My first child was just born a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t think that it can ever be too early to start thinking about safety when it comes to kids. I know it will be years before my child is old enough to get into some things, like a gun, but I think I should go ahead and make sure that my guns are secure. I am going to look into buying a hidden gun safe to have installed in my house. I want it to be hidden in a place that people do not typically put gun safes, so that it will be even more secure than usual and hard to find for anyone who is not supposed to know where it is. I am really paranoid abuot gun safety and I think it takes a lot iof responsibility to make sure that your guns are not used for the wrong purposes.
I have just read too many things in the news about children who get injured by guns and get there hands on guns when they should not have ever been close to the guns in the first place. It really makes me sad to read things like that, and it makes me want to make sure that such things will never happen to me. I know that you can never be one hundred percent sure that an accident won’t happen at your house, but you can be pretty close to that figure. I will do all that I can to make sure my guns are safe and not at risk of causing an accident. I also worry about things like a home intruder breaking in and htne using my weapons against me. I think that I will want to have the gun saf eput in my bedroom for that reason.
From the Bride
- There are many cheap gifts that the bride can give the groom on the wedding day. A little organizer to place on his nightstand so he can have a place for his change and other pocket accessories is a inexpensive and practical gift. Cuff links that have his initials, the date of your wedding, your initials or even his favorite sports team are meaningful and inexpensive. Consider giving him an engraved money clip for all the money the two of you will earn together in the future. Engrave the clip with his name or the date of the wedding. A flask is an ideal gift for wedding day nerves. If money is extremely tight, consider the gift of a long love note detailing how much you love him and how excited you are about spending the rest of your lives together.
From the Groom
- Consider the gift of a few flowers placed in the bride’s dressing room. This will show your love in an inexpensive manner. You could also purchase an inexpensive jewelry box as a bride’s gift. Place a note inside detailing how you will fill the box when the two of you have more money. Purchase a frame to place your wedding vows to each other inside. Hang the frame over your bed or somewhere else in your home. Create a playlist or CD of all of the songs you found meaningful throughout your relationship. A love letter is always a well-received gift. This is especially meaningful if you don’t express yourself in writing often.
For the Couple
- There are also many cheap gifts to give a bride and groom as a guest. Consider purchasing an item and having it engraved with the new couple’s name, such as a sign to hang on their new door or a special plate to display in the kitchen. Most newlyweds do not have many decorations, so purchasing an inexpensive item will be well-received by the couple. You can also purchase inexpensive picture frames for the couple to display their wedding pictures.
- Familiarize yourself with the layout of the venue. Use a large piece of paper to sketch out each table, taking into account its size and how many seats it can handle. Draw in where the DJ or band will be performing, exits, disabled entrances and restrooms.
- Assign each table a title according to your wedding theme, or simply number each one.
- Gather your RSVP cards and start classifying your guests according to relationship, such as family, work colleagues, childhood friends, family friends, etc. Doing this will allow you to group people appropriately.
- Assign family members first, which will whittle down your seating dilemmas. Family should be seated as close to the head table as possible. Take into account any disputes among relatives and separate those people accordingly. Seat elderly family members away from loud speakers.
- Make sure there is an even number of men and women at each table.
- Seat children under 8 at the same table as their parents. If you have a group of tweens or teens, give them their own table; they may prefer that to sitting with adults.
- Seat singles at tables with other singles, couples and families. Avoid having a “singles table.”
- Assign two empty tables where vendors can eat during their breaks, or to accommodate last-minute guests who did not RSVP.
- Once your plan is complete, prepare a large seating diagram that shows the assignments. This should be on hand at the venue in case of any problems on the day.
- Write up your place cards once your plan is complete. For a personal touch, add a handwritten note inside each card, such as: “Thank you for coming such a long way to join us in our special day”. While it may take longer, your guests will appreciate your effort.
- Alphabetize your place cards. When you present them to your caterer, explain clearly that they are in order and should be set out this way. If any become disorganized, then the caterer can place them back in order.
