Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Ten Money Saving Tips For Your Wedding

1. Use free media and the internet
You can borrow wedding/bridal books and magazines from friends, work colleagues and public libraries. Check for local wedding suppliers on the web, where you will be able to find details on the larger and smaller specialist wedding companies in your local area.
Visit free-to-enter wedding fairs, as the prospective customer why should you be expected to pay an admission fee to view their stands? Ask lots of questions and obtain quotes without making any firm commitments at the time, giving you a chance later to review all of the offerings and make your choices without any sales pressure - you'll be amazed at the price variations for supplying identical services.
Bear in mind that the larger wedding fairs will be charging high fees to the wedding suppliers who attend. This will have two consequences for YOU, firstly, it will exclude many of the smaller, but equally good quality, local wedding suppliers who cannot justify the wedding fair expenditure and secondly, you have to ask who is ultimately paying for these high exhibition fees? YOU ARE!...and then many of these larger wedding fair operators have the cheek to expect you to pay an entry fee as well!
2. Use Online Auctions and e-Bay
Many of the items that you need for your wedding are available on e-Bay at a fraction of the price charged by many wedding vendors. Cake toppers, favors, balloons, new and used-once wedding dresses along with a host of other useful items that can save you a lot of money. Do your shopping well ahead of the wedding date to allow plenty of postal time. Check for the established and trusted sellers by checking the number of items they have sold previously and their feedback rating and you can't go far wrong.
3. Food and Drinks For Your Wedding Reception
Ask your caterer for advice and be honest with them about your wish to save money. Discuss with the caterer the options that are available to you, maybe considering a hot buffet if that is cheaper than a formal seated three course meal. Enquire about providing your own drinks for your guests, or providing your own wine to accompany the meal.
You should carefully consider the bar arrangements as this can have a considerable cost. If you intend to provide a free bar, then ask about restricting this to only wine and beer, which will be cheaper. You may also wish to consider having the (free) bar open for a restricted period of time, an hour for example - or dispense with the free bar completely if you are supplying the wine for the meal and wedding toasts, etc.
4. Reduce The Wedding Guest List
Each name on your guest list is an increase in the cost of your wedding. It's not just the catering cost that will increase, but also the table decoration, favors, rentals you may need and even the size of the room you need to hire. Avoid being lavish with issuing wedding invitations, don't be pressured to invite all of your work colleagues and be selective over who's children you invite - each child will probably cost you just as much as an adult on the wedding day.
Remove anyone from your guest list that you haven't had contact with in the past few years and don't bow to pressure to invite distant relatives. When you invite friends and relatives who are single, resist the temptation to include "and guest" on their invitation, they are attending your wedding, not out on a date paid for by you.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Wedding Invitations and Wedding Stationery Guide

Your wedding invitations are the first impression that your guest will have of your forthcoming wedding and the overall style of the celebration. So when the day comes to announce your wedding to all your friends and family, you will want to make sure it is with impact and style.
From the save the date card or wedding invitation to the wedding breakfast stationery and thank you cards, your wedding stationery sets the scene and tone for your wedding day and stamps your style on the wedding that will leave a lasting impression on all your guests.
Unless you are in a lucky position not to have to consider costs, probably the first decision to make before you start to consider your wedding stationery requirements is to establish your budget. If you are having a large wedding, the cost of wedding stationery can soon mount up. The idea of bespoke wedding invitations may appeal to you but if you are have 200 guests you need to know that you can afford the costs of a bespoke designer! Similarly, you may like the idea of hand crafting your own wedding stationery for that personal touch but be sure that you are up to the challenge of sticking, gluing or printing dozens of invitations when you have dresses to buy, photographers to interview, cakes to choose.

Friday, 16 December 2011

How to Choose a Wedding Videographer?

How to Choose a Wedding Videographer? Why bother reading an article on How to Choose a Wedding Videographer? After all, you just look at his (or her) footage and size up their personality, fees and plans, then make your choice, right? Right. And that's how the majority of weddings get ruined - or at least have the "Fun Meter" turned way, way down! That's right, four out of five weddings are ruined by the wedding Videographer. So, if you don't want your wedding Videographer ruining your wedding, read on..
Wedding Videographer Styles of Operation There is a time for posed, formal videofooatge - at your photo session. Often there are two photo sessions, one held before the ceremony, with guys and gals kept separate, and one held after the ceremony. In my opinion, a wedding Videographer should be told that this is the only chance to get posed footage and that he must be good enough to capture all other footage as though he were a professional event Videographer - oh wait, he IS (supposed to be) a professional event Videographer. Event Videographers and photographers are supposed to be able to unobtrusively record an event without interrupting it to stage and pose for footage, etc.
Puppeteers Unfortunately, most brides are unaware of this little fact. After all, she only has to choose a wedding Videographer once in her life (hopefully). So what happens when she hires a wedding Videographer who cannot shoot like an event Videographer? One who thinks he must be in charge of everything and that every shot must be posed in order to get a smooth and easy montage. I'm glad you asked, because now we're getting to the whole purpose of this article. These guys act like puppeteers with you and your groom as the puppets. You are never left alone to enjoy your day. There will be no casual footage of you and your groom, friends and family having a great time, partly because all footage will be staged and partly because the wedding Videographers will make it difficult for people to have a great time.
It begins while the bride and bridesmaids are getting ready. Some Videographers will come into the room and stay out of the way and quietly get some casual shots, then ask for a few posed shots, then leave. Those are the pros. Unfortunately, most are not pros and will hover over the bride and bridesmaids, constantly harassing them for posed shots, so that the bride and her friends can hardly find any time to chat freely and enjoy the moment.
The Wedding Ceremony During the ceremony, a time that should have reverence, a time that should belong to you and your groom, I see these wedding Videographers continually turning their video lights on and off and walking back and forth in front of guests. They seem to be doing a much better job of distracting your guests than of getting good shots. A professional wedding / event Videographer should be able to cover this from a tripod further back in the room, using a telephoto lens and without lights. He should not be moving about and distracting people. The purpose and focus of a wedding ceremony should be you, your groom and your guests - not a wedding Videographer (and not a wedding photographer either).

