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Sit Down Dinner Wedding Reception

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Sit Down Dinner Wedding Reception

What is a sit-down dinner wedding reception? Well it consists of several plated courses served to your seated wedding guests. You select from a first course, perhaps a soup, salad, entree, perhaps an intermezzo, and each course is brought to your guests’ tables, with friendly, experienced wedding servers bringing guests the entrees they desire.

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Can I afford a sit down dinner wedding reception?

Draw up a budget. It is most important that you know exactly how much money you’re working with, as well as how much of your wedding budget you can designate to a sit-down dinner. This budget is not just for the sit down dinner wedding reception.

Figure out how many guests you can invite. A sit-down dinner wedding reception can cost anywhere from $30 to $150 per person. If you’re inviting over 200 people, you may want to stick to the lower end of the spectrum, but if you’re only inviting 50 people, you may be able to spend a bit more.

Decide how many courses you want. In most cases, the more courses you have, the more expensive the meal is going to be. Cut courses to save on cost.

Do your research. Before you go anywhere, look up caterers you are interested in online and see if you can get a quote. If you cannot get a quote online, make appointments with different caterers. Be honest about your budget. If the caterer is out of your price range, it’s better to know early. Similarly, if the caterer knows your budget, he or she may be more likely to work with you on cutting costs. Go to tastings to find your perfect caterer.

Plan the menu. Once you decide what caterer to use, you will need to finalize what food to serve at the sit down dinner wedding reception. See if the caterer will give you any discounts if you order certain foods to be served. For instance, chicken is usually cheaper than seafood.

Save money for the bar costs. If you are doing an open bar, you will probably have to play a flat fee (usually about $10 per person) for alcohol. Even if you are having a cash bar, you will have to pay for the bartenders. Bottles of champagne are usually extra, so keep that in mind if you plan on doing a champagne toast.

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland.

Your Wedding Cake

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Wedding Cake

Choosing your wedding cake and wedding cake topper for your special day can, at first, seem like a major problem for someone who has no idea where to start in the process.

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Consider whether or not you have to adhere to a budget. If you do have to consider keeping in the confines of a monetary limit, set that amount firmly in your thoughts and proceed from there. If not, then you will be more likely to find something that is uniquely made and special, just for you.

Try and anticipate just exactly how many this confection has to serve. The bigger the number of guests, the bigger the cake will need to be. Assume that everyone you have invited has responded positively and will, indeed, be coming to the reception.

See if anyone you know has any recommendations for any bakery that has served them successfully. Look at the various wedding cake toppers to pick the one that you like best. If not, see if there are any bridal shows being held in your area (many take place in the first month or so of the year) where you can go and see examples of what local specialty bakeries have to offer.

Many of them will have portfolios featuring pictures of their past wedding cake creations to give you a better idea of what they are capable of producing. If you see anything that particularly impresses you, be sure you get one of their business cards so you can make an appointment to meet with them and discuss your needs at a later time.

Make an appointment with the one or two bakeries where you would like to have a cake tasting. At this tasting the bakery will offer you and any who accompany you, several different examples of the flavors of cakes and fillings that they can offer you.

Try to have an idea of what you might prefer. These bakeries have a good idea of how big a wedding cake will be needed to serve the number of guests you are expecting.

Discuss what kind of wedding cake you would like to have as well as the wedding cake topper that will look best with it. This includes the shape of the cake, what kinds of colors or special decorations you would like to see.

If you have a preference for wedding cake topper (like a ceramic or porcelain piece or using fresh flowers that reflect those used for the bridal bouquet or other decorations), now is the time to discuss them. Depending on the ingredients used, the amount of labor that goes into the production, size and the use of non-edible decorations like hanging Austrian crystals, all will affect the cost of the cake. It is not unusual for a relatively modest cake to start at $500, with costs going up to $1500 and over for larger creations.

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland.

Your Wedding Reception

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Planning Your Wedding Reception

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Planning your wedding reception can take a lot of effort and it all begins with deciding on the location of the reception and the type of reception. Fear not, it’s a fairly methodical process provided you’re aware of which things need to be covered and you can have a lot of fun with it too.

Set the date for your wedding before you actually start looking for locations for the reception. Keep in mind that many sites are booked a year or even two in advance, so you may need to fine tune the date dependent on the availability of your desired reception location, or be ready to change to a different reception venue.

