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Wedding Planning Tips

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Welcome Brides and Grooms, Family and Friends!  Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the wedding planning you have to do?

BestWeddingNJ.com is a New Jersey wedding planning website designed with YOU in mind!  If you are just getting started with wedding planning, come browse through the various wedding categories on the left, and click on our wedding vendors or topics, and dig in!  Discover our creative, free wedding planning tips and ideas, free wedding vows, free wedding articles, wedding blog and so much more!  Best Wedding NJ saves you time, money and offers you stress-free, savvy wedding planning tips below!  Enjoy!

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Free Wedding Planning Tips for your NJ Wedding Planning! 

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Responsibilities of the Maid of Honor

The Maid of Honor, or Matron of Honor if the woman is married, will handle a number of functions for the bride and wedding party to reduce the amount of stress on the bride.  The Maid of Honor is chosen for her get-the-ball-in-motion qualities.  Listening to the bride, making her laugh, and offering support are also part of the maid of honor attendant package.  Here's what's expected from a Maid of Honor:
  • A Maid of Honor helps the bride with pre wedding planning tasks: choosing the wedding colors, addressing announcement or wedding invitations with the bride.
  • The Maid of Honor arranges and hosts the bridal shower with other members of the bridal party and possibly the bride's mother.
  • The Maid of Honor may present a speech at the bridal shower.
  • It is the job of  the Maid of Honor to direct the other maids through their wedding duties. Make sure all bridesmaids get their wedding dresses, go to dress fittings, and find the right jewelry. The Maid of Honor also provides them with the wedding planning information on all the prewedding parties. The Maid of Honor pays for her own entire wedding outfit.
  • The Maid of Honor helps to spread the news about where the bride and groom are registered.  
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  • The Maid of Honor helps the bride change for her honeymoon and take charge of her gown after the ceremony. Arrange for storage in a safe place until she returns.
  • The Maid of Honor lends an ear. Whether it's about the wedding planning, the registry, the wedding cake, the Maid of Honor assures the bride that she has someone with whom she can share her thoughts. The The Maid of Honor is good at listening!
  • The Maid of Honor keeps a transcription of all the gifts received at various parties and showers, she can delegate a bridesmaid to handle this.
  • The Maid of Honor plans the bachelorette party with the bridesmaids.
  • The Maid of Honor sees to it that all bridesmaids get to the rehearsal, and coordinates transportation and lodging if necessary.
  • The Maid of Honor makes sure that all bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done, get to the wedding ceremony on time, and have the correct bouquets.
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  • The Maid of Honor assists the bride with her train and veil before the wedding ceremony begins and just after she arrives at the altar. The Maid of Honor might also need to help her bustle the train for easy dancing at the reception.
  • The Maid of Honor holds the bride's bouquet while the couple exchanges vows and during the ring exchange.
  • The Maid of Honor signs the marriage license as a witness, along with the best man.
  • The Maid of Honor circulates among the guests playing hostess along with the other bridesmaids during the wedding reception: showing guests where to sit, superintending them to restrooms, telling them to where to place presents, inviting them to sign the guest book, etc.
  • The Maid of Honor assists the wedding photographer with rounding up the key family members who will need to be photographed.
  • The Maid of Honor collects any gift envelopes brought to the reception and keeps the envelopes in a safe place.
  • The Maid of Honor makes sure the bride takes a moment to eat something, refresh her drink, get her a plate of food from the buffet table, or instruct the wait staff to keep her entree warm.
  • The Maid of Honor dances with the best man during the formal first-dance sequence and possibly be announced with him at the beginning of the party. Also dance with other groomsmen, the groom, and others.
  • The Maid of Honor toasts the couple after the best man. (This is optional, but it is a nice touch.)
  • The Maid of Honor helps the bride and groom depart for their honeymoon.
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Responsibilities of the Best Man

As the Best Man, you may think you are simply a glorified groomsman, but guess what?  You actually have special best man responsibilities. The Best Man is a combination valet and hand-holder as you assist the groom through this exciting, emotional wedding planning experience. As leader of the groomsmen, you will:

