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"Now and Forever Wedding" Planning Ideas

Wedding planning ideas for your “now and forever” wedding experience. Includes: general wedding planning tips, destination wedding tips, tropical island wedding tips and a ton of great ideas. An IPPTS Associates Report.

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"Now and Forever Wedding" Planning Ideas

  2. 2. NOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS STEVE SYMES DISCLAIMER: This information is provided Wedding 8 "as is". The author, publishers and marketers of this information disclaim any loss or 5. Saving Money on Wedding Costs liability, either directly or indirectly as a consequence of applying the information 9 presented herein, or in regard to the use and application of said information. No 6. Types of Wedding Receptions 11 guarantee is given, either expressed or implied, in regard to the merchantability, 7. Venues for Wedding Receptions accuracy, or acceptability of the 12 information. 8. Food for Your Wedding Reception Now and Forever Wedding 14 Planning Ideas 9. Best Music for the Wedding Wedding planning for your “now and Reception 16 forever” wedding experience 10. Wedding DJ vs. Live Band 17 Table of Contents 11. Unusual Wedding Reception Now and Forever Wedding Ideas 1 Ideas 19 Wedding planning for your “now 13. History of Wedding Traditions and forever” wedding experience 1 and Symbolism 22 Introduction 3 14. Overseas Wedding Traditions 23 1. When is the Best Time of Year for 15. Pros and Cons of Tropical Island a Wedding? 3 Weddings 25 2. Where to Hold Your Wedding 5 Special Report 27 (Approximate page numbers only) 3. Formal or Casual Wedding Choice? 6 4. Clothing to Suit the Style of INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 2
  3. 3. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S Introduction Those that will make their wedding day a now and forever event need the very best ideas and the most help in planning their most amazing wedding event. The reason is of course obvious! There will only be one wedding they will ever have, now and forever, and this is the awesome reality that befits an amazing couple. We really want to help you achieve the demanding task of planning this once in a lifetime and totally memorable event, so we have put together this e-book just for you. With 15 articles we hope that we have covered most aspects of your wedding, with helpful tips and ideas throughout. The date you choose should be one that 1. When is the Best Time of Year for a will allow all the bridal party to be present. Wedding? After all your wedding will be for now and forever so ensuring that all of those close to you who you wish to be present can be Many brides like to choose a date for their there is important. People have lives and wedding that has a special meaning, such they cannot always adjust their schedule as one year to the day after her loved one to attend a wedding. What about the proposed, but this cannot always be people on the guest list that you would accommodated due to a number of like to have sharing the celebration with factors. It is sometimes best to remain you? They have to be considered as well. practical as to the date and season of the year, because you may hate the thought of having a wedding in bitterly cold Other things you need to consider will be weather or the steaming heat of summer. stuff like does your wedding theme match the season – beach wedding and winter do not go together! How comfortable are you going to be getting married in the dead of winter? How cost effective are the dates you have chosen, high season for INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 3
  4. 4. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S weddings is usually summer to early fall or wait for your honeymoon. Big mistake, May to August. Everything from venues to something will keep coming up and you caterers and beyond costs a fortune. may never get around to it! If you want to go exploring a brand new country, check You may have a secret desire to marry at a what the weather will be like at that end. particular time. Here again unfortunately Tramping around in high temperatures the voice of reason must be heard. If you will not a perfect honeymoon make! or your fiancé have a career that necessitates you being in the office, Life is always full of complications and you choosing a date at that inopportune time always have to keep making choices. is not going to help. For example, a When picking the wedding date, it is finance person like a tax accountant is recommended that you get all your ducks never going to get away in the spring in a row. Meaning make a list of all the time. The period between November to important considerations you have to April (northern hemisphere) is known to make regarding dates and choose one be a slack time for the wedding trade. You that has the highest match to everything could cut your costs in half if you have the on your list. You will not get a perfect, 100 wedding at this time. Why follow the percent match so be willing to crowd and plump for a May wedding that compromise. will cost a fortune? Spring is a great time to get married, the flowers are full bloom and the sun beams down on you, but not too brightly. Everything seems to be reborn and renewed, a great time to begin a new adventure called marriage. In spring you will have flowers in abundance to choose from and every conceivable color to choose from. Great time to travel as well on your honeymoon! A summer wedding can be held from May to August and be warned it is the most popular time of year for weddings. You can expect prices to be high on everything. To compensate for the high Another factor to be considered is the prices you can revel in the warmth of kind of honeymoon you want to have. If summer and have an outdoor wedding. you want to go skiing then it has to be a winter wedding, unless you are willing to INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 4
  5. 5. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S Fall weddings are great if you are thinking along the lines of an intimate wedding. A winter wedding can be turned into a magical event with a bit of creativity. What couples need to be aware of is that there is no perfect time of year to marry that will guarantee lifelong marital bliss. It is not the time of year or the day of the week that will make your marriage work, but the level of love, commitment, fidelity and trust you bring to the relationship. 1. Where to Hold Your Wedding Every bride to be has, hidden somewhere in the deep recesses of the mind, a wedding fantasy that includes where the wedding ceremony will take place. Maybe you want a spring wedding with all the Fix your guest list before you do anything beauty and color of fresh flowers, summer else. This is the rock on which you will warmth and outdoor festivities, the build your wedding plans. Once you have awesome beauty of fall colors or the your guest list you can make informed winter wonderland wedding full of glitter decisions about a lot of things. If all of and sparkle. your guests or at least 85-90 percent of them are from the same town as you, consider having the wedding in the off season to get better rates. Choosing the wedding venue is a huge decision and one that is governed by many factors. After the guest list is finalized, the next most important aspect to be decided upon is the venue. The type of venue you choose will depend on the sort of wedding you have always dreamed of having. For example, if you have always dreamed of a fairy tale wedding with a INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 5
