Top 10 Worst Wedding Toasts

This started as a tips for creating the best wedding toast tips, but I thought it would be much more fun to give you some examples of things that you simply should not say that I came up with. The main tip I can give you is that this is not your wedding and even if you don’t like the bride or groom, it’s not about you.  Here are some things that you should not say;

Worst Toast Clip #10
“Frank is lucky to have found someone that likes him for his personality and not his looks.”

Worst Toast Clip #9
“Yeah, I just don’t see this. But hey!  That’s why you’re there at that table and I’m over here.”

Worst Toast Clip #8
“I know to say this is bad, but I just have to go on record to say that this is the worst mistake ever.”

Worst Toast Clip #7
“I still don’t understand why she’s wearing white, but that’s none of my business, I guess.”

Worst Toast Clip #6
“The good thing is that you’re starting out on the lower end of the ‘for better or worse‘ thing, so it’s only up from here.”

Worst Toast Clip #5
“I am so glad to see you together. I could have sworn he was gay. So either I was really wrong or you’re in for one heck of a ride.”

Worst Toast Clip #4
“This is good. Cutting it close though. What are you, like 5 months pregnant now?”

Worst Toast Clip #3
“They say that three times the charm, right?”

Worst Toast Clip #2
“Most of you don’t know that Tess is a dancer which is how these two met.  At least now she won’t have to pay bills with a wad of singles anymore.”

Worst Toast Clip #1
“Even though she was with me first, you obviously saw something in her that I didn’t.”

I’m sure that you have some great wedding toasts to share also.  If you already have something written down for a toast and there’s anything even remotely close to these, start over.

Tips For a Perfect Beach Wedding

Beach WeddingAfter watching 3 separate beach weddings occur in one day, I had a lot to comment about in regards to certain aspects such as using Ipods, guest considerations, weather, etc.  It dawned on me as I watched 2 of the 3 beach weddings make the exact same mistakes, that there are many things that brides simply don’t think about.  I won’t go into detail about the basic wedding elements such as food to serve, seating arrangements and items like that, but these are things that you may not have considered for beach weddings in particular.

Bride Tide
One of the tricks to holding a beach wedding is timing it properly with the tides.  It will make the difference as to whether you’ll hold the wedding on tight packed wet sand or the soft white sand of the dunes.  Consider the tide tables and make note of when the tide is normally in or out for the particular beach where you’ll be holding your wedding.  While there is normally a lot of variance from day to day, there is some consistency that you can base your service around.

Weather the Weather
It’s best to avoid hurricane seasons which can cause all types of unpredictability with not only the weather, but also the aforementioned tides.  But because you’re close to the ocean, you should always have an alternate plan if it gets rained out.  It’s a worse case scenario, but you need to know that if it can go wrong, it probably will.  It may also be smart to spend time in the area beforehand to see if the area is prone to sand flies or if the section of beach you’re using is windy.  Gusts of sand blowing in the eyes of your guests and the wedding party can quickly ruin the day.

Audio
As I mentioned in my Ipod wedding post, the ocean is the only place on earth that is both loud and relaxing at the same time. It’s a strange anomaly and it’s the relaxing part that has people forgetting about the loud ocean part altogether. The crashing waves can make it almost impossible to hear much being said.  Make sure that your music is being pushed through a PA system and most importantly, that your pastor/priest/minister is also miked through that PA as well.  Even the most booming natural voice won’t be able to be heard over Mother Nature.  I watched two weddings where the minister wasn’t miked. The first had to yell over the ocean and it made it very unromantic when it got to the “I Do” portions of the wedding.  The second was a woman pastor who simply could not be heard at all.  Microphone everyone that will be talking.

Footwear
Consider what footwear your wedding party is going to be wearing and have them dress accordingly.  I was surprised how many women came to a beach wedding in high heels.   Make sure that your wedding party has the right type of footwear for a beach wedding and that your guests also know to plan accordingly with either flip flops or sandals.

Parents/Grandparents
Take into consideration that your parents and grandparents will have to walk the beach to their seating.  If you have any relatives that require the use of canes, walkers or that have any physical disabilities that make trudging through sand difficult, you should account for extra time getting them seated or possibly even seating them beforehand.

Distract The Kids
The second children hit the beach, you can expect them to be distracted easily.  Make it easier on yourself and simply accommodate that distraction by providing kids in attendance with beach themed wedding favors or even providing them with a small shovel or bucket. Maybe even set aside an area off to the side where they can play quietly making sand castles instead of having their parents managing their fidgeting instead of enjoying your big day.

