5 Things No One Tells You About Your Wedding Day

There is SO much planning that goes into your big day. From booking vendors to seating arrangements to even color schemes, you have a vision and a plan as to how your wedding day will go. But, there are a few things that people may not warn you about that day…

1.) No matter how much time you give yourself to get ready, it’s NEVER enough. Whether you schedule your hair and makeup to last 2 hours or 6 hours, it never seems to be long enough. The last few minutes before the ceremony begins tends to be complete chaos – it’s just inevitable. Emotions are running super high and people will be running around everywhere to make sure everything is perfect.

2.) The moments leading up to you walking down the aisle, you might get really nervous…and that’s OK! These nerves don’t mean you are second guessing your choice to get married or even that you don’t want to go through with it. It’s because you are about to make a huge, life-altering decision in front of your closest family and friends. That’s a big thing. Of course, you might get nervous! The good news is that the nerves quickly go away once you lock eyes with your soon-to-be spouse. It’s definitely a feeling you can’t quite prepare for, but be sure to embrace every second of it!

3.) You won’t remember everything perfectly. Seriously, your wedding day might end up being one big blur. There is so much that happens in a single day that it’s hard to remember everything exactly right. The day will pass entirely too quick, that’s just a fact.

4.) There will be people who attend your wedding that you may not even get to speak with. We all know that it’s common wedding etiquette to thank each of your guests for coming, but sometimes, you can quite catch everyone. People are up walking around and you can’t possibly keep track of every single person in attendance. Try to keep conversations brief when you go around to make sure you have time to connect with everyone and still have time to enjoy the evening and dance!

5.) Your wedding dress will get dirty, and that’s fine. You have spent hundred or even thousands of dollars on this dress and of course, you want to keep it nice, but try not to worry about it too much. It’s a white dress so yeah, it’s going to get dirty. But that is what dry cleaning is for! Plus, it’s only meant to be worn once!


What other things did you not know on your wedding day? What can we add to this list?

The Enchanting Gardens of Almaden

Finding a wedding venue that is both beautiful AND flexible enough to meet all of your needs is perhaps the most stressful part of planning a wedding. You might love the view at one site, but not the $140-a-plate mandatory caterer. The food at another venue is spectacular, but not so much the box-like reception hall with its dated purple carpet and red velvet table linens. So often, you are faced with a long list of all-or-nothing packages. There are beautiful spaces, but never enough space and freedom to have the wedding you’re truly dreaming about.

Your wedding is yours and yours alone, and you deserve a venue that will allow you to get outside of the box and into the open air of the beautiful Almaden Hills, a venue with all of the luxury of a winery and the perfect intimacy of a wedding at home.

(Photo Credit: http://www.specialmemoriesca.com/)

Trudys is so happy to introduce you to one of our favorite new venues in the Bay Area – The Enchanting Gardens of Almaden!

The Enchanting Gardens of Almaden is, quite simply, the best of all worlds. The beautifully-manicured gardens and vineyards create the perfect wine-country ambiance, centered around a stunning Mediterranean villa that will serve as your home-away-from-home. The lovely on-site bride’s room means that you and your party won’t have to worry about transportation wrinkles – you can walk your freshly-pressed dress right outside and down the aisle. An expansive lawn and tiled patio offer you the ability to let your imagination run wild and create your own vision for your wedding day. The Enchanting Gardens is also a private venue – no unwanted gym goers, golf pros or hotel guests will be wandering into your reception, leaving you free to relax and enjoy quality time with your friends and family.

(Photo Credit: http://www.specialmemoriesca.com/)

It’s beautiful, it’s comfortable, it’s all yours – and we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. Want to choose your own food? Feel free to bring your own licensed and insured caterer! Have a certain wine you fancy? Bring in your own drinks, with NO corkage fee!

The Enchanting Gardens is child-friendly, thrilled to celebrate with our LGBTQ couples, and your hosts are even thoughtful enough to provide a sitting room for elderly guests to escape to and rest on cool summer nights.

