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Avoiding Wedding Disasters ~ Tips and Ideas

Nobody likes to talk about possible disasters on your wedding day.  And out of the thousands of weddings we have been part of the majority of them go off without much of an incident at all.  However (knock on wood) that doesn’t mean something could go wrong.  We found some great tips and ideas on how to help you avoid the dreaded wedding day disasters.

It’s raining on your wedding day.

Even in your most demanding bridezilla moment, you can’t fight the weather — but you can plan ahead. If you have your heart set on an outdoor venue, rent a tent or ask about additional space indoors. It may cost you extra, you won’t be stressed when you’re finally ready to say “I do.”

You wake up with a pimple.

Do not pick your face! If you have acne-prone skin, speak to your dermatologist about his or her availability on your wedding day (some dermatologists have weekend hours). Most likely, a shot of saline or cortisone will clear up your breakout. If your doctor is unavailable, try a cold compress to bring down the swelling and keep a bottle of Visine handy. This super-secret modeling trick will reduce the redness and minimize minor acne breakouts.

You cry during the ceremony and ruin your makeup.

Nobody said the price of beauty is cheap, so if you have the funds, consider having your makeup artist on standby until the reception for a quick touch-up. If that’s not in your budget, you can always request waterproof and smudge-resistant cosmetics or shoot most of your pictures before the ceremony to ensure that you look your best.

Children at your wedding.

Children are awesome, they make weddings a ton of fun.  However, if you don’t have something to keep kids entertained, they can run a muck and make things very difficult.  If you are planning on having children in your wedding party or attending the reception make sure you have something for them to do. A little gift bag with crayons and coloring book, bubbles,games etc. will go a long way to keeping the youngest members of your party happy. If you have very young children attending your wedding make sure there is a quiet out of the way place for them to take a nap.  If you have a lot of childern coming consider hiring a baby sitter or two.  Maybe a magician and or puppeteer.  Check out our blog on Children At Your Wedding for more ideas.

The entertainment cancels or doesn’t show up.

Don’t assume because you’ve signed on the dotted line that you’re in the clear. Accidents do happen — one groom recently told us that the band got in a car accident on their way to the reception so his groomsmen raided a nearby Best Buy in search of CD players and music to entertain guests. Even if your contract is ironclad, make sure you have a backup plan in place. Ask your bridal party to bring their iPods, a laptop, and speakers just in case a disaster does occur. Better to be prepared than stuck in a jam.

Your Vendor Doesn’t Deliver

The fact is, you can’t totally prevent these kinds of mishaps from happening, but you can limit the chance that something will go wrong. First, it’s important to pick a reliable venue and vendors. “Don’t go through the phone book. Instead, get recommendations from friends, family members and coworkers,” advises David Borgenicht, coauthor of The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weddings (Chronicle Books). Consider asking local businesspeople, whose own businesses depend on using reputable service people, what pros they use.

It’s also crucial to get signed contracts from all of your vendors and to keep receipts for down payments and other expenses. You’ll need these things so that you can prove a contract was broken in the event that you have to go to court to get your deposit back. And make sure certain important details are written into your contract, says Thomas Danziger, a New York City attorney who works with restaurant and special-event clients.

For instance, specify exactly who will be providing the service promised. After all, you want the owner of the business with whom you initially spoke, and who came highly recommended by a recently married friend, to personally do the work, not one of his less-experienced underlings. Also, you should include a clause that allows you to terminate without cause (possibly for a small fee) if, as the wedding approaches, you lose confidence in the vendor.

Finally, consider purchasing wedding insurance, which will reimburse your expenses in case a vendor should default. This insurance is fairly inexpensive. For example, at WedSafe (wedsafe.com), a wedding insurance company, a policy for a $35,000 wedding costs approximately $305.

Your cake starts to melt.

It doesn’t matter what kind of cake you have — heat and sweet are never a good combo! Too many times, couples feel that since they paid a lot for their wedding cake, they’re entitled to show it off. Unfortunately, hot weather or a warm room can turn a big unveiling into a sticky-sweet mess. Speak to your caterer and request that your cake be left in the fridge or a cool spot until after dinner.

You get a stain on your dress.

Uncle Bob spills some of his red wine on your dress and suddenly your entire wedding day is ruined. Okay, maybe not ruined, but it definitely can put a damper on things. Plan ahead — ask your dry cleaner for advice and tips on spot-treating your gown. Most likely your dress material will dictate how to remedy it.

The Honeymoon

The Weather is Bad On Your Honeymoon.

Most airlines, resorts, and travel agencies will not refund your honeymoon if you have bad weather or natural disasters on your trip. While earthquakes, mudslides, forest fires, and freak showers are impossible to plan for, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, and blizzards are all seasonal phenomena that can be avoided if you plan carefully. It’s always helpful to book somewhere that isn’t exclusively focused on a single outdoor activity so you have more than one option if the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse.

