Monday, August 25, 2014

Do It Yourself Wedding Reception Ideas

Your wedding reception is arguably one of the most important parts of your overall wedding day. This is where all of your friends and family gather to dance and celebrate in your new life. Laughter will be had, tears will be shed, and dancing will be plentiful, so be sure to pay as much attention to your wedding reception planning as possible, and you’ll certainly be left with a fantastic wedding reception that’s talked about for years to come. There are some fantastic ways to make your reception as charming and unique and possible without spending a bunch of money, and we’ll let you know about all of the best DIY trends in the wedding industry today!

Your tables are going to be one of the first things that your guests look at, as it’s where they’ll be sitting for the remainder of the evening. There are so many great ways to make your centerpieces unique, attractive, and most importantly, frugal! Be sure to check out your local craft stores for fabrics and decorations, as well as your local thrift store. You could find great deals on vintage table setting accessories that nobody else will have. Try to incorporate something about yourself and your sweetheart in the centerpieces, whether it’s your monogram or perhaps your favorite snapshot.

A dessert bar is a fantastic idea for your reception. Going to a bulk candy store to pick out all of your favorite candies is sure to be a great time, and decorating the table itself is just as much fun. It’s a frugal alternative to buying a bunch of assorted desserts from a professional bakery. Another great way to add some charm to your wedding reception is to add hanging elements from the ceiling. This is a popular trend because not only is it whimsical and fun, but it’s classy and sophisticated.

Follow these guidelines, and you’re certain to have a wedding reception that knocks everybody socks off without breaking your budget.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Don't Know What Wedding Flowers To Choose? Here Are Some Tips

Flowers, herbs and spices have long been used as a symbol to unite and protect a new union. Garlic and onions were thought to protect newlyweds from evil and were often included as an integral part of the ceremony. White garlands were worn to show innocence and chastity but the language of flowers didnít arrive to Europe until the early 1700s.

The universal flower for weddings is most definitely the rose. White or red are the most common. It was proclaimed by Venus, the Roman goddess of love, that the red rose was the most beautiful of all flowers. So it came to be that the red rose represented true love.

When you are choosing the flowers for your wedding there are several things to take into account.

1) First of all, it is your wedding and should emulate your personality and be the theme for the ceremony and reception. It shouldnít be what your mother always wanted or your bridesmaidís favorite flowers. Itís about what you want.

2) Look at a lot of photographs of wedding flowers and bouquets. You need to get familiar with flowers, styles and colors. The internet is an awesome tool for that. It used to be that youíd have to go to a florist to do this and you may still want to but fortunately there are a lot more options.

3) As you browse through the pages, start with style first. Do you like the bouquets that are long with ivy and ribbons, maybe compact and round, exotic, possibly long flowers that you carry on your arm almost like carrying a baby? The reason I suggest style first is because certain flowers are suited to each style.

4) Remember, large bouquets can be very heavy and if you have a small frame then you may want to reconsider a large bouquet. I have done bridal bouquets that have weighed as much as 30 to 40 pounds.

5) Once you have decided on a style then it can be determined what flowers and colors you would like. Sometimes you get lucky and see a bouquet and that is exactly the one you want. But donít be afraid to get creative. I once did a wedding where the bride (who married on Valentines Day) chose a round red bouquet for herself and the bridesmaidís wore white and red dresses so we made half the bouquet red and the other half white roses. At the reception the bouquets were then placed in red vases and served as flowers for the head table. It was very effective. You can be as creative as you want.

6) You can also choose flowers for their meanings. Here are some of the more common flowers used in weddings:

Red rose - True love
White rose ñ innocence and purity, I am worthy of you.
White carnation ñ fascination, love of a woman
White lily ñ purity, heavenly
Cala lily ñ beauty
Red tulips ñ declaration of love
Babies breath ñ pure of heart
Blue violet ñ faithfulness
Hyacinth ñ loveliness
Iris- warmth and affection
Daisy ñ innocence
Ivy ñ eternal love and fidelity

7) If you want fragrant flowers then I would go with white casa blanca or star- gazer lilies, hyacinth, tuber roses, and gardenias. The fragrance would be heavenly.

8) If you are on a severe budget then you may want to consider doing simple bouquets on your own. It is not that difficult to do. Example; take a dozen or more tulips and stagger them slightly so that the heads are not all together. Take the first tulip in your hand, place the next one so that the tulip head is now about 2 or 3 inches lower and so on. Take the ribbon of your choice and tie them together. Make a simple bow and there you have it. You can also do this style effectively with calla lilies, gladiolas and blue delphinium. If you want to save a lot of money then this can be an alternative for you.