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Summer Wedding Ideas

Summer weddings are always more preferred because of the versatility in wedding themes and ideas during this time of the year. With the abundance of nature blooming in the surrounding area, a pleasant summer wedding is easier to put together. Not to mention, the beautiful warm outdoor weather is always conducive to a celebration and outdoor ceremonies.
The most popular theme for a summer wedding is a beach themed wedding. For a beach themed wedding choose a public or private beach for your wedding. Set the beach wedding theme from the very beginning. Let the beach wedding theme reflect on your invitations and stationary by adding sea side elements and decorations to them. You will save on the wedding decorations for a beach themed wedding as the beach itself will set the scene. Add subtle touches to your tables and centerpieces with seashells.
For your menu, definitely seafood in your menu and there are some fabulous wedding bake designs with a beach theme. Select a cake topper that reflects seaside elements to tie it all together. To top it all off make sure to give out wedding favors with a beach theme such as a sea shell gel candle. The most fun part of a beach wedding affair is picking out wedding favors. There is an abundance of beach wedding favors to select from. For a formal beach wedding give sand and seashell tea lights and use personalized Adirondack chair tea light and place card holders to guide your guests to their table at your beach wedding reception.

Friday, 9 December 2011

How to Become a Successful Wedding Planner With Inexpensive Weddings

Can you make a living planning weddings? Yes. As a self-employed professional, you can either charge a set fee for the wedding or a percentage of the total cost. Your income can be uncertain when you first start planning these extravaganzas, but as your reputation spreads and you gain more experience, your income can increase dramatically.
Of course, you will make more income on an elaborate, huge wedding, but several smaller and simple weddings will be less stressful when you are starting out and, when the separate income is added together, you will probably make the same amount of money.
Some agencies who track salaries report yearly incomes in the $50,000 range for wedding planners. One such agency, PayScale, currently reports these average hourly rates for the profession:
* California $28.00
* Georgia $27.50
* Massachusetts $20.64
* New York $15.00
* Louisiana $14.00
* Pennsylvania $10.23
* Texas $9.00
As with any self-employment, your success depends entirely on your creativity, reliability and marketing skills. There are online courses you can take to teach you the skills you need to plan the perfect wedding for your clients. Some of those courses will lead to certification as a Wedding Planner, which will give you more credibility with your clients and improve your professional standing with your colleagues.
Getting Started
What a professional Wedding Planner actually does is take on the details and responsibility of the event, relieving the bride and groom and their families, from the stresses involved. In turn, this allows them to enjoy the preliminary wedding events, like bridal showers and picking a honeymoon location.
There are lots of details you, as a Wedding Planner, need to know to keep things running smoothly and within the budget available. You will have to have a set of resources you can tap into to get the best service at the best prices, like reserving the church or chapel, catering the reception, ordering flowers, getting the wedding dress designed and ordered, selecting invitations and announcements, booking the music and hiring a professional photographer, among many other tasks.
It would probably be very good advice to start your career on small and somewhat inexpensive weddings. Giant extravaganzas can be very complex and time consuming to the most experienced Wedding Planner and you would be well-advised to start smaller and work up.
Some of the following tips should help you get started on planning a smaller wedding that will save money on several of the more expensive features of normal weddings. The bride's father will love you for it.
The Wedding Gown
* The wedding gown can be expensive enough to break any budget. You can offer your client several options that are affordable and will still make the bride look like an angel as she floats down the aisle.
Renting a gown is becoming more popular every day. Think about it. The bride is going to wear it once and it was probably worn once before she rented it. It also avoids the storage problem for 20 years if the bride will not be saving it for her firstborn child to wear at her own wedding.
* If a member of the bride's family is a good seamstress, suggest that she ask the family member to make the dress. Providing all the material and even paying the family member for the service will more than likely be less expensive than buying one from a bridal store.
* Another way would be for the bride to wear her mother's wedding gown, if she saved it. You might want to check it carefully for any deterioration before the bride commits to wearing it. The mother is probably from a generation that thought saving her wedding gown was an obligation of the marriage and believed for several decades that her daughter would wear it at her own wedding.
The Reception
Another budget-buster is the reception, but some planning with a true reality check can reduce your client's expenditures here.
* Think smaller. Talk to your clients about how they can downsize the guest list. When the excitement of the coming event takes over, your clients and their parents will many times have a very long list of people to invite to the wedding and the reception after.
Many of the parents' visions of the reception can resemble an extravaganza with hundreds of guests, munching caviar and drinking champagne all night long in a huge ballroom. If their budget will not cover the considerable expenses involved in their dream reception, your skills as the Wedding Planner will be well served here.
To start with, keeping the guest list small and only inviting close family and friends will save money and still provide the dream celebration your clients want. If your client hasn't had a close relationship with college friends or neighbors from four moves back, don't put them on the list.
Instead of renting the largest hall or club banquet room in your town for the reception, you have a couple of inexpensive options that might appeal to your clients:
* Check out restaurants in the area. Some have banquet rooms that they will either rent out or provide free if you use their services for the sit-down meal or the buffet.
* Consider suggesting that your clients hold the reception at their home. The party does not have to include a full meal. Catered hors d'oeuvres and a champagne fountain will set the festive mood your clients want.
* Weddings held in gardens or other natural settings are very popular and beautiful. There's minimal decoration needed and the only expense might be for the minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace.
* Not having a full bar will save a lot of money, regardless of where the reception is held. The champagne fountain mentioned above can also be combined with beer or wine if the clients want to provide additional libations for their guests.
The Photography
The formal wedding service requires a professional photographer who will create a beautiful album to record the special day and preserve the memories to relive as they wish. If you create a relationship with several photographers as you build your career, you will know which one to hire for your client's purposes.
The rest of the celebration can be recorded by all their friends and relatives with a digital camera in their pockets. Some clients put disposable cameras on tables for anyone to use. Have a decorated basket nearby and visible to give your guests a place to leave the cameras when they go home.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Unearthing the Origins of Nuptial Bliss - Our Most Beloved Wedding Traditions