One of you gets sick on Your Honeymoon

You can’t really plan ahead for a sudden illness, but you can do your research and make sure you’re not left unprepared in the instance that you or your groom find yourself feeling ill. Double-check with your travel agent to make sure your resort has a doctor on call for guests. Your insurance card will be useless outside the US, so think of padding your honeymoon budget to cover basic costs like a doctor’s visit or antibiotics.

If you’re traveling abroad, be sure your passport is up to date – and that you remember it! Grey’s Anatomy’s Katherine Heigel recently missed out on the first of her Cabo San Lucas honeymoon because she left her passport at home.  Also make sure you get all the proper shots and medications to prevent illness. By doing all that, you’re well on your way to avoiding a honeymoon disaster!

Hire a Travel Agent.

When you go it the DIY route you don’t have anyone to rely on if there are problems.  Make sure you hire a professional to help you with your honeymoon, it is so well worth it.  Kind of like a wedding planner a travel agent will help you cover all the details, give you the best advice and will be there for you if there is a problem.  Check out our blog about Why Hire A Travel Agent.

A Travel Agent Can Make Your Ocean View The Difference Between This (Above)

And This (Below)

We know what you would prefer

Sources – Wedding Channel.com, The Knot.com, The Bridal Guide.com, Squidoo.com, Wedding Solutions.com

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BEAUTIFUL FALL WEDDING COLORS

AUTUMN – au·tumn
1. The season of the year between summer and winter, lasting from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice and from September to December in the Northern Hemisphere; fall.
2. A period of maturity verging on decline.
The fall season is one of our favorites.  The temperatures begin to cool, beautiful autumn colors begin to emerge on the trees and there is a crispness in the air that you don’t get with any other season.
For brides getting married this time of year there are some great color combinations to choose from.  Here are some great ideas from Better Homes and Gardens.

Deep Purple, Red, and Green

This elegant bridal bouquet brings deep purple, red, and orange together for a color palette that is ideal for an elegant fall wedding. Dark burgundy calla lilies and deep red roses nestled in a bed of green hydrangeas make up the main part of this pretty bouquet, and the clusters of eye-catching red hypericum berries add an unexpected accent.

Orange, Peach, and Green The orange — a classic fall color — in the hypericum berries and the peachy color of the wildflowers is perfect for an early October wedding. This simple boutonniere will stand out against a classic black tux or khaki, as shown here.

Orange, Blue, and White Take advantage of gorgeous fall leaves by incorporating them into your fall wedding table decorations. Orange and red leaves contrast flawlessly with deep blue berries, especially when set against white. This color scheme works nicely with a nature-inspired outdoor fall wedding.

Red-Orange, Brown, and Green A small yet striking bouquet of fire-color calla lilies is just right for a fall wedding bridesmaid bouquet. Wrap the blazing bouquet in brown ribbon and pair with a pale green dress for a seamless fall wedding color scheme.

Orange, Brown, and Red Give your reception venue a bold fall look with bright orange and mahogany (we incorporated the color scheme here through wooden chairs and ribbon ties). Deep red tablecloths give this fall wedding color scheme a vibrant, elegant twist.

Orange, Light Green, and White Bright orange rose petals along with light green hydrangea is a simple way to jazz up a traditional white tiered cake for a fall wedding. Scatter extra rose petals around the cake to create a beautiful display that will be hard to forget.

Yellow, Orange, and Pink Try a toned-down take on fall’s hues by incorporating softer versions of fall colors. This bouquet for a fall bride — ideal for an outdoor wedding — features an assortment of roses, lilies, wildflowers, hypericum berries, and wallflowers in subtle autumn colors, such as pale orange, yellow, and a not-too-flashy pink.

Red and Green Using natural elements in fall colors instead of flowers at every table will save you money. Red and green shades pop in this graceful arrangement of apples, pomegranates, and persimmons. Add a hurricane vase and candle in the middle of the fruit display and surround by greenery to create a lovely substitute for fall flowers on your reception table.

Yellow, Orange, and Red A combo of classic fall hues found in autumn leaves — orange, yellow, and red — make this bouquet bright and cheery. Orange and yellow dahlias mix with fresh green gladioulus to make the base of this colorful bridal bouquet. Orange montbretia, cockscomb, clover, and copper Echinacea add more fall colors, and the bouquet is tied with a plaid ribbon to coordinate with the color scheme.


Bright Orange, Light Green, and Purple Bold orange paired with light green — and a hint of purple — works any time of year but is perfect for a vibrant fall wedding. To achieve this look, scatter orange rose petals down the aisle and decorate chairs with bouquets of orange roses and green-and-purple hydrangea.

