Is A New Year’s Eve Wedding A Good Idea?

We just started 2013, but that doesn’t mean someone out there is looking to plan a New Year’s Eve wedding for this year. But is it a good idea?


new year's eve wedding

A New Year’s Eve wedding can be a blast. It’s hard to imagine anyone not having a good time with all that good cheer going around. Symbolically, what could be better than starting the year off with your new status? On the other hand, it’s not a wholly positive thing. If you’re thinking of having a New Year’s Eve wedding, make sure you consider some of these issues.

Vendors and venues may not be available, and those who are available will probably be more expensive. During most of the year you’re only competing with other brides and grooms for dates, but on New Year’s Eve there are many more opportunities for professionals. They need to charge a premium for their services.

Time of day If you’re getting married on New Year’s Eve your party has to last until after midnight. If you were already planning on having a nighttime wedding, that’s not a big deal. But, if you wanted a more casual, earlier event, you’re out of luck. If you want to start the wedding early enough for older relatives and those with kids to enjoy, then you’re talking about an extra long reception.

Anniversaries You will never in your life be able to celebrate your anniversary with something that’s both special and affordable. On the plus side, you will never forget your anniversary.

Guests This depends on who your friends are. Some may be psyched that you’ve saved them the cost of planning a big New Year’s Eve out. Some may be aggravated that you’ve decided how they should celebrate New Year’s Eve. Some people will already have the time off of work, others may find it impossible to get the time off.

Planning time Depending on your job, you may automatically have the week before your wedding off and not need to take vacation time. At the very least, you’ll have the day after your wedding off. Unless of course, you’re in the service industry, in which case, good luck with that. Keep in mind, too, that if you’re planning a normal sized wedding with the standard fixings it will take longer to plan. That’s because of our first point about vendors and venues. You’ll need to get the date locked in early.

What do you think? Are you a fan of New Year’s Eve weddings? Tell us in the comments.

 

(Reblooged from GroomsAdvice.com)

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Bride’s Biggest Budget Buster…

I’m always looking to help my clients save money without sacrificing style. Getting the biggest bang for your buck on wedding day comes by combining the ceremony and the reception. Not only is it easier on your guests (particularly if they are mostly from out of town), but it can save a bride BIG bucks! Most venues are prepared to handle both the ceremony and reception for your big day. Here’s a quick list of how this simple, convenient decision can save you some real money!

*Floral decor can be reused for both the ceremony and reception

wedding-decor-ideas

*Transportation costs reduced for both you and your groom, as well as your guests

*Shortened time frame for photographers, videographers, and event planners with fewer travel expenses.

*Avoid the rental fee of a church, or other location for the ceremony

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*Uplighting and staging can also be reused for both the ceremony and reception

 

(Reblogged From Circle City Designers)

Planning Your Outdoor Wedding

Even though right now isn’t ideal to have a wedding outside since winter has just started, it’s still pretty popular to get married and party outside during the rest of the year.. Here’s some things to keep in mind if you are planning an outdoor wedding…

a-brides-guide-to-an-outdoor-wedding

New Year, New Bridal Shows

So that most popular time of year to get engaged has just passed so many new girls have a sparkly ring on their left hand and now they are ready to start planning their big day.

washing-dc-proposal-engagement-16

Here’s a look at some of the upcoming bridal shows across South Carolina! MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!

 

CHARLESTON:

* Sunday, January 13th – The Charleston Bridal Show – The Marriott Hotel (Lockwood Blvd) – Noon until 5pm

* Sunday, February 17th – Southern Bridal Show – Charleston Area Convention Center – Noon until 5pm

* Sunday, August 18th – Southern Bridal Show – Charleston area Convention Center – Noon until 5pm

 

COLUMBIA:

* Sunday, January 6th – WNOK Bridal Expo – Columbia Metro Convention Center – 1pm until 5pm

* Sunday, February 24th – St. Andrews Woman’s Club Bridal Showcase – State Fair Grounds – Noon until 5pm

* Sunday, July 21st – 2013 Summer Carolina Bridal Showcase – Columbia Metro Convention Center – 1pm until 5pm

* Sunday, September 22nd –2013 Fall Carolina Bridal Showcase – Columbia Metro Convention Center – 1pm until 5pm

 

MYRTLE BEACH/FLORENCE:

* Sunday, January 6th – BRAVO! Bridal Expo – Florence Civic Center

 

UPSTATE:

* Saturday, January 5th – Weddings With Style – Hyatt Downtown Greenville – 10am until 3pm

* Saturday, January 19th – Anderson Wedding Festival – Anderson Civic Center – 10am until 3pm

* Saturday, January 26th – Spartanburg Wedding Festival- Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium – 10am until 3pm

* Saturday, February 9th – TD Wedding Festival – TD Convention Center, Greenville – 10am until 3pm

At The Center…

wedding centerpiece ideas A centerpiece may be the focal point on a table but it does not have to be too extreme or cost you the earth. Many brides have created something special with a few flowers and a mason jar. Just because you choose something that is DIY or looks DIY does not mean you have to do it yourself, it could however land up saving you a lot of money at the end of the day if you did.

