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

Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Planner

Earlier today I came across this quote on the BrideTide Blog:

“You don’t hire a wedding planner for what they do, you hire them for what they know. Most brides only plan one wedding their entire lives while a wedding planner has the experience and understanding of coordinating numerous celebrations for each diverse individual client. Relying on a professional wedding planner to refine the details of the biggest day of your life is not only practical, it’s an intelligent way of minimizing the opportunities for ineffectively handling any unforeseen situations that may arise.”   Rudy, Founder of BrideTide

It’s difficult for wedding planners to make statements like this without sounding like we’re “tooting our own horn”.  But I felt that Rudy’s point was presented well, and I am very pleased to share it.  Additionally, I feel that it’s hugely beneficial for brides and grooms to hear someone else’s perspective.

photo by Kevin Keelan

photo by Kevin Keelan

The experience and expertise that we bring to the table can be priceless throughout the planning process as well as on the wedding day.  I know that we have ‘saved the day’ many times and in many different ways. Sometimes it seems that clients see the value of our services most clearly on the day of the event.   Our finely tuned organizational skills, natural ability to multitask and intuitive improvisation allows us to direct the event as if we are conducting an orchestra.  After the event, we always receive glowing compliments about how well everything turned out.  Recently at one of our weddings, we were quite surprised when the Minister led off the dinner prayer by saying “Let us all thank the Wedding Planner for putting together this beautiful event”.

But, I must add that what we ‘do’ is equally valuable. I think a simple clarification to Rudy’s message can be made to say that the bride & groom should have realistic expectations and/or a mutual understanding of what their chosen planner will do for them (as per their service agreement, which can vary widely). Truth be told, there’s a lot we can do and amazing magic we can work – only we don’t have a magic wand, so we need to charge accordingly.

For more insight into the benefits of hiring a wedding planner, be sure to read “Do you REALLY Need a Wedding Planner”

© 2009 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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Pomander Balls: Perfect for Weddings and Events

Rose and Carnation Floral Pomander

Rose, Carnation Aisle Pomander

I love, love, love pomander balls! For starters, they are incredibly versatile! Pomander balls (also known as kissing balls) can be used as aisle decor, table decor, personal flowers, cake toppers and accent decor.

Pomanders begin with a styrofoam or oasis sphere: oasis is used for floral pomanders because it can be saturated with water and styrofoam can be used for any other style which is does not require water or moisture (such as silk, tissue paper, etc.).

Flower Girl Pomander-jeffhawkins.com

Flower Girl

Pomanders can be constructed in a varety of sizes – it all depends on the size of the sphere that’s used for the base. And don’t forget: once you cover the sphere completely, it’s size will grow significantly – anywhere form 4″ to 6″ on average!

While somewhat fragile (due to their construction), they can easily be moved and reused throughout the day if handled with care.

Rose Pomander Centerpiece

Rose Pomander Centerpiece

Rose Pomander Centerpiece

Rose Pomander Centerpiece

There’s no disputing the fact that pomanders deliver a lot of look! While they can be quite pricey when constructed with roses -due to the shear number of blooms required to give a fully rounded look- the cost can be controlled if careful attention is given to the overall size and design.

Beachy Carnation Pomander - brides.com

Beachy Carnation Pomander - brides.com

Tissue Paper Pomander Ball

Tissue Paper Pomander

For example, hydrangeas are an economical alternative to roses or carnations. Pomanders constructed from non-organic flowers (silks) may offer some savings, be made in advance (if it’s a DIY project) and can also be re-used. Or, you may want to try paper pomanders! Pomanders constructed from tissue paper are extremely affordable and deliver colorful & stylish impact equal to that of it’s floral counterpart.

© 2009 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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Still Hot! {Tips for a Sensational Send-off with Sparklers!}


We seem to get an incredible number of requests for sparkler exits! And why not? – it’s an awesome and affordable photo op! However, there’s often more to coordinating a sparkler exit than meets the eye! While sparklers are generally safe when used as intended, they still require careful handling. So, I’ve prepared some simple tips to help you plan a safe and sensational send off!

Tip #1 – Purchase the right sparklers:

Ideally, you should be looking for the metal rod type in a length that’s either 14″ or 20″ long. Shorter sparklers (8″ or 10″) will burn out too quickly for most staged exits, unless it’s for an intimate group.

Morning Glories are attached to wooden rods (sticks) and have 3 distinct burning phases – usually a red flame for about 20 seconds, then a crackle/snapping phase for 20 seconds, and finishing off with 20 seconds of a green/white flame. Since Morning Glories tend to drop small glowing particles (think of burning tissue paper) they must be used with extreme caution. It’s truly frightening to think of these fiery particles landing on skin, hair or clothing during a staged exit, so I avoid them at all costs.

Tip #2 – Displaying and Discarding Sparklers:

One of the best ways to display sparklers is to fill a pretty painted pail or metal urn with white sand and insert the sparkler rods into the sand. This way, the sparklers will stand upright, and the sand base will provide the weight needed to prevent the display from tipping. Since the receptacle can get quite heavy once the sand and sparklers are added, it’s best to assemble this nearby to the area where the exit will take place, if at all possible.

On one or two occasions, I’ve seen sparklers placed on the guest tables or at each place setting (like a favor might be placed) but in those cases, they were also shorter than the recommended length, and in my opinion not a very attractive addition to the decor.

It’s important to remember that following the sparkler exit, the rods will be hot and need to be collected with care. The sand filled urn or pail is an ideal receptacle; guests can just place the burned end of the sparkler rods into the sand where they can properly cool down before being placed into the trash. Other things that work well are metal trays, a baker’s sheet cake pan, and heavy duty foil pans; ideally, receptacles should be placed nearby to both the left and right sides of the exit line up.

