WEDDING DIRECTOR
201-497-6549

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What does this service include?





and
...

  Initial in person meeting at our office in Westwood, NJ to get to know our clients and   review all plans, details and contracts for your wedding day.

 

Provide 6 hours of event day coverage and unlimited consultations via phone or email.

 

Contact vendors prior to the wedding date and introduce ourselves and let them know we will be in charge the day of your wedding.

 

Meet & great vendors upon arrival at ceremony or reception site.

 

Provide a time line of Grand Entrance, First dances, Bouquet & Garter toss and Cutting of the cake.

 

Organize & direct the event flow on the day of the wedding.

 

Guest list and table assemble to be provided to us.

 

Meet & greet guests to create the proper ambiance for your wedding day.

 

Review final details of wedding with Bride & Groom either one week before or one day prior to wedding day via telephone or email.

 

Set-up reception site such as favors, pictures, decorations etc. all to be provided to us 1 hour before the wedding.

 

Host/Hostess of event.

 

Complete supervision of event to make sure everything is running smoothly and on time.



 

 

 Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Director


Wedding Ceremony

  • Wedding directors will also need to ensure that everyone involved in the wedding is in place for the ceremony. Once the wedding party arrives at the ceremony site, the wedding director perform duties such as lining the flower girls up in the correct order before they enter the church and making sure the groomsmen and bridesmaids are walking into the wedding with the right partner. The wedding director checks to see that all female members of the wedding party have their correct bouquets and are wearing jewelry and accessories that the bride has requested.

Reception

  • During the reception, a wedding director works with the DJ or those in charge of the music to ensure songs will be played at the right time. The director also directs the bride and groom to the cut the cake at the right time, and lets the reception announcer know when each dance (such as the father-daughter dance and the couple's first dance) will take place.

 






   

Planning a wedding is a major undertaking for a bride and groom. The planning begins months, or even years, before the wedding takes place. Once all the plans are made and the wedding is to take place, the bride and groom need a person to ensure that all plans are carried out as desired. This is where a wedding director comes into action. A wedding director takes care of all the details at the wedding to make sure it goes smoothly.



 



For more information or to schedule a FREE consultation…

Please call or email:

 

Jimmy Smith Events
201-497-6549

jimmysmithevents@gmail.com

 

www.jimmysmithevents.com

 

 

      

 

  

  

Photographers
Engagement Rings
Wedding Receptions
Destination Weddings
Flowers
Wedding Rings
Limousines
Doves
Butterflies
Favors
Wedding Caterers
Wedding Planners
Money Saving Tips

Wedding Cakes
Wedding Decorations
Videographers
Wedding Planning
Wedding Services
Honeymoons
Beach Weddings
Wedding Jewelry
Invitations
Bridal Accessories
Wedding DJs
Wedding Dresses
Wedding Bands


 

Wedding Photographers


Wedding Photographers are present at almost every wedding since couples want to preserve the memories of their special day. We have worked with many photographers over the years so feel free to ask us for our recommendations. We often can combine the ceremony and photography into a single package to save you some money. With wedding photographs, a picture is certainly worth a thousand words

Important Things To Consider When Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Experience Level - Has this person photographed other weddings? Does he/she do this for a living or for fun?

Photographic Style - Are the images that you are shown, what you would like to see? There are "buzz" words flying about everywhere about photojournalism, formal, classic candid, and so on. Do you want a mixture of black and white or only color photos?

Truth in Advertising - Is this the photographer that will be photographing your wedding or will they send in whomever is available. Don't be shocked, this happens more often than you can imagine. Be certain that you know which photographer is going to be there and that you see HIS/HER work and meet with that individually face to face.

Personality - Is the photographer that you meet someone that you can get along with? Is the "chemistry" there?

Appearance - Ask the photographer how he/she intends to dress. Is this person well groomed?

Price Range - Although, the last thing you want to do is shop by price, is this person within your budget? If not, is he or she worth the price difference? Make sure you understand what everything costs, including reprints and albums.

Delivery - How long does it take to get your proofs back, thank you cards, your finished album, your bridal portrait, etc.?

Offering - Whether it's a la carte or a package, do you understand what you are getting? Is there any room for changes and will it cost to do so? Sometimes the packages are fixed, sometimes they can be customized, in any case, ask. How much time will he/she spend? What if you need more time? Make sure that you know what's coming.

Contract - Do you understand the contract. Is it fair? Is everything spelled out? When it comes down going to court, only what is WRITTEN really counts, not what was promised. Make sure that you have no doubts before signing. Read it ALL.

What about deposits and payments? What does it say about cancellations and the photographer not being there? If the photographer protests, ask him why? This is one area NOT to take lightly. You could be disappointed for a long time.

References - A personal reference is always the best and people love to talk. Get a list of references from the photographer and check them out personally. A photographer who doesn't have references or is afraid to give them to you may not be the person that you need to hire.

Other Questions: (some questions may be repeated from the list above)

Have you shot a wedding at my location before?
Do you have an assistant?
Do you have backup equipment and is it the same quality as the primary equipment?
What time will you begin and how long will you stay until?
When will the proofs be ready?
Do we get to keep the proofs?
Do you mark your proofs?
Where and how are your proofs marked?
How much extra for unmarked proofs?
Do we get to keep our negatives?
How long do you keep the negatives and will you sell them to us?
Do you use high speed film to expose natural light?
Do you have tale-photo and wide-angle lenses?
Do you work well with the other vendors? i.e.: coordinators, caterers, videographers.
Can you work from a photo checklist that we create?
How will you be dressed?
Do you process and develop your own film and prints?

 

Engagement Rings

 

Everyone has their hands in your pocket when you are getting married. And getting the right engagement ring requires some research and good recommendations to avoid being ripped off. Here is some information about Diamonds, often the most expensive part of an engagement ring.

Everyone has their hands in your pocket when you are getting married. And wedding rings, engagement rings and wedding jewelry are expensive items that require some research and good recommendations to avoid being ripped off. Here is some information about Diamonds, often the most expensive part of wedding jewelry.

The Basics: Cut, Clarity, Color & Carat Weight

Your jeweler can help you create the perfect ring for you. Diamonds are certified to meet specific quality standards for cut, color, clarity and carat weight by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the AGSL (American Gem Society Laboratories). The GIA and AGSL provide fact sheets for many fine certified diamonds.

Find More Information About Diamond Certification At:

The Gemological Institute of America Also known as the GIA, is the world's foremost authority in gemology.

American Gem Society Laboratories
Also known as AGSL, this diamond grading laboratory was established to provide consumers with an unbiased, credible analysis of a diamond.

A Diamond's Cut

A diamond should be cut so that light reflects down into it and back up through the many facets. If a diamond is cut too shallow or too deep, light passes through the facets and down rather than being refracted back up to the admiring eye. Check with your jeweler for further guidance about cut and how this affects the sparkle of a diamond.

A Diamond's Clarity

Like water shining through a crystal clear glass of water, a diamond that is perfect is free of inclusions or imperfections. Inclusions are tiny fractures or trace minerals that have been present in the stone since its formation in the earth. Diamonds are rated for clarity using the following scale:

Clarity-Rating Descriptions

FL Flawless, no internal or external finish flaws.
IF Internally flawless, no internal flaws.
VVS1 Very slightly included.
VVS2 Very difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification.
VS1 Very slightly included.
VS2 Difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification, typically unable to see inclusions with unaided eye.
SI1 Slightly included.
SI2 Easy to see inclusions under 10x magnification, may not be able to see inclusions with unaided eye.
I Inclusions visible with unaided eye.

When a diamond is certified, the gemologist provides a summary of any inclusions (imperfections) in a diamond — details about the number, location, size and type.

A Diamond's Color

The brilliance of a diamond’s sparkle is affected by the presence or absence of color. Color is rated on the following scale:

A diamond is considered colorless or near-colorless if it is graded "D" through "J". These diamonds are considered an excellent value. They appear colorless to the naked eye, unless they are compared with diamonds of even higher color grade.

A Diamond's Carat Weight

If you invest in quality rather than quantity, you will never be disappointed. High standards of quality are a reflection of character. More important than the size of the diamond is the brilliance and the light that it casts.

We hope this information was helpful. We want you to have the greatest wedding day ever and to have enough money left over to live happily ever after too.

 

Wedding Receptions

 

Most wedding ceremonies take place at the wedding reception location. We have done thousands of weddings so feel free to ask us for our recommendations for the best wedding reception places to fit your needs.

