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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wedding Coordinators = Money Saved Planning Your Wedding!

As a Wedding Coordinator, I've found myself so many times saying that I wish I could have been in contact with a bride earlier.  Often this is when I've met a bride who wants me to do a Day-of-Coordination.  She has chosen all if not close to all of her vendors by this point in time.  There's a good chance that I could've gotten some discounts for a bride earlier in the game.  If I had a dollar for all the times that a mother of the bride or a bride herself has said, "If only we had known you sooner"!  I literally feel a grimace come over my face wishing the very same thing.  I hear about their heartaches and nightmares and I genuinely feel for them.

So many times brides will start planning their wedding with all the greatest of intentions and wonderful plans and end up facing roadblocks that a Wedding Coordinator might have been able to steer them from.  That could be just in letting them know that their favorite flower isn't available around the time of their wedding, that a particular venue will not allow decorations that she looked forward to using.  I always think of a venue that they would have enjoyed more for less money.  I love helping a bride and groom create little aspects to their wedding that only they will know about.  It could be a little something added to her bouquet that is a reminder of their first date.  I love it when I hear a bride and groom say in unison, "I really like that idea".  I know that another special moment has been added to their wedding day.  So many times these additional special moments don't cost a dime!

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brides, Grooms and FIL's Paying for Weddings.

Many brides and grooms are paying for some if not all of their wedding expenses.  I like to think that Greatest of Days is unique in that I offer a free consultation to the bride and groom which is pretty standard, but I also offer a free hour of consultation with the parents particularly if they are paying for a wedding.  There are even occasions where I'll step in when a desperate mother says, "Can you talk to my daughter?" and just as often when a bride says, "I wish you could tell my mother that!"

There's a reason for this, and it is all in the effort to have a stress-free wedding day and the many days before that planning for that big day.  Reality is seldom perfect and planning a wedding can be stressful on more individuals than just the bride and the groom.  Stress can rear its ugly head on an emotional level, a financial level, and a level I'll call, "Where in the heck did that come from?"

I'll show this in various extremes.

Scenario #1.  Imagine Princess just became engaged to be married.  She has a sense of entitlement and always has.  She has either gotten almost everything she has ever wanted or feels that her day has finally come where she can at last have everything under the sun.  If parents are on the same wavelength, then that's fine.  Where the problem comes in, is when the parents simply cannot afford their daughter this luxury.

Scenario #2.  Mom and Dad have all the money in the world and quite often along with it brings control  and power.  Mom always wanted her daughter to have the wedding she never had and now she sees it as her turn to get the wedding she wish she had had.  When a bride or groom states a preference for any particular aspect of the wedding, they just might hear, "As long as I'm paying for it, you'll do no such thing!"

Scenario #3.  "I think you shoulds" which can start sounding like nails on a chalkboard.  All things become new again, but people have ideas that really take the cake sometimes.   I remember both my mother and my husband's mother doing this routine when we were choosing the music for our wedding.  The songs meant nothing to us and when there was a song recommended about sunshine when I knew the wedding was in December in a very rainy climate.  If "Look at the sunshine" had been sung, everybody might have walked out to go look for it!  My Mom thought it would be nice to have a song sung that she liked.  Never mind the fact that I had sung it for countless friends' weddings, even with a former boyfriend!  Not happening!  We ended up rearranging a song that we liked by changing a few of the words and the tempo.

This is where I feel I can make a big difference in how things progress up to and at the wedding.  It's all psychology!  I'll talk to a bride and groom and go through with them what all is involved and how the costs can creep up.  Basically, it's bringing them into the reality of the parents who are paying for the wedding.  Secondly, in the case of the Penny Pusher Power Parent, I can speak with them and find out without them knowing, what it is that they are really dealing with.  Quite often its a bad memory or a vision of how they wanted their own wedding to be like that never happened.

Never forget that a parent can be feeling a big dose of separation anxiety, but would never admit to it.  If a parent has entirely wrapped his or her life around raising children, they could very well feel like they are wandering into unknown territory.  What people don't understand, they fear.  What they fear becomes an unrealistic expectation or misinterpretation.

In one sentence.  Everyone wants their feelings and concerns validated.  I have a heart that's big enough to hear both sides and two shoulders to be cried upon.  If it ends up with everyone smiling a genuine smile on the wedding day, I'm happy!  Worth every minute of listening!

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Greatest of Days
Event and Wedding Planning

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What do you mean by officiant?

You can go online and anyone can become an officiant if they register through Universal Life Church to fulfill the legal qualifications to become ordained and choose whatever title you prefer from a selection of categories.  Many people do it just to be able to perform wedding ceremonies for friends or family.  You have to promise to honor all beliefs and comply with all state laws.  In Washing State, you have be ordained through some church.  It's about 10-minute process through ULC which has been around since 1959.  We could do any kind of ceremony, but we stick to weddings.

My husband and I have both gone through ULC to be able to officiate for weddings.  I enjoy helping people design their wedding ceremony.  Many people just want a very small wedding, have mixed beliefs in their families, don't want to go through months of counseling through a church so an officiant is a great solution to these situations.  Some people are widowed or divorced and don't want to go through all the pomp and ceremony that come with traditional weddings.  We have performed wedding ceremonies where there were hundreds of people, however.  Some people choose an officiant simply because they want to be able to customize their ceremony more than what they could in a regular church.  We let family members of friends of the bride and groom participate in any of the religious aspects to the wedding.  We choose to remain very neutral.

I won't speak to other states, but there are only two lines (never seen or met anyone who performed this type of ceremony) that are necessary in Washington State to make a couple legally married.   The, Do You?, Do You? (questions to make sure they aren't entering the marriage under duress), and then pronouncing them as husband and wife.  Really, that's all!  We would do those too, if people wanted it that way, but people like to personalize it.  We avoid ceremonies that take on the feel of a theatrical performance rather than a solemn occasion.  Speaking from experience, we were disappointed to get a review on not being theatrical enough.  Sorry, that is not why we do perform wedding ceremonies!  At that same wedding, people said it was a wonderful ceremony.  Go figure!

Some people choose an officiant to make it a legal marriage and then have a more elaborate wedding (sometimes even with an officiant) months or years later when they can afford a bigger wedding, when someone has returned from being overseas, or any number of reasons.

You won't believe this, but when we say that we can officiate, some people really think that we are qualified to officiate at sporting events!!   No!  That's a totally different game!!

You should always check into your own state's laws.

Wishing you the greatest of days!