Monday, March 30, 2009

Unusual Wedding Locations: A Cave Wedding!

Not evey engaged couple wants a traditional
church wedding. Today's couples are looking
for unusual spots and unusual locations
to host their wedding. One of the most
unusual locations is a cave! But not just
any cave where you have to rappel into it,
but easy to maneuver caves where you can
be joined in marriage either in a
religious or civil ceremony.

Some caves have special spots where weddings
are performed. Some caves have natural
altars, waterfalls and spring fed lakes.

Some caves require weddings to take place
after normal cave business hours. Some
caves might perform the ceremony but not
guarantee you total privacy from other
hikers or visitors.

Caves are all over the world. You can marry
in a cave in Wales, New Zealand, Australia,
Hawaii, Missouri, Ohio and more.
Some caves specialize in weddings, like the
Wedding Cave in the Ozarks in Missouri, USA.
You can marry at Carlsbad Caverns
with special permission from the National
Park Service. Or head to Australia and Jenolan

Not sure if you want to go underground
for your cave wedding? Then head to
Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio
and marry at Ash Cave or Old Man's
Cave which are open caves. Sort of the
best of both worlds, you have the cave,
you have the waterfalls, you have nature.

You will need to get permits and follow
stringent rules for most cave weddings.
Not all caves are handicapped accessible
and some caves require a lot of walking to
get to the wedding site. Research the
site and remember, any claustophobics
(like me) won't be partipating.

Another point to remember: Caves are not
naturally lit, so you need an exerienced
wedding photographer who knows how to
capture the wedding in low light conditions.

If you want a more traditional destination
wedding location, check out the new Beach Bride to Be.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Love Unusual Wedding Pictures!

I love unusual wedding pictures and these
fit the bill nicely. This is a Russian couple
from the Ukraine who pulled out all the stops.
I thought mullets were dead, but who would
have thought that they would be so trendy?
The groom is wearing more makeup than
the bride, and I love the matching black
nail polish.

I don't know the significance of the blue
ball, but he's grasping it with that
look of utter joy and satisfaction.

This is a REAL wedding. See the bottom
for the "rest of the story."

Duh, I got the ball, I got the ball.

The back of the brides dress. NBC, nothing
but class, baby.

Plastic rings just screams "forever".

Check out the bridesmaid!

A week after the wedding, the couple filed for
divorce because they were tired of each other.
And now you know..the rest of this strange
wedding story!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The New DIY Bride

The economy has forced a lot of
brides to become more hands on,
to become a Do It Yourself bride.

The DIY bride wants to have her dream
wedding, but to have it all, she has
to take on a big workload. She may
be doing one task to save money, or she
may be doing it all!

Some ways DIY brides are saving money:

Printing their own invitations. They are
buying blank invitation stock and printing
their invitations on their home computer.
Add embellishments like ribbons and other
decorations from scrapbooking stores, they
are creating one of a kind invitations that
saves them hundreds of dollars. Instead of
hiring a caligrapher, they are addressing the
invitations it on their computer.

Making their own centerpieces. Google
wedding centerpieces and you'll come
up with 3,700,000 ideas to help you craft
your own centerpieces for the reception.
Additional tip: use the bridesmaid
bouquets on the head table instead of
buying additional floral decorations.

Making their own wedding favors or searching
the net for inexpensive wedding favors.

Making some of the reception food themselves
or with the help of relatives and incorporating
it into their catered foods.

Doing their own catering with the help of
the family. This is a lot of work and takes
a lot of time. You need a strong support and
help system in place if you are even considering
this option. You also need experienced servers,
cooks and the proper serving dishes that keep
food at a safe temperature.

Creating their own playlist for the wedding
reception instead of hiring a DJ.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

OMG..The Wedding Is Canceled. Top Reasons Why!

Yes, weddings get canceled. It happens.
Sometimes its for the best, sometimes
circumstances happen. There is heartbreak,
there are tears and anger. Sometimes
there is even regret. I've hugged a lot of
devastated un-brides and un-grooms.

Sometimes I've seen it the gal
who was marrying a guy she met on the internet
and had never met him in person.

Or the gal who had bruises and hand prints
on her arms and neck. You could see she'd
been grabbed and physically abused. I spoke
to her mom, I told her the dress wouldn't
cover her bruises, I tried to get her help.
She finally listened after he put her in
the hospital and he(thankfully) went to jail.

This past month, we've had two canceled weddings
and we decided to look back and find out
the reasons. We also conducted a poll to
find out the reasons why weddings were
canceled. We suspected family and cheating,
but some answers were surprising.

