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Lisa Miller

Your Wedding Planning Timeline Part 1: A Helpful Guide

by Lisa Beth Miller Newly engaged? Congratulations! You are going to be a busy woman for the next several months, so take a deep breath and get ready to get organized! Soon after you get engaged, you will need to start a wedding notebook or folder. Create a system for organizing your notes, contacts, and ideas in one place!  You could include sections on catering, music, gowns, etc. At this point, you also need to establish what your budget will be and what type of event you will be planning. For example, will your wedding be formal or informal, indoors or outdoors, large or small? Is there a special theme you’d like to incorporate? Will the event be held during the day or in the evening? In your hometown or at a far-away location? Now is the time to really brainstorm and create a plan for your …

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Keeping Guests Cool at Summer Weddings

by Lisa Beth Miller Summer is a perfect season for weddings thanks to its sunny days and warm evenings. While sunshine and cloudless skies lead to some amazing wedding photos, it is important to keep your guests’ comfort in mind if your festivities are outdoors! Overheated, sunburned, dehydrated guests are not happy guests! Here are some fun ideas to keep your crew cool and comfy. Sunglasses as favors can be a fun, personalized touch. These could also provide some cute photo ops! Parasols are also a trendy idea for shading guests from the bright sun. Cool cocktails are a welcome treat on a warm day! Offer a light and refreshing signature cocktail to keep everyone happily hydrated. An ice cream truck will keep children (and adults) entertained in summer months. This could be a nostalgic surprise for guests after the …

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Wedding Guest Etiquette 101: How To Be Perfectly Polite

by Lisa Beth Miller It is so much fun to be invited to a wedding! From the time the elegant invitation arrives in the mail, guests feel flattered and honored to be included in such a momentous occasion. It is important, however, to show your appreciation by following proper guest etiquette! Here are a few critical rules to keep in mind: 1. The first rule should be obvious, but many guests ignore it. Be sure to send in your RSVP for the wedding by the date specified on the invitation, whether or not you plan attending. Failure to do so can be considered rude since the bride and groom must provide a head count to the caterer a week or two before the wedding. The bride and groom have plenty to do in the days before their big day; they should …

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Shopping For Your Wedding Gown: Say No The Chaos Of A Crowd

by Lisa Beth Miller If you are addicted to the show Say Yes To The Dress like I am, you may have noticed a shopping trend. Many brides seem to find it necessary to gather a large posse of friends and family members to join in the fun of wedding gown shopping. But is it really wise to bring so many different people along for this momentous shopping occasion? My answer is no. Here is why: Save the surprise! Your wedding gown is special and unique. It will have much more of an impact on your guests if they see it for the first time as you walk down the aisle. Isn’t this fashion moment the real reason why the bride walks slowly and deliberately down the aisle? Not everyone knows fashion. Let’s be realistic here. Uncle Phil and cousin Carlton are …

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Plus-One Wedding Etiquette

by Lisa Beth Miller As if brides do not have enough to worry about…along comes the task of actually compiling the guest list for the big event. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. Remember all of those people that you want to invite who are unmarried? You are going to have to figure out if it is acceptable for them to bring dates to the wedding. This is a tricky situation for a few reasons. 1. Nobody likes to go to weddings alone (OK maybe those guys in the Wedding Crashers movie, but not most people). 2. If you have a lot of single friends, giving them ALL the green light to bring dates could substantially impact your wedding costs and pack your special day with strangers. So…what to do? The trick here is to come up with rules and actually stick to …

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Planning Your Wedding Budget: Flowers

by Lisa Beth Miller When planning your wedding, it would be difficult to avoid spending a large sum on flowers, as they are woven into many aspects of the celebration. Flowers and decor traditionally take up around 15% of the wedding budget. This, of course, is flexible, depending upon how much the couple chooses to utilize flowers! Here are a few ideas to consider as your budget: Bridal bouquets and toss bouquets are fairly traditional and necessary. Brides who love flowers can go all out with an extravagant bouquet, while minimalists can certainly keep it simple! Brides could even opt to use the “real bouquet” as the toss bouquet to save a few dollars. Just keep in mind that the bride’s bouquet is one of the most photographed floral arrangements of the day! Don’t skimp too much! Bridesmaids’ bouquets are …

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Tips For Planning A Fabulous Rehearsal Dinner

by Lisa Beth Miller The rehearsal dinner is traditionally planned to take place the evening before the wedding. It is meant to be a way for the members of the wedding party and immediate family members of the bride and groom to get acquainted before the actual wedding ceremony. A good rule of thumb for the rehearsal dinner is to invite all people who are required to attend the rehearsal. If they traveled from out of town with a guest or date, that person should also be included! Beyond this collection of guests, it is really up to the bride and groom to decide who else should be invited. Don’t feel pressured to invite everyone you invited to the wedding, though! The rehearsal dinner is meant to be a much more intimate affair than the reception. Ideally, the rehearsal dinner …

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Alcohol-Free Wedding Receptions: Don’t Apologize!

by Lisa Beth Miller A question was posed to me this week regarding how to inform guests that no alcohol will be served at a wedding reception, so I thought this should be addressed! My answer is simple. Your wedding is your event. Your guests should be honored to be included, but are not entitled to know every aspect of your plans before the event. Therefore, absolutely no explanation or apology is needed if you decide not to serve alcohol! Brides and grooms make this decision for a variety of reasons. Some plan weddings for early in the day and feel that alcohol is not necessary at a simple brunch reception. Others have a quick reception in a church hall that does not permit alcohol. Some simply do not wish to spend money on alcohol and instead serve a lavish meal. Still others …

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The Truth About Wedding Gown Sizes

by Lisa Beth Miller Ok…so you have finally found your dream wedding gown. Your sales consultant at the bridal boutique is all ready to measure you and order the fabulous frock you have selected. You are expertly measured and ready to order. Everything seems to be going smoothly until she whips out the designer’s size chart and informs you which size should be ordered. Many brides are shocked to learn that the wedding gown size recommended is a bit larger than the size they would normally purchase when shopping at the mall. This humbling experience is very commonplace. As your official wedding diva, I am going to give you the real scoop on this scenario. Bridal designers are not using the same “vanity” size charts as your favorite department store and mall shop designers! Wedding gown designers are traditionalists in …

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I’m So Fancy: Figuring Out Wedding Formality

by Lisa Beth Miller Wedding invitations should always include a hint as to how formal the event will be. As a bride, groom, or guest, you need to actually understand this terminology in order to appropriately select what you and your guests will wear. Here are some helpful guidelines: Semiformal daytime- This level of formality indicates that men will wear suits, usually in a color such as charcoal or navy if the weather is cooler, or in shades of white or khaki if the weather is warm. Four-in-hand ties are also traditionally worn (this means long ties, not bow ties). Women would usually wear daytime-appropriate dresses or suits for a semiformal daytime wedding. Semiformal evening- At this type of wedding, men may wear dark suits or tuxedos with ties and vests. Women would wear cocktail style dresses. Everyone would look a bit more dressed up …

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