Wedding Tips to make your day a fun and romantic success!
5 tips for choosing your perfect venue
Just like the weather(In like a lion) brides are sweeping into Florida for their destination weddings. Don’t wait too long to get booked.
5 tips to choosing the perfect venue for your ceremony:
Does the place you are picking feel right. When you stand in the space you both know its right. Beyond the visual…. deep down inside.
Location, location, location. How far do you and your guests have to travel to get to your magical spot? Once there are they able to accommodate all of your needs you have hired them for, adequate electricity, wi fi, plugs and outlets for your vendors? How far do you have to travel to get to the ceremony location once you are on site. Is there transportation for those that may need it? Are there columns that may block your guests view. Acoustics?
Do the coordinators and planners at the location feel genuine. Do they make you feel like your day and happiness is the most important thing to them?
Is there a location for plan b if the weather decides not to cooperate? Is there appropriate staff to handle the last minute change?
Are there places to take amazing pictures. It helps to be surrounded by genuine beauty to make amazing wedding pictures. Check out the walls, floors and exits. Is it full of mirrors? How’s the lighting? A good photographer can fix almost any background and work in most lighting situations but if Uncle Snacks is taking the pictures you may not be so lucky.
Besides the given and obvious factors of money, time and lack of bridal 101 know how(which fellas, not all brides are blessed with) Booking early and having a contingent venue is highly advised. Venues book early in Florida and some venues will even bump lower revenue brides in favor of higher revenue events. (Of course no one will admit it)
No matter if your venue is a grand hotel, the palace at Disney, the junction of a path in the forest or the parking garage at the mall. Make sure the place you have your ceremony is memorable and make it your place!
I Read This Article
So apparently SIZE DOES MATTER…but for all of the wrong reasons..
Some bride, somewhere got the idea in her head that she wanted a fancy, fit for a princess type wedding and expected her friends, family and guests to foot the bill…..and got mad when that bit of ridiculousness didn’t pan out. Just don’t …Don’t have unreal expectations. No champagne wishes on a koolaid pocket. Work with what you have and make it fabulous.
Luckily for me, the majority of my weddings are now intimate and destination weddings, but they are not huge affairs. I advertise for the smaller weddings, less stress, time and rarely do they run late and usually they tip….very well, because they haven’t thrown away a lot of money on other people. And they give real hugs, not the fake 90210 hugs. It is scientifically proven that hugs are good for you.
A bride once told me that if her friends could eat Publix chicken and fruit or a bowl of cereal with her on her wedding day, they were the true ride or die friends and that’s who she wanted at her wedding. Of course the spread was fantastic and did include Publix chicken and their delicious fresh fruit but I totally got the sentiment.
Now don’t get me wrong. Big weddings are fine,… if you like to be seen and want to have the fantasy and you can afford it (emphasis on YOU). I can’t tell you how many times I have seen most big wedding brides break down in tears, throw a hissy fit, threaten not to walk down the aisle, or have a meltdown with the vendors, because the timing of something is not right or someone got served before someone else or the cake platter is not right or they can’t start because the mother isn’t ready or a favorite uncle isn’t there. They almost always run late and not like a little bit I am talking hours and then don’t feel like they should compensate you for your time. In addition, you have a cattle like stampede of people trying to get you to notice that they are there all through the night. 400-600 of your closest friends?!! Are you kidding me? No one has that many ‘close’ friends…or perhaps my definition of a close friend is different from the rest of the world. I get that some cultures invited the whole village to take part in the festivities but the guy who eats your lunch is not a close friend and doesn’t need to be invited because he covered for you that one time ….Do you see where I am going with this? Also don’t hate-invite people just to show them up. Send them a link on #instagram or #Facebook… trust me, it’s cheaper and the drama doesn’t ruin your wedding day. Plus you can always block them afterwards!
The destination couple I consulted with today is even paying for the flight down of two of the guests because it is that important to them that they be there. That sounds like a close friend to me.