Set down your budget. When you go to rent your wedding reception location, you’ll have to give a rounded figure of approximately how many quests you’re likely to have. Therefore, an important part of any planning of the wedding reception involves pruning down your reception list; this will also bring about an estimation of the costs per head, according to the size of the room and your requirements too.

Decide on the type of reception you’d like to have. Nowadays the two main types of reception are sit-down meal or a cocktail wedding reception, but other variants such as picnics, a simple cake-cutting, or a beach reception might also appeal.

Consider whether or not you’ll have a receiving line. On the positive side, this can provide an opportunity to greet all guests and allows everyone to feel they’ve had the chance to congratulate you. On the downside, it can take a lot of time and it can begin to feel tiring for those in it. Some guests may also detest the formality of this and having to wait in line. Having divorced parents can also make this an awkward decision for some.

Decide when to have the wedding toasts and plan to keep them short. While these are both traditional and wonderful, they’re a pain when they’re too long, or just plain dull. Make the toasts during or between dinner courses, with two or three people speaking each time.

Decide when dancing will occur at the wedding reception. Nowadays most weddings tend to leave the dancing until all courses are finished rather than having dances between courses. Besides your special song, be sure to have songs people will really want to dance to, not strange songs that only suit the taste of a few. 

Organize the photography of the wedding reception. You will want your wedding reception photos as much as the ceremony photos. Organize pictures with family and friends, in special groups or at certain tables. Do you want guests to take photos too? They could each be asked to email digital photos of the evening that they’ve taken; give them a central wedding photo email set up just for this purpose.

Consider whether you wish to have any other ceremonial aspects. For example, garter belt removal tradition in front of the guests. And you might wish to throw the bouquet at your wedding reception, as per tradition.

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland.

Wedding Album

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Wedding Album

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Your wedding photographer has sent you a CD chock full of photos, it’s fantastic to see the big day all over again, and the photos look amazing – but there are over a thousand to choose from! How on earth are you going to choose the best ones for your wedding album?

The BEST Wedding albums tell a story

They’re not a minute-by-minute account of every smile and every pose, they show the highlights of your day and the parts you’ll most want to remember.

Vary your choice

Photographers can get a little snap happy. You’ll inevitably end up with a lot of similar photos, so avoid replicas and try to select the best few from each part of the day: getting ready, traveling to and arriving at the venue, the ceremony itself, drinks reception and so on.

Give your photos room to breathe

The more photos you try to cram into the wedding album then the smaller they will have to be and the design will look messy. Most professional companies use ‘lay-flat’ pages, which allow your photos to be displayed right across the spread, so the fewer photos you have the bigger they can be, and the more impact they’ll make when the album is opened.

Think about colors and contrasts

Crisp blue sky, plush green grass, snow covered buildings, and even guests in brightly-colored dresses can make photos leap off the pages of your wedding album. This works especially well when contrasted with black and white photos, and darker indoor photos.

Cover to cover

Choose photos for the front and back covers. Something simple always works well for the front, as do colorful flowers and backdrops. (White or Ivory bridal dresses look great with a colorful bouquet!). Go for black and white if you want something a little more classic. For the back cover, choose something that finishes the story of your day – perhaps a photo of you leaving the wedding or your guests waving goodbye.

Don’t worry about the orientation

Any reputable wedding album company offering a professional design service won’t mind if your photos have been taken in portrait or landscape – they’ll ensure the photos flow and the design looks great either way.

Smile for the camera

Once you’ve got your final selection, check them over to make sure everyone is looking happy and engaged with the event. You want your guests to look like they’re enjoying themselves, not having a sneaky nose-pick in the corner of the room!

Quality not quantity

Enlarge your photos on the screen to check they don’t blur and get pixilated. If they do then they won’t look so great when printed. Also check for any marks on the photos, people out of focus, and so on.

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland.

Wedding Day Jewelry

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How to Choose Your Wedding Day Jewelry

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When it comes to your wedding day, you as the bride are on display. It is your day and everyone’s eyes will be on you. For this reason, you must look your best, and your dress, accessories, and hair should be perfect. When the time comes to choose jewelry for your wedding day, you should follow some specific guidelines in order to select the right items.

Don’t pick wedding day jewelry for the sake of wearing jewelry. In some cases, you may not need it. The style of your dress is the best indicator as to whether you need jewelry. If your wedding dress is busy with diamonds, pearls, and sequins, or its fabric goes high at the neck and long on the sleeves, then adding bridal jewelry may make the final look too garish.

