Thursday, June 26, 2014

Should You Book A Wedding Videographer?

You might think that a wedding video is a luxury that you can do without. But consider this: Only a video will let you hear your loved one’s vows or see you enthusiastically smooshing cakes in each others’ faces. A wedding video captures all the sights and sounds of what will be one of the most exciting days of your life.

Many couples who want a video try to save money by asking a relative or friend to record the wedding. But this can be a risky choice! Many amateurs don’t have experience shooting weddings and have little knowledge about the ceremony or traditions involved. And that means there’s a good chance they will miss important shots.

For example, consider the volunteer videographer who set up his camera on the far side of the wedding guests, anticipating the bride’s grand entrance. He had a beautiful view of the wedding procession. Unfortunately, he was completely unprepared when everyone stood at the bride’s arrival and his great shot was blocked. By the time he’d shut down the camera and moved to a better location, he’d missed her walk down the aisle. Imagine the disappointment of everyone viewing that video.

Better to avoid such scenarios by following the advice of industry experts who say you should plan to spend as much on the wedding video as you do on your photography. And it makes sense when you think about it. Your wedding day will become one of the greatest memories of your life together as a married couple. A video will keep the memory alive (yes, even Uncle Bart’s drunken dancing!).

Speaking of memories, make sure that the person you have behind the video camera is someone you feel comfortable with. You’ll be spending as much of your wedding day with them as you will with your photographer.

Book your videographer as soon as possible – six months to a year in advance is advisable. The best ones can be booked far in advance. As always, begin by chatting to family and friends with recent wedding experience. Trusted, firsthand experience is always going to be your best bet. Other good sources include your photographer, local wedding consultants, bridal show exhibitors and any other people you can think of in the wedding industry. Most will have worked with a variety of videographers and should be able to offer names to consider – or avoid! You can also find prospects in your local listings, on the Internet and by contacting the Better Business Bureau.
Narrowing It Down

Your videographer will need advance warning of any lighting or sound challenges. Unless they are quite familiar with your sites, they will need to scout the locations ahead of time. Find out if there will be additional charges for this service. And check with your site’s management about any restrictions or rules regarding recording. You’ll want your videographer well-informed.

You’ll also want to discuss the number of cameras that would be used. If possible, ask to be shown sample DVDs made from the footage of one camera versus that of two or three cameras so that you can see the difference. Be aware that the price increases with the addition of each camera. Also ask about the experience level of any crew a videographer works with.
Are there any photographers in town that you have had difficulty working with?

Our videographers always carry back-up equipment on location. You don’t want to miss any important moments because your shooter’s battery ran out! What sort of satisfaction guarantee do you offer? You need to know how a videographer will handle any problems. Most will gladly explain their policies and spell out all guarantees and responsibilities in the contract.
Costs Involved

Professional videography can be a significant investment for you. If you’re keen to make this investment, count on spending a minimum of several hundred dollars on a professional wedding video. In-depth pieces with lots of post-production can run as high as $5,000 or even more. The majority average around $1,500.
Camera Count

The number of cameras used may or may not affect quality, but it can have a real effect on cost. Many weddings can be shot with one camera while others really do need more. Make sure any shooter who wants multiple cameras can explain their reasoning to your satisfaction.
Shooting & Editing

The way your video is shot can have a lot to do with the final costs. If you want a documentary-style record, make sure the videographer is willing to start early and stay late. Be sure to discuss all overtime expenses. Stacks of footage from multiple cameras will need a lot of expensive editing time. Be sure to ask for the most cost-effective way to achieve the look you want.
Lights & Sound

Titles and subtitles (including the date, time, location of the wedding, the bride and groom’s names, names of the bridal party and special thanks to whoever helped with the wedding) can be edited onto your film. Some videographers charge more for this so be sure to discuss this option and get in writing exactly what titles will be included.

Special effects (like slow motion or fades) are not the only way to personalize your video. Adding photos of the two of you as children or while dating can provide some special moments. You might include engagement or wedding announcements, love letters or a list of favorite songs. Keep in mind that each addition will raise the price of the final product to some degree, but your videographer should be able to work with you to get the most for your money.
The Contract

Remember, if it’s not in writing, it might not happen. Make sure that all details are covered in the contract. This will protect you and the videographer by making sure that everyone’s expectations are spelled out.

Fun Ideas
Video Save-The-Dates

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Planning For Your California Wedding

Arranging plans for your wedding will involve many things from hiring a photographer to selecting a good caterer and allot more in between. Whether you are having your wedding in sunny San Diego or breezy San Francisco, the average cost of a California wedding has just recently surpassed $40,000 with many couples electing to spend far more than that figure as guest lists expand and venues are upgraded. Regardless of your budget, you can control costs and enjoy your day without being saddled with tremendous debt. Letís take a look at all that you can do to plan for your upcoming California wedding.

A Budget and a List

Planning for a California wedding will likely include the input of your parents as well as your significant other. Traditionally, the brideís family paid for the entire event, but todayís couples sometimes prefer to foot the bill themselves or ask both sets of parents for financial contributions. Regardless, a ballpark amount of money should be budgeted before you begin the wedding planning process. Much of those plans will be centered around the total number of guests expected to attend the reception, so go ahead and begin working on the list as you scout out various venues.

The Ceremony and the Reception

Although you may have a date in mind, those plans will be quickly altered if either your church is unavailable that day or a favored reception hall is already booked. If your marriage plans include a wedding duri
ng the most popular months of June through September, you may encounter more difficulty on getting the date that you want. Conversely, if you marry during the four months of the year, you will have the best chance of seeing your plans come to fruition. Consider a Friday evening wedding if your Saturday plans cannot be worked out.

The Internet: An Indispensable Tool

21st Century couples are using the internet like never before to help plan their big day. You can do the same for your California wedding to help you search for vendors, compare prices, and purchase goods. Indeed, savvy couples can accomplish the majority of their work online 24/7/365 to save time and money.

Virtually every business has a web site these days and from the ease of your laptop you can accomplish the following tasks:

ï Tour reception halls via links to video clips and photographs.

ï Find a wedding disc jockey to listen to interviews and music clips.

ï Locate florists to preview flower designs and arrangements.

ï Preview sites featuring the works of photographers.

ï Shop for wedding rings, bridesmaid gifts, party favors, etc.

Spreadsheets and Wedding Plan Software

To keep track of and manage all of the costs, you can also use a handy spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel to get the job done. Beyond Excel, some couples have discovered that by using dedicated wedding plan software you can control all of your pertinent information and create a web site for guest preview. Some couples are now extending invitations and receiving replies completely electronically through these types of sites. Use whatever plans works best for you as you do have options!

Here Comes the Bride!

Once your wedding plans are in place you can fully enjoy the day without worrying about the details. Short of hiring a wedding planner, a trusted family member or friend can help you keep you on track and relieve you of much of the minutiae related to planning your California wedding.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Adding Personal Touches to Your Wedding

A perfect wedding isnít only beautiful, itís personal. Itís got carefully selected details that are meaningful to you and your fiancÈ.  Here are some very simple ways to add your own subtle, unique touches to your ceremony and reception:

ïWrite your own wedding vows. It doesnít have to read like poetry; the important thing is that it comes from your own heart. Print it out on an index card and keep it handy during the ceremony.
ïCompile a CD with songs that symbolize your relationship or how it evolved. Play this during your reception or even burn a copy and distribute as souvenirs. Insert a small piece of paper explaining why you chose those songs.
ïInstead of tossing your bouquet, present it to your mother (or a dear friend or mentor) during your reception. You can also have an additional bouquet made for your groom to present his mother at the same time.
ïGuests often have free time on their hands during their reception. In the center of the table, place several pens and small pieces of paper in a pretty basket. Ask them to write their wishes, prayers, or advice for you and your fiancÈ. Compile in a scrapbook.
ïMost wedding reception programs revolve around the couple: friends give speeches. Do something for the guests. Make a video of you and your fiancÈ talking about the people whoíve taught you what true love means. Mention friends whoíve demonstrated real loyalty, or family members who made great sacrifices for you. Intersperse your video with their photos. This is your chance to say thank you to all of them.
ïIf you have a close friend or family member who passed away, make him or her part of the occasion by inserting a small photo in your bouquet, or lighting a tribute candle at the church ceremony.
ïIf you have ethnic roots, incorporate a marriage ritual from your culture into your ceremony or perform it during your reception.
ïWear an heirloom. For example, you can use your grandmotherís veil, or wear a locket that belongs to your mother. This is an excellent way of creating a sense of continuity between generations, celebrating your own family even as you go on to begin your own.
ïPrepare an audio-video presentation that will be played during the last dance of the bride with the father. This can be just a simple montage of childhood photos. A guaranteed tear-jerker!
ïIf you have kids, help them feel like theyíre part of the new family by asking them to stand next to you as you say your vows.
ïAdd little elements that say something about your relationship as a couple. For example, if youíre giving away picture frames, insert a poem that you wrote or a copy of your wedding vows. If you met at a beach (and would rather not have a beach-themed wedding) incorporate shells into your table centerpiece.

