Easy Ways to be An Organized Bride-to-Be

January 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Planning

Planning a wedding can sometimes be overwhelming. That’s in its best moments. A wedding is often stressful and challenging – especially with all of those tiny details a bride has to manage. Today’s bride is busier than ever, with family obligations, a full time job, school and community obligations. How can she keep it all together? Let us suggest some of our favorite tried and true easy bride’s organization tips for you!


  1. Create a bridal binder to gather all vital information. Purchase a large binder at a stationary store and keep every detail regarding the wedding in this binder. Add sections related to the wedding such as “reception,” “formal wear,” “honeymoon,” “flowers,” and so on. Each section will help you stay more organized and able to reach information quickly. The trick is to not have dozens of sections – but simply enough to keep the information well organized so you don’t have everything stacked together. Tip: if it takes you longer than five minutes to find something, you need to redo your sections to make them work for you.
  2. Put an envelope in your purse or briefcase to keep all wedding related receipts. It’s an old habit and some of us are “savers” and others are “tossers” by nature. If you are a receipt saver then you’ll find this a bit easier than the tossers will. Fortunately this is an easier habit to develop than some. You just need to make it simple and convenient for yourself. Make sure the envelope is large and sturdy and always well within reach. Don’t let receipts wind up all over the place – every receipt related to the wedding during daily life goes into the envelope and at the end of the day you transfer it to your bridal binder. It’s actually that easy!
  3. Keep your cell phone (with photo ability) or digital camera on hand for wedding errands at all times. Brides today do a lot of comparison shopping. There’s also the challenge that you need to confer with the groom and each other’s families about some of the things you’ll want to do. So if you want to show your future mother in law how beautiful the flowers will be, be sure to snap a photo of them while you are at the florist’s. No one should mind your taking a few photos while you are running errands and this can also help you make up your mind about which vendor to choose as you do your comparisons of them later on.
  4. Delegate wedding related chores wisely. It can be tempting to drop any chore on literally anyone offering to help. But DON’T! This sometimes can cause you double work in the end as you have to redo something they have done. A wedding is a very personal and intimate event. Even your mother or mother-in-law truly might not understand your exact tastes. Having them select something could also cause a frustrating misunderstanding when you go to reselect something on your own – as they will then be offended with your new choice. Delegate only what you can accept with someone else making a choice or where you have done some of the original legwork for them. For example don’t ask your mother-in-law to choose your invitations. You could ask her to get information from three different companies about a particular style of invitation and how quickly they could be printed and delivered. Notice YOU are making all of the important decisions there. Your mother-in-law is not selecting the invitation in any way. Keep all wedding related chores smooth and simple for everyone concerned.

Every moment of your wedding is special. Good organization helps you enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event all the more!

Interviewing your wedding planner / event planner

June 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Wedding Planners

Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking, which is why many couples choose to go the wedding planner route. This is a very wise decision for many couples, especially if you don’t have the time, interest or inclination to plan a wedding on your own. In addition, although you wouldn’t think so, hiring an event planner to plan your big day can actually save you money because they will negotiate with vendors on your behalf to make sure you pay a more than fair price (and that you don’t get ripped off).

When you are scouting out planners, there are some key questions to ask to make sure that you choose the planner right for you and your wedding.

1. How much experience do they have? Probably the most important question to ask. Every professional has to start somewhere, but do you really want your wedding to be planned by someone with no professional experience? Probably not. So, you need to ask fairly specific questions about how many events the planner has planned, how big they were, how big the budgets were, what were the themes of the weddings, etc.

2. Do they have a portfolio book? Nothing speaks to the quality of an event more than pictures. From a planner’s book, you can get a sense for how detailed they are, their flair for design and how polished and finished their events appear.

3. Can they give you references? Of course, any decent planner will provide you with glowing references, and you should definitely call these references. However, you should go beyond this and look for past clients of the planner via Yelp! and other wedding websites where there are reviews of the planner and then try to contact those former clients.

4. Are they credentialed? Many wedding and event planners have taken courses or even completed training for event planning, and these programs can provide planners with a substantial amount of knowledge and preparation as well as official certification. In addition, many planners belong to professional organizations like the Association of Bridal Consultants. You should definitely weigh these factors heavily when evaluating your planners.

5. Do they have tools and resources that are part of their process? Some event planners have event planning software and some wedding planners have wedding planning software to help them stay well organized and streamline their operations, and these tools can really be an asset to both the planner and to you. They also show a commitment to their business and a desire to provide the best service possible to clients.

6. What is their personality like? Although this isn’t a precise question you can pose, it is an important question to ask yourself because you are going to have to work very closely with this person, so you should enjoy working with them.

7. What other value-add things can they offer you? Some wedding planners have special relationships with vendors so they can offer discounts that you can’t get anywhere else. Some event planners use professional event planning software or wedding planning software that includes special tools and features that clients can use. Be sure to ask if there are any special things that the planner can offer beyond their base services.

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Keeping Energized While Planning a Summer Wedding

May 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Wedding Planning

Any bride will tell you that her wedding day was magical, but putting it together was not. Planning a wedding can be a stressful, time-consuming and exhausting endeavor. Summertime is fast approaching and the temperatures will rise accordingly. All of you future brides, who will be running around in the heat searching for the perfect venue or vendor for you big day, remember to keep hydrated! Good hydration is the key to keeping a high energy level while preparing for your big day.

The health benefits of drinking water are numerous- It is common knowledge that water helps us keep a lustrous skin and good kidney function. It also helps us to stay focused, which any bride needs when making big wedding decisions. One of my favorite ways to drink as much as I need to on a hot day is to spice up my water bottle with Crystal Light’s Refreshing Flavors.