Enhance the beauty of your dress with jewelry, don’t ruin or hide it when selecting your wedding day jewelry. This is why you should allow your dress to decide what is needed as far as jewelry. Do you have a lower neckline that a necklace and earrings would complement? Are your sleeves short enough for a bracelet to be added gracefully?

Reflect the type of wedding day jewelry with various features of your dress. For example, if your dress boasts specific color gems, pearls, or sequins, then consider jewelry that matches this in a balanced fashion. Don’t overdo it, however. In some cases if the gems are liberal on a dress, then selecting jewelry that is simpler creates balance.

Allow your hairstyle to dictate your wedding day jewelry selection. If you are wearing your hair up, then earrings that hang may be appropriate. But, again, don’t select anything that takes over the finished look. Every item of jewelry you choose needs to complement your dress as a whole, and your final look needs to show you off, not camouflage you.

Choose jewelry that reflects your personality and who you are. You want to feel comfortable in what you are wearing. You have presumably selected a dress that matches your personality, so do the same with your jewelry. If you feel more comfortable with simpler jewelry, then select items that match your dress and your personal style.

A few do’s and don’ts when picking your wedding day jewelry:

  • DO mix borrowed with new.
  • DON’T wear a necklace with this season’s asymmetrical gown trend.
  • DO bring your headpiece when trying on earrings.
  • DON’T wear a watch.
  • DO mix finishes: your ring is its own entity.
  • DON’T over-accessorize.
  • DO give yourself enough time!
  • DON’T compromise personal style.
  • DO incorporate color into jewelry.
  • DON’T cut corners — quality lasts a lifetime.
  • DO wear your wedding jewelry after the big day.
  • DON’T wear wire earrings.
  • DO change jewelry for the reception.

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offers Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland. Come and design your own Wedding Gown.

Wedding Flowers

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How to Choose Your Wedding Flowers 

 

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A wedding would just not be the same without flowers. Every bride wants her wedding to be memorable and her choice of wedding flowers or arrangements should reflect her specific taste and personality.

Understand that there are no right or wrong choices when selecting your wedding flowers. It is your own personal choice, as your own preferences are the most important part, as well as having a basic understanding of what works well for the theme you’ve chosen and your budget.

 

Start by looking through bridal magazines, books, and even gardening books that focus on flowers. If you don’t already have an idea of the types of flowers you’d like to have, simply looking at beautifully photographed flowers can be a lovely way to start getting an idea of what you like. Learn the different meanings of the flowers so that this can play a part in your decision; you might want to express certain sentiments through the “language of flowers”.

 

Consider the color of the flowers. Color is an important part of your decision about which flowers to have. The colors chosen should complement the bridal gown, the wedding theme, and the clothing of the rest of the bridal party.

 

Start with the bridal bouquet. This is the most intimate floral arrangement for the wedding and if you can’t afford many flowers, at least don’t skimp on the bouquet! The bride’s bouquet should be the largest and most spectacular bouquet in the wedding party.

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Decide upon the bridesmaids’ bouquets. The bridesmaids’ flowers can be a smaller version of the brides flowers or a different shape but still maintaining the color theme. If the bride is carrying a trailing bouquet the bridesmaids could carry round bouquets. Ultimately, aim for good coordination.

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Decide upon the style of the flower girl’s flowers. This daintiest member of the wedding party could carry a small basket of flowers to match the bridesmaids’ flowers. The basket can be sprayed white or a pastel shade. Another alternative is to attach a spray of flowers to a piece of ribbon and tie it around the flower girl’s wrist, tying the ribbon ends in a bow with long ends. This is particularly suitable for a very young flower girl who may find a basket awkward to carry.

Prepare the bridegroom and groomsmen. Although their need for flowers is less showy, it’s just as important, and they will wear a buttonhole/boutonniere. For the groom, provide something that has a slight difference from the buttonholes for the groomsmen – such as a single flower that is the same as one in the bridal bouquet. Flowers that are popular for buttonholes include roses, carnations, orchids, and small varieties of lily. Lily of the valley is popular for buttonholes because it is an expensive flower but goes a long way in a buttonhole.

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Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland.

Wedding Party

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Choosing Your Wedding Party

 

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1. Think twice before you ask.  Once you’ve asked someone to be in your wedding party, you can’t go back. So while it may be tempting to ask all of your favorite friends to be in your wedding party the minute you get engaged, don’t. Take your time. And pose this question to yourself: Do you imagine you’ll be just as close to this person in five years as you are now?