  • Serve as the groom's personal aide and adviser before and during the wedding.
  • The Best Man helps organize the bachelor party.  Ask the other groomsmen to help you out with the wedding planning.  Most guys don't mind this duty!  Put financial worries out of your mind; the cost is split among everyone who attends the bash.
  • The Best Man may help the groom pack for the honeymoon.
  • The Best Man helps the groom choose and rent, or buy, wedding tuxedos, and coordinate the other groomsmen's rentals.  The Best Man may be expected to help with wedding planning by arranging accommodations for out-of-town groomsmen.
  • The Best Man attends the rehearsal with the bride and groom and all the other attendants.
  • The Best Man stands beside the groom at the altar and keep the bride's ring until vows are exchanged.  Find a safe place for the ring (Triple check that your pockets don't have holes!)  You don't want to fumble around when it's time to take it out.
  • The Best Man looks after the other groomsmen and makes sure they are performing their wedding planning duties.
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  • The Best Man signs the marriage license as a witness at  the ceremony, along with the maid of honor.
  • The Best Man gives the wedding officiant a sealed envelope with his or her fee (the groom's responsibility) just after the wedding ceremony.
  • The Best Man may be announced with the maid of honor when the wedding reception begins.
  • The Best Man dances with both the honor attendant and the bride during the wedding party dances.
  • The Best Man gives the first toast to the bride and groom at the wedding reception.  This is your biggest and probably most frightening duty.  Read our tips about wedding speeches.
  • A Best Man collects any gift envelopes guests bring to the reception and keeps them safe.
  • The Best Man decorates the getaway mobile.  Grab the other groomsmen and the bridesmaids for this one.
  • The Best Man drives the couple to the wedding-night hotel or airport after the reception.  If you perform this service, you'll need to stay sober throughout the wedding reception.  If you have a feeling this may not be possible, hire a limousine to drive the couple.
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Wedding Reception & Ceremony Wedding Planning Tips 

  • Talk to your favorite restaurant to see how much it would cost to rent a private room or even the whole place for your New Jersey wedding. This is an option that works best during non-peak hours, as the restaurant might not want to lose their busy weekend crowd.
  • Avoid wedding planning during typically busy times like June or around Valentine’s Day. During the “off season", many places will work with you on the price.
  • Earn frequent flyer miles for your honeymoon by paying wedding costs with a credit card. Just make sure to pay the balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.
  • Find one location for your New Jersey wedding ceremony and wedding reception to avoid having to provide transportation between venues.
  • Skip the champagne and let guests toast with what they are already drinking.
  • Reduce the length of your wedding reception, and don't announce a last call for drinks.
  • Book in advance since last minute bookings are usually more expensive due to the extra work involved to coordinate everything.
  • Using an online wedding planning budget tracker to keep your wedding finances in order and help control overspending.
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More Wedding Planning Tips!

  • Looking for affordable bridesmaid dresses and bridal gown?  Shop at Best Wedding NJ instead of expensive bridal salons.  When wedding planning, discover our much lower prices than what you would pay for similar bridesmaid dresses in a bridal boutique.
  • Have your photographer take wedding photos of your reception site before your guests arrive, while everything is still in place and looking fabulous!  Later, you'll love looking back on these pictures which will so perfectly capture the way in which everything you envisioned for your wedding was transformed into reality.
  • Number your reply cards!  Many a bride has a huge headache on her hands when, as sometimes happens, the occasional reply card is sent back with no names filled in.  Clearly an oversight on the part of the guest who sent it, but how do you figure out who on earth it came from?  Here's a little trick when wedding planning which will ensure that you avoid this problem all together - place a small, inconspicuous number on the back of each reply card before enclosing it with the invitation.  Use a list to record each guest's name along with the number on the reply card you are enclosing for them. That way, if someone should forget to fill in their name, a quick glance at your list will tell you precisely who the reply belongs to.
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Wedding Planning Tips

