• Three Things You Need To Do When Planning Your Destination Wedding

    Fact: planning a destination wedding requires a lot more attention to detail.

    Now if that first sentence made you think “is planning a destination wedding really in the cards for me?” don’t let it deter you from having the wedding of your dreams because it can be done! Below we’re dropping a few pointers to help ease the stress if a destination ceremony location is on your radar. Get a planner…

    ASAP! Now can a destination wedding be planned without a planner? Of course it can, anything is possible.

    Do you want to take on a full-time job just planning your wedding? Maybe if you’ve always dreamt about being a wedding planner but most will say “to heck with that added stress!”

    Hiring a wedding planner from the very start will be one of the best investments you’ll make, especially since there is an extra level of attention to detail needed. When looking for a planner, ensure that this person either has extensive experience when it comes to planning a destination wedding, or is someone who resides in the location where you will be traveling to.

    The benefit of hiring a wedding planner in your ceremony location is that they will know the area, and in turn, know the best vendors in the area and not just for the wedding day itself—it can also apply to local accommodations like nearby airports and transportation.

    They will have great connections and relationships established, and may even be able to hook you up with a discount or two! Split the event in two This option is great for both your wallet and your guests! If you’re wanting to have a destination wedding, unless you plan on covering travel for your guests, a destination celebration may not be in the cards for them money wise.

    If you’re trying to find a way to include everyone without putting a financial burden on your guests or yourself, consider splitting your wedding into two parts: the destination celebration for your closest family and friends, and a larger ceremony/reception back home where more people can attend!

    All inclusive is the way to go If you’re starting the search for a venue to host your destination nuptials, we highly recommend picking a venue that is all inclusive. Think about all of the things you will need: tables, chairs, linens, food, etc.

    Remember that you’ll have to individually scope out and coordinate with those vendors. If you book a ceremony and/or reception venue that is all inclusive, you will pay one price that will include all of the necessary items for your wedding day, saving you money (who doesn’t love to save money?)

    Bonus points if the venue is also a hotel allowing you or your guests to block out rooms for their overnight accommodations! Whether you were in a planning rut, or are newly engaged just starting the destination planning process, bookmark this page to easily come back and refer to these tips. Bon voyage and congratulations!

  • How To Make Powerful Wedding Wishes

    A wedding is a very special occasion. A couple deciding to live together forever till they live. Make a family, with children who may become leaders of tomorrow in their own fields.

    As the time goes forward, weddings are losing their special place. Who knows when the newly weds will file for divorce? Earlier it was not so simple. Divorces were not looked at as a possibility to be exercised easily. How does one wish a newly wedded couple?What are wishes? What is the role of wishes in a couple’s life? Why do we wish them a happy life together?

    Let us examine. The first role of a wish is to join the couple in their happiness. Share the happiness. “Yes, I am very happy for both of you. I feel very happy myself on this beautiful occasion. I wish you a lovely life together. Please enjoy your life together. Fight your battles together and share your fruits of labor together. Please bring new children in this world. Make them happy citizens of a happy world.”

    We have such thoughts and convey our thoughts to the couple in many words. Sometimes, it so happens that watching everybody wishing the couple, we all become mechanical in our wishes. The warmth gets lost. The words lose the deeper meaning and become more of a ceremony to be finished as soon as possible.

    We can avoid this happening. When you attend a wedding next, look at the couple carefully. Imagine their future life together. The children, the middle age, and growing old together till death separates them. Imagine the whole life that they will live together. Imagine the pains and the pleasures of their life. Ignore looking at the decorations, the guests and everything else.

    Focus only upon the couple and you will find a transformation taking place in your thoughts. After this your wishes will be spoken from the heart and your wishes will truly impact the lives of the couple. Make your wishes help the couple in every way.

    Hundreds of such heart spoken wishes will bring forward such a change that the couple will surely have a beautiful life. Wishes have power. We may not be able to understand that power. But if wishes are made from the heart, that power can destroy many obstacles. Please use that power, because you have it.

