The Best AZ DJ – Phoenix Wedding DJ & Scottsdale AZ Wedding DJ

Wedding Newsletter Vol. 2

We’d like to welcome you to the 2nd edition of our Wedding planning newsletter!

We hope your planning is coming along well! We will be going over some info on vendors and how to select them in this edition. Hopefully you have your date set now and your venue is taken care of.

We read articles constantly on weddings and how to run them. Here are what we consider to be some of the most straight forward and to the point advice on every vendor for your wedding.

The origin is listed on almost every article, so that you can check out the websites for articles that you really like. Happy hunting.

Starz Entertainment has a list of vendors we have worked with and would recommend if you need some additional help send an e-mail to info@starzentertainment.net and ask for names and we will forward them to you.

Vendors you will need for your wedding:

Florists
Article from www.humphreyflorist.com

Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Florist:

  1. Are there rental fees, or does the price include baskets, runner, arch or any props?
  2. Will the florist label all personal flowers or does he/she stay to pin them on?
  3. Does the price include delivery and pick-up of rental items after reception?
  4. When does the florist purchase the flowers? One to two days before the wedding is ideal.
  5. Does the florist have a refrigerator? Roses, gardenias, and other delicate flowers need to be kept cool, especially during summer months.
  6. IMPORTANT: Will the florist be there for setup or will it be left to the delivery driver? Especially for outdoor weddings, the arch, gazebo, or chuppah needs to be decorated as close to the ceremony as possible—not hours beforehand.

Tips for Stretching Your Floral Budget:

  1. Avoid weddings during a major holiday season (such as Valentine’s Day) when flower prices are at their highest.
  2. Use only flowers in season. For example, tulips for a summer wedding must be imported and can add a lot to the cost.
  3. Request inexpensive filler flowers available each season.
  4. Use your ceremony flowers at your reception, too. Have them delivered and set up before the guests arrive.

Music – DJ or Live Music

Having trouble deciding on the type of entertainment you want at your wedding reception? Some people use live entertainment at the ceremony and a DJ for the reception. Typically a DJ can provide all services where a band is not usually adept at acting as an MC and making events flow smoothly. As a former band manager and current disc jockey, here is what I have seen over the course of several thousand events. Below is a list of the pros and cons of each choice so you can weigh what elements matter to you most:

DISK JOCKEY Pros:

  • A DJ comes with a choice of thousands of songs. Therefore, the DJ can play songs to cater to the varying tastes of several generations.
  • They will often cost much less than a band.
  • While the music is playing, the DJ can get out on the dance floor and rev up the guests.
  • Your special dances will be played exactly like you’ve heard them before.
  • There is no reason to have a break in the music.
  • DJ’s are very adept at running an event and making your evening go smoothly. Many DJ services will provide consultative planning and coordinate with other vendors.
  • A good DJ can change up music and play various sets to appease many different musical tastes.

DISK JOCKEY Cons:

  • Contracts can be misleading in terms of who will really be at your wedding. (Make sure you meet your actual DJ and receive a contracted guarantee as to who the DJ will be or include rights of refusal if the personality assigned is not to your liking) NOTE: We guarantee the DJ on all standard and higher packages. For our budget and economy packages we name the DJ early on and keep it that way. Any changes must be approved by you unless resulting from injury, sickness or an emergency. We did 111 weddings last year with only one late substitution. (family emergency)
  • Some guests may think a DJ is too casual for a formal reception.

BAND Pros:

  • Live music can be more exciting and can get the crowd more involved.
  • There is nothing like live music in terms of sound quality.

BAND Cons:

  • There is only a limited amount of songs a band can play.
  • The songs never sound the same as the original recordings.
  • If the musicians need to take a break, the music stops as well.
  • Bands can sometimes cost several thousand dollars more than a DJ.
  • It can seem more like a concert instead of an accent to your reception. (Sometimes bands like to play loud – even if you ask them to keep the volume at a reasonable level).
  • Bands normally are not used to running your event and acting as emcee where as a DJ normally will perform this function smoothly.

The American Disc Jockey Association strongly recommends that you ask the following questions of any Disc Jockey service that you are considering hiring. www.adja.org

