Thursday, April 18, 2013

Top 6 Bridesmaids ideas





This week we celebrate Bridesmaids.
Today we want to share our top bridesmaids dress ideas.  

1. Neutrals: There's something about neutral bridesmaids
dresses that look uber elegant. So don't be afraid to try this 
non-traditional look.Tip: This color goes well with 
white or blush toned florals. 
Source: People

2. Patterns: Who says you have to have solid colored
bridesmaids dresses. Opt for a print pattern for a fun, playful 
look and event! You can choose floral prints, polka dots, 
animal prints, the options are endless!
Source: Ruffled


3. Pastels: We absolutely love pastel bridesmaids dresses!
This light and whimsical look is perfect for spring and summer weddings.
Source: Green Wedding Shoes


4. Mismatched: Mismatched bridesmaids dresses are
all the rage nowadays. We don't think this trend 
will go away, nor do we want it to. Go ahead and let
 your bridesmaids get creative and show their own style. 
Source: Jessica Lorren 


5. Lace: Bridesmaids can wear lace too! This look is classic and timeless. 
Source: Belle the Magazine

6. Ombre: Last but not least. We love it when bridesmaids
are asked to choose different tones in a color. 
You can get a beautiful ombre look like this one. 
Source: Southern Weddings

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

20 Questions to ask a wedding planner



Article by Beth Angel
Hiring a wedding planner is not an easy decision. A good wedding planner can make your wedding flow smoothly. It can also be an additional strain on your budget. You may want to take the time to meet with one or two wedding planners before you make your final decision. Here are some questions to help you.
1. What is your experience in planning weddings?
Ask for specific examples complete with photos and testimonials.
2. How long have you been in business & how many weddings have you done?
Look for a wedding planner who has experience and knows the ins and outs of wedding planning.
3. What will you offer me for your services?
Ask the planner to spell out what his or her services are in specific detail. A sample written proposal should be available at the initial meeting. A written proposal specific to your wedding should follow the initial meeting.
4. Do you provide a contract?
A professional wedding planner will provide you with a contract outlining his or her terms of service. It should include a clause about cancellations.
5. How much of my time do you expect planning my wedding will take?
Ask for a schedule and ballpark figures on how much time you will spend on making decisions for your wedding.
6. Can you work within my budget?
A good wedding planner will be honest with you on the subject of what it will cost to make the wedding you want. He or she will figure in his or her fee and not surprise you when it comes time to settle up.
7. Is this your full-time or part-time job? Do you foresee any conflicts in this situation?
A part-time planner is often less expensive than a full-time wedding planner. Just be sure you are comfortable with his or her arrangement.
8. Do you double book weddings? Will there be any conflicts on the day or weekend of my wedding?
Some wedding planners manage this quite well. Ask the planner his or her plans to make sure your wedding is first priority.
9. Who backs you up? Do you have extra staff and is there an extra charge?
Ask the wedding planner to be specific. You don't want any surprises on your wedding day.
10. Do we pay you one fee and then you pay the vendors, or do we pay the vendors individually?
Many vendors require deposits or final payments before your event. Knowing the payment structure is very important and avoids confusion.
11. Are you available for all meetings with the caterer, location and other vendors?
The answer to this question gives you insight into how much your wedding planner cares about even the smallest of details. Ask if the planner will be there to walk you through these important steps.
12. Will you personally attend my wedding?
A professional wedding planner will always say yes. If not, ask why and be cautious of anyone who says they will not attend. *See #14
13. If you cannot attend my wedding? Who is your backup? Will I meet him or her beforehand?
Some planners have an assistant or staff that may attend. There shouldn't be any extra fees for this.
14. What's in your wedding emergency kit?
A professional wedding planner will show it to you or give you a list of its contents. It should include items from a sewing needle and thread to aspirin.
15. Do you charge for travel or is it included in your fee?
Ask to have this spelled out in his or proposal.
16. Give me some problem scenarios and how you fixed them.
A good wedding planner will give you examples of weddings similar to your situation.
17. Do you require a deposit to get started? When is the final payment due?
This should be spelled out in his or her proposal at your initial meeting.
18. Do you charge for the initial meeting?
There should never be a charge for the first meeting. Both parties come to the table to discuss how they will work together. Think of it as an interview.
19. Do you have any formal event planning education?
Formal education from a finishing school, culinary, design or hospitality school is a plus, especially when the wedding planner has other essential qualifications. Membership in a professional organization shows that a wedding planner cares about his or her reputation and is committed to their profession.
20. What will you not do?
This is probably the second most important question. Ask your wedding planner to spell this out in his or her proposal and/or agreement.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Questions to Ask a Caterer