  • Making your own wedding invitations?  When wedding planning, save money by using reply postcards instead of the usual reply cards with envelopes.  Postage rates for postcards are much less than the rate for stamping envelopes (Remember, you must pre-stamp the reply cards for your guests!)  Plus, by using postcards you'll also save the expense of envelopes.  Simply print the response information on one side of the card, and your address on the other side.
  • Have your florist include a little bit of ivy in your bouquet.  This lush green climbing vine symbolizes fidelity and is traditionally used in bridal bouquets for that special symbolism.  In addition, having flowers flown in will raise your costs so only use only in season and readily available flowers.
  • Be sure to "break in" your wedding shoes!  The shoes you will be wearing on your wedding day should be worn in advance.  If your new shoes aren't stretched a little before the big day, your feet may be killing you before you even make it to the reception.  This has been an unpleasant distraction for many a bride on her wedding day.  Don't let it put a damper on yours!  Spend several hours wearing your bridal shoes around the house in the weeks before the wedding and you'll have no problem kicking up your heels long into the wee hours when the big day arrives.
  • Ask your caterer about the availability of children's plates.  This is a practical and sensible way to reduce wedding expenses when wedding planning.  Many couples aren't aware that, at a reduced cost, most caterers can create smaller portions for the little people on your guest list, who normally don't eat as much as adults.  In fact, often you can request something which will have more appeal to the little guys anyhow, such as cheese burgers or chicken fingers and fries instead of the more fussy food you and your adult guests will likely be dining on.  Children's plates are typically available at dramatically lower costs than your cost per plate for adults.  While children's plates make a great deal of sense from a couple of different stand points, particularly that of your budget during your wedding planning, many caterers will not mention their availability unless you specifically enquire or request such a thing.  This is because they will make greater profit on adult plates.
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Wedding Planning Tips
  • Limousine wedding planning questions to ask:  Is there any advertising on the limousine; such as in the rear window?  If so, is it a cling that they can pull off?  What brand of champagne do they serve...usually its pretty cheap.....so ask!"
  • Wedding Photographer tips: Before booking a wedding photographer during your wedding planning, visit his or her studio to view their work.  What you may not know is that the wedding photos you are viewing may not be the work of the wedding photographer you are considering hiring!  Some photographers purchase beautiful wedding photos from photography industry suppliers and wholesalers, which they then hang in their own studios.  This understandably leads the prospective clients inevitably to believe that they are viewing the work of the photographer in question.  So what can you do?  How will you know?  ASK! That's right, ask the photographer specifically if all of the photos on display were taken by him or her.  Unless you are dealing with someone really unscrupulous, most will tell you the truth if asked this question directly.  As always during wedding planning, ask a lot of questions.  When booking a photographer, you should always insist on references from previous clients, and check those references!
  • Buy wedding planning software!  Forget about trying to keep all of your wedding planning details organized by writing them in a book.  Weddings are huge projects, and they require excellent project management - use wedding planning software.  This is the secret to how the best weddings are being planned today. 
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Common NJ Wedding Planning Mistakes
While every wedding has its own challenges, there are common mistakes that wedding couples make on a regular basis.  Read these wedding planning NJ tips and learn from other couples' mistakes rather than repeating them!

Asking too many people to be in your wedding party
Having 12 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen may have been what you have always imagined however; when it comes down to dressing them, giving them thank-you gifts, and paying for bouquets and boutonnieres, you can easily break the bank!

Over scheduling your guests
Whether you're getting married at home or away, remember that your guests have lives, too!  Most wedding guests will not commit 24 hours a day to you for your entire wedding weekend. Leave time for them to explore where you're getting married.

Forgetting to feed your wedding party
If you are busy getting bridal hair & makeup done, make sure that your attendants have something to eat on the wedding day.  If you don't feed your bridesmaids when they are with you all day, you might end up with a few drunk or grumpy attendants by your wedding ceremony time!

Worrying too much about the music taste of your guests
Consider what YOU want to dance to at your wedding.  It's important to keep your audience in mind when you make your playlist and choose your wedding entertainment.

Failing to prepare welcome packets for out-of-town guests
Even when you get married locally, do not assume that your out-of-town guests, who have traveled to celebrate with you, know much about the area.  They would really appreciate directions to the events, plus local restaurants and attractions.

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