  1. Are you insured? Can you supply me with proof of liability?
    Many responsible business owners carry liability insurance to protect their businesses and the consumer. Many locations are beginning to require proof of liability. Ask for proof of liability insurance. Disc Jockeys receive a “Certificate of Liability” which can be used as proof.
  2. Will you be willing to play requests and discuss music ahead of time?
    A versatile Disc Jockey is willing to listen to your suggestions, give you feedback and play from your desired song list. A professional Disc Jockey will also accept the fact you may not want certain songs played. A professional Disc Jockey cannot know everything about your musical preferences and entertainment needs without communication.
  3. Do you use Professional Equipment?
    Ask whether your prospective Disc Jockey works with professional audio equipment. If you are not sure, ask for their equipment list and check with a local music dealer or the A.D.J.A. to verify they are using professional-grade sound gear.
  4. Do you provide backup equipment at my event?
    Although equipment failure is rare, do you really want your special occasion ruined because your Disc Jockey did not come prepared? It is also important to know if your Disc Jockey has a back-up plan in case of illness or an accident. Members of the A.D.J.A. have many resources available to them in case of an emergency. Booking a reliable Disc Jockey is a very important decision for the success of your party. Selecting a Disc Jockey who is an active member of the American Disc Jockey Association will provide you with the confidence that you have selected a trained professional. A.D.J.A. members are more likely to be involved with other Disc Jockey’s who can help them out with an unexpected situation.
  5. Does the Disc Jockey know the proper etiquette for your type of party?
    A professional Disc Jockey will assist you with the planning of your special day. Most professional entertainers will coordinate, emcee and provide the music that you desire. Ask if they have experience with your type of event.
  6. How much time do you allow for set-up?
    Punctuality is a necessity. Most Disc Jockeys arrive at least one hour prior to the start time you’ve given them.
  7. Do you provide a written contract?
    It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. Ask for a written agreement, especially if you are paying an initial retainer. The standard initial payment for entertainment services is 50%. If you are expecting a specific entertainer, make sure you get it in writing as well.
  8. Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion?
    Specify the type of apparel that your Disc Jockey is expected to wear for your occasion. Formal attire or coat & tie are the most popular forms of attire.

Photographer
Article from www.bridaltips.com

Choosing the photographer for your wedding has always been like playing Russian Roulette. You never quite know who you are getting or how good they are. You don’t know what can go wrong. A studio will charge $500 – $5000 or more for your wedding; the price of a decent vacation. When you shop around for a vacation you surf the net, read books and magazines. Why not do the same with your photographer? Once the wedding is done, the photos and video are the only record of your important day. It is a one shot deal with no UNDO button. The photographer is an investment worth researching. I don’t have a problem paying good money for someone who is best in their class. Be sure to plan your ceremony and reception times as close as possible. The fewer hours that you’ll have to pay the studio, DJ, and reception location, can save you thousands.

What you really want in a photographer
We have some technical talk here, but keep in mind that it all boils down to this question: Does the photographer capture the wedding day the way the bride and groom want? Will they create unique and emotional memories that you will cherish the rest of your life? We’ll give you tips here than can help you decide if you are dealing with such a person.

Money Saving Tip: Disposable Wedding Cameras on every table at the reception.
Although you hired a photographer, buy inexpensive Disposable Wedding Cameras to place on each of your tables. The Wedding Channel has lots of different styles that you can buy online at a discount. Buy them now, while it’s fresh on your mind. They are hard to find and 2 days before your wedding, they’ll be impossible to find. Your guests know what to do with the cameras. 30% of the shots will be usable. The other 70% will look lovely in the county landfill. Your photographer cannot be everywhere and your guests won’t let good times go by undocumented. I was impressed by the imagination of our non-pro wedding guests. We got some one of a kind greats. The Kodak Wedding Cameras take better pictures these days; film technology has really improved. It’s amusing to see the action that you missed at your wedding. When shooting with these cameras, make sure the subject is 6′ to 12′ away. Any further and the picture positively will not come out. The photo will be too dark. Take them to Costco, Sam’s, or WalMart for inexpensive developing.

Once you’ve decided to get married and settle on an approximate date, waste NO time in searching for your photographer. The better ones are booked heavily into the future so time is of the essence. We booked in January for our November date.

Get References From Friends and Coworkers
Your best resource is people you know. Ask around, look at other wedding albums. Do you like the photos and album color and construction? Are the photo colors bright and clear and all pictures in focus and dust free? Are the group photos nicely composed? Do the poses look fake, unnatural? Are wedding rings obscured? Is there detail in the bride’s gown and cake or are they too bright and washed (a common pitfall) out from an overexposed shot? Would you want that wedding album as your own? The photographer’s personality can make or break your wedding. I’ve heard horror stories from people claiming the photographer yelled at guests who were not posing quickly enough. A good experienced photographer is patient, professional, friendly, always smiling. Only this type of person can motivate a large group into action. We were fortunate to see our photographer at work at a friend’s wedding before ours. He was always happy and smiling, having a good time. Don’t always trust the “bridal warehouse” or “bridal city” type operations with one stop shop “Wedding Packages” unless you are really sure of the photographer’s reputation. Most hotels, resorts, caterers, etc. can recommend photographers as well, but beware, many caterers get kickbacks so you can’t always get an unbiased opinion. What does a cook know about photography? If they knew anything, they’d be photographers. Decent resorts don’t take kickbacks, but they recommend photographers they know to be reliable, as their reputation as a fine resort is at stake. Keep in mind that sample photos a resort may show you were throw away photos given to them by the studio and may not be as good as the studio’s true ability. We all make throw away shots.

