Welcome to An Elegant Affair's blog! We are full service wedding and event planning company. We love weddings, and we love to share ideas about them! Please feel free to comment on our blogs!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!

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In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I'd share a quick clip from my favorite cartoon character....Snoopy!  He just loses himself when he's dancing!  May you find the same joy this Holiday season

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo

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Do you love all things Disney? Do you especially love the Disney Princesses?  If so, you will adore the new line of bridal gowns called "Disney Fairy Tale Weddings" by Alfred Angelo.  These dresses will hit the stores in early 2011.  Check out this preview!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Introducing New Free Resources

Good day bloggers!  An Elegant Affair is excited to announce that, for visiting our website, we are now offering brides one of THREE complimentary resources!  They include:

"Help! I Just Got Engaged! Ten Tips for Getting Started with Wedding Planning"
"Top Five Wedding Planning Problems, and How a Wedding Planner Can Help Solve Them"
"Five Things to Consider When Planning a Beach Wedding"

Along with the free resource of your choice, you will also receive a complimentary subscription to our high-content, bi-weekly e-zine, filled with great wedding planning tips and ideas.

Visit http://www.an-elegant-affair.net/ for your free gift today!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Are You Thankful For?


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year! As a child growing up in New Orleans, we spent Thanksgiving with extended family (including grandparents and great-grandparents), enjoying the wonderful delicacies that family members prepared (I missed my Granny's Cheese Straws this time of year). At the dinner table, we would share with one another what we were grateful for.

So I ask you....what are you thankful for? Even if 2010 did not turn out quite the way you wanted it to, I KNOW that you can name at least one thing that you are grateful for. If nothing else, be thankful that you have eyesight to be able to read this email! :-)

Have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Want To Have An Engagement Party!


An engagement party is a great way to announce your engagement and celebrate this special time with family and friends! This event is different from a bachelor or bachelorette party or bridal shower, in that it’s the event to kickoff your engagement period.

How formal do engagement parties have to be?
Engagement parties can take any form, and can be as formal or informal as you want. Some couples plan to go out to dinner to celebrate their engagement, while others want a fancy soiree with semi-formal or formal attire. As with any other aspect of your wedding, your engagement party should reflect your preferences and personality! Also, keep in mind that your wedding reception is the 'piece de resistance', and should not be overshadowed by your engagement party.

Who pays for it and when should I have it?
Traditionally, the parents of either the bride or groom will pay for the celebration. Or sometimes, close friends will want to host one for you. But who’s to say you have to stick with tradition? Many couples are footing the bill for their own celebrations. So, when setting your wedding budget, don’t forget to add this in!
Regarding timing, there are no rules; but if your engagement period is short, it doesn’t make sense to have an engagement party, followed by the wedding and reception a short time later.

What about gifts?
Guests may want to give gifts, but they should not be expected! Remember, this is purely a celebration of your recent engagement and your upcoming wedding. It may be a good idea to put “No gifts please” on the invite to make sure your guests are aware.

Who should I invite?
Be careful with this one….those who are invited to your engagement party should also be invited to the wedding, unless you are having a very small wedding or are planning to elope. It can be insulting to a guest to receive an invite to the engagement party but not the wedding! If you keep the party guest list limited to close family and friends, you should be ok.


Don’t stress about whether or not to have an engagement party. If you are able to have one, great! There are other celebrations to come, the biggest one being your wedding reception!

Happy Planning!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bridal Collection from Nicole Miller

Have you seen the bridal collection from Nicole Miller? I love the simplicity of the designs; they won't take away from the beautiful brides who wear them.

Check them out!

http://www.nicolemiller.com

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Are Your Wedding Pet Peeves


What about planning your wedding is driving you crazy? Or what about weddings in general really gets under your skin? Here’s my list of pet peeves (we may have some of these in common). Along with sharing those things that drive me crazy, I want to also share how you can deal with these issues if they arise. And please, let me hear from you! What are some of your wedidng pet peeves??

Late RSVPs

You have carefully set your RSVP deadline, giving your guests sufficient time to respond. If you see your responses are coming in slowly, send a friendly email reminder of the upcoming deadline. Or, if you have a wedding website, post an update there, reminding people of the due date. If a person responds after the deadline, determine how you will handle this up front! If you still have room to accommodate more guests, determine how many more, and once you’ve met your final number, tell your late guests “I’m sorry, the deadline has passed.” Be nice, but firm. Don’t let a guest press you into you giving in and allowing them to come. After all, you have set a maximum number of guests for a reason!

People who RSVP more people than were invited
You have invited Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and they decide to invite another couple to your wedding! How rude! To try to avoid this upfront, clearly state on the outer and inner envelopes of your invitations who are the persons invited. Also, word your response card so that people cannot add additional numbers or names to it. NEVER include a line that says “Number of Guests” on your response card (unless you fill in that number ahead of time!)

Invitations that ask for money
In my opinion, this is one of the tackiest things a couple can do! When you ask guests to give you money as a wedding gift, it implies that all you want out of your guests is cash! I’ve received a few invites like this, and instead of giving them money, I just don’t attend! In some instances, they may have received money from me anyway, but being asked for money totally turns me off! While you share your gift preferences via a registry, you should never dictate to your guests what they should give you.

Registries that have items that are too expensive
This is related to the previous pet peeve. You’ve registered at one of the most expensive department stores around, and all of your gift choices are pricey! Guests on a budget may not be able to give you a gift if all of your registry items are too expensive. Choose items in a wide range of prices. I also suggest you have multiple registries…one of which is at a more economical store (Target and Wal Mart are great examples!)

Receptions that start hours after the ceremony
Your wedding starts at 12pm, but you’ve decided to have an evening reception (6pm). What are your guests, particularly your out-of-town guests, going to do for 5 hours? Be considerate of your guests when determining your start times. Even for guests who live in town, it’s a bit much to ask them to go home after the ceremony and come back out for your reception (you will lose people that way)! Try to start your reception as close to the end time of your wedding as possible, so that one flows easily into the other.

Having nothing for guests to do while you take post-ceremony pictures
This is closely related to the item above. While you are taking your post-ceremony pics, your guests need something to do! The cocktail hour is a great way to keep them entertained. There should be something for guests to eat and drink at the cocktail hour. They should also have music (either piped in or live) to add to the ambiance of the wait time. If done correctly, guests will enjoy themselves so much, they won’t realize they are waiting for you to finish taking pictures!

People who pressure the bride or groom for an invitation
You have determined how many people you can invite upfront (based on your budget and the size of your venue), so you’re just not able to invite everyone you would like to. Isn’t it bold of a guest to ask for an invite to your wedding? If someone is brazen enough to do this, be polite but firm. Explain that you must stay within your budget, so you are unable to invite them. Thank them for their well wishes and move on! People who really care about you will understand and will not be mad!


Don’t let the above mentioned items drive you crazy! Instead, use the tips we’ve shared to help deal with them. Happy Planning!


