When to say no, when to compromise and when to go with the flow.

All you need is love and …to learn when to say no, when to compromise and when to go with the flow.

When I sat down to research and write this piece, it became apparent to me that the principles for the successful navigation of the wedding planning process and  successfully navigating marriage are quite similar. Although I have yet to find a need for a seating chart in my marriage, and 17 years in I don’t think there will ever be a need for one, so in that respect they are different. So while you are reading this piece, be mindful that you can take some of the advice and apply it to marriage as well as wedding planning.

Wedding planning is hard, this we know. In fact if anyone says to you “Oh I loved every minute of planning my wedding, it was all so much fun” they are lying. They are a big fat liar McLiarsons.

With my experience in the wedding industry, and the many articles I’ve read, blog posts I’ve perused and Facebook rants I’ve been privy to, the number one issue couples (well let’s be honest, mostly brides) have is every man and his dog seems to have an opinion on how you should plan your wedding.

So with that in mind I’ve put together some tips for how to handle those sticky situations and those well-meaning friends and family (who we know only want to help) during the wedding planning process.

Come up with a budget, and stick to it – When you first start planning your wedding, you need to sit down together and have a conversation about money (I know boring as hell, but so important) You both need to decide on how much you can realistically spend on your wedding day, and what type of wedding you want. Is it going to be all out, over the top, dream wedding, or maybe something a little more scaled back? This will help you make all the big decisions (venue, photographer etc) when you know exactly how much you’ve got to spend on each element. Having a set budget means that you also have a good excuse to say ‘no’ to suggestions “Sorry I really can’t incorporate those swans  you really want into the wedding Great Aunty Fanny. I can’t afford it!” Soz not soz!

Make sure you’re both on the same page – Make sure you both converse about what’s important to you for the big day. Are there some non-negotiable items that you must have or that are priorities to you? For example, he may be a big fan of a particular type of car and really want those as the wedding cars, where you couldn’t care less what type of cars you arrive in. So you budget for those cars, and if someone offers their opinion on another type of car, you can say ‘no’. If you are both on the same page you will be in a better position  when people start questioning or offering their opinions. You will know exactly what the other person thinks and wants and can stick together.

Make sure your partner will back you up – Weddings and wedding planning can bring out the worst in people. A lot of people in your lives will have set opinions, whether solicited or not, on your wedding plans. If you’ve already had the discussion about the budget and your priorities, then you’re in good shape.  You also need to know that your partner will back you up if/when you have to say ‘no’ to a suggestion. Also be aware that some people will go for  the “divide and conquer” technique, where they will offer their suggestion on you first and if you say ‘no’ then they will try your partner. But once again if you both know the plan and know that you both  have each other’s back then you’ll come out on top.

Stick up for what’s important to you – It’s your wedding day, you get to do it your way. If there is something that you really want (priorities and non-negotiable items) and someone questions your decision then make sure you stick up for what’s important.  You don’t want to look back on your wedding day with regret on something that you gave up to keep someone else happy.

Don’t be emotionally black-mailed, especially by family – Split families can be  a hotbed for emotional blackmail (the whole if he’s coming then I’m not type of childish behaviour, can rear it’s ugly head) Make sure all your family members know that you will not be held to ransom on your wedding day. Remind them that it is your day, and that they need to ‘pull their heads in’ and if they can’t then maybe they should not come.  You’ll find nine times out of ten, they will start behaving. No-one wants to miss a wedding.

Every-ones on the same page – If your parents or other relatives are financially contributing to the wedding then you need to have discussions at the beginning with them all about your plans. There can be times when their money will come with strings attached ( an example: if they are paying for flowers, then they want to pick the flowers) and if you’re all good with that, then great, if not then you need to discuss and come to a compromise. I know, maybe easier said than done, just make sure they know how much you appreciate their contribution, but, that you have your hearts set on your plans. And if they still won’t play ball, then you need to decide if the money they are contributing is  worth all the hassle.

What can you let go of – There may be times where you just need to let go of some of the control or your expectations and go with some-one else’s idea to keep the peace. But only if it’s something that is not one of your priorities. For example one bride let her mother in law choose and order the wedding favours, because it kept her involved (and happy) and it wasn’t really a priority for the bride. Win, win I say!

