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Planning Wedding Ideas

  • Being Filipino AND Pennsylvania Dutch, I come from a very financially conservative family. -aka- Frugal… cheap… ehh, whatever you want to call it. I am known as the coupon queen at work. Seriously, I have coupons for EVERYTHING. Our wedding really wasn’t any different.

    The breakdown:

    Date: March 05, 2009
    City, State: Kaneohe, Hawaii
    Budget: $10,000
    # of Guests: 21

    Ceremony Site/Type of Venue: $738. Byodo-In Temple. $700 for the use of the temple grounds for 2 hours (this also included a photography fee to photograph on their grounds). We spent about $38 in ribbon and paper lanterns to decorate the aisle. We figured that the temple grounds were so beautiful, there was no need to spend too much money on decor. I’m glad we went this route; the temple is BEAU.TI.FUL. We also supplied bottles of water (I DIY'd custom labels on the water bottles) and had palm fans (a family friend picked them up for us while she was in the Philippines...SUPER cheap!).

    Reception Site/Type of Venue: $795 (about $37.85 per person). Germaine’s Luau. My wondrous folks were generous to gift this to us. Most of our guests were first time Hawaii visitors and since we’re pretty laid back, we decided to forgo a traditional dinner and take them to a luau instead. This is open to the public, so the general public was at the luau with us. We got a great deal using a military discount. The luau included a yummy Hawaiian buffet (with cake!), a few adult beverages, and 3 hours of entertainment.

     

    Caterer/Food/Drink (per person if available): $0, included with luau.

    Bridal Gown & Alterations: $373. $320 for my dress, which was purchased off of eBay. $53 for alterations, by Karen Chow, a godsend!

    Bridal Accessories (Veil, Undergarments, Shoes, Jewelry): $120.94. Includes hair fascinator, 2 pairs of shoes (pair for the ceremony, pair for the luau), earrings and undies. This also includes the $12 I spent on our flower girl’s dress and her parasol.

    Groom’s Attire: $492. His suit was custom made by Island Importer, $300. Shoes were also custom made Nike sneaks, $107. Shirt from Express, $35. Minor suit alterations, $50.

    Stationery/Postage: $253.09. Includes our wedding invites, our Passport STDs, and inserts for our welcome bags.

    Photography: $2094.24. Frank Amodo is wondrous and totally worth it! ‘Nuff said.
    No, but seriously, we hired him for as long as we could afford to (which was 4 hours) and it really was totally worth it. I wish we could have been able to have him ALL day, but our budget couldn’t cut it. I would rather have had an AWESOME photographer for half the day, then a so-so photographer for the full day.

    Ceremony Music: $150. I ended up hiring an ukulele player off of craigslist. I really did get an awesome deal, but the guy changed his prices on me 3 times. THREE. I really would have paid his top price to begin with, but it was more of the principle that you don’t change your prices 3 times in a 30 day period (this was even after I talked to him on the phone). I would have went another route, but I waited ’til the last minute and really didn’t have any other options. In all honesty, I don’t even remember him playing. At all. I’m sure he did… I was just too busy trying not to trip down the aisle to notice.

    Flowers: $50. We really didn’t have flowers; there were no bouquets or bouts. We literally waited ’til the last minute to pick up leis for our lei ceremony. Literally, as in the morning of our wedding day. I really wish I would have bought better (and prettier) leis for our family members. That’s what happens when you wait until the last minute.

    Officiant: $250. Alice Inoue. ::love.her:: I could have gone through the temple and used their officiant for $50 less, but I really liked how organized Alice was and it was totally worth it for my peace of mind. She really spoke from the heart and our ceremony didn’t feel scripted at all.

    Coordinator: $0. I really relied on friends and family to help out here. Bestie Lauren and her husband, Kirk, really came through for me. Kirk has done TONS of events at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort (where he works as an event coordinator) and helped out by providing me ceremony chairs, setting up, and tearing down our ceremony site. He’s starting to branch out into coordinating; hit him up if you’re getting married in Hawaii.

    Hair/Makeup: $273, Beauty by May. Includes hair and makeup (including airbrush makeup and lashes) for me, my mom, and MIL. May is such a doll. She is the sweetest girl ever and she knows her stuff! Heart her!

    Transportation: $405. Through Hickam’s ITT (military travel), we were able to get a shuttle van to pick up all of our guests staying in Waikiki, at their hotel, take them to the ceremony in Kaneohe, from the ceremony to the Luau (on the other side of the island), then back to their hotel (about 9 hours). They even upgraded our van to a shuttle bus. I originally called 3 local transportation companies and they wanted to charge me twice the amount for half the time. We really scored on this one!

    Favors: $63.40. At our welcome BBQ, we gifted each of our guests with a bag of PA and Hawaii local goodies.

    Wedding Party Gifts: $115.05. We didn’t have a wedding party, but I did gift my two besties a custom blurb “yearbook” of our friendship, along with a few other goodies. Just because they weren’t “official” bridesmaids, didn’t mean that they weren’t there for me for everything, wedding related and more.

    Flight: $1541.60. Round trip flight for two.

    Car Rental: $260.21. One week car rental.

    Hotels: $600 (for 9 days). We used timeshare for 7 of the days and Hale Koa (military hotel) for the other two. We figured we wouldn’t be in the room much, so no need to go all out.

    WEDDING DAY TOTAL: $8574.53
    TOTAL COST PER PERSON (divide wedding day total by # of guests) : $408.31

     

    All Inclusive Costs:

    Welcome BBQ: $153.55. Includes a pavillon rental from Bellows and food.

    Wedding Bands: $699. The hubby's ring was purchased through the AAFES catalog (for military peeps). My ring was purchased while in Hawaii from the NEX (military store), literally a week before the wedding. This was planned; I REALLY wanted my wedding ring to be Hawaiian jewelry and it’s always much cheaper to purchase from the military stores (plus no tax!). Our rings totally don’t match each others’; we figured if we were the ones wearing the rings for the rest of our lives, that we might as well pick out what we really like.

    Honeymoon: $374.90. Includes 2 RT tickets to Big Island from Oahu, a 2 night hotel stay (does not include meals or tours).

    ALL INCLUSIVE TOTAL: $1227.45

    GRAND TOTAL (wedding day total + all inclusive total): $9801.98

    Not too shabby for a destination wedding in Hawaii. Sure, we didn’t have 300+ people or our own intimate reception with a cake, but it was totally us. For you military peeps out there, utilize your military discounts! We saved thousands alone on just the reception luau and transportation. It doesn’t hurt to ask! The worst they can say is no.

     

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  • Not sure how to trim down your wedding budget? No one will notice if you don'thave these extra wedding frills

    By: Sharon Naylor

     



    Photo by Festivities Event

    EXTRA CEREMONY DECOR: Skip altar flowers, pew decorations, swags of fabric and a custom-designed aisle runner to save a bit. Besides, your guests will spend the majority of the wedding at the reception.

    VANITY RECEPTION DECOR: Do you really need to splurge on having your names spelled out in roses on the lawn? Do you need silk table runners, imprinted with your names and wedding date? Probably not, even if you really, really want it. Skip a custom-designed monogram projected on the dance floor in favor of clustered candles and votives to provide the same glowing ambiance.

