Hints For Your Wedding Day
There are a variety of post-ceremony celebration options
available to the newlyweds. The most popular choice is a lunch
or dinner reception, the sites for which are virtually unlimited.
An important hint to keep in mind that this is your day . .
. plan the reception to satisfy your own style.
Since cost is always a consideration, investigation of the
reception packages available in your immediate area is in order.
The charges for an all inclusive sit-down dinner reception in
the Marin-Sonoma-Napa region at a suitable restaurant or hotel,
or privately catered at a location which does not offer food
services, can range from approximately $15 per person to $100
per person, including tax, tips and liquor. The package price
will vary, depending on such factors as day of the week, time
of the year, style of the party and the menu selection.
If you are planning a large reception, it is important that
you start the planning process early, since there are a limited
number of sites that can accommodate such a gathering. Investigate
the available locations and arrange appointments to explore
all of the sites that appear intriguing. Make your reservations
well in advance of your wedding date. If you plan to be married
during the wedding high season, it is suggested that you book
your location as early as one year in advance of the intended
date of the celebration.
A private catering service can provide reception services
at a variety of locations, including vineyards, boats, golf
courses, hotels or at your home. You can either locate a reception
site which does not provide catering services, and then employ
an off-site catering service, or you can first choose an off-site
caterer and then seek the caterer's recommendation with regard
to a suitable site.
As with the other wedding related services, do not allow
for any surprises on the day of the event. Make sure that the
terms of the package purchased by you are set out in a writing
which clearly sets out the menu, the maximum seating, the room
decorations, any catered services, number of waiters and bartenders,
quality of silverware and chinaware, dance facilities, parking,
after event janitorial services, etc.
The events and procedures at the reception are matters of
your preference and choice. There are no hard and fast rules.
Usually, following the ceremony a receiving line is set up at
the reception site, at which time the bride and groom are allowed
an opportunity to meet and speak with their wedding guests.
The newlyweds are commonly joined in the reception line by their
parents, the best man and maid of honor, and any special guests
who attended the proceedings. Either before or after the wedding
guests are received, the bride and groom should retire to an
adjoining room, together with the wedding party, family members
and special guests, for the formal wedding portraits. Plan on
15 minutes to an hour for the formal portraits and approximately
20 to 30 minutes for the reception line introductions.
Reception Lines are not as popular in some areas as others.
Many couples today elect to have a Grand Entrance rather than
the formal receiving line. This is less formal and takes less
time. Since the bride/groom and family may stay at the church
for picture while most of the guests will leave for the reception
site, the Grand Entrance will allow the bride/groom and wedding
party to be introduced to the guests that will be waiting the
the reception site. HINT: keep it simple!
Typical proceedings thereafter include, in order:
- Introduction of the new couple by the Disc Jockey or
- Informal visits by the bride and groom to the guests'
tables, if they are seated, or intermingling with the guests,
if they are not;
- Toast by the best man shortly before the wedding party
is served [or before the cake cutting];
- Any other toasts by persons present;
- Service of the buffet or sit down lunch or dinner:
- a.) If a sit down, the bridal party's table is situated
where it can best be viewed by the guests with the bridal
couple in the middle, maid of honor to the groom's left,
best man to the bride's right, and the other attendants
alternating man/woman as space permits. Tapping of a crystal
glass announces that the bride and groom should kiss;
b.) If a buffet, the food line should start with the bride,
followed by the groom, the maid of honor, best man, attendants,
parents and guests.
- Service of the meal [background music by your DJ during
- First dance by bride and groom alone.
- Second dance followed by dance of bride with groom's
father and groom with bride's mother, later joined by wedding
party, later joined by guests.
- Open dancing for all guests.
- Cake cutting (directed by Photographer);
- Bouquet toss followed by garter toss. Directed by the
- More dancing if time allows; and
- Departure of the bride and groom under hail of rose petals
or birdseed [rice should not be used].
- Your Professional Disc Jockey should
arrange all these activities with you before the wedding day.
THE SOUND SPECTRUM and their Professional Disc Jockeys seeks
to assist you in your wedding preparations, and to provide practical
suggestions which, it is hoped, will help you avoid some of
the pitfalls often encountered in the months and days leading
up to the happy event.
You will find that, as the wedding date approaches, less
and less time will be available for wedding preparations. The
following are a few tips the are to help ensure that will be
what you always wanted.
Your wedding photography will provide a long-lasting remembrance
of one of the happiest days of your life. The right professional
photographer should deliver a complete selection of photographs
that tell the full story of your day. To help select your professional
photographer, keep these thoughts in mind: Hire a professional,
don't trust your wedding memories to a friend with a camera.
