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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Going Green, An Environmentally Responsible Wedding

Weddings are a great time to stop and think about our future and how our footprint will effect our environment's future. After all, weddings are all about forever. So think 'green' when planning your wedding.

A good way to 'go green' is to choose a venue that purchases their foodstuffs and buys locally. This cuts down on the amount of fuels used to get the food from the farm to your table. Not only that, locally grown foods are usually full of flavor and nutrients because of their freshness.

A recyclable wedding invitation? Yes you can! Invitations can be made of recycled paper with flower seeds inside the paper. Your guests cannot only recycle but they can plant your invitation and enjoy the flowers. What a nice way to make your guests part of your wedding.

Have a great idea for a green wedding? By all means share it with your fellow brides!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great Deal! For 2009-2010 weddings at William Penn Inn

Fabulous 2009/2010 Savings!! $15 or $10 OFF Per Person from The William Penn Inn at Route 202 & Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd, PA 19436 William Penn Inn is an all-inclusive site for your wedding/reception/rehersal dinner needs.  They have wedding planners on-site.  There are two rooms available for your reception or wedding ceremony.  Friendly staff and colonial atmospher make this a highly recommended site.


Smile, You're on Wedding Candid Camera

Candid photos at weddings are among the most treasured and there's a variety of ways to get a good variety of them.  If you want to use disposable cameras with a flash on your reception hall tables there's almost always a guest who will do the honors. To avoid duplicates of the same photo you could leave a list of the ten most wanted photos for the guests to take and let the hunt for the perfect candid photo begin! You can ask for shots of the table guests all toasting you and the groom, photos of kissing guests, the older generation glowing in love, funny poses or youngest guests on the dance floor. If you don't want to clutter the table with disposables, set up a docking station so guests can upload their digital photos from their cameras while they're at the reception. This is easy and fast for everyone! If you don't want to go through the setup of a docking station try leaving envelopes of CDs in a mailer preaddressed to you with a note asking your guests to "When you download your pics, please burn us a copy and drop this in the mailbox.' Finally there's the new craze of having a photo booth at your reception. Remember the days when you went to the beach and all clambered into a booth together mugging faces? Well the booths are back and all the rage at wedding receptions. The packages often include a scrapbook of copies of the photos, a TV that shows the pictures as people take them, and choices of either black and white or color photos for the guests to keep. Some photo booth companies will barter for their services, it never hurts to ask! You might get a nice extra for your reception by providing a service for the owner.  Now there's no excuse not to have some great candid shots to remember your wedding day.

Make Your Own Favors

The new product courtesy of William-Sonoma is a cookie cutter that lets you add a message to your cookie. To purchase this product online go to:
The link also includes a DIY video and information on where to get the recipe for your cookies.  The cost for the cookie cutters (you get three, one heart, one star, and one rectangle) complete with three sets of alphabets plus some commonly used words all for $19.95.  You can add the names of the bride and groom, messages of love, marriage or whatever works for you.  This is a great product for the DIY bride.

Using Tree Branches for Outdoor Decorations?

Decorating for the outdoors has its own set issues. You want to blend with nature but add your own mark to the area. One idea is to decorate tree branches with small origami birds in varying colors attached to the branches. Find out what the different colors of origami paper symbolize. For example, red for love, blue for faith and honor and white for hope and purity. Animals or other shapes have meanings too, like a butterfly stands for one's spirit. Decide which you would like to use on your tree. This blends the natural with the decorative an would make unique wedding decorations.

Coordinating Colors

Not the most artistic bride out there when it comes to pulling together all the colors for your wedding, linens, dresses, flowers, invites etc? Now Dessy-Pantone have announced their new PANTONE WEDDING color guide! It fans out with 194 different colors for Spring! The colors are arranged by color family and best of all, it will fit in your purse so you can take it along when you visit vendors or stores. No more guessing if that shade is 'just right.'

Visit their web site  to order this great planning tool as well as great site for inspiration and design inspiration planning boards.