I get the sentiment of the article, only because of all the viral posts and public shaming about guests being cheap, gift value, not showing up, unable to afford all of the activities, travel, attire, blah, blah, blah…. and couples having unreal expectations about what their wedding day would be and depending on the invited to foot part or most of the bill. It could also just be click bate but with all of the wedding shoots for inspiration, a lot of couples want what they see in the wedding articles. While beautiful and inspirational, maybe they should put the estimated cost of those weddings so couples have a real idea of what to expect financially. As part of my consultation when the guest count is close to 100 or more, I always advise that 20% of the people you invite will not show up and a lot of the time it is the person that sounds the most excited. I can’t tell you how many empty reception spaces have afforded me a nice meal. So that is my wedding tip advice for today. Happy planning future couples of the world!
Thanks for reading
A wedding is not a competition. Of course everyone wants their wedding to be the talk of the town …..but why? How much you spend has nothing to do with love. Is it so your day can be featured in a magazine? The more lavish and over the top, the more you are loved? So you can make other couples feel inferior? That's not love my sweets that vanity.
Use the extra money for jewelry, a new home, a college fund for your future kids or charity.Just a suggestion.
Stop! Don't have a meltdown!
UK Brides and Couples get married in Florida while on Holiday!
Engaged couples coming to Orlando for vacation from the UK, Great Britain from Inverness to Plymouth, Edinburgh to Southampton, Glasgow to London, Leeds to Liverpool and everywhere in between England, Scotland and Wales, plan your destination wedding while you are all here together. Join the growing family of UK couples married by I DO Weddings by Sheri.
UK couple gets hitched at the Disney Wedding Pavilion pic#2 on left
Not really a Disney wedding couple...I totally understand that.
Choose one of Central Florida's beautiful venues or parks or even say your I DO's with your toes in the sand at one of Central Florida's world class beaches. No matter what you choose, make sure you start your wedding day with a beautiful, romantic and fun wedding ceremony by I DO Weddings by Sheri. Below are a few pictures of UK couples tying the knot at Disney and non Disney locations.
UK couple say I DO at Emerald Island resort in front of the dolphin fountain [pic 1 left]
Get married at your vacation villa or Disney Resort in your room or on the grounds.
No matter where you decide to get married, make sure its special for you!
Pulse Night Club Shooting
Years after this tragedy, how much have we grown?
June 12, 2019 and into perpetuity
Hello Residents of Orlando and followers from around the world. The words that follow may be hard to read. If you are easily offended please stop reading now. But if not….
Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the tragic and hateful event that occurred at the Pulse Night Club. A place where patrons, staff and guest performers should have felt safe to live their truth. A place where they could temporarily (for some) take off the man-made shackles of what society deemed correct and be free. A place to dance out their frustrations, be with others in kinship, bond with others who shared their view on love. A place where single women could go to dance and have fun with the knowledge that they would be safe from the ever present threat of men who were on the prowl for them and taking offense when they were turned down. A place where men and women, lgbtqia+ or straight could just BE. Be themselves without judgement, without fear, with out the heavy burden of condemnation that is ever present. A business owner lost their livelihood. A place where 49 human beings were slaughtered. A place where 49 pieces of future where taken from this world.
There are places where young boys are raped in secret under the protection and guise of religion, boy scouts, sports franchises, modeling agencies. There is sex trafficking and child pornography. Which are inherently wrong and against the law but they seem to prevail, unchecked, (ok that’s not fair) barely checked is more accurate. There is no all out campaign to stop the criminal acts that take away the chance to choose and be free to live and discover who they are. There are only small teams of committed people…its like sticking a needle in an onslaught of flood water. We fight over nonsense such as unisex bathrooms when each and every person who lives in a dwelling has a bathroom that everyone shares. Emergency rooms, doctors offices… many times have bathrooms that everyone shares.
And who, who I ask, is the main perpetrator that keeps the fear of shared bathrooms and shared spaces a threat? I ask you, who is it that hides in bathrooms laying in wait to assault children? Who is it that violate the uncool kids in schools and the other men in prison around the world. I don’t need to spell it out for you because you already know in your heart of hearts.
I don’t have all of the answers, hell I don’t have any of the answers….just opinions. A terrible sense of loss and a great appreciation to all of the people near and far who sent their love, donations, and took time out of their busy schedules to say, I am here for you Orlando. We are United, We are One. We won’t let these victims be forgotten. Thank you for the beautiful mementos, the art work, the letters, all being meticulously preserved by those caring individuals who are tasked with preserving these tragically precious bits of Orlando history….sad and horrific as it may be.