Lack of Regulation
- Wedding consultants, planners and coordinators are not regulated by any agency. You can become a wedding planner by simply declaring yourself as one and setting up a business. You will need to register your business with your state’s Secretary of State office. It’s also a good idea to get business cards, a website and a company bank account.
- Wedding planners may elect to join professional associations that give their business credibility. These associations will help you network with other wedding professionals, learn about wedding trends and build your reputation. Associations include June Wedding Inc., Coordinators Corner, Weddings Beautiful, the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants and the Association for Wedding Professionals International.
- You may want to take classes to help boost your credentials and prepare you for the career. These courses can either be taken over a five-day period or from home with take-home study materials. These classes teach you the financial aspects of wedding planning, examine specific aspects of wedding management, give an overview of the various types of wedding planners, and give advice for etiquette, negotiations and client relations.
- After completing a course, you may apply for a certification from the agency where you took the class. These certifications are the closet thing to a license that the industry offers. These certifications assure clients that you’re prepared for all aspects of planning their wedding. For example, after completing the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants’ courses, you automatically receive certification.
- You may want to seek certification in event planning as well as your certification in wedding planning. This can help expand your business beyond wedding planning into corporate events, holiday parties and other family celebrations. Like wedding planning, certification in event planning is offered through professional organizations after completing a course.
The right wedding decorations for the ceremony and reception pull everything together. Combining the right materials, colors and designs give the overall wedding a polished look and set the tone. Using tulle for your wedding decorations adds a touch of class and lends to a romantic fairytale-like setting.
- Tulle can be used in the ceremony in a few ways. If there is a unity candle being lit, or another meaningful tradition, tulle may be woven around the table with strings of light or silk ribbon.
Pew decorations will have a simple elegance when you use tulle bows with tails of tulle and ribbon. Add a small bouquet of sample flowers from the bride’s bouquet, or just use the bows alone as decoration. You can also hang swags at the end of each row of guests.
Wrap tulle around stairway banisters and entranceways. If an arch is used, tulle can be wrapped around the arch or draped from the arch to have a dream-like effect.
If you are having an outdoor wedding, mark the walking paths by making a delicate fence out of tulle. Rent stands and rope the tulle across the hooks. Place a battery-lit candle or flowers on top of the stands.
- Create a beautiful ceiling canopy by draping tulle from the ceiling to hang over the dance floor or the head table.
Plain white chairs can be dressed up with colored tulle bows that match the wedding colors. You can also make a chair wrap by pulling 4-foot long pieces of tulle around the chair and tie with a square knot. You can decorate the back with a pull bow.
Tulle can also be strategically placed around the cake table or draped from the head table.
Use the tulle as a runner and sprinkle confetti or rose petals around it. For a beautiful shine, scatter clear flat marbles on top of the table, surrounding the cake, unity candle, gifts or centerpiece.
Tulle can be incorporated into the centerpieces by adding bows or wrapping the tulle around the base of a candleholder or vase.
Use tulle as a wrap for bird seeds, bubbles and favors.
- Use white tulle for a classic, timeless look or use colored tulle to coordinate your decorations with the rest of the wedding theme. Better yet, mix some white tulle with colored tulle for a completely different look by twisting them together.
You can create unique decorations by adding greenery, colored ribbons, flowers and bows to your tulle. For an extra special touch that adds a touch of romance, place a string of lights behind the tulle.
- If you are using tulle near hot items, candles or other open flames, make sure the tulle is placed so that it will not catch on fire. Safety trumps decorations any time.
- Put your finished tulle decorations in plastic bags or containers. Do not cram them in as they smash easily. You will want them in perfect shape for your wedding day.
Go Where the Sizes Are
- Go where the sizes are. Some bridal shops only carry samples of each wedding gown. Make some calls and find out what sizes they carry. If the samples are only in a size 10, and you wear a 2 or a 16, there’s no way you’ll get a proper image of what that dress will look like on you. Find the stores that carry a full range of sample sizes or off-the-rack dresses for you to try on.
- Give yourself time. Trying on gowns can take hours, so be sure to set aside a whole day. The more time you have, the more dresses you can try on, and the better decisions you can make.
