Wedding Planner

Aiken Standard | 2011


Financial and Budgeting Tips

TradiTional and non-TradiTional Wedding CelebraTions Honeymoon planning

Wedding Musician Pointers Wedding cake trends Managing your guest list


Wedding Glossary
Planning a wedding? There are certain terms that every bride and groom should learn so they can be more informed in the process.

Wacky Wedding Facts
According to, the unofficial experts on all things weddings, there are some things that may surprise the average person about weddings across the country. Here are some facts to consider. • Weddings in Iowa and Nebraska are the biggest, averaging 200 guests. • The average engagement ring costs more than $5,800. • Most brides have one do-it-yourself element, such as favors or escort cards. • “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Lady in Red” are the two most popular first dance songs (even though 87 percent of brides wear white). • Only 19 percent of couples rely on a wedding planner. • Ancient Romans broke a cake over the bride’s head to symbolize fertility. Today, brides must be fortunate to have only a little cake smashed in their faces!


The outer edge or the widest part of the diamond forming a band around the stone.



A wide, formal tie generally reserved for formal daytime weddings.

Blusher: Bodice:

Fine netting used for veils, headpieces, and on the sleeves and necklines of dresses.

A short veil that covers the brides’ face before the ceremony. Close, upper-fitting part of the dress.

Inclusion: Nosegay:

An internal imperfection on a diamond. Small bouquet featuring posies.

Boutonniere: Buttercream:

Flower or flowers that are worn by the men in the wedding party. The boutonniere always should be affixed to the left side of the jacket. Most common icing used on wedding cakes.

Tea Length: Topiary:

Length of dress or skirt that falls several inches above the ankles. Flowers or foliage trained and trimmed into geometric shapes, often resembling miniature trees or animals.

Cathedral train: Cornelli:

Tussy Mussy:

Train, or long piece of fabric that extends 61/2 to 71/2 feet from the waist. Decorative form of icing that resembles lacework on wedding cakes.

Silver cone-shaped holder for a bouquet.

Cutaway Jacket: Ganache: Garland:

Jacket which tapers from the front waist button to a long, wide back tail; accessories include a wing-collar shirt with an ascot and a coordinating vest. Rich chocolate filling or topping made from chocolate and heavy cream. Flowers and/or green leaves that are draped over railings.

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Wedding Planner 2011 3

Wedding Dress for Success:
Stay True to Your Personal Style
For most brides-to-be, the choice of a dress is among the first and most important decisions in planning a wedding. With thousands of choices in every price range, finding the perfect wedding dress can be a difficult and timeconsuming process. But by making some decisions before setting foot in a store, the search will be both easier and a whole lot more enjoyable.

Go for a flattering fit

First things first

Start by knowing your limits. To avoid disappointment down the line, determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a dress -- and don’t forget to include all the little extras, such as undergarments, shoes, jewelry, veil, and/or hair ornaments. Next, take an inventory of your personal style. If you know that you’re not comfortable in strapless or sleeveless dresses, for example, you can immediately eliminate these options. The trick is to rule out a few style options before hitting the magazines or stores and then be open to all other options.

Remember: Your goal is to find a dress that flatters your body and expresses your personal style -- not to fit into a particular size. If you look ghostly in white, feel free to choose a creamier shade or a dress that has decorative accents of a different color near your neck, shoulders and face. Similarly, there’s no rule that a wedding dress has to be floor-length. If you’re planning a daytime or more casual wedding, you might want to consider a tea-length dress (one that falls a few inches above the ankle) or go even shorter.

Comfort is key

Firm yet flexible

There will be no shortage of opinions -- from mothers, sisters, friends, and store personnel -- about your choice of a wedding dress, but the decision, ultimately, is the bride’s alone. A great strategy is to be open to suggestions about dresses to try on, but reserve the right to choose the look that feels right to you. With so many potential options, you might want to consider bringing along a camera and taking photos of yourself in the dresses that could be “contenders.”