Monday, October 25, 2010

When The Happiest Time Of Your Life Is A Friend’s Saddest

I could definitely relate to this article. A sorority sister asked me (almost a year in advance) to sing in her wedding. Of course, I said yes, not knowing that by the time her wedding came around, I would be divorced. It was a difficult situation for me, but I got through it. Since the bride lived out of town, I chose not to tell my sorority sister about my divorce (I didn't want to have a cloud hanging over her special day).

Not everyone is excited when a bride announces her engagement (I'm not talking about those who are jealous, but those who are going through difficult situations). Should a bride be sensitive to others' feelings, or should she not worry about it?

http://wedding-blog.wedalert.com/2010/10/07/when-the-happiest-time-of-your-life-is-a-friend’s-saddest/

Thanks WedAlert for an interesting blog post!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Planning Your Reheasal Dinner


Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of planning your wedding, the rehearsal dinner may get lost in the shuffle. The time following your wedding rehearsal is a great way to kick-off your wedding celebration. It’s also an opportunity for the bride and groom’s families to start getting to know each other (if they don’t already), and for friends to share this special time with you!

Who should be invited?
Your entire bridal party, immediate family, and close friends should be invited. If your budget allows, consider inviting out-of-town guests as well (it’s a great way to thank them for traveling to your wedding while at the same time, giving them something to do the night before your wedding). This event is more intimate than your wedding reception, so don’t worry about not having a large guest list.

Who should host it?
Traditionally, the groom’s parents host (i.e., pay for) the rehearsal dinner. But who says you have to stick with tradition? As couples are waiting later to get married, they are sometimes paying for everything themselves. If family members plan to contribute to your wedding, this should be worked out early on in the planning process.

What should I do?
Besides eat? :-) As I said earlier, this is a great time for people to fellowship and to get to know each other. One way to have people interact with each other is to plan the seating so that people sit next to someone they haven’t met before. You can also play a game or do an icebreaker that will get people moving and talking. Check out this blog article for some icebreaker ideas! http://blog.ourweddingday.com/Wedding-Rehearsal-Dinner-Get--Know-You-Games-8793210

Your rehearsal dinner is also a great time to present your bridal party with gifts of appreciation. Although you don’t have to spend a lot, you should give something to thank your bridesmaids and groomsmen for being a part of your wedding. After all, they bought a dress or rented a tuxedo, gave you a bridal shower or bachelor party, and will be spending the entire wedding day with you!

Finally, this is a great time for family members and friends to extend their well wishes. You have probably limited the number of speakers at your wedding reception, so you can use this time for others to speak (if they want to).

Should I have a theme?
Themed events are a great way to show your personality! Are you and your fiance’ planning to travel to the Caribbean for your honeymoon? An island-themed dinner (including island attire) is a great idea! Or, are you and your future husband very formal and enjoy dining at 5-star restaurants? Then plan your rehearsal dinner to be a dressy affair!

How long should my rehearsal dinner last?
Your rehearsal dinner is a pre-celebration, but remember, the big day is less than 24 hours away! You want to have fun at your dinner, but don’t wear yourself out! Make it an early evening so you can get the rest you need. I advise my brides to not have a bachelorette party the night before the wedding. Do you want your wedding pictures to show a bride with bloodshot eyes an dark circles under them?

Your Planning Assignment
Be intentional in planning your rehearsal dinner. Incorporate your likes, preferences and personality in this event. If you want something nice but don’t have time to plan it, consider engaging a wedding or event planner to assist!

Happy Planning!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wedding Ring Metals: What Are My Options?


Choosing the right metal for your wedding ring is just as important as choosing the right diamond! Here is some information on what is available to you as you make one of the largest jewelry purchases in your life.

Platinum
Platinum has become a very popular metal for wedding rings. It is extremely durable, and is great if you have sensitive skin (platinum is hypoallergenic). It’s a good choice if you have a diamond that is very clear. However, if you are on a tight budget, this may not be an option for you, as platinum is rare and can be expensive.

Gold
Gold is probably the most traditional ring metal for all rings, not just wedding rings. It has definitely stood the test of time, and because it is more available, it is less expensive than platinum. But, gold prices have risen in recent years, so keep that in mind as you shop. With gold, you have the option of choosing what karat you desire. A karat is a measure of purity for gold, so the higher the karat number, the purer the gold is (and of course, the more expensive).

White Gold
White gold is a mixture of gold and a white metal such as silver or platinum. Similar to yellow gold, it comes in various karats, based on the amount of gold in the ring. Typically, white gold rings are coated in rhodium, which will make the gold look more white. However, this coating does not last, so you will need to have your ring re-coated to maintain its appearance.

Silver
Silver is the least expensive of the available metals and is a good choice for brides and grooms looking for an economical option. However, keep in mind that silver can be an irritant to some, and because it is soft, it can show wear over time.

Tungsten
Tungsten is a very rare metal that retains its polish and finish very well. This metal has become a very popular one for wedding rings, particularly for men, who are attracted to its permanence. Because it is a rare metal, it can also be expensive.

Titanium
Titanium is a white metal with a slightly gray appearance. It’s a bit darker than silver and white gold, and is very strong. It is also hypoallergenic and can be inexpensive. It’s another great option for men!

Palladium
Palladium is a rare, silvery-white metal that resembles platinum, but it lighter than platinum. It has become more popular in recent years as an option for wedding jewelry. If you want the platinum look, but do not have the budget for it, palladium is a good alternative.

Your Planning Assignment
As you can see there are MANY options in wedding ring metals. Take your time when making this very important decision, since you plan wear your wedding ring for a long time. Brides, as you consider what to purchase for your groom, take into consideration what kind of work he does. If he works outdoors or in a factory setting, he may need something that’s very durable, or something with few (or no) stones.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Magician for Wedding Entertainment

Hmmm....interesting! Thanks to Wedding 101 Blog for sharing.

http://wedding101blog.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/entertain-your-wedding-guests-with-a-little-magic/

If you don't think this will work for your adult guests, I think it's an excellent way to keep younger guests entertained. What do you think?

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Beginner’s Guide to Linens




You have chosen your reception venue…and although you love it, you want to make the look of your reception all your own. One tool that can be used to transform a room is linens. This article will educate you on the basics of linens, so you can be ready to choose the perfect accessories for your venue!

Tablecloths
Tablecloths are the foundation of your linen choices, and will set the background palate for the other items you choose. Make sure you know the correct table size so you can order the right size tablecloths. For an elegant look, you want your tablecloths to be floor length (guests should not see the legs of your tables).

Napkins
Napkins add color to the foundation you’ve laid with your tablecloths, and are a must for a formal setting. They can be folded in a variety of ways, or can be placed neatly inside of a beverage glass or coffee cup. Check out this website that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to fold napkins in a number of different ways. http://www.napkinfoldingguide.com

Overlays
An overlay is another linen accessory that is placed on top of a tablecloth (just as the name implies, it ‘lays over’ a tablecloth). An overlay can add an additional dimension of color to your table.

Runners
A runner is another accessory that is placed on top of a tablecloth, but it is generally long and rectangular in shape. It ‘runs’ from one end of a table to another. These are ideal if you are using long tables instead of round ones for your reception.

