Ask The Right Questions Before You Book Your Wedding Reception

Think saying “I do” is going to be the most emotional moment in your wedding? Probably so, but putting down a deposit on your wedding venue could be a close runner-up.

Reception costs consume almost half the budget for the wedding, which these days means you can expect to lay out almost $ 18,000, including food. And the venue you select can not only limit your choice of caterers or bakers, it’s sure to affect how much you spend to “cover up” its weak spots or accent its highlights. Most stressful of all, the popular venues book far in advance, forcing brides to make the big decision almost as soon as they set the date.

For that reason, the savvy venue-hunter wants to know what questions to ask before she walks in the door, much less signs the contract. Here are a few ideas:

Do you have a pre-set list of caterers I can use, or can I choose my own?

Some venues — high-end ones with their own catering staff, or small-town ones with little competition — require you to use the in-house caterers or choose from a small list of “approved” vendors. It can be difficult to get taste-tests or otherwise put this type of vendor through its paces. If you’re stuck with such a list, search high and low for brides who have “been there, done that” and can give you their honest opinions.

Any restrictions on decorations?

Many venues have them, but rules vary widely from place to place. Common restrictions include: no open flame (or no flame whatsoever), no tape or tacks on the walls, or no confetti. When linens are provided, some halls will prohibit the use of pins. Ask if the hall can provide any decorations themselves, especially around holidays. Useful centrepiece items such as hurricane lamps or Eiffel vases are not uncommon.

Can we bring our own liquor, is there a “corkage” fee, and do we need a license?

If the liquor’s to flow freely at your wedding, you’ll save an immense amount of money by bringing your own. But some venues prohibit this and require you to buy from them. Even worse is the venue that says “yes” to bringing your own alcohol, but charges you a mandatory “corkage fee” to serve it — which typically starts at an unbelievable $10 per bottle or more! You’ll want to be crystal-clear on the fine print regarding alcohol before you commit to a venue.

As for licensing, many places consider wedding receptions to be an “unlicensed social function,” meaning you don’t need one as long as you’re not charging anyone for the alcohol. But be sure to check your local regulations before moving ahead — and ask your venue if they know of any licensing requirements. (SOCAN)

Is there a cake-cutting fee?

Some venues even limit your choice of bakers, but most don’t. A more common (and sneakier) tactic is to charge you a cake-cutting fee, which like corkage fees, can really add up — often at $1 per slice!

DIY Detective Work

These, of course, are only a few of the questions you’ll want to ask a prospective venue manager. A few more tips while you’re checking out the place:

– Bring a tape measure. Get the dimensions of the room, the tables, and the distance between any features that might impact your decor, like windows. How many outlets are there and where are they located? What kind of climate control is available to you?

– Check the kitchen. Does it look clean, roomy and suitable for your catering staff to work from?

– Check the hall itself. Where will you put the DJ , the cake table, the coffee service? Are there coat racks for your guests? Is a sound system available? Is there an “tie-in” fee to bring your own entertainment ?

– Check out the parking. Is it ample? Is it paved, or can it get muddy in the case of rain? Is there handicap access?

One final thing to get clear before you autograph that contract is your venue’s cancellation policy. But hopefully, with these helpful tips, you’ll have done enough homework to rest easy in your choice and not worry about having to cancel. Now that you’ve signed, take some time to sit back and relax … before you tackle the next task in that thick wedding planner!

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Concept Of Cold Feet Or Wedding Jitters

The concept of wedding jitters or cold feet (leaving the bride or the groom at the altar) is not a new phenomenon but has been around for as long as anybody can remember in some form or shape.

Movies like Runaway Bride and the recent news in the media about brides walking away from their pending nuptials has captured our attention in more than one way.

What is behind this Cold Feet concept? I am sure the root cause is some psychological reason for both men and women which terrifies them to take the plunge into holy matrimony. Leaving the Bride or Groom at the alter and undoing months of wedding planning and expense is far more serious than the normal anxiety attacks suffered by an average person.

As many studies and surveys show contrary to the popular perception of happy Bride or Groom to be before the wedding many women and men find this time of transition a very trying and stressful period in their life and some go to the extreme of not going through with the wedding at all. Our Society has experimented with many ways to cope with the fear of commitment, the most popular and now an accepted norm is living together before any kind of serious long term commitment.

The point is if there is more than normal panic attacks involved here then the whole relationship needs to be examined carefully before taking the plunge into marriage(and before the pending Wedding day).

