Posts Tagged ‘wedding planning tips’

Wedding Planning Etiquette: The Guest List

As you plan your wedding, you’ll come up against all sorts of etiquette questions. From who to invite to how to invite them, I’ll be tackling the most common dilemmas over the coming weeks. This week, I’m taking a look at guest lists.

Creating your guest list is something you’ll need to do early, and can be a huge struggle. First off, find out how many guests you can invite. This can be determined by the budget and your venue’s capacity.


It can be helpful to write down a big list of possible invitees, then put them into A, B, and C lists. The A list should be close family and best friends who are must-invites. The B list is your close friends and more distant family. The C list should include co-workers and others who you could cut from the guest list more easily.

At the end of the day, your guest list should be the people you most want to spend your wedding day with. If you and your fiance disagree about the guest list, talk about why you want to invite (or don’t want to invite) a particular person. In general, you shouldn’t invite any exes, or anyone who will make either of you uncomfortable.

If you’re planning an intimate wedding, be ready to explain this to friends who might feel slighted, but don’t give out invitations to anyone you don’t want to be there! If you do want more people than you can really afford, consider offering invitations to the evening celebration, where guests can pay for their own drinks.

For more advice about creating your guest list, give me a call today (212-595-9263) or contact me through my website.

Check back next week for my advice about invitations, including how to handle plus ones and kids!

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Wedding Dress Budgeting and Saving

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a parent or relative pay for it, the cost the wedding gown is your responsibility. You know what you can afford and you need to stay true to that. You are so tempted with bridal magazines and beautiful gowns on the mannequins, I know!royalty-dress

Buying your gown online might seem like a way to save money, but it is just too risky! Your wedding day is too important to chance purchasing a dress that looks beautiful in the picture but looks completely different on you. Think about how difficult it would be to alter a dress that is too small. What if the stitching was really bad. Don’t buy online!

There are ways to stick to your budget, and even save money on your wedding dress. First, always make sure you set an appointment up with the bridal shop. They will give you better service, believe me! When you arrive for your appointment, make sure you are clear and firm with the sales staff about your budget so they stick with that price. They will, of course, try to get you in the dress that is $1000 more — they want the sale, right? Start by trying on the cheapest dress first. You just might fall in love with a cheaper dress that you never imaged would be your dream dress and save lots of money!

After you’ve found the dress it isn’t over yet. You still have to get all the accessories that go with it. That can be hundreds of dollars more! There are shoes, jewelry, slip, undergarments, veil, headpieces, lavish sashes and alterations. They can really add up!


Before you buy the dress, be sure to ask for an estimate for alterations so you aren’t astonished later on. If they have to do a lot of intricate alterations it can easily add up to $300-500!


More Ways to Save:

  • Ask the bridal shop if they have any specials that are going on. Sometimes they want to get rid of their floor samples and will discount them.
  • Look for imperfections (a broken zipper, loose threading, beads missing, makeup on the dress). You can ask the salon to fix it for free or offer you a discount on the dress.
  • If you buy your dress and all the accessories at the same store they will be more willing to offer discounts.royalty-dress4
  • Look into trunk shows or special bridal parties – they might be offering a special discount there.
  • Always ask what’s included (a garment bag, pressing or steaming, delivery, etc.) so you don’t spend more money on items that you could have gotten free through th bridal shop.
  • Always be super courteous and friendly. They might be more willing to work with you on delivery dates, free items, and discounts if you are a “Kind Bride” instead of “Bridezilla.”

As you plan your big day, it can be a big help to have a professional planner on your side. As an experienced San Antonio wedding planner, I can help you stay on budget and get the wedding of your dreams! Please email or call me, 210-595-9263 or


5 Things Your Guests Won’t Tell You

This week, we’re featuring a fantastic guest post by Alan Berg about what your wedding guests won’t tell you. Alan Berg has over 20 years of experience in the wedding industry and has authored three books, “If your website was an employee, would you fire it?,” “Don’t Paint The House” and “Your Attitude for Success.” Learn more at

My own tip to add to this is that your guests don’t know that you HATE line dances and told the DJ to stay away from them. They think your DJ is lame and doesn’t know the good songs to play at a wedding! Brides, think about your guests, too! Don’t you want them on the dance floor having fun?

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I remember hearing Colin Cowie speak to a group of Wedding Planners in NYC. He said that he tells his couples (who are spending millions on their weddings) that it’s not really their wedding. It’s their first chance, as a married couple, to host a party for their friends and family. That surprised me as we always think of weddings as being for and about the couple. The ceremony is definitely for and about the couple. The party that follows is a celebration of that marriage, with your closest family and friends.

If you accept that perspective, what would you do differently? If you’ve been a guest at one, or more weddings, what would you have liked to have told the newly married couple, but you couldn’t (or you and other guests just told each other, quietly at the table or afterwards)? Here are 5 things that your guests won’t tell you (unless they’re brutally honest or blunt).

