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Wedding Planning Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

How to Not Get Ripped Off While Wedding Planning

 Budget, Planning Tips, Wedding Budgets, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on How to Not Get Ripped Off While Wedding Planning
Nov 112016
 
how to not get ripped off wedding planning

Photo: Getty Images

"Weddings are such a rip off!" How many times have you heard this one before? While it's true you'll probably pay more for your wedding than you would hosting a family reunion at the same venue, it's never okay for a wedding vendor to totally take advantage of you. From really doing your research to checking those contracts twice, here's not to not get completely "ripped off" during the wedding planning process.

Hire an experienced wedding planner.
According to Florida-based wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner, your wedding planner is going to be your best resource for keeping you within budget. "We have access to venues and vendors galore and know exactly what the price ranges are for each category," she says. "We immediately know if you're overpaying or if you're getting good value for your money." A great planner can help you negotiate a great deal as well, and thanks to their long-term relationships with vendors and venues you'll likely get added value for the same exact dollar amount others would pay.

Be wary of all-inclusive packages.
While they're definitely appealing in terms of simplifying the decision process, all-inclusive packages leave little to no room for pricing negotiations and the fine print of actual expected cost is not always clear, often leading to spending more than you budgeted for, warns wedding planner Marilisa Schachinger of Martel Event. "They also often require use of an exclusive caterer or floral designer which may not be your preferred aesthetic." Bottom line: do your research and get a pro (like your planner) to review that contract.

See More: 4 Wedding Guest Outfit Faux Pas to Avoid

Always get a contract (and fully understand it before signing).
Make sure you get a contract that details exactly what you're getting, as well as the amount for the service and any payment plans, advises Samantha Gieseke, owner of Plan Our Day Houston. "Then read and review the entire contract to ensure you and the vendor are on the same page when it comes to payment, expectations, start and end times, delivery times (for photos) and the cancelation policy."

Do your homework.
Yes, it's typically true that you get what you pay for, however sometimes a vendor may charge more than the going rate, which doesn't automatically mean that they're better, cautions Samuels. "Research the vendor, through online reviews and/or verbal recommendations, looking at both the quality of their product or service while also taking into account the experience other brides and grooms have had in working with them." Does their brand match their price tag or is it a mismatch? Have they been doing this a long time or are they still wet behind the ears? If their experience level and the quality of what they offer seems inferior to their price tag, continue your comparison search to see if indeed they are charging a fair price, she recommends. "If, on the other hand, the price tag is commensurate with their experience and level of talent, you can rest assured that you're not getting ripped off."

How to Not Get Ripped Off While Wedding Planning

 Budget, Planning Tips, Wedding Budgets, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on How to Not Get Ripped Off While Wedding Planning
Nov 112016
 
how to not get ripped off wedding planning

Photo: Getty Images

"Weddings are such a rip off!" How many times have you heard this one before? While it's true you'll probably pay more for your wedding than you would hosting a family reunion at the same venue, it's never okay for a wedding vendor to totally take advantage of you. From really doing your research to checking those contracts twice, here's not to not get completely "ripped off" during the wedding planning process.

Hire an experienced wedding planner.
According to Florida-based wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner, your wedding planner is going to be your best resource for keeping you within budget. "We have access to venues and vendors galore and know exactly what the price ranges are for each category," she says. "We immediately know if you're overpaying or if you're getting good value for your money." A great planner can help you negotiate a great deal as well, and thanks to their long-term relationships with vendors and venues you'll likely get added value for the same exact dollar amount others would pay.

Be wary of all-inclusive packages.
While they're definitely appealing in terms of simplifying the decision process, all-inclusive packages leave little to no room for pricing negotiations and the fine print of actual expected cost is not always clear, often leading to spending more than you budgeted for, warns wedding planner Marilisa Schachinger of Martel Event. "They also often require use of an exclusive caterer or floral designer which may not be your preferred aesthetic." Bottom line: do your research and get a pro (like your planner) to review that contract.

See More: 4 Wedding Guest Outfit Faux Pas to Avoid

Always get a contract (and fully understand it before signing).
Make sure you get a contract that details exactly what you're getting, as well as the amount for the service and any payment plans, advises Samantha Gieseke, owner of Plan Our Day Houston. "Then read and review the entire contract to ensure you and the vendor are on the same page when it comes to payment, expectations, start and end times, delivery times (for photos) and the cancelation policy."