    AN ORNATELY DESIGNED CAKE: Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on sugarpaste flowers, butterflies, piped-on pearls or a replica of the lace pattern on your dress. The amount of labor the cake requires generally determines its cost, so opt for sleek, clean lines and minimal extras.

    SOUPED-UP INVITATIONS: Check out a discount site like invitations4sale.com for 40% off, or use software and paper from mountaincow.com to make your own items for much less.

    HIGH-END TRANSPORTATION: It’s expensive to rent limousines, classic cars and party buses, plus overtime charges can pile up. Instead, decorate your own or your friends’ cars, convertibles or even minivans for fun rides to the ceremony and reception. If you can't live without the limo, hire just two: one for you, one for the parents.

    OVER-THE-TOP ENTERTAINMENT: Generally speaking, DJs cost significantly less than  bands, but if you insist on live performance, look for a group with just three musicians who can play different instruments. Or program your iPod with your favorite tunes—just make sure the venue is equipped with good speakers.

    FRIVOLOUS FAVORS: Treat your guests to edibles, like cookies or chocolates, with DIY labels that show guests how much time you (and your fiancé) put into them. Or try packets of flower seeds from Home Depot or Lowes—they retail for around $2 each. Feeling gratuitous? Make charitable donations in your guests’ names, providing is a tasteful and cost-effective solution to what to give.

     

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  • By: Caitlin Zentgraf 

    Whether you’re traveling halfway around the world or to a neighboring state, getting your wedding dress there safely is a top priority.

    Traveling By Plane
    Most airlines advise not to place valuable items in checked luggage, therefore, a carry-on or protective garment bag are your next options. (Tip: Fold layers of tissue paper into your wedding dress. This will help keep the wrinkles and discoloring away.) Check with your airline’s policy on bringing a wedding dress on board. They may allow you to store it in a closet or overhead bin. However, you can’t always rely on the flight attendant to store it properly in a closet or overhead bin. Consider purchasing a plane ticket for your wedding dress or better yet -- if there are open seats on your flight, it doesn’t hurt to ask the flight attendant if you dress can fly for free. 

    Traveling by Car
    You don’t want your wedding dress squeezed between loads of luggage in the trunk. Instead, drape it flat across your luggage in a protective garment bag.

    Unpacking Your Wedding Dress
    If you pack your wedding dress in a carry-on or protective garment bag, bring a travel steamer. (Tip: Test on white fabric before you use. You’ll want the steam to come out clear, so it doesn’t stain the fabric.) If you can’t bring a travel steamer, hang your wedding dress in the bathroom, turn the shower on full blast with hot water and watch the steam eliminate any wrinkles. 

     

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  • I love this ideas for a favor. Who couldn't use a flash drive?!?!

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  • Hi everyone, i am new here and and just as the title say's Post your replica's here. I am quite sure there are a few brides out there who took the risk of buying an online replica dress, kindly post them here as an inspiratio to other brides who could not afford an original dress. 

    Thank You!!

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  • Your wedding reception is the ultimate party. It’s a celebration of love and commitment, shared with those who love you most. Plus, it will most likely be your only opportunity to laugh and dance and nibble on delicacies while garbed in the finest clothing your credit card can finance. So you want everyone to have a great time. And in your efforts to make your guests happy, you should not overlook the seating chart. No one wants to end up sitting alone, shut out of the conversations around them. And while you may be friends with a couple long since broken up, just because they want to support you doesn’t mean they want to sit together. If your guests are at ease at the reception, the party will thrive.


    The Wedding Reception Must-Haves: Before You Begin

    Before making any seating-placement decisions, be sure to know your venue’s floor plan, your guest list (after the RSVPs return), and the shapes and sizes of the tables you’ll be using. Most venues should be able to provide you with a plan of some sort. Take note of where your head table will be, where the dance floor is, and if tables will have to be moved to make room for dancing. Also be prepared for changes to your reception up until two weeks before the wedding, as your guest list will most certainly change.


     


    Wedding Receptions: When You Don’t Need a Seating Plan

    If your wedding reception has less than 20 guests, or if your guests all know each other, you can get away without a seating chart. Of course, if there’s no formal sit-down meal, you can also choose to just have casual seating arrangements without place cards. You may still want a head table set apart, along with a table designated for elderly guests or those in need of special consideration.


     


    The Wedding Reception: About to Begin

    This is one part of the planning that suits parental (and parent-in-law) input. It’s likely that the parents will know some guests better than you and may have some inside knowledge of family politics. So if anyone knows not to put Uncle Bob next to Great Aunt Sue, they would. Once you have your planning team, choose your method of chart making. Today, there are endless creative options when mapping out seating charts. Some like to physically move around cards or strips of paper with each guest’s name scrawled across them. Others use labeled poker chips. For the technologically savvy (or those without huge solid surfaces to sprawl out plans-in-the-making), spreadsheets are a great option. Wedding-planning software is the new thing; use a simple program to design (and redesign) your layout. Be flexible and creative as you start out.


     


    Head Table


    Before you seat your guests, seat yourself. There are no longer any steadfast rules for seating at the head table. You may want your entire bridal party with you; you may opt for just the maid of honor and best man. Determine if you want the maids on one side and the men on the other, or if you want them paired. And since it’s your wedding, you can switch it up with parents and grandparents at the table, or just a sweetheart table for the two of you. Find an arrangement that best suits you as a couple, and try to make sure you’re visible to guests who will undoubtedly want to be staring at you and taking your picture all evening. The rest of the seating will revolve around the placement of this table.


     


    Parents and Family


    The general rule is to place family closest to the head table. Depending on the size of your wedding reception, you may place all the parents together or divide them by family. If your parents are divorced, consider letting each parent host his/her own table. You don’t want to promote awkwardness. Have your parents and grandparents closest to the head table, with the rest of the family spreading out from there. Don’t feel obligated to keep family groups strictly together; cousins may prefer sitting together rather than with their parents. And your aunts and uncles may prefer sitting with their siblings over sitting with their adult children. Instead of a table consisting solely of one family group, find a way to promote some interfamily mingling.


     


    Wedding Reception Special Considerations

    Consider the needs of your elderly, disabled, and super-young guests as you plan your seating. If tables will be moved to make room for the dance floor, try not to seat those who require seating at those particular tables, as you don’t want to displace them. Make sure that guests using walkers or wheelchairs have easy access to their tables and the exit. When in doubt, inquire in advance as to how you can best serve their needs.


    If you choose to have children at your wedding reception, you have a few options. You can seat them together (strategically supervised), hosting them at a fun kids’ table. This can be a relief to parents and other guests who don’t want to babysit all evening. Offer little activities to keep them occupied and involved. Some would warn against this, especially if the children are young, loud, or unfamiliar with each other. You don’t want a crowd of kids distracting the rest of the guests. Seating them with their parents might be more favorable. Just make sure that you keep guests who are unimpressed with little ones at a different table. Kids fit in best with people who love kids.


