QUIZ: Who Should Make the Guest List?

Who should be on my guest list? How do I decide who to eliminate? Don’t pull your hair out trying to figure it out!  Know that you are not alone.  These are two of the most frequently asked questions by clients during our initial consultation session. My answer is: the engaged couple along with both sets of parents should create their DREAM guest list. Eliminate no one but realize your parents and you may have some of the same people on their lists.  That’s okay. The next step is to have everyone put a star next to the guests who MUST be there and a triangle next to the ones you would really like to be there.

Create your master list by starting with the starred names, then based on the room left in your budget add triangle names.  Be sure to take triangle names from each person’s list to be fair.  In doing so, you will be less likely to be accused of being biased towards anyone. Most people know you are not purposely trying to hurt anyone’s feelings by excluding them but not having an unlimited budget means somebody will not receive an invitation. It has been my experience, clients using this method have an easier time creating their final guest lists.

In addition to the strategy explained above, the following quiz from this month’s TODAY’S BRIDE  may assist you in figuring out who is your triangle and who is your star.

How do you know them?

  1. They’re a friend.
  2. They’re a colleague.
  3. I don’t really…my mom does.

When was the last time you spoke?.

  1. Last week
  2. Within the last few months
  3. Good question

Have they met your fiance?

  1. Yes, many times.
  2. I think once or twice
  3. Not yet

Were on their wedding guest list (or were you in the wedding)?

  1. I was in the wedding party.
  2. Yes
  3. No

Would you invite them over for dinner?

  1. Sure, why not
  2. Yes, but I would make something quick to eat
  3. If I was forced

Do you talk about your wedding a lot in front of this person?

  1. They’ve heard almost every detail.
  2. They’ve overheard me talking about it in the office or on Facebook
  3. They might not even know I’m engaged.

Imagine your wedding without this person. Which statement best describes it?

  1. It won’t be nearly as fun
  2. I’ll feel guilty all night
  3. Thank goodness, I won’t have to avoid him/her

Will you talk to this person 5 years from now?

  1. Yes, probably.
  2. I’m not really sure.
  3. Most likely not

Key if your answers are mostly:

  • 1’s then that guest should receive a star
  • 2’s then that guest should receive a triangle
  • 3’s why are you wondering if they should receive an invitation?

Deciding whether or not to invite children and who should get a plus-one can be sticky subjects. Check out our upcoming blogs as we continue discussing what you need to know about guests.  If you would like more information or would like to talk, our initial consultations are complimentary.  Call us at 216-672-5451 to schedule your consultation today!


Save the Date Cards, oh my!  When creating your wording and etiquette, as in other things in life, sometimes it’s better to share than to re-create the mold.  I’d like to share the following article from Minted weddings:

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Once you’ve booked a wedding venue, it’s time to start thinking about save-the-dates. This little piece of wedding stationery serves as a heads-up so guests can mark their calendar and begin making travel plans (if necessary) to attend your celebration. The save the date also lets them know there will be a formal invitation on the way with all the wedding details; this means you can keep your save-the-date wording short, simple, and to the point.



Mail your save the dates six to eight months before the wedding. This will give guests ample time to request days off from work and make travel plans, if needed. However, if the wedding falls on a holiday weekend or is a destination wedding, aim to send them nine months to a year in advance.


There are several kinds of save the dates to choose from to suit your style and budget. You can go the traditional route with a paper save-the-date card sent via snail mail; you could also opt for a more casual postcard-style save the date or a magnetic design that guests can stick on their refrigerator as a reminder. Also, these days electronic save the dates are becoming more and more popular because of their cost and convenience benefits.


Anyone you’re sure you’re going to invite to the wedding. If your guest list is not entirely finalized, refrain from sending save-the-date cards to guests on your B-list; once someone receives a save the date, you’re obligated to send them a wedding invitation, too.


  • Your names:  the bride’s name traditionally appears first; for same sex couples consider alphabetically
  • The Wedding Date:  Spell out the entire date if your prefer a formal tone
  • Wedding Location:  Just the city and state where the wedding will be held (you’ll share the venue details later on the actual invitation)
  • Invite to Follow:  This line let’s the guests know they should expect to receive a wedding invitation is the coming weeks
  • Wedding Website URL:  Nice to have but not necessary



Some couples include photo from the engagement shoot or a favorite quote or saying, if there’s room. Wording-wise, this is the time to be less formal, so feel free to get creative with your save-the-date text. Here are a few examples of how couples word their save the dates.

