3 Major problems you may face with your Bridesmaids

One of the most memorable moments of the beginning stages of planning your wedding is asking the question to your besties “will you be my bridesmaid?” Choosing our bridal party is a big deal for so many reasons but you can and will experience some challenges in the coming months. Even though its your wedding, some bridesmaids tend to make it about them, here are some issues you may encounter and suggestions on how to handle them.

Money

BridesmaidsYou may not realize how expensive it is to be a bridesmaid but the lower end cost is just shy of $2000. Consider the expense of dresses, hair and makeup, accessories, gifts, travel and accommodations, engagement parties and showers and bachelorette parties. Some bridesmaids may have a problem with the amount of money they may have to spend depending on the “taste” of the bride but may suffer in silence, or they will complain about costs.

Solution?

Before you choose your bridal party, do your best to analyze their lifestyles, it’s a good indicator as to if they will be able to comfortably afford to really be a part of the wedding. If they have kids, or work part time it may not be feasible for them. It still doesn’t hurt to ask but perhaps when you do, let them know that if they need to decline, they can and that it won’t affect your friendship. The last thing you want is to have your friends resent you because they spent outside of their means.

Diva Syndrome

Or we also call this “planet me” syndrome. You may end up with a bridesmaid who has something to say about every little thing you ask of them to do…or wear. If you are a bride that intends to have all your party wear the same dress, she will be the one to say the color is bad on her, or it doesn’t suit her body type.

Solution?

Bridal partyThe reality is this, it is your wedding and you may have to have a conversation with her about this. Her opinion is valued but if it’s not in sync with the plans you have, part of her job is to do things she doesn’t like. If I asked my bridesmaids to wear a paper bag with a plaid design finger painted by my 5-year-old nephew- they would wear them! You want people in your party who support you, not fight you on everything during the planning process.

Complete takeover

Its amazing that you have incredible friends who want to help you plan your big day but taking over when they haven’t been asked or assigned to anything will be stressful. They may start telling you what to do or how to do it or even what you will want to do! This can get overwhelming quickly if you don’t handle it right away.

Bridesmaids2Solution?

Calmly thank them for all their suggestions and eagerness to help but then let them know, you would prefer not to get ahead of yourself and still need to time to discuss with your fiancé certain elements of the wedding. You may even tell her you haven’t had the opportunity to think about those aspects yet and would like to wait until you have a clearer idea as to what you want.

 

Feature image via etsy

Blog images via @robynsrussell www.robynsrussell.com Sasha & Jared 2017

AVP Real Wedding: Miguel & Michelle

Miguel and I go back to high school so when he contacted me and asked me to help plan his wedding naturally I was over the moon happy! His fiancée Michelle was lovely and we got to meet at Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay downtown Toronto as she tried on a slew of gorgeous gowns.

There were many obstacles these two had to overcome amid all the planning, their daughter Mia was under a year old and that took much time and attention. They had also bought a new house, were renovating and had several setbacks.

Everything came together at the Trent Port Marina, tucked away in a town in the southern part of Ontario on the Bay of Quinte. Very quiet, quaint town where everyone knows everyone (I grew up close to there so it was nice to be “home”). It was an intimate setting of close friends and family for the ceremony and dinner. Michelle and Miguel exchanged vows in the late afternoon and then the party started.

The one thing I won’t forget about this wedding is the way they both looked at each other the entire day. It was with such love and certainty, I was so honored to be a part of their happy day. See more on my website

The Dress  Aisle2  Lean on me  DSCN0550-01  DSC03142-01

Planner: Ashley Victoria Productions//Venue: Trent Port Marina//Catering: Tomassos//Linens, Napkins & Chair Covers: Chair Cover King//Photography: Images by Montserrat

Wedding Planners: What we really do (Part 2) Partial Planning/Day of Coordination

A service becoming more popular these days due the fact that it’s millennial’s who are getting hitched is partial planning. Why? Well, simply put, they like to be involved! They don’t necessarily want someone to do everything they prefer to be able to really infuse their own couple style into aspects of their wedding day. Couples who are looking for a planner to do a full coordination should read the article I posted last week discussing full coordination. Partial planning can also include the benefits of hiring for Day of Coordination and other planners have it just as its own service.

IMG_5872When you hire a planner for a partial planning, you sit down together and discuss anywhere from 4 to possibly 6 areas you would like your planner to assist in. Once you’ve decided which areas they will manage, everyone gets to work. Different planners will go about this service differently so it’s good to have clear communication and ensure they understand exactly what it is you expect of them.