Remember what’s important -You love each other. You  are choosing to share your love story and commitment with your friends and family on your special day.

 

What’s in my celebrant “bag of tricks”?

All you need is love and … a bag full of essentials.

So those of you who have met with me, in my capacity as a wedding celebrant, and have had me officiant your wedding day know that I lug around a huge black shoulder bag. It’s my bag of tricks. It has everything that I or possibly the bride or groom could need for the before and/or during the ceremony.  This is a carefully curated list/bag of items that has been collected and added to over previous weddings.

Here’s a list of what’s hiding in the big black bag.

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1 Rescue Remedy – If you haven’t heard/used this before, it’s awesome. It’s a homeopathic spray that you spray on your tongue to help calm you down. Works perfectly for anxious grooms.

2 Wipes – Perfect for hands and for men’s suit/shirt shoulders, which always get make-up on them from all the hugs and kisses they get before the ceremony starts. Helps smarten them up for photos.

3 Lipstick – For me not, the groom.

4 Water bottle – I get a dry mouth when I know I have to do a lot of speaking, so water is essential. Have also had nervous grooms take a swig as well. Side note: it is definitely water and not vodka in there. Yes, it is a sponge-bob square pants bottle!

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Shannon and Sean

5 Heart shaped rocks – For holding down the paperwork before and during the signing if there’s a breeze.

6 Vehicle Log Book – for recording the km’s for yucky tax.

7 Business cards – you never know when an opportunity exists.

8 Hand cream – dry hands make rings harder to slip on.

9 Tissues – I always have at least 2 tissues in my pockets, for either the bride or groom during the ceremony.

10 Compact mirror – to make sure I look presentable before everything kicks off.

11 Matches – just in case someone forgets the matches for lighting a candle of remembrance.

12 Spare battery – for the microphone.

13 Comb – kinda goes with the compact mirror and lipstick.

14 Microphone – so everyone can hear all the lovely words, the couple say to each other. I always have a spare in the car, just in case.

15 Pen – for signing the paperwork, in case the couple don’t have a special one they want to use.

16 Cellphone – the cellphone is loaded with the couple’s playlist for their ceremony, and is definitely switched onto meeting mode during the afternoon.

17 Red folder – the meeting folder, this contains the couples file, with all their contact details.

18 White folder – the folder I use during the ceremony. It holds the ceremony and the couples vows and any readings they are having.

19 Lollipop – used to give to flower girls and/or ring bearers when they have made their walk down the aisle and are about to take their seats.

There is a lot in there (believe me, I have to lug it around) but it is everything I could possibly need for a wedding ceremony, to make sure the groom looks and feels his absolute best (I spend more time hanging with the groom and his boys on the actual wedding day than the bride)  and to make sure I perform the best ceremony I can.

People We Love: Debra Fallowfield Jeweller

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

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Meet Debra Fallowfield Jeweller

Business Name: Debra Fallowfield Jeweller, owner of PRECIOUS by Debra Fallowfield in Port Chalmers, Dunedin.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: Self confessed magpie – lover of shiny bright things.  I am what you would call a custom or bespoke jeweller. A bit like an Atelier, I pretty much make all my jewellery by hand to order.  My speciality is “one of a kind” engagement and wedding rings. I have a very distinctive style – which is totally unique compared to most of the jewellery you would find in an everyday jewellery store.

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I pride myself on good old fashioned customer service, with no pretensions.  Feel free to ask a million questions!

Choosing an engagement, wedding or commitment ring is a huge step to undertake and best done with a knowledgeable jeweller.  Having been in the industry for over 15 years you can have full trust in me for this precious task.  Custom work is all about you, so communication is essential.  My role is to make it all as easy and stress-free as possible.

Quick sketches are usually run up, options discussed (don’t worry if you’re out of town or even in another country, I work with clients worldwide) For grooms, I carry a cool dynamic range of men’s rings with the option of custominsing.

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What do you love about your job? I love what I do, because it’s very creative.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? Spare time… what’s that???? I am booked up pretty much 12 months of the year for custom work.  Ok… in the very little spare time I have, FOOD, I love cooking, gardening, all things organic, sustainable-fashion, music, dance and travel (one day!)