Add a short phrase or saying to help convey how excited you both are to embark on the next phase of your lives together.


Jennifer + Charlie
Headed to forever
June 20, 2020


Our biggest adventure
August 11, 2020
Lauren & Miles
San Francisco, CA

If you are still having trouble creating your Save the Date Cards or any other wedding pitfalls, feel free to contact Dream Event Services, we would be more than happy to assist you.

Music: Prelude to The Kiss

Music is the prelude to the kiss, which seals the commitment.  Your choice of music should be personal and deliberate for your ceremony as well as your reception.  Music sets the tone, enhances the setting and creates the ambience, which puts people in the mood.  Music says a lot about the people celebrated.  Too often, when we inquire about the ceremony music, we hear, “Just pick something nice.” Okay…but that says nothing about the events to come or the mood the couple is trying to create.  We decided to share some of our suggestions for setting the mood and questions to ponder in order to help you decide.

Prelude Music

The Prelude is the music that sets the tone for what is to come.  The time length for this set should be approximately 15 to twenty minutes in length. While played as your guests enter, your choices tell your guests, without words your expectations.  The prelude should begin by creating a feeling of excitement and/or anticipation.  Your guests are arriving, they are excited about your nuptials and the music should build on that feeling. As the time draws closer to your ceremony start time, the music should become more romantic, softer and the words (if there are any) should tell a love story.  As the music softens, your guests will reflect this mood change their chatter will become softer in anticipation of the ceremony.  The last song of the prelude starts the ceremony with the entrance of the Pastor and the entrance of the family. Followed by Groom escorting his mother.

Mothers’ and /or Groom’s Entrance 

The mothers’ (his first then hers) entrance should be dramatic yet reflective.  The words, if there are any, should speak about letting go…a new beginning…or a song of praise. This music is especially important if the groom is escorting his mother into the ceremony.  We encourage the groom to have his own entrance so he too can share some of the spotlight.

Wedding Party Entrance

The bridal party song or songs should lead the guests to understand the love shared by the couple.  “Do the songs have to be slow…or should they be set to a march?”  Our answer is YES.  Then we remind our clients music dictates the mood.  Ask yourself, what is the ambience we are trying to convey? Do we want our guests to settle in and relish the feelings or do we want them caught up in the drama or do we want little of both?

 The Bride’s Entrance 

The bride’s song, chosen to tell her groom what she has in or on her mind, how she is feeling or is a song that reminds her of him. Similar to the couple’s first dance song, which we always ask our grooms to choose independently from the bride then tell her why he has chosen that particular song while on the dance floor.  This secret is their first as a married couple.

The Recessional Music

The Recessional is the last ceremony song. Its importance lays in being the song that transitions the guests’ emotions in moving to the next mood- the Reception.  It can be reflective (“At Last”-Etta James/Beyonce); declarative (“The Girl is Mine”-Michael Jackson/“We are Family”-Sister Sledge) or start the P-A-R-T-Y (“I Do”-Colbie Caillat/“Celebration”-Kool & the Gang).

The bottom line is your music needs to reflect you.  Need help or want more ideas?  Feel free to contact us Dream Weddings & Events, LLC. 

Honoring Loved Ones

 Honoring loved ones who have passed may be one of the hardest, but at the same time, most rewarding parts of a any celebration; especially a wedding celebration.  Often couples come the realization their loved will not be a part of their celebration in my office. This often leads to tears.  I can truly relate to these couples.  In my head I knew my own father’s illness (Alzheimer’s) would not allow him to walk me down the aisle.   I had always dreamed of that walk with my father.  The realization of it not being able to happen didn’t hit me until I said it aloud.  And it broke my heart.  So I made a list of ways to celebrate/honor him, which I am happy to share them with you.

