Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Free Wedding Entertainment!

Everyone wants to be entertained at a wedding.  There's always that awkward half hour or so when the dance music starts, when nobody wants to be the first one out on the floor.  Sometimes the DJ does a good job of getting everyone into it, but what if he doesn't?  There's nothing worse than a boring wedding reception and we've all probably been to one.

So think about this-where is talent hiding in your group of family and friends?  My husband's cousins are Irish dancers and decided to put together a routine as their wedding present to us.  Everyone was going crazy for it- what a hit!  Then, completely unexpectedly, my friends shoved me out on the dance floor because I used to Irish dance.  So, I hiked up my dress and did a few steps.  People still tell me that it was the most unique and entertaining wedding they've ever been to.



Think about your group of friends- I'm sure you have some goofballs in the wedding party.  Put together a funny skit to do before the dancing starts to lighten the mood.  Most people also have at least one friend with a beautiful voice or musical talent with an instrument.  Ask him or her to sing/ play for your wedding.  Most people would be honored by this request.

Kids are always a blast- consider having the kids start off the party with a little freeze dance contest.  When the music plays, they dance and when it stops, they have to freeze in the exact position they are in.  You could also have a limbo contest or something along those lines.  I'm not saying every second of your wedding has to be filled with party pleasers, but one or two little things like this will make people laugh, smile and get in the mood to have a good time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

To Do... Or Not To Do (by yourself)

The subject of budget weddings always brings up the important topic of DIY (do-it-yourself).  Part of the fun (and frustration) of having a lower budget wedding is that it usually involves a lot creativity and hands-on projects.  So, what should you do yourself and what should you leave to the professionals?  Well, you will get different answers from different people, which is what I'm hoping to get from this post.  I'll go ahead and share my opinion and I welcome anyone in agreement or disagreement to post your comments...

When I got married a year and a half ago, I decided to do the following things myself.  I'll tell you what went well and what I wished I had turned over to the pros.

Makeup- This really depends on your comfort level.  I really liked doing my own makeup because I was always horrified when I got my makeup done for prom/ homecoming, etc.  I looked like a completely different person!  I just got some really pretty colors and practiced a few times to make sure I knew what I wanted.  I couldn't have been happier with the way it turned out.

Favors- I made my own mix cds, which sounds like a really great idea in theory... but I could have saved myself hours of hard work and headache by ordering something equally as inexpensive like candies or seedling packets or personalized matchbooks.  I wouldn't recommend doing favors yourself unless you have lots of helping hands or a really small number of guests.

Flowers- I absolutely loved making my own bouquets and centerpieces with the help of my wedding party and family.  Keyword: HELP.  I would never have done it alone.  I ordered the flowers I liked (3 different kinds- don't get too ambitious) to be delivered to the house a few days ahead of time and kept them in coolers with water.  Then, I had a bridesmaid/ family luncheon where we enjoyed some lunch and drinks and put everything together.  It was so much fun and they turned out great!


Things I considered but I'm glad I didn't...

Invitations- I have enough trouble trying to get a Word Document formatted correctly.  I can just envision myself ripping my hair out when invitations come out of the printer with words trailing off the page

Music- I can definitely see why people would opt to put together a playlist on their ipod and plugging it into some speakers, but I would make sure you have a friend em-cee for the fun announcements that a DJ would make (like introducing the wedding party and cutting the cake)

Hair- I always worried that letting someone else do my hair would end in disaster.  They might think that something looks really pretty while my eyes start welling up with tears.  But even worse than that would be me trying to deal with the pressure of making my own hair look gorgeous with everything else going on that morning.  Go get a practice run with the stylist and make sure you get exactly what you want (and take pictures!)

Do you have any advice or comments on what you should leave to the pros??  Please share!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DIY Centerpiece from guest blogger Judy Yublosky

Tall Wedding Balloon Centerpieces For Do-It-Yourself Brides

A bride has to be very budget conscious in these trying economic times. Someone who is crafty and able to do-it-herself has an advantage. Likewise if she has close friends or family who can lend a hand.

Judy Yublosky, president of A-BnC Parties and More, Inc. says many brides come to her through her Web site. Most seek to save money through the do it yourself route. They long for simple yet elegant centerpieces they can make themselves.

A tall balloon centerpiece is an ideal answer for many. Although elegant enough for any wedding, it avoids breaking the wedding budget. A tall flexible tube in the centerpiece's center elevates the balloons. It is light and flexible and makes for easy construction and transport.



Balloons cover the base and are added to the crown. They easily match the wedding d├ęcor since they come in so many colors, as does the tulle. Real or artificial flowers may be added for additional highlight decoration. All balloons are inflated with air which allows pre-preparation.

The tube raises the crown height of the centerpiece so it does not obstruct the guests' views at the reception table. This arrangement allows conversations across the table and provides an elegant and festive party experience.

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Judy Yublosky combines over 18 years of professional experience and a life-long practical approach to her party planning efforts. Her specialties include wedding and rehearsal planning and coordinating, Bar and Bat Mitzvah party celebrations, as well as corporate and other personal celebrations and events. Judy works with do-it-yourselfers and brides on a budget.. Her company, A-BnC Parties and More, Inc. provides customers with one stop shopping and a variety of party products including invitations and decorations as well as other services. Do it yourself centerpiece kits and supplies, as well as free instructional videos, are seen at her Do It Yourself website. Free party planning guides and checklists are also available. Her blog features many ideas and information for brides and party planners on a budget.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter Wonderland


As I'm sitting here in my house, looking out the window at the 30 inches of snow, I can't help but wonder "what if I were getting married this weekend?"  Some friends of mine got married this very weekend last year and it was unseasonably warm (about 65 degrees!).  This year, unfortunately, people who planned their wedding on this weekend will most likely have to cancel. I can't even see my car right now, never mind go outside in wedding attire.  You'd have to be decked out in a complete snowsuit to get out in this!  I should also mention that I'm not in Maine or Utah or one of these places that snow like this is to be expected.  I'm in Maryland.

I thought this would be an interesting discussion.  Have any of you thought about a back up plan if you had to cancel your wedding for unforeseen circumstances?  It would be a good idea to discuss these potential bumps in the road with your vendors and write it into your contract.  Of course, they're going to have to charge something to compensate for reserving that time slot, but maybe they would be willing to work out some kind of a contingency plan with you so that you wouldn't lose all of your money.

On a weekend like this, it's possible that all wedding plans could be completely ruined and those people who traveled will not be able to turn around a few weekends later for a re-scheduled event.  You may want to consider having a considerably smaller event a week or two later at your own house.  Although this would be very upsetting to the bride who has dreamed of a certain kind of day her whole life, it is good to be prepared.  If it's any consolation, a wedding is about the 2 of you, and your closest family and friends are supposed to be there to support you.  The big reception and all the glam are fun and wonderful, but they're not the most important thing.  In a situation like this, although not ideal, you can really focus on the true spirit and meaning of a wedding.