  6. 6. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S castle in the background and knight in require a different type of planning. Many shining armor carrying you off on his factors like religion, race and social steed, you obviously need to book a standing can affect the wedding castle! ceremony location. Most white weddings as they are referred to in the western Another important factor for world are generally performed in a church consideration is how religious your beliefs of the couple’s choice and officiated by a are. If both you and your partner are religious minister. religious, a church wedding ceremony is the best way forward. Christians typically For the people who are not too particular have wedding ceremonies performed in about having a church wedding, the churches; Jewish tradition dictates the ceremony can be held anywhere you ceremony takes place in a temple or please. All you need is an official who is synagogue. authorized to perform the ceremony. You may find these ideas useful when deciding where to hold the ceremony. A Civil ceremony is performed by the Justice of the Peace or a judge, or in some cases the mayor. These people are authorized to perform a civil ceremony anywhere outside the church. The ceremony is very brief and does not involve any reference to God. It is a purely legal ceremony and can be held in City Hall or a courtroom. If you want to have a civil ceremony, you can always have the ceremony in your own garden. In this way you can have lovely decorations, serve food and drinks and have an intimate wedding reception after the ceremony. How about a cruise wedding, the official will first perform the wedding ceremony, Every religion has its own beliefs and which unfortunately cannot be performed traditions that will need to be upheld. while sailing. It has to be done in port on Then again, inter-racial marriages where American soil so to speak. You can set sail two different faiths are involved will INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 6
  7. 7. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S once the official ceremony is over, to mountains, cliffs, waterfalls, gorges or enjoy a wonderful cruise reception. other natural wonders that will make a sensational backdrop to the entire So you cannot afford to have a cruise ceremonial proceedings. wedding ceremony and reception, you can still have the ceremony on a dock, The final decision on the location and harbor, riverside, lake or beach if a water venue for your wedding ceremony will based theme is what you want. You can depend on such factors as your budget have the ceremony in a public park or and your religious beliefs. Once the botanical garden; you can choose a roof location is settled on you have to make deck or a beautifully landscaped private certain other decisions such as whether garden. you wedding should be casual or formal. Formal or Casual Wedding Choice? Not all brides have an unlimited budget – in fact, most do not. Therefore it is essential not to let romantic – and expensive - notions override your wedding planning decisions. Weddings that are simple and inexpensive can be just as romantic as the most expensive ones. Much of the cost depends on whether you choose a formal or casual wedding. Weddings involve stupendous amounts of planning, organization and coordination. Are you looking for something with all the bells and whistles or a laid back, understated style wedding? We will begin with the formal wedding Is your idea of the perfect wedding requirements. The concept of a formal ceremony something rare? Why not have wedding is based on the fact that a the ceremony against the backdrop of a wedding is actually a very solemn natural wonder. Check out the geography occasion. It is the coming together of two of the place you plan to have the separate individuals to become one. It is a wedding. Find out if there are any union before God and man that is INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 7
  8. 8. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S sanctified and blessed, vows are spoken complete with train and veil, groom in and a commitment made for a lifetime. In black tie, bridesmaids and groomsmen all light of the solemnity of the occasion, formally attired in tuxedos and the décor tradition and elegance become the highly respectable. cornerstones of the entire affair. Other features of the formal wedding include a full band, engraved wedding invitations, extravagant flower arrangements, full church service and formal reception with sit down meal at an exclusive hotel or club. Transportation usually runs to a stretch limousine service. A casual wedding celebration can be semi formal or totally informal. In a semi formal or smart casual setting you will generally find that allowances are made for non On the other hand the casual wedding has traditional wedding elements to be an understated elegance and can be a incorporated into the ceremony and beautiful affair. You don’t have to spend celebration. Guests are quite relaxed and enough money to break the bank; people range from 100-250 people. The bridal will be relaxed and will have a really gown is not a very formal full gown, more enjoyable time. Casual weddings will have a wedding dress with short train and veil. kids running around, noise and a lot of Men wear black tie or dark suits, even hilarity. dinner jackets. Invitations can be engraved or printed on regular invitation The planning and organization of a formal paper. The bride and groom have fewer wedding will be an expensive one. But if bridesmaids and groomsmen in you have budget constraints, (don’t we attendance and the band is more or less all!) you can easily find ways to trim costs, made up of 2-3 musicians or one DJ. but still make your elegant dreams come true. Formal weddings hold fast to tradition and seriousness rules the day. Etiquette and behavior are emphasized and the wedding planning has to be professionally done. Formal weddings generally mean a guest list with anywhere from 250-500 people, the bride in a white gown INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 8
  9. 9. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S lunch or tea is served. The wedding ceremony itself will be held in the same place as the reception and décor will be limited to a simple arch and flowers. Deciding upon whether to have a formal or casual wedding is really the couple’s choice and one they have to be comfortable with. But sometimes the simplest wedding is the most romantic. One thing is for sure, the type of wedding you have will dictate the type of clothing that should be worn. Clothing to Suit the Style of Wedding The casual wedding is quite different from what we just read. People at this type of Once, weddings were traditional, staid wedding really get to let their hair down affairs; these days most tend to be quite and have fun. Guest numbers are small informal or semi-formal. There is nothing and usually comprise close family and wrong with choosing an all traditional friends in a more intimate setting. Casual formal wedding, but these days, wedding weddings are characterized by styles often showcase the preferences of approximately 50-100 guests. The bridal the couple who are getting married. Such attire can be a simple dress, either long or a wedding is a very personal and unique short with a token veil and no train. At the kind of wedding. most there will be two bridesmaids and groomsmen. The men wear dark suits and Wedding styles can be broadly classified the groom will probably wear black tie. into formal, semi formal and casual Invitations are handwritten and weddings. It has rightly been said that sometimes given over the phone. clothes make the man; in the case of weddings, the clothing chosen for the A formal wedding is usually held in the occasion dictates the style of the wedding. back garden with tables set around the Here is an explanation of the kind of place for people to sit. A buffet set up clothing that suits different wedding encourages guests to mingle and help styles. themselves. There may or may not be a bartender, so the self-help theme would probably be the standard norm. Casual weddings can be receptions where INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 9