Crystal Light contains caffeine, which helps keep your energy up. Unlike energy drinks, Crystal Light has zero grams of fat and no sugar! It also contains vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron, which helps boost your immune system. With only five calories per serving there is no need for a guilty conscience.  Crystal Light will fuel you and your dress will still fit. Crystal Light comes in a wide variety of refreshing flavors so there is a flavor for everyone.  Another cool feature is that they come in these cute little packages that are perfect to carry in any bag, or even in your pocket.

What are some of your tips and tricks to staying hydrated while running around planning your big day? Share your great ideas in the comments section.

Tip on Choosing a Wedding Reception Hall

wedding-reception-hallPlanning a wedding and all that goes into it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. If you want a traditional wedding you can still keep it simple and less stressful. The key to planning any type of wedding is to be organized. The more people involved in the decisions the more chaotic it will be.

The wedding reception is usually one of the most memorable parts of the wedding.  This is why it’s important that the location and atmosphere of your reception reflect your personality and style.  In deciding on picking a reception place you need to consider how large a reception it’s going to be and your budget restrictions.

Wedding receptions can be held almost anywhere, including hotels, country clubs, and historic buildings with banquet halls.  There are also the options of private gardens, restaurants or some type of outdoor space.  Words of caution, if you are planning something outdoors make sure you check out the weather for that time of year. You should also have a plan in case it does rain. You can be creative with where you have your reception.

Getting the place for your wedding reception is one of the first things you should do after you have set the date. Many places are booked up to a year in advance.  You should always shop around.  The time of year and the place you choose could affect the price dramatically.  You can look for reception halls in your phonebook or search on the Internet for wedding reception halls.  This way you can find out information such as, how large a place is and how many people it will hold. You can look at menu listings and pricing information.

This way you can make a list of ones that you are considering and cross off others that are either too small are not in your budget. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, you can call and set up a time to visit the different places. Make sure that you bring along  a notebook to write down all the information so you can refer to your notes later.

While you are look at the reception halls you can ask about the availability of the place during your wedding date.  When you think you have found the right place make sure you consider whether it is within your  price range. You should be certain that the price you are quoted includes the dinner for the number people you estimate.  Make sure you consider whether the wedding reception hall will adequately fit the number of guests you will be having.

Other information to find out is whether the reception hall requires you to work with their kitchen or with only certain caterers. Make sure you ask if the wedding reception hall charges for the room as well as the food.  There can be many hidden costs so make sure you ask lots of questions such as is there a cake cutting charge.  You also want to ask about any restrictions on how you can decorate the wedding reception hall.

When you have narrowed it down and have found the perfect one; you should book it immediately. Wedding reception halls are often booked more than a year in advance and you will want to make sure it will be available on your wedding day.  You will now be able to have the wedding of your dreams plus you’ll have a wonderful reception.

Photo by klaxon

Choosing a Wedding Caterer Checklist

January 2, 2011 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

Thoughtful Bridesmaids’ Gifts That Don’t Break the Bank!

May 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Wedding Gifts

Let’s face it: planning a wedding is tough. Many brides admit that planning their wedding would be much harder if it wasn’t for their bridesmaids. Often your bridesmaids help with logistics and things that just can’t be handled by a single person. So when it comes time to say, “Thank you!” to these lovely ladies – we know you want to pick out special bridesmaids’ gifts. But after the expense of a wedding, adding any other expenses can be a challenge. Here are some of our favorite bridesmaids’ “Thank you” gifts that are thoughtful and won’t have you reaching the top limit on any credit card.

Personalized Makeup Mirror. Many women like to touch up their makeup during the day, and what could be better than a personalized makeup mirror as their bridesmaid’s “Thank you” gift? This is an ideal gift, as they will think of you each time they use it and it is reasonably priced. Best of all, it is personalized with their first name or monogram for a sophisticated and elegant look. Any bridesmaid will appreciate this gift ideal for daytime and evening use.

Birthstone Jewelry. This is a thoughtful gift for your bridesmaids and you’ll find a wide selection of birthstone jewelry to choose from. There is personalized birthstone jewelry and simply birthstone jewelry that features the lovely gemstones on their own. One of the best things about this choice is that each woman will feel special and remembered as “their” birthstone month is uniquely their own. While they are there to share your Big Day, their “Thank you” gift is something that remembers them as unique individuals. You’ll find birthstone jewelry for every budget price and both daytime to evening looks.

Handmade Gift. Now this can be a very special and thoughtful gift if done with care. A handmade gift is best when it is created specifically for the recipient. So you are using their favorite color, their name or initials and including themes or topics that they enjoy. Any ways you can make this special for them or about your friendship/relationship will make this a grand-slam gift. Let’s say you are known for making delicious chocolate pretzels. So you choose to make this as your bridesmaids’ “Thank you” gift. Make this even more special by dipping each bridesmaid’s set of pretzels in their favorite color of sprinkles. And then put them in a pretty re-useable tin or jar. Include a thoughtful note saying how “sweet” they are. You see? Your handmade gift suddenly becomes something uniquely about them.

Plan a Fun/Girly Activity for After Your Honeymoon. This is a great choice especially if your bridesmaids are conveniently located and can all come back together. Treat them to a “Thank you” barbeque, fancy picnic or day at an amusement park. Or go be girly together and take them for manicures and pedicures. The key is to choose activities and themes that they will especially enjoy. Simply remember that this day is not about you as a bride or your getting married but about your friendships and celebrating them.