At/during the Ceremony

  • Special Candle.  Place a single candle for each honoree on a separate table from the other celebration candles (i.e. the Unity candle).  This is an opportunity to give a family member the opportunity to participate in your celebration in an easy but important fashion.  This person will be light the Memory candle at some agreed upon point in the ceremony, i.e. at the start of ceremony.
  • Seats of Honor.  Reserve seats in the front of your ceremony.  Hang the names or a picture of those who are being honored/remembered on the seat back in such a way it can be seen easily.  During the service lay a single flower or small bouquet on the seat of the chair, thus bringing attention to the person being honored.
  • Family Processional. Prior to the mothers’ entrance, have pictures of those who you wish to honor brought in individually and placed on a special table or in their own seats.  Do you have people you want to have a part in your ceremony but no place to put them?  This is wonderful way to accomplish this quandary.
  • Special Table.  Place a table in a prominent space, place your loved ones picture on the table with a single candle.  This should be already in place and the candle lit when your guests arrive.

At/During the Reception

  • Special Table.  Place a table in a prominent space, like next to your guestbook and place your loved ones picture on the table so that it is already in place when your guests arrive.  Be sure to create a name card for each picture so your guests will know who your loved one is.  To make it even more special write something about that person on their name card.  This allows YOU to walk memory lane with that person as you write and honor your loved ones.
  • Table of Honor.  Set up an extra table in the front of the room.  Decorate it the same as the others including place settings.  Place your loved ones picture at the table so that it is where their plate would be.  For one wedding, I turned the pictures throughout the evening so that they faced what was going on.  For example, during the couple’s first dance all pictures were facing the dancefloor and during dinner they were facing each other as if they were talking with one another.
  • Special Candle.  Put a single candle for each person to be honored on a table with the Unity candle such that the honor candles surround the Unity candle.  This represents the couple is supported and surround by the warmth of family love.
  • Shadow (father-daughter or mother-son) Dance.  If you are brave and don’t mind others seeing your emotions.  Dance with only a picture of your loved one for a time.  Too long would be too dramatic.  Finish the song with a special relative.

It is surprisingly cathartic to include your ancients/loved ones/elders, whatever you call them, in your special day.  We encourage you to be innovative in including them, then please, come back and share your ideas. Or if you are looking for ideas, feel free to contact us  http://www.dreamwellc.com or via email dreamwellc@gmail.com.

Emergencies On Your Wedding Day? Be prepared!

Wedding Day emergencies are inevitable. Are you prepared? At Dream Weddings & Events, LLC  having a kit is a mandatory tool; no different from wearing your communication device. After seeing a question in the Facebook Brides Group about what goes into a Wedding Emergency Kit, we knew we needed to share.  Therefore, here is our professional opinion on what we strongly suggest to be in your Wedding Day Emergency Tool kit and in some cases why:

  • Advil, Tylenol
  • Antacid
  • Antihistamine
  • Aspirin- low dose for Heart or Stroke emergencies
  • Barrettes
  • Clear nail polish- stops runs in stockings
  • Cough drops
  • Dental Floss
  • Deodorant travel size (spray)
  • First aid kit  band aids
  • Gum-calms nerves
  • Hair and bobby pins
  • Hair spray
  • Handy wipes (baby wipes or freshen up cloths)
  • Kleenex
  • Lotion
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Masking tape- repairs hems or seams
  • Moisturizing Eye drops
  • Nail polish remover
  • Peppermint or breath mints
  • Pepto-Bismol or Imodium
  • Powder        
  • Safety and straight pins
  • Sewing kit w/neutral colored thread
  • Straw-to avoid smudging lipstick when drinking
  • Sunscreen
  • Tampons/pads
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Wash cloth

Additional Items

There are additional items found in our emergency kits based on past need.  Some seem crazy, but after the second time of needing an item we have just included them. Consequently, we do not have to send someone to the store.  As a Wedding Planner, here are some additional items that are also in our kits:

  • Anti-Static spray
  • Bottled water
  • Batteries 2 of each kind
  • Cake knife set
  • Chocolate
  • Glucose tabs
  • Extra garter
  • Hair spray
  • Preparation H- reduces puffy UNDER eye swelling
  • Slice of white bread (in a plastic bag to keep fresh) removes fresh lipstick stains   
  • Small bottle of white wine- it removes red wine stains (along with cool water)
  • Vaseline-applied to the teeth makes smiling easier

We know it seems like this list is long; you might need a suitcase just for your emergency kit (that’s how we carry ours),  but take our word for it, to need one of these items and not have it could cause a lot of needless heartache or stress. While traditionally the kit is maintained by your maid or matron of honour; it is part of our service to our clients.  Until next time…….Keep DREAMing


If you want to know more or have other questions, feel free to contact Dream Weddings & Events, LLC at 216-672-5451.


