- Work with a travel agent to arrange to plan your wedding during times of the year where travel is not as heavy. Plan to fly in May or June to take advantage of non-peak travel months. This will help you get better rates on plane fare. Consult your travel professional about group rates that offer discounts. Group rates are often available at hotels as well. Ask about packages that combine flights and hotels together to multiply your savings.
- Plan to get married at a location that you don’t have to rent. Hotels and resorts can be very expensive in regard to using to their facilities. State parks in Hawaii may need to be reserved, but they do not charge use fees. Visit places such as Diamond Head Overlook Park, Waialae Beach Park and Kapiolani Beach and Waikiki to look for a setting that can accommodate your wedding party and give you the setting that you desire.
- Utilize the location well. If you find a place with a tropical backdrop, you will be able to spend less on flowers and other decorations. Nature will effectively take care of that for you. Hold your wedding at sunset to take advantage of a free setting provided by nature.
- Shop local outdoor markets on the islands for special prices on local flowers and plants. Buy hibiscus, Hawaii’s state flower, orchids and the plumeria to add color. Select plants and flowers that are native to the islands for a more authentic feel.
- Speak with local catering companies about catering your wedding. Hotels and resorts can be expensive when it comes to catering, but many local companies can arrange for you to have traditional meals prepared right on a beach for a much lower price. Native Hawaiians will be more accustomed to local meals and traditions than places looking only for tourist dollars.
- Shop local entertainment companies for help in planning the music and other entertainment for your wedding. Polynesian dance troupes, hula dancers and fire-jugglers that are island-trained and not attached to a resort or hotel will give you the best rate possible since they are not paying a fee to the hotel to perform there.
- Shop in second-hand stores. They have beautiful bridal gowns that look like new; after all, most of them have only been worn once. You can pick one that suits you and not have to pay a fortune on a dress that you will only wear one time also.
- Remake an old dress. If you have a nice dress that you bought for an event that is just hanging in your closet gathering dust, remake it into a beautiful wedding dress. There is no need for it to even be white, you can add white tulle to the underside if you want to have color showing. You could even tack it on top to make it a cheap wedding dress that will express who you are.
- Use your mother’s wedding dress. If your mother doesn’t mind you changing the look of her dress, you could even add some updates to it, like putting in a hem to make it a shorter gown. Using your mother’s wedding dress is actually an honor, knowing that she has kept it that long in order to pass it along. This is one of the best ways to get a cheap wedding dress.
- Borrow one from a friend, if it isn’t one of your very close friends. Otherwise, everyone that you will invite probably came to her wedding and will possibly notice the dress that she wore. Distant relatives, cousins and aunts, are good choices from which to borrow. The minute that you announce that you are planning your wedding, start asking around for a used wedding dress.
- Sew your own. This option is only for those women who either know how to sew or know someone who knows how to sew. There are beautiful patterns in the fabric store to choose from. Spending money only on material, patterns and trim is another way to get a cheap wedding dress.
- Create a wedding checklist. Write down all of the items that need to be completed or purchased. Determine what your budget is and write it at the top of the checklist. Allocate a dollar amount to appropriate items on the list. Make a commitment to follow the list as closely as possible.
- Plan a civil wedding. Go to your local court or city hall to determine what is required for a civil wedding. Certain states may require blood tests; and pre-marriage counseling may also be mandatory. Obtain your marriage license. For last minute weddings, travel to states such as Nevada where no wait or blood testing is required for a quick ceremony.
- Send email invites. Go to websites such as Evites and send out low cost or free invitations to your friends. Personally deliver handwritten invitations to friends who live within driving distance. Pick up the phone and call anyone who may not check their email or who you are unable to reach in person.
- Save on your dress. Borrow your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress. Have alterations done by a friend or family member who is talented in sewing. Forgo a traditional wedding dress and buy a formal gown instead. Shop the discounted rack at bridal stores for inexpensive or clearance gowns.
- Recruit the help of friends. Involve as many close and talented people as you can to help you pull off your wedding within your time frame. Ask friends or family member to DJ, sing, decorate or cook.
- Plan a modest reception and keep your guest list small. Take advantage of a big backyard and plan your reception. Purchase discount decorations such as string lights, candles and flowers from discount warehouses or stores. Buy potted flowering plants versus cut flowers. Have a small reception at your favorite restaurant and ask permission to bring extra candles or flowers to decorate your table.