     


    Friends


    Friends will make up the majority of your remaining guests. For starters, divide these friends into groups: coworkers, college friends, neighbors, etc. The trick is finding a balance between seating groups of friends together and encouraging mingling with new people. If you have a group of inseparable friends from your school days, by all means, seat them together. But if the group is too large for their own table, divide them into half tables, seating them with other guests. Never place a sole outsider with a tight-knit group. You want to make the evening comfortable for everyone; avoid situations where people will feel excluded. If you have a friend coming who doesn’t know anyone, try to introduce him or her to an outgoing friend before the wedding. When you do seat strangers together, match them according to similar interests. You may be tempted to play matchmaker with a singles table. Be careful. It’s probably best to have a mix of couples and singles. Yes, you can be strategic. But don’t be so obvious that it’s uncomfortable. Single people at weddings are very aware that they’re single. You don’t need to remind them.


     


    Let Them Know


    Once you have a plan, you need to determine how you’re going to inform your guests of this perfect seating arrangement. The more formal the reception, the more specific you’ll end up being. Some insist on individual place cards at each table, with chair assignments (not just table seating). In this case, you’ll seat dates next to each other, alternating males and females at round tables. Rectangular tables often have dates facing each other. In most cases, you’ll be assigning people to tables. Near your venue’s entrance (or in a very obvious place), have a list of your guests in alphabetical order. Some have a literal list; others use this as an opportunity to be creative. You want to make it simple for guests to find their names; a table number, then, will be associated with each name. Resist the urge to pin up a map of the reception venue with names scattered on it. You don’t want a crowd of people swarming at a chart, desperately trying to find their places.


    After you’ve finalized your plan and created place cards, let it go. People will sit and eat and have fun; don’t stress once it’s out of your hands. Have some extra tables and chairs available in case you have more guests than anticipated, set out a table for the DJ and photographer, and watch your loved ones mingle and celebrate your awesome commitment to the love of your life.


     

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  • As your wedding day approaches, reviewing your choices and making decisions can be a bit confusing not to mention nerve-wracking. Your wedding day naturally brings on traditional thoughts and sentimental feelings, yet the independent woman in you wants to show off your contemporary side and your own special style.

    When putting together the final touches of your reception, it may be tricky to express your unique personality and still please family and friends. So as you sample the dishes in deciding on a scrumptious feast, choose the right lighting and décor, and audition the best bands, you might also want to make sure that the bar can accommodate your guests with the classic as well as the most delicious and up-to-date libations.

    The Whisky Sours and Harvey Wallbangers are standards for Aunt Hilda and Uncle Rex, but check with your bartender about ordering the newest and hippest liqueurs, cordials and other “malternatives” so that no one is disappointed.

    Though it may seem like a daunting task, it’s well worth it to know your crowd and provide your guests with modish martinis and the coolest concoctions. Along with the right entertainment, satisfying the indulgences of your “jet set” can make or break your event. You may even get the credit for turning your family and friends on to their new favorite party drink!

    Don’t know where to start? Well, you came to the right place.

    To make things easier for you, we dropped in on Zachary, Sarah and Raschele at the Revolution Rock Bar in Boston’s financial district to conduct some research. While it was a tough assignment, we managed to compile a list of seven signature cocktails we believe will satisfy a variety of tastes and will keep your wedding reception talked about for a long time to come.

    For those who may need a little pick-me-up at the beginning of the night, an Espresso Martini will definitely do the trick. If you like the taste and smell of coffee, this drink is perfect! Combine Stolichnaya coffee-flavored vodka, Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream and espresso. Then add ice cubes, shake and strain into a glass, and top it off with 4 floating coffee beans. After drinking one of these, you’ll be wide awake and raring to go!

    A lighter concoction that is sweet and tasty is a tall drink called the Lemonhead. To make it, add a splash of sour mix, a splash of Sprite, and a splash of pink lemonade to Smirnoff Citrus and a little Triple Sec, then strain it all into a chilled and sugar-rimmed glass.

    One of the “berry” best drinks we sampled was called the Purple Haze. A wonderful blend of Stolichnaya Raspberry, Chambord, and cranberry juice topped off with a floater of champagne guarantees this drink to go down smooth but provide a pretty potent punch!

     

    Another stand-out was the Berrytini. Now growing in popularity, this drink is made with Stolichnaya Raspberry, Sour Apple Rum and white cranberry juice. Shake and strain the mix into a martini glass, and you are in for a velvety treat.

    A favorite of all of the cocktails tested was the Blaze of Glory (and not just because it’s also a song by Jon Bon Jovi)! It’s made with Effen Black Cherry Vodka, Chambord, Triple Sec, a splash of cranberry juice and sour mix. One rockin’ sip and you’ll be in heaven!

    But we have to say that the drink that got the loudest applause was the Watermelon Martini. This combination of Midori, DeKuyper Watermelon Pucker, Citron Vodka and sour mix is the perfect choice for those who don’t like an overpowering taste of alcohol but still want the effect. Finally, there’s a martini that is classy, strong, and mouth-watering.

    Last but not least we tasted the White Chocolate Truffle. This incredibly delicious, lip-smacking, dessert-like cocktail is made with Vanilla Vodka, Bailey’s Original, Frangelico, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, a splash of Kahlua, espresso and a little milk. As innocent as this drink tastes, don’t be fooled. It’s delicious decadence with a big bang!

    We believe our picks for top honors will make your wedding reception an event to remember. However, for those who don’t like to take chances, some honorable mentions guaranteed to taste yummy and sound your alarm are the Mojito, the Margarita (available in many flavors), the Kamikaze, and the Woo Woo. And though they may not be new new, these cocktails are still tried and true.

     

     

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  • If you will have a beautiful little flower girl and a dapper young ring bearer in your wedding, they will certainly become one of the highlights of the ceremony!  If you prepare your little helpers correctly and ensure that they know their roles, they will be more confident and ready to walk down the aisle before you.  Here are some tips and important information on flower girl and ring bearer roles which will help you prepare the youngest members of your wedding party?


    Photo by April B. Photography

    Choosing Your Flower Girl and Ring Bearers 
    Keep in mind that the younger your flower girl and ring bearer is, the higher the risk of a crisis. Young kids are frightened easily and may decide at the last minute that they are not walking down the aisle, they need to go to the bathroom or they'd rather watch a video.  If possible, choose slightly older children to act as the ring bearer and flower girl, so they will better understand their roles and will not be as afraid.

    Flower Girl 
    The flower girl follows the last bridesmaid, carrying a basket of flower petals to scatter across the aisle.  She is usually a girl with a special connection to the bride and groom - whether related or family friend, and is usually between the ages of 4 and 10. 

    Typically, flower girls wear beautiful dresses - either small versions of the bridesmaid dresses or the wedding dress.  Typically, brides have the flower girl wear a ring of flowers in her hair or a tiny tiara.  After walking down the aisle, your flower girl will take her seat to watch the rest of the wedding.    

    Ring Bearer 
    Your little ring bearer comes behind the flower girl, carrying a pillow with the wedding rings tied to it.  He is usually related to the bride and groom or the son of close family friends.  The ring bearer is also usually between the ages of 4 and 10.

