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Celebrating & Preparing For Your Big Day with OurWeddingDay.com Today is Saturday, May 27, 2017

How to Get the Most Out of a Wedding Expo

Mar28

Because it would take months to meet all of the various vendors you will be in contact with at a 2011 wedding expo, there is no doubt that they provide a huge advantage when it comes to the learning curve inherent in planning a wedding. Here are a few helpful hints when considering a bridal expo:

Choose a wedding show that is in the proximity of your geographical location. If you are getting married in the wine country of Northern California, an Orange County bridal fair is mainly going to showcase vendors within the Los Angeles and OC area.

There are typically two types of bridal fairs—mega fairs and boutique fairs. A mega fair is a huge event, typically held at a hotel or convention center. A boutique wedding expo is usually sponsored by a particular vendor or wedding location. The type of fair depends on the bride—if you do not like big crowds or feel overwhelmed when there are too many choices, consider going to a boutique bridal fair. You will still get a feel for different vendors. You just won’t feel quite as overwhelmed.

Bring a notebook and be inquisitive. Ask as many questions as come to mind, and write them down in a notebook as you think of them. Asking questions is the best way to use the wedding planning services you encounter at a bridal fair.

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Bridal Expo Pitfalls

Mar18

Attending a bridal expo or two is a great way to check out various vendors all in one trip, and a fantastic opportunity to make headway on your wedding to-do list.

Before you visit your first wedding expo, take a gander at the pitfalls below, to ensure you don’t fall victim to any of them.

Have a game plan. When you visit the various bridal expo websites, you’ll notice that the visiting vendors are typically listed. Make a note of which vendors you want to visit, and create a semi-strict itinerary with a little bit of wiggle room, just in case a few unexpected vendors catch your attention. You don't want to wind up not having enough time to see all the vendors you want because you didn't draft a rough plan beforehand.

Don’t hand out your contact information unless you’re certain you want that vendor contacting you—but even then, taking their information is best. This puts you in the power position of choosing when you’d like to have contact with that vendor. It also gives you the opportunity to explore other vendors before deciding on your final picks.

Even though it might be tempting to take every freebie that’s given to you, don’t. The last thing you’ll want to worry about is a sore back from lugging around too much stuff (not to mention the clutter you'll experience once you bring everything home). If you simply can’t resist, then wait until the last couple of hours to take any freebies.

Have a pen and a pad of paper handy for taking notes. For example, when it comes time to look at bridal dresses, it will be easier if you have pre-written notes handy on which styles you loved the most.

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DIY Bridal Wedding Bouquets

Mar17

Creating anything for your wedding yourself can be a thrill and a challenge. Any DIY wedding task will give you the opportunity to be a part of the creating and planning process in a way that will be apparent to your friends and family on the big day. Designing and configuring your bridal wedding flowers is a fabulous way to sprinkle your own special touch throughout your wedding from beginning to end, not to mention that you might even save a couple bucks.

What will you need? In order to design your own wedding bouquets, you will need the following items:

  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Rubber bands, or floral wire
  • Flowers
  • Floral tape
  • Flower accessories (sprays, pearls, berries etc.)

Step One: Do your research and search for wedding bouquets online, in magazines, or by visiting your local wedding florist for ideas and inspiration. Decide what varietals you will need, what color ribbon, as well as any accessories you'll need and what size bouquet you're aiming for.

Step Two: Purchase the flowers you'll need for your bridal flower bouquets, either from your local florist, or wholesale flower markets.

Step Three: Store your flowers in a container with preservative solution, which will keep your flowers looking fresh and vibrant.

Step Four: Clean up the flower stems by clipping any stray or unnecessary leaves.

Step Five: Organize the flowers on a large table or on a sheet on the floor with the longest-stemmed flowers in the middle, and shorter on each side.

Step Six: Create your arrangement! Make sure the shorter flowers are on the outside, and use a rubber band or a ribbon to bind them together. Make use of any accessories and add them to the arrangement.

Step Seven: Use wire to keep the stems from drooping and wrap it around each stem. Cover up the wire with floral tape.

Step Eight: Wrap your bouquets in ribbon of your choosing, and use a hot glue gun to hold any loose ribbon into place.

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Online Wedding Florist: Bridal Party Flowers Checklist

Mar17

Before choosing an online wedding florist, it is important to figure out exactly what flowers you will need. You have to take into consideration your bridesmaids’ bouquets, your groomsmen's boutonnieres, and reception and ceremony flowers. Here is a flower checklist for the bridal party alone:

  1. You will need boutonnieres for your best man, your groomsmen, the groom, the ring bearer, ushers (this is optional, though your groomsmen may also serve as ushers), the father of the bride, the father of the groom, and the grandfathers of the bride and groom.
  2. You will need bouquets for the bride (and potentially an extra one for the bridal toss), the maid of honor, the bridesmaids, and the flower girl.
  3. Other potential flowers include a headpiece for the bride (this is extremely popular for spring) and a halo for the flower girl.
  4. You will need corsages for the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom, and the grandmothers of the bride and groom.

