Thursday, April 30, 2009

How to Determine Wedding Cake Prices


Wedding cakes should be eye-catching, fabulous, and of course, tasty too! And just like every other aspect of your wedding day – wedding cake prices can creep skyward. But don’t let a tight budget stand between you and the ultimate wedding cake.

Cake cost is based per slice and is determined by the complexity of the overall design. The typical cost per slice can range anywhere from $2-$15 per slice. There are 2 easy ways to keep your cake within budget.

1) Simple wedding cakes are obviously less expensive, so choose a simple design with minimal adornments. Fresh fruit and flowers are inexpensive options, while handmade gumpaste or sugarpaste decorations cost more because they are difficult to create.

2) If you have your heart set on an intricate design you saw in a magazine, don’t worry that the associated cost will break your budget. Many brides opt for a smaller, intricately designed cake to showcase at their wedding, while simple sheet cakes are held in the kitchen to be served to guests.

You can find more ways to save on wedding cake prices.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Planner Before Making the Hire


It may be the "bride's day," but remember that you can't get there alone. A wedding planner can be your advocate and your voice, especially when you're not around. The key to a successful working relationship begins with finding the right person to join forces with as an invincible team. Once you've decided that you'd like to hand over some wedding tasks to a seasoned pro, you'll need to schedule some phone or face-to-face consultations with a few in your area. These meetings should leave you with a clear idea of which planner best suits your needs and personality, so it's best to come prepared with the right questions. Here's what you need to know to find the perfect match.

1. The Know How - Does the wedding planner offer all the services you need? Come prepared with a list of things you'd like help with, and review your list together.

2. Money Talks - Does the planner's service fees work within your budget, and is the planner able to commit to your total wedding budget while planning your event?

3. The Right Connections - Does the planner have a network of reliable professionals and can s/he refer you to those that match your style and budget?

4. Prime Negotiator - Will the planner be able to help you save on any aspects of your wedding - either by negotiating the best prices, scoring vendor discounts or obtaining added extras?

5. Etiquette Guru - Is the wedding planner knowledgeable on etiquette matters, and can s/he steer you in the right direction?

6. Trend Savvy - Is the planner in-the-know on the latest wedding trends and styles?

7. Straight Troubleshooter - Can the planner coordinate all logistics with vendors and the wedding party to ensure everything runs smoothly? With a professional on hand - you should be able to enjoy your day like a guest and leave the details to them.

8. Personality Plus - In the end, it's all about a positive relationship and trust. Do you like this person? Try to get a sense for how well you think you'll work together.

9. Always the Professional - Ask to see the planner's business license, professional organization membership or any indication that s/he is a certified business professional and not just moonlighting as a wedding planner.

10. Seal of Approval - Ask to see reference letters. Be wary if s/he cannot provide any.

Still have questions about wedding planners? This complete guide has everything you need to know about hiring and working with a wedding planner.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Found - Free Printable Wedding Planner!


Let’s face it-planning a wedding takes a lot of time and organization. It’s easy to see why tasks from setting the budget, to creating the guest list, finding a reception hall, and planning your wedding day ensemble may overwhelm even the most “together” bride-to-be.

This free printable wedding planner from Elegala.com can get you through it all unscathed. The handy guide contains all the worksheets and checklists you need to make planning simple. Read it, Print it, put it in your binder or folder – it’s yours to keep.

After you download your complimentary copy, you'll receive a step-by-step guide walking you through the entire planning process. There isn't any need for you to spend the next few months fretting about your wedding plans - just follow the easy instructions, use our checklists to ensure you've got it all organized, then sit back, RELAX and enjoy this time...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wedding Hairstyles – 7 Tips for Your Wedding Day Tresses


Want to ensure your wedding day style is a hair "do," and not a hair "don´t". Then read on!

1. Do your research -
This is the fun part. Take some time to explore your options before settling on one hairstyle. Browse wedding and other style magazines, and visit the Elegala.com wedding hairstyles gallery to get inspired.

