Friday, July 30, 2010

Don't Go Into Debt While Planning Your Wedding

There's been a lot of press on how much Chelsea Clinton's wedding is costing and estimates have gone upwards of $3 million!  I personally think the wedding will come in around $1.5 to 2 million and most of that is on the infrastructure - tents, lighting, air conditioning, bathrooms, etc...

The most important thing to remember when planning your wedding is to keep to your vision and plan the wedding you want, but don't go into debt!

Don't take out a loan.  Don't mortgage your house or let your parents mortgage theirs to pay for the wedding.  And don't use your credit cards if you know that you can't pay off the bill at the end of the month.

There are a zillion ways to have the wedding of your dreams on your budget.  Just think creatively and don't be afraid to ask your vendors and friends for ideas.  Turn to wedding magazines and websites for creative ways to save money.

Never lose sight of the fact that you are marrying the person you love and who you want to spend the rest of your life with.  That is what a wedding is all about.  The flowers and cake and dress are all extras.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Do You Include Registry Information on a Wedding Invitation?

No you don't.  And you don't include a printed insert with the registry information in the envelope either.

So how will your guests know where to purchase a wedding gift from?  Either the information will be posted on your wedding website or they'll ask you or your parents or other friends/relatives who are going to the wedding.

Don't worry, the information will get out there.

A girl at the office called me the other day because she was invited to a wedding and couldn't make it.  She wanted to send the couple a gift but since the registry information wasn't included in the invitation suite she didn't know what to do.

I suggested just asking the couple or she could Google the couple's name and possibly find their wedding website or she could enter the bride's name into a few popular national stores and she'll most likely come across the couple's registry.

So she entered the bride's name into Bloomingdale's Bridal Registry website and the couple's registry popped up.

There's always a solution!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why the New Look?

Because blogger kept asking me to try their new templates so after 4 years I did.

I think it's looks fine - I don't love the borders but I'm sure I can tweak them.  If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them!

I added a line at the bottom of each post for you to click whether you think the day's post is helpful or if you disagree with me.

There's also a search button so you can search for wedding tips and ideas with ease.

And for Twitter, since I tweet mainly from @aisledash, I added a list of the latest three tweets which I thought would come in handy if you're following me at a wedding even like bridal market.

Please let me know what you think of the site as well as what edits I should make!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Air Conditioning -- What Not To Do In Hot Weather

Yesterday I mentioned that it's important to have air conditioning at your venue if you are getting married in the middle of the summer, but here's what you don't want to do.  Or better yet, what you don't want your venue to do.

We went to a wedding in early July and of course the venue had air conditioning on because it was hot out.  The vents at this venue were in the floor and unfortunately for us, and about six other tables, the vents were placed around the rim of the room.  Right where our tables were placed.

The vents weren't directly under the tables.  They were directly under three of the chairs of these six tables, and unfortunately for me and Dave, we were stuck right over them.

Needless to say we were freezing!

So if you notice that your venue's vents are on the floor, please ask the location manager not to place any chairs your guests may sit on over them.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Wedding on a Boat

Last week I wrote a post about weddings at sea or on a boat based on a wedding that my friend was going to last weekend.  Today I got the full report from her and felt that I should share it with you.

So they get to the boat and it's not a fancy yacht or a modern boat that looks like it does a lot of catered events.  She said the boat looked really old and it was small.  So small in fact that it was very cramped before everyone was there and set sail.

In a New York summer, during a heat wave, the couple chose a boat that had no air conditioning and the outdoor deck space for guests to cool off was tiny - smaller than the indoor space that was already cramped, so not everyone could enjoy the cool sea air.

About a half hour after setting sail a thunderstorm hit.

What's the lesson in all of this?

1 - Think of your guests' needs.  Air conditioning in the summer is essential.  Enough space to move around for mixing, mingling and dancing is also important.

2 - Always have a plan B.  The forecast said there would be a storm that night so I don't know why the couple or the ship's captain or catering manager chose to risk being on a boat in the middle of it.

3 - Have Dramamine on hand just in case someone gets seasick.

4 - Choose a boat that has modern amenities and one that your guests can't, or probably won't, describe as old.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rehearsal Dinner Toast

I was at dinner this evening at a local restaurant and there was a large party of about 30 people at the next table.  At first we thought it was a birthday or anniversary dinner but it turns out that it was a rehearsal dinner.  The couple is getting married tomorrow.

How do I know?  The bride and groom made a toast and thanked everyone for coming, said they looked forward to having them with them tomorrow and then handed out blue handkerchiefs.