Many of the wedding traditions we still include in the modern nuptial festivities have their roots deep in history. Though many of these wedding traditions are based on superstitions or historical necessity, to this day couples still - to some degree - acknowledge them. Though the dynamics of weddings change continuously, with new wedding customs being added to the 'canon' all the time, wearing white, tying cans to the bumper, and carrying a bouquet all remain firmly entrenched in the collective psyche.
Unearthing the origins of our most beloved wedding traditions - from the practice of placing wedding bands on the third finger of the left hand to putting coins in the bride's shoes - help modern brides understand why we continue to do things the way we do.
A Vision in White
"Married when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind, and true.
When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate."

One of our most beloved wedding traditions is the white wedding dress. Many historians claim that the vivacious French queen, Anne de Bretagne, was the first to start this most cherished of wedding traditions by wearing a white wedding dress in 1499; however, there remains some speculation as to the veracity of this claim. Another 160 years would pass until accounts of Mary, Queen of Scots' marriage to the French Dauphin in 1558 also claimed she wore white. In most cases, the white wedding dress is commonly attributed to Queen Victoria of England, however, who in 1840 married Albert of Saxe-Coburg, clad entirely in a white gown that was adorned with some of her own prized white lace. But, as far as wedding traditions are established, it still took awhile for brides to catch on to this new idea; it was, after all, very hard to clean a white dress and keep it that way in those times. Another sixty or so years would pass before brides had the resources to wear white wedding gowns routinely and keep them spotless.
Prior to this time, there were no wedding customs that dictated what color had to be worn, and everyone - from peasants to royalty - would simply wear their finest gown, whether it was blue, purple, or yellow hued. The only colors strictly off limits were black (a symbol of death) and flaming red (often associated with 'ladies of the night.'), although brides in certain parts of the world wore (and still do) black or red gowns based on local cultural and social wedding customs and requirements. Nowadays, people think that a white dress stands for chastity, but traditionally, if a bride wanted to convey this fact, she would have worn blue in keeping with long-held wedding traditions.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Beach Wedding Dresses - For Hawaiian Or Beach Themed Wedding

So you've decided on a Hawaiian wedding theme and now you need to find beach wedding dresses that go with your Hawaiian beach theme. Or maybe you are planning a beach style wedding elsewhere (not actually on the beach in Hawaii), wherever that may be. It's easy to bring Hawaii to any beach or even to your own back yard. And it all starts with the correct choice of Hawaiian wedding attire suitable to wear on the beach not only for yourself and your bridesmaids but the complete bridal party.
While a wedding on the beach may sound like a unique concept, it has been happening on various beaches of the world. A lot of brides are opting for exotic beach locations for their weddings instead of a traditional church wedding. In order to pick the right bridal attire for a particular wedding, you will need to consider many different elements. This can depend on the location, season and local practices or customs as well as the type of beach itself can be a important factor when selecting Hawaiian beach wedding dresses.
Hawaii is well-known for being laid-back and casual, so why not apply the same attitudes toward your wedding? It's not uncommon for couples getting married on the beach to throw tradition to the wind and dress down.
While nothing could be more romantic than a traditional Hawaiian wedding dress known as a "Holoku". The Hawaiian Holoku, a formal Hawaiian gown with a train, is also a gorgeous choice as a Hawaiian wedding gown for those who would like authentic Hawaiian wedding wear. The Holoku is an elegant, and conservative, formal tea dress, with its high neck, long sleeves, and lace. Maile, the character in Blue Hawaii who married Elvis at the end of the movie, wore a Holoku as her wedding gown as Elvis and Maile serenaded each other with the Hawaiian wedding song as they floated down a river on a canoe toward wedded bliss.