7 tips on how to have/make a fabulous centerpiece on a DIY budget.

1. Buy some of the items yourself. If you choose to have a glass jar or book in the centerpiece ask the decor company if you can supply your own and get a discount on the centerpieces for doing so. If you are doing the centerpiece yourself buy books from a second-hand store or use some of your own. Buy the glass jars and jugs directly from the supplier if you can.

2. Be aware of things when you shop or page through magazines.
You will often find the item you are looking for, for cheaper when shopping around or reading the captions below the images in bridal magazines. You might even find an idea that is similar and equally beautiful but is less effort and less expensive.

3. When doing a centerpiece yourself ALWAYS go straight to suppliers or factory stores first. Smaller stores have to put a further mark-up on products, which might be convenient but it will be more expensive. You will also be exposed to a wider range of items at the supplier.

4. Choose flowers that are in season or buy fresh bunches. Buy bunches of fresh flowers from your local flower shop and arranging those in jars or vases. This will save you a fortune.  When you find a bunch you like be sure to take a photo,  and ask if it will be available at the time of your wedding.

5. Practice makes perfect. If you plan on doing it yourself, the flower arranging can be a bit tricky so practice as many times as you need to. Don’t get frustrated as having something on the table you designed or created from scratch will be worthwhile. It gives your wedding that extra personal touch. Take photos so that the day before the wedding the person arranging it for you knows exactly how you want it arranged.

6. A little bit of ribbon and lace can go a long way. Spice things up with some ribbon, twine or lace to give your centerpiece that finished look. If you’ve chosen a colourful or vintage tin then you might want to skip the ribbon or lace, see what works and go with it.

7. Make sure to place your table number on or close to your centerpiece. If your table number is fairly plain this will bring it to life and complement the centerpiece.

Have a look at the lovely images below for inspiration and centerpiece ideas.

Centerpiece book pastel shades wedding

Image credit: The High Life Suite

Table setting centerpiece with books and mason jarsImage credit: Fanantique

Elegant vintage centerpiece tin

Image credit: Heart Love Weddings

Centerpiece and table setting Rustic

Image credit: Miss to Missus

White flower centerpiece in silver vase

Image credit: Tipsy Bride

Yellow modern centerpiece

Wine bottle centerpiece rustic

Image credit: My Wedding

Wine bottle centerpiece table number

Image credit:  Martha Stewart

Modern colourful flower centerpiece

Image credit: Brides

Colourful Vintage centerpiece DIY

Image credit: Sour Cherry

Rustic vintage colourful tin centerpiece

Image credit: Martha Stewart

Modern rustic vintage centerpiece

Image credit: Aileen Tran

Vintage rustic bowl centerpiece

Rustic wood centerpiece DIY

Image credit: HWTM

Please click on Hwtm link to see the full tutorial.

Rustic flower wood centerpiece

Image credit: One Wed

Colourful flower centerpiece wood

Image credit: Brides

DIY Jar centerpiece

Image credit: Heather Spriggs

Centerpiece birdcage vintage

Image credit: Sawdust and Cream

Vintage jar centerpiece

Image credit: Ruffled Blog

White flower wood rustic centerpiece

Rustic colourful centerpiece

Image credit: Bravo Bride

White jug centerpiece vintageImage credit: Knots and Kisses

Milk jug centerpiece vintage rustic

Image credit: Rock My Wedding

Colourful flowers and jar centerpiece

Image credit: Elizabeth Anne Designs

Blue Mason jar centerpiece

Image credit: Magnet Street

Centerpiece purple books and jarImage credit: Celebration

So many pretty ideas to choose from! Remember to never underestimate your creativity when creating a centerpiece.