 

Destination Weddings

 

A destination wedding is a wedding held in a setting away from your hometown. Oftentimes, a destination wedding and the honeymoon are celebrated in the same venue. After the wedding ceremony, you won't have to leave this breathtakingly beautiful location so soon... if you choose to have your honeymoon there as well.

We are often asked to do destination weddings and we love doing them. If you are planning your perfect destination wedding, think about have one of our officiants to preside over your ceremony. We have travelled to many exotic locations to officiate at destination weddings so that engaged couples can feel totally comfortable with who is officiating their ceremony. We have done weddings on cruise ships, exotic island getaways and foreign countries. From Las Vegas to Disney World, and from Europe to the South Pacific, we are here for you to make your destination wedding the dream of a lifetime.

 

Wedding Flowers

 

How To Pick a Florist

Word of mouth is always your safest bet. If the florist's service and work comes highly recommended, chances are they will do a good job for you. Do your research by going to bridal shows and looking at online pictures from your store's website. Make appointments to visit at least 3 different florists.

When you visit each florist, look at pictures of their previous work and look around their shop.

Do you like the arrangements that you see in the shop's displays?
Do the flowers in the pictures look fresh or are the petal edges brown?
Are the pictures dated or are they following the current trends?
Is the designer willing to work with you or are they telling you that your idea won't work?
Make sure you speak to the florist that will do your arrangements.
Do you feel comfortable with your florist?
Is your florist paying attention to you while you're talking and does he/she seem interested?

When To Book Your Florist

6 months before your wedding is a good time to start your search. Book your florist approximately 4 months before your wedding date. You need to have your reception and ceremony sites picked out before you can hire a florist because you'll need to know how many arrangements you'll need and that the colors you pick don't clash with the colors of your venue. You'll also need to know what color your bridesmaids' dresses are.

What To Bring To An Appointment

Pictures of flowers and arrangements that you like (magazine clippings or websites)
Picture of your wedding gown - swatches of material from your bridesmaids gowns - if available, a picture of your reception room
If you are supplying the containers for arrangements, bring those too.
Bring quotes you've gotten from other florists.
Bring a list of all the flowers and arrangements you need and who they are for, so that the florist can label corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets, with names or titles. Example: on a bouquet a stapled piece of paper reads "maid of honor".
This way everyone gets the right flowers.

Questions To Ask The Florist

When viewing photos of past work, ask if the flowers where arranged by the same person that is doing your arrangements.
After giving your florist your ideas, ask for their opinion or ideas. You don't have to take their advice but at least take the time to listen. You never know, you might like their ideas better then your own.
Is there a delivery charge?
Is there a setup fee?
Do they have rental supplies?
Do they need a map for the different delivery locations?
Can you change your order if you have another idea? What's the cut off date for new ideas?
What times will the flowers be delivered to each location? This question can be asked 1 month before your wedding.
Will the florist transport ceremony decorations to the reception location? Is there a fee?
Can they make a sample of your bouquet and centerpiece? Some florists will, some won't.
Will they write you up an itemized quote? Some won't in fear that you will bring it to other florists for a better deal.
Are the flowers you've chosen in season? What flowers are in season for your date?
You're on a tight budget, can the florist work with a mixture of silk and fresh flowers?
Are there any additional or hidden costs?
Is the florist familiar with your reception and ceremony locations?
1 month before your wedding date, call the florist and ask them if they can get the type and color of flower you wanted?


Things To Keep In Mind

If your wedding date is around the time of a flower giving holiday (mother's day, valentine's,etc) you're going to pay more for your flowers. The florist will also be very busy during this time and you can't expect to be the centre of attention. Meet and speak to the person that will be making your flower arrangements.

A good place to start is with the bride's and bridesmaid's bouquet, work with those colors and flower types to create your centerpieces, alter arrangements and other floral decor.

You don't have to book on the spot. Take your quote home and think it over.

The more information you give your florist the better they will understand what you want.

If you choose flowers that are not in season and have to be shipped, you're looking at a bigger expense and you don't know what effect the shipping will cause on your flowers.

What Goes On The Contract

In most cases your bill will be your contract. Read the small print on the bill. Everything the florist is supplying should be on the bill:

Your name, address and phone number.
The contact person's name, address and phone number for every delivery location.
An itemized list and description of every floral arrangement, the number required, color of ribbons and other decorative accents.
Time of setup
The name of your floral designer
The service they will provide. i.e. setup and delivery to each location and what this entails.
The total cost, your deposit and the amount still owing and the date for the last payment.

 

Wedding Rings

 

Everyone has their hands in your pocket when you are getting married. And wedding rings, engagement rings and wedding jewelry are expensive items that require some research and good recommendations to avoid being ripped off. Here is some information about Diamonds, often the most expensive part of wedding jewelry.

The Basics: Cut, Clarity, Color & Carat Weight

Your jeweler can help you create the perfect ring for you. Diamonds are certified to meet specific quality standards for cut, color, clarity and carat weight by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the AGSL (American Gem Society Laboratories). The GIA and AGSL provide fact sheets for many fine certified diamonds.

Find More Information About Diamond Certification At:

The Gemological Institute of America Also known as the GIA, is the world's foremost authority in gemology.

American Gem Society Laboratories
Also known as AGSL, this diamond grading laboratory was established to provide consumers with an unbiased, credible analysis of a diamond.

A Diamond's Cut

A diamond should be cut so that light reflects down into it and back up through the many facets. If a diamond is cut too shallow or too deep, light passes through the facets and down rather than being refracted back up to the admiring eye. Check with your jeweler for further guidance about cut and how this affects the sparkle of a diamond.

A Diamond's Clarity

Like water shining through a crystal clear glass of water, a diamond that is perfect is free of inclusions or imperfections. Inclusions are tiny fractures or trace minerals that have been present in the stone since its formation in the earth. Diamonds are rated for clarity using the following scale:

Clarity-Rating Descriptions

FL Flawless, no internal or external finish flaws.
IF Internally flawless, no internal flaws.
VVS1 Very slightly included.
VVS2 Very difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification.
VS1 Very slightly included.
VS2 Difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification, typically unable to see inclusions with unaided eye.
SI1 Slightly included.
SI2 Easy to see inclusions under 10x magnification, may not be able to see inclusions with unaided eye.
I Inclusions visible with unaided eye.

When a diamond is certified, the gemologist provides a summary of any inclusions (imperfections) in a diamond — details about the number, location, size and type.

A Diamond's Color

The brilliance of a diamond’s sparkle is affected by the presence or absence of color. Color is rated on the following scale:

A diamond is considered colorless or near-colorless if it is graded "D" through "J". These diamonds are considered an excellent value. They appear colorless to the naked eye, unless they are compared with diamonds of even higher color grade.

A Diamond's Carat Weight

If you invest in quality rather than quantity, you will never be disappointed. High standards of quality are a reflection of character. More important than the size of the diamond is the brilliance and the light that it casts.

We hope this information was helpful. We want you to have the greatest wedding day ever and to have enough money left over to live happily ever after too.

 

Limousines

 

Many people use a limousine service for their wedding. If you have the budget, consider using a limousine rental. This takes the load off of who is going to drive who where. Plans change at the last minute and now you have to scramble. But with a limousine service, the plans are not going to change. They will pick up anyone you want and take them anywhere they need to go.

Many companies offer coupons, or discounts on multiple cars. Most services charge 20% gratuity for the driver up front, so be sure you are getting quality before you sign. The biggest complaint about limousine services is the "no show", or late show. When you spend money, you want a professional who knows where they are going. Why do no shows happen? Let's not kid ourselves, we all know why. They didn't forget, everything is written down. They know where they have to be. They over booked on your date or at the last minute needed your limo for a bigger more profitable job, or else they would be there. Airport limo companies are not good to use for weddings as their schedules are too hectic, and there's too many last minute changes in flights and travel plans. You are much better off with a company whose specialty is weddings. The wedding limo is scheduled for you, and cannot change.

When To start Looking For A Limousine Service:
A good time is 3-8 months before the wedding. If you are using a standard limo, then 3-6 months in advance is fine. Allow 1 week to call and interview all the limousine services, and reserve one Saturday to inspect the operation of 3-5 good candidates.

Ask people you know who were recently married: They can recommend the limousine service they used if they were happy. They can also warn you about companies they rejected as well.

Ask your photographer:
Studios usually know who shows up on time and who does not. The wedding industry in each city is smaller than you think, and many vendors know each other.

