Going About The Photography On The Big Day

Photographs are memories captured for a lifetime, perhaps the most important take-away of any marriage celebration. It can’t be stressed upon enough how critical it is to capture them right. This would mean that you have to trust the job to get done from a professional with the right talent, skills and most importantly the experience.

You will find professionals with several styles but choosing a style that you like and conveying your vision to the photographer will determine the styles he will adapt to on the shoot. The typical style of photography are candid shots, capture moments as the photographer sees them. You will have shots of the reception and ceremony venue before you or your guests arrive as the starting point. (more…)


Must ask’s when finalizing your photographer for the big day

We asked brides what really you asked photographers when they looked at their wedding albums. Yes, the standard questions such as the type of equipment they would use or the styles they have shot with in the past are typical, we complied a few notes that you could use besides the standard questions. Photographers are one among the many vendors you are going to work with in planning your big day but certainly are among the most important. (more…)


Planning the Biggest Day Of Your Life? Myths You Can Avoid

Marriage ceremonies follow a traditional set of do’s and don’t’s that have been a part of cultures and traditions for centuries. Here is a few myths explained, and if you are one of those brides that are looking to break traditions, we have put together the most common myths surrounding a wedding that you can avoid.

The Dress

For those that never saw the charm of the good old white dress and veil, stepping out in gowns in other vibrant colors by designers such as peach, pinks and even blues will have you look gorgeous as ever. The settings of the location or even the theme of the wedding make a nice choice for a particular color selection. Beach celebrations or destination locations make a great opportunity to try out something new.

Swapping Professionals for your talented friends

Pictures shot by a friend that you always adored, the floral deco that amazed you or even if you have a friend in the entertainment business, will add a personal touch to the day you get married. More often professionals are mechanical in the way they work, a friend will know your preferences and if they are acquainted with your family and friends they would know how to mix things-up according to your likes.

Inviting those for the reception and ceremony your were invited to

So, you were invited to a friend’s celebration and you are now feeling pressurized to reciprocate when it is yours? Well, you are not obligated to, it is your big day and you invite guests that you are close to. Yes, there would be a few that assume they are a part of it, but informing them in advance would help in being up-front about it.

Choosing to have a Planner

The financial advantage of having a planner has multiple benefits, not only you will have everything organized and well planned, you will lower the cost of the occasion which otherwise would be a tall task if it were to be done solely by yourself . Coordinators for your big day will negotiate and pass on discounts from the various vendors they associate with in the business and are always updated with the current prices of services.

Doing everything yourself

To lower the cost or even manage it doing everything by yourself isn’t always a safe option. At the planning stages, many couples assume that taking-up tasks by themselves will give them the levy to spend on an additional item or an add the savings to their honeymoon budget. Although, the option is attractive, you need to factor in time and access to the right types of raw materials and supplies.

Having the same number of the bridesmaids and groomsmen

It is always a balancing act to pair the bridesmaids and groomsmen, maybe your friends are more than his or vice-versa and you look to fill in the gaps by roping in a few extras to even out both the sides. There is no such rule and if planned right you can have everyone come together on the big day. Splitting up tasks would be a great way to get everyone involved and actively take part in it, such as a few being ushers or readers among other tasks.

You would need a loan from the bank to pay for it

Planning such a major occasion is a balancing act and without plunging into debt you can set your priorities right and avoid a few expenses rather than cut corners. Instead of splurging on everything you can list out what items have to be allocated a higher budget against those that you don’t need to.


Having everyone entertaining themselves on the day

Everybody looks to have a good time, not only is not only a big day for you but a chance for everyone to come and celebrate your happiness with you and have a great time.

Rehearsals make the perfect icebreaker

The entire celebration brings together both the families and each others friends, many that might have not known each other in the past may lead to a bit of social awkwardness. What could be a solution is getting everyone together before the big day and there is no other day than the rehearsals. Sitting with your fiancé and discussing common interests of friends and families would help you introduce like minded people and get the conservation started. On the day you are tying the knot you would have a crowd with much better comfort level of your closed ones in a relaxed atmosphere and hopefully having a good time

Not keeping your guests waiting

Everyone’s here for you and not having the ceremony beginon time as scheduled would mean that your guest would be simply sitting and waiting. Of course there are instances when the delay is unavoidable, but having a plan to keep everyone occupied is necessary. You could even have the bar open or have some cocktails served out with a few bar snacks going around and even some light-hearted music to keep the atmosphere alive.