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? That custom made rings are often less expensive than mass produced ones – AND the quality is far superior.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? Mason jars, meringue dresses, badly fitting suits, bands that play crappy 80’s music.

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Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? I work with couples all over the world – from All Blacks (the biggest fingers I have ever seen) to Set Designers at Weta Workshop, wanting symbols they designed inscribed into the back of rings- or couples recycling Grand Mothers diamonds.  Every couple that comes to me has their own story and they want me to create their own heirlooms because they want something unique and special. You don’t get unique and special buying from Michael Hill or Pascoes.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Plan ahead, shop around and ENJOY the time, from the planning to the day … oh, and relax.

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One insider tip to pass on? Your wedding is about you what YOU and your beloved want. It’s not about anyone else.

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The lovely lady behind the lovely jewellery – Debra Fallowfield.

If you loved reading about Debra and love her vibe you can contact her here:

Website: www.debrafallowfield.com

Facebook: Facebook/DFJeweller

Instragram: @debrafallowfieldjeweller

 

“Tradie Tuesday” JC Beauty Co

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

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Business Name: JC Beauty Co.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: I am a 26 year old mum of 2, I studied in Christchurch at the National School of Aesthetics and sat 3 diplomas. I have worked both in Australia and NZ, including at the Sydney Fashion Show 2013. I was working full time in retail (in Dunedin) and my daughter was just 1 year old when I decided I’d had enough of working 36 hours a week, missing out on my kids and yet never moving forward financially so I pulled the plug on my full time job and jumped into what I knew best.

My daughter is now 2, and in this time I have managed to build a debt-free business from a bottle of oil with up to 6 staff, and now have opened 2 salons in the same month! (June 2016). We offer mobile and in-salon treatments, are licensed and fully qualified. I am really proud of how far we’ve come mostly from word of mouth, our passion really does show in our work.

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We now specialise in bridal hair and beauty, and cover the whole South Island, because there is a huge market for this. People are increasingly trying to find mobile and affordable beauty therapists without compromising on quality.  It’s about making the process as smooth as possible for the bride-to-be.

What do you love about your job?: Every day is different.  I am not tied down to the same four walls, and I have come up with a way that I can provide others the same joy and freedom I experience from working for JC Beauty.  I meed different people everyday with different backgrounds, personalities and taste in fashion/makeup trends.  I love the positive feedback and the look on our clients faces when they see our work 🙂

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I have my two kids, Jayden is 8 and Lilly is 2. I try to spend as much time as possible with them.  I have a few other small businesses which I oversee also, I have delegated the more time consuming jobs in these so I can spend my spare time with my family.  I’d love to travel with them soon, and spend more time outdoors.  However work will be full on for a while yet.

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? How fast the wedding day is over, to enjoy the process of planning and not to stress if something goes wrong.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? Personally at the moment I am loving rustic styled weddings, there’s just something about them, plus alot of it can be done by the wedding party – DIY table settings etc, which would make it super affordable.

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Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? I generally work only with the females of the bridal party, but I have recently worked and was invited to a wedding in which Angela Port was the celebrant. A beautiful bride was very lucky to have been able to marry her soul mate after being diagnosed with Leukemia about a year earlier.  It was surreal, she had the whole room in tears; so much emotion in one room.  I was honoured to have been involved with their big day, I went home and told my family how much I loved them after that.

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What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Don’t do your own make up or self-tan!! Professional is always best, but be sure to research businesses and attend wedding shows! It’s amazing how many vouchers you can pick up by attending a wedding event, also by attending these you get to meet and talk with the businesses in the wedding industry directly.  You may find these businesses are more passionate about their work and will work more closely with you to ensure your day is perfect because they are more invested.

One insider tip/trick to pass on? Don’t skip your skincare! Your skin is the largest organ in your body.  It protects you! I’d recommend seeing a beauty therapist as soon as you’re engaged for a skin care routine that suits your budget. By investing in your skin you won’t only save money on photographer’s editing time, or the time and product of a make up artist but your skin will love you for it in the long run!

