Why Do I Have To Have A Cocktail Hour? |Triad Wedding Planner

COCKTAIL HOUR 2The ceremony is now over. You, your new hubby, the wedding party and family have been whisked away to a secret location to take your formal photographs. What will your guest do for that hour? This is why you need a cocktail hour. Your guest can mingle and have some light hor doerves and drinks. Be sure to have light finger foods. Something that the guest can easily pick up and carry even while holding a drink. If you choose to have wedding entertainment, this would be a great time for them to perform.

Photo from The Knot

Photo from The Knot

Be sure to have enough refreshments, you don’t want to  run out. Also, you don’t want to serve anything too heavy right before dinner, but you don’t want your guest hungry waiting for the reception to start. Overall, this is a time for your guest to relax.

Happy Planning!!

How to Make Your Ceremony Memorable|Katrina McCullum Wedding Planner


Good Morning, We are very excited to be included in Natalie Bradley’s Blog Hop. Today’s topic is How To Make Your Ceremony Memorable. 

Ceremony with diy decor

Photo Credit from Cloud 9 Studios

Most of your planning time is spent on details of your reception, after all the reception is the biggest (as far as time) part of your wedding day. However, your ceremony is the most important, it is the whole reason for the grand celebration. Don’t feel you should rush through it. Even though it is the shortest part of the day, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be memorable. Here are some tips to make your ceremony memorable, meaningful and spectacular.

1. Find the right person to officiate your wedding. Depending on your religious preferences do some shopping around. If you already have a Pastor, Priest, Rabbi etc. speak with them in advance to find out the requirements for them to perform the wedding. They can help you choose from many types of ceremonies such as unity candle, rose ceremony, salt ceremony and plenty of others.  You may want to find an officiant, speak with them in detail to see if they are the right fit for your wedding. You may want to ask a family member or a friend to get ordained over the internet to marry you. Be sure to pick someone responsible and have a back up plan. Check the laws of your state to make sure the wedding will still be legal if you are going this route.



2. Write your own vows. Oh yes, this is important. The standard vows are fine but speaking from the heart adds so much more… love.

3. Don’t skimp on the decor for your ceremony. Once again all the focus is usually on the reception and many may just go with “what they have”. If it is a gorgeous site okay but don’t just leave it plain. Add a canopy, hoopa, candles. Buy a wedding runner with a monogram or have a monogram or design in flower petals. Consider other ways to set up the chairs.

Photo courtesy of Nicole

Photo courtesy of Erin Nicole Photography

4. Keep your guest in mind. You want to make sure your guest are comfortable. If you are having an outdoor ceremony check the weather and always have a back up plan. Consider heaters if it will be too cold or fans if it will be too hot. Serve a refreshment when guest arrive. Try not to have your guest waiting too long before the ceremony starts.

Click for Photo Credit

Click for Photo Credit

5. The style of your wedding will determine the type of music you play. If it is not too formal choose songs that are truly meaningful to you are your groom. I am sure you have seen all the wonderful videos of ceremony entrances, if that is your style have fun.

Ceremony music at Club Continental in Orange Park Fl

Photo courtesy of Erin Nicole Photography.

There are many more ways to make your ceremony special these are just a few suggestions. Savor the moment and don’t rush it.

Happy Planning!

Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you visit us again! Next on the blog hop  Sandy Salle at Hills of Africa Travel.

