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Choosing the Perfect Song for Your First Dance

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A wedding contains many special moments and memories that will last for a lifetime. One of the most cherished traditions found in most weddings is the first dance. This is an extremely intimate moment between husband and wife shared publicly for all of the guests. Because of this, it’s important to choose the perfect song. Fortunately, if you keep a few key things in mind, it’s relatively simple to pick a song that helps create the perfect atmosphere and setting for your special dance.

Know Your Abilities

One of the most important facets to consider when choosing your song is the type of dance that the song requires. For example, most ballads found in country music are slow and steady enough that a simple “hug and sway” approach will suffice. This is great if you and your partner aren’t great dancers, but awful if you want to show off.

Think about the types of dances that you and your partner enjoy. Then, choose a song accordingly. Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Don’t choose a waltz if you haven’t been out dancing together in years!

Consider Your Audience

While the dance is a moment between you and your partner, it is a public moment. That means the impact it has on your audience is almost as important as the personal meaning it has for you. It’s important, then, to consider your audience when choosing your song.

Since your audience likely comes from a wide range of ages and tastes, try to stick to classic, timeless songs. These tend to have broad appeal and work well for everyone. Also, in the future, you won’t feel sheepish for having a song as a couple that was nothing more than a passing trend.

Be Prepared To Compromise

Most importantly, the song for your first dance has to be a song that you and your partner enjoy. This is the song that you associate with your wedding for years to come. In order to come to a consensus, you might have to make a compromise.

The easiest way to do this is to avoid fighting for your choice. Try to generate a list of suitable choices before you sit down to discuss your choice with your partner. That way, if you reach an impasse, you can suggest a new alternative rather than duke it out over your must-have song.

Above all else, remember that your first dance is just one of many moments that you’ll cherish from your wedding day. You should certainly try to pick the perfect song, but don’t worry too much if you regret your choice later. There will be plenty of cherished memories from that experience regardless!

Thinking Outside the Vase: Unique Wedding Centerpieces

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The wedding that you picture in your mind might feature a reception with extravagant floral centerpieces at each table. However, your budget might not allow this fantasy to become a reality when you say “I do.” If you can’t afford floral centerpieces—or simply want something a bit more unique—there are a variety of choices. Think about the tone you want to set for your wedding when choosing centerpieces.



Candles are an ideal substitute for flowers for wedding reception tables. The soft lighting adds warmth and a touch of romance to your reception venue. Choose an elaborate candle centerpiece if you are having an evening reception, as the candlelight can contribute to your reception’s ambiance. Choose pillar candles in a variety of shapes and sizes. Organize them creatively in the center of the table, placing shorter candles next to taller ones to enhance visual interest. Avoid using scented candles, as the candles might overpower your reception venue.


Rustic Branches

Not every wedding reception calls for pastel flowers at every table. In fact, at some receptions, a floral centerpiece would be out of place. If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding or a wedding with a rustic feel, use branches instead of flowers. Place the branches in a vase; choose branches of varying lengths to make your centerpieces stand out. You can hang votive candles from the branches or place twinkling lights on them to add some soft lighting.


Seasonal Centerpieces

Use the season to inspire your wedding centerpieces. A December wedding can feature miniature evergreen trees on each table, decorated with lights and ornaments that match your wedding colors. Use the rich colors of fall by placing burgundy, orange, and gold leaves in a glass bowl with pinecones. If you’re saying “I do” at the beach, fill aluminum beach pails with sand, and place colorful candles in them. You can also fill a wide vase with water and add floating candles.


Mix it Up

Don’t shy away from variety when designing your wedding centerpieces. Your centerpieces should coordinate, but they do not have to be identical. Have a color scheme or item tie the centerpieces together. For example, you can place baskets full of leaves and pinecones on some tables and candles on others. Tie them together by placing twine and a leaf around the candles to connect them to the other centerpieces.



Today’s couples can buck tradition and create reception décor that is unforgettable and uniquely theirs. Find centerpieces that suit your taste, personality, and wedding style. If flowers aren’t your thing, then choose something that is more reflective of you. Centerpieces that align with your interests create a personalized wedding day that your guests will remember.