The Enchanting Gardens of Almaden is not a cookie-cutter wedding venue, as they only book one (1) event per weekend and a total of ten (10) events per season (June to October), so you can be sure that your wedding will not overlap with anyone else’s, allowing all the attention to be on making your day extra special! It’s an exclusive, private venue that can accommodate up to 300 guests (with the addition of executive restrooms).

Included with the site is the Wedding Day Management Package of Certified Wedding Consultant, Marcia Coleman-Joyner, whose professionalism, warmth and 28 years of experience will be the final pieces that make your day truly STRESS-FREE! We can vouch for Marcia’s talent ourselves – she is also the Event Coordinator for Trudys Brides!

(Photo Credit: http://www.specialmemoriesca.com/)

We’re simply in love with The Enchanting Gardens of Almaden. Finding the perfect venue is exhausting, unless the perfect venue just happens to be right in the neighborhood. We can’t wait for you to discover The Enchanting Gardens of Almaden.

Don’t take just our word for it, here are some of the AMAZING reviews that The Enchanting Gardens of Almaden has received on Yelp:

We just had the most amazing wedding at the Enchanting Gardens of Almaden (EGA) this past June. It was the perfect venue for our summer wedding. The gardens and vineyards are stunning! We had about 150 guests, but it can easily accommodate more. The venue is large enough to accommodate everyone, but still felt very intimate. The venue comes with a wonderful wedding coordinator, Marcia. She is very experienced and will make sure your wedding runs smoothly. Her execution and delivery from the months leading up to, and especially the day of, were flawless. She was the best wedding coordinator we could have ever asked for.”

– Patricia L.

There isn’t one thing that I would change about my wedding at the Enchanting Gardens of Almaden (EGA).  It was a happy, stress-free day that exceeded my expectations.  My guests were amazed by the beautiful setting and had a great time. The wedding coordinator, Marcia, was great to work with.  She has so much experience and knowledge about weddings; we knew right away we were in good hands.  You don’t realize how much goes into a wedding until you have one.  We met with her several times leading up to the wedding to make sure we were on track.  By the day of the wedding everything was organized and Marcia made sure our wedding went according to plan.”

– Melissa L.

“We had our wedding at the Enchanting Gardens of Almaden (EGA). We could not have found a better venue for our needs. EGA was a win-win for us since they weren’t as strict with the choice of vendors as many other similar quality venues, and their rates are better than most. Marcia, our wedding coordinator, who is included in the price, was wonderful. She comes with decades of experience! She kept us (and our guests) on schedule. She is a professional – very reliable – she knows what she’s doing. If you’re looking for someone who can provide you structure and also work with your needs, Marcia is it!”

– D. G.

(Photo Credit: http://www.specialmemoriesca.com/)

Finding the perfect venue is exhausting, unless the perfect venue just happens to be right in the neighborhood. We invite you to discover The Enchanting Gardens of Almaden!

Can you imagine your wedding on these beautiful grounds, dancing under the twinkling stars?

The Enchanting Gardens of Almaden still has dates available in the Summer and Fall of 2017, but won’t for long!

Groom Wedding Day Checklist

As your wedding day arrives, you will be feeling A TON of different emotions. With so much going on around you, it can be easy to overlook the small, last minute details. Before you make your way to the alter, here are a few things to check off the list!

Read Through Your Vows One Last Time

If you decided to write your own vows, you hopefully know what you are going to say at this point. But sometimes when you’re in the spotlight and the pressure is on, your mind can go blank. Be sure to run through those vows one last time to make sure you know what you’re going to say!

Grab A Small Snack

By this point, you have probably had a meal or two, but having a small snack right before you walk down the aisle isn’t a bad thing to make sure you keep your sugar levels up. But guys, this does not mean greasy pizza or chicken wings. The last thing you want is your stomach to be uncomfortable while you standing in front of everyone about to say your vows.

Use The Restroom

Just like mom says “Even if you don’t think you have to go, you should still try!” It’s no different on your wedding day. Just do it just in case. You will thank us later.