  1. Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events
  2. Katherine Shorter at Creating Awesomenessity
  3. Kristi Richardson at Bloomed To Last
  4. Chantal Benoit at Chantal Benoit Photographer
  5. Elizabeth Batte at plainjane designs 
  6. Andie Freeman  at Andie Freeman Photography 
  7. Brenna Fields Taylor at An Elegant Affair LLC
  8. Irene Tyndale at Irene Tyndale Events 
  9. Sharon K Hyatt at Weddings with Sharon of Awesome Designs & Weddings
  10. Tessa Marie at Tessa Marie Weddings
  11. Peter Merkle at Chicago Wedding DJs
  12. Anshwa Lewis at SwaLaRue Events
  13. Deborah Ashe at Rev. Deborah Ashe
  14. Angela Christoforo at Elite Wedding and Event Planning
  15. Liz Coopersmith at Silver Charm Events
  16. Amber Peterson at Cheers Wedding & Event Planning
  17. Maggie Evans at Maggie Evans Designs :: handmade bridal couture
  18. N’neka Scruggs at Images by N’neka
  19. Kelly Snyder at Southern Charm Weddings
  20. Cindy Clearwater at Something Blue Virgin Islands
  21. Kimberly Parks at KP Photography
  22. Simone R. Ross at Lil’ Tux N Tiara’s Event Sitters & Entertainment
  23. David Osborne at Sound Insight Productions
  24. Nicole Hill at Flora Bond
  25. Shaun Cox at A D.I.Y. Affair Weddings and Events
  26. Katrina McCullum at Made of Honor Weddings << you are here 
  27. Sandy Salle at Hills of Africa Travel
  28. Rachel Huntoon  at Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast 
  29. Daphne Simpson at Elite Design
  30. Kishana Highgate at Kishana Highgate Photography
  31. Loraine McCall at Mojica Photography
  32. Teresa Rhodes at Nearly Nesters 
  33. Andrea Freeman at Andrea Freeman Events
  34. Nikki Michel at Ciao Bella Weddings
  35. Kelly King at Affordable Wedding Invites by Gossett Printing
  36. Christine Ringuette at Down The Aisle Wedding Planning & Design
  37. Myiesha Antwine at Kiss and Tell Weddings
  38. Ashley Rae at Ashley Rae Events
  39. Laurie Kuerlemann at Platinum Party Events Entertainment, Ic
  40. Lydia Wells at Writer Mom
  41. Melissa Pepin at Melissa Pepin Photography

The Techy Bride | Modern Brides | Triad Wedding Planner

Click for photo source

Click for photo source

Tweeting and Hash tags and Streaming, Oh my! We certainly are not in Kansas anymore when it comes to today’s weddings. The modern bride needs to know all about apps, social media, live streaming, hash tags and more.

Apps – Apps are shortcut applications that you download onto a mobile device. There are plenty of apps out there for wedding planning, organization and inspiration. Check out the blog we did previously on the 10 Best Wedding Apps.download

Social Media– Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram are just a few social media sites where you can post exciting news about your wedding or get inspiration. You can follow your vendors and favorite wedding resources.

Hash tags– A hash tag is a word or phrase proceeded by the pound sign, followed by a word or phrase (without spaces) to identify a topic in social media. You can also use hash tags if you want your guest to tweet or Facebook about your wedding #JoshandAprilsweddingbash.

bestweddingblog Websites– Your wedding site is full of information about your upcoming wedding. Here is where you can introduce the wedding party, Tell your guest about the style of your wedding. Share the story about how you and your beau met and/or your engagement story. Who doesn’t love a great wedding story. There are plenty of free wedding websites out there. Check out the features and decide which is the best one for the two of you.

Photo credit by Weddingwire.com

Photo credit by Weddingwire.com

Live streaming– Here is a way for the guest who could not attend to enjoy the festivities of your wedding.  Livestream., UStream, Skype  and FaceTime is just a few that can help you show your wedding live. The Offbeat Bride has a great blog about Live Streaming click here.

Forums- Wedding forums is a great way to talk to other brides about plans, stresses, ideas and more. They even have some fun bridal groups on Facebook.

0Youtube-  Here is a video sharing website where you can learn loads of things for your wedding. Especially if you are a D.I.Y bride. One of my favorite channels is Martha Stewart Weddings.

What are some of your favorite wedding tech sources?

Happy Planning!

Top Wedding Guest Complaints |Triad Wedding Planner

It is  very easy to overlook the guest while planning your wedding with everything else you have to deal with. Here are the top wedding guest complaints and suggestions to keep your guest happy.