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Choosing Your Wedding Venue ~ How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Venue

Aerial View Of The Grounds of The Grand America

After the ring (and many times before) typically the first things brides and grooms do is find the location of where they want their ceremony/reception to be held, and for good reason, the location will dictate a lot of what else goes on at your wedding & during the reception.

Every month when we pull our google analytics statistics on TheBrideandGroom.com website we find that ceremony/reception venues are always top 3 and most of the time the #1 visited section of the site.

The Brigham City Cottage

There are some fabulous locations around us locally that can give you the exact kind of wedding that you want.  Having attended literally thousands of weddings locally our team at TheBrideandGroom.com has seen it all and we can attest that there are so many places that you cannot go wrong with, but you should always be thorough when selecting where you will have your ceremony/reception.

We thought it would be a good idea of things you need to consider when selecting your wedding venue.

Sundance Resort

Most wedding reception sites welcome the opportunity for their wedding coordinator to give the bride and groom a tour of their venue. While some sites may allow walk-in visitors, it is always best to call ahead and make an appointment. Not only does this ensure that the venue is available for a tour, it allows the bride and groom to have the uninterrupted attention of the wedding coordinator.

When brides and grooms start looking for wedding venues, too often they fall in love with the beauty of the place and sign a contract before they’ve considered the more practical things. It makes sense — who wants to look back and say only, “Well, it was practical”?

But unless the place is so magical that you’re willing to plan your whole event around it, your shouldn’t choose between wedding venues until you’ve decided approximately how many guests you’re inviting and the size of your budget. You’ll also need to decide if you want to have your ceremony and reception in the same place, or if you want an all-in-one wedding venue.

Sherwood Hills

Once you know these things, and you have a few wedding venues in mind that fit that budget and size, then it’s time to start asking questions!

  • What’s the decor like? Does it fit your style and wedding colors? Will you have to spend a lot of money on flowers and decorations to make it beautiful?
  • Do they have an in-house caterer, and do you like that food? (While an in-house caterer can be easier and cheaper, sometimes the food is not as beautiful as the room. So make sure you taste it!) Do they have a limitation on which outside caterers you can use?
  • Do they have adequate coat check and bathroom facilities?
  • Is the wedding venue wheelchair accessible? If not, are there many stairs to climb? How close is the parking to the ceremony and reception rooms?

Pierpont Place

  • What’s the cancellation policy?
  • Is there a payment schedule? What kind of deposits are required?
  • Are there any hidden costs? (Before you sign the contract, read it carefully.)
  • What are the overtime charges?
  • Do they have a liquor license?
  • Is there room in the wedding venue for a band and/or dancing?
  • Does the wedding venue already own a sound system with adequate speakers or will that need to be rented?
  • Is there a space for the bride and groom to change and/or relax?
  • Where will you take photographs? Is there a park nearby, or do the coordinators have recommended spots on the grounds?
  • Who will be supervising and troubleshooting before the day of your wedding? Who will be supervising and troubleshooting on the day of your wedding? Can you meet them now?
  • Where can your guests park? Are there extra fees for parking? Do they have valet parking?
  • Is the wedding venue convenient to public transportation, especially in big cities? How long will it take your guests to get there?

Joseph Smith Building

  • Especially in museums or private clubs, are there limitations on decorations? Do they limit food and drinks to only certain areas of the wedding venue?
  • Are candles or other open flames allowed?
  • If its an outdoor location, do they have any backup plans for rain or other inclement weather? If not, is there a place that you can put up a tent?

The Victorian

When Looking at Separate Wedding Reception Venues and Ceremony Locations

  • How far is it from one location to the other?
  • Do the two places have the same level of formality and a coordinating style?
  • Do they both accommodate about the same number of guests?
  • Does the wedding reception venue have any experience with weddings from your ceremony location?
  • The Canterbury Place

    When Looking for Wedding Venues for Both Ceremony and Reception

  • Do they own enough chairs for the ceremony, or will they need to be rented?
  • Does the wedding venue have an entirely separate area for the ceremony? {It is not uncommon that while the guests are at the cocktail hour, the caterers will transform the ceremony room into the dining room and/or dance floor.)
  • If not, how long does it typically take for the staff to change over the room?
  • The Castle

    A few other tips – Find out if your photographer has shot at the venue you are choosing.  They can show you what your pictures would look like at that wedding (lighting, settings etc).  This is a great way to see the venue from a third party and also get to know what a professional thinks.

    One way to save money is to see if the venue has an all inclusive package.  Many venues will do everything for you, this may or may not save you money but sometimes spending extra on the all inclusive package may cost a little more but it could also save you a ton of stress as everything is taken care of.