Marriage License: Q & A on the Process

Questions regarding the process for obtaining a marriage license is one of the most popular inquiries posed by our clients.  Please be aware, each State and county within that State may have their own process; contact your County Probate Court for exact details.  The information presented in this blog is the process for those of you from the State of Ohio, specifically Cuyahoga County.  It is my goal for you to have a few less bumps in the road on your journey to marriage.

Where do we go to apply for our license?

  • A resident of the state of Ohio must apply for your license at the Probate Court in the county in which the Ohio resident lives.  If neither of you is a resident you must apply in at the Probate Court in the county in which you are getting married.

Can one of us just pick up the form, take it home to complete it and return the form during office hours?

  •  You must BOTH go to the County Probate Office TOGETHER.
  • In Cuyahoga County, you may pre-register online at Online Marriage Pre-Registration then bring in the confirmation number.

What do we need to take with us?

  • Birth certificate (or some proof of citizenship like a passport)
  • A photo ID (like a driver’s license)
  • Social Security card
  • Certified copy of the divorce decree  (if you have been previously married)
  • If you are under 18, you need proof of consent by a parent.
  • If either or both applicants is physically incapacitated, that person’s physician must complete an affidavit stating the physical disability, and then it is filed with the application for the marriage license.

How much does a marriage license cost?

  • The cost varies from county to county, as each county sets the cost.  The price ranges from $45 to $60.

Do we need to get a blood test?

  • No, not in the state of Ohio

How long is the license valid?

  • The license is only valid for 30 days from the date of issuance.

For more details contact your County Probate Court Office.  We hope this blog assists you on your journey towards marriage.  Finding you need assistance making your DREAM day a positive memorable occasion? Contact us at Dream Weddings & Events, LLC 


Post-Wedding Checklist

Hello readers.  A post-wedding checklist is something I have often given my clients.  The following article, created by Ethan Lord Jewelers  goes into much further in depth.  I thought the article would be perfect for you, just click on the enlargement arrows to read it.    Happy reading.

The whirlwind of wedding planning is but a memory now. After months of meticulously mapping out every last detail, heartfelt vows and cherished wedding rings were exchanged, and your love was celebrated in style with family and friends.  Congratulations are in order … but there’s still more to do as you set off down the road toward wedded bliss. The accompanying checklist presents a dozen tasks to tend to in the aftermath of the wedding to make everything just right. There is gratitude to express, legal matters to labor over, and especially for sentimentalists, keepsakes to create. And there are plans to ponder to make the future even brighter.

Now that you are used to taking vows, check out this checklist to discover why it’s important to transform your “I do” to “We will … ” Take on these tasks as a couple for a picture-perfect way to wrap up your wedding-related activities. Be assured that the “thank you” cards in particular are most meaningful to the many who made your day so special.

Children: Age Appropriate?

Children!  Nothing can change the mood of a wedding more than those little darlings chosen to be the ring bearer and/or flower girls.  In my experience, I have seen them destroy a mood by crying or refusing to go down the aisle or be a comical mess with their interpretation of how they should go down the aisle.  One of the most frequent questions I get from clients is: what is the most appropriate age for a flower girl or ring bearer?  It depends.  There is really no definitive answer to this question. So how do you choose?  Let’s look at it…

Too Young?

Even though your three year old nephew or niece is cute and outgoing.  How will he/she be affected when all of those eyes are looking at him/her walk down the aisle?  Stage fright hits even the strongest of adults.  Yes it is true all they are doing is walking but for some little people it is a walk of death. All of those people staring at them…that’s scary!  Then there are a few, who will relish the stage and upstage everyone and everything.  Drawing attention to themselves, doing things they normally would not do but because the spotlight is on them they take advantage.

Too OLD!

Just like you don’t want a little one who is too young walking down the aisle.  Don’t embarrass a tweenager, especially young ladies, by giving them the honor of being your flower girl.   Young men generally don’t make a big deal out of being a ring bearer.  They are just happy they get to stand up front next to the groom.  There are always exceptions but generally tweenagers (ages 11-14) are NOT interested in “baby” jobs!