- Cut costs on your wedding cake. Look through magazines for pictures of cakes that you like. Take the picture to your grocery store, pick a flavor and ask if they are able to make it within your time frame. Buy separate pre-made cakes and place them on decorative tiers or have cupcakes made.
- Skip professional photographers. Have fun with your photographs and buy cheap disposable cameras for guests to take pictures of the event. If time and money allows, hire student photographers and offer to pay them at a cost that will be significantly lower than what you’d pay a professional.
- Pick your flowers from the place they are growing or pick them up from the local florist, the morning of the wedding.
- Place the flowers in a vase with water and put the vase in a cool location, out of the sun until you are ready to prepare the bouquets, at least a few hours before the wedding.
- Pull the flowers from the vase and blot them dry with a towel.
- Strip the flowers of any excess foliage, thorns or other roughage. If you want greenery in your bouquet, leave a few leaves on the top, near the blooms. Use the scissors to clip off any excess greenery, instead of pulling on the stems and potentially breaking them.
- Pull together the flowers stems together, bunching them together into a cylinder shape in your hand. This should create a round, half-spherical shape of the blooms. Pull the middle blooms higher and the side blooms lower, to create the rounded shape in the blooms.
- Add any additional greenery by setting leaves’ stems or other accessories against the side of the stem cylinder, pushing the leaves up under the half-sphere of the blooms.
- Tie together the bouquet with a rubber band or a piece of floral tape, near the base of the blooms and the top of the stems.
- Cut the bottom of the stems so they are uniform and even.
- Place the end of the ribbon over the top of the rubber band or tape, covering it. Secure it with a pin.
- Wrap the ribbon around the stems, tightly, moving down the stem and covering all the tape.
- Fold the ribbon over the bottom or just continue wrapping, moving back up the stems, once you reach the bottom.
- Cut the end of the ribbon and secure it with a pin, at the top of the stems.
- Leave the bouquet in a cool place, in the vase until the wedding. If the bottom of the stems are exposed, you can place a wet towel at the bottom of the vase to keep the stems moist. Be careful to wet only the exposed stems, not the ribbon.
- Dry the stems of any water or moisture before handing to the bride or other wedding party members.
Weddings are always a beautiful occasion, but most weddings happen in the summer months, leaving winter weddings few and far between. This is one reason that a winter wedding can be so special. Most people like to have their wedding in the summer when the weather is more likely to be sunny. However, a cold, crisp day can give a lovely atmosphere, and many people are even lucky enough to have snow at their wedding! One area where winter weddings can make a striking choice is clothing. If you browse a popular Mother of the bride blog, you will find ideas on exciting wedding fashion and glamorous makeup tips.
Winter Wedding Shrugs
There are so many choices when it comes to fashion at winter weddings. From cosy boleros to fur shrugs, wedding fashion can be much more exciting in the winter months! The ever-popular strapless wedding dress can be dressed up with a stole or bolero in matching ivory, white or cream, which is flattering to the skin tone and can often look more elegant than bare arms. Some opt for a sparkly thread throughout the shrug while others choose a matt finish.
Winter Wedding Shoes
Many brides getting married in the winter require a shoe that is warmer than those they would wear in the summer. Thankfully, there is plenty of choice when it comes to winter wedding shoes. From leather to satin, a covered toe is the order of the day for the colder months. The winter weather also means a sturdier shoe can look perfect, which gives brides and mothers of the brides license to wear a thicker heel. This is often a godsend when dancing the night away!
There are many places you can get inspiration for a winter wedding, such as Style & the Bride, along with other extensive online magazines. These guides can help not only with fashion choices, but also with makeup, venue ideas, themes, décor, flowers, outfits for mother of the bride, and even tips on the wedding cake!
Wherever you are holding your winter wedding, the colder months can offer a unique atmosphere that will give your wedding a crisp, exciting and even Christmas-y feel. Embrace the fashions and enjoy tips from online bridal magazines to make the most of your unique day!
Cake Keeps Refrigerated for Seven Days
- If properly refrigerated, the cake itself as well as buttercream and cream cheese frosting will keep for up to seven days. Any cake can be baked a week in advance, and if using one of these types of frosting, it can be frosted and decorated as well, so long as it is kept refrigerated between 30 and 45 degrees F.