    Another way to save money on a venue is to book a wedding during the off season or middle of the week.  Many times venues will discount the location if you have your wedding there in October, November, January, February or March.  Many places will also charge more for weekend weddings so if you can do a Mon – Thursday wedding you could save money as well but still get the venue you have dreamed of.

    Miller MotorSports Park

    Hopefully, these questions will help you cover the basics while you’re looking at wedding venues. In your search for a wedding venue, there will probably be even more questions that arise for you personally. For example, you may want the menu to reflect your heritage, or with a large wedding party, you may need ample parking for limousines.

    Make sure to be thorough and think through how you would like your wedding to be before you sign anything.  Make sure you have your bases covered so there are no surprises.  Venues know what they can and cannot accommodate so don’t be afraid to ask and make sure you get everything in writing that you want so there is no confusion.

    Noah’s

    Castle Park Event Center

    La Caille

    The Grand America

    Sources:  About.com, Ehow.com, realsimple.com, suit101.com

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    Save Money Go On A Mini Moon

    If you have regularly read our blog you know that we are a BIG believer in honeymoons.  But face it they can be expensive.  However, we firmly believe after all the stress of planning your wedding day that you need to take the time away just for the two of you.  Weddings are stressful and that time is important, however we know that honeymoons can be expensive.  We think you should consider a “Mini moon.”

    These abbreviated trips can be just as intimate and just as exciting as other more elaborate romantic getaways. With a Mini-moon, your vacation destination is usually within driving distance, or just a short two or three hour hop by plane. You’ll realize that by traveling a shorter distance, you’ll have more time for each other and even more of those cherished moments that last a lifetime!

    Best of all, Mini-moons are easily booked. Many hotels and resorts offer “mini moon” packages so be sure to ask, or have your travel agent ask for you.  They are often available as packages that include a chilled bottle of champagne, a bouquet of flowers, breakfast in bed, and even a couple’s massage. So, just because a Mini-moon is brief, it doesn’t mean it’s less fulfilling. It can truly be a memorable prelude to that timeless honeymoon awaiting you in the future.

    Additionally, a post-wedding trip is an excellent way to relax and let go of all the wedding-related stress you’ve encountered over the past few months. Even if you do nothing more than hole up in a mountain cabin for a night or two, it’ll be a welcome relief from the incessant ringing of your cell phone. Sometimes, all it takes is a breather following a big event to prepare you and your husband to re-enter the world as a stronger, more unified couple.

    Before you picture yourself spending two nights in the Swiss Alps, slow down and think about the effort it’ll take to travel there. By their very nature, minimoons come with a certain set of geographical limitations. You probably don’t want to waste more time than you have to in the car, so opt for a location within an hour’s drive from your wedding site. That said, there are typically dozens of options for newlyweds to choose from. Obviously, coastal couples can rent a beach house or condo, or even take a weekend cruise. If your local terrain is more mountainous than tropical, plan a weekend excursion filled with horseback rides, nature hikes and a cozy cabin complete with a heart-shaped hot tub.

    If you wish to stay close to home, consider looking into what your own city (or the closest metropolis) has to offer. Rent a room in a swank downtown hotel, enjoy dinner by candlelight, and take in a musical or play. If you prefer to be pampered, check into your local spa for a weekend of blissful massages, facials, seaweed wraps and plenty of quality downtime with your hubby. Download a city guide application on your phone. It’ll help you find things you and your hubby have never done — museums you haven’t seen, a monument you never went to, a regional theater group putting on a play, etc. At the end of the day, go to a new restaurant. Doing stuff neither of you has done makes your time feel special, and you end up bonding over what you see the same way you would on a traditional vacation.

    On the off chance that you’re disappointed by the brief duration of your vacation, remember that this is the beginning of a much bigger adventure than any old trip. You can visit Hawaii anytime, but you’ll only be newlyweds once. Besides, as cliché as it sounds, it doesn’t matter a bit where the two of you are, as long as you’re together. So relax and bask in the joy of your marriage and a minimoon that the two of you will remember for the rest of your lives!

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    LAST MINUTE WEDDING DAY CHECKLIST

    The day you get married can be hectic and overwhelming but a wedding day checklist keeps the chaos organized. Ideally, you’ll be able to get some of these things done two or three days prior, or delegate them to someone else like a bridal party member, family member, wedding planner, or other close friend.  Be on top of those last minute tasks with this to-do list.

    Drop Off Welcome Gifts at Hotels

    Some couples like to provide welcome gifts for their out-of-town guests. Typically these include a special souvenir of your town, a small snack, a bottle of water or wine, and maps, brochures, and other helpful info for tourists.  Package everything together in a gift bag or tote bag, and ask the hotel to have the gifts waiting for guests when they check in.