Regardless of the size and budget of your wedding, just remember, this is your day. Do it the way you want to and have fun doing it.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How To Choose A Wedding Tent

Renting a good tent is important when planning an outdoor wedding. While tents provide a cozy and personal touch to the whole outdoor wedding dÈcor, they also shield you and your guests from unfavorable weather conditions. Tents are also more flexible than existing facilities because you have more options regarding where and how you want to have your wedding. However, they are more expensive and can cost you around $3,000 to $6,000 without the extras such as lighting, flooring, and the cost of delivery, setup, and removal.

Types of Wedding Tents:

These are some of the popular tents that you may want to check out before making a decision.

Party Canopy: This is a lightweight tent designed to protect from sun and rain. Installation is easy, and inexpensive to rent in comparison to other types.

Canopy: Another lightweight tent with collapsible-frame fabric. Installation is also easy.

Frame Tent: A tent with a metal frame having no center poles. The rental company usually installs it.

Tension tent: This type is built with high center poles, a steeply sloped ceiling, with a more open feeling inside of the tent.

Pole Tent: This type has poles around the perimeter and in the center, which is very practical for harsher weather conditions. The rental company will install it.

Location and Flooring:

The best location for setting up the wedding tent is on an even high ground, and should be free of overhead utility lines. If the site has uneven terrain or experiences high rainfall, try to include plywood or plastic flooring. Plywood can be expensive but it will provide a durable raised floor and is suitable for almost any type of terrain. Plastic floor is ideal for paved surfaces and is much cheaper than plywood floors. Also consider parquet-wood floor which can be used as the dance floor.

Size of the Tent:

There's no harm in renting a tent that's a little larger than actually required. Think of a tent size in which your guests can be comfortably seated. Here's how you should estimate tent seating specifications:

All chairs in rows: 6 square feet per person Round tables: 12 square feet per person Rectangular tables: 8 square feet per person Cocktails and receptions: 8 square feet per person

Along with these specifications, figure in the bar area, cake table, band area buffet tables, and dance floor.

Color of the Tent:

The traditional color for tents is white but you can choose from a wide variety and combinations, depending on the theme and mood of your wedding. For example, if you want a romantic starlit night sky to be part of your wedding, rent a tent with a translucent ceiling. Sidewalls can be solid white for more private affairs, clear vinyl to let in natural light, and cathedral-window walls for a more decorative touch.


Remember that every rental firm also provides optional accessories which can really underscore the dÈcor of your wedding and the tent. Choose those that will fit in to the theme and tone of the wedding. Other accessories that you can't do without may include air-conditioning (for areas with extreme climates), carpeting, portable bars, decorative lighting etc.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Trends in Wedding Party Favors

Wedding favors are basically gifts or keepsakes given by the wedding couple to guests
as a form of appreciation. There are many interesting wedding favors that can be presented in myriad ways so that all those involved always carry fond memories of the occasion. Personalizing the wedding favors adds a touch of intimacy to the special occasion and further strengthens the relationship between the wedding couple and the guests.

Candy, chocolates, cakes, and other edible items are easy to personalize and are always well-received by guests. They lend themselves to several modes of packaging and presentation and gel well with many themes. Candy can be presented in wrappers that have been personalized and carry the coupleís names and wedding details. Bubblegum bride and groom statuettes are another idea. Chocolates are popular wedding favor gifts as they can be sculptured into a variety of shapes and sizes; they are almost universally liked and are thus a safe choice as well. Chocolates shaped as flowers, mini-hearts, keys, or purses can be packaged in personalized wrappers.

Other customized items are growing in popularity as well. Personalized photo albums are available in a range of designs and are a sophisticated memento with utilitarian value for the guests. The same is true for bath and soap wedding favors that include soaps, bath confetti, and bath salts. The favors can be presented in a personalized package or the favors themselves can be personalized. Personalized tags that can be attached to wedding favors add charm to personalized gifts. They are available in a range of design and color combinations.

As themed weddings continue to enjoy popularity, so do wedding favors that complement the theme for the wedding increase the sense of romance associated with the occasion. Wedding themes can be inspired from animals, flowers, history, hobbies, culture, and seasons. They can also be celestial, romantic, or sporty.  A celestial theme, for example, could have the bridesmaids dressing up as angels. Angel ornaments, angel-shaped sugar cookies and chocolate cherubs would be ideal favors for this theme. Irish wedding rings such as Spirals, Triskeles, and Shield Knots are popular favors for weddings that have an Irish theme. The rings can be presented in personalized boxes. Smooth beach pebbles that can be used as paperweights and conches are wedding favors that go well with a beach or seaside themed wedding.

