Archive for the ‘Tips {for the Brides and Grooms}’Category

Bridal Bling: Sparkling Clean Diamond Rings, Jewelry and Crystal

James Allen

James Allen

Your wedding day is your day to shine!   You’ll want to pay close attention to the details – especially since everyone else surely will!

Rock that bling!

Clean your wedding jewelry and engagement ring a few days before the wedding so it sparkles like brand new!  This is simple enough to do at home – here are some great tips that will work great on gold jewelry and most precious gemstones:

1. Soak the jewelry in small bowl of warm sudsy water with a mild liquid detergent.  A soft toothbrush can be used to gently brush the jewelry while it is in the suds.  Rinse jewelry items in warm water and pat dry with a soft lint-free cloth or tissue paper.

2. Soak the jewelry in small bowl of cold water and household ammonia (half and half) for thirty minutes.  Once again a soft toothbrush can be used around the mounting.  Swish in the solution again, then rinse and air dry on a soft cloth.

3. Use a brand name liquid jewelry cleaner and follow the instructions given on the label.

4.  Using a baking soda, add a small amount of water to create a paste.  Brush on the paste with a soft toothbrush, rinse under warm running water and let air dry.

Some people swear by a solution of vinegar and warm water, while others prefer to use vodka.  I have also read about using toothpaste as a cleaner, but jewelers seem to discourage this. (Note: Toothpaste and other abrasive substances can scratch your jewelry.)

ring-owner_telegraph_archive

Swarovski bridal necklaces are very popular as they are much more affordable than diamonds and precious gemstones. Cleaning of your Swarovski crystal jewelry should be done on regularly basis by using warm soapy water. You can also use ultrasonic jewelery cleaner on occasional basis. After this, it should be rinsed with warm water and air dried. It’s recommended that you keep your Swarovski bridal jewelry away from make-ups, hair sprays, perfumes and other strong chemicals.

Sparkling Crystal and Glass

I have seen so many incredibly gorgeous crystal and glass pieces at weddings: from Tiffany and Wedgwood to Baccarat and Swarovski! It always surprises me that these items are often not properly cleaned before they are displayed at the wedding ceremony or reception.

All of your personal items – unity candle sets, champagne flutes, picture frames, candy decanters, etc – should be cleaned of finger prints and filmy residue, and all stickers and tags should be removed.

linczakphoto_com_boxTips for removing tags and merchandise labels include GooGone (my favorite), WD-40 (be careful where you use this) and the age old ‘soaking’ technique. Heating the labels with a hairdryer is also helpful in loosening the adhesive glue. Whenever possible, use cotton gloves to handle the items.

Note: Take special care when cleaning heirloom pieces. When in doubt, consult a professional jeweler.

© 2010 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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Orlando Wedding magazine – Q & A with Wedding Planners

Q & A with Wedding Planners as seen in Orlando Wedding Magazine

Orlando Wedding 2010

Orlando Wedding 2010

The debut issue of Orlando Wedding magazine is absolutely enchanting! I would even go so far as to declare it a ‘must read’ for engaged couples in Central Florida!

Among many terrific articles and features was “Q & A with Wedding Planners” by Megan VanWaus.  Not only was I delighted to be quoted in Megan’s piece, I was elated to be featured alongside fellow Association of Bridal Consultants members Kerline Docteur (Joie de Vie Weddings and Events) and Heather Snively (Weddings Unique). I’m proud to share a common bond with these ladies:  Heather and I are both Senior ABC members, and Kerline and I regularly work together on  ABC meetings and projects geared toward educating local association members and wedding professionals.

Good things come in threes they say, and in this case I certainly agree!

06

07 2010

Extreme Chic on a Shoestring – Are you saving or sacrificing?

“We’re on a tight budget.”

Yes, I know (but I don’t say it out loud). Times are tough, money is tight, and everyone is trying to save a buck. But lately, I’ve been hearing this way too much.
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And you wouldn’t believe the trends I’m starting to see! Flower-less centerpieces, DIY linen installations, sub-par vendors, and more! It sounds funny, but in the end, it’s really not.

Maybe you’d like to poll the guests from a recent wedding that I coordinated (notice I said coordinated, NOT planned). The bride contacted me to help her with the reception design and we put together a great look for her. However, she insisted that she wanted the reception to be ‘cocktail style’ – meaning that she wanted the guests to mingle – therefore she only ordered 100 chairs for 200 people…. Hmmmm…. I think you can see where I’m going with this.

“What’s your budget?” I ask. Rarely do I receive a truthful answer, that is, until I quote a price. It’s not a problem because I know my services are not inexpensive. I charge what I’m worth: I’m an educated, experienced, nationally recognized industry professional. I work with clients and couples who realize that what I bring to the event planning process is more than the ability to create a memorable day – I help them create amazing and memorable moments. I am a specialist; it’s like comparing stitches to brain surgery. Shopping Cart

Anyway, I do appreciate that many people are on a budget. Whenever possible I do the best I can to meet them where they’d like to be. After all, I love what I do, so for me there’s a lot more to it than the paycheck.