  10. 10. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S and time of day when the wedding is held will wield considerable influence over the right clothing to be worn. A very handy guide to the kind of clothing you need to wear to match the wedding style is the invitation. It should inform the guests about the expected dress code. If the invitation is a very formal looking engraved black script with formal language on heavy paper, it means formal attire is expected. On the other hand if the language is less formal and the quality of the paper not so very elegant, it means smart casual wear is expected. Next thing you need to consider is the venue. Outdoors in summer means no black at any cost. Forget modesty in favor of the practical and if you are hesitant, think about the wind factor. That will help The bridal couple will decide on the style you make up your mind. High heeled of the wedding and if it is going to be a shoes are out if you have to walk on sand formal wedding, the bride will generally or grass. If the wedding reception is to be wear a formal gown with a long train and held indoors like a hotel or club, you need veil. The groom will be attired in black tie to choose something dressy, well tailored or even a tuxedo. Guests will be informed and smart. in the invitation as to the type of attire to be worn. This is by way of the dress code instructions that state either formal or semi formal, smart casual or relaxed. There are certain factors that the couple should consider when planning the wedding attire for themselves and their guests. If, for example, you are going to have a day wedding in the month of July and the reception outdoors, you cannot in For a daytime wedding, ladies should all good conscience expect your guests to wear floral print dresses or smart skirt suits show up in formal black tie. The seasons with good shoes. There are plenty of INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 10
  11. 11. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S stylish skirts available in stores, which will anticipation. However there is a lot of work well for a wedding reception in the planning and organization required daytime. Find a matching top and before that day arrives and this time can accessories and you are set for the be one of great stress if care is not taken. wedding. You could also wear a light Part of the stress is caused by having to colored suit and hat to compliment the stick to a budget. outfit. For the guys, it is best to go with a light colored linen or seersucker suit. A wedding can be ‘break the bank’ expensive or downright simple and low Evening weddings are different and where budget. It is really up to the couple to daytime weddings tend to be a bit more decide. Brides, of course, dreaming of and casual, evening weddings are at least semi longing for their special day would ideally formal if not formal. You need to dress for like the works. In reality it is not always the wedding as if to the theater or a wise to splurge mega bucks on a wedding formal dinner. Black is good for evening when you have to think about the wear, so go with a classy dress suit or honeymoon costs and the expenditure cocktail suit. Dark colors look involved in setting up your new home. sophisticated and beads and fancy bits are not done if it is a formal reception. Black tie for ladies means a floor length dress or formal gown if you have one. Accessorize with formal jewelry and bring that black beaded purse out of hibernation! Men are generally best off choosing a black or dark suit with tie for formal settings. Tuxedos are good provided the wedding will be held after 6 in the evening. It is not the done thing to be seen wearing a tuxedo in the daytime. Semi formal or casual weddings held in the evenings generally means slacks, tie and blazer or jacket. 1. Saving Money on Wedding Costs Most brides look forward to their wonderful wedding day with great The traditional wedding ceremony can INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 11
  12. 12. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S cost quite a bit and if you are working off a plan to invite, you can have a nice meal tight budget, do what other couples are served or set up a buffet table with a bar doing, forgo tradition. Here are a few tips at one end. Guests will be more relaxed you may want to consider to shave some and enjoy the ceremony and the money off the wedding ceremony costs. reception a great deal. If you are not too particular about having Quite honestly the two most expensive a church wedding, you can have a Justice items on the wedding checklist that will of the Peace officiate. The obvious cause your bank account grief is the advantage here is you can marry at City wedding reception and the clothes you Hall, in a courtroom or even in the JP’s wear. Apart from that the traditional office. You can find a JP online, call the church ceremony and the rehearsal county courthouse or District Magistrate’s dinner, the flowers, decorations, band and office or just drive up there to finalize just about everything else has a large things. A simple, yet cheap solution! The price tag on it! cost is very nominal when compared to high fees you will pay for a traditional, full celebration. Expenses mount up when you consider the church fee, minister’s fee, decorations and choir’s cost. Couples, who are not quite satisfied with the simplicity of a wedding ceremony in City Hall or the JP’s office, have another cost effective option available to them. You can plan to have the wedding ceremony in your own backyard and follow it up with the reception. You will really save a very big chunk of your wedding budget if you have it at home. You can even get a minister to officiate at your wedding ceremony to retain a bit of the traditional church ceremony. The garden can be decorated quite simply with flowers and other things depending on whether it is a day or evening wedding. Weddings are a huge money spinner and a very big revenue generating industry. Depending on the number of guests you Now, it is understood that you want to INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 12
  13. 13. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S make the day as memorable as possible, Wedding planning can be fun if you plan but don’t throw caution to the winds and well and a major part of the wedding simply spend. Talk things through with planning is all about the wedding your partner and come to firm decisions reception. While ceremony may be a on what you want but can do without and solemn affair, the reception that follows what you want, period. can be a really enjoyable time. But first you have to know what kind of reception Most couples start out by wanting the you want. works and then reality sets in and they are forced to take a step back to analyze costs. The kind of wedding reception you will Here’s a good way to start out cutting cost have depends on what you have long on your wedding ceremony. Make a dreamed your wedding day should be comprehensive checklist of everything like. Weddings have spawned a huge that needs to be done – you will find some industry that offers a very wide array of good ones online. Now start pricing each choices in everything related to weddings. item on your list till you are done and you Your most important consideration has to have a total be the budget you need to work with. If you have just collapsed in shock, pick yourself up – it’s time for a reality check. What items on your list can you omit entirely? Now you have a new list and a new total. From the second list identify the things you can do either by yourselves or with the help of family and friends. For example, you can easily print the invitations out yourself on your computer, or have an artistic friend do them. Have friends or family cook the cake and Once you know how much you decorate it with flowers and ribbons realistically have to spend, you will have to rather than icing. Have candles, pretty do an itemized costing to know what pebbles or greenery and ribbons to everything will cost. Wedding reception decorate the tables rather than more venues are many and the whims and expensive flower decorations. fancies of most every bride to be can be catered to. There are many traditions that are part of a wedding reception. Here 1. Types of Wedding Receptions again, you need to decide what you want to have happening at your wedding. INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 13