You usually hear wedding experts talk about the bridal party and parents roasting and toasting the bride and groom at the rehearsal dinner but it's a nice idea for the bride and groom to say something too.

The couple tonight spoke for maybe 2-3 minutes.  Their speech was simple - they thanked everyone for being at the dinner and said they were looking forward to tomorrow.

So before you call it a night at your rehearsal dinner, say a few words to your guests - after all they are your closest friends and relatives.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

There are So Many Wedding Blogs!

The nomination period ended today for the Wedding Blog Awards and I have started to tally up the nominees to determine who the finalists are in each category.

I assumed I'd be familiar with many of the blogs nominated but I was very surprised at the number I didn't know.  So I started checking them out and I am really so excited at all the new blogs I'm discovering.

I think it's amazing that weddings are inspiring so many people and I highly recommend clicking around on  blogrolls when you see a blog name you don't recognize.  You never know what inspiration and information you'll find!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weddings at Sea: A Few Helpful Tips

A friend of mine called today to borrow an outfit for a wedding.  She said that it's this weekend, in New York City, but more specifically on a boat.  The boat will set sail at a specific time and circle Manhattan.  My friend was told that it's casual party attire, that she should wear flat shoes and that if she wants she can dress in the wedding's nautical theme.

I thought it was interesting that the bride was specific in what attire she was suggesting guests should wear, but better to let people know that heels are probably not the best option.

There were a few other things that came to mind re: a wedding on a boat, especially since someone earlier this week told me that he and his fiance were planning to get married on a cruise ship next summer.

So here are some tips and thoughts re: a wedding at sea:

1.  Don't plan a cruise to the Caribbean during hurricane season.  And if you do risk it make sure to get traveler's insurance and that your policy allows for reimbursement due to inclement weather.  Recommend to your guests that they do the same thing.

2.  If you are getting married by a ship's captain, get all the legal information in writing in advance of the cruise so that all the paperwork is in order and when you return home you are legally married.

3.  Have Dramamine or other seasickness medication on hand at the wedding.  You can include a pack in your guest room gifts or just have some nearby in case a guest needs some.  It's safe to assume that most of your guests will know if they are prone to seasickness but sometimes if the weather gets too choppy or the meal didn't sit well a guest could get seasick and Dramamine will come in handy.

4.  Suggest guests bring a shawl, cardigan or jacket with them because it can get chilly.  You can also offer pashmina wraps to guests as a gift or to borrow when they arrive.

5.  Have a plan B if it looks like the weather is turning stormy.  Talk to the boat's catering manager about land or dock options if a storm hits and the water gets to choppy.

6.  Make sure that your guests know exactly what time the ship is setting sail and when the ship will dock.  You don't want any guests missing the boat!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Parents: The Wedding Crashers

I love this photo.

My parents went to St. Lucia for a long weekend a few weeks ago and while they were there they came across a wedding. And since their daughter works in the wedding industry they decided to crash the wedding.

They said the bride and groom and their guests were very welcoming - I don't think they ate or drank anything, thought if they had PIBs there I wouldn't put it past dad to grab one. (Sorry dad.)

There really is no wedding tip here, just a funny story and a great photo of my dad with the bride.

The wedding took place at Fond Doux Holiday Plantation in Soufriere.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ms. or Miss

I received an email from a bride about to address her wedding invitation envelopes and she wanted to know when to use Miss vs. Ms. for single female guests.

I told her that she should use Miss for anyone under 18 or 21 and Ms. for anyone older. If the single female guest is a widow you should use Mrs.  as in Mrs. John Smith.

Since I'm sure she's not the only bride with this question I thought I'd share it with all of you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Get Up On the Dance Floor

As the bride and groom you are the hosts of the event - if you're parents are paying they are considered hosts too.  So when it comes to getting the party started it's up to the two of you to get things going.

Your guests will follow your lead.  If you're on the dance floor they'll want to be on it with you.  If you're visiting with each table, many people will remain in their seats because they are waiting to speak with you.

Basically, the more the bride and groom avoid the dance floor the more your guests will.

So if you're hoping that everyone has an amazing time at your wedding and hired a great band or DJ it's important that the two of you enjoy time on the dance floor with your guests.  If you guys aren't big dancers there's nothing wrong with planning a formal dinner and hiring musicians specifically to play background music during the meal.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Please Vote for! was nominated for a Bridal Blog Award on Wedding Channel in the Best Wedding Planning category.