Fondant Should Never be Refrigerated
- If you plan to decorate your cake with fondant icing—a thick sugar paste—decorate the cake within a day or two of the wedding. Homemade fondant has a shelf life of about three days unrefrigerated. If you refrigerate or freeze fondant, it will crack and be ruined.
- It is always safe to bake the cake up to a week in advance and refrigerate it in the meantime. However, how far in advance you can decorate the cake depends on what type of frosting or icing you plan to use.
- Keep laughing and smiling, no matter what happens. An outdoor wedding reception isn’t for the faint-hearted or the worrier, but if you can remember that it isn’t how the day turns out but rather about the love that you and your future spouse share, there’s no way to ruin your day.
- Choose a place that means something to you as a couple, like your own backyard, a favorite park, beach or vineyard. It could even be the place where your fiancé proposed to you. If the venue means something to you, having the reception there is the perfect way to show that to your guests.
- Forget about the rules for a typical wedding reception. You can have a completely informal affair where you have a barbecue and a simple luncheon, or go for a formal affair with a sit down dinner. Let your reception reflect the two of you as a couple.
- Give the worries of the day to someone else. If you don’t have a wedding planner, have a close friend act as one for the day. Give her all the details of the wedding reception and let her be in charge. This eases your stress and allows you to have a completely worry-free, enjoyable day.
- Have a backup plan in case of weather issues. You don’t want to plan for your wedding reception to be rained out of for snow to fall, but you should have a plan B just in case. You can rent a backup site or simply rent a tent for everyone to sit or eat under in case of rain.
- Let guests know ahead of time that you’re having an outdoor reception. This allows them to plan their outfits according to the weather.
- Plan for parking. If your guests have to walk a great distance from the parking place to the reception site, consider hiring a horse-drawn carriage to give them a lift.
- Look for a lesser known wedding photographer in your area. While the big names can afford to charge the most, a shutterbug who’s just getting started often charges more reasonable rates. Ask to review a portfolio to ensure that the photographer you hire does quality work.
- Shop around for a studio whose work you admire and book one of its associate photographers rather than the lead photographer. You can expect the studio’s stamp of quality without paying the huge price associated with the lead photographer.
- Compare apples to apples. While one photographer may charge less for her time, she may charge more when it comes to items like reprints, albums and frames. Obtain a price list from each of the photographers you are considering and determine an approximate total cost for each.
- Hire a student photographer. Contact your local college and ask the head of the photography program for recommendations of particularly talented students. Interview a couple, view their portfolios and select the one you prefer.
When planning your wedding, you may envision guests marveling at all of the sparkling decorations as they enter your ceremony and reception venues. However, your budget is limited and you don’t want to break the bank to get the look you desire. Fortunately, you can complete many DIY projects that are both pretty and cheap.
- Invest in several bolts of tulle. Bolts of the fabric come at a very affordable price when bought in bulk. Use the tulle everywhere. Hang it from the ceiling, wrap it around pillars, create swags between the pews at your ceremony site and run it down the middle of your tables.
- Stock up on white lights after Christmas, or ask friends and relatives if they can lend you lights from their own supply. Options vary from enclosing white lights in tulle and wrapping around the bridal table under the linens to lining your walkway with luminaries. Place candles around your reception venue for a romantic glow. Make miniature lanterns by cleaning out old baby food jars, filling with sand or decorative stones, placing a votive candle inside and stringing the jar to a hanging branch with sturdy wire.
- You can create a unique centerpiece for less than $10. Make a topiary out of a recycled pot, Styrofoam ball, moss, dowel rod, moss, ribbon and silk flowers. Make candy bouquets and place in a bright basket. Place a tiered cupcake stand in the middle of each table and fill with bright cupcakes. Place a row of pillar candles down the middle of the table and surround by moss or flower petals. Take decorative butterflies on a stem, wrap them together and place in a decorative container for a butterfly bouquet. Use several bud vases with a single flower stem in each one for a fresh look. Place several tulips in a vase and weight them down with fishing sinkers. Fill the vase with water for a submerged floral arrangement.