  14. 14. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S Let us look at a few options to get an idea of how you need to plan the reception. Wedding receptions traditionally have a receiving party at the entrance to receive guests. Before that guests will begin to arrive at the reception hall while the bridal party is doing the photo shoot. There has to be a receiving line to greet guests and make sure you have some sort of entertainment planned to keep your guests happy. When you arrive at the reception venue there’s the traditional cake cutting, first dance, toasts, dinner and dancing to be enjoyed. Try to space things out and give your guests a chance to have a drink and some food. They will feel a lot happier if you do! Starting with a morning wedding, you have to decide whether to have a There are many exciting wedding breakfast reception or a brunch. Are you traditions that you can borrow from other planning on a sunrise wedding with only countries to add excitement to your family and dear friends present? People reception. You don’t have to follow who show up are going to want breakfast. standard tradition all the way; get creative Traditional menus generally include and either borrow or invent your own standard fare like eggs Benedict, omelets, wedding traditions. French toast and quiche. Luxury menus for a brunch include smoked salmon, caviar, carving stations for ham, beef and turkey. Lots of coffee and of course wine and champagne to liven the atmosphere. On the positive side a brunch reception is a whole lot cheaper than a full sit down dinner. An early wedding lets you get off to a good start on your honeymoon. People don’t generally drink you out of house and home so early in the morning. INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 14
  15. 15. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S On the downside, you need to consider can be anything you want them to be. But how early people have to leave their the type of wedding reception you decide homes to get to the wedding. The bridal on may to a great extent dictate the actual party will not have much time to get ready venue chosen. If you decide on a morning so early in the morning and the bride - wedding you will not need to host it in a unless a super fast dresser - is going to grand ballroom, for instance. face problems. Most morning weddings generally start at around 10.30 or 11 am. This gives everyone more time to get ready and the guests can make it to the ceremony in good time. A lunch reception is a good idea and you can have some of the dinner favorites served to your guests. Lunches help free up the evening for you to either leave on your honeymoon or rest up and get an early start the next day. There is no limit to the grand scale on which you can host your wedding A wedding reception is what you make it reception, but remember that weddings out to be. Arrange dancing, lively music are a very expensive proposition without and a free flowing wet bar with a cheerful the addition of expensive fantasies. Let us bartender to make your guests happy. take a look at a selection of wedding People are relaxed and can enjoy the reception venues that cover a broad festivities, but you need to pick a date spectrum of offerings. when people can attend a daytime wedding. First of all if you have a limited budget you don’t want to waste anything on a Another idea for a less expensive wedding professional wedding planner. This means reception is to have it at afternoon tea you have to get as creative as you can to time. Then there is the cocktail reception find the wedding venue you want within or a casual dinner reception. But don’t the budget you have. Here are a few tips forget you have to choose the venue for to save money when planning your the reception. wedding reception and they don’t include skimping on the quality. 1. Venues for Wedding Receptions Hotels are a popular choice because of the advantages they come with. The bridal We know now that wedding receptions party and guests can stay overnight, food INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 15
  16. 16. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S is served in-house and so is the alcohol, Public parks and botanical gardens do which means you don’t need to bother allow wedding receptions to take place for getting the license and bringing your own a nominal fee, provided of course that you booze. You can get good discounts and do a great clean up job afterwards. You may even get the bridal suite free for an may need to enquire about their rules overnight stay if you book a hall for the concerning the serving of alcohol in a reception with the hotel. public place. Beaches, piers, harbors, riverbanks and lakes have become very popular for wedding receptions. The natural beauty of these spots makes them a highly attractive choice for the beautiful backdrops they provide. Harbor side weddings with boats in the background look lovely. Of course you have to consider where exactly you will serve the food and drinks in such a public place. In a hotel you are not confined to a Museums and art galleries offer their ballroom or reception hall; hotels have places for a fee and they certainly make lawns and gazebos that make great very elegant wedding reception settings. wedding backdrops. Hotels also have the If you have the budget you can opt for a staff necessary to set up the tables and cruise reception. You will have to marry in provide excellent table décor. Many of the port according to the law and then sail off other items like the cake stand, buffet set to hold the reception at sea. Tropical up, bar area, band area and dance floor islands and other destination weddings can be provided by the hotel. Many hotels are great fun but not everyone can afford will offer you their own wedding packages to attend and the overall cost can be quite that can be customized to meet your high. needs. These packages will include limo service, champagne breakfast for the newly married couple and more. If the hotel idea is all too common, you can always choose a different setting that will allow you to arrange the food and drinks. How about a fort, a historical inn or some other historical structure you can rent. INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 16