Photo by Jeff white photographer Provided by Dot’s Doings

  • Food– One major complaint wedding guest have is there not being many selection for dinner choice or running out of appetizers during cocktail hour. Make sure you order enough food for your expected guest. For dinner selection have a buffet with assorted choices or consider different food stations. Long lines are also a major complaint, the food stations give not only a variety but breaks up the never ending lines. If you have a buffet have it set up so guest can utilize both sides (This option is if you do not have servers).
  • Cash Bar– A full bar can be quite expensive. Talk to your bartender regarding your choices. One option is to have a beer and wine bar and /or offer a signature drink. Limit your bar to key times at your reception.
  • Bad Wedding Dates– Choose wedding dates that are convenient. Sometimes that can’t be helped especially if you have your heart set on a particular date. However keep in mind traveling times especially with out of town guest. For example, although you may get a cheaper date on a Sunday evening this would be inconvenient for your wedding guest that have to travel to be back on work on Monday or take another day off. Holiday weddings are only convenient if your family members normally travel home. Also keep in mind key dates to major events that may be taking place… you don’t want to compete with the Superbowl.


    Photo by Jeff white photographer

  • No enough Space– Make sure to book a venue big enough to hold your guest. Nothing is worse than sitting elbow to elbow or having to squeeze past people on your way to the restroom. With that in mind, also beware of booking too big of venue. Worse case scenerio if the venue is too big you can always bring in draping to lesson the space and break it up in sections…there isn’t much you can do if the venue is too small.
  • Organization– Here is where a great timeline comes into play, a great flow is the key to a great wedding. No one wants to sitting around “waiting” and no one likes to have everything rushed . Balance is the key.Keep these tips and your guest in mind while planning your wedding and you can’t go wrong. Happy Planning!

10 Ways To Save Money During Wedding Planning| Triad Wedding Planner

Savings1. Choose and off season date- Try to avoid the “popular” dates and holidays.

2. Choose flowers that are in season and less expensive blooms. Instead of Peonies try roses. Use flowers that are fuller such as hydrangeas. Talk to your florist about using greenery.

3. Keep your guest list small- Always remember you are paying for each and every single guest. Not only will this cut down on cost of catering but decor and space as well.

4. Consider having your wedding on a weekday instead of the weekend. The weekend is the most popular dates, especially Saturday nights. You can save big time by choosing a less traditional day.creative-non-floral-wedding-centerpieces-28

5.Choose non floral table centerpieces-  Lanterns, candles, branches, plants…even books. Get creative. Find what represents you.

6. Consider having a daytime  wedding. By having the ceremony and the reception earlier and they day can cut cost extensively. You can save on venue, catering and bar cost. Most people aren’t expecting a large bar earlier in the day.

7. Buy things on sale. Coupons and sales are your friend. But don’t limit it there. Visit your local bridal shows. Participating vendors usually have s some type of deal for brides that attend. Also follow your vendors social media pages, sometimes they offer deals and contest on their pages.

8. D.I.Y doesn’t equal money saved. Sure doing things yourself can be fun… but it doesn’t always mean you are saving money. The cost of materials and trial and error can become costly. Not to mention the stress. If you are used to crafting, this shouldn’t be a problem.However, if you are a novice you may want to go ahead and hire the professional. Choose your projects wisely. Things like your cake, flowers, etc. should really be handled by the experts.

 “I thought DIY was the way to save too, however, now that we are 8 weeks away and a few failed DIY projects in, we realize that the stress and time are sometimes NOT worth the few pennies saved. In fact, DIYing things does not necessarily mean money saved. I wish I knew that going into this.”

9. Keep your favors simple- I can’t count the amount of times I have packed up left over favors or reminded guest to take their favors as they are leaving. . If you really want to have them… keep it simple. D.I.Y. or choose and edible favor. Double your  favors as escort cards if you are assigning seating. 1371600-champagne

10. Skip the champagne toast. Your guest can toast with whatever is in their glasses. So much champagne goes wasted. Not everyone drinks it, nor finishes it.

We hope these tips will come in handy.

Happy Planning!