It is always recommended to hire a wedding videographer for your special day. Professional videographers know how to produce a beautiful wedding video that you will treasure for a lifetime.

wedding photos, weddings, wedding, marriage, wedding

The Wedding Blog

The internet is flooded with much information available about weddings, it can get quite overwhelming. Where do you even begin? Are you beginning to tell yourself, "But I just want to get married?"

Don't fret! Thereís a wonderful place that you can visit that will talk about weddings, just like having your mom or sister, sit down and chat with you. It's a place where practical advice is given, without you having to search throughout the web for it. Best of all it's free! The site is called there is another free service

Weddings are a glorious occasion that bring families together. They are much awaited events that, we hope, will be the start of a wonderful family; one that will last a lifetime. It is a time to unite two families, not just a bride and a groom. After all, you marry your someone's whole family, not just them.

It can be a nerve wracking experience to set-up, especially if you're not used to organizing events or parties. Usually, most of us have been a guest or a date of some relative of the happy couple. Our experience is usually second-hand.

Then there are the in-law debates about how the wedding should be done. What should the reception menu be composed of? Basic question: who's paying the bill? Especially in interfaith marriages or the union of couples of different nationalities, there is much to discuss.

You may choose to hire a wedding planner; which is a great idea! On the other hand, you might want to go it alone, with a little help from family and friends. That too is a wonderful idea. The thing to remember is, before you can ask for help, youíd still need to know where to start.

This is where the can be a big help to you. The articles are short, easy to read. Some of them are funny, others are poignant, but all give great suggestions of things you should know to get ready for your wedding.

No matter what your wedding concern is, thereís bound to be an article about just that. Itís even easy to search because each one is segregated into the applicable categories. For example, there are topics that are about the bride, others for the groom. There are writings about the entourage and wedding favors. How about if we talk about the cake, invitations or the reception? Yes, these topics are all covered.

Bewildered by all the fuss that goes into the ceremony? Thinking of eloping? Read up on eloping 101 and destination weddings. You may find that being ala Britney Spears in Vegas isnít what you want to do at all. There are so many options such as Italy or the Caribbean or even just a small resort just near your home that will do just as well to give you a nice simple wedding, relaxed and stress free, without breaking your bank.

Hereís one of the best parts. Itís a blog which means if you read an article that sparks your interest, you can actually leave comments and give, as well as have, instant feedback. This is also great for the other brides (and grooms) reading the posts. Please do visit at and let us help keep your nuptials stress free.

: wedding blog, weddings, wedding, wedding tips, wedding advice, wedding videographer

A Wedding Theme Centered Around Golf

Many athletic couples who plan their wedding want to have something unique and something that centers on what they like for a sport. The game of golf is no different. Planning a wedding centered on golf can be fun, especially if the party is small and everyone enjoys the game. A wedding theme can be anything you want and if you choose golf, you will find many different ideas to plan your wedding and reception. The wedding itself can be formal in a church, but imagine planning the reception at the golf club and playing around of golf before the dinner.

You may not have ever heard of this before, so it is definitely going to be unique. Your wedding invitations can explain the plan and ask to see how many people would enjoy a day of golf after the wedding. If you are an avid golfer getting married in the summer on a Saturday, you are going to love the idea of getting married and playing a round of golf to seal the marriage. You can book the course for as many players as you are going to have and enjoy nine holes of golf that will lead into the dinner.

The reception tables can be decorated with wedding favors that pertain to golf. You might choose a golf ball with your name and date of wedding engraved or a golf ball with your picture with the date under the picture and the names on top of the picture. When it comes to golf balls, you can have them engraved with almost anything. These make nice wedding favors. You might also consider dime or quarter size ball marker with your name and wedding date engraved. Divot fixers are another great wedding favor with the names engraved on it.

The cake for a golf wedding theme can be as fun to create as the wedding itself. Imagine a wedding cake in the shape of a golf course or one specific hole. You could have the little bride and groom standing on the cup in the middle of the green. This is so unique that not many people would think about making a cake like this for a wedding. This would go with your wedding theme so well. It is exciting when planning a golf wedding theme. You will have the most unusual wedding anyone has ever seen or heard about for a long time.

With the wedding being so interesting, it would be nice to receive some new golf clubs or even some golf balls for the game. You might even decide to take a golf trip for the honeymoon. Jamaica or Hawaii are a nice honeymoon destination and the golfing is superb. You can do so many different things when planning a golf wedding them, even when you do have a traditional wedding ceremony. However, you might decide to have your ceremony on the first tee, so the first game can be started right away. You can do anything you want for your wedding.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Typical Cost Of A Promo Video

The typical animated promo video costs anywhere from $3K to $10K a minute.
$3K will get you a very simple animated promo video as it will barely cover the costs of producing the script, storyboard, voiceover and hiring an animator.

A good animator charges between $300 to $500 a day. If the animation is very simple a good animator can produce about one minute of content a week. At $400 a day that is $2K just to animate a simple project not counting any revisions.

Many of the people that approach Grumo to have a demo video produced cannot afford a $5K video or they think it is too expensive. I think charging even $5K per minute is actually low considering the amount of work that goes into producing a high quality animation.

Even at the $10K per minute end of the scale, a promo video is orders of magnitude cheaper than a typical similar TV ad produced by a large studio.

Large studios charge anywhere from $100K to $400K or more to produce a 30 second TV ad.
Even at $100K that is about $3,000 per second of video compared to $170 per second for a one minute $10K promo video.
The difference is a whopping 18 times cheaper!
Again that is considering a cheap TV ad versus an expensive animated promo video.
So in reality the difference is usually 30 to 50 times less in price for a typical 1 minute demo video than for a 30 sec commercial.

I think value is a matter of perception so If the studio can make it client perceive their work is worth 20 times more and the customer is willing to believe it, so be it!

The question is. Do you really believe that any of the videos produced by Grumo Media or similar studio provide 20 times less value than a typical 30 sec TV ad?
Of course not. In fact, we get told all the time that some of our demo videos are way more entertaining and fun to watch than their expensive TV counterparts.

So why this big difference in price?
I think there are two main reasons to explain this huge difference in pricing.
They are momentum and resources.

Momentum. Until very recently the equipment to produce any kind of video, live action or animated was tremendous.
So for years the costs of producing professional ads were justified to a certain degree.

This has changed dramatically recently with the advent of new technologies. To the extent where one person with a laptop and a couple of software programs can create astonishing CG imagery that rivals reality.

The advertising industry is now still living on a thin sheet ice of momentum that is bound to break very soon.
As soon as clients start noticing that small studios can produce similar or even higher quality commercials for a fraction of the cost, big studios are going to have to radically change their pricing approach in order to stay competitive and remain afloat.

Resources. Bigger studios employ a very large amount of resources towards the production of an ad.
The smallest team assigned to a simple project will have 3 or 4 full time people working on it for 2 or more weeks.
They will have a creative director, illustrator, and animator at least. Then they may subcontract voiceover, sound design, color correction and tape recording.
On top of that they have to cover all their office expenses and rent.
Given all the added costs even charging $100K or more per ad some times they have trouble turning out a profit..