Create a Sparkling Winter Wedding

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June may still be the most popular month for weddings, but the winter season is quickly catching up. More and more brides are forgoing the traditional summer wedding and opting for the unique style and beauty of the winter season.

Planning a winter wedding can provide you with a number of benefits, from lower costs and greater availability of popular venues to unique decorating options. Those winter weddings can have their challenges as well, however, and it is important to be prepared for the unexpected.


Enjoy the Beauty of the Season

Far from being drab and dreary, the winter season sparkles with brilliance at every turn. From the beauty of winter weather to the shimmering shadows cast by long shadows, the winter season is full of beauty.

You can incorporate that winter beauty into your wedding and create memories that will last a lifetime. Plan a scouting session with your wedding photographer and look for the vistas you can use on your wedding day. Planning those shots ahead of time will reduce your stress level and help you and your wedding photographer create those lifelong memories.


Do Not Assume Lower Costs for Everything

One of the greatest things about planning a winter wedding is the money you can save. Winter brides can save a substantial amount of money when booking a venue since those locations are generally much less busy in the colder months. The cost of catering can be lower as well – those who cater weddings and create custom wedding cakes often have less business in the winter and are therefore willing to make price accommodations to the couples they serve.

It would be wrong to assume, however, that all costs will be lower. Fresh flowers, for instance, may actually cost more in the winter months. Many varieties will be in short supply during the colder months, and the flowers that are still available may cost more due to higher shipping costs. Holding your wedding in the winter may be a great way to save money, but you still need to pay careful attention to your overall budget.


Be Prepared for Winter Weather

One significant drawback of winter weddings is the possibility of winter weather – even in South Texas. The weather can be quite unpredictable in the winter season – and sleet, snow and ice can ruin even the most carefully planned ceremony.

That is why it is important to be flexible when planning a wedding in the winter months. You will want to check the cancellation policies of all your wedding vendors carefully – from the contract with the reception hall to the deals you struck with the wedding photographer and caterer. Knowing your options in the event of a winter storm or other major wedding event can set your mind at ease – and make the rest of your wedding planning that much easier.


If you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town, you may want to book a block of rooms at a hotel near the wedding venue. Having a place to stay will make it easier for those guests to attend the ceremony – and give them a safe place to go if the weather gets too bad.

5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Business Event Venue

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Hosting an event for your business is an exciting project, though it does come with its challenges. One of the biggest of these challenges is locating a quality venue that meets all of your needs. Here are five tips for finding the perfect venue for your upcoming business event.

Start Early

The earlier you start planning your business event, the better your chances are of finding the venue you want. Begin your search at least three months before the date of your event, though you should aim to start five or six months ahead of time if you can. Finding a venue early can also provide savings on rental fees.

Experienced Staff

The staff at a venue can have a big impact on your event. Only choose a venue with a dedicated team of people who have experience in the event industry. The staff at a venue can either be your best asset or your biggest challenge when it comes to planning your event, so be sure of their level of professionalism before you commit to anything.

Know Your Attendees

If you don’t have an understanding of the specific needs and desires of your attendees, your event won’t appeal to them. For example, if your event will be attended primarily by people who are traveling to your area by airplane, consider an event location near the airport to make transportation easy on them. Take some time to think about specific features you can add to your event to keep them interested in sticking around for longer, as well as any local attractions they may want to see either during breaks in your event or after it’s over.

Adequate Parking

If attendees will be driving their vehicles to your event, be sure there’s plenty of parking available. Event parking is something many people consider to be a hassle, so the fact that you’ve taken the steps to ensure a comfortable parking situation is something your attendees will greatly appreciate. Parking access is one of the first items to discuss while touring any event space.

An Efficient Floor Plan

Having a detailed floor plan for your event is a must. Forming a floor plan is really only possible if you’ve checked out a venue in-person, as you’ll be able to visualize the flow of foot traffic and imagine where demonstrations, activities, refreshments, seating areas, etc. will be. Design your event’s floor plan with efficient movement between your event’s most important attractions in mind. You do not want your event to feel either overcrowded or too spread out.