  • How To Interview A Wedding Photographer

    The photographer is going to be your employee in many ways, so you will need to be absolutely sure that this is a person that you can trust with your wedding pictures. Treat him or her like a job applicant and see how you interact with each other.

    Making a list

    You can find a list of wedding photographers in your local phone book, but it’s much easier to get onto a wedding website and see who local people recommend. This list is much shorter and can lead you to higher quality people without having to call everyone from A to Z.

    Once you have a list of photographers, start to call them to set up appointments. Try not to schedule them too close to each other so that you can spend as much time as you need with each one.

    If you’re rushed, you may forget to ask particular questions and you may also forget which photographer said what. Make a list of questions that you want to ask. You can ask about pricing, hourly fees, added costs, location costs, various developing techniques, and more.

    Try to think of every question that you and your soon-to-be spouse can, even if you think they sound silly. No question is too silly, and if the photographer has been around long enough, then they will have heard them all.

    Your interview style

    One of the things that works best in talking with photographers is to try to make sure that you are leading the conversation. You want to make sure that you are getting your opinion into the talks, rather than being told what other couples are doing and saying about them and how much their fees are.

    If you feel like you’re being sold a product, rather than an opportunity to have some great pictures, then you can cut the appointment off and leave. You have no obligation to choose anyone until you’re completely satisfied with your choice.

    Look at the samples carefully and make sure that you’re looking at ones that are recent. Sometimes photographers will try to show you older photos, but if that’s not your style, then it’s really not applicable. Study the quality of the pictures and look for poses that you like.

    Your pictures will serve as a reminder of the happiness and joy of your wedding day. You need to find someone who will create masterpieces of your photos. Take your time in finding someone, but do it early—if you live in a smaller town, these professionals can book up early

  • How To Make Your Own Wedding Favors

    Everybody knows that a wedding is a costly event to organize. Gone are the days where the parents of the bride paid for the day in full.

    Now it is common for those actually getting married to contribute to the costs and many people feel that they do not wish to begin their married lives in debt, courtesy of the wedding itself.

    There are simple ways in which you can reduce the costs at a wedding without compromising on tradition, taste and quality. One of the easiest things to do at a lower price is the making of your own wedding favors.

    These can be expensive if bought for all of your guests and making your own allows you to reduce this cost significantly. It also gives you the opportunity to personalise them to your color themes and the fact that they are handmade makes them more special for your guests to receive.

    The first thing to do is to decide what to put in your favors. Most people choose to use pot pourri or confectionery in them. Once you have decided this it is important to gather all of the materials you will need together. The best place to make these is at a table where you have sufficient room to lay everything out but have it close to hand for when you need it.

    You will need to decide on a color for your favors. This can be to match the décor of the room where they will be displayed or a color found in your bouquet or bridesmaid dresses. Then select an accent color to compliment this. For example, should you decide on yellow as your main color you may choose purple to compliment it.

    You will need to purchase pre-cut wedding favor wraps. These can start at as little as $10 for 50. Then you simply place an amount of the filling in the centre, gather the wrap around it and tie the top with a small length of ribbon. The easiest way to do them quickly is to take your time making the first one and add or remove the filling until the amount is perfect.

    Then try different lengths of ribbon until you have the one you like best. Once you have one favor which is exactly how you want it, dismantle it again. Keep the parts together and use them as a guide for all of the others.

    Cut multiple pieces of ribbon, using the length of the completed favor to ensure it is the length you require. Planning a wedding can be stressful and making your own favors may seem like an additional burden. However, it is a great way of lowering costs. Why not get your bridesmaids round, open a bottle of wine (or two!) and between you they will all be made in no time.

  • How To Choose The Right Wedding Photographer And Feel Like A Star On Your Wedding Day!

    Why should you trust your memories to a professional wedding photographer?

    It’s essential you hire a good, professional wedding photographer for your big day if you want wonderful wedding photographs.

    Wedding pictures will last a lot longer than the flowers, food and drink. You’ll be able to relive your wedding day every time you look at your photographs.