This club had contacted me at one point to consider it for a wedding venue.
There is a wonderful memorial around the site. There are places throughout Orlando, the city beautiful, where there are artistic reminders of that fateful night. There are many events scheduled around Orlando to remember and celebrate the lives taken. There is still so much more growth, understanding and acceptance to be done. I am hopeful as humans we can learn to love ourselves and stop the self loathing and hatred of love .Stop looking at it in a sexual context and look at the individual person that found a kindred soul, someone who understands them in their best and worst moments, just like anyone else. Change and love is what is needed to be better humans. To heal, to look at the advantages of letting people aspire to be their best selves with other consenting individuals. Heavy is the burden that are carried by the small amount of LGBTQIA+ celebrities and influencers. How would you feel if you were denied services because you were in a hetero/straight or cis relationship? Gay people don’t go around waging a campaign to wipe out cis people. And some cis people are the absolute worst and they get their story told on cable, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. They go on to be successful actors, politicians, presidents.
I was a victim of molestation, rape and physical abuse. I have been discriminated publicly and privately because I am a black woman. None of these atrocities were committed by gay people. When I was at a low point after having an accident and then being very sick, a stud (masculine lesbian) (took care of me and my children) and not once did she force herself on me or my children. A gay man with HIV took care of my children and me when I started working a job for a fortune 500 company making sure we looked our best and they were well fed and cared for while I worked long hours. He was taken from us by a jealous heterosexual woman. I knew a wonderful gay man who used to come to my apartment and do my hair for a few bucks and a place he didn’t have to hide his true self. He made me look amazing with a box perm. He was so talented and tormented that he was on drugs and soon passed from an overdose because he could not express his true self outside of my apartment, where he was looked at as just a person. I miss them both dearly.
As I said before, I only have my opinions and small experiences. But I hope love truly wins one day soon. This is one of the many reasons why I am a lgbtqia+ friendly business.
Thank you for reading
We are #OrlandoStrong We are #OrlandoUnited We are the City Beautiful
Brooch Bouquets; timeless, beautiful and heavy
I love brooch bouquets. They are super fabulous and truly can last a lifetime. They are perfect for the bride that isn’t really into flowers. They can be personalized, styled and shaped in almost any way you like and they can range in costs from right around a hundred dollars to a lot of hundreds of dollars. like thousands of dollars
I am obsessed with BluePetyl.com designs. They make lovely designed brooch bouquets.
The brooch bouquet is being seen in every kind of wedding from Vintage to backyard. The appeal to have a bouquet full of beautiful unique little treasures is contagious. When I got married a few years back, I was not aware these were an option or I definitely would have had one. This is perfect for women that wants some bling and uniqueness on her wedding day. You can definitely use flowers as a base, or feathers or lots of other unique items.
The stems need to be sturdy because just like a hearty bunch of live flowers, your brooch bouquet can become a bit heavy depending on the size and quality of brooches and other items you use to create it. Doubling your wire stems and wrapping them tight will help you keep the shape your bouquet is supposed to have.
The DIY tips
Not ready to lay down that much cash for your brooch bouquet? Well you can definitely make your own and there are plenty of sellers on Etsy who sell the brooches in bulk. It looks like most bouquets don’t use more than 60 brooches. They tend to be around 25-35 on average with other little whimsical things added in to fill the spaces. Now your bouquet does not have to be all brooches, you can definitely add some brooches to your flower bouquet to add just a touch of bling using around 6-10 brooches. This is a great idea if your wedding party is going to have brooches on their bouquets and you go for the full brooch approach.
You can purchase your own brooches from sites like FabulousBrooch or on EBAY , DHGATE, WeddingFactoryDirect and TOGO, (If you want to purchase abroad you could use Alibaba or PandaWhole). Next, run on down to the craft store to get scissors, needle nose pliers, 22 gauge floral wire,(match the wire color to the brooch for seamless perfection and double your wire to make it sturdy). filler flowers (silk, synthetic, or real), You may want to also purchase Styrofoam balls or half balls. spray paint, (use spray paint to make the ball blend in with your bouquet), pearl accessories or other filler accessories.(the little accessories used to make favors also work fine)to fill any gaps between the brooches. Enamel flowers and accessories are also beautiful when used in your bouquet.
