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The “Wow” Factor

It would be great if you could turn your entire wedding wish list into reality, but in this tough economic climate it’s not always easy to do. So rather than trying to get everything perfect, couples are striving for a more realistic goal: making just one detail of their wedding so memorable that guests will be talking about it for years to come. I like to call this the “wow” factor.

Russell and Alix hired two San Francisco Opera Company singers to sing “All I Ask of You” at their ceremony.  At Debbie and Sherman’s wedding, Chinese Lion Dancers led the guests from the backyard ceremony to cocktails in the front yard. (Another couple, Julie and Ryan, also had Chinese Lion Dancers at their reception, and they used photos of the “show” on their thank-you cards!) Creative mood lighting transformed a local community hall into a romantic setting for Adam and Carol’s reception.

Julie Go and Ryan Chew's Wedding, photo courtesy of Dorothy Hatchel PhotographyThe best part? These were normal, budget-conscious couples who made the decision to splurge on just one part of their wedding. None of the above examples cost more than $1,000, but these out-of-the-box ideas made their guests murmur “wow” every time.

Some other ways to wow your guests:

A solo saxophonist playing as you walk down the aisle.

A fabulous walking illusionist like Rich Ferguson entertaining your guests during your cocktail hour.

A bagpiper leading the groom and his party down the aisle or playing as the sun sets at your vineyard or beach wedding.

A Polynesian dance troop giving your guests a heart-pounding dinner show they’ll never forget.

A bell choir performing at a Christmas wedding ceremony.

A video montage of your love story that ends with the first strains of your “first dance” song, and a spotlight shining on you as your MC announces, “Ladies and Gentleman, dancing their first dance as husband and wife…”

What do you want your guests to say “wow” to?


Bollywood Glam

Anyone who’s seen Slumdog Millionaire should appreciate this. (And those who haven’t seen it yet? Get thee to Netflix.com and add it to your queue immediately!)

Take a look at this wedding dance video:

Am I the only one who secretly wishes she was invited to this wedding? This wedding reception footage—filmed and edited by the super-talented Bob Farnsworth of Video Madness—proves that you don’t have to have even an ounce of Indian heritage to dance like a Bollywood star. It’s also a great example of how a videographer can turn your raw wedding reception footage into something polished and extraordinary.

Judging by this routine alone, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this was just the beginning of a great party. What a cool way to get everyone on the dance floor!

Lisa Posted by Lisa on Jul 23, 2009.
Filed under Music and EntertainmentOff BeatStuff We LoveWedding Ideas


Bachelorette Party Planners

I was both maid of honor and wedding coordinator when my sister got married last year. Because so many of the guests were coming from out of town, we decided to combine the bachelorette party and bridal shower into one fun-filled weekend to save on travel time and ensure that everyone could attend.

But at some point, as I trudged through the pre-wedding and wedding day event plans—not to mention my usual full time job!—I started to wish someone else could take on more of the planning workload. I really wanted some time to actually enjoy these gatherings with my sister. I’m sure there are many plan-weary bridesmaids and maids of honor out there who can relate, so I thought I’d make a suggestion: enlist a bachelorette party planning company.

What a great concept! This way you can enjoy the special day with the bride and let someone else stress over the details.

Firefly Group EventsFirefly Group Events: Firefly can come to the rescue for San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles bachelorette get-togethers. They have some fun packages, and will even customize your party if none of the existing packages are right for you. They’ll also give you your own web page, making it easy for you to manage all the details online. The best part is that your guests can log on to the Firefly website and pay for their participation so you don’t have to worry about managing the event funds.

Brides Night OutBrides Night Out: This company really does it all: They’ll be there to greet your guests, guide you on your adventure and make sure the night ends with everyone arriving home safely. Brides Night Out has so many different packages you’re sure to find something that fits your group. For more information on Brides Night Out, click here.

Trust me: As maid of honor and guest, you’ll have enough to do for the wedding. Getting some help with the bachelorette party planning will mean you can actually let loose with your friends and celebrate!


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