And don't throw it away after your wedding planning is over, save it for decorating your new home. It's just $35.00 and comes with a free purse!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tax Deductions and Your Wedding

You are spending a fortune on your wedding and all the things that go with it, flowers, gowns, etc. And the good news is that you can get some tax deductions or at least benefit some deserving charities. To deduct charitable donations you will have to file a Schedule A. Unfortunately if your parents are paying for your wedding they can't take the donation. But they could give you a gift that is tax deductable and pick up a deduction that way. The biggest deduction is for renting a publicly owned historical landmark or museum. This applies to a number of historic landmarks and homes, museums, and even some nature centers. You need to get a written statement from the nonprofit organization which states the amount of your contribution. Goods and services received must be deducted from this, if applicable. Your reception locale will be able to give you further information on this. Also talk to your accountant to see what venues will count as a tax deduction. Since many rental fees of non-profit organizations go to help keep up the space you are renting they can be deducted. Another potential deduction is a charitable deduction for donating your flowers to a nursing home or a hospital. (This idea is courtesy of Martha Stewart who offers many ways to save money on your wedding.) Why not make someone else smile on your special day? Another suggestion is after the wedding instead of packing away your gown for posterity, donate it to a charity resale shop that sells wedding gowns. The retail value of the dress will be a tax deduction. See the following websites:
Along the same vein bridesmaids can also donate their dresses(and even shoes) to charities that give gowns to unprivileged teens at prom time. Usually they'll accept accessories to go with these dresses as well. One organization that does this is The Fairy Godmother Organization located in many major cities.
One of my favorite ways to give back is through the I DO foundation at
They can help you set up a memorial fund or make donations to your favorite charity when your guests purchase your gifts from Amazon, Target, Mikasa, Home Depot, Gaiam, JC Penney, Sears etc. The list can be found on their web page. On the same site you can make donations in your guests names as a wedding favor. You can also fund raise by setting up a competition among your vendors to donate a portion of their profits to your charity. While this won't help your tax bite, it will make you wedding day a day of giving back to your community. Also you have the option of shopping with vendors who donate to charities you want to support. While this may not garner you a tax deduction, it will help out your favorite charity. Many museum gift shops support their museum. And some vendors are well known for the charities they support. Touch base with your vendors and explain that you are planning on finding vendors who support 'XYZ Charity' Find you local food rescue organization that can use your leftover food for a good cause. While food banks deal only with non-perishable food items, food rescue programs will come and pick up both perishable and non-perishable foods. The food rescue groups can pick up leftovers from your wedding a drop it off at local shelters and soup kitchen the same day. Remember, receipts are critical to claiming anything as a tax deduction. Get amounts, dates and who you donated it to. Make April 15 a day to celebrate!

Do You Need Wedding Insurance?

Wedding insurance is one of those small details that many brides overlook. The costs range from $125. to $300. Wedding insurance and riders you can add to them cover a myriad of disasters that you can't control. If your wedding has to be postponed due to rain or bad weather, your insurance will cover the cost of rescheduling. It will also cover the expenses involved in postponement for the illness of essential people (read your fine print for the definition of essential). If you minister/rabbi or justice of the peace is a no show you'll get back some of your costs. If a vendor essential to your wedding disappears or goes out of business you can get back some of the cost, although how much depends on the specific policy. If the location of your wedding or reception doesn't carry their own insurance, your policy will cover damage to the building due to electrical and mechanical problems, fire, or if they go out of business. You can get riders to cover the damage to or theft of gifts if your rental or homeowners insurance doesn't cover them. A rider can also cover a spouse who is suddenly called to active duty in the military and if your gown store or the tuxedo store goes out of business or sustains damage. If you are having a wedding in your home be sure to carry liability insurance. Last of all, if you need to postpone your honeymoon due to bad weather, illness or other circumstances there is a rider to cover it. For companies offering wedding insurance go to:
Now that you know all the things that could go wrong you need to weight the pros and cons of your investment in your wedding to decide if it's a cost effective purchase.