2. Complement Your Look -
Your wedding hairstyle should flatter your dress and overall look – not complete with it. Use your dress style and the formality of the event as your guide. Dresses with halter necklines, ballgown silhouettes, or plunging backs practically scream for an updo. An unbuttoned beachside affair calls for long loose waves. You get the idea.

3. Know Yourself -
Your face greets you in the mirror every morning, and you and your hair go way back, so chances are you already know which hairstyles flatter your face and which fall flat. Even if you don´t, here are some pointers: A long, thin face will look more so with a long, straight ´do, and ears that stick out a tad too far will be accentuated by a pulled back ´do. Along those lines, don´t attempt a look that isn´t you just because it´s your wedding. Remember – your goal should be to look like your best version of you, not someone else.

4. Heed the Weather -
Make sure your wedding hairstyle will work with the day´s weather conditions. This tip is especially crucial for weddings in humid climates. Do yourself – and your hair – a favor; don´t force a curly mane into a sleek straight ´do for an outdoor New Orleans wedding in July.

5. Get the Right Length -
Remember that many of the wedding hairstyles shown in magazines require long hair. The good news is that longer tresses can be achieved both naturally and artificially. You can either start growing it early or use clip-on extensions for added volume and length on the big day.

6. Book Your Stylist -
If you love your usual stylist and are getting married locally, make sure he or she is available on your date. Otherwise, start auditioning stylists for the big day. Many hair stylists also offer makeup services and are willing to travel, while others do not.

7. Work with the Veil -
Don´t forget that your hairstyle and veil must work well together, so you´ll really need to plan one around the other. If you´ve already got the veil, bring it to your stylist before the wedding so he/she can create a style that complements both you and the headpiece. Of if you´re set on a certain hairstyle, have your stylist do a trial run on the same day that you plan to shop for your veil. This way you can easily determine what style of veil will work best.

Get even more tips for wedding hairstyles in the complete Elegala.com bridal health and beauty tips guide.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bachelorette Party Alternative - Adventure Bachelorettes

Alas, saying farewell to singledom no longer requires donning a dime-store tiara while a lubed-up dancer named Duke invades your personal space. Wild bachelorette party send-offs have a new G-rated cousin: extreme weekends of sky-diving, rock climbing, and white water rafting to name a few.

How to Plan an Extreme Bachelorette Party:

Adventure Bachelorette Party (hitzadventures.com) organizes everything from the lodging to the activity with trusted outfitters around the U.S. Packages start at $349 per person, depending on location and activity, and cost includes just about everything but airfare. Good news ladies - they plan stripper-free adventure bachelor parties for the guys too.

Learn more about planning an an Extreme Bachelorette Party at the Unveiled Wedding Blog

Friday, April 17, 2009

Post Wedding Brunch - Do You Need One and How to Plan One?

The solution to a wedding that went by too fast? Prolong the party! Instead of making a clean getaway, stick around for a post-wedding brunch the next morning.

What Is It

With all the effort that goes into planning a wedding, why should it end with the bouquet toss and getaway car? That’s what more and more couples are asking and answering by extending the affair to the morning after. A post-wedding brunch is a great way to wind down and exchange final good-byes.

When Is It

The brunch takes place the morning after the wedding. You’ll want to confirm check out time with the hotel where you’ve secured the room block before making arrangements, so guests aren’t forced to wait around for brunch after they’ve checked out.

Who Hosts

The bride and groom may choose to host (as a nice gesture to thank their families and guests), or either side of the family can do the honors. Sometimes a local friend or neighbor will offer to throw the soiree.

Who’s Invited

Here, anything goes. The couples’ families and any long distance guests are usually on the guest list. You can also include the wedding party, other wedding guests, even children who weren’t invited to the reception. Of course, if you’re thinking “the more the merrier,” feel free to invite the entire wedding guest list!

Where Is It

The key here is keeping things convenient for your guests. The hotel dining room makes an obvious choice; other options include either of the parents’ homes, a nearby restaurant, or a friend’s backyard.