Look in the yellow pages:
Try to pick only the companies who specialize in weddings.

Visit the limousine company and view their cars:
You must make sure the cars are kept in good condition. If the are in bad shape, you can bet that they'll break down on the way to your wedding. If you plan to use a Rolls Royce, Excalibur, or other unique car, make an appointment with the limousine company at a time when you can see the car. This is usually early on Saturday and Sunday mornings before they leave for a wedding. You want to make sure the car you are going to pay top dollar for is in good condition. Believe it or not, many old fashioned Rolls Royce limousines are in sad shape, because they are too old. The average life of a limo is only about 3 years due to mileage. Some of the fancier old fashioned limousines can no longer be repaired for rips in the seating, or have other parts replaced, so you want to ensure you are paying for a car that is in good shape. If you just want plain Lincoln type limousines, they all look the same. But also ask to see the premium cars listed in their ad and see if they really own it and is it all they touted it to be. So don't just get sucked in by gimmick limousines with the beds and tubs in the back, check them out first. Don't sign the contract for a premium limo unless you have seen it, and sat in it first. This is why you must visit the limousine service to inspect their cars.

 

Doves

 

Releasing Doves, or butterflies, during a wedding ceremony is becoming very popular. Feel free to contact us for sample Dove Release Ceremonies and Butterfly Release Ceremonies

 

Butterflies

 

Releasing Butterflies, or Doves, during a wedding ceremony is becoming very popular. Feel free to contact us for sample Dove Release Ceremonies and Butterfly Release Ceremonies. Butterflies are individually packaged in triangular cardstock boxes, then sent overnight in time for your event. On your special day, appointed guests can participate in the celebration by setting free these beautiful fluttering creatures.

 

Favors

 

 

Bridal Shower Favors
Bridal Shower favors personalized wedding favors.

Chocolate Party Favors
Chocolate party favors for birthday, graduation, birth announcement, baby shower, weddings and more.

Custom Logo Chocolates
Custom logo chocolates for trade show giveaways, corporate promotions, company parties, holiday parties.

Personalized Wedding and Party Favors
Beautiful wedding favors party favors personalized chocolates, birthday party ideas, birth announcements, mint tins, coffee and more.

Unique Wedding Favors
Unique wedding and bridal shower favors.

Wedding Favors
Personalized wedding favors and bridal shower gifts.

Wholesale Wedding Favors

Wholesale wedding favors and bridal shower gifts.

Wedding Favors Bridal Shower
Wedding reception favors personalized, wedding candles, favor bags.

Wedding Party Favors
Personalized favors for all special occasions.

Cheap Wedding Favors
Cheap Wedding favors with Unique and Elegant style for less.

Wedding Favors | Bridal Shower Favors | Wedding Invitations
Most elegant and unique wedding favors, bridal shower favors and wedding favor ideas available at great prices. Chic wedding favors you've seen in magazines and imagined at your reception.

 

 

Wedding Catering

 

Food plays an important role in the wedding festivities, so you'll want to take plenty of time and care when choosing your caterer. Here are some great questions to ask your caterer to ensure that you have an amazing "wedding feast" without any surprises!

Menu Options and Reception Styles

There are so many food varieties to choose from when it comes to menu selection. You can have a traditional sit down dinner, buffet, food stations or a cocktail reception. It all depends on your personal preference and budget.

Budget

Let your caterer know your budget up front. Don’t assume that a buffet or food station is less expensive than a sit down dinner. It all depends on the type of food served, not how it's served.

Food Preparation

Does the caterer use all fresh food and produce? Will any of the food for the reception be frozen or canned?

Taste Testing

Ask if your caterer will do a "tasting" and when. This is where the bride and groom can go sample and taste some of the caterer’s dishes. Yum...

Leftovers

Ask what is done with the leftover food. Particularly, if you are having a buffet or food station, there can be food leftover. Some brides choose to have the leftover food given to a homeless shelter or packed up and brought home. Some caterers don't offer this option because they can’t guarantee its freshness and they don’t want anyone to get sick if the food is not stored properly.

Ethnic Recipes

Ask if dishes can be prepared that are not included on the regular menu. Some brides have a special "family" dish they'd like or a particular type of ethnic food prepared. This is a great way to really personalize your dinner and reception.

Guaranteed Numbers

Many caterers will quote prices based upon a certain number or minimum number of guests. For instance, your caterer may have a minimum of 100 guests and if only 80 show up there may be an additional fee.

Wedding Cakes

Do they offer wedding cakes in their package? Can they make you a wedding cake? Will the caterer cut up the cake for you and will they do this for free or charge a fee? Some caterers charge a per slice fee, so be aware!!

Taxes and Gratuities

Are they included in the price or will they be added later? Find out what the final price is.

Ratio of Servers to Guests

Now, this will vary depending on the type of reception you have.

Dress Code for Wait Staff

How will the staff be dressed?

Decorations

Ask to see pictures of their table displays. Some caterers that do buffets or food stations will include floral arrangements and other decorations. As your wedding plans progress, talk to your caterer about your color theme so that all decorations and floral arrangements will coordinate.

Also, find out what type of decorating they might do for you. Will they swag your head and cake tables? Will they set out your favors and seating cards?

Tableware and Linens

Does the price include table linens, napkins, dishes, and glassware? Ask to see samples. Remember, if you don’t like the tableware or linens they offer, most everything can be rented, but usually at an additional price!

Licenses

Your caterer should be licensed by the province. Most display their license in their office, but if you're not sure, ask!

Liquor

Do you need to get a Special Occasions Permit from the liquor board? If you are supplying the alcohol and they are bringing the mix, what is the price per person? If you are providing the alcohol, will the caterer charge you a corkage fee?

 

Wedding Planners and Wedding Coordinators

 

Do You Need a Wedding Planner/Coordinator?

We're not going to tell you the answer to that because we can't. Only you know if you need one or not. Will you be getting help from others around you, your mother, bridesmaids, fiancé, friends or will you have to do it all by yourself. Can you do it by yourself? Do you want to plan your wedding by yourself? Only you know.

What Can a Wedding Coordinator Do For Me?

The list is long but here are a few of the duties you can expect:

Help you to create the type of wedding you want. With that knowledge you'll be able to pick your venue, vendors, color scheme, theme, music, etc.
Help you create a budget sheet and keep track of where your money is going and how much is still owing.
Help keep you on your budget and not go over...too much!!
Suggest vendors that fit your budget and ideas.
Make a wedding planning schedule so that you know what you've done and what still needs to be done.
In most cases a coordinator can save you money because of their connection in the industry.
Take care of any emergencies that arise.
Create a wedding day schedule.

How Do I Find a Good Wedding Coordinator?

As with all other wedding vendors, word of mouth is always good, bridal shows or ask other wedding vendors about coordinators that they've seen at other weddings. Call first and see if you like them over the phone. If you don't then don't bother wasting time with the appointment.

A professional wedding coordinator will have taken a wedding coordinator /consultant /planner course and have a diploma to show for it. Call the organization on the certificate to make sure that it exists.
Is the coordinator organized?
Do you feel comfortable with them?
Are they friendly?
Do they know their stuff?
Does they have any references? How long have they been in business?
Are they within your budget?
Are they computer literate?
Do they have another job or do they coordinate full time? It's not necessary for your coordinator to only work at planning weddings but it is better because they will have to contact your vendors during business hours.
If you like them and the answers you get, great...if not go elsewhere. Make appointments to meet at least 2 coordinators. Never choose the first vendor you meet, you need to compare.

What Type of Packages Do Wedding Coordinators Have?

Consultation only: This is like a mini wedding planning course, best taken at the beginning of your planning. The coordinator won't be at your wedding but will teach you the skills to planning your own day. Some will charge by the hour, others by the meeting. You can book one meeting only or go back as many times as you like.

Planning Preparation: Along with consultation they will save you time by listening to your needs and booking appointments for you with vendors, that meet those needs.

They contact these vendors and describe what you want, what your budget is, if they're available on your date. This way the vendors already know about you when you walk in the door.
They will help you put together a wedding binder, making it easier to keep track of things.
They will make a floor plan for the vendors and a wedding day schedule. Full Wedding Day Package: A coordinator can be hired for the wedding day alone. She will direct the events of the day and make sure everyone around you is doing their job. Should any emergencies happen she will take care of them. Although a coordinator is hired for one days work, in actual fact they have been working on your wedding, anywhere from 30-50 hours before the day actually get there, getting prepared. You should meet with the coordinator at least once if not twice to go over the details of your wedding. Any coordinator that says no meeting are needed isn't a professional.