Uninvited Guests
If you haven’t acquired a private beach, you should expect onlookers and in some cases additional noises.  Public access beaches will have your wedding surrounded by half naked adults and screaming kids complete with frisbees, dogs, and surfers.  This is something to consider for potential interruptions.  Most people are polite and will keep the distractions to a minimum when they see the wedding taking place, but on public beaches, you’re sharing the area with people who weren’t invited and you should anticipate the possibility of distractions.

Arranging to have your wedding on a private beach is easier than you think. In North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, you can contact major players for beach rental properties such as Emerald Isle Realty that can get you a section of the beach to call your own for the weekend to avoid all of the possible extra hub bub.  They can also give you access to lodging such as huge beautiful beach houses that can comfortably accommodate 6-8 couples in one beach home for under $2500 for an entire week. Imagine the convenience of having lodging, a private beach for your wedding and also a place to hold your reception afterward and all without the need to travel from one location to the other.

Power to the People
As I mentioned with the audio issue above, you should have a PA for the music to play through including the pastor, any ceremony musicians and ceremony music as well.  So it’s pretty important that you should consider that most beaches do not have electrical outlets. Be prepared to supply power to the DJ for the PA or any other items that may require some juice.  You may have to be inventive with super long electrical cords running from nearby homes.  And if there simply is none, think of something else because doing a beach wedding without a PA will be disastrous.

Seating
Check the sturdiness of any seating you supply. There’s nothing worse than your grandmother taking a fall when the chair legs sink into the sand behind her.  Benches are typically a good idea because of their broader feet which are less susceptible to sinking into the sand once someone sits in them.  It’s also best to preset each chair into the sand to make sure that any further sinking is minimal.

Beach Aisle RunnersAisle Be Back
The aisle where the bride will be walking towards the altar is going to be messy. If you can arrange for there to be a walkway, that would preferably be ideal, but most likely improbable.  Cloth aisle runners will sink into the sand once they get stepped on by your guests and then your wedding party. Thinking outside of the box to keep the aisle still “picture worthy” will be tricky. Some ideas may include having the flowergirl use an excessive amount of flowers to cover the center aisle with a lot of flowers to partially cover up the trampled sand. It looks much nicer than an crumpled up, stepped on, sandy aisle runner that makes it almost impossible for a nice center aisle shot.

Wedding Favors
Beach themed wedding favors are a great touch for a beach wedding obviously, but do it yourself (DIY) wedding favors such as hand painted seashells or sand dollars are a nice touch and can save you tons of money.  The aforementioned North Carolina Crystal Coast, and especially in the Emerald Isle area of the Crystal Coast, there are nice sized seashells virtually everywhere.  Grab a few dozen and hand paint names, dates, personal notes and glitter them up for a fantastic and frugal wedding favor idea.

So those are some things that I saw many beach weddings do wrong and that you should add to your consideration pile when you’re planning a beach wedding.  If you have any more great tips, be sure to add them below in the comment area. I’d love to hear them!

2 Bride Magazines Shut Their Doors

elegant-brideCondé Nast, a major magazine publisher has decided to permanently shut the doors of four of their magazines including Gourmet magazine, parenting magazine Cookie, and 2 bridal magazines Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. The unfortunate demise of printed media has sunk its talons into newspapers around the country and now taking many magazines into the abyss with them.

In an almost bizarre coincidence, wedding website Get Married launches their premiere issue of their wedding magazine Get Married.  With what some may see as a bold move to enter into a crumbling industry, Get Married took many tremendous strides to insure that the magazine vaulted onto the scene with sure footing.

get-married-microsoft-tag

They set up a solid foundation starting with naming Stephanie Davis Executive Editor of the new publication who has written for GQ, Self, Brides and the now foiled Gourmet magazine which had been on news stands since 1941.

Then to solidify the positioning, Get Married entered into the technology arena by being the first bridal publication to incorporate Microsoft tags into its magazine so that readers can take a photo of the tag and watch more in depth content on products and other items of interest right on their camera phones.

wedding-magazineRegardless of how you view Get Married’s risky venture into the territory, the overall plan was very well executed and very timely in order to pick up the scattered brides left by Condé Nast’s unfortunate decision to shut its doors on 4 of its more prestigious titles.

Brides are even being offered a free issue of the new wedding magazine at http://www.getmarried.com/magazine to take it out for a trial run.

Top 10 Wedding Trends of 2010

Engaged over Valentine’s Day and getting ready to set your date and start the wedding planning? As you begin to plan you 2010 nuptials keep in mind these top trends you’ll see next spring. Buttercream, organic green, backyard weddings – all great ideas to help get you down the aisle.