The Five Biggest Wedding Preparation and Planning Mistakes

Just as with any big show, your wedding day will not be perfect - but that's okay. While you cannot plan ahead for every little detail or problematic situation that may arise, you can arm yourself with some helpful advice to be prepared at all times for any potential wedding mistakes. But before you begin planning your special day, consider these five biggest wedding preparation and planning mistakes that amateur 'wedding planners' often make.
1. Not Budgeting Costs
It's hard to believe, but true - many couples do not create a budget when it comes to wedding preparation and end up in a deep hole of debt. The very first thing you should do to avoid disastrous (and bankrupting) wedding mistakes is devise an itemized budget, allowing for the necessary requirements, such as a venue for both the ceremony and reception, food and drinks, flowers, favors, decorations, etc. If anything is left over, either use this money for your honeymoon or spend it on something a little more frivolous, like a horse drawn carriage for your departure from the reception.
Budgeting ahead of time also involves your acknowledging the fact that you may surpass the total by at least 10%. Surprises do happen, so cutting back on other needless things will ensure that you don't go over budget too much. In these initial wedding preparation stages, you and your fiancé need to discuss who will be paying for what. It used to be that the bride's parents paid for everything, but this ideal is slowly fading away. If you're still coming up short on funds, there are literally hundreds of ways to cut costs for your wedding day, including having fewer guests, choosing an off-season date, selecting flowers that are in season, and having friends and family play a bigger part by making the wedding cake or trying their hand at photography.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Wedding Insurance - Cover Your Wedding Plans

Wedding insurance is as essential to your wedding planning as the dress.  Consider how much you spent on your car, was it less than the sum you are about to invest in your wedding?  Would you even consider not having adequate car insurance?  No?  Then why wouldn't you insure your wedding - when the average cost these days can fall between two and three times the cost of an average family saloon car?
A wedding insurance policy is comparatively cheap for insurance which covers a wide range of different parts of your wedding day.  Cover can be arranged that gives you reassurance about the largest disasters (cancellation) through to some parts that may give minor disruption but not devastating consequences (cars not arriving, for example).
Before deciding on the items that you need insurance cover for, and the value of cover that you will need, it will be worth investigating a couple of other sources of cover that may be available to you.  If you have sufficient limits on your household insurance policy, you may find that items such as the wedding gifts, rings and wedding dress/attire are covered whilst in your home.  A call to the insurance broker should be able to confirm this and/or give you a quote for the extension of cover required to the household insurance.
Items purchased or booked for your wedding and paid by credit card will often carry a level of insurance cover from the credit card provider.  In these cases, a wedding insurance policy may be duplicating cover that you already have.  For example, if the florist went out of business before your wedding day, your credit card supplier would most likely cover the refund of any deposit or payment made by the card.
When you have considered each of the alternative insurance options available to you, if you decide that a more comprehensive wedding insurance policy better serves your needs, start shopping for it as early as possible.  Most wedding insurances offer cover on a fixed scale of fees, providing cover until 24 hours after your wedding date.  The sooner you arrange insurance cover the more reassured you can be about issuing deposit payments to the various suppliers, etc., so make wedding insurance one of the priorities when you're making the planning list of items.
When assessing the level of cover you may need, take into account the various items that come together to make your wedding day:

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Your Wedding Program and Guest Book Show Your Style