What Does a Coordinator Charge?

Wedding coordinators can charge 3 different ways and you will have to ask your's how they work out their prices:

by a percentage of the total cost of your wedding,
by the hour; or
a flat fee.

What Questions Should I Ask When I Meet a Coordinator?

How long have you been a wedding coordinator?
What coordinating organization do you belong to and do you have a diploma?
How do you charge? (percentage, flat fee, hourly)
How much will you charge us for the services we need?
How many times will we meet and how long will each meeting last?
Will you meet with our vendors and look over their contracts?
Are you computer literate and do you own a computer?
Do you have a backup in case of emergency and can't make our wedding and who are they?
Will you be at our rehearsal and is there an extra charge for this?
How will you be dressed?
Can you help plan a wedding within our budget?
Are you a registered business?
Have you worked at our venue before?
Have you worked with our vendors before?
Will you contact our vendors before the wedding?
Is there an extra charge for phone calls and e-mail correspondence between us?
Do you have a preferred vendors list?
If our officiant can't make it, will you direct our rehearsal?
Can you handle last minute changes and emergencies?
What is the deposit requirement?
If we cancel our contract, will we get all or any of our deposit back?
What time do you arrive on the wedding day and what time do you leave?
If we give you the payments for our other vendors, will you pay them?

 

Wedding Cakes

 

Tips on Selecting a Bakery

If your wedding cake is not supplied by the hall or caterer, take time and care in choosing a baker. Your wedding cake is an important part of the wedding celebration. You will want it not only to look wonderful, but taste fabulous. Today there is a great variety to choose from. You may want to stay with something traditional or you may prefer something unusual and unique. Start looking at least 4 to 5 months in advance and get recommendations from friends or your caterer. Check a number of bakers, discuss the various styles and flavors available as well as the prices.

Commercial Bakers

Commercial bakeries: Commercial bakeries are the most commonly used source for wedding cakes. Some specialize in nothing but wedding or special occasion cakes. These bakeries produce a large quantity of cakes as well as other baked goods and generally only have a few cake styles and flavors to choose from. One disadvantage with this type of bakery is that because they are so busy, they may not be able to deviate from their set designs in the event you wanted something unique.

Caterer or Reception Site:

Many times your caterer or reception site will provide the wedding cake. In most cases, they must hire the services of a commercial bakery or a private baker to supply them with wedding cakes. It is recommended that you ask to see some pictures and if possible taste a sample. Once again, since wedding cakes are not their specialty, these sources may be limited in design and flavor ability. As well, we suggest you ask them if there is a "cutting fee" as most banquet halls or caterers do charge for this service.

Non-Commercial Bakers:

This is a baker who works out of his or her home and specializes only in wedding cakes. This type of baker is preferred and selected by many brides today. Each cake is individually designed to your specifications. Many of these bakers are true artists and they love to create spectacular cakes. The trend to use this type of baker has grown over the years and prices vary widely. In some cases, they can be less expensive than a commercial bakery and will often offer elaborate detail and personalized designs.

Cake flavors available:

Traditionally, wedding cakes were all made of fruit. This was mainly because the top tier was saved for either the first year anniversary or to celebrate the first born, whichever came first. Therefore, it was necessary to have a cake that would keep well and still be edible after such a long period of time. It was also covered and decorated with royal icing. This type of icing is very hard and durable and was necessary in order to protect the cake until it was served. This tradition is slowly being changed to keeping the top tier until the newlyweds return from their honeymoon. The cake is then offered to those that were in the bridal party or other close friends and family invited to a small get-together to look at the wedding or honeymoon pictures.

Since the cake does not have to be kept for so long, many of today's brides do not select a fruitcake. There are many great flavors of cakes and fillings available now. Try to select a flavor that most of your guests will like. If you're not sure, select the flavor you and your fiancé like the most. Although the round cake is still the most popular shape because it signifies infinity and love forever, as do the wedding bands, square, hexagon, petal and heart shapes are also available.

Decorations


The traditional frostings are either a butter cream or a fondant. Many brides are selecting the fondant for it's smooth satiny finish. It is also recommended for cakes that will not be refrigerated for more than 4 or 5 hours and for celebrations during warmer months. Although it is a soft icing, it is not as soft as butter cream. Both can be colored to match most color schemes. Many brides still prefer their wedding cake to be iced in white, however there are many new icing colors and cake designs appearing each day. Cakes of color are becoming very popular and make an attractive centerpiece for your wedding reception.

To decorate their cakes, many brides are selecting either fresh or silk flowers. Gum paste flowers are also very popular. These are realistic sugar flowers, which have been handcrafted piece by piece and will add extra elegance to any cake. They are usually sold individually and vary in price according to size and the type of flower you need.

How to find a great bakery
Get recommendations from friends whose weddings you have enjoyed

Ask your reception co-coordinator which good bakeries they have worked with before

Your florist or photographer are also good sources of information

Bridal magazines or newspapers. Many reputable bakeries that specialize in wedding cakes will advertise in these national publications.

 

Money Saving Tips

 

The Most Important Money Saving Tips

You will save yourself an enormous amount of money if you get married during the off-season months of January, February, March and November.
Getting married on any other of the week other than Saturday.
There is no official name for this disease but many brides get it.
1st Symptom - around 3 months before your wedding, you'll begin to second-guess your decisions.
2nd Symptom - You'll get scared and think about what you can do to make your wedding better or more unique.
3rd Symptom - Then you'll ask friends, family, co-workers and anyone that will listen to you, about what they think of your new ideas.
4th Symptom - and most dangerous…you make a few phone calls and start up-grading a few of your packages.
The Cure - stick to your original budget. As the wedding draws near, your emotions take over…ignore them.
Vendors are well aware of the disease. That's why every contract allows for you to upgrade a package at any time but there are rarely loopholes for downgrading.

The Wedding Attire Search

If finances don't allow you to purchase a designer wedding dress, consider renting. Look at it this way, if you're the type who wouldn't even consider wearing your mother's dress, why do you need one collecting dust in the closet.
Never mind buying an expensive silk gown. Stick to polyester blends. They're cheaper, don't wrinkle as much and are easier to clean.
The more beading and detail on the gown, the more expensive.
Most of the big bridal shops have huge sales once a year, usually held at hotels or other big venues.
To take care of the something old-new-borrowed-blue, look to family and friends for items you can use.
Go shopping for bridesmaids' dresses during prom season and after New Years.
There's nothing written in stone that says you have to buy your bridesmaids dresses at a wedding shop, and generally your prices will be a bit cheaper elsewhere.
Shop for those pretty little wedding shoes in the summer, when white shoes are on the shelves of every shoe and department store, or you'll have to buy them in a bridal shop and pay their prices. Shop in the afternoon, your feet swell during the day and they'll also be swollen on your wedding day. Men's Tuxedo rentals are pretty much all the same price no matter where you go. The thing to check on is the condition of the suits and accessories.

Flower Power

Unless you plan on keeping your bouquet on display in your home, don't bother with a duplicate to toss.
Instead of tossing your whole bouquet, just pick one flower to throw. We all know what condition the bride's bouquet is in after 30 women (or more) start clawing at it.
Silk flowers save you a lot of money and they're already preserved. The Bride can have fresh flowers, but there really isn't any need for everyone else to go fresh.
If you're using flowers in your centerpieces, decorations or large altar arrangements, go with silk. Would be nice if your guests could actually use the centerpieces that they just won again. You could re-use the decorations and larger arrangements at home, party accents or resell them on the Babbling Brides Board to another FB.

I Have No Idea How To Decorate!

To decorate the head table and save money buy vases, line them up and place the bouquets in them on the table and place votives in between.
Before shopping for candles and candleholders anywhere else, be sure to check out a couple of dollar stores.
Dollar stores and chains like Wal-Mart and Zeller's also carry many items that can be used to decorate your ceremony or reception locations.
When decorating the church or reception venue use silk flowers. Check with your florist or garden centre to see if you can rent plants, some places do.
Kill 2 birds with one stone and use your guest favours/bomboniere as your centerpieces. Buy a raised cake plate and display the favors on each table. Your MC can make an announcement explaining.

How Can I Cut Corners on the Invitations?