Choosing your brooches can be fun, emotional and kind of like a scavenger hunt. Some ideas to deciding what kind of brooches you would like is to first decide if your brooch is going to be connected to the theme of your wedding or be more personal to you. Are the brooches family heirlooms or do you like seahorses and pearls? Next use brooches that look good together. This may be certain metals, styles or colors. your filler accessories can be pearl topped pins, Christmas bobbles, acrylic flowers or artificial flowers. The combinations are endless. I also suggest getting a stand or making a stand to keep your bouquet in. It will definitely be a keepsake.
You can also use mixed metals but be careful so it doesn’t come out looking thrown together. Here’s a great example of it done right!
Adding up your dollars: If you are spending $5.00 per brooch and it takes 25 to make your bouquet, that puts you at $125 before you even start building the thing. If you are on a budget, try to get them for $1-2 each or less, to keep the cost down. Remember you still have to buy the rest of the stuff to make the bouquet. If money is no object, you can get very expensive brooches. They can range from 20.00 and way beyond if that is where your budget lies. The wire should be under five dollars and you many choose to use a wooden dowel for the handle. Pick those up from your local hardware store. Most of the time they will even cut them for you. Remember, these bouquets could easily be more expensive than traditional flower bouquets, but they will last forever.
The filler flowers
A lot of people use hydrangeas as the filler flower of choice. These can run from $3.49 for an average looking bunch to $10.99 for a really nice looking silk bunch. Depending on how much of the flower will be showing should help you determine how nice the bunch should look. It usually takes about two to three bunches depending on the size of the bouquet. Roses look really nice as well. You can use feathers, satin, organza, silk and tulle and just about anything you would see on a floral bouquet.
Don’t forget to reinforce your wire stems and cut them all even. Also wrap the stems in floral tape really well before wrapping the ribbon on the stem to make it smooth and even. Decorate the handle with bling to make the look even more unique.
To Pre-marital Counsel or...skip it
I totally agree with and recommend pre marriage counseling. Now, I know there are many people and couples who feel they do not need others telling them how to feel or act in a relationship. We are adults right?! However, Counseling may address feelings, ideas or concepts about yourselves that may stem from other relations, beliefs, myths, etc. that may cause issues in your marriage later. If you love your partner but they have this thing they do that gets under your skin…consider counseling, please.
Or (my not so favorite response)… I have been married before. Um… can we say that should be your first hint? Now, I am not saying marriage counseling, pre or post, works for everyone, but my thought is if a few hours or sessions could possibly give you the tools you need to have a successful marriage, wouldn’t it be worth it? Still not convinced? Then do it for the money. Yes, pre-marital counseling gets you a $32.00 discount off the cost of your marriage license in Florida!
If you came from a family where divorce, abuse, or dysfunction was prevalent, marital counseling will give you options and tools to succeed in your marriage that you may not have ever been exposed to. Seriously, what would you have to base your ideal marriage on? Our first thought is to not be like our parents or friends, but if that is what you have been around, what example do you use to guide you?
Marital counseling does not make you a failure or give you a bad status. It shows quite the contrary: that you take your marriage seriously and have every intention on keeping your vows.
Not all pre-marital counseling has to be spiritual or religious. This is one of the main factors of couples skipping out on it.
You can go to a local family therapist and get counseling without religion. You may pay more for your session so be prepared.
Perhaps you can try this: have a romantic picnic lunch and over dessert, ask each other 5 questions, 1 question at a time. They have to be things that matter to you in the long run. Have a loving friendly discussion about the responses.
Or make it a kind of game: put little cards with questions in little spots around the house and each person has to answer the question they find in writing. Use different colors so they don’t get mixed up and leave the answers where the question was found. This way the other does not have to risk faking an answer for fear of immediate disapproval.
A popular tool most pre-marital providers use is the one thing question: What is the absolute one thing your partner could do to make you want to divorce them?… I will leave you with that.