    Many brides prefer that their ring bearer wear little versions of the groom's tuxedo, but you can have your ring bearer wear whatever you want.  From slacks and a little velvet jacket to suits which match the groomsmen - he's sure to look absolutely adorable no matter what you put him in!  Your ring bearer can either stand next to the groomsmen or be seated with his family depending upon his age. 

    Tips for Your Ring Bearer and Flower Girl 
    If the ring bearer and flower girl are prone to restlessness, have them sit with their families rather than standing for the wedding. You can even provide them with a coloring book or something else to keep them occupied for the wedding. 

    If your ring bearer is fairly young, you may want to put fake rings on the pillow and have your best man hold the real rings.  Also, if needed, have the parents bring a change of clothing - most young boys don't want to stay in stiff clothing for too long!

    By preparing your ring bearer and flower girl for their roles, you can ensure that the wedding goes smoothly and that they understand what they're supposed to do during the ceremony.

     

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  • Usually, on the night of the rehearsal dinner or early wedding day morning, the exchange of gifts takes place. The bridal party typically receives a token of gratitude, and the bride and groom also give gifts to one another. So, as if shopping for the love of your life wasn't hard enough, what could you possibly get him for his wedding present?

     


    Photography by: Michael Moss

    Hopefully, I can shed a bit of light on the subject and get your creative juices flowing.

    Wedding Present Brainstorming for Him

    Your future husband certainly has interests, which you should take full advantage of when it comes to locating his wedding present. What activities do you see him participating in? Is he completely obsessed when football season rolls around? Perhaps season tickets would be perfect for his wedding present.

    Tap Into His Interests

    Is your groom a technology fanatic, keeping his eye on all the latest gadgets and constantly tinkering with his iPhone? Take this fascination to heart and seek his wedding present at the local electronics shop, like Best Buy or Apple. Does he like to play video games? Well, then you're just in luck because there is a plethora of gaming accessories and software to consider. Keep a look out to how he reacts when a commercial for a new release is mentioned on TV.

    Take Advantage of His Hobbies

    Hobbies will come in handy when choosing his wedding present as well. Tap into the kinds of things that make him happy and you'll never go wrong. Perhaps he's a Babe Ruth fan and collects old baseball cards. What about his poker playing with friends over the weekend? Does he like to tune-up classic cars? Do you have a master griller in the house? Then, a new grill, personalized poker set, or vintage rookie cards from eBay might be just the kinds of things to consider for his wedding present.

    The Music Man

     

    For the man who enjoys his music, consider the joy of owning an MP3 player or iPod. Today, you can even combine music, movies, and phone use into one by choosing an iPod Touch - a product much similar to the iPhone.

    Straight From the Heart

    Sometimes, you just want to choose his wedding present because of sentimental reasons. Framed photos of the two of you together; a slideshow consisting of special moments; or a memento from the past can all become touching, heartfelt presents for your groom. Monogrammed or personalized or just plain shiny, a gold money clip is another great way to present your fiancé with a cherished wedding gift.

     

     

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  • Not crazy about wedding cake? Serve up one of these delicious alternatives at your reception

    By: Kristen O'Gorman Klein; additional reporting by Emily Gardner

    Maybe you’re not a fan of cake. Or maybe you love cake so much that you can’t choose just one type. Whatever the reason, couples today are looking beyond the traditional wedding cake when it comes to choosing reception desserts. Here, five options we love.

    Cupcakes

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Cupcakes are a fun alternative to wedding cake. And they have a real advantage when it comes to picky eaters: You can mix and match a wide variety of flavors so that there’s something for everyone.

    Another plus: Cupcake towers become instant décor and focal points of your reception room. “We typically work closely with the event coordinator to create something cohesive to the overall theme through color, aesthetic and quantity,” says Jenine Cravatt, president of Cupcakes Couture of Manhattan Beach, CA. “This includes not only designing the desserts in a specific color and design, but also incorporating props, linens and stationery pieces that fit in with the overall feel of the wedding.”

    Ice Cream

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Guests of all ages will love a make-your-own-sundae bar. Splurge on gourmet ice cream for a truly memorable dessert. We love Cowabunga Ice Cream (and not just because of the name!), which is based out of New Jersey and ships nationally. Their secret recipe ensures that the ice cream isn’t over-aerated, resulting in creamier, denser ice cream than the competition. Their inspired flavors include New York Cheesecake, Cake Batter, Rice Krispy Treat (vanilla ice cream with marshmallows and rice krispies), Almond Joy (coconut ice cream with almonds and dark chocolate chips), and Red Velvet.

    Dessert Shots

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These delectable treats are as beautiful as they are delicious! Choose varieties like strawberry shortcake, chocolate mousse, New York cheesecake, key lime pie… any dessert you’d like can be turned into a dessert shot. Create an impressive arrangement of dessert shots on a side table with 3 or 4 varieties. Guests will love how easy they are to eat while walking compared to a slice of cake on a plate. These creations are from the lovely ladies at Cupcakes Couture.

    Mini Desserts

    As the last course during your reception, serve a platter of mini desserts—bite-size cheesecakes, French macarons, dessert shots, cookies, meringues, and cream puffs—to each table. Make sure there’s enough to go around! We recommend picking 4-5 items and serving large enough quantities so that all guests can have a taste of each if they desire. The treats pictured here are from Cupcakes Couture.

     

     

                                          Dessert Bar

    Do you have a major sweet tooth? Consider a dessert bar, which gives you (and your guests!) a chance to have a little bit of everything. Offer up bite-size treats, like mini cupcakes, cheesecakes, French macarons, creampuffs, cannolis, brownie bites, and chocolate-covered strawberries.

    Choose your all-time favorites, or opt for the best of the season with these recommendations from Cupcakes Couture:

    Summer: Fruit tarts, sponge cakes, and truffles featuring bold fruits like passion fruit, cherries, grapefruit and peaches.

    Spring: Spotlight the season’s best fruits with desserts including citrus, melon, apricot, strawberry and pineapple. Another favorite: Creampuffs.

    Fall: Pastries featuring rich flavors like pumpkin, apple pie, ginger spice and cranberry.

    Winter: Think comfort: winter mint and rich chocolate.

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  • Being Filipino AND Pennsylvania Dutch, I come from a very financially conservative family. -aka- Frugal… cheap… ehh, whatever you want to call it. I am known as the coupon queen at work. Seriously, I have coupons for EVERYTHING. Our wedding really wasn’t any different.

    The breakdown:

    Date: March 05, 2009
    City, State: Kaneohe, Hawaii
    Budget: $10,000
    # of Guests: 21

    Ceremony Site/Type of Venue: $738. Byodo-In Temple. $700 for the use of the temple grounds for 2 hours (this also included a photography fee to photograph on their grounds). We spent about $38 in ribbon and paper lanterns to decorate the aisle. We figured that the temple grounds were so beautiful, there was no need to spend too much money on decor. I’m glad we went this route; the temple is BEAU.TI.FUL. We also supplied bottles of water (I DIY'd custom labels on the water bottles) and had palm fans (a family friend picked them up for us while she was in the Philippines...SUPER cheap!).