What Happens

Newlyweds can take this chance to thank their guests and spend more time speaking with each person individually – especially those loved ones who’ve flown in from afar. It’s best to keep things casual so guests feel comfortable wearing their travel clothes. As for the meal, stick with continental breakfast staples like muffins, croissants, and bagels served with jams and fruits, juices and coffee. Of course, bloody marys and mimosas always go over well.

Get even more ideas and advice for planning a post wedding brunch.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cute Gift Idea for Flower Girls and Ring Bearers

Participating in a wedding is a special honor for a child, but it can also seem overwhelming since they’re obviously not as up on wedding traditions as you. Told in playful rhyme and illustrated with watercolor paintings, The Flower Girl and The Ring Bearer by Laura Godwin will get them excited about their duties while also helping them recognize the importance of their roles. From getting all dressed up and walking down the aisle, to watching the vows and tasting the cake, these books show in a simple, clear way, everything they need to know, so it’s sure to ease the minds of nervous little girls and boys entrusted with these very special roles. Of course, the added benefit is attendants who recognize the processional isn’t the right time to ditch the basket of rose petals for a hug from Grandma.

Learn where to order these gifts for flower girls and ring bearers at the Unveiled Wedding Blog

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Are gloves the right accessory for your wedding ensemble?


Nothing screams elegance and refinement quite like a pair of white gloves. Just the idea of them is enough to conjure up iconic images of Camelot or Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In fact, gloves used to be a must for all formal events. These days, however, they’re more of a fashion statement – and are completely optional. Unsure if you can pull off this once ubiquitous accessory? Read these wedding gloves style tips to help you decide.

Fabric

Gloves are available in a number of fabrics. Kid leather gloves are regarded as the most formal; however, romantic lace, classic satin, crushed velvet, and sexy sheer organza also provide an elegant look.

Glove Styles and Lengths


Fingerless:

Either long or short, fingerless gloves offer added convenience during the ring exchange, as your ring finger is already exposed.

Gauntlet:
Extending from the elbow to the wrist, a gauntlet glove looks like a sleeve, as it lacks any material covering the hand.

Wrist-Length:
These short gloves cover your hands to within two inches of your wrist, providing a simple yet sophisticated accent. This style is less formal than longer lengths, and looks great with long-sleeved gowns.

Elbow-Length:

These gloves extend to just before or just after your elbow. This style is flattering for brides with toned limbs, as it draws attention to the upper arms. This length works well with short sleeved dresses.

Opera-Length:
The longest and most formal style, these gloves extend almost to the shoulder, ending at the upper part of your bicep. Opera length gloves provide an alternative for those who want an open neckline, but prefer a bit more coverage. This glove style looks great with strapless and sleeveless gowns.

Get even more advice on wedding accessories, including veils, bridal shoes, and jewelry.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Top Trends in Wedding Cakes for 2009

Much more than a sweet finale to the reception meal, wedding cakes are a major style statement. And trends in wedding cakes, like all other wedding details, evolve with the times. The wedding cake presents a perfect opportunity for creative brides to play with shape, color and embellishments. For those of you who need a little inspiration, consult this list of top wedding cakes trends for 2009. Here are a few highlights from the list:

Back to Buttercream
Buttercream was once the traditional frosting for wedding cakes, but sleek cakes came into favor, and rolled fondant became the frosting of choice. Not any more - thanks to advanced tools and techniques that allow buttercream to look as smooth as fondant, cakes iced in buttercream are again the norm. We love this trend, since buttercream frosting tastes better, has natural ingredients, and costs less than fondant. Now you can literally have your stylishly sleek cake – and eat it too.

Blue Rules
Shades of blue dominate the 2009 wedding d├ęcor palette, and your wedding cake is a perfect canvas to incorporate this hot shade. Consider a cake saturated in turquoise, periwinkle, or even navy, and embellish it with complimenting colors like silver, white, grey, lavender, or yellow.

