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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:

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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Question_mark Question:

Hi Sharon, I am the Mother of the Groom planning a rehearsal dinner in July. My husband and I have our own idea of who is invited to this affair, based on 30 years ago, but today's generation of 20 somethings have a different idea! My problem is considering what the Bride and Groom want-inviti...
Answer From Sharon:
Hi Terry! The trend of inviting all out of towners to the rehearsal dinner has actually faded out a bit now, given the economy and the expense of the wedding. While it's completely understandable that the bride and groom want to have their out of town guests' dinner provided, what's being d...

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Question_mark Question:

my husband and i are renewing our vows and i was wondering what the proper ettiquette is for gifts. do we register or what. we have been married for almost 20 yrs
Answer From Sharon:
Congratulations! No, there's no registering for gifts for a vow renewal celebration. Guests decide if they want to bring something -- most do! -- and they'll decide what to get you. Have fun!

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Question_mark Question:

Hi Sharon, I am planning a cocktail only reception for my wedding. How do I word the invitations to let guests know that dinner will not be served (there will be a few hour break between the ceremony and reception. We plan on starting our reception at 8 pm. Thanks!
Answer From Sharon:
Great question! You have a lot of freedom on how to word this, so one idea is to say: "Cocktail Reception" and put beneath it the location and starting hour. Guests will understand that there's no dinner planned when you use that phrase. Congratulations, and have fun! Sharon

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Sharon's Latest Book


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

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