We're currently in 3rd place and voting ends tomorrow.  I'd really appreciate it if you'd click over there and vote for us!

As a new site I'm really honored to be nominated, but of course it would be cool to win!

Click here to vote!

Thanks so much!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't Jump to Conclusions

A friend whose shower was this past weekend told me that she was surprised that two of her guests didn't bring a shower gift with them to the party.  I knew that she thought a gift wasn't coming but I told her not to jump to any conclusions, at least not yet.

It's possible that they forgot the gift at home or decided to have it shipped to the bride's home instead of bringing it with them to the shower - either because it was to heavy to carry or because  they didn't have time to get to the store and only had time to shop online.

It's only been a few days so I told her to wait a few weeks and see if a gift arrives in the mail  It's not like these shower guests won't be getting a wedding invitation due to this situation, but I could tell that the bride was not happy about this situation - she was definitely surprised someone would show up without a shower gift.  After all the main event at a bridal shower is opening up all the bride's gifts, right?

There are a few people who didn't give us a gift at our wedding - seven years later I'm assuming the check isn't in the mail.  But there was one guest who couldn't make the wedding and about nine months after the wedding, we received a glass punch bowl in the mail.  It was the nicest surprise and one of my favorite wedding gifts.

Don't jump to conclusions if you find yourself in this situation.  I always assume the best in people and if someone does come to your shower or wedding without a gift, yes it's upsetting and surprising, but don't write them off, you never know if a gift could arrive one day or the non-gift giver may surprise you in another way wedding or non-wedding related.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Toasting Tips From Weddings I've Been To

So at the wedding we went to - the one with the guy who looked more like a paparazzi than a wedding guest - there were four toasts.  I have to say that I was a littler worried that they would take forever because all four people - the groom's brother and best friend and two friends of the bride - all got up at the same time and spoke one after the other but each kept it short and sweet - no longer than 5 minutes each - and they were all great toasts.

They told funny anecdotes about the couple.  The older brother joked about how he would abuse his younger brother when they were kids, the groom's friend told a few quick and funny things about stupid things the groom had done over the years.  And for the bride, both women shared stories of how they met her in college and what she had told them about the groom when she first met him.  One of which his friends will never let him forget.

It's important to keep wedding toasts/speeches short but also light and friendly.  Add a joke or two, tell the couple you wish all the best and then raise a glass for all the guests to toast the couple with you.

Don't bring up past relationships - one father of the bride mentioned the bride's ex during his toast at a wedding we went to a few years back, never a good sign - and don't ramble.  Prepare your remarks or make some notes so you have a guide as to what you want to say.

And if you've had a few drinks to get rid of nerves, remember that a drunk toast maker is probably not going to make a great toast, so keep the cocktails to a minimum until after you've toasted the couple.

Monday, July 12, 2010

An Easy Way to Save Money on Your Wedding

We went to a wedding a few weeks ago and during the ceremony one of the guests pulled out his very fancy digital camera with a telephoto lens.

I've written before about not spending money on disposable cameras for the reception because your guests will bring their own digital cameras and email you the photos.  Well, this is an example of a guest taking wedding photos to share with the couple and friends.

Part of me wondered if the guest was a secondary shooter.  He wasn't, he just loves photography and I'm sure he got some great shots.

So save money by not buying disposable cameras and put it towards another wedding details.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Having a Friend Officiate Your Wedding Ceremony

A news story came out late today that New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was getting married this weekend and the officiant will be former President Bill Clinton.  The bride is Huma Abedin has been an aide to Secretary of State Clinton for several years.

Since the groom is Jewish and the bride is Muslim I'm sure they had several discussions on whether they should have a rabbi and/or an Imam or they could go the secular route and have a judge or Justice of the Peace, but no, they went with former President Clinton.

Honestly I think it's great but I don't know if it's legal.  He's not an ordained minister or a New York State public official.  And marriage laws are governed by the states so I don't think there's an overriding federal marriage officiating law that gives presidents - past or present - the authority to perform a marriage ceremony.

Can you imagine if it came out that he was ordained online to perform weddings - maybe his fee goes to charity?

If you're thinking of having a friend or relative officiate your ceremony, I would double check the laws of your state since every state's marriage laws are different and confirm that the place where he or she is getting ordained is legitimate.

And once you confirmed that it's legal I would sit with your officiant and discuss your wedding ceremony, just like you would with a priest, rabbi or Imam.  Talk about the format and how you want it to be personalized.  Don't let your friend wing it, especially if it's his or her first wedding.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Your Mom Has Been Dreaming of Your Wedding Longer Than You Have

If you’re a basketball fan you probably just learned that LeBron James has decided to go to the Miami Heat.