Style and fit may be the two most important factors in choosing a wedding dress, but comfort should be a close third. Ask yourself if you will be comfortable in a particular dress given the setting in which your wedding will take place. For instance, if you’ve always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, you may want forego a dress with a long, trailing train that could trip you up on your walk to or down the aisle. Even if you’re planning an indoor event, having a dress and shoes that are as comfortable as they are beautiful will greatly increase your odds of enjoying your special day to the fullest.

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There’s no getting around the fact that weddings can be expensive. For many couples, they’re the first of the largest expenses they will make together. It’s quite easy for individuals to go over budget on their wedding day if they do not carefully keep track of what has been spent on all the elements of the big day. Use this budget planner to keep all of the costs associated with the wedding in one easy-to-manage place.

Wedding Budget Planner
Wedding Items

Budgeted Amount ..........................................$________ Amount Spent ................................................$________ Venue and rentals ...........................................$________ Food and service.............................................$________ Beverages ........................................................$________ Cake...............................................................$________ Miscellaneous fees ..........................................$________ Gown and alterations .....................................$________ Headpiece and veil .........................................$________ Accessories......................................................$________ Makeup and Hair ...........................................$________ Groom’s tux or suit .........................................$________ Groom’s accessories.........................................$________ Floral arrangements ........................................$________ Bouquets ........................................................$________ Ring pillow ....................................................$________ Boutonnieres ..................................................$________ Corsages .........................................................$________ Reception decorations ....................................$________ Lighting .........................................................$________ Ceremony musicians ......................................$________ Reception musicians .......................................$________ Photography...................................................$________ Videography ...................................................$________ Transportation................................................$________ Favors .............................................................$________ Ceremony fees ................................................$________ Invitations ......................................................$________ Stationery .......................................................$________ Wedding rings ................................................$________ Honeymoon ...................................................$________

515 Silver Bluff Rd | Aiken | (803) 649-6005

Wedding Planner 2011 5

Budgeting Tips for Brides and Grooms
When it comes to planning a wedding, finances are first and foremost on the minds of many couples. As the costs associated with weddings continue to rise, the need for a budget only grows more apparent.
But how can a couple establish and stick to a budget? Doing so depends on each individual couple, how much they can spend and what they’re willing to sacrifice for their big day. Wedding budgets can vary greatly depending on the couple and the type of wedding they desire. A wedding budget should be established as far in advance as possible. When setting the budget, it’s best to determine exactly how much you can spend, and then set the budget lower than that. For example, if the most you can afford is $25,000, set your budget at $22,000. This will allow you some wiggle room when the inevitable happens and you’re forced to go over budget.

Establishing a Budget

When establishing a wedding budget, couples should be mindful of what they hope to offer their guests at the reception.

Once a budget has been determined, a good way for couples to adhere to that budget is to establish a separate wedding spending account. This account should be separate from personal accounts, and all wedding expenses should be drawn solely from this wedding account. This is a good way to monitor how much you’re spending, and your monthly statement will provide an itemized list of how much is being deposited and spent.

MonitorYour Spending

The Ivy Cottage, Inc.
Flowers and Gifts

Regardless of how well you’ve planned the wedding, you’re going to end up spending more than your initial budget allowed. This happens for a number of reasons, ranging from overtime fees at the reception to tipping the vendors to larger guest lists than you might have originally intended. Prepare for the inevitable overspending by cutting back on other expenses leading up to the big day. Rather than going out to dinner on weekends, make a homecooked meal to save some money. Instead of costly trips to a night club, invite friends over for the night. You’ll be surprised how much these subtle lifestyle changes can save you.

Be Ready to Spend More

While you should be prepared to spend more, that extra spending should be saved for things such as tipping the staff and possibly paying more for an additional guest or two. Where couples should be budget-cautious is when vendors try to up-sell services. For example, while a top-shelf bar might be a nice gesture, it can be considerably more expensive than just offering beer at your reception, and letting your guests pay for liquor. If a vendor tries to up-sell, couples should not hold that against the vendor. After all, that is the vendor’s job. Instead, prioritize what you want before you go visit any vendors. You’re much more likely to be happy with your selections.

