Choosing a Wedding Caterer Checklist

January 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Caterers, Wedding Planning

wedding-catererFor any couple planning a wedding, a long list of factors comes into play from invitations, music, and even alcohol consumption at the reception. Of course, while the wedding should be a time of vibrancy and life, it is also a time of responsibility, especially when alcohol will be served. The key is providing the right amount of alcohol so guests can enjoy a drink or two but without going so far that drinking becomes a potential problem. One of the best ways to ensure your reception is perfect would be working with a reputable caterer.

Whether you are planning a fancy sit-down dinner or just appetizers, finding the right caterer is essential to a wonderful reception. But where do you find one if you have never thrown a catered party before? There are several places you can look to find caterers in your area. Read more

Finding Right Wedding Photographer

Wedding PhotographerYou have spent a lot of time and money planning your special day. You have taken great pride in the kind of wedding you are going to have. One thing you will want is your special day recorded for all time.

Pictures of your wedding and reception are something you will treasure for the rest of your life. You want someone taking those pictures who know what they are doing, and how to get the memorable shots.

Professional vs a Friend?

Most brides and grooms face this decision. They have a friend who loves to take pictures as a hobby and offers to take their wedding pictures as a gift. Saving money is something everyone wants to do, but there are some places you shouldn’t scrimp on. Your wedding photographs are one of those things. Unless your friend has a job as a photographer, hiring a professional is the best choice. Professionals will have the best equipment and have the knowledge to get the right shots. Read more

Tempted to Elope? Take our Self-Quiz Before You Take the Plunge!

December 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Engaged, Featured, Wedding Planning

The-Elopement-Elope

Is non-stop wedding planning making you want to tear your hair out? Are you wondering why you need to spend more for flowers than you do on your monthly rent or mortgage? Does a seating chart put you into a tizzy? If so, you are probably tempted to elope.

Eloping used to be done in the middle of the night and without the blessing of your families. Today’s elopements are a much less dramatic affair. But eloping is not for everyone. Just because you can elope, doesn’t mean you should.

Take our self-quiz to help decide if an elopement is for you. Have your fiancé take it too and compare your results. Then decide if you are reserving the reception hall, or two First Class tickets to Las Vegas!

Question 1: Imagine it is one year after your wedding. On your first wedding anniversary, what memories of your wedding do you look forward to the most?

a)     the moments with our family and friends

b)    our first kiss as man and wife

c)     I’m thinking about how we’ll celebrate our 1st anniversary!

Question 2: If you had no limits to your budget or imagination, what wedding dress would you choose?

a)     one with a long train and lots of lace

b)    something with a modern twist, it might not be sold in a bridal shop

c)     as long as it fits and looks great, I’m happy

 Question 3: What stresses you out the most about planning your wedding?

a)     that everyone I’ve invited will have a good time/be able to attend

b)    that everyone does what they’ve promised to do/be on time/deliver items or services

c)     that the logistics of the event planning will go off without a hitch

Question 4: Do you have bridesmaids?

a)     my best friend from childhood, my best friend from college and my sister/fiancé’s sister

b)    I’d like a few close friends to be my bridesmaids

c)     Yes, I have several bridesmaids

Question 5: Why do you want to elope?

a)     I am so tired of planning this wedding; it is too much pressure/stress. How do brides do it all?

b)    who needs to be the center of attention at an event? We have each other, that’s what counts.

c)     it sounds so easy. One long weekend and we’re hitched.

Okay brides-to-be, let’s tally your answers!

If you have mostly A’s: You’re All About Family & Friends. Eloping probably is not the best choice for you. You may be temporarily tempted by the thought, after spending a few hours with your latest seating chart. But most likely you want your nearest and dearest by your side on the Big Day.

If you have mostly B’s: You’re a Close Couple. Eloping might be a good choice for you, if it is a choice the two of you entirely agree on. You make choices based on the happiness of the two of you as a couple. If both of you are happiest eloping – then elopement it is!

If you have mostly C’s: You are a No Fuss Bride. Some brides it seems love to fuss with the every detail of the wedding, from the monogrammed cocktail napkins to the dog ring bearer and teaching them a new trick to wow the guests. That’s not your style. Eloping could be a good option for you, if your fiancé agrees with your no fuss style about eloping being the ideal choice for your wedding.

Hiring a Wedding Planner (Coordinator)

December 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Planners, Wedding Planning

wedding-planner

photo credit: www.sweetchicevents.com

Don’t underestimate the usefulness of hiring a qualified and experienced wedding planner or wedding coordinator.