If the both the parties involved sit together and take a look at the practical aspect of the relationship as opposed to emotional then this anxiety and concern can be addressed in a much more constructive way and will save loads of heartache and embarrassment for everybody involved. To have a long lasting and fruitful union in any form it is best to get the little issues out of the way and then the big issues will be resolved in the same manner. The key is communication. If you communicate your fears and concerns beforehand, there will be no body alone at the altar on the Wedding day.

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Buying Your Wedding Cake

Generally, wedding cakes are the conventional cake being dished up to the guests at the wedding. It is characterized as a huge cake, different from the usual cakes we have on ordinary occasions. In most cases, wedding cakes are layered or multi-layered and are heftily decorated with icing, beads, and other embellishments that would reflect the grandiose of the event. On the top is a small image of a bride and groom.

Wedding cakes can go from the simplest to the most complex decorations; each has its own artistic distinctions depending on the creative juices of the baker. They should conform to the main purpose of the cake, that whatever embellishments it possess, it can still be edible and can be eaten.

Because the wedding cake is such an important part in the wedding celebration, here are some tips you need to know in case you will be buying a wedding cake in the future.

1. Check on the length of time required for you in ordering your wedding cake.

Time is such an important factor when making wedding plans. Of course, you would not want your wedding be hurriedly done or rushed. Because the wedding cake is a part of the wedding plan, it is important to devote an appropriate time in ordering wedding cakes.

It is best to ask your favorite bakeshop on the time frame that they usually give with regards to wedding cake so that you can make early orders if it will take such a long time to create your wedding cake. In this way, you will not be in a hurry coming up with a wedding cake to be served on your wedding day.

2. Verify the details of the cake and its cost.

A lot of couples are so fascinated with the luscious treats that go with their wedding cake. What they do not know is that each embellishment and every twists and turns embedded in the cake has a price.

Therefore, it would be better to clear it out with your baker how much will be the cost of every decoration are added features you wish to add on your wedding cake.

3. Tell your baker about the details of your wedding.

In today’s modern world, weddings are not just done in the church. A lot of ideas had come up in terms of wedding venues. Therefore, if ever you have any plans of having your wedding by the beach or anywhere else where it is open, it would be better to inform your baker about this.

In most cases, icings are vulnerable to environmental hazards. So, if the baker knows that your wedding will be a garden wedding or a wedding by the beach, he could make such arrangements with your cake in order to endure the environmental conditions where it will be placed.

4. In a budget? Why not decorate your own wedding cake.

It is not so uncommon nowadays to find somebody decorating his or her own wedding cake. In fact, it is a feasible idea especially to those who have a very tight budget.

All you have to do is to order a plain wedding cake and buy the decorations from the retail stores.

So, set aside some special decisive moment when it comes to your wedding cake because there would be no better way to glamorize your wedding than to have a perfectly made wedding cake.

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Every Wedding Must Have It

Wedding favours are quickly becoming a trendy essential of the wedding celebration. Wedding favours are small gifts that are given to each guest at the wedding reception. It says, thank you for coming to our wedding and celebrating this most special day with us.

Wedding favours are becoming an important part of the wedding planning process. Before you make or purchase your wedding favours you have to determine the following:

1. How many people are invited to the wedding?

You need to know how many people are attending the wedding to determine the number of wedding favours needed. Wedding favours are usually bought after the RSVPs to make sure there are enough favours for each guest. Therefore, the favours are usually bough one month or closer to the actual wedding day.

2. What is your budget per guest?

You have to determine the budget for your wedding favours. You can buy some very nice wedding favours for about $2-$3. If you are crafty you can make your own favours, but most people leave it to the professionals and buy their favours.

3. What is your theme?

Your theme or wedding location or the time of the year can determine your wedding favours. For example, a beach wedding calls for a beach theme wedding favour such as a dolphin wine stopper, a seashell candle, or a beach chair candle or cardholder.

Just like the bridal gown, wedding favours are a part of the brides to do list. The decision on what favours to give to the guest should be made by the bride and groom. You can purchase inexpensive but useful wedding favours that will end up in someone’s home not in trash can of your reception venue. An elegant wine stopper, a pretty candle, a shiny bottle opener, a personalized chocolate bar all have the power say to your guest thank you with style and elegance.