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capture Great Wedding Day Photo Memories
While couples about to get married may differ with respect to personal style or what season in which to hold their wedding, most agree that having photo memories of their wedding is essential. That’s why a photographer is such an important part of the wedding planning process. Although professional wedding portraits and albums are a key component to good memories, candid shots from you -- the family and friends who attend the wedding -- are some of the most cherished photos a couple can have. Here are some tips for capturing all the incredible moments of this important day. • Familiarize yourself with the camera: Take some time to learn the ins and outs of your camera before
Wedding guests snapping pictures can fill in additional wedding memories with great photos.

you’re called upon to take pictures of the wedding. Learn the best way to zoom and focus, and find out if your camera has any special features, such as black and white capabilities or panoramic views. Also, don’t forget to charge or replace the batteries. For those with digital memory cards, purchase a new one with plenty of space so you can freely snap away. • Tell a story: Start taking pictures before the wedding even occurs. If you’re a friend or a family member, capture the special events leading up to the wedding, such as dress fittings, choosing wedding rings, the bridal shower, or shots of the bachelor party. This way the photos can be put together to tell the entire story of the wedding, culminating with the big day.

• Go for the close-up: Stand no more than 4 to 6 feet from your subjects when snapping a picture. You want to be sure the couple is the central focus of the picture, not the distracting background items. • Shoot candid shots: Posed pictures have their place, but candid shots can really capture the mood and excitement of the day. Snap away while everyone is dancing, when the couple isn’t looking, or if you see a special moment that others may not be aware of. • Include pictures of party participants: The couple will have plenty of images of themselves and their wedding party in a

photographer’s album. What they may be missing are the people who actually attended the wedding. Be sure to take plenty of pictures of the people who came together to share in this special day. • Special surprise: Thanks to the immediate gratification that digital cameras provide, you can treat the happy couple to a preview of their wedding pictures even before the big day has ended. Use the time between the wedding ceremony and reception to have a few prints of the nuptials printed. Place them in a photo album and give this gift to the couple at the reception.


Wedding Planner 2011 7

Wedding Invitations • Bridal Registry • Etiquette Books
Monogrammed Gifts • Hostess Gifts • Wedding Programs • Napkins • Hotel Guests’ Gifts Bridesmaids’ Gifts • Groomsmen’s Gifts • Rehearsal Dinner, Shower and Party Invitations

Let us help you plan a picture perfect wedding!
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1407 Monte Sano Avenue, Augusta, Georgia 30904


Traditional and Non-Traditional Ways to celebrate a Wedding
Some couples want to celebrate their weddings in traditional fashion. Others want everything to be unique, new and exciting. Today’s weddings are largely planned, financed and executed entirely by the couple getting married. Therefore, it is up to them how to celebrate their special day. Here’s a look at some of the traditional wedding elements and how they can be shaken up for a different spin.

Traditional: “The Wedding March (Here Comes the Bride)” plays when the bride enters. Alternative: Any favorite classical or modern song is played when the bride enters, as long as it is approved by the venue where the ceremony is taking place. Traditional: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Alternative: Wear all new items, all antique items. Borrow all of your wedding day apparel -- it’s the bride’s choice. Traditional: Mother-Son, FatherDaughter dances at the reception. Alternative: Welcome everyone present to dance with a special member of their family so all eyes are not on the bride and groom, who may be self-conscious about

dancing with their parents. These dances also can be skipped.

Traditional: Bouquet toss for the bride and garter toss for the groom. Alternative: Toss beads or treats in the style of Mardi Gras to all of the guests, so it’s not only about single men and women. Traditional: A three-tiered wedding cake all in white. Alternative: Choose cupcakes, a festively colored cake that matches the wedding theme or another desired dessert. Traditional: Reception at a catering hall
or hotel.

Once a couple thinks about what is important at their wedding, they can cater the event toward their personal interests. Tradition can be followed or they can do something completely unique.