    You need a photographer who understands what you want and can be relied upon to capture every minute of your special day. The right wedding photographer can make you feel like a star! When you hire a professional photographer, look for the following:

    1. Specialized and well kept professional equipment (includes a medium format camera aside from a professional 35mm camera).

    2. A valid and legal sales tax license.

    3. Ask for latest proof of business insurance.

    4. A permanent studio.

    5. Membership in a professional photographic association.

    6. Examples of recent work.

    Important points to consider:

    Photographer’s level of experience and references – check the photographer’s background and ask for references. Meet with the referees personally in order to look at the photographer’s work as well as ask them if they were happy with the outcome of the work. Personally, I wouldn’t hire a photographer who hesitates to give references.

    Photographic style – do the images appeal to you? Do you like the photographer’s style?

    Personality – are the photographer’s ideas the same as yours? Can you communicate with him/her easily?

    Does he/she understand what you want regarding the style of photography?

    Packages – ask about each package presented to you and the cost. If you’re not comfortable with the packages, can the photographer make one to satisfy your needs?

    Accomplished work – ask how long it will take to finish your album, your bridal portrait and all the photos taken during the wedding.

    Price – can you afford this photographer? Take the time to ask all that you need to know and make sure you understand all services and photos included in the cost.

    Payments and deposits – if you cancel, can you get a refund? If the photographer, in any circumstance, does not show up, what happens? Can a partner take his place? Make sure you clear all of this with the photographer as well as discussing all your concerns.

    If the photographer’s answer doesn’t satisfy you, look elsewhere. Contract – check and read it carefully before signing. If there’s anything that you don’t understand, ask for clarification or ask the photographer to leave you the contract overnight so you can study it.

    Make sure the contract includes everything you agreed on. When looking at the photographer’s work, look for the following:

    1. Each sample album must consist of only one wedding. Are there a lot of sample albums?

    2. Is there a recent actual wedding that you could look at? Look through the photographer’s most recent wedding album.

    3. Study each album well and see if the album tells the story of the wedding; not just similar photos filling up the album.

    4. Are the portraits clear and did the photographer capture the subject’s mood?

    5. Are all the photos done artistically? Is there a play of light and shadow?

    6. Are candid shots taken? Are they clear and well composed? Remember that your wedding photographs will remind you of your special day and can last forever. Once you have chosen the right photographer, enjoy being the center of attention on your big day.

    That doesn’t mean you have to act like Bridezilla, but you can certainly enjoy feeling like a star on your wedding day.

  • Why It Is Important To Have A Wedding Coordinator On Your Big Day

    Even though you always dream of your wedding for years and expect the wedding day to be very big in your life, it can end up causing you a lot of stress and frustration. This is because some responsibilities and tasks ought to be planned for.

    In wedding planning, there is a setting of dates and times with each task that has to be achieved. Each task has to be accomplished at the right time. Even if a small task is not done at the planned time, your special day might end up being a tearful event. This is a reason why you need a coordinator on your big day.

    A wedding coordinator has experience and knowledge that is necessary for performing tasks leading up to the wedding in an efficient manner. The coordinator assumes the role of different positions when planning your weddings such as facilitator, planner, artisan, or even the budgeting manager.

    The wedding coordinator is also responsible for the events which take place on your big day. A professional coordinator understands his or her role to ensure everything goes smoothly as planned. Your wedding should be a magnificent day that you and the other members should remember for a lifetime.

    To turn your dream into reality, there are different details the coordinator will follow including the following;

    • Planning the financial budget and recording all expenses to ensure the budget is not overstepped.

    • Providing alternatives in case of unexpected problems during your big day. • Assisting in tasks such as catering, color scheme ideas, and other crucial details for your big day

    • Providing assistance that might be needed to plan specific wedding themes or designs. If you are planning a wedding, you ought to have a wedding coordinator. Having a coordinator is the first step in making your wedding perfect and a day to remember!

  • How to Save Money While Planning Your Dream Wedding

    Believe it or not, you can plan a wedding without throwing yourself and your families into debt for the next decade. I am going to give you a few suggestions and guidelines to make this possible without having to cut corners. All it takes is a little discipline and the willingness to stick to a budget.

