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Don't forget the marriage license: Don't forget to bring the marriage license packet to the wedding! Assign this task to a trusted friend or family member. A ceremony is not legal and complete without this; some ministers will even make you retrieve it from home while your guests wait.

A handkerchief is a must: Include a handkerchief in your wedding attire, or have your maid-of-honor carry one, for unexpected tears.

Make your ceremony special: The officiant can help to make your wedding ceremony meaningful for you and your groom. Ask about personalizing the ceremony-writing your own vows, selecting special songs, etc. They may be able to offer many suggestions that will enhance your ceremony.

Vows: Whether you use traditional vows or write your own, take the time to be sure that they reflect your relationship. Wording of traditional vows may vary within a religion or denomination; inquire about acceptable variations. Couples planning a civil ceremony may wish to consult with a church or synagogue when selecting their vows. If either of you has children, you may wish to include them in these sacred words. Be sure that your officiant has a copy of whatever vows you choose.

Ring-bearer's pillow: Don't tie the rings onto the pillow with "granny-knots." Practice tying them to the pillow so that they will stay on during the walk down the aisle, but will slip off easily during the ceremony.

Plan the timing of music: Prelude music adds a nice touch as the guests are being escorted into the church. To start the processional music, have someone signal the musicians at the appropriate time. Setting a specific time doesn't always work, since guests may still be arriving, or delays may preclude starting the ceremony on time. One way to handle this is to have your clergyman signal the musicians to start the processional music after a nod from the father of the bride. Provide cue sheets for your officiant and the musicians. One can unknowingly cut-off the other.

Approve your music selections with clergy: Make sure your clergyman is aware of your music selections. Ask about any restrictions on music. Some ministers or priests insist on approving all the music prior to the ceremony. Your favorite love song may seem offensive to the clergyman; none concerned would enjoy a last-minute confrontation.

Check all the rules: Make sure you know all the rules and restrictions about the church, chapel, or synagogue. Some have strict rules about photographs or videotaping, candles, music, etc. Sit down with the clergyman and discuss your ceremony from start to finish; then any details can be worked out early without last-minute difficulties.

Preferred vendors: Be sure to ask your ceremony site if they have a list of preferred vendors they work with. It is often easier to have vendors who are familiar with the site than to have someone who has never worked there before. Also keep in mind that some sites only allow you to work with vendors from their preferred list.


We Think You'll Love...J Rose Bridal!

Happy Friday, friends! Start off your weekend by enjoying these gorgeous veils and headpieces created by J Rose Bridal! They are nothing short of breath taking, see their full collection here



Get Inspired...Peachy Dream!

We have been inspired a lot lately by images that evoke a dreamy feel. Wether it's a soft and wispy up-do or a glittery pair of heels, you can't go wrong by designing your wedding with a dream state of mind. Soft peaches accompannied with some sage greens make a beautiful pallette!


Green Wedding Shoes; Intimate Wedding
Lauren Conrad; Style Me Pretty


How To Budget For Your Wedding

The following suggestions will help you as a couple plan your finances so your wedding turns out the way you want it while keeping your budget in line.

The most important advice we can offer both you AND your parents is DO NOT GO INTO DEBT! Weddings come in a variety of types and sizes; one is not necessarily better than the other based on the size or how much money you spend. Whatever you do, don't start your married life in debt.

Your wedding budget should be handled like a business budget. If your boss said, "The budget for the Christmas party is $10,000," you would use only those services that would keep you within budget. The same is true for your wedding. Find the services that can accomplish what you want within the budget you've designated. Be realistic about your budget. If you have only $5,000 for your reception, it's unlikely you're going to be able to afford a full sit-down dinner for 150 guests, but a buffet with hot and cold hors d'oeuvres may work very well. Follow your budget allocations as closely as possible. This will eliminate financial stress.

Be sure to ask if all charges for delivery and setup, taxes, and gratuities have been included in the estimates you get from all the businesses and services you have selected. These additional costs can be a very nasty surprise the week before the wedding!