Ensuring no ones left hungry

A few nibbles even if you are serving a full course dinner at your wedding will have everyone in the right mood and spirit. Guests will chat while they snack and you are certain that everyone is relaxed and having a good time. Serving the appetizers even before you make your grand entrance isn’t a bad idea, some soups, vegetable skewers or cheese balls on your menu will do the trick.

When the party wraps up

Having a shuttle service to get home throughout the night is a brilliant way to ensure that your guests are not worried driving too late or far as they can  relax and drink knowing that they will get home safely when the party winds up.

The venue and its location

Convenience at getting to the venue is  essential in your guest list being on time or even making it to the reception or ceremony venue. Long drives or away locations require your guests  to plan a lot in advance without any last minute hick-ups. To ensure that venue isnt a long drive for your or your soon to be spouse’s family select a venue that is not too long of a drive for both sides. Of course this is dependent on your budgets and availability but picking up the right place will have everyone comfortable.

The seating arrangements

Many spend days together planning the seating arrangements and rightly so. You do not want your guests seated with one another when they do not know each other see their friends at some other table having a good time. Take your time with it to ensure that guests are seated with people they like or at least know

Limiting the time taken on toasts

Keeping the toast up-to to the best man/maid of honor and only adding your parents to it will keep it short and engaging rather than having too many people raising the toast. Keeping it short will  have everyone ‘s attention after which they quickly get back to what they were doing

Specialty Performance

You could mix things up here with adding a performance of your own. Many couples have been including a dance style of their own and the laughs and claps indicate how popular it has been. If you don’t feel you have the appetite for it,  a group of musicians do something special, have an old uncle crack a few jokes or even have the DJ spin some memorable tunes

You need to be having a good time

Months go into organizing the a marriage celebration which is more than often very stressful. Finally when the day arrives you need to just let loose, overlook the minor mishaps or hick-ups and be in a good mood. Delegate all possible tasks; ask a friend to let you know if the stress is taking over.



Staying ahead of wedding planning surprises

Planning a wedding can have you come across plenty of surprises, being prepared for them in advance will have you stay prepared to what is coming your way. Remember what you plan on paper is  always going to see variations, the more flexible you are the less you will be stressed out.

The degree of difficulty in sourcing materials, vendors and services remain the same throughout the planning process. Whether you are planning a casual gathering or a formal affair, the type of effort and time would remain nearly the same. Unfortunately there isn’t a default setting here as there are a plenty of factors such as time of the year, your likes and dislikes when it comes to setting out a causal or even an over the top customized celebration.

When you think of it, did you notice your close friends shrug when you missed a day out with friends citing that you were picking out the flowers or your home has now turned into a library of  catalogs, sample folders and other material? Take a step back, planning has its stresses, going overboard or obsessing about with your friends and family may be a little too much than what they can handle.

Being able to express your thoughts and ideas to your planner or vendors would lead to no duplication of efforts. Avoid frequent changes if ideas or changing your views. If you are unsure of something, ask for some time rather than make a hasty decision. Often in the process ideas change every now and them, finalizing on a theme or venues or flowers after clarity and references of pictures or videos  will avoid everyone wandering down the wrong road.

You will always have those tiny-winy moments when you will cry due to the stress  or frustration  when things aren’t going as planned or  how it should have been. Let things play out and letting it go is always the best way forward. Your families may sometimes add to the stresses of planning citing their own difficulties,  keeping calm will see you sail through.

Building a buffer  budget for the occasion will take care of the last minute unavoidable expenses and climate panic if any. Allocating a 3%-5% buffer to the budget  in the beginning will not have you worried just in case you need to spend on unforeseen expenses.