- Bring a friend, not an entourage. Having one friend who knows or shares your sense of style is far more valuable than a pack of relatives and friends who all have differing opinions on what dress to get. Ten conflicting views will just confuse you more than help you and will waste valuable time. Many brides like to have their mother or sister along, but if their style is very different from yours, be sure to bring a bridesmaid or other relative along who shares your taste.
- Dress the part. Wear the style of undergarments, stockings, and shoes that you expect to wear on your big day. If you don’t have a strapless bra for all those strapless gowns you want to try on, consider buying one, or ask the store ahead of time if they have foundation garments available in your size to try with the dresses. Wear heels that are the height you’ll feel comfortable in. Even though many dressing rooms have a raised platform to simulate heels, it’s not the same as actually wearing the shoes. The whole carriage of your frame changes depending on the height of your shoes and can completely alter the appearance and fit of a dress.
- Skip the lipstick. It’s good to look the part when you’re trying on a gown, including make-up, but keep it on the low key side. Try to stick with water-based make-up and leave off the lipstick so that you don’t inadvertently stain the dresses you’re trying on. If you’re wearing foundation and/or powder, be sure to always keep the fabric of the dress away from your face when you pull it on. When you can, step into the gown carefully and avoid going near your make-up.. If you need something for your lips, stick with a clear gloss or lip balm.
- Start by trying on several different styles. Search yourself or ask the saleswoman to bring you dresses with a variety of styles you’d consider wearing. Try a strapless gown, an off-the-shoulder, a full gown or a a slender shift. One or two gowns in each style will help you decide right away which direction you’d like to go in. Styles that look great in magazines may not be at all what you expect when you try it on. Eliminating styles that won’t work for you will help you narrow your search down right away, and save time and effort.
- After you try on each gown, put it into either a “no” or a “maybe” pile. If you find a dress or two that you think are your favorites, you might want to create a third pile, but don’t eliminate the other “maybe” candidates yet. Have the “no” dresses taken out right away so you don’t accidentally mix up the piles.
- Try on all the remaining dresses again. Now that you’ve seen your options, you’ll see your choices more clearly. You should be able to discard more of the “maybe” dresses into the “no” pile. Repeat the process until you have two or three strong candidates.
- Get the complete picture. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, be sure to see the dress exactly as you would wear it. Do up all the buttons, laces, and fasteners. Try out the bustle if there is one. Get a veil to match, and try possible accessories if the store carries them. Knowing how the complete ensemble will look helps you make the right choice.
- Value the opinions of others. Ultimately the decision is yours, but remember that other people can often see us more clearly than we see ourselves. Our own imagination may make a dress we want into a better option than it is, and it’s important to listen to your friends and even other ladies in the dressing room if they tell you it’s not the best choice.
- Sleep on it. If you can’t make the final decision, give it another day. If the dresses are off-the-rack, ask the shop if they’ll hold them for 24 hours. For stores only showing samples, it’s no problem to come back the next day and try them on again. Walking away from the decision can help reduce the pressure and give you much-needed perspective when you return again. You might also visit another store to see other options. Often you’ll know right away if the dresses at the other shop were the right ones or if you should keep looking.
Weddings are joyous events that a lot of people look forward to as they are growing up. They are events that are celebrated often by people all over the world. Usually, events like these have a fairly large number of guests, which means that the planning has to be done well to avoid any inconveniences. Initially, one of the hardest things to plan was the catering because of the amount of guests. Now all one has to do is hire a catering company. Catering companies can be a relief or a nightmare depending on whether one chooses a good one or a bad one. The following are some guidelines to ensure one chooses the right catering company.
The budget is the first thing that most people think about when they are looking for catering companies that will provide their services during their wedding. This is an important aspect because some catering companies are overpriced. Stretching out the budget too much may leave one in a difficult position because they might not have enough money left for other things that need planning. Once one has identified a number of catering companies that are in his or her price range, he or she will continue to eliminate using the following criteria.