Your wedding program can certainly help convey so much about you and your wedding day. Here are some ideas to help make your guest book fun and add to your wedding style. Couples will often include a photo of themselves on the cover, but that is just the beginning.
The wedding program is a wonderful place to let your guests know the names of the beautiful songs that you have chosen. It is also a place to share the meanings behind the rituals that will be taking place.
We have seen many mothers begin to cry when they read the beautiful words that the bride and groom have written in the program about them. It is also a place to honor all of the attendants, children, readers and officiates that participate in the ceremony. You can even include a special message to your guests for their attendance on your special day.
Some couples have included quotes from literature or a poem that is special to them. We have even seen lovely handkerchiefs included inside of the program for those teary moments that are sure to occur.
The back of the program is the perfect place to provide your new home address and contact information. That way your loved ones will be able to stay in touch in the future. You can also include here the website that your photographer will use to post your wedding photos so that all of your guests will be able to see your wedding pictures.
You can have them printed or make them yourself with software and pretty paper, but what ever you choose, makes it your style.
Guest books can also define your wedding style. If yours is a destination wedding, you might want to consider a beautiful coffee table picture book of the location of the wedding having guests simply find a page that they would like to leave their sentiments. Or you could choose a book that reflects a special place to you both. This could be from a place where you met, a place you will visit on your honeymoon or even a place that you both dream about visiting. But rest assured as time goes by, this book will take on more meaning that just a guest book.
Another great idea is to create your own picture book. Put some one in charge of taking Polaroid photos of guests, fixing them into a blank album and letting the guests leave their well wishes next to their photographs. We have seen the same concept done with all of the components for this placed in a beautiful basket and passed from table to table allowing guests to take the photos of each other. That was a lot of fun and very special for the bride and groom.
A very unique idea for the wine loving couple is to select a magnum size bottle of the wine or champagne that you will be serving at your wedding as the guest book. You will want to provide either a gold or silver fluid marker that dries on the bottle. A magnum size bottle will provide ample space for all to sign.
So there are just a few ideas to help you create unique touches to your wedding and to help you make your wedding elegant.
Your wedding program can certainly help convey so much about you and your wedding day. Here are some ideas to help make your guest book fun and add to your wedding style. Couples will often include a photo of themselves on the cover, but that is just the beginning.
The wedding program is a wonderful place to let your guests know the names of the beautiful songs that you have chosen. It is also a place to share the meanings behind the rituals that will be taking place.
We have seen many mothers begin to cry when they read the beautiful words that the bride and groom have written in the program about them. It is also a place to honor all of the attendants, children, readers and officiates that participate in the ceremony. You can even include a special message to your guests for their attendance on your special day.
Some couples have included quotes from literature or a poem that is special to them. We have even seen lovely handkerchiefs included inside of the program for those teary moments that are sure to occur.
The back of the program is the perfect place to provide your new home address and contact information. That way your loved ones will be able to stay in touch in the future. You can also include here the website that your photographer will use to post your wedding photos so that all of your guests will be able to see your wedding pictures.
You can have them printed or make them yourself with software and pretty paper, but what ever you choose, makes it your style.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Here's 7 Secrets to Having the Wedding of Your Dreams!

SECRET #1: How To Guarantee Your Wedding Lives Up To Your Dreams.
Believe it or not, the wedding photographer you select to photograph your wedding can make or break your wedding day. Yes, I kid you not, your wedding day - not just your photographs! Why? Because he's THERE - with you and your family, in person - interacting with all your family and guests - and representing you every minute.
Now, HONESTLY, we're not just talking about wedding photography here - we're talking about YOUR WEDDING - how YOU FEEL on your wedding day, and how smoothly and romantically everything goes. You see, your wedding photographer determines this, by the way he helps you plan your wedding, the way he treats you and your loved ones, and the way he conducts himself throughout the day.
Amazing Secret Revealed - What Other Wedding Photographers Don't Want You To Know!
So here's the secret: Meet the photographer - IN PERSON - before you hire anyone to photograph your wedding! Most brides don't realize that many studios hire part time wedding photographers to photograph their weddings for them -a lot of the low end studios might hire high school and college kids, friends, relatives, etc. This means that you go to a studio, talk with a salesperson, look at their samples, and make a decision - without really knowing who will be photographing your wedding! And if it's not just the right person doing the photography, and interacting with all your family and guests, everything can be ruined!
So, when you're talking with a potential studio, ask them the following questions:
1. Who did these photographs you are showing me?
2. Who, by name, will be the wedding photographer of our wedding if we hire your studio?
3. We want to MEET this person, BEFORE we hire your studio.
Then, when you meet this person, ask him or her the following questions:
1. How will you dress at my wedding?
2. Did you do ALL the samples of wedding photography we saw in the sample books? If not, show us YOUR work, please.
3. How long have you been photographing weddings? Is it digital or film.
4. How long will you be at my wedding? Will the time be stipulated on the agreement.
5. Before you leave our wedding, who do you check with first to see if there's anything else we would like you to do?
6. Do you work from a checklist of photos? (You NEVER want a photographer who needs a checklist doing your wedding photography! He'll spend all his time looking at the list, and miss all the wonderful, romantic and spontaneous moments of your wedding!) Then, decide if you REALLY LIKE HIM, as well as his work! Because he's going to be spending a lot of time with you and your family and friends, on your important day. Quite a few more details need to be cover and stipulated on written agreement / contract that either the studio representative or actual photographer will sign and the bride and groom.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Do Not Give Up Your Dream Wedding Even in the Current Economy - Learn How to Plan and Budget It

Does the cost of having the wedding of your dreams frightens you? With the rise of oil prices and in view of the current economy, many brides and groom are afraid that having the wedding of their dreams is out of the question. Is it? No! You can have your dream wedding for a fraction of the price you thought it would cost, as long as the bride and groom plan together, set and adhere to a realistic fixed budget, use good organizational skills, ingenuity, flexibility, hone your negotiating skills, and enlist the help of friends and family. Many components go into planning a wedding day. Many details need to be completed and intertwined to create not only a wedding but a dream wedding as the bride and groom pictured it. Today, about 70% of the marrying couples pay for their own weddings so, setting a realistic wedding budget and sticking to it is a must if you are to keep the cost of your wedding within your budget. There are many options to choose from and many ways to save. So keep on reading.
Now, get creative and examine your options.
Search the Internet thoroughly and you can save time and money. The World Wide Web Provides you with information and resources for making purchases on-line. Many wedding web sites provide links to wedding related businesses that could be your answer to quality products and services. A-wedding Day offers you a series of wedding planning articles that concentrate on how to choose and work with wedding vendors, professionals and service providers, a wedding resource directory, a wedding planning checklist and a discount bridal mall where you save on wedding gifts and accessories.
As you plan your wedding create three categories:
  • Must have 

  • Optional 

  • Nice to have.