- Favors add a decorative touch and help to fill up the table. You can also place the favors in a basket or hang them from a small tree in place of a centerpiece. Make edible treats and place them in a pretty satchel. Make your own body scrub from sugar, body oil, aloe vera and olive oil, and place in decorative containers. Wrap mints in tulle and tie with a colorful ribbon.
- An easy and cheap way to add a splash of color to your wedding decorations is to make your own seating cards in bold colors. Write each guest’s name and table number on a bright piece of paper. Cut out, fold and add ribbon to the side of the card. Press flowers in a book and glue them around your table numbers. Paint a cheap picture frame with a distressed look for a vintage feel. Place the table number inside the frame.
- Quickly decorate your church by using pew bows. Cut tulle or satin fabric and tie in the shape of a bow. Tie the bows around the pew. Another option is to create a kissing ball. Stick flowers through Styrofoam so they make a round arrangement. Attach ribbon and hang from the pew.
- Scour flea markets, thrift stores and your own supply of secondhand items for candlestick holders, stemware, china, vases, candles and other decorations. Use a decorative bird cage in place of a wedding card box. Set the tables with sparkling glasses and white dinner plates. Borrow a couple of pieces of furniture to make a comfortable lounge area. Place photographs in old picture frames around the reception venue and near the guest book.
- You do not need to decorate every area of your venue to achieve an elegant look. Concentrate instead on a few focal points. For example, place the bridesmaids’ bouquets in vases on your bridal table for a lush look. Frame a cake table with a pretty canopy. Use a garden arch at your entrance, and cover it with tulle, flowers and ribbon. Use garden trellis against a wall and string flowers through the holes. Stack decorative hat boxes to give the illusion of a cake. Place coordinating flowers on the edges of the boxes.
- An easy and cheap way to add decor to your venue is to make signs. Make a large sign pointing to the reception venue. Make it decorative by adding graphics or a stylish font. Make a reminder sign beside the guest book. Make a banner featuring with the couple’s name.
Halloween is a holiday which means more than just greeting cute trick-or-treaters at your front door. It is also a time when friends, family and neighbours will be throwing fun and festive Halloween parties. There are a lot of decorations and activities which you can expect to see at a Halloween party – costume contests, bobbing for apples, and other ghoulish games – but one item which every Halloween party must have is a photobooth.
Guests who are attending a Halloween party have taken a lot of time to plan and make their costumes for this one special night. By hiring a company to provide you with a photobooth for your event, you are making it easy (and fun!) for them to capture precious memories from your event. But not every photobooth company may be as suitable for your party as the next. This is why we have compiled a list of things to ask and look for prior to signing a contract with any photobooth hire in Sydney.
Costumes: Do They Provide Them?
Despite the fact that most of your guests will be showing up to your event in costume, having a photobooth company which provides you with top-quality props and additional costumes can make the night all the more fun and engaging. Guests can swap accessories and costumes with those provided by the company, which will add more excitement and entertainment to the night.
If the company does not provide additional props, you can certainly create or purchase your own. Discount stores are particularly teeming with fantastic budget-friendly props around this time of year.
Backgrounds: Do They Have Any Suitable (and Can You Provide Your Own?)
Halloween is a festive time of year where a simple white backdrop will just not do. Often, you will find that the photobooth hire company will provide seasonal backdrops upon request, though even then the scenery may not be appropriate or suitable for your particular theme. If this turns out to be the case for you, ask if you will be able to provide your own background which can be set up for the photobooth. If not, consider finding another photobooth hire company who will be willing to work with you so that your event is a success.
Photo Delivery: Do They Print Them On-site or Email Them to Guests?
One of the greatest disappointments that guests at an event with a photobooth face is not being able to have an instant print-out of their photos to share with friends and loved ones at your party. Having a photobooth hire company which will print pictures on-site is ideal, so if this is an option available to you, strongly consider it. If you do not choose a company which will offer this service to your guests, be prepared for a few groans of disappointment.
Choosing the right photobooth hire company involves balancing the preferences of your guests and your budget. Weigh the pros and cons of what you want and need from your photobooth, and you and the party attendees will not be left disappointed.
Brides never forget their wedding day, and with good reason. The most important day of their lives is sprinkled with beautiful scenery, exquisite clothing and delicious food. In order to capture that day and make it last forever, a bride needs many things. One of the most important things she needs is an excellent photographer. This is not a day to be left to amateurs, and most brides interview many photographers before choosing the one that is right for them.