There often comes a point where you feel that your fiancé isn’t very interested in the planning process, you may seem to be the only one doing the heavy lifting. Truth be told he is but he just does want to make a big deal about it. Certain decisions like choosing the color or picking out the flowers would be better simply taken by you. The music that the bands play, the bar menu or maybe even the honeymoon is what you could delegate at the beginning to your fiance. Taking it a step at a time will help your fiancé slowly take on handling the other aspects that need to be looked into.

The co-worker saying “the band isn’t great” or the uncle saying “these dates don’t cut it”, well, there are plenty of opinions flying around, also a lot of advice, some of which you may like and some of which you may not. Keeping away from the negative chatter and using their positivity to good use pays off.

The ‘bridezilla’ moment is an exception you can’t make or sometimes can’t avoid. The good news is that it has happened to almost every bride, you are going to look back at it and have a hearty laugh.


Asking your planner the right questions

Before you zero-in to finalize your wedding planner of choice, it is important to get answers you are satisfied with to ensure that they are the right fit for you. “Not only do you want a planner that you can trust but also someone who can put you at ease, being the go to person for all that is required to be dealt with” say Suzy from WWE & Co. A planner who is bossy or overrules all your likes is something you will find hard to change at the very last minute. Keeping that in mind, here is a small set that will work to help you through the selection process.

Getting the planners availability of the date of the celebration is the first question that you should be asking before you research the work of any planner. You often have planners sending out their associates if they aren’t available for that given day, being sure of how the arrangement would be should be clear at the outset. Planners are available during the planning stages and may not be able to physically be there on D-Day, so a good start point would be knowing on the actual availability and the time they are will to spend planning.

Costs are a critical part of every the planning process and every professional planner works with a price range that you should have a fair idea of. Sometimes the case maybe that you haven’t planned the budget  as yet and knowing what the planners price range is will help you gauge  the costs when working out the financials. There are plenty of services that a professional planners offers, their websites may not have updated or not clearly mentioned on the website, so it is important that you check with them on their service offering as you may require the day-of coordination, or the full service for the event or even customized planning. Getting to know what they specialize in will give you the option to choose for  the coordination of the event and perhaps another for design help.

Experience matters and it is ideal that you work with a planner that has done at least a handful of events and is aware of every aspect there needs to be planned; importantly how answers to the questions you have. Many planners also include corporate events and special occasions in their portfolio, although that counts as experience, it is a completely difference experience having planned weddings in comparison. What would be an added advantage is when they have worked at your venue before. The familiarity with staff, logistics and layout will help run things smoothly. You could also look at reference photos or videos of the place just to get an idea of how they worked with it.

Planners that handle  vendors works to your advantage as they would take care of the contract and payment processing. You also have planners that look at advance payment made to them to hire the different vendors. Discuss whether you can do this by yourself just to give you better control on the contracts and even budgets when hiring. Getting a list of the vendors in advance from the planner can help you check for references of the work they have done in the past. Managing the guest lists, invitations and wordings also differs from planner to planner in their offerings as a ‘Full Service’ . The staff that the planner would bring along  to the reception and ceremony locations to ensure everything works as planned needs discussion as well. Ranging from assistants, event coordinators and stylist the planner will have to inform you in advance. Backup plans need to be accounted for as well, in the event of an emergency  that the planner cant avoid.

For references, you can ask details of the couples the planner has worked with in the past so that you can do some fact checking. Planners happy to provide you with such references is an indication of satisfactory clients handled in the past. Lastly, the planner fees with exactly what is included and excluded in the quote and how they arrive at costs and whether the quote is a percentage of the overall budget or a flat fee needs to be cleared with them.



What you can expect of a professional managing your big day

Most wedding planning begin with a budget in mind which really is the starting point for almost all wedding planners to begin with. Budgets wary from locations, preferences, styles and likes of a couple that works as a good outline to start with. From here a master plan is chalked out for all the ceremonies to finer details such as the family favors, religious ceremonies etc. Selecting the right venues, color themes based on your vision for the reception and ceremony is the next step.  Planners would accompany you to the many locations providing you with alternatives, suggestions and solutions.

