Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wedding Welcome Baskets - What to Put in Them

With the emergence of destination weddings and guests often spread all over the country, savvy couples are taking advantage of a golden opportunity to offer a warm welcome and set the tone for a fabulous series of events. Wedding guest baskets are a nice added touch, immediately comforting the travel-weary by making them feel right at home.

What to Put in Wedding Guest Baskets

Include some essentials that will make their stay more comfortable—such as bottled water, snack items, mints, tissues etc. Think about what items you often wish for when staying at a hotel. This is also a great place to include relevant information for your wedding guests - phone numbers for the families, other guests staying at the hotel, a wedding itinerary, nearby attractions and local maps.

Also consider including items that are reflective of your wedding location. Use your wedding welcome baskets as a creative way to tie everything together and introduce guests, many of them visiting for the first time, to the area. Getting married in Maine? Throw in some maple syrup! Or Texas - how about a miniature cowboy hat or a packet of spicy chili mix? You get the idea….Use this opportunity to be creative, and make your wedding a memorable event - from arrival to departure!

Get even more tips for your wedding welcome baskets at!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

5 New Wedding Dress Designers You Need To Know

Move over Ms. Wang - these emerging wedding dress designers represent the next class of high-style designer names to remember…

In the world of wedding fashion, your name is your trademark. From couture one-of-a-kind dresses to breezy ready-to-wear styles, these five new wedding dress designers are all making a name for themselves in the world of wedding fashion.

Here's a sampling from the list at

Tamara Catz - the island fashionista who creates breezy beach wedding dresses.

Miosa Bride - the custom husband and wife duo who create couture wedding dresses that perefectly fit a bride's body type and style.

Deborah Lindquist - the green pioneer who designs a highly stylized line of eco-friendly green wedding dresses.

Suzanne Perron - the New Orleans southern belle who creates once in a lifetime traditional wedding gowns in white and ivory.

Mariana Leung - the embelishment artists who's custom designs begin with intricate wedding dress embroidery.

Get even more style tips, trends, and advice for wedding dresses

Monday, July 27, 2009

His Bachelor Party - How to Deal...

So you just overheard your man’s buddies brainstorming the dreaded bachelor party….ugh. There’s nothing like the vision of a beer-goggled groom-to-be ogling scantily clad women named after inanimate objects that makes even the most grounded woman shudder in her stilettos. It’s no wonder why the traditional bachelor party isn’t high on a bride-to-be’s list of exciting wedding-related milestones. Here’s the reality: no, you can’t throw a tantrum to halt the festivities, but you can take a few steps to make sure your guy’s final send-off doesn’t leave you wanting to off your guy.

Here are five tips to help you cope with your fiance’s bachelor party.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hiring a Wedding Planner - How to Find Your Perfect Match

Once you’ve determined what services you’d like to hand over to a pro – scout out a few in your area. The local vendor directory is a great place to start. Then schedule some phone or face-to-face consultations with a few that strike your fancy.

Ask the Right Questions

During the consultation, you need figure out whether you’ll work well together. It’s best to come prepared with the right questions:

1. The Know How – Does the 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 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.

Sign on the Dotted Line

After you’ve determined that you would like to work together, it’s time to sign the contract. Make sure that all services discussed are listed on the contract along with the total cost. Also make sure a pre-discussed cancellation policy is included on the contract.

Get even more advice on hiring and working with a wedding planner

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wedding Budget Etiquette - Who Pays for What?

Tradition states that the bride’s parents are responsible for fronting the bill for the wedding reception; but these days, the bride’s parents, groom’s parents, and the couple themselves all contribute to the wedding pool. That said, it helps to come to the budgeting table prepped with the traditional list of which side pays for what. These conventional “rules” can then be adjusted according to your financial situations:

Wedding Costs Paid by the Bride and/or Bride’s Parents:

  • Ceremony rental fee
  • Bride’s dress and accessories
  • Ceremony flowers and décor
  • Bouquets for bridesmaids and flower girl
  • Photography and videography
  • Engagement party
  • Bridesmaids’ luncheon
  • All vendor services for reception, including food, beverages, décor, and entertainment
  • Groom’s ring
  • Invitations and stationery
  • Transportation for bridal party to and from ceremony and reception

Wedding Costs Paid by the Groom and/or Groom’s Parents:
  • Marriage license and officiant’s fee
  • Groom’s attire
  • Bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for ushers, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers
  • Honeymoon Travel
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Bachelors’ dinner
  • Both of the bride’s rings
Costs Incurred by the Wedding Attendants:
  • Their own attire, including shoes and accessories
  • Their own lodging for the wedding (if necessary)
  • Bridal party hosts bridal shower and bachelorette party
  • Groom’s party hosts the bachelor party
Get even more wedding budget and wedding etiquette advice at - Elegant Galas made Simple

Friday, July 10, 2009

Creating Your Wedding Guest List - Getting Started

It’s one of the first tasks you face as a bride-to-be, but tackling the guest list can be a breeding ground for teary confrontations with your fiancé and showdowns with your future mother-in-law. We’ve broken it down to 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Use Your Budget To Determine The Target Guest Count

Savvy brides know the key to staying within budget is trimming the guest list. But why work backwards? Once you’ve talked with all financially contributing parties to determine your total wedding budget, you can estimate how many people you can afford to invite to the affair.