Do your homework.
Yes, it's typically true that you get what you pay for, however sometimes a vendor may charge more than the going rate, which doesn't automatically mean that they're better, cautions Samuels. "Research the vendor, through online reviews and/or verbal recommendations, looking at both the quality of their product or service while also taking into account the experience other brides and grooms have had in working with them." Does their brand match their price tag or is it a mismatch? Have they been doing this a long time or are they still wet behind the ears? If their experience level and the quality of what they offer seems inferior to their price tag, continue your comparison search to see if indeed they are charging a fair price, she recommends. "If, on the other hand, the price tag is commensurate with their experience and level of talent, you can rest assured that you're not getting ripped off."

The Pros and Cons of Planning a Wedding in Less Than 6 Months

 Planning Tips, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on The Pros and Cons of Planning a Wedding in Less Than 6 Months
Nov 092016
 

Don't want to wait to walk down the aisle? We don't blame you! While a long engagement is the right path for some couples, for others, getting married within six months is the way to go. So if you're considering saying "I do" sooner rather than later, take these pros and cons into mind to help you make your final decision.

PRO: Excitement runs high
Friends and family are most excited about your engagement right after it happens, points out Rachel Jo Silver, Founder of Love Stories TV. "Announcing a date for the wedding and then diving right into showers, bachelorette parties and wedding festivities is a great way to keep excitement up and momentum going for the big day."

CON: You might have to settle for less
In larger cities especially, planning a wedding in less than 6 months probably means that you're not going to have a ton of options when it comes to venues (and vendors), as most venues in big cities book up at least 9-12 months in advance, even more in places like NYC, notes wedding planner Leah Weinberg, owner of Color Pop Events. "Or to get the venue you want, it may mean having to settle for a Friday or Sunday wedding." Snagging

PRO: Better vendor deals
Although your first choice may not be available, if you're having your wedding on an off day or there happens to be a cancellation, a lot of venues and vendors that usually get booked a year or so out may offer added values because they have already counted on that day not getting booked, tells Regina Young, owner of Meant2Be Events. "Venues and vendors have sales quotas to fill so it stands to reason that the closer you get to the wedding date, the more negotiable they just might be," adds Florida-based wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner.

See More: The Top 5 Wedding Invitation Questions, Asked and Answered

CON: It's much tougher to DIY, especially a destination wedding
According to Banta, it's better to have a longer timeline if you're planning a wedding without assistance and need the extra time to vet and contract vendors. "It's also necessary to have ample time in the case that many guests will be traveling long distances and require time to get off of work and make travel plans."

PRO: You're forced to be more decisive
With a short engagement, decisions usually need to be made more quickly and since you don't have the luxury or time to weigh all the options, this typically leads to less indecisiveness, explains Florida Keys wedding planner Lynn D'Ascanio of D'Asigner Events. Kristin Banta, Creative Director of Kristin Banta Events, agrees. "A short timeline forces the couple to get down to the heart of what's most important. Generally, first instincts are the best and having less time can be beneficial as it omits the tendency to second guess and to spend too much time sifting through images, forcing the couple to plan from their gut and unique point of view."

CON: There's a lot more pressure
Tend to get flustered when the pressure is on? Then a short timeframe may take an already stressful set of tasks and send you over your tolerance limits, warns Samuels. "If you know from the get-go that you don't respond well to pressure, you might consider setting a date well enough into the future to ward off any added stress."

What’s the Best Way to Tell Guests About Our After Party?

 Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on What’s the Best Way to Tell Guests About Our After Party?
Nov 092016
 

While a wedding after party isn't required, it's a fun way to extend the celebrations and make your wedding day last a little bit longer. Of course, a party isn't a party without guests! We turned to our experts to figure out the best way to let your guests know there's more festivities to be had once the lights come up.

Keeping your wedding guests well-informed is all about repetition. You don't want to drive them crazy with the same information over and over again, but you do want to make sure the important details are available in a few different places. The same goes for your after party!

Start with your wedding invitation. An insert or additional card is the perfect place to include the time and location of your after party, as well as anything else guests may need to know (such as if you're providing transportation, or if they should bring a bathing suit for a late-night dip in the pool). Don't have a location yet? You should still mention that the after party is happening and provide a time, then direct guests to your wedding website for additional information as it becomes available.

Speaking of your wedding website, here's where you can get into a little more detail with the plans (or keep everything a surprise!). Be sure to, again, provide the time and location, as well as anything else your guests need to know.

