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Planning

Invitation Count Down

wedding invitation 8 Months: Start looking for invitations. Begin compiling your guest lists and collecting addresses.

6 Months: Order invitations. Making sure spelling is correct, know to whom your response cards are being returned, have the correct return address and zip code, and have the event time. If using a calligrapher or other people to help address your invitations, order an additional 10-15% outer envelopes.

4 Months: Start addressing invitations, doing a few at a time. Hire a calligrapher if you are going to do so.

3 Months: Recheck guest list to make sure you have not forgotten anyone.

Send out all the invitations.

2 Weeks: All responses should be in. (Caterer will need a final count.)

Set and reserve the time and date for the wedding. Follow this ideal time frame to order and process your invitations prior to your wedding.

How Much Party Liquor to Buy

alcoholTABLE OF PARTY EQUIVALENTS

If you’re planning Pre-Dinner Cocktails For a Party Entertaining You’ll Average You’ll Average:

4 People 8 to 12 drinks 12 to 16 Drinks

(one fifth required) (one fifth required)

6 People 12 to 18 drinks 18 to 24 Drinks

(two fifths required) (two fifths required)

8 People 16 to 24 Drinks 24 to 32 Drinks

(two fifths required) (two fifths required)

12 People 24 to 36 Drinks 26 to 48 Drinks

(three fifths required) (three fifths required)

20 People 40 to 60 Drinks 60 to 80 Drinks

(four fifths required) (five fifths required)

25 People 50 to 70 Drinks 75 to 100 Drinks

(five fifths required) (seven fifths required)

40 People 80 to 120 Drinks 120 to 160 Drinks

(eight fifths required) (ten fifths required)

TO BE SAFE  USE QUARTS FOR FIFTHS

HELPFUL HINTS TO ENSURE ENOUGH FOR YOUR PARTY

Champagne
1 case (12 fifths) serves 50 people (82 drinks). Champagne fountain will operate with as little as 3 bottles of champagne and as much as 5 gallons.

Liquor
Plan on approximately two drinks per hour, per person. There are 21 to 28 drinks per quart of liquor. Taste preferences today are: Vodka, Scotch, Gin, Bourbon.

Punch
One gallon of punch serves approximately 24 persons (32 – 3 oz. drinks with ice).

Cocktail Napkins
Plan approximately two to three napkins per person for a three hour party.

Coffee
One pound of coffee serves 60 to 80 cups.

Flowers & Formalities

birdal bouquetFlowers & Formalities

Give your florist as much information as possible: bring swatches of fabric from the wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses; photographs of the dress; details about mothers and grooms attire.

Get all the floral descriptions in writing and sign a contract together.

Often the groom wears a flower found in the brides bouquet. You could literally pluck this blossom from your bouquet at the altar. Ask your florist to wire the flower for easy removal. After handing your bouquet to your honor attendant, you could then pin the flower to his lapel.

Have a Throw-away bouquet made for the flower toss, so you can have yours for a keepsake.

Ask your florist about flower preservation. Area artists can dry, mat and frame wedding bouquets, or create a unique keepsake for you.

Final Phase Calendar Checklist

calendarFinal Phase Calendar Checklist

One Month

Confirm all arrangements and contracts.

Pick up wedding rings.

Arrange for transportation to ceremony and from ceremony to reception.

Attend final fittings.

Have your hair and makeup done as you would like to have it on your wedding. Schedule any tanning, manicures, etc.

Purchase guest book and keepsake album.

Contact your insurance agent about naming your fiance as beneficiary on your life insurance, will, and auto policies, about buying homeowners and floater insurances to protect wedding gifts.

Open joint checking and savings accounts. Decide on a budget and savings program. Discuss them with your financial representatives.

Write thank-you notes as gifts are received.

2 Weeks

Get marriage license.

Give caterer final guest count. Don’t forget the  wedding party, photographer and DJ!

Arrange to have your gown pressed and delivered.

Arrange to change your name on drivers license, social security card, credit cards, bank accounts,  insurances, etc.

Make arrangements for moving into your new home.

1 Week

Pack for honeymoon.

Give bridesmaids luncheon/party, give attendant gifts.

Confirm directions, housing, and timetables with attendants.

Brief head usher of any special seating arrangements.

Arrange for rental returns.

Prepare wedding day fees.

One Day Before

Pack the Going-to-church bag, and an emergency bag.

Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

Find a quiet moment to give your fiance his/her wedding gift.

The Wedding Day

Have a nice relaxed breakfast. You’ll need it!

Have hair and make-up done.

Relax and let the planning take care of itself. Most of all, enjoy!

Don’t Forget Items

wedding receptionDon’t Forget Items

For your table counts include guest tables, cake, presents, appetizers, buffet and the bar needs.

You may want to order extra linens to double drape some tables.

A box for your cake top and also for leftover cake.

For outside weddings bring:

Some extra water

A first aid kit for nicks and scratches

Garbage cans and bags

Lanterns/torches/flashlights

Bug spray

Candles

You may also want to do up some decorations to place by the tent spikes to help avoid accidental trips.

Decorations

wedding decorationsDecorations

The mood of a reception, party, or gathering is determined by the theme of decorations. The initial reaction to the array of decorations sets the mood. Professional decorators and supply houses should be willing to listen to what you have in mind, give suggestions, and even demonstrate your theme for you.

Balloons can be used to decorate the dance floor, create arches over the head table and doorways, and can be formed into canopies, ceiling sculptures and clusters. Balloon and/or flower bouquets make wonderful centerpieces and are a fun way to complete a color scheme.

Disposable cameras placed throughout the reception hall will provide guests with loads of fun and you with a more complete collection of candid guest shots and reception follies.

