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Managing Kids at your Wedding

small flowergirl drinking hershey's milk at a wedding ceremony You love kids. You have kids. Your sister has six kids. Everyone has kids. You are totally cool with everyone bringing their kids to your wedding. BUT Image result for kids at wedding Weddings tend to be formal events and even if you are not a super formal gal, you probably don't want your nephews having an epic sword fight during your first dance. (If I am super off base and you totally would love this, you can find some great play swords here.) flowergirl dancing on the dance floor in wedding reception at xcaret To prevent the adorable chaos that can turn into the kind of chaos that leads to wedding fails, there are a few measures you can take if you are going to allow kids at your wedding.

Here are three to get you going!

  1. Set the expectation that the parents of the kids are in charge of their own kids. This may seem silly, but it isn't a bad idea to spread the word that while their kids our welcome, parents should remember to keep an eye on their own kids. A lot of parents have limited nights out and may want to take advantage of not having to pay a babysitter and having so many adults that can be their eyes while they relax a little.
  2. In the same breath, hire a sitter or find a volunteer or two to run kid activities during the reception. These people will be less in charge of the kids as they are in charge of manning the kid tables or and games you have for the kids to play. You don't need a ton, just a few to keep those little hands busy and safe while your dad gives a toast or two. Think craft table and bean bag games!
  3. Have a mini kid menu. Don't waste the delicious and expensive food on little tummies that won't touch it. Have some mac and cheese and chicken nugget option specific for the kids.
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Top Five Mistakes When Organizing a Wedding

DIYaustria-wedding-03
 Photo Credit: Claire Morgan http://greenweddingshoes.com/
Planning a wedding is a lifetime adventure: unknown, intriguing, and exciting. While most people prefer to hire a wedding planner, some prefer to organize their own to make sure it goes perfect. If you’re planning to organize your own wedding, keep in mind that you will need to invest a lot of time and effort on it. To make sure your plans go as expected, you better take note of the below mistakes so you don’t make them: 1.    Not Having a Defined Theme The theme of your wedding will reflect your and your couple’s personality and interests; that’s why you have to define one before you start the whole planning. Not being clear on a wedding theme will lead you to combine different elements or styles, and end up with a characterless and forgettable wedding. 2.    Lacking a Budget Estimate Planning a wedding when you don’t have a defined budged could be catastrophic. If you’re unsure of how much you can spend, you might end up burning all your savings, or even worse, getting bogged down in debt. Be careful, you don’t want your wedding to become a complete nightmare. 3.    Not Hiring a Good Photographer A close friend or relative –who likes photography- might ask you to let them take the pictures of your wedding. That sounds like a good way to save money, but don’t forget that once the wedding is over, the only visual memories that will last for many years are the photographs. So carefully choose a professional photographer, even better, an expert wedding one. 4.    Choosing a Place without Knowing the Date Now, this might sound dumb, but choosing a place for your wedding involves a lot of visiting, thinking, and time. Before choosing your setting, make sure when exactly your wedding is going to take place. Choose a specific time also to know the season and weather you’ll have on your dream day, so you can get ready for every possible scenario. 5.    Not Having an Agenda Unless your main virtue is being super organized, you must have an established agenda -enough time- ahead of the wedding day; otherwise, you will probably go nuts. Take note of all the information related to your wedding and create a time table to help you organize all your pre-marriage tasks. Make sure you don’t forget any of the above and we promise your dream day will be smooth sailing. But, above all this, make sure that you really enjoy your wedding day. None of the planning will be worth it if you don’t relax and relish this day like you’ve never enjoyed any other day before. Remember, it will only happen once!  
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3 Tips for Staying on Budget

3 Tips for Staying on Budget

1. Designate 2-3 items that you are not willing to cut corners on, price them out, and adjust budget to match.

Ann's Classic Affairs - Bridal Gown: Farrah If you know you are not going to want to pass up the perfect wedding dress because it would take over the budget for the wedding invitations, then set that dress as a no compromise item. Doing this does require you to do some preliminary browsing and research, but it helps you set a budget that gets you the most of what you want. For example, if you would rather spend more money on your wedding dress or wedding cake and topper, than you might choose to forgo sending out wedding announcements and would instead announce online or in person and then just send out invitations. Or if you still want to do both, then look at options for making your own announcements and invitations. DIY can not only help you save money, but it allows you to control everything that goes into it! 2. Get Organized

