Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saving Up for Your Honeymoon

I think I told you that we moved recently. While we were packing we found a lot of change. So much change that we filled quite a few Tupperware containers. We took the containers to our local Duane Reade and tossed all of it into one of those machines that tallies your change up for you, for a fee of 8 cents per dollar.

We could have gone to the bank for free, but then we would have had to separate each coin by denomination and wrap them into paper rolls.

Anyway, we couldn't believe it, but we had over $100 in change! I think after the store took their cut, we walked away with $94. That paid for groceries, some dry cleaning and dinner that night. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I found this Honeymoon Fund container on this new shopping site, Love, Me. The site has great accessory and gift items for weddings and baby.

This $27.50 jar is a great place to keep all of your spare change. If you start collecting it right after you're engaged you may have well over $100 for your honeymoon! Now I realize that this is not going to pay for all of your honeymoon, but it might cover a few meals, a spa treatment or give you just enough to splurge on an upgrade.

Random Wedding Music Tips

Last night we went to Chorus Karaoke, a local New York City karaoke bar – with private rooms thank g-d. I’ve always wanted to do karaoke, but never had the opportunity. We were a small group of four, but we had the best time. I sang my heart out. And the night inspired me to write two tips/ideas for today’s post.

1 – If you’re looking to have a fun time, without strippers, at your bachelorette party, you may want to go to your local karaoke bar. They might have discounted rates if you get there before a certain time and you can secure a private room if you're shy in front of strangers. (We got 20% off the hourly rate because we were there before 9pm.) I’m not saying it’s the only thing to do, but you can easily make it part of your night.

2 – One of the songs I sang last night was I Will Survive and I just want to mention that I really don’t think this is an appropriate song for a wedding. Maybe it’s just me, but I never liked the idea of playing songs at a wedding that have to do with leaving someone. I’m sure there are other fun disco-era songs that your band or DJ can play instead if you love the 1970s. Donna Summer has a whole bunch of fun disco songs you could sing. Maybe It's Raining Men should be reserved for the bachelorette party.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Destination Wedding: Hawaii

While many brides plan a Hawaiian honeymoon, you may want to think of getting hitched there too! From a beach-front settings to a volcano in the background, Hawaii has a lot to offer a couple getting married with just a few close friends or the whole gang.

I recently spoke with Evonne Wong, owner of Events by Evonne in Maui. 99% of the weddings she plans/designs are destination weddings. Here are her top two planning tips for brides thinking of getting married on one of the Hawaiian Islands:

What’s the first thing a bride needs to do when deciding on having a destination wedding in Hawaii?

After the bride and groom discuss their budget and size of their guest list, they need to decide which island they want to get married on, since every Hawaiian island has different things to offer. The Hawaii’s Visitors & Convention Bureau is a good place to start.

A bride should do her homework and research. The most important thing is to find a reputable wedding planner who can handle all the intricate details of the wedding. The planner should know who the best vendors are and where the best locations are on the island. Once you hire your wedding planner, the rest of the planning will be seamless.

How do you work with brides from a distance?

When a couple is not familiar with local location and vendors, they have to rely on the wedding planner to help them with all of their details. About 90% of the couples I work with fly out to Hawaii for a scouting trip about 9 to 12 months prior to their wedding. I highly recommend couples make the trip because it gives me an opportunity to meet with them in person and get to know them better as we check out all of the locations and meet with vendors. We also spend time finalizing some of the wedding day details, such as the menu and cake through tastings.

Now I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I hear it’s beautiful, and if you're looking for a tropical destination wedding within the 50 states, Hawaii is the only place to go.

For more Hawaiian wedding planning tips, check out Evonne's blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

20 Fun Bridal Shower Games

My sister emailed me that one of her clients is planning a bridal shower and needs some ideas for games. I have a list of 5 games that I usually recommend, but I just got an email from a reader about a list 20 games for bridal showers and I thought I’d share the link with you.

I’m always partial to doing something that involves your guests: Stump the bride with trivia about the groom or weddings in general, the newlywed game with the groom (either in person or on video) and a poem – candy, candles or cleaning products. The poems you can easily divide among the bridesmaids.

Remember when planning a shower keep your guests in mind. Games are not mandatory, but you should have some form of entertainment. I’ve heard of a mother of the groom hiring a stripper for the shower, but I'd save that for the bachelorette party.

And when it comes to presents, if there are more than 20 gifts to unwrap, create an assembly line with the help of all the bridesmaids. Here are the assignments: unwrap gifts and hand to bride, open boxes if necessary (remember the bride can’t cut anything), re-pack gifts after bride sees/shows them, write down who gave what, garbage collection and ribbon bouquet or hat maker. (I’m partial to the bouquet.)

There’s a debate as to whether the bride should unwrap her gifts, but if you’re dealing with two dozen or more, I think the bridesmaids should unwrap them. Otherwise you’ll be there for hours.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wedding Invitations 101

Remember in the movie Father of the Bride when George Banks is imagining his daughter’s small-ish wedding, and he thinks they can have the wedding at their favorite restaurant, The Steak Pit? Their young son says, “I don’t think you want the word ‘pit’ on a wedding invitation.”

A similar situation happened last week. A colleague told me her friend got engaged and that the wedding reception will be at a restaurant. The restaurant’s name? The Cock & Bull. (I swear on Aggie, that’s what it’s called.)

Thank g-d it turns out the facility is part of a larger complex and they can just write “reception to follow” or something similar on their invitation, but the whole situation got me thinking about wedding invitations in general.

Whether your wedding is casual or formal, you should still follow the basic format for your invitation wording: host line, request line, bride and groom’s names, wedding date and time, location line and attire (if desired).

You can send guests a complex three-dimensional invitation or put your invite on a DVD. You can even send a singing telegram, but you’d still have to send a paper reminder since no one will remember everything the messenger sang.

Talk to your stationer about ways to personalize your invitation. From colors and paper choices to creative embellishments (crystals, ribbon, silk flowers, feathers), he or she will be able to work with you to create something your guests will never forget. Remember, your wedding invitation is the first glimpse of your wedding your guests will see.  

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bridesmaid Gifts They'll Wear Again and Again

Finding the perfect bridesmaid gift is not an easy task. How can you really thank your closest friends and relatives for being your support system, helping you plan your wedding and paying hundreds of dollars on a dress they’ll only wear once (with matching accessories), your shower and bachelorette party and gifts!

I know a lot of brides will give their ‘maids jewelry to match their bridesmaid dress, but if they’re never going to wear the dress again – and face it, the chances are small – they probably won’t wear the matching jewels either.

Why not treat your girls to necklaces that, while they may not wear to your wedding, they are sure to wear day and night for years to come.

Jennifer Fisher designs a wide range of charms so you can choose the perfect shape for each girl. Make them even more personal by adding their first initial to one of them.

I’m not going to pretend that this gift can get pricey, so you may want to choose one charm and let your friends add others on their own.

Click here to view the collection, and here to start shopping!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

From the Beginning

I guess this post is more to make your heart melt, but when a colleague emailed me the following clip, I thought it would be appropriate to re-start this blog with a very romantic (and creative) wedding proposal:

Even if you're not a fan of Scrubs you have to admit that this is a great proposal.

Friday, July 18, 2008

News Flash

Starting tomorrow, Thursday, July 24th, From "I Will" to "I Do" will return to its original home on blogger. The blog will continue being daily, and I'll be adding a few new features to the blog.

Stay tuned...


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