Don t believe the myth that a wedding planner is a luxury because hiring a wedding planner can definitely help you save money in the long-run. With today s hectic lifestyle, many couples do not have the time for the detailed planning and work a beautiful wedding requires. Planning a wedding takes an incredible amount of time and it can be difficult for couples to plan it on their own. Having a professional wedding planner is like having a personal assistant working with you to handle the details that you may not have time to deal with on a daily or even weekly basis.
Well-known and respected wedding planners have connections that the average bride does not and they know the best-kept secrets for ceremony locations and reception sites, caterers, bands, florists, photographers and everything you will need for your celebration. They have professional relationships with vendors and will use these contacts to save you time and money by ensuring that you receive only the best from all of your wedding vendors. It is their job to listen to your dreams and make them a reality so that you can relax and enjoy your engagement. They help you realize what your priorities are and if you are a big dreamer, they can help you stay on track in terms of your budget. Your bridal consultant s ideas and expertise will help you get everything you desire and more.
On your wedding day, your bridal consultant will act as your director and handle all of the details so that you can enjoy your friends and family. It is the attention to detail that your wedding planner will bring to make your wedding day memorable for you and your guests. They will take the wedding of your dreams and make it even better .so let them.
Why have just an ordinary wedding? A wedding planner is a must! Not only do they make the planning of your wedding easy and fun, but they make the actual day stress free as well so you can devote your time where it s needed the most .loving your new husband or wife and having the time of your life!
When I first began Officiating Wedding Ceremonies I quickly realized that couples who were having a non denominational, civil or even a basic church Ceremony are offered only one or maybe two ceremony words out of the book, fill in the blanks with the Bride and Groom s names, canned, repeated Ceremonies. Some Officiates may offer limited personalization, alterations and additions. Keep in mind that the Officiant is the main witness of you agreeing to be husband and wife, THE WORDS SHOULD AND CAN BE WHAT YOU WANT. The bottom line is that you should EASILY be able to compile the Ceremony that you want, print it and hand it to your Officiant/Minister/Judge/Justice of the Peace and say: Here, read this .
Another problem I ran into is what I call cookie cutter or the easy repeated way to perform a Ceremony. As guests, we attend a Ceremony, sit in our chair and all of a sudden, without notice, there is the Officiant, the Groom and his entourage up front. How rude and surprising to the guests! I firmly believe that the Officiant should do some sort of a Welcome to your guests along with any needed announcements and instructions including the turning off of cellular telephones to set up what should be set up as a warm loving time.
I am also big on equality. If the Bride enters down the main aisle so should the Groom. He is an equal half of the equation. If the Bride is to be escorted by her Father; why not by her Mother also? She is typically closer to the Bride than the Father anyway. When they get to the front corner chair the Bride and her Mother can hug and kiss, the Mother can be seated and then the Father walks the Bride up to the Groom.
And since the Bride is being escorted by her parents, why can t the Groom be escorted by his parents and seated in the front row? How many Ceremonies have we all been to that the Groom s parents are never recognized and therefore treated like second-rate citizens?
If the Bride is being given away during the Ceremony by her Father, then why not by her Mother also? Therefore, why shouldn t the Groom s parents be able to give him away? Equality! I also believe that the parents should give the Bride and Groom away during the Ceremony prior to the vows. Doing the give-away when the Bride is brought to the Groom is typically missed by the guests and it doesn t stand out. I have whoever is giving the Bride and/or Groom away stand as a Wedding Album photo opportunity when they do the give-a-way.
As to the entrance processional, I feel that as a guest it looks so much nicer and loving to have the Maid of Honor escorted down the aisle by the Best Man and the Bridesmaids by the Groomsmen. They reach the Officiant then split to their respective positions. The theme of a Ceremony is the making of a couple, so when the wedding party enters as couples, it keeps with the theme and you don t shove the Grooms party in from the side as if they are not equal to the Brides party. It also allows your guests and your photographer to focus on one aisle instead of looking around wondering who is coming next and from where. But the bottom line is; do as you wish.
As to the rings, equality again! Unless you have a Ring Bearer, the Best Man should have the Grooms ring and the Maid of Honor should have the Brides ring. The Grooms ring is too large for the Maid of Honor s finger and she has no pockets, so she simply places the Brides ring on a finger that slides easily over her knuckle. If the Ring Bearer has the real rings, then the Best Man should be the one to tie the rings on the pillow since he will be the one to untie them.
Hopefully this will be your only or final Wedding Ceremony. Do it the way you want to and not some cookie cutter way a wedding coordinator or family member wants you to.
And finally, your Ceremony Words are the most important part of your Wedding, more important than the paper the invitations are printed on, the seating arrangement etc. Make YOUR WORDS meaningful and memorable to you, your families and your guests. If you can make your guests cry a bit, laugh a bit and tell you afterward how much they enjoyed the words of your Ceremony, you will have succeeded.
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The honeymoon is your time to relax and recuperate from frantic wedding preparations. And picking a place that both of you will enjoy is a must. Fortunately, the world presents countless honeymoon ideas that have something for both of you. Here are some of the more popular honeymoon destinations for couples of all types.
For the Couple on a Budget
The newest trend in honeymoon ideas this year is staying at home. In the U.S., for instance, couples are forgoing the expensive costs of acquiring passports, tickets, hotels, rental cars, and food – opting instead to save a few bucks, choose popular honeymoon destinations at home, and remain in their own backyards (so to speak).
St. Augustine, Florida, in particular, is one of the more popular honeymoon destinations that continue to attract visitors due to its year round temperate climate, proximity to beaches, quaint restaurants, and great shopping. Called the Oldest City in America, it was founded in 1565, and is the home of the Fountain of Youth, where visitors can drink its restoring waters. Other highlights of the town are Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Matanzas, and the Lightner Museum, all accessible by foot. Cozy honeymoon ideas are horse and carriage rides, theater shows, fishing, and parks, and there are romantic bed and breakfasts aplenty.