Each and every year around 2.5 million weddings take place nationwide. This means that the number of weddings that will take place in your immediate area is astounding. Your wedding plans are going to be affected by number of factors, because many more weddings will happen at or around the same time as yours.

If you want even the tiniest little detail to be taken care of at your wedding, it would be recommended that you hire a wedding planner. He or she can save you a lot of time and money. The wedding planner will help you coordinate your wedding and the most important of all they will save you from frustration. Read more

Saving Money on Your Wedding Dress

December 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Attire, Wedding Dresses

wedding-dressesIf you are on a tight budget the cost of a special order wedding dress can be a little bit hard to swallow. But what can you do? Yes, you will only wear the dress once, but it is your wedding – quite possibly the most important day of your life. You want a wedding dress that looks fabulous.

So what do you do? Is there any way you can find an incredible dress without breaking the bank? Actually, yes. There are several options. Yes, each option is filled with its own challenges but if you approach the opportunity with your eyes wide open you should be able to find a wedding gown that you will be proud to wear on your big day. Read more

Profile of a Halloween Wedding

November 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Attire

This is going to be a snark-free post – just so you know.  If you want the customary snark, toddle on over to the weird laws site because we’ve been plenty snarky on that one lately.

Last year I was honored to attend an unconventional kind of wedding.  In fact, my hubs was part of the wedding party.  The wedding took place on Halloween, and I decided that since the happy couple’s one year anniversary approacheth, that that I would not only tell you about the happy day, I’d let the bride do it.  Megan was nice enough to answer some questions for me and send me some photos, so enjoy!

The wedding party

1.  What made you choose Halloween as your wedding date?

I absolutely adore Halloween! It has always been my favorite holiday. The dressing up, the scary decorations, the fall weather and of course, fall foods, like sweet potatoes! My daughters are the same way and dressing up is just plain fun! You can be all the things that aren’t “real” the other 364 days of the year.  And everyone knows Jamie loves anything dark and gory! Add to that our family’s love of anything macabre and you get the perfect day for our wedding. Not to mention it is an easy date for the groom to remember! The movie “The Corpse Bride” sealed the deal, it was the inspiration for the whole thing.

2.  Who did you choose to officiate your ceremony, and how did you know him/her?

Leighton Paquette preformed the ceremony. My aunt introduced him to us. The amazing thing was, I really only got to talk to him a couple of times. Maybe the longest conversation was an hour. And yet he nailed it. Jamie and I aren’t your typical couple. We’re square pegs trying to fit into a world of round holes. And Leighton got that. It wasn’t your typical stuffy or religious ceremony, it was ours and it was perfect. He said let him know if you have any questions for him. However,he wasn’t licensed to make it legal so another friend of the family who is filled out our marriage license.

Ceremony
3.  What was the significance of having your wedding on Halloween?

LOL we got to dress up and be yet ourselves and for once no one gave us strange looks for it. I’ve always felt like Halloween is an opportunity for those of us who are a little…..out there, to be truly free of society’s expectations for one night.

4.  What did you choose as your attire for the wedding and why?

I wanted to go with something fairy like but without dealing with wings. My mother, Debbie deTreville, is a wonderful seamstress, and she and my step-father, Jason Allen, designed a beautiful dress just by listening to me babble about a few I had seen that I liked. I wanted fairy-tale without the poofy Cinderella dress. It was a beautiful royal purple with iridescent wing like pieces attached at the upper arms and wrists. They both worked incredibly hard until the wee hours of the morning to get everything completed on time. They also did almost all of the decorations and all of the flowers. Jason (Jae) also carved several exquisite pumpkins to grace the tables.
Megan Baker
5.  What did the groom choose as his attire for the wedding and why?

Jamie wore a black suit and red shirt and black top hat with a skull topped cane. He chose that mainly because I wouldn’t let him wear jeans and the “tuxedo t-shit”. However, he looked wonderful in it. He picked it all out himself and I have to say, his taste was fabulous.

Jame Megan Samantha and Jessica

6.  What were your instructions to your wedding party as to how they should dress?

We told them to wear whatever costume they wanted only to keep in mind there would be children in attendance. As lond as no one dressed like a bride or groom we were fine with it. We ended up with 2 Greek goddesses, a Renaissance princess, and a disco diva as bridesmaids, and a bodyguard, a convict, a pirate and Einstein as groomsman. Our oldest Samantha was a perfect little fairy flower-girl and the younger one, Jessica, was a spooky skeleton fairy ring bearer, which was all their idea and matched their personalities. My grandfather gave me away as Grandpa Munster aka Dracula. It was all so perfect!

