Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spring Weddings from the Knot

Finding The Impossible Wedding Day Gift For The Groom

If you are the typical bride, you are going crazy trying to find your groom the perfect wedding gift. The gift that says I put a lot of thought into your gift. The gift that will make him smile whenever he sees it. The gift that shows him that he means everything to you. The gift he can keep forever to remind him of his wedding day. So you've shopped and shopped and you keep coming back to the same cliche gifts: the monogrammed beer stein, the monogrammed flask, the watch. Same old same old.

We came across the coolest cuff links for the wedding. Cuff links, you say? Yes, cuff links. Every tux needs cuff links and you always end up with those plain black button stud links that come with every rental tux. These are out of the box. Some have his initials. Others have his favorite sports. Is he a golf nut? A baseball fan? Add a bit of personalization to an ordinary tux the same way we add jewelry to our wedding dress. Click on the pics for more ideas.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Common Wedding Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Houston, we have a problem.. No bride wants to hear those words, but people do make mistakes in planning their wedding. Wedding mistakes can be costly, stressful and time consuming. Here's some top wedding planning mistakes and how to avoid making them.

Assuming your parents will pick up the cost of the wedding. Today's wedding couples are older and have been on their own for a long while. Mom and Dad are getting ready to retire. Don't expect them to foot the bill on a $30,000 wedding. Before you start planning your wedding, sit down with your parents and ask if they are planning to contribute towards the wedding costs and if so, how much. Don't expect that your parents will pick up the costs of the reception and his parents the alcohol, DJ and flowers. They may not be in any financial position to help you out.

Overspending your budget: You have a budget for a reason. Its the sum of money you have available to spend. With the current state of the economy, it doesn't make sense to overspend and and start your marriage in debt.

Being disorganized. Disorganization will make you crazy and stressed out. Its so easy to buy a wedding planner book or wedding software and keep records of your wedding expenses, guest list and the thousands of details you need at your fingertips.

Letting your guest list get out of control. Most wedding venues have space limits and you'll have budget constraints that will force you to keep your guest list to a target number. There'll be a certain amount of guests that won't be able to attend, don't assume they won't attend and over invite.

Not hiring professionals. Too many couples in their zeal to cut their costs, will use an uncle to take pictures, a cousin to bake the cake, an aunt to help cook at the reception. A professional will make sure your pictures are well composed, perfectly grouped and the memories of the wedding will endure. The biggest regret I hear after the wedding is that they couple wished that they'd hired professionals to get the job done the way they envisioned.

Not making decisions in a timely manner. There is a certain amount of time it takes to execute a wedding. Wedding pros book up years in advance. Wedding venues book in advance. And it takes 16 to 20 weeks to order a wedding gown. If you don't make a decision, you risk disappointment. The church or the reception hall you wanted will be booked. The photographer is booked. You didn't allow time to get your dream dress. Make a decision, book your vendors and stop shopping. If you don't make a decision, another bride will make it for you.

Continuing to shop after you've purchased something for your wedding. (Just in case you might like something better.) This goes hand in hand with not trusting your decisions. Once you've purchased something, stop shopping, cross it off your list and move on. Trust your instincts Your first impulse is usually the best decision. If you continue to shop, you'll stress yourself and the others around you. Move on!

Trying to trump a friend or a family's wedding. Weddings aren't a competition. They are a joining of two people in marriage. The reception is a party. It is a milestone in your life, but you don't have to outdo your family, friends or friends you only know from the Internet wedding chat boards. Have the wedding YOU can afford.

Allowing wedding stress and wedding planning overtake your life. Wedding planning is stressful and it can take up a good part of your life. But your focus should be on the marriage and not the wedding. When you find yourself becoming stressed and turning into a Bridezilla, take a deep breathe, take a day off wedding planning and do something for yourself. Take the dog for a walk, do some aerobics or Pilates, get a massage, spend quality time with your fiance. And don't talk about the wedding. You'll feel renewed and ready to tackle the next job.

Take time to laugh and enjoy the planning process. And have a happy wedding and marriage!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wedding Expenses: Who Pays for What?

Wedding Expenses: Who Pays for What?
These are the traditional guidelines and should help you determine who should pay for what. Circumstances vary and many couples are paying for the entire wedding themselves. Other couples get a certain amount of money that they put towards the wedding expenses.

Wedding & Engagement Rings

Bride's Engagement & Wedding Rings: The groom
Groom's Wedding Ring: The bride

Invitations, Announcements & Save the Date Cards

Invitations and or announcements : The bride’s family
Save the date cards: The bride’s family
Postage: The bride’s family
Wedding Stationery: The bride’s family

Attire and Accessories

Bride's Gown & Accessories: The bride’s family Today many brides pay for their own dress, shoes, veil and accessories
Groom's Tuxedo & Accessories: The Groom
Attire for the Groom's Attendants: The groomsmen
Attire for the Bride's Attendants: The bridesmaids
Attire for the Groom's Family: The groom’s family
Attire for the Bride's Family: The bride’s family

Flowers and Decorations

Flowers & Decor for the Ceremony and Reception: The bride’s family
Flowers for the Bride's Attendants: The bride’s family
Boutonnieres for the Groom's Attendants: The groom Boutonnieres for the Groom, Fathers and Grandfathers: The groom
Corsages for the mothers, stepmothers and grandmothers: The groom
Bride's Bouquet & Flowers: The groom
Many times the person paying for the flowers pays for all the flowers.