 

Blog Inspired by TOAST

Insight Into Vendor Pricing

Today, I thought I would just provide some clarification and insight into things regarding vendor pricing that I never knew about or understood when I was a bride…

Pricing: This is the big thing, because I don’t care how much money you have, you want to get the best price on everything. I thought it when I was a bride and I’ve heard many other people voice the same- “Why is everything SO expensive for a wedding?” Simply put- weddings are people’s jobs. It’s their livelihood and what puts food on the table. Prices that you are given are what the vendor has decided they need to charge to make a living- not all of the money that you pay vendors goes into their bank accounts to stay forever. That being said, vendors’ prices can vary because of QUALITY. It could be the quality of flowers, the quality of chivari chairs, the quality of equipment, or the quality of the service you’re getting.

Service fees: “Why the heck do they need an extra fee? That’s ridiculous.” A service fee covers costs for vendors. If they have any employees, that pays them. It covers any extra costs and materials for your wedding- like floral foam for your centerpieces, or tape to tape down electrical cords for your DJ. It’s there so you’re not being nickel and dimed for every little thing– because ultimately that wastes your time and the vendor’s time.

 

Delivery: Simply put, it covers gas for a vehicle to get to your wedding and deliver everything. If a truck or van needs to be rented, the delivery price covers that as well.

 

Tax: If you are getting anything that is an “object” you have to be taxed. Flowers, rentals, linens- the rule of thumb for me is if you can hold it, it’s taxed. (A service like planning is not taxed, because it’s all just paying for time.) You go to the store and buy anything- food, a dress, shoes- and you know that it’s not going to be exactly the same price that’s listed on the price tag. Unfortunately that’s how it is with everything, weddings included.

I could go on and on, but these are the general things that I myself had no clue about. I hope I was able to clear some things up for some of you! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! 🙂

How To Have Great Vendor Relationships

 

Let’s talk vendor relationships! A great vendor relationship is all about communication and trust. Sounds like we’re in couples therapy, right? But it’s true! You spend a lot of time with your vendors- some more than others- and communication and trust are the keys to having a great relationship with them! So here are some tips for having great vendor relationships!

Respond! Whether you’re emailing or calling with an inquiry or you’re trying to schedule a meeting, responding in a timely fashion is always great.   

Understand! At the same time, understand that not all of your vendors are going to be sitting in front of the computer waiting on emails all day. Often times, they’re out and about, going to meetings, prepping for weddings, and working at weddings. Give someone a day before freaking out about them not responding… and if it’s the weekend, give them until Tuesday, since many vendors take Monday off after a weekend of work! 

Communicate! It’s important to communicate your expectations and needs. Of course, it helps to start your vendor relationship with the communication of these things, but sometimes your needs will change along the way. If you change your mind about what flowers you want, your wedding style, or anything at all really, SPEAK UP! Your vendors can’t read your mind, so be sure you speak it! They all want you to have an amazing wedding too!! 🙂 

Spend Time With Them! It’s a good idea to spend some time with the vendors that you’re going to spend lots of time with- like your planner, your photographer, videographer, etc. If they’re going to be there on your wedding day with you, spending time with them will ensure that you’re comfortable with them, which will in turn yield a better wedding day for you. 🙂

 

Respect! Haha, this really is starting to sound like couples counseling isn’t it? 😉 Just as you want your vendors to respect you, be respectful of them as well. Respect the time that they have set aside for you for meetings, their hours of business (a.k.a try not to text them at 10pm), the role that they have in your wedding, and that they also have a life beyond weddings. It seems like common sense, but sometimes it’s not always remembered. 🙂 

Trust! You’ve hired your vendors for a reason. Trust their opinions and their expertise. When they tell you that your ceremony needs to take place at X time because the sun is setting soon after, go with that, despite what you thought. They’ve done weddings way more than you have, so they know what’s best. In fact, use their expertise to your advantage! There’s no reason to stress out about a certain decision- they might be able to give you some insight to help you decide! 🙂 

I truly believe that one of the best ways to have an excellent wedding is by having great vendor relationships- almost like being on a “team”.  I hope this insight will help some of you have great relationships with YOUR vendors, and thus, have GREAT weddings! 🙂

Wedding Entertainment

Your wedding is a celebration of you and your fiance’s love for each other. A celebration, of course, calls for entertainment!

The most common entertainment option is a DJ.A DJ is inexpensive and has the potential to provide a great deal of entertainment. They also are able to play all types of music, whereas a band can only play a few types of music. When choosing a DJ, make sure they have recommendations from other clients, because some may not be appropriate for a wedding.

Courtesy: PartyTime DJ’s

A band has the immediate WOW factor in the entertainment arena. They are, however, more costly than a DJ. A good band will know the flow of weddings, and they will coordinate with your planner so they can emcee the event. They’ll keep the dance floor packed and the music flowing. A band can add a certain something to a wedding with the live music and interaction.