Finally, wedding cameras continue to be popular at weddings because these cameras placed on the guestsí tables allow the guests to take shots of the receptions that a professional photographer may miss. The cameras keep the guests entertained and the pictures serve as memoirs of a special occasion. There is an increasing trend to offer wedding cameras as favors; the camera can be decorated in many ways so as to complement the event and reflect the taste of the bride and groom.

Wedding Budget Challenge

As you plan your wedding, the most important task you have is to set your wedding budget. Weddings are expensive events. The average cost of a wedding in the America is more than $20,000. The honeymoon is not calculated in the cost. Although $20,000 sounds like a lot of money for a one-day event, keep in mind that it is an average and a many weddings cost significantly more.

No wedding budget is ever too big. It is your budget not your imagination that sets the limits of what you can or canít do on your wedding day. Formal weddings in hotel ballrooms or other trendy wedding reception venues will require a much bigger budget than a reception held at your parents house. Normally, formal weddings are more expensive because everything about them is expensive such as the food, music, etc.

The summer months are the most popular and most expensive months of the year to get married. Due to the high demand during the busy wedding season, hotels and other wedding reception venues can ask higher than usual prices. If you must have a summer wedding, expect to pay a premium.

The more guest you invite to the wedding, the more money youíll spend. You have to calculate your food budget based on a per-head cost for food and liquor. The type of meal you serve your guest is limited by your budget. For instance, seated dinners are more expensive than a buffet style dinners.

Some locations are more expensive than others. Certain cities such as New York and Los Angeles can be expensive, but far away places can be just as pricey due to high travel costs and the lack of competition.

Donít worry if your wedding budget doesnít cover everything you can dream of. It may require compromises, scheduling changes, or simply begging for more money, but even with a small budget you can plan a beautiful wedding.

Developing the wedding budget is challenging, and the bride and groom should work on it together. If your parents are footing part of the expenses, you have to involve them in the process too. Traditionally, the bride's family covers most of the expenses. Today, such tradition is not necessarily relevant. The bride and groom normally pay for most of the weddings.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Selecting The Perfect Wedding Reception Location

Choosing a wedding reception location involves more than just making sure all your guests can fit comfortably into the space. This location is where the majority of the wedding day festivities will take place so there needs to be enough room to accommodate eating, dancing, socializing, and all the other fun activities that happen at receptions like cutting the cake and throwing the wedding bouquet.

Many couples choose larger-sized hotels or function halls for their wedding receptions because typically, everything they need to pull off this memorable event is right there on-site. As an added bonus, these types of wedding reception locations usually include the services of a wedding coordinator who will work with the couple to meet their every need. And the great thing about having a reception in a hotel is that overnight accommodations don't require any extra planning.

Selecting the wedding reception location as soon as possible is highly advisable, especially if you need to accommodate a large number of guests and especially if your wedding will be held during the busy season. Although you do not need a firm head count, you will need an estimate. A medieval castle on a lake may not accommodate 250+ guests. Also, determine your wedding reception budget beforehand as this likely will have an impact on your wedding reception location options. You may want to consider arranging your wedding off-season when rates on reception locations will typically be much lower.

You will be required to make a down payment to reserve the space and date and this typically will be non-refundable. You'll want to make sure you understand the cancellation policy as it may involve more than losing your deposit. Also discuss arrival and departure times to make sure all the elements you have planned can be accommodated during this timeframe.

Besides the types of venues already mentioned, plenty of other wedding reception location

options are available, and they'll each vary in terms of space, price and amenities, so it's important to pay close attention when visiting the ones you're considering. Smaller gatherings can be held at places such as at home, a museum, a botanical garden, or a park. Although these may be smaller in size, the details will still need to be coordinated by someone so don't forget to ask for help, even if that means hiring a wedding coordinator.

When you're looking at wedding reception locations, try to plan out the space, much like you would if you were buying or renting a home. Where will dining and dancing take place? Where will the guest book and place cards be located? Is there a secure area for wedding gifts? Will you need a stage for your musicians? Are there electrical outlets for the DJ? Your photographer will want to know about the lighting and whether there's a suitable location to take wedding party photos. Is there a way to control the temperature? If the reception will be outdoors, you'll need a back-up in the event of uncooperative weather, which may add to your costs.

Save Money Doing Your Own Wedding Flowers

A wedding takes an enormous amount of time and money. From the hall to the dress, the flowers, the cake, invitations, food etc., it is wise to save where you can. You may not want to cut corners with your dress but you can save a lot of money doing your own flowers.