Jamie, Megan and her Grandaddy

7.  What were your requests/suggestions to your wedding guests as to how they should dress?

We asked everyone to either choose a costume or to wear something afternoon wedding appropriate. We did however, ask that everyone be respectful of the children who would be in attendance and not wear anything too scary or risky. As it turned out, everyone who turned up was in  costume except a couple grandparents who wore church clothes, and with the rest of the costumes floating around, they looked like it was a purposeful Halloween choice.

Jamie, Megan and Jamie's grandparents Robert and Diana

8.  What type of music did you choose for the reception?

A very eclectic mix spun out by my dad, Kevin Carter who also helped my Aunt Kerstan with photos. we tried to stick with classic rock and roll and a few Halloween themed songs. Since it was a pretty neutral ground for me and Jamie.

Megan with her dress designing parents, Debbie and Jason

9.  What was your first dance song and why?

“Always with me Always with you” by Joe Satriani.

Jamie introduced that song to me early in our relationship and it just became our song. He even used to play parts from it for me on the guitar.

10.  After one year of wedded bliss, how do you plan to celebrate your anniversary?

Maybe with a night out just the two of us….that’s a rare enough occurrence. Trick-or-Treating with the kids will top off our weekend.

Thank you, Megan, for telling us about your special day, and for letting our readers know that it’s fine to be yourself and do what YOU want to do on your wedding day.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Groomsmen Gifts: A Modern Tradition

November 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Bridal Parties, Featured

There are many old traditions still visible in today’s modern wedding. One of the most obvious is the best man and groomsmen standing next to the groom during the ceremony. We now see this custom as an opportunity to involve our friends and close family members in our big day, but at one time the groomsmen were seen to guard the bride until she was married to her husband and new protector.

These days the groomsmen often help out with the arrangements and tasks leading up to the wedding, and most importantly keep the groom smiling no matter how stressful the wedding plans get. A modern tradition is that the groom gives each member of his wedding party a gift on the day of the wedding to say thank you for helping out. Whether your groomsmen gifts are traditional or modern is completely up to you.

groomsmen

Traditional groomsmen gifts offer a touch of class and remind us of an era our grandparents might recognize more easily than we would. A watch was a traditional gift for any big occasion, from graduation to retirement. The symbolism of a watch varies depending on your culture, but in North American it’s often seen as a wish for long life.

Other traditional groomsmen gifts are flasks, cufflinks and money clips. While most of use don’t wear shirts with cufflink holes, keep a flask in our hip pocket and prefer a debit card to a wad of cash, the timeless significance of these gifts is what makes them special.

A modern groomsman gift generally reflects the taste of the man receiving it. It could be sports related, like a golf set or a baseball bat engraved with the date of the wedding and the groomsman’s name. For a groomsman who travels frequently a leather carry-on featuring his initials, or a travel case for his grooming kit also makes a thoughtful gift.

No matter which route you choose, traditional or modern, adding personalization to the gift will remind your groomsmen of your big day and the important role they played in it. You can add their monogrammed initials, the wedding date and even the bride and groom’s names to many different types of gifts.

It’s important to think about each of your groomsmen and choose a gift that suits his personality and taste. Choosing the right gift is the best way to show just how well you know the men standing by your side and how much you appreciate them being there for you on your wedding day.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Advantages of Cubic Zirconia

November 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Engaged, Featured, Wedding Jewelry

Cubic Zirconia (CZ) was developed by the Russian space program for use in laser guidance equipment as a cost-effective alternative to using rubies which were needed in early lasers.  CZ is virtually identical to diamond in terms of its optical properties, and this lends the use of CZ to producing jewelry – it looks, shine and sparkles in almost identical fashion to diamond.

Cubic Zirconia

So why should you use a cubic zirconia stone in place of a diamond?

Cost

The obvious advantage over diamond is cost; diamond is one of the most valuable substances known to man and it costs roughly one thousand times more than a crystal of zirconium of the same weight.

Cost is not the only advantage over diamond which CZ possesses, just the most obvious one.

Imperfections

Diamond is a naturally occurring crystal which is formed by natural processes deep within the earth’s crust.  CZ on the other hand is man-made, using a precisely controlled manufacturing process which allows for excellent quality control over how the crystal is formed.