    Prepare final payments.

    “Pay your vendors ahead of time,” says Emilie Duncan of Emilie Duncan Event Planning in Columbus, Ohio. “Then you don’t have to try to remember what is owed to whom on your wedding day.”

    Check the Weather, Make Final Decisions About Rain Plans

    If you’re having an outdoor wedding, you’ve most likely been checking the weather obsessively long before your wedding. As part of your wedding day checklist, you’ll want to make one final check of the weather. Make sure you know what time you’ll need to call for the rain backup plan. If your indoor rainy-day site is next to your outdoor site, you may be able to wait until minutes before the ceremony. But if it involves a tent or changing locations, you’ll probably need to decide further in advance so that the staff will have time to set everything up. If it looks like rain, make sure to have enough umbrellas for all of the wedding party. You may even get to take some cute rainy wedding photographs!

    Have an “insurance policy.”

    “When your vendors collect your final payments, have each of them sign a note indicating he’s received it,” advises Samantha Goldberg of Gold Events Planning in New Jersey. “Then if anyone claims he wasn’t paid, you will have proof that he was.”

    Finalize the Seating Chart

    Take a final look at your seating chart to make sure you haven’t forgotten anyone, and that you’ve accommodated any last minute changes.

    Create tip envelopes.

    “If you plan on tipping anyone, such as the banquet captain, wait staff or DJ, prepare envelopes with their names and insert the correct amounts,” says Duncan. “Sealed envelopes are a whole lot safer than a big stack of bills in someone’s pocket!”

    Use Your Wedding Ceremony Checklist

    Make sure you have everything you need for your ceremony, or that it’s already been dropped off at your venue. There’s no need to scramble at the last minute for a missing marriage license, ring pillow, or other important accessory.

    Have Vendor Contact Info

    Make sure you have a handy list of your vendor’s contact info. In case of a no-show vendor or last-minute emergency, you’ll want to be able to reach them easily.

    • Florist
    • Caterer
    • Officiant
    • Reception site
    • Photographer
    • Videographer
    • DJ, band, or other entertainment
    • Ceremony musicians
    • Sound equipment company
    • Lighting designer
    • Bartender
    • Limousine driver or other transportation
    • Valet staff
    • Other

    Have Bridal Party Contact Info

    You’ll also want to have the cell phone numbers for everyone in your bridal party, including groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girls, ring bearers, parents, grandparents, and siblings, readers, and anyone else who might be involved in your ceremony. It’s not uncommon for someone to oversleep, have the wrong time, or think they’re supposed to be somewhere else.

    Pack a Wedding Night Bag

    You’ll want a small bag that has everything you’ll need for your wedding night, including lingerie and other sexy items, a change of clothes for the morning, and a midnight snack (since no one seems to eat at their own wedding.)

    Have a discussion with your photographer.

    “Leave nothing to chance. Give him or her a list of people you’d like to have photographed together,” advises Pryor. “He’ll probably get the obvious ones, but if you want a picture of your sorority sisters or everyone who flew in for your wedding or your new husband’s coworkers, let your photographer know in advance.”

    Your Wedding Day Attire and Accessories

    Whether you’re getting dressed at a hotel, your venue, or your own home, you’ll want to make sure you have all the items you need including personal grooming tools.

    Hydrate your flowers.

    “Have a vase of water ready for bouquets when it is hot and dry outside,” Goldberg advises. “Certain flowers, like hydrangea and lilies, need water, so if you want your bouquet to live past the ceremony, don’t let it get thirsty!” Souza adds, “Order a few extra boutonnieres in case some die or are lost.”

    Photo Courtesy of Melissa Kelsey Photography

    Leave Time for Wedding Day Beauty

    Pampering on your wedding day is a must. It will help you look your best and feel confident and relaxed. Brides often opt for a massage, a manicure, a pedicure, hair styling and/or professional makeup. Grooms might like a hot shave, manicure, pedicure, or massage. I recommend that you get hair cuts, spray tans, waxing, or facials at least two to three days beforehand rather than on your wedding day itself, so that there’s time to correct any mistakes or breakouts.

    Nominate a gift caretaker.

    “Designate in advance someone to take your presents home,” suggests Foss. “Give her a house key so she can have everything there for you when you return.”

    Eat Something Before the Ceremony

    Far too many people don’t eat enough on their wedding day. To keep you from fainting at the altar, or being famished while you’re posing for photos, be sure to eat something while you’re getting ready.

    Say Thank You to Your Parents

    Your parents had a lot to do with making this day great; they probably gave you money, time, and advice to help make your vision happen. But they also raised you to be the amazing person that you are. So be sure to say thanks with a thoughtful gift or a heartfelt letter.

