you throw the bridal shower & remember who brought what gift; you steer your friend into choosing the most flattering dress possible; and you might even sew a hem or two.
Like many events, weddings are growing increasingly casual these days. However, tradition demands a certain set of duties from the lucky person who is chosen to be maid/matron of honor (we'll refer to the role as MOH). The following steps outline the essential responsibilities even the


The Ring

Choosing the right style for your diamond ring is purely a matter of personal taste. In addition to the many shapes diamonds themselves come in, there are many setting styles to choose. From the traditional and classic to the more modern and fashion forward. Some rings have only a center stone (called a solitaire) while other settings have side stones of various shapes that surround the center stone. Another consideration is the type of precious metal for the setting. Yellow gold, white gold and platinum are popular. Some settings combine both. Whichever you choose, learn the 4 C's.
Learn The 4Cs
Put simply, there are four universally accepted characteristics that all diamonds are graded by. They are known as the 4Cs, and they are Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight. It is the


Order of Events


Cocktail Period

Guests mingle and deposit their gifts. Backstage the photographer takes portraits. If time permits the Bride & Groom should have something to eat, thus freeing up time to mix and mingle during the dinner.

Introduction of the Wedding party

Once the guests are seated, the bridal party is introduced for the first time.
  1. The Groomsmen and Bridesmaids
  2. Flower girls & ring bearer
  3. The parents of the Groom
  4. The Parents of the Bride
  5. The new Mr. & Mrs. 


Wedding Dates

The date you choose for your Wedding is very important when sticking to a real budget.  Especially because the months of January to August are considered peak season for weddings therefore those dates get booked quickly. Saturday evenings are also prime time for weddings.  So, will you consider a Morning wedding?

Morning weddings can be more economical because you get married on the beach before the sun gets hot and go to your favorite restaurant for Brunch. Food for brunch is a whole lot cheaper than Dinner and no Open bar. 
How about a Sunday evening wedding?  Not too many people book Sundays, so your chance of getting a great price on that hotel venue is very possible. Also, your guests will get a great room rate for a Sunday night stay. 
How about a Friday Evening wedding?  Fridays are not booked a lot for weddings, so you could get a great price for a reception hall. But the room rate for your guests will be pricey because it's the beginning of the weekend.  Aside from the morning wedding where you can see a big difference in the food and beverage costs all other costs will be comparable. You do have options. Book wisely.

Consider Having a Small Wedding.  Keep your wedding day to family and close friends only. Then when you come back from your honeymoon, have a large cocktail party and invite everyone. 

Destination Weddings: You are offering your Guests a Party & a Vacation on some Island Paradise. Those who are close to you and want to share in your Joy will make the effort to join you and it will be very cost-effective!


Reception Costs

The Reception.  Normally the wedding reception slice is the biggest expense but it is the easiest major adjustment to cut significant costs. Based on statistics, it shows that the average guests to attend in a wedding is 180.  If you try to keep this number in mind, it is easier to calculate costs per person in the discussion with your caterer.  Food at the wedding can be significantly reduced if you choose a hot buffet over serving a four course meal. And as long as the food is delicious, your guests will not mind walking over to partake of your great food.  Keep in mind that you have to pay and tip the wait staff to serve those four courses.  

Cash Bar or Open Bar ~ With an Open bar the alcoholic beverages are unlimited and you get to select the brands you want, just remember that top shelf is expensive and you have to pay in advance. ~  A cash bar limits your guests to the amount of drinks to be consumed based on their pockets.  You would offer a



Planning a wedding is a big deal. There are so many different things to worry about. You will need to set the date, select the location, choose the rings, bridal gown, wedding party apparel, decorations, menu, wedding cake and so much more. There are invitations to send out and reservations to make. It's easy to become totally overwhelmed by everything you need to do. With that in mind, you must create a wedding plan - a list of all the things you need to complete in order for your event to be stress free. If you have the money you should hire a Bridal Consultant or Wedding Planner/Coordinator. It will be money well spent. But, if you are on a strict small budget and cannot afford the luxury, get a binder and create your planner. Also, some wedding sites have a free printable planner you could use to help streamline the process.

One Year before the Wedding:
It is best to give yourself One year to properly plan and execute the wedding of your dreams - Set up the Budget so that you know how much you can afford and establish a fund. Then you can: Purchase the Rings;  Create a Guest List;  Choose wedding colors/theme;  Select Invitations;  Hire a Consultant, & Select your Bridal party, etc.. etc.


The Budget

CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement & the start of your life together! Let's have a Wedding.

Fairy tale weddings do come true if you work closely on the planning, preparation of that memorable celebration. Most women envision themselves exchanging vows with their prince charming in a beautiful & romantic island or beach wedding ceremony. How about put all this imagination and daydreaming into a reality? There are numerous things that you need to give your attention to like:  Venue, budget, decorations, guests, invitations, programs and on and on. To achieve all your great wedding ideas, BUDGET is going to be your key ingredient. The main thing to remember is that you have to make what money you have cover all the costs. First of all there are expenses that you have no control over that are fixed costs: license, space rental & Taxes.  But, there are other costs that you can fully control: wedding dress, decorations, caterers & guest list. The number of guests you want to have will drive up the prices you pay for caterers, beverages, table décor and size of the rental space. Therefore you need a Guest List.

The reception is the most costly unit of a great wedding  and the Food & Music is the most important! If you have bad food and terrible music you & your guests will not enjoy the party and you will have deep regrets. That is why a strict guest list has so much importance in the planning.  Yes. . Your wedding gown is very important and you will find that it is much easier to make your selection, once you have your finances in order. Here is a list to assist in your budget preparations:

1. Make a strict Guest List (Average # 180 guests)
2. Reception Costs ( Venue; Catering)
3. Bridal Gown & Groom's Attire
4. Wedding Rings & Honeymoon costs
5. Beverages (Bar) & Gratuities
6. Photography & Music (DJ or Band)
7. Ceremony (License, Clergy)
8. Flowers (Bouquets & Table Decor)
9. Transportation, Invitations & Programs
10. Travel costs for Destination Weddings.

As a guideline, the national averages for certain wedding costs are:
Bridal Gown  = $1,200.00
Groom's Attire - $250.00
Wedding Rings - $5,200.00
Floral Arrangements = $1,980.00
Venue Rental & Catering = $12,700.00
Entertainment = $1,400.00
Cake = $466.00
This is only a guide, please do your own calculations!

Other Factors to Consider:
Safety First - If kids are at the reception, you cannot afford to choose a spot that is not safe for children.
Second - The venue should come within your affordable range. Do not overextend yourself.
Third - The decor and atmosphere should be in harmony with your wedding Theme.
Fourth - There should be adequate bathrooms.
Fifth - The space must have a Liquor License if you want to serve those beverages.
Last - The spot must be accessible for your guests. Transportation should not be costly.
Note: Certain vendors like the Photographer, Clergy, DJ & Band have to be fed and you are responsible for their meals, so you have to include them in your Catering budget.

Note ii: Save costs on Gratuities serve a Hot Buffet (you have to tip the servers to serve a four course meal). If the food is delicious your guests will not mind sampling all you have to offer.

Note iii: Save transportation costs by having the Ceremony & Reception at the same location. You will need a large facility but it will save you time & money in the long run.

Note iv: Before you get overwhelmed, get a reputable Wedding Planner or Bridal Consultant to work within your budget. They can get discounts from vendors that they have a relationship with.  Most hotels have a Free coordinator so, make good use of their services.  Get a Free Budget Planner Here.
A Good Budget makes for a Joyful Wedding!