Chair Covers
Chair covers can turn plain banquet chairs into elegant seating for your guests! When ordering your covers, be sure you know what kind of chairs will be used in your venue (banquet chair, folding chair, etc), so that you order the right size. Nothing is worse than having chair covers that are too short!

A great option that I’ve seen used a lot lately is the pillowcase chair cover (shown above). They slip around a chair, very similar to the way a pillow is placed in a pillowcase. It’s a great look!

Sashes
Sashes are an accessory that accompany chair covers, and can be coordinated with your napkins, overlays or runners. There are countless ways to tie sashes (YouTube has several videos that give you detailed instructions on tying sashes).

Chair Sleeves
A chair sleeve is an accessory that is slipped over the back of a chair (on top of your chair cover) and can be used instead of a sash. Just like the sash, it can be coordinated with your napkins, runners or overlays.

What types of material are available?
Your choices are almost endless! You can go with simple, solid linen, or you can choose organza, satin, velvet, sheers, shag, taffeta, or lace. Before you make a decision, it’s best to get a swatch of what you are considering so you can get a feel for the texture of the material.

Your Planning Assignment
Do your homework! Again I suggest ordering swatches of items you are considering. Or, if there is a reputable linen company in your area, make an appointment to see what they have to offer.

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

French Bridal Veil

I really like this look...what do you think?

http://blog.ourweddingday.com/search/french+veil

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Want An Outdoor Wedding…Where Do I Start?


Have you always dreamed of getting married outdoors? Whether it’s the beach, a farm, or a large family backyard, there are several things that must be considered when planning this type of wedding.

What time of year/season is your wedding?
One of the first things you should do is take a serious look at where you plan to marry and how the weather typically behaves around your wedding date. Are you getting married in the southern part of the US or on an island during the summer? If so, don’t forget about hurricane season! Is your wedding date in the middle of winter in the northeast? If so, don’t forget about snow storms! Yes, the weather is unpredictable, but you can expect to have a certain kind of weather during certain seasons of the year.

What are my options for keeping my guests comfortable while outdoors?
One of the best things to consider is tents. Tents can provide overhead covering only, can include curtains for an airy feeling, or can be completely enclosed with ‘windows’ around the sides and even skylights in the ceiling (a skylight is an excellent idea for evening events, so you can see the stars!) If your concern is cold or hot weather, tent heaters and fans can be rented to make the space very comfortable (in fact, they can feel so good, your guests may forget all about the weather outside!)

Things to consider when planning an outdoor event
Planning an outdoor event takes much more coordinating than an event in a banquet hall or hotel ballroom. Some of the items you will need to rent include chairs, tables, china, linen, silverware, glassware, and lighting. And depending on where you plan to set up, you may also need to rent restroom facilities for your guests. If your tent is open, don’t forget about insect repellent, so your guests are not swatting bugs away all night!

Should I have a Plan B?
Absolutely! What if a major storm is predicted to blow through your town on your wedding day? Yes you may have a tent lined up, but if the winds are too strong, it may not be an option for you. Always have a plan B in place to address the unexpected!

Your Planning Assignment
Ponder the option of an outdoor event very carefully. Because of the many details that have to be coordinated and executed, an event planner may be just the person to help you pull it all together!

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lighting 101


As you begin to plan your wedding reception, there are many things to consider. Whether your reception will be upbeat and fun or formal and elegant, lighting is one element that can assist in making it the reception you desire!

Why use lighting?
Lighting sets the mood and the atmosphere! If you want the setting more intimate (during dinner perhaps), softer lighting would be in order. Then, when it’s time to pick up the pace, you can change to brighter, flashing lighting (don’t overdo it, though…too much flash can actually affect some people’s equilibrium). You can have lighting that will change colors, using colors that coordinate with your overall wedding décor. Lighting can transform even the plainest room to the setting your desire!

What is uplighting?
Uplights are theatrical lights placed at floor level throughout a room. They are aimed upwards to add a beam of light (with the color of your choice) to walls and ceilings. In addition to adding lighting to the ceiling and walls, uplighting can also be used to highlight a particular area of the room (your cake table or sweetheart table for example). If you don’t want to use a lot of overhead lighting, uplighting is a great way to go!

What is GOBO?
GOBO is the projection of light of a design onto a wall, floor, ceiling or dance floor. A monogram can be designed especially for your wedding and can be projected to add a touch of uniqueness to the décor of your reception. See the picture above for an example of a gobo and how it can be displayed.
What is Intelligent Lighting?
This is lighting that has the ability to change colors and patterns, and can move and change at predetermined time intervals. It can definitely create an exciting atmosphere!

Other simple lighting ideas
You can have tea lights on your tables to give a soft glow (this works well especially during dinner for an evening reception). If you are having an outdoor reception, consider lanterns in trees and lighting for walkways. The possibilities are endless!

Your Planning Assignment
There’s no need to be an expert regarding lighting. Write down your vision and consider hire an expert lighting designer! They can take your vision and translate it into the lighting that will create the perfect look for your special day!

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Look

I'm somewhat traditional, so I prefer that the groom not see the bride before her grand entrance. However, I ran across these GREAT pics that may make me think otherwise...enjoy!

http://wuilmarksevents.blogspot.com/2010/08/cant-wait-to-see-you.html

What do you think?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Help Me with My Seating Arrangements!

As you get closer to your wedding day, one of the most important things you will need to work on is the seating chart for your reception. If you are having a sit-down meal (either plated or buffet) it’s important that there is adequate seating for each person, and that each guest knows where he or she will be sitting. Handling your seating arrangements can be tedious work, but it will pay off in the end!

How should guests be seated?
The purpose of seating arrangements is to ensure that your guests feel at ease and comfortable with those they will be sharing a few hours with! Real-life example: I attended a wedding where a single person didn’t like where she was seated (although she was seated at a table reserved for special guests, she didn’t know anyone there!). She decided to move her place card (we’ll talk about those later) to another table, and when the guests at that table arrived, the seating was thrown completely off! Unfortunately, other guests had to be shifted around to accommodate this change, which didn’t make for happy guests. The moral of the story is….as much as possible, seat guests with those whom they know or with whom they have things in common. Be mindful of whether there are personal issues between people, so you will know not to seat them together. And finally, try not to seat a single person with a table full of couples (unless you know that they will feel comfortable with them).

What’s the best way to get started with planning your seating arrangements?
Some recommend that you begin by arranging guests as you receive their RSVPs. This is a good starting point, but keep in mind that you will probably have to do a couple of iterations of the chart as more RSVPs come in. Be flexible with your seating chart…in fact, I recommend that you not finalize it until a week before the wedding (just in case you get last minute additions or cancellations). A great software package that can help you with seating arrangements and RSVP management is http://seatingarrangement.com.

How to get guests seated in a timely manner
There are several things you can do to ensure your guests are seating quickly (the last thing you want is to you have your guests waiting a long time to find their table assignment).

Seating scrolls or charts – Charts can be posted outside of the reception room for guests to find their names and tables. There are several companies who will make a beautiful scroll for you…not only it is functional, but will add to the décor of your reception!