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 Come and have a chat with us at the Dunedin Wedding Show or the Southland Wedding Show.

We’re all over social media at

Facebook: JC Beauty Co

Instagram: @qualitymobilebeauty

Tumblr: qualitymobilebeauty.tumblr.com

and of course email: owner.jcbeautyco@gmail.com

“Tradie Tuesday” Be My Guest

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

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Be My Guest

Business Name: Be My Guest

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business? I’m Amanda, and I design wedding invitations and stationery. I believe wedding invitations should communicate exactly what your wedding day is all about – whether you’re going for a fun and relaxed day, something more sophiscated and elegant, or anything in between. I work out of my home office in Dunedin, but as I’m an online business I get to work with couples worldwide – I am about to send some invites to New York!

Navy Wedding Invitation with Gold Bellyband for Grandview Gardens Wedding

What do you love about your job: I love getting to problem solve – being given some ideas from a couple and then having an ‘a-ha!’ moment when an idea clicks into place that I know fits them and their wedding day perfectly. It’s such a high! I also love picking up the printed invites from the printers. The texture, lustre and colour cannot be replicated on the computer screen, so it’s very satisfying finally seeing the physical result, after working on it on the computer.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I’m a wedding nerd – in my spare time I run www.southernbride.co.nz – but I’m also Mum to Henry who is 3, so my days with him revolve around going swimming, grabbing a coffee with friends (not particularly relaxing with a pre-schooler) and tidying up after him … I’m not pariticularly glamorous! My husband works away from home during the week, but in the weekend I try to help him restore a beautiful old ’69 VF Valiant which I want to claim as my car!

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Don’t send your wedding invitations out too early! Your guests will lose the invite, you’ll change your mind on who you’re inviting, guests will procrastinate on RSVPing, they’ll RSVP and then change their mind – it’s not worth ‘being organised’ and sending them out months and months in advance.  Send a Save the Date if you’re worried and hold off till 3-4 months before to send your formal wedding invite.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? As much as I love Pinterest, it can promote some really unrealistic expectations, and be overwhelming if you don’t reign it in and keep focused.  It’s common for people to email me a photo or screenshot from Pinterest and ask ‘how much to get this invite’ Recreating someone else’s designs is illegal and unethical, and it’s an awful conversation to have with a couple, because 9 times out of 10 they don’t mean to put you in that situation.

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Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? I have been really lucky to make some amazing friends – both former clients and wedding professionals. I’ve had coffee dates five times this last week and two of them were brides I have become friends with and the others were friends I’ve made who work in his industry. How cool is that?! I have a lot of people say ‘wow, you must get a lot of bridezillas’ when I tell them what I do.  I’ve been really lucky – I’ve never had one! There’s been some couples who are really particular about certain aspects of their wedding day,and perhaps some guests might see that as demanding or rude, but when you get to know why a couple might want things a certain way, it’s justified.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Start with a budget, and a guest list. If you don’t know how much you have to spend, or how many people you need to feed, you’re going to have a hard time making decisions on everything else down the track.

Also – just do one thing at a time. Yes, wedding planning is overwhelming – but I promise you it’s doable! Just pick one thing and work on that. Then worry about the next thing! If you’re really struggling, reach out to your wedding professionals for help, even if it’s not in their area of expertise. They have the answers or know people who can help.

One insider tip/trick to pass on? You don’t need one invite per guest it’s one invite per house-hold.  So if you’re having 150 guests, you’ll probably only need 80-90 invites.  It’s not uncommon to hear of couples who didn’t realise this till after they’ve sent out the invites – and buying too many invites is a waste of money! Also (ok this is sort of two tips, please forgive me) unless you’re hand delivering all your wedding invites, make sure they’ll fit within the ‘medium letter’ (1 stamp) size with NZ Post. Any larger and you’ll double your postage costs.

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“Tradie Tuesday” Twigs N Twine

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

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 Twigs N Twine

Business Name: Twigs N Twine

A bit about yourself and your business: My name is Ayla. I have a gorgeous husband and 2 fur babies.  We have recently moved back from Auckland to our home town of Dunedin. Twigs N Twine evolved through word of mouth, starting it’s journey from prettying up my office to flower bombing “Morning Magpie” cafe.  After being inspired in Melbourne and working in a very sterile environment, (the Prison system) I realised the need to have living creations around me and began flowering everything!!

