Add a Celebrity Look to Your Wedding

celebrity weddings

Think those huge celebrity weddings are only for celebrities? Yes, for the most part that is true. And most of us are not celebrities.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get into the celebrity lifestyle on your wedding day. You just have to get creative. It’s all about budget your time and money. Mostly your money.

Make a no-cut list. This should be a really short list. These are the two or three things that you and your fiancé agree you MUST have at your wedding. Again, these are MUST HAVES. Understand now why this should be a short list?

Then it’s time to look at other ways to cut costs. This means talking to your vendors. See if there are any creative floral arrangement deals to be had.

Try and set the celebrity glamour mood right from the beginning. Talk to your florist about adding a glitzy (yet affordable floral display near the busiest entranceway on the day of the wedding. That will create an immediate impression in people’s minds that you are laying the glamour on thick at this wedding. If you work with your vendor and go over specific concepts, you may find that fancy floral does not cost as much as you think.

Think about sprucing up your table settings. They can add a touch of glamour to the wedding reception. Ask family or friends about anything antique that could be used as part of the table settings. May some old glasses or vases.

Are you familiar with uplighting? If not, get familiar. Here’s how it works: Lighting is placed at key positions around the room and are then projected to the wall or ceiling to create brilliant bursts of lights.

Be ready to talk to the people at your wedding reception location to get suggestions on how you can glitz up your glamorous day.

Brides & Lists

wedding budget
Start reading about weddings and you’ll quickly start seeing a lot of things about brides and lists.

There will be lists made up of do’s and don’ts and remember this and don’t forget that. All these lists can be interesting and overwhelming. They can also be helpful, in moderation.

One recent list focused on things a bride should not do on or before her wedding day:

• One fairly obvious thing: Don’t invite more people than you can afford to have at your wedding. Don’t go over budget by indulging in a wedding invitation list that is too big.
• Let your wedding planner be the wedding planner. Simply put, this means let the wedding planner make the wedding planner decision. Don’t start hiring vendors and then hire a wedding planner. What was the point? Besides, most wedding planners will work with a preferred list of vendors.
• Don’t use a go-between for you and the wedding planner. It’s your wedding. You hired the wedding planner. You need to communicate, not have someone else do it for you.
• Don’t let bridesmaids choose their own dresses. This could turn out to be a bone of contention, but again, it’s your wedding. You should still provide guidance. Choose a color and basic design style and the let the bridesmaids choose from there.
• Make sure to register for gifts. Maybe you need money more than you need a new pasta maker. That’s fine. You should still register. It looks better than just basically announcing you’d rather have cash (even if that’s the truth).

One article points to things brides need to be aware of before the wedding:

• Make sure you bring water for picture-taking time. It’s easy to get overheated, especially if you are outside under the sun for pictures.
Make sure your wedding reception facility allows for a taste testing before the actual reception. It’s always a good idea to try the food before the big day. Food is important.

Grooms Get In on the Planning

groom wedding planning

For better or worse, when we think about wedding planning, we often think about the bride. Maybe the perception is reality. If so, maybe the reality is changing.

A recent article shed light on how future grooms are taking a more active role in wedding preparation. In fact, according to a poll conducted last year, 95% of engaged couples plan their weddings together. That’s up from 70% in 2007. A study by Brides magazine shows the average wedding costs $28,000. This follows an engagement that lasts more than 14 months.

Of course, there is a lot more to do nowadays. Planning a wedding is more than sending out invitations and deciding if it makes sense to offer an open bar (it does). Many couples now have wedding websites where friends and guests can get a look at what’s going on with the wedding planning. Couples also allow for online registry and work together to choose the items on the registry. This means the grooms gets to have a little more say on what is on the gift list.

There are also engagement parties and rehearsal dinners to be planned. The groom will also be involved in some of the decision-making concerning these two events. How much planning the groom actually does for these events varies among couples.

Then there is the whole invitations list. Grooms seems to taking on a more active role in wedding invitations that in years past. This means there should be more unity about who makes it onto the wedding guest list.

Wedding themes are becoming a popular trend in the world of matrimony. This means couples have another decision to make, one in which the opinion of the groom can actually matter.
Both bride and groom should also be in agreement on where to hold the ceremony and reception.

Dressing Up the Groom

groom accessories

When it comes to weddings, the bride and the groom tend to dress up on the day of the wedding. OK, this might be something of an understatement. We know how important it is for the bride to look her best on her wedding day. It seems the groom sometimes gets overlooked. Yet there are plenty of tips and accessories that can help the groom stand out during the ceremony.

Accessorize. It’s the little things that can help a groom look his best on his wedding day. Let’s start with the shoes. The shoes can make the outfit. If you are renting a tux, rented shoes may come with that rental agreement. Treat these shows a little better than the shoes you rent at the bowling alley. You’ll want a simple patent leather shoes to go with your snazzy tux. Don’t fear the rental tux shoes. Most are pretty good. That’s doesn’t mean you can’t help them look a little better. Throw a fresh coat of polish on those shoes on the morning of the wedding. They will shine and gleam all the way through the reception. And wear a decent pair of socks.

