Choosing the Right Wedding Flowers

Weddings involve a lot of time and effort with many plans involved, but it seems that choosing the right wedding flowers take up a lot of the time. Wedding flowers seem to have one of the biggest impacts on those attending the wedding, besides the wedding gown that is.

For people that go to weddings on a regular basis they’ll discover that just about every wedding includes flowers of some sort, so when planning a wedding ensure to include a little planning around the wedding flower selection. For 2009 there happens to be a big trend with selecting contrasting colors for the flower arrangements. People are choosing flowers that are usually not combined together, such as red and lime green. Not everyone is doing this but it seems to be happening quite often and becoming very popular to see in weddings.

Every wedding is different so there is going to be many different kinds of trends going on each year and season which can make the wedding flower selection a little more complicated for some. When picking flowers consider where the placement of the flower arrangements are going to be. Most weddings have flowers from the chapel right to the reception hall with each matching in their own little way. The bridal party has wedding flowers made into bouquets and even the groomsmen have a flower pinned onto their tuxedos. Flowers seem to be everywhere people are looking so it can take some time to decide on the perfect wedding flowers to help pull everything together perfectly.

Wedding flowers can be the second most beautiful thing throughout the entire wedding and another thing that everyone seems to focus a lot of attention on. For those selecting wedding flowers try choosing flower colors that tie everything together. Flowers can be designed to extenuate the bride’s gown or accessories allowing things to really pop just that little bit more. The options are endless with what can be done with floral arrangements and they can be placed just about anywhere throughout the wedding.

Weddings can take a lot of time so having a good game plan as to what needs done when can help things go smoothly. Order wedding flowers ahead of time so that the florist is given all the necessary time to prepare arrangements, order in the actual flowers and if needed have any color dying done before the actual wedding date. Florists are given a very tight deadline to prepare large quantities of flower arrangements before the flowers begin to loose their crisp beauty. They need the time to get things perfect so by doing things ahead of time everything will flow smoothly and fewer problems will arise on the actual wedding day.

It seems that there are overwhelming options for wedding flowers and many seem to find themselves changing their minds several times. This is why it’s recommended to have extra time to think of what wedding flowers should be used, arranged, placed and any other little detail that becomes a huge detail in a matter of minutes. It can be frustrating sitting trying to determine what wedding flower will be right but it will happen. Florists should be able to supply designs of floral arrangements whether drawn, photographed from previous arrangement designs or an example made. By having a visual of the wedding flowers the decision becomes much easier overall.

Wedding flowers are a major part of every wedding and each wedding will have its own designs and layouts. Each wedding is different meaning there will be different wedding flowers used and arrangements done. There are many options available that can allow anyone who is planning a wedding to be able to decide on something that matches their wedding. Choosing the right wedding flowers can take time, but with a little help from a florist anything is possible.

How to Plan a Beautiful Wedding on a Tight Budget

Even in financially challenging times, people find ways to celebrate their union in marriage. A wedding doesn’t need to be expensive in order to be beautiful and unforgettable, and going into a debt that will linger for years in the future is not a good way to start your marriage. I always tell my clients this, and try to explain ways for them to save money on wedding planning and still create a beautiful wedding on a tight budget. In this article I would like to provide you with some tips on how to cut costs on your wedding, but still plan a gorgeous event.

1. Plan Your Wedding Budget.

Before you do any planning, pay attention your budget. You and your fiance should spend some time creating a list of categories for each aspect of the wedding and set priorities before you get caught up in the excitement of wedding planning. If you know exactly what you wish your grand total budget to be, create categories such as Venue, Catering, Wedding Dress and Attire, Photography, Invitations, Decorations, Floral, etc., and allocate your funds according to which category you value highest. However, if you do not have a set total in mind, do the categories first and in the end you can see what your grand total will be, and tweak the categories to make that total suitable. Utilizing this list will keep you from overspending and will help you stay within the budget you originally set out for your wedding.

