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I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life…

In the past I have likened weddings to live television awards shows, in the sense that there is only one chance to get it right, and if something goes awry, you have to make it work. At least with a Broadway show, there is always the next night’s performance. But my point is, when you only get one chance to do something, and you want the results to be fantastic, there is a lot of pressure riding on every decision. Then add the huge financial commitment, and it’s easy to see why even the sweetest of couples might go ballistic at any given moment.

[Cue: “Pressure” by Billy Joel]

Wedding Stress

Now for today’s comparison: It is my belief that most brides feel the same sense of urgency on their wedding day, if not more, than an Olympic athlete does on the day of their competition. Just like many brides dream of their wedding day from a very young age, many Olympic athletes dream of being on the winner’s podium from a very young age, and there is just one shot to get it right. Talk about Stress!!! At least Olympians are also encouraged to get psychological help to deal with the pressure. (Maybe therapy should be a requirement to get a marriage license)

I love to watch Ice Skating and Gymnastics. The beauty and artistry matched with incredible feats of physical strength is breath-taking and they make it look so easy, even as the commentators critique every wobble. Yeah, right! Most people, if they can skate at all, can only do so in a forward fashion. Likewise, most people couldn’t even walk from one end of the balance beam to the other without falling off. This stuff is HARD and the pressure to be perfect is constantly there. Just one “wobble”, one slip-up…and you don’t get a medal and everything you’ve spent years devoting your life to is gone. This is the pressure on today’s brides and it’s not fair.

Nothing will ever be “perfect”.

We need to stop selling “perfection.” Nothing is ever perfect. Perfect is about as realistic as an airbrushed model on the front of Playboy Magazine. Now this doesn’t mean we should just “wing it”…absolutely not! We should plan for every contingency, every possible scenario. Then we have to let it go. We shouldn’t get so caught up in “the plan” that we suck the life out of the wedding day.

This is why I love my job so much. I love the advance wedding planning. I love the security it gives both my clients and me. I love that we each know, in advance, what we want to happen and the results we are expecting. But again…I can’t reiterate enough that beautiful things can happen in between “planned moments”, if we are free enough to let that happen. It’s true, we don’t get a second chance…this is “live theatre”…but more importantly…the wedding day is not the “goal” like an Olympic medal, it’s the beginning of a new life with the person of your dreams. If we remember this, a lot of the crazy wedding stress will naturally fall away.



The above article was written by Liz Daley for her monthly column, “A Passion for Performance” on
Liz Daley is the WED® Guild President and an Accredited Bridal Consultant with The Association of Bridal Consultants



Colonial Williamsburg Bride Chooses Non-Traditional Music for her Ceremony

Maurita and Lucas wanted something “different”…

She didn’t want the “white dress” and they didn’t want “fuddy-duddy” music.  They wanted to be DIFFERENT! I was happy to oblige.

Wedding Ceremonies, which are, as they should be, the “serious” part of a wedding celebration, are often really boring musically.
I haven’t had a bride ask for “The Bridal Chorus” (from the 1850 opera “Lohengrin” by Richard Wagner) in years.
Brides tend to eschew this choice because it seems OLD. Little do they know that in the original opera, the marriage did not have a happy ending,
which is a far better reason for them to choose another song.

Many brides stay within the “status quo” and choose a variation of “Canon in D Major” to walk down the aisle.
It’s a beautiful song, and I love it…no harm, no foul. And…there are a gazillion recordings of this tune.
Brides can choose different instrumentations or different interpretations; whatever…nonetheless, their choice is still somewhat “traditional”.

Non-Traditional Wedding Ceremony Music

What about the brides and grooms who unequivocally want non-traditional music?
They are not particularly religious and they are not getting married in a church. What are the options musically?
Of course, the broad but simple answer is anything, but where do they start? How do they decide?
Today’s brides and grooms are often trying to find ceremony music that truly represents them and their personalities.

One fun alternative that has supplied a plethora of options is a group called “Vitamin String Quartet”.
You can find them on iTunes. They record string quartet versions of modern music.
Think of their repertoire, as the Opus your grandmother never knew existed.

Pick a Signature Band, Musician or Musical Group for your Ceremony Music

Of course, if you want to get really fancy….pick a signature band, just like you pick a signature drink.

Several years ago, I did a wedding where the musical group “Queen” was the preferred artist for every song chosen for the ceremony.
There was an additional level of frivolity for the wedding guests and me because we knew that the bride had “two dads” (meaning she was raised by two men in a committed relationship)

Here is the musical program for the ceremony:

Seating of the Mothers: “Somebody to Love” by Queen

Groom’s Entrance: “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy” By Queen

Bridesmaid’s Entrance: “Crazy Thing Called Love” by Queen

Bridal Entrance: “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen

Recessional: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

The choice to have music that was uniquely them and completely NON-TRADITIONAL suited this couple perfectly!
They were quirky and fun and walked their own path. It was an amazing choice and an amazing day!

Professional Advice: Don’t let “old school” musical traditions stifle your wedding day.
Embrace the new…take chances….and let your ceremony music be as unique as you and your beloved.

Off-Beat Bride in Williamsburg, Virginia

Congratulations on your creativity, Maurita & Lucas!!!!


The above article was written by Liz Daley for her monthly column, “A Passion for Performance” on
Liz Daley is the WED® Guild President and an Accredited Bridal Consultant with The Association of Bridal Consultants


Wendy & Roger Celebrate with a love-filled First Dance at Perona Farms in New Jersey

Nope, I’m not referring to the Foreigner song; I’m referring to your bride and groom, as well as their family’s wedding experience.

As wedding professionals, we do many, many weddings every year, and presumably most brides and grooms are inexperienced at the whole “wedding” thing. This fact is simple but true and we need to always remember that it is their “first time.”

Because of this, we need to make it memorable and amazing for all the right reasons.

Court Your Clients

Just as husbands and wives should continue to “court” each other, we should continue to “court” our clients. We begin the courtship at the initial meeting, keep it going through the planning process and finally we deliver on our promises during the execution of their event.

Our clients have trusted us with one of the most important days of their lives. They have spent more money than any sane person should on “just one day.” We must respect that and do everything in our power to make their day as special as possible.

Marcello Pedalino, Wedding Entertainment Director in Newton, New Jersey

What is the “First Time” Feeling?

Your clients are intelligent people who chose you because of your experience. They are aware that you do tons of weddings. So, how do you make it feel like the first time? How do you make them feel like your only client?

The short answer is that you actually have to care. When they call with a simple question, make them a priority. When they want to get together and start planning, even though their wedding is 9 months away, make it happen.

When they aren’t sure what is supposed to happen and when, or exactly how things should work…guide them with your experience, don’t scoff at their ignorance. This gentle approach will make your clients feel special and let them know they are important to you. This is good business.

 Fun Dancing at NJ Wedding Reception

The above article was written by Liz Daley for her monthly column, “A Passion for Performance” on
Liz Daley is the WED® Guild President and an Accredited Bridal Consultant with The Association of Bridal Consultants