All diamonds carry imperfections created by trapped gas or foreign matter, so upon close inspection you will see bubbles or imperfections within the stone.  There may also be irregularities in the uniformity of the crystal structure itself.  None of these imperfections present themselves with CZ, because the process is so stringently controlled – what you get with a zirconium stone is a flawless crystal.

Color

Diamonds usually come with a clear to yellow hue; it is very rare to find a perfectly colorless stone because of the natural environment within which they are formed.  Zirconium can be completely clear or have whatever color is desired, so you the jewelry buyer have a wider choice to select a stone from.

In colorless form, CZ is indistinguishable from diamond to the naked eye.

Shape

Diamond is a very rigid and extremely strong form of carbon atoms, laid out in a rigid pattern; in fact, it is the hardest naturally-occurring material known to man.  This hardness and crystalline rigidity makes it difficult to cut a diamond, however zirconium lends itself to being worked by a gemstone cutter. The result is that zirconium can be worked into a wider variety of shapes and forms than diamond, which again means greater choice for you.

Fire

How brilliantly a stone reflects and refracts light which passes through it determines the sparkle it possess – this is known as “fire”.  Zirconium refracts and reflects light better than diamond (remember the Russians developed it precisely for this purpose with their space program).  Zirconium may be lighter than diamond, and less hard, but its crystalline structure ensures it is able to generate more fire.

The Environment

While diamonds are naturally occurring, there is nothing natural about how they are extracted from the earth.  Diamonds are mined requiring the use of huge amounts of energy and significant environmental damage is caused directly by mining.  There are also large amounts of toxic waste produced in separating diamonds from the tons of earth which are excavated and must be disposed of.

Zirconium requires only a fraction of the energy which diamond excavation uses and waste products are minimal in comparison, making CZ the green alternative to diamond.

Your Backyard Can Be a Wedding Venue!

November 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Planning

For those with backyards, they can make that space an excellent venue for their special day. And a backyard wedding can vary in size and complexity – a lot depends, of course, on just how large your backyard is. There’s another advantage to using your own property for a wedding – you can have a large amount of hard earned money. But there are a lot of factors you have to weigh in when you hold a wedding in your backyard, and this article will help you understand all the things you’ll need to have on hand when you have a backyard wedding.

backyard wedding

1. Think Of How Much Room You Have

Consider space, because this is all important in a backyard wedding, especially if your space isn’t all that large. Allocate a certain amount of space per guest, and calculate how many guests can fit into your yard, then edit your guest list accordingly. Factor in waiters and other staff members as well.

2. Don’t Let It Rain On Your Wedding

Special arrangements need to be made in case of an unexpected change in the weather, as in an unexpected rain fall. Remember that if you set up some sort of marquee, the sort that you choose will depend on the amount of yard you need covered.

3. Theming Your Wedding Will Greatly Enhance It

A theme for your celebration is an excellent idea. Depending on the amount of funds you have on hand you can make your special day truly exceptional. And you can do it rather inexpensively – you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish with some paint, art materials and crepe-paper. Imagination is the key, obviously, and the magic and romance that surround any wedding will supply the rest. Involve the family – make refining the theme for your wedding a fun project for everyone – you’ll see that with everyone contributing ideas, you’ll have a crystallized them in no time at all.

4. Cover All The Minor Points To Make Your Event A Success

There’s a lot that goes into making a wedding a successful event, but the nice thing is that people are all willing to help you, so make sure you take advantage of that, and let people handle lesser details while you concentrate on more important ones. One of the most important of all details that need to be arranged is sufficient parking. The easiest way to arrange this is to hire the lot of a nearby community center or church – or almost anywhere with sufficient parking for your purposes. And of course you’ll have to arrange some transport that will bring people to your residence, but that will hardly be a problem. Make sure that you have a backup power supply to cover any failure of electricity. And, elementary though it may sound, ensure that you have enough toilets – you usually need at least four for every hundred people.

5. Improvements To The Yard Will Be Investments For The Future

There are a lot of things you can do to ensure that your backyard is the best place for your wedding, and the nicest part about all this is that you can continue to use these improvements (once you’re married). This is a distinct advantage to being married on your own property. So this is the time to level out the lawn, to fill in those places where water collects each year, to ensure that the patio is polished to look like new. You can even put in some lovely benches and plant a new rock garden – each thing that will do will accentuate both your wedding and the beginnings of your married life. Imagine, after your wedding, having a beautiful, level lawn that is perfectly mowed, with a lovely rock-garden and some beautiful flowering plants. Imagine a beautifully polished patio, with perhaps an interesting swing, and some truly ornamental benches scattered here and there that allow you to enjoy the quiet beauty of your lawn and garden.