Now to be honest, I don’t really care except that Dave would have liked it if he came to NY, but LeBron said something in the interview this evening that caught my attention.

He said he had a conversation with his mom this morning and that talk helped him confirm his decision to go to Miami.

You know your mom has been dreaming of your wedding since you were born. I know as soon as I learned we were having a girl I started thinking of her wedding. And when Dave danced around the apartment with her at three months old I thought of the father-daughter dance they would share one day.

I know I work in weddings so it’s weddings all the time by me, but it’s important that you realize how much this day means to your parents. So when you are planning your wedding include them in the planning process. Ask them for their opinions. Ask them to join you when you meet with vendors. Don’t just include them in discussions on money.

Trust me, you’ll have a much better planning process and wonderful memories from this time if you do.

And by the way, his mom has been thinking of her son’s wedding since he was a baby too so don’t forget to include your future mother-in-law in some of the plans.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Keep Wedding Guests Cool On a Hot Wedding Day

It is so hot out. Can you imagine what it would be like if you had an outdoor wedding in this heat?

If you’re getting married outdoors and in a location where it is extremely hot or a heat wave is possible, you may want to double check a few things and add a few cooling wedding details.
  1. Make sure the venue - ceremony and reception - have an air conditioning system to keep you and your guests cool.
  2. Renting a tent?  Talk to the tent company about bringing in an air conditioner and what your other options are to keep guests cool.
  3. If you are thinking of having your guests stand during the ceremony and mingle during the reception, have enough seats available for older guests and children.
  4. Have a shaded area for guests to avoid direct sunlight by either renting a tent or reserving an indoor space at your venue.
  5. Offer guests cold drinks when they arrive to help them cool off before the ceremony. You can serve water - still or sparkling - or you can create a themed beverage bar - lemonade, iced tea or virgin cocktails on the rocks.
  6. In addition to wedding cake serve your guests a chilled dessert such as ice cream, sorbet or gelato. Maybe your wedding cake baker can make you a Baked Alaska wedding cake?  Or what about a large ice cream cake from Carvel?
  7. As guests arrive for the ceremony have an usher hand out paper fans. You can double up on details by printing your wedding program on one or both sides of the fan.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Wedding Guests: Don't Lose the Wedding Invitation

Since our fridge isn't magnetic I usually leave important items to remember, like wedding and shower invitations, on our kitchen island.  But unfortunately we leave everything else on the island and before I know it the important stuff is under a pile of magazines, newspapers, press releases, books, baby items and coupons, knick-knacks and g-d only knows what else.  I just hope there isn't any food under the pile.

Because I often misplace wedding invitations I only know when a wedding is but can't always remember where or the time.

We have a wedding in August and I know it's the first weekend - on the 7th - but for the life of me all I can remember is that it's at a hotel in Manhattan.

Now I'm not going to call every hotel to find out where it is and I don't want to call the bride or groom because they'll think I don't care enough about their wedding to know where and when it is, which isn't true - I'm just not organized and juggling too many things at once.

So what will we do?  If they have a wedding website I can google it or ask her for the site and maybe it'll be posted there or I'll call a friend who is going and ask her for the information.

The point of this post is:  Put wedding and shower invitations in a safe and easy to remember/locate place so you don't have to go through the stress of figuring out where and when the wedding or shower is and it's better not to upset or piss off the bride too.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Holiday Weekend Weddings

Many couples plan their wedding over a three-day holiday weekend because they can plan extra pre- and post-wedding events and when you have guests traveling, a three-day weekend turns the trip to your wedding into a mini-vacation.

When picking a holiday weekend think of your guests and if you may be intruding on their own family time.

Thanksgiving is a perfect example of a weekend you may want to avoid.  People travel to be with their families on Thanksgiving weekend and they may not be able to cancel family plans - or to be honest, they may not want to - to go to your wedding.

Columbus Day weekend is a three-day weekend for some people but not all businesses give employees the Monday off.  Your Sunday night wedding may not be possible for people who have to work the following morning.

Labor Day weekend is a tough one because it is the last summer weekend of the season but families with kids may take the time for one last family trip before the school year begins.

Before settling on a wedding date make sure to ask key family members - aunts, uncles, grandparents and of course your parents and siblings - and close friends if the date or weekend works for them.  Once you get an okay from your must-have guests it's safe to book the venue and vendors.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin