Category Archives: Guest Post

A Case for Wacky Weddings and Novel Nuptials

A Case for Wacky Weddings and Novel Nuptials

Today’s guest post comes to us from Lydia Mondy, a freelance writer with an event-planning background who loves any excuse to dress up like an 1860’s gold miner. Or Tank Girl. When she’s not reorganizing her vintage Dodgers paraphernalia, you can find her blogging about everything from weddings to Evel Knievel.

Imagine the scene: a pair of lovers swoon, staring into each other’s eyes as they profess their mutual eternal love in front of gathered family and friends. Then they turn, hand in hand…and bungee jump off a cliff. The classic, matrimonial lip-lock takes place dangling upside down over a craggy canyon.

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Posted in Guest Post by Jessica · 2 Comments

WeddingLovely: Your Personal Wedding Wizard

WeddingLovely: Your Personal Wedding Wizard

Today’s guest post is a review of WeddingLovely’s new wedding planning site from Stefan of White Diamond Photo and Video. Here’s what Stefan has to say:

I first encountered WeddingLovely when some of my Long Island wedding video clients started telling me how they couldn’t live without it. I checked it out, and I have to say I’m totally impressed. WeddingLovely works hard to be your complete online wedding wizard. Tracy Osborn, founder and site designer, connects with vendors for every possible aspect of wedding services, but she goes much farther than that. She provides so many services at one single low-cost website that it’s hard to imagine how someone could plan a wedding without using WeddingLovely. Here are the ways that WeddingLovely decreases your stress and saves you time:

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Posted in Guest Post, WeddingLovely.com by Jessica · Leave a comment

Myth Busters, Wedding Edition: A Wedding Planner’s Advice on Those Dreaded Budgets

Myth Busters, Wedding Edition: A Wedding Planner’s Advice on Those Dreaded Budgets

Photo Credit: Monika Broz Photography

Today’s guest post comes to us from Lauren Ricciardelli. Lauren is President & Creative Director of Private Receptions, a boutique event planning company based in both NYC and Hilton Head, SC.

As a wedding planner I have to take on many roles in a days work. One of those roles is frequently Financial Advisor. Hands down, this is always my clients’ biggest concern, especially when planning in New York City. I can totally understand why, since the wedding industry is now a multi-million dollar beast. But being on a tight budget doesn’t have to mean giving up your wedding dreams or DIY-ing until your fingers are permanently covered in Modge Podge. Here are my Dos and Don’ts when planning your wedding budget.

DO invest in an amazing photographer

The first thing to do (after creating your guest list – because, really, you can’t find a venue until you have an idea of how many people you’re inviting) is to create your budget. Sit down with your fiancé and the wedding financiers and discuss what is most important to you as a couple. Now, I know this is different for everyone, but the one thing I ALWAYS advise people NOT to skim on is the photographer. Here’s why: after all the wine has run out, the food devoured, flowers tossed and dress preserved the most priceless memento from your wedding will be the pictures. Trust me when I tell you, the day goes by so fast that it’s impossible to remember every detail (unless you’re Sheldon Cooper). A great photographer can capture those moments that you may have missed.

Picture this if you will: Your grandmother tears up as you walk down the aisle but your eyes are glued on your man. A good photographer will have preserved that moment for you to see later. Or perhaps, your fiancé was anxiously waiting before entering the ceremony; how else would you know about those adorable nerves if not for the photo? (Because you know he’ll never admit it) Do yourself a favor and dedicate a sizeable chunk to your wedding photographer. Do you ever regret amazing pictures? (I’m guessing ‘No’)

DON’T Go Over-board with Food

Most people/planning apps, etc will tell you to dedicate the largest portion of your budget to the venue and food. And it’s easy to spend enormous amounts on food and beverage, because it ain’t cheap! But if you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to cut down on all those foodie heaven bells and whistles. Sorry, that means that mashed potato bar gets cut. If you still want stellar food (and who doesn’t?) cut back on the cocktail hour and invest more in the actual dinner. After all if you’re spending the equivalent of a car payment on a seated dinner or buffet, you want people to eat it! And they won’t if they’ve filled up during the cocktail hour. Keep it simple, too. The less exotic the food or more simple the preparation; the more budget friendly it will be. Stick to beer & wine and a signature cocktail to keep alcohol costs down. Remember, people don’t come JUST for the food – they want to celebrate and party with your amazing selves!