    Reception Site/Type of Venue: $795 (about $37.85 per person). Germaine’s Luau. My wondrous folks were generous to gift this to us. Most of our guests were first time Hawaii visitors and since we’re pretty laid back, we decided to forgo a traditional dinner and take them to a luau instead. This is open to the public, so the general public was at the luau with us. We got a great deal using a military discount. The luau included a yummy Hawaiian buffet (with cake!), a few adult beverages, and 3 hours of entertainment.

     

    Caterer/Food/Drink (per person if available): $0, included with luau.

    Bridal Gown & Alterations: $373. $320 for my dress, which was purchased off of eBay. $53 for alterations, by Karen Chow, a godsend!

    Bridal Accessories (Veil, Undergarments, Shoes, Jewelry): $120.94. Includes hair fascinator, 2 pairs of shoes (pair for the ceremony, pair for the luau), earrings and undies. This also includes the $12 I spent on our flower girl’s dress and her parasol.

    Groom’s Attire: $492. His suit was custom made by Island Importer, $300. Shoes were also custom made Nike sneaks, $107. Shirt from Express, $35. Minor suit alterations, $50.

    Stationery/Postage: $253.09. Includes our wedding invites, our Passport STDs, and inserts for our welcome bags.

    Photography: $2094.24. Frank Amodo is wondrous and totally worth it! ‘Nuff said.
    No, but seriously, we hired him for as long as we could afford to (which was 4 hours) and it really was totally worth it. I wish we could have been able to have him ALL day, but our budget couldn’t cut it. I would rather have had an AWESOME photographer for half the day, then a so-so photographer for the full day.

    Ceremony Music: $150. I ended up hiring an ukulele player off of craigslist. I really did get an awesome deal, but the guy changed his prices on me 3 times. THREE. I really would have paid his top price to begin with, but it was more of the principle that you don’t change your prices 3 times in a 30 day period (this was even after I talked to him on the phone). I would have went another route, but I waited ’til the last minute and really didn’t have any other options. In all honesty, I don’t even remember him playing. At all. I’m sure he did… I was just too busy trying not to trip down the aisle to notice.

    Flowers: $50. We really didn’t have flowers; there were no bouquets or bouts. We literally waited ’til the last minute to pick up leis for our lei ceremony. Literally, as in the morning of our wedding day. I really wish I would have bought better (and prettier) leis for our family members. That’s what happens when you wait until the last minute.

    Officiant: $250. Alice Inoue. ::love.her:: I could have gone through the temple and used their officiant for $50 less, but I really liked how organized Alice was and it was totally worth it for my peace of mind. She really spoke from the heart and our ceremony didn’t feel scripted at all.

    Coordinator: $0. I really relied on friends and family to help out here. Bestie Lauren and her husband, Kirk, really came through for me. Kirk has done TONS of events at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort (where he works as an event coordinator) and helped out by providing me ceremony chairs, setting up, and tearing down our ceremony site. He’s starting to branch out into coordinating; hit him up if you’re getting married in Hawaii.

    Hair/Makeup: $273, Beauty by May. Includes hair and makeup (including airbrush makeup and lashes) for me, my mom, and MIL. May is such a doll. She is the sweetest girl ever and she knows her stuff! Heart her!

    Transportation: $405. Through Hickam’s ITT (military travel), we were able to get a shuttle van to pick up all of our guests staying in Waikiki, at their hotel, take them to the ceremony in Kaneohe, from the ceremony to the Luau (on the other side of the island), then back to their hotel (about 9 hours). They even upgraded our van to a shuttle bus. I originally called 3 local transportation companies and they wanted to charge me twice the amount for half the time. We really scored on this one!

    Favors: $63.40. At our welcome BBQ, we gifted each of our guests with a bag of PA and Hawaii local goodies.

    Wedding Party Gifts: $115.05. We didn’t have a wedding party, but I did gift my two besties a custom blurb “yearbook” of our friendship, along with a few other goodies. Just because they weren’t “official” bridesmaids, didn’t mean that they weren’t there for me for everything, wedding related and more.

    Flight: $1541.60. Round trip flight for two.

    Car Rental: $260.21. One week car rental.

    Hotels: $600 (for 9 days). We used timeshare for 7 of the days and Hale Koa (military hotel) for the other two. We figured we wouldn’t be in the room much, so no need to go all out.

    WEDDING DAY TOTAL: $8574.53
    TOTAL COST PER PERSON (divide wedding day total by # of guests) : $408.31

     

    All Inclusive Costs:

    Welcome BBQ: $153.55. Includes a pavillon rental from Bellows and food.

    Wedding Bands: $699. The hubby's ring was purchased through the AAFES catalog (for military peeps). My ring was purchased while in Hawaii from the NEX (military store), literally a week before the wedding. This was planned; I REALLY wanted my wedding ring to be Hawaiian jewelry and it’s always much cheaper to purchase from the military stores (plus no tax!). Our rings totally don’t match each others’; we figured if we were the ones wearing the rings for the rest of our lives, that we might as well pick out what we really like.

    Honeymoon: $374.90. Includes 2 RT tickets to Big Island from Oahu, a 2 night hotel stay (does not include meals or tours).

    ALL INCLUSIVE TOTAL: $1227.45

    GRAND TOTAL (wedding day total + all inclusive total): $9801.98

    Not too shabby for a destination wedding in Hawaii. Sure, we didn’t have 300+ people or our own intimate reception with a cake, but it was totally us. For you military peeps out there, utilize your military discounts! We saved thousands alone on just the reception luau and transportation. It doesn’t hurt to ask! The worst they can say is no.

     

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  • Not sure how to trim down your wedding budget? No one will notice if you don'thave these extra wedding frills

    By: Sharon Naylor

     



    Photo by Festivities Event

    EXTRA CEREMONY DECOR: Skip altar flowers, pew decorations, swags of fabric and a custom-designed aisle runner to save a bit. Besides, your guests will spend the majority of the wedding at the reception.

    VANITY RECEPTION DECOR: Do you really need to splurge on having your names spelled out in roses on the lawn? Do you need silk table runners, imprinted with your names and wedding date? Probably not, even if you really, really want it. Skip a custom-designed monogram projected on the dance floor in favor of clustered candles and votives to provide the same glowing ambiance.

    AN ORNATELY DESIGNED CAKE: Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on sugarpaste flowers, butterflies, piped-on pearls or a replica of the lace pattern on your dress. The amount of labor the cake requires generally determines its cost, so opt for sleek, clean lines and minimal extras.

    SOUPED-UP INVITATIONS: Check out a discount site like invitations4sale.com for 40% off, or use software and paper from mountaincow.com to make your own items for much less.

    HIGH-END TRANSPORTATION: It’s expensive to rent limousines, classic cars and party buses, plus overtime charges can pile up. Instead, decorate your own or your friends’ cars, convertibles or even minivans for fun rides to the ceremony and reception. If you can't live without the limo, hire just two: one for you, one for the parents.