Out on the West Coast, there’s another hidden gem – Seattle, Washington. Mild in the summer, but a little chilly in the winter, this city is perfect for couples who are full of fun honeymoon ideas but don’t want to break the bank. There’s the Fish Market, where you can get a delicious meal, and the famous Space Needle. Even if these two honeymoon ideas don’t interest you, there are thousands of popular honeymoon destinations that offer unique experiences. But if you really want to go out of country, consider the benefits of staying at a youth hostel or monastery, which offer comfortable places to sleep at bargain-basement prices.
For the Outdoorsy Types
For the true outdoors couple, even simple honeymoon ideas like hiking or staying in a romantic cabin would be welcome. Odds are that you and your loved one like to travel without all the comforts of home. One of the more popular honeymoon destinations for outdoor lovers is a tour of the Amazon River. Visitors to the region will enjoy strolling along the Rainforest Canopy Walkway, a man-made bridge of wooden slats and ropes which overlooks the forest below, camping along the banks of the Amazon, allowing you to get up close and personal with the native animals and local flora and fauna, and exploring expansive wildlife parks. Should you book as part of a package, a number of hotel options are available, including forest lodges and other rustic accommodations
Another of the more popular honeymoon destinations for couples who enjoy travelling off the beaten track is an African safari, where locals take visitors out to the more remote areas in order to witness ‘the circle of life’ in action. You’ll see lions, tigers, cheetahs, zebras, and hyenas up close and in their natural habitat. Beautiful, pastoral African lodges add to the charm of the trip; at night, you and your sweetie can sip wine by African moonlight and talk the night away.
For the Thrill Seekers
These honeymoon ideas are not for the faint of heart. For couples who love an edge to their vacations, the following honeymoon ideas are meant just for you. One way to feel the rush is cage-diving with Great Whites off the coast of South Africa. On Seal Island, visitors get to experience the Great White shark in its natural element and watch it hunt the seals that inhabit the island. You’ll be able to dive into the blue Atlantic waters with a professional guide and interact with the sharks up close (protected by a sturdy steel cage of course).
One of the more thrilling, popular honeymoon destinations is Ireland; many companies offer motorcycle tours so you and your loved one can experience the beauty of the ‘Emerald Isle’ in a very unusual way. You’ll accelerate along the craggy cliffs, zigzagging on lonely roads, taking in the fresh Irish air. You’ll stop each night at a cozy B and B for some rest and start again the next day, averaging about five hours of riding time each day.
For the Laid-Back Lovers
Imagine lounging in a comfortable chair with a cold drink in your hand underneath a palm tree. Yes, for you laid-back lovers, your preferred honeymoon ideas center around the beach where you can sample delicious, homemade seafood platters and drink ice-cold tropical drinks while watching sail boats pass by. Though many islands in the Caribbean have resort rooms that are rather expensive, these popular honeymoon destinations are usually more well traveled than the rest.
To ensure that you and your loved one get some alone time, consider travelling to Turks and Caicos, Antigua, or St. Maarten, which are, on average, much more affordable honeymoon ideas and not as touristy. St. Maarten, in particular, is just one side of a dually governed island. It still retains much of its quaint Dutch charm and also features a butterfly farm, excellent hiking opportunities, and a long boardwalk. Many resorts and hotels offer special deals to honeymooners, so you can truly get a package deal at a great price.
For the History Buffs
Some of the more popular honeymoon destinations have become a little too frequently traveled for the serious history buffs. Couples who have a specific time period or country in mind should do a little research before putting their honeymoon ideas into action.
There are a few exciting, recently popular honeymoon destinations however, including the charming Eastern European city of Budapest, which has a number of honeymoon ideas and attractions right in town, such as the remarkable City Park which houses a restaurant, one of the oldest zoos in the world, a circus, an amusement park, swimming pools and medicinal baths, a castle, two museums, the Palace of Art, and Heroes’ Square, a well-known World Heritage Site. About an hour outside of the city is the start of the two centuries old Villany-Siklos wine route, which snakes around the countryside, allowing visitors to sample some of the best red wines in the world.
Another one of the more popular honeymoon destinations is a little closer to home – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With all the attractions close together, you’ll be able to tour the city on foot, getting some great exercise while learning about America’s history. About two and a half hours away is Gettysburg, home to the famed battlefield and the site of Lincoln’s address to the nation. With a number of small hotels in the area, you may want to consider booking a package deal beforehand, so by the time you arrive, the concierge or housekeeper has set the scene with candles, champagne, flowers, and chocolates or other personalized honeymoon ideas.
Make It the Trip of a Lifetime
No matter which popular honeymoon destinations you choose, it should be the trip of a lifetime. It’s one of the most special events you’ll share with your loved one, so take lots of pictures, purchase a memorable souvenir to hang in your new home, and splurge on a leisurely dinner at a great restaurant. The hardest part is coming up with honeymoon ideas and choosing where you want to go; after that, it’s time to enjoy some quality time with your sweetie!
About the Author
Cherie Johnson is the founder and owner of Creative Bride, a one-stop shop for personalized, unique baby and bridal shower, graduation, quinceañera, anniversary, and wedding favors, helping countless couples and families make their big events a success. Cherie’s wedding advice has appeared on several websites including Little Wedding Guide, Wedding Lenox, and The Wedding Source. Before she launched her company in 2006, Cherie worked as a professional wedding photographer, capturing the most special moments of the bride and groom’s big day. For more information on Creative Bride or to find a variety of colorful, customizable gifts and favors, please visit www.Creative-Bride.com.
written by Cherie Johnson
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