DO Invest in Music

A great DJ or band will get people out of their seats before you can say “DANCE BREAK!” And once everyone is dancing their pants off; they’ll forget all about the fact that you didn’t have that shrimp tower during the cocktail hour.

DON’T Get Caught Up on Labels

Yes, I mean designer labels. It’s SO easy to get caught up in wedding runway fashion and dream of going to Kleinfeld’s (you know, Say Yes to the Dress). There are plenty of small wedding boutiques that cater to many different budgets. And hey, you’re supporting the small business economy. If you’re absolutely set on a designer dress there are some wallet friendly alternatives. Online stores such as Nearly Newlywed, Once Wed, and TrendGet.com offer deep discounts to either purchase or rent. Some of their selections even include the wedding greats such as Amsale, BHLDN, Jenny Packham, Monique Lhullier and yes, even Ms. Wang.

And this goes for the gentlemen too, there’s no need to go splurging on a custom suit or tux when the dollars are tight and there are so many more affordable options. (Even if he claims he has awkward measurements)

DO Consider a Professional Florist

It always scares me when brides say they don’t need a florist. Maybe their aunt knows where to get them from the farmers market or they think it’ll be a fun project the morning of the wedding. It won’t be, I swear. From a planning perspective, this leaves SO much room for error. What if the flowers you love are out of season? How will you store them? Where will you store them? How will everyone get his or her flowers? What will the centerpieces be displayed in? How much do the vessels cost in which to display them? I could go on.

I completely understand that flowers can be expensive. (I’m under-stating here) But a really, truly great florist will be able to create something wonderful from the smallest of budgets. You don’t need a huge bridal bouquet. It’s romantic with even a small nosegay; and once you’re dancing you won’t be holding it anyway. And the same goes for bridesmaids; a few long stem roses or a bunch of hydrangea can go a long way. Centerpieces? Ask your florist to use fuller flowers to pack a larger punch. And candles. Candles go a loooooong way. Or scrap the centerpieces all together and do something more personal like display photos of you as a couple, pictures of you both growing up or even books that you love. I love helping clients think outside the box!

DO Hire a Wedding Planner

Yes, this is the very FIRST thing that people cut when they’re on a budget and it makes my heart cry. It’s quite possibly one of the biggest wedding mistakes you can make, especially on a budget. Despite popular belief, wedding planners are NOT just for the rich and famous. In fact, a knowledgeable wedding planner can actually save you money. Yes, I said SAVE YOU MONEY. This is because we already know the industry ins and outs. We can tell you that, ‘Hey that loft space is going to require a lot more rentals than your budget allows but how about this venue?’ Or, ‘I see on your Pinterest board you wanted to make those adorable cookies wrapped in a monogramed box. I know the perfect supplier for the cookies AND the boxes that will be cheaper than going to a craft store’.

Not only can we tell you how and where to save money but we’re also the ones who will artfully set up all your DIY projects and décor details exactly as you want them so your mom can enjoy seeing you get into your dress. (In fact, at Private Receptions, we’ve even helped our brides with their DIY projects) Buses running late? We’ll be there to let the venue and other vendors know so that you don’t walk down the aisle as your guests are pulling up. You see, wedding planners exist to make your planning process, and consequentially your wedding day, as stress free and fun as possible; no matter the budget. And we want your family and friends to sit back and enjoy it too! I promise, you won’t regret being able to enjoy every moment of your day and not lift a single finger. (Except for a toast of course!)