2. Set honest expectations. What sort of a role do you want your wedding party to play? Is it important to you that they help to address wedding invites, dress shop with you and attend all of the prewedding parties? Or will it be enough for them to wear what you chose and show up the day of? If it’s the former, think twice about asking friends or family who live far away or have extremely hectic schedules. The worst thing you could do is set yourself up for disappointment.

3. Include your brothers and sisters. Not to sound like mom, but think about it: Even if you’re not particularly close to his sister or her brother, siblings are going to be around well past your 10-year anniversary, and chances are, you’ll become closer over the years. If you come from a big family and you can’t possibly include everyone, draw the line at teenagers. Instead, make them a part of the ceremony by asking them to pass out programs or seat guests.

4. Consider the size of your wedding. You can have as many (or few) bridesmaids and groomsmen as you like. The average wedding party size is eight – four bridesmaids and four groomsmen. Use that as a guide when you decide. Depending on formality, go larger or smaller. For a smaller wedding with around 50 to 60 guests, have no more than four, but for a larger wedding of, say, 150, you could go up to 12 if you really wanted to. Just keep this in mind: More isn’t always merrier.

5. Choose responsible honor attendants. Choosing your best man and maid of honor might not be an easy task. The best honor attendants are friends who are responsible (since you’re going to rely on them for some big wedding planning tasks and to hold on to your expensive rings) and friends who are good at providing emotional support, because there just might be a few prewedding meltdowns. (It also helps if they’re super-fun, since they’ll be planning the bachelor and bachelorette parties!).

6. Don’t ask someone just because they asked you. Weddings are no time for quid pro quo. You don’t need to ask someone to be in your wedding because they asked you to be in their wedding.

7 “Others”. You might need ushers to lead the guests to their seats at the ceremony, plus a couple candlelighters and program distributors. But there are a lot of other options as well than just bridesmaid and groomsman. Maybe you have a musically inclined friend who would love to play something at the reception. Or what about that friend who is an amazing writer? Have them write up something to read at your ceremony.

8. Kids aren’t required. If there are no children you two feel particularly close to, you don’t need a flower girl and/or ring bearer. And if you have many children you want to include, feel free. Have three little flower girls instead of one and give them each their own basket of flower petals. Or have your two little guy cousins walk down the aisle as pages. They can bear the ring, hold a keepsake or carry a “Here Comes the Bride” sign.

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland.

Wedding Guest

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Be a Great Wedding Guest!

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Being a wedding guest is an honor. After all, there are few days more significant, more personal. The happy couple wants you to be there to revel in their joy by being their wedding guest.

Here is a short “Do’s and Don’ts” List:

DO Be in the Moment

Picture this: you’re in the church. The Maid of Honor has just finished walking down the aisle. The music changes, heads turn to the back of the church, the door slowly opens. The bride appears and walks forward, holding on to her father’s arm.

And you? You smile. You tear up. You hold the hand of the person next to you. And you leave your camera in your purse or on the pew. You don’t walk out into the aisle to take a picture with your camera or your phone.

DO Be On Time to the Church

The time listed on the invitation is the time the ceremony will (or should) begin, so be sure to get to the church/ceremony location at least 10 minutes earlier. Don’t be a late wedding guest.

DO Have Fun & Dance

Hit the dance floor, enjoy the food, have some drinks and at the end of the night tell the bride and groom that this was the best wedding you have ever been to. Give them a hug, wish them well and thank them for inviting you.

DO Act As Though This is The Only Wedding… Ever

Don’t tell the bride or groom about things you have seen at other weddings. Don’t ask them why they didn’t do a candy station or chocolate fountain. Don’t say that so-and-so’s DJ/band was better. For one day, let that bride be the only bride in the world and that wedding be the only one you can even think about.

DON’T Hide in Pictures

If the bride and groom ask you to be in a picture with them, please make sure that the photographer can see you. Don’t try to hide behind someone tall, or duck a little in the back. The couple wants to be able to see you.

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DON’T Tell the Bride

You got a flat tire on the way to the wedding? Your heels are sinking into the grass during the ceremony? The drummer for the band is running late? Unless it’s something crucial for the bride to know, don’t tell her. She probably can’t do anything about it, so let her bask in the joy of the day and the blissful ignorance of anything going awry. Don’t be a pain in the butt wedding guest.

DON’T Monopolize Their Time

I know you’re super excited to talk to the bride and groom. You may not have seen them in months or years and you’re thrilled to get the chance to catch up with them. Unfortunately, the wedding day is not really the time to do that. So, talk to them for a few minutes but please, please don’t monopolize their time.

