Solutions for a Perfect Wedding

May 10 00:00 2001 Print This Article

The good news is that you found that special person to share the rest of your life with. However, unless you are properly prepared, the bad news is that planning your wedding can be extremely stressful. But don't despair, you can get your wedding organized and keep the excitement stress free. All the answers, from engagement through the wedding, are found in the new book "Easy Wedding Planning Plus."

This easy-to-use guide, authored by professional wedding consultants Elizabeth and Alex Lluch, details ever step needed for you to enjoy the excitement, while keeping you organized and on top of your plans. It includes all you need to know about planning the ceremony, the wedding flowers, the reception, the food, photography, music, budgets and responsibilities. It covers everything.

The book starts with a section in which the bride can list her memories to the proposal. What did he say? What did you say? How did you break the news to your parents and your best friends? This is followed by a detailed wedding planning checklist containing everything you need to do or consider when planning your wedding and the best time to accomplish each activity. This checklist is supplemented by more than 100 worksheets including a detailed budget analysis for all expenses typically incurred in a wedding.

The 43 wedding flower pages in "Easy Wedding Planning Plus" were written by floral authority, Joan Hahn Perilla. This section shares special information on the bridal bouquet, flowers for the wedding party, flowers to be used at the church and at every part of the reception. It also includes 90 flower color photos, along with the flower's historical significance, its main usage, proper care, durability and things to be aware of. It will give you a better understanding of flowers and help you make appropriate floral selections and coordinate your overall color scheme.

Here are a few notes on some of the more popular wedding flowers. Ask any bride and she'll tell you that no wedding would be complete without roses. After all it symbolizes love. Fittingly, some of the most popular vanities include "Bridal Pink," "Darling," "Only Love," and "Kiss" roses. Roses can be used for any phase of wedding design: altar and church decorations, corsages and boutonnieres, hand bouquets and centerpieces. Roses are big and small, scented and unscented. So if you want a perfect wedding, make sure to seal your vows with a kiss.... a "Kiss" rose.

The Calla lily is a unique, elegant, trumpet-shaped flower that is frequently used to herald the bride at both the church and the reception. First of all, the Calla lily isn't really a lily, though it shares many of its qualities. The flower became popular in America, when the elegant actress Katherine Hepburn recited this famous movie line, "The Calla lilies are blooming again." Grown primarily in Holland and England, this flower has no significant scent and is available year-round. This floral salute to the bride, takes its name "calla" from the Greek word "Kallos" meaning beautiful.

Delphinium, also known as Larkspur, is a multi-bloomed flower that is perfect for an old-fashioned summer wedding. Traditionally, these long-stemmed, scent-free beauties, were used in weddings as a sign that the matrimonial bond will strengthen the betrothed's commitment to each other. Pink, white and blue varieties are the most dominant, but red and mixed types can also be obtained. One popular pink variety, noteworthy for its outstanding uniformity, is the "Princess Caroline," so named because it was used at Princess Caroline of Monaco's wedding.

No flower is used more frequently at a wedding than the Lily. There are more than 4,000 different varieties of this strongly scented flower. Its first known use at weddings can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty in China. White lilies are often used as a single flower placed upon a bible. Warning if you use "Stargazer" or "Casablanca" lilies in a corsage: either remove the anthers that project from the center of the flower, or place the lilies on a protective shield. Otherwise, it will easily stain your wedding gown.

Perhaps the most important part of the wedding is selecting your ceremony site. In doing so make sure to consider the formality of your wedding and your projected number of guests. Always consider issues such as proximity from the ceremony to the reception site, parking availability, disabled accessibility and time constraints. Then ask about any guidelines regarding photography, videography, music, decorations and rice or petal throwing. Money saving tips: having your ceremony and reception at the same facility can save you is a second rental fee. At a garden wedding, have your guests stand. This saves the cost of renting chairs. To make your garden wedding more meaningful, instead of throwing rice, have your guests toss grass or flower seeds.

Make sure to order your bridal gown four to six months before your wedding. If you are short and full figured, avoid knit fabrics but use chiffon because it produces a floating, slimming effect. For those with a short, thin figure, select a gown with a shirtwaist style with a bouffant skirt to give the illusion of height. For tall, heavy figured brides, princess and A-line gowns are best for slimming effects. Satin or lace shirtwaist or natural waist style gowns are best for those who are tall and thin. Remember the headpiece and veil should not overshadow your gown. Money saving tip: Some bridal boutiques offer a free headpiece with the purchase of a gown. Make sure to ask before making your purchase.

Reserve a few weeks before the wedding for tuxedo rentals and fittings for the groom and ushers. Then make sure to designate one person (usually the best man) to have the responsibility for returning the tuxedos to the shop. Money saving tip: many shops will not charge the groom for tuxedo rental if the ushers rent from the same shop.

Photography: Make sure that you not only hire a photographer who specializes in weddings but one with whom you are comfortable. Personal rapport is extremely important and will be reflected in your photography. Look at the photographer's to make sure he has captured the excitement and emotion of the bridal couple. Remember, a wedding album should unfold like a story book. Make sure the photographer you interview will be the one who will photograph your wedding. Some companies use their best photographer to sell their packages and send then send a less experienced photographer to the wedding. Money saving tip: Hire a professional photographer for formal shots of your ceremony only. Then place disposable cameras on each table at the reception and let your guests take candid shots.

The reception is the party where all your guests come together to celebrate your new life as a married couple. The reception should reflect and complement the formality of your ceremony. If you are not holding the reception at home, there are two basic types of sites. The first (hotels, restaurants and catering facilities) charges a per person fee which includes the facility, food, tables and silverware. Everything is done for you but the choices may be limited. The second type charges a room rental fee and you are responsible for providing food, beverages, linens and service.

Make sure to check the hotel that it is not booking two events too close together. You don't want your guests to wait outside while your room is being set up for the reception. Money saving tip: Since the cost of the reception is approximately 35% of the total cost of your wedding, you can save the most money by limiting your guest list. Further, reception sites will sometimes waive room rental fees if you meet minimum requirements on food and beverages consumed.

Depending on your wedding, there are three types of invitations: formal, contemporary or informal. No matter which you select, they should be order four months before the wedding and mailed six to eight weeks before the wedding. Money saving tip: thermography looks like engraving but is one-third the cost. Always order at least 25 extra invitations, just in case you add people or mess up invitations. To reorder a small number of invitations is extremely expensive.

Now that you have a taste of how to make your wedding planning easy, read "Easy Wedding Planning Plus" and make it even easier.

Joan Hahn Perilla, listed in "Who's Who in America," is one of the country's leading floral authorities. She has written books and numerous articles and appeared as a floral expert on radio shows. Best of all, she designed her own daughter's wedding.


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