Traditional: Father walks the bride
down the aisle.

Alternative: A son, daughter, friend, or even both parents walk the bride down the aisle. She can also traverse the white carpet solo, if desired. Perhaps the groom meets the bride halfway and they walk the rest of the aisle together.

Alternative: Reception at an alternative site, such as an aquarium, zoo or museum.



Wedding Planner 2011 9

Wedding Musician Pointers
Brides and grooms have a few options when it comes to the music played at their ceremony and reception. Live musicians or deejays are often the entertainment of choice. When hiring the entertainment, there are some important things to keep in mind. The music of the wedding will set the tone for the event and keep guests entertained during key moments of the day. Musicians will often work in conjunction with a maitre d’ to be sure the reception moves along smoothly and sticks to the schedule. Music will be played while guests are dining and when there are opportunities for dancing. It’s essential to listen to musicians or deejays before hiring anyone to ensure what they’re offering will fit in with the wedding. Also, it’s helpful to confirm the person or people being auditioned will be the exact individuals at the wedding. Some entertainment companies hire out contract musicians, meaning the preview musicians may not be the same person who will perform at the ceremony. That can potentially prove disasterous. If a certain musician or deejay is requested, be sure it is put down in writing in the contract. Provide the musical entertainment with some information to further help the wedding go off without a hitch. This may include but not be limited to the following: - Names of all wedding party participants so they can be properly introduced. - Name of the married couple, including pronunciation of the last name, if necessary. - The title of the couple’s song. - The titles of songs to be danced with mother/son or father/daughter. - A listing of any preferred songs. - The title of a “spotlight dance” song. - Any music that is off-limits at the reception. - Special announcements that should be made, such as mentioning a guest’s birthday or another special event involving guests. - Whether a bouquet and garter toss will take place, and which songs should be played during these traditions. In most cases, wedding musicians are professionals who have handled many weddings and are very accustomed to what should be done to make the night a memorable one. Trust in the expertise of the musicians, and provide guidance where necessary.


131 Laurens St. SW Downtown Aiken • 648-6124 •
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:30 - 5:30; Sat. 9:30 - 5:00

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Honeymoon Planning How-To
With all the work that goes into planning a wedding, it can be easy for couples to overlook their own honeymoons. But in the middle of all those seating arrangements and reception hall negotiations, couples also need to plan and look forward to the rest and relaxation that awaits, which will no doubt be a well-deserved escape once the wedding has come and gone. Couples can take the following advice to ensure their getaway goes off without a hitch. • Be budget-conscious. Many couples could enjoy a honeymoon to Siberia in the dead of winter after their big day has passed. After all the stress of planning and paying for the wedding, couples will likely just enjoy the time away. Take this into consideration when planning a honeymoon. If a dream trip isn’t in the budget after all the wedding bills have come due, don’t fret. A less expensive getaway is still a getaway, and couples will enjoy their well-deserved break no matter where it is they’re putting their feet up. • Plan an off-season honeymoon. That dream honeymoon might be affordable after all if couples can wait till it’s not the height of tourist season. Most weddings occur during the summer months, when tourist season is in full swing.Couples who can put off their honeymoon until the off-season will no doubt find their dream honeymoon is much more affordable. • Start early. It’s never too early to start planning the honeymoon. The earlier couples begin to research possible destinations, the better feel they will have for what they can and can’t afford. Research can be done well in advance to give couples an idea of what their dream trip will cost. But don’t book any flights or make any reservations too far in advance. The best deals are often available a few months before the trip. • Spread the news that you’re newlyweds. Hotels love hosting newlyweds, and many will upgrade rooms for recently married guests. Couples should not be too brash about it, as fully booked hotels won’t be able to upgrade their guests. But let the hotel know you’re on your honeymoon when checking in, and they might just upgrade your room and comp you a bottle of champagne as a gift. • Think outside the box. When asked about a dream honeymoon, couples will often bring up Hawaii or even Paris. While those are beautiful places to spend a honeymoon, they’re also expensive. Fortunately, there are a bevy of locales, be it domestic or international, that aren’t nearly as pricey as the most popular honeymoon destinations but still make wonderful options for a honeymoon getaway couples won’t soon forget.