If you can’t decide between a DJ or a band, you can have both! Some weddings will have a band in the early hours of the reception, and a DJ later on to keep the party going. It’s a great way to come to a happy medium if you’re torn between the two.

Another option for entertainment is to have an instrumental group. This will provide a more formal feel to the evening. A string quartet is the most common instrumental group at weddings. Instrumental groups are a great option for a cocktail hour or a cocktail and hor d’ouerve reception.

There are many different ways that you can provide entertainment to your guests. Some are run-of-the-mill, and some are incredibly different! Whatever it is that you decide, make sure it’s something that YOU will enjoy too!

Just Engaged?

Labor Day has passed, autumn is almost upon us ….which means it’s the start of “engagement season”! (Yes, we have a term for it.) I don’t know about you, but my Facebook page is starting to blow up with engagement announcements! I absolutely love newly engaged couples because there is SO much love and excitement around getting engaged!

But then soon after that excitement wears off, you’re hit with the reality of the fact that you have to plan a wedding– something that you most likely have no clue about, right?! Sure, you’ve been in a wedding or two, or maybe one of your close friends recently got married, but things are different when it’s YOUR wedding! And if you’re anything like me, you have NO idea where to start. Well, don’t fret, because I am here to help you out! I have compiled the 10 things you need to do first to get started with your wedding planning.


1. Set a budget

You shouldn’t be doing anything before sit down and talk about & decide on a budget. Sit down with your parents, family members, or just the two of you, figure out who is contributing, how much they can contribute, and what your total budget will be Then you can move on to #2!

 2. Choose 2-3 possible dates

To be safe, choose 2-3 possible dates to have your wedding. Think of the time of year, the weather, work schedules/vacation time, holidays, and yes, even football season (or whatever sport your fiance/family is crazy about). Then choose your #1 preferred date, and have a #2 and #3 available in case your preferred date isn’t available. This is extremely important because venues book up fast…some even book up to a year and half in advance!

 3. Start your guest list

Of course you want to invite everyone you know to your wedding. But here’s my warning for you: the more people you have, the more you have to spend. (This is why you do your budget first.)

Example: You want to have 200 guests. Your budget is $20,000. This means that you will have $100 per guest. 

So as you see, starting your guest list and knowing your estimated maximum guest count early is super imporant! And keep in mind that guest counts usually go down by the time your wedding day comes around- and believe me… it’ll get really easy to cut the people you haven’t talked to in forever from the guest list.

Here are some ideas on how to control your guest list… or use this flow chart…

 4. Decide on your wedding’s style & colors

Vintage, modern, classic, eclectic, handmade, rustic… there are SO many styles out there! The beauty of “wedding styles” is that they also coincide with decor and details, and so knowing from the beginning will help you later on.  No need to design your whole wedding right now though- just know the general look and feel of how you want your wedding to be.  It’s also a good time to decide on what colors you may want to have incorporated into your big day… Once you know that, it’ll be easier to move on to #5… 

 5. Decide on your venue

So all of the first 4 steps can essentially be done all in one sitting. That’s easy, right? Well once you have all of those decisions made, you can start researching and visiting venues. When you’re researching and you find a venue that you like, I highly recommend contacting them and asking if they have any of your possible dates available. If they do, then go ahead and schedule a time to tour the venue. Give yourself a few (1 to 3 max) weeks to tour all of your possibilities (depending on how long you have before your wedding date of course), crunch numbers, envision your wedding there (or not), and then book your venue! Once you have your venue booked (meaning deposit made and contract signed), your date is secured… you are just steps away from getting MARRIED!

6. Research

First and foremost, if you didn’t already hire a wedding planner during the first 5 steps…I strongly suggest you consider one….They will be able to give you great recommendations and save you time & frustration!

Vendors:

Researching potential vendors is HUGE. There are so many great wedding professionals out there now, and you want time to be able to choose the right ones for you. You definitely don’t want to be rushed, but at the same time, time is of the essence. (If you don’t have a wedding planner, go to here’s what you need to know when hiring your vendors.)

When you’re researching, be sure to check out the vendor’s portfolio, bio, pricing info (if they have it available) and their blog. Feel free to do research on every single type of vendor you need, but the ones that are crucial and book up quickly are the photographer, florist, and caterer (if applicable).

Moving on, the next steps are going to pertain to these 3 things. [After you’ve completed the following steps for the previously mentioned vendors, then you’ll move on to your entertainment, event decor, rentals, invitations, videographer and cake. And then you’ll go on to hair and makeup, transportation, tux rentals, favors, and any extras.]