  • First - Divide your total budget in half to get your target food and beverage cost. (couples typically allocate about half of their wedding budget to reception catering)
  • Next - Divide your total food and beverage cost by the amount you expect to pay per guest. Cost per guest can range anywhere between $35-$250, depending on location, menu selection and bar options. To zero in on your estimate, think about the type of reception you think you’ll have – a sit down five course meal? a casual buffet? an open bar? soft drinks only? You may want to check out some catering packages at venues you’re interested in to get a better idea.
  • Finally – divide your total food and beverage budget by your estimated cost per guest, and arrive at your target guest count. This is how many people you can afford to invite to your wedding.

Step 2: Factor Venue Size

If you already have your heart set on a particular venue, you’ll need to factor capacity into the equation. Even if your budget will allow you to invite 250; trying to squeeze that many people into a venue that fits 150 will not go over well – we promise. So if money is no object (lucky you!), then your target guest count is as simple as your venue’s capacity.

Step 3 – Divvy it Up

Take your target guest count – let’s say 150 – and divide it amongst the hosting parties – typically the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents and the bride and groom. Giving each host the same number of invitees may seem the equitable solution, but this may not work if one side of the family is significantly larger than the other. Those funding the majority of the wedding (traditionally the bride’s parents) may also feel they should have more say in who attends.

If there’s no straightforward way for you to divide it up, you should consider hosting an informal gathering or planning session with both sides of the family. Present your target guest count and discuss together how many each side will need. Allowing all sides to participate in the discussion will help arrive at an equitable solution everyone can live with.

Step 4 – Start Making Cuts

So you’ve tallied all the names and are still 25 people over the limit. It’s time to pull out the pen and start making cuts! When determining who stays and who goes, avoid picking and choosing, as feelings may get hurt. Instead, follow an all or none policy, making sweeping cuts across the board – i.e. all first cousins, but no second or third cousins, or no one under 18. If you run into stumbling blocks while making cuts, our advice on how to cut down your guest list will help you determine whether to extend the invite or save the postage.

Get more advice on planning your wedding guest list at

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wedding Videography Terms to Know

Videography technology has evolved drastically over the years, and there is a lot more to it than just “fast forward” and “rewind.”

We’ve compiled a list of terms to know before your videographer hits the record button:

Analog Cameras/Footage

Analog is about as archaic as your home VCR. Once the industry norm, this format is rapidly becoming passé. VHS tapes (the product of analog cameras) have a shelf life of about 15 years when stored properly, although the quality will still tend to depreciate.

Digital Cameras/Footage

The new standard in video technology, digital cameras offer many more functions than analog. And because they are more receptive to light, less distractive additional lighting is needed. The original footage does not lose its quality when transferred digitally.


The method of transmitting your wedding-day video onto a computer’s editing system.


Also known as Digital Versatile Disc. DVDs are the product of digital cameras, and they offer increased picture quality and the ability to easily navigate between scenes.


Also known as Digital Video Effect, but more commonly known as special effects.

In-camera Edit

Practice where raw footage is shot as neatly as possible to reduce the need for editing later.

Linear Editing

Editing process in which the tape taken from the camera is edited down using multiple VCRs. This method is becoming out-dated with the onset of less expensive computer-based systems.


Also known as Non-Linear Editing System. Done on a computer-based system or a stand-alone editing appliance, this method of editing allows for more creativity at the click of a mouse.


Raw footage that didn’t make the cut onto the final version.

Raw Footage

Original recordings that have not been edited.

Video Capture Card

Computer hardware that converts videotaped recordings into digital footage, then turns it back into videotape format to be viewed on any VCR.

HD Video

Video that is offered as an alternative to standard TV videos and is best viewed on HDTV. Resolution of HD video is 78% higher than VHS, 60% higher than DVD, and 51% higher than standard TV, leaving you with a result that is extremely clear.

Get even more wedding videography tips, trends, and budget advice at

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Bridal Jewelry - How to Accessorize Your Wedding Day Look

OK ladies, here's music to your ears (and neck, and wrist)... now that you've got your wedding dress, it's time to accessorize it! There's no doubt about it, the right baubles perfect your wedding ensemble. Here's what you need to know to accessorize like a pro.

Bridal Jewelry Style Tips

Keep it Simple

Before the fun begins, please heed this advice. When it comes to your bridal jewelry, less really is more. Simple jewelry makes a timeless fashion statement; overdo it and you risk a phone call from Diddy asking for his bling back.