    OVER-THE-TOP ENTERTAINMENT: Generally speaking, DJs cost significantly less than  bands, but if you insist on live performance, look for a group with just three musicians who can play different instruments. Or program your iPod with your favorite tunes—just make sure the venue is equipped with good speakers.

    FRIVOLOUS FAVORS: Treat your guests to edibles, like cookies or chocolates, with DIY labels that show guests how much time you (and your fiancé) put into them. Or try packets of flower seeds from Home Depot or Lowes—they retail for around $2 each. Feeling gratuitous? Make charitable donations in your guests’ names, providing is a tasteful and cost-effective solution to what to give.

     

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  • By: Caitlin Zentgraf 

    Whether you’re traveling halfway around the world or to a neighboring state, getting your wedding dress there safely is a top priority.

    Traveling By Plane
    Most airlines advise not to place valuable items in checked luggage, therefore, a carry-on or protective garment bag are your next options. (Tip: Fold layers of tissue paper into your wedding dress. This will help keep the wrinkles and discoloring away.) Check with your airline’s policy on bringing a wedding dress on board. They may allow you to store it in a closet or overhead bin. However, you can’t always rely on the flight attendant to store it properly in a closet or overhead bin. Consider purchasing a plane ticket for your wedding dress or better yet -- if there are open seats on your flight, it doesn’t hurt to ask the flight attendant if you dress can fly for free. 

    Traveling by Car
    You don’t want your wedding dress squeezed between loads of luggage in the trunk. Instead, drape it flat across your luggage in a protective garment bag.

    Unpacking Your Wedding Dress
    If you pack your wedding dress in a carry-on or protective garment bag, bring a travel steamer. (Tip: Test on white fabric before you use. You’ll want the steam to come out clear, so it doesn’t stain the fabric.) If you can’t bring a travel steamer, hang your wedding dress in the bathroom, turn the shower on full blast with hot water and watch the steam eliminate any wrinkles. 

     

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  • I love this ideas for a favor. Who couldn't use a flash drive?!?!

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  • Hi everyone, i am new here and and just as the title say's Post your replica's here. I am quite sure there are a few brides out there who took the risk of buying an online replica dress, kindly post them here as an inspiratio to other brides who could not afford an original dress. 

    Thank You!!

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  • Your wedding reception is the ultimate party. It’s a celebration of love and commitment, shared with those who love you most. Plus, it will most likely be your only opportunity to laugh and dance and nibble on delicacies while garbed in the finest clothing your credit card can finance. So you want everyone to have a great time. And in your efforts to make your guests happy, you should not overlook the seating chart. No one wants to end up sitting alone, shut out of the conversations around them. And while you may be friends with a couple long since broken up, just because they want to support you doesn’t mean they want to sit together. If your guests are at ease at the reception, the party will thrive.


    The Wedding Reception Must-Haves: Before You Begin

    Before making any seating-placement decisions, be sure to know your venue’s floor plan, your guest list (after the RSVPs return), and the shapes and sizes of the tables you’ll be using. Most venues should be able to provide you with a plan of some sort. Take note of where your head table will be, where the dance floor is, and if tables will have to be moved to make room for dancing. Also be prepared for changes to your reception up until two weeks before the wedding, as your guest list will most certainly change.


     


    Wedding Receptions: When You Don’t Need a Seating Plan

    If your wedding reception has less than 20 guests, or if your guests all know each other, you can get away without a seating chart. Of course, if there’s no formal sit-down meal, you can also choose to just have casual seating arrangements without place cards. You may still want a head table set apart, along with a table designated for elderly guests or those in need of special consideration.


     


    The Wedding Reception: About to Begin

    This is one part of the planning that suits parental (and parent-in-law) input. It’s likely that the parents will know some guests better than you and may have some inside knowledge of family politics. So if anyone knows not to put Uncle Bob next to Great Aunt Sue, they would. Once you have your planning team, choose your method of chart making. Today, there are endless creative options when mapping out seating charts. Some like to physically move around cards or strips of paper with each guest’s name scrawled across them. Others use labeled poker chips. For the technologically savvy (or those without huge solid surfaces to sprawl out plans-in-the-making), spreadsheets are a great option. Wedding-planning software is the new thing; use a simple program to design (and redesign) your layout. Be flexible and creative as you start out.


     


    Head Table


    Before you seat your guests, seat yourself. There are no longer any steadfast rules for seating at the head table. You may want your entire bridal party with you; you may opt for just the maid of honor and best man. Determine if you want the maids on one side and the men on the other, or if you want them paired. And since it’s your wedding, you can switch it up with parents and grandparents at the table, or just a sweetheart table for the two of you. Find an arrangement that best suits you as a couple, and try to make sure you’re visible to guests who will undoubtedly want to be staring at you and taking your picture all evening. The rest of the seating will revolve around the placement of this table.


     


    Parents and Family


    The general rule is to place family closest to the head table. Depending on the size of your wedding reception, you may place all the parents together or divide them by family. If your parents are divorced, consider letting each parent host his/her own table. You don’t want to promote awkwardness. Have your parents and grandparents closest to the head table, with the rest of the family spreading out from there. Don’t feel obligated to keep family groups strictly together; cousins may prefer sitting together rather than with their parents. And your aunts and uncles may prefer sitting with their siblings over sitting with their adult children. Instead of a table consisting solely of one family group, find a way to promote some interfamily mingling.


     


    Wedding Reception Special Considerations

    Consider the needs of your elderly, disabled, and super-young guests as you plan your seating. If tables will be moved to make room for the dance floor, try not to seat those who require seating at those particular tables, as you don’t want to displace them. Make sure that guests using walkers or wheelchairs have easy access to their tables and the exit. When in doubt, inquire in advance as to how you can best serve their needs.


    If you choose to have children at your wedding reception, you have a few options. You can seat them together (strategically supervised), hosting them at a fun kids’ table. This can be a relief to parents and other guests who don’t want to babysit all evening. Offer little activities to keep them occupied and involved. Some would warn against this, especially if the children are young, loud, or unfamiliar with each other. You don’t want a crowd of kids distracting the rest of the guests. Seating them with their parents might be more favorable. Just make sure that you keep guests who are unimpressed with little ones at a different table. Kids fit in best with people who love kids.


     


    Friends


    Friends will make up the majority of your remaining guests. For starters, divide these friends into groups: coworkers, college friends, neighbors, etc. The trick is finding a balance between seating groups of friends together and encouraging mingling with new people. If you have a group of inseparable friends from your school days, by all means, seat them together. But if the group is too large for their own table, divide them into half tables, seating them with other guests. Never place a sole outsider with a tight-knit group. You want to make the evening comfortable for everyone; avoid situations where people will feel excluded. If you have a friend coming who doesn’t know anyone, try to introduce him or her to an outgoing friend before the wedding. When you do seat strangers together, match them according to similar interests. You may be tempted to play matchmaker with a singles table. Be careful. It’s probably best to have a mix of couples and singles. Yes, you can be strategic. But don’t be so obvious that it’s uncomfortable. Single people at weddings are very aware that they’re single. You don’t need to remind them.