So, just how does a bride choose a photographer? How will she know if the photographer she chooses will do the job to her satisfaction? There are many things to consider when interviewing prospective photographers, starting with their experience level.
What to Look for in a Photographer
Looking for a wedding photographer in Sydney is not that difficult, and the right one can easily be chosen if certain questions are asked. One of the first questions to ask a prospective photographer is: how much experience do you have photographing weddings? A photographer can do an excellent job of photographing other events, but a wedding is special and requires specific skills. If a photographer has not worked at weddings before, skip him and go on to the next one.
You should also ask to see a portfolio of the photographer’s wedding pictures. Each bride will be looking for something different, so it is important to see the details of his other wedding photographs. When looking at the pictures, pay attention to certain items. Is the lighting appropriate? Do the expressions and stances of the attendees look natural? Are the photographs all well-lit and “comfortable” looking? Did the photographer manage to capture photographs of all the important people, e.g. parents, in-laws, children, etc.? These and other things are especially important when choosing a wedding photographer.
Other Things to Consider
Ask the photographer about his experience in photographing weddings. Make sure he has done more than a few of these events. His portfolio is his most important tool, so use it. See if the pictures are professional but personal, with the correct lighting and poses, and using various angles. Besides looking at a portfolio, there are other attributes to consider when choosing a photographer for your wedding. Ask additional questions of the would-be photographer, such as:
- How many photographs are included in my package?
- Do you also provide videography services?
- Will you also provide a DVD of the wedding service?
- Will you be available for any questions, both before and after the wedding?
- Can you capture outdoor, as well as indoor photography?
- How many weddings have you photographed?
A wedding is not an event to be taken lightly, so the more questions you ask and the more photographic proof that you get, the more likely you will be satisfied with the photographer you choose. A bride looking for a photographer should take her time and ask the right questions. Only then will she be able to choose the photographer that is right for her.
- Get your foot in the door. This may mean working in a wedding-related field at first (like a florist or a dress shop) to get to know the industry. Cosmo Girl Online suggests joining an organization like Association of Bridal Consultants to meet wedding planners and make them aware of your interest in the industry (see Reference 1).
- Get aualified. Wedding planners look to hire assistants who are detail-oriented, self-motivated, friendly, smart and always one step ahead. Other qualifications include having a great phone manner and being very organized. It is also necessary to dress professionally (pant or skirt suit) for the interview and the job itself and always be sure to take notes you can refer back to later on.
- Know what you are in for. Assistant wedding planners’ specific duties will depend on level of experience and the preference of the planner. Some planners prefer to be involved in every aspect of the planning process, including the small details; these planners may simply rely on an assistant to complete administrative work in her office such as answering phones, checking up on orders, filling out paperwork, billing, checking emails, etc.
- Go above and beyond: Other planners hire assistants to work very closely with them to ensure the brides’ needs are being met. They may ask assistants to scout out locations, pick out and put together ideas for colors, dresses, flowers and cake that the bride can sift through or even go meet with vendors or the bride herself in place of the planner when she cannot make it.
- Look for a mentor. The transition for an assistant to become a wedding planner herself comes after years of experience learning how to properly service brides individually, establishing contacts with vendors in the area you plan to work, and developing a system for doing business. The best way to gain this kind of experience is through an apprenticeship or working under a planner who is willing to serve as a sort of professional mentor.
- Take on more responsibility. Assistant wedding planners who aspire to a career in planning weddings usually benefit most from working under a planner who is willing to act as a mentor, giving her assistant as much responsibility as possible. The assistant may need to work to learn the planner’s style and taste for a certain amount of time before the planner will fully trust her assistant to accomplish important tasks on her own. A successful and busy wedding planner may eventually give a sharp assistant a wedding account of her own to plan.
- Contact the restaurant where the reception will be held to schedule a meeting with management. At the meeting, determine what type of decorations will be provided by the restaurant and what you will need to purchase or rent yourself. Ask if there are any prohibitions regarding decorations. Take your groom or bridesmaids along to help you think of questions and plan the space.
- Decide how you will decorate the tables. A common table decoration that a bride may choose is flowers in vases, which can coordinate with your wedding colors and theme. Additionally, if you choose the right flowers, you can inexpensively create floral centerpieces yourself. If you do not want flowers, there are a variety of other unique centerpiece ideas to choose from, including candle arrangements, stacked teacups, wine bottles, fruit and vegetable arrangements and the placement of treasured family mementos. After you decide on the decorations and obtain the materials, place the centerpieces on the tables.