Be sure to remember these things as you look around for event venues. When you’re able to keep your attendee’s interests in mind, start searching for a venue early and know what you’re looking for as you check out prospective locations, your event will be a success.

13 Spectacular Wedding Trends You’re Going to Love

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Your wedding is a great time to show off your personality and style, and today’s wedding trends have a little something for everyone. From funky fabrics to elegant food, choose details that express your personality. Here are 13 wonderful wedding trends to spark your imagination and inspire your planning.

Ceremony in the Round

Think outside the box when you’re planning the seating arrangements for your wedding ceremony. Many of today’s brides are getting rid of standard rows in favor of organizing chairs in a circle. This gives guests a full view of the bride, groom, and officiant and creates a sense of community and closeness. You can plan to stand at various angles throughout the ceremony to make sure that everyone has a good view of the proceedings.

Ruffled Décor

Ruffles are everywhere this wedding season. The detail is both romantic and fun, and it’s showing up on everything from gowns to tablecloths. Use ruffled fabric on the backs of your chairs, on a reception backdrop, on table linens, or even as a highlighting detail in floral arrangements.

Painted Cakes

If you want something other than a standard iced wedding cake, try having your cake turned into a work of art. Cake artists will cover your cake in a neutral fondant and then hand paint floral designs or other artwork right onto the surface with food coloring. The result is a stunning confection that looks like it should be featured in an art gallery.

Dusty Rose

This play on pink is the current color trend of weddings. Dusty rose is an elegant but understated tone that conveys femininity, romance, and classic charm. It also pairs beautifully with all kinds of shades of green, blue, cream, and lavender.


One wonderful and non-traditional bridal trend is swapping your veil for a large, floppy hat. This look is adorable at casual, afternoon weddings and is especially appropriate for a beach or garden ceremony. This trend also looks terrific on a row of bridesmaids.

Neon Signs

Rustic, wooden signs and chalkboards have been done time and time again. The new trend in wedding signage is neon. A personalized neon sign made with your names intertwined is a wonderful piece that you can keep in your home as a memory of your special day.


Textured fabrics are beautiful to look at as well as to feel, and velvet has become a very popular choice. You can use velvet in your bridal party’s fashions or as part of your décor. Velvet tablecloths or ribbons on the back of guests’ chairs are luxurious touches that help elevate your ceremony and reception.

Salt Covenant

Many brides like the idea behind unity candles but want to do something a little bit different to make their ceremonies more modern. A salt covenant is a nice choice for this purpose. It involves you and your partner pouring two containers of salt into one central container to symbolize the union of your families. You can use white or colored salt, and you can ask your families to be part of the ceremony as well.

Charcuterie Boards

Take appetizers to a new level by allowing guests to graze on charcuterie boards. These are rustic boards that are placed on tables and topped with finger foods like cheese, crackers, and fruit. They can also include small glasses of wine or miniature appetizers.


When all the traditional wedding dances have been done, you can add another round of fun to the reception by hosting a sing-along. Pass out pieces of paper with your favorite song lyrics and ask someone to play the piano. This is classic entertainment that takes your guests back to the days of celebrating before electronics.

Wine Smoothies

Lighter than cocktails but more sophisticated than beer, wine smoothies are the trendy drink to serve at your wedding. Combine your favorite wine with frozen berries. Champagne and strawberries pair perfectly.

Eco-friendly Materials

Modern brides are also environmentally conscious. Many brides are choosing sustainable fabrics in their gowns and décor as well as opting for recycled materials when possible. Stones, wood, and other natural elements are beautiful as wedding décor and are also environmentally friendly.

Local Edible Favors

Instead of passing out bags of almonds, think about sending guests home with locally made treats. For example, Vermont brides may wish to pass out small bottles of maple syrup while Georgia brides might send each guest home with a bottle of sweet peach wine.

Finding a wedding trend that speaks to you can make your wedding a more memorable experience for you and your guests. Consider these 13 terrific trends when planning your special day.

Important Elements to Consider When Choosing a Venue for Your Business Event

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When you are planning to organize a business event, the most important task is to choose the venue. The quality of the venue can have a major impact on the entire event and satisfaction level of your guests as well. Most business professionals find it difficult to make decisions about the right venue for their events.

