Friday, May 30, 2014

Church Guidlines

WEDDING NOTES - Church Guidelines
We find that many brides are not aware that most churches have policies in place that govern what can and cannot be done at a wedding.  While your individual church will have its own rules and regulations, in general most churches have these guidelines in place.
Typically a church will not allow permanently attached furniture to be moved.  No thumbtacks or nails can be driven into the woodwork nor can anything be used that might deface it.
Saucers or mats must be placed under all palms, greenery or floral arrangements that rest on the floor/carpeting or are not in waterproof containers.
All arrangements for music, ceremony and decorations must be submitted in advance and are subject to the approval of the officiant or the wedding coordinator for that particular church.
Floral arrangements or candles that must be taped to each pew are likely to be forbidden.  The best rule to follow is that decorations should be kept to a minimum so as not to detract from the dignity of the sanctuary.
The church may require that its organist be engaged.  It may require that no photos -especially flash photos - be taken during the ceremony.
In order to streamline procedures on the ceremony day, many may require that all fees be paid prior to or at the rehearsal.
It is expected that no trash or personal belongings be left behind in the building.
If you have not been provided with a printed set of guidelines for the place you have chosen for your ceremony, be sure to ask for clarification.  In popular months, certain weekends will likely host multiple ceremonies so churches have a right to expect cooperation from all of their wedding parties.

We are here to help you with all of the details of your wedding. Phone 605-348-8816 or email to let one of our experienced consultants review your list with you.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Brides often ask what they should include in their wedding programs and some ask why they even need them.  If your wedding is a small intimate family only affair, perhaps you don't need one.  But if your wedding is large enough that guests may not know all of the members of the wedding party, be sure to have a program available. 
The basic reason to have a program is to be sure that your guests can easily follow your ceremony and know the names of the members of the wedding party.  Using the point of view of the guests who will use the program should guide its organization.  Whether you have chosen a very elegant and formal program or a one page guide the purpose is the same. 
The first listing is the obvious - the names of the bride and groom, the date, the time and the location followed by the order of events in the service.  Next listed are the names of both sets of the parents, attendants, musicians, soloists, readers and the officiant.  The wedding party should be listed in the order they walk down the aisle.
The names of the composer of the music that is being used should be included.  If a song is to be dedicated to a deceased loved one, the program is where it is listed.
If the marriage is intercultural, it is helpful to describe the different religious or ethnic rituals that will be incorporated into the ceremony and why.
If a special prayer(s) is being included, it should be printed in the program.
Some couples include a thank you to their guests for being at the wedding and witnessing the vows.
Programs may be a simple as a bi-fold, computer generated creation or as elaborate as a ribbon-trimmed booklet filled with photos of the couple.  Whatever its format, its purpose is to make guests familiar with the participants and the order of service.
Order at least one per couple attending the ceremony.  It is usual to ask relatives or friends who are not actively participating in the ceremony to hand out programs to guests as they enter the church or ceremony venue.

Phone 605-348-8816 or email for more information.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Your Checklist and Helpful Hints

WEDDING NOTES - Your Checklist and Helpful Hints
With years of experience in helping brides create their perfect day, we have developed a list of "things to do" as you plan your wedding.   Here are some of the key areas to remember.
 Beyond the obvious of determining your date and time, we urge you to book the church or wedding site before your reception area.  Be sure to read the church policies concerning weddings to have a clear understanding of what is and is not allowed.  If you are planning an interfaith marriage, be sure that it is allowed in the church you have chosen and that the officiant will indeed perform the ceremony.
Get every detail in writing.  That includes expected delivery dates for your gown and the bridesmaids as well as written contracts that spell out all details with all vendors.
Double/triple check on details for the reception, photography, flowers and musicians if you are not employing a wedding planner.
While they are adorable, rethink your desire to use very young children in your ceremony.  If you decide to use them, be prepared for the unexpected.  They can either complement your ceremony or cause such a commotion that guests remember the child's behavior and not your lovely ceremony.
If your bridesmaids are all to be dressed alike, be sure that all of the dresses are ordered at the same time from the same bridal shop because dye lots can and do vary.
To share your happiness and good fortune, arrange to donate leftover food from your reception to a food shelf or "community cafe".  Have someone in charge of taking flowers to a nursing home or hospital if they are not being left at the church for its Sunday services.
Ask a good friend or relative and her husband to be your official reception hosts.  Parents get busy, after ceremony photos can take longer than expected and the wedding party may be delayed.  Having official hosts whose names are listed in the programs, lets you relax and know that your guests are attended to and made comfortable.
This is likely to be the biggest party you will ever give.  With some strong pre event planning it can go off without a hitch.  Phone 605-348-8816 or email for the best advice, review your plans with one of our experienced wedding planners.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Children as Guests

WEDDING NOTES - Children As Guests
We find that some brides do want to include children as guests at both their wedding ceremony and reception.  There may be large families on the guest list from both the bride's and the groom's side.  To exclude the children would not be considered.  If that is true for you, know that children can add an extra dimension to the festivities if you make plans to incorporate their interests. 
If children are welcome at your wedding and reception, be sure to let the parents know they are invited by including their names on the inner envelope of the invitation.  Some brides create a separate reception invitation to the children.
To entertain the children, plan to set up a separate reception area.  Include an arts and crafts room with crayons, markers, glitter and glue.  Be sure to provide smocks or aprons to protect their clothing and hire a sitter or two depending on the number of children expected.  The children should make special cards for the bride and groom.
Some brides arrange for a special kid friendly menu served at a separate area in the dining room.  They may eat with their parents if that is preferred or at special kids section in the reception area.  Some brides have their caterer prepare a special box lunch which contains kid's favorites
After the card project and the food, provide a TV with age appropriate videos and/or hire a clown or magician for entertainment.  Some parents may want to include their children in a portion of the wedding dance segment.  If yours is an evening wedding with a dance, you may wish to be sure that the children's area has cots or sleeping bags available for children who may be there through the evening hours.
Children can have a good time and free their parents to participate if you spend some time creating a special area and activities especially for them.

Phone 605-348-8816 or email  for more good ideas for children at the wedding.