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WEDDING PLANNING 411

" We turned our dance lessons into a dinner and dancing date! It became a welcomed weekly escape from our hectic wedding planning." Cindy Rich, Newlywed and Assistant Editor of Washingtonian Magazine "

For almost a decade, our complimentary newsletter has provided engaged couples a head start on wedding dance lessons and assistance with wedding planning. We know how stressful planning a wedding can be even under ideal circumstances and since life happens while you are making plans, our goal is to help you stay sane so you can dance down the aisle to "I Do!" -- Sincerely, Deborah Joy and Brian Block, Founders of The Wedding Dance Specialists

March 2011 Newsletter



Nesting Newlyweds: Top 10 Reasons Why Northern Virginia is Best for Your Nest

by Brian Block, RE/MAX Real Estate Broker and Attorney (see exclusive offer below)

Now that you are about to merge your life with your fiancé, you may be looking to sell or purchase real estate. Here are 10 reasons to consider Northern Virginia as the place you can call home.

1. Interest rates are hitting historic lows, which means more cash in your pocket instead of banks

2. Close to D.C., easy access to 3 international airports, relatively easy commutes, and a short trip to other east coast cities.

3. 47 Northern Virginia high schools are on the Newsweek list of Top High Schools in the country! Also, U.S. News & World Report ranks Alexandria-based Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology as no. 1 in the country.

4. From Northern Virginia's parks, myriad shopping and gourmet dining options, educated population, and historic attractions, there's definitely something for everyone in Northern Virginia.

5. Spring is the busiest time of year in the real estate market. During the slower Fall and early Winter, you'll have the chance to score the best deals without having to compete against lots of other buyers looking at the same Northern Virginia homes. Unlike 2002-2006, multiple offers are not as common.

Article continued



Dance Tip:  Dance Before You Dine

Emily Post traditionally suggests that the First Dance occur after dinner. Ten years ago we introduced our revised version of the wedding dance timeline to thousands of our DC Metro Area couples and the trend has caught on like wildfire! Here are our reasons to buck tradition:

1. Maximizes the climactic moment of introducing the wedding couple for the first time.
2. Kick off to the reception –sets an exciting tone and creates conversation ice breaker for dinner guests.
3. You are still observing proper etiquette for wedding couple to dance before guests thereby officially opening the dance floor for general dancing
4. Reduce nervousness by accomplishing it at the onset.
5. Allows for the free flow of alcohol during the meal.
6. Eliminates the risk of food soilage to the tuxedo or gown before the first dance.
7. Allows food to digest after dinner without being obligated to dance on a full stomach.
8. Takes advantage of a natural lull in the energy of the party where guests are already gathered and standing during cocktail hour.
9. You have set up a scenario conducive to speeches since guests are attentive and gathered for the speeches that may follow.
10. General dancing is not held up by the other obligations of the wedding couple during and after dinner which may include extended ceremonies or greeting guests and circulating among the dinner tables.

Clients of TWDS can review the complete Wedding Day Timeline


Planning Tip: Wed-Sites (reprinted in part from Emily Post, photo from Island Brides.com)

Wedding websites, or “wed-sites,” are one of the most popular new trends for engaged couples.  They serve as a fun, multipurpose tool to stay connected with guests and keep them updated on details of your big day.  You can include information on travel and lodging, wedding planning updates, electronic RSVP options and links to store registries.  When you share photos, blog about the wedding planning process and include a comments section, it also becomes a personalized scrapbook commemorating your journey as a betrothed couple.

Here are some tips to remember when designing your wed-site…

  • Take the time to develop a design and content that represents you as a couple.
  • If you plan to let people RSVP on your site, simply add a printed sentence at the bottom of your reply card sent with your invitation saying, “You may also reply by way of our wedding Web site: www.happycouple.com.”
  • Refrain from listing your website on your invitation.  You can inform people about your website by including the web address on other items enclosed in the invitation packet.
  • Keep the website simple and easy to navigate.
  • Make sure the content is tasteful and inclusive.  Avoid sharing the personal details of your relationship. 
  • Place links to on-line gift registries modestly on your home page.
  • For guests who don’t have access to the internet, be sure to include pertinent information in the invitation packet you’ll send them.
  • Use the site to post wedding and honeymoon pictures, stories of the experience and thank you messages. This thank you does not replace the individual thank you notes that must be handwritten.

Vendor Offers

We pre-screen and negotiate with wedding vendors on your behalf to make your wedding planning easier!