  17. 17. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S Saturday weddings better. When choosing a venue you need to consider how easy it is to get to, whether there is enough parking and if the entry is safe. For instance entry to a venue with steep steps up or down may be difficult for older people. 1. Food for Your Wedding Reception When planning a wedding it can be easy to concentrate on all the glitz and glamor at the expense of the food. Don’t forget that from the guests’ point of view, the food is of prime importance. Forget tradition with your wedding reception food and serve what you think people will There are many places to choose from to like best – and of course, you do need to have a wedding reception that is elegant, please yourself and your groom. fun filled and sensational. Make sure to keep the following tips in mind when Here are some hints about what food to choosing. choose for your wedding reception. It is helpful to know the kinds of foods you can First you have to get your guest list serve for formal, semi formal and casual squared away. Only then will you know wedding receptions. It is also useful to the size of the venue you are going to have ideas on what to serve for wedding need. When you do be an early bird and reception breakfasts, lunches and get your booking in as fast as possible. dinners. Popular sites may need a year’s notice and you will have to pay a sizeable deposit so don’t go changing your mind about the venue. Choosing a Friday or Sunday wedding is more cost effective and you are sure to find the venue of your choice available. In case you are wondering, most people like INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 17
  18. 18. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S You can also treat your guests to a splendid buffet dinner beginning with cocktails and moving on to the dinner itself. You can have dancing afterward, followed by the cake cutting ceremony, tossing the bouquet and any other traditions you wish to include. An excellent way to draw out the entire evening; you can fill it to overflowing with celebration and good cheer. Have you heard of the fork buffet? It falls somewhere between the formal dinner service and finger buffet. On offer will be a spread of hot (chicken wings, cutlets, rolls, etc.) and cold food items (prawns, lobster meat, crab meat salad, chicken salad, etc.) laid out buffet style for your guests to help themselves. Then the guests sit at formal tables to eat dinner. You still get to have the formal table settings and seating plan A wedding is supposed to be a time of combined with a more relaxed eating great enjoyment and celebration. Find style. yourself a qualified and reputed wedding caterer to suggest menu ideas. Make sure How about having the caterer set up a you sample their offerings to find out how variety of food stalls as some of the big good they really are. You can also check hotels do? It is very exciting for the guests references to see whether the catering to move around informally checking out company is all it claims to be. what’s on offer at each food station. This will help solve the problem of what to Formal, sit down dinners in the best feed your guests who will have individual wedding tradition are one of the biggest preferences for sure. Asian and Far Eastern expense items on your wedding list. You foods generally go down well and you can need furniture, table settings, table add a pasta station to the mix for added centerpieces and decoration, a minimum variety. of 3 courses comprising soup, entrée and main course, coffee and wedding cake not to mention drinks including dinner wines. Then you have the wait staff to add to your bill. Quite an expense! INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 18
  19. 19. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S save on food could very well be spent on drinks! Wedding reception food runs the gamut from picnics to barbeques, breakfast, brunch and afternoon tea. If you have a themed wedding the kind of meal you serve will need to be blended into the mix. Make sure to cater to children and elderly people and request guests to inform you in advance about any special diets or allergies. Once you have chosen the best kind of food and a variety so that all tastes can be catered for, you can be sure that your wedding reception will be a success. But don’t forget to choose music to suit all Finger buffets are a very relaxed, informal reception style where all types of finger tastes too. foods are served. Guests simply tuck in and there are no formal tables and 1. Best Music for the Wedding confusion over which fork to use. Canapés, pastries, rolls, dips, small Reception sandwiches, open face sandwiches, cheeses and more can be set out for Not everyone thinks a great deal about guests to indulge themselves. This type of the music to be played at their wedding. reception cannot be dragged out over an They may simply leave the choice up to entire evening simply because your the wedding DJ and believe that guests cannot stand for so long. It may be something romantic will surely be played. a better idea to provide tables with less But there is more to it than this. Firstly, formal settings for people to sit and eat in you want to ensure that the music will be comfort. played softly while people are eating so that they can talk together more easily. This type of food style is also referred to as Then during the dancing it can be played a cocktail reception. If you don’t plan on more loudly. having a very long reception, cut out the tables and let people move around freely. Music is what makes the party rock and Bear in mind that people really load up on without it things can fall rather flat. In fact, drinks at this type of reception. What you good music often helps gloss over the INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 19
  20. 20. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S little hiccups that happen to even the The best way to do things is to play a most carefully planned receptions. Have selection of songs from various periods to you ever noticed how things and people cover every age group in the room. Let us tend to be a little stiff at the start of the assume your older guests come to the party and then begin to warm up as the floor for a lively number from the 60s, a band strikes up? Music is a fantastic ice period they can relate to. They are going breaker and good music will soon have to have so much fun few of them will want your reception guests’ boogying the night to leave when Shakira comes on. Mixing away. up the music will have feet tapping and people twirling around the floor. The music you choose for your reception party should be the life of the party. It should get the guests to relax and let their hair down, step out onto the floor to dance and generally remove any initial stiffness people usually feel. How well do you know the people you are inviting to your wedding reception? You should know your immediate family and close friends well enough to play their favorite music. There is no harm in getting people to give suggestions on the kind of music to be played. You have the whole evening and will probably be able to cover most suggestions. Here is some insight about the kind of music used for the wedding reception. The following tips are useful in helping you select a variety of fast and slow numbers to make sure everyone in the crowd regardless of age has a rocking good time. You have a room full of people, each one a unique individual with distinct tastes and preferences. Whom do you please when selecting the music for your reception? INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 20
