March 25, 2019

What's Your Signature?

One aspect of your wedding that could become costly are your beverages, specifically your alcoholic ones. There have been mixed thoughts on if you should have an open bar or if you have a cash bar. Most will say having a cash bar is a big "no-no". If you tend to agree and want to offer free cocktails for your guests there is a way to do that without busting your reception budget. Trying to stock up a bar can get quite pricey so instead of offering all the possible combinations, why not considering serving a couple of signature drinks instead? You can easily pair them with a simple beer and wine service and save on cost.

This is something that is becoming more popular for weddings as well as other events. One might ask "What makes it signature?" The drinks that you choose are reflective of who you are as a couple. You can pick drinks that when people have them they are something that could see the two of you drinking. The nice part about it is that your signatures do not have to be an alcoholic beverage if you don't want them to be.

When thinking of how to pick your signature, there are a few ways you can go with it. One way is to pick a signature that goes with your color scheme. You can make a drink a variety of colors these days by mixing the right things together. Maybe you have decided to go with a tiffany blue color palette, choose a beverage that not only tastes good, but will also display the blue you're looking for. Maybe you have the tropics in mind, pick something that displays the colors of an island get away.

This is your opportunity to be creative both with the look and the taste, and it also gives whoever will be tending your bar a chance to use their creative skills in making something perfect for you.

Another option could be selecting a His & Hers combo. Women tend to like their drinks to be on the fruity side, and most men aren't down for that. So, in order to make you both happy. Choose a drink that will make him and the fellas happy and one that will satisfy the palette of the ladies in attendance. Perhaps bourbon is more his speed and you're move of a vodka or gin type girl. You both can get what you want.

Here's a couple of ideas that might work:
For Her try a Pomegranate Martini and for Him he might like a classic Rob Roy

Now if alcoholic beverages are not your thing, have fun creating some fun and fruity ones. These would be great for any kiddos that might be attending your event. These would be your signature "mocktails" to add some flavor to your celebration. You can still dress them up in a champagne flute or martini class.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it. Pick a day for you and your significant other to go do a drink tasting with the bartenders you choose for your day. Maybe you can incorporate it with your dinner tasting if your catering and bar service are being provided by the same company.  Focusing on serving a couple of drinks can save you some money and your guests will still have fun with some refreshing choices.

March 13, 2019

Be an Appy Couple

In a previous post we talked about a way for people keep up with your wedding via the world wide web and a wedding website. Since we are in the technology age, I figured, why not take it a step further? It seems like everything now a days has an app, so why not take advantage of that and possibly make your lives easier at the same time.

We were doing some web surfing and came across something interesting. There is a website called Appy Couple (hence the title of the blog post). With this website you are able to create and app and a website together. Sounds like a 2-for-1 if you ask me. So we looked a little further into this to see what all it is capable of doing.
  • You can tell your guests all of the logistical details
  • You can give people a calendar of events
  • You can send messages to specific members of your bridal party
  • You can share where you have registered
  • Guests can share pictures that took with you
  • So much more!
Think about those conferences you went to that had apps and how easy it was to get what you needed. Now you can do that for your guests. There is a one time fee depending upon which package you choose and your guests would just download it from the App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android phones. They put in your wedding code and then they are ready to go. 

Below is a short demo to see it. If you like what you see check out to learn more.

March 11, 2019

I'm Engaged! Now What?

So the love of your life asked you to marry him (Congratulations!) As you're getting used to your new status all sorts of things will be going on in your head. You have to tell your family and show off that beautiful piece of jewelry that will forever be worn. Once you've gotten through that and you're sitting down thinking "I have to plan a wedding! What do I do?" First things first, pick up the phone and call us (no, seriously).  Before that happens though, there are a few things that you need to decide on. The below list will help give you a starting point to begin planning the day of your dreams.

When and Where 

These two W's are about the most important thing to figure out. This is where you and your honey sit down and pick your date. Do you want a Fall or Summer wedding? Do you want an evening or a brunch affair? Will it be a Friday or even a Sunday? One tip would be to try and avoid major holidays if you can. That could inflate your costs and significantly reduce your guest list (which actually might not be a bad thing). After you decide on the date, the next important step is location. will you get married on the beaches of Jamaica or in the church you grew up in? Do you want to have both the ceremony and reception in the same venue?

How Much

This question is actually way more important than the other to. This is where you set your budget. Both of you have to realistically think how much you want to spend. Will the both of you being paying for every solely on your own or will you be asking your parents/family to contribute? One thing to mention about that is if you decide to ask family, be prepared to also accept their suggestions as well as their money. Budgeting is so very important throughout this process, make sure you allow enough for a wedding planner (yes, I said it again). Whatever company you hire, it is the job of the planners, consultants, etc. to keep you on budget. With that, you have to be willing to let them do that. Trust when I tell you, you don't want to be trying to pay off items for your wedding and you've been married for a couple of years.

