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Brevity is the Soul of the Reception: The Maid of Honor Speech

Public speaking scares the pants off of most people, and as much as you don’t want to think about it, you know that you’re going to have to do it if you’ve accepted the brave and noble post of “Maid of Honor.” It really isn’t a big deal, as much as you might be freaking out over it. Honestly, most of us just want to skip listening to speeches and eat dinner, but that probably doesn’t make you feel better. The best thing you can do is sit down and write it (and skip the bar before you step into the spotlight). Here are some quick tips to make your speech writing a lot less painful:   Everyone Loves an Anecdote
If you don’t want to glue your nose to an index card throughout the duration of your speech, tell a story. Stories are also more interesting and tend to express your feelings for the couple without the repetition that drags so many other speeches down. There are a million ways to say that you love the couple, but you should chose the one that is unique to the relationship you share with them; hence story. A story shows us (instead of telling us) what your relationship is like.   But not THAT Anecdote
Leave the embarrassing and inappropriate stories for the rehearsal dinner. I thought this was pretty common knowledge until a wedding I attended recently, where the best man spent ten minutes rambling about the first time he and the groom went to a nude steakhouse together. Though the story was pretty funny, it wasn’t really the right time and place for its recounting. In short, remember your audience. You don’t want your great aunt to take the dinnerware back out of shame.   Short and Sweet
Nothing is worse than a speech that rambles on forever when the guests can see the cupcakes calling their names at the front of the room. Your speech is your time to express well wishes for the happy couple, but do so briefly. If you analyze all of the boring speeches you’ve ever heard at weddings, you’ll find that most of them are expressing the same thought over and over again. This can make for some lengthy speeches and some pretty bored audiences. A short speech will also be easier to remember, which is always a plus for the nervous MOH.
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Stay Safe with a Wedding Card Holder

A Wedding Card Holder Can Help You to Protect Your Gifts

Wedding Card Holder

While it's never advisable to expect gifts for your wedding, you would be remiss not to include a wedding card holder among your day-of decor. A wedding card holder will work as a place for your friends and family to deposit any well-wishes (and perhaps even a few checks and gift cards) that they might bring with them on the day of the wedding. You'll want your cards to remain safe during the event, and it's certainly not unheard of for party crashers and thieves to make off with any unguarded gifts, so make sure you have a safe wedding card holder available in a guarded locale. You don't need to be hovering over your wedding card holder like a hawk all evening, but it might be in your best interest to place it somewhere safe - like the back of the ballroom or near the DJ - to keep any sticky fingers at bay. Also, enlist the help of a small lock to keep any would-be thieves from simply walking away with one or two cards. It's much easier to make off with a few paper-thin gifts than a whole box. As for party guests, here's a bit of advice: the couple won't need to worry about a safe wedding card holder if you simply send the gift directly to their home. While it's unlikely that a couple will eschew the use of a wedding card holder on their wedding day, it is much easier for them to accept gifts if they don't have to haul them around during a very busy night! That way, of course, a missing wedding card holder will be no excuse for late thank you cards!
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Creativity in Wedding Table Numbers

Wedding Table Numbers: Noticeable and Subtle!

Wedding Table Numbers

If you want any sort of order at your wedding, you're probably already working on a seating chart - and seating charts mean wedding table numbers. Wedding table numbers are a detail that some brides don't think about until the rest of the planning is over, but honestly, they're just as important as your centerpieces and table runners. Wedding table numbers need to be noticeable without being distracting, and you need to make sure they won't blow away! This isn't a problem for indoor receptions, but it's just one of the little details that some brides brush away until it becomes a problem.   So what are your options for wedding table numbers? There are several styles, designs, and materials that you could use to design your wedding table numbers; they're as diverse and personal as the other details of your day, and they can be fun to integrate if you think about it far enough ahead of time. You could stick to traditional circular card stock wedding table numbers or tent-style paper wedding table numbers (both simple, classy options), but don't feel limited. Wedding table numbers can be fashioned out of anything if you have a handy-dandy liquid chalk marker at your side. The markers are washable and add a rustic, vintage feel to whatever you might be marking - wedding table numbers included. You could also include your centerpieces in your venture by option for vases with wedding table numbers personalized into them. Get creative!
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3 Dancing Alternatives for your Guests

Not everyone throws off their heels and tosses their cares to the wind when the DJ gets going at a wedding reception. Many people just don’t care for dancing - especially at a reception - and some of them might spend their time twiddling their thumbs or making extra trips to the cake and punch as the night carries on. This may not be true for some enthusiastic guests, but if you fear that your guests will be sitting on their hands while only a few wild ones occupy the dance floor, you might want to think of a few wedding activity alternatives.