Place cards – These are small cards that contain the guest’s name and table name or number. They are typically placed on a table outside of the reception room, and guests can pick up their cards prior to entering the room. Or, they can be placed on the tables, so guests know exactly which seat at the table is theirs. But in order for that option to work, you will also need….

Hostesses/Table Escorts – If you decide not to post a seating chart or have place cards, hostesses are an excellent way to seat your guests. Hostesses would inform the guests of their table name or number. You can have a chart that depicts where the table is located, or you can have another hostess escort the guests to their table. I love this idea, as it makes the guests feel special! Make sure you have enough hostesses to expedite the seating process, and be sure they are friendly and personable! :-)


Taking the time to arrangements seating for your guests is time well spent! It will show your guests that you thought enough of them to ensure they have an enjoyable experience at your wedding.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Your Wedding TV Ultimate Bridal Show - August 8


Tampa Bay area brides! Mark your calendars for the Your Wedding TV Ultimate Bridal Show this Sunday August 8. An Elegant Affair will be a vendor at the show, and we would love the opportunity to meet you in person!

Stop by our booth for a chance to win a FREE Day-of Coordination Package ($800 value).

See you on Sunday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fine China 101

If you are a bride, I’m sure by now people have begun to inquire about your wedding registry. A registry is a great way to make your gift preferences known to family and friends. In this article, we will talk about one option for inclusion in your registry….fine china!

You may be saying “Why do I need fine china? I barely cook as it is!” When considering your registry choices, think long-term! You may not cook or entertain now, but someday you may! What if you want to host a formal Thanksgiving dinner? You certainly will not serve your guests on Chinet or Dixie, right? :-)

What pieces are included in a typical setting?
A place setting contains the following pieces: dinner plate, salad plate, bread and butter plate, coffee cup and saucer. These are the basics that you would need to serve a meal. Additional pieces that are available include serving platters, serving bowls, soup bowls, sugar dishes, creamers, and tea pots. These pieces can be added to complement your basic setting, and can help give your table a coordinated look.

What about patterns?
China companies such as Lenox and Mikasa offer various patterns or styles from which to choose. Patterns may be colorful, or they may be white…the options are endless! Choose a pattern that suits your taste. Because you may not know what your dining room décor will look like, you may decide on something more neutral, but the choice is yours! Pick a pattern that is timeless, since one day you may be passing it on to your children or grandchildren!

How many place settings should I register for?
Many dining room tables seat 6-8 persons, so I suggest registering for 8 place settings. You should also register for the complementing pieces you would like to receive.

What about price?
Fine china is an investment, so don’t be surprised at the prices you see (it will definitely cost more than more casual dinnerware). Don’t worry…some of your guests may decide to get together and purchase a place setting or other piece of your set. This is why it’s important to balance out your registry with less expensive items, so those who can’t afford to give you china can still give you something you like.


Visit the websites of such companies as Lenox, Mikasa and Noritake to see what patterns are available. Also, check out your local fine department store, such as Macy’s or Dillard’s. They will also have several companies and patterns on display.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wedding Planning and Project Management

Happy Friday! Just had to share this great article about wedding planning and project management. As both a wedding planner and a project manager, I totally agree!

What Wedding Planning Taught Me About Project Management >>> http://ow.ly/2cjhr

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Top 7 Tips for Bridal Gown Shopping Companions

Today’s blog was inspired by several episodes of “Say Yes to The Dress,” a very popular show on the TLC Network. In it, cameras are following brides-to-be and their families and friends as they shop for the perfect dress for their wedding day. The things that struck me most were the reactions and behavior of mothers, sisters and friends as the bride goes through the fun, but arduous task of finding just the right dress for her. Here are some tips I’d like to share with those shopping companions!

Be patient
Bridal gown shopping trips can takes hours! And that’s just at one boutique! If the bride has thought enough of you to accompany her, bring your patience with you!

Remember, it’s NOT your day
Keep in mind that this is the bride’s special time. The bride’s decision on a wedding gown is not about you, but about HER! If you have an opinion about a particular dress, it should be expressed so that it benefits the bride, not so that you can push your own agenda. Which leads me to my next point….

Be kind with your constructive criticism
There will be some styles of gowns that flatter one body type more than another, right? When the bride comes out to get your reaction about a particular dress, be kind and choose your words carefully. Don’t say “that dress makes you look fat” or, “that looks awful on you!” Instead say something like “maybe you should consider a different style.” The bride has asked you to be with her her because she values your opinion and is seeking your constructive criticism (comments that will help her), not your griping and complaining!

Don’t laugh
If you think the bride looks funny in a particular style of dress, don’t laugh! She may actually love it, and your outburst of laughter may hurt her feelings. Again, be nice with your comments so you can help her see why you may not care for a particular dress.

Leave children at home
Unless you absolutely must bring them, a bridal salon is not an ideal place for children, especially young ones. As we stated earlier, the shopping trip can be a long one, and we know that children get impatient very easily. Who wants the special time ruined by a screaming child! 

Don’t be a “Hater”
Allow the bride to have this special time, and don’t let the green-eyed monster of jealousy rear its ugly head! Remember, your time is coming, and I’m sure the bride will be more than happy to share your special time with you! And finally….

If you don’t have the bride’s best interest at heart, stay home!
Be honest in asking yourself these questions….Will I feel a twinge of jealousy? Am I upset because she’s getting married and I’m not? Am I going so that I can tear the bride down? If you can’t control these feelings, and if you really care about the bride, do her a favor and respectfully decline the trip.


Brides! Share this article with those who may be shopping with you! Choose who will accompany you on your gown shopping trips wisely. The last thing you need is something bringing you down!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Polite Answers to Rude Wedding Questions

Just thought I'd share this great post from OurWeddingDay Blog regarding rude (and tacky) questions wedding guests may ask. The responses are tactful and to the point.

It amazes me how rude and downright nosy some people can be! :-)

http://blog.ourweddingday.com/Polite-Answers-5-Rude-Wedding-Questions-9051278?page=0,0#comment-7605780

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Share Your Funny (or Strange) Wedding Dreams!

Brides! As you are preparing for the big day, have you been having strange or funny dreams? Leading up to my own wedding, I had this recurring dream of being in the limo on wedding day, and never making it to the church. We just rode around town for hours and hours! Not sure what that dream meant, but in reality, I made it to the church on time! :-)

We would love to hear your funny stories about your wedding dreams!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Changing My Name: Should I or Shouldn't I?

A name change can be a big undertaking! The thought of taking your future husband’s name can be exciting, but several questions may come to mind when considering this:

- Will I lose my identity?
- What if I don’t like my future husband’s last name?
- How will co-workers, friends and family refer to me?
- Can my husband take my name?
- How long will it take for my name to be changed?

These are all legitimate questions! This article is to help guide you to the answers, so you can make the right decision about your name.


How do I go about changing my name?
Ok, so you’ve decided to change your name, and you’ve determined what your name will be. How do you get started? Before the wedding, check with your local municipal government to find out what the process is (this can vary by city). However, the majority of work of changing your name will happen after the wedding!