    Photo Courtesy of Swensen Photography

    Give your legal documents to someone responsible.

    “Appoint someone to keep your signed marriage license until the end of the evening so it doesn’t get lost,” says Duncan. “Some honeymoon locations will give you special perks if you show proof that you’re honeymooners. That license may be all you’ll have.”

    Drop Your Bags Off At The Hotel Prior To Your Wedding

    Most hotels are happy to store your luggage for you and even drop it off in your room.  It is one less thing to think about at the wedding and it makes it nice not to have to lug it around with you.

    Breathe and Calm Nerves

    Take a minute to yourself to breathe and calm down. Do some simple relaxation exercises to help manage wedding day stress.

    Contributing Sources: Ask.com, TheBridalGuide.com, TLC Weddings

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    Tipping Etiquette At Your Wedding

    One of the more controversial topics discussed in many wedding threads and on many wedding websites is that of tipping your service providers.  After much research and study I have found that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to tipping.  Where one person will disagree with what I say others will find what I say enlightening and good advice.

    Tipping someone is a way of acknowledging the excellent service they provided for you.  Your wedding should be no different.  I know weddings can be expensive and tipping your service providers becomes an after thought.  I mean many times we think to ourselves, “If they wanted a tip they would have just included it in their price” or “I am not tipping them, I already spent $XX on their services.”   Tipping someone is not law and many vendors do not expect it.  However, Many times we get so caught up in the day that we forget to acknowledge all the people who made it possible.

    The Oxford dictionary defines a tip as a small sum of money given to someone for performing a service. Many wedding professionals do not expect a tip.  However, when it comes to tipping one rule of thumb is did that vendor go above and beyond the call of duty?

    Ever wonder who, how and when you should tip?  Don’t worry, you aren’t alone – not even close. Most of us take a guess at the amount and hope that we are thought of as a generous person rather than a cheapskate.

    When creating your wedding budget it is suggested that you set money aside for tipping your service providers.  This way you have already figured it into your budget so you won’t feel like you are having to spend money you were not planning on spending in the first place.

    Here are just a few guidelines/suggestions to consider if and when you plan on tipping at your wedding.

    Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Beautician – Plan to tip them just as you would for any regular appointment.  15-20% is typically the norm.  If they have assistants helping them another $3 – $5 per assistant is considered a good tip.

    Photo by~Fairytale Hair & Make-up

    Officiants, Clergy, Ministry – Many times officiants do not ask to be paid, let alone tipped. If they are performing your service for free it is suggested that you make an extra donation to the church. If your wedding is performed by a civil employee such as a judge, clerk, or other nonreligious official, then forgo a gratuity. Such officiants are paid a flat rate and are usually not permitted to accept tips or donations — local law may actually prohibit it. A thoughtful card, however, is always appreciated.  There are some officiants who are not tied to a church or a government and in their case tipping would be accepted.  Typically about 10-15% is standard.

    Transportation (chauffeurs, limousine drivers, horse-drawn carriages, etc) – Many times these vendors will include a gratuity directly into their bill.  If they do not or if you want to reward them even more for their service on your wedding day then the norm is to tip them 15%-20% of the total cost of the bill.  If your wedding has run late and you are keeping them longer than originally planned or if the driver has gone above and beyond for you it is highly encouraged to give them a great tip.

    Photography by~Swensen Photography

    Chauffeured Vintage car by~Something Vintage Something Blue

    Catering/Venue Manager – Traditionally the caterers and venue management will calculate a tip into their cost estimate, in the form of a service charge. Many times this tip is divided up amongst the staff that has helped out with the event.  However, if this isn’t the case it is it is highly encouraged to tip at least 15%.  Keep in mind that it isn’t just the head caterer but the Chefs who prepared the food, the servers who attended to your guests needs and the other staff that supported the team.  Make sure that all who helped get a piece of the pie (no pun intended).

    Photo by~Silver Whisk Catering

    Photographer or Videographer – Typically you do not need to tip your photographer or videographer.  However, the same rule applies with other traditional non-tipping services.  If they do a fantastic job go ahead and give them a tip.  If they do not own the business it is especially considerate to tip them $50 bucks or so.

    Wedding Band or DJ – Tipping bands and DJ’s is not generally expected but is always welcomed.  If you do plan on tipping band members $20-$25 per member is a nice tip.  If you plan on tipping your DJ $50 – $100 is a recommended.  Again if the DJ doesn’t own the business it is always nice to tip them.