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Wedding Planner 2011 11

Wardrobe Options for Second-Time Brides
Remarriage rates continue to increase, and many vendors are now catering specifically to couples entering second marriages. A bride getting married for the second or third time has just as many attire options as she did for her first wedding. Research indicates that more than half of all marriages end in divorce. The silver lining to that cloud is that 54 percent of divorced women remarry within 5 years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Furthermore, 75 percent of divorced women remarry within 10 years. These statistics show that the need for bridal gowns for women entering a new marriage remains strong. When choosing a gown for a second wedding, brides-to-be can use their discretion. Gone is the stigma of wearing white. However, brides still may want to choose an alternative color to bright white to be more complementary to their skin tones. Off-white, pale yellow and pale pink can be flattering shades. If second brides do choose to wear white, they may want to avoid a flat white color. Instead, they can opt to wear a shimmery shade of white and a gown with a little more pizzazz. The gown -- just as with firsttime weddings -- should be as formal or as casual as the wedding itself. At afternoon weddings it may be acceptable to wear a tea-length gown or even a cocktail dress. Enhance beachside or casual affairs with less elaborate gowns. Formal second weddings should still feature a gown that is formal in nature. A more mature bride may feel more comfortable wearing a well-tailored pantsuit rather than a gown. Again, the choice is up to the bride regarding what she wants to wear.

Photography: Misty Morris -

From the most personal to thegrandest of events, Woodside Plantation Country Club is ideal for your formal reception, bridesmaids’ luncheon or intimate ceremony. Woodside’s private Events Director will help you plan every detail of your wedding festivities, from the rehearsal dinner to the throwing of the bouquet. Our exemplary service ensures that your special occasion will be a memorable affair.

Monique Waller, Private Events Director - 649-3383

Photography: Misty Morris -

12 Wedding Planner 2011

Wedding cake Trends This Season
The multi-tiered cake is a favorite wedding tradition that’s often presented at the end of the night. The happy couple takes a slice and enjoys the first piece. In recent years, wedding cakes have become more of an artistic centerpiece than just a confectionary treat. Couples often seek out renowned wedding cake bakers for a cake that will amaze the crowd and complete the theme of the wedding. The average couple will spend between $700 to $800 for their wedding cake. Although many catering halls or reception sites will include the wedding cake in a package deal, many couples choose to order their cake from a specialty bakery who creates culinary masterpieces. If television trends are any indication, many people are opting to spend several hundred to thousands of dollars on a customized wedding cake. These fondant and buttercream creations may be elaborate in nature, so much so they’ll likely need to be ordered several months in advance. Couples looking for something a bit different for their upcoming nuptials, many want to consider these trends in wedding cakes. • 3-D accents on the cake, such as graphic appliques. • A black-and-white motif that gives the cake a simplistic, yet trendy appeal. • A lot of bold color in the cake, instead of just white or ivory. • Dramatic monograms that can add class to the cake. • Painted cakes with edible food coloring paint that feature beautiful landscapes or a portrait. A work of art, they’re both delicious to eat and fun to admire. • Cakes that mirror the style of the wedding gown, including fondant ruffles and appliques. Many couples still opt for the traditional, and that is always in style. Instead of experimenting with the outside of the cake, couples can be creative with cake flavor and fillings. Imagine cutting open the cake to find red velvet or a chocolate Black-and-white wedding cakes are one theme that couples routinely turn to for their dramatic flair and ganache filling! aesthetic appeal.