  • Base your decisions on availability, on your budget and on your ingenuity. Once you decide what your priorities are, use your ingenuity and creativity. Involve yourselves, your friends and your families in at least some of the preparations. Loved ones will appreciate the opportunity to contribute to your happy day, have fun and save you money. Choose vendors and service providers who can assure that your priorities will be met and that yours will be the wedding you dreamed of. Before you do, read the series of wedding planning articles devoted to choosing and working with wedding vendors, professionals and service providers.

    Thursday, 13 October 2011

    16 Things a Bride and Groom to Be Need to Ask Their Wedding Venue

    Is the wedding venue available on our wedding day?
    Sounds like an obvious first question doesn't it, but you really need to ask it first. There is no point visiting a potential wedding venue, falling in love with the idea of getting married there and not being able to make your dreams happen because another bride and groom got there first. 
    If you've already chosen your special date, then we suggest you telephone the wedding venue ahead of the visit and state you can only make that date, if they are already booked up then get back to the list and find another fantastic wedding venue.

    How many guests can be seated for a meal at the wedding venue?
    This is fairly crucial, you don't want to book a wedding venue that have a seating area for 250 people if you're only inviting 60 to a sit down meal. 
    In turn you also want to ensure your guests can sit comfortably without being crammed into a small venue, or even worse, being left to feel as if they're shoved in at the back, and can barely see the top table. Once you've got a rough idea of how many wedding guests are being invited, you need to make sure your chosen wedding venue suits your requirements. 
    Request to see a sample seating plan, ask about whether they have round tables, maybe even ask to see photos of previous wedding meals and how the tables are laid out. This will give you a good indication of whether you can seat your wedding party and ensure everyone is happy.

    How many guests can the wedding venue accommodate for the wedding reception?
    Some couples prefer to have a small and intimate wedding ceremony, and then follow that with the mother of all parties in the evening. If this is your plan, be sure that the wedding venue can accommodate this. You don't want to have 200 evening guests descend on your wedding and find them all squeezed in, or unable to get to the bar. Again, the flip-side is that you don't want to find out your wedding venue has a separate dance floor and bar area that resembles a barn - the single easiest way to have zero-atmosphere at your wedding reception is to find the wedding DJ or band playing to a half empty hall, with your wedding guests sitting around the edges not mingling.
    What time can we access the wedding venue?
    "Exclusively yours for the entire day!" .....says their website. But what does that mean exactly ? Each wedding venue will have their own rules of when you can access the building on your wedding day. 
    Simply confirm what time you can arrive ahead of the wedding, you don't want to be left standing outside waiting for the cleaner to turn up.

    Monday, 10 October 2011

    How to Plan a Wedding - Step by Step Guide

    Planning a wedding can be a daunting and very stressful task. We highly recommend you take six months to a year to plan your wedding and will outline for you an easy-to-follow schedule.
    Twelve months before the Wedding
    • Get yourself a binder with paper and dividing tabs.
    • Discuss with your fiancé and his/her families, plus your own, to determine a budget.
    • Decide on your wedding theme e.g. Christmas, Fall, Snowflakes, Black and White, etc.
    • Select a wedding date with your fiancé and families.
    • Decide on your wedding attendants.
    • Book a ceremony and reception location(s).
    • Book your professional wedding photographer, florist, caterer, videographer, and DJ or wedding musicians.

    Nine months before the Wedding
    • Make an appointment with your officiant. For most religious ceremonies, you may be required to attend pre-wedding counseling. For civil ceremonies, your officiant may require a meeting to discuss your wedding ceremony.
    • Wedding gown shopping and first fittings should be looked after at this time.
    • Shop for your wedding accessories, wedding veil or head piece, and wedding shoes.
    • Begin preparation of the guest list. Be sure to include both sides of the family as guest lists are often a contentious issue. It will take time to decide on long lost cousins, work friends, neighbors, etc.
    • Decide on gift registry locations and register.
    • Begin your search for your honeymoon location. If you are getting married during a peak holiday season such as Christmas, you may need to book your honeymoon up to nine months in advance.