Once your wedding day comes, a few gentle reminders are a great way to encourage guests to keep the party going with you. If your ceremony program includes a timeline of the day, add your after party to the end so they know the night doesn't end with your sparkler exit. Then, as the dance party is starting to wind down, ask your DJ or bandleader to also remind your guests of what's coming next and invite everyone to join the newlyweds for a wild all-nighter. Make sure your wedding party knows the plan, so they can answer questions for guests and encourage them to make a night of it!

See more: 3 Wild Wedding After-Party Stories You Must Read to Believe

The 6 Things a Bride Should Never Say to Her Wedding Planner

 Planning Tips, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on The 6 Things a Bride Should Never Say to Her Wedding Planner
Nov 082016
 
what-not-to-say-to-wedding-planner.jpg

Photo: Getty Images

Just like any relationship, the one between a bride and her your wedding planner is built on quality communication. There are things you should say and things you definitely shouldn't say if you want the outcome (i.e. your wedding) to be a raging success. So avoid all the stress and pissing your planner off at the same time by not letting these no-no phrases leave your lips.

"My [insert family member] does florals as a hobby and offered to help!"
While wedding planner Marilisa Schachinger of Martel Event loves when couples want to incorporate family members into the planning details, unless that person is a licensed professional, it often adds more stress and work than relief or help. "My hope when brides hire me is that trust my vendor referrals and relationships that have been vetted and proved top-notch. When brides ask to involve family members in large logistical details, it can come across like they don't value your expertise."

"My [insert friend or family member] thinks I should..."
According to Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions, this indicates there are too many people in charge, which creates a 'Fellini Film.' It's a hodge-podge, mish-mash of decisions and input, often resulting in chaos for the planner, he tells us. Basically, too many cooks spoil the pot. "Brides and groom should make the final decisions. Whoever signs the contract is the one who has the say-so."

"My friend said her planner did such and such..."
As a planner, Jessica Janik, founder of The Invisible Bridesmaid, hates hearing this line. "You hired us for a reason to fulfill your dream of having the best wedding." This is why she advises her clients not to talk to anyone about the specifics of their big days. "You never know the real reason behind the advice people give you and everyone's style is so different. In order to have a wedding that's truly 'you' its best to leave everyone else out of it."

See More: What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Wedding Planning Style

"Well, we can spend more than we said."
Followed by an embarrassed giggle...grrrr! It's frustrating when brides and grooms give a budget to work with, and then continue to overspend on every single item, despite my warnings, says wedding planner Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques. "Do they not understand how we squeeze and pinch every penny to try to keep them on budget? If they have a bigger budget, why not tell us that up front so we can help them make realistic decisions? We want our clients to feel satisfied that we'll keep them on budget, but we can't do that when they're spending based on a secret budget inside their own heads." True dat!

"I know we said $75,000 was the budget but we need to cut it to $40,000."
Oh and we don't want to compromise on the design either. Uh yeah, okay. This is especially infuriating when couples wait until the last minute to let their wedding planners in on this little tidbit, notes Jenny Orsini, Owner and Creative Director of Jenny Orsini Events Inc. Lynn Jawitz, owner of Florisan Wedding and Event Design in NYC agrees. Her biggest pet peeve? Photos of multiple million-dollar weddings ripped straight from Pinterest along with the phrase, "But I'm on a budget." Well, turns out, "lavish Pinterest weddings cost money, and in weddings as in life, one gets what one pays for."

"I'm not sure what my budget is."
The reality is, you have a sense of your budget, but you may think that if you give the planner a high number, she will spend every penny, points out Nicole Matthews, founder of The Henley Company. Rest assured, a professional planner is not trying to bleed your budget dry. "Instead, our job is to provide and find value. So when you tell us you have no budget, we never believe you." Remember: even a range is helpful. Also, be clear about what your budget includes. "Is it just for the ceremony and reception, or are you also including the dress, rings and honeymoon? A professional planner will help you to manage your budget from concept to completion!"

5 Things All Guests Love at Winter Weddings

 Wedding Planning, Wedding Style, Wedding Style & Decor  Comments Off on 5 Things All Guests Love at Winter Weddings
Nov 052016
 

There's nothing like cozy winter nuptials in a snow-covered locale, but if you're planning a winter wedding, there are a few extra things you may want to add to your guest list so that you can keep your guests happy, and warm, during your celebration. Whether you are hosting your wedding in a place known for its freezing temperatures or a place with more mild weather, here are five things your guests will want to have at your winter wedding.