1. Back to Basics
Events will focus on the attention to the details, the foundation of the event, not the drama or grandeur of the evening. Consider spending more on the lasting memories than the showmanship of the event. Spend a bit more than the average budget allotment on photography mediums rather than abundant floral. Or consider a bit of a longer stay on your honeymoon and a little less of a party at the reception and you’ll be grateful for your decision in the end.

2. Home Weddings Hit Home
Intimate and personal affairs in the backyard are bigger than ever. Going home incorporates the continued trend of personalizing the wedding day experience. Smaller size guest lists, more intimate settings, grass roots weddings, elegant and detail driven, but in no way small on what counts.

3. Buttercream on the Big Day
Fondant is falling behind, buttercream corners the market. Tools and techniques now allow for buttercream to look as smooth as fondant when applied by a skilled artist. You have the option of better flavor, more natural ingredients, and less costly cakes that no longer suffer or lack in design.

wedding-favor-flower-bookmark4. Favor Comeback
Personalized appreciation is back. The effect that an event has on the guests is more noticeable than ever before so the importance of wedding favors is felt more than ever. Be sure to appreciate to those in attendance – it’s not just an afterthought, omission, or generic item. Think local artisans, locally grown products, personal mementos, and on-the-spot print outs.

5. Nearby Destinations
Nearby destination weddings are taking flight over the exotic and far off locales. The ever popular destination wedding will remain but guests will get out of town by car (within driving distance) so couples can create a weekend, guests get an escape, but no one breaks the bank. Enjoying the US destination locations, spend within your own local economies, create a greener effect, experience undiscovered backyards, and stay sensible about cost while you’re at away.

6. Colors
Monochromatic palettes – this doesn’t mean muted colors, just single color bunches. Vibrant Colors: Orange, green, yellow, and pink. Metal Colors: Gold, silver, copper, and pewter. And black is definitely the new black. Break the rules and show off the darker side of your event.

7. Greener Conscience
Emerging will be the newest phase of eco-conscience: A better understanding of the gray shades of green. You will see more emphasis on the smaller changes that are less recognizable to the guest (i.e. cleaning green, composting, solar and LED lighting, no more oasis in floral arrangements, less catering waste). It’s no longer about making the event appear “organic” – it’s about understanding how things are made, disposed of, and where/when events take place. Learning to make better choices that are unseen by the guest are just as important as those tree-free invitations everyone is talking about.

wedding-videos8. Video Integration into Events
We’ve all seen the photo montages of your childhoods during dinner but the next phase in video at your event comes in several different forms. Video DJ’s are emerging, allowing your dance party to dance to the visuals of the music videos; ceremonies are being broadcast on screens for better viewing from the back; and time lapse photography is being shot and integrated into video for current day montages of you and your fiancé. Love to party? Set up crane camera and project the event as it unfolds on screens around the dance floor (budget permitting of course).

9. HD Video
Videographers have already gone hi-def. But next year all or most will make such a transition, making HD and even Blu Ray the norm in wedding videography. Upgrade now and appreciate the quality later. This also means smaller cameras on site and less intrusion into your event, all around a better (though more costly) option on the big day.

10. Visual Combinations
Professional grade still photo cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II DSLR are being released with HD video capabilities included. It is recommended to have both a videographer and a photographer at your wedding to capture every moment of the big day. Tech-savvy brides looking for a new experience, may like to experiment with a visual professional (videographer or photographer) who has this technology. In the future, you will begin to see an emergence of two-in-one companies.

The Knot’s Big Problems

bride-noose

Photo by Graham Minchkin and obtained via Flickr

I’m pretty sure that we’re all familiar with TheKnot.com and its many branches of government. However, it appears that The Knot has been on a downward spiral with brides and now wedding vendors.  Their release of “The Knot’s Best of Wedding Guide 2009” had some major issues and it became glaringly obvious that it wasn’t based on feedback, but greenbacks.  The Knot’s Editors Pick of DJ companies was a company that had 50 complaints on Ripoff.com, multiple complaints filed against them from the Better Business Bureau who also graded them with an F, and additionally had a few negative news stories on them on television including Inside Edition.  Great advice, Knottie.  Just wow.

Then to make matters worse, posts ordained by The Knot informed people to not choose local bakers over the venue’s in-house bakers to avoid cake cutting costs.  Really?  This along with other suggestions that kick the local vendors to the curb entirely. Not to mention their wealth of bad advice that people seem to be getting downright agitated about.