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Your Wedding Video

A video presentation of your wedding can become the most entertaining memory of your wedding day. It is a crucial part of your wedding, and you should treat it accordingly. You have many options to have your wedding videographed. You can have a friend or family do it for your, or you can hire a professional. If you hire a professional you need to consider several issues.
You need to make sure you are hiring an experienced person. You should view their previous work and ask for sample footage. On the demo you want to look for clarity and an overall feel for the work. The steadiness of the camera is another point to consider.
Make sure you understand what is included in the final product you are purchasing. Is it a DVD? What is the expected duration of the video? How many cameras are used to produce the movie? Ask to see if you can include photos and other video footage? Make sure you can select the music you want. Will they provide you with the raw footage, so you can later edit it yourself?
It is best if the videographer is familiar with the wedding ceremony and reception venue. Ask to see if they are willing to visit the location prior to the wedding to become familiar with the place. The visit should give the person clues about angles, lighting, and other important factors.
Be sure the videographer understands the schedule of your wedding. Explain to them the most important aspect to the wedding. They have to understand what is the most important to you. Perhaps there are certain people, or places that you want him to emphasize. The more they understand what you are looking for in the video the better they are equipped to make the most memorable product for you.
Your wedding is a once in a lifetime experience, so do everything you can to preserve the moment.
Visit our friends at Miogi Productions  to see our professionals of choice
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Your Wedding Theme

Whether it’s a traditional, formal or off-the-beaten-track wedding, you’re putting the whole event together yourself by planning its every phase. These days, with so much available on the Internet, it’s easy! All you need is some time and a clear idea of the feeling you want to get across.

Start with a theme and you’ll have a coherent image you can use throughout the entire wedding. You may be surprised, in fact, how potent just a word or concept can be, once applied as your marriage theme.

Love angels, for example? What could be more perfect than finding ways to incorporate angels in every phase of your wedding?

From the flowers to the guest favours to the vows, you can find a way to carry out the theme through the entire event. Is it to be a casual wedding of two Renaissance types? The Renaissance theme is compatible with the wedding ritual, and makes for an unforgettable event.

Getting married on February the fourteenth? Hearts and flowers are perhaps the most traditional and best beloved of all wedding themes!

When you’re planning your wedding, save time to choose the music with care. Get together with whoever is providing the music and talk about the right pieces for the two of you. There is nothing that sets the tone like music, and your wedding music will live in your memories for the rest of your lives.

The rings, the vows, the wardrobe all the choices you must make to create an intimately personal expression of your love, are made so much easier by following a theme. But the idea behind it all is what counts.

You can choose one word to describe the spirit you wish to be your wedding, as if the coming together of two hearts creates a separate entity with one quality.

Is it joy? Is it contentment? Is it a giddy, bubbly, mirthful adoration? Pick a word or a phrase and keep it in mind. It’ll tie everything together and make the experience more perfect. And your wedding theme can become a foundation throughout your marriage.

For your wedding.

For each other.

For your life.

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How To Plan Your Dream Wedding

Planning a wedding and keeping your sanity is not an easy task. Everyone knows that planning a wedding can be an extremely stressful and trying time, especially as the big day approaches.
One of the most important details of the wedding is the actual wedding date. This is usually the detail that is taken care of first. Factors in choosing a date include the availability of the venue where the wedding will take place and availability of friends and family on the assigned date.
It is also advisable to set a budget before you start to make plans. This way you’re able to organize the details according to your budget.
Some venues where weddings are held offer discounts on days when traditionally, weddings are not held. Also, the time the wedding takes place also becomes a factor in the expense. For example, mornings and afternoon receptions are usually cheaper than receptions held in the evening.
Venues can offer discounts depending on the time of year. Just after the holidays could be a good time to hold a wedding if you are considering the cost. This time is not considered a ‘peak time’, therefore the price tends to be less expensive.
It is important to talk to your fiancée about the size of your wedding. Your dream wedding might not be your fiancées. So it ís necessary for you to discuss details such as the location of the venue/reception, the number of people who get invited to the wedding/reception, and the choice of entertainment.
It is important to reach an agreement on the guest list. If you want to keep the wedding an intimate affair, only family and/or friends would be invited. If you wanted to have the wedding of the century, friends and family, long lost relatives, the whole neighbourhood and high school buddies could be invited. When making the guest list, consider the space capacity of your chosen venue.
It ís a good idea to hire a professional to capture this momentous occasion. Sure, your friends can take good pictures and some of them may own a camcorder. But for this special occasion, you would want something special, lasting, and visually presentable. This way you could also share them with your friends and family.
Don’t forget the cake! It’s a good idea to have a tasting first, before settling on a cake. Invite your family and friends for the cake tasting. This way, this task becomes fun for everyone!
Order wedding invitations. If you want to get creative, you can always print your own. This way, you can customize them, and add a more personal touch to the invitation.
Don’t forget to start looking for a wedding gown months before the wedding so the bride has plenty of time to make a selection. Also, the groom should make arrangements to rent or buy a tuxedo or suit preferably in advance in case there is trouble with the fitting.
Couples who don’t have enough time on their hands or just find the preparations that go into planning a wedding too overwhelming can always just hire a wedding planner. This way, everything gets organized and coordinated for them. But if you decide to go the wedding planner route, don’t forget to add this cost into your budget.
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Things To Consider For Your Outdoor Wedding

Every couple who decide to have their wedding outside of a church usually already have a good idea of where they want their ceremony performed. Many have planned their wedding in a park or beautiful garden area. If you are trying to decide where you want to make your memories, here are a few considerations to think about if a outdoor wedding is on your list.