This is about to change. It may take sometime for larger corporations with long lasting relationships to catch on.
But the there is a new slew of startups coming that cannot afford the big dollar ads and guess whose door will be knocking on for their company promo video.

At Grumo Media we are experts at creating outstanding promo videos at very reasonable cost.
The trick is very simple, there is no office, teams are 2 or 3 at maximum and everyone works remotely with their own equipment.

On a $10K on minute ad this is how a typical budget would look like:

# Task Description Hours Cost         Amount
1 Project brief           4      $60.00 $240.00
2 Script creation 15 $60.00 $900.00
3 Illustrations 24 $60.00 $1,440.00
4 Animation 60 $60.00 $3,600.00
5 Video rendering 5 $30.00 $150.00
6 Voice over 4 $60.00 $240.00
7 Sound effects 4 $60.00 $240.00
8 Sound track selection 4 $60.00 $240.00
9 Stock images 1 $100.00 $100.00
10 Sound rights 1 $100.00 $100.00
11 Video Editing 8 $60.00 $480.00
12 Script revisions 8 $60.00 $480.00
13 Illustration revisions 8 $60.00 $480.00
14 Voice over revisions 4 $60.00 $240.00
15 Final edit revisions 4 $60.00 $240.00
16 Meetings/Phone Calls/emails 12 $60.00 $720.00
17 Video compression 4 $30.00 $120.00
18 Video upload and delivery 4 $30.00 $120.00
TOTAL: $10,130.00
As it can be seen, a $10K video allows for certain amount of revision work which ensures the final product can meet the clients highest expectations.
When you try to cut corners and undercut your producer be aware that less time will be allocated to refining and the end product and quality will suffer accordingly.

All these costs are rough estimates. Hourly rates can vary considerably between animators. Stock images can get very expensive as well as sound track rights. Professional voiceover can add a lot to a budget if the voice over artist is famous.

I hope now you have a better idea of how much a typical promo video costs and why getting an awesome one minute video produced by Grumo Media is a smoking deal!

How to make a wedding bouquet that is interesting and unusual

Have you ever noticed how most bouquets look the same? Sure, they look beautiful, but they don't really have much variety.

They usually contain flowers and some type of greenery.

But who ever said that bouquets only had to contain flowers and greenery?

Why can't they contain something a bit more exciting?

Like what? I can hear you asking.

Well you can try anything really, it is only limited by your imagination.

Most brides spend hours thinking about what flowers they want in their bouquets and then what flowers they want as accents to the focal flower.

I wonder what what would happen if they had something else to choose from, instead of just flowers?

Does the person you are making the bouquet for have a favourite thing that they would love to carry down the isle?

You should always ask your bride what they would like in their bouquet because it doesn't have to be flowers.

There are plenty of other things you can add, such as:
- toy cars
- toy trains
- toy aeroplanes
- miniature teddy bears
- small dolls
- plastic horses, cats, dogs, or birds

Some other things you could add include candy, chocolates, bubble gum, fruit, vegetables, cup cakes etc. For my own wedding, I am adding lollipops to my bouquet!

You probably think I've gone mad! But trust me, people liked to have choice and they like to feel that they are  different and unusual!

And adding interesting objects to the bouquet can be a good way to get the groom more involved with the wedding. For example, if the groom is a pilot, or likes cars, how about adding some toy planes or toy cars to the bouquet? This is sure to get him more involved!

Not all brides will want to do this, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have more choice!

And just because you are adding a few different things doesn't mean you still can't have flowers.  All you do is combine the two, for example, you could have seven teddy bears and nine roses. It's really up to the person getting married.

As you know, weddings can be very stressful and taxing. So why not lighten things up a little and give people something to talk about for years to come?

A Wedding Gift That Lasts: Personalized Wind Chimes

Give a Wedding Gift that Lasts with Personalized Wind Chimes

Finding that perfect wedding gift is no picnic. There are so many wedding gift items available today that you could search for hours in your local department store or on the Web trying to find a great wedding gift! Perhaps the reason buying a wedding gift is so difficult is because it must have all these characteristics: personal, liked by both the bride and groom, useful, meaningful, unique and don't forget - affordable. Fortunately, a personalized wind chime will fit into all these criteria and beyond.

Custom Engraved Wind chimes as Personal and Meaningful Gifts

One often doesn't think of wind chimes as being very personal. But when the wind chimes have the bride and groom's names and a caring message from you engraved on it, it becomes a very meaningful wedding gift! You can have a short personal message engraved on the wind chime to express your joy for their marriage. It's like having your card and gift wrapped in one neat package!

Personalized wind chimes can be a keepsake for many years to come. Every time the wind blows, the newlyweds will hear the soothing sounds of the wind chimes and remember that most precious day - their wedding day.

Personalized Wind Chimes as a Useful Gift

Another reason personalized wind chimes make a great wedding gift is because they are useful and add beauty to the couple's home. They can be hung anywhere outdoors - on the front or back porch, patio, near a window or swing, in a tree or in a garden. A beautiful, engraved wind chime will enhance the couple's home decor while providing relaxing sounds in the breeze. Buy yours at

A Gift for Two

One reason it can be difficult to select a wedding gift is because so many gift items are meant for either a man or woman, but rarely both. A personalized wind chime is something they both will enjoy. Wind chimes come in different sizes so you can choose just the right size for their porch or patio. You can also choose from several different wind chime sounds to create just the right harmony for the new couple's home.

Personalized Wind Chimes are Unique

Wedding couples receive more than enough photo albums and picture frames, house wares, candle holders, etc. These are all wonderful gifts, but they are also common to almost all weddings. You want to give a wedding gift that's unusual, romantic and personal. Personalized wind chimes might be the answer. With your personal message engraved on the wind plate, the wind chimes will be treasured by the couple. Wind chimes are rarely seen as wedding gifts, so your gift will really stand out.

Not a Seasonal Gift

Whether the wedding takes place in fall, spring, summer or winter, an engraved wind chime will make a fantastic wedding gift any time of the year. Wind chimes are useful and decorative year round and usually can remain in place throughout the entire year. So, the couple will be able to enjoy their gift right away no matter what the season at the time of their wedding.

Personalized Wind chimes make an Affordable Wedding Gift

Many personalized wedding gifts are very expensive. You could spend $500 or more on a really nice engraved item. A benefit of buying personalized wind chimes is they are affordable, even those that are hand-tuned and of the finest of quality. You can find small wind chimes that are both beautiful and durable for as little as $50, or larger ones for around $120 to $250. That's a great bargain for an engraved gift that's also practical for everyday living!

Online Shopping for Personalized Wind Chimes

Instead of going from store to store looking for that perfect wedding gift, you can buy personalized wind chimes online and save time and money. The item can be shipped right to your door so you never have to leave your home to find a thoughtful wedding gift. At many online wind chime gift sites, you can even opt to have the wind chimes wrapped in gift wrapping paper to match the occasion and include a gift card with the package.

Ideas for Wedding Gift Wind Chimes

Here are just a few ideas to help make your wind chime gift as special as it can be.

Instead of a message from yourself, write a wedding poem to have engraved on the wind chime's wind plate. Just a sentence or two will do, depending on how much engraving space is available. Be sure to include the bride and groom's names.

Package the wind chimes with another gift item such as a live plant or flower. You can also include a decorative "Welcome" plate or sign with the couple's last name engraved on it that they can hang beside the entrance door. Other ideas include gift certificates to spend during the honeymoon, a wedding gift basket containing goodies for snacking on the wedding night, etc.

With personalized wind chimes, you can give a gift that the couple will remember for many years to come. They can reminisce about their wedding day each time the wind chimes play a song!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Avoid Wedding Rip-Offs

Planning your wedding will be a stressful event. The last thing you need is to be ripped-off by an unscrupulous wedding vendor or planner. Here are a few tips to help avoid this problem.