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Our new store aims to create a magical space to gather and create.  We host events such as bridal showers and also have various flower workshops on offer.   With the main feature being a long table set amongst candles and flowers to come and chat, chill and recharge your inner flower child!

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We source unique blooms to create beautiful artworks for all occasions and especially those Mondays!! We also do a free wedding consult prior to your big day to finalise the specifics.

The latest addition to our packages is “The Proposal” So should your loved one need some creative inspiration/flowers for the big question/a space or assistance to set the scene, they can book in for a consult.  The consult includes a ‘love them’ bouquet and action plan.

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What do you love about your job? The best part about blooms, would have to be the amazing amount of people I have met!

What do you do in your spare time? HaHa, actually this is my hobby! I also love spending time with friends, family, exploring, sipping coffee, travelling, beaching, getting lost in our MASSIVE garden, and most of all walking with the pups.

What one thing do you wish that every wedding couple knew? That whatever their vision is to GO FOR IT  and to do what they want to do!

Any wedding trends you love? I love flower crowns!

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What piece of advice would you give to a couple planning their wedding: To not let others opinions sway you, and to do whatever is YOU.  Don’t get caught up in the details, and make it fun.

One insider tip or trick to pass on: Take time out together on the day. Factor it into your schedule.

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We would so love to create something amazing for your magical day, so pop by, or give us a call to lock in your beautiful blooms.

Twigs N Twine Store: 40 Stuart Street, Dunedin

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Facebook: Twigs N twine blooms/design & events

Instagram: @twigsntwinedunedin

Email: twigsNtwinedunedin@gmail.com

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Here’s Ayla, and one of her beautiful flower crowns.

 

 

 

“Tradie Tuesday” Peg + Pencil Design Studio

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

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Peg + Pencil Design Studio

Business Name: Peg + Pencil Design Studio

A bit about yourself and your business: My name is Kirsty-Ann and I’m a wife and importantly, mum to two gorgeous boys. I grew up in South Africa, moved to the UK in my twenties where I spent 7 years working in law, but soon realised this wasn’t the path I saw myself leading, especially with being a new mum.  Three months later, Peg + Pencil Design Studio was born. “Peg” was derived from the little pegs I used to decorate and then hang up wall art and paper goods with (yes, I got the idea from Pinterest) and “Pencil” was incorporated to include the graphic design aspect of my business.  I soon added Design Studio as it gave me more freedom to incorporate the bespoke stationery range that I have started designing, yet still keeping the key function to my business which includes wedding stationery design, corporate branding and party goods elements.  With being a mum, I have also started designing a kids range of bespoke items such as milestone cards and “Pebble Says” toddler stones.

What do you love about your job? Mostly the fact that I get to be a mum first and foremost. I keep my business time and family time completely separate so that I can still be 100% present in my boys’ days/lives.  I love that I can work my own hours and be my own boss.  With the time I dedicate to my family, this still means I often work from about 9pm at night to close to 3am-4am in the mornings, most days – but I would rather have it that way until I am able to afford getting an assistant! (#businessgoals!) I feel I also concentrate more when the house is still and there are no distractions.

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What do you do in your spare time? I am pretty keen on photography, so often find myself snapping away at things and admiring the angles and lighting of each picture.  Still have a long way to go before I can call myself a photographer though! I surf and I snowboard, so thankfully I have a winter and summer sport that I can enjoy.

What one thing do you wish that every wedding couple knew? That your day is just that – yours! You do not need to invite an army of guests just because you feel they may be offended if they’re not on your guest list. Weddings are expensive and what matters are those that support you, love you and praise you and your partner, unconditionally.

Any wedding trends you love? Most definitely foiled wedding stationery. A simple, minimalistic, but elegant invitation or menu, with a little sparkle of rose gold foiling! I do feel that the trend of including an RSVP card to your invitation is outdated as most will not return this and you will still be chasing guests for their attendance a month before the wedding. Rather look at setting up a personalised email address or even a personalised wedding website where you can digitally send your guests the option ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to confirm their attendance and dietary requirements.