Questions for Wedding Photographers?
Your Guide, Nina Callaway, Your Guide to Weddings.

  1. What’s your primary style?
  2. Do you shoot in color or black and white? Or both?
  3. What kind of input can we have on the direction of the shots? Can we give you a shot list to work from?
  4. Are you the person who will actually take our pictures? If not, can we meet the person who will be?
  5. Can we meet any assistants who will also be taking pictures?
  6. How many weddings have you photographed before? How many similar to the size and formality of our wedding?
  7. How many other weddings will you also photograph that weekend?
  8. What kind of equipment will you bring with you? How intrusive will lighting, tripods, etc. be?
  9. Do you develop your own film?
  10. Can we buy the negatives from you?

After you’ve asked these questions of the photographer, there are several questions you’ll want to ask yourself:

  • Do I like this person? Do I get along with them/get a good feeling from them?
  • Do I like their work? Is it well lit, focused, well framed? Looking at their books, do I feel like I have a good feeling for the wedding?

Don’t forget to call their references. While it may feel a bit awkward to call a stranger, it can be invaluable to have an outside opinion on this person. Remember, your photographs will be one of the most lasting aspects of your wedding – you’ll want to make sure you get it right.

Bridal Gown Selection
Article quoted from http://california-bride.com

When Choosing Your Gown
There are thousands of gown fashions to choose from. Brides can choose a gown with traditional embellishments like the bell-shape skirt with lace and a train, or a modern form-fitting gown made of satin and decorated with sequins. Whatever the bride may decide, she will eventually have to visit some type of wedding gown dealer.

Selecting Your Gown
When you visit the salon of your choice, make sure that you have a clear vision of your wedding’s theme. Do not hesitate to let the salon know what you have planned for a budget. Bring magazine clippings of gowns you like, and see if they have those styles or something similar. Keep in mind that with most bridal salons, you get some consultation for free. Take advantage of the advice you receive. The consultant will be able to offer suggestions on fit and style based on your age and body type. A gown may look wonderful in a magazine (and most do), but it may not look good on you. Your consultant will help you find the right gown at the right price. You should visit a bridal salon even if you do not plan on purchasing your gown through one. The advice you receive will more than pay for your time.

The Costs

Don’t purchase a gown that is out of your price range. Bridal gowns can range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Take some time to think about your selection. It may help to sleep on the idea and make a commitment on a different day. Remember that bridal gowns come with many unforeseen expenses. Don’t spend all of your allotted money on the gown itself. Save a little for alterations and accessories. Plan to spend approximately 5.5% of your total wedding budget on your gown and accessories.

Get Fitted For Your Gown
When you go to get fitted for your gown, make sure that you bring your mother or maid of honor with you. If neither of these people can be there, take a friend whose opinion you trust. If nothing else, this friend can provide some moral support if you are in doubt. You should plan on at least six months to decide on and fit your gown. It will take at least three months for your order to be placed and your gown to be made by the manufacturer. Then you can plan on three fittings. The first when your gown arrives. The second to correct any mistakes, and the third to verify that everything is perfect. You should expect your gown to be perfect. After all, you will only wear this gown once. If you do not have six months, relax. You can still get everything done in time. It will just cost a little more to rush your order.

Your final fitting should take place a few weeks before your wedding. The last thing you should worry about on your wedding day is whether or not your gown fits. So make sure your gown is ready early. Your salon should hold your gown until the week before your wedding. They are better equipped to store your gown than you will be, and proper storage is essential to prevent your gown from wrinkling.

It would be a good idea to bring your maid of honor to your fittings. She will be able to learn her responsibilities for the wedding day. Sometimes, small emergencies come up right before the wedding is about to begin. Your maid of honor should know your gown, and she should also know how to perform small alterations in a pinch. If your mother would handle this situation better than your maid of honor, you might want her at the fittings as well.

On Your Wedding Day
Your wedding day is going to be very hectic. Allow yourself at least two hours to get ready before your wedding is scheduled to begin. If you are planning to have photographs taken before your ceremony, start getting ready two hours before your session is scheduled to begin. These last few hours are stressful enough, don’t add to the stress by running late. Take your time when getting ready, and enjoy the company of those around you. Bring an emergency kit. This kit should have sewing supplies, extra makeup, extra hose, and tissues. You should also bring a pair of comfortable shoes such as flats with you. During the wait before the wedding, you will not want to be running around in heels. Your feet may never forgive you.

