Who needs to come to the Ceremony Rehearsal


It might sound like a formality before the rehearsal dinner and welcome party get started, but a wedding ceremony rehearsal is actually pretty important. After all, practice makes perfect! A run-through with your wedding party and officiant will ensure everyone knows when to walk, where to stand, and what to say throughout your ceremony. In the name of being totally prepared for your big moment, who actually needs to be at your rehearsal? Our experts break it down.

The most important people to have at your ceremony rehearsal are anyone who will be participating in some way, whether it’s walking down the aisle or doing a reading. Of course the bride, groom, parents, and officiant need to be present (since you’ve all got starring roles!). You don’t necessarily need to go through your vows line-by-line, but reviewing the general order of things — like whether the handfasting is before or after your cousin reads an excerpt from The Little Prince — will help ensure that everyone knows when their part is coming up.

You also want as much of your wedding party there as possible. If one or two members are on later flights or don’t get in until the morning of your wedding, that’s fine, but you want the majority of your bridesmaids and groomsmen there to practice the processional and recessional so they can fill in anyone else. Do you have little ones participating, as well? The rehearsal is the perfect time to familiarize them with what they’ll be doing, as well as to help them get more comfortable in a new space. Show them exactly where Mom and Dad will be sitting and where they should go when they’re done walking down the aisle so it won’t be too scary or new the next day.

See more: Make Your Wedding Rehearsal Fun in 5 Simple Steps

Make sure that all of your readers are present, too. Again, they don’t need to read every line of what they’ll be sharing on your wedding day, but knowing what happens before they’re supposed to speak will give them a good cue to look for once the real deal is underway.

Try not to have too many extra people around so that the rehearsal can run smoothly and quickly, without distractions. They’ll get to see your ceremony IRL soon enough!

SOURCE: http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2016/04/who-needs-to-be-at-wedding-ceremony-rehearsal.html

40% of couples spend $10,000 or less on their weddings


Despite $34,000 Pnina Tornai gowns on Say Yes to the Dress and the proliferation of social media posts of magazine-quality engagement photos and wedding videos, there’s actually a significant group of brides and grooms who are tying the knot for much less than the price of a year’s college tuition.

Nearly 40% of couples who got married in 2014 spent $10,000 or less, according to The Wedding Report, a research company that tracks wedding industry trends based on government data and daily surveys of couples. The Wedding Report says the average spent on a wedding last year was about $26,400, in line with other sources, such as The Knot, whose figure is a bit higher at about $31,200. But averages can be skewed by the high cost of services in places like Manhattan.

“Not everybody buys everything,” The Wedding Report CEO Shane McMurray says. “People that are spending that little, they’re basically just not spending money on certain things. They’re not spending $20,000 on the venue. Maybe they did it in someone’s backyard.”

The first thing you should do if you’re looking to cut costs is cut your guest list, says Sarah Shewey, founder and CEO of Happily, an a la carte wedding planning service. How many people you choose to invite will affect the price of the most expensive parts of your wedding: your venue, catering and any furniture rentals.

Some couples are choosing to forgo the stress of a year of planning and paying professionals to take care of the details to instead put together weddings that resemble small family parties; particularly when faced with the financial responsibility of things like student loans — which nearly 71% of college grads have — and homeownership.

After buying a house in College Park, Md., in June, Jessie Williams, 28, and her fiance, Stuart Adams, 29, started rethinking their plan to wait until next fall to get married in order to give them time to save for their big day. Instead, the couple are now getting married Oct. 9 at the San Diego courthouse, choosing to plan around an already-booked trip to California, where Williams is from.

“There’s just dollar signs on every inch of this house. … It really puts your priorities into perspective,” says Williams, who estimates that they’ll end up spending just $7,000, including airfare, on their small wedding, which 25 people are attending. It will be catered by a local taco restaurant, the reception will be in the recreation room of a friend’s condo building, and the DJ will be a Pandora radio station. Williams also got 50% off her photographer’s fee for having a weekday wedding.

“We were always planning on doing something casual, but there would have definitely been a lot more people,” says Williams, if they had stuck to their original plan. “We realized very quickly the only thing that really matters was that we had our family there, we had a couple friends and someone could be there to take pictures and capture the moment.”

How to throw a wedding on a small budget:

• Slash the guest list. Do you really care if your second cousin’s boyfriend is in attendance? The fewer people attending, the smaller your bill will be for everything from the venue to the food to the invitations.

