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We have compiled the best information, tools and resources to aid you in planning your wedding. Do you have ideas you'd like to share with brides? Email us your helpful hints and tips to!



Wedding 101: Contracts

wedding contracts

Contracts can be the most confusing and difficult part of planning a wedding, but they need not be. Keep in mind that this is a business arrangement. You're the customer and you are contracting with certain businesses to provide the services you request on a certain date, at a certain time, and within a certain budget. Contracts are a must when doing business with the all types of wedding-related services. A contract will spell out everything in black and white. Remember, estimates are your first step, but nothing is final until you sign a contract and put down a deposit.

Make sure you don't sign something that you haven't thoroughly read or don't understand. Never sign a contract that makes you feel uncomfortable or that you can't afford. A contract is a legally binding document that commits you to the service or provider. Be well informed about what you are signing; ask questions, or take a copy of it home to look over if you have any hesitation at all. Be sure the contract spells everything out including refunds and damages if something happens to the venue or supplier and they cancel or can't fulfill their part of the agreement.

In most cases a deposit is required to place an order formally or to reserve a certain date. Couples make the common mistake of assuming that the reception site is reserved based on a verbal commitment for date and time. The agreement is not always valid, let alone recorded, until after the deposit has been received. Do not make cash deposits. Always use a check or charge card so that you have a legal record of money changing hands.

Every contract should include a cancellation and refund policy that outlines what refunds or penalties you will incur if you or the vendor cancels.

Always remember that you're the customer! Even though this can be an emotional time, don't settle for less than what was contracted for. Insist on the best service and accept nothing less. You may be spending more money on this one day than most people spend in a year! Make the most of your investment and do it your way.

BanquetEvent Lucky in Love's "Wedding 101", offers practical and inspiration wedding planning tools, advice, and connects you with the vendors who can make the wedding of dreams a reality.  


Wedding 101: Favors


Your mother and grandmother will remember a time when wedding favors were always Jordan almonds or groom's cake tied up in a little white box. Today, the humble wedding favor has become a major décor element, an opportunity to showcase your personalities as a new couple, and leave guests with a treasured acknowledgement of your gratefulness for their support.

Incorporate favors as part of your decorations: Use the opportunity all the space displaying these guest thank yous will take to your advantage. Display favors as apart of your décor. Fill vintage cubbies with sweetly wrapped cookies or use your escort cards as gifts. 

Incorporate your theme: Think about your wedding theme and play off that when choosing gifts. If you’re having a winery wedding, think about giving guests wine cork key chains or wine keys. 

The packaging is half the fun: Creative packaging elicits admiration and can further express your wedding theme.

Monogram minimum: Keep monograms to packaging. Wedding favors are gifts to your attendees and should be given with the same thought as you would for a birthday gift. A note when printing out the couple’s names or when using monograms: traditionally the brides name comes first.

Don't forget the kids: Use special wedding favors for young children to your advantage. Give a bag of small items to entertain them, such as crayons or a disposable camera with a “Wedding Photography Scavenger Hunt”.

9 Wedding Favor Categories:

  • Ecofriendly - personalized packets of seeds or flower bulbs are a perfect complement to garden weddings or environmentally conscience couples
  • Eatable – packages of sweet or savory treats, to be eaten promptly, such as warm cookies, or prepared later, such as a custom spice rub
  • DIY – the possibilities are limitless; homemade jams, bath salts, infused oils or spirits, granola, lip balms, CD’s with songs that are special to you and feature songs that were played on the dance floor during your reception
  • Local fare – send your guests with a little piece of home by showcasing regional fare; apples or smoked salmon reflect the bounty from sea to shore for a Washington wedding
  • Double duty – favors that do more than one job; personalized mason jar cups to be refilled throughout the evening with guests drinks will help minimize the amount of glassware your have to rent, hand-held fans are perfect for warm-weather weddings, place cards - photo booth pictures and frames, potted succulents
  • Seasonal - planning a wedding around the holidays? A Christmas ornament for guests will remind them annually of your special day.
  • Beverage & Bar – from credit card bottle openers, to beer cozies, to mini tequila bottles, guests will toast you time and again when they use these
  • Children’s favors – kids activity boxes that include activity books, treats, crayons, cameras, mini puzzles, scavenger hunts, etc.
  • Tote bags – customized canvas tote bags will be sure to be used again and again and a great option for destination weddings


BanquetEvent Lucky in Love's "Wedding 101", offers practical and inspiration wedding planning tools, advice, and connects you with the vendors who can make the wedding of dreams a reality.  


Wedding 101: Planning Your Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony Tips

The Order of Events: Begins with the procession where the families and bridal party are escorted down the isle and take their places either on the altar or seating area. Then the officiant or person presiding over the ceremony will begin with opening commentary, followed by the declaration of intent that includes the exchanging of vows and rings. During this time or after, is when songs are sung, readings are given, the lighting of a unity candle, taking of the elements, or a sand ceremony takes place.  Next is the pronouncement of marriage and the kiss. The ceremony ends with a reverse recessional of the beginning procession, lead by the newlywed couple.

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.