2. Minimize Your Guest List

Before you start to invite your guests, sit down and try to minimize the guest list. Just because your cousin’s half-sister’s best friend invited you to her wedding, does not mean you must reciprocate the favor. Understand that each person you invite is an additional cost for almost every aspect of the wedding; reception seats, food, drinks, invitations, favors and decorations. Remember, in most cases, almost half of your total budget will go to the venue and catering. Your main goal now is to save! So invite those who are most important to you, your groom or your parents personally, not because you feel as though you “have” to invite them.

3. Serve Buffet Instead Of A Formal Plated Dinner

Buffet is a great solution for those who want to save money, yet enjoy a large wedding. First of all, a formal dinner will require more staff to serve – and secondly – per person, a caterer’s menu is usually cheaper than a venue’s.

4. Get Married In Off-Season – Save on Venue Costs

It is well known that everything is cheaper in off season months. This – for weddings in Canada – runs November to March. Of course on-peak and off-peak months vary from venue to venue, but generally speaking, you will definitely be able to save more if you decide to get married during the Fall-Winter months. Not only are set prices usually lower, but vendors are more likely willing to cut you a deal when they have less work to do.

5. Do It Yourself

Why pay someone else to do it, when you can do it yourself? Think of what you like most and how you can create this little something yourself and add a personal touch to your wedding. For example, if you like to bake, you might consider baking little pastries as favors and wrap them nicely. Or if you like to paint, you could use your painting talent to create unique table numbers or place cards. The creative possibilities are endless! One of my couples used items from their family’s antique collection as centrepieces. Another couple used book tags surrounded with little flowers as centrepieces, as both loved to read. Both couples personalized their wedding with this little personal touch and the spending was minimal. But when entering the DIY world, if the materials are expensive – or a replacement in case of failure cannot be ordered last minute – ensure this is a project you are fully capable of completing. Otherwise, it might be cheaper and less stressful to hire a professional.

6. Hire a Professional Wedding Planner

A wedding planner’s “little black book” will become your best friend when trying to save money on your wedding. Planners spend lots of time and energy developing relationships with the best vendors in the city. Planners know who will provide the best work, for the least amount of money, and have worked out discount deals with these vendors to better save you money.

Finding Wedding Favors Under $1

Now that you are down to figuring out wedding favors, you are probably bearing down on the big day like a freight train. These are notoriously one of the last aspects of the wedding plan and as such get the shaft. Many couples look at the prices and throw the towel in.

The good news is that there are thousands of cute wedding favors under $1 that will give your guests something to remember the wedding. Choose wisely and your guests will not even think for a moment that you are cheap!

Candy is a popular gift, but you do not just want to throw down bare candy on the beautiful table arrangement.

Look around and you will find that there are adorable little tins, boxes, and containers everywhere that can be used to ‘class-up’ the candy.

You would be surprised how many guests eat up the candy, then go on the hunt after the ceremony to snag as many of the cute little boxes as they can. Once the candy is emptied, guests like to use them to hold jewelry, medicine, mints, and who knows what else. The point is that every time a little box is re-purposed, your guest will think fondly of your wedding. Not everybody will take them home, but a few people will clean up, and it will be amusing to watch the mad dashQ

Other fabulous favors under $1 include unique tea candles, magnets, notepads, and votive holders.

Tea candles are a favorite gift because they can be found in so many shapes. There is a special candle for every bride and groom. Candles can range from sophisticated to downright silly.

On the candle note, there are also votive holders. Every guest needs another candle holder in their life. Why not give them one that helps them remember you? With a little craftiness, a boring old votive holder can be transformed into a beautiful keepsake. Simply glue (make sure you use high temperature hot glue or other heat-safe glue) on festive decorations, paint on a design or even handwrite a short message on the holder and voila! Your guests will dig on customized wedding favors under $1.