Make Your Wedding Arrangements and Bookings As Far In Advance As Possible

Most facilities, vendors, and planners can be booked more than a year in advance. If possible, take advantage of this window of opportunity. Should something go wrong, it will provide you with more time to make alternate arrangements. Also, be aware that some vendors will actually charge you more if you order or book things at the last minute. Always make sure you get it in writing. You want to know exactly what you are paying for. The contract should be specific and include dates, times, locations of where they will be required to deliver goods or provide services.

Shop Around and Deal With Trustworthy People

Before booking anything you should shop around and get an idea of current prices for each category of your wedding. Don't just hire the first caterer or photographer you meet with. Ask around with family, friends, co-workers, etc. and get their recommendations about services they may have used.  Most local reputable companies will have a proven track record of quality, this will be obvious by reading reviews on their websites, or where they advertise.

Get Everything in Writing

It would seem obvious to do this, but a lot of couples tend to go on "faith" of what a vendor says, then are shocked with the vendor doesn't follow through. Get everything, down to the smallest detail, in writing and be sure both you and the vendor agree on all points before signing any contract. Understand that the contract is there to protect both you and the vendor. Vendors don't want to be duped anymore than you do. Often contracts may seem like they serve the purpose of the vendor, just make sure they also cover all of the details that you feel are important. Include exact descriptions, such as if you are ordering flowers: how may bouquets, the exact type and color of the flowers, etc. What happens if the florist brings the wrong color of flower or vase? How are these types of issues remedied? Make sure that all your bases are covered, and then some.

Be Aware of The Fine Print

Anytime you sign a contract, especially when you are giving large sums of money, make sure you understand every detail of the contract. If you don't understand something, ask! Most vendors use a standardized contract for each party that books them, and make changes from time to time for specific parties. There may be something in the contract that doesn't pertain to you, maybe it was written for another client. Read any contracts over very carefully. Pay particular attention to their cancellation policy. You want to make sure it includes a provision for a refund of the deposit if you cancel or change your wedding date by a certain time period before your wedding. Of course, reasonably, you would not get a deposit back if you cancelled two days before the wedding. Most vendors I know don't allow the deposit to be refunded at all. Be sure to also include a written statement on the contract that you will not pay for services and will expect a complete refund on any deposits if the company does not deliver exactly as specified in the contract. A reputable company will respect this clause.

Regarding Photographers and DJ's

When booking these services with a company, often you may wish to have a particular photographer/videographer and DJ for your wedding because you have seen their work or heard their play style and really like it. Make sure this is detailed on the contract with the person's name. Again, also include the clause that if that particular person is substituted, you will not pay for the service and will receive a refund on all deposits. It is NOT uncommon for photographers and videography companies to send substitutions. Just make sure that you know in advance. If you like "Mike's" photography style, will he be the one shooting? Or will someone else be there?

This happened at our wedding with the DJ. The one we were told was coming and who knew how our ceremony music was laid out did not show up, and the substitute DJ that showed had no idea how the wedding service was to proceed with the music. There was a mess up with some songs during the ceremony and we had no recourse, as we didn't include that provision in the contract. So be aware of this. Don't pay for a last minute substitute (unless you were thoroughly happy with their service).

wedding services, wedding planning tips, wedding videographers, wedding videography

Your Wedding Countdown

This is intended as a guide to help you plan the essential elements in the count down to the wedding day. Organise everything in advance and everything should go smoothly and seek help from family, close friends and professionals.

One year before your wedding

First things first, set the special date and arrange a time with the priest, minister or registrar.

Discuss in full detail your plans with the person who will be performing the ceremony.

Decide on a budget and stick to it.

Remember to suit the ceremony to your budget, and to both your personal tastes and wishes.

Talk it all out now!

Decide on the type of ceremony, type of reception and hoe many guests will attend.

Choose your venue and arrange a meeting with the people in charge.

This goes for hotels, caterers, musicians (for the ceremony, the reception) etc.

Plan your wedding cake, cars, photographer and florist.

Think about wedding clothes and costumes, particularly your bridal dress, colors, fabrics and accessories.

Remember you will probably want a color scheme and a style that carries throughout the day so talk your plans through with the your dressmaker, florist and caterer.

Both of you should book in for a pre-marriage course. Start thinking about your honeymoon.

-------- Six months before the wedding --------

Order wedding stationery, cake boxes, and favours.

Discuss the order of the service with the person performing the ceremony and decide on service sheets for guests.

Discuss your wedding menu with your caterers/hotelier.

Decide on a wedding present list.

Choose the rings.

A doctor and dentist check up is a good idea.

Plan inoculations for your honeymoon if necessary.

Organise visas, passports etc.

Think about your ëgoing awayí attire and clothes for your honeymoon

-------- Three months before the wedding --------

Make sure you have all the appropriate pre-marriage documents and certificates.

Finalize details of your color scheme, bouquets, buttonholes with the florist.

Finalize the wedding guest list and have the invitations sent.

Remember to keep a careful track of replies.

Choose gifts for the best man, bridesmaids and attendants.

Arrange accommodation for attendants and advise travelling guests of the rates for your hotel.

-------- A month before the wedding --------

Organize the final fittings for your dress and for the bridesmaids.

On the day of your final fittings make sure all the bridesmaids are wearing the same shoes that they intend to wear on the big day.

Finalize fittings for the groom and best man.

Have a hair and make-up rehearsal.

On the day of the hair and make-up rehearsal remember to bring the head-dress with you for the experts opinion.

Finalize seating arrangements for the church and wedding reception.

Plan the wedding rehearsal with the priest, minister or registrar.

Eat properly for the next few weeks, you will need all your energy with all the running around you will be doing.

-------- A fortnight to go --------

Arrange your honeymoon and going away clothes, including passports, tickets and visas.

Now is the time to arrange travellersí cheques, insurance, car hire and all other documentation.

Give advice to the hotelier of the approximate number of quests for the reception.

Plan the table setting, place cards and linen etc.

Finalize details with the florist, photographer and caterers.

Try all your wedding clothes on and make sure all fits correctly and all is comfortable.

-------- A week to go --------

Have the wedding rehearsal.

Nominate someone to look after the wedding dress and the groomís outfit after the wedding.

Wrap all the gifts for the bridesmaids, best man and attendants.

Arrange all fees for the church or registrar, musicians (best man should do these).

Do one last check on all documentation required including passports for the honeymoon.

Give all documentation to the best man for safe keeping.

-------- Two days before the wedding --------

Confirm your final guest list to your hotelier.

Make sure the wedding cake is fine and arrange all transport to and from your reception.

-------- The day before --------

Have a manicure and pedicure, a long hot bath and an early night

-------- The Big Day --------

Relax. Some things may go wrong today, the sooner that you accept this the happier you'll be.

Have a good breakfast. With everything you'll be doing throughout the day, you don't know when you'll be able to eat again.

Get your hair and make up done. This part always takes longer than you expect it to! Plan for it.

Give yourself plenty of time to reach the church or registrar and always allow for the last minute hiccup. I've been to hundreds of weddings, and I have NEVER been to a single one where something didn't get forgotten or misunderstood. Just recently a Bride's mother forgot to bring the bouquet to the ceremony so she had to drive home to get them. Expect that you may have to have someone run a last minute errand. Your family and friends will be fine.

Have a fantastic day to remember.

Don't forget to book a great photographer and videographer so your memories of special day will can be preserved.

How To Shop Online For Your Mother Of The Bride Dress

Your daughter's wedding day is announced. She is ecstatically happy and cannot wait to shop for her wedding dress. However, you as the mother of the bride, may have doubts about finding your perfect mother of the bride dress. After all, werenít you the one who visited countless bridal shops, department stores, and boutiques, the last time so-and-so was getting married and could not find something to wear?

What about this special occasion now? Your dress has to complement the color theme of the wedding and the chosen color is fuchsia and guess what, you look terrible in pink! Fret no more. The internet revolution has been around for years and now almost everyone, including Grandmother Harriet, is really savvy in shopping online for anything and everything sold under the sun. You can be too!