Other Helpful Gown Tips

  • This is your special day. Make sure your gown makes you feel like a princess when you put it on. When you look good, you feel good.
  • Wedding gowns tend to run small. You will probably need a gown that is a size or two larger than your normal size.
  • When you go for your fittings, consider wearing a strapless bra. This will help you get a better feeling of how each gown would look during your wedding.
  • Take at least one day to decide on the gown that you would like to purchase. This will help ensure that you make a rational decision.
  • Use a credit card to pay for your gown. Most cards offer some kind of buyer protection services. So if something goes wrong, you may be able to recover some of your losses.
  • Expect to give an initial down deposit of up to 50 percent of the cost of the gown.
  • Be sure to get a written contract with specific information like gown size, color, style, etc.
  • Avoid cash-only brokers. They could turn out to be scam artists.

Choosing a Caterer
Article from www.ultimatewedding.com

Considerations and Possibilities:

  • Your reception location may also handle catering. Generally, if they do catering, you may not be able to contract for this separately and must use the facility service.
  • There is a wide variety in catering services. Some supply meals only, while others include table set-up, decorating, flowers, liquor and cake.
  • Depending on the number of guests, the expertise of family and friends and your budget, you may want to consider providing the meal or refreshments yourself.
  • Keep in mind that you will need help. You don’t want to spend your wedding day in the kitchen!

Selecting a Caterer:

  • Get referrals from friends, family and other wedding suppliers. If the reception location you have chosen does not handle catering, it’s very likely they will have a few suggestions of caterers who are familiar with their facility.
  • Get names of caterers from the yellow pages, wedding sections of newspapers, magazine and bride guide ads, bridal showers and internet wedding magazines.
  • Check credentials through Better Business Bureau and other avenues.
  • Arrange to sample food and, if possible, attend a function that they are catering to see set up, service and presentation of food.
  • Look at photographs of other weddings and events they have catered. Pay attention to details.
  • Interview and ask questions. Put the answers in writing.
  • Get a specific contract that lists all the details, including menu, services provided, equipment to be used, financial information, dates, times and personnel to be included. It should have a guarantee, cancellation policy and recourse if you are unhappy.

Questions to ask your Caterer?
List published on www.weddinglocation.com

  1. What type of food items do you recommend for my budget and number of guests?
  2. What type of service, sit-down dinner or buffet, would be best?
  3. Discuss menu selections, ask the cost per person.
  4. Do you provide linens? Is there an additional fee?
  5. Is there a color selection?
  6. Do you supply glasses, plates and silverware?
  7. Is there an additional charge?
  8. Do you handle all rental equipment such as tables, chairs, serving pieces?
  9. Would it cost less if I handle the rentals myself?
  10. How much time will you need to set up?
  11. Can we go over the table locations and seating arrangements ahead of time?
  12. Do you handle clean up? Rental returns?
  13. Will you personally handle and attend my reception?
  14. If not, what is the name of the person who will?
  15. Do you make arrangements for flowers, decorations, and music?
  16. Do you provide the wedding cake?
  17. If not, is there a cake cutting fee?
  18. Do you charge extra to pour coffee?
  19. Will you provide the groom’s cake, if we want one?
  20. Do you provide the liquor?
  21. What is the per drink cost?
  22. Is it cheaper if we provide our own liquor?
  23. Do you charge a corkage fee per bottle if we provide our own wine and champagne?
  24. Do you require a guaranteed number of guests?
  25. What is the latest date I can give you a final guest count?
  26. Do you have a contract?
  27. When will you provide the final per person cost?
  28. What is the payment policy?
  29. What is the deposit to hold the date?
  30. What is your refund or cancellation policy?
  31. Are gratuities already figured in the total price?
  32. If so, what percent is being charged?
  33. Do you provide food for the photographer, videographer or DJ?
  34. Is this an extra per person fee?
  35. Will you pack a to-go snack for the bride and groom?
  36. Will you pack the top tier of the wedding cake?

Your Wedding Cake
Article from www.weddingvendors.com

Finding the Right Baker
Depending on the time you are getting married, you should start searching for your wedding cake at least one year in advance. It is a misconception to do so only three to six months prior to the wedding date as some literature suggests. Most quality bakers will be unavailable if you wait that late to book their services.

Interview vendors in person, ask lots of questions, bring photographs of designs that you like, and then determine if they are qualified to create the impression you are looking for. As you view their portfolio, make sure that you are looking at cakes that they have made personally—not just pictures in magazines and books. Although other references are helpful in gathering new and exciting ideas, you need to see the baker’s workmanship and level of expertise.