• Skip the wedding planner. A full-service planner costs an average of about $3,000, according to The Wedding Report. You can hire a day-of coordinator or opt for a la carte services for less than $1,000. Or, take it all on yourself and ask friends and family to pitch in.

• Rethink timing. A Friday or Sunday wedding will likely be cheaper than a Saturday wedding. You’ll save about 20% per head for throwing your party on an off-night, says Kristen Maxwell Cooper, deputy editor of The Knot. Having a daytime wedding instead of an evening wedding can also save.

• Only serve beer and wine. You can still have an open bar, just pass on the hard alcohol.

• Buy wholesale. Places like Sam’s Club and Costco aren’t just great for stocking up on toilet paper and bulk groceries. Williams is getting her beer, wine and flowers from Costco for her wedding. Her sister is doing the flower arrangements.

Source: USA Today

Wedding Prayer to start our Lives Together

In the photo, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Caleb Earwood holds the hand of his now-wife, Maggie Earwood, while taking time to pray before saying “I do.”

“We were about to take our first steps in life together, and we didn’t want to take a step without it being in God’s will,” Caleb Earwood, 21, told TODAY.com. “I prayed to God for my beautiful and intelligent wife that he blessed me with and the amazing family I was marrying into.”

Because the couple didn’t want to see each other until the ceremony, Caleb stood on the staircase. Maggie, 22, leaned up against the wall to avoid making eye contact.

Top First Dance Wedding Songs 2015

The top first dance wedding songs playlist are based on wedding song selections of DC wedding couples and DC DJ’s. Additionally, the list was comprised using data from music request database provider DJ Intelligence. Currently, the most requested first dance song is “All of Me” by John Legend.

Top Wedding Venues in Virginia

For many couples, the wedding venue is the first thing they look for. They feel if they can find the perfect location then everything will come together. It is true that choosing the best venue is a huge accomplishment and makes planning everything else a little easier…and a little bit more stress free! For you Virginian lovers, here are a few sites to search for wedding venues in Virginia.




Save Money on my Wedding


What can you do with $31,213? It’s about enough cash to pay tuition and fees for one year at a private four-year university—or to host 136 of your closest friends and family for a really big party, according to recent numbers from The Knot. That’s the national average cost for a wedding now, up from $29,858 last year.

The numbers vary depending on location, of course. In Utah, the average nuptials cost just $15,257. But in Manhattan, the average price tag is more than $76,000.

“I think this number keeps going up because weddings are becoming a weekend affair,” says Kristen Maxwell Cooper, deputy editor of The Knot. “They’re not just about one day anymore. There’s a welcome party the day before, a party following the reception and brunches the next morning.”

In other words, brides and grooms are focused on creating a guest experience. “So many weddings are out of town, and so throwing an amazing party for their friends and family and showing them how appreciative they are for coming all that way is really their main focus,” Cooper says. “And they’re adding all of these personal details, and those little extras are making the costs go up.”

One thing that’s upping the price of weddings is social media. Now that there are so many ways to share photos, couples are determined to hire the best (and often most expensive) photographer to make sure they get it right. “And it’s about the engagement shoot and the shoot afterwards, the ‘Trash the Dress’ shoot,” Cooper says. “There’s the ‘Boudoir Shoot.’ Some of these packages are getting more expensive because you’re getting more.”

That doesn’t mean you have to spend that much money on your vows. Many couples today are asking how can I save money on my wedding. Here are some pointers from experts on keeping your wedding tab reasonable:

Set priorities. “My happiest clients choose from the beginning what’s important to them,” says Branden Harvey, a wedding photographer based in Portland, OR. For instance, a recent client told him they valued great photos, lots of dancing, and a great rehearsal dinner. Then they started ditching things they didn’t value. “They cut out expensive flowers and opted for beautiful paper flowers,” Harvey says. “They cut out a big cake and opted for cupcakes. They cut out an expensive, ornate venue and opted for a rock music venue. After their wedding, they said they wouldn’t have done it any differently.”

Set a budget. “It’s amazing how few couples actually set budgets and commit to keeping to them,” says Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations with the Freedom Financial Network. “It does mean creating the wedding around the budget, which usually means making hard choices.”