Plus Size Wedding Gowns

Many brides today are looking for a plus size wedding gown. For many of them it's not that they're usually plus size but that the way wedding gowns are sized they are wearing a size or two larger than they normally would. So the hunt for plus size gowns goes on! The following are just a few of the many places selling plus size wedding gowns. If you run a search I'm sure you'll find a lot more of them. Also check on, they have information on everything wedding and I'm sure have suggestions. html
Other suggestions are to find the gown you love and check the manufacturers website. Often they will tell you if they sell that style in a plus size. If you are ordering a gown online be sure to have someone reliable measure you. A dressmaker who makes wedding dresses would be helpful, either that or a tailor. Don't try to measure yourself! This way lies madness and a gown that needs major alterations!

Making Your Own Bird Seed Bags

So, your wedding location will let you throw birdseed, but you don't want to pay someone to provide these for you? Directions for making your own as simple and easy to do. You and your bridesmaids or family can easily make an evening out of it and have fun at the same time.
To make wedding birdseed bags start with small throw pouches made of tulle. Pre-made pouches for birdseed can be purchased in a variety of colors at your local Party City or other party planning store. Or make your own tulle throw pouches, these can be made in tulle matching the wedding colors or just from rainbow pastels. They birdseed bags should measure about 3” x 4”. Close them at the top with a drawstring in a matching or coordinating color. You can make your own custom blend of seeds for birds in your area or just buy a bag of generic seed from the food or hardware store. You might want to use a funnel to put the seed into the bag. Now break out the wine! Info from:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wedding on The Water

Saturday the wedding queen and guests attended what was a billed as an 'Engagement Gala' on The Spirit of Philadelphia. The Spirit of Philadelphia and her sister ships in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, National Harbor MD, New Jersey, New York, and Norfolk all offer a wedding on the water experience for brides looking for a little adventure. This unique venue it would be the perfect place for a bride and groom looking for something a little different in a wedding experience. Brides and grooms can be married on board by the ships captain or choose the Spirit as reception venue. The boats vary in different cities, but all offer a wedding experience your guests won't soon forget. The Spirit of Philadelphia has a top, middle and bottom deck and has no more than 2 weddings at a time. It cruises the Delaware River with a backdrop of the city of Philadelphia. Photo ops abound for great shots especially for a bride who is looking for a photojournalism look for her pictures. Particularly impressive were the staff who were extremely polite and attentive. The web site currently offers a Wedding Special, Book your January, February, or March wedding event and receive 15% off!*Certain restrictions apply. Parties of 20 or more. Not available with any other offer. For more information about planning your Philadelphia Wedding Event please contact a Spirit Wedding Specialist at 866.394.8439. To view all the details of weddings on The Spirit and her sister ships go to and choose the city of your choice from the drop down menu. Prices were reasonable.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Favorite Other Persons Blog of the Day

The Wedding Window is one of my favorite blogs for looking for ideas. They have some great ideas, head over and take a look at their post 'Tie it Together with this Groomsman Gift Idea.' I couldn't wait to share it with you! Enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

How Many Is Too Many Attendants?

OK, I know you have lots of really good friends. I know they are all dying to be in your wedding. But really, couldn't you narrow it down a bit? Isn't six a bit excessive? Oh and that doesn't count the flower girl! The fact is each extra attendant means more flowers! It also means more gifts for your attendants. It means organizing your head table around what seems like a group the size of your old Brownie Troop. Yes I know we could do a sweetheart table, but the point is, how about just your sister and best friend, and a flower girl? Easier to organize for you and a budget trimmer for me. Give it some thought. This means you too!

Do You Really Need A Limo?

OK here's my problem. Limos seem so ... unnecessary! Yes you get plenty of room for your dress. And yes it is a special occasion. But you couldn't just make do with the family Cadillac? I know, I know, it's your wedding, but it's costing your father a fortune. So make the man happy, offer to kick in the cost of the limo so he starts breathing again.

And You Thought Your Mother Was Obssessive?

