2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Guest List is done… How many will show?

One of the hardest parts about planning a wedding is figuring out how many people will show up.  There are certain factors which can affect your count…holiday weekends, out-of-state guests, and what day your wedding is on.

The best way to figure out your numbers is to put together your guest list.  This is probably the most tedious and stressful part about the wedding, but once it is done you will feel much more free!  Here are some guidelines to help you out:

Saturday Weddings –  70% attending

On average, you can plan on about 30% of your invitations to be declined.  If you invite 350 guests, you could expect 245 guests – not based on any other circumstances.

Friday Weddings – 80% attending

Fridays have a little twist to them…you would think less people would show up, but in reality more people usually attend Friday weddings than Saturday weddings.  You can plan on about 20% of guests not attending a Friday wedding – not based on any other circumstances.

In general, people are more likely to attend a Friday wedding reception because after your event, they have the rest of the weekend to look forward to.  Saturday and Sunday are still free and your wedding might a reason to take off of work on Friday.

Sunday/Weekday Weddings – 30%+ decline

Other days of the week are less predictable and most likely less attended than Friday and Saturday weddings.  Attendance will depend on the normality of the day to your family and friends and what can be expected from them.

Holiday Weddings

To help get a good number… ask yourself these 3 questions:

1) Does your venue/ locale offer something special for the holiday weekend?

2) Do your guests have the economic capacity to take this trip during a holiday weekend?

3) Would this make it EASIER vs. HARDER for my guests?

The highest attended holiday-weekend weddings include lots of excitement (i.e. Fourth of July fireworks), not an extreme amount of money to travel (don’t want your guests to take out a second mortgage to fly out), and convenience (i.e. doubles as a regularly planned family reunion).

Now you have a good starting point.  After that, you can make some tweaks based on your personal guest list.

1) Pin-point guests who you know will FOR SURE attend and those who will FOR SURE NOT attend and make the adjustments to your list.

2) Ask other members of your family who have planned a wedding in your relation… they can tell you which guests were able to make it and which ones were not.


What helps?

Send out Save the Dates!  It is a great way to get a feel from people and some people will right out tell you they cannot make it.  You can also use it as a chance to tell your guests about any accommodations you have.  The sooner they can book their hotel room (if needed), the sooner you will receive guest counts.

Remember, you will always have a certain number of people who do not RSVP and maybe even who up without an RSVP.  Do yourself a favor and call them first.

Top Ten Places to Honeymoon

MEGA Weddings & Events!

By the time your wedding is here and things are in full swing, you might realize you are more excited for the honeymoon! The honeymoon is more than just the cherry on top. Finally, a vacation, some romance, and time to relax from all the hoopla of the wedding. Depending on your style this list will offer something for every couple, whether you two are adventurous or just want to relax, here are 10 great places to honeymoon.

Counting down from number 10.

10. Ireland — http://www.myguideireland.com/the-fairytale

9. Sydney, Australia — http://www.fourseasons.com/sydney/weddings/honeymoon/

8. Bali — http://www.balihoneymoonvillas.com/

7. Turks & Caicos — http://www.unforgettablehoneymoons.com/Turks-&-Caicos-Honeymoon-Packages_31.html

6. Kenya — http://www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk/honeymoon/kenya

5. Spain — http://www.zicasso.com/landing/luxury-vacation/destination/b?zk=Spain&gclid=COnagMarlKwCFRJShwoduVe7mw

4. Hawaii — http://www.gohawaii.com/statewide/guidebook/romantic-places-of-hawaii

3. Nevis — http://www.fourseasons.com/nevis/weddings/honeymoon/

2. Cook Islands — http://www.south-seas-adventures.com/Cook-Islands/Cook-Islands-Honeymoons.php

1. Belize — http://www.hamanasi.com/belize_honeymoon.html

Make sure to pack for the weather of the city you are going to. Also, make realistic plans when choosing to go…

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Budget Wedding Ideas – Cocktail Party

Great ideas

Happily Ever After

If a formal multicourse dinner in a stately ballroom is out of your wedding budget, or just doesn’t feel very you, scale back the pomp of a traditional reception and ramp up the good times with an elegant cocktail party instead. By turning the “mingling hour” into the main event (hors d’oeuvres are usually guests’ favorite part of the evening anyway) and including only the meaningful-to-you traditions, you can host a celebration that still feels like a wedding—minus the hefty price tag.