Ways to Keep Calm During Wedding Planning| Triad Wedding Planner

keep-calm-and-de-stress--11Let’s face it, wedding planning can be very stressful. The meetings, planning, budgeting… decisions, decisions, decisions. Everyone opinions are flying around about your big day. Before you go pulling your hair out, here are some ways to de-stress during the wedding planning process.

1. Hire professionals. In particular a whire a wedding planner (plug in). A wedding planner should help you make the right decisions and hire capable vendors that fit into your budget. Once you have a team of professionals all there is to do is wait on the big day.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things are going to come up. Things are going to happen. You will feel like nothing is going your way. It will be okay. It will work out.

3. Opinions are like _____ and every has one. You will get the most unsolicited advice regarding your wedding. you chose the wrong color, the wrong theme… when I did my wedding…. when  i waaas  a bridesmaid…etc. Some advice may be helpful, while others… well  it just makes things more complicated. Stick with your vision and don’t try to make everyone happy. You simply can’t.

4. Take a break. That is right take a break. Every month, week, day, hour does not have to be engulfed in wedding planning. You have to take a breather from it. No Pinterest, no magazines, no wedding reality shows….no wedding stuff period. Take some time to just enjoy being engage. Trust me, it is so worth it.

5. Be realistic and flexible with the expectations of your wedding party and those assisting you. Don’t schedule every weekend for D.I.Y projects for your wedding. Be clear on what you expect with your wedding  party from the beginning.

6. Schedule a relaxing massage. Or if you and your fiance’ are great at it, give each other a massage.

7. Find a person you can trust to vent. We all get frustrated. We all need to talk.. Don’t hold it in.

8. Take up yoga, meditation etc. de-stress

9. Take a mini vacation. you and your future spouse take off for the weekend. You can focus on the two ( or more if you have a family).

Find what works for you. Tell us how you de-stressed on during your wedding planning.


Happy Planning!

What Does Being A Bridesmaid Mean|Triad Wedding Planner

rubysweddingCongratulations!! You have been asked to be a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding. It is easy to jump up and say “YES”, but think before accepting. Being a bridesmaid can be loads of fun if you find out what is expected of you from the beginning. It is a lot more than just standing up there with the bride as she says her’ “I Do’s”.

What does it cost to be a bridesmaid? Financial cost will depend on the bride and the wedding itself but here are cost I am sure you never considered…

  • Emotional
  • Financial
  • Time

Emoticons1.Emotional- Do you agree with the marriage? Yes, this matters and something no one ever addresses.  If you don’t feel the two should be getting married, then your heart is not in it. You do not support them and that is all the thing that matters the most. If you do not agree, will you keep your feelings to yourself to support your friend, sister, cousin, etc… more than likely not…some day your true feelings will seep out and could possible ruin your relationship with the bride.

Will you be there emotional for the bride? Brides go through a roller coaster of emotions and they need support all around. From decisions about the wedding to feeling overwhelmed. Remember you are part of the team to get the bride to the alter with as little stress as possible.  This also means not fighting the bride about the choices she makes about the dresses and other decisions.

breakthepiggy2. Financial-Can you afford to be a bridesmaid. It is not only the dress you must purchase. It may also include your hair, shoes, make up, bridal shower & bachelorette party contribution and wedding gift. If you can not afford it, don’t take on the burden and respectful decline. You should find out an estimated cost before you make any decisions but if you know you can’t afford it explain to the bride why you are declining. She will be grateful for your honesty and you both won’t have any regrets.

Photo from MountainSide Bride

Photo from MountainSide Bride

3. Time- Being a bridesmaid is not just looking pretty, it is time consuming. Be prepared to help the bride with things leading up to the wedding as well as on the wedding day. The bride may want you to help her go gown shopping, help with making DIY projects for the wedding and other wedding activities. Find out what your bridal duties will be up to and the day of the wedding.  If you are not available (If you live in town) then by all means do not accept.

The bottom line is to know what to expect when becoming a bridesmaid. If you are up to the task it is a wonderful experience and honor.