To make your invitations more personal and less expensive, do them yourself.
There are a number of paper stores and websites available where you can find original ideas and ways to make your own invitations.
Order your invitations over the Internet instead of a printing shop (it's a little cheaper). Mail order is another possibility.
Order a plain invitation from a company and decorate it yourself. All you need is a hole-puncher and some ribbon and/or parchment paper.

I Don't Want to Spend a Fortune on Favours/Bomboniere

Please, go to a DOLLAR STORE first and check out their selection of party favors. Some bomboniere stores decorate the gift for free and some don't, so make sure you ask.
Instead of buying a trinket that will be tossed into a drawer, make a donation to a charity. This is a new trend that many brides are choosing. Pick a cause that means something to you. Your MC can say something like: "Instead of favors, the couple has decided to make a donation in their name to the Lung Cancer Society. The bride's grandfather passed 3 years ago from this disease." Donations always get a round of applause…ever see anyone clap for a candy dish?

Wedding Cakes too expensive? No Problem!

Buying a cake made with different flavored tiers will save you money as you wouldn't necessarily require a dessert table.
To get away with not paying a cake cutting fee at your venue, purchase their sweet table but serve your wedding cake for dessert. This means you'll have to do your cake cutting as soon as your wedding party does their entrance. The staff will take the cake away and have it cut and plated in time for dessert.
If you're having a dessert table, you really don't need to buy an elaborate wedding cake, try renting.
Buy a plain wedding cake and decorate it yourself with silk or fresh flowers.

What about my Hair & Makeup?

Try to hire one person or company that does both hair and makeup.
Only the bride needs a trial.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $100 for hair and $30 to $85 for makeup. Know that the more women you have that need these services, the cheaper the cost per person.
If hair accessories are going to be put in anyone's hair, make sure you buy them yourself. If you leave this up to the hair stylist it'll cost more.
If you have sensitive skin, we suggest that you do not go for a facial the week before your wedding. You don't want to be all broke out for the big day.
Please get your nails done and make sure the groom's hands are also manicured. More than likely you'll be getting a picture that shows your hands and the wedding bands. People will be constantly asking to see your rings.
Lastly, try to find a makeup and hair vendor that will do a trial a few months before the wedding. It gives you time to work out any areas you are not happy with and makes the wedding day process much quicker

Using a Caterer & choosing a Reception Venue

Hire a caterer that supplies everything you need, plates, glassware, table cloths, etc.
Make sure you're only charged for the services that you need. Some caterers have packages that include decorating and other items. If your venue is decorated already you won't need the extras. Extras should be deducted from the bill or replaced with something else you want.
Pick fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Stick to serving food that everyone is familiar with. Fancy food is expensive.
Buffets generally cost a good deal less and give your guests the opportunity to get up and mingle with the other guests, and they can pick exactly what they would like to eat.
Make sure to read your contract and check to see if the gratuity is included. This goes for all services.
Booking a venue that allows you to buy your own liquor is more work but saves you money.
Depending on your culture and where you live in Canada, having a cash bar is totally acceptable. This can be a huge money saver.
Consider only serving wine and domestic beers.
Liquor (vodka, rum, rye, scotch) plus all the different mixes you'll need adds to your expenses.
Liqueurs like Grand Marnier, Sambucca, etc. can put a real strain on the liquor budget.
Do you really need that Champagne toast?
Common sense tip - the more guests the more cash you're going to put out. Holding your reception in a hotel has a lot of good points. They usually decorate, have professional services, i.e. DJ, can cater well to large groups, and most likely will include the honeymoon suite, with discounted rooms for out-of-town guests. If you're having a wedding with 75 guests or under, consider having your reception at your favorite restaurant. You will already know the staff and how the food is.
Order child meals for kids under 11.
Order a teen meal (same as adults but no liquor) for ages 12 to 17.
Your reception is the biggest expense. It's also where you can save the most money if you shop around and plan well!

Photographers charge too much!

Photographers equipment and development costs alone are huge. Then there are batteries, film, an assistant and the hours of work on and after the wedding. You can save money on enlargements and albums but don't penny pinch when it comes to the photographer. After your wedding day, the only things you have left are your pictures and your video. These are the only 2 services that last a lifetime and can be passed down to the next generation.

Biggest tip - hire a photographer that gives you your negatives, that way you can make as many copies of pictures from your wedding day as you want without having to order them from your photographer.
If you choose a photographer that does not give you your negatives, always find out how long they keep your negatives on file and if you can obtain them when they are ready to discard them. Most photographers in general don't keep negatives past a couple of years. If your photographer still won't give you the negatives after that point without charging you money, I would question the ethics of the vendor.
$1000.00 for a photographer is a great price but if they charge $40.00 for an 8 X 10, where's the savings. Don't just look at the photo packages or wedding day shoot costs, ask how much their enlargements are.
If a package includes a couple's album and 2 parent albums, ask how much that same package would cost without any albums. Sometimes it's worth the savings to buy your own albums elsewhere and sometimes it's better to take the albums offered by your photographer.
Unless you're doing a formal shoot at the bride or groom's house, you don't need a photographer there. Your wedding party and family will have their cameras out anyway.
A great idea and one that many are using now is, putting a disposable camera on every table at the reception. Then you'll only need to book your photographer for the church, photo location and maybe to take a few detailed shots at the reception venue.
You don't need your photographer to stay until 1am. Once the bouquet and garter tosses have taken place, there are no more major events to shoot. Your 1st & last dances look the same on film.

I think I'll just forget about a Video

Some couples think that having a video is a waste of money. How many times will we actually watch it? As necessary as still pictures are they can not capture the mood, movement and sounds of your wedding day like a movie can. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have a great memory and you'll remember everything about your day. You won't, you can't, there are too many things going on and you're on cloud 9. Keep this in mind.

Go for packages with one camera coverage.
Pick a package with limited editing or none at all.
If you can't afford a professional video, ask a friend or 2 that own their own video cameras to shoot the day for you. Putting an unfamiliar camera in someone else's hands is useless. Professionals know what to shoot and how to shoot it. So, give your friend a list of events that you want footage of and how you want each shot, for the entire day. Example:
Pre-Ceremony: Close-up footage for 10-seconds of the different decorations.(altar arrangements, pew bows, wreath outside and unity candle) The guys waiting. Ask the groom what he's thinking about. The guests arriving (especially immediate family)

Do I Have To Pay a Fortune for Transportation?

Shop around, there are so many limousine companies out there. Prices do vary. There is no rule anywhere that says, "You have to have a stretch limousine." The smaller the car the cheaper.
Other than the car and uniformed chauffeur, you really don't need any other extras.
You can also save money by renting your vehicles from Budget, Hertz, etc. They all have new model luxury cars, sports cars and SUVs.
You really don't need the limousine to take you home after the reception. Late-night pick-ups cost $100.00+
Before the ceremony, have the limo pick up the bride and her bridesmaids. The groom, groomsmen and parents can take their own vehicles to the church. After the ceremony, the bride and groom can take the limo and the bridesmaids can hop in the groomsmen's cars.
You may already know someone that owns a Cadillac or Lincoln, a fancy sports car or for fun a Beetle or an antique car. Give this person a call.
Some couples need more then one limo. If this is the case for you, compare the cost of 2 to 3 limos vs. the cost of 1 limo bus or Chartered Bus.

Choosing Your Music Service

Common sense, the least amount of people providing a service, the cheaper. Ceremony - An organist is cheaper than a string duo, which is cheaper than a trio Reception - A DJ is cheaper than a band.
The least amount of extras the cheaper. Lighting, smoke & bubble machines, other props, costumes, give-aways, fireworks, the list is endless, all cost money. It's up to you.
A really expensive package doesn't mean that your party will last longer or that your non-dancing guests will feel the need to shake their booty for the first time in their life. But a crappy DJ or band will ruin your reception.

Do I really need a Wedding Coordinator or Planner?

Let's face it, the ONLY service you need to get married is an officiant.
Most wedding coordinators can save you money because they know… about all the tips mentioned above plus more what to say to and ask your vendors.
They have connections in the industry.
You really don't need a coordinator at your reception once the dance floor is open to your guests. That usually happens between 9-10pm.
You could hire a wedding consultant to help with the final stages of your wedding; creating a detailed wedding day itinerary, making up a checklist for items at the ceremony & reception locations, and confirming with your vendors. While she won't be in attendance at your wedding, she has planned the day smoothly on paper. As long as you follow the times closely (not exactly) and do the events in the same order as the itinerary states, you'll be fine.
You can appoint a friend or family member to be your honorary coordinator. Give her an itinerary, checklists (ceremony & reception items, photo and music list) and phone numbers for all your vendors. The honorary coordinator should be someone that's organized, the more obsessive-compulsive the better and not scared to open her mouth when something goes wrong.