1. Venue & Décor. Host a cocktail party anywhere—an art gallery, your favorite neighborhood bistro, or a historic house. Restaurants and hotels are particularly amenable because their in-house staff knows the drill, and you can eliminate the extra expense of an outside catering company—not to mention rentals! Flowers are an important touch, so consider hiring a florist or having a friend create arrangements. And even though you’re throwing…

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One of the things to consider when deciding on your wedding cake is your colour scheme. The general rule, although it doesn’t have to be so of course, is that the decoration on the cake matches or tones with the colors of the bridesmaid’s dresses, groom’s waistcoat and the bride’s flowers. There are, however so many different styles of wedding cakes and so many different ways to decorate them, conducting some research to pick up a handful of decorative ideas will never go amiss.  Wedding cakes are the pièce de résistance of a wedding reception so definitely go for a tasting before a purchase is made and be careful not to choose something too sweet. A raspberry filling for a vanilla sponge or a good quality chocolate ganache filling for either vanilla or chocolate cake instead of cream or butter cream will allow the cake to be an indulgent desert…

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Josh & Stee Say “I Do!”

What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

Stee: Having a fiance’ in Afghanistan probably helped me the most in planning for the big day due to all the new free time I had. I was able to work on wedding stuff throughout the weeks and weekends when I would usually be spending time with my now new husband. I was able to spend large amounts of time researching everything from flowers to koozies.  I also had a great friend who helped me through the whole process as well. She was definitely the biggest help on my wedding day because she knew the end and outs of everything. She knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it, which made everything less stressful.

What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

Stee: It’s hard to say the most important thing about choosing vendors, I can narrow it down to 3 things. Word of mouth helped me a lot in choosing my vendors. I asked my friends who they used, what they liked and disliked, and then researched them from myself. Professionalism was also very important. When I was calling around to meet with different florist, I ran into two that didn’t even return my call….very unprofessional. And the last thing, which could be the most important, was the connection I felt. All of my vendors were very down to earth and easy to talk to. I found that some almost became family during the planning, which made the planning go by very smoothly.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

Stee: Ultimately my favorite thing about my wedding was being with both my friends and family as well as my husband’s. I don’t think the opportunity will ever arise for us all to be together again, so I cherished this time of togetherness.

What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

Stee: The best piece of advice I could give to other brides would be to be organized. Buy one of those big binders and keep everything you can in it. Wedding planning is hectic, and I felt like this gave me some piece of mine. I felt very accomplished when I could check things off of my checklists.  Mine has dates of wedding shows I attended, vendors I liked, and pictures taken throughout the planning. It really turns out to be an amazing keepsake.


How To Have Great Vendor Relationships


Let’s talk vendor relationships! A great vendor relationship is all about communication and trust. Sounds like we’re in couples therapy, right? But it’s true! You spend a lot of time with your vendors- some more than others- and communication and trust are the keys to having a great relationship with them! So here are some tips for having great vendor relationships!

Respond! Whether you’re emailing or calling with an inquiry or you’re trying to schedule a meeting, responding in a timely fashion is always great.   

Understand! At the same time, understand that not all of your vendors are going to be sitting in front of the computer waiting on emails all day. Often times, they’re out and about, going to meetings, prepping for weddings, and working at weddings. Give someone a day before freaking out about them not responding… and if it’s the weekend, give them until Tuesday, since many vendors take Monday off after a weekend of work! 

Communicate! It’s important to communicate your expectations and needs. Of course, it helps to start your vendor relationship with the communication of these things, but sometimes your needs will change along the way. If you change your mind about what flowers you want, your wedding style, or anything at all really, SPEAK UP! Your vendors can’t read your mind, so be sure you speak it! They all want you to have an amazing wedding too!! 🙂 

Spend Time With Them! It’s a good idea to spend some time with the vendors that you’re going to spend lots of time with- like your planner, your photographer, videographer, etc. If they’re going to be there on your wedding day with you, spending time with them will ensure that you’re comfortable with them, which will in turn yield a better wedding day for you. 🙂


Respect! Haha, this really is starting to sound like couples counseling isn’t it? 😉 Just as you want your vendors to respect you, be respectful of them as well. Respect the time that they have set aside for you for meetings, their hours of business (a.k.a try not to text them at 10pm), the role that they have in your wedding, and that they also have a life beyond weddings. It seems like common sense, but sometimes it’s not always remembered. 🙂 

Trust! You’ve hired your vendors for a reason. Trust their opinions and their expertise. When they tell you that your ceremony needs to take place at X time because the sun is setting soon after, go with that, despite what you thought. They’ve done weddings way more than you have, so they know what’s best. In fact, use their expertise to your advantage! There’s no reason to stress out about a certain decision- they might be able to give you some insight to help you decide! 🙂 

I truly believe that one of the best ways to have an excellent wedding is by having great vendor relationships- almost like being on a “team”.  I hope this insight will help some of you have great relationships with YOUR vendors, and thus, have GREAT weddings! 🙂