Do a Mirror Check

Take one final look in the mirror before you walk down the aisle. Sometimes it’s windy and your hair could have gotten a little messed up or maybe the snack you just had left a little reminisce on your face. Just do a quick check to make sure you are good to go.

Secure The Rings

Even if you’re not the one carrying the rings, confirm with whoever does have them that they are there and ready to go. This could go very bad if you don’t check and double check!

Turn Off Your Phone

Honestly, do you even NEED your phone during the ceremony? If not, give it to a friend of family member or just leave it in the car. If you do decide that it’s a must, be sure to put it on silent.

Take a Deep Breath and GET MARRIED!

Lastly, take a big deep breath and walk down that aisle to your soon-to-be wife!


Men, did we get this list right? What else did you do on your wedding day right before the ceremony started?

Four Traditional Wedding Speeches

Traditionally, wedding toasts are given in the following order:

  1. The Best Man
    You might think that being Best Man is all about planning a raucous bachelor party and not much else, but the Best Man does have one major responsibility to prepare for: the toast. The Best Man should introduce himself and explain how he knows the couple. For example, he can tell the story of how he and the groom have been buddies since high school and how they met the bride-to-be during spring break their junior year of college. He can then say something positive about the couple and their relationship, show gratitude for being part of their day and wish them happiness.
  2. Maid of Honor
    While the Maid of Honor can follow the same outline as the Best Man’s speech, it’s more common to focus on the bride. Drawing from past experiences together, the Maid of Honor can tell a heartwarming or funny story from their friendship or from wedding planning escapades. For example, maybe the veil didn’t arrive until the day before the wedding or putting together the favors was a complete nightmare, but the bride managed to keep her cool through it all.
  3. Parents of Either Spouse
    If one or both sets of parents are hosting the wedding, they may choose to say a few words to welcome everyone to the event. This toast will be fairly fast, especially if the parents made a lengthy or heartwarming toast at the rehearsal dinner. They will welcome and thank the guests, then toast the other set of parents and the couple before raising their glasses.
  4. The Couple(Optional)
    Sometimes the couple will opt to make a toast, particularly if they are hosting the wedding. The main purpose of the speech by the couple is to thank everyone involved: the bridal party, family, and guests. Couples may also express their excitement about starting their new married life together.

Wedding Toast Length and Content
Keep it brief. One to two minutes is ideal, and three minutes is the max. Even if there’s a lot to say, talking for three minutes can feel like a long time! Just one message needs to be conveyed: one story, one wish for the couple, one heartwarming song lyric. The best speeches don’t necessarily have perfected, eloquent wording; instead, they evoke an emotion. Simple, short toasts can still be filled with charm.

When it comes to what to say, your intention should be to make both spouses and all guests smile…at the same time. Inside stories may amuse the couple, but they can easily get lost in the crowd. Don’t bring up old flames or problems the couple has faced. Not sure if that story from freshman year is appropriate? Leave it out – children, parents, and grandparents are listening! Avoid insult humor, too. Remember, this is a toast, not a roast!

Alternative and Extra Speech-Makers 
Every couple has their own preferences and relationships, and nobody should ever feel forced to give a toast. If the Best Man or Maid of Honor isn’t comfortable speaking in front of a crowd (or if there isn’t a Best Man or Maid of Honor at all), either skip it or hand the baton to somebody who will love getting up in front of a sea of eager faces. If a lot of people want to make a toast, consider arranging traditional toasts during the wedding and plan the rest for the rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsal Dinner Toasts
At the rehearsal dinner, the groom’s father (or whoever is hosting the dinner) usually makes a speech, along with anyone else who wants to toast but won’t be getting up at the wedding. Since fewer people will be in attendance, these speeches can be longer and more involved than wedding day speeches. Say hello and introduce yourself, then welcome everyone and say how excited you are for the wedding. Tell a sweet, hilarious, or intriguing story that’s related to the couple or the wedding. For example, give your first impression of meeting the bride or groom; talk about how the couple met or got engaged; or share a childhood memory, like how the bride used to try on her mother’s wedding gown when she was a teenager. End with something sentimental and heartfelt about the couple or a quote about marriage, then wish the couple well.