Readings: Religious or poetic, choose text that has meaning to you and your partner. Reflect your personalities and feelings towards one another.  Officiants, religious text, poetry, literature, song lyrics, and quotes are great resources for your wedding ceremony readings.

Music: Can be broken down into three main parts: prelude, processional and recessional music. Prelude music tends to be quieter, allowing guests to still talk softly among themselves as guests continue to arrive.  Processional music is the song(s) your wedding party walks down the isle too.  Recessional music, often the most exuberant of all the music, is played when the wedding party then exits.  Music can also be played during special moments, like the sand ceremony or signing of the marriage certificate. Think about ceremony/altar space when choosing whether the size of our your musical ensemble. 

Check all the rules: Make sure you know all the rules and restrictions the church, chapel, synagogue, indoor or outdoor venue may have. Some have strict rules about photographs or videotaping, candles, music, and so forth.

Make your ceremony special: Write your own vows, select special music, or partaking in lighting a unity candle. Officiants and wedding planners can also help to make your wedding ceremony meaningful for you and your partner. Ask about personalizing the ceremony, they may be able to offer suggestions that will enhance your ceremony in ways you hadn’t thought of.


BanquetEvent Lucky in Love's "Wedding 101", offers practical and inspiration wedding planning tools, advice, and connects you with the vendors who can make the wedding of dreams a reality.  


Wedding 101: Budgeting Your Wedding


Whether you’re planning an extravagant or simple wedding affair, the following suggestions will ensure that your wedding turns out the way you want it while keeping your budget in line.  The most important advice we can offer you is to not go into 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! 

One way to make sure you stick to your wedding budget is to set up a separate bank account just for wedding expenses. 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 couple and the families contributing. Some spend more on music and entertainment or photography than others.

Depending on whether you’re hosting your wedding on your family’s property or in a downtown hotel ballroom, here are some of the services you’ll want to keep in mind when creating your wedding budget:

  • Accommodations – out of town guests, wedding night hotel room
  • Attire – Wedding dress and accessories, tuxedos
  • Cake
  • DJ/Music – pre ceremony, ceremony, or reception live music, disc jockey
  • Entertainment – photo booth, dancers, magician,
  • Favors 
  • Flowers – bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony arrangements, flower girl flowers, reception arrangements
  • Food & Beverages
  • Invitations – save the date cards, place/table cards, reception menus, thank you cards
  • Makeup/Hair
  • Minister/Officiant
  • Photographer
  • Rentals/Decor – ceremony seating, reception seating, tables (dinning, cake, gift, sweetheart, guest book), chairs, chair accessories, linens, china, flatware, banquet/service equipment, barware, tents, tent accessories, electrical, lounge furniture, dance floors, heaters/air conditioners, lighting
  • Transportation/Get away car 
  • Valet Parking
  • Venue
  • Videographer
  • Wedding Planner

Wedding Budget Printable

BanquetEvent Lucky in Love's "Wedding 101", offers practical and inspiration wedding planning tools, advice, and connects you with the vendors who can make the wedding of dreams a reality.  


Wedding 101: Wedding Cakes & Desserts

Choosing the perfect wedding cake is one of the tastiest and most creative elements in planning a wedding. The cake table has blossomed into not only including traditional wedding cakes, but desserts of all types. Today pies, cupcakes, donuts, and macaroons, also decorate the cake table. Cakes and desserts are also reflecting the wedding theme and couples personalities more and more.

Book your cake or dessert caterer around 6 months prior to the big day. This should be after such big decisions as what venue, season and décor theme you want. You want to make sure your cake will complement the rest of the day. Keep in mind the busiest wedding months are June through September, and December. At ordering time you need only an approximate number of guests. Confirm the number two to three weeks before your wedding. 

Serving sizes:
Your baker will be the most helpful in advising you on the amount you will need based on the number of guests and style of cake or dessert you’re serving. Keep in mind that wedding cake slices are traditionally smaller than other party cake slices and guests usually only partake in one slice.  Whereas if you’re featuring a s’mores bar, the count could very well be more than one per person.  On average, an 8” round cake will serve around 20 guests, a 14” round cake 40 guests, an 16” round cake around 50 guests when sliced in a square pattern, not pie-shaped, and are around 2”x2” slices.  Square cakes serve more people.   Prices are usually based on a per-slice amount. Due to their size and elegance, wedding cakes can be tricky to serve. Make sure your baker provides you with instructions for cutting and serving your wedding cake. Appoint someone to be in charge of cutting and serving; give that person the instructions, or ask your caterer if their servers can be available for this task.

10 questions to ask your baker:

  1. Could we see photos of your work?
  2. What flavors do you offer?
  3. Can we taste samples?
  4. Do we have to choose from set designs or can you create a custom piece?
  5. If we want to use fresh flowers, will you work with our florist?
  6. How are your cakes/desserts priced out?
  7. Are you a licensed by the state health department and insured?
  8. Can you accommodate certain dietary restrictions?
  9. What is your delivery process?
  10. Do you provide/rent cake stands and serving utensils?

BanquetEvent Lucky in Love's "Wedding 101", offers practical and inspiration wedding planning tools, advice, and connects you with the vendors who can make the wedding of dreams a reality.