My Recommendation

Children participating in the ceremony be at least school age. Preferably in at least first grade.  Why?  Experience.  Maturity. Desire. Tweenagers, on the other hand, should be given the positions of Junior Groomsman/Usher or Junior Bridesmaid/hostess.  Here they still get the spotlight most tweenagers crave, without looking like a baby.  Before you assign these positions to tweenagers I would strongly suggest asking them first, if they would mind being a flower girl/ring bearer or would they prefer being a Junior Bridesmaid/Groomsman.   


All in all it is your choice.  Some of my clients like the excitement and drama little people bring.  At times they do make interesting, sometimes hilarious video footage.  Remember, the bottom line is what you want your guests’ take away to be; of that cute kid or the beautiful couple?  Do you want or need assistance creating a beautiful and memorable occasion that includes children?  Contact us at 216-672-5451

Cleveland, OH Event Planner | Dream Weddings & Events, LLC.

Insurance for the Bride: A Diamond Ring

The following article about the tradition of giving a diamond engagement ring by M. Wyzanski was shared with me by Malky Okowita caught my attention.  I just love the history of traditions and here is one you might not know.

Insurance for the Bride

The Diamond Ring, ‘Symbol of Affection’ or ‘Collateral’?

They say diamonds are forever. So, when a man presents his bride-to-be with a diamond engagement ring, it stands to reason that it’s representative of the promise inherent to an eternal relationship of bliss.  From a historical standpoint, there’s another facet of sparkle.  By the mid-1940s the engagement ring was seen as something more. It was a form of insurance, so to speak, for the bride. Should her groom desert her, she had something of worth to take with her.  And considering the pricey cost of any such rock embellishing ring, a groom would think more than once before walking away from his commitment.

Today, just as in years gone by, the phenomenon of broken engagements exists. According to statistics, however, contemporary women involved in a breached engagement, by and large, return the jewelry they receive. For those that go on to actually tie the knot of marriage, obtaining a conventional form of insurance coverage for the diamond engagement ring guarantees protection in the event of an expensive loss.

Insuring Your Diamond Ring

Although a standard NJ Homeowners Insurance, including typical NJ Renters insurance, embraces the articles in your home, it has limited value.  A costly item like a diamond ring needs extended coverage. Known as scheduled personal property coverage, this addendum to your homeowners or renters insurance escalates the typical limits on your standard plan allowing your ring coverage for maximum appraised worth.

Now that you have your ring and the insurance to cover it.  Are you ready to start planning?   CONTACT US 


Bridal Shows- 5 Things You Need

The Bridal Shows are Coming! The Bridal Shows are Coming!  Are you prepared?  Bridal shows are wonderful, exciting, and full of dreams but they are also confusing, repetitive and overwhelming.  These are adjectives used by brides who are unprepared to navigate through the journey called a bridal show.  In my professional opinion and from experience, there are five things you need when attending  bridal shows that will make your journey more pleasant.

  • Stickers with your name, contact information, and wedding date.  You are going to write the same information for just about every Service Provider you meet.  Consequently, having all of this information on a sticker saves you time and effort.
  • A calendar or plan book of your available dates and times.  If you meet your ideal Service Provider you are going to need to know your schedule or availability in order to set a meeting date and time.  Thus saving you time and the possibility of losing your dream Service Provider because someone else booked before you.
  • Comfortable Shoes.  This is NOT the time to wear those cute shoes you just bought..   You will be doing a lot of walking and standing on concrete floors, as most venues that host shows do not have cushioned flooring.  When your feet hurt, it makes for a miserable experience.
  • Patience.  Bridal Shows are notoriously busy places; with stressed out brides all looking for the best deal and best Service Providers.  Sometimes that means you will have to wait in order to speak with that ideal person you want.  In addition to patience….. 
  • Smile.   Your smile coupled with patience, something this simple can make or break your experience.  Smiles generate free thought and infer openness.  Free-thoughts and openness create pleasant conversations.  Pleasant conversations generate feelings of pleasure all of which translate into aiding in your planning being stress-free.  

Need more ideas?  Want help with your planning?  Contact us at dreamwellc@gmail.com