     


    Let Them Know


    Once you have a plan, you need to determine how you’re going to inform your guests of this perfect seating arrangement. The more formal the reception, the more specific you’ll end up being. Some insist on individual place cards at each table, with chair assignments (not just table seating). In this case, you’ll seat dates next to each other, alternating males and females at round tables. Rectangular tables often have dates facing each other. In most cases, you’ll be assigning people to tables. Near your venue’s entrance (or in a very obvious place), have a list of your guests in alphabetical order. Some have a literal list; others use this as an opportunity to be creative. You want to make it simple for guests to find their names; a table number, then, will be associated with each name. Resist the urge to pin up a map of the reception venue with names scattered on it. You don’t want a crowd of people swarming at a chart, desperately trying to find their places.


    After you’ve finalized your plan and created place cards, let it go. People will sit and eat and have fun; don’t stress once it’s out of your hands. Have some extra tables and chairs available in case you have more guests than anticipated, set out a table for the DJ and photographer, and watch your loved ones mingle and celebrate your awesome commitment to the love of your life.


     

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  • As your wedding day approaches, reviewing your choices and making decisions can be a bit confusing not to mention nerve-wracking. Your wedding day naturally brings on traditional thoughts and sentimental feelings, yet the independent woman in you wants to show off your contemporary side and your own special style.

    When putting together the final touches of your reception, it may be tricky to express your unique personality and still please family and friends. So as you sample the dishes in deciding on a scrumptious feast, choose the right lighting and décor, and audition the best bands, you might also want to make sure that the bar can accommodate your guests with the classic as well as the most delicious and up-to-date libations.

    The Whisky Sours and Harvey Wallbangers are standards for Aunt Hilda and Uncle Rex, but check with your bartender about ordering the newest and hippest liqueurs, cordials and other “malternatives” so that no one is disappointed.

    Though it may seem like a daunting task, it’s well worth it to know your crowd and provide your guests with modish martinis and the coolest concoctions. Along with the right entertainment, satisfying the indulgences of your “jet set” can make or break your event. You may even get the credit for turning your family and friends on to their new favorite party drink!

    Don’t know where to start? Well, you came to the right place.

    To make things easier for you, we dropped in on Zachary, Sarah and Raschele at the Revolution Rock Bar in Boston’s financial district to conduct some research. While it was a tough assignment, we managed to compile a list of seven signature cocktails we believe will satisfy a variety of tastes and will keep your wedding reception talked about for a long time to come.

    For those who may need a little pick-me-up at the beginning of the night, an Espresso Martini will definitely do the trick. If you like the taste and smell of coffee, this drink is perfect! Combine Stolichnaya coffee-flavored vodka, Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream and espresso. Then add ice cubes, shake and strain into a glass, and top it off with 4 floating coffee beans. After drinking one of these, you’ll be wide awake and raring to go!

    A lighter concoction that is sweet and tasty is a tall drink called the Lemonhead. To make it, add a splash of sour mix, a splash of Sprite, and a splash of pink lemonade to Smirnoff Citrus and a little Triple Sec, then strain it all into a chilled and sugar-rimmed glass.

    One of the “berry” best drinks we sampled was called the Purple Haze. A wonderful blend of Stolichnaya Raspberry, Chambord, and cranberry juice topped off with a floater of champagne guarantees this drink to go down smooth but provide a pretty potent punch!

     

    Another stand-out was the Berrytini. Now growing in popularity, this drink is made with Stolichnaya Raspberry, Sour Apple Rum and white cranberry juice. Shake and strain the mix into a martini glass, and you are in for a velvety treat.

    A favorite of all of the cocktails tested was the Blaze of Glory (and not just because it’s also a song by Jon Bon Jovi)! It’s made with Effen Black Cherry Vodka, Chambord, Triple Sec, a splash of cranberry juice and sour mix. One rockin’ sip and you’ll be in heaven!

    But we have to say that the drink that got the loudest applause was the Watermelon Martini. This combination of Midori, DeKuyper Watermelon Pucker, Citron Vodka and sour mix is the perfect choice for those who don’t like an overpowering taste of alcohol but still want the effect. Finally, there’s a martini that is classy, strong, and mouth-watering.

    Last but not least we tasted the White Chocolate Truffle. This incredibly delicious, lip-smacking, dessert-like cocktail is made with Vanilla Vodka, Bailey’s Original, Frangelico, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, a splash of Kahlua, espresso and a little milk. As innocent as this drink tastes, don’t be fooled. It’s delicious decadence with a big bang!

    We believe our picks for top honors will make your wedding reception an event to remember. However, for those who don’t like to take chances, some honorable mentions guaranteed to taste yummy and sound your alarm are the Mojito, the Margarita (available in many flavors), the Kamikaze, and the Woo Woo. And though they may not be new new, these cocktails are still tried and true.

     

     

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  • If you will have a beautiful little flower girl and a dapper young ring bearer in your wedding, they will certainly become one of the highlights of the ceremony!  If you prepare your little helpers correctly and ensure that they know their roles, they will be more confident and ready to walk down the aisle before you.  Here are some tips and important information on flower girl and ring bearer roles which will help you prepare the youngest members of your wedding party?


    Photo by April B. Photography

    Choosing Your Flower Girl and Ring Bearers 
    Keep in mind that the younger your flower girl and ring bearer is, the higher the risk of a crisis. Young kids are frightened easily and may decide at the last minute that they are not walking down the aisle, they need to go to the bathroom or they'd rather watch a video.  If possible, choose slightly older children to act as the ring bearer and flower girl, so they will better understand their roles and will not be as afraid.

    Flower Girl 
    The flower girl follows the last bridesmaid, carrying a basket of flower petals to scatter across the aisle.  She is usually a girl with a special connection to the bride and groom - whether related or family friend, and is usually between the ages of 4 and 10. 

    Typically, flower girls wear beautiful dresses - either small versions of the bridesmaid dresses or the wedding dress.  Typically, brides have the flower girl wear a ring of flowers in her hair or a tiny tiara.  After walking down the aisle, your flower girl will take her seat to watch the rest of the wedding.    

    Ring Bearer 
    Your little ring bearer comes behind the flower girl, carrying a pillow with the wedding rings tied to it.  He is usually related to the bride and groom or the son of close family friends.  The ring bearer is also usually between the ages of 4 and 10.

    Many brides prefer that their ring bearer wear little versions of the groom's tuxedo, but you can have your ring bearer wear whatever you want.  From slacks and a little velvet jacket to suits which match the groomsmen - he's sure to look absolutely adorable no matter what you put him in!  Your ring bearer can either stand next to the groomsmen or be seated with his family depending upon his age. 

    Tips for Your Ring Bearer and Flower Girl 
    If the ring bearer and flower girl are prone to restlessness, have them sit with their families rather than standing for the wedding. You can even provide them with a coloring book or something else to keep them occupied for the wedding. 

    If your ring bearer is fairly young, you may want to put fake rings on the pillow and have your best man hold the real rings.  Also, if needed, have the parents bring a change of clothing - most young boys don't want to stay in stiff clothing for too long!