    Photography by~Tiny Comet

    Delivery and Set up Staff - This includes, florists, cake vendors, decorators etc. – While you don’t need to tip the florist or cake designer or head decorator directly many times someone else will deliver the flowers or cakes and it is always wise to tip them for their service.  A tip of $5 for the delivery is considered a nice tip and for the staff that helped set up and decorate your event $5-$10 per person is a good gratuity.

    Photo by~Design Elite

    Wedding Planners / Designers – Most wedding planners wouldn’t expect a tip.  However, the rule again applies if they do a fantastic job 10% of their bill or commissions is considered a good tip.

    There are obviously other services that can be provided at your wedding.  Covering every little service could and would take forever.  Assign a trusted person (best man, father of the bride or groom etc) to handle the tipping so you can focus on your wedding and your guests.

    One thing most wedding vendors would agree on is that tips are not always expected but are very much appreciated.  That being said there are other ways you can reward your vendors that may even mean more to them in the long run then just a tip. Here are just a few:

    Thank you notes with a “testimonial” of the great service they provided – These notes can go a long way.  Many vendors will use your comments for their advertising purposes. Plus it is nice to know that what they did was appreciated.

    A Personal Letter of Recommendation - Even more than a thank you note a letter of recommendation is a more formal way of letting the world know that a particular vendor has your stamp of approval.

    A Small Gift of Some Kind – Gift cards, small photo albums with pictures of the vendor doing their job, movie tickets etc.

    Referrals – Probably more than anything a personal referral from you to a friend, co-worker or family member will go farther than anything.  Referrals are the number one way for a wedding professional to build and grow their clientele.  If you know of someone getting married make sure they know of the fantastic vendors who helped you with your wedding.  Chances are above anything else referrals are the lifeblood of most wedding professionals business.

    I hope this gives you some good thoughts and ideas.  Remember while there is no law regarding any of this if you feel you were provided with exceptional service make sure the people providing the service are aware of how much you appreciate what they did for you.

    That is through referrals and recommendations.  Nothing means more to a wedding professional than loyalty and referrals from the people they worked with.

    One piece of advice I would give to every bride is this.  If you are keeping your vendors at your wedding longer than you had originally agreed upon make sure you do something extra special for these vendors.  Do not take advantage of them.  Yes it is your wedding day, but they have lives and families too.  If you are keeping them at your wedding longer than you had agreed upon for any reason it is very important that you reward them in some form or another for going above and beyond.  Also, if a vendor does something for you at no extra charge or if you receive a free service for whatever reason you will want to keep that in mind as you consider their tips.

    Sources: theknot.com, marthastewartweddings.com, wedaholic.com, frugalbride.com, thebrideandgroom.com, mywedding.com, theweddingchannel.com
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    POST WEDDING SHOW TIPS AND IDEAS FOR PLANNING YOUR WEDDING

    For those of you who attended the Bridal Extravaganza on Saturday we want to thank you for making it such a wonderful show.  We hope you had a great time and were able to take care of most if not all of your wedding needs.

    We like to share some tips and advice for you as you sort through all the information you received at the show as to how to get the most out of the time you spent there and how to make sure you get what you are looking for.

    1- Call the vendors you are interested in meeting with immediately.  Especially if you are planning a weekend wedding or a wedding on a special date or any weekend in May – September.    If you are interested in booking with a vendor DO NOT wait.  Chances are very good that you could lose that date to another bride.  Many of Utah’s best professionals are already booking through the end of the year as well as into next year.

    2- Ask vendors for referrals.  If the vendor you want is booked ask them for a referral.  Most professionals in the industry have great relationships with each other and many of them will kindly recommend someone who does quality work in their same field.  Typically they will recommend someone who does similar work as they do to ensure you are happy with what you get.

    3- Have a backup plan – If the vendor you want is booked and doesn’t have any referrals make sure you know of other vendors you want to call.  There were over 115 vendors in the show over the weekend.  Keep the show brochure on hand because it has all the contact information for all the vendors.  You can also find vendor information from the show on the Utah Bridal Shows website.  Click here to get to that page.  That list will be on the site for about a month after the show.

    4 – Visit TheBrideandGroom.com daily – This might be a little self promoting but on a daily basis we are updating the site with tips and ideas for your wedding. Many vendors on the site contribute to our blogs and you might be able to find great inspiration for your wedding planning.  You might also find a vendor that you didn’t see at the show.

    5 – Do not stress – If you go back and read the featured wedding blogs that we have posted over the years you will almost inevitably see the same thing.  We ask the bride what their #1 recommendation to other brides is and almost 100% of the time they say the same thing, “DO NOT STRESS over your wedding details”.  It is one day in your life, don’t worry if things don’t go off exactly as planned.  Sit back and have fun.  Remember part of the fun is getting there.  Enjoy the planning time together but DO NOT have the planning cause issues between you and your fiance.