Tip #3 – How to Use Properly & Safely:

I always carefully consider the number of people to be involved, as well as the size and layout of the space. Naturally, we look for an outdoor location such as a wide walkway, a courtyard or driveway, for these options seem to work best. Before the Bride & Groom exit, we organize the line up of guests so that they are shoulder to shoulder and can hold their sparkler out and away from themselves. This is much safer than a staggered line where guests must reach around each other.

Secondly, we have our staff or a few designated helpers assist with the lighting. We start at the point where the Bride and Groom will begin walking and work our way towards the furthest point. We use butane lighters or sterno fuel (cans) to get the sparklers started – the constant flame is the key! We proceed at intervals – every 5 or 6 people – because a lit sparkler can also light other sparklers; this is an organized approach which speeds the process. A few strategically placed tiki torches also work nicely. Remind guests to take turns lighting their sparklers; it’s unsafe to light multiple sparklers simultaneously.

It’s important to maintain a safe distance from the newly wed couple as they make their way through the line up. Even though the sparklers are relatively harmless, it’s better not to take chances; I avoid creating an ‘arch’ to prevent sparks from falling onto the couple. Likewise, if children are involved, they must be closely supervised; a parent may even want to give their attention to the child’s safety and protection rather than holding a sparkler.

In my experience, if there are more than 100 or so guests participating in the send-off, it becomes more difficult to get the timing of the lighting and exit just right. Whenever this is the case, I suggest that the wedding party send off the Bride and Groom as the other guests watch – this cuts the number of participants down significantly! It’s also an excellent way to control costs.

Skylighter is an excellent online resource for sparklers and realted pyrotechnic products, and they have posted some wonderful pointers and valuable infomation on their website page for Wedding Sparklers .

Photo Credits: Art Faulkner, Elegant Imagery, Misty Miotto

© 2009 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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Do You REALLY Need a Wedding Planner?… {Wedding Advice from a Caterer}

A Flair for Affairs Wedding -Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando - damontucci.com

I love, love, love this blog post by caterer Debi Brim; I’m so excited to be able to share it with our weditorial(tm) readers!

Do You REALLY Need a Wedding Planner? I say, “Heck, YEAH!”
by Debi Brim – Cater It Simple

In this era of cutting back and pinching pennies, it’s only natural for brides to look at what costs they can cut from the budget. And since most of us have been planning our wedding since we were, oh I don’t know …… FOUR!!!! …… we tend to think “oh, it’s just a wedding! Anyone can throw one of those together!” So it’s also natural to think a wedding planner is just an extra expense.

Want to know what I think? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.

“In today’s economy” (a phrase I’ve come to hate more and more each day), it is more important than ever to have a wedding planner.

Planners are the ones who actually SAVE you money:

· They review your contracts to be sure that what you THINK you’re getting is what you’re actually getting.

· They have a huge Rolodex of wedding vendors and can match you up to the ones who can do what you want on the budget you have.

· When touring a venue, the bride is caught up in the emotion of the moment and is only seeing how pretty everything will look. The planner is looking at parking spaces, what condition the restrooms are and where they are located, how and where the bar and the caterer will set up, and are there enough outlets for the DJ and the caterer’s carving station?

· When a bride is talking to the caterer, the bride is in turmoil trying to decide between chicken and fish. The planner is asking what the server/guest ratio is and how much is the cost of each server?

Let me share some stories on how planners have helped brides.

– Bride hires wedding planner after selecting the venue but before signing the venue contract. When planner reviews the contract, she finds the bride has contracted for the use of the building ONLY. Bride thought she was getting tables, chairs, linens and lots of other things that the bride thought “were always included” at a reception. The planner saved the bride over $6000 on a bad contract. Well worth the $2000 the bride paid the planner.

– Bride decides to forego the professional planner and use her best friend, who after all, was a bridesmaid three times, so she knows ALL about planning weddings! The friend failed to take note of the facility’s $2000 fee for turning on the air conditioning and the newly married couple had to come up with this money at the very, VERY last minute, which was a severe cut into their honeymoon fund.

– The band hired by the bride was telling bride and planner where they would be setting up, what time they would be there and where the wives’ table would be. Planner corrected band member by showing him the already-decided place they would set up, giving him the actual time he would be there and asked him what he meant by a wives’ table? Band member says, “Oh the wives always come to all of our gigs.”

Planner told him this was not a “gig”, this was a wedding, the wives were not on the guest list, and there would be no wives table because there would be no wives. Band member began to argue the point. Planner fired the band and hired a professional DJ. Bride was relieved.

When times are good and people have good jobs, they don’t worry about costs as much. I’m not saying they don’t comparison shop, but they tend to buy bells and whistles instead of staying in a budget. It’s easy to plan a wedding when you’re not paying attention to every penny.

When times are tough, a couple just can’t afford last minute surprises. But they’ve never planned a party for 200+ people before and there are questions they just don’t know to ask. An event planner knows those questions and when he/she asks them, the bride saves money.

As a caterer, I’m always relieved to see a professional planner walk into the room. I know the details are going to be handled, things will run on schedule, and it will be a very pleasant event for everyone.

If you have a tight budget, you NEED a wedding planner. Today, more than ever, it’s the best investment you can make in your wedding.

Remember, it’s your wedding. You have ONE SHOT to get it right. Get a professional on your side who is going to be looking out for you on your very special day.

Debi Brim can be reached via email at info@cateritsimple.comhttp://www.cateritsimple.com/
http://www.cateritsimple.blogspot.com/
http://www.bannascookies.com/

Websites:

{Thank you Debi!!!}

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