Cuff links. Most people don’t wear cuff links every day. Some people have never worn cuff links. If you are in the latter group, the wedding ceremony is a great time for a cuff link debut. You can go the classic, old-school link and wear a pair of silver square cuff links.

The vest. To vest or not to vest? This is the question many grooms struggle answer. Don’t sweat it. The vest really comes down to personal preference. If you want to rock a stylish two-piece charcoal suit on your wedding day, go for it (pending approval from your soon-to-be spouse). Vest can add another layer of style to a tux, and the vest should really be included in the tuxedo look. The vest itself does not have to be too funky. The white vest is actually considered to be the most formal vest.

Choose a wedding reception spot that has a quality groom’s suite and you’ll have a chance to clean up and refresh your look (if need be) after the ceremony and before the reception.

Planning a Business Party

business party

An off-site business party is a great opportunity to mingle with co-workers in an environment outside the workplace. People can “let their hair down” and get to know one another a little better. Over time, this can actually lead to increased workplace productivity.

If you get the opportunity to plan such a party, there will be plenty of questions to answer.

First, you’ll have to think about your budget. How much money to you have to spend and how are you going to spend the money?

Will you promote the party on social media or just promote it through internal office communications? Will you need to book entertainment? Will the party need a theme?

Themes can work great around the holidays. For those parties, the theme can be…the holidays. Easy enough. Problem solved. You can also brainstorm to come up with other ideas. It’s important to remember that any theme should be in good taste. Remember, this is still a work party.

One of the great benefits about throwing the off-site office party is that you don’t have to worry about space or after-party cleanup.

The off-site party at a banquet facility will also be great when it comes to food and drink. There is no worry or need to call a caterer. If you want a special menu or food to match up with a certain party theme, talk to the people at the facility and ask about any special foods you’d like to provide and see if they can accommodate you. You can likely choose from different food and bar plans.

Do your best to select a date and time that works for most of your co-workers. The party does not have to be long. 2-3 hours is a good time frame, especially if it is held on a weeknight after work.

Fall Wedding Fashions

fall wedding fashion

Let’s not rush past the rest of summer but fall will be here soon. Fall is a very popular time for weddings. Fall weddings means making different fashion choices than you would for spring or summer wedding. It can be confusing at time, but there are outfits that are perfect for a fall wedding.

Attending a true fall black-tie wedding means formal gowns for women and tuxedos for men. For women, black is an acceptable color for the gown as is a jewel color. Men can stick with the classic tuxedo look.

For fancy but less-formal fall weddings, women can go with a simple yet pretty dress. If it’s more of a casual wedding, think about a dress that would work at a casual workplace function. If you want to go with something a little more formal, consider a single-color dress with simple lines that can work with a scarf or jacket. Also think about a dress that embraces fall colors. These are colors like maroon, purple, turquoise and dark green.

Be smart with your feet. Heels are good but if it outdoors later in the day, think about how the fall temperatures drop once the sun goes down. It might be a good idea to bring a pair of flats.

If you are a guest, check with the bride to see what colors the bridesmaids are wearing. You don’t want to wear anything that is too similar in style or color.

There are some colors to avoid. One would be white (for obvious reasons). Also stay away from brown. Sure, it’s a fall color, but it can also be a bit of a dour and depressing look at a wedding. Avoid summer colors like pink or baby blue. It’s time to embrace the fall season.

Pack a lightweight coat or a scarf in cause that fall air becomes a little too chilly. This is especially true for October weddings.

Crowdfunded Weddings

crowdfunded weddings

Weddings are expensive. Couples are looking to cut costs wherever they can. Even if that means asking the wedding guests to help pay for some of the wedding.

You see, crowdfunded weddings are a thing now. This means basically asking guests to pony up to help with the wedding costs.

Need help with setting up a crowdfunded wedding? No problem. There are websites targeted to couples who decide that crowdfunding a wedding is the way to go. These crowdfunding websites help organize the money collection process in hopes that it will run somewhat smoothly. Some of these sites do have service charges, so it’s important to read the terms and conditions and all the other fine print, especially if you are a first-time user.

Here are the basics: Couples can set a goal of raising a certain dollar amount, with all the money going towards the cost of the wedding. It’s certainly a different take on the traditional wedding registry. This has couples rethinking how they budget their wedding and has wedding guests rethinking those wedding gift plans.

Couples should probably set a realistic fundraising goal. And they need to look to cut costs wherever they can before asking guests to chip in. Guests probably don’t want to be asked to contribute money, then show up at a $30,000 wedding. Check your guest list and see if you can pair it down without hurting too many feelings. Check for used wedding dresses. Talk to vendors about special deals. Consider an off-season wedding. Lots of wedding reception facilities will run deals on wedding that take place off-season. This usually means the months of November, December, January and February.