In general, this decision is derived by three major factors: desired space, size of the event, and the estimated budget. When you are planning to host a big event, it is good to book your venue at least 4 to 6 months advance as it will give you ample time to organize your catering, brochure design and marketing as well. Here are several highlighted elements to consider in choosing the venue with the most potential for your event.

Prioritize Logistics

Logistics is an essential factor for venue selection. In case you are planning a local event, it is good to choose a venue that is located at a reasonable distance from major access points. If people will be attending the event from other cities, it is better to find a venue near airports, metro stations with easy access to hotels as well.

Make sure your venue can be searched through GPS maps and that it is possible to give clear driving directions to the attendees. In addition, check if your venue can provide ample parking space with discounted fees for attendees if possible.

Maximum Seating Capacity

In determining your venue’s maximum capacity, start by preparing an estimated list of the number of attendees. If you are offering entry with pre-registration for the event, it is possible to get a clear count in advance. Once you know the estimated size of the event, it will be easier to select the venue with the desired capacity.

Also, do not focus exclusively on seating capacity, but think about the comfort of your guests as well. Have the proper cooling and heating systems arranged if there are abnormal weather conditions expected ahead of the event.

Adjacent Facilities

When there is an event with a large number of people concentrated in one place, it is also important to consider any nearby amenities and facilities as well. Experts advise looking for a venue where there are proper facilities for setup, cleaning, catering, AV capabilities, and Wi-Fi access. Depending upon the type of event – whether it is a conference, product launch or marketing session – you may also need audio-visual aids and music set up to maximize the experience of your guests.

Cost of the Venue

The cost of your venue is an essential consideration during the planning process. Before you finalize the venue for the event, it is important to get quotes for the cost. It is better to compare multiple locations on the basis of price and quality of services. You do not have to compromise quality for the sake of lower costs, but at the same time, make sure the costs are reasonable.

As business managers and marketers grow more sophisticated with promoting their events, choosing a venue becomes more valuable. By taking into account costs, good logistics, accommodations, and capacity, you can improve your chances of selecting the most rewarding venue. As you plan with your team, outline these steps with your team to narrow down the most relevant and dynamic locations for your event.

Celebrating Achievement – How to Throw a Memorable Party for the College Graduate in Your Life

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Graduating from college is a major milestone in a young person’s life, and it is only natural for parents to celebrate that achievement in style. Creating a wonderful graduation party is not always easy, but the memories will be well worth the extra effort.

Make it a Multi-Family Celebration

Chances are your graduating college student has developed a number of close friendships during the years he or she has been away at school. It is only natural that your son or daughter will be anxious to celebrate such an important occasion with his or her friends. At the same time, the grad does not want to disappoint the family and deny them the celebration they have so carefully planned.

One innovative answer to this dilemma is the multi-family graduation party. Many parents and working together to create a memorable celebration that their kids can enjoy together. Start by contacting the parents of your child’s friends and asking about their party plans. They may be quite receptive to a shared party – and shared expenses.

One of the advantages of the multi-family celebration is that it can be easier to plan. With more people – and more resources – available – the families may be able to rent a large local venue like a hotel or country club. That makes planning easier, and the catering service means a lot less work for everyone.

Create a Memory Board

A memory board is a great keepsake – something that your son or daughter can cherish throughout the rest of their life. That memory board does not have to be expensive or elaborate – some of the best consists of nothing more than posterboard and a collection of photographs.

Start by gathering up those precious childhood photos – school photos, vacation snapshots and the like. Add in pictures from major milestones – like high school graduation and prom, as well as sports photos and other special memories. Once the memory board is ready, place it in a prominent spot, provide a supply of Sharpies and encourage guests to sign the posterboard.

You may also want to include a simple portrait from the graduation ceremony – complimented by an extra-large mat. Invite guests to sign that mat as well, then have the whole thing professionally framed. This framed and signed graduation photo will no doubt become a precious keepsake – one that can be tastefully displayed in any décor.