Brian Block - RE/MAX Allegiance - 703-626-0715
Now that you are about to merge your life with your fiance, you may be looking to sell or purchase real estate. Click the banner to view Northern Virginia and DC Area homes from the comfort of your home. Brian Block is a national expert on real estate marketing, a Real Estate Broker for the area's top zip codes, Real Estate Attorney, author, media contributor and writes one of the top real estate blogs in Virginia. Go to www.VirginiaRealEstateNews.net

Present this coupon to recieve:

1. a FREE HOME APPRAISAL (value $350)
2. Two complimentary private ballroom dance lessons when you use his services for purchasing your home. (value $200)

Perfect Wedding Guide - FACEBOOK.COM/DCPWG

17 LUCKY LOCAL BRIDES will be chosen to select their FABULOUS PRIZE. A winner will be announced on THESE DATES: 1/14; 2/4; 2/25; 3/18; 4/8; 4/29; 5/20; 6/10; 7/1; 7/22; 8/12; 9/2; 9/23; 10/14; 11/4; 11/25; 12/16. REGISTER with PWG to be sure you have the greatest chance of winning, and the largest selection. EACH PRIZE is valued at $500 or more!. EACH PRIZE is from a highly regarded Greater Washington, DC Wedding Professional including The Wedding Dance Specialists!

HERE'S WHAT YOU COULD WIN:


• Custom veil
• 11x14 custom designed pressed floral art featuring your wedding flowers
• 3 hour shuttle accommodating 24 passengers
• Bridal Bouquet and Bridesmaids bouquets (up to 6 attendants)
• Two Night stay including gourmet breakfasts
• Full Chocolate Fountain Service for 100 guests
• Single horse and Vis-a-Vis Carriage for up to 2 hours use
• 1 Bridal suite overnight, room service dinner for 2, plus $100.00 Lake Forest Mall gift card
• Engagement photography session with social networking package, shot on location, web ready slideshow and 8x10 gift print
• Bridal Party Makeup Package
• Destination wedding gown
• Engagement photography session with guest book
• Premier wine tasting, tour, dinner for 2 and bottle of wine
• Two hour engagement photography session at any location of your choice, guest book, DVD video slide show, 100 save the date cards
• Free engagement session with CD of all images and beautiful custom designed 10x10 coffee table album
• 2 hour engagement session video
• 6 private wedding dance lessons from The Wedding Dance Specialists


Dance Bloopers!
These are NOT our students!
We promise you will never look like this! We GUARANTEE that you will look and feel more elegant after ONE lesson with us than if you just try to "wing it". There are no "accidents" in dancing. Every mistake can be corrected or prevented using a specific technique. Dancing is a science made to look like an art!




This is the infamous high school prom sway that everyone dreads. The couple just hangs on each other and sways like zombies for 4 long minutes...

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Etiquette: Tipping (photo Darwins Money.com)

Tipping has always been a personal expression of gratitude for service given and appreciated. The question of tipping those persons responsible for assisting you in your wedding planning is one of obvious importance and concern.

Whether you are using a private catering company or a hotel facility verify whether the company has already included a gratuity charge ahead of time. You may be wondering if it is proper to tip the servers if you have already pre-paid a gratuity in the contracted price?" The answer is if a particular server has spent time and energy providing you service, over and above your expectations, and you choose to give that individual a "tip," that choice is entirely up to you. It should be given for extra special services only. It is not required, as the gratuity has, as noted, already been paid.

Those falling into the above category, include catering managers, hotel banquet managers, waiters, waitresses, bartenders and on-site coordinators provided by the facility. Tipping them would fall into the 1% to 2% range. Remember, this has already been added to your final bill and additional tipping is just that. Additional tipping!

Restroom and Coat Room Attendants: It is customary to give fifty cents per guest. However, it may be to your advantage to arrange for a flat fee prior to the event.

Limousine Driver: A tip of 15% is the appropriate amount to be given to your limo driver. Be sure to read your contract, as the tip has often already been added into the final bill.

Parking Attendants: $1 - $2 per car is suggested

Florist, Photographer, Videographer, Baker, Musicians, Performers and Dance Instructor: Tipping only for extra special services, up to 15%.

Civil Ceremony Officials: (Judge, Justice of the Peace, City Clerk) There is generally an established fee and government employees are not permitted to accept tips.

Clergymen, Rabbis, Priests: No less than a $75 donation is considered proper and it is rare to find anyone giving less than a $100 gratuity for the wedding officiant. This donation should be given to the best man prior to the ceremony. Following the proceedings, he will then give it to the officiant. If travel is involved, an additional gratuity is appreciated.

Organist, Musician, Cantor : Fees for church organists and musicians are often included in the rental fee for the church. When this is not the case, a gratuity of $35 - $75 is appropriate. When the organist and musician (soloist) are close friends of the couple or family, the gratuity averaged $75.

Alterboys and Sextons: $5 - $25 is suggested

 

 

 

 

 


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