    Wednesday, 5 October 2011

    The Hottest Trends In 21st Century Wedding Ceremony, Reception And Bridal Accessories

    Ask any engaged couple what they want their wedding to reflect and you can expect an almost unanimous answer. Today brides and grooms want their wedding to be very personalized and reflect who they are and what makes them special. So, what makes a wedding personalized? or What is a personalized wedding?
    What was once the norm, is no longer. Gone are the days when all you chose were your wedding attendants, invitations and attire. When you hired a hall you expected them to provide the caterer, the decorations, the musicians, the cake and the flowers. This is how weddings were planned when I got married. Today, brides and grooms want and get involved in every aspect and plan both ceremony and reception.
    A 21st century wedding includes many elements that when put together create the feel and the atmosphere and make it special and personalized. Whether they plan a most formal evening event or a whimsical afternoon wedding party, brides and grooms planning a wedding today give it their personal touch. You did notice that I said brides and grooms. The newest and most welcomed development is that today wedding planning is not merely the responsibility of the bride and her family. Today, most grooms actively participate in planning the wedding with their brides and are making creative choices as well. The majority, loves it!
    They pay special attention to assure that rather than helter skelter, everything in their wedding, from its color scheme to the wedding theme and everything in between, will coordinate well giving the wedding an aura of wholeness. 
    The possibilities for personalization are endless.

    Many 21st century brides and grooms choose their wedding date to correspond with someting personal to them. Whether it is connected with a first date, engagement, a birthday, a specific season, a holiday, a numerical sequence like 777 (July 7, 2007) or 888 (August 8, 2008) or even The day their parents or grandparent got married, the date chosen often has a special meanning. 
    They choose their wedding color scheme and follow with coordinating as many aspects of the wedding with it. When you attend a current wedding, look around. Is there a color that runs throughout? most probably.

    Nostalgia has its place too. Thus the old tradition of - Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and... a Lucky Sixpence in her Shoe! is adhered to by most brides. It is emphasized because as part of who they are, it is becoming quite common for brides and grooms to get sentimental and either copy or use the actual wedding gown, cake top and other wedding related family heirlooms their grandparents or parents used at their weddings. Brides often carry family hankies and wear ancestral jewelry -Something old. Most such items are on loan so by using then returning it, the bride has fulfilled the - Something borrowed as well. Every bride purchases wedding accessories for her wedding - Something New. The something blue has traditionally been a blue garter however as part of the personalization, bride may choose a blue flower, a blue ribbon, a blue piece of jewelry even a blue hankie with a blue decoration. Though no longer in circulation, the Sixpence coin is available for purchase.

    Sunday, 25 September 2011

    Friday Evening Weddings Gain Popularity - Would You Consider a Friday Wedding?

    Why Brides and Grooms who had Friday Weddings Loved it.
    We were intrigued by the growth in popularity of Friday Evening and Friday Night Weddings. So, we set out to interview Friday brides and grooms and learn from their experiences.
    Less Stress
    Most all agreed that they were less stressed than if they had a weekend wedding. In summerizing their answers, they did not arrive at their own wedding tired because as a rule, a Friday wedding is an evening event. 
    Therefore, preparations such as hair and beauty, picture taking etc...do not have to start early in the morning.

    So, even though it was their wedding day, neither the bride nor the groom needed to rush or panic.
    They actually could sleep in and be at their best, rested and relaxed. Well, almost all admitted to being eager, at least a little nervous and very excited.
    Wedding discounts and special deals
    riday brides and grooms were quick to point out that they saved a substantial amount of money without sacrificing or compromising having their dream wedding.
    Though Friday weddings begin to occupy more and more calendars, the shared experience of Friday couples indicates that wedding vendors and professionals are in less demand than on weekends. Therefore, many offer discount. This is something you may wish to consider especially if you are planning a wedding on a budget
    If vendors and service providers do not outright offer, they are more willing to negotiate their prices and - or add benefits to attract more brides and grooms and generate business on their otherwise slow day.
    Having interviewed both bridal couples and vendors, we discovered that they agreed that in many instances the savings realized by choosing Friday instead of a weekend are greater than 25 percent.
    One bride told us that while calling around town and visiting places to have her wedding ceremony and reception, she was amazed to discover that in her region, Saturday evening weddings can run almost twice the cost of a Friday evening wedding.
    With the cost of weddings today, this is quite a large sum.
    A few couples who actually compared their Friday evening ceremony and following reception, with recent weekend weddings they attended, agreed that their vendors and service providers seemed less hurried, more flexible and more relaxed. 
    Some of the couples we interviewed received special incentives in addition to the discounts.

    Thursday, 22 September 2011

    A Wedding Planner, a Wedding Consultant, a Wedding Coordinator - Whatever the Title, Do We Need One?

    We are asked this question often, by brides and by grooms.
    For the sake of simplicity, let us refer to all as wedding specialists.
    Actually the tone of the question varies between brides and grooms.
    Brides get very emotional and excited about planning their dream weddings. Most want to plan it.
    Grooms often would like to take an active role but believe, or thinks that their brides believes that it is the women who should plan the wedding. Many would like to, but do not volunteer because they do not want to "take away" the excitement their bride has toward planning their very special day. We are also asked by brides and grooms who hold jobs or professions, go to school or both and are pressed for time.
    The question whether you need to hire a wedding specialist is rather complex. It cannot be answered with a yes or a no. 
    Many factors need to be considered and they will influence the decision.

    The first step to answering the question is to determine
    What is a wedding specialist?
    A wedding specialist is professional who is familiar with the wedding circuit in your region, usually possesses a lot of experience, creative ideas, know-how, sense of organization, attention to details and strong contacts with vendors and service providers. 
    Most experienced wedding specialists have over the years learned what to expect, what to ask and how to negotiate with their peers.