The most important agencies and organizations who need to know what your new name is are the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Administration and your employer. As soon as you have received your marriage certificate, make arrangements to have your driver’s license, Social Security Card and employment records updated. Once those are done, then you can make changes on bank accounts, credit cards, and loan accounts. Some companies will allow you to make the changes over the phone, while some will require you fax them a written notice, to include a copy of your marriage certificate.

This can be a lot of work! However, there are tools and kits that can assist you. Google “name change kits” for different options available to you!

One important tip: When booking your honeymoon, book the reservations in your maiden name. You will not have updated documentation (driver’s license and/or passport) to verify your identity, particularly if you are traveling right after the wedding! Airlines and cruise ships will not allow you on board if your travel documents do not match your identification!

Should I hyphenate?
Many brides consider hyphenation for several reasons. Some do not want to lose their identities as an individual. Some may also have built a professional reputation with their maiden names, and do not want to lose that! Whatever the reason, there are options! If you decide to hyphenate, keep in mind that your new last name will be ‘Smith-Jones’, not “Smith” and not “Jones.” Another option for retaining your maiden name is to use is as your middle name, taking your future husband’s last name as your new last name. For example, your name would be “Susan Smith Jones” and your official last name would be “Jones.” Yet another option is to continue to use your maiden name professionally, yet using your husband’s name in other areas. My personal option on this option is that it may be a bit confusing….you will have to keep up with one name in one setting, and another name in another setting!

Do grooms take on the bride’s name?
There are some instances (albeit rare) where your future husband may choose to take on your last name. Although I have never met a person who chooses to do this, it is still an option!

How long will it take to change my name?
Because there are so many entities that need to be officially notified of your new name, it will take some time to accomplish this task. As we mentioned previously, a name change kit can be a big help to you!

Your Planning Assignment
Take some time to think about what you would like your new name to be. Discuss this thoroughly with your future husband…he should be on board with your decision! Remember that you will have this name for the rest of your life, so don’t rush this decision! Finally, be patient with the name change process, and be patient with your family, friends and co-workers. They have to get accustomed to your new name as well!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hometown Wedding

I especially enjoyed today's edition of Bridal Bliss from Essence.com. The couple's wedding was in my hometown of New Orleans, with the ceremony being at one of my all-time favorite venues there - Lawless Memorial Chapel on the campus of Dillard University.

Enjoy!

Hometown Wedding! Bridal Bliss: A Beautiful Bayou Wedding - Essence.com http://bit.ly/areEb1

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Take Breaks from Your Planning to Celebrate Why You're Getting Married in the First Place

Happy Sunday bloggers! This article really struck me, and I thought I would share. It offers great suggestions for couples who need to reconnect as well!

Thanks to OurWeddingDay blog for sharing!

http://bit.ly/av9MWx

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bridal Bliss on Essence.com

I've been following this series of articles on real weddings for a couple of months now, so I thought I'd share with you! Enjoy!

http://bit.ly/bMAmGy

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Articles on EzineArticles.com

Happy Tuesday! I just recently published 2 new articles on EzineArticles.com. Check them out!

http://bit.ly/b9TAYC

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Wedding Dessert Options

Not a big fan of wedding cake? I just read this blog that presents some great alternatives! Thanks to Petals Planning for writing a great article!

http://petalsplanningco.blogspot.com/2010/06/have-your-cakeor-ice-cream-or-pieand.html

Friday, June 4, 2010

The First Dance

I ran across this great article about first dances.

http://blogs.discovery.com/say-yes-to-the-dress/2010/05/first-dance.html

What will be (or was) your first dance song? Mine was "The Closer I Get To You" by Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How to Word Your Wedding Invitation

Your wedding invitation will set the tone for your special day! Other than a Save-the-Date card or an engagement announcement, your invitation may be the first formal communication regarding your upcoming nuptials your guests will receive. Guests should be able to look at your invite (and whatever inserts are included such as reception cards and response cards) and determine the type and style of wedding you are having.

There are several rules of etiquette that should be followed regarding the structure of your wedding invitation, particularly if you are having a semi-formal or formal wedding. The rules may seem a bit overwhelming, but when you think about them, they kinda make sense! :-)

A wedding invitation has several components. They include:
• Invitation Line (“Mr. and Mrs. John Smith”)
• Request Line (“request the honor of your presence”)
• Relationship Line (“at the marriage of their daughter”)
• Bride’s Name (“Susie Smith”)
• Joining Word (“to”)
• Groom’s Name (“David Jones”)
• Date Line (“on Saturday, the tenth of December”)
• Year Line (“two thousand ten”)
• Time Line (“at two o’clock in the afternoon”)
• Place (“Chapel on the Hill”)
• Address (“Ten Main Street”)
• City and State (“Miami, Florida”)
• Other Information (may include info about the reception)

When developing the wording of your invitation, there are a few questions that should be answered:
• Who’s hosting (or paying for) the wedding?
• Are the bride or groom’s parents married? Divorced? Deceased?
• Is the bride, groom, or parents a doctor?
• Is the bride, groom or parents in the military?

You may wonder what these questions have to do with invitation wording! But if you want a timeless and classic invitation, then these factors are important.

For example, if both sets of parents are hosting the wedding, the bride’s parents names should be listed first, following by ‘and’ then the groom’s parents names. Or if one set of parents is divorced and are hosting the wedding, their names should be listed separately, without the ‘and.’
As another example, if the groom is a medical doctor, his name should be preceded by his title (Doctor or Dr.)

The possible scenarios are numerous! The linked articles from WeddingAces provide great information and guidance on handling various situations. http://www.weddingaces.com/2009/05/all-about-invitations-part-two/ and http://www.weddingaces.com/2010/01/wording-dilemma-non-standard-situations/

The wording of your invitation should be carefully considered. Once you’ve come up with a draft (or two), have another set of eyes review it to ensure it makes sense, that all names and words are spelled correctly, and that it reads easily. Your guests should be absolutely clear on what to expect on your wedding day!

HAPPY WRITING!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why Hire a Wedding Pro?

Just wanted to share a quick story which I believe speaks to the importance of hiring a professional to assist with your wedding day! A recent bride had finally chosen her bridesmaids’ dresses. The boutique warns us that the color was going to be discontinued in a few weeks, so we should order right away. I contacted the bridesmaids by phone and email to give them the details and their deadline for ordering. A few days later, the bride received a call from the boutique saying that color was going to be discontinued in 2 days! She called me in a panic and was almost near tears! After speaking with the boutique, I called each bridesmaid and explained the situation. We worked out a plan so that everyone could order their dresses and meet the new deadline! The bride’s relieved response was, “Thank you! You have the patience of Job!”

So what does this true story tell us about hiring wedding professionals?
1. A wedding professional has ‘been there, done that’ and can calmly work through a difficult situation.
2. A wedding professional always has Plan B ready to go just in case!
3. A wedding professional can function in a difficult situation without the emotion of it hindering what needs to be accomplished.

Wedding professionals have the expertise and knowledge to make your wedding day one that you and your guests will never forget (in a good way!). Check one out today!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pre-Nuptial Agreements - Are They Necessary?