Questions to Ask

  1. How many years have you been in business?
  2. Do you have references?
  3. Is your health department licensing up to date?
  4. May I see your working facilities?
  5. Have you made all of the cakes in your portfolio yourself?
  6. How do you determine the cost of your cakes? Is it per slice?
  7. Do you charge additional for each layer of the cake being different flavors? Do you charge additional for fillings?
  8. Is there a delivery fee?
  9. Do you rent equipment? If so, what is the charge?
  10. What type of retainer fee do you require?
  11. When is the balance due?
  12. How soon do you bake before the wedding?
  13. Do you ever freeze cakes? (If they do, do not book them!)
  14. What time will you deliver the cake on my wedding day?
  15. Do you customize cakes, or do I have to pick a design in your portfolio?
  16. What days are best for me to reach you?
  17. Do you have cake tastings? Can I participate more than once?
  18. Have you won any awards for your talent?
  19. Do you specialize in any a particular technique or art form?

Officiate for Wedding

You want to choose a minister who will make your ceremony a special and memorable event! You want it to be done with the style and grace that you prefer. You want to make sure that your beliefs are represented! These questions were put together by one of the most well-respected officiates in our state! We hope that you find them helpful!

Questions you may want to ask your minister!
Quoted from www.azministers.com

  1. Are you Jewish, Christian, Mormon, Muslim, Hindu or non-sectarian? (Note: Nondenominational means Christian, but not of any specific Christian denomination, i.e., Lutheran, Baptist, Catholic, etc.)
  2. What training provided you with preparation for this career, and what related university degrees have you earned?
  3. How long have you been a duly ordained/licensed minister?
  4. What church or institution ordained or licensed you and what is its phone number?
  5. If the Universal Life Church ordained you, was your credential obtained through mail order or by pressing the print button on your computer?
  6. May I have the name and phone number of the key leader/moderator of the church or temple to which you belong?
  7. May I have the names and phone numbers of three local ministers that know you?
  8. May I have the names and phone numbers of three independent, professional wedding consultants that regularly refer you to their brides?
  9. To what professional wedding related or ministerial associations do you belong?
  10. Do you perform gay/lesbian unions?
  11. Do you provide a public address system? Does it cost extra?
  12. Can we write our own vows?
  13. Do you offer to wear a suit, a tuxedo or traditional clergy attire? Does it cost extra?
  14. What training have you received to perform premarital counseling and are you state certified?

Jewelry

This topic has so many opinions that I’m not even going there. The best thing to do is to be an informed consumer and know what you are looking for and what the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with is looking for as well. Jewelry chains will tell you to spend 2-3 months salary on a ring. I will tell you to try to get something nice that will not mortgage your future. I do not want to downplay what anyone else tells you, but maybe a thought… The only time an engagement or wedding ring has a cash value is if you get a divorce and it has to be put into a division of property, otherwise it is a piece of jewelry that only has sentimental value. So, pick a ring that works for both of you and is appropriate to your situation.

To try to learn about rings and jewelry follow this link: http://weddings.about.com/od/weddingorengagementrings

Formal Wear Store
Article from www.classictuxedo.com

Choosing the right Tuxedo Store for your Wedding
With the multitude of decisions that go into the making of a successful wedding, it is not surprising that tuxedos often get relegated to second class status. Making the correct choice of a formalwear supplier for your wedding can go a long way toward reducing the stress of what should be the happiest day of your life. Here are some guidelines for choosing the right one.

  1. First, talk to your friends. If one of them was recently married, their experience, positive or negative is useful information. If they had a good experience, using them as a reference will go a long way toward insuring you will make a good choice.
  2. Second, choose a company with convenient locations. Proximity to the event will allow the company to deal with any last minute emergencies that might arise. The single store operation, while close to home, may in fact not be the best choice.
  3. Third, look for a company that owns their inventory and does their own alterations. This will allow them to service the needs of any late arriving members of your wedding party and have them looking their best. A Father of the Bride coming from out of town does not want to be told that the replacement garment he needs will arrive two hours after the ceremony.
  4. Fourth, consider the breadth of selection being offered. For this most special of occasions you should be able to create a look with which you are comfortable. We live in a time where there is great freedom as to what may be worn for weddings. Your outfit should reflect your image and not some preconceived notion on the part of the tuxedo salesman. With the multitude of coat styles, vest styles, and other accessory options, you don’t have to settle for an ensemble with which you are uncomfortable.
  5. Fifth, be sure the company can accommodate your schedule. Often companies have very rigid policies as to the pick up and return of their tuxedos. You should not have to pick up the day before the event and return the day after. Even in the busiest of times the store you choose should have a minimum of a five-day rental to accommodate your schedule.
  6. Sixth, be certain that the company has a tried and true system for dealing with members of your party who are coming from great distances. This is always a source of stress for both the customer and the supplier. To avoid any problems, you want to be certain that those coming from out of town have sent accurate measurements well in advance of your wedding. Four to six weeks is a reasonable time frame for the adult members of your party. The exception to this rule would be any small children participating as a ring bearer or junior usher. Measuring them much before three weeks prior to the wedding may not be reliable as they grow so fast.
  7. Seventh and most importantly, work with a salesman and a company with which you feel comfortable. You should work with someone who is genuinely interested in helping you realize what you have pictured in your mind. They should be experienced in dealing with weddings and not just with high school proms. They should be attentive to your wishes and knowledgeable enough to guide you to an outfit, which is elegant, befitting the occasion, and makes the groom feel like a million bucks!
  8. In conclusion, the formalwear component of your wedding plans should be the least stressful decisions you have to make. If you pay attention to some of the issues I have suggested, find someone with whom you are comfortable, communicate your requirements clearly, and you will have a beautiful wedding with a minimum of hassle.
  9. Stationary
    Article from www.net-weddings.co.uk