  21. 21. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S elderly people too near the band and dance floor area. Start off the music with hits from the 40s then progress to the 50s and 60s early in the evening, then start mixing them up with current hits. Lots of old time favorites have fantastic beats that will make anyone young or old want to dance. The reason for this suggestion is that older people generally put in an appearance first and also leave earlier than the young crowd. There’ll be time enough to play all the current hits as the evening progresses. One way to get the crowd going is to start the music early. Don’t let your guests sit around getting bored while you follow the tradition of starting the music after the Are you planning on having a live band to cutting of the cake. In fact it may be best provide the music for your reception? A to have dance sessions interspersed with great way to get the guests involved in toasts, dinner, cake cutting and all the the spirit of having fun and making the other festivities you have planned. reception a resounding success is to have the guests hand in song requests. You But when planning the music for your could place a small song request pad on wedding you may suddenly wonder who every table with a mini pen or pencil. Let to put in charge of it. Should you have a the guest write out the request, tear it off wedding DJ or a live band? the pad and hand it over to the wait staff to deliver to the band. 10. Wedding DJ vs. Live Band If you use this suggestion you are going to Traditionally, it was simply a friend who see your guests really bopping around organized the wedding music, but these and having fun – that’s what music does days things are a little more sophisticated. to people. It was Shakespeare who said, “if Remember, that friend may not be too music be the food of love, play on,…” reliable if he has taken too much to drink. What better place to put that line to But a wedding DJ or a live band will be practice than at a wedding reception! doing it for pay and their reputations are on the line so they will give their best One thing that you need to consider when service. making out your seating plan, don’t put INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 21
  22. 22. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S But how can you decide whether to dancing the night away on your agenda, it choose a live band or wedding DJ for your will require a lot of music being played. reception party? Before we begin talking Will the band be able to last all night long about music, bands and DJs, remember is the question? it’s your day; do what pleases you and forget about traditions and what other What sort of wedding venue have you people think. decided upon? Will there be sufficient space for a full band complement? Are there restrictions on the kinds of music to be played? These are some of the questions you will need to consider before deciding on whether to go with a live band or DJ. Formal weddings with all the trappings of age old traditions and live bands make a perfect match. On the other hand, a DJ may be better suited to a semi formal or casual wedding style. If your choice of music is going to be traditional and dignified, then by all means a live band will better suit the occasion. DJs are cool To start out let’s be clear that both live for casual wedding style receptions. bands and DJs have their positive and negative aspects. Rather than stereotyping, why not check it out for yourself? If you have a large enough budget, the ideal thing to do would be to get both, a live band and a DJ. This could really keep the party going all night. However, wedding budgets with the gazillion things that needing paying for, seldom stretch that far. The general consensus is that live bands are more expensive than a DJ and prices vary according to the reputation, demand and quality of the band or DJ. If you are planning a really long evening with INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 22
  23. 23. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S You need to listen to them play, better yet wedding reception music and they attend an event where the band is playing generally have a wider collection of music and also attend an event featuring the DJ. to offer. However, elegant, traditional, This will help you to make a more black tie receptions and DJs do not go informed decision. together very well. With a live band you have the option to Whichever you decide on, be sure to book use the band leader as master of well in advance so that you do not miss ceremonies. Band leaders generally (but out. It will add to your frustrations to not always) have the right kind of decide on one option after a lot of personality for this job. thought, only to find there are none left available on your date. You need to inquire about the music repertoire of the live band as well as the 11. Unusual Wedding Reception Ideas DJ’s collection of music. With the varied crowd one expects at wedding receptions, Every bride and groom wants their a plentiful mix of music spanning the wedding to be a day to remember. In fact decades is important to get the crowd weddings are truly a monumental going. Will the band be able to experience and need to be celebrated in a accommodate song requests from your way that makes the memory linger on. guests? For example, if you have guests Apart from the seriousness of the who want songs from the 60s and guests wedding ceremony, weddings are who want songs that are current favorites, symbolic of a new beginning. And so can they do both? many couples like to choose something a little out of the ordinary for their Live bands are to put it simply, live! Well reception. experienced musicians can really make the party come alive with their music. Live Here are some new ideas that you can use bands can incorporate the wedding as a springboard to creating your own out theme beautifully and are fully capable of of this world wedding reception switching tempos should the party spirit experience. start flagging. The downside to a live band is the price and also finding a band that can play the wide eclectic mix of music you are planning for your guests. DJs are the cheaper option for your INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 23
  24. 24. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S to sign the check. It can be as intimate or as huge a splash as you want it to be. If you are tight on finances, you can always choose to hire a boat big enough to hold everyone and sail off into the wild blue yonder with your guests. You can actually have the wedding reception on the boat while it sails, but don’t forget to remind your guests to carry their seasick pills. In order to find a wedding reception idea that is really out there, you need to know that the standard fare is typically a sit down meal with the cutting of the cake, dancing, music, speeches and general celebration. The couple wants their guests to be happy and talk about the fantastic time they had for simply years to come. The parents of the happy couple want to be able to look Are there any castles, forts or other back and regret nothing including the big historic buildings in your area that you can dent in their bank balances. The bride and rent for the reception? It will really blow groom want to be able to remember this your guests away! The reception can be day for the rest of their lives. catered, the castle and surrounding lawns will make a fabulous wedding backdrop A wedding cruise is a really great idea and and you can really turn up the volume on a very grand one at that. Don’t venture the music system. If you do manage to get into it if you don’t have daddy Warbucks a castle or fort you can always get the INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 24