Now that we have the basics in place, the next on the list would be the vendor lists. You would be presented with a narrowed down list of florists, decorators, musicians, caters etc depending on your price ranges. Vendor selection is quite a critical task as there are multiple vendors that needs to be shortlisted, working on the pricing and keeping with your choices and styles.

Weddings today are far more customizable than earlier as couples like to have their big-day  customized, getting it to stand out from the rest. From customized stationary, accessories, clothing and even personalized decor, if you need it, the planner will have it organized.

With all these elements looked into, a professional planner would go about creating a timeline of the sequence of events and ceremonies. Keeping in mind the many traditions and cultures experienced planners will guide you through each step of the timeline.

As you can see, the little bits and pieces are now coming together as you near the dates to the big day. Invitations to the occasion are planned for, with alternatives in color, styles and wordings and  getting them printed along with addressing , mailing and managing the RSVP’s.

From the planning stage to the actual day of execution, planners would supervise the vendors, organize the flow of events with the emcee, toast-master and handling any emergencies that come your way. Importantly serving as your spokesperson to convey your whims and desires, keeping you away from the stress of doing so.

Lastly, professional planners also would guide you to arrange for your honeymoon destinations as a part of their service (yes they do!), it is all about you and it is your planers job to ensure that the day you walk down the aisle is a grand success.


Having a Catholic Wedding here is a checklist

  • Catholic weddings have a plenty of ceremony/ traditions attached to it for which you will have to decide well in advance whether you are going to have a ceremony with the traditions included or you only plan to have the just a few highlights.
  • Check with the church before you finalize on the date and time of the wedding nuptials, the church has a religious calendar chalked for the entire day. You must ask the church for the time-slots available during the day as well.
  • Take the necessary permissions if you are marrying in a different parish other than your home parish that belong to. Also note here that priests do not conduct the ceremony outside the church just in case you plan to do so.
  • Check with the office of the church if you have to produce any paperwork for the ceremony. Many churches require you to have to baptism, communion and confirmation certificates.
  • You will also have to check with the church in case you are marrying someone outside the religion and also if a conversion is required
  • If its is your second marriage the previous one needs to be annulled if your previous spouse is alive. This involves plenty of paperwork and is rather complicated if you are getting married in a Roman Catholic church
  • As you approach the date of the nuptials, meet the officiant to discuss the sequence of events for the ceremony. The officiant will guide you on the readings and blessings that would take place.
  • The Pre-Cana is the premarital preparatory programmed that the church requires for which you should enroll.
  • Discuss with the priest about the dress requirements and etiquette required to be followed during the ceremony. The church always allows minimum decor that include aisle runners and other floral decor at the alter.
  • The church requires that at either the maid of honor or the best man to be catholic and they should understand their role in the ceremony
  • You will have to coordinate with the church in advance whether the bridal members want to receive communion and attend mass in the morning before the ceremonial schedule.
  • Get in touch with the stationer to print the pew cards for the both your families to be seated in the first few rows of the church
  • Check with the church whether the choir will be provided or you can hire you own choir. If you choose to do so you will have to run the hymns by the priest in advance
  • You will have to let the church know of the family members that will be a part of the ceremony for the readings, offertory and other rituals.
  • Check with the decorator on the styles available for the aisle runners, candles and flowers
  • Your choice of site for the rehearsal dinner and final guest list should be in place
  • If you wish to receive a Papal Blessing in a Roman Catholic Church you will have to begin the paperwork well in advance and contact the chancery office of the local diocese.
  • Finalize with the parish priest the ceremony booklets that also have the hymns printed in them so that everyone can participate in the ceremony
  • You will also have to be available for the reading of the Banns which is an notice announced in church of your intention to wed that are also posted on the churches notice boards
  • As you get closer to the date of the ceremony schedule a final meeting with the priest.
  • Finalize on the readings and vows
  • Send our rehearsal dinner invites.

Going about finalizing vendors for the big day

From the large varieties of vendors to choose from, budgets and costs have a significant impact on deciding which vendors to finalize.  Talking money with these vendors can be a bit tricky, so we put together a few tips to get you to know all that you need before finalizing on one.