With a little ingenuity, craftiness, and creativity, you can find memorable wedding favors under $1. It is understandable if you do not have enough time to customize all the little gifts, and we say… that is what bridesmaids are for! Have a little fun with the favors and remember that it does not have to be expensive to be memorable.

Unique Wedding Favors to Flair Your Wedding Reception

There are many ways to thank your wedding guests for attending your big day. They’ve taken their time out just to be with you and to be the witness of your promise to love each other. One great way to thank wedding guests is to give them wedding favors, but not just mere tokens that are easily bought in the market. There so many wedding favors that are available these days, but opting for unique ones is really different.

Unique wedding favors can really flair your wedding reception. They are not just little thank you gifts

for your guests, but can make a really nice accent on every table in your reception. Unique wedding favors come, if chosen with creativity, will definitely make a great change in the entire party. You will love to see your guests with a great smile on their faces and impressed by your unique gifts that they can take home afterwards.

If you are thinking of giving away unique favors, you may consider little jars filled with tiny treats such as candies, almonds, gums, mints or even jams or honey. You can find these little jars at your local craft store or purchase them online. However, if you don’t have time to assemble all the little jars yourself, you can also purchase pre-made ones. Other unique favor containers you may consider are little bags, boxes, bottles or even take-out boxes. These containers come in various shapes and sizes to fit your needs.

If you want something that is both unique and playful, you can think of giving out personalized playing cards. These fun favors are perfect, especially if you will be having a Vegas themed wedding. Personalized playing cards come in so many themes and clever labels that will definitely impress your guests. You can pick a design from array of motifs that is just right for you. Consider the color and think of an ideal text to make it more unique.

Another unique favors you may want to consider are computer accessories such as mouse pads or keyboard dusters. This idea is really interesting as not all weddings give out such items as souvenirs of their wedding. You can customize mouse pads or keyboard dusters with personalized stickers, labels, ribbons or little cards. These unique favor options are also great because can also be helpful to your guests.

Speaking of useful favors, there are also other useful choices like personalized tape measures, measuring spoons, salt and pepper shakers, manicure sets, chopsticks, bottle openers, wine stoppers, coasters, mugs, pens and many more. You can personalize these things with your names, monograms, wedding date and a phrase, or a line poem.

These are a few unique suggestions for wedding favors. You can find some more by simply browsing online. There are so many online stores that offer various kinds of wedding favors – from edible favors, practical wedding favors to unique wedding favors that will sure to flair your wedding reception. Just always remember to choose the one that really fits your wedding.

Wedding Plans in 2015

It helps to visualize your desired wedding. Women have long planned their ideal wedding day, but with the strong influence of celebrity marriages the modern fashion for weddings has spread far and wide, and is no longer limited to the vastly rich. The choices you now have are amazing, and many old traditions are being ditched or refined for more modern day ones. So where do you start?

Well, there have been plenty of movies to watch for inspiration or ideas; The Knot, Love actually, My Best Friends Wedding, even TV hits like “Friends” had its share of weddings. These are great, but these weddings are about particular characters and personalities. They are fine to poach ideas that you can build on and refine, but ultimately…

Start it with YOU! That’s right, think ‘huge ego’, ‘no limits’ and start at the top! Pretend for a moment you have a bottomless pocket and go ahead and draw up your ideal wedding because you are about you!

So design it all on your pad, look and learn from the best weddings that inspire you- from the wedding dress to the ceremony and on to the reception(s). Yeah that’s right, you can have more than one and it does not even have to be one day either as some weddings go on all week. It’s a one-off special day for you and there will be no others to match it.

So now you have a rough ideal wedding planned right? Well, maybe your budget is a consideration, so time to start making your dream wedding work for your realistic wedding. Keep in mind your dream wedding though as it may be possible for to overlay some of it onto your realistic one. Hopefully, you have months until the big day so maybe think about starting with the easier stuff first; things you can go and find right now and work into your budget. In a wedding there are things you must have, things that should be there (but not essential) and things that you can easily afford to lose, especially if it does not work for you.