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Wedding Planner 2011 13

Pare Down your Wedding Guest List
Couples are faced with many decisions when planning a wedding. One often overlooked decision concerns the guest list. Ideally, couples would love to invite all their friends and family to share in their special day. Realistically, however, budget often dictates just how many guests a couple can invite. That reality has led to a disagreement or two over the years, as both the bride-to-be and her future husband make their case for who makes the cut. To help avoid such disagreements, couples should consider the following tips when paring down their guest list. • Make a master list as early as possible. It’s impossible to pare down a guest list if there’s no list to begin with. Once the planning process begins, couples should separately write down all the guests they would like to invite. Once each is finished with their list, the hard work of paring that list down can begin. • Consider who’s footing the bill. If Mom and Dad are paying for the wedding, then their suggestions for the guest list should carry most of the weight. Weddings are very expensive, and if Mom and Dad are paying they should have a significant say who will in attendance. The same principle can be applied if the couple is paying for their own wedding. If the costs are being split down the middle, then both the groom- and bride-to-be should be allowed to invite the same number of guests. • Ask that kids stay home. Many couples request that their guests leave the kids at home. While nieces and nephews might make the cut, it’s perfectly acceptable for couples to state their preference that children not attend. This can be noted on the invitation, addressing friends as “Mr. John Doe and guest” or “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.” Guests should take the hint, but if any RSVPs with their kids, be sure to call them immediately and explain the situation. Friends and family should understand the preference, particularly in the current economic climate. • It’s not a reunion. Couples are often tempted to invite long-lost friends to their wedding. But costconscious couples must recognize their wedding is not a reunion. If the goal is to keep the guest list under control, only invite close friends and family members who have kept in touch with over the years. • Stick to your guns. Couples vary greatly with what they want out of their wedding. Some want a grandiose affair they can share with their whole family and all of their friends. Other couples want a more laid-back affair with only those closest to them in attendance. Whatever their preference, couples should remain firm and not feel guilty no matter how many guests they choose to invite or not invite. • Cut back in other areas. If it’s proving simply impossible to agree on a reduced guest list, consider inviting everyone and cutting back in other areas. Before signing any contracts, closely examine each one for items that can be removed without drastically changing the ceremony and celebration. Chances are there are savings to be had, and those savings might make the difference between inviting and not inviting another friend or family member.

14 Wedding Planner 2011

Respectful Ways to Honor a Deceased Parent
Weddings are supposed to be joyous events, which can make it difficult to honor a deceased parent. Doing so in a way that does not compromise the upbeat mood of the event can prove quite a challenge to prospective brides and grooms. The death of someone close is rarely easy to accept, especially when it happens close to a couple’s wedding day. But there are many ways couples can honor a deceased parent at their ceremony. • Display pictures of the deceased with the wedding couple so that the memory of these people can be part of the festivities. • Set up a table with a special floral arrangement and photo with a placard that states, “In memory of ...” • Wear a piece of clothing or jewelry that belonged to the deceased. Cufflinks from a father or a veil from a mother. • Ask the pastor or officiant to specifically mention the deceased in the wedding ceremony and offer a special prayer in that person’s name. • Add a memoriam line to the end of the wedding program. “Today we honor Mary Smith, mother of the bride who could not be with us today.” • Dedicate a special song during the reception in the person’s name. • A bride who will not be able to walk down the aisle with her father can choose to do so with her mother or another relative and carry something that belonged to their father. • Set up a photo slide show that includes photos of the deceased. Choose poignant but upbeat music so that the moment is not overly somber. • Light a candle at the ceremony for the deceased relative. • Leave an empty chair and place setting at the reception for the person who could not be there. • Display something that symbolizes the person at the wedding, such as a flag for a deceased veteran or an item that represents the person’s favorite hobby. There are many ways to remember a special loved one at a wedding without bringing down the mood of the event.

Located in the heart of historic and enchanting downtown Aiken, Newberry Hall provides the perfect venue for your special day and offers the finest in catering services. Recognizing that the flavor and artful presentation of food and impeccable service are the keys to a memorable occasion, the Newberry Hall family is poised to help you make your wedding, truly, • 803-641-7087 117 Newberry Street SW Aiken, South Carolina 29801

Wedding Planner 2011 15


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