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Any great interesting stories about working with a couple? I have been incredibly fortunate to have worked with truly amazing and down to earth couples, but one specific couple that really left an imprint on my heart was Beth + Justin.  I worked on their full stationery suite from Invites to Thank-you’s and Menus etc, but more special than that, I got to design their vow reading cards.  Every time I read their vows I would cry.  They are two beautiful people with humble hearts, surrounded and supported by a phenomenal family with God at their sides.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Choose your guest list wisely, and think about a morning wedding, rather than a late afternoon wedding. The day goes so quickly and before you know it, it’s over.  You only get to live this day once, so try extending it out and make the most of it.

One insider tip or trick to pass on? If you are writing your own vows, consider asking your designer to include them in your design package.  This way, you can have them on a pretty card to read out on the day, and frame them after the wedding for a lifelong keepsake.

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The lady herself: Kirsty-Ann

Feel free to get in touch with Kirsty -Ann for a non-obligation quote.

Kirsty-Ann and “Peg +  Pencil Design Studio is all over social media.  Here’s how you can get in touch with her.

Website: www.pegandpencilstudio.com

Email: info@pegandpencilstudio.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pegandpencil

Instagram: www.instagram.com/pegandpencilstudio

Twitter: www.twitter.com/pegandpencil

Who says what at the wedding.

All you need is love and … a run down on wedding speeches.

 

Wedding speeches can scare the beejezus out of even the most confident person, and it can be the part of the wedding day that stresses people out the most.

There is a list of who traditionally performs speeches at a wedding, but this is really just a guideline and many couples choose to add extra people to the list, or lots of couples do away with the speeches altogether, knowing that sometimes people just want to get into their dinner and dessert and then the dancing part of the wedding. Fair enough I say.

Here’s a brief description of the traditional list of wedding speeches.

It is your Master of Ceremonies role (among others, see that list here The role of a Master of Ceremony) to seemlessly introduce the speech section of the evening, and to introduce each speaker, and then thank them afterwards.

 

Father of the bride – (or whoever gave the bride away, not always the father)

  • Welcomes and thanks the guests for coming.
  • Expresses how proud he and his wife, are of their daughter.
  • Welcomes the groom into the family.
  • Possibly shares one or two stories about the bride.
  • Shares words of wisdom and good wishes for the couple.
  • Proposes a toast to the couple.

Groom

  • Thanks his father-in-law for his kind words and the toast.
  • Thanks the brides parents for all their work raising the woman of his dreams (his new wife) and all their help with the wedding
  • Thanks the guests for coming and for the wedding gifts.
  • Acknowledges his best man for all his help, and any other helpers.
  • Acknowledges the bridesmaids, and thanks them for all their help with the wedding, and proposes a toast to them.

Best Man

  • Adds to the comments about the bridesmaid, lamenting how great they look today.
  • Congratulates the groom, on his good fortune, in marrying his new wife.
  • Possibly shares a story about the bride and groom, maybe about how they met.
  • Reads any messages to the bride and groom, from guests that couldn’t make it. Traditionally this was in the form of telegrams, and letters, these days it’s most likely to be texts and/or emails.

Invited guests

  • There may be other guests that have asked before hand to speak, or who you would like to include. Make sure that you have a general idea of the content of their speech, and that you communicate to them how long they have to speak. I would not recommend the Master of Ceremony, ask if anyone else would like to speak, on the fly, it opens you up to Great Uncle Barry, who’s had one too many beersies ramble on, or say something inappropriate.

This is by no way an exhaustive list, and it is very common for couples to include mother of the bride/groom, the bride herself, and a bridesmaid/maid of honour.

Make sure all your speakers know their time limit, say 5 mins, so they can tailor their speech accordingly.

I would not recommend forcing any-one to speak if they absolutely loath public speaking, it will either cause stress for the person, possibly stress your relationship with the person and probably lead to a bad speech, better to address everyone before hand, asking them if they are comfortable doing so (don’t assume, they may not have even thought they had to speak)and if they are not comfortable, then ask someone else or not have them speak at all.