    Choosing Your Stationery: Design rules for perfect Stationery

    People often neglect the importance of their Wedding Stationery. Remember, your invitations are the first point of contact with your guests and an important indication of the celebrations to come.

    Everything must ‘fit’. Style does not come with high priced accessories, but with thought and preparation.

    So how to avoid disappointment? Make sure you reflect your day in your invitations by following some simple design rules:

    Color: Choose a color appropriate to your theme i.e. reflected in your bridesmaid’s dresses. Remembering color may be the first thing someone registers and can set the mood or atmosphere instantly. For example, if your want an opulent and passionate feel choose deep reds and purples, but if you are aiming for something more feminine and pretty pastel shades are the obvious way to go.

    Likewise a color reflects the season burnt oranges and chocolate browns for autumn, zesty brights for summer and delicate pastels for spring.

    Motif: Consider something appropriate i.e. a flower from your bouquet and let this theme run throughout your day. Think of something as simple as a single rosebud with all it’s romantic connotations, you could incorporate these elsewhere by lying one across your place setting, tie them into your menus, sprinkle rose
    petals on the tables or add tiny ones to your favors.

    Theme: Think about a style you wish to reflect i.e. 30s glamour with an Art Deco feel. Something like this could be reflected by the use of a distinctive text on your invitations, not just times new roman?. Remember text is not just for reading but can be used as a design tool both on the inside and outside of invitations. Soft and flowing scripts are traditional and romantic where as angular texts can display something more contemporary.

    Style: Consider, if you want, something modern (silver, sparkly and Clean), minimal (neutral, pearlescent and sleek), classic (pinks, soft and Warm) or romantic (golds/reds, texture and finish)

    And most important of all

    Personality: something that reflects you i.e. sophisticated, classic or wild. The best way to interpret yourself is by using varied materials, don’t be shy. Texture and finish can be everything when it comes to your invites. Delicate, shimmering, sparkly or Pearlescent papers could reflect the fairy in you, whilst textures, ribbons and fabrics could reflect the lavish side of your nature.

    Whatever you do my best advice is to stick to neutral base colors with a chosen accent color, a strong colored base can look gaudy and cheap, by all means experiment with lot’s of colors but keep them tonal and you’ll be OK.

    Finally remember to take advantage of stationary design services, If they are selling you statinoary they should be there to help you collaborate ideas and create something personal to you, an invite is not just a piece of paper. It’s an keepsake for your guests to remember your big day, long after the celebrations are over.

    Vendors you may or may not need for your wedding:

    Transportation
    Article from www.hudsonvalleyweddings.com

    The well organized couple will pay as much attention to selecting and arranging for their wedding day transportation as she does to all the other details which will be a part of making her special day perfect. As always, making some basic decisions and then asking some important questions will help to make the process run more smoothly and yield the most satisfactory results.

    Begin by deciding how many vehicles you will need.

    The basic “package” which most brides choose includes transportation…

    • to the ceremony for the bride and her dad
    • to the ceremony for the bride’s mother and any children in the wedding party
    • to the reception venue for the bride and groom
    • to the reception venue for attendants
    • to the reception venue for the bride’s parents
    • return transportation from the reception venue for all of the above

    If the budget allows, additional transportation may be provided for special guests, grandparents, or anyone else you wish to treat.

    Next, get a list together of prospective companies with whom you will wish to talk. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Call the local Better Business Bureau to check on complaints which may have been lodged. Check references with your other wedding service providers. Being in the business gives them a heads up on both good and bad references. When you interview the companies on your list, ask them to provide you with references. If their reputations are good, they should be eager to accommodate your request.

    Check out ads in the Yellow Pages and look on the Internet at regional sites. Take everything you have heard into consideration. Cull your list and then make your calls.