Display the School Colors

Whether you do all the decorating yourself if farm it out to your chosen venue, you will want to focus on the school colors. Creating centerpieces, party favors and keepsakes using the colors of the college provides a wonderful backdrop for the celebration. You can probably find lots of ready-made items at the school store – or online.

You can compliment those store-bought items with your own ideas – from floral arrangements to handmade place settings. No matter what you choose, those school colors will really stand out and make the venue look even better.

Sending your son or daughter off to college was a big deal – and welcoming the new grad back from college is just as important. The graduation party is something they will remember for the rest of their lives. The right keepsakes and party special touches can make the celebration even more memorable.


How To Decorate for A Quinceanera

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How To Decorate for A Quinceanera

A Quinceanera, or “Quince” for short, is a Latin American tradition that celebrates a young woman’s 15th birthday. The Quinceanera is designed to mark the transition from a girl into a woman and often involves activities symbolic of this change. A Quinceanera is generally a fairly formal affair, with the Quinceanera herself dressed in a gown and possibly a tiara. The party is often held in a reception hall with food, drinks, music and dancing.

Identify a theme for the party based on the Quinceanera’s interests. Figure out some guidelines before you start so that you end up with a cohesive design throughout the reception hall. Some ideas for themes include all-white, 1920s Chicago, winter wonderland, New York City, red carpet premier or an enchanted forest.

Rent furniture and tableware. Use your guest list to determine how much seating you need available and how many tables you need for food and drinks if the event isn’t catered. Reserve tables, chairs, linens, tableware and flatware ahead of time so you can pick them up the day you need them. Shop around to find colors and styles of linen and tableware that match your theme. It is particularly important to find the right colors if your theme is a certain color.

Decorate the tables. Come up with centerpieces for each table or hire a florist to design arrangements that complement your theme. Centerpieces don’t have to be bouquets; let your theme be your guide. For example, a 1920s-themed party could feature dyed ostrich feather plumes as centerpieces. The Quinceanera and her close family and friends, or her “court,” should be seated at a special head table. You may want the head table to feature a larger or more eye-catching centerpiece.

Create mood lighting. The room’s lighting is an integral part of setting a mood for the party. To create low lighting, hang string lights around the ceiling and wrap them around banisters and pillars. Candles also create an intimate atmosphere for guests to visit and dine by. Distribute pillar candle or tea lights around the room and on tables. If there is a dance floor, ask the DJ about any lighting that she or he may provide.

Tip: Remember that the Quinceanera symbolizes the change from a girl to a woman; avoid childish birthday party conventions like embarrassing party hats.


Dancing Elk Blog

11 Gorgeous Trends in Wedding Flowers

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With every wedding season comes flowers. From the bridal bouquet to the table displays to flowers on the aisle, flowers are a big part of most wedding ceremonies.

What types of florals will today’s brides be choosing for their weddings? Here are 11 beautiful trends in wedding flowers.

Shades of Purple

Purple is the color of the year in fashion, home décor and in weddings. You will see many brides carrying bouquets in multiple variations of purple.

Spring and summer brides may focus lavenders and paler shades. Winter and fall brides may opt for jewel tones or darker hues.

Purple is a wonderful choice in flowers because it can be sweet and romantic or bring the drama.

Fresh Floral Crowns

Many brides this year will be asking their florists to create tiaras or headbands made of fresh flowers. Floral crowns are also lovely on bridesmaids and flower girls.

Colors Beyond Nature

Dramatic brides will be making a statement with flowers that have been hit with spray paint to make them stand out. Look for colors in hues so bright that they might have come from a dream or flowers with a metallic tinge or sparkle.

Cocktail Flowers

Don’t be surprised when you attend a wedding this year and see flower petals floating in your cocktail. Brides will be dressing up signature cocktails by adding a pansy, rose petal or sprig of lavender as a garnish.

Living Walls

Rather than flower arrangements in vases, some of today’s brides will opt for walls hung with florals. That makes a striking backdrop for the ceremony or a pretty display behind the buffet table or guest book.


These gorgeous flowers once had a reputation as old-fashioned and outdated, especially for weddings. But your grandmother’s flowers are back in a big way with brides choosing the large blooms in bridal bouquets and table arrangements.