 

Wedding Decorations

 

Truly creative wedding decor often goes well beyond ordinary flowers or balloons. For an impressively distinctive do-it-yourself wedding, look for items to decorate your reception in non-typical places - this means looking well beyond the traditional wedding supply stores, and using a little imagination. This is how the best wedding consultants in the business approach wedding decor - and it's precisely how they manage to achieve those wonderfully individualized, one-of-a-kind looks for every wedding they work on. And you can do the same.

An added bonus - by thinking creatively and shopping for your wedding in 'unlikely' places you're likely to save money along the way. This is because you'll avoid that strange little phenomenon which seems to dictate that anything sold with the implicit purpose of a wedding automatically comes with a dramatically inflated price tag.

Watch for clearance sales of seasonal merchandise which can be incorporated into your wedding decor too. The post-Christmas season is an excellent time to pick up bargains on decor for upcoming fall, winter, or Christmas weddings. Right now, for example, many stores are clearing out themed merchandise at bargain-basement prices. This makes for a wonderful opportunity to pick up items which will lend themselves to exquisite wedding decor.

Keep in mind that these types of seasonal items are generally only available during the holiday season, so if you are planning holiday season wedding, this is the time to do your buying. You won't find such themed items in July or August, as your wedding draws nearer.

Maui Wedding Florists & Flowers
Maui wedding florists & flowers are our specialty. We offer customized floral designs for Maui weddings, receptions and special events on Maui. Call Maui Elegance Floral Design.

Silk Wedding Flower Bridal Bouquets
Silk wedding flowers so natural looking your guests will swear they are real.

Florists in Philadelphia
Flowers delivered by a local Philadelphia shop

 

Videographers

 

Getting The Right Wedding Videographer

The beauty of video is that it is able to capture the whole day, from the small intimate details to the broadest spectrum of emotions. Improvements in technology, smaller cameras and the need for less artificial light can allow the right videographer to capture the day's events without actually being a part of it. In addition to being a precious keepsake of your wedding day, your wedding video is a great way to capture moments you may otherwise miss.

When considering a videographer, select the package that highlights the events that are most important to you.

When viewing a videographer's work, you will become aware of the many intangibles that become subjective through the eyepiece of the camera and in the mind of the videographer director/editor. You will instinctively know when a particular videographer's emotional style clicks with your own.

Tips for Selecting a Videographer:

Look for a videographer who is experienced, creative and artistic.

When viewing examples of work, look at the clarity and quality of the video, the composition, as well as the details of shooting and editing.

Questions To Ask Your Videographer:

What type of lighting will the videographer use?
How will the videographer be dressed at the wedding?
Do you have sample videos I can see?
How long have you been in business?
What packages do you offer?
Do you use Professional Quality equipment, accessories and supplies?
How many cameras do you use?
Do you have back-up equipment that is comparable in quality to the original?
Do you use wireless microphones?
Do you offer Non-Linear Digital Editing?
Do you copy-protect or scramble the videotape?
What are your guarantees and liabilities?
Do you have a written contract?
Are you unobtrusive?
Will the shoot interfere with the proceedings in any way?
How much do you charge for additional hours beyond the agreed contract?
Do you work with the photographer to ensure mutual cooperation?
Are you there throughout the entire reception?
Will you go to a location (like the beach or a park) without additional charge?
How much are additional copies of the wedding tapes?
Do you have references that I can call?

 

Wedding Planning

 

There are so many details in planning a wedding. If you are doing your own wedding planning, here are some helpful items to assist you.

www.elegantbrides.com Free Wedding Planning Guides and Information, Wedding Links galore. Elegant Brides offers a 10% discount on our Exclusive Cathy's Concepts Wedding Accessories. Everything you need in one Place!

The-Wedding-Planner.com
Wedding planning resource with a national and international wedding vendor directory, expert articles, step-by-step planning, classified ads, and much more. It's never too soon to start planning!

The Place For Brides To Start
Start your wedding planning here.

 

SuperWeddings.com - Wedding planning Ideas, Ideas, Ideas!!! Free! CREATIVE,UNIQUE, and Inspiring WEDDING IDEAS, including Wedding Decorating ideas & photos, craft projects, ideas for a more personalized & meaningful wedding, plus expert planning tips, money saving secrets, wedding career info + more!

 

Wedding Planning & Etiquette Advice - Wedding experts answer and advise on all aspects of wedding planning including etiquette.

 

 

Wedding Services

 

Below are some miscellaneous wedding services that you might find helpful. Remember to enjoy the process as much as possible and not let it become another stressful event in your life. It is all about creating a fun, loving day for you and your guests to enjoy.

Top Wedding Services Directory
Top Wedding Directory of professional services and weddings supplies for brides grooms and wedding National directory of Wedding Professionals.

 

Honeymoons

 

After we officate your incredible wedding ceremony, you'll want to enjoy a great honeymoon. Below are some honeymoon tips. Enjoy!

1. Set a budget for your honeymoon just like you would for your wedding. Determine how much you want to spend on hotel, transportation (airfare, car, or taxi), meals, entertainment and shopping! When you set a budget and put it in writing, the chances that you will stay within your budget and not over spend are much better! Your honeymoon is an important event, so talk to your travel agent and ask away!

2. Be specific. Ask questions about the hotel or resort, the room, your flight. Don’t leave anything to chance.

3. If you can avoid it, don't book your flight for early the next morning after the wedding, particularly if you're planning an evening reception. Once you finally get to sleep, it may be hard to wake up at 5:00am for that early morning flight or worse you may not even hear the alarm!

4. Do something special that you wouldn’t normally do on a regular vacation. Spend a little extra for a room upgrade, or the honeymoon suite! Plan a romantic dinner at a gourmet restaurant or go on a sunset cruise. Go on a few excursions or tours.

5. Give yourself plenty of time to pack. Make a list of all the items that you'll need. Anything that you forget, such as suntan lotion, aspirin, toothpaste will always cost more to purchase at your destination.

6. The new security procedures at airports require you to show a current picture identification. It is important to purchase your airline tickets with your maiden name in order to match your photo ID, license or passport.

7. If you are using disposable cameras at your wedding, buy a few extra and take them on your honeymoon! Disposable cameras are great for when you don't want to risk losing or damaging your expensive 35mm camera.

8. When making reservations for your honeymoon, let your hotel, resort or cruise line know that you are "newlyweds". You'll likely receive lots of special treatment like free champagne, breakfast in bed, a "goodie basket" or even the honeymoon suite!

9, Travel insurance can be a good idea to cover in the case of a sickness or death in the family. Be sure that your contract also covers failure or a default by the tour operator.

10. If you are looking to save money on a vacation, in most cases an all-inclusive package will be the best value. It is one price that usually includes your airfare, hotel accommodations, food, drink (including alcoholic beverages) and some water sports (i.e. snorkeling, sailing).

 

Beach Weddings

 

If you are planning a beach wedding, the most important piece of advice is to have an alternative location planned in case of bad weather. Where will the wedding be if the beach wedding becomes impossible?

Have A Backup Plan

Outdoor weddings are often treasured by wedding couples. There are many lovely outdoor wedding locations - beach weddings, lake front weddings, forest weddings, mountain weddings, garden weddings...the options are endless! With any outdoor wedding, it is vital that the bride and groom work with their coordinator or wedding company to establish a backup plan in the event of bad weather. If the wedding location is on the grounds of a hotel or inn, coordinate ahead of time to have a banquet room ready for you in the event of inclement weather. This option may cost a little more, but it will save you worry and potential heartache later! Another option is to plan to have only the ceremony outdoors and the reception inside (or inside with an outside portion). In the event of inclement weather, you can simply hold the entire event in the room you planned to have the reception in - without incurring extra costs! This is by far the most "secure" and least expensive way of having an outdoor wedding, and one of the easier backup plans. If your outdoor wedding will be held in an area with no building nearby (or a building too small to hold your guests), such as in a forest clearing or in the garden of a private estate, consider using a tent for the reception. In the event of bad weather, you can move the ceremony and reception into the tent. Be sure the tent is water tight and sturdy! Whatever backup plan you select, be sure you tell ALL of your wedding vendors (especially those that require lighting and electricity) of your plan ahead of time. They may bring up alternate concerns you have not thought of and can help you solidify a great backup plan. After all, your wedding vendors are professionals, and have likely had experience with this sort of thing before.