Happy Thursday! I ran across an interesting article regarding pre-nuptials agreements. Take a look and let me know what you think. Would love to get your feedback!

http://bit.ly/bQD5kC

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Six Most Common Questions Regarding Bridal Showers

Brides! Are you looking forward to your bridal shower? A bridal shower is an opportunity for you to be fussed over, pampered, and the center of attention! You are blessed with gifts, and your guests will want to know all the details of the wedding (and you are excited to share). A shower is a time for you to HAVE FUN!

Maids of Honor! Are you clueless as to where to start planning a shower for your bride? This article is geared toward brides as well as maids of honor (or others who have been given the responsibility of planning a bridal shower), and is designed to answer the most common questions about bridal showers.

Where did the bridal shower originate?
Wedding showers began as an alternative to a dowry, and is believed to have begun in Holland. The father of a Dutch girl disapproved of her marriage to a man who wasn't wealthy, and he refused to offer a dowry. The townspeople decided to 'shower' the young bride with gifts she would need to start her new home and her new life (Source: bridal-showers.net). And thus, a well-known tradition began!

Who's responsible for planning the shower?
Generally, the maid of honor is responsible for planning and hosting a bridal shower. This can be a big responsibility, so she should enlist the help of the bridesmaids. Brides, please allow your bridal party to plan this for you, and don't be a bridezilla! They will need some input from you, but you should sit back and allow them to do the planning! Keep in mind that the cost of the shower is being handled by someone else, so be remember that when giving input to your bridal party.

What type of shower should be planned?
The bridal shower theme should fit the bride's personality. Will she enjoy a passion party, high tea or a cocktail reception? Brides, this is one of the main areas where your input is needed. If you don't want a have-dressed man as a part of your shower, make that known! J

When should the shower be held and who should be invited?
Showers should be scheduled at least a month (preferably more) before the wedding, in order to avoid the hectic weeks approaching the big day. You should reserve the few weeks leading up to the wedding for handling last-minute details.

Your invitees should be close family members and friends. A shower is an intimate celebration and, in my opinion, should be reserved for a small group of people.

Should we give bridal shower favors?
Absolutely! Favors are a nice way to thank your guests for coming and provide them a keepsake of the party. The linked article provides great suggestions on really cute favors!

http://wedding-blog.wedalert.com/2010/05/06/do-them-a-favor-part-1-bridal-shower-favors/

When do I send thank you notes?
It's important that you acknowledge every gift given at your shower. You should do so with a handwritten thank you note (yes I said handwritten), sent within three weeks of receiving the gift. Get started on these shortly after the shower, so you don't fall behind.

HAVE FUN!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bridal Bliss - from Essence.com

I have really enjoyed following this Bridal Bliss series from Essence.com (hope you have too)!Here's the latest edition.



http://bit.ly/9cCgh8



Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Free Report

Happy Tuesday!

An Elegant Affair is excited to announce a new free report! "Knowledge is Power! Seven Common Mis-Steps Brides Make" outlines the typical mistakes that brides tend to make, along with ways to avoid those faux pas! If you are a bride and would like to receive our latest free report, please contact us at http://an-elegant-affair.net/contact.html (please indicate you're interested in the new free report).

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tipping, According to Tradition: From Say Yes to The Dress

How many of us think about tipping when it comes to our wedding vendors? The following article posted on the Say Yes to The Dress blog provides great insight on who should be tipped for services rendered.

I hope you find it as informative as I did!

http://blogs.discovery.com/say-yes-to-the-dress/2010/04/tipping-according-to-tradition.html

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Top Five Reception Types: Which One Works Best For Me?

As you begin to plan your reception, you will soon realize that there are a multitude of options to consider (beyond the venue!) Some of the questions you should be asking are: What type of reception do you want your guests to experience? What type of food will you serve? What time of day will the reception take place? How do you want your reception to flow? This article will focus on reception types as it relates to food (future articles will talk about such things as time of day and seating arrangements).

A wedding and the celebration that follows can make for a long day for your guests (or at minimum, several hours out of their day). You should keep this in mind when deciding on the type of reception to have. Guests should not be expected to spend several hours with you and not be served something to eat!

There are several reception types from which to choose. They are:

• Plated Meal – This is also known as a sit-down meal, where guests are served a meal while seated at their tables. This meal can consist of several courses, starting with an appetizer, followed by salad, the main course and dessert. Wait staff are available to serve each course of the meal. Depending on what time of day your reception is held, this can be a sit-down brunch, luncheon or dinner.

• Buffet – With a buffet meal, guests leave the tables and prepare their plates themselves. Be careful when choosing this style of reception. Guests will be moving around, so you want to make sure there is sufficient space for the serving tables. You also want to plan for multiple buffet lines so that guests don’t stand in line for long periods of time. Additionally, because there is no portion control with a buffet, more food needs to be prepared, and as a result, this can be a more expensive option than the plated meal. In my opinion, this type of reception does not work well for a formal wedding (imagine a female guest trying to hold up her gown and her plate at the same time!)

• Family-style Meal – A hot reception trend is to have the meal served family-style, where large portions of each dish are placed on the table, and guests pass the serving dishes around and serve themselves. This is a great format if you want more guest interaction at the table, and guests do not have to leave their seats to serve themselves.

• Hors D’Oeuvres – With this option, guests mingle and partake of various appetizers and other food items. Again, you will need to ensure there is sufficient space, since guests will be constantly moving around. You may also have action stations with this option, which may include carving stations and pasta stations.

• Dessert – As was stated earlier, guests really should be served food at your reception. But if your reception is scheduled after the dinner hour, one option is to have a dessert reception. Guests are served a variety of cakes and pastries, along with a beverage such as coffee. If you choose to go this route, please make sure this is stated clearly on the reception card, so guests will not expect anything more.

As you consider these alternatives, please bear in mind how you desire your guests to interact with one other at your reception. Do you want lots of conversation, with guests having the opportunity to talk to many people, or do you want more intimate conversations and interactions? Consider your own preferences, personality and style as you make these decisions. After all, this is your official party as husband and wife, and you want it to memorable for you as well as your guests!

Your Planning Assignment:
Brain-storm with your fiancé to determine the type of reception you want to have. Share these ideas with the catering managers when you visit potential reception venues.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wedding Invitation Timelines

Not sure when to order your invitations? Or do you have questions about how much time you should factor in for calligraphy?

Here's a great blog by Marjorie of WeddingAces that answers these and other questions. Thanks Marjorie for sharing this great information!

http://www.weddingaces.com/2010/04/hey-mr-postman/

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Getting The Groom Involved

Brides, are you frustrated with your groom's the level of involvement in wedding planning? If so, I feel your pain!

I found a great article written by Emmanuela Stanislaus of Precious Occasions regarding ideas on how to get the groom involved and interested! Thanks Emmanuela for writing a such a timely article!


http://preciousoccasions.blogspot.com/2010/04/getting-groom-involved.html

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle While Planning Your Wedding

I ran across a great article from United Health Care regarding health and wedding planning. I hope you find it helpful!

Look for a blog post with an interview from a certified fitness instructor in the near future!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Ins and Outs of Shopping for Diamonds

One of the first things a bride wants to do after she’s engaged is to go ring shopping (unless her fiance’ has already given her the ring). Before you hit the jewelry stores, it’s important that engaged couples be educated on how to shop for diamonds. This will be one of your largest wedding expenses, so choose wisely!