Talk candidly with long term couples ask for their advice (if they still appear to be happy). Even couples who have always been together, 30,40,50 years have had their moments. See how they worked through those times, it may be something you can apply in your own relationship or marriage. Stay away from single advise.
And lastly, Be the type of person you want to marry.
[important]You can visit www.myorangeclerk.com for a list of court approved premarital providers in the local area.As an added bonus you will save money on the cost of your marriage license in the state of Florida.[/important]
by Sheri Thomson
Toasting the couple
Whether a wedding is big or small, they almost always make time and room for toasts to the newly married couple.
No matter how many weddings and cocktail receptions and full size receptions I attend, I am still amazed at the things people think are appropriate to share about the couple on their wedding day. I am by no means being judgy, just stating my wonderment at it all. Oh yeah and I am also saying TMI.
A good rule of thumb: Making Wedding Toasts are kind of like deciding what is appropriate (dress code) to wear to work. If you have to ask is this appropriate….well….it probably isn’t.
Here are three tips to make sure your toast is well received and appropriate:
1. Inside Jokes – Consider whether the inside joke should stay an inside joke. They are called inside jokes for a reason. Sharing an inside joke may embarrass the couple, reveal something that was not supposed to be revealed, bring up sensitive memories, or possibly go over everyone’s head leaving the rest of the guests and sometimes even the couple, baffled and confused. Can we say… Awkward! Stick to common knowledge and rated E for everyone subjects.
2. Make it heartfelt- Go ahead! Reach down into those deeply buried feelings of love and wonderment, appreciation and gratitude and draw from that wellspring to show the couple just how happy you are for them.
3. Don’t be a moment hog – It’s not all about you. Just because you have a ton of witty banter and stories, doesn’t mean you should share them all. Pick one relevant and short story, share it quickly and move on so the next person can speak. Remember this is not the time to roast the couple or shower them with a bunch of bawdy jokes. Keep it light respectful and remember this moment is a tribute to them. And remember it’s not about you boo.
Planning your destination wedding and honeymoon
Planning your Honeymoon
Part of the excitement of getting married is the accompanying honeymoon. Usually a few days to a few months depending on your work schedule, accumulated time off and to whom you have married, and how much you have set aside, this is the time to totally focus on just the two of you before the responsibilities of married life take over. A time to reconnect and refocus and enjoy the blossoming love of husband and wife or new couple.
Deciding where to go
The first thing you may want to do when planning for your honeymoon is choose a budget. then a location. Next determine if you will need a travel agent or if you feel comfortable doing your own planning, research and booking. Plan as far out as possible to have plenty of room to negotiate and check comparative prices. If you are having a destination wedding, decide if you want the honeymoon to be in the same place as the wedding. Will it be just the bride and groom or will it be a family get together? With family dynamics ever evolving, some couples already have children and the tradition of honeymooning becomes more of a Family-moon. It is still important to have some private times and activities to connect. Couples need time to themselves and a honeymoon is a great way to capture the allure of love and romance.
Choose a place where both can appreciate the amenities of the destination. If you are wanting a tropical vacation then going anywhere with a beach culture should suffice. History buffs may prefer Italy or Pennsylvania or the Capital. Adventurist may want access to the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours) and ecological tour (Everglades Airboat Tours Start at Just $48!). Always wanted to go to Disney, well Florida or California has got you covered. Keeping the honeymoon location a surprise? you obviously are a person who is especially attuned to your fiance and know how best to pick a surprise location for the honeymoon.
Once you have decided on a place to fit your needs, expectations and wants, you will need to go ahead and start the booking process. Talk to a qualified travel agent. If doing all the booking yourself, make sure you use reputable websites and also do some searching about the surrounding areas so you know how to get along, what other travelers are saying, what areas you should avoid and potential dangers to look out for. Decide if you want an all inclusive resort or cruise or not. All inclusive providers handle pretty much everything you need in one cost eliminating the need to carry lots of cash. Ask about the tipping policies.