Questions to Ask a Caterer
Besides your location, the food and drink for your wedding reception will probably consume the largest portion of your wedding budget. Catering costs
 are usually presented as “per-person” charges, sometimes abbreviated in
wedding brochures as “pp” after the amount. But be aware—the per-person
charge often doesn’t include everything: Tax and the gratuity (sometimes
called the “service charge”) might be extra, and there may also be separate per-person charges for the meal, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and even setup. So your actual per-person charge might end up being considerably more than you expect. Bring your calculator along when meeting with potential caterers to help you arrive at the real bottom line.
There’s more to consider. Nowadays, many caterers offer a range of services in addition to catering. Some are actual “event producers,” providing props, special effects, décor—in other words, complete event design. They might also be able to assist in finding a location, coordinating your affair, or lining up vendors. One thing a caterer can’t do, however, is cook up a 5-course Beef Wellington dinner for $20 per person. When planning your menu, be realistic about what you can serve given your budget and the size of your guest list.
A lot of factors come into play when selecting a caterer, so don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to. You can refer to the following list, whether your potential caterer works at your event facility or you’re hiring them independently.    

The Basics
1. Do you have my date open?
2. How many weddings do you do per year, and how long have you been in business?
3. Have you done events at my location? TIP: If you haven’t chosen your location yet, ask the caterer if they can help you select one.
4. Are you licensed by the state of California? Are you licensed to serve alcohol?
5. Will I need any permits for my event? If so, will you handle obtaining them?
6. Will you provide a banquet manager to coordinate the meal service or an on-site coordinator who will run the entire event?
7. Can you assist with other aspects of the wedding like selecting other vendors, event design (e.g. specialty lighting, elaborate décor, theme events, etc.)?

Food & Presentation
8. Given my budget, guest count and event style, what food choices would you recommend? Do you specialize in certain cuisines?
9. Do we have to work off a preset menu or can you create a custom menu for our event? If I have a
special dish I’d like served, would you accommodate that?
10. Do you offer event packages or is everything à la carte? What exactly do your packages include?
11. Do you use all fresh produce, meat, fish, etc.? Can you source organic or sustainably farmed ingredients?
12. Can you accommodate dietary restrictions, such as kosher, vegan, etc.?
13. What décor do you provide for appetizer stations or buffet tables?
14. Do you offer package upgrades such as chocolate fountains, ice sculptures, cappuccino machines or specialty displays?
15. Can you do theme menus (e.g. barbecue, luau, etc.)? Would you also provide the décor?
16. What’s the difference in cost between passed appetizers and appetizer stations? What’s the price difference between a buffet and a sit-down meal? If we have a buffet, are there any stations that cost extra, like a carving station? NOTE: Don’t automatically assume that a buffet is going to be the less expensive option. Ask your caterer which type of service is more affordable for you, given the menu you’re planning.
17.          How much do you charge for children’s meals?
18.          How much do you charge for vendor meals?
19.          Do you do wedding cakes? If so, is this included in the per-person meal price or is it extra?
20.          Can you show me photos of cakes you’ve done in the past?
21.          If I decide not to serve cake, can you provide a des- sert display instead?
22.          If we use an outside cake designer, do you charge a cake-cutting fee?
23.          Do you do food tastings and is there an extra charge for this?
24.          Do you handle rental equipment such as tables, chairs, etc.?
25.          What types of linens, glassware, plates and flatware do you provide? NOTE: Some low-budget caterers have basic packages that use disposable dinnerware instead of the real thing, so make sure you know exactly what you’ll be getting.
26.          Can you provide presentation upgrades such as chair covers, lounge furniture, Chiavari chairs, etc.? What would be the additional fees?
27.          What is your policy on cleanup? TIP: Be very clear about what “cleanup” means and who’s responsible for handling it—and be sure to get it in writing. We’ve heard many tales about caterers that left dirty dishes, trash and uneaten food behind. In most cases, when you rent a location it will be YOUR responsibility to leave the place in acceptable condition. You want to spend your wedding night with your honey, not picking up empty bottles from the lawn!
28.          If there is leftover food from my event, can we have it wrapped up for guests to take home or have it delivered to a local shelter?

Drink
29.          Do you provide alcoholic beverages and bartenders? Can you accommodate specialty cocktails?
30.          What brands of alcohol will be served?
31.          Can we provide the alcohol and you provide the bar labor?
32.          Do you charge a corkage fee if we provide our own wine or champagne?
33. How do you charge for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages? Per consumption or per person? Which is more cost-effective?
34. Is the champagne toast after the ceremony included in your meal packages or is it extra?
35. Will your staff serve the wine with dinner? 36. How long will alcohol be served?
37. Is coffee and tea service included with the per-per- son meal charge? What brands of each do you offer and do they include decaf and herbal tea options?