 

Choosing an online wedding florist will allow you to order online wedding flowers, but you must make absolutely sure that this vendor is reputable. The advantage of going to local wedding florists is that you can have him or her make you up a sample bouquet to get a visual to make sure you have chosen the right color and texture combinations. However, if flowers are not your first priority, an online florist may be the best way to go.

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DIY Wedding Bouquet Questions Answered

Mar15

If you’re toying with the idea of creating your own wedding day bouquets and centerpieces, then you probably have a handful of questions. Fortunately there are countless wedding forums, wedding blogs, and of course your local online wedding florist that can serve as your encyclopedia for DIY wedding day flowers. If you’re ready to put on your Martha Stewart hat, but are unsure on a couple things, then hopefully the following questions and answers will get you to the finish line a little quicker.

How many roses are needed for a large round bouquet?
How many roses you use depends on the size of your flowers, since roses vary is size quite a bit. For example, if you choose Black Magic roses, which are on the larger side, you can get away with using between 20-25 for your bouquet. You can also ask your florist, when you go to pick out the roses, how many you’ll need for a large bouquet.

Can the wedding centerpieces be made the day before?
Yes, centerpieces can be make the night before, you just have to make sure you spray them with water or a floral hydrator and store them in a fridge. Your second option is to purchase flowers that have not quite bloomed yet, and store them in water overnight.

When creating bouquets of roses, do you need any gloves?
Garden gloves are strongly recommended when dealing with roses because of the thorns. You can also purchase a tool called the Thorn Stripper, which cuts off thorns and leaves.

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The Scoop on 2011 Wedding Expos

Mar14

2011 wedding expos are a one-stop shop for the bride that wants to get a large helping of all things wedding related, before making any decisions about her big day. Bridal expos allow you to see all of your wedding related options at once, without having to drive to every wedding vendor, hair salon, or florist in order to find the one that fits your needs.

If you’re not sold on the idea just yet, then read through the following bridal expo exhibits and see if you’re not hopping online to purchase a ticket to the next expo in your area!

Bridal expos typically consist of the following exhibits:

  • Banquet facilities: hotels, resorts, country clubs, convention centers, winery, and golf clubs.
  • Accessories: guest wedding favors, wedding party favors, as well as companies that provide that extra something special, for example a media wall (like they have on red carpets), a candy buffet etc.
  • Beauty, Health & Makeup: Hair salons, skin care lines such as Mary Kay, and Nutrition companies.
  • Bridal Gowns: Various bridal boutiques and shops will have their latest styles on display through catalogs, and sometimes live models.
  • Wedding Consultants and Planners
  • Entertainers & Disc Jockys: Entertainment Lighting Professionals, DJ companies.
  • Event Designers
  • Favors: Jarred candies, Candies Apples, etc.
  • Florists
  • Gift Registry
  • Honeymoon & Travel
  • Invitations & Stationary
  • Jewelry
  • Limousine Companies
  • Musicians & Vocalists
  • Rental Supplies
  • Wedding Photographers
  • Tuxedo shops

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Booking Real Professional as Your Wedding Vendors

Mar08

Elysa Ross, owner of PalmBeachWeddingExpert, is an event planner, aesthetician and makeup artist with over 15 year’s experience.  Check back next week for more tidbits & ideas.  Add PalmBeachWeddingExpert to your Facebook page for special promotions.

Although budgeting and cost-control are an essential element of planning your wedding, there are some areas where quality is just as if not more important as the price.  Many brides expect to pay higher prices for tangible items, such as favors, invitations and flowers.  When it comes to services such as photography, videography or hair & makeup-there is a hesitation to pay higher prices, as there are thoughts that the bride and groom can tackle them on their own or have family or friends take responsibility.  Unless your friends or family are professionals, think twice before going that route.  Even if they are professionals, most guests are at your wedding to have a good time and enjoying the party will take priority over capturing those once in a lifetime moments.  

For those who think they can master techniques via Google, DIY wedding sites and instructive manuals-these tools teach you principals, but there is no equivalent to practiced skills.  A surgeon has endless schooling, but will not have a steady hand, confidence and the ability to work thru unexpected glitches until he/she has physically performed many surgeries.  Although weddings are not a life or death situation, it is the event of a lifetime.  Don’t assume that anything will be easy-particularly for someone else.

Weddings are chaotic, intense and have many, many moving parts.  Professionals understand all the dynamics and handle it all with ease and grace.  Whatever your wedding budget-it will not be money well-spent if your wedding in not an enjoyable event.  Booking true professionals will ensure that your investments will be rewarded, and you’ll have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

-Elysa

Read more from Elysa here.