The Four Cs

You may have heard of the ‘Four Cs’ of Diamonds – Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat Weight. Here’s a quick summary of what each one means:

  • Cut – According to “The Diamond Buying Guide,” cut is perhaps the most important of the Four Cs. A well-cut diamond reflects light beautifully, and the cut of a diamond is a major factor in its value.
  • Clarity – The number of naturally occurring internal blemishes in a diamond determines its clarity. Most diamonds contain some flaws or inclusions, and a diamond is graded based on the number of inclusions that are visible.
  • Color – Colorless diamonds allow more light to shine through, and therefore look more brilliant. The whiter the diamond, the greater the value is. Diamonds are also graded on color.
  • Carat Weight – A carat is a unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. The larger the carat weight, the greater the diamond’s value is. Since larger stones are rare, it’s less expensive to purchase 2 ½ carat diamonds than one 1-carat diamond.

The Diamond Buying Guide also includes a ‘Fifth C’, which is certificate. A diamond certificate is a complete evaluation of the stone, including its exact measurements, weight, information on cut and clarity, and any other distinguishing characteristics about the stone. Two of the most reputable laboratories in the world that certify diamonds are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS). I encourage you to have your diamond certified by one of these laboratories.

For more specifics on such things as clarity and color grading, as well as certifications, please visit this very helpful website:

http://www.thediamondbuyingguide.com/fourcsofdiamonds.html

We’ll talk about the types of metals available to you in a future blog.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Having the Money Talk With Your Folks - Bridal Guide

Good day all! I just read an interesting article regarding what can be a sensitive subject.....who's going to pay for the wedding! I hope you find the article informative!

http://www.bridalguide.com/wedding-planning/article.cfm?aID=19723

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our April Newsletter has arrived!

The April edition of "Simply Elegant" is here! This month's feature articles are on wedding attire.

Visit our website to download your copy!

http://an-elegant-affair.net/Newsletters---Blogs.html

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bride Do's & Dont's

Professional Vendors

This video offers great advice for brides for professional vendors. Thanks to Natalie Bradley of Bride Attraction for sharing it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Your Honeymoon – Tips for Planning the Trip of a Lifetime

Honeymoons are a wonderful way to continue the celebration of your marriage and start your lives together as a couple! It’s the vacation you’ve been looking forward to, after months of wedding planning and preparation. While some couples choose to delay their honeymoon, I encourage couples to start planning it as soon as they start planning their weddings, and to take their honeymoon right after the wedding.

Where do you want to go on your honeymoon?
The number of honeymoon destinations is endless! What kind of locale do you want to visit? Does an exotic island suit your fancy, or is a week skiing in the mountains more your cup of tea? Or how about a cruise to the Caribbean? Write down the places you’ve always wanted to go and determine where you and your future spouse’s lists match! When considering locations, keep in mind time of year….you may want to re-think a Caribbean getaway during the peak of hurricane season! I found a great quiz from Bridal Guide called “What’s Your Honeymoon Style?” that may help you narrow down the type of vacation that fits you. Check it out at http://www.bridalguide.com/honeymoon-travel/article.cfm?aID=20262

What do you want to do on your honeymoon?
Do you want a week filled with fun and adventure, or a quiet, relaxing and rejuvenating vacation? Or a little bit of both? Once you’ve narrowed down your destinations, find out what activities are available to you there.

When I should start planning?
The Honeymoon Guide provides an excellent timeline for planning your honeymoon. This timeline should be incorporated with your wedding planning timeline. http://www.bridalguide.com/honeymoon-travel/honeymoon-countdown-calendar/

What is a Honeymoon Registry?
TheHoneymoon.com says that a honeymoon registry is “a wedding registry for your honeymoon” and “has become the registry of choice for couples that have enough household ‘stuff’”. This company offers a fully automated honeymoon registry online for guests to easily give toward your dream vacation. Check out their website at http://www.thehoneymoon.com/info/aboutregistries

Practical Tips
• Decide on a honeymoon budget. This should be incorporated into your overall wedding budget.
• If you are traveling internationally and do not have a passport, work on getting it now! For details on how to apply for a passport, visit http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
• Consider purchasing travel insurance. Packages can cover such things as trip cancellation and baggage delay. Just like wedding insurance, travel insurance can give you peace of mind and protect you from the unexpected.
• If you plan to use frequent flyer miles for your travel, start planning early. Be mindful of any blackout dates that may apply.
• Use a reputable travel agency to plan your honeymoon. Travel agents that specialize in honeymoons are the best, as they have built relationships with resorts and destinations, and can sometimes offer you special tips and even nice extras (such as champagne in your room upon arrival or breakfast in bed your first morning there).

Putting thought and effort into your honeymoon will make all the difference in the world, and will help make this the trip of a lifetime! Happy planning!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Value of Pre-Marital Education: Why It Should Be a Prerequisite of Marriage!

In the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, sometimes we forget to focus on the fact that after the wedding there’s a MARRIAGE! Once you return from your honeymoon, your life will settle into its normal routine, and each couple has to deal with the day-to-day affairs and concerns of everyday life. So how do couples handle all of the varied issues that may arise?

Premarital education is an excellent way to discover tools and techniques that can assist you, as a couple, to navigate the sea of marriage. Maybe you’d like to communicate better than you do now? Or maybe you fight too much? The time for you to face these issues is now—not later in divorce court. If you can spend months to plan a wedding, then you can make the time and put a little effort into planning your marriage.

To further the case about the value of premarital education, take a look at this statistic posted at http://www.articlesbase.com/ (February 2009) entitled, Why You Need Premarital Counseling, “Recent studies have shown that good, premarital counseling can reduce the risk of divorce by up to 30%.” This is a significant statistic. It means that if you take the time and make the effort to participate in a good premarital educational program, you cut your chances of divorce by one-third. Who wouldn’t want to participate?


If you are getting married in a church or synagogue, your clergy may require that you complete premarital counseling .If you are interested in secular counseling, seek the help of a licensed marriage and/or family therapist to work with you.

Take note that some states offer discounts on marriage licenses for couples that complete premarital counseling. Check your individual state’s requirements for details.

I encourage all couples to make time for premarital counseling/education. It’s an investment that will pay off for years to come!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Great Article on MOB (Mother of the Bride)

I ran across a GREAT article for Mothers of the Bride. Thanks to Maureen of Lyssabeth's Wedding Officiants for sharing the article!


http://memorableceremonies.blogspot.com/2010/01/dozen-ways-to-be-best-mob-mother-of.html

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wedding Insurance – Do I Really Need It?

As you begin planning your wedding day, the ‘what if’ questions will probably start coming to mind….What if a hurricane comes through my city on my wedding day? What if the bridal salon goes out of business after I’ve paid for my dress? What if my caterer is a no-show? Every bride hopes to not have to deal with these situations, but the fact of the matter is….things can happen! These ‘what ifs’ can cause anxiety and stress, but there is a solution to help you prepare for these possibilities! Wedding insurance policies are available to help plan for these and other unforeseen circumstances.