  25. 25. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S groom to ride up on a white horse to heart shape around the bride and groom sweep you off your feet! who dance their first dance inside it. Themed wedding receptions are really To add some sparkle to the festivities, popular and you can choose any theme have helpers hand out sparklers and little you want from a Las Vegas casino to matchbooks to the guests; let them form a something truly outrageous. There are huge circle with the couple in the middle. many themes to choose from like seasonal When the band begins to play the music themes, vintage, romantic, beach, tropical for the couple’s first dance, people light island, cultural, western, outdoor, in a cave their sparklers and someone turns off the or the top of a mountain. There have even lights. An absolutely incredible sight! But been weddings in hot air balloons. don’t forget to watch that budget. When the guest list is made up of a small 12. How to Save Money on the Wedding intimate group, a romantic wedding Reception reception is an excellent choice. Picture it – candlelight, champagne, soft lighting, Let’s face it; weddings are usually a flowers, music that speaks to the heart, monumental expense. And in the west it is elegant décor and there you have it – the traditionally the bride’s father who pays makings of a fairytale wedding. for most of it. However, it does not hurt to dispense with tradition if necessary and If the church where the wedding these days often the bride and groom ceremony will be held and the wedding contribute significantly to the expense of reception venue are far apart, lay on some their wedding. Other family members may entertainment so that your guests don’t also offer to pay for certain things. get impatient waiting for you to arrive. Whatever you do avoid playing loud music that only serves to deafen your guests. When expecting a lot of kids, you can always get a magician to do a class act that keeps kids and adults spellbound. The guests need to be entertained and relaxed not tense and fretting. Borrowing from the wedding reception traditions of other countries is a great way Traditionally the bride’s father pays for the to add fun and laughter to your own wedding ceremony, reception, flowers, wedding. A Mexican wedding reception photographer, florist, bridal attire and tradition is to have all the guests form a more. The groom’s family will pay for the INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 25
  26. 26. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S celebrant, the bride’s bouquet, rehearsal dinner and flowers for the groom’s family. An uneven sharing out of the burden if ever there was one! However, weddings have evolved to be a far cry from the financial negotiations they once were between families. Couples now marry for love not the age old custom of dowry. Here are some useful tips on how to save money on wedding reception costs to help all to be brides and grooms avoid bankruptcy! You have to know that the most expensive area of your wedding reception is the guest list. Not the actual list itself of Ideally the guest list should feature your course but what it means in terms of food immediate families, relatives you actually and drink, seating capacity of the venue, have a relationship with and your closest transportation, valet parking, serving staff, friends. These people are important to you bartenders and more. To cut costs it is and your parents. It is always a good idea vital to trim the guest list to the people to leave out people you know will not be you really want at your wedding. If you insulted by the absence of an invitation. both come from extended families and find it very hard to decide who to leave off Bridal parties should not be too large the guest list, you may want to consider because when they do they become having the reception in a location that is expensive. Everyone in the bridal party slightly remote. Distant relatives whom has to get a decent gift and that can really you have never met in your life and all cost. Don’t forget that everyone in the those friends of friends may not want to bridal party with their spouses or dates make the trip. get invited to the rehearsal dinner. Think about it, if you have 6 or 7 bridesmaids, equal number of groomsmen, their dates, flower girls and ring bearer all their families, the celebrant and whomever he decides to bring along, two sets of parents and the couple – wow! That is going to be some bill! INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 26
  27. 27. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S If you pare down the bridal party numbers, you could do a very nice home catered or cooked meal. It will not cost you half as much as a formal restaurant would. If you are not all that keen on a church wedding, you can always get a relative or family friend to officiate or a Justice of the Peace. Then you can have the wedding ceremony and reception in the hotel and speak to the manager in charge for discounts. Hiring very popular music bands will cost a fortune, you could choose to have a DJ and play recorded music. Maybe you can get a young group, just starting out to play the music so that they don’t charge too much. November to April is a kind of off season If you choose a Saturday, your wedding period for weddings and you can really bash is going to be an expensive one save a lot if you have yours during this because that day is mighty popular. Why time. not a Friday – it’s the start of the weekend and people will be more inclined to show There are many other ways of cutting up. Alternatively, opt for an evening costs while still having a great wedding. weekday wedding and people will still Remember that it is not necessary to make come. a big, expensive show of your wedding. In fact, in the olden days all the guest brought a plate of food for the reception. 13. History of Wedding Traditions and Symbolism We have no record of the very first wedding, but all countries have different traditions and symbolic additions to their wedding rituals. However what they do INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 27
  28. 28. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S have in common is that they all celebrate their weddings in some way or another. Weddings today are a far cry from what was once the fashion! It is quite interesting to read about wedding traditions and where they originated from. In early times the woman was kidnapped by the prospective groom and some of his friends. Today we have the groom and his best men, but thankfully they don’t do any kidnapping! After kidnapping the woman, the couple disappeared for a long time, quite possibly, to avoid the repercussions of such an act. Soon this disappearance came to be known as the honeymoon period. While it is hard to delve really deep in wedding history that goes far back in time, what is known is that as society An old favorite tradition is something old, evolved, people and their thinking began something new, something borrowed, to change. Tribes began to trade and also something blue. The meaning of this to live in harmony. In fact, little is known Victorian rhyme has some significance to about weddings and their history except it that has been preserved through time as that it is believed that the Egyptians first a wedding tradition. The old refers to the recognized the idea of marriage. The bride’s ties to family and her old life. The engagement or betrothal was also new of course is symbolic of the couple’s invented by the Egyptians as a way for the new life as one, their hopes and dreams of couple to get to know each other. a life of happiness and prosperity. When the bride to be borrows something from a happily married woman the symbolic meaning is that similar happiness will come to the bride. The blue refers to fidelity in the marriage and faithfulness to the vows the couple makes. Rice is considered to be a life giving seed, throwing it on the couple symbolizes the INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 28