We want to hear from you! Who else gave a speech at your wedding? Did we get the order right?

Wedding Toast Quotes

Are you hitting a wall writing your wedding toast? We’ve got you covered! Here is a list of wedding toast quotes that you can use:

Cultural Proverbs

“Where there is love, there is no sin.”
—Montenegrin proverb

“When the husband drinks to the wife, all would be well; when the wife drinks to the husband, all is.”
—English proverb

“Marriage has teeth, and him bit very hot.”
—Jamaican proverb

“Love is like a baby; it needs to be treated gently.”
—Congolese proverb

“Deep love is stronger than life.”
—Jewish proverb

“Try to reason about love and you will lose your reason.”
—French proverb

“Love and eggs are best when they are fresh.”
—Russian proverb

“The heart that loves is always young.”
—Greek proverb

Cultural Blessings

“May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.”
—Irish blessing

“Ten thousand things bright
Ten thousand miles, no dust
Water and sky one color
Houses shining along your road.”
—Chinese blessing

“May you grow old on one pillow.”
—Armenian blessing

“May their joys be as bright as the morning, and their sorrows but shadows that fade in the sunlight of love.”
—Armenian blessing

“Happy the bride and bridegroom and thrice happy are they whose love grows stronger day by day and whose union remains undissolved until the last day.”
—African-American blessing

“May your love be like the misty rain, gentle coming in but flooding the river.”
—African blessing

“May your love be as endless as your wedding rings.”
—Traditional blessing

“May their joys be as deep as the ocean
And their misfortunes as light as the foam.”
—Armenian blessing

“Let’s drink to love, which is nothing—unless it’s divided by two.”
—Irish blessing

“May your joys be as sweet as spring flowers that grow.
As bright as a fire when winter winds blow,
As countless as leaves that float down in the fall,
As serene as the love that keeps watch over us all.”
—Old English blessing

Traditional Toasts

“Ka mau ki aha. (May you never thirst again.)”
—Traditional Hawaiian wedding toast

“A toast to love and laughter, and happily ever after.”
—Traditional toast

“Ad multos annos—to many years!”
—Latin toast

“Here’s to the bride and the groom!
May you have a happy honeymoon,
May you lead a happy life,
May you have a bunch of money soon,
And live without all strife.”
—Traditional toast

“Here’s to the groom with the bride so fair,
And here’s to the bride with groom so rare!”
—Traditional toast

“Here’s to the husband
And here’s to the wife;
May they remain
Lovers for life.”
—Traditional toast

“Let us toast the health of the bride;
Let us toast the health of the groom;
Let us toast the person that tied;
Let us toast every guest in the room.”
—Traditional toast

Traditional Graces

“Bless, O Lord, this food to our use, and us to Thy service, and make us ever needful of the needs of others, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
—Traditional Protestant grace

“Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we have received out of Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
—Traditional Catholic grace

“For what we are about to receive, the Lord make us truly thankful, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
What we are about to receive, may the Trinity and the Unity bless. Amen.”
—Grace before meal

“Barukh atah Adonai Elohaynu melekh ha-olam ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Source of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. Amen.”
—Traditional Jewish blessing over challah bread (Ha-Motzi)

Famous Quotes

“Insomuch as love grows you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.”
—St. Augustine

Be present at your table, Lord.
Be here and everywhere adored.
Those mercies bless, and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee.”
—John Cennick

“All love should be simply stepping-stones to the love of God…Blessed be His name for His great goodness and mercy.”

