SEATING CHARTS: I think one of the most stressful tasks in planning a wedding is establishing the seating chart. Personally, I think it’s easiest to forgo the seating chart and just let everyone sit where they want. You know there will be a few guests who didn’t RSVP but still show up, and then others who do RSVP but don’t show. Arranging this seating last-minute (usually when you arrive at the reception) can be even more stressful when you should be focusing on having fun. But I completely understand the idea and some of the advantages of having a seating chart. A seating chart can make your reception more organized and make mingling much easier when you know where important guests are located. It also helps keep elders from noisy children, essential parties together and gives each guest a permanent place to keep their belongings So here are a few tips to help you get through the task with as little hassle as possible.
     Get a layout of your reception room from your venue that shows the placement of all the tables, band, buffet, etc. Use this chart along with your confirmed RSVP list of guests and a pencil for lots of erasing to start setting up the assigned seating. A general rule of thumb is to attempt to place 1-2 married or dating couples with 2-4 singles, trying to make sure some of these people know each other (mixing family and friends here is fine too). Of course these numbers may vary depending on how many people you can seat at each table, but it’s a good starting point. If children are attending, try to have one large table just for the children who can sit independently from their parents, seating the parents nearby tables if possible. If you have some guests that don’t know anyone at the wedding, place them with family or outgoing friends that will make them feel comfortable. Once you are satisfied with seating arrangements, name or number your tables and provide place cards for the guests with the matching table name/number. Guests will need the place cards when they arrive at the reception so they can find their seats. This is a great opportunity to follow through with your theme, get creative and infuse a lot of personality into your wedding, but numbering is just as easy, effective and elegant, too.
    The whole project can be time consuming, so don’t wait until the last minute to get it done, and don’t be afraid to recruit your fiancé or a friend to help you figure it out. If you have any tips for seating arrangements, email us at


TIPS FOR WEDDING-GOWN ALTERATIONS: “You don’t alter Vera to fit you; you alter yourself to fit Vera.” – Bride Wars
    The reality is most wedding gowns need some type of alteration. Seldom does a bride find a perfect-fitting wedding gown, and it’s important to pay as much attention to the alterations as it is the selection. When alterations are needed it’s imperative to solicit professional help in making your dream dress look like it was made especially for you. Bridal boutiques usually offer alteration services, but you do have the option to find your own seamstress to make the updates to your gown. Here are a few tips I always pass onto brides needing major or minor alterations at a bridal boutique or an outside seamstress:
    Make sure to give your seamstress ample time for alterations, especially if the changes are significant or time consuming, and enough time for any tweaks. On the other hand, you don’t want to allow too much time if something like weight loss could affect the outcome. Talk with your tailor to determine the best time for you to submit for alterations if you are trying to lose significant weight before your wedding. Typically, a dress should be submitted for alterations 6-8 weeks before your wedding date, especially if the work needed is highly complex and time-consuming. The main types of alterations include hemming, bodice work and shortening of sleeves. Note that the cost will depend on the style of the dress and the complexity of work – and rush jobs can double that amount.
    Hire a professional: Make sure the boutique/seamstress has the expertise, precision and experience of working on wedding gowns. Most boutiques have in-house tailors, but if not, ask for recommendations, then ask the tailors for samples of their work. Be clear with your expectations and costs upfront – you may need to compromise on some of your requested changes in order to stay within budget. Make sure to bring all of your undergarments, shoes, head dressings, etc. to the fitting, so the seamstress can appropriately mark the alterations. If you don’t bring the shoes you’re going to wear on wedding day, for example, you run the risk of having your dress too short or too long. Even the smallest undergarment can cause the dress to lay differently.
    Finally, once you are picking up the gown, inspect it thoroughly to make sure there are no damages, stains, etc. If there are, you need to address your concerns at that time or the seamstress/boutique might not take responsibility for the damages. For some local alteration experts, visit the Orlando Wedding resource guide online at