  • Creating/organizing a wedding budget
  • Coordinate meetings
  • Venue outsourcing
  • Vendor visits
  • Vendor recommendations
  • Email reminders per month to keep couple on track
  • Décor and rentals

These are just a few areas that couples may opt to have their planner manage for a partial planning.

Day of Coordination doesn’t entail your planner handling anything besides what is directly related to the day of the wedding- as the service suggests! Couples who want to leave all the stress and Nneka and fathershiccups on the day of the wedding but want to plan the entire thing themselves will choose this option. 1-2 months before your wedding day is typically when your planner would step in to tie up loose ends, follow up with vendors and then execute your wedding day so you can completely enjoy it and not have to look after anything.

Whether you choose partial planning or day of coordination, be sure that the service you have selected best suits your needs as a couple. Take into consideration factors like your jobs, family and other obligations you have and when in doubt, ask your planner during the consultation for their insight and opinion.

Wedding Planners: What we really do (Part 1) Full Planning

Let’s just clarify from the start we are NOT wedding coordinators at the venue, don’t get us confused and if you are confused read my article I wrote awhile back

JloSo what do wedding planners really do you ask? Well I guess it depends: we mediate, negotiate, police, teach you how to dance, and might even use nail polish remover to un-super glue a piece of statue from your palm…okay maybe I am getting a bit dramatic here but let’s focus on the full-planning service they provide .

Full scale planning is a lot of work, which is likely why you have hired someone to do it because you lack the time (or patience?) to be able to do all on your own. The moment you are engaged and hire a planner, we are there with you every step of the planning process. Here are some of the things we do for a full planning:

  • Help you create a budget
  • Outsource potential venues and set up viewings based on the number of guests you are looking to have attend and your budget limitations
  • Research officiants based on ceremony style and language
  • Aid you in developing your wedding theme and vision

The DressWait, before I continue, let me just say that we research EVERYTHING. Just because you don’t see work being done in front of your eyes, doesn’t mean it’s not taking hours of our time. Research is tedious and details must be acquired for every single vendor needed for the wedding.

  • Research and outsource: DJ’s or bands for the reception, décor/rentals and florists, hair and makeup artists, suiting/tuxedo companies, bridal boutiques and trunk shows, transportation and hotel accommodations, cakes and sweets, photographers and videographers, invitations, catering companies (if the venue doesn’t have an in-house caterer) and in most cases, planners will also go with you to meet these potential vendors.
  • Help negotiate and manage your contracts and develop a record tracking system for your payments
  • Coordinate your fittings and wedding rehearsal
  • Be there the day of the wedding to organize your vendors, ensure they show up on time, oversee set up and tear down- we leave after you leave.

Reading this it doesn’t look like much but when you realize the endless hours of work it entails to be glued to a computer coming up with multiple quotes from multiple vendors- you will understand why you’ve hired a planner…or at least why you should!

Part 2 will discuss how a Partial Planning works and why some couples opt for it instead!

Everything you need to know about Spring weddings

With wedding season in full effect, families and bridal parties are buzzing with excitement! Lots of last minute loose ends to tie up, accessories to buy, payments to organize- it can be easy to overlook a few essential elements about Spring weddings. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Unpredictable weather

If you are having an outdoor wedding, be weary of the weather and do a consistent check autumnoakslubbockcomup the week of the wedding. Temperatures can drop, wind can get strong and we don’t want your guests to freeze. On the other hand, there is also the concern of rain so be sure to have an indoor backup plan in case mother nature gets cranky.

 

 

sneeze 2. Allergies

While food allergies are always something to keep in mind, outdoor weddings are a disaster for those who suffer from ragweed, grass and pollen allergies. If you know you have bad allergies and don’t want to blow up like a Macy’s balloon take precautions and pop those non-drowsy allergy meds or stash them in your clutch.

 

 

 

3.Check what time the sun sets

Especially if your wedding is outdoors since the days are getting longer. It’s a gosceniclasvegasweddingscomod idea to make sure the guests aren’t directly facing the sun during the ceremony being blinded by light rather than your love for one another! You also want to keep this in mind for taking pictures, you don’t want too much light but as the sun sets you start to lose time.

