The bride checks off

When the Bride has checked it off on the Wedding Reception Planner, AND when the time is right, a well-staged Hula Hoop Event is a GREAT way to maintain the focus (or re-create the focus) during the well-paced, fun-filled wedding reception. Just like any other spectacle serving to draw everyone's attention to "what's happening!" whether it's in the finest banquet facility or most rustic barn, whether their participating or spectating, entertainment is what's happening, and folks are having a great time! Wedding receptions can be filled with all kinds of romance, excitement, AND, when it's the wish of the Bride and Groom, FUN.

Hula Hoop Event for a Corporate Gathering   
Staging a Hula Hoop Spectacle during a Corporate Event at the Myrtle Beach Hilton
Alternatives To Tossing Your Bouquet

Written by Mary Ritzo,  Killeen, TX

While some brides enjoy the tradition of tossing their bouquets to eager crowds of female guests, others like to do something a little different with the flowers that they carry on their wedding days. Here are some ideas for those of you who might not wish to see your bouquet get "lost in the crowd"...

1. Oldies But Goodies - Ask your DJ to play a song which speaks of lifetime commitment (ex. "Through The Years" by Kenny Rogers or "Still the One" by Shania Twain) and to invite all married couples to dance as the song plays. Your DJ will ask all couples married less than five years to step off the dancefloor, then all couples married less than ten years to step off the dancefloor, and so on. The couple who has been married the longest amount of time receives the bouquet.

2. An Act Of Kindness - Phone a hospital or nursing home that might benefit from having your bouquet displayed in a dayroom and ask if you may donate your flowers for this purpose. Arrange to have a member of your wedding party drop off your bouquet after the festivities.

3. In Memory Of - Place your bouquet in a beautiful vase, and put it on your guest book table with a photograph of a deceased loved one and a lighted candle next to it.

4. Unsung Hero - Choose a person (other than the someone in your bridal party) who has been a great help to you during your wedding planning. At your reception, make a speech explaining how special that person is to you and present the flowers to her afterwards(Make sure your photograph gets a picture of this touching moment)

5. Sharing The Beauty With Others - Donate your bouquet to be displayed during the weekly services at your house of worship.


You Didn't Just Say That!

Submitted by Elaine Mack Elaine Mack Marblehead, MA

Why is it that the minute you get engaged well meaning people from all over the planet suddenly have little "tips" to throw your way? They range from the benign, "You should wear your hair up. It looks so pretty that way." To the downright hateful, "You should loose 20 pounds or you'll look like the Troll in Shrek". It's easy to wonder if people really do have your best interest at heart when they hurl their unsolicited advice at you from all corners. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you ban everyone you know from your wedding and change the locks on your door.

People want to be involved, especially mothers, future mother-in-laws and other women of the family. A conversation with your father about the wedding may begin and end with, "How much is this going to cost me?" whereas your mother will in all likelihood pull out a list filled with detailed questions the minute you announce your engagement. She's probably doing this less as a means to control your day and more because she's been waiting for this since the day you were born. Literally. She saw you in your little white receiving gown and thought to herself, "My daughter, the beautiful bride."

As for your friends, they're most likely coming from a place of excitement with maybe just a hint of envy thrown in. If they're already married they probably want to recapture some of the excitement of their own planning. They may also want to warn you away from some of the pitfalls they experienced. So, your best friend will say things like, "Please tell me you're not going to hire a band. Bands are all horrible". Even when she knows full well that you just booked a band. Is she doing this to make you insane? Maybe, but it's more likely that she's remembering her own wedding and how the band played the Ally Cat all night until she wanted to cry. She's just trying to spare you her agony.

Your unmarried friends may suddenly begin to regale you with stories of every failed marriage theyve ever heard of. The Aunt and Uncle that everyone thought would be together forever: Divorced. Those friends of yours that you all went to the wedding of last summer: Divorced. It's possible that your friend is trying to make you hate her, but more likely she's expressing her own fears that she won't meet the right person, and by downplaying the significance of weddings in general (including yours) she's telling herself that it really is okay that she's not engaged herself.

So, what can you do to keep your friends and family from driving you mad with their advice and their pointers? Be honest with them. Tell them that while their opinion is valued youd prefer that they keep certain things to themselves such as their feelings on your weight, your hair and other personal details of the wedding. Telling you that a white gown will make you look washed out is useless, (unless you were considering burgundy as a back up color, that is). But telling you that the florist you're considering has a bad reputation is helpful. Sometimes people just get so caught up in "helping you" that they forget which is which.

You don't want to shut people out completely because then you'll be missing out on a valuable wedding planning resource, and your friends and family just may have some incredibly helpful ideas. But understand that even your most well meaning friend will at some point or another put her foot in her mouth. It just comes with the territory when you're planning a wedding. Realizing that, and being able to laugh about peoples occasional (or not so occasional) slip ups, should help to diffuse some of the tension that all of you are bound to feel from time to time.

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