Tuesday, May 19, 2009


After being in business for almost 22 years, we have worked with a lot of brides & grooms, wedding planners, wedding vendors. Here are some tips we have learned over the years. We hope you can use even just one – or more - to help make your day more special and run smoothly - - - Enjoy!!!!
1. Be sure to have a master check list and separate file folder for each wedding service provider. Keeping all records, receipts, contracts, and being organized during the planning of your wedding goes very far in ensuring a smooth wedding day.
2. Be sure all of your service providers have excellent maps and directions to the church and wedding reception facility.
3. Be sure to have your florist, entertainer and caterer visit the reception facility beforehand. Arrange for them to have access to the room at least two hours before the reception for setup.
4. When arranging for a sitting with your photographer for your engagement and bridal portrait, bear in mind that the newspapers require a vertical format proof for the announcement.
5. It would be best not to schedule photos more than one hour before the wedding ceremony so the flowers can stay in the coolers until the last minute.
6. Encourage your guests to leave for the reception soon after the wedding. Your photographer will need about 30+ minutes with family and then just the bride and groom. (Your wedding party can help with this.)
7. It would be a good idea to have an extra “fake” set of rings in case the real ones get inadvertently left behind at hotel or somewhere else (it does happen).
8. If you are writing your own vows, or even if you are using traditional vows, you can consider adding this special touch. Have the minister ask the congregation of family members and friends to rise and answer to the following vow, “I shall.” “Will you do everything in your power to love, honor, and support this union and this couple in their journey through life together”?
9. Plan to dispense with having a receiving line. People will be hungry and your elderly relatives cannot stand up for long periods of time. Be assured they will all come up and say hello to you sometime during the reception.
10. If you are decorating the wedding cake with fresh flowers, be sure it is decided ahead of time who will do the actual arrangement, the florist or the bakery staff. Special photographs can be put on rice paper -edible- (with use of a computer), and put on the top of the Groom’s cake. Most bakers do this. At the Bridal Extravaganza visit the Galley of Cakes for more ideas.
11. RE: cutting the cake. Especially if your reception is running behind, don’t have an announcement that the cake is being cut. Just go ahead and do it. That will avoid a feeding frenzy. It should also be determined beforehand who will be responsible for cutting and serving the cake, bakery staff or reception facility staff.
12. Make sure your out of town guests have very good detailed maps and/or assign local friends or family to ride with them between church and reception. If you have a lot of out of town guests, consider renting a party bus for their transportation.
13. Consider getting married on Friday or Sunday and/or during the winter months to get better prices from your service providers.
14. On your invitation reply cards, write a discreet number on the inside flap and keep a list. There probably will be some guests that return the card without putting their name on it. You can then match the reply card to your list.
15. You may need about four cake servers, two for each cake. If your reception facility does not provide staff for this, you should have someone selected as your “House Party” in advance to do this. House Party should have corsages and boutonnieres.
16. Have an extra roll of scotch tape at the reception to securely attach (or re-attach) greeting cards to the gifts before loading them into a vehicle at the end of the reception.
17. If there is an opportunity it can be suggested to guests to put an “enclosure“ card inside the gift box.
18. Some guests may bring children to the ceremony regardless of how you addressed the invitation. (You can state “adults only” on your invitation if it is an issue with you.) But you should expect that someone may bring a child or children even if they did not indicate so on their response card. Usually the reception facility will charge a set price per person whether they are adult or child. Crying babies in the church will definitely interfere with the sensitive sound portion of video equipment. If there is a “cry room” at church, have your ushers direct parents with babies to this room.
19. You should get a specific list from your reception facility of services that are NOT INCLUDED. Helping load wedding presents into cars at the end of evening is a good example. They may or may not offer to store items you rented elsewhere to be picked up on Monday. In that case, you must remove them to your home or elsewhere. Ask your Groomsmen to stay and help with these matters. (Find someone with a van or pickup to help at end of evening.)
20. For your gift registry, it is a good idea to select stores that have a very organized Bridal Department (many have the registry on computer to print out for your guests and as selections are purchased, it indicates that on the list.) Some great stores to use are: Foleys, JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, Dillards, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Williams-Sonoma. A good choice in registry stores will help later if you cannot determine who gave you which gift OR if you just need to exchange one. Many of these places offer on-line registry and you can keep track of gifts for thank you cards. If you are on a tight budget for your wedding, consider having friends or relatives "sponsor" (pay) for the Rolls/Classic Limo for you instead of giving some other expensive gift.
21. Even though you may be registered at several places and have chosen items of all prices to help your guests make a selection that is suitable to them and their budget, you can expect that some guests will do their own thing, and you may receive lots of crystal bowls. It can always be suggested, if a guest asks, that they get you something personalized with your name and wedding date, if they are at a loss of what to get. Another great idea is if you will inherit your mother’s china or silver that has been discontinued, it can be suggested that pieces of these settings be purchased. We recommend the website: www.edish.com or visit David Lackey/china matching expert @ Antique Pavilion @ 2311 Westheimer in Houston.