    The first thing that you can do is make a list of things that are “required” in planning a wedding. This includes your dress, his tux, guests, a cake, flowers, decorations for the reception, food, music, drinks, photographers, and whatever else you feel are the bare essentials. Then sit down with your fiancé and decide on the five most important things on this list. This is where you can splurge a bit. Five may sound like a very small number, but there are an awfully lot of decisions that need to be made while wedding planning, even if you’re keeping it simple.

    If you can identify the five most important things before you start, it will keep you from letting all the “minor details” get out of control. Trust me, things can easily snowball if you don’t have a solid plan before you set yourself free into the world of wedding planning. Your fist assumption may be that a wedding planner is out of the question. In many cases this is true. But don’t rule them out until you have talked with a few of them.

    He or she may be able to give some great suggestions on how you can stick to your budget. Once you start your planning, you will quickly see that it’s a little overwhelming. There are literally hundreds of photographers, pastry chefs, and florists in every city. It may help you to work with someone that knows the ropes and can help you find the companies with the highest quality work at the most reasonable prices.

    Another thing that can help you pinch pennies is to plan your wedding during the off-season. The most popular months for weddings are May through October. Most venues will lower their prices during the months that are slower so that they can fill their calendars. Ask for the price list for the entire year and also find out the dates that they have open so that you know what you have to work with.

    It’s never good news to set your heart on a date, only to find out that it’s booked. Destination weddings are a great way to save on your big day. It may not sound like a possibility, but when researching my wedding, I was absolutely amazed with what I found. There are tons of places that offer package deals on weddings. You can get discounted rooms in spectacular resorts if you plan to hold your wedding on their property. They have really incredible settings.

    You can get married on the beach, in a pretty gazebo, next to a waterfall, or even on an inactive volcano in a beautiful national park! The sky is the limit if you’re open to traveling. And most of these places are all-inclusive, so you also get meals, drinks and entertainment. You may even decide to stay right where you are for your honeymoon. Keep your eye out for “Off The Rack” sales, you can get dresses that are normally very expensive at highly discounted prices because a few brides have merely tried them on for size.

    You may need to get it dry cleaned just to be sure, but even if you need to have it altered, you’d have to even if you ordered it in your size. Another option is to wear your mother’s or your grandmother’s dress. You could have a few alterations made for the perfect fit or to update it a little. You could also choose to go with a dress that would normally be considered a bridesmaids’ dress. There are a lot of websites on the Internet that have dresses in myriads of colors.

    But you can change the colors right on the photo. It is so much fun to see what they look like in white or ivory; all you do is point to the color and click. Although, I would not recommend ordering anything before you try it on, you may not be able to return it. Call around to bridal shops in your area and see if they carry the style, then go and try it on. Sometimes they look very, very different in the photographs. In the long run, this could cut hundreds or even thousands out of your budget. Don’t forget, you’re only going to wear your dress once. You can get all of your finishing touches on sale too, like Swarovski bridal jewelry or Swarovski hair pieces.

    This next tip may be the biggest, and possibly the hardest of them all. Cut down on the guest list. You could do this in a few ways, I once attended a wedding where they had quite a few people at the ceremony and only a few at dinner, but later opened it up to everyone again, for drinks and dancing. You could also have a very small, formal ceremony and reception dinner for very close family and friends and follow it with a very relaxed and informal pig roast and picnic the following day. Whatever suits you will be fine, but I have to admit through experience that this is the part that took the most discipline.

    There are a few ways to save at the reception, you may consider finding a place to hold your reception that will allow you to bring your own liquor and then all you need to do is hire a few people to tend the bar. You may not wish to serve a three or four course meal. Buffets are very acceptable ways to keep your guests happy and still save a significant amount of money. Another nice thing to do is have a dessert only reception, or you could cater the whole thing yourself and have your families prepare their favorite dishes. And last but certainly not least, DIY, DIY, DIY. There are a lot of very simple things that you can do yourself that can easily be as beautiful as purchasing everything for your wedding. You would be surprised at how little time it will take you and the unbelievable difference in the balance of your checkbook.