GSS Wedding Planning Tools :: Tips to Get and Stay Organized! One key to getting organized is to make sure everyone is on the same page. If two people spend the same designated money on different things then you are going to run into problems. So, alongside creating a wedding binder or using online wedding planning tools, be sure to create an easy and open method of communication. For example, uploading your budget sheet onto Google drive and then sharing it with anyone planning the wedding so that everyone can see updates and update the budget as you check off wedding to dos.  You also may want to create a group chat whether it be on Google hangout or on Facebook. 3. Shop Sales Wedding Collectibles Sale Sales are going to be your new best friend. When you walk into a wedding shop or hit a wedding website, start with the sale section. You will make your life so much easier if you put yourself in the position to fall in love with an item that is half off, before you see the way over budget perfect veil, garter, centerpiece, or wedding cake topper. A lot of the time if you find a sale item you love first, and then a full price item you love as well, it will make it easier for you to go with the sale item and keep in budget. Alongside sales, check the clearance section! Clearance and sales are often two different things. Sales will be temporary and will take a certain percentage off a full price item. Clearance will be items that the shop is trying to move out and will then be marked down significantly without the intention that it will soon be marked up again. You may even be able to find a clearance item that is also on sale. This doesn't mean it will be the "ugly" leftovers. You can see this happen a lot at places like Target where the same lamp in two different colors will be two different prices. Most of the time the cheaper item will be the simpler item, and when it comes to wedding accessories, simple is often better!

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List Your Way to Wedding Glory

Organization is key for a well-managed wedding package, and a well-maintained to-do list can save a couple from last minute panicked phone calls and bulk orders that you really don’t need. In fact, couples often loose money when they don’t stay organized, as late fees and panicked bookings can really eat into the wedding budget and leave you with a wedding that wasn’t quite what you had pictured. Aside from your obvious to-do lists, here are three lists you, as a couple, should be keeping right now:   A List of Vendors
A list of potential vendors as you begin choosing and booking locations will make it much easier for you to compare prices and services that a notebook full of brochures and jotted down info on napkins and scratch paper. A list makes it easy to see immediate side-by-side comparisons, and once you’ve chosen vendors for your event, keep a list of who you’re using, what services they offered, what they’re providing, and the projection of the total cost, with tax and tip. While you should also keep your contract, a separate list will keep all of this information organized and ready for reference when you need it most.
After the big day, this list will be an easy reference guide for who has been paid, when they need to be paid by, and whether or not their end price was anywhere near your quote. This is the list that will save you money and protect you from scammers! A List of Addresses
It’s starting how often couples scramble for addresses and full names right before sending out save-the-dates or invitations. You should always take the time to be sure you’re sending out your stationary with accurate and recent information, as it can be difficult to keep up on the address changes and happenings of fifty families in the weeks leading up to your wedding in your head. Keep a running list of family addresses and relevant last names right up until your stationary goes out.
If you hear about a pending divorce or an adult moving out of his grandmother’s house, it’s important to log that information into an already-ongoing list to be sure that your guests are informed and aware, no matter what has recently changed in their lives as far as residence and reference goes.   A List of Gifters
There are several gift-giving occasions that lead up to the big day, and you will need to write and send out thank-you notes for all received gifts for each separate occassion. Guests realize that this isn’t the easiest task to pencil in during the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, but it would be tragic to forget who sent what when the time finally comes to sit down and get the notes out of the way. Some notes should be written before others, such as shower and engagement party notes, and an organized list keeps this from becoming a logistical nightmare.
Keep a tab of gifts received and log who they were from and for what occasion. Keeping different notes and lists will spell disaster for your organization later on. Trust me; this is one list you can’t afford to skip out on!

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The Sentimental Purpose of a Wedding Gift Record Book

Using and Keeping your Wedding Gift Record Book

Wedding Gift Record Book

  The second most important organizational book on your wedding day (second only to the guestbook) will be your wedding gift record book. The wedding gift record book, though never on display at your ceremony or reception, is a wonderful way to keep all of your gifts and addresses in order before you have a chance to write up thank you cards. Just because it’s a personal organizational tool doesn’t mean that it can’t be stylish AND practical! Find a wedding gift record book that fits in with the look and feel of your day, as it will eventually fall in with the general collection of wedding memorabilia once the day has come and gone. Use a wedding gift record book to flag thank you notes, store addresses, and record the various gifts you receive from friends and family for the wedding, showers, and potentially even the engagement. So why not just jot the info down on notebook paper and forget about it once you’ve sent off the thank you cards? The gifts you receive, and the special guests who thought of you and purchased them, will become treasured memories later in your married life. A record of names and gifts will become something that not only you, but posterity, will value for years and years. Your wedding gift record book is not jus an organizational tool; it’s a wedding artifact waiting to happen!
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