The concept of wedding insurance originated in London in 1988 and has been available in the United States since 1993. Wedding insurance is becoming increasingly more popular, particularly in light of businesses closing due to the economic downturn.

Policies can be purchased to cover such things as: refunding non-recoverable expenses if there is a last minute postponement, replacing damaged wedding gifts, recreating ruined wedding photos, or providing liability insurance if your venue requires it. In 2009, USA Today presented some interesting statistics on the most common causes of wedding insurance claims (statistics courtesy of The Travelers Companies). Forty-three percent of claims were due to problems with caterers, photographers or other vendors. And other claims were for such things as broken items and weather issues. Please click on the link below for more details on the report,.

http://www.pancommunications.com/_docs/32609USAToday.pdf


Wedding insurance, as with any other type of insurance, is an excellent way to protect the financial investment you’ve made in your wedding. Before making a decision on a policy, be sure to closely read and understand the limits of liability (those items that are not covered by your policy). You should be absolutely clear on what your policy covers. In addition, you should review your current insurance policies (your agent can assist with this) to make sure you are not buying duplicate coverage.

Check out the following links to learn more about wedding insurance coverage.

www.nasep.org
www.protectmywedding.com
www.weddinginsurance.com


Although you may never need it, wedding insurance is a smart move to prepare you for the unexpected!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wedding Cakes 101: Getting Started

I’ve written this article to help brides to start thinking about their wedding cakes. It’s more than just dessert…it’s an integral part of a wedding!

Why Wedding Cakes Are Important
The wedding cake or bridal cake should be the centerpiece of your reception! It should be displayed where everyone can see it, but out of the way of foot traffic. The cake table is an excellent location for photo ops (and not just for the cake cutting part of the reception), so where the cake is displayed becomes important. It also serves as dessert for your guests, so you want it to be delicious and memorable (there’s nothing worse than guests being served a mediocre dessert after having enjoyed a fabulous meal)!


How To Decide on a Wedding Cake
You should start shopping for your cake about 4 months before your wedding, keeping in mind that very reputable bakers and designers may be booked a year in advance. You should plan your cake around the décor and set up of your wedding reception venue. If your venue has high ceilings, you should consider a taller cake. You should also consider the colors of the venue, so that your cake colors can coordinate.

The cost of the cake is based on several factors, including: number of guests; number of tiers and layers; level of detail in the decoration; and types of flavors, filling and icing you desire. An intricately designed cake will be more expensive than a simpler one, and specialized cake flavors will also increase the overall price.

Standard vs. Specialty Flavors and Fillings
Bakeries offer a range of flavors for the cake and filling. Some standard cake flavors may include vanilla, lemon, chocolate, almond and coconut, while some specialty flavors may include red velvet, banana nut, and carrot cake. Fillings can range from lemon mousse and chocolate cream to white chocolate mousse and cream cheese. Bakeries specializing in wedding cakes should be able to customize flavors to suit your tastes!

Buttercream vs Fondant Icing
Buttercream icing is very rich in flavor. It is a smooth, creamy icing that is typically used for decorating. Fondant is a smooth, malleable icing that dries hard. It gives the cake a very smooth and professional finish and helps keep the cake moist longer. Fondant is also used to make detailed cake decoration, such as flowers and bows.

When considering the type of icing, consider where your reception will be held. If you are having an outdoor reception and it’s the middle of summer, a cake with buttercream icing will not hold up as nicely as one with fondant.

Educate Yourself
There are several excellent websites that can help you learn more about wedding cakes. One of my favorites is http://www.weddingchannel.com, where articles focus on glossaries of terms, hiring a cake designer, using flowers to decorate your cake, and many other topics. This site was extremely helpful to me when I planned my own wedding!

Happy Cake Shopping!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How To Get the Most Out of Bridal Shows and Bridal Expos

Bridal shows and bridal expos can be exciting and fun! They are also an excellent way for you to get assistance with planning your wedding or special event.

These are my top 5 tips for getting the most out of a wedding show or wedding expo:

1. Be prepared – Review the schedule for the day so you can know what events you want to attend. Many shows have fashion shows and workshops, and reviewing the schedule will help you spend your time wisely. Also, many expo organizers provide an exhibitors list so you can know which vendors will be in attendance.

2. Ask questions – The vendors you meet at a wedding expo are experts in their fields, and they are available to help you! Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the types of services they provide. If your questions are very in-depth, it may be a good idea to schedule a consultation with the vendor so he or she can spend uninterrupted time with you. Most vendors will schedule your consultation right on the spot.

3. Bring address labels – Many vendors will have giveaways for great prizes, or will offer you an opportunity to sign up for a free gift. You will need to write your contact information multiple times, so it’s a good idea to bring pre-printed labels with you to the show. Don’t forget to include your wedding date (or an approximate wedding date), email address and contact number on the labels!

4. Take notes – Bridal shows are a great opportunity for you to get ideas on such things as color combinations, décor, and fashion. Take notes on what you see! Also, if a particular wedding vendor peaks your interest and you’d like to learn more about them, make a note on their card or brochure. This will help trigger your memory about them when you move on to the next step….

5. Take time to read all of the information you received from the show – After the show, take time to review the flyers, brochures and postcards you received at the bridal expo. Visit the vendors’ websites and blogs to get additional information. Ideally, you should do this shortly after the show; you may forget some details if you wait too long. And again, if you have questions about a particular vendor’s services, don’t be afraid to ask! They are more than willing to assist!


If you are in the Tampa Bay area, check out these upcoming bridal shows!

Tampa Bay Bridal Show – Sunday February 21
http://www.tampabaybridalexpos.com

Polk County Bridal Exhibit Marketplace – Sunday March 21
http://www.pcbridalexhibit.com

Your Wedding TV’s Spring Bridal Show – Sunday April 11
http://www.YourWeddingTV.com

Florida Signature Bridal Affair – Sunday April 18
http://www.tampabride.com

Bridal shows and bridal expos can be a valuable way to spend an afternoon. Use them to your advantage in planning your wedding!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wedding Budgets - The Necessary Evil in Wedding Planning

Money and budgets can sometimes be a sensitive subject. But unless you have an unlimited about of funds to spend on a wedding, careful planning of your wedding budget is a necessary evil.

Before you start setting dates and hiring vendors, it's imperative that you sit down with your fiance' and/or your families to discuss your wedding budget. Whether you are footing the bill yourselves, or will have help from your families, you should determine what you are able to realistically spend without leaving a mountain of debt. Why start your married life with bills?

Once you have determined your bottom-line figure, decide what your wedding priorities are. Do you want to spend more on the reception and less on pictures? Is it really important to have a haute couture wedding gown, and less important to have expensive flowers? If you have a wedding planner, he or she can help you determine what things are musts and what things you can be a bit more frugal with.

Once you have developed your budget, stick to it! If you go over budget in one area, you may need to consider spending less in another area.

An excellent planning tool I've used with my brides is the following budget calculator:


http://www.yourweddingcompany.com/templates/planning/budget_calc.php/action/showProject/planId/3/


I hope you find it useful as well!

Happy Budgeting!

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