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Wedding Guide

Photography and Video considerations

Ready, Camera, Action

When evaluating sample videos, ask yourself these questions:

Is the picture clear? Images should not appear grainy or out of focus.

How does the tape sound? The vows should be as easy to hear as if you were standing beside the couple.

Is the camera steady? Pans and zooms should be smooth.

Are the colors correct and vibrant? The pictures should not look muddy.

Make sure the videographer is able to preview the ceremony site to plot where to place cameras and microphones to capture pictures and sound without obstruction, whether at the rehearsal or before the ceremony itself.

Musical Notebook

Arrange for music to be played

1. While the guests are being seated before the ceremony.

2. During the processional.

3. At the brides entrance.

4. During the ceremony, additional music or a vocal solo at this time are optional.

5. When the bride and groom walk back down the aisle.

6. As the guests leave the ceremony.

7. As background during the receiving period.

8. As background during dinner.

9. For the bride and grooms first dance.

10. For the brides dance with her father.

11. For bridal party.

12. For general dancing.

13. Bouquet toss.

14. Garter toss.

Marriage License Requirements

wedding ringsGenerally, both applicants must apply in person together, but there may be exceptions to this requirement.

You can obtain a license at the County where at least one applicants resides. The license can then be used in any of Michigans 83 counties. NOTE: Out-of-state applicants must apply in the county they will be married.

Both applicants must be at 18 years old. Applicants 16-17 years old must have parental consent, a certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, and a valid drivers license.

The following original I.D. is required: A birth certificate, drivers license, or state ID for both applicants.

If either applicant has been married before, you may be required to bring Proof of Dissolution.

While no medical exam is required, the county clerk will provide health information when the license is applied for.

There is generally a 3-day waiting period but check with your specific county.

Once the unsigned license is issued it is valid for 33 days from and including the date of application.

The cost of a license is $20.00 for in-state residents and $30.00 for out-of-state residents, payable at time of application.

SPECIAL NOTE: The parent or guardian must be present to sign the consent form for those between 16 & 18 years of age.

Each countys requirements may vary slightly. Please call the County Clerks office in the county you live in and will be married in to verify exact requirements.

For more county information visit www.marriagelicenses.com

Love Songs


After All
Always & Forever
As Time Goes By
Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
Chances Are
I Finally Found Someone
Forever and Ever, Amen
Have I Told You Lately
Here and Now
Ice Cream
Ill Be There For You
I Could Fall in Love
In Your Eyes
I Swear
It Had To Be You
Ill Always Love You
Just The Way You Are
Lets Stay Together
Now and Forever
Only You
Our Love is Here to Stay
True Companion
Truly, Madly, Deeply
To Make You Feel My Love
When I Fall In Love
Youre All I Need To Get By
Youre The Inspiration
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
You Give Good Love
You Send Me

Live Music for Your Reception

wedding musicSelecting the right band for your wedding reception is crucial to the success of the event. Music is the glue that holds everything together and sets the mood for your reception. Selection of the right band can be a challenge. The quality of bands varies just as the quality of bakers, florists and photographers do. The following should provide you with some tools to help you select your band:

Is the band made up of dedicated, experienced professionals? Will they tailor their performance to fit the musical tastes of your family and guests?

How is their reputation, and will they supply references?

What is the bands uniform (formal, semi-formal or casual)?

Is their equipment Hi-Tech or State-of-the-Art?

Be leery of tapes and videos you may be presented. Audio and visual materials date quickly and are one dimensional. They can be altered to enhance the sound. Ask if the members in the tape are still the samePersonnel changes could make for a completely different band than what you thought you were hiring.

Music fees are determined by the size of the band (number of musicians), length of engagement, experience, and the amount of original music you request to be prepared for you.

Get it in writing!!! Reputable professionals will require a written agreement specifying all terms and fees (for the artists and your protection), and a retainer to reserve your date.

–Larry Wojcik

Just So You Know


Should you decide to cancel your event, do not expect your deposits back. Michigan law states that a retainer given to secure a time, service, or product is not refundable. The only reason a retainer would be returned is if the vendor providing the service/product is unable to deliver as promised and those terms of refund may be defined in the contract and limited to certain circumstances. Retainers are used to purchase products or cover labor and time involved in preparing for an event, regardless of whether or not the event takes place, and cannot be returned later.

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


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)



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.

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.

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.

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!

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