Tips For Brides On The Beach

If you are planning an outdoor wedding in the summer, and you think it will be hot - wear a light gown so that you do not overheat and sweat unnecessarily (not becoming in photographs). If your dress does have a train, be sure to consider what the ground you will be walking over is like. Is it dirt that will turn your train brown? Is it grass? Is the train heavy enough to where the grass might stain it? Using an aisle runner can help with this, but, in a windy outdoor setting, if not secured, the runner will come loose. Be sure to solidly secure your aisle runner before the ceremony if your location is windy. Also, consider consulting a professional makeup artist and your photographer about your makeup plans. The shimmer powder that is so popular today can, if applied too liberally, and photographed in sunlight, produce a slight glare in your photographs. You will also want to use makeup that holds up nicely, even if you do sweat (or "glow" ) a little. You want you makeup to hold up well during the outdoor sunlit ceremony, and through the reception, without looking caked on or streaking. If your outdoor location may be slightly windy, opt for a veil that can be secured behind your head before you walk down the aisle (or don't wear one at all). You do not want your veil floating in front of your face and moving about during the ceremony. A bride (or officiate or bridesmaid or groom) swatting at and moving your veil around during the ceremony does not make for great photographs.

 

Wedding Jewelry

 

Everyone has their hands in your pocket when you are getting married. And getting the right wedding jewelry requires some research and good recommendations to avoid being ripped off. Here is some information about Diamonds, often the most expensive part of wedding jewelry.

The Basics: Cut, Clarity, Color & Carat Weight

Your jeweler can help you create the perfect ring for you. Diamonds are certified to meet specific quality standards for cut, color, clarity and carat weight by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the AGSL (American Gem Society Laboratories). The GIA and AGSL provide fact sheets for many fine certified diamonds.

Find More Information About Diamond Certification At:

The Gemological Institute of America Also known as the GIA, is the world's foremost authority in gemology.

American Gem Society Laboratories
Also known as AGSL, this diamond grading laboratory was established to provide consumers with an unbiased, credible analysis of a diamond.

A Diamond's Cut

A diamond should be cut so that light reflects down into it and back up through the many facets. If a diamond is cut too shallow or too deep, light passes through the facets and down rather than being refracted back up to the admiring eye. Check with your jeweler for further guidance about cut and how this affects the sparkle of a diamond.

A Diamond's Clarity

Like water shining through a crystal clear glass of water, a diamond that is perfect is free of inclusions or imperfections. Inclusions are tiny fractures or trace minerals that have been present in the stone since its formation in the earth. Diamonds are rated for clarity using the following scale:

Clarity-Rating Descriptions

FL Flawless, no internal or external finish flaws.
IF Internally flawless, no internal flaws.
VVS1 Very very slightly included.
VVS2 Very difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification.
VS1 Very slightly included.
VS2 Difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification, typically unable to see inclusions with unaided eye.
SI1 Slightly included.
SI2 Easy to see inclusions under 10x magnification, may not be able to see inclusions with unaided eye.
I Inclusions visible with unaided eye.

When a diamond is certified, the gemologist provides a summary of any inclusions (imperfections) in a diamond — details about the number, location, size and type.

A Diamond's Color

The brilliance of a diamond’s sparkle is affected by the presence or absence of color. Color is rated on the following scale:

A diamond is considered colorless or near-colorless if it is graded "D" through "J". These diamonds are considered an excellent value. They appear colorless to the naked eye, unless they are compared with diamonds of even higher color grade.

A Diamond's Carat Weight

If you invest in quality rather than quantity, you will never be disappointed. High standards of quality are a reflection of character. More important than the size of the diamond is the brilliance and the light that it casts.

We hope this information was helpful. We want you to have the greatest wedding day ever and to have enough money left over to live happily ever after too.

 

Wedding Invitations

 

Invitations

Announce your plans for the future with wedding stationery that captures the joy you feel. Select one that suits your style and personalize it with words that reflect your love and happiness. You should mail your invitations four to six weeks before the wedding date.

Announcements

If your circle of friends and relatives is larger than the number of guests you are able to invite to your wedding celebrations, send announcements to spread your joyous news. Every invitation here may be used as a beautiful announcement with a simple change of wording. Your announcements should be mailed immediately after the ceremony, preferably on the same day. A gift is not required in response to an announcement.

Envelopes

Traditionally, two envelopes are used when mailing wedding invitations or announcements.

Inner Envelopes

The invitation, with any accompanying enclosure cards, is first placed in the ungummed inner envelope. The invitation should be inserted with the folded edge first. For added elegance, present your invitation in a lined inner envelope.

Outer Envelopes

The inner envelope is placed in the outer envelope, which is then sealed and addressed in traditional fashion. Envelopes should not be typed, but written by hand in your most elegant penmanship. We recommend having your return address printed on the outer envelope flaps to ensure that you discover undeliverable invitations. Professionally printed return addresses also save you valuable addressing time and maintain the formal elegance of your invitation.

Envelope Seals

Add a perfect finishing touch to your wedding ensemble with custom designed seals. Order these seals for any occasion where a touch of elegance is desired.

Matching Accessory Cards

When ordering your invitations and announcements, it is proper to order accessory cards in a matching paper and typestyle. Informal, reception and response sets are important elements of your stationery ensemble

Reply Sets

Receptions can be costly, and accurate guest counts are a must Reply cards are essential for determining the number of reception guests to plan for. Enclosed with the invitation, a reply card is later returned in the accompanying printed reply envelope indicating whether or not guests plan to attend.

Reception Cards

The time and place of your reception is announced on this small card or folder. The reception card is enclosed with the invitation and does not require a separate envelope. An additional card may also be enclosed inviting intimate friends and family to a wedding breakfast or gift opening.

At Home or Address Cards

This important enclosure tells friends and family the address of your new home. At home cards may be enclosed with announcements or sent separately after the wedding. You may also include them with the invitation if the names are omitted. Order extra to hand out at the reception.

Informal Notes

This folding note is a beautiful and personal way to say "thank you" for every gift received. The name of the bride and groom, the bride's name only, or a monogram is printed on the front. Use the informal after the wedding for any other social correspondence.

Thank You Notes

The formal printed thank you note is a great time saver. Any informal note may be printed as a thank you note for expressions of appreciation that match your invitations.

Place Cards

Place cards offer a courteous and very convenient way to designate seating arrangements at the reception, showers and the rehearsal dinner They also make fine souvenirs for your guests. Each card is printed with the first names of the married couple, the wedding date, a line for the guest's name and a table number line.
Confetti Cards and Ribbons

These cards and ribbons add a personal touch to your cake or favors. Your names, wedding date and design may be printed with your choice of colored foil to complement your reception setting.
Thank You Scrolls

Scrolls provide a memorable way to thank each guest for attending your reception or wedding party. Fled with a ribbon, or secured with a gold or silver ring, these personalized scrolls can be placed at dinner settings, served with wedding cake or handed to guests as they arrive.

Programs Wedding

Programs provide a practical and thoughtful way to introduce the wedding party and guide your guests through the service. Programs list the order of the service, the names of the participants, the music and perhaps a favorite quote from the bride and groom. They also make lovely mementos for your guests.

Napkins

Luxurious quality napkins are available in both luncheon and beverage sizes. Napkins are available in coordinating colors to match your wedding reception, and also in traditional white or with pearlized designs

Wedding Invitations by 1st Class Cards. Hundreds of styles to choose from. Preview and purchase them online. Orders print in two days or less. Express shipping available.

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Wedding Invitations - Unique wedding and bridal shower invitations from Inki Design. Each invitation comes with a fridge magnet.

 

Bridal Accessories

Here are some links to various bridal accessories to make your wedding day even more fantastic.

Your Wedding Company
Elegant wedding favors, decorations, accessories, planning tips, craft projects, decorating ideas and favor supplies.

www.BridesTreasures.com - BridesTreasures offers Great Savings on Quality Wedding & Bridal Accessories with FREE Shipping! Save 25% on Wedding Invitations, and 10% on Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception, Bridal Accessories or Gifts.

 

Wedding DJs

 

What’s a wedding without good tunes? A good DJ is as important to a party as the decoration of the hall or the dinner menu. Choosing a DJ for your wedding reception is one of the most important decisions that you can make. Everything else can be perfect, but if the music is not great, the party will fizzle. There are thousands of DJs all over the country, but to narrow the choices down in your area, you can start by trusting the word on the street. Ask your friends and coworkers for a good reference from a wedding or event they might have recently attended. And if you are at a wedding or party where the DJ was impressive, find out where they’re from and book them yourself.