Happy Planning!

Cautions of Hiring Your Wedding Vendors-Avoid Wedding Scams

Cautions of wedding planningPlanning your wedding is stressful enough with all that you have to do. You will be contacted by lots of vendors who want to be a part of your wedding.As with any business there are many good professionals, but occasionally someone slips in to make the rest of us look bad.  Here are things you should keep and eye out for when hiring your vendors. Price is a major sway when booking many vendors but whether they are ubber cheap or high end pricey keep your eye out and beware. We listed the top three wedding scams to beware.

1. Show me your work.Remember in school you had to show your work to explain how you got your answer. Well, this should work in the real world too. The vendor will most likely share their portfolio or perhaps you viewed their websites to see their previous work. If the vendor does not have a few pictures of the same decor or wedding beware it is probably not their work. The vendor should be able to tell you a little about picture, of course not everything but a good deal. They should be able to tell you at least one vendor who worked with them on that particular wedding, event or project. If the vendor is a florist or maybe a baker they wouldn’t have loads of pictures from a wedding but they can at least tell you the photographer or the photographers watermark would be on the photo.

*Tip: You can Google actual pictures. So if a picture is listed on their facebook page or they email you with a picture, you can simply google to see if it really belongs to their company.

2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket- Another popular one is the One Stop Shops. The concept is you pay one vendor (mainly the wedding planner) to do everything and book everything and you just simply show up. Yes, there are some legit one stop shops out there, but keep in mind you are paying this one vendor and they are supposed to pay your vendors for you. Caution, sign the contracts yourself and know who your vendors are. Ask for a receipt from the vendors once the “planner” pays for services. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, what payment schedule are your vendors on. Do the vendors get paid just before your wedding when you have paid for everything months ago… beware.

3. No this is not pictures of my work but I can create them for you. Copycats are everywhere and will swear they can duplicate the David Tutera image for a small budget. Anyone can copy, a true pro loves to come up with their own ideas and work. The vendor will show you these gorgeous images and promise the same results but has nothing to back it up. Even a novice and whip up something even if they don’t have professional pictures.

Always check references, check with other vendors in the same industry, check with past brides if necessary. Do not always depend on online reviews.If it is too good to be true, it probably is. Listen to your guy, it normally does not steer you wrong. We recommend buying wedding insurance it will protect you in case you run into one of these frauds.

Happy Planning!

Mentioning the Unmentionables

Besides your shoes and your wedding dress, what you hide underneath is just as important. You want it to lift what is suppose to, tuck what it needs to…and give your gown the beautiful silhouette it deserves. Whatever you decide to put over your birthday suit you want it to fit and feel comfortable.
View ImageYou don’t want to constantly tugging or pulling up your bra and if you are wearing a long line bra you don’t want it to roll or bunch.
The style of your gown will depend on the type of undergarment you will need. For a slimmer form-fitting dress you may want to consider body shapers.
View ImageFor a fuller look,  you will want a crinoline slip. Be careful, some gowns already have them in the lining. You may also want to consider the weather. If you are having an outdoor ceremony in the summer you may not want to have all of that underneath your gown.

David’s Bridal Full Length Control Slip

Whatever you chose make sure its perfect for the dress and for your body.

Happy Planning!

{Quick Advice} Wedding Videography

View ImageI get asked many times about Wedding Videography. Brides feel it is not a necessity because they are on a budget. Just like photography, your wedding dvd is as important. You want to be able to look back on your day. Photography captures your memories, your emotions and the overall wedding, but they don’t recall what was said. Even if you don’t hire a (professional) videographer for your entire day, you may still want to hire one for the ceremony. I don’t mean Uncle Fred…you don’t want a shaky video. You’ll want to capture the moment; With all the emotions running high, nerves and the whirlwind of the day, you don’t remember your vows. When those rough days come in your marriage, and that thought floats through your mind…”Why did I get married?” Just pop in your wedding video and remember.

Happy Planning!

This is not one of our weddings but this is a local videograpgher!