22. If you do not serve a full meal at your reception, your attendance will be lower than if you did. (fact of life)
23. Have a game plan if too many people show up for the reception (more people than what you have paid tables and seating for). Have a select group of close friends or relatives who can be volunteered to go eat elsewhere and then return for the festivities. The other solution is to deliberately order 10 – 20 extra place settings and pay for them. Check with your facility to see how they prefer to handle this. Some facilities refuse to add tables at the last minute.
24. If you have tables RESERVED for family and the bridal party, be sure prominently raised “RESERVED” signs are on the tables along with a name card at each place setting.
25. If you are having a Head Table for Bridal Party (Bridesmaids and Groomsmen) make sure their spouses or dates understand they will not be sitting together to eat. (Single people seem to be bothered by this more than married people).
26. Have someone in your House Party or Bridal Party whose job it is to completely go through the reception facility at the end of the evening, including restrooms, to be sure nothing was left behind. This should be done along with a facility employee to be sure their property is not inadvertently taken.
27. Put fresh batteries in cameras and strobes so they will not go out in the middle of the reception or honeymoon. Also consider putting disposable cameras at each table.
28. Have a backup person who can make a toast in the event the best man has to leave for some reason. Every key person should have someone else prepared to do their job in case they are called away for an emergency. The show must go on!! If alcohol is being served at your reception, make sure the toasts are out of the way early before things start to get out of hand.
29. If the reception is at a hotel or public facility, assign someone to watch the door that those entering are invited guests. You could have “gate-crashers” who will try to slip in the room, eat your food (which you have to pay for), and also possibly steal cameras or purses.
30. When selecting vendors, check all of them using the automated phone system of the Better Business Bureau. All you have to do is enter their phone number to get a full report.
31. Your safest choices in Vendors are those who have been in the Bridal Extravaganza at least 2 years in a row. Every type of wedding business has to meet certain strict criteria to be able to have a booth in this show. Problematic or misrepresented vendors are not invited back.
32. Ask your jeweler to put your engagement diamond under black light. It should remain clear and not glow. Ask if he will buy it back at the same price within 30 days, then have the ring checked by another jeweler. Once you have determined your jeweler is doing right by you, cut your best deal on the engagement ring and both wedding bands all at the same time.
33. It is a great idea to have a “Brides Emergency Kit”. Have someone trusted like your maid of honor keep charge of it. It should contain things like: a hair dryer, hair gel, lipstick, sewing kit/scissors, breath mints, blister pads for uncomfortable shoes (maybe enough to share with bridesmaids), safety pins, bobby pins, nail file, nail clippers, super glue, tweezers, Tums, toothpicks, makeup sponge, hair scrunchies, notepad and pen, eye drops, Tylenol or Ibuprofin, Velcro, lintbrush. You may think of other things to add to your kit, but this will get you through the day.
34. The bride and groom should eat a good meal and drink several glasses of water early in the wedding day. This is not a good time for low blood sugar levels or dry throat.
35. Ice carvings add a nice touch to the room. Usually the bridal portrait and flower arrangements will be in the foyer. Except for table coverings and centerpieces, the ice carving is really the only decorative touch you can add to the dining area. A great presentation is to have it on a revolving pedestal with a blue floodlight shining up on it at an angle. Your ice carver artist may also have suggestions.
36. All groomsmen should try on their tuxedos before leaving the store. Letting someone else pick them up for them is courting disaster. Also, select one groomsmen to take all of the tuxes back to avoid late fees.
37. Having the bridal shower and the bachelor/batchelorette parties the weekend before the wedding is a good idea. Doing this after the rehearsal dinner will render key people in your wedding party groggy on the wedding day when they need to be able to function at their absolute best.
38. A book we highly recommend about wedding planning is The Wedding Guide by Emily Post. Another good book is Martha Stewart WEDDINGS . Check the Weddings section at Half Price Books.
39. We recommend the website www.theknot.com for planning, budgeting, keeping up with thank you acknowledgements, a webpage for the couple, your invitation list, etc. and the use of this tool is FREE.
40. Moving luggage and checking in to your hotel at midnight or later on your wedding night can be very tedious. Have as much pre-arranged as you possibly can. A suggestion is for the best man to take the luggage for the bride and groom to the hotel earlier in the day. He should check them in, arrange for champagne on ice at arrival time. He should then give the key to the groom.
41. It can be a big help to you later if you can pay all of your wedding bills by Visa/MC credit cards. That way, if there is a problem, you can dispute the charge and the person or business in question will have to resolve it. Read ALL of your contracts and invoices carefully and be sure what is and is not included. We have been in the wedding business since 1982. If you would like, we can refer you to wedding vendors we know personally who have an excellent track record and credentials.
42. Be sure you have cell phone numbers for all of your vendors and that they have yours and at least 4 other people in the wedding party. Remember, the Church Office will be closed on the day of your wedding and cell phones are THE ONLY WAY you can communicate.
43. Brides riding in a limousine should consider only drinking water or Sprite. Champagne or dark cola will stain your dress if it is spilled.
44. If you have last-minute unexpected charges to put on a credit card, check to see if you can use your parent’s or friend’s (wedding party?). You will need the credit limit on your card open for honeymoon expenses.
45. The Wedding Day is special for 2 people – The Bride and The Groom. For transportation, they should have the Rolls Royce and everybody else should be transported in a standard limousine or party bus.