The wedding dress and the venue are the first to arrange. Put yourself in an imaginary white room and visualise your dream dress appearing on you. Next imagine the white of the room turning into your venue. So which one looks better, cheaper, and functional in your mind? A Church or a registry office… ?

WEDDING THEMES

Themed weddings are a current trend in 2014, and from what I am seeing as a photographer there are also popular colour and food themes. If a favourite colour is important to you then this could be start of your theme. Since the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, a new traditional style benchmark was set and also since the movie “The Great Gatsby” there has been a definite move towards the 1920’s look.

Now themes do come with a price tag, but will certainly stand out for years to come. For theme inspirations take a look online and see what catches your eye.

THE DRESS & THE SHOES

wedding shoes
The choices out there are more varied than ever before, and ultimately you your dress and shoes are going to be the centre of attraction and remembered. Your photographer bases the wedding images around you. Everyone else who brings their cameras are going to be pointing them at you as well. Therefore, one thing to keep in mind: place your dress and shoes at the top of the budget list.

So what’s current right now? Functional dresses that can be used again and again? Or something that sparkles glamour and taste?

“Less is More” 1855 poem “Andrea del Sarto

Wedding dresses in colours other than shades of white are certainly something different – creative and bold. They can be used again and again. Blush colours, like pink or peach are making a comeback. A stylish, pale, shimmering pink is certainly something to consider but in my opinion you cannot beat white. The classic white dress still sits at the top and has done for hundreds of years.

Wedding portraiture

Depending on where you have your ceremony, there are some considerations to keep in mind. A church wedding traditionally means hiring a special car to get you there. You should also think about the time you have in the day as well; how long will the journey be from A to B and then to C. If you’re having a professional photographer, make sure you plan with him/her where, how long and what type of photography you would like.

What’s hot right now is total coverage, and I find the most interesting photos are the pre-wedding ones: the bridal prepping photos of the make-up artist at work, the hair being styled, the wedding dress hanging up ready to be worn, the shoes, the brand new sparkling jewellery. As a society, we are now, more than ever interested in the who, how and what went into making a big event. Look at any popular movie on DVD and Blu-ray today and you will often find the making-of documentaries are actually longer than the movie.

Preparation
Preparation

We like seeing the leading actors in between takes, behaving naturally and offering a little insight into their real personalities. The same applies to you, your bridesmaids, the Groom and grooms men. You really are going to be a celeb for the day and seeing the bridesmaids having a little fun getting ready is exactly what you are going to want to look back on… no matter how old they are.

A ceremony in a hotel may mean no car is required, and you can relax a bit more because everything’s central; all roads point to one venue for everyone involved. Also guests can book rooms for the night so your reception does not have to have a set finish time.

Now let’s not forget some key details either, have you thought about how the ring gets presented during the ceremony? A favourite at the moment is a decorated pillow with pins on the rings, or the family dog carrying it down the aisle on call. Just be creative, it’s the little things that add that speciality.

Some churches and registrars have rules you need to be aware of and this is made clear when you are booking with them. They usually insist on only one official photographer being allowed to photograph the event. This is not intended to be mean or too controlling but it is a data protection issue and in some cases a copyright issue as well with regards to the venue. For example, when it comes to the signing of the official register no photography is allowed – full stop. This is a policy all officials will follow. But once this formality is completed the photographer is free to capture the happy couple signing a fake book instead.

Respect and Social Media

Something to consider is the release of guest photos onto social media on the night of the wedding. You may or may not have an opinion on this, but some couples ask their guests to hold back their photos and not post them straight to social sites till the official ones are released to in order maintain their ‘exclusive’ quality. What I suggest is to ask everyone on their invites to send their photos to the bride and groom afterwards, and let them be the first to see their own wedding.