Part 2 of Research is…

WEDDING DRESS!

Yes, it’s in caps because it’s *that* exciting! Isn’t it pretty much the very first thing you wanted to do- look at wedding dresses?! I mean, come on, who doesn’t like wedding dresses? 😉 But in all seriousness, you want to be sure that you research the types of dresses you like and the stores that carry them.

7. Inquire With and Interview Vendors

So by now you’ve done your research and you know what vendors you like. Now it’s time to contact the vendor, find out if they’re available for your date, ask about pricing/cost (if you want to), and schedule a consultation. I recommend meeting with up to three of each type of vendor, one if you already absolutely love them and they sell you right away, two if you’re pretty set but want to know other options, and three if you’re not sure. It just really depends on you, your decision making skills, and your taste. 🙂

8. Hire Your Vendors

Of course the next step is to make your pick & hire one of those vendors that you’ve met and fallen in love with. After your consultations, try to let vendors know your decision a week or two from when they provide you with an estimate/proposal. And then hooray! You’re one step closer to your wedding day! Important note: Once you’ve hired someone, please let the other vendors that you met with know that you won’t be going with them. I know it sucks to do it and yes, you might feel awkward, but it has to be done- they have to know! A nice, simple email will suffice.

9: WEDDING DRESS!

Alright, so you have some of your vendors booked… now it’s time to take a break and go wedding dress shopping! I don’t think this needs much explanation.

10: Design & Detail Inspiration

Remember back in the first 5 steps when I had you decide on your wedding style? Well with the second round of vendors you will meet with next (florals, decor, invitations, rentals, cake) you’ll need to have a good idea of what you want your wedding to be like, so it’s time to focus on design and details! What do you want your wedding to look like? Design is more of a general term, and details is more of the specifics (and where your personality can really shine through too!). This too is something that requires lots of research… which in the wedding world we like to call INSPIRATION! 🙂 I’m sure many of you have probably already started saving photos of things that you like and are Pinning away for your dream wedding. After all, this big, beautiful wedding world here on the internet does almost solely revolve around design and details! But you want to make sure that you have enough inspiration to be able to accurately convey to your potential vendors what it is you want for your wedding. And then in the same breath, you don’t want to have too much inspiration either!

Don’t forget to bring your inspiration with you to your consultations! You can probably even just pull up your Pinterest boards in your meetings- which I think is absolutely amazing.

Once you get to the last step for your first set of vendors, then move on to the next set! Wedding planning is like a roller coaster- you’ll go really fast at full-speed, then you’ll slow down, and then you’ll speed up again. Yes it’s normal, and it’s okay to have a lull in planning. Basically that roller coaster ride just keeps going until you get married. 😉

Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Let’s face it. Just because you’re a “bride”, it doesn’t mean that you should act a certain way on your wedding day. All brides are different. Because  they’re people, and people have different personalities. But no matter who or what or where, I’m pretty sure that most brides want to enjoy their wedding day, right?

You’ve been planning this day for months, constantly immersed in the details, and having nightmares dreams about what will go on during your wedding day. You can’t help but worry/think about that one goofy groomsman or if guests’ favors will be put in the correct place. And so, a few tips for you to help you enjoy your wedding day…

* Have a day-of coordinator. I know, I’m a broken record about it, but it’s totally the truth. Keep in mind that a day-of coordinator (aka DOC) doesn’t just walk in on the day-of your wedding. A DOC will work with you weeks prior to your wedding to make sure all of the details are taken care of. You won’t have to worry about how things are going to get done while you’re busy getting beautified on the day of your wedding. And you will have time to soak up your wedding day in all of it’s lovey/joyful/amazing glory.

* Have a general timeline. You don’t have to stick to the timeline exactly, but it’s always good to have the order of events in mind. (Wedding 101: Wedding Day Timeline) If you have a DOC, she will handle the timeline for you and make sure you’re not running behind or dilly dallying too much. If you don’t have a DOC, know what time you have to be ready, and then plan to be ready before that time. We all know that the worst feeling is being rushed, and that feeling can be even worse on your wedding day.

* Don’t forget to spend some time with your new husband! A first look is the best way to do this, plus it greatly eases any issues with available photo time. If you don’t do a first look, definitely make sure to sneak away for photos with just the two of you!

* Family photo organization. Let family members know that they will be wanted for photos after the ceremony so they don’t wander off.

 * And the ultimate wedding day tip: no matter what happens, remember that at the end of the day you will be married!

If you have a tip to add, please share it in the comments! I hope everyone is able to enjoy their wedding day even more now!