1. An Outdoor Fire Pit
If your venue allows it, having an outdoor fire pit is a great late-night pow-wow spot for your guests. They can head there with their post-reception coffee or even a final drink from the open bar while the wedding reception is winding down.

2. An Indoor Spot
Having an outdoor wedding in the winter may be something you've always dreamed of, and if so, it's important to also have an indoor alternative. Even if you have a heated, tented reception, having an indoor spot attached to it that people can go into to get warm if it's freezing or snowing out is key.

3. Hot Beverages
In addition to an open bar, it may be a good idea to have a coffee and hot chocolate bar open all night. That way guests can grab a warm beverage when they are feeling a bit too cold.

See More: 18 Wintry Wedding Bouquets

4. DIY S'Mores
If you're getting married in the winter and are looking for a fun dessert to serve, a DIY S'more Bar is always a hit. This is a great addition to a fire pit — if allowed.

5. Shawls or Blankets
An extra-added layer of comfort throughout the night is essential when keeping warm and cozy! Some guests may be colder than others, so having a pile of extra shawls and blankets for them to grab is a nice touch.

Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.

4 Stunning National Park Locations for a Wedding Ceremony in the Great Outdoors

 Ceremony & Vows, Planning Tips, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on 4 Stunning National Park Locations for a Wedding Ceremony in the Great Outdoors
Nov 052016
 
Acadia Schoodic Peninsula

Photo: Courtesy of The National Park Service

If you have your heart set on having your wedding in the great outdoors, but aren't sure where to start when it comes to finding just the right spot, look no further than one of America's National Parks. With 58 parks across the country, from the world-renowned Grand Canyon in Arizona and Yosemite in California to the off-the-beaten-path Congaree (on the Congaree River in South Carolina) and the Gates of the Arctic (the northernmost National Park, in Alaska), the choice of dramatic scenery to serve as the backdrop for your wedding ceremony is nearly endless. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast with every park on your bucket list or are simply a sucker for a great view, here are some of our favorite places in the National Parks where you can get married. Don't forget the camera!

Acadia National Park, Maine
With towering granite cliffs, rugged coastline, and the tallest peak on the East Coast, Acadia boasts an incredible variety of options for your wedding ceremony — and your permit is good for anywhere you can access using the park's roads and hiking trails. In fact, if you'll be a group of 10 or less, you don't even need a permit! Head to the Schoodic Peninsula [above], which is usually less crowded than the main part of the park on Mount Desert Island. Drive along the Schoodic Loop Road to Arey Cove Road, which will take you to Schoodic Point for stunning views of Mount Desert Island across the bay.

redwood stout grove

Photo: Courtesy of The National Park Service

Redwood National Park, California
While you might come for the trees, there's a lot more to Redwood National Park than the tallest trees on Earth: rugged coastline, sprawling prairies, and rambling rivers are woven between the trunks. Head toward the Stout Memorial Grove, an easy walk that gets you up close and personal with old growth trees towering hundreds of feet overhead. Surrounded by waist-high ferns, the lush and oversized greenery is a wedding setting straight out of a fairy tale.

See more: How to Create Your Wedding Ceremony from Scratch

Arches National Park

Photo: Courtesy of The National Park Service

Arches National Park, Utah
Who wouldn't want to say "I do" beneath the natural sandstone arches scattered throughout the park? Hike out to the Double Arch, a short half a mile walk that takes you to the base where these two arches meet. You could also head to one of the Delicate Arch viewpoints (the hike to the arch itself is incredibly strenuous and will take around two and a half hours) and exchange vows with the iconic structure in the background. If you and your group plan to camp overnight in the park, head to the same viewpoint after dark for the most incredible stars you've ever seen. Who needs an altar?

Grand Canyon National Park

Photo: Courtesy of The National Park Service

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
If you haven't seen the Grand Canyon yet, check it off your bucket list and tie the knot at the same time. A number of overlooks provide truly spectacular settings for a wedding ceremony, but make sure to do your research: When applying for a permit, you must choose one of the designated ceremony locations offered by the park. Shoshone Point is an isolated spot (accessible by a dirt road) that is the the only viewpoint in the park that is available for outdoor receptions as well as wedding ceremonies. The views of the Canyon? You'll have to see them to believe them.