Interview as many photographers and review as many wedding albums
as you can to find the style you like. Reserve your photographer
as early as possible. The best photographers tend to be booked
months in advance.
Ask the following questions:
- What packages are offered?
- How many photos are included in each package?
- Are the "proofs" yours to keep?
- Is there a set number of reprints you must order?
- What is the cost for additional time or photos?
- How much is the deposit and when is it due?
- When is the balance due? Is there a travel charge? Are
the negatives available to purchase? If so, do you have to
wait a specified time before you can purchase them?
Most importantly, view his or her photographs. See if you
like the style of photography and book as early as possible.
Ring Bearer, Flower
Girls and Trainbearers
- Your attendants can add a nice touch to a wedding. They
usually are close relatives or good friends of the couple.
The ring bearer and the flower girls usually walk before the
bride and her escort but behind the rest of the bridal party.
- Flower girls usually lay a bed of rose pedals for the
bride to walk on.
- Trainbearers walk in pairs following the bride and her
escort, holding the bride's train.
- Florist Weddings are costly, and everyone is interested
in saving money if possible. Floral designs created from fresh
and silk flowers may help you stay within your budget. Choose
wedding flowers that either can serve more than one function
or can be kept as a remembrance of the occasion.
- Standing baskets filled with sprays of fresh or silk
flowers that decorate the ceremony can later be moved to the
reception site, where they look elegant placed behind the
head table or at the entrance to the room.
- An arch is useful at the site of the ceremony, in a garden
wedding, or the bride may wish to make her entrance under
a flower covered arch before being escorted down the aisle.
Later, this same arch could showcase the cake table or the
guest book table.
- A swag, placed at the top of such an arch, made of silk
or dried materials, can be retained by the newlyweds, evoking
fond memories of the wedding day.
- The head table can be highlighted by using a swag or
floral centerpiece made of permanent botanical. This later
becomes a lovely addition to a first home.
- Perfect for a flower girl may be a silk headwreath made
of ribbon, tulle and tiny flowers, which can be enjoyed by
the wearer after the wedding as well as on the special day
itself. This wreath is sometimes hung on a wall with the brim
of a straw hat, to be worn or displayed in the home.
These are just a few ideas for maximizing your floral budget.
The most important thing to remember is that careful planning
is essential if you hope to get the most for your money, without
compromising the beautiful, romantic setting that flowers can
add to your wedding day.
The Meaning of Flowers
- Love White Daisy
- Purity Gardenia
- Joy Orchard
- Beauty Carnation
- Distinction Blue Violet
- Constancy Forget-me-not
- True Love Red Chrysanthemum
- Sharing Lily of the Valley
- Happiness White Lilac
- Youthful Innocence
The music sets the tone for your wedding. Two sets of performers
may be required, one for the ceremony and another for the reception.
You may, for example, choose a live band, Sound
Spectrum Disc Jockey, solo singer, piano/organ, harpist
or combination of two or more. Disc Jockeys now account for
85% of all weddings and are less expensive than bands. They
will have a much larger selection of music to choose from. A
good Professional DJ will be of great assistance to you during
the planning stages of your wedding. They will also at as the
MC at the Receptions and make sure everything goes according
to you planned schedule. For more details on selecting a DJ
Wedding bands usually have audition nights at which you
can hear them in person. If not, request an audio or videotape.
Bridal shows often showcase bands. Your musician's personality
can add much to the marriage ceremony and can make or break
your reception. So it's important that you select your entertainment
When interviewing a videographer, ask to see examples of
his or her work. Examine the approach and style of the videographer
as well as the sound quality and picture clarity. Of utmost
importance is the quality of the editing. Keep these thoughts
What video format is offered? The formats in order of preference
(lowest quality to highest) are DVD, VHS, 8mm, Hi8, and SVHS.
You should insist that the video be shot at the highest available
speed. Does the artist provide lighting, or does he rely on
- What are the charges for extra time or extra tape?
- Will the videographer have available back-up equipment
in the event difficulties are encountered?
- Can a photographic /videographic collage be provided?
- Is a choice of background music, where appropriate, available?
- Are title screens provided?
- How many cameras will be covering the events?
- Has the videographer had experience in conducting interviews?
The purchase of your wedding jewelry should be an exciting
part of your engagement. Unfortunately, in today's marketplace,
jewelry shopping can oftentimes be a confusing experience. Since
there is so much competition in the field, you can expect to
receive conflicting information, most of it intended to sell
you rather than assist you. Here are some basic tips that can
help you cut through the technical jargon and sales tactics..
WHERE TO SHOP:
Your first stop should be a locally owned jewelry
store which has established a good reputation over a number
of years. It's also a good idea to look for a store with an
in-house jeweler so any sizing or custom work can be performed
on the premises. A jeweler that's rooted in the community has
a vested interest in making you a satisfied customer because
they typically advertise by "word of mouth."