  1. Your guests won’t thank you for making your Mom, sister, best friend or maid of honor work on your wedding day. They’re not wedding planners, they’re your closest family and friends. Let them mingle, dance and enjoy the day.
  2. Your guests won’t thank you for making them wait while you take pictures. Sure, they’ll eat, they’ll drink, but if it takes too long they’ll start wondering where you are. They were invited to celebrate with you.
  3. Your guests won’t tell you that you put way too many things on your wedding registry. Make it easy for them to buy you the things that you really want. It’s hard for guests to know which things you really want (like a beautiful honeymoon, fire pit or down payment on a house), when there are 250 items on there. Give them the option to contribute dollars towards your registry so you can choose how to use it. Also, understand that a gift should not be required. You invited them to share your wedding day, not to necessarily have to pay for the privilege. If they want to give a gift, make it easy.
  4. Your guests want to see, and hear your ceremony. Ask them to stay in their seats so everyone else can see. If you’ve hired professional photographer and videographer (real, experienced pros), and you share the photos with them (easy enough to do with online proofing these days), they’ll all be able to see and hear you taking your vows. Have someone ask everyone to turn off their ringers as well. You don’t want to hear a phone ringing on your wedding video. Everyone has a camera phone, but that doesn’t make them professionals. Don’t let them get in the way of the pros You’re investing good money in professional photos, let them do their job and they share it with your guests.
  5. Your guests won’t thank you for hiring the cheapest wedding vendors. They don’t care how much you paid, they only care about the end result that they see. An iPod is not a DJ. Your uncle is not a professional videographer and won’t know where to stand to not be in everyone’s way. That Craig’s List vendor you hired is cheap for a reason. Don’t hire cheap. Hire the best value, and that often means spending more. Just follow your priorities and invest in them. You won’t be happy when the photos aren’t what you wanted or the dance floor is empty.

What I’m trying to say here is that you know what it’s like to be a guest at a wedding, just try to remember that when making your choices. If it’s summer time, make sure there’s shade for your outdoor ceremony. Make sure there’s air conditioning. Don’t just pray that it won’t rain, or won’t be 110 degrees… have a real plan for it. Put yourself in the shoes of your 100, 200 or more guests and have them raving to you about how great everything was. You don’t always get kudos for doing it right, but you almost always lose points for doing it wrong. I wish you, and your guests, a very happy wedding.

This copyrighted article was written by Alan Berg, professional speaker, author and business consultant – North America’s Leading Expert on the Business of Weddings & Events, and published in Beautiful Bride Magazine. To find out more about Alan Berg visit © 2013 Alan Berg

Top Trends for 2014, Part Two

Last week, we took a look at five of the big trends for 2014 weddings. This week, we’ll discuss the rest of the trends that The Knot’s Laura Cave presented at the Austin Wedding Market Expo.

Modern Geometrics


Going along with the fabulous Art Deco theme, we’ll also see plenty of geometric styles. This will include different shapes for table settings and unique cakes. The modern styles will also show up in finishing touches, like sugar-rimmed glasses, bright floral designs, and pop art.

Emerald Green


Emerald was named the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013, and the influence will continue in 2014. From Wizard of Oz themes to forest themes, expect to see lots of deep green tones in 2014 weddings.

Couture Cocktails


The signature cocktail trend will take a high-end turn in 2014. This will include gold and silver sugar-rimmed glasses, savory cocktail flavors, and build your own cocktail bars.

Reception Lounges


Whether your wedding is modern, traditional, or vintage, lounge areas will be the perfect choice for 2014. Give your guests a sumptuous place to relax using drapery, tenting, pillows, and other personalized accessories.

Guest Entertainment


This has been a growing trend over recent years, and is still going strong. Along with the entertainment ideas that have become standard for 2013, including photo booths and food trucks, look for unique ideas that are special for your big day.

If you’re looking for help in planning your 2014 San Antonio wedding, give us a call today!

The Hottest 2014 Trends for Texas Brides

While we’re still in the middle of the 2013 wedding season, it’s also time to start looking ahead to the big trends for 2014 weddings. I was recently at the Austin Wedding Market Expo, where the fantastic Laura Cave from The Knot spoke about 2014 Wedding Trends.

Wedding trends come from a lot of places. These include celebrity weddings, fashion, technology, social media, and real life inspiration. For 2014, many of the trends include a more causal feel with an emphasis on fun.

Here are five of the big trends for 2014:

Deco Chic

From décor to attire, the glamour of the 1920s will continue to be big in 2014. Along with the Great Gatsby-inspired style, expect to see a lot more Art Deco influence.

English Romance

royalty-teaThe elegance of England is going to be popular, with tea party themes and garden weddings being a great twist on vintage styles. This trend will also show up through attire, with plaid and corduroy suits for the men and parasols for the women.

Homestead Elegance


Rustic will take an elegant turn in 2014. This popular theme includes soft, feminine touches to hairstyles, flowers, and décor.

Technology Showdown


Plugged-in weddings will be a big trend, with couples using hashtags and Instagram photobooths to get great photos from their guests.

Farm to Fork



The big trend for wedding menus in 2014 will be fresh, organic, and green. Food quality is hugely important, and couples are opting for farm fresh food for their big day.

Of course, there are more than five big trends for 2014! Check back next week to see part two of the top trends.

If you’re looking for help planning your San Antonio wedding, give me a call today!


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