Biblical Blessing

“The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!”
—Numbers 6:24-26

Shakespearean Toasts and Blessings

“A flock of blessings light upon thy back.”
—Romeo and Juliet, Act III

“Fair thought and happy hours attend you.”
—The Merchant of Venice, Act III

“Look down you gods,
And on this couple drop a blessed crown.”
—The Tempest, Act V

“I wish you all the joy you can wish.”
—The Merchant of Venice, Act III

“The best of happiness, honor, and fortunes keeps with you.”
—Timon of Athens, Act I

“God, the best maker of all marriages,
Combine your hearts in one.”
—King Henry V, Act V

“Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.”
—from “Venus and Adonis”

“Honor, riches, marriage blessing,
Love continuance, and increasing,
Hourly joys be still upon you!
Juno sings her blessings on you.”
—The Tempest, Act IV

Have you recently given a wedding toast and used on of these? What have we missed?

10 Wedding Registry Items You Won’t Want to Forget

A wedding registry is a chance for you to share your gift wish list with your guests. Don’t miss out on a chance to get your hearts’ desires (and your home’s needs)!

Here are 10 wedding registry items to add to your list:


If you plan to travel the world with your sweetheart at your side (or just get to your in-laws and back) you will need some luggage. Investing in good luggage is a smart move, as high-quality items will serve you well for years and keep all your key items safe as you explore new destinations.


Lighting can really change the atmosphere and look of a space. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask for interesting lighting solutions, like lamps, fixtures, and chandeliers to give your nest a “bright outlook” for the future.


Chances are that post tying the knot, you’ll have a lot of new “stuff” in your home – houseware, kitchen supplies, etc. Don’t forget to add storage and organization solutions to your wedding registry list and keep all your other gifts in order. From cutlery organizers to shelving bins to shoe racks, these keep your home tidy and manageable. Believe me, the less clutter, the happier your life will be.


With all these new kitchen appliances and cooking supplies, you may find you want some inspiration for dinnertime. Register for interesting and beautiful cookbooks that you will love flipping through for ideas and will come to rely on when that fancy dinner party comes up.


There’s more to living at home than just cooking with those brand new appliances or laundering all those new linens. Don’t forget to add some fun games and entertainment ideas to spice up life at home. They are also perfect for a get together with friends.


It’s easy to forget about the floor and just focus on major furniture pieces upon entering a room. Give your spaces some flavor by adding accent rugs to your wedding registry. Choose ones with interesting patterns or textures to add a pop and some warmth to your rooms.

Bathroom Accessories

Wedding registries always seem to skew towards the kitchen and linens. One thing that you don’t want to forget when compiling your list is your bathroom’s needs. Add matching cups, soap dishes and toothbrush holders and splurge on a gorgeous shower curtain that will make your bathroom look fresh and glamorous.

Kitchen Scale

Measuring cups and spoons are always a cute wedding gift. However, a digital food scale is just as important, yet often forgotten. Tack one onto your wedding registry lists for accurate baking and cooking experiments in the kitchen.

Knife sharpener

Almost everyone registers for a knife set or individual high-quality kitchen blades. Those same people often forget the importance of a knife sharpener to keep your knives in good shape for years.


With your indoor kitchen all taken care of, it’s time to start developing your outdoor one! Add a grill to your wedding registry list and you’ll be all set for those hot summer days that barbecuing is perfect for. Now you won’t be able to fend off your friends who will see this as an excuse to drop in for some backyard fun.

We want to hear your opinion! Did you register for any of these items when you got married? 

Hawaiian Wedding Traditions

If you like the idea of getting lei’d at the beginning of your wedding ceremony, then a Hawaiian wedding may be right up your alley!

There are so many wonderful reasons to incorporate Hawaiian wedding customs into your ceremony, whether you’re getting married on the beach in Maui or in a Catholic church in Chicago. Central to the Hawaiian culture is the Aloha Spirit, which can be loosely defined as a commitment to treat oneself and others with kindness, respect and love.