Most consumers have difficulty choosing a wedding
ring because of the many variables involved in diamond quality
and value. Diamond grading is broken down into "Four C's"
carat, clarity, color and cut. All of these add up to
a "Fifth C," cost. Ask how the "Four C's"
apply to the ring or rings that you are considering.
AFTER THE DECISION:
Before reaching a final decision on your rings,
there are several other consideration that you should take into
account. How long will it take to have the ring sized? If the
ring is being ordered from an outside jeweler or manufacturer,
how much time will be required for delivery and size adjustments,
if necessary? Allowance of sufficient time in advance of your
wedding date is essential.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Ask questions? Good salespeople like to share
their knowledge and experience. Visit a number of jewelry outlets.
Take good notes and compare them as you shop. Don't make snap
decisions. Think about it overnight. Are the financing terms
competitive? Trust yourself and your own eye. If something doesn't
look right it probably isn't. Make the choice that is right
for you, not what someone else wants to sell you. Don't rush.
Enjoy this special occasion.
Reception & Wedding
As you visit possible wedding and/or reception sites, keep
notes of your observations and the information you obtain. Ask
whether the quoted price is all inclusive, or whether there
will be additional charges, such as gratuities, overtime fees,
and sales tax. Insist that all details be reduced to writing,
including dates, times, prices, and descriptions of services
provided. Inquire into the payment requirements. Most sites
will require a down payment to reserve the facility, with the
balance due approximately one week prior to the date of the
event, when the final guest count is known.
Remember Saturday night is the most expensive time to
schedule your wedding reception. To save money, consider
another evening or a weekend afternoon. Morning or afternoon
weddings also call for a lighter menu, so you will be able to
save on the catering as well.
[Special Note: The Sound
Spectrum has received permission to print a recently interview
from one of the leading wedding consultants / coordinators in
Northern California, Robbin Montero of A
Dream Wedding, Here are her thoughts on the advantages of
hiring a wedding coordinator.]
- "So you've decided to plan your wedding. You feel
slightly overwhelmed at the thought of planning an extravagant
event, but are confident you can pull it off. However, many
couples are at a loss when it comes to coordinating such event.
With little or no experience in event planning, a professional
wedding consultant is definitely in order. (The
Sound Spectrum DJ Service can help you with the Reception
planning if you don't have a consultant.)
- The decision to hire a consultant is based on several
factors. For many, time is lacking. Full time jobs do not
allow the phone calls and visits required. Major oversights
often occur when time is limited and the ability to stay organized
and focused misfires. If the bride is new to the area, with
few friends or family members close by, planning a wedding
with little outside help could become a nightmare.
- What about an out-of-town wedding, or a bride with a
narrow budget? Whatever the reason, the wisest choice is to
hire a professional. The goal of the wedding consultant is
to offer the bride and her family peace of mind by keeping
on top of the planning. A bride and her family should be able
to enjoy the occasion, leaving the details and hassles to
the consultant. My philosophy is that a bride and groom are
deserving of anything and everything they want. I refer to
them as my King and Queen. They are the ones in charge, and
as such, are allowed to create their own rules and regulations.
- Good rapport, communication, and a feeling that the bride
can rely on her consultant is vital to the teamwork. A consultant
will go the extra mile and resolve disputes that may arise
between the bride and family members. The consultant acts
as a couple's liaison, smoothing over rough spots, that will
inevitably present themselves during the period leading up
to, and on the wedding day. Stretching the dollar, while staying
within a budget, a consultant will alleviate financial anxieties.
- An established consultant will have a wide selection
of vendors and valuable connections. She/he will assist the
bride by knowing who to book and when, providing price comparisons,
overseeing vendor contracts, avoiding overtime charges, saving
on services when guests don't show, will collectively result
in considerable savings to the couple. A good planner has
developed relationships with many vendors, and because of
the harmony that has developed, vendors may provide certain
perks without charge. The couple benefits by getting the feeling
of a more elaborate wedding.
- The extra pair of hands on the wedding day is priceless.
A schedule will be orchestrated and distributed to ensure
a smooth-running event. Details such as coordinating and overseeing
vendors, supervising and cuing the wedding party and music,
and assisting with seating arrangements are just a few of
the duties a consultant will assume. This
can also be provided by a Professional DJ Service.
A bride can rest assured knowing the wedding day will be handled
with care, while she relaxes and enjoys her glorious day.
If you want a worry and headache free wedding day, consider
hiring a professional wedding consultant."
4718 Parkwest Dr., San Jose, CA 95130, (408)866-8773
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