Of course each wedding has their priorities, but keeping these Do’s and Don’ts in mind during your planning process may help put things into perspective.

 Thanks Lauren! For more information about Private Receptions, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide Profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Lauren? Add them to the comments below!

Posted in Guest Post, Wedding Advice by Jessica · Leave a comment

6 Tips For Planning A Destination Wedding

6 Tips To Planning A Destination Wedding

Today’s guest post is by freelance writer and free spirit Anna Crowe. Enjoy!

A wedding is an event of a lifetime. However, getting married the traditional way was an overwhelming thought for me. An intimate gathering with our closest family and friends in a relaxed setting…and maybe a margarita or two was more for us. So if you’re planning to pack a suitcase and escape to a dreamy destination for your nuptials consider these six tips:

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Posted in Guest Post by Jessica · 4 Comments

5 Tips to Save You Money on Custom Invitations

5 Tips to Save You Money on Custom Invitations

This insightful and practical guest post was written by Dondrea Owens. Dondrea is the owner of Jenkins Rose | Modern Paper, a letterpress and calligraphy studio located in Atlanta, Georgia. Nothing excites her more than pretty paper and fancy handwriting. The studio is named after Dondrea’s grandmothers who taught her that all of life’s moments should be celebrated with love and in style.

You’ve looked everywhere for the perfect wedding invitation suite, and you feel a bit like Goldilocks trying to find one that’s just right. You want an invitation suite that communicates the feel of your special day in all of its perfection, but nothing you’ve found fits the bill. Enter the custom invitation suite. While most existing suites can be changed to fit your color scheme and wording requirements, custom invitations go a step further in allowing you to design every single piece to your heart’s content. From your choice of font, color, patterns, and print medium, the decisions are completely yours. In order to avoid sticker shock after you’ve put together your dream invitation suite, here are some tips on how to save while still getting exactly what you want!

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Posted in Guest Post, Wedding Advice by Jessica · 2 Comments

How to Ensure Success for Your Destination Wedding

How to Ensure Success for Your Destination Wedding

Big thanks to Samantha Alexander, contributor to the HomeInsurance.com blog, for this guest post!

Do you dream of getting married in a picturesque, exotic location? Destination weddings can be a romantic and memorable alternative to a traditional ceremony and location. In fact, many couples are ditching the church ceremony and banquet hall reception for breathtaking backdrops in the Caribbean, Europe and even Asia.

Planning a destination wedding comes with its own unique set of obstacles and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Check out these helpful tips to ensure – and insure – that your journey down the aisle will go a lot smoother.

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Posted in Guest Post, Wedding Advice by Jessica · Leave a comment

Ceremony Music: Live Musicians, DJ or DIY?

Ceremony Music: Live musicians, DJ or DIY?Photo Credit: Roger Kirby

Today we have a helpful guest post from wedding musician Willine Thoe. Based in Boston, MA, Willine is the founder of Blissful Sounds, specializing in providing the highest quality of live music in classical settings for weddings and functions. She is also an active performer and can be seen performing in the New England area.

When done properly, music at the wedding ceremony ties all the elements – the venue, the floral arrangement, the decor, the beautiful wedding dress, the amazing people – together. Need a little help deciding how you want to do it? Below is a comparison of the pros and cons of the three main options: hiring live musicians, a DJ, and DIY using ipod or laptop.

Hiring Professional, Live Classical Musicians

Pros:

  • It’s live music! Having live music adds a unique touch of elegance and romance that pre-recorded music simply cannot achieve.
  • The performance is unique to your wedding. Every musician is an artist – even though they may have played the same music numerous times, each interpretation and performance is different. Good musicians are always inspired by the particular mood, ambiance and the uniqueness of individual weddings, which affects the way the music is performed.
  • Experienced musicians will be able to alter the length and tempo of the selected music, so that it is timed perfectly for each part of the processional.