- Add decorations and interest to the area next to the wedding cake or guest book by placing photographs of the bride and groom’s parents, grandparents and siblings on their wedding days. Display signs to identify those in the photographs for the guests.
- Evaluate the lighting at the restaurant. You may decide that the pre-exisitng lighting is too standard for your wedding reception. If so, opt to string bulb lights, Christmas lights or other types of lighting throughout the room. Since these lights come in a variety of colors, they can significantly alter the lighting in the room.
- Meet with the bride and groom before the wedding as far in advance as possible. Ask them to list their favorite artists, as well as any singers or bands they specifically do not like. This will give you a good sense of the type of music they enjoy and are likely to be happy hearing at their wedding reception.
- Prepare a CD of both slow and upbeat songs you would recommend to be played during the wedding, and give it to the bride and groom. Include songs that the bride and groom are likely to be familiar with, but feel free to add less popular songs you think they might enjoy based on your previous discussion. This will showcase your flexibility, as well as your range.
- Create playlists of the songs that the bride and groom specially request and have them prepared well before the wedding. Make extra copies of the CDs that hold each playlist so that you will have a backup in the event of an emergency. Be sure to review each playlist with the bride and groom before the wedding to confirm that you have the right version of each song.
- Make sure you have all the necessary equipment to DJ the wedding reception. You will most likely need to provide your own CDs, turntables or mixers, laptop computer and other basic equipment. If the wedding reception is being held at a venue that regularly hosts this type of event, the venue will most likely provide the speaker system–but be sure to confirm this well in advance.
- Agree to an appropriate amount of payment for your DJ services. You should base this amount on the number of hours you will be asked to play music. Include any additional expenses for travel and overnight accommodations. Be sure to sign an agreement upfront that explains all of these fees, and allow for unexpected expenses, such as purchases of requested songs or last-minute rentals of equipment.
Planning a Wedding
- Depending on how much a couple uses a wedding planner during the wedding-planning stages, the cost can increase. When you’re considering using a wedding planner, think about what you need help with and what you need to make your wedding planning stages more organized. This is critical when deciding how much of your wedding budget to allocate to a wedding planner.
Duties of a Wedding Coordinator
- A professional wedding planner’s job is to serve as a researcher, coordinator, financial planner, supervisor and more for a wedding. Since wedding coordinators tend to offer so much insight to a couple when planning their wedding, they generally charge about 10 to 15 percent of a wedding budget.
How Much is a Wedding Coordinator?
- While finding the perfect wedding planner to suit a couple’s taste is key, it is also important to choose one that fits within their budgets. Many wedding planners offer fee structures that can help a couple better manage the costs of using a wedding planner. Wedding planners offer hourly rates, flat fees, charge a percentage of a wedding’s budget or charge for each service they execute. For example, wedding planners may charge a rate of $50 an hour if they are only working with a couple at certain stages of the wedding-planning process. Or, they may charge a flat fee of $2,000 if they are working with a couple throughout the entire wedding-planning process. Wedding planners may also charge certain flat rates if they are only helping a couple execute certain aspects of their wedding, such as securing and managing details regarding the venue or wedding reception. For example, a flat rate of $500 may be charged to manage and secure the wedding venue.
When a couple is meeting with a wedding planner, they should get an estimate of the amount the wedding planner will charge as well as a hard copy of the wedding planner’s contract. The wedding planner should let couples know ahead of time how much her rates are and what type of fee schedule she uses. Often couples will pay a wedding planner half of her rate up front and half at the conclusion of the wedding.
Types of Wedding Coordinators
- For couples on a tight budget, a “day-of-wedding” planner can be of great help. While the day-of-wedding planner doesn’t help with the planning of the wedding before the big day, he confirms vendors, makes sure that everything is up to par with the location and handles and executes all details of the wedding day on that day. These types of wedding planners cost significantly less than wedding planners who work with couples throughout the entire planning process. In general, day-of-wedding planners charge a flat fee, hourly fee or small percentage rate, about 5 percent of the wedding budget.