  These alternatives aren’t just for shy guests, mind you. They’re also wonderful for afternoon weddings, weddings with an abundance of children, or weddings where the bride and groom themselves might not be so excited about dancing the night away.   Try… Lawn Games Perfect for a warm-weather backyard wedding (or really anywhere with space and grass), lawn games are exactly what they sound like. Break out the croquet set and the bocce balls; this plan is a wonderful setup for a wedding that has several younger guests. Lawn games are much less expensive then a photo booth (another popular extra-dancing activity), and guests will stay entertained longer.   Try… Conversation Starter Cards These are more of a bonus than a way to replace dancing completely. Conversation starter cards are a great way to decorate a table and occupy guests who may be a little shy about shaking it. You can print these cards yourself and arrange them in sets in any manner you like (think ribbons in your colors around sets of fifteen at each place setting). These cards might have hypothetical questions (in the “Would you Rather…” fashion) to get a fun conversation going, and are very well received at events where not everyone is eager to get up and dance.   Try… Wedding Reception Lounges Better for evening weddings, and a little more laid-back than lawn party games, lounges allow your guests to congregate in comfortable settings on the fringes of your event space. Lounges also let you play with furniture arrangements and possibly integrate a fire pit in a way you probably shouldn’t on the dinner table. Lounges give your guests a laid-back alternative to dancing while still feeling like they’re a part of your event.

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Switch it Up with Winter Wedding Toasting Glasses

Winter Wedding Toasting Glasses for the Colder Months

Winter Wedding Toasting Glasses

  Toasting glasses are an important part of a bride’s keepsake arsenal. They’re often personalized and are a relevant part of the proceedings during a wedding reception. While Spring, Summer, and garden weddings often feature lighter beverages (such as light white wines and champagnes) in their toasting glasses, winter wedding toasting glasses offer some fun and unique opportunities for cold weather brides. Switch up your beverage choices. Winter wedding toasting glasses accept more than champagne. The cold winter months allow you to change things up a bit and pour beer or spiced cider in your winter wedding toasting glasses. For dry weddings, no one will say no to a pint of hot chocolate or cider, especially if you drink yours out of special winter wedding toasting glasses.
Winter wedding toasting glasses also allow you to switch up your materials and design. Find winter wedding toasting glasses that feature frosted glass (to mimic the frosty weather), or the foliage of the season (like pine cones, conifer leaves, etc). Though most winter wedding toasting glasses will keep to the traditional shape, don’t be shy about switching it up. Everything looks sleek and delicious in the right set of winter wedding toasting glasses.
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The Pros and Cons of Bridal Seating

A bride stresses about every little thing concerning the details of her wedding. For the most part, guests don’t notice how many candles you lined on each table or how many chrysanthemum arrangements you settled on for the guestbook table, but they do notice some other things that you may not have spent so much time thinking about; they care if they get to see you on your wedding day. Often, the way you arrange your seating will dictate how approachable you make yourself and how easy it will be to make rounds to greet your eager guests. I went to a wedding where the bride chose to sit at a head table (An option where the bridal party sits facing the room in a row), but she put it on a platform that rose above the rest of us. The band leader called us up by table to congratulate the couple and bridal party on the stage - I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to hug them or bow to them. Here are some pros and cons of a few seating options you have on your wedding day. No matter what you choose, try to greet your guests personally during your reception. It’s one of the only things (besides the food and booze) that they really look forward to during your reception, and it’s your chance to thank them for their attendance during the ceremony.   1. The Sweetheart Table
This option allows you and your sweetheart your own table, usually small and located at the head of the room.
PROS:
Your wedding day will be stressful and hectic and full of talking. The sweetheart table gives you some alone time with your new spouse so you can wine and dine in peace (at least for a few minutes). This option is also nice for your bridal party, who can now be seated with their friends, family, and significant others throughout the rest of the room.
CONS:
It’s easy to get carried away and remain seated at this table all night. It may be difficult for less assertive guests to approach your table to greet you, especially since the sweetheart table tends to be in the center of attention. If you choose this option, make sure to get up and mingle.   2. The Head Table
This option allows you to sit with your bridal party (and your new spouse) in a long table at the head of the room. The people at this table sit on one side, facing the guests.
PROS:
You chose your bridal party for a reason - these people are special to you and you want to hang out with them. Why wouldn’t you want to sit with them too? This setup also makes it easy for guests to come up and greet you, as it isn’t quite as lonely as the sweetheart table.
CONS:
This is honestly my least favorite of the table options. By having your bridal party sit with you, you’re keeping them from other loved ones that they might want to sit with (including spouses, siblings, children). The line of people also means that you have to lean way over to talk to someone three chairs away from you, and no one likes a wedding gown covered in marinera.  
3. Sitting Among the Masses
You and your spouse sit at a table like everyone else - maybe with your parents, maybe with your friends - there’s no tradition to dictate what you should do.
PROS:
This is a good option if you aren’t big on being the center of attention. By sitting at a regular table like the rest of your guests, you can become part of the party instead of the focus of it. This option gives you time to relax and chat and eat without worrying yourself over bridal duties (and mingling doesn’t become so much of a task).
CONS:
Someone will always wonder why you didn’t sit with them. A creative way to fix this is to reserve two chairs at every table in the room and make time to sit and eat with them. This might be hard to pull off at a wedding with more than a dozen tables, but the intimacy of having even a small amount of time to eat and talk with all of your guests will make them feel that they got to experience your day WITH you.
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First Impressions with Wedding Place Card Holders