Dahlias are also a versatile choice that comes in a variety of colors.

Floral Cuffs

Stylish modern brides are taking a page from the prom by including a fresh floral cuff on one arm. The cuffs can be understated or dramatic and add a sense of romance to the bride’s overall look.

Trailing Foliage

Greenery is playing a prominent role in wedding décor this season, and brides will be including trailing greenery in all types of flower arrangements. Look for beautiful foliage hanging down from the bridal bouquet or long strings of ivy flowing from baskets.

Hanging Arrangements

Who says flowers have to be on the floor or the table? Florists are now offering wedding flowers in bunches that hang down from the ceiling, creating a beautiful canopy above guests. These can be small arrangements that add a pretty detail above, or they can be large enough to act as a faux ceiling over a bar or dance floor.


Simple weddings are becoming popular as many brides reject the bling in favor of a minimalist style. Floral arrangements for these weddings may be as effortless as a few flowers in a clear vase with water. Several of these minimalist decorations, when grouped, can be spectacular.

Potted Plants

With greenery in style, potted plants are bringing the great outdoors inside. Potted plants can be pretty when placed along the aisle or as decoration on the altar. Larger plants can grab guests’ attention and bring drama to the venue.

Another benefit of potted plants is that they can serve as gifts after the wedding.

Most weddings rely on flowers to decorate the event venue and take center stage in the ceremony. Look for these 11 beautiful flower trends in the upcoming wedding season.



The Reserve Blog

The ‘Yes’ to ‘I Do’ Checklist

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The ‘Yes’ to ‘I Do’ Checklist

Preparing for a wedding can be hard work, and to accommodate that issue we have compiled a fine list of things to do through each stage of wedding preparations. By following this list it should give you a good basis on which to keep track of your wedding, while still leaving room for a personalized flair.

The Engagement Phase

  • Say “Yes!”
  • Tell all of your friends and family
  • Breathe
  • Put aside money for the wedding and all it entails

The Post-Engagement Phase

  • Confirm date of the wedding
  • Plan out how large your wedding will be
  • Plan out the wedding party
  • Select a venue and book it for both reception and ceremony
  • Send out invitations
  • Go dress/tuxedo hunting (including for wedding party)
  • Arrange flowers for centerpieces, décor, etc for the big day
  • Contact a catering company to plan for the reception
  • Contact a bakery for the wedding cake
  • Breathe
  • Select the theme of the wedding and the ideal décor
  • Potential: Create a wish-list for guests to purchase gifts off of
  • Plan the honeymoon

Closer to the Wedding

  • Book hair appointments
  • Arrange table settings and hall layout
  • Double check that the caterer is still okay
  • Double check that the florist is still okay
  • Double check that the bakery is still okay
  • Double check that the dress/suits are still okay
  • Double check that the venue is still okay
  • Breathe
  • Prepare centerpieces for the wedding if necessary
  • Potential: Create wedding keepsakes (such as a small box of chocolates)
  • Plan the bar (if applicable, and not dealt with through catering company)
  • Write vows
  • Decided on who shall be allowed to give a speech at the reception
  • Apply for marriage license
  • Arrange transportation to the wedding
  • Check the weather for the wedding day
  • Arrange for a DJ, as well as an MC

The Big Day (and just before it)

  • Breathe
  • Get hair/makeup done
  • Arrange for the cake/ flowers to be set up in the venue
  • Put on dresses/tuxes (don’t forget underwear and socks!)
  • Look out the window to check the weather
  • Place a box for cards, and set a gift table
  • Prepare some activity to make the happy couple (you) kiss during the reception
  • Stock bar for the reception, if not already dealt with
  • If wearing high-heels, pack extra shoes (such as flats)
  • Don’t forget the ring!
  • Don’t forget your vows!
  • Breathe
  • Take the previously planned form of transportation
  • Put away this checklist, because you are going to be walking down the aisle soon

There you have it- a complete checklist to get you from ‘Yes’ to ‘I do’ in relative safety. By following this list you should ensure that your event is going to be a raging success. Now stop worrying about this checklist and get on with the wedding, this is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, not a test you need to study for! Best of luck!