Formality Rules

Along with all other accessories, the bride's jewelry, should reflect the formality of the wedding celebration. A small, informal wedding calls for simple jewelry, while a large, formal wedding calls for more elaborate pieces.

Complement the Gown

Wedding dress style also plays a major roll in jewelry selection. As a general rule - the more detailing on the gown, the simpler the jewelry, while a dress calls for added embellishment.

Let Your Neckline Lead the Way

Your dress neckline will guide you towards what pieces and styles you'll wear. Many gowns are strapless or have low necklines, which is a perfect style to showcase a great necklace. If your gown has a high neckline, you may want to forego the necklace and concentrate on finding the perfect earrings.

Make It You

Above all, wedding day duds should reflect your personal style. So stick to studs if you've never worn chandeliers, and if you've never left the house without your favorite strand of pearls - around your neck is where they should be when you say "I do."

Pick your Metals:

The shade of your wedding dress will guide you to which metals work best:

  • If your dress is white - choose platinum or silver jewelry, as yellow gold may clash with stark white.
  • If your dress is off-white - either golds or silvers/platinums will work.
  • If your dress is ivory - the slightly yellowish undertones call for gold jewelry.

Pick Your Gems:

Pearls - A Classic Choice

The tradition of pearl bridal jewelry stems back to the ancient Greeks, who believed pearls promoted marital harmony. And of course, style icon Jackie O donned a strand the day she became Mrs. Kennedy, further cementing pearls as the refined gem of choice for brides everywhere.

Diamonds - The BFF of Jewelry

Diamonds didn't get their "girl's best friend" status for nothing. They're always good to add a touch of sparkle to your wedding dress. The good news for your wallet is that faux varieties work just as well.

Add Some Color

Of course, colored stones/gems present a great way to incorporate some color into your wedding day look, so don't shy away from blues, pinks, yellows - you name it.

Pick your Pieces


  • The Choker: The classic choker features one to three strands worn close around the neck. This length works well with a jewel or bateau neckline, as it may get lost if too much skin is showing.
  • The Collar: This Victorian style consists of three or more strands fitting securely around the middle neck. This length is a great accent to a low or strapless neckline.
  • The Princess: This length falls about 16 inches to the hollow of the neck and often supports a pendant. This style works with almost any but a high neckline.
  • The Matinee: This style hits the top of the bust and looks great with a bateau, jewel, or a lower neckline with sheer fabric covering the decolletage area.
  • The Opera: The opera necklace is a long single strand falling below the bust. It creates a dramatic look when paired with a very high neckline.


Keep your earrings simple if your necklace is especially large or grand. You also may not want to wear earrings at all if you're wearing a tiara - as the two may compete. On the other hand - if you're going sans necklace, consider highlighting your look with elaborate earrings. Remember, the key to accessorizing is balance.

Deck your Wrist?

Although not as common as necklaces and earrings, brides can wear a bracelet with sleeveless, short-sleeve, and three-quarter sleeve gowns. However, a watch is best left at home on your wedding day unless it's a family heirloom or antique.

Get even more advice to help you plan your bridal jewelry at - Elegant Galas Made

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Wedding Transportation Saving Tips - Arrive in Style on a Budget

Every girl dreams of making a grand Cinderella-like entrance to the ball – and her wedding day is the perfect excuse. But at what cost should you be willing to sacrifice your wedding budget for glamour? With this sound wedding transportation budget advice from you can save and still arrive in posh style. Make an impression on a budget with these five ways to save on wedding transportation:

Downsize Your Ride

You don’t necessarily need a stretch limo for an intimate bridal party. Traditional limos seat 6 passengers and are a perfect budget friendly alternative to their stretch counterparts. If scaling back the size of your bridal party isn’t an option, consider having a close friend or relative transport them to the wedding, and save the hired ride for you and your hubby.

Save the Drama

Determine what point in the day your mode of transportation will have the greatest effect – and hire the fancy ride for that one way trip. Do you really need a chauffeured limo if you’re showing up in a t-shirt and jeans? Perhaps you would rather make a dramatic getaway at the end of your reception. Sign up for the hourly rate instead of the entire evening, and enjoy considerable savings.

Designate a Driver

Ditch the chauffeured ride, and opt for a rental car that is equally as glamorous. Recruit someone reliable (and sober) to drive your rental.

Omit the Amenities

A television and sunroof might seem like an enticing add-on when booking your wedding transportation. But consider the circumstances - just how much TV are you going to watch on your wedding day? Take our advice – lose the pricey extras – and put the savings towards more noticeable wedding details.

Have an Off-Peak Gala

Again, there is no rule that states that your wedding has to be held on a Saturday in June. If you hold your event on a day when rental vehicles are in less demand, chances are you can negotiate a considerable discount.

Get even more advice and tips to help you plan your wedding transportation at