    When making your decision you will need to keep in mind several criteria. Of those, dependability is first and foremost. Nothing else will matter if the vehicles don’t show up on tim, or don’t follow prearranged plans. It’s perfectly appropriate for you to ask questions when you “interview” the prospective businesses and get their feedback. These are the things which need to be discussed:

    1. Number, Size and Type of Vehicles
      What types of cars, limousines, vans (or other) does the company offer? Keep in mind that vehicles today run the gamut in terms of their style and the numbers of people they can accommodate. There are six, eight, ten, and more passenger vehicles. Ask how many passengers each type of vehicle will hold comfortably and discuss what vehicle options are available (e.g., stretch van, stretch limo, stretch SUV, standard limo, Rolls Royce, vintage car). Don’t be embarrassed to ask about color and don’t assume that your vehicle will be a particular color, unless you have contracted for it. Vehicles come in any number of colors which include white, gray, navy and black.
    2. Condition of the Vehicles
      Before you’re ready to sign a contract, ask to see the actual car(s) you will be renting and ask for that information to be included in your contract. You should note the year, model and color of the vehicle. Wedding vehicles get lots of wear and tear, so make certain that your particular vehicles are in good condition (both inside and out). If you possibly can, visit the company before you sign a contract.
    3. Vehicle Operators
      The drivers of your wedding vehicles will be carrying precious cargo, so you are perfectly within your right to ask some pointed questions and see proof of the answers of you receive. Are the operators all licensed for limo./van transportation? Have they any outstanding citations? What level of professionalism does the company require for the chauffeurs whom they hire? Inquire as to how the drivers will be dressed. Formal dress is appropriate for a formal wedding.
    4. Cost
      Whatever you do, do not make your decision based on price alone. The standard in the industry is that price is based on time, either per hour or by package (several hours). Some companies also base price on distance. You will need to know what the overcharges are if you exceed the allotted time.

    You will need to include tips to the drivers into your budget. Sometimes tips are included in the price quoted. If not, 15% is customary and 20% may be given for really good service.

    Ask about discounts and packages. Some companies will offer a deal if you also book for pre or post wedding parties (e.g., engagement, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette, bachelor, etc.) and some discount prices when quantity increases.

    Some transportation companies include goodies like complimentary champagne, stocked bar and red carpet. Some customize their packages with a “Just Married” sign (with the bride and groom’s names) and decorations to match wedding colors. You will need to ask about these special packages and make certain, when comparing costs, that the freebies are really that.

    Once you have made your decision, enumerate all the details and have them written into your contract. It’s up to you to provide directions, especially if the company isn’t local and familiar with the area(s) where you will be traveling. Send the company written, detailed instructions that includes all pick up and drop off points, times of pick up and drop off, and if you can, include driving time. The effort will be worth your having peace of mind.

    Finally, before your special day . . . call the company you have selected, review and confirm all the details. Reconfirm your reservation the week before the wedding and make sure the company has your schedule and directions. Your Best Man is the perfect choice of someone to be responsible for making sure that all members of the wedding party (including parents and close family) have transportation.

    Remember that good organization and planning will reward you in the end. Sit Back and Relax. Happy Traveling!

    Videographer
    Article from www.bridaltips.com

    How To Choose A Wedding Videographer
    By: Jeff Ostroff

    Tips to help you choose the perfect videographer for your wedding. We give you a bit of easy technical info, review special effects, and what to look for in your final video. All the caveats to avoid, questions to ask, and what you should have included in your contract.

    Some of the helpful hints on our How To Choose A Wedding Photographer section apply here as well. First of all, once you’ve decided to get married and settle on an approximate date, waste NO time in searching for the videographer. The better ones are booked heavily into the future so time is of the essence.

    Ask lots of questions when you interview the videographer.

    • How much experience do they have? Do they appear ethical? Do they look like someone you want to have mingling with your guests and interviewing them? Ask to see samples from 3 different videos. How does camerawork, audio, editing style, and image quality look? These are really the most important factors, above all the special effects.
    • Have they ever worked at your church and reception hall before? You should ask your church if video is allowed and if so, where they should be placed, and where they are not allowed.
    • Does your videographer have capability for multi camera coverage? Second cameras cost about $500 more, but they give a great effect during the ceremony. The primary reason for a second or third camera is to pick up an angle the the primary camera cannot get. For example, the front camera will get the details of the ceremony, while the back camera gets an alternate angle of the recessional and processional as well as ceremony activities. Two cams are important because one person cannot be two places at once. With 2 cameras the videographer can create a picture in picture on the screen, showing the exchange of vows in the main portion of video, and the parents’ reactions in a little window. If you have the extra money, this is really worth doing. Also, the second camera can capture scenes at the reception that the first camera may have missed.
    • Do they bring lighting for the dance floor? Today’s video cameras have impressive specs in the dark, but some are still not that great, and produce grainy images in the dark. Our videographer had 2 lights that lit up the dance floor and he turned them off when with a wireless remote when he was not filming. Also ask them if they have done corporate affairs/meetings/video production. You will find these type of people to be more experienced, and they may use better equipment, as corporate events are much more involved. Ask them how many copies of the final tape you will receive. You want to get at least 2 copies. It’s a nice gesture to get one for your parents.
    • Do they record the event in a professional format such as S-VHS or digital? You do not want a videographer recording your wedding with a VHS tape. Some videographers don’t like the digital technology due to video compression, and they feel it does not provide a good enough image. Can they give you a tape in S-VHS format for those people who have S-VHS video players? Do they have the capability of using computer generated graphics? (and not cheesy ones, either). What other hidden costs are associated with the quoted price? Sometimes they will charge you extra for a 1 minute “Love Stroll” segment of video. Some people want a package that includes a short musical picture story known as a video collage with photos of the bride and groom growing up. Usually a handful of photos of each person is given to the videographer to tape.
    • How many hours do you get the videographer for? You don’t want any surprises here. Will the video be edited “In Camera” or in the studio? You want your video to be post edited in the studio, which usually has much better quality effects than the camera, even though it costs a bit more.
    • Don’t forget to ask if they have worked in the location of your reception before.