    By preparing your ring bearer and flower girl for their roles, you can ensure that the wedding goes smoothly and that they understand what they're supposed to do during the ceremony.

     

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  • Usually, on the night of the rehearsal dinner or early wedding day morning, the exchange of gifts takes place. The bridal party typically receives a token of gratitude, and the bride and groom also give gifts to one another. So, as if shopping for the love of your life wasn't hard enough, what could you possibly get him for his wedding present?

     


    Photography by: Michael Moss

    Hopefully, I can shed a bit of light on the subject and get your creative juices flowing.

    Wedding Present Brainstorming for Him

    Your future husband certainly has interests, which you should take full advantage of when it comes to locating his wedding present. What activities do you see him participating in? Is he completely obsessed when football season rolls around? Perhaps season tickets would be perfect for his wedding present.

    Tap Into His Interests

    Is your groom a technology fanatic, keeping his eye on all the latest gadgets and constantly tinkering with his iPhone? Take this fascination to heart and seek his wedding present at the local electronics shop, like Best Buy or Apple. Does he like to play video games? Well, then you're just in luck because there is a plethora of gaming accessories and software to consider. Keep a look out to how he reacts when a commercial for a new release is mentioned on TV.

    Take Advantage of His Hobbies

    Hobbies will come in handy when choosing his wedding present as well. Tap into the kinds of things that make him happy and you'll never go wrong. Perhaps he's a Babe Ruth fan and collects old baseball cards. What about his poker playing with friends over the weekend? Does he like to tune-up classic cars? Do you have a master griller in the house? Then, a new grill, personalized poker set, or vintage rookie cards from eBay might be just the kinds of things to consider for his wedding present.

    The Music Man

     

    For the man who enjoys his music, consider the joy of owning an MP3 player or iPod. Today, you can even combine music, movies, and phone use into one by choosing an iPod Touch - a product much similar to the iPhone.

    Straight From the Heart

    Sometimes, you just want to choose his wedding present because of sentimental reasons. Framed photos of the two of you together; a slideshow consisting of special moments; or a memento from the past can all become touching, heartfelt presents for your groom. Monogrammed or personalized or just plain shiny, a gold money clip is another great way to present your fiancé with a cherished wedding gift.

     

     

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  • Not crazy about wedding cake? Serve up one of these delicious alternatives at your reception

    By: Kristen O'Gorman Klein; additional reporting by Emily Gardner

    Maybe you’re not a fan of cake. Or maybe you love cake so much that you can’t choose just one type. Whatever the reason, couples today are looking beyond the traditional wedding cake when it comes to choosing reception desserts. Here, five options we love.

    Cupcakes

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Cupcakes are a fun alternative to wedding cake. And they have a real advantage when it comes to picky eaters: You can mix and match a wide variety of flavors so that there’s something for everyone.

    Another plus: Cupcake towers become instant décor and focal points of your reception room. “We typically work closely with the event coordinator to create something cohesive to the overall theme through color, aesthetic and quantity,” says Jenine Cravatt, president of Cupcakes Couture of Manhattan Beach, CA. “This includes not only designing the desserts in a specific color and design, but also incorporating props, linens and stationery pieces that fit in with the overall feel of the wedding.”

    Ice Cream

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Guests of all ages will love a make-your-own-sundae bar. Splurge on gourmet ice cream for a truly memorable dessert. We love Cowabunga Ice Cream (and not just because of the name!), which is based out of New Jersey and ships nationally. Their secret recipe ensures that the ice cream isn’t over-aerated, resulting in creamier, denser ice cream than the competition. Their inspired flavors include New York Cheesecake, Cake Batter, Rice Krispy Treat (vanilla ice cream with marshmallows and rice krispies), Almond Joy (coconut ice cream with almonds and dark chocolate chips), and Red Velvet.

    Dessert Shots

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These delectable treats are as beautiful as they are delicious! Choose varieties like strawberry shortcake, chocolate mousse, New York cheesecake, key lime pie… any dessert you’d like can be turned into a dessert shot. Create an impressive arrangement of dessert shots on a side table with 3 or 4 varieties. Guests will love how easy they are to eat while walking compared to a slice of cake on a plate. These creations are from the lovely ladies at Cupcakes Couture.

    Mini Desserts

    As the last course during your reception, serve a platter of mini desserts—bite-size cheesecakes, French macarons, dessert shots, cookies, meringues, and cream puffs—to each table. Make sure there’s enough to go around! We recommend picking 4-5 items and serving large enough quantities so that all guests can have a taste of each if they desire. The treats pictured here are from Cupcakes Couture.

     

     

                                          Dessert Bar

    Do you have a major sweet tooth? Consider a dessert bar, which gives you (and your guests!) a chance to have a little bit of everything. Offer up bite-size treats, like mini cupcakes, cheesecakes, French macarons, creampuffs, cannolis, brownie bites, and chocolate-covered strawberries.

    Choose your all-time favorites, or opt for the best of the season with these recommendations from Cupcakes Couture:

    Summer: Fruit tarts, sponge cakes, and truffles featuring bold fruits like passion fruit, cherries, grapefruit and peaches.

    Spring: Spotlight the season’s best fruits with desserts including citrus, melon, apricot, strawberry and pineapple. Another favorite: Creampuffs.

    Fall: Pastries featuring rich flavors like pumpkin, apple pie, ginger spice and cranberry.

    Winter: Think comfort: winter mint and rich chocolate.

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Project Wedding is your ultimate wedding planning guide! We have all the tools you need to get started with your wedding planning, including: ...

- My Biography: Tell your story! Join the Project Wedding community, add friends, and send messages and toasts to other real brides just like you.

- Online photo album: One central location where you can save all your favorite photos of receptions, wedding dresses, makeup, hair, wedding cakes, bridesmaid dresses, wedding invitations, jewelry, shoes, and much more.

- Inspiration board: Your place to put all of your wedding ideas – from favorite colors to favorite songs to a random ad that gave you an idea for wedding favors. Play with color palettes and decor elements using our custom Inspiration Board Tool. You can pin whatever you want to your inspiration board and get inspired!

- My vendors: As you’re browsing our wedding planning tips and ideas, you can save vendors that you think might work for your wedding. Conveniently save vendors by category: band/DJ/music, catering, flowers, wedding invitations, jewelry, officiants, photography, wedding cake, and much more.

- Fashion: Save your favorite wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, evening dresses for the mothers of the bride and groom (or for you at the reception), and flower girl dresses.

- Wedding website: Create a free website for your wedding! Choose from designer themes, upload unlimited photos, customize maps, track guest RSVPs, and much more with our easy to use website designer.

- Wedding cost calculator: Wedding planning isn’t all fun and games. But with our wedding cost calculator you can develop a personal wedding budget and easily eliminate the stress of counting costs.

- Wedding checklist: Don’t miss a detail with the best wedding checklist on the web. Our customizable wedding planning checklist has everything you need to plan with ease.

Additionally, the many articles on our site provide the very best wedding planning ideas and tips for all types of brides. Start your planning now, and have fun!