Use Your Imagination 

This where the fun begins! This is where you start thinking about the look and feel of your wedding. Start thinking about what colors would look great together. How many people do you want standing next to you on the alter. What event space captures your vision? Do you want roses or daisies? Start looking in magazines or in this age of social media Pinterest to grab ideas. Start a wedding board a pin your little heart out.

If you start with those things, then when you decide to bring in your planner, you will have a lot of the "pre-work" done already. You're life is going to get crazy very quickly and depending upon how long you and your mate are giving yourself between the engagement and the wedding, things may go very quickly. Make sure you prioritize and seek help when you ready.

Oh, the last thing....ENJOY IT! You're engaged, take time to really let that settle in. think about and cherish that moment before diving right in.

March 8, 2019

What's Stopping Your "Yes to the Dress"?

We have watched numerous episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" lately.  For those who may have never seen the show, it is about brides who go gown shopping at the famed boutique Klienfield.  It shows the ups and downs that brides go through while shopping.

One thing that we have been seeing with the show is that when brides go to the store they bring ALL these people with them. We have seen no less than 4 and as many has 6 or 7 to "help" the bride make her decision.  More times than not, however, having the entourage proves to do more harm than good.  Traditionally, brides usually bring their mother and a grandmother.  Then you start adding bridesmaids, aunts and siblings. This is where the situation gets sticky.

For one thing, multiple people bring multiple opinions.  Your bridesmaids may like the dress, but your mom and aunt don't think it fits right. However, the bride may agree with the bridesmaids.  This situation tends to put the bride in the middle while at the same time totally negating the opinion of the most important person - the bride.  Also to add to the situation your Mother or Grandmother has agreed to pay for the dress. So, that adds the element of trying to make your family member happy. While we do understand this adds influence to your final decision, you still have to be careful.

Shopping for your gown is supposed to be an enjoyable experience.  You should already have an idea of what you want. Though you may want people to share in the shopping adventure with you, remember that it is about what you want.  Your opinion is the most important over everyone else's.  You know how you want to look on your wedding day. You have pictured yourself walking down the aisle in a particular dress.  Don't lose that and don't let your ideas become overshadowed by the views of other people.

When you put that wedding dress on that is "the one" say YES to your dress and don't let anyone make you think something different.

Click below to see Kleinfeld's website.

March 7, 2019

Unplugging Your Wedding Ceremony

In the era of social media, what we've seen more and more are people who are really quick to record and post all sorts of things on social media whether it's Facebook, Twitter and the ever popular YouTube. One of the things that has become more popular being publicized are weddings as they happen. This can affect many aspects of your ceremony and could potentially ruin a happy time in your life.

Now don't get me wrong, we're not saying people shouldn't capture your moment. People will want to remember your day for themselves later on. However, if you as the couple, do not set some guidelines, it can get out of control.

We read one story from a photographer who had an experience at a wedding where a lot of the shots taken during the ceremony were ruined because guests kept stepping in front of her trying to get shots and recording video. In the long run that will affect couples because it will reduce the number of photos that can be used. That is something that we know no one wants to happen and it causes frustration for the vendors that are hired for the sole purpose of capturing the moments. There was another instance where a bridesmaid took a photo of the bride and posted it on Facebook before the ceremony, well the groom was on Facebook scrolling through his feed to kill time and saw the picture. Well, so much for the first look as his bride is coming down the aisle. Another aspect of this all is as a bride and groom, do you really want the internet to see your ceremony and your dress before you want it to? You should be the ones to put out the first images of your ceremony.

There are ways that you can politely tell your guests that you would prefer them not to take pictures of your ceremony while at the same time letting them know at the reception, take as many pictures and post them. These examples can provide some guidance.

Create a Sign

As your guests enter the venue, display a sign that lets them know your request for them to not take photos and video during your ceremony. There are clever ways that it can be said and so that people will know you truly want them to just sit and enjoy the ceremony.

Make an Announcement

In the event that your guests don't see the sign, have your officiant make an announcement prior to the beginning of the ceremony. That way your guests cannot say they didn't know if you happen to see a photo on social media after you've taken steps to prevent it. It can also be mentioned that although you'd like to keep photos out of the ceremony that they are more than welcome to take pictures at the reception. Most times during receptions people are seated at their tables so it won't inhibit the photographer's view.

Create a Reception Hashtag

Make a sign for each one of our guests that lets them know now that you're at the reception, have fun taking pictures and capturing those fun moments. It can be a simple card that you lay at each place setting to let them know snap away and event give them an avenue to collect them such as #JonesWedding for Twitter, Instagram and any other outlet traditionally used. Most times during receptions people are seated at their tables so it won't inhibit the photographer's view, but I'd still make it clear for guests to stand clear of the professional as they are trying to get those memorable shots.

These things could be very helpful if you decide this is the avenue you want to take for your ceremony. If you don't mind people posting to Facebook and other social media outlets as it's happening then that is great. This if for those who have considered incorporating this into your ceremony in order to make it intimate and somewhat private for the time being. At the reception, prepare to say "cheese" and smile a lot because I'm pretty sure your guests will make up for what they couldn't take pictures of earlier.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you are having the day YOU want to have.