- Finding a wedding planner that suits a couple’s tastes and budget is not as easy as flipping through a phone book. Planning a wedding is personal and requires a coordinator that you like, feel comfortable with and understands your vision.
Couples should ask friends and family for wedding-planner recommendations or use a reputable site like the Association of Bridal Consultants for well-known wedding planners. Even then, couples should ask wedding planners for recommendations and meet with them a couple of times before they make a decision to let them plan their wedding.
- Wind strands of white Christmas lights around the edge of the ceilings, around doorways and over any arches. Use tacks or electrical tape in a color that blends with the wall to help keep the lights in place. Sparkling Christmas lights create a whimsical feel especially appropriate for a winter wedding.
- Wrap white Christmas lights around trees at the entrance way to the wedding venue, or throughout the space if it is an outdoor wedding.
- Hang paper lanterns from the ceiling of the wedding reception. For an outdoor reception, the lanterns can also be hung from the trees. Choose white lanterns for a simple and elegant look or colors that coordinate with your wedding color palette for bright bursts of color.
- Place candles in hanging candle holders. Substitute battery operated candles instead of candles with actual flames if you are concerned about them being a fire hazard. Hang the candle holders from ceiling rafters or from the branches of trees.
- Mount LED lights on the ceiling or around the border of the room, following the instructions on the light packaging, to create a sleek, modern look.
- Develop a mini-marketing plan.
Your first step is to develop a 3-5 page mini-marketing plan. In your plan, you’ll need to write down your business overview, what sets you apart from other wedding planners, target audience, marketing budget, current marketing methods (online-offline or a combination of both), etc.
- Scope out your competition.
Figure out how your competitors are marketing their services. Do they use print advertisement, word of mouth or viral advertising, full color brochures, business cards, or something else? Whatever your competitors use, you need to write down their advertising methods and then plan to add those same methods to your arsenal of marketing methods.
- Set up a basic website.
You’ll need to set up a basic wedding planner website. Your basic website doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a simple 1to 5 page site will do fine. Make sure that you include an About Me page, price list, contact information and FAQs. If you are not technically savvy, you can hire a designer off Elance or Get a Freelancer to create one for you.
- Market your wedding planner site and services.
Now that you have your website, make sure that you market it on a regular basis. To do so, you should include your site URL on any business cards, brochures, etc. Draft up tee-shirts with your URL and pass them out to friends and family members. Write articles and blog posts and place them online. In essence, do what you have to do to get targeted traffic to your wedding planner site.
- Contact wedding halls.
Visit local wedding halls and introduce yourself to the owners. Tell them that you are offering a referral fee to any banquet halls that make a valid referral. By doing this, you will attract a steady stream of clients.
- Partner up with photographers.
Another great way to market your wedding planner business is to pair up with wedding photographers. Often times, they meet clients that also need a wedding consultant. Therefore, by pairing up with them, you can get more clients and can cross-promote their photography services as well. Two great sources to find local photographer partners is Wedding Photo USA or Wedding Photography Directory. See “Resources” for link.
- Advertise to other wedding planners.
Many wedding planners get booked and need help. Therefore, by marketing yourself to them, you can ensure that you have a steady flow of business. You can meet them at conferences and other weddings. Always be willing to pass out your card and offer your services at a discount so that they can make a profit off your services.
- Remove the top tier of the case, and store it in a cake box. Many couples like to save the top tier to enjoy together on their first wedding anniversary. Remove and lay aside the pillars that support the top layer.
- Remove the next tier, and set it directly on the table. Trying to cut the cake while it is still supported above the tier below it is a disaster waiting to happen.
- Cut a round cake with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Measure 2 inches in from the edge, and cut a circle that follows the circle of the cake. Cut the outer circle of the cake into 1-inch slices, frequently wiping the blade of the knife to prevent buildup. Once that portion has been served, measure in 2 additional inches, and cut another circle. Repeat the the process until you’ve cut the entire tier.
- Cut a square or rectangular cake by measuring in 2 inches and slicing the cake from one end to the other. Start at the corner of the 2-inch strip you’ve just cut, and begin cutting it into 1-inch slices. Once you’ve completed that strip, measure in an additional 2 inches, and repeat the process until the cake is completely cut.
- Remove the pillars from each successive tier, and place each tier on the table before you begin cutting. Work your way through the entire cake.