A florist needs to make money and in order for them to this they need to spike up cost tremendously. What you are paying for is not only the flowers but you are paying for the cost of the flowers, vases and containers (which they buy wholesale and mark up 50% to 75%), the salaries of the people making the arrangements, paying for the driver and gas and other incidentals. This is their business and they need to do this in order to be successful.

But if you are somewhat artistic and want to save some money, you can do your own flowers. Here are some basic things you need to do:

1) Look through bridal magazines or online to get an idea of what kind of arrangements you are interested in. Having pictures of what you like can help you decide the colors and styles. Investing in a flower arranging book can be of enormous value to you as it gives you the complete how too and what tools you need and lots and lots of pictures.

2) Without having experience in floral design, simple may be a better choice but that does not mean itís less effective. Something like a tall vase with white gladiolas in them placed on each table looks incredible and is about the easiest arrangement you can put together. This also works very well as altar pieces. If you want a low arrangement you can do something like a low vase with just roses of your color choice and sprinkle rose petals around it on each table. If roses are too expensive you can do the same with cheaper flowers such as carnations, daisies, Gerber daisies or mums. Whatever you like that fits your budget.

3) Do the table arrangements and altar pieces before tackling the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets. These also typically take the most time to do. There are two ways you can go. You can go to a craft store and buy ready made floral foam with a handle and lace skirt that you will soak with water to insert your flowers into or you put freshly cut stems together and bind them with floral tape and then ribbon.

4) A simple but beautiful bouquet can be made by taking roses that have been cleaned of most of their leaves and thorns. In one hand hold the first few roses and keep adding a rose one at a time until you have the desired amount of roses. Make sure they are not all flat at the top. You want your bouquet to be rounded. You do this by carefully taking the outer roses and pulling them down gently all around until you have the desired effect. The center of your roses will be the highest roses while the rest of the roses will gently slope downward.

5) When you have decided what you want then gather up your bridesmaids or whom ever you think could best help you and well before the wedding, do a test run and make one of each arrangement you would like to do. This will give you an idea of how it is going to look and how long it takes to do each one. Take a close up picture of each arrangement once you are satisfied. Doing a run through also lets you determine the cost. Just multiply by the number of arrangements you need to do. If you are happy about your work and you really want to know what your savings will be, then take your pictures to a flower shop and get them to give an estimate for making the same arrangements. You will know what you paid, now compare that to the florists quote.

Doing your own flowers will take more of your time but if you have a good support system helping you, (which can be a really fun time) you can take pride in your accomplishments and save a lot of money.

Lighting for wedding photography

Lighting is an important ingredient for wedding photography. Unlike most other areas of professional photography, weddings require all types of lighting, all on the same day, such as window light, outdoor lighting, bounce lighting, and multiple electronic lighting.  Each type of light has its drawbacks but also offers opportunities for creative work.  In order to appreciate fine lighting, study the works of the master painters.  Notice how the artists were acutely aware of lighting and light direction; shadows fall as they would in a naturally lit scene.  They understood the difficulty in trying to make a two-dimensional.  Increasingly, electronic flash equipment, with its automatic thyristor circuitry, is being used as the easy way to photograph a wedding.  Some photographers boast that they can shoot a whole job at f/8, allowing the flash unit to do the work. Unfortunately, this type of lighting is really noticeable and unappealing.
The two broad categories of lighting discussed below are: existing light and electronic flash.  Existing light consists of natural light and the light sources encountered, such as lamps or chandeliers.  Electronic flash or strobe lighting includes single and multiple lighting setups, as well as umbrella and the other bounced lighting.

Existing light.   Taking pictures in existing light that are consistently well exposed is not a simple task.  Because of the great color variation between a brideís white gown and a groomís black tuxedo, cameras with built-in light meters will not suffice and are rarely used in wedding photography.  A reliable way of measuring light is crucial. There are two types of exposure meters available: those that measure incident light, and those that measure reflected light.  An incident-light meter measures the amount of light that falls onto a white dome that collects the light. Even lighting condition such as shade, the reading will usually give a proper exposure.

Reflected-light meter measures the intensity of light coming off the subject.  Critical users of light meters tend to prefer this type.  The meter is pointed toward the subject from the camera position or in the line from the camera toward the subject.

To photograph with window light, place the subject close to the window and looking toward it.  Direct sunlight creates harsh shadows and highly contrasting highlights and shadow areas and unless some form of fill light is used, the shadow side of the face will have insufficient illumination. Fortunately, more diffuse shaded light is usually available.