6. Work On Improving The Garden

One thing that can truly contribute to the ambiance of your wedding is to have wonderful plants in full bloom around the yard – they can be planted as part of a permanent garden, just ensure that you choose plants that will bloom at the time of your wedding, and they will add so much joy and beauty to the event. And don’t forget to get some best selling cedar porch swings for an aesthetic touch.

7. Music And Lights Set The Mood For Romance

Lighting at a wedding can make such a difference to everything. Not only should you have aesthetics in mind, but also ensure that the house and grounds are adequately lit. Bright lights on the borders of the grounds will ensure that moths don’t enter the grounds themselves. Then some soft yellow lamps around the grounds should add an aura of romance. Put in solar lamps around the walks, to ensure that no area of the grounds is in total darkness. Add to that just the right musical score and you have a wedding that contains all the magic of romance and timeless harmony.

8. Save On Glassware

Buying things like glassware for your wedding from a good discount store can save you a lot of money, but it might even save you more than you realize, if you donate the purchased items to a recognized charity. That counts as a tax-deductible amount, which means you’ll get it back.

9. Cooling Systems Are Important

Remember, if you plan a summer wedding that hot and sweaty people can get irritable, and that’s hardly the tone you want to set for your wedding. So invest in some efficient cooling – there are a lot of good systems available these days.

10. Make Your Wedding Memorable

It’s important to create a video or to take plenty of photographs of your special day. Because you’re having your wedding in your own backyard, each photograph will call up memories of your special day, and each picture will help you remember things that made your day special, moments that made you smile, or even cry, and the people who shared this wonderful day with you. This is something you don’t want to lose, so make sure you hire a professional to record all this for you – you should ideally call in both a photographer and a videographer, to give you a complete record.

About The Man Who Wrote This…

Jay Chua is the publisher of PorchSwingSets.com. He is also a laid-back resident of Vancouver, Canada, and with his wife Deisy, takes a great interest in following trends in gardening and wedding arrangement. He owns a wonderful hatteras hammocks garden swing at his backyard, and enjoyed writing & reviewing hammocks & swings such as the polyester rope hammock.

Enhanced by Zemanta

More Theme Wedding Madness

November 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Humor

It is a relief to see  that there are some people out there who just don’t give a darn how they look.  Not even on their wedding day.

I guess that’s not fair.  They DO care how they look, they just choose to look like a cartoon character or superhero.  Sure.  Why not?  I mean, if you’re going to do it, do it right.  Make sure people remember it.  Make sure, for instance, that they remember that you came to your wedding dressed as Wonder Woman, and that your groom dressed like Batman.

super hero wedding

Holy Are-You-Kidding Me, Batman!

Lucky for these folks, both Batman and Wonder Woman were  part of Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28, otherwise we’d take issue.  We already have to overlook the fact that these wackadoos were attended by Robin (that’s OK), the Joker (WTF?), Yoda (Come on, now), The Incredibles (Really?), Iron Man, Poison Ivy, and The Incredible Hulk (MARVEL COMICS, HELLO?!?!?!)   The bridesmaids came dressed in PowerPuff Girls costumes.  Oh, the humanity.  Step all over those of who who LIKE comic books, why don’t you?

Or, take these folks, who decided to kick it old, old, old, old school.

Flintstones Wedding

Yabba Dabba...oh whatever.

They actually said, “I yabba dabba do” in their vows.  Oh the sweet injustice of it all.  At least these people were purist.  The bride was attended by Betty Rubble, Barney Rubble stood up as best man, the children attendants were dressed as Bamm-Bamm, and the guests all dressed as cavemen.  Er, cave people.  My, my.

This one is the real kicker, though.  What would the cleaning bills cost to get all that GREEN PAINT off the wedding dress?

Shrek Wedding

Really?

I get it that you saw Shrek on your first date.  I get that you liked it.  I liked it too.  A lot.  I watch it pretty often still.  But what on earth did your mother say when you told her you wanted to paint yourself completely green and wear fake ears on your wedding day?  Did she cry?  I kind of did, when I heard about this.  And the groom.  He’s 53!  Did he just not give a crap?  And what’s with the clown character in the back?  Are you TRYING to give me a heart attack?

Oh well, right?  As long as they are happy, that is what matters….

« Previous PageNext Page »