Stick to one location. Having one spot for your ceremony and reception will save more money than you think. “You won’t need to rent a limo from your ceremony location to your reception venue,” says Caryn Lim from Montreal wedding design firm A Timeless Celebration. “You won’t need to keep guests entertained for more than an hour of cocktails between the ceremony and reception. And you can easily reuse your florals from your ceremony for your reception.”

Be wary of expensive catering. “I’ve had a $5,000 quote and a $20,000 quote for the same quantity of people and the same style of food,” says Johnna Guzman, a wedding producer with Purple Fire Productions in Chicago. “So shop around. And let’s face it, food trucks are delicious and cheap. I once went to a very expensive wedding with a plated dinner and the whole shebang, but when Skyline Chili dogs came out at 11 p.m., everyone went crazy. I still, to this day, can’t remember what we had for dinner.”

Shrink your guest list. “As a general rule, couples should reconsider inviting guests that they haven’t seen or spoken to in the last six months,” says Regina Brooks, owner of Régine Danielle Events & Design in the Chicago area. “By eliminating just 10 guests, couples can save over $1,000 on food alone.”

Shrink your cake. “Four- and five-tiered cakes can get pricey,” says Nicole Batiste, owner and president of Events by SB in Valhalla, NY. “Have a two- or three-tiered cake for the slicing ceremony, and then have sheet cakes for the kitchen staff to slice and serve to the guests.”

Get off of Pinterest. “Pinterest is overflowing with so many amazing ideas and inspiration,” says Kendra Barnes, owner of the wedding-themed CUTEnCRAFTYshop on Etsy. “However, sometimes the abundance of awesome ideas can start to add up and get you further and further away from the wedding you had in mind. You want your wedding to be memorable because you married the love of your life, not because you went $10,000 over budget.”

Talk to three wedding vendors for every category. Do this even if you love the first one you find. “I often speak to brides who fall in love with something—such as an expensive florist—and then claim their budget is busted and call it a day,” says Tracy Brisson, a wedding officiant in Savannah, GA who also runs Savannah Custom Weddings & Elopements. “If you continue to talk to more vendors, the worst case scenario will be that you find that your first choice is as amazing as you originally thought and you are justified in spending every cent.”

Get married on a Friday—or in February. “Saturdays in the summer are obviously the most in-demand time for weddings, and therefore the most expensive,” says Jon Lal, founder and CEO of BeFrugal.com. “If you’re set on a summer wedding, consider a Friday evening or a Sunday afternoon. Or plan your wedding during the off-season. A winter or spring wedding makes for an easy theme and décor because it’s already unique and unexpected.”

Reconsider your definition and perception of a wedding. “The only thing you ultimately have to do to get married is the legal stuff, which costs no more than a couple hundred bucks,” says Stefanie O’Connell, who blogs at TheBrokeAndBeautifulLife.com. “Strike ‘have to’ from your vocabulary and start prioritizing what you really want. Keeping that perspective might help you realize how unnecessary everything else really is—even the iconic white dress or wedding cake. It’s all optional, so do what works best for you.”


Extreme Destination Weddings


Forget waiting until the honeymoon to travel. One California couple has turned their wedding into an extreme destination wedding through 12 countries over 79 days.

Cheetah Platt and Rhiann Woodyard decided they wanted to do something more for their wedding than a day-long ceremony and reception. The couple instead decided to get hitched in 12 different countries, holding at least 20 ceremonies during their travels, according to their fundraising site.

The couple jetted off on Feb. 8 and aren’t expected to return homeward until April 28. According to their Facebook pages and Flickr, the couple has held multiple ceremonies, including near the great pyramids of Egypt and in the jungle of Colombia.

“The most powerful experience for [me] was standing in the ancient Egyptian desert and getting married in front of the great pyramids,” Platt told ABC News station WLS-TV in Chicago. “The only standing structure of the seven wonders of the ancient world. They are so majestic, awe-inspiring and rooted in such myth and legend. It was truly a breathtaking wedding.”

Why wouldn’t you enjoy having an extreme destination wedding like this?

-ABC News

Average Cost of a Wedding in 2015 is 31K

The average cost of an American wedding is now $31,213, according to a recent report from wedding website The Knot, based on their survey of nearly 16,000 couples. That’s up about $2,500 from their 2013 figure, about a 5% rise in a single year.

While there are reasons to believe the data isn’t telling the whole story, the cost of weddings certainly isn’t going down.

-Deal News