The Definitive, Step-By-Step Guide to Changing Your Name

 Planning Tips, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on The Definitive, Step-By-Step Guide to Changing Your Name
Nov 032016
 
Colorful Palm Springs Desert Destination Wedding, Bride and Groom Portraits

Photo: Claire Eliza

Changing your name after your wedding is a serious undertaking — both because it's a big decision and because you're about to spend a lot of time wading through government forms and sitting on hold. But we promise it's worth the time (and trouble)! By the time you've worked your way through the process, you'll have a wallet full of cards flaunting your new name. To save you some of the hassle and more than a few headaches, we've put together a guide of what you'll need to do, the order you'll need to do it in, and exactly what you'll need to have with you to make the process as easy as possible.

1. Get Your Marriage License and Certified Copies
These documents are the most important part, and you can't move on to step two without them. When you're applying for your marriage license, ask if you can purchase certified copies in advance. (We recommend buying three to start). This way, instead of having to go back to get copies once you've received your marriage certificate after your wedding, you'll get your certificate and your certified copies all at once. Stash the certificate somewhere safe, but keep the certified copies on-hand. You'll need them!

2. Update Your Social Security Card
Now that you have proof of your marriage, you'll need to let the government know which name you'd like to go by. You can either apply for a new social security card by mail or in person at your local Social Security office. Find your nearest location here.

If you plan on going to the Social Security office in person, save yourself some time by filling out the application for a social security card in advance. You will also need to bring the following documents:

- Proof of Citizenship: Your valid passport or a certified copy of your birth certificate.
- Proof of Name Change: A certified copy of your marriage license. (You will most likely get this back, so you can use it again!)
- Proof of Identity: This must show your name, date of birth or age, and have a recent photograph. That could be a valid driver's license, your valid passport, a valid state-issued identification card, or a U.S. Military identification card.
- Your current Social Security card. You will keep the same number when your card is replaced.

Not a U.S. Citizen? This link will help you determine which documents you need, based on your citizenship status.

3. Get a New Driver's License
After you've gone to the Social Security office, wait at least 24 hours before going to the DMV. You do not need to have your new Social Security card in hand to update your driver's license, but the 24 hour window will allow enough time for the system to update with your new name.

Updating your driver's license with a new name must be done in person. Most states consider this change a part of the license renewal process, so you will need to take a new photograph, as well as pay the renewal fee. Visit your state's DMV website to print the renewal application form. Again, filling this out in advance will save you time once you get there! Some DMVs also accept appointments, which will speed things along. When you go to the DMV, bring the following documents with you:

- Your receipt from the Social Security office (just in case!) or your new Social Security card if you already have it.
- Your current driver's license.
- Proof of address, if required in your state. (This could be your lease or mortgage documents, insurance documents, or a bill or bank statement that is mailed to your home address.)
- A certified copy of your marriage license (which, again, you will most likely get back).
- Your checkbook or cash: Most DMVs charge a credit card processing fee, so you'll save money by paying with cash or a check.

4. Get a New Passport and Travel Documents
Changing your name on your passport is considered a correction. If your passport was issued less than a year ago, you'll be able to have the correction made without paying a fee. However, if you've had your current passport for a year or more, the fee for a change and a new passport book is $110 (plus an expedite fee if you're in a rush to get on your honeymoon!).

All passport changes must be applied for by mail. The U.S. Department of State has put together a convenient tool that will help you fill out the change form, which can be found here. Once you've filled it out, send the following to the National Passport Processing Center:

- Completed form DS-82 (which you can fill out at the link above).
- A certified copy of your marriage license.
- Your current passport.
- A check for the passport fee, made payable to "U.S. Department of State." Your full name and date of birth must also be typed or printed on the front of your check.
- A recent color photograph, 2x2 inches in size, that meets passport photo requirements.

If you have a Global Entry card, you unfortunately cannot make a name change online, as you're going to be issued a new passport number when you change your name on your passport. However, you don't need to make your appointment months in advance. Instead, once you've received your new passport, simply bring it with you to your nearest Enrollment Center, where they will be able to update the information on your account. You will retain your current Global Entry card (with your maiden name), as the digital data attached to your card will reflect your new information and match your passport, even if the physical card doesn't. If you'd prefer to get a new card with your new name, you can order one through your Global Entry account (after updating your passport information in-person) for a $25.00 fee.