I hate to admit this but as soon as my daughter mentioned the word wedding I started researching. I know, I know. She's been through three boyfriends since then. I've suffered through the boyfriend who was just...well just awful! The boyfriend even his mother didn't want. The boyfriend who was obsessed with Madonna and was a mama's boy. And now the last, her fiance. Well I'm not suffering through him. (Am I?) Unfortunately I'm obsessive about using the web so I quickly found all the wedding web pages, blogs, and bulletin boards. And I've been reading them ever since. You have to realize, I've been reading them now for seven years, or is it eight or nine? OK OK, yes I am obsessive! During her various relationships she's wanted a beach wedding, a destination wedding, a traditional wedding, and a wedding at a vineyard and oh yes, the Vegas wedding with a Madonna impersonator marrying her(actually that was more her boyfriend's idea.) She's gone through three states and several destinations. I guess I should be glad she doesn't want to jump out of airplane in her wedding gown! So when you start to think your mom is nuts, just think, you could have been stuck with me!

The Wedding Crazies

As your wedding day gets closer you're going to start experiencing what I call the 'wedding crazies.' What? You never heard of wedding crazies? Wedding crazies are when the bride or groom gets an insane idea at the last minute about changing the wedding. They usually involve the outlay of large sums of cash and great embarassment after the fact. Wedding crazies don't just happen to brides. The groom and the mothers of the bride and groom are equally prone to them. Wedding crazies are when you want to run away to Vegas and let Elvis marry you even though you paid a small fortune for your reception and church. You're having wedding crazies if you are on your third dress, and you ordered the last two thee weeks before the wedding. Wedding crazies are when you decide you need six chocolate fountains, just in case. Feel free to post your examples of wedding crazies. If you haven't been there yet, your time may come.

Choosing Your Ceremony Music

I have one warning about choosing your wedding music, do it. Do not leave it to the organist or singer. To one bride's great dismay the organist was a fan of Gone With The Wind and played the theme song while guests were waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle! You just never know.

Bubbles, Rice, Confetti or Birdseed?

Bubbles, rice, confetti or birdseed are just a few of the choices a bride has for her guests to shower the new couple with as they leave their wedding ceremony. But each has its drawbacks.

I'll never forget a wedding I went to where the bride handed us bottles of bubbles. None of them would open due to a problem with the plastic lids. Finally someone used a pen knife to open them but it was a sticky mess. If you're going to go with bubbles provide some wet wipes for your guests' hands.  Also you have to worry about being sure the bottles all get thrown out and not littered at the ceremony site.

Many churches don't want you to throw rice or birdseed, it sprouts. They don't have the staff to be pulling up 'weeds' for the next several months. Or they have to have someone clean it up. Confetti has its own drawbacks. You have to sweep it up and it leaves a mess especially if it's wet outside. Biodegradable confetti might be a good choice.

So, no matter what your choice, be a considerate bride, delegate someone to be sure the area is cleared up after you leave.

So You Want to Rent A Photo Booth?

Whoever would have thought that the photo booth would become so popular at wedding receptions? My memories of photo booths are from amusement parks as a child and I'm sure you all have your own, but I'll bet all those memories are happy ones. Maybe this is why they've become so popular at special events like weddings. A photo booth can record the myriad of expressions on the faces of your wedding guests. You can see their joy, their silly faces, your little brother sneaking a kiss, and all the other silly things people do when they are behind that curtain! Photographers practice for years to capture just the emotions that the photo booth captures with ease. Many photo booth rentals offer you a CD of all the photos taken at your wedding. Many companies allow you to personalize the outside of the photo booth to match your wedding theme or personalities. Sometimes you can rent a television to run the photos during your wedding. Of course all this adds to the cost of your photo booth. Most companies require a minimum rental of four hours, and that will allow you time to capture the expressions on all your guests faces. You can print color or black and white photos and some booths are digital. So if you're ready to take the plunge why not add a photo booth to your special day?

So You Want To Have A Candy Buffet?