If you or someone you know own a computer, and you can type ìmother of the bride dressî in that search box, you have opened up a new world of shopping for yourself.

Here are some quick and easy tips for shopping online:

1. First of all, understand fabric types. Most special occasion dresses are made of chiffon, georgette, silk or man-made silk, organza, or crepe. You could visit a few local bridal shops to get an idea of the different types of fabrics, their quality, and texture.

2. Understand colors. Hopefully, by now, you will know what ìfuchsiaî or ìmagentaî is. Most online stores will have color swatches posted online. However, please be aware those colors are not color true (looking at a color in natural light and close-up), as you are looking into a computer screen. See whether the internet store will send you color swatches in the mail or at least, send you another picture with a close indication of the color you are looking for.

3. Know your approximate size beforehand but wait, do not use this size to order your dress as every manufacturer cuts their dresses according to their OWN size charts. Measure yourself first with a tape measure, your bust, waist, and hips, over your undergarments. Compare these numbers to the manufacturerís size chart provided to get your best size. If you are between sizes, select the next size up as the rule is ìeasier to take in than to let outî.

4. Have an idea what looks good on you and what do not, through previous buying experiences and you can make a sound decision basing on those experiences. If you have large hips, an A-line skirt is definitely flattering. If you have flabby arms, a long sleeve jacket is the way to go. A longer blouse or jacket, hides a problem stomach area, so on and so forth.

5. Online stores stock a wide variety of styles, sizes, and colors and typically more so than the physical stores. Their prices are on the most part, reasonable. Check on the return policy as every store sets their own. Remember that you are shopping for a ìspecial occasionî outfit and the return policy is usually more strict than for regular everyday clothing.

6. Once you have found your perfect dream dress, you would have saved yourself a lot of time, hassle, and perhaps money as well. Online shopping could definitely be the best option for you from now on and not only for your mother of the bride dress!

wedding, weddings, bridal, mother of the bride, dresses, fashion, women's clothing.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Wedding For All Seasons

In times gone by it wasnít uncommon for young couples to consult the Tarot as to what month of the year according to the stars would be their best time to wed, this would depend on what time of year their sun or moon sign was inline with Venus the goddess of love, which I would take as a positive sign, and so on. Personally I would like to think that the longevity of a marriage would depend on the love of you and your partner and not on the date you get married.

These days the factors that make us decide differ a little. Each season brings its own style and flavor to a wedding. The time of year you choose to get married will indeed affect the style and economics of the wedding in many ways including location of the reception, honeymoon destinations, wedding theme and price. Whatever type of wedding you desire there will be a season to suit you.

An autumn wedding brings to mind golden and copper themes through the fabrics and the flowers. Flowers this season are earthy yet rich. Take bold colors in purples russets, yellow and reds. Add a natural twist with dark leafy foliages and wood containers. If you choose flowers that are in season this will bring down the cost a little.

Seasonal fruits that you can include on the menu are Apples and Pears; these are in season all year round. All these factors combined will bring a nice autumn breeze to the day. Bear in mind that August is quite popular for weddings, if you are having the reception in a hotel book well in advance. The weather is also superb if you are thinking of honeymooning in Europe. Stay clear of south East Asia though as these are experiencing their monsoon seasons.

The winter wonderland wedding, a very romantic setting of Burning log fires, mulled wine receptions and Christmas card settings. This would defiantly be an indoor wedding, maybe in a castle or Hotel adorned with rich reds and golden glowing candles.

A December wedding is a good idea as the wedding reception price is dropped in many hotels in the first few days after Christmas. The holiday spirit that is still lingering at this time will add to the atmosphere. Snowdrops, Tulips, Amaryllis, and White geisha include some of the winter blooms. Seasonal fruits to be enjoyed include winterberries, Apricots, Cherries and dates.

A New Years Eve wedding can be a good idea, ringing in the New Year with a festive and fun time for all involved. Honeymoon destinations for the winter months vary, you can opt for a skiing holiday with a romantic log cabin accommodation or maybe head for the sun kissed beached of  Thailand. Keeping in mind flights are usually scarce and pricey around Christmas so book your honeymoon well in advance.

Spring / Summer sun will provide for beautiful garden weddings adorned with all of mother natures glory, a fabulous season for a wedding. The colors and flowers to choose from are in abundance from roses to the petals of the cherry blossom, the look of this season is relaxed and simple taking bold flowers and strong colors softening them with driftwood or delicate wisps of grass and raffia.  Some of the fruits in season are Peaches, passion fruit, and Citrus fruits, and Quinces.

Freshly picked chocolate dipped strawberries would go down well with a champagne reception. A marquee would be a wonderful idea for this season allowing everyone to soak up the atmosphere, remember to include catering and furniture hire as part of the costs if you are watching the budget. The world is your oyster as far as honeymoons go but remember our summer is winter in most of the southern hemisphere including Australia.

Whatever your plans donít stress yourself and take as much help from friends and family to make the big day one to remember for all. Booking your honeymoon online including accommodation and avoiding travel agents can save time and money.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Wedding Flower Guide

When it comes to choosing wedding flowers, many brides may know the wedding flower they want in their own bouquet, but are a little mystified about the rest of the wedding flowers needed to fill out the ceremony and reception.

While you can leave all your wedding flower selections in the hands of a capable professional florist and get great results, you may want to take a more hands on approach. We hope this wedding flower guide will help making planning your most special day just a little easier.

Your first decision should be whether you plan to use a professional florist to create a wedding flower arrangement and bouquets, or if you'd rather visit a wholesale wedding flower retailer and order flowers to make your own bridal bouquets, boutonnieres and so forth.

If you are the creative type, a simple floral craft book will give you all the tips and tool lists necessary to create your own custom wedding flowers that reflect your personal style. It's a good idea to purchase some flowers to practice with ahead of time to make sure you'll be happy with your results. Whatever you decide, there are some standard traditions and suggestions to help make sure you've covered all your wedding flower needs.

Wedding Flower Guide

Wedding flowers for the church would include:

*Altar wedding flower arrangements
*Pew markers/decorations

Wedding flowers for the reception would include:

*Wedding flower arrangement for the bridal table.
*Table centerpieces
*Buffet table decorations

Wedding flowers for the bridal party would include:

*Bridal bouquet
*Small Bridal bouquet to toss
*Groom's boutonniere
*Maid/Matron of Honor bouquet
*Bridesmaid bouquets
*Best Man boutonniere
*Groomsman boutonnieres
*Flower Girl bouquet or petal basket
*Mother of the Bride/Groom corsages
*Father of the Bride/Groom boutonnieres
*Step-parent corsages/boutonnieres
*Grandparent corsages/boutonnieres

A Few Extra Wedding Flower Tips

* Maid/Matron of Honor wedding bouquets should be  slightly more elaborate or in a different color  shade than the rest of the bridesmaid wedding bouquets.

* The Best Man boutonniere should be slightly more  elaborate than the rest of the groomsmen  boutonnieres.

* The corsages/boutonnieres for the parents should  differ slightly from the step-parents, and all  grandparent corsages/boutonnieres should be
  different as well. It makes it easier for guests   to keep track of who's who.

* Wedding flower arrangements from the church can be transferred to the reception hall for double  duty.

* Bridesmaid wedding bouquets could be set in  waiting vases and used as decoration for the bridal table.

Remember, these are just wedding flower guidelines. When it comes to your special day, your wedding flower selections and arrangements should reflect your personal taste and style. You can keep things simple or get as elaborate as you like, as long as your wedding flowers help you create the perfectly romantic wedding day you've always dreamed of.

wholesale wedding flower, bridal bouquets, wedding flower arrangement, wedding flowers

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

At-A-Glance Wedding Planner Checklist

So you two are getting married? Why not do everything you can to make it a wedding to remember? Here are the items you will want to consider carefully while formulating your wedding plans:

Secular or Non-secular?

Decide whether you want a simple civil ceremony or a church-affiliated wedding.

This should be a straightforward decision, but if you run into a snag on this point, don't worry; you can work it out. It'll just be the first of many compromises!