Cons:

  • Although the majority of music can be arranged into a classical music setting, some music, such as disco music, simply will not work.
  • The cost is proportional to the number of people hired – if you are looking for a fuller sound, you will need to hire more musicians.

Hiring a Professional DJ

Pros:

  • Since the music used was pre-recorded, you know exactly how it is going to sound, down to the tempo and arrangement.
  • A DJ can often provide microphones for the officiant that is integrated to the PA systsem, everyone will be able to hear the officiant better.

Cons:

  • Since pre-recorded music is used, music cannot be adjusted on the spot to adapt to any surprises that might happen on the aisle.
  • Potential, unexpected technical difficulties with the equipment, whether it be equipment failure (though good DJs always have backup!) or other external reasons.

DIY

Pros:

  • Potentially the cheapest option
  • Just like hiring a DJ, who uses pre-recorded music, you know exactly how the music is going to sound because it is pre-recorded.

Cons, in addition to those listed under “Hiring a professional DJ”:

  • Depending on the venue, you may have to rent your own PA equipment, which adds to the cost.
  • You may have to delegate a guest to push the button if no one else can. As a result, the guest does not get to enjoy your wedding in its entirety.
  • You need to acquire the music and sometimes the music or arrangement you have in mind is hard to find!

No matter what you choose, remember to enjoy the process – you are one step closer in making your dream wedding come true!

Thank you Willine! For more information about Blissful Sounds, visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide Profile or head straight to their website.

Will you hire a pro to handle you ceremony music or will you DIY? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted in Guest Post by Jessica · Leave a comment

Top Tips for Getting Married Abroad

Top Tips for Getting Married Abroad

 

Today’s guest post is an absolute must read for anyone planning a destination wedding. Our guest blogger, Daniel is a freelance writer on behalf of Gocompare and he has attended several weddings abroad. He understands it will take some extra organising but he also plans to do the same.

So many people these days are upping sticks and having their nuptials abroad. Those who have this idea in their heads probably have a million questions about the practicalities of marrying abroad. Will it be legal? Will it rain? Can I afford it? These are questions that you need answers to before making an informed decision to take your marriage to foreign climes and form unforgettable memories.

Read the full article after the cut!


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Posted in Guest Post by Jessica · 1 Comment

Choosing the Best Wedding Favors to Capture the Magic of Your Wedding

Share the Magic of Your Wedding Day With Guest Favors Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3

Maya Savanovich is a blogger who loves writing about wedding trends, advice and tips. She has contributed articles to various well known wedding blogs and websites and is an active member of great wedding communities on Google+ and groups on Facebook. She is always on the lookout for beautiful wedding pictures and awesome ideas.

Although some people consider it an afterthought, wedding favors have a way of adding  style and flavor to any wedding. They may not be as important as the wedding dress or cake, but they complete the whole setting in a special way. After all, there is nothing wrong with recognizing the attendants who have graced your special occasion – even if it means giving them just a small token of appreciation. Contrary to what some people think, you are not obliged to spend big on wedding favors.

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Posted in Guest Post by Jessica · Leave a comment

One of a Kind Custom Gowns: All About The Process

Custom Gowns for any Occasion (1)

Finding the perfect gown for that special occasion, whatever it may be, is always a thrill.  Not being able to find one, on the other hand, can be devastating.  Rather than exhaust yourself trying to find the perfect dress, why not have one created, that’s one-of-a-kind and just for you?

As a designer, this is one of my favorite endeavors.  Many clients come to me with a variety of ideas and styles, or perhaps pictures of a few different gowns.  Together, my clients and I collaborate to piece together the perfect ensemble.

Creating a custom gown is a lengthy process, but well worth it.  In general, the process consists of anywhere from three to five consultations over the course of three to six months.  The price of a gown will vary, depending on the intricacy of the design, but in general price ranges from  $1,200 to $4,000.

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Posted in Guest Post, Wedding Fashion by Tracy · Leave a comment

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