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Expert Advice from wedding guru, Sharon Naylor

Sharon

Sharon Naylor

Sharon Naylor is the author of over 35 wedding planning books and a frequent guest expert on Get Married with Colin Cowie, Good Morning America, and other top shows. Recently featured in such magazines as Martha Stewart Wedding, InStyle Weddings, Brides, Modern Bride and Southern Bride, she is the iVillage Weddings expert and host of "Here Come the Moms" at Wedding Podcast Network.

She lives in Morristown NJ with her husband Joe, and loved using Wedding Mapper for her own April '08 wedding.

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Question_mark Question:

Hi Sharon, My fiance and I planing a wedding for September 21, 2014 and already overwhelmed. I had no idea what went into planning a wedding and I'm almost tempted to just elope at this point. Our budget is small and we are extremely busy. Where should we begin? HELP!
Answer From Sharon:
The start of wedding planning is always overwhelming, which is why I always advise starting off with a 'clear the decks' task: writing down all the things you DON'T want, and thus don't have to spend time and money on. That feels so good! Then, both of you write down your top 5 highest priorities...

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Question_mark Question:

hi Sharon, i am a budget bride but i would like a beach wedding and an outdoor reception. Is it more budget friendly to rent a beach house or a regular wedding venue. guest are approx 40 pple thanks so much
Answer From Sharon:
Hello! Renting a beach house has become a very popular option for weddings, but keep a few things in mind: if you rent a beach house, you'll have to bring in ALL of the supplies you'll need (and there are a LOT of them!) like tables, chairs, table linens, multiple sets of plates, utensils, tons ...

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Question_mark Question:

Hi, how would you substitue the ring boy and flower girl? We are having a small destination wedding and we don't think any of our guests have young enough member for those parts. will it be incorrect if i walk down the isle with out them. thanks
Answer From Sharon:
Hi! Yes, it's perfectly fine to skip the flowergirl and ringbearer if you don't have a natural 'fit' for them. Your best man and maid of honor can hold the rings for you (which they usually do anyway at weddings, while the ringbearer more safely has dummy rings attached to the ring pillow!)...

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Question_mark Question:

Is it okay for my parents to host an engagement party? I've read that no one is doing engagement parties anymore, that they're just pleas for gifts.
Answer From Sharon:
Yes, it's not only okay, it's a big trend right now! Engagement parties have come back in style, since it's a happy occasion that gets family and friends together to celebrate something GOOD going on. Party plans can be super-casual such as backyard cookouts and picnics in a park...or they can be...

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Question_mark Question:

Do we have to include direction cards in the invitation? Everyone has GPS.
Answer From Sharon:
Great question! Wedding guests still appreciate getting a printed directions card in the invitation, since you never know when a techno-glitch can happen with a car's GPS system or a cell phone's GPS. Providing directions needs to be a multiple-step priority, since making it easy for guests to...

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Question_mark Question:

Hi there my husband and I have been married 5 years and together for about 6.5 yrs. We eloped and had no family or friends attend. I'm wanting to know if you think its too soon or tacky to renew? We've been through a lot and our family's are very traditional and feel it's too late we're already m...
Answer From Sharon:
It's definitely the perfect time for your vow renewal, and it's not tacky at all! In fact, a wedding vow renewal gathers friends and family together for something HAPPY, and it gives the younger generations a look at what makes a happy marriage. So enjoy planning your celebration in any style you...

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Question_mark Question:

Hello Sharon, My fiance and I are trying to plan our wedding quickly so that my ailing mother is able to attend. Unfortunately, we're finding that almost every Saturday is booked. We have found a place we like that has a Friday availability. Almost 50% of our guests are coming from about 5 hou...
Answer From Sharon:
Great question! Friday weddings are becoming more popular, and guests often have experience with arranging their work and travel schedules to attend them. Some guests even have to shuffle their schedules to attend Thursday weddings! So yes, considering that you have a situation that everyone will...

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Question_mark Question:

I am wondering if I should play games at my wedding... and if so, how many and what type? I dont want to ruin my guests experience with too many tacky stuff ;)
Answer From Sharon:
It sounds like you sense that games at weddings can be seen as a little too alternative, so here's what I suggest...don't plan any games where guests are all invited to play. People can feel obligated, and that's where some might see the plan as tacky. BUT it's a big new trend to set out lawn gam...

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Question_mark Question:

i want to get married on the beach in nj. how do i go about finding my location.
Answer From Sharon:
For any beach wedding plans you have, it's always a great idea to work with a qualified, accredited wedding coordinator who knows all the best locations, and especially knows how to go through the process of getting the necessary permits to let you use that beach area. Your coordinator will also ...

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Question_mark Question:

Hi Sharon! My fiance and I have been together for 10 years ( we are in our early 30s). We have decided to get get married at home. We have 2 beautiful acres of property in the country. The guest list we decided to keep just our immediate family ( 18 total). If weather permits, we will have a bonf...
Answer From Sharon:
Ask the hotel if you can get free use of the hotel shuttle bus and van shuttles! Most hotels will be happy to meet your guests' needs, and you can make it easier by scheduling an early-ish pickup time for return to the hotel (such as a bit after the dessert hour,) then another run back to the hot...

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Sharon's Latest Book


Yourweddingyourway
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Visit her website for more information about her books and articles.

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