If you want a church wedding, make an appointment to talk to the church representative that handles such things and go from there.


Weddings cost money. It's one of a handful of life-changing events, and an investment to make it everything you ever wanted it to be is appropriate.

Talk it over. Come up with a dollar figure and start gathering estimates. Once you two have decided how much you want to spend, however, don't go over that amount. This is the first big investment you'll make, and you want it to be a pleasant one.

Get Informed

Make your list of "must-haves," such as wedding gown, invitations, flowers, rings and reception. Then call for estimates on each of those items.

If your estimates total less than your wedding budget, you can go on to items on your second-tier list, your "wanna-haves." This list would include such items as a hairdresser, a photographer, a stag night, a hen party and professional music, both for the wedding ceremony and the reception.

The Moment You've Waited For

Did you forget the honeymoon? Not likely!

You may look at the costs you've racked up on paper so far and despair, thinking you'll only have money left over for a night at the bowling alley! If that's the case, go back over all your lists and prune. Or give yourselves more time to save the money you'll need to create your perfect experience. The honeymoon, after all, is the consummation of the marriage. Make it a time to remember forever.

Bon voyage!

Beautifully crafted wedding videos.

Wedding 101: Should You Rent A Limousine?

A wedding is a ceremony that celebrates the beginning of a marriage or civil union, and is considered one of the most important events in life, as well as a perfect opportunity to perform a traditional ceremony and celebrate with friends and family. Costs to creating the perfect wedding may vary, some may wish to stick to the traditional church-wedding types, and others may go for unique or otherwise adventurous stuff like getting married on roller coasters or balloons, bungee jumping right after tying the knot, or cruising around town on wedding limousines, replete with ìjust marriedî signs, balloons and confetti.

Getting everything ready for your wedding could be a very stressful episode, but the secret to making it is a success is professional planning; there are lots of tips and articles on ensuring the wedding itself is a success, but there are others too that are dedicated to the wedding party celebrations.

For starters, the average cost of a wedding in the United States, as of 2007, is $28,000. This is twice the cost of getting married in 1990. The wedding industry currently nets an average of $161 billion dollars yearly, according to Rebecca Mead, author of "One Perfect Day. Most wouldnít mind splurging on what they consider to be ìonce-in-a-lifetimeî occasions however, so acquiring the service of a limousine firm should definitely add more elegance to a wedding, notwithstanding the extra costs.

Most couples would agree that arriving to your wedding ceremony in luxury and comfort is tops in the agenda. Arriving there in an appropriately-colored and stylish limousine should do the trick, as most limousines offered for hire are meticulously maintained with a complimentary bar and friendly chauffeurs. On the average, a wedding limousine service would usually cost around $120/hour, and some offer an extra hour promo.

Limousine service can vary with itís price level. The most simple and basic wedding limousine service will include the limousine, driver and beverages. When it comes to the driver, make sure that the rental company provides a uniformed driver for the wedding. The last thing is that one would want a chauffeur to be dressed in casual slacks and a T- shirts.

Checking on the limoís appearance also matters. Couples should ensure that the service includes, if it does, important extras such as, ìJust Marriedî signs, balloons, bowties, red royal wedding carpet, interior decoration, flowers, champagne stands, wedding march air horns, which the service provider may charge as extra customizations.

Arriving in a beautiful limousine surely adds sparkle to that final touch to a picture-perfect wedding. Choosing a limousine company that is professional and experienced is very crucial. Couples are definitely advised to reserve their choice limousines in advance. Unless one is familiar with the limousine company and their vehicles, take the time to check on the available options and physically inspect the vehicle. Confirm the dress code for the chauffeur, since you would prefer a fully trained professional chauffeur.

Limousines are generally rated as 6, 8, or 10 passenger-types, so be sure to ask for the year and make of the limousine. Also, consider the size of your party and the gowns when hiring your limousine. Most companies have a three hour minimum, and rental costs generally range from $45.00 to $65.00 per hour, and some suggest a gratuity of 20% for the chauffeur.

If you're in the market for a wedding videographer, we recommend Ryan Hender Films.

rental service limousine cars autos vehicles occasion events party

Cheap Wedding Dresses Do Not Necessarily Mean Poor Quality

Your wedding day is certainly one of the most important days of your life, but it can also be one of the most expensive. For the bride perhaps the most important item on the shopping list will be her wedding dress and with an increasing number of high quality but relatively cheap wedding dresses on the market today it is possible to have the dress of your dreams without breaking the bank.

For some, a wedding dress should be a traditional full length white gown, symbolizing the bride's pure heart and innocence, co
mplete with veil and train first popularized by Queen Victoria when she broke with the royal custom of marrying in silver and chose a white gown for her marriage to Prince Albert. This started a craze which continues today with many brides choosing white or a variation of white such as cream, eggshell or ivory.

Today however we see two major shifts taking place when it comes to weddings.

The first is a return to pre-Victorian days when brides married in simpler dresses of just about any color that took their fancy, except for black which was associated with mourning and red which was worn only by "ladies of the night". This also means often dispensing with the veil, which is said to symbolize virginity, and the train which is very much a trapping of royal weddings and emulates the peacock, which was formerly seen an a royal bird.

The second is a move away from the church wedding towards weddings held in a wide variety of venues, including the increasingly popular beach wedding.

As a result not only do brides now have a much wider choice of color for their wedding dress but, more importantly, dispensing with the veil and train and the need for a full length dress now means that brides can choose from a range of far more simple wedding dresses. For the cost conscious this is great as informal wedding dresses are also considerably cheaper than the full traditional white wedding outfit.

One other important point here is that the move away from the full white wedding gown also means that it is no longer necessary to purchase your dress from a specialist bridal outfitter who, not surprisingly, will charge a premium simply for the service that is provided or for the name or brand that you are buying. It's a bit like a pair of running shoes ñ you can buy two virtually identical pairs of shoes and pay ten times more for one pair than for the other simply because it carries a brand name.

There has never been a better time to shop for your wedding dress and the choice available to you today in terms of color, style and supplier is vast. It's no longer that difficult to find reasonably cheap wedding dresses and still end up looking like a million dollars in the dress of your dreams.

wedding dresses, cheap wedding dresses, discount wedding dresses, informal wedding dresses

A Wedding Band The Ultimate Symbol Of Love & Devotion

A wedding band is a ring made of precious metal, worn on the ring finger to symbolize marriage. A wedding band is indicative of the fidelity of the spouse. It is usually worn on the left ring finger. It was a Greek belief that the vein in the left ring finger goes directly to the heart. The vein was called vena amori. However modern medicine has proven the belief incorrect. The custom of wearing a wedding band is European and has now spread widely across the world. However in Eastern Europe and some parts of Western Europe like the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany the wedding band is worn on the right hand ring finger. Some people wear wedding bands over the neck on a chain. Traditionally the wedding band is worn nearer to the base of the ring finger than the engagement band. Most of the times on the engagement band the spouseís name is engraved after marriage and the engagement band changes status to become the wedding band. In traditional marriages it is the duty of the best man to take care of the wedding bands and produce them at the time of the ring giving and receiving ceremony. Often the ring bearer (usually a young boy related to the bride or groom) carries the wedding bands on special cushions or pillows.

The ring symbolizes the coupleís love for each other. Making overtures to a man or woman wearing a ring is frowned upon in society. The rings of men and women are little bit different in design. The bands of men are usually broader than the wedding bands of women. The usual thickness of the bands range from 2 mm to 10 mm. Generally more women wear wedding bands than men. Some people due to their occupations like police men, soldiers, electricians, actors etc do not generally wear wedding bands.

There are thousands of designs of wedding bands available in the market. Generally they are made of precious metals like gold (white gold & yellow gold), titanium, platinum, tungsten carbide, gun metal, stainless steel, nickel etc. Poisonous or corroding metals like aluminum, silver and brass are never used. However as per customs wedding bands can be made of any material. The designs available are domed bands, milgrain bands, two tone bands, flat bands, fancy bands, diamond bands, designer bands, engraved bands, knife edge bands, brushed center bands, plain flat bands, Celtic bands, Irish bands, antique designs, etc. Usually the wedding bands for couples are sold in pairs with matching designs. Sometimes the names of spouses are engraved on the wedding bands. The most common pattern is a plain gold band. It is easier to clean it and gives an elegant look.