Scripted Text
Wedding cakes adorned with calligraphy-style motifs and writing is one of the year’s hottest trends. Create an antiqued look with black writing on a white or ivory cake, and get creative with the text. Some options? Write a favorite poem or verse, your wedding vows, or words representative of your wedding theme - such as names of flowers for a garden wedding or types of shells at a beach wedding.

Square Mini Cakes
Cupcake towers in lieu of wedding cakes have been around for awhile, but brides are making cupcakes interesting again by playing with shape and size. Brides are stacking square shaped mini-cakes (slightly larger than cupcakes) adorned with flowers or dressed as presents for a completely different take on the cupcake frenzy.

Looking for more wedding cakes tips, styles and inspiring pictures? Check out the wedding cakes guide at Elegala.com

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

So just what is Elegala.com anyway?

I've received quite a few inquiries recently from brides and vendors who want to know more about Elegala.com, its mission, and its place in the world of wedding planning. So here you go!

Elegala.com offers similar wedding planning tools and advice to biggies like The Knot and Wedding Channel, although on a smaller scale (I like to call it a "boutique" wedding website). What sets it apart, however, is the uncluttered design, lack of banner ads and pop ups, straightforward step-by-step planning approach, and focus on the reception site as the key element in the planning process.

To my knowledge, Elegala.com is the only resource to offer venue-specific planning tools such as vendor lists, catering menus, wedding packages, and ballroom floor plans to help brides plan events at their reception site. (you can browse the directory of wedding venues and services here.

Brides can rest assured the venues on Elegala.com have been chosen through a rigorous selection process - involving much more than simply forking over money to be listed on the site. Each vendor is then hand-selected by one of these premier venues. This referral-only process connects brides to only their area's best venues and vendors, saving them the headache of sifting through an oversaturated directory of hundreds of vendors of unknown quality found on other wedding websites.

So there you have it - feel free to contact me with any additional questions about Elegala.com.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Wedding Rings - How to Choose Your Ring Style


Shopping for wedding rings involves slightly more than picking out a strand of beads. So just how do you select the right ring style to complement not only your engagement ring, but your personality as well. (remember - this is the ring you'll don for every day for the rest of your life..) The complete wedding rings guide at Elegala.com offers these tips to help you choose your ring style. (visit the complete guide for even more advice on shopping - and paying for - your wedding rings.)

1) What's Your Function
Since this is a ring you’ll wear every day, it must match your lifestyle. Super active? Work with your hands? Opt for a simple metal ring with rounded edges, appropriately named a “comfort fit,” instead of a wide detailed band or one with stones. If you have skin allergies to metal alloys (found in gold bands), you’ll need to invest in platinum, a pure, hypoallergenic metal.

Mix it Up

Concerned that he likes white gold and you prefer platinum? Relax, your bands don’t necessarily have to match. What matters is that both of you have a ring you’ll enjoy wearing.

Test of Time
Wedding rings are not the accessory for paying homage to the fad gods. Make sure to select a classic style that won’t look dated decades down the road.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Brides - Looking for Wedding Vendors? Make Them Come to You!

If you've grown tired of the endless hours spent sorting through hundreds of company listings at the various national vendor directories, you're not alone. Narrowing down these vast vendor databases to the top 5 or 6 prospects, then having to contact each one for pricing and service information is tedious and time consuming. When I was planning my wedding, I wished there had been a way for me to simply sit back, while only the best vendors that matched my preferences came to me with their service and package information.

Well, here's the tool that I longed for (and unfortunately found a little too late). Fortunately for you though, you can take advantage of this seamless and pain-free way to request wedding vendor quotes.

The handy search tool on the lefthand side of the page allows you to select your wedding location and industry preferences. You're also given the opportunity to indicate that, no, you don't want to waste time searching and would rather make vendors come to you! Simply select the "make vendors come to me" checkbox, and within a few days, you'll receive service descriptions, pricing info, and promos from only those vendors who match your preferences. Finally - finding your wedding pros is made simple!