If going abroad make sure you have made arrangements to get your passports well in advance of your actual wedding date so that you are not having to drive for hours to get it done last minute. Make sure you are properly immunized and have a general awareness of American politics in the area. While most people have wonderful honeymoons, you don’t want to take unnecessary risks or not be familiar enough with the traditions that you diminish or insult your host state or country. When drinking be responsible.
Paying for the honeymoon
Decide up front how you are going to finance the honeymoon. Honeymoons are traditionally paid for by the groom or by the parents of the bride and groom. But again, with all of the changing family dynamics, many couples are funding their own weddings and honeymoons and some use the registry process as a way to help finance the trip.
Once you have chosen a honeymoon destination. You will want to get packing. Start by making a list. Use one of the popular cell phone apps like androids Google keep, Evernote, Iphone’s Awesomenote, 2Do or Todist. also install a great calendar app to keep your planning on target and never forget any activities you have planned.
Make sure you are up to date on your shots. It also wouldn’t hurt to begin a regimen that helps to build up your immune system at least 30 days in advance. Take vitamin C, E, D and B vitamins or whatever regimen you are already doing, don’t stop.
Let’s get Packing
A strategy that works well is packing for him, her, and children. Consider the activities beyond the wedding you have planned. Before packing and choosing your luggage, research what is acceptable to pack and carry on flights. You want to be aware and responsible if flying. Below are simply suggestions.
Less is well… actually less. With the rising cost of carrying luggage you will want to pack smart. Use large pieces that are well compartmentalized. Also make sure you have a well packed carry-on.
Be safe. Use the safes provided or leave them at home and wear faux jewelry or none at all. Look into travel insurance that would cover you in the instance of loss or theft.
Plan your trip with smartphones, gps, online maps of travel route and area visiting.
cell phone, cell phone accessories, chargers, cables,
usbs and sd cards, cameras, lenses, camera cords, batteries
e-cigs, headphones, mini speakers, mp3, I-phone, travel alarm clocks
personal massagers, grooming products like shavers, electronic toothbrushes as well as manual toothbrushes, batteries
laptops, tablets, handheld electronic games, stylus, cases
translator app or a language book
Your medications, medical devices and personal items
Pack all prescription medicines you have to take including birth control
Antibiotic creams, cortisone creams for bug bites
Aloe, sunscreen, and sunblock (preferably waterproof)
anti-diarrhea, something for motion sickness, antacids
lubricants, massage oils, condoms
glasses, glasses case and possibly an extra pair pf glasses, sunglasses
cpap, oxygen, canes, braces for knees and elbows, diabetes test strips, etc
tampons and pads
acne or blemish products
scrunchies, rubber bands, hair clips
facial cleansers, make up removers
make up , lipstick, eyeliner, eye shadow, blush, concealer, moisturizer, primers, exfoliate, mascara
blow dryer- although most hotels have one
additional sheets and towels
first aid kit
Documents and Money
Valid Ids, Passports
Address list for emails and sending postcards, writing thank yous
Auto insurance and registration (if driving at any point)
List and/or (photos)of all of the items you have packed- useful in case of theft or loss
Medical history if necessary
Emergency contact list and Embassy address if going abroad
Frequent flyer cards
Cash for emergencies, tips, currency trading, and shopping
Pre-paid phone card
Itinerary (also leave a copy with someone you trust in the case of an emergency)
Anything you wear at home, you would wear on vacation except for the addition of wedding clothes
shorts, blouses, tank tops
pants, casual and dress, jeans
shorts, skorts, capris
bathing suits, cover-up, wrap, sarong
lingerie and shape wear, spanx
panties, thongs, bras
shoes, sandals, flipflops, dress shoes and casual shoes athletic (Lee Newman)
work out clothes
purses, clutch, backpack
combs and brushes
toothbrush and floss
wide brim hat
books, puzzles, (something to do during downtime)
shirts, casual and dress
pants, casual and dress, jeans
suit, tux, vest
underwear, undershirts, t-shirts, boxers and/or briefs
socks, dress and athletic
ties, belts, suspenders, cuff links
Work out clothes
Shaving Kit, razor
combs and brushes
baseball cap, wide brim hat
Remember when packing for little ones that may accompany you on your trip, they need exactly the same stuff you do in addition to
their favorite toy and/or blanket.
bottles and formula,