If you have a TSA PreCheck card (but do not have Global Entry), call 855-347-8371, then follow the prompts to speak to someone about PreCheck inquiries. They will provide you with an email address where you can send a scanned copy of your marriage license so they can begin processing the change.

5. Change the Name on Your Bank Accounts
As soon as your identification has been updated with your new name, head to your local bank branch to update the information on your bank accounts. Note that most banks require that these changes be made in person, or will require you to mail in a certified copy of your marriage license if you don't live near a physical location. If you're going in person, bring the following documents with you:

- A certified copy of your marriage license.
- Your new Social Security card.
- Your new driver's license.

Be sure to request both a new set of cards and new check books. If you are also updating your address at this time, bring proof of address (like your lease or mortgage documents) with you, as well.

See more: The 6 Major Issues Brides Had When Changing Their Names

6. Change the Name on Your Credit Cards
The process for changing your name on your credit cards will vary from company to company. For example, American Express has a form on their website (in the Account Services tab) where you can edit your personal information. You'll need to upload a supporting document (they request your driver's license, state ID card, or passport) that shows your new name, and once processed, a new card will be mailed to you.

Other companies request that a certified copy of your marriage license be mailed to them in order to process the change. Contact your credit card company directly to determine the best way to have a card issued with your new name.

7. Provide Your New Name and Banking Information to Your Employer
Now that your ID and bank account match, contact your company's human resources office or payroll processor to provide your new information as soon as possible. This way your checks will be issued with the correct name, and direct deposits will be processed correctly.

8. Update Your Insurance Information
Whether you're combining insurance policies or are simply updating the information on your own policy, this is a major change you need to make as soon as possible to ensure you're covered in the event of a claim. If you are insured through your employer, go through human resources or the insurance representative to find the appropriate forms and contact information. You will need a copy of your marriage license to move this along.

Planning to combine your coverage? Make these changes all at once. Marriage is considered a major life event, so you also have the opportunity to change your health care coverage, even if it isn't an enrollment period. For auto and home insurance, adding an additional vehicle or a new home to your policy could result in some great savings if you combine multiple policies with the same company.

You won't need to call your doctor's office or dentist about the change to your insurance. Instead, head to your next appointment a few minutes early (with your new insurance card and ID in hand) to make the changes in person.

9. Update Your Mortgage, Rent, and Utilities Companies
With your new name and new payment information in hand, it's time to update the payment information for your mortgage or rent and your utility companies. Most can be easily updated online in your account portal or on the phone, and should be as simple as typing in your new last name and entering your new credit card number or bank routing information.

10. Review Your Credit and Debit Card Statements for Auto-Pay Accounts
From Netflix and HBO to the hosting for your blog, we've all got smaller automatic payments that happen monthly that we can sometimes forget about. Look through a couple months of statements on all of your cards and accounts, keeping an eye out for regular payments that you're making automatically. Log in to those accounts to make the change, then input your new credit card or banking information and update your billing information with your new name.

The Pros and Cons of Having Your Wedding on Thanksgiving

 Holidays, Planning Tips, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on The Pros and Cons of Having Your Wedding on Thanksgiving
Nov 022016
 
Pros and Cons of Thanksgiving Weddings

Photo: Analisa Joy

Have you ever been to a wedding on Thanksgiving weekend? Opinions are mixed as to whether having your wedding on the second biggest holiday weekend of the year is a good idea.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving and Christmas are times reserved for family. And once you get married, your family grows. With that growth, your obligations expand. Many couples rotate whose family they spend the special holidays with each year. If they suddenly receive a wedding invitation a few months ahead of Thanksgiving, it can throw the balance of everything into a tailspin.

The Pros of a Thanksgiving Wedding...

1. If you're having a destination wedding, and your guests are mostly family, you'll be able to capitalize on the time spent together someplace awesome, and get married at the same time. You can stretch your wedding weekend into a four-day adventure with your favorite people.

2. The size of an out-of-control guest list can be seriously reduced by inviting your friends to spend an important holiday away from their families. Some of your friends won't even consider it. If you can't afford a big wedding but don't want to leave people off the guest list, a Thanksgiving weekend wedding is a great way to get a lot more people to decline the invite.

3. Thanksgiving can be a fun theme to play with at your wedding! We had clients from Chicago who had a "Pie-Stravaganza" in lieu of a wedding cake at their Thanksgiving wedding. Yes, there was fabulous pumpkin pie on the menu, but there were also seven other flavors to choose from. And who doesn't love pie?