    Make the decorations on the table out of hurricanes with glass gems in the bottom of water with a floating candle on top. You could even add a goldfish or two if you like! You could ask your family members to lend you their favorite crystal and set them around on the tables with scattered rose petals and votive candles among them to make very inexpensive, yet elegant centerpieces. You can also make your own invitations. There are a lot of companies that sell software that will provide you with pretty graphics, fonts, and techniques to make them flawless.

    The Internet is a great resource that will help you come up with endless ideas and the tips to make them a reality. The best tip that I have for everyone that is planning a wedding: It is a wedding, which means that if you go home on that day and you are married to the person that you love, then your mission has been accomplished. All of these other things are merely details. The wedding is only the first day; it’s having a good marriage that is really important. Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed with all of this, just have fun and enjoy your day.

  • How to select a Wedding Videographer

    I know some of you are probably saying to yourselves “I can’t afford a videographer, I’ll just have my uncle Bill do it for free.”

    Well actually Videography is not as expensive as you might think, and your uncle Bill should be a guest at your wedding having a good time and not having to work. Videography is one of those businesses that has benefited greatly by advances in technology. The equipment has become more readily available, better quality, easier to use, and more adaptable to the wedding environment.

    Videography is one of those things that you get what you pay for. On the other hand, you don’t have to pay a huge amount to get a great video. I have been a videographer since the old days when Super VHS cameras where the main camera in the industry.

    At that time the editing decks were also more expensive and more limited in their abilities. Today any good videographer worth his money is using a digital camera and a digital editor. There are a few things to consider when choosing a videographer; Price, Equipment, Choices, and last but certainly not least, personality.

    Like I said before price is a big factor in everyone’s life, especially when it comes to a big ticket event like a wedding. You have hundreds of expenses, and countless choices as to what stays in and what goes out. Let me tell you that some times some people spend way too much on a photographer, and nothing at all on a videographer. That is not a very good choice.

    Photography is a very important things to have, don’t get me wrong, but if you do some shopping around you can afford both. The beauty of video is that you don’t have to rely on your recollection of the event by looking at motionless soundless still shots. You pop in your DVD, and instantly you are back at your wedding day. You can see yourself and your guests laughing and having fun. If any of your relatives are in another country or state and couldn’t make it to your wedding, you can send them the entire wedding on DVD instead of picking just a few pictures. We also specialize in making photo montages on DVD or VHS which are also very popular to send to relatives. On one DVD you can put hundreds of digital pictures. If you shop around a little you can find a professional videographer that will create a fantastic video for you at a reasonable price.

    We have packages starting at $350 and going up from there depending on how much you want done. I will warn you that some videographers think they are Spielberg and will want to charge you $5000. If your budget can accommodate that then that’s wonderful, but most people cannot. Most professional Videographers using 3 chip digital cameras as we do, and using computer non-linear editing software as we do, will charge you anywhere between $500 to $1000 for a wedding. Anything above or below that I suggest you give it a second look. If its too cheap then its someone just breaking into the business and you wont be happy with the results, and if its too high then you will probably be over paying.

    The next thing you should look at is Equipment. Are they using the latest digital equipment or some dusty old cameras from the disco days and over charging for their work. Believe it or not there are still some Videographers out there using the old VHS cameras and selling themselves for top dollar.

    It’s a case of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Find out what type of equipment they are using. The standard in the industry today is to use a 3 chip digital DV camera. DV Format is the best and Digital is obviously better then analog. The 3 chip refers to the inside of the camera having 3 separate computer chips that split up the visual spectrum and create a sharper and more vibrant image. For editing non-linear computer editing is the only way to go.

    Anything else is old and will not give you the most for your money. Choices comes down to what will this company do for you. With our company for example we have packages that are suited to just about every budget, but since everyone is different we are able to customize each package to suit the needs of the client. With some companies the packages are written in stone and cannot be modified and there are no substitutions.