    We will be posting some pictures from the show very soon.

    Best wishes in your wedding planning,

    The Bridal Extravaganza & TheBrideandGroom.com

    THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ATTENDING & WE WILL SEE YOU AT OUR  AUTUMN SHOW

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    Dream Wedding Giveaway Sponsors For This Weekend’s Bridal Extravaganza at La Caille~Utah Bridal Show

    We are super excited for this weekend’s Bridal Extravaganza, and even more excited about the “Dream Wedding Giveaway”.   One lucky couple that attends this weekends Bridal Show at La Caille will win this incredible Dream Wedding Package.  Here is what our winners will win:
    Wedding Venue~ La Caille Restaurant
    Wedding Dress~ Bridal Closet
    Tuxedo’s~ Tuxedo’s by Lee
    Men’s Rings~ Men’s Rings For Less
    Hair and Make-up~ Versa Artistry
    Flowers~ Lizy Lilies
    First Night Accommodations~ Anniversary Inn

    Be sure to come visit these fantastic wedding professionals as well as the many other talents wedding vendors that will be at the show.  Come plan your wedding all in one day this Saturday, July 19th at La Caille Resturant.  We look forward to seeing you there.

    Click HERE to register for the upcoming Bridal Extravaganza that will be at La Caille Restaurant on July 19th.  Come & see all of the incredible Dream Wedding Sponsors as well as many other talented wedding vendors.

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    Sound Financial Tips and Advice For Soon To Be Weds

    Financial talks with those soon to get married is kind of like talking to a wall.  Most young couples in love don’t think that finances will ever be an issue for them, after all they can just “live on love.”  Funny thing about living on love is that the bill collector doesn’t care about you “living on love” and soon when you are financially stressed it makes it a lot tougher to “live on love.”

    Here is a great article for soon to be weds on how to talk about finances before they “tie the knot.”  That way they can more than just “live on love” but also live without financial stress.

    Getting married isn’t just a union based on love, but one often beset by at least one partner’s financial troubles.

    Before you stand at the altar, it is important to know where you stand financially as a couple. You aren’t just joining together your hopes and dreams, but also combining your money habits, spending patterns and even past debt.

    As both the average marriage age and student debt loads rise, it is likely at least one partner will enter the marriage with significant debt. The average student loan debt is now more than $25,000, and the average credit card debt is almost $5,000 per borrower. These debts can cause significant stress on a new marriage. Revealing all debts early can ease the stress, and help the new couple start paying it down as soon as possible.

    Getting married does not automatically make you responsible for debts incurred by your spouse before the marriage. Your partner’s debt will only show up on your credit history once you are added to the accounts. However, the debt will still affect you when it comes to your household’s income since there will be a lot less money to save, pay other bills or spend in ways that are much more enjoyable than debt payments.

    Here are 10 financial tips for newlyweds:

  • Compare spending habits.
  • Don’t assume your spouse shares your beliefs about money–the spending and saving habits may surprise you. Watch how they use money. A free spender before marriage will probably be a free spender after marriage.

  • Before the wedding, reveal everything in your financial closet.
  • Be honest about your income, debts, and money problems. Bring out your bank statements from the past twelve months to show what you did with your money. Discuss your strengths and weaknesses with money.

  • Each of you should get a copy of your credit reports from the three credit bureaus.
  • This will give you a clear picture of credit accounts, debts, and how creditors will judge you. Aim to get your scores over 750 to receive the lowest interest rates for your first mortgage and other loans.

  • If your partner has been married before, find out about their financial obligations to the ex-spouse and children.
  • Avoid credit card debt.
  • The best rule of thumb is simply, “if you can’t pay for something with cash, you can’t afford it.”

    If you have a credit card balance, pay as much as you can above the minimum each month.

    If you receive gift money, a bonus, a second job or a tax refund, use this to pay off your debt. You can even make micropayments multiple times during the month to pay off your balance faster. Eat a meal at home and immediately apply the money you saved to your credit card balance.

  • Before the first bills come in, decide who will pay them and when this will take place.
    If you have separate accounts, know which account pays each bill. Also notify creditors of your name change and new address.
  • Reduce your debt-to-available credit ratio.
    This will help improve your credit score. Your monthly debt, including your mortgage, should not exceed 35% of your gross income.
  • Each spouse should have a credit card in his or her own name to build an individual credit score.
    Keep that card for a long time. Use the card for several purchases each month and pay the bill in full immediately. Building a long term payment history with one or two credit cards is an important factor in your credit score.

    –By Bill Hardekopf

    Bill Hardekopf is chief executive of LowCards.com, which compares and rates more than 1,000 credit cards. He is the co-author of “The Credit Card Guidebook.”

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