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 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!


switching sides at the wedding ceremony

So here is something crazy to consider, because you KNOW we like to shake things up.

You know at the ceremony (if facing the altar), the Christian and non-religious tradition is to have the Bride’s family and friends on the left side and the Groom’s respective family and friends on the right side.

At one of our weddings at the beautiful West Baden hotel, something happen seconds before the families walked down the aisle. There was some confusion and gathering of a large processional. So when the mother of the bride and father of the groom were escorted, they accidently went to the “wrong sides”. The bride’s mother was sitting on the right side (front row) and the groom’s father was sitting on the left side (front row). However, like tradition, the bride stood at the “altar” on the left and the groom stood on the right.


Standing in the back, immediately I saw this and thought, DOH! I still had a ring dog and three wiggly flower girls and ring bearer to contain.

Oh well, that is how weddings go. No such thing as perfection … just roll with it.

But wait, as the ceremony began I realized, this mishap is kinda brilliant. You see, the bride’s mom can now watch her baby’s face during the ceremony instead of seeing the back of her head. The same for the groom’s dad.

west baden wedding parents

featured and images: amy shepherd photography 

There are many speculations as to how this tradition started with having the bride on the left and groom on the right. My feeling it really comes from the right side traditionally being reserved for men as it is considered a position of privilege and power, (think Jesus is “seated” at the right side of God”. ) Perhaps that is why in Jewish ceremonies it is opposite.

I suggest, for keeping the tradition, but for the families, switching it up. Who cares where the parent’s sit? For us, the most important part is being part of the ceremony, the emotion and enjoying it. And as a mother, I would rather watch my son’s face while he takes his vows (15 years from now) than watch his new wife. Call me crazy.

What do you think? Love for you to weigh in … if you’re getting married, will you consider this shake up of this tradition?

plan on!


how to wear your mother’s wedding dress

It’s the dreaded question that you don’t want to hear from your mother before your wedding. Especially when you are the only girl in the family. “Will you wear my wedding dress”? asks your mom.


You know you want to make her happy and certainly don’t want to hurt her feelings, but come ‘on….every girl wants to pick out their own dress!

My bride this weekend, came up with a solution. It is a freakin’ brilliant idea and I don’t know why I (after 5 years of planning weddings) haven’t thought of it sooner.

wear your mother’s dress to your REHEARSAL!

Jessica Mills’ mother, Vicki, wanted to see her wedding dress on her daughter and watch “it” walk down the aisle at least one time! So Jessica wore it to the rehearsal (of course she changed later before the rehearsal dinner). It was so much fun to see an old fashioned (sorry Vicki) dress on a beautiful young lady. And Jessica’s wedding party  thought it was so much fun!

Jessica in her Mom's wedding dress

Jessica in her Mom’s wedding dress

Jessica is sweet and sassy in Vicki's dress!

Jessica is sweet and sassy in Vicki’s dress!

And here is another crazy idea….

take a formal photo shoot..

Call your photographer for a formal wedding shoot. Or when you are taking your engagement photos, slip on your Mom’s wedding dress and have a few professional shots taken. Give it to your Mom as a wedding present.

I love fun ideas that can make everyone happy.

plan on!

no, thank YOU!

Got the sweetest thank you card today from the MOB.

Man I love it when we hit a home run. And it was so easy to do so with this family, great attitudes and fun loving. They were one of our risk takers we talked about earlier! I’m waiting for the professional pictures from Walker Studio!! Which by the way, gave us this referral, so thank you very much!


Housekeeping issue: we are tweaking the blog right now and for the next few weeks. Expect to find some weirdness. Just let us know if you can’t access something and thank you for your patience!

happy dance!