Wedding Place Card Holders Set the Scene

Wedding Place Card Holders

Wedding place card holders are probably the first things that your guests will see as they enter your ceremony space. Yes, they’ll notice the feel of the room, the centerpieces and the cake (if it’s set out) too, but the first small detail that they will see will be your wedding place card holders.
It’s no secret that the small touches are what makes a wedding. Every hall can be filled with roses and washed with pink tinted light, but your small touches are what sets your wedding apart from someone else’s. Things like wedding place card holders show your guests the time and energy you put in to your wedding day, and they will reciprocate that energy and passion.
Wedding place card holders don’t have to be fancy - on the contrary. Simple touches are often the most significant to an impressionable guest. Try to fit the wedding place card holders to the theme and feel of your wedding; paper bird silhouettes for a garden affair, tiny bells for a church wedding, or small renderings of famous works of art for a gallery cocktail hour. This detail is often the most overlooked, but can be a precious keepsake for your guest. If you’re hiring a calligrapher for your pace cards (or having friends and family help with the printing and design), keep in mind where the wedding place card holders will grip the cards. It might be confusing for a guest if their name is cut off by a wayward but well-meaning rosette.
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Choosing a reception venue

It is very difficult to get a wedding site of your choice unless you book it well in advance. There are many instances where couples have chosen their wedding dates based on the availability of the reception venueReception sites can vary from hotels to halls to clubs. Before choosing a venue, you need to have a rough idea on how many guests have been invited. Once that is decided, you need to look at the location and budget factor. The church hall is the best venue if you are on a shoestring budget. You also need to see if there are enough parking facilities available for the guests in the venue. You need to check their policies on food, beverage and music. It is better to look around the premise before hand so that there are no surprises on the day of the wedding. You can even use your backyard to host your reception. You need some good tents for that. Tents give a great feeling of outdoors with protection from the elements. They come in a variety of sizes and styles. If you are hosting an outdoor reception, it is necessary for you to have ample restrooms. You can event opt for portable rest rooms too.
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The Food at the Wedding

The food at your wedding is very important. People are very finicky about what they eat. It is not a problem if you do not have a good decoration. But if your food is bad, it will leave a bad taste in your guests' mouths. So do not compromise on quality. However, that does not mean that you spend thousands of dollars on catering. You can decide on a budget and get the best out of it. If you don’t want your guests to pay for their drinks and yet not end up paying a huge bill, the best way out of the situation is to decide from before, which drinks you want to serve. You can also keep the bar open for a few hours and then shut it down. You can also have a high tea reception where you only decide to serve appetizers. But you must clarify it before hand. You would not want your guests to come expecting full meal. Make sure that the caterer you choose is good. Ask for samples before hand. Also negotiate for a good deal. You must freeze the guest list to ensure that you do not run short of food.
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Low Cost Wedding Reception Ideas

Your wedding is something that you have grown dreaming about. But that does not mean that your wedding will put you in debt. No point starting a new life with debt. So do not go overboard. Things are expensive and over splurging is not a good sign. Your wedding is your special day. You are not here to please your guests. In fact your guests are here to be a part of your special day. Keep in mind that the most extravagant wedding is not necessarily the best one. One good way to cut cost is to avoid all frills. You can do away with alcohol. You can simply provide soft drinks and hot beverages. If necessary, you can keep a cash bar. If your guests want to drink, they can do it at their own cost. You might skip dinner entirely by holding your reception early in the day. You can also opt for pot luck by asking few close friends to cook. You can do away with the expensive china and silverware. You can use paper plates and napkins. Don’t worry no one will mind. If you want some music, you can check with local colleges. They have good in-house bands that are not too expensive. You can also compile a  CD of your favorite tracks from the net and play it at the venue
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