Our number one reason was...surprisingly..
the wedding got out of control. The
wedding planning got too big and took
on a life of its own. Weddings canceled
for this reason eventually went back on
in a much smaller, more intimate scale.

Reason number two: Cheating and infidelity
by one of the partners. We always point the
finger of blame at the guy, but the girls
cheat, too.

Reason number three: Family
Interference by family members. Mom hates the
bride, mom hates the groom. Mom goes on
Dr. Phil. Mom wins.

Reason number four: Finances
If you don't have any money, you can't
get married. With the US economy in a mess,
money is tight. Lots of people are unemployed.
No job=no wedding.

Surprising reason: Deployment to Iraq.
When the government sends you overseas,
you go regardless of your wedding date.
Most weddings either get postponed or
they marry immediately before deployment.

Surprising reason #2. Immaturity, cold feet,
just not sure its the right thing. I think
if you realize its not the right thing for you
to do at this point in your life, you've made
a very mature decision.

Amazingly Cool Unique Hip Bridal Bouquets

Its not often I see something new,
exciting and fresh for weddings...
something that makes me take notice
and go..WHOA!!

I came across a site
called Princess Lasertron
by a creative fabric artist named
Megan Hunt, aka Princess Lasertron.
Her designs literally made my jaw
drop and that hasn't happened to
me in eons. I've been in the
wedding industry for ever. If I even
mention the number, I start to cringe.
Anyway, I've met creative people and
people who just think they are creative.
I am telling you...the Princess is creative
with a capital C!

Princess Lasertron makes unique
fabric and button flowers that become
wedding bouquets. I LOVE her designs.
Definitely for a hip
bride who wants to be unique, these
bouquets are just amazing.

See for yourself: Princess Lasertron

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Customer Service and Brides

A bride was complaining about
one of her vendors. She was crying.
She was right. She's paying good money
for a service. She should have the vendor
eating out of her hand, but its not happening.
I asked her why she hired this person.
Of course, because they were the cheapest.
Regardless of whether you pay top dollar
or go for the bargain vendor, service
should be part of the package.
Brides need and deserve customer
service when they are planning their
wedding. Weddings are not a do it yourself
proposition. Sure, you can do things
yourself, but most everyone has to hire
vendors. And that vendor should
give service.

Lets face it, money is tight for everyone.
We are paying our hard earned money,
we deserve to get what we've paid for with a smile,
regardless of the price paid.

My advice to her was simple. Fire the
vendor and hire someone else. (She had only
put down a small deposit.) The wedding
industry is down and many wedding vendors
are clamoring for work. Some are the sole
support of their family and they need the
jobs to feed their kids. I know of three who
would give their right arm for a gig. No doubt,
you'll get customer service and more.

By the way, what's the deal with customer
service? Does everyone hate their job
so much that they can't even be nice?

I like to patronize local stores, but
my local grocery store needs to get rid of
the scowling cashier who doesn't even nod
in anyone's direction. She might as well be wearing
a sign that says I hate my job, I hate my
life and I hate you. Geeze, what a bitch.
She should be radiating customer service,
but nooooooooo. Honey, you can be replaced.
And you SHOULD be replaced.

And you texting teens who don't pay attention to me
when I'm trying to buy some electronic gizmo,
just know that someone who needs a job is standing
in line for your job. And that someone
doesn't care that I'm not a hot 17 year old babe.
And I'll be a customer for life.

OK...back to my point. To all you brides not
getting what you paid for, what you expect or just getting
lousy customer service: Tell them that you
are mad as hell and you aren't going to take it
anymore. Tell them "I demand service or I'll
find someone who values my business!"

Weddingzilla Tests Smooth Away

Woo Hoo, I got to be a product tester.
I've read about product testers before,
never met one in person. But in the mail
comes a package of Smooth Away hair remover,
purported to be THE hair remover in Europe.
Hey, free is a price I can't complain about,
I'll try it.

Some background first. I have spent my life
trying to remove hair. Being of Italian ancestry,
I've got dark hair and have tried every method
to remove the hair. Add sensitive skin to the
mix and the results were painful. I've tried
depilatories, they ate holes in my skin. I had
to go to the doc. I've tried those epil things
that rip the hair out of your skin. You
probably heard me screaming. I've tried waxing.
Great results after the pain goes away. I've
plucked, shaved and tried them all from
the expensive department store hair removers to
the stuff you buy at the drug store. Every spring
I try something new. Razors always win.

So, with my Smooth Away, I attached the sandpaper
disc to the holder and started buffing. Its not
really sandpaper, but its sandpaper to me. So
I tried it. It took a long time, but the
results were pretty good.My skin was a little
flaky, but a little moisturizer and I
was good to go. I also tried the
moisturizer that is supposed to inhibit
hair growth. It didn't hurt my sensitive skin.
So far so good.