This is arguably one of the most important factors to be considered when choosing a catering company. Some catering companies are fairly priced but the kind of food they make is of very poor quality. This would ruin the whole wedding. One has to make sure that the catering company that he or she chooses has the capability of providing high quality dishes before they are hired to do the job. Most couples go for a number of tasting sessions before at a number of different catering companies while they negotiate on things like the pricing of the food items to be supplied as well as the quantities. This is instrumental in avoiding any unpleasant experiences.
This is a factor that is of given much consideration by most couples but is one that is very important. Before hiring a catering company, one should ask about how much experience they have providing catering services to events such as weddings and the likes. The amount of experience they have will give one an idea of what they can expect at the wedding. Hiring a catering company that has no experience has a significant amount of risk because they may not know how to deal with any unexpected events. This is a disadvantage because there are usually high chances of unexpected events occurring at events. This would mean the bride and groom would have to sort it out themselves.
Before hiring a catering company, one should make inquiries about their quality of service. This may be done through speaking to some of the people who have previously hired the catering company or checking the reviews of the company online. It is possible for a catering company to have the right price and the right quality but have very poor service. Poor service is likely to put off the guests at the wedding and this will ruin the whole event. One should always make sure that the catering company is able to provide quality service before hiring them in order to get value for the money.
In conclusion, weddings are events that need proper planning. The catering is a major part of the planning process. For this reason, one should always ensure that he or she has the right catering company to avoid any inconveniences.
Ryan Davis is the owner of Argyle Catering the best company for catering Jefferson City, MO has to offer.
All of us want to serve our guests with the best food that will be quite memorable. For many of us who are looking for a wedding catering company, our key concerns will be looking for excellent food, service as well as the ability of the catering company to work with the enormity of the special day at hand. There various important factors to be put into consideration when one is selecting a wedding catering company. These factors should form a guide of your discussion when you meet with the various catering companies that you will approach. Some of them are:
- The availability of the catering company;
The first thing to consider is the availability of the catering company on the day of your special occasion. You also need to find out what the booking and payments arrangements are. It good to be clear on the various steps to undertake for you to secure the services of the given catering company. This will help you to prevent or even reduce on the unexpected findings the day before or on the eve of the wedding day. It is recommended that one meets with the potential catering companies about 9 months to the occasion. If you settle on some venues you will advised on who to consider for catering services due to the experience of the venue operators.
- The Budget;
It is quite key for one to consider the catering costs and what should be included in this. Enquire about the various options that are available for you for a wedding in case you have allocated a limited amount of cash for the wedding. Most of the best catering companies will be able to deal with you based on what you can afford. You need to do comparisons of what is included in the budget for various catering companies as the items vary from one catering company to another.
Look out to find out whether your quote includes the VAT, it’s quite key. Make sure that the important items are captured in the quote to avoid any last minute hustles.
- The Quality of their food;
It is inborn for us to be impressed with good presentation of food as well as a matching taste. You can check out the portfolios of various caterers to get to see pictures of their food. It is good for you to ensure that the caterer is professional in nature, with above per commercial facilities as well as a team of talented employees. It will be desirable for a caterer to create seasonal menus as this will positively impact on the quality and taste of food.
- The tasting session;
It will be good if the caterer you approach offers some tasting experience. Most of the best wedding caterers will not have a variety of foods for you to taste during the summer. By getting to have a tasting session, you will be able to tell the quality of food, the style as well as the presentation of their food.
- Great expectations;
It will be desirable for a wedding caterer to understand that the groom and the bride have very passionate visions of what their wedding should look like. The best ones should be able to appreciate this and help you to achieve something close to it. You will even be surprised that the best caterers will make your wedding to surpass your expectations.
- Their experience;
It is prudent for you to settle on a professional catering team that will offer you what you desire for your wedding. You could do a quick assessment by having a look at the social media for any events that have been organized by various wedding caterers. It will also pay to consult the recent clients that one has worked with to assess their experience and see what they recommend for you.
- Setting the scene for your wedding;
The caterer should work hand in hand with the event planner and the company should be able to set the tables, chairs and the overall outlook of the venue. Look for a caterer who takes their time and care to see that everything is immaculately and appropriately in place.
- Service of the caterer
The service offered by the caterer is key just as the quality and style of their food is. You should be handled professionally and appropriately from your enquiry to the material wedding day. The company should have just the right amount of enthusiasm, excitement as well as expertise.