 

4. New blooms

Country Living MagazineTake advantage of the newly sprouting greenery. Fresh, pretty buds on the trees, gardens flourishing- these are all great for taking formal and informal pictures with friends and family. They will never look as lush and new as they do now so utilize them to the max!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credits:

http://www.autumnoakslubbock.com

http://www.sceniclasvegasweddings.com

Country Town Magazine

Designer Spotlight: Carolina Herrera

“I have a responsibility to the woman of today- to make her feel confident, modern and above all else beautiful”– Carolina Herrera

Before taking a quick sneak peak at her newest collection fresh off the runway, here are some interesting life facts about the incredible designer, Carolina Herrera:

  • She was born and raised Venezuela and traveled at a young age and was exposed to fashion very early.
  • 1987  she launched first bridal collection and year later her first fragrance
  • 1996 Carolina Herrera de Baez joins as creative director at Herrera’s House of Fragrances
  • 1999 She opened her first flagship boutique in NY on Madison Ave and 75th
  • 2004 she received the Council of Fashion Designers of America “Womenswear Designer of the year” and the Glamour “Woman of the Year award”
  • 2008 The Council of Fashion Designers of America honors Carolina Herrera with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2010 receives the distinguished “Mercedes-Benz Presents” title for her Spring collection
  • 2014 she received The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion

carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-4_vert        carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-17_vert        carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-10_vert        carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-16_vert

carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-9_vert        carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-18_vert

To see the rest of her 2018 Spring bridal collection go to http://www.carolinaherrera.com/

Photography: Courtesy of Carolina Herrera

2017 Wedding Trend: Agate

So in case you didn’t already know this is a trend…trend alert! For all my gorgeous couples who don’t know what the agate trend is, let us educate you!

Primarily a volcanic rock, agate is known for its mesmerizing, entwining layers of color. Chalcedony stones typically have a sort of waxy luster, and in most cases are semitransparent or translucent. The best part is that can assume a wide range of colors. Dessert makers, artists, stylists in the wedding industry have taken advantage of how lovely this looks in a nature-scape or boho themed wedding. Everything from invitations, cakes and desserts and jewellery have enveloped this agate look. Here some ways to incorporate this new trend into your wedding!

Agate cake

Wedding cake design

Modern-Bohemian-wedding-inspiration-place-cards-Brit and Co

Place card holders via Brit & Co.

Agate coasters weddingomaniacome

Drink coasters via weddingomania.com

agate-garlands Brit and Co

Garlands via Brit & Co.

ruffledblogcom

Mr. & Mrs. Memoirs via ruffledblog.com

Ring Agate

Ring display for engagement shoot

 

Main image photo credit: Sara-Lynn Photography

Real Couples: With big wedding day regrets

No, we aren’t talking about who they regret marrying! As couples did their own wedding planning with the help of friends or family- post wedding? Some share with us what they would have done differently.

“When we got married the only thing I wish I could have changed was our first dance song. I also realize we should have gotten married in Ontario instead of Quebec because in Quebec the woman doesn’t take her new husbands last name.”-James

“I somewhat regret not listening to my Mom when she suggested we should take some more time for photos (just the two of us).”– Natasha

pw-bride-regret-shutterstock“I should have requested that the camera was to stay on the entire night, instead someone shut it off after the ceremony and it was never turned back on. The speeches and everything during the night was not recorded and that was important to me.”-Jessica

“Number 1: Review that guest list 100 times and make sure whoever is at the door has the most updated one (especially if it’s a big wedding like ours was). Number 2: Designate someone to assist the photographer if you have a big family and a big bridal party. Or else Uncle “I-Don’t-Know-You” will photo bomb all your shots. Number 3: Review the songs you want played at key moments with your DJ. Nobody wants “Baby Got Back” for the groom and mother dance (unless that’s the plan?).”– Mike

“I wish I hadn’t stressed so much about the little details that no one else would even notice or remember. I regret putting money towards ‘things’ instead of towards more people being able to attend.”-Corinne

“We shouldn’t have cheaped out on the photographer, they say you get what you pay for and it’s true!”-Kim

Wedding Budget: The essential differences between deposits vs final payments

If you are planning your wedding yourself, it’s crucial that you know a few very important things when it comes to your budget and how it will be broken down.  This information isn’t common knowledge so if you find yourself struggling or are weary of making a mistake, hire a planner! Deposits and final payments for your vendors are very important and the key to ensuring how much is for what and when is to read the post I wrote last week about reading your vendor contract!

Deposits

Deposits are what you and your partner put down to essentially “reserve” the vendor, all of your vendors will require a deposit. (Side note: Some planners require a retainer; it’s a fancier word for an advance.) It will be written in the contract exactly how much of a deposit is required to secure their services for your wedding. Most wedding bands require up to wedding-contract-041714-0320%, some photographers require half up front, it really depends so again to reiterate, read your contract!

If you don’t quite understand the contract, set up a meeting with them and have them thoroughly explain so there are absolutely no miscommunications. Once you sign that contract, you agree to everything in it whether you read it or not! In most cases, deposits and retainers are non-refundable. Once you put down your deposit, your vendor has then reserved their services for your wedding date.