Truth be told, it appears as The Knot has become a victim of themselves and appear to have lost focus.  Either that or they don’t have time to properly manage their resources which has been consistently sending out bad advice pretty much all of 2009.  And with the presence of competitors on the horizon like Get Married at GetMarried.com that just announced a wedding magazine to further compliment their online presence and their already popular daily television show on Lifetime, The Knot may be a little too comfortable with their lead.

stockxpertcom_id26013461_jpg_1422eacbdf7fb8203dc02c53b1e553b8Brides are a fickle bunch and once you give them bad information, you’re hard pressed to get a second chance with the amount of resources available to them online.  I’ll be very curious to see how GetMarried’s offerings align with The Knot’s efforts once the Get Married magazine launches in September and especially since there are major changes that are sure to come with it.  Maybe The Knot should start looking for a good moat digger.

6 Tips To Stretch Your Wedding Budget

wedding-budgetPlanning a wedding is extremely stressful, but add monetary constraints caused by economic woes can make it even more stressful.  Try these 6 budget tips to cut some corners.

Select a special and cost-saving locale
Most churches and chapels decorate for the holidays, spring and winter especially. Take advantage of these beautiful decorations in a house of worship (that’s appropriate for you of course), and schedule your wedding close to a religious holiday and omit floral costs for the ceremony space.

Set the date in the off season
Consider tying the knot when your friends won’t be bored by yet another wedding.  The smaller demand for events in late fall and winter allow for more options, availability, and often better venue and vendor pricing.  Still want a summer wedding?  Then consider a Friday or Sunday instead.

Narrow down your guest list

With each additional guest you invite, the total cost of your wedding increases. Not just because of the additional food costs, but adding guests means more centerpieces, invitations themselves, rentals, cake, and all the other trimmings.  So while you may think that the guest list should include everyone and at work and so on, consider scaling down and hosting a more intimate affair. Try to keep it to those who are closest to you and your fiance only. If the parents are paying and have other ideas, then perhaps say no to children.  You won’t have to plan for a special table, offer them party favors or include kid-friendly food.  Try Get Married’s Guest List Manager also to help with this task.

Cut invitation corners
Today many couples are reaping the benefits of wedding websites (and doing the environment a favor too). While sending out an email invitation isn’t exactly appropriate, including additional information via the web can cut down the cost of your paper invitations.  When it comes to printing your invitations, the most expensive printing is letterpress or engraving, so if you can live without, consider the more affordable options of offset printing or thermography.

Selecting your gown
In this department a little extra effort can go a long way. Take the time to shop sample sales and shop around. Remember dresses can be altered to fit (but keep in mind the alteration costs). And if nearly new is okay by you, consider shops and websites that offer new and/or nearly new couture at a fraction of the price.
Note: When shopping for fashion online, be careful to read the fine print and find shops like Encore Bridal that allow for returns and guarantee the gowns you get.

Select your menu wisely
Don’t spring for the lobster and don’t overdo it on the hors d’oeuvres.  Cutting just one or two items from the cocktail hour can save you cash and your guests will never notice anything missing.  Work with your caterer and allow them to guide you to dishes that are seasonal and often less expensive but still flavorful. And beware of buffets; they tend to be more expensive than a seated meal because the caterer has to prepare enough food for each guest to try everything in abundance.

For more tips to keeping your costs down and your dollar on budget, check out the Budget Manager Tool on GetMarried.com.

Calling All Wedding Fairies!

Jo Gartin, the Los Angeles-based celebrity wedding designer who’s known for her anything-but-over-the-top, simply charming weddings, has this advice for brides coping with not-so-cooperative flower girls–“fairy dust”. Actually a small bottle of glitter, Jo’s found that the power of suggestion, and a liberal dusting of the sparkly stuff, is all it takes to turn cranky little girls into small angels.

“The fairy dust is a crowd pleaser and, if you sprinkle a little bit of ‘dust’ on them, they tend to be a little bit more compliant so I always carry that in my bride emergency kit.” It’s those small but fabulous touches that have made Jo a much sought after wedding designer in a city known more for weddings with big budgets rather than beautiful moments. So what’s her favorite way to make a little flower girl look her best as well as behave her best? “I love butterflies. Things like that make me smile. I’ve put them in flower girls’ hair and glued them to their ballet slippers.” We think that’s an idea that would bring smiles to everyone.

For more of Jo’s great wedding tips and inspirations, check out her book Jo Gartins’ Weddings, published by Rodale Inc., available at amazon.com.

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