In a previous post, I wrote about how Brides and Grooms can protect themselves while shopping for vendors. Check it out – there is a lot of good advice there. This post centers on something different; it’s about being realistic. There seems to be a trend towards style over substance. Let’s go back to my story about the bride with the 200 guests. Do you think those guests cared how good the room looked when they realized they might have to stand for the rest of the evening? Nope – they bailed at their first opportunity. Do you think they felt valued and appreciated? Nope.

It’s my responsibility to tell my clients if something won’t work, or doesn’t work well. I educate them. What I’m seeing lately is so many people (future brides and grooms, potential clients) who are out of touch with what things cost being serviced by vendors who want to say yes (because they need the business) – this is not exactly a recipe for success.

My free advice for today is this: If you truly can’t afford the wedding of your dreams – put it off and save more money. If you want to save an extreme amount of money without cutting corners, scale back your guest list, move up your wedding date and consider a week-day event. Also, if you’re planning a wedding or special event be a good host! – that’s just good manners.

Preferred Vendor Lists – This Planner’s Take on the Pros and Cons

The Preferred Vendor List

(c) fotonuova.com

(c) fotonuova.com

In it’s simplest form, a Preferred Vendor List is a compilation of vendors and their contact information. Naturally, one would assume that the vendors featured on the PVL appear to have the endorsement of the preparer, and are intended to help the recipient (client, consumer, etc.) select qualified and reputable vendors. But is there more here than meets the eye?

What You Need to Know
The reality is that the actual purpose or genuine validity of the list may not always be clear to the recipient. Generally speaking, the caterer or venue where your event will be held will likely provide a Preferred Vendor List or an Approved Vendor List. Or you may receive one directly from your wedding or event planner (we hope you are fortunate enough to have one!). It’s also common for other vendors – such as a photographer or DJ – to present a client with a list of their preferred vendors.

5 W’s of Preferred Vendor Lists

Who: It’s imperative to understand who is on the list and why. It’s always a good idea to ask “How do you select the vendors on your list?” or “What is the criteria for becoming a preferred vendor?” and “Do you have personal experience with each of these vendors?”

What: Is the PVL a select list of  tried and true vendors?  Or is it something else?  Try to assess the type of PVL.  Some vendor lists are “pay to be included”  (advertisers) while others are more akin to a list of “favorites”.   In my opinion, the first type is the best.  The second two list types have little if any value. Why? Because they are not based on specific criteria or qualifications. You can’t possibly know whether a vendor is on a list because they wrote a check, give or receive a referral fee, or have a cross referral agreement (I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine).

When: “How recently has this list been updated?” The answer may surprise you!

Where: Where are the vendors located? Some lists are based proximity (such as nearby to the venue)… But how convenient is it for you to meet with them? You may prefer to hire someone who is based closer to where you reside.

Why: If you are able to qualify the list as a good resource, then it’s wise to give strong consideration to the vendors listed. Why? Consider this example: My company prepares a custom list for each of our clients based on budget, personality, style and positive past experiences. I feel that it’s extremely important to tailor my PVL to the client because no two clients have the same needs, personality or style.

PROS and CONS of Preferred Vendor Lists

PRO: Vendors on a PVL may offer you a discount; you should always ask “Do you offer special pricing or exclusive promotions to couples getting married at Such-and-such Hotel?”

PRO: Vendors on a PVL typically have better knowledge of a property. They won’t get lost, they know where to go once they arrive, they know who to speak with if they need something (instead of coming to you with their issue) and what is expected of them. Hence, you won’t find a flip-flop wearing DJ, chronically-late officiate, or a beer-guzzling photographer on a PVL.

CON: Vendors on a PVL may not be the best bet for you IF the person who created the list is not in tune with what today’s couple’s are looking for. (This problem is more common if you are not in a metropolitan area.)

CON: Sometimes venues and hotels are reluctant to work with vendors they don’t know (and with good reason). You may need approval from the venue in order to bring in ‘outside’ vendors.

PRO:  If the PVL is comprised of vendors who have built a relationship with the caterer, venue or planner, then you can rest assured that you are being referred to trusted professionals.

CON: If the PVL is comprised of paid advertisers, you certainly would want to know that up front, and that information should be disclosed to you.

Related post : Hello – I’d like to be added to your Approved Vendor List

A Flair for Affairs is a preferred planner and coordinator for many Central Florida wedding locations, including Mission Inn Resort and Club, Wydham Orlando Resort, Casa Feliz, Buena Vista Palace, Isleworth Country Club, Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and many others.

© 2009-2010 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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06 2010
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