Service    Budget       Actual      Deposit      Due      Balance Due
Caterer    $5,000      $5,250     $500         5/5      $4,750 8/6

It is recommended you set up a separate bank account for your wedding. This way funds can be tracked and kept separate from regular finances. Always pay businesses or services with a check or credit card to better record and track expenses. Allocation of your budget depends on what is most important to the bride, the groom, and the families contributing. Some spend more on music and entertainment or photography than others. The following is a breakdown of average spending by percentage:

Engagement ring - 14%
Reception - 40%
Photography and videography - 15%
Bride's and groom's attire - 5%
Music - 4%
Flowers - 3%
Invitations - 2%
Miscellaneous (clergy fees, rehearsal dinner, attendants gifts, limos) - 7%
Honeymoon - 10%


We Think You'll Love...Shannon Kristen!

Happy Friday, friends! We really really think you'll LOVE Shannon Kristen's beautifully designed illustrations. She has wedding decor, invites, art prints and even iphone cases! We absolutely adore her stylish watercolor designs! Check out her full collection here.


Get Inspired...Nautical Nuptials! 

Today we are feeling inspired by these lovely Nautical themed wedding treasures! What a wonderful way to incorporate your love for the Puget Sound by having a nautical wedding! With lovely ideas such as the stamped forks, to providing anchor socks for the bridal party! The possibilities are endless! 

top row: Burnetts Boards; Burnetts Boards; Knotsvilla
middle row: Inspired by This; Ruffled
bottom row: the Berry; Style Me Pretty; The Bridal Detective  


How To Accommodate Divorced & Blended Families

Dealing with divorced parents may add a complication to your wedding plans, but if handled well, everything can still work out just the way you planned. The key is to provide separate places of distinction at the ceremony, in the receiving line, and at the reception to ensure their happiness and enjoyment of the day.


  • Invitations: Invitations are usually issued by the parent you have lived with. If both parents have contributed, then both names and stepparents can be mentioned.
  • Ceremony seating: For seating at the ceremony there are two options: if parents are friends and have not remarried, they can sit side by side in the front pew. Otherwise the parent you have lived with would sit in the front pew with his or her spouse, and the other parent sits in the second or third pew with his or her spouse.
  • Photographs: Each set of parents will most likely want to have a photo taken with the bride and groom; it is important to spell this out to the photographer earlier. This can take longer for photographs so appropriate time needs to be allocated.
  • Down the Aisle: Walking down the aisle can be more than just a scary walk when trying to decide whether your father or stepfather should escort you. Consider whether you have remained close to your father and if you want him to fulfill this traditional role; or if your stepfather has filled the role of your father you may decide this is more appropriate. If your father and stepfather get along, you may ask both. If the decision is impossible, choose neither and ask your mother to walk you down the aisle.
  • Receiving Line: For the receiving line and reception, customarily the parent who is paying for the wedding greets the guests with you. The other parent can be mingling. At the reception a good solution to feuding families is to have two different parent tables.

Usually held at the beginning of the reception, this event allows parents and the wedding party members to greet guests and receive their good wishes. The line traditionally begins with your mother, followed by the groom's mother, the bride and groom, your maid of honor and the rest of the bridesmaids. The fathers can join in and, if so, should stand to the left of their wives. If your parents are divorced, your mother stands alone or with your stepfather, while your father circulates among the guests. Or, to avoid confusion, decide not to include fathers in the line. The important thing is to avoid hurt feelings or misunderstandings. Another alternative is to have your father and his new wife stand on the other side of the groom. If orchestration becomes difficult, it is perfectly acceptable to mingle and greet your guests during the reception rather than have a receiving line. Whatever works well for your situation is fine.

The bride's table, which should be the focus of the reception, can be of any shape and is sometimes elevated so everyone can see the wedding party. The groom usually sits to the bride's left with the maid of honor on his left. To the right of the bride is the best man, and the rest of the bridesmaids and ushers sit at the table male, female, male, female. If it's a small wedding party, the officiant and husbands and wives of the wedding party may also sit at the bride's table. Otherwise, a separate table for parents is set where your mother heads the table and the groom's father sits at her right and the wedding officiant sits at her left. The groom's mother sits on your father's right. However, if your parents are divorced, consider arranging a separate table for each set of parents.