Have your bouquet and bridesmaids flowers placed on the cake table or throughout the reception area for an extra decorating touch.

Important Bride Guide Notes

bride and groomImportant Bride Guide Notes

When you are hiring professionals for the wedding:

Get written receipts of all of your transactions. This will be proof of your order and down-payment, if any.

Carefully read all contracts before you sign them. Make sure you understand all the fees mentioned.

Keep all receipts, confirmation letters, etc., together in the same place so that nothing will be lost or misplaced.

Make a master list of phone numbers of the people and businesses involved in your wedding.

Whats Up with Registry

What should you register for? Start with things youwedding gifts‘ll need for everyday, special occasions, and holidays. Start in one room of the house such as the kitchen or dining room, and move on to other rooms in your home (bathroom, bedroom, living room, guest room, garage, garden, etc.). Register in a variety of price ranges from the college budget to larger group gifts to accommodate all your guests. Discussing the decorating plans and color themes in advance will make the registry process much easier and more enjoyable.

Registry is not just for the bride to decide. National registries report that about 70% of the registry is done by the couple together. Many brides are surprised at the attention to detail and craftsmanship that their grooms will contribute to the selection process. Grooms will also find sections on the registry forms for the tools and toys they’d like to receive for the new household.

When you are ready to register, be sure to schedule an appointment with the registry department. The advice and guidance of a professional can eliminate a lot of guesswork, save you time, and prevent you from having to retrace steps later to retrieve forgotten information or serial numbers.

How do you let people know where you are registered, and that by registering, you have indicated your preference of gifts? Discreetly! Do NOT list your registry on an invitation. Let family and friends spread the word for you. As gifts start arriving, it is a good idea to update the store registry on gifts received, to help prevent duplication.

Registry can be utilized for the wedding and shower alike, not only for the bride but also for the groom. Why should the bride have all the fun of a shower? A tool party for the groom can be part of a crafty best mans planning for the bachelor party.

With the growing numbers of second marriages, older brides and grooms, and brides and grooms living on their own with established households before marrying, registering at specialty shops such as hardware, music, gardening stores or art galleries is becoming more common practice. With the craftsmanship and artistry available in Northern Michigan, bridal couples should take advantage of the art that abounds.

If a favorite store or gallery doesnt offer a registry, you might ask family and friends to also suggest a gift certificate at a certain retailer when providing registry information.

Wedding Planning Calendar

calendar9-18 Months

Choose the kind of wedding you will have, date and time.

Discuss the budget, and who will pay for what.

Consider hiring a wedding coordinator.

Make arrangements with the officiant.

Reserve the wedding and reception locations.

Select your wedding dress, veil and accessories.

Choose the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, and honored roles.

Have formal black/white photo sitting for announcements.

Send announcements of your engagement to your fiancs and your local and hometown newspapers.

Meet with the florist, photographer, caterer, videographer, and D.J. or entertainment to discuss budgets and options.

Discuss the guest list with fianc and families.

Contact rental coordinator for equipment reservations.

Discuss honeymoon and reservations. (Traditionally the groom makes all the honeymoon arrangements.)

Arrange for time off work if necessary.

Buy a wedding planner and envelopes to store brochures and notes. Develop record-keeping system for invitations, gifts, and thank-you notes.

Order dress and accessories.

Order bridesmaids dresses, shoes and accessories.

6-9 Months

Plan reception music.

Plan new living arrangements and home furnishings.

Select and register wedding gifts and patterns.

Select color scheme.

Contact mens formalwear specialist for mens attire.

Have parents select attire.

Order invitations, announcements, programs, napkins, matchbooks, and personal stationery.

Arrange for physical examinations, dental appointments.

Order unity candles (fancy ones can take six months).

3-6 Months

Choose and order wedding bands and engraving.

Order wedding and grooms cakes.

Check state/county marriage license requirements.

Plan ceremony, reception, menus, master of ceremonies, music, and timetables.

Plan rehearsal dinner, and bridesmaids luncheon.

Complete guest list, address and mail invitations.

Make arrangements for lodging information for out-of-town guests.

Purchase gifts for attendants and groom.

Plan reception seating if necessary.

Pre hairstyle

Wedding Flowers for All Seasons

Close up of bride and bridesmaids bouquets

Spring

Tulips – The favorite flower of spring. Available in parrot and traditional shapes in a variety of colors and bi-colors.

Lily of the Valley – Fragrant, tiny white bell shape flowers on a slender, short stem.

Hyacinth – Very fragrant, tubular bell shaped blooms clustered on a robust stem.

Narcissus – Daffodils, in yellow, orange, white and bi-colors, some fragrant & some not. A true sign of spring.

Lilacs – Fragrant, lavender and purple tiny star shape blooms, clustered on a woody stem creating a cone shape bloom.

Summer

Hydrangea – A popular garden shrub bloom. Large ball shape blooms in blues, pinks, green & jewel fall tones.

Dahlias – Dramatic, round pom pom bloom, a variety of vibrant colors.

Fall

Sunset Leucadendron – Rust/burgundy colored leaves that create a protea shaped bloom.

Pepper Berries – Grape like cluster of mauve pink berries, with delicate weeping foliage.

Safflower – Thistle like orange blooms with multiple blooms per stem.

Chrysanthemums – Available in large showy blooms & sprays of small blooms. Winter

Star of Bethlehem – White star like blooms on a sturdy allium type stem.

Ranaunculus – Small, delicate, papery flowers.

Freesia – Fragrant, popular bell shaped blooms on a arched stem.

Stephanotis – Waxy, white, gardenia scented, small star shaped blooms. Often used in Bridal bouquets.

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