Wedding bands are available in attractive designs, studded with gems, with bright polish etc. The gems are available in many shapes like round, marquise, heart, emerald, trillion, multi cut, pear, princess, oval etc. In France and French speaking countries generally the wedding bands are made of three interwoven rings. They represent love, faith and hope. The price of wedding bands range from below $50 to millions of dollars depending upon the type of band and gem.

Wedding Bands, wedding rings, gold bands,gold rings,engagement ring

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Videographer

1. Experience

Make sure the videographer has considerable experience, has just about seen it all and can anticipate what is about to happen in order to capture events as they unfold. Take note of any recommendations from people you know or testimonials to this regard.

2. Communication

The wedding videographer must be prepared to liaise with other people who have key roles in your day, from the photographer to the hotel manager, in order to be alerted to upcoming highlights such as cutting the cake and the speeches as well as ensuring s/he is updated of any changes to the schedule.

3. Post Editing

The video service should be able to provide additional interesting extras, such as background music and slow motion shots, which will give your finished video a professional and polished touch, distinguishing it from a regular home movie.

4. Expertise

The wedding video should be a professional piece of work, make sure that as well as having top quality equipment, the videographer also advocates technical knowledge such as an understanding of white balance, manual focus and shutter speeds. Ask to see examples of their work to judge the picture quality for yourself.

5. Lighting

When discussing locations for the wedding day, ensure that the videographer has lighting equipment suitable for indoor filming and will be able to transport it to each venue, to ensure each picture is evenly lit and exposed.

6. Sound

Ask if it is possible for the groom to wear a tie-clip microphone in order to pick up both sets of vows being made. Even the most confident of couples can be softly spoken when exchanging vows and this is the most important moment in your marriage ceremony that will want to be relived. This inconspicuous device will record voices onto the video, which may otherwise be lost.

7. Discretion

The ideal videographer will be unobtrusive and record the day without becoming a feature of it. Choose someone who understands the sensitivity needed to get all the shots whilst remaining invisible. Look for comments highlighting this ability when checking recommendations.

wedding videographers, wedding videos, wedding films, wedding videography, utah wedding videographers, wedding videographers in utah,

A traditional Swahili wedding Harusi: Here Comes The Bride!

As darkness sets on the island of Zanzibar, excited shouts, music and the ululating of women fills the air. Dressed in their most colourful and stylish outfits, donned with heavy gold bracelets and chains, their hands and feet decorated with flower patterns made from traditional henna, the women anxiously await the arrival of the star of the evening: the bride. As the live band in the expansive hall draws the crowd to a climax, the bride makes her grand entry.

She enters amidst shouts of 'Bibi Harussi, the bride, has come!' as the women let out their high-pitched sounds of joy. Her mother, friends, sisters and aunties follow in her footsteps, dancing and singing, literally escorting her in. Her sight catches the breath of many: it is the most important appearance this young woman will ever make in her life. She has now officially entered womanhood; she is a married woman, a changed person, and the results of days, sometimes weeks, of beauty treatment, culminate in her moment of entry. She majestically struts in, all bright and shiny, showing off her glittering gown, her astonishing hairdo and make-up and the intricate henna patterns on her arms and legs.

The grand entry of the bride represents the climax of a Swahili traditional wedding. Such weddings are held among the entire Swahili population of Eastern Africa, including the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, and the Tanzanian and Kenyan coasts. Swahili weddings incorporate a deeply rooted culture and religion, which can be traced back to the Arabic roots of the Swahili population.

Although a Swahili wedding can differ according to local tradition and the depth of a families' wallet, the basics remain the same. If a young man and woman want to get married, first, a dowry payment has to be made. This involves elaborate negotiations between both families. The dowry, usually a sum of money or gold, or furniture for the newlyweds' house, is given to the girl. Secondly, the girl has to consent to the marriage. On the wedding day, before the actual wedding vows are taken, she is asked three times if she has consented to this marriage. If she says no at any one time, the wedding is immediately called off. If she agrees, the vows are then taken with witnesses present, one of which has to be her father or a representative of her father.

For those who are not able to afford elaborate wedding celebrations, a simple ceremony incorporating these things makes for a valid marriage. Swahili culture however deems marriage one of the most important events in a person's life, and it is therefore expected that a wedding be celebrated in style.

When wedding negotiations are over, a wedding date is set and preparations can start. Two weeks before the wedding day, the bride receives a 'Sanduku', the Swahili word for suitcase. It is literally a sizeable suitcase filled with every imaginary item the girl could need for her personal use in her first year of marriage. It includes clothes, shoes, underwear, make-up, toiletries, materials for making dresses, bed sheets, perfume, and even toothbrushes and toothpaste.

A week before the wedding, the girl is taken to a secluded place where she can prepare herself, receive all kinds of beauty treatments and can ask her female relatives, especially her godmother, all the questions she has about the life she is about to enter. For a young Swahili woman, her wedding day symbolises the transition to womanhood. In her culture, this comes with responsibilities, such as a husband and later on a family, but also with rights; she has come of age. She can now wear make-up, gold, beautiful dresses, do her hair, attend weddings -something unmarried girls are not allowed to do- and generally be a woman in her own right.

One of the most noticeable differences between a traditional Swahili wedding and its Western style equivalent, is that the bride and groom are not together when the wedding vows are taken, and they are even separated during much of the festivities. This is based on the religion of the Swahili people, Islam, which does not allow men and women to celebrate such an occasion together. Reason being that the women would not be able to celebrate freely; that is removing their headscarves, dance their sensuous traditional dances and be generally free when men are watching.

During the official ceremony, or Nikkah, the groom is normally in a mosque; his wife to be is in the same area -but not in the same room- if space allows, for instance if the mosque compound harbours another building or secluded area where the bride can sit. It does happen that the bride is not anywhere near the groom when they say their vows. She could be at her parent's home, or any other place that is deemed fit.

When the wedding vows are taken, it's time for the bride to come out in her moment of glory. She makes her entry in front of the female wedding guests, and takes her place on a stage in front of the crowd so that she can be admired and people can take pictures with her. A while later, the groom joins her and after elaborate congratulations and picture opportunities, they leave together as man and wife, leaving their guests to celebrate and eat sumptuous amounts of food.

When attending a Swahili wedding, it's quite obvious that the women are in charge here. The air in the hall where the festivities are taking place is heavy with the perfume of all the women present, their outfits a feast of colour, their gold dangling in abundance. A wedding celebration is a Swahili woman's party time; it is her chance to get dressed up, show her latest fashion outfits, wear her gold and dance until morning; a chance to get away, if only for a while, from the chores of daily life.

There are usually several other functions following the official ceremony and the 'showing of the bride'. A smaller party with close relatives can follow, or a religious celebration where prayers are recited to bless the couple. Sometimes a mock 'fight' is staged; if the party is at the girls' parents house, the husband has to 'break down' the door to get his wife; and usually, he has to 'bribe' the male relatives of the bride to let him in!

With the official wedding day over, the celebrations can go on for several more days. The husband then takes his new wife to all his relatives to introduce her - in Swahili tradition; a bride becomes part of the husbands' family after marriage. She remains a bride until she gives birth to her first child. Her 'bridal' days are then officially over. But by then, she will have probably gone for countless other weddings to enjoy the party!

Wedding, culture, Africa, travel, safari, kenya visa, tour, holiday, hotel, accommodation, car hire, wildlife, maps, information, news, atlas, photo, Honeymoon, wedding, Zanzibar, events, news, vacation, package, cheap, Adventure, Discount, bargain, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, Egypt, flights, travelogues, Eco-tourism.