A candy buffet can be both beautiful and budget friendly by following a few simple guidelines:
  1. Use more smaller containers rather than a few very large containers. It looks like more candy and you can have more choices for your guests.
  2. Plan ahead. Check with your venue and see if they provide containers for candy buffets. With more and more brides wanting this extra many venues will supply containers for your use.
  3. Buy your candy in bulk. A search on the web for bulk candy suppliers will save you cash and gas! Consider shopping at your warehouse club for bulk candy as well.
  4. Choose candy that is elegant and aesthetically pleasing. Choose colors that compliment your decor and it will look like the buffet was done by a professional.
  5. Scatter flowers or flower petals along the table where the buffet is located. This fills in some of the empty space and draws the eye to the buffet.
  6. Provide containers for your guests to put their candy in. Small Chinese take-out containers work well for this purpose and the candy becomes your wedding favor. One that every guest young or old will enjoy.
  7. Keep it safe! Please do not put candles on the candy buffet.
  8. And please, provide scoops so your guests can easily remove candy from your jars or bowls.
  9. Consider the weather when choosing your candy selections. You don't want melted chocolate decorating your guests.
  10. Don't go overboard when buying your candy. Consider the size of the box or container to be filled and buy candy amounts accordingly. Some snacking during the reception is almost inevitable, so plan that into your candy buying budget or don't put out the candy until closer to the end of your reception.

Disaster of The Week

We all want to have a stress free day and no one wants to have to deal with a disaster of any kind at their wedding or reception. Each week I'll post a note about a real life wedding disaster, read and take note!

This week's disaster involves floating candles.

Floating candles make beautiful centerpieces but it is important to place them in tempered glass that can withstand the heat of burning candles. This week's bride arrived at her reception for find all her centerpieces had shattered due to the heat from her floating candles and soaked tablecloths and guests alike. So while saving money is always good, buy the tempered glass for any candles!

Ten Tips For Planning Your Beach Wedding

More and more brides are opting for a unique locale for their weddings. One of the hottest choices(in more ways than one) is the beach. Surf, sun, sand, and true love? What could be better! If you keep the following top ten tips in mind your day may be a non-traditional day but it will be a fun-filled celebration.
  1. Choose a theme for you day. Whether it's a ceremony on the sand followed by a crab bake or barbecue or a more traditional catered affair the theme will make it uniquely yours.
  2. Plan for inclement weather! Do have an alternative if you day dawns pouring rain! A tent or an indoor location will save the day. If possible consider wedding insurance. The cost is minimal compared to having to cancel a wedding and reception.
  3. A beach wedding is meant to be more casual than a traditional wedding. Choose a dress that won't drag in the sand and go barefoot or wear foot jewelry instead of shoes. Your groom can wear a more casual look as well.
  4. Have chairs for your guests. No matter how old your guests are, having a chair to sit down will make them more comfortable.
  5. Choose a time of day with a great view! The middle of the afternoon doesn't make for the best pictures. Try for a spectacular sunset as the backdrop for your vows and reception. Or get married as the sun comes up and offer your guests an imaginative breakfast reception.
  6. Don't try to use candles on the beach! You'll only be disappointed as the wind blows them out over and over. Unity candles are difficult, if not impossible to use outside. A sand ceremony where you blend sand from two different containers into one will match your beach theme. You can keep it as a memento of your day if you pour the sand into a beautiful glass bottle.
  7. Set an arch up on the beach and decorate it with flowers or greenery appropriate for the beach. Some municipalities have gazebos by the beach that work well for the location of your wedding ceremony.
  8. Be sure to get permits and clearances from the township. Some places will not let you have fires or torches on the beach.
  9. Face your guests while you take your vows. This will give you great pictures against that spectacular sunset or sunrise. And while the officiant is important, your guests really want to see you exchange your vows, not the officiant presiding over them. Also remember you'll be outside, there won't be any microphones, so speak up when you say your vows.
  10. Set up a web page dedicated to your day. This is a good way to let guests know casual attire is appropriate and what activities you have planned for the reception. Many guests have never been to a non-traditional wedding, so make it a stress free day for them too.