Here is a quick guide to some traditional Hawaiian wedding customs that will lend meaning and originality to your ceremony:

The traditional Hawaiian flower lei, signifies love and respect. They are worn by the bride and groom as well as members of the wedding party. Usually, there is a lei exchange between bride and groom at the beginning of the ceremony, along with an explanation of its significance. Like a wedding ring, the lei is an unbroken circle that represents your eternal commitment and devotion to one another. The beauty of each individual flower is not lost when it becomes a part of the lei, but is enhanced because of the strength of its bond. Additionally, the bride often wears a garland of flowers in her hair, rather than a veil.

In traditional Hawaiian weddings, both the bride and groom wear all white, and the groom wears a colored sash around his waist. It is also common these days for the groom and groomsmen to wear aloha shirts with light colored pants; while this is not traditional protocol, it is certainly acceptable and festive island attire. Let’s not lean too far in the vacation-wear direction, though: Ladies, while island style is casual, I recommend waiting at least until the reception gets going to don the coconut bras and grass skirts.

The Hawaiian Wedding Song, Ke Kali Nei Au, is usually played during the ceremony, although it would work nicely as the first dance at your reception as well. It was originally written in Hawaiian in1926 by Charles King, and has been translated into English and covered by several artists; most notably Elvis Presley in the movie, Blue Hawaii.

Rings & Rings Blessing
Native to the Big Island of Hawaii, the Koa wood and Ti leaf ring blessing has a lovely meaning and is beautiful in its simplicity. Koa is a treasured and valuable hardwood that represents integrity and strength, which are foundational qualities of a marriage. The Ti leaf represents prosperity, health, and blessing of body, mind, and spirit. The officiant begins by dipping a Koa wood bowl into a body of water. The leaf is dipped into the bowl, and the water is sprinkled three times over the rings while the following chant is recited: Ei-Ah Eha-No. Ka Malohia Oh-Na-Lani. Mea A-Ku A-Pau, means: May peace from above rest upon you and remain with you now and forever. The water signifies two things: First, washing back into the ocean, symbolically, any hindrance to your relationship. Secondly, it represents a brand new beginning as husband and wife.

Ti Leaf and Lava Rock Ceremony
This is another significant and beautiful part of the traditional Hawaiian wedding. The lava rock is symbolic of the moment you made a lifetime commitment to one another. It is wrapped in a Ti leaf and left at the ceremony site as an offering, prayer, and blessing which remains steadfast at the place of your marriage, marking the birth of your union, while your rings are a symbol of that commitment that travel with you wherever you go.

Remembering Deceased Family Members
The Hawaiians contend that when the wind stirs at a wedding, it is the presence of their Ohana (family) who are physically absent but surround you at this moment with their love, support, and blessing. This draws attention to the dearly departed with its explanation and can serve as a pleasant and casual reminder throughout the ceremony. This method is most prudent if you’re having an outdoor ceremony or using a temperamental fan.

Did you have a destination wedding in Hawaii or did you incorporate any of these Hawaiian traditions into your wedding? We want to hear all about it!

Winter Wedding Flowers

Brides getting married in the winter may worry there will not be many floral varieties and colors available. Far from it! There are many winter wedding flowers to choose from!

White weddings have always ruled in winter, but an all-white color palette doesn’t have to be stark white. Instead, opt for a soft, “antique” white effect, made up of flowers in creams, ivories, and even very pale blush hues. Or opt for elegant silver and white arrangements – a popular choice for flowers for winter brides. Silver leaves, sequins, and tendrils of silver ribbon and delicate, graceful snowdrops transform a classic white assortment into a glamorous wintry display.

To decorate a winter wonderland event, incorporate pussy willow branches – they have with soft, furry buds up and down the shiny bare twigs which look like the paw prints of a kitten. White-tipped pinecones, mistletoe and marabou feathers, blue-gray juniper boughs, sage green lamb’s ear and silvery Dusty Miller leaves give a frosty effect that reflects the snowy season.

Christmas wedding flowers can include festive holiday red flowers like velvety, perfectly opened amaryllis blossoms. Add hypericum berries, lacy sprigs of arborvitae, red berries, and holly for a stunning seasonal bridal bouquet or striking red table centerpiece.