Business Matters
38. What is the ratio of servers to guests?
39. How will the servers be dressed?
40. How is your pricing broken down (e.g. food, bar, cake-cutting, tax, gratuity)? NOTE: Usually tax and aservice charge are tacked on to your final cost. The service charge, which can range 18–23%, is used to tip the staff. And in many states, the service charge itself is taxable.
41. How much time do you require for setting up and breaking down my event, and are there extra fees for this?
42. If my event runs longer than contracted, what are your overtime fees?
43. What is the last date by which I can give you a final guaranteed guest count?
44. What is your payment policy? Do you accept credit cards?
45. How much of a deposit is required to hold my date? When is the final payment due?
46. Are there any fees that won’t be included in the proposal that we should be aware of?
47. Once we book with you, how quickly can we expect a contract? And if we make changes to menu choices or other items, will you update us with a revised estimate and contract?
48. What is your refund or cancellation policy?.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013



How Brides Are Using Social Media & 

Blogs To Plan Their Day



CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/  In the company's 7th annual "What's On Brides' Minds Survey," David's Bridal found that the 2013 bride will plan, chronicle and culminate all of her wedding details with the help of social media, ranging from Pinterest to Facebook to Skype.
David's Bridal found that these platforms not only streamline the wedding planning process, but also serve various functions for the modern bride. Pinterest allows her to assemble an inspiration board fit for a fashion showroom, Skype makes it possible for family and friends that can't attend the wedding to be part of the festivities and Instagram and Twitter enable the creation of special hashtags for guests to photo share during the big day.
Though the typical bride's nuptials might not get televised, like those of Kate Middleton or the next "Bachelor" winner, social media is also allowing the average newlywed pair to broadcast their wedding to the world in what's becoming a prominent industry trend. Last month, TheKnot.com held the first-ever live-streamed, crowd sourced wedding, and Brides magazine is following suit with an upcoming live-streamed Facebook wedding. Companies like I Do Stream and Marry Me Live even offer webcasting services to couples looking to go "live" on the big day. What might have seemed "over the top" years ago, is now becoming a common practice as brides look to say "I do" in unique ways and on multiple platforms.
"Through our more than 300 stores nationwide, it's becoming evident that brides are using social media through every step of their wedding process," said David's Bridal Chief Marketing Officer, Brian Beitler . "Our bridal consultants have reported women 'skype-ing' their relatives in-store as they try on their wedding gowns and hearing brides' stories of how they plan to live stream their nuptials so guests that can't attend will still be present. Going digital is the new norm for brides and we're seeing it firsthand."
In the brand's annual "What's On Brides' Minds" survey of newly engaged and married women, David's Bridal cemented these in-store findings even further – weddings have officially become digitalized!
The social network of wedding planning
Brides are pinning, posting and texting their way to the altar!
The online bride: 59 percent of brides say online resources like Pinterest, Facebook and blogs are the best places to find wedding inspiration.
Pinterest dibs: With Pinterest celebrating its third anniversary this month, it has quickly become the ultimate tool for brides-to-be. Nearly half of brides (46 percent) wouldn't use an idea they found on a friend's Pinterest board!
Fittings on your phone:  Dress shopping isn't confined to the fitting room anymore!  In fact, 68 percent of brides use technology during their fittings, from texting pictures to family to posting videos on a social media site.

RSVP'ing for the Skype wedding…with a plus one
Can't make the wedding? No problem! Just pull up a laptop and watch from there.

Virtual wedding guests: Now trending, nearly half (49 percent) of all respondents say they would consider "skype-ing" their wedding.

Social media should come with a handbook
Wedding guests beware! Think twice before hitting send on your mobile!

Digital rule of thumb: 56 percent of newlywed women think it's important to have social media rules at the wedding.
The dress is off limits: 61 percent forbid their bridesmaids from uploading pics of the bride donning her dress before the ceremony
My wedding, me first: 52 percent say the bride and groom must be the first to post a picture of their wedding to a social media site.
Status update: Sue Smith went from being "engaged" to "married"
So much for waiting for the paperwork to go through! Brides want their "friends" to know they're hitched - pronto!
Facebook official: Up 11 percent from 2011, 59 percent of brides will update their Facebook status to "married" or update their new name within a day of walking down the aisle.
To find out more about David's Bridal wedding resources, notably the new "My Event" wedding planning app, a social media tool for brides-to-be, visit www.davidsbridal.com.

The David's Bridal 2013 Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.WakefieldResearch.com) between November 16th and November 27th, 2012.

SOURCE David's Bridal