46. When you arrive at the reception facility or hotel, the groom should be seated in the back seat on the curb side. If he is seated on the offside, the protocol is for the driver (chauffeur) to open his door, walk around to the other side and the driver holds the door open while the Groom helps the Bride out of the car. Hotel Doormen should not open the door of the Rolls.
47. It is your responsibility to impress upon the photographer that you want several pictures by the Rolls Royce Limo with your name on the front license plate. It is “out of bounds” for the limo driver to tell the photographer what kind of shots to take. (See our handy “Suggested Wedding Photos with the Rolls Royce Limousine” on our website, you can just give this to your photographer.)
48. It is strongly recommended that you do not suggest that wedding vendors or out of town guests try to follow the limousine to the reception. This can be very unsafe as they try to run yellow lights to keep up. Make sure everyone has maps and directions and consider regular limousines or party buses to transport guests not familiar with Houston streets (also helpful if there will be alcohol served.) You need to be very careful if you are using sparklers for the getaway in the Rolls/Classic Limo at the end of the evening. They are considered fireworks by the City and technically a permit from the Fire Department is needed to use them. Young children can get into mischief with them and the sparks can burn people's clothes and nice shoes and heaven forbid, ruin the paint job on the Limo. If you use them, stop the lines ten feet from the Limo. If your guests are rowdy, probably better to use rose petals.
49. Seriously consider using an Independent Bridal Consultant (or Wedding Planner). They know what works and what doesn’t. They know who to use and who to avoid. Most importantly, they are good at persuading your parents to use the products and services you need to have a really beautiful, well choreographed wedding. We work with several that repeatedly produce exquisite weddings and we will be happy to recommend some of them to you.
50. Ask your photographer when he will release your proofs or CD of your wedding. Usually they do not have an additional charge for this. The standard seems to be 2 or 3 years after your wedding. Be sure they are using medium format (not 35mm) cameras and/or high quality digital cameras (6 megapixel or higher).
51. It is important for your wedding day that you have a schedule and stick to it. You should plan to start your walk down the isle right on time regardless if there are guests or relatives that have not shown up. Usually there are alternate seating arrangements for late arrival guests. The church or reception facility may have a wedding right after yours. Also the food will not keep and must be served within 30 minutes of time specified. Have someone in your wedding party strongly encourage the guests to leave the church soon after the ceremony concludes. Ensure them you will visit with them in a relaxed manner at the reception.
52. As you enter the Reception, someone with a loud and commanding voice, USUALLY the DJ, should announce, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Mr. & Mrs……”. Have a backup person if you don’t have a DJ, or your first person is not in position. If needed, the limo driver can do this for you. It is also a nice touch for the wedding party to be announced as they enter the room.
53. If you have a lot of songs that you want played at your reception, see if your DJ can do shorter versions of the songs. Have a priority list in case time runs short. Be sure you have a few slow songs for your older relatives & friends to dance to.
54. At the reception, the Bride and Groom should visit each table as a couple. Be sure you talk to everyone who came. Try to avoid being monopolized by anyone, you should “work the room”. Your guests have been waiting patiently just to have a brief conversation with you and wish you well.
55. Arriving at the hotel at the end of the evening, the chauffeur should put all bags on the curb and ask the Bride and Groom to confirm they are all accounted for. Only then should hotel personnel touch the luggage. (Hotel personnel should not be allowed inside the Rolls or to root around in the trunk.) The driver and the groom should then quickly search the seating area to be sure no purses, cell phones, cameras, cuff links, etc. were left behind.
56. If you are staying at the hotel where your reception is, consider doing a “fake getaway”. The Rolls Convertible is ideal for this, a very romantic touch. A great photo opportunity is to have the bridesmaids line up behind the car as the bride throws the bouquet over her shoulder as the car slowly drives off. You can then be driven around for about 20 minutes and then return to an alternate hotel entrance.
Another version of the fake getaway is to leave around 10pm so you can release the photographer/videographer and your older guests and relatives can leave feeling they have seen everything. You can then be driven around for a few minutes and then returned to celebrate and party til’ you drop. You can do a real getaway at midnight or later unless you are staying there for the night.
57. Consider having a professional build a website for your wedding. You can have your bridal registry, photographs, directions to the church and reception, wedding planning tools such as budget and lists to manage gifts and thank-you cards, and a guestbook for friends and family to leave messages. You can keep the website up for years and it is good for out of town family/friends who could not attend the wedding. We can refer you to professionals who specialize in this.
58. On your honeymoon, be sure to pack at least 30spf sun block if you’re going to a tropical destination. Never swim in deserted areas, due to strong currents, sharp coral, & sharks. The night before you leave clear your hotel tab and arrange for breakfast in your room, bags collected, and airport transportation at precise times. Write down the name of the clerk who makes the arrangements and complement them.
59. In the history of the world, there has never been a large, formal wedding that went off totally without a single little problem. If you assign people with specific jobs and have them prepared to do the jobs of two others on very short notice, you will probably be able to contain problems before they spin out of control. Once the reception gets going, the guests will be celebrating, socializing among themselves and probably not notice much of anything except how fabulous the Bride and Groom looked. Anyway, relax, enjoy, be married……………………