Fing the best local wedding vendors in your area here.


Tips on Hiring Wedding Coordinators

Mar07

Deciding on wedding coordinators should be the first big decision you make after you get engaged. The reason is this: ideally, wedding coordinators should be able to save you money on vendors and offer invaluable advice throughout the planning process, so the sooner you book her, the sooner you can use her wealth of knowledge and experience.

Decide what type of wedding coordinator you want. There are two main types: Personalized wedding planners and day-of coordinators.

A personalized wedding planner is usually with you throughout the entire planning process, helping you to select vendors, keeping you on track with timelines and checklists, providing you with helpful wedding planning tools, helping you to negotiate prices, helping you decide your menu, and potentially helping with a host of other details. This type of planner usually costs anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000.

A day-of coordinator can be invaluable. This person will take care of the million tiny details on the day of your wedding, hopefully bringing you incredible peace of mind. This type of coordinator usually costs between $400 and $3,000.

Do your research and get referrals. You want to make sure this person is thoughtful and understanding, as well as being organized, experienced, and knowledgeable. This person does not need to be bossy and overbearing to get the job done correctly, but you want to make sure that she knows how to execute tasks. Make sure you speak to former clients to find out if they were happy with this person.

Also, go with your instinct. A coordinator may be excellent, but simply not the right fit for you and your fiancé. You need to make sure this planner is a person who you can communicate honestly with, and who takes the time to listen and understand the type of wedding you want.

Understand how this person operates with vendors. Some wedding planners get a finder’s fee for referring you to certain vendors. For example, if you end up hiring a catering company that your planner referred you to, then the catering company will give your planner a commission. However, some people (vendors and clients included) do not feel comfortable with this. Vendors may feel it is unethical, while clients want to be completely objective when choosing a vendor. They don’t want to be pressured to choose a caterer because a wedding planner has a special arrangement with them.

However, (by getting a finder’s fee), other wedding coordinators feel this is a way to keep their rates low. It really all depends on how you – as the bride -- feel about it. The main thing is that you should choose your vendors based on what you truly like, no matter what type of planner you hire.

Figure out how your planner charges. There are many ways a wedding planner can charge. Some charge by the hour, some charge according to the services provided, others determine what you want and charge a flat rate, and other give you a pricing chart with different packages and options. It is probably a good idea to speak to a few different wedding coordinators to compare rates and prices.

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Should you go to a Trade Show?

Mar01

Although you may not choose a dress from one of the expensive wedding dress designers, this does not mean that you should ignore designer dresses altogether. In fact, one of the best ways to understand your personal taste, to hone your wedding style, and to glean inspiration is to go to a bridal expo where there are hundreds of vendors, wedding dress designers, photographers, florists, catering companies, DJs, and professional wedding planners. You may not end up using any of them, but you will significantly narrow down what you want and (perhaps more important) what you don’t want.

A wedding trade show will help you figure out where you want to put your money. For example, you may see a wedding dress that you know exemplifies the overall theme of your wedding. Remember that the dress sets the tone, and should be chosen early in the planning process (usually after the date and the venue). Though you may not be able to afford the $12,000 gown, you now have a keen eye for emulating that dress. Also, you may want to consider having a dress custom made (though this can still be expensive, depending on your tailor).

You may also find plenty of inspiration for other elements such as color schemes, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, cake flavors, and centerpieces. Remember that wedding planning has a huge learning curve, and bridal expos are a great way to jump start that process.

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5 Advantages of Wedding Cupcakes

Feb24

We've all heard of wedding cakes, but one trend that is increasing in popularity is wedding cupcakes. Cupcakes can be more fun and lighthearted than the classic wedding cake, and are a great way to add a personal, memorable touch to your big day.

  1. You can have many different flavors. At the normal rate of wedding cake prices, you can usually choose two to three flavors (depending on how many layers your cake is). With wedding cupcakes, you can have a lot more variety, and guests can even choose which flavor they want.
  2. Each cupcake is individually decorated. By the time you get a slice of cake at a wedding, the decoration on it has probably been marred. With cupcakes, each one is individually decorated and its artfulness is not spoiled by cutting and serving.
  3. It is not as time consuming to cut and serve the cupcakes. It takes quite a bit of time (as well as a few staff members) to cut and serve a wedding cake. If you serve wedding cupcakes, it is much simpler, less time consuming, and more efficient. If you have a cupcake bar, guests can serve themselves.
  4. If you have a lot of kids at your wedding, they will be sure to love them! Cupcakes may be the highlight of the wedding for some kids.
  5. Guests can take cupcakes home in a box if they are too full after the meal. Often, in the aftermath of a wedding reception, there are up to hundreds of pieces of untouched (or barely touched) pieces of cake lying on the tables. Guests can take cupcakes home in a to-go container to enjoy later in the evening, or the next day.

 

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