Monday, June 16, 2014

What you need to know if you want to become a wedding photographer

Your wedding is not just an event but it is journey that two people have decided to take. Wedding photography may not be a mainstream or commercial photography but it is still an art. It should not be considered to be anything less than serious photography. In fact it is one of the most demanding disciplines of professional work. If you are an aspiring wedding photographer then there are certain key areas that you need to understand. One of the key areas is strategy. Even before you can think about the camera to use, lenses, the lighting and the background, you need to work on a strategy.

A sound strategy means that you would be able to create opportunities by the numbers. You will have to create an opportunity in every situation. Most wedding photographers take severe; versions of the same shot to eliminate blinks and at the same time they are able to introduce variety. Most wedding photographers will shoot a full-length photo, which is followed by a head and shoulders or half-length photo. Secondly, you may want to create a list of photographs that should be or can be taken during wedding. The list can be altered at the event, but acts as a good guideline for who will be in what pictures. The list drawn by most professionals include photographs of Bride at home, preparations/wedding dress, parents, bridesmaids, bridesmaids group photo, bride and bridesmaids, bride and chief bridesmaid, bride and family, parents and bride, mother and bride, father and bride, brothers, sisters and bride, parents and bridesmaids, extended family and any special request.

These will be followed by photographs in the church or outdoors after the wedding ceremony is over. One of the favorite shots is where the bride walks through the aisle. You can take good photos using a tripod so that the flash can bounce from a reflector at around f/5.6 followed by a shutter speed of 1/8 or 1/15 of a second. This will allow ambient light to seep in. If you are not using the tripod then you will need to have one stop less than the normal where the flash will reflect on an 80mm lens and the shutter speed will be 1/30 of a second.

Outdoor Wedding Reception Activities

Outdoor Wedding Reception Activities

If you are having your wedding reception out of doors, that opens the door for many activities that would be hard to pull off indoors. You can plan games and activities based on the outdoor theme and carry that theme indoors if part of the reception is inside as well.

Depending on where the reception will be held, you can plan many activities based on the setting. Whether it is the park or on a farm, there are a myriad of activities you can plan.

Let's start with some basics based on popular wedding locations. One fun game for a winery wedding is a blindfolded wine tasting game. If the bride and groom are wine drinkers, this might not a game the bride and groom should be a part of, but instead guests and wedding party members. Blindfold perhaps a half dozen volunteers and have them do a blind taste test (provide something to clean the palate between sips). The volunteers should guess which wine is the pinot noir, which is the Cabernet, and so on. A bottle of wine is the obvious prize for the winner of this game.

Say you are having a reception at a country club on a golf course. It's possible your theme will include golf elements, so why not include golf in some reception activities or games? You certainly could head to the golf course for a "hole in one" contest, or have a driving contest to see which guest has the best stroke. As a simple, "who gets the centerpiece game", you could have people guess how many golf balls there are in the floral centerpiece (which could decorate a plain large glass vase filled with flowers). Similarly, there could be a large vase or other clear container filled with golf balls at the reception somewhere and guests could guess how many golf balls are in the vase.

A silly game could be made on the dance floor by asking everyone to include their best golf swing into their dancing for one particular song.

Now, if your reception and ceremony are both to be held outdoors and guests will be milling outdoors, think about games or activities that can take place outdoors and still keep to your level of formality or informality. For example, if the reception is being held at a park, perhaps guests might enjoy a "walk down memory lane". Prior to the reception, someone can use potted plants or arbors to create a little private lane, which guests can walk through. Along the path, guests will find pictures of the bride and groom at various stages in their lives. There should be a place for guests to record their thoughts and memories along the way as well.

If your wedding and reception are fairly casual, you can always tell guests ahead of time to prepare for a ball game or some other fun outdoor activity. Women can bring a pair of sneakers. Just imagine the fun photos you'll get out of a rousing game of football or baseball played by women in dresses and sneakers and men in suits and sneakers!

You can provide a challenge activity involving barefoot dancing in the grass or a Frisbee toss in the backyard. Is there a pool in the yard where the reception will be held? Why not have a swimming activity for after the whole of the reception is done?

How To Bust A Wedding Crasher

The tradition typically associated with weddings is often shaken in movies. The recent hit, "The Wedding crashers" portrayed an aspect of the ceremony in a unique light. The movie features mediators who have a routine of crashing wedding parties. The movie has experienced a huge amount of success and exposes an issue of wedding planning that many couples overlook: how to handle a wedding crasher.

Create a Lookout Plan
You may think it a silly idea to assign people to look for a wedding crasher, but you will be too caught up in the moment to worry about these issues, and you shouldn't. There is no need to go out and hire secret service men. All you need is to commission a couple of people to be able to identify that everyone attending your wedding ceremony was invited. One way to verify that someone is not a wedding crasher is to check that everyone who arrives has an invitation. If you feel uncomfortable with this idea, you can conceal your motives and exchange the wedding invitation for a special gift as your guests arrive. Having guests sign in as they arrive is another way to keep a wedding crasher out of your ceremony. Whichever way you choose to handle it, the idea is try and stop a wedding crasher at the door.

Beyond the Front Door
So, what do you do if a wedding crasher makes it into your wedding celebration? First of all, don't panic. Many people who attend wedding parties uninvited do so for harmless reasons. Most are just interested in obtaining a free meal. It might be the case that a wedding crasher arrived with someone who was actually invited. If it is the wedding ceremony that the wedding crasher is attempting to attend, give them an obscure seat, such as in the back. If it is the reception that the wedding crasher has snuck into, it is often the case that caters provide additional food for such occasions. Of course, not everyone has good intentions. An ex-lover, for example, may have intentions of creating a scene to disrupt your celebration. In this case you will just have to get rid of the wedding crasher quickly and with the least amount of attention. If your ceremony features a live band, have them crank up the volume to drown out yelling or other disrupting noises that may occur as you send the wedding crasher to the nearest exit.

Security Measures
It is rare that a wedding crasher will pose any danger to you or your guests. However, it is wiser to be prepared for such an occurrence. Having a uniformed security officer in the area is often enough to ward off a wedding crasher with ill intent. Installing a security camera and having someone watch for a wedding crasher is another measure you may want to consider. To keep a wedding crasher from being tempted to steal your gifts, it is a good idea to allow your guests to place the gifts in one specific area.

If you need a wedding videographer, we recommend Ryan Hender Films.

Discount Wedding Invitations: Beautiful card with a nice price.

Many people today are trying to stick to a budget when throwing a wedding. It can be difficult, but there are many ways now people can cut corners and still have an elegant event. One way to save money is to order discount wedding invitations. There are still many selections and styles available, and the perfect invitation is always out there, and sometimes with a serious discount.

Many selections of discount wedding invitations are available. Invitation companies have huge selections of invitations. Invitations are available in a variety of sizes whether it is a card, folding card, card with cover, embossed, die-cut, or cotton. There are so many types of materials used in wedding invitations today that can enhance the look of invitations and give each invitation its own unique style and flair.

Different styles of discount wedding invitations are available. No matter what the theme of the wedding will be, buying discount wedding invitations doesnít mean the style of the invitation must be sacrificed. For destination weddings, there are some amazing discount wedding invitations available, very important when lots of costs are incurred by transportation. If the wedding is being held in winter, there are many beautiful invitations to coincide with any winter theme. And whether the wedding is formal, semi-formal, or totally contemporary there is a perfect invitation for any type of wedding.

There are many types of discounts are available. Most sellers have a minimum order of 50 to 100 invitations per order. However, the more invitations that are ordered, the more the price goes down, sometimes saving the buyer up to fifty per cent. Some invitation companies will offer a discount if purchases are made online-up to 25%. There are many other discount deals available. It is important to visit the invitations websites to see what great deals they have available.

If ordering discount wedding invitations, one should not feel they are limiting themselves. Discount wedding invitations are just a beautiful and elegant as traditional wedding invitations. The bride just needs to look for the best deals on what she truly wants. It is easy to find the invitation of your dreams and a price within budget. Shop around before paying those high prices.

discount wedding invitations, wedding invitations, wedding invitation, weddings

If you are looking for an affordable wedding videographer, we recommend Ryan Hender Films.