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland.

Destination Weddings

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Destination Weddings

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Believe it or not, marrying away from home used to be synonymous with eloping. While destination weddings look different now, they’re still a great way to ensure you have a wedding that is decidedly you.

  1. They’re Virtually Stress-Free

Watch any classic wedding movie, and you’ll soon understand why destination weddings are so popular. They are almost guaranteed to be simpler (and faster!) to plan than a traditional wedding and reception for two main reasons:

  • Honeymoon resorts and cruise lines around the world have made it easier and more appealing to wed on-site. Many have full-time wedding coordinators on staff who are familiar with that country’s marriage license requirements and who offer wedding packages that take care of all your ceremony essentials (photographer, cake, minister, etc.). You step off the plane and sign the papers; they take care of the rest.
  • If you’re not getting married at a resort, you can hire a stateside wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings, contact a wedding planner in the town you plan to wed, or start early and do it yourself. Either way, hire a planner and the logistics of pulling off a reception and party are off your plate.
  1. No Family Drama

The second reason destination weddings rule? No scene-stealing family drama. It’s great if the two families are in rapport, but if not, who needs all that negative stuff?

  1. They’re Cost Effective

The affordability of a destination wedding has many couples speeding off to the airport faster than you can say “I do.” For instance, a couple can fly to an all-inclusive resort, get married, and stay for a deluxe week long honeymoon for a few thousand dollars, including lodging, meals, drinks, and airfare. Compare that with your average 150-guest wedding costing about $29,000 — which can easily go up to more than $100,000. (Not to mention a few extra thousand for a honeymoon.)

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  1. You Call The Shots

While formal weddings hold meaning for many couples, linking them to the traditions of their ancestors and culture, others want the experience to be unique, with a ceremony and location that reflect their true colors. Perhaps an exotic tropical paradise experience? A snowy mountain-peak ceremony? It’s all up to you.

  1. They’re Perfect for Second Marriages

Been-there-done-that couples who are getting married for the second or third time choose destination weddings because they’re simple and private. If either person or both have done the Hollywood-scale production before and want something quieter or less expensive this time around, it’s the right way to go.

  1. They’re a Once-in-a-Lifetime Reunion Opportunity

At a typical wedding, you’re on the run, meeting and greeting. Destination weddings are on vacation time. You’re usually required to arrive a few days early to fill out the paperwork, so by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ve had two to three days of fun with family and friends. How often do you have the opportunity to spend no-rush quality playtime with dear, far-flung friends? This is your chance.

 

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland.

Marry Us?

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Who Will Marry You?

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Your master of ceremony is a personal choice for your wedding day. Who should you use for your I do’s?

Justice of the Peace is a layperson licensed to perform marriage ceremonies. You can find one at www.findaajp.com. The fee varies but $75 to $200 is typical. It is best to meet your JP in advance. This will allow you time to talk about how you can personalize your wedding ceremony. If you go to City Hall you can personalize your ceremony by writing your own vows. Some City Halls will allow other personal touches for your wedding ceremony. You will need to check out your local rules. This is a great way to go if you are having a wedding out of the country. By doing it this way you will be 100% certain your marriage is valid.

A Clergy Member is a religious official that will perform your wedding ceremony. A clergy member is recognized by the state to perform your wedding ceremony, so there will be little danger of invalid paperwork. Most religions will allow clergy to marry nonmembers, but some may require additional premarital counseling. They may also require to hold the wedding ceremony in a house of worship. You maybe able to customize some parts of the ceremony but they do have rules to follow as well. If you have a multi faith wedding ceremony in mind you will need to discuss with both clergy members to see what can be done. The donation range should be $200 to $1500.

A Special Friend or Relative – they must be ordained as a minister to perform your wedding ceremony. This option by far would be the best choice if you want to have a more personal wedding ceremony.  You must also check your state rules as they do vary in each state. The key to this is to make sure the person you wish to perform your wedding ceremony can handle the pressure and take it seriously. So choose wisely! To be ordained is free, but you can offer to pay for the printed certificate.

So many options to say I do. Research them all and choose what is best for you and your future hubby.

Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique offering Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses up to size 30. Lily’s Bridal offers the largest selection of exclusive designer Wedding Gowns and Prom Dresses in Maryland. Curvy and Plus Size Brides you must come see the best selection of Wedding Dresses in Maryland.