    Valet Parking

    How to Choose a Valet Parking Service
    Article by: Karen DeFonte as seen on www.partypop.com

    Whether you are working with a party planner or caterer, or organizing the event on your own, planning ahead to reserve valet parking is as important as choosing the time and place for your event. Scheduling attendants, acquiring special permits and signs and determining the need for shuttle and off-site parking are critical.

    When interviewing valet parking services, please be certain to address the following:

    1. Are the attendants uniformed and clean-cut?
    2. Does the valet company provide you with a “garage keepers” insurance binder for your event? If not, you will be burdened with any damage which may occur. Do you want that burden? It could provide you with a huge problem.
    3. Are the valets insured for liability?
    4. Are the valets trained, experienced, and drug tested?
    5. Does the valet company which you are going to hire have references for private events? Have them provide a list of at least 10 events. Call the host and inquire about the valet service.
    6. Are tickets, cones, signs, and a locking key box provided and included in the price?

    A good working formula for how many valets you may need is:
    One valet for 30 – 40 cars. If the guests are arriving all at once, consider doubling the amount of attendants. Having guests wait either while staging or retrieving is not good practice. You can figure on an hourly rate per valet multiplied by the number of valets needed multiplied by the hours needed. The formula is a guide only and is not chiseled in stone! Inquire about after hours and “what if” scenarios…they can be costly if you are not informed. Most valet companies require ½ payment up front and the balance due at the completion of the event. Have fun and leave the parking responsibility to us.

    Remember that a fool wonders and a wise person asks!

    Travel Agency
    Article from www.weddinglinks.com

    Choosing a Travel Agent
    by Molly Padilla

    Planning a honeymoon is one of the most exciting and important challenges for all couples. This article will discuss important aspects of planning the most important trip of your new life together.

    Once you have gathered your preliminary information on your honeymoon destination consider contacting a reliable travel agent. You may have already received a recommendation from a family member or a trusted friend. Most travel agents are able to provide basic information on airline tickets, resorts and activities. However, for your honeymoon consider meeting with a destination expert. Many tourist boards have set up accreditation programs for travel agents, listing them after completion in a database or web site. Newer tourist board specialist programs include Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, Mexico, South Pacific, Australia or Quebec. In addition the Institute of Certified Travel Agents has developed specialist programs for the Caribbean, Pacific Rim and Europe. Many resorts including SuperClubs and Sandals have designed training programs to ensure that accurate information reaches you the client.

    Don’t be afraid to ask your travel agent what accreditation’s programs they have completed. Completing a formal travel school program is also helpful, but not usually required by any government agency. Another important thing to look for is an agent with at least one of the following designations: CTC (Certified Travel Counselor), DS (Destination Specialist, ACC (Accredited Cruise Counselor) or MCC (Master Cruise Counselor. These designations are important because they usually involve a significant amount of time or money to complete. Working with a travel agent who is serious about their education is an excellent place to start the planning process.

    Another important consideration is whether or not the travel agent has visited your honeymoon destination. Even the best travel agent can’t have visited every destination, but insider information can make the difference between a good honeymoon and a great honeymoon. Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral to another agent especially if your honeymoon destination is off the beaten path or if your travel agent isn’t comfortable offering information you need.

    Consider referrals from your local Chamber of Commerce, bridal shop or an expert you may already be working with, i.e., your caterer, florist or photographer. Remember they work with brides and grooms daily and can offer unbiased referrals based on their experience. Verify if the agency has been in business for a stable period of time; you won’t want to change agencies in the middle of your plans. Finally look for an agent that is as enthusiastic about your honeymoon as the two of you.

    Remember your honeymoon is fulfillment of your dreams and sets the stage for romance, discovery and pleasure in your new life together.

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