March 4, 2019

Grooms Actually Do Care

Most times when the question is asked about the wedding process, the topic of the groom comes up. I can't begin to tell you the number of times I've heard a bride say 'Oh he doesn't really care.' or 'He just wants to know what time to be there.' What this implies is that he really doesn't care about anything going on during the planning process because it is always seen as "it's the bride's day". In all actuality though, that's not necessarily true. There are elements of the wedding that most grooms tend to have a strong opinion about (aside from how much all this stuff is going to cost). Below is a list of things that you'll want to make sure you include your groom in when making your decisions. After all it's not just the bride's day, but a day for the both of you.

The Honeymoon

This aspect of the wedding the groom will want full control. I'm almost sure of it because this gives them to plan their dream vacation (or close to it). This will be days of relaxation that will serve as his reward for enduring all the months before (let's be real). Of course it also to enjoy all the alone time with is new bride that he wants to. This is one area he has so brides don't worry about it and leave him to it.

The Registry

What man would pass up going to a department store and shooting a bunch of items with a gun? This aspect of the planning will also bring your groom out with no hesitation. It gives him the opportunity to try obtain all the little gadgets that he's had is heart set on, but really didn't want to buy personally. It is advised that when you do your registry and you select all the things you think you'd want for your home and not just the usual sheets, towels, dishes, kitchen items, etc. You fiancé may have his eye on a new grill or maybe even a TV for the basement. If he can get away with putting on there, it will be on there. He will be a full participant in this area you can count on it. Side note, with most registries, the items that don't get picked up by your guests can be bought by you at a discounted rate, so put that Dyson on there because you know those jokers are expensive!

Tuxedos and Such

This is another area that you probably won't get your man to budge much on. More times than not, he will already have an idea of what he and his boys will wear that day. The only thing he will want to know from you is what color to get the ties and vests in. I'm sure he would be open to suggestions about what you envision them wearing, however, I seriously doubt you will be able to pick it out. You'll just have to go with the flow on this one. This is where you have to trust his judgment because I'm sure he wants his guys to look just as good as he know you and your ladies will.

Food and Beverage

As they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and on his wedding day, he's going to make sure he has some good food to put in it. Any food and beverage tastings you and your planner have mapped out, make sure you include your fiancé because he will definitely want to be a part of those. After all, it is his guests that will be eating along with yours and he wants to make sure the choices will be acceptable. If you are planning to have a signature drink, he will want to make sure it tastes just right and most definitely, he will want to be a part of picking your wedding cake.

Above are just a few of areas in your wedding planning that you should consider your fiancé and his opinion in your big day. Even though he might not say it's important, or event shrug it off as it being your thing, just know that he really does care and wants his elements displayed on your big day just like you do. You are about to enter into a union that is all about compromise and making decisions together. What better way to start down that path than by you make a conscious effort to include your honey? Trust me when I tell you, he will appreciate it and will thank you.

February 28, 2019

Is Hiring A Planner Really Necessary?

Short answer to this question is yes. What many people don’t realize is when you plan an event, whether be on a large or small scale, there are a lot of things you have to consider and do when you are preparing for that day. Planning a party is like taking on a second job. You want the day of your special function to be a happy time so why worry about if your caterer arrives on time, or if your linens are the right color, or if the centerpieces are being assembled properly? Also, in trying to worry about the big details, a lot of the small ones my get overlooked if you don’t have a professional in your corner. Things like, do you have plates and utensils for cake, or did you give your playlist to your DJ?

There are so many elements that go along with planning, so why not budget in an event planner to help with those things? Many people believe we are an unnecessary expense that can be avoided or too expensive to hire, but you’d be surprised to know that it very well may save you money in the end. I found this great article that I believe sums up everything really well.

Why Hire an Event Planner?
by Paula Scutella-Jagos

In the past, many have thought that hiring an event planner was an extravagance only meant for the elite. After all, why spend money for something you could "do yourself"? Today, however, times have changed.

The costs and complexity of planning any event, but most especially weddings, have many people turning to an event planner. Here are some reasons why you should hire an event planner:

• Save yourself the hassle, time and energy.

• You will be able to enjoy the event with out worry or stress.
• They work within your budget.
• They make sure things run smoothly from start to finish and every little detail in between.
• They can help you with venue selection, budget, contracts, design and décor, making sure all your expectations are met.
• They have established relationships with many vendors, which will save you time and money when they make the arrangements (food, lights, entertainment, etc.).
• You can feel like a guest at your own party with out having to worry about how everything is running.
• They do full planning, month-of planning and day-of coordination.

These are just a few reasons how an event planner can help to make your event flawless. Whether it be for a corporate event or meeting, wedding, birthday party or family reunion, make sure to celebrate with a big bang! Hire an event planner and celebrate without stress.