Are crowdfunded weddings a fad or sign of things to come? Time will tell, but it certainly sheds a light on how creative people can be when trying to cut wedding costs.

Fast Food Wedding

McDonald's Wedding

Sometimes you find out the strangest things when reading about weddings. Few are stranger than this: The McDonald’s in Hong Kong has a wedding package. That’s right. You can get a Big Mac, fries and a spouse.

This has been going on for almost four years in the Hong Kong location. Apparently business is doing ok. For now, Hong Kong is the only location in the world where you can get a Quarter Pounder and a vow of lifetime commitment under the same roof.

It looks like a savvy move for the fast food king. Lots of people eat at McDonald’s, there’s obvious brand recognition and there is never a shortage of couples that want to have non-traditional, offbeat wedding ceremonies. What could be more offbeat than getting married under the corporate banner of the same company that gave us a fictional elected official named Mayor McCheese and a fictional career criminal called The Hamburglar.

When the Hong Kong McDonald’s first went into the wedding business, there was a report that Hong Kong’s wedding industry was worth about 10.7 billion Hong Kong Dollars. McDonald’s apparently saw an opportunity to cash in.

It’s not all fun and games and secret sauce (which sure tastes like Thousand Island dressing) at a Hong Kong McDonald’s ceremony. Couples who are serious about romance and mass-produced chunks of chicken meat can choose wedding packages that feature a crystal McDonald’s house, bridal bouquets in pink and white and a pair of McDonald’s ballroom wedding rings.

Obviously, this is not a wedding concept that would be embraced by most couples. Some are more traditional. Others just prefer Wendy’s.

If you want real food for thought about choosing a wedding venue, choose a place that serves up elegance and luxury. Oh, and delicious food and a full bar.

What is a Shadow Wedding?

shadow wedding

For most engaged couples, the wedding day is a day to exchange and begin building a life together. It is a day of celebration.

So what is a shadow wedding?

Well, at first glance, it sounds like kind of a bummer. It’s apparently a ceremony before the wedding ceremony. At this ceremony, the couple apparently says disparaging about the other person, to the other person. Since this is an actually ceremony, guests are invited. Couples then apparently admit to their neurosis and various shortcomings.

The shadow weddings are often held at night, in the dark. The dress is usually less-than-formal. Many of these ceremonies are often being handled by professionals in the wedding business. These shadow weddings are not necessarily cheap either. These ceremonies can actually cost a few thousand dollars.

It sounds like it is a bit of a “dare-to-be-different” activity for engaged couples who have a healthy amount of disposable income.

Do some reading about shadow weddings and you’ll quickly find yourself reading about shadow wedding ceremonies where the couples were saying some really mean-spirited things to one another. There a man telling his future bride that he is going to cheat on her and not tell her. Then this is the future bride telling the future groom that she will recent him when he inevitably becomes the reason whys she is being held back in her career.

Some people have nothing to say but positive things about the experience, using words like “liberating” and “cathartic” to describe the shadow wedding. To each his own. Or their own.

In the meantime, remember the fun that can be had at a traditional wedding. Plan ahead and enjoy a beautiful ceremony and lively reception at a beautiful spot like Seasons at the Tradition. A courteous and trained staff will help make your wedding memorable. No nasty words necessary.

Save During Summer Wedding Season

wedding season savings
Whether you are a bride, bridesmaid or just a simple guest, the wedding season can get expensive fast. And, as we all know, summer is a big part of wedding season. Sure, May and June are the “hot months” for couples to tie the knot, but July, August and September are still busy months for ceremonies.

So are there ways to attend or take part in wedding season weddings and still have money for other summer activities? Of course there are:

Set Your Budget. Here’s the deal with budgets: It’s hard to set a budget and even harder to stick to a budget. One way to do it is to set a budget as soon as you receive the wedding invitation. Sit down and set a budget for the bridal shower/bachelor party, the wedding gift, wedding attire and anything else tied to the actual ceremony (like transportation and lodging). Add any incidentals that are applicable and stick to your budget.

Clip Coupons. Speaking of budgets, keep an eye out for coupons that can help cut some of those costs. If you are not usually a coupon clipper, this will require more discipline to remember to save those coupons.

Save Early. Don’t try to save or spend all at once. And don’t max out your credit card. Put some money aside each month to defer some of the wedding costs.

Turn your wedding stay into a little R & R. If you do some homework, you’ll find that some hotels will honor the lower wedding rate for a few extra days. This means, if you can swing it, you can turn that wedding trip in a mini-vacation at an affordable price.

If you are single, go stag. If you have a serious boyfriend/girlfriend, that’s one thing. But just bringing a friend just for the sake of have a wedding date will get expensive. Go solo. You might find out you have more fun. Let’s just leave it at that.