List Of Winter Wedding Flowers In Season

Casablanca Lilies
French Tulips
Mini Gerberas
Narcissus Paper Whites

Did you get married in the winter? What flowers did you use?

Potential Hidden Wedding Costs

Think you’ve got your wedding budget all figured out? Not so fast! Hidden wedding costs like décor rentals, permits, and even cake cutting can quickly send your budget through the roof! Here are a few hidden wedding costs to be mindful of when planning your big day.

Here are a few hidden wedding costs to be mindful of when planning your big day:

Wedding envelopes weigh more than regular letters – many can cost up to $2 each to mail. While not a huge expense, many couples are not expecting a $300 postage bill when choosing a large design.

Welcome Bag Delivery
Some hotels charge $5-$7 per bag they hand out to guests but might not advertise it.

Extra Hours
Both the wedding venue and the wedding band or DJ can charge more if the couple wants to go late (often after 10pm).

Taxes and Tip
These things can run up to 20% on top of costs – a huge difference.

Choosing out of season flowers (like roses most of the year) can increase a wedding budget significantly because the flowers will need to be imported. Picking local, seasonal wedding flowers is better for your wallet and the environment.

Cake Cutting
Many couples think that bringing in their own DIY wedding cake will save money, but a lot of venues have their own in-house pastry chef and/or a contract with a cake company. They require a cake cutting fee that ranges from $1-$7 per guest.

Dinner Rentals
If the reception space does not provide wedding décor like linens, china, flatware, tables or chairs, couples will find themselves stuck with a huge expense. For example, rental chairs can range from $2-$20 per chair, and rental delivery can run up to $500+.

Set Up Fees
Things like décor, sound equipment, floral arrangements and rentals may require set up and delivery which, depending on agreements with each vendor, can add additional costs.

Clean Up Costs
Some venues include clean up costs, but others do not. These charges can run up to $750 for garbage removal, freight elevator use, and cleaning. If you want to make sure everything is recycled, be sure to ask ahead of time and/or arrange to have your friends or family pick up and deliver recyclables after the event.

Vendor Meals
When doing the head count couples need to consider their vendors. These are often offered at a discount, but need to be inquired about.

Corkage Fees
If they want to save money on wine, they may lose depending on the fees. Generally, wines over $20 a bottle make sense to pay cork fees on. Corkage fees also allow couples to bring in organic wine or a favorite that is not available on the menu.

If planning a wedding in a public area, there are often permits and usage fees to consider. Couples and wedding planners should look online well in advance of the big day.

The Backup Plan
Couples MUST have a backup indoor or tented venue. This plan, whether used on the day or not, can add cost.

When it comes to the budget, hidden wedding costs are easy to avoid or factor in with a little planning. If you keep these hidden wedding costs in mind before you make big decisions you won’t get caught with a bill larger than you anticipated.

We want to hear from you! Were there any other unexpected fees for your wedding that we may have missed?

Transitioning From Miss to Mrs

Name change after marriage is big decision and there are SO many options.  Will you take your spouse’s last name, hyphenate, take two last names without a hyphen, take your maiden name as your middle name, use your name professionally and his/hers socially or simply keep your maiden name?  The possibilities are overwhelming and the emotions around the concept of name change can be highly charged.

If you do decide to change your name (which most do), there is a stack of government name change forms waiting for you to complete and file in a specific order.

Follow these simple steps to make your transition from Miss to Mrs. a smooth one!

1 – Purchase 2 to 3 Certified Copies of Your Marriage Certificate

2 – Obtain a Social Security Card with Your New Married Name

3 – Update your Driver’s License or ID from your State Motor Vehicle/Transportation Office

4 – Notify the IRS of Your Name Change

5 – Update Your U.S. Passport

6 – Notify the Post Office

7 – Change Your Personal Paperwork

8 – Last but certainly not least, Use Your New Married Name!


We hope this list will make your transition from Miss to Mrs a little simpler! We want to hear from you, too! Have you gone through the process of changing your name after getting married? How was the process for you?