    Personality is an easy one. Talk to the person who is actually going to shoot your wedding. Meet them, ask them questions Do you like them? Can you get along with them? Remember your wedding day is a very stressful day.

    You want to be surrounded by people whose personalities you can get along with. I believe you need all the professionals at your wedding to be team players. They all need to work together to make your day wonderful, yet get their individual jobs done. You don’t want to be pulling out your hair because the person you hired to do a job doesn’t know what to do. Hire someone who you feel comfortable with and who has experience.

    I myself have over 15 years experience as a wedding videographer and I can assure you that I have seen everything there is to see under the sun, and the only way to get through it is to keep a cool head. In short, I just want to encourage you all to keep the video in your budget. Hire a professional company that is knowledgeable, and is reasonable priced, and that you feel comfortable with, and you will have a great video that you and your future kids and grandkids will enjoy. Best of luck.

  • How To Pick The Perfect Wedding Dress

    You got proposed to, you picked the caterer, the flowers, the song – all you need is that perfect wedding dress. If you didn’t like a single dress you saw, it is time to define what it is that you are looking for.

    Here are different types of wedding dresses – pick the one that goes best with your style and personality. You should also look for a dress that will be appropriate for the type of wedding you are having. A dress perfect for a beach wedding might not be appropriate for a formal wedding, and vice versa.

    Here are different wedding dresses to help you pick the one that is perfect for you:

    – Princess Wedding Dresses. Want to look like a princess from a fairy tale on your wedding day? Then search for formal, beautiful dresses that will make you look and feel like a princess on this very special day. Wedding dress stores, as well as online stores should have plenty of princess style wedding dresses in stock.

    – Informal Wedding Dresses. Don’t like anything formal, and want to feel comfortable on your wedding day? Pick something beautiful and informal at the same time. You might not even need a typical wedding dress from a wedding store. In addition to shopping at specialty wedding stores, look at department stores and special occasion dresses. You might find something there that is perfect for you.

    -Beach Wedding Dresses. If you are throwing a wedding on a beach, or a beach themed wedding, you might want to look for a simple dress, that looks elegant at the same time. Something you can wear with pretty sandals, or as some brides do it, with bare feet.

    A beach ceremony with ocean as your background – what can be better? Good luck with picking your dress and enjoy your wedding. At the end of the day, the most important thing is not what you wear, who comes to the wedding, and what kind of food you serve. What really matters are the vows you make and the new life you are starting with your new husband.

  • How To Make Basic Wedding Favors

    Favors are traditionally given to wedding guests as a sign of appreciation for their coming to the wedding. Many times they have driven or flown from other parts of the country to see the couple, so sending them home with a little something is a good idea.

    Do it yourself When you’re on a budget, or just have a crafty side, then you may want to create your own wedding favors. Even if you’re not domestically inspired, these are really very easy. You will first need an idea. For this example, we will be describing how to make little sachets. The great part about these instructions is that you can adapt them to include any sort of filling (chocolates, candles, etc.) into the bag.

    You can find great prices on craft items at your local craft store, but online is always a good resource too. Many times, you can buy in bulk when you’re online, so that saves you money in the end. Determine how many small bags that you need and what color you would like them to be.

    Something to realize: if you’re getting bags of a finer material, the picture on the Internet will look darker than it is in real life. Also online or at your local health food store, you can go and buy herbs and flowers by the ounce. Realize too that one ounce is A LOT when the item is dried. This is why it’s best to go to a store in person for your ingredients—lavender, dried roses, and other flowers are best. This way you can see and smell off of the things that you have chosen. Find something fragrant.

    If you have smaller bags, you won’t need as much, but the larger the bag, the more filling you need. Easy as can be All you really have to do is mix up your ingredients and put some into each bag.

    Many bags will even have drawstring closures so that you can tie them up to look very pretty. If you’re inspired, you can include a small card about the significance of the herbs that you included—perhaps there’s an old wives’ tale about weddings that is related. And like it was said before, you can always change the ingredients to be something that suits you. Enlist the help of the bridal party if you have a lot to make!