Ceremony and Reception

Marriage license fee: The groom
Ceremony /church location fee: The bride’s family
Officiant's/ clergymen’s fee: The Groom
Reception venue fee: The bride’s family
Food & Beverages: The bride’s family Today, many grooms families are paying for the beverages at the wedding reception.
Photographer -videographer: The bride’s family
Music and entertainment for the ceremony and reception: The bride’s family
Limousine or other transportation: The bride’s family
Other miscellaneous ceremony or reception costs: The bride’s family
Wedding cake: The Bride’s family
Favors: The Bride’s family

Other Expenses

Engagement photos: The Bride’s famil;y
Engagement party: The Bride’s family Today sometimes done in tandem with the grooms family.
Rehearsal dinner: The Groom’s family
Honeymoon: The Groom

Bridal Shower and Bachelor, Bachelorette –Hen Parties

Bridal Shower: The bridesmaids
Bachelor Party: The groomsmen
Bachelorette Party: The bridesmaids

Out-of-town Attendants and Guests

Accommodations for the Groom's Attendants: The Groom Today the attendants may pay for their own accommodations at a discounted rate arranged by the wedding couple at a local hotel.
Accommodations for the Bride's Attendants: The Bride
Today the attendants may pay for their own accommodations at a discounted rate arranged by the wedding couple at a local hotel.

GUESTS are responsible for their own transportation/travel AND accommodations but the wedding couple arrange for a block of rooms at a local hotel at a discounted rate and inform the guests in a flyer in the wedding invitation or send with the save the date card.
ATTENDANTS are responsible for their own transportation/travel expenses
Wedding Gifts

Gift for the bride: THE GROOM
Gift for the groom: THE BRIDE
Gifts for the bridesmaids and flower girl: THE BRIDE
Gifts for the groomsmen and ring bearer: THE GROOM
Thank you gifts for the parents: The wedding couple

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

10 Ways To Find Extra Cash to Pay For Your Wedding

10 Ways To Find Extra Cash to Pay For Your Wedding

Its unreasonable in today's economy to expect your parents to foot the bill for an over the top wedding. If you are working and on your own, you'll need to come up with ways to find some extra cash to help pay for your wedding. It CAN be done and it can be done without a lot of sacrifice.

Set up a wedding fund with your fiance and both of you add to it on a weekly basis. Discuss ways you both can cut expenses and find extra money to put into your wedding fund. All good things come with some form of sacrifice, but these suggestions really won't hurt. Bonus, you are working together towards a common goal, spending the rest of your life together!

Cut the fat from your daily expenses. This means forgoing the daily double latte frappachino from your local coffeehouse and brewing your own coffee at home. You can easily save up to $5 a day by doing it yourself. That's an extra $150 a month into the wedding fund per person.

Use coupons when you go grocery shopping and for personal care items you buy at your local pharamacy. Put the savings in the fund.

Drive less, carpool or take public transportation to save on gas and car expenses.

Save on energy costs at home by changing your light bulbs to CFL's., winterizing your home, lowering your thermostat in winter and learn to cut energy costs.

Rent a movie and pop your own popcorn instead of heading to the movie theater. Savings around $35.00. Bonus, you get to snuggle with your honey on the sofa.

Stay away from the bars on your night out. Savings can go up to $200 per night. Invite friends over to your house to play cards and have dinner instead. Or rotate houses with your friends, have a potluck dinner and and BYOB drinks. You may be surprised to see that your friends enjoy these nights in more than hitting the clubs.

Eat dinner at home and brown bag your lunch at work. Savings will mount up. Plan a once a month splurge by buying a pizza or eating out at an inexpensive family restaurant.

Sell your clothes, purses, shoes, electronics and other unused things on eBay or have a garage sale to get rid of things you don't want or don't fit into your new lifestyle.

Get a part time job or get paid for a skill you already have. If you can design web sites, offer your services to small businesses. If you have friends who need a babysitter on weekends, offer to babysit for a fee. Are there senior citizens who need to be driven to the grocery store? Start a service with your fiance to help seniors on the weekends. Clean their house, mow their lawn, help them do home repairs, drive them to the doctor, grocery store, beauty parlor or pharmacy. Make phone calls for them, help them write checks or take them to the bank. It’s a way to feel good about yourself and make some extra cash and they'll be so appreciative. Can you entertain children? Organize children's birthday parties for working parents. Use your imagination and fatten up your wedding fund.

Cut back on your manicures and pedicures. Beauty expenses can add up fast. A trip to the salon can easily blow $100 without much effort. And that doesn't count buying the salon products. You'll save if you do them yourself at home and it will add cash to your fund. Splurge before the wedding on your beauty regimen because you deserve it on your wedding day!

Free Wedding Websites

Wedding Paper Divas (how cool is this name?) has hip, modern, exclusive wedding invitations!
The Divas are offering a free wedding website to match your wedding invitations. Every bride needs a wedding web site to keep her family and friends in the wedding loop, might as well have the most cutting edge web site. And get it for free....FREE! And everyone knows that I just love free...whether I need it or not, if its free...I'm so there. I'll find someone to make use of it.

Wedding Paper Divas have some of the most unusual wedding invitations in the most sought after colors. They were doing Tiffany Blue wedding invitations way before it became vogue. They aren't your mom's wedding invitations, they are au courant and they set the tone for a wedding that is sure to stand heads above the crowd. I sold wedding invitations for years and if I had to look at another pair of silver doves circling over a wedding cake, I swear I'd puke. No silver doves here, these are unique, colorful and totally todays look and feel. Love them!
You'll also get excellent quality and excellent service...and that's what its all about.

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