Many things should be thought about before planning your outdoor wedding; however the biggest factor that could ruin your dream wedding is the weather. It is okay to go ahead with your plans as is, however you should have a backup location chosen or be prepared to set up a tent in the event the weatherman has made a mistake! You can also talk to your florist about weatherizing flowers and helping to protect them in the event bad weather should become a factor. Mother Nature cannot create magic, so using common sense is necessary.

When planning an outdoor wedding, remember that the weather can also take its toll on food. If you intend to have dairy products, such as butter, cheese or mayonnaise, hot weather may spoil them and leave you with hungry guests. Think about serving hot food that will stay preserved in hot weather. You can also create ice bowls, in which you place dishes in bowls of ice, keeping them cool and helping them to last longer.

Another factor to take into consideration when planning an outdoor wedding is the noise level. Visit the garden and listen before making your decision. Is traffic going to cause a problem? It is not romantic to say your vows while horns are honking and tires are squealing! Also, is the venue located in a busy park? Will there be children playing close by and families picnicking? Stop and listen for sounds that may become a problem in making your day special.

Wedding attire is another thought to be considered when planning your outdoor wedding. While choosing attire for yourself and your wedding party, keep in mind that with hot climates and sticky temperatures, heavily lined dresses may not be suitable for the outdoors. A sweaty wedding party will not compliment your big day and will create misery for those who want to help make this day special. Also keep away from heels, which can sink into grass, making walking down the aisle awkward for everyone.

The guests also need to be thought about when planning your garden wedding. Although they will be sitting comfortably listening to you and your groom exchange vows, think about restroom facilities. Are the restrooms clean and free of unpleasant smells? If not, you may think about renting clean, portable facilities for the day.

Even if you take all of these things into consideration when planning your garden wedding, mishaps may still occur, however using these tips can help to make your day just the way you want it to be: memorable.

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*photo credit Dwayne Watkins Photography

Don’t Miss That Great Wedding Picture

In the heat of the moment , while running around shaking hands , hugging and kissing family one of the things that may fall through the cracks could be your wedding pictures.
These are images that you will look back on in the years to come and remember the exact way you felt at that spectacular moment . Imagine missing the shot with your grandmother , matron of honour or the one your really wanted of your partner and the new in-laws.
Once the moment has past , it really has past
 
” Oh that won’t happen to us … ” isn’t the way you want to leave ANY part of your wedding . It could end up being followed by ” Oh WHY did we let that happen to us ? “
No matter how awesome your photographer or videographer is I suggest you follow the old boy scout motto ALWAYS BE PREPARED.
Below is a sample list of shots that I found online . I give it to all my clients now.
Print out a copy for your vendors and keep one in your wedding emergency kit.
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Make-up And Beauty For Your Wedding

What have I learned from all these years in the wedding business ? Work out a time schedule and stick to it. Plotting out your beauty details months before your wedding will help you remain calm and collected so that your big day goes off without a hitch.

Two Months Before

A good skin care regimen is important to get ready for your big day but don’t do anything too extreme.

Moisture is so important for healthy glowing skin. Apply an oil-free moisturizer each morning before your makeup and after you take if off each night.

Four to Six Weeks Before

Make your appointment now to have your hair and makeup done. Schedule a consultation and try several different styles with and without your veil and experiment with more dramatic makeup. Remember the waterproof mascara.

Two Weeks Before

Time for a trim and to touch up your hair color or highlights. Keep hair healthy with a deep conditioner twice a week.

One Week Before

Schedule a pedicure but keep feet fabulous until the big day with some extra pampering. A Soothing Foot Soak can be handy if you plan on dancing the night away at your reception.

Don’t leave any waxing until the last minute. You could end up with shiny, red skin and that isn’t what you want for your wedding photos.

Day Before

Slip an eye mask in the freezer for a few minutes and use it to minimize puffy eyes.

Wedding Day

Along with seeing your beauty specialist early help the day go smoothly by keeping a small bag with beauty basics such as clear fingernail polish to stop a run, bobbi pins to help hold an unruly curl and two-sided tape for a fallen hem.Remember nothing beats being well rested to accentuate that beautiful smile.

If you are getting married in the Toronto area we suggest our preferred Make Up And Hair Specialist at Beauty By Jemz  

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