These Tips are provided to you Complements of Jordan Limousines
P.O. Box 640, Kemah TX 77565 713-680-3181

"Serving all Southeast Texas"Jordan LimousinesP.O. Box 640 Kemah, Texas 77565-0640Phone (713) 680-3181 Fax (713) 893-0208


Most brides will want transportation for the wedding party, out of town guests not familiar with Houston's streets and and especially romantic car just for the bride and groom. These tips are provided to help you ask the right questions and make sure you have a positive experience on the most important day of your life.
1) When should you book? Eight months out is recommended for an antique specialty; three months for a regular limousine.
2) Where is the best place to look for a limousine? Ask your photographer or other wedding service provider. Look at the website for the Limousine Association of Houston, their members are committed to providing good service. http://www.houstonlimos.org Also check the website for the Bridal Extravaganza, http://www/bridalextravaganzashow.com.
3) Pay by Credit Card. In the unlikely event of a dispute, it will be easier to get a partial or total refund.
4) Get a written contract with everything specified. A short pencil is a thousand times more valuable than a long memory.

1) How long have you been in business? How many cars in your fleet? What percentage of business is wedding vs. airport runs? BEWARE: A limo service heavy into airport runs may or may not be on time for your wedding due to late flights etc.
2) Which business associations do you belong to? Examples: Limousine Assoc. of Houston, Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lions Club, Rotary Club. Their membership in these groups indicates their level of dedication to the transportation industry and the community in general. If the answer is none; shop elsewhere.
3) Is my deposit refundable? BEWARE! If they say "Yes", which means you can cancel on them at the last minute, they can do likewise if a better paying job comes along on the day of your wedding.
4) What is the total cost? Be sure gratitudes, tolls, taxes, travel time, standing time and holiday premiums are included. What if you need overtime? That rate can be double the normal rate even if the car is available. The driver may need to rush to the airport to meet a flight for the next customer.
5) Will you go out of town? Rates are usually charged from when the limo leaves the office until it returns. Also an out-of-city fee may be charged for going to The Woodlands, Galveston, etc. Be sure the company understands where all you need to go before they quote a price.
6) Will you do a "pickup" and "dropoff"? BEWARE! If they say "yes", that means that they will try to do ten jobs that evening instead of just yours. If they show up at all, they may be 1-2 hours late. Also if you are not ready to leave the minute they arrive, they may want a $200 Overtime fee or simply leave without you when you're not looking to go on the next "PUDO". A reputable service can be determined by those who have at least a four-hour minimum and stay with you the whole time parked outside in case you or your guests need an unexpected ride somewhere. An antique limo on display is like your flower arrangements; it should be on prominent display the whole evening. Be sure your limo doesn't drive off to do a side job with your purse, camera, and wedding presents in the trunk!
SUMMARY: A limousine service that specializes in weddings (80% or more of their bookings, has four-hour minimums, is family-owned and operated, belongs to several professional organizations, is recommended by other wedding service providers and is a regular exhibitor at bridal shows is your best bet. OUR MOST IMPORTANT TIP: In the limousine business, like any other, if the deal sounds too good to be true..well, you know the rest !!!

Jordan LimousinesP.O. Box 640 Kemah, Texas 77565-0640Phone (713) 680-3181 Fax (713) 893-0208e-mail weddings@jordanlimousines.com

Jordan Limousines is Houston and Galveston, Texas' Premier Provider of Luxury Rolls Royce and Bentley Limousines for your Wedding or Special Event. New and Antique Models Available. Why choose a "limo" when you can have a Rolls Royce or Bentley Classic!