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Lisa Miller

Oh Baby, Baby: How to Dress A Pregnant Bridesmaid

by Lisa Beth Miller | Photos by Audrey Mills Photography Ok, you are planning your fabulous wedding when you find out that one of your cherished friends that you selected as a bridesmaid is pregnant. What should you do? First of all, congratulate her! Do not look at this as a fashion nightmare. This is not a difficult situation to handle! If you have not yet selected dresses for your girls, you need to do a little pre-planning before your big shopping trip. For starters, figure out how far along in her pregnancy she will be at the time of your wedding. If she has been pregnant before, maybe take a few notes on her weight and size fluctuations throughout that pregnancy. Keep in mind that this will not be an exact science; every pregnancy is different!   Next, select (with …

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Wedding Programs: What Should They Include?

by Lisa Beth Miller Programs are an easy way to make guests feel more a part of the ceremony and are a nice keepsake after your I dos. That being said, they’re totally optional—so you can include as little or as much info as you want. Most programs include the basics: the names of the to-be-weds, members of the wedding party, a ceremony itinerary, and in some cases words to any readings or songs. This is also a great place to share descriptions of ethnic or religious traditions. Feel free to add extras too, like pictures, a brief story of how you met, a thank-you to your parents or even a map to the reception. Be careful not to include too much though—programs should be something guests can read in the moments before the ceremony and follow along as it …

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Planning Your Wedding Budget: Catering

By Lisa Beth Miller When budgeting for a wedding, most couples budget around 30% of their total spending on the edible aspects of the day. Once the approximate guest count is calculated, the couple should sit down with the caterer to figure out how much they wish to spend on food and drink for each guest. The good news is that there is a lot of flexibility here. Here are some important decisions that will greatly impact one’s budget: Will you have a full open bar, or simply offer beer, wine, and a few signature cocktails? If you opt for an open bar, will you insist upon only top-shelf liqueurs? The decisions regarding alcohol can have a huge impact on your budget! If your wedding reception is at a winery, there is nothing wrong with simply featuring wine and champagne as your …

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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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