    Tuesday, 13 September 2011

    3 Food Based Theme Wedding Favors

    Theme #1: Chocolate theme wedding favors
    Should you have white chocolate or dark chocolate wedding favors? Maybe a combination of both milk and dark chocolate almond would be a good idea? Or maybe choose a combination of white chocolate and dark chocolate in one wedding favor.
    The best idea is to have one flavor of chocolate for the wedding favors. The more flavors you have, the more costly the favors will become. You will probably already have a chocolate fountain, so you can than choose a different flavor of chocolate for the fountain Next you must decide on the design and style of the chocolate wedding favor.
    You could choose chocolate cookies on a stick, covered chocolate hearts, chocolate m&m's, chocolate mints, plain chocolate bars or get very extravagant and have little chocolate swans or chocolate basket wedding favors. Actually, the possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing the design and style of your chocolate wedding favor.
    But what is absolutely necessary to complete your chocolate wedding favors is the personalization on them. You must have the bride and groom's name and date of the wedding on the item, a sweet saying or at least a thank you on the chocolate wedding favor. These are very tasteful when written in an alternating chocolate on the wedding favor itself. However, this type of personalization can be more costly than a packaging on the outside which says "thank you for joining us on our special day." Either way you choose, a chocolate wedding favor is a hit at anyone's wedding.

    Sunday, 11 September 2011

    Wedding Favors - Does Your Wedding Really Need Them?

    Wedding favors can be the perfect ending to a wonderful wedding day. However, there is frequently a debate among brides as to whether wedding favors are really needed.
    Some brides see wedding favors as a way to thank the guests of their wedding while others see them as an unnecessary expense. Listed below are views from both sides of the argument.
    Here are six good reasons why you should have wedding favors for your guests:
    • Your wedding guests were gracious enough to spend the day at your wedding, and some have traveled a long distance to be there. A wedding favor is your way of saying thank you.
    • Wedding favors can help finish off your wedding theme. For example, if you are having an apple-themed wedding you can give candy apples as your wedding favor. Having a beach or destination wedding on an island? Consider giving your guests beach bags filled with beach items or local favorites that they can use on the trip.
    • In addition to acting as wedding favors, they can also be part of your table centerpieces. For example, for a Halloween-themed wedding jack-o-lanterns can act as both centerpieces and wedding favors for your guests. Another option would be to have small vases or mint julep cups gathered in the middle of the tables with arrangements of flowers as centerpieces. At the end of the reception each couple or single attendee would get to take one home.
    • Wedding favors are part of wedding tradition.*If you are having a very traditional wedding, you will want to include favors.
    • As you probably already know, weddings are expensive. However, if you are already spending $20,000 on your big day, does spending another couple hundred on wedding favors really make a difference?
    • Wedding favors allow you to show your creativity and style. This is one area of your wedding that you can really do something unique and different.

    Monday, 5 September 2011

    Weddings at Sea

    A wedding, whether it is your first or fifth, can be the best, and the most stressful, experience of your life. Except, of course, if you choose to tie the knot at sea. When getting married on a cruise ship, you'll have a host of professionals trained to accommodate your every need during your cruise wedding. From cakes to tuxedos, accommodations to the reception hall, you won't have to go off-board for anything. Unless of course you choose to have your reception on shore. In which case, the amenities come to you.
    Imagine saying your vows on the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean, on a hillside vineyard in Italy, or on the snowy-white glaciers of Alaska. The possibilities are endless.
    There are a few stipulations when getting married on a cruise ship. First, the captain generally does not marry the couple (except with Princess Cruises). A wedding officiant will be provided by the cruise line for that purpose. Second, cruise weddings take place while in port, not while at sea. You can choose to get married on board when in port or at a selected location on shore. Finally, the bride and groom must be sailing on the cruise in order to get married on it. Your guests can, however, board the ship for the wedding without sailing on the cruise.
    Many cruise lines provide cruise wedding packages and coordinators to make sure that your day is special and runs smoothly. Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International, all provide wedding packages for couples sailing on their ships. Crystal Cruises and Cunard Line do not allow weddings on their ships. The cost of tying the knot at sea ranges from $900 to $2,400 and generally includes transportation to and from the port, wedding facilities, wedding officiant, wedding coordinator, ceremony music, flowers for the bride and groom, cake, champagne, photographer, wedding album, and dinner. Many will also arrange spa and hair appointments, as well as tuxedo rentals. Of course, each line has their own packages. Read below for information on the most popular cruise lines and their wedding options.
    PLEASE NOTE: Prices provided on this page are general indicators of wedding package costs. They are provided to give a general indication of costs for couples in the early stages of planning their weddings. Stated prices are not guaranteed and do not include taxes.
    Carnival Cruises 
    For those looking to celebrate a special occasion, Carnival offers a variety of packages designed to suit every need. Wedding ceremonies are performed by a wedding officiant before the ship sets sail and Carnival provides a photographer who takes pictures both during the ceremony and the reception. These photos are available for purchase during the cruise.