A little research online will not only give you the vendors website details but also their social profiles which are a great starting point to understand the vendors work and most importantly what people are saying about him. Getting to know what his pricing packages are is an added benefit before you pick-up the phone to call, there are a few that place their pricing packages on their website others would give it to you after your meeting with them. You can  take it a step ahead and reach out to a few that have used the vendors services and have commented about it. Having a ballpark figure in mind will have you well prepared for meeting the vendor in person.

Being upfront about your budget with the vendor will save you plenty of back and forth time on quotes, negotiations etc. Most professionals will tell you upfront whether they can work within the budget or not. Well if not, you can always ask for a reference of someone that can do so. Showing a bit of flexibility in your budget also helps and can also sometimes work in your favor.

Getting a detailed breakdown of how much your choice of preference cost would give you a better idea where you can trim down on one aspect and add to another to balance your budget. You may want to spend less on the table decor but are willing to go up on the costs of a photographer. Details such as choosing between choosing wooden tables could be much more the the standard round tables or the photographer could be much more experienced with a great perspective for wedding photography. Getting into the details will also help you in knowing what has been added to the quote therefore you can decide on whether you need everything that is there in it, a second photographer or delivery charges on the tables and such similar cost would be revealed in an itemized quote. You need not get intimidated in doing so as these are professionals doing business and are part of a large network of similar vendors. If they cant match your price range they will refer you to people that can.

After you have gone past the details, draw up a written contract that is in easy to understand language and details everything you have discussed. Two copies are usually signed so that it binds both legally, you might also want a lawyer friend look at it once before you sign it. Once you have narrowed down to a vendor of choice, the payment options are next on the list to be discussed. This is when you can discuss whether you can pay an advance for now and the remainder after the event, not forgetting cancellation fees just in case. An upfront fee of 50% is a standard practice which is usually non refundable, a few vendors also make room for a refund in the case of a unforeseen circumstance.


Going about your honeymoon planning with your travel agent

Planning a honeymoon with the right travel agent will ensure everything is well planned out with being worried about tickets, reservations, sigh-seeing and inturn you can enjoy a great holiday. Yes, it a little bit of research is sufficient to book a holiday online with a few clicks but for an  such an important outing  as your honeymoon getting the right travel agent to do so has many benefits. Itinerary options are the most complicated in planning a trip, travel agents do this for a living and therefore will  enhance your globetrotting experience. Not only that, travel agents have access to the best discounts, hotel reservations and deals being in the business so, here are a few pointers to help find the right agent for you.
Getting a bit of research done on the country you plan to visit and the type of itinerary you would like to have along with what you are willing to spend on it is a good start. You can prepare a shortlist of two to three places before you meet your agent. Browsing online will give you a fair idea of the costs of a particular destination along with what are the must do’s there.
The best agents work as consultants, their experience can be a real asset when planning out your honeymoon. You can get a lot of insights on the locations of the hotels, the best places to go out and dine and also how you can prepare the right itinerary. Agents that have plenty of images and displays in the office is a great way to ask a few questions just to know how much they know about a particular place.
You can look at The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) ito get started if you are looking for agents that have the right credibility associated with them as the ASTA does look at complaints registered with them and further investigate it even revoking memberships if found at fault. Since you are planning your honeymoon trip, an agent with the experience of being in the business for years along with the right credentials will be in a better position to plan the entire trip for you rather than someone who is not. Many have certifications as a Certified Travel Counselor or even as an Destination Specialists for a pre-defined set of countries, therefore knowing the agents background will give you an better understanding of what their strong points are.
Travel agents do charge a fee for their consultation more so to avoid ‘window-shoppers’ that visit them just to plan and put at itinerary together and then go-ahead and book the tickets themselves. Very often agents that waive off this fee once you are ready to book the trip with them, nevertheless if you find value in what the agent is providing you with, making room for an small fee for a well planned honeymoon is worth it.
Many honeymooners work with a budget for their trip and being upfront with the agent will help him to plan and make the necessary adjustments as required depending on your priorities. You might be keen on living in the main city area and don’t mind comprising on the size or quality of the room, informing the agent in advance will help accordingly. The dates of travel also make a difference on the trips spending due to seasonal pricing or discounts during a particular period.