If you have no luck with references and are still starting from scratch, you might want to try your local professional disc jockey association. Membership doesn't guarantee your happiness or the quality of DJ, but it gives you a good idea of the company’s sincerity.

PRIDE IN THEIR WORK

A DJ active in an association also shows he cares about his business. Which usually means he cares about what happens at your wedding. Wedding magazines and Internet bridal sites might be the best source for a quality DJ, because the companies listed are usually wedding specialists.

Separating the wedding professionals from the backyard DJs can help you avoid becoming a wedding horror story. Nobody wants an irresponsible music person who shows up late or not at all, doesn't interact with the audience, plays inappropriate tunes or uses faulty equipment without backups. Once you've got the selection narrowed down to a few candidates it’s important to keep your focus on the type of entertainment you want -rather than try to get the DJs into a price war. If a DJ keeps dropping his price to get your business, he may not be very good. Most professional companies rely on referral business and maintain a certain pricing standard. Not that bargaining is out of the question, but it’s often worth an extra hundred bucks to make sure you’re getting a quality entertainer.

Another way to narrow the choice down to one is by developing a rapport over the phone and paying attention to their attitude and way with words. Their personality tends to spill over into their DJ style.

CONSIDER MORE THAN PRICE

Avoid those who don't return calls quickly or fail to send you the information you requested.
And most importantly, trust your instincts. If you have that feeling in your gut someone is wrong for you ... move on. The biggest error committed by most brides and grooms looking for a DJ is the phone book price comparison. A guaranteed recipe for disaster is calling every DJ in the book and booking solely on the lowest quote. Do your research on the company. Ask for references and talk price after all your other goals have been met.

TIPS ON FINDING THE RIGHT DISC JOCKEY

Get written confirmation of your agreement

Make sure there is back-up equipment in case of emergency

Make sure the DJ is insured

Find out how much experience they have

Get references

Meet in person to talk about music selection and details

Talk etiquette

Find out if lighting is included

Get off-hours contact numbers and a contact for the wedding day in case of emergency

If you are dealing with a franchise, ensure that you will get the personal service you require.

 

Wedding Dresses



Selection: Start shopping as soon as you set your date. Most designer wedding dresses need to be special ordered. It could take 3 to 6 months for special order or designer wedding dresses to arrive. Order at least six months prior to your reception. This will allow time for fittings, alterations, and coordination. If you decide to have your gown custom made, allow about 6 months since selection of style, fabric and details along with fittings takes time.

Shopping: To make your day a pleasant and rewarding one, try not to visit too many bridal shops in the same day. When you are fresh, full of energy and enthusiasm, you will be able to make sound judgments. On the other hand, if you come to the store exhausted and unprepared, after trying a few styles you may be confused and find that all the gowns begin to look the same and you may come home toting one of the cheap wedding dresses simply because you were tired! Bring along pictures of wedding gowns you like and be open to discuss your plan and idea with a bridal consultant. It could happen that the gown you like in a picture doesn't look good on you. The bridal consultant will study your figure type and personality to help select the styles that flatter you and suit your budget. Try on all of the dresses the consultant shows you, even if it may not seem like "your style" of dress as most wedding dresses look much better, and different, on you than on the racks. You may want to bring a family member or friend along for a second opinion . Avoid taking more than one person since too many opinions can conflict and confuse. Wearing appropriate undergarments and a bit of makeup can also help to make the wedding dress look and fit better. Take a Polaroid camera along just in case you cannot decide. Take a picture of yourself wearing each wedding dress and bring them home to study.

Purchase - It seems there are now as many WAYS to purchase a bridal gown as there are bridal gowns! Full service salons, internet discounters, warehouses and more are all competing for your business. Regardless of where and how you order a gown, some things are the same. A sales contract will be required, you will need to select your size, and more. There are many horror stories from brides who were taken advantage of when they were not aware of how to protect themselves (and their money) through this process.

When placing a special order, the store usually requires 1/3 to 1/2 non-refundable deposit. Before ordering, make sure your decision is firm and final. Keep all receipts of your purchase for record .

Whether you are shopping at a full service bridal salon, warehouse, etc., the salesperson should make you aware of the various types of size choices. You should be measured by an experienced bridal seamstress. Does she know the difference between a body measurement and a garment measurement? If the store chooses the size, be certain they write that on the sales receipt. While most gowns need some alterations, if it is clearly too big or too small, the store should take responsibility for alterations if they select the size for you.

Ask if the merchandise is being specially ordered or will you be taking this sample from stock? This information should be written on your sales receipt, particularly if the gown you tried on was close to the size garment you need.

A reputable business should not try to conceal any information from you. Ask for the name of the manufacturer or designer and write the name on your receipt. If you don't receive the appropriate responses that should raise a warning flag. Under the law, sample wedding gowns must be properly labeled to include fiber content, country of origin, care instructions, and one of the following business distribution channels must be identified: Manufacturer's name or RN (Registered Number) or the retailer's name.

The sales contract you will sign to finalize the order is designed to protect both you and the retailer. It will of course include your name, address, phone number, and method of payment. Your wedding date and last acceptable date for delivery of the gown should also be included. Be sure to allow time for portraits and/or alterations in the last acceptable date. The sales contract should include the manufacturer’s name, style number of gown, size and color you are ordering, a description of the gown, and a picture reference, if available, for designer wedding dresses list the designer's name. A reputable retailer should not keep this information from you. It should not be acceptable to allow a store code in place of the actual manufacturer name and style number. At the bottom of the contract is the disclaimer or "fine print". Be sure to read this and ask questions if you have them.

Although retailers accept many methods of payment, it is highly recommended that you pay for your new gown with a credit card. This is a final line of defense. Federal Regulation C entitles consumers to receive a refund if the merchandise does not live up to what is promised. The law specifically states that if you have a problem with the quality of goods or services purchased with a credit card and you have tried in good faith to correct the problem with the merchant, you may not have to pay the bill. This means if your gown arrives damaged, in the wrong size, or not at all, you still have your money.

If your retailer refuses to complete information you request or answer any questions to your satisfaction - DO NOT SIGN THE CONTRACT! Many reputable retailers complete orders as stated above as their normal procedure. Don’t feel trapped into purchasing from a bridal shop with whom you do not have full confidence.

What Every Bride Should Know About Purchasing Wedding Dresses Unveiling The Truth About Wedding Dresses: from ConsumerAffairs.com The Federal Trade Commission is trying to make sure that brides-to-be get what they pay for when they buy a wedding dress - including all the information that federal law requires on wearing apparel.

The disclosures -- including the manufacturer or seller, the fabric, the country where the garment was made, and cleaning instructions -- must be included on every garment offered for sale, says the FTC. But they're particularly important on wedding dresses, arguably the most expensive and memorable purchases of a lifetime.

"There's no question that most brides-to-be look at the price tag on the outside of the dress before they look at the information on the inside label," said Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "But brides are telling us that they want the 'inside' information and that it's missing from some garments."

Bernstein said the emergence of discount ordering services -- either through toll-free telephone numbers or the Internet -- has spurred some retailers to remove disclosure labels from their gowns. It is not against the law to remove manufacturers' labels and replace them with a store's own labels, she said, but it is illegal to sell or show a gown that doesn't have the required information at all.

The FTC has issued a new brochure, "Wedding Gown Labels: Unveiling the Requirements," to alert manufacturers and retailers about the following disclosures required by law on all clothing offered for sale, including wedding gowns:

the identity of the manufacturer, distributor or retailer, either by name or by registered identification number (RN). The FTC issues the RN, which consumers can use to identify a company should they have a complaint or a compliment to share. The FTC maintains an RN lookup service at its web site: http://www.ftc.gov/ the garment's fiber content. "This information is important to any shopper, and especially to brides," said Bernstein. "Who wants to pay the price of silk if the garment is polyester?" federal law requires that clothes carry a label that identifies the country or origin. all garments must carry permanently affixed care labels telling consumers how to clean and care for them. "We hope that bridal gown businesses will refer to our business education brochure to make sure they're complying with the law and providing brides-to-be with the information they deserve," Bernstein said.

Copies of the Facts for Business, "Wedding Gown Labels: Unveiling the Requirements" are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 202-326-
5555

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