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Friday, May 28, 2010

Hidden Wedding Costs!

Sometimes it's easy to not see the forest for the trees. I was at an industry networking event recently and someone asked all of those attending if they had ever seen a wedding start on time. Lo and behold, only another Wedding Coordinator and myself raised our hands. I was surprised at that because I know that this particular group of people had been to literally hundreds of weddings, if not more. I think this goes to show you how just a little bit of extra help on your wedding day can make a difference.

Why would it be important to stay on schedule on your wedding day? Imagine if you will, that you get a late start with your hair and makeup which makes you and your bridal party late in getting dressed. When people feel rushed on top of being caught up in the emotions of the day, crazy things happen all the way from things getting spilled to people falling down. Having to wear a type of shoe you don't normally wear, can contribute to that. When rushed, something is forgotten back at the house causing extra time on the road. If you aren't careful, you will have people running in all directions when you need them together and there for you the most.

I haven't mentioned the hidden monetary costs yet. This is when it gets really scary! If your photographer is waiting for you, you're taking a chance of having them bill you for extra hours because you want them there for your entire reception. You will have to pay them for staying late unless something is agreed to in the contract. Same goes for the DJ and worst yet would be the venue charging you for extra time. In the meantime, your limo driver is patiently waiting to get you to the hotel or wondering if he's going to get you to the airport on time.

Why would a Wedding Coordinator make the difference between things running on time versus running behind schedule? A Wedding Coordinator will create a timeline with built-in cushions of time to make things run smoothly, be in contact with all of your vendors and foresee potential problems among other things. They will also have a bridal "fashion emergency" kit and a number of ways to help when problems arise so that you don't have to interrupt your day with unnecessary decisions. There are ways of dealing with the bridesmaid or aunt who is always running late. Planning in advance of your wedding day can give you more confidence that the key people are right where you need them!

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Friday, May 21, 2010

20 Wedding Tips

Wedding Tip #1: Do you know someone who wants their wedding to be unique? A good way to do that is to ask a wedding coordinator about venues that most people don't even know about.

Wedding Tip #2: Here are a couple of advantages to having your bridesmaids wear black dresses. You can find black dresses at many types of stores and your bridesmaids will be more likely to have occasions in the future to wear their dresses again. Black can be accented with many colors and look spectacular.

Wedding Tip #3: If you have always envisioned a certain type of flower to be in your wedding bouquets and flower arrangements, remember that certain flowers are only available according to mother nature's calendar. Flowers that grow in the wintertime that are white, are more fragrant to attract more insects for pollination. Gardener's side note!

Wedding Tip #4: Very few venues allow candles, especially open-flamed candles. When you search for a venue, be very specific about what you envision for decorating. It's better to find out early before you spend money on decorations.

Wedding Tip #5: Family and friends might show some sides of their personalities you've never seen before during the planning of your wedding. They might subconsciously be experiencing a sense of loss, a fear of the unknown and very well might be getting bombarded with the dreaded, "Now when are YOU getting married?" Patience helps out a lot. Thank them often for their help!

Wedding Tip #6: I think it's a nice gesture to arrange for both new mothers-in-law to enjoy a high tea the day after the wedding. They'll love you for it!

Wedding Tip #7: Did you know that the average bride spends around 30 hours per week planning her wedding? That amount of time spent with an event planner would see her get her life back and her wedding well on it's way to being planned.

Wedding Tip #8: You can find out how much the average wedding costs in your area, but I think I'll let you figure this one out. I'm curious to see if any of you who are NOT in the wedding industry can get that magic number. Tell you more about that number some other time.

Wedding Tip #9: Often people will leave something home before going to the wedding. I recommend using semi-transparent plastic bins in different colors and some of these bins have dry erase labels. Bins with lids that open on the top without removing the entire lid are great. Use different colors of bins according to their function, i.e. guestbook table, gift table, chairs, reception tables, head table and so forth. Bins with lids that open on the top without removing the entire lid are great. I don't recommend most storage tubs with lids that fold together to the center. The lids tend to come off of the side hinges and, it wastes a lot of time trying to reattach them. Make sure that any lid attaches well and that the bin itself is easy to carry.

Wedding Tip #10: If a bride-to-be happens to have a fiance' who just wants to show up at the wedding and have nothing to do with the planning, make choosing the tuxes on of the first things you do. He will be more likely to get involved sooner. Think about the things he would be most likely to enjoy planning such as the music, limo, the honeymoon. There are things expected of the groom and his family and he might be willing to work off of a list.

Wedding Tip #11: On your wedding day, if you want to remember loved ones who have passed away there are many wonderful ways to honor them. Think about having your florist design your bouquet with a particular number of a certain flower or a complimentary color of the flowers in your bouquet, to represent your loved ones. I love adding meaning without additional costs.

Wedding Tip #12: The word PROVIDE in "venue speak" does not always mean it's part of the package they are offering. It might just mean that they can make something such as linens in a particular color, an extra table, microphone or any number of items or services available, but not without an extra fee. Be very specific and ask a lot of questions! Pretend you are looking at a hospital bill.

Wedding Tip #13: One of the possible consequences of having your wedding over a holiday weekend are the added expenses of travel for your out of town guests as well as traffic snarls that come with holidays. You should arrange well in advance for lodging for your guests. Ironically, without careful planning, your guests might have to take more time off from work. Choosing a holiday weekend might be putting them at more risk of added delays, overbooking, layovers, etc.

Wedding Tip #14: If you are allergic to a variety of flowers, there are people who specialize in making beautiful silk flower arrangements. You can even rent them. People have actually sniffed them and said that they smell good when in reality they were completely odorless! They can look that real and are very durable!

Wedding Tip #15: People will appear from out of nowhere to have "suggestions" for your wedding! For example, one person might think that the cake is the most important thing in the world, for another it will be the music or flowers and so forth. Determine the top 5-10 things that are the most important to you. This helps determine your budget. Smile, nod a lot and say "Thank you".. and have your OWN wedding!

Wedding Tip #16: If you are a bride or a member of the bridal party and will be on your feet for hours, bring a second pair of shoes to switch and and out of and your feet will thank you! You'd also be amazed at how many brides wear creative tennis shoes underneath a beautiful dress. Sometimes the groom and groomsmen will follow suit and wear tennis shoes. Creativity and comfort, all good! When they say that a change is as good as a vacation, your feet would agree.

Wedding Tip #17: Please hire a professional DJ! You will be so glad that you did. This vendor can make or break your wedding reception and a good DJ knows how to read a crowd, will make announcements to keep things on track and help make your reception memorable in a positive way.

Wedding Tip #18: Many people want their weddings to be environmentally friendly. There are countless ways to accomplish this. One simple way is to plan to have someone take floral arrangements from the wedding to a retirement center, nursing home, homeless shelter or some other place where flowers might be appreciated.

Wedding Tip #19: Before deciding to make your own invitations, make a few samples first. Be prepared for the investment of the materials and supplies and hours of work into making your own invitations. Allow for 5%-10% or more for "Ooops!" such as those you forgot to invite, invitations you accidentally cut to the wrong size, misspelled a word, name or things that happen when your mind wanders away from a project. If you make your own the Save-the-Dates and you find that to be overwhelming, you might not want to tackle making your invitations.

Wedding Tip #20: A good professional DJ will make your wedding much more memorable than someone with an i-pod. They provide SO much more than music for your wedding that you can't even imagine. They know how to make everyone feel included and have fun. A bad DJ can do just the opposite. We always suggest hiring a reputable and professional DJ who has a good sound system.

As always, wishing you the greatest of days!

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