welcome your guests at your wedding reception…

I adore it when the Father of the Bride (who may be the host of the wedding) gives a welcome at the reception. After the wedding couple is announced, the Father will take center stage and “welcome” all the guests to the evening.

few things to keep in mind:

  1. This is not a toast. No need for holding a drink.
  2. Very important to remember to talk about both families, don’t leave anyone out.
  3. Recognize your special guests. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests it’s fun to call out …. “Welcome guests from California, Boston, Texas …”
  4. Keep it short and sweet.
  5. Be the host. Act as though you were in your own dining room. What would you say if you had guests and wanted to welcome them to your home?

Be sure to add this event to your wedding timeline!

featured photo credit: jordan barclay photography

plan on!

wedding guests going broke attending destination wedding?

Today on the Good Morning America show they talked about the costs associated with destination weddings for your guests.

On average, $490 per person ($980-$1,000) is spent by guests attending a wedding out-of-state, potentially more at higher-end resort destination locations. Many guests are admitting to going into debt trying to attend these weddings. They simply can’t afford to attend your destination wedding.

Personally, I have had people complain to me about their family or friends planning weddings that require them to spend a lot of money to attend.


The couple’s reasoning: “It will be a like a vacation for you”.

The guest’s reasoning: “I’ll go on a vacation when and where I want, your wedding isn’t a good time for me to spend all this money”.


#realtalk alert

They won’t complain to you. They will complain behind your back.

tips for couples planning a destination wedding

1. Don’t be upset when guests or family cannot attend. It’s not their fault you are planning a wedding far away and they may not have the funds at this moment. If they are that important to you for them to be there, then offer to pay for them.

2. Talk to your family. If everyone is on board with attending your destination wedding, then talk to them about the timing and location. Perhaps plan well in advance so that they know the general costs and can save for it appropriately.

3. Just the two of you. Consider going to a gorgeous resort, just the two of you. Have a beautiful, intimate wedding and a fabulous honeymoon. Then come home with great photos and a video and throw a reception for all your friends and family. You get the best of both worlds.

what do you say?

Are you planning a destination wedding and having pushback from your family and friends?

Do you feel it’s fair to expect everyone to attend your destination wedding?

plan on!


wedding gifts for parents

We are asked all the time, “What should I get my parents?”

yes, get your parents a thank you gift.

Of course everyone is different. If your parents are helping you pay for your wedding, it is appropriate to do SOMETHING for them as a thank you. Gift certificate, heart-felt thank you card/letter, small token … something!

keep this in mind:

It should be personal. So even if it is a gift certificate, it needs to be thoughtful and meaningful. And let’s face it, the best gifts are the ones that are well-thought out and planned.

Here’s a few ideas (and it won’t break your bank):


You know how HARD it is to buy for a man. Check out this super cute keychain for your Dad. Click here for the vendor: Personalized Keychain FATHER of the BRIDE by ThreeMineBlessings.



Hello brownie points! Don’t forget that Mother of the Groom, ladies. You can score this precious little charm right here: Gift for Mother in Law

son to his mother


Cue the tears … Get this item right now at: Mother of the Groom Handkerchief

mother of the bride


This is the sappy stuff that is made for weddings. This cute card and necklace can be ordered here: Mother of the Bride Card/Necklace

featured phone credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!


psa :: to wedding guests

Dear Wedding Guests:

When you go to a wedding, please do not take the centerpieces AND vases from the reception, UNLESS you are told it’s okay by the bride or wedding planner. Often taking the FLOWERS is okay. But NOT the glass vases. Either way you should always have permission.

Vases, tables, chairs, and even votive candles are often rented by the bride and groom. And actually need to be returned OR paid for. So not only did you enjoy dinner, cocktails and dancing on your friend’s dime, but now you have also cost them extra money to reimburse what you just stole.

featured photo credit: joanne fowler photography

Thank you.

ps I should add that melting candle wax on the linens because you are “bored” will not be received well.

pss Feel free to enforce these everyone-should-know-better rules at a wedding you are attending.

common guest faux pas at weddings

Today on Fox 7 AM Evansville we talked about common guest faux pas that happen at weddings. As planners, we see A LOT of them, but here are the highlights…

1. Arriving late to the ceremony. If the ceremony starts at 1:30pm you should be arriving NO LATER than 1:20pm. Seriously, I see people give more attention to arriving at a movie theater early than they do at weddings. But let’s say something happens beyond your control and you are strolling in at 1:34. If you see pretty girls lined up and a bride at the front of the church, kindly step to the side and wait. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, scoot by the wedding party and enter the church. If you wanted to see the bride’s face as she walks down the aisle, you should of arrived on time.

All of the guests will be focusing on the entrance of the church as the processional has already begun, so you’ll be seen by EVERYONE. Also you ruin the video and let’s face it, you’ve drawn attention to yourself at someone’s wedding. Instead, wait to the side until the bride has walked down the aisle and is at the altar. The guests will be turned around and you can slide on in, unseen.

2. Manage your children. Everyone should know that if your child starts to cry during the ceremony, please get up with crying child and leave as to not disturb all the guests. Most parents will do this. But I’d like to add, do not forget about your children at the reception. For some reason, I see parents completely relax and let their children run everywhere. And when I say run, I mean the 100 yard dash sprint. And fingers poking into the cake is not cute, nor sanitary. So please watch your child(ren). It may even mean leaving the reception to take them home.

3. You forget the gift. This is easy. Don’t say anything. Do not apologize to the parents of the bride, do not mention anything to the bride and groom. Just send the gift immediately when you get home. There is no need to draw negative attention to yourself.

4. You’ve drank too much. The best advice is to not get to this point, but I know that sometimes it can happen, to the best of people. So if you have had too much, or the bartender has cut you off, realize that they are doing this for a reason. And if other guests or staff is taking your keys from you and calling a cab, do not argue. Know that your friends are looking out for your safety and others.

plan on!

ps Catch the TV version of this blog post with Saundra Hadley, Fox 7 Wedding Planner.