Who’s walking down the aisle?

All you need is love and … someone to walk down the aisle with or not!

The whole wedding process is steeped in so much tradition, and one of the traditions is the father of the bride walking her down the aisle and ‘giving her away’. It is said that the custom dates back to a time when the daughter was considered to be property and the groom had to pay a price before he was permitted to marry his intended. Another theory is the ‘giving away’ symbolised the transition of authority from the bride’s father to her husband as she moved from the family home into her married home. Today the act of ‘giving away’ the bride is seen more as a symbolic blessing by the parents of the marriage to the groom.

If the idea of walking down the aisle scares the bejesus out of you, or just doesn’t sit right with you, either because you don’t want the attention, or the traditional father/bride relationship or non-relationship does not fit the circumstances, then there are a number of alternatives to the whole ‘walking down the aisle” Instead of the traditional view of ‘giving away’ you could think of it as the person is supporting you through this life transistion.

Someone else

It’s extremely common for a bride to choose someone other than her father to walk her down the aisle: mother, grandparents, siblings, good friends, both mum and dad, own children and even the family dog.

 

Walking down together

I have seen this done at a wedding, one of the reasons being that the groom was very shy, and didn’t want the focus before the ceremony to be on him. There is something very sweet, and I imagine, reassuring to walk into your wedding ceremony hand in hand.

Go Solo

If you feel confident and comfortable enough, just mossey up the aisle yourself.

Meet your groom halfway

Start the journey by yourself, or even with someone else and meet your groom halfway up the aisle.

Make a bouquet as you walk

Have someone give flowers out to your guests either the guests sitting on the end of rows, or maybe close family and friends, before the ceremony and gather these flowers up into a bouquet, as you walk down the aisle. It is a nice, meaningful way to include some of your guests in the ceremony.

 

Ceremony circle or spiral

There’s no rules that say your ceremony space has to have a straight up and down aisle. You can create a spiral shape using your chairs, and walk along this spiral. This gives you a chance to see all your guests on your journey. Alternatively create a circle shape, and just leave a small hole for you to enter into, and then you and your groom will be encircled by your loved ones.

No walking down the aisle

If you don’t want to walk down the aisle at all, you can just mingle with your guests before the ceremony begins and then just move to the front when it’s time to start. One bride I know had alot of fun running around with the kids, barefoot before her wedding started.

Have the guests enter after you

Keep your ceremony space private and closed prior to the wedding starting, and then position yourselves in your desired spots either with bridal party or not and then open the doors and invite your guests in to be seated.

Lead a processional

Lead your guests, you could even use a musician, to your ceremony space with a processional. When you get there, make your way to the front and let your guests be seated before you begin.

Enter from the side

Enter the ceremony at the same time from different sides, takes the emphasis off the bride, and there’s no need for an aisle at all.

Two aisles

Create your ceremony space with two aisles, and both walk down your own aisle. This is very popular with same-sex weddings, and can be appropriate when parents don’t have any daughters and want to walk their son down the aisle.

I think there are more than enough options if you don’t want to do the traditional walk down the aisle. Just remember it’s your day, so do it your way.

 

 

 

Wedding Day Cards

All you need is love and … a wedding day card.

I’m not actually sure if this is a thing already, but I thought how cool would it be if there was a way to share a cute/funny little message with your wife/husband to be on the morning of your wedding, just a small way to let them know you’re thinking of them.

So I created these cute “wedding day” cards. There’s 11 different designs, so there’s bound to be something that floats your boat.  They are A5 size and all come with an envelope, ready for you to write a special message inside.

They sell for $6 each plus postage.

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Let’s get our wedding on. See you later. I’ll be the one in the fancy dress.
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Thanks for marrying this hot mess. Love you.
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Holy Crap! We’re getting married. Bring It On!
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Lets be in love until we’re dead OK?
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You’re my favourite. I love you the mostest.
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Can’t wait to do rude things with my new husband later.
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Dude! We’re totally getting married today! Can’t wait!
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I can’t wait to marry the crap out of you.
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Fancy getting married later?
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Thanks for being the person who can handle my crap. Love you.
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Thanks for being my person. I can’t wait to marry you.