  29. 29. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S bestowing of fertility and the resultant children. There are many churches who have politely but firmly refused to allow the throwing of rice. People now throw flower petals or confetti to uphold the ancient tradition. The white bridal gown dates back to Victorian times when Queen Victoria decided to throw tradition to the wind and wear a white gown. Prior to that there really was no wedding gown per se; brides simply wore their best gown. The color white is attributed to purity and virginity, so many women the world over still wear white bridal gowns, though the gowns themselves have grown more daring with each passing generation! The kiss that traditionally ends the wedding ceremony is believed to symbolize the ancient Roman sentiment A less romantic notion is that in the 17th that a kiss sealed the couple’s union and century, the groom would slide the ring agreement to a lifelong commitment. It is up the thumb, index and middle finger of representative of the couple joining their the bride while the priest intoned a prayer souls. that began with ‘in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. Three for three and if you follow the design of the There are two possible meanings to the hand, logically the third finger comes after tradition of placing the wedding ring on the middle finger, so the ring finally came the third finger or ring finger of the left to rest on it. hand. According to the Egyptians who seem well up in all marital matters, the vein of love runs directly from this finger Let us close with something humorous. In to the heart, ergo it is placed there to the old days women walked down the embody eternal, undying love. aisle carrying bouquets of herbs and garlic not for their beauty surely, but to ward of the evil spirits. Time changed this tradition and today women carry a beautiful bouquet of flowers. INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 29
  30. 30. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S In most countries traditional wedding are still popular, but alongside the traditional ceremony, many modern ones are constantly evolving. And very often they incorporate overseas wedding traditions. We have more about this subject at our website at . 14. Overseas Wedding Traditions Little girls seem to fantasize about being a bride much more than little boys think about being a groom. Girls seem to have that romantic streak that is stirred up by Many people like to incorporate overseas thoughts of love, a long white dress, marriage traditions into their weddings to flowers and other features of a wedding. spice up the entire event. With globalization spreading its wings on a truly massive scale, why not import some There is no denying that a wedding is one of the foreign wedding traditions as well, of life’s most momentous occasions. There with everything else we import. We also is a special solemnity to it that no other live in an age where online dating allows event quite matches. There is also a great relationships to span the globe. This of deal of fun, laughter, happiness and tears course has resulted in a larger number of all blended into a strange mix. inter-racial marriages than ever before. As society has evolved there have been Let us look at a few examples that numerous changes in the way we did showcase the incorporation of overseas things in the past and how we do them wedding traditions into a western today. Weddings have undergone a lot of wedding ceremony. In other words, just changes, progressing to what they have how well do these traditions and customs become today. Though we still hold on to merge together? Here are some classic many of the wedding traditions of examples that really highlight the wide yesteryear - no wedding would be range of differences in marriage traditions complete without them - couples have that exist. become more adventurous in their wedding planning. A marriage between a Christian bride from the west and a non Christian groom from INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 30
  31. 31. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S Asia means what exactly? Simply put the couple can decide what foreign wedding church wedding is out because the groom traditions they want to incorporate into will have to convert first before being the wedding. allowed to marry in a church. How about a Belgium wedding to really Then you have customs that dictate which add to the ceremony? Here are some family pays for the wedding. The Chinese noteworthy Belgian wedding features you custom says the groom pays for the can incorporate into your wedding. The wedding while in the western world the bride walks up the aisle to give her mother bride’s family pays. The Chinese wear red a single flower and a huge embrace. When as a ceremonial wedding color, of course the wedding ceremony is over, the bride in the west people wear white. presents her new mother in law with a single flower followed by the embrace. This is a very symbolic gesture to show the bride’s acceptance of her new mother. Another very traditional wedding tradition is that the bride carries a special handkerchief, embroidered with her name on it. After the wedding the handkerchief is framed and hung in a place of honor till the time when it is passed on to the next female family member on the bride’s side who is getting married. Why not try the French croquembouche or French wedding cake that has survived since the 1600s! A pyramid of creampuffs that have to be covered with hard-crack sugar followed by spun caramelized sugar. Quite a deviation from the traditional wedding cake one might say. These examples barely scratch the surface of what lies in store for couples from different racial backgrounds who plan to wed. You can choose to either turn it into a three ring circus with everyone squabbling with everyone, or the bridal INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 31
  32. 32. STE VE S YMENOW AND FOREVER WEDDING IDEAS S Destination weddings have become increasingly popular as more couples choose to head off to some romantic destination to get married. Many people feel that the most romantic spot in the whole world would have to be a tropical island paradise. There are some advantages to be had in choosing a destination wedding. One of them being that it helps you combine the wedding ceremony and honeymoon in one package. For another, only close family and friends will attend, making the whole event very intimate and of course less expensive. In this article we want to explore the pros Maybe you would like a touch of Scotland and cons of tropical island weddings. Now with its strange blend of ancient Highland tropical paradises abound from the traditions and modernistic rights. Have a Caribbean to Mauritius and so many wedding reception filled with music, others, just as lovely or even lovelier singing, toasting and much drinking – a places. It all boils down to a matter of celebration to end all celebrations that personal choice. continues on till the early morning hours. Too much to handle! Try having the It should be understood that as with most groom carry you over the threshold of things in this world, there are advantages your new home. This is a 700 year old and disadvantages to be considered when custom and a very symbolic one at that. planning a wedding in a tropical setting. It might be fun to do some more research Let us go with the positive side to having into the different wedding features of a tropical island wedding first. other countries and incorporate some of them into your own wedding. Many couples might even dream of an island wedding. 15. Pros and Cons of Tropical Island Weddings INFO@STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO - HTTP://STEPSTOGETMARRIED.INFO 32