Now I must point out a few facts here: amateur photographers are everywhere and most people own some pretty good cameras that can rival the photographers own equipment. Does this mean that uncle David is going to get the same photos as your hired photographer? Do you really need a photographer at all?

I can honestly say I have never been wowed by these snaps. People do get lucky sometimes with maybe 1 in 50. I have however seen most of them end up online in social media sites with titles like; top 100 worst wedding photos though.

The point is, you need a professional for quality and peace of mind. Like Jamie Oliver cooking a Wedding Breakfast or Maggie Sottero designing a special dress, professionals in their field have the correct equipment and skills to deliver. A professional photographer knows what to look for and where to be. You cannot expect a family member or friend to take on such a responsibility. The professional brings back-up facilities so no image is lost. He/she has the skills to process your images and store them properly afterwards. Your hired photographer will have be versed in adjusting your images, sharpening and cropping them to fit industrial print standards ready for printing.

DETAILS OF THE RECEPTION

Hunger – After a ceremony, most guests are hungry and thirsty. When planning your wedding reception it might be wise to offer canap├ęs/appetisers with any reception drinks. These will revive any flagging guests, and potentially prevent any early inebriation.

Wedding reception

Cake – The wedding cake is a tradition that people seem to be re-vamping and modernising. Recent weddings I have attended have seen the cutting of the traditional iced fruit cake take a backseat and sometimes just not appear at all! This can be seasonal choice, for example, winter tastes veer towards chocolate and rich flavours, whereas in summer I have seen light sponges, lemon cake or even just a good old cheesecake. Wedding fairs are currently promoting ice-cream cakes that double as a dessert for the Wedding Breakfast, or layered tiers of frosted cupcakes that can be distributed on the big day without the need to cut the cake.

Messages – The traditional way is a guest signing book, it’s a great keep sake to take home. But there are already new ideas out there. How about a wishing well that guests can put little notes into? Once you’re finished with it after the wedding, stick it in the garden and let nature grow around it.

Presents – A great way to make the speeches more interesting is giving out presents to those that have helped and been there for you, you could even try a fun raffle or give out lottery tickets.

Kids – If there are children present, you can be sure that they will be bored and ready to start running around, having fun and generally getting under your feet. You can plan for this too, by having bubble blowing bottles available to hand out. It looks good on the photos too and is such fun even the adults join in!

Staff – If you’re having a large themed wedding, it’s worth checking with the caterers if they have some form of uniform. A suggestion here is request staff wear white gloves, they just look classy and clean.

Food – The modern take on the Wedding Breakfast is less traditional with more spicy cuisine on the menu. Styles vary but, over the years peoples tastes have certainly changed. The more creative your food the more memorable your day will be, and depending on how much time and money you have, how about trying an 8 course meal? It’s all about the taste.

Music while you eat – If you go to any wedding fair you will find some great musicians to choose from. They can accompany your meal playing the piano or harp and will often play anything you request. At one wedding I covered recently the theme was rock, so the pianist was playing hits from ACDC, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Queen, Slip Knot and many, many more. It was different and cool!

Up lighting effects – Hiring some lights for the evening is a great way to completely change the mood of your event and give it an amazing look. Up lights point at the walls and ceilings and can be set to a colour to match your theme. White fairy lights can create a pretty background on your night photo’s and are particularly effective after dark.

Night Music – Cover bands are popular at the moment and there are some great groups out there that specialize in weddings. They will play your favourite tracks on request. Disco’s, well do you need a disco? Technology is good enough now for you to pretty much create your own custom playlist that blends into each track from a laptop or iPod/iPad. Just plug that into the band’s amplifier and click play. You can alternate your own music with the band to give them a break. By the way… don’t forget to feed the band!

Flowers – Real or Fake? its a tough one to decide upon, and it can be quite nice to have flowers to hide parts of hired halls. For others its something to maybe forgo and forget altogether. It really matters on how much importance it has for you.

By James McConnachie
(c) 2015