I liked using the Smooth Away on the face. If
it can keep me out of the salon getting waxed,
I'm a happy camper. It was gentle and it worked.
When I had money, I used Vaniqua on my face and
loved it. However, I couldn't justify the
cost of over eighty bucks a month for a tube
the size of my pinkie finger. Ok, this worked
and I liked it. The upside is that it exfoliates
the face and it makes your skin all smooth and
soft. And the hair is gone without waxing.

I wanted to try it on my husband's chest.
He looked like a deer caught in the headlights
and he ran from me like a sprinter. No dice,
he wasn't going to let me near him.

I give Smooth Away thumbs up for the face. I'm waiting
to see if my legs stay smooth. So far, so good. :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Custom Flip Flops for Weddings

custom made flip flops

How cute are these custom made flip flops?

A bride brought them in to see how they looked
with her bridesmaid dresses. She bought them
as her gift to the bridesmaids to wear at the wedding
reception. Her maids are wearing tea length
dresses. She picked ribbons to match the color
in the dresses and had their first name initial
embroidered on the button. Love them! They
are a great gift that will get used over
and over and only cost less than $27 each!
By the way, the maids love them! Lets face it,
everyone wants to take their shoes off
at the reception, these are much better
than having your maids run around barefoot.
And you can have your photographer
photograph them all posing with their
flip flops!

These would also be perfect for a beach
wedding. Picture your maids walking out
to the beach in these flip flops.
You can even have a pair made for
yourself with your new last name initial
for your honeymoon.

These are unique and a great gift idea.
Check them out!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Biggest Wedding Planning Problems

I always assumed that the biggest
wedding planning problems were
money, family and friends based on
what I hear from brides. My brides talk
about the lack of money, wedding costs,
disagreements with family,
parents, wedding party or friends.
There's drama, it usually passes.

I conducted a large non scientific
poll to find out if I was right.
Well, I was, sort of....the answers
surprised me. Money and finances were
the number one problem reported in the
survey. I was right on number two being
conflicts with Mom, family and drama caused
by the wedding party.

Here are the surprises:
10% of my non scientific poll reported absolutely
NO PROBLEMS at all with their wedding planning.
This shocked me because all the brides I've met
(and at this point its in the tens of thousands)
always talk to us about some wedding planning
problem, even if its silly.

Here are some comments:
"I loved every minute of it. I'd do it again"
"I was sorry it was over, it was a dream."
"It must have been meant to be because I didn't
have anything to wrong."
"Everything flowed, everyone was wonderful, the
day was picture perfect."

Another surprise: The bride reported that
SHE was the problem!

"I second guessed every decision I made and
I drove myself, my husband and my family crazy.
I was a mess, but it all worked out."

"I spent every night having nightmares.
I dreamed I was walking down the aisle naked.
I dreamed no one came to the wedding. I dreamed
that the cake exploded when we cut it. I finally
had to talk to a doctor."

"I wanted everything to be perfect. I was
Bridezilla, until my fiance had a talk with
me. I had to eat crow and apologize to everyone.
Lesson learned, the wedding turned out nearly
perfect without me going Bridezilla on everyone."

"I am a control freak. I have to control everything.
My friends are sick of seeing me carrying around
a notebook, texting my vendors and emailing the
wedding party. I can't wait until this is over."

Another surprise:
Brides reported that their biggest problem was
coordinating the church and the reception for the
same day and the times of the wedding. One said that
her church scheduled two weddings at the same time
after she had signed the contract for the reception

Random problems:
Finding shoes! Two brides responded that finding
the right shoes were her biggest problem.

The guest list: Deciding who to invite and who to cut
from the guest list made several brides crazy.
"Its like having a big pool of people you love and
having to pick the ones you love more. It sucked."

" I had to juggle the guest list. Between my FMIL and
my mom and our friends, it was the hardest part of
the wedding planning."

"We had to keep the guest list small because of budget
and space. A lot of people who are upset and
have hurt feelings. I should have eloped."

Worrying about the weather for an outdoor

"We all stressed over the weather.
I was glued to the Weather Channel".

"It rained all week of our wedding. We had an indoor
location if it rained, but it was our dream to
get married outside. The day of the wedding, the
sun came out. Our prayers were answered!"

"All my life I wanted a beach wedding, but the
weather wasn't cooperating. It was unseasonably
cold and cloudy before the wedding. I know, I know,
I can't control the weather, but I wanted to! LOL
We did get our beach wedding, minus the sun. Its all
good, it was windy, but perfect in every other way."
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