See More: 42 Fall Inspired Wedding Cakes

The Cons of a Thanksgiving Wedding...

1. Airfares are outrageous for Thanksgiving week. Easily as bad, if not worse, than Christmas and Spring Break. If a lot of your guests will have to travel to your wedding, you have to take that into consideration. Everybody knows Thanksgiving is one of the most heavily-travelled days of the year.

2. Some guests you'd really like to have at your wedding will not be able to join you. They'll already be committed with family, and unwilling to break their traditions. If it's somebody coming from out-of-town, you're virtually handing them an excuse to skip the expense of your wedding. Some must-attend invitees may think you're being a bit selfish by taking away their Thanksgiving weekend. It's a football lover's nightmare.

3. Wedding vendors have families too, so don't look for big discounts even if you're getting married someplace that is supposed to be in "off-season." I've had to resort to out-and-out bribery to staff large weddings on Thanksgiving. Professionals will hide their personal displeasure, and provide the very best vendor services for your big day. But you'll pay to have them servicing your wedding while their entire family is sitting at home enjoying turkey together.

Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.

What You Need To Know About Keepsakes From Your Wedding

 Favors & Gifts, Planning Tips, Wedding Favors, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Keepsakes From Your Wedding
Nov 022016
 
What You Need To Know About Saving Your Wedding Heirlooms

Photo: Renee Hollingshead Photography

Most couples know that there are items from their wedding that they'd like to save, but are unsure of what to do next. If you are a lover of traditions and looking forward to passing your wedding heirlooms on through the generations on your family, it will take a bit of advance planning. From your shoes, to your garter, to your wedding day signage, there are so many great wedding memories that you can preserve. Wedding keepsakes take time to gather and advance planning to save, so while it doesn't seem necessary now, it's important to think about in advance. Here is a list of possible items to save and some advice for planning ahead to preserve those wedding day moments most precious to you.

Plan Ahead
Before your wedding, spend a few minutes thinking about the things that you'd like to save. Many (but not all) wedding heirlooms require a bit of planning. Do some research in advance and think the wedding heirlooms that you'd like to hold onto.

Make It Special
What you save from your wedding must be special to you. Only you know what those special, savable items are. When thinking about your wedding keepsakes, think about items that are easy to store and that you will want to pass down to future generations.

Let It Be Known
Let the important people in your wedding know the things that you'd like to save from your wedding. How will your friends know that you want to save a cocktail napkin, if they don't set one aside for you? Often the little wedding day paper goods — like ceremony programs, signs, and extra wedding favors — get tossed into the trash in the rush to stick to the wedding timeline. Make sure the important people know what is on your to-save list.

See More: 7 Ways Incorporate Your Wedding Décor into Your Home

Better Yet, Tell Your Planner
On the day of your wedding, you can designate a friend or family member to be in charge of saving those special keepsakes from your wedding. (Be sure to alert them in advance of their task!) Better than a friend is your wedding planner. If he or she knows about the things that you'd like to save from your wedding, they can help you plan ahead and ensure that your keepsake box is fully stocked after your wedding.

Be Specific
There are several specific wedding items that require a bit of advance planning if you know you'd like to save them. For example, it is possible to have your bridal bouquet preserved after your wedding, but it is much easier for your florist to make this possible if he or she knows in advance that you'd like to save your bouquet.

Clean It Now
Be sure to properly clean wearable items like your garter, dress and veil before packing it away to prevent fabric aging. When your wedding dress drags on the ground and gets dirty, it is easier to clean now than 30 years from now.

Usable Keepsakes
Saving items from your wedding doesn't always mean you stuff them in the box and never look at them again. There are many items that are usable after your wedding and are considered wedding keepsakes. Your bridal shoes are a great example of something that is perfectly useable after your wedding, if you choose the right pair of shoes that you love. Additionally, there are many guest book options, such as furniture, or live paintings and signs that can be used day-to-day in your married life.

Julianne Smith is The Garter Girl, a stylish wedding garter company hand making modern heirlooms for today's brides. She is on a mission to modernize the oldest wedding tradition and provide women something sophisticated to wear on their big day. She is a reformed political junkie with a love of tradition, an eye for style, and a passion for beautiful things. You can find more at www.thegartergirl.com, on social @gartergirl, or at the park in our nation's capital with her three little kids.

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