One other important thing to keep in mind is when you are meeting your vendors to discuss their services and whether or not you will hire them, be in a position to put down a deposit at the meeting. You have no idea what their booking schedule is like and if they are photographer, some are booked up to a year and a half in advance!

Final Payments

Similarly, the contract should stipulate when your vendor expects their final payment. The amounts will vary and the due dates can be anywhere from two weeks before the wedding day up to the day of the wedding. Discussing this and making changes before you sign the contract is essential. Most vendors can be flexible; others not as much so it’s important that you keep hands1track on a calendar the date final payments are due. For example, most venues will request a deposit up to 20% and then final payment will be the entire lump sum of what is left over due roughly a week before the wedding. You can arrange to make payments so it’s not one large chunk gone at once so be sure to inquire about that.

If any payments are due on the day of the wedding, have someone like a planner, parent or another relative who will ensure the payments are to given to the vendors. You will be busy getting married and celebrating and it’s easy to become distracted since it’s your big day.

In both cases whether it’s a deposit or a final payment, request an invoice or a receipt that stipulates the date you paid and the amount. It’s good to keep a record of these payments for your own security.

10 awful mistakes brides make

No wedding day is completely perfect (unless it is) and there are bound to be some flubs or forgotten details. Here are 10 common mistakes brides make leading up to and on their wedding day:

  1. Don’t carve out enough time for hair and makeup

It is imperative that you consider how large your bridal party is, this should include your mother and mother in law and any flower girls you may have. If you have more than 4 ladies to do hair and makeup for, you should consider hiring two makeup artists and two hair stylists. Make sure they have both met, have pictures of the makeup and hair looks so they can get everyone done on time!

  1.  Drink the night before

Monica drunkTry to refrain from excessive drinking the night before the wedding. Alcohol can make you puffy the next day, if you are sensitive you may even get a mild headache. Trade in a cocktail or glass of wine with some sparkling water and lemon, you’ll thank us.

  1. Rule out a wedding planner

Even if you have managed to plan everything yourself, the week before your wedding is the most stressful. If you had hired a planner for the week of you could have been spending time with your family and friends. Instead, you are left running around keeping track of final payments to vendors, confirming floral deliveries, giving directions…need I continue? Hire a planner.

  1. Don’t account for hidden costs

This is a big one that gets overlooked far too often. Tipping your vendors is a must unless it’s already included in their contract.  Also ensuring they are fed at dinner time if they are present is also important. Marriage license is another hidden cost, postage for “Thank you” cards, meals on wedding day and then there is the “other” category. This is for when the power goes out and you have to buy 200 candles, or the groom forgets to pack his shoes and needs to hail a cab!

  1. Take time with parentsbride with parents

The day of your wedding you are the center of attention and everyone wants to say a word or give a hug. Don’t forget to take a few quiet moments with your parents outside of pictures. It will be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle and it will give you some one on one time with them, they will appreciate it.

6. You forget to eat

Yes, we know you need to fit into your wedding dress as snug as a bug the day of, however, we don’t need a dramatic Scarlett O’Hara fainting moment because you didn’t eat anything. A light breakfast with a few carbs for energy is suffice, lots of water and some snacks while getting ready and during pictures.

  1. Sunless tanning

Anne's gone orange!

Have some practice sessions please! I can’t stress this enough. Sunless tanning can work if you find the right place to go. Be sure to go for a shade that isn’t so far off your natural skin tone, aim for a pre- wedding glow. If you overdo it or go too dark…you will be in your bathroom 2 days before your wedding with half a cup of lemon juice, a quarter cup of sugar…and a loofah sponge.

  1. Don’t feed vendors

Your vendors work hard and rightly so; this is what they do! However, if you have hired a band to entertain your guests, a planner running around behind the scenes, a photographer or videographer- they need to eat. This is customary and likely in the contract you signed when you hired them. Perhaps not what the guests are eating but feed them with something!

  1. Skimp on bridal party gifts

Take into consideration your bridal party (guys too) have spend a ton of money over the past year or so helping you plan your wedding. From wedding gifts, bachelor/bachelorette parties, outfits, dinners, to helping you solve problems, they’ve done so much. Be sure to budget a decent amount (consider how large your bridal party is) so they can feel the love and appreciation you have for all they have done.

  1. Mistreat Single friends

I’ve been one of the single gals at a table, where I don’t know anyone and most of the people I am sitting with are couples. Thankfully I have an outgoing personality and I can talk to anyone but not all your guests are going to find this situation ideal. To ease the pressure or even nerves, try to put them with at least one person at the same table that they know. Please, please have mercy!