These are just some of the aspects that should be born in our minds while we approach any caterer to source for their services for special occasions such as wedding days. Be keen and make sure that you settle on the best wedding caterer based on your budget.
Ryan Davis is the owner of Argyle Catering the best company for catering Jefferson City, MO has to offer.
India being a territory of themassive amount of cultures and celebrations, events to clothing traditionally are all the time around the part. Whether it is BhaiDooj, KarvaChauthor a marriage ceremony, getting ready in your favourite cultural fashion design is all the time a challenging task to look ahead toand when it comes to the world of culturaldress, Lehenga choli is anideal part for the women of India.
everyone and every single girl imaginings of her marriage since her youthage and she wants to look stunning and attractive like a queen at this very event, and that is why she desiresthe whole thing best for this day, whether it is clothing, beauty products, cosmetics, or any further accessories. To appear like a princess she, not just takes care as regards her beauty but she as welllooks for the most excellenton hand bridal clothes, jewels and further accessories, in extra words I can furthermore say that she will execute every possible object to look like an attractive princess on her wedding day.
At what time we talk about the bridal dresses available in the marketplace for women then few finest names move towards into the mind similar to thebeautiful bridal gown, designer bridal saree, lehenga saree, sharara, ghagracholi,designer bridal lehengas for awedding, etc. But in my special view,designer bridal lehengas is one of finest wedding dress for a girl, which are appreciated not only in India although in other parts of the world as well. A fine deliberate designer lehenga not just gives the affluent look but it also raises the beauty of the woman various, while giving her much more appealing, glorious and dazzling look. In market different types of lehengas like very simple lehengas or have designer lehengas are available for women but you need to choose right lehenga for your wedding we are giving you some help to choose right to look stunning on your very special day, While want lehenga for your wedding day, carry on certain stuff in mind, like::-
- Select a colour which looks most beautiful in you.
- Don’tpick a stiff or baggy fitting lehenga, search for the ideal fitting for you.
- Don’t pick light work or light colour lehenga, you need to go for Heavy work lehenga because it gives youan affluent royal look, so make certain that lehenga hasseveral embroidery along with zari work.
- If you are short height then you can choose square neck cut or else vertical prints with U-neckline are thegreatest option for you, it will formulate you appear taller.
- Women with short height should stay away from small sleeves or sleeveless choli as it will formulate your look shorter.
- For slim brides around are lots of choices. They appear beautiful in approximately all types of lehenga. Slim brides are able to go for haute couture model lehenga with backless, deep neck and single shoulder choli. They are able also to go for heavy-weight embroidery and zari work lehenga.
Designing a lehenga for awedding takes approximately some days to some weeks depending on the designer work. Today Any type of newest designer lehengas you can purchase from any excellent online store
Many people love the idea of an outdoor wedding, but finding accommodations close to an urban area can be difficult. If you want to find a wedding venue to accommodate a smaller wedding and a city park or beach wedding isn’t quite right for your big day, consider travelling to Hunter Valley to get married. There are several locations in the region that offer outdoor, as well as indoor, wedding venues.
Why Hunter Valley?
If you are looking for an outdoor venue for your wedding, the Hunter Region is only a two-hour drive from Sydney. Many of the venues in the area offer amazing settings and it is close enough to the city to allow your guests to travel there easily, enjoy the ceremony and reception, and still get back to their homes that evening. However, many of the venues offer accommodations, so you can also book rooms for your guests who may not wish to drive back to the city that same night.
Some of the wineries in the area offer wedding venues, so you can get married with rolling vineyards in the background. Other locations may include private estates, retreat locations or horse farms in the area. Along with their wines, Hunter Valley is also home to several horse farms where racing thoroughbreds are bred and trained.
Most of the Hunter Valley cheap wedding venues are suitable for smaller weddings of up to 150 guests. For those on a budget, there are wedding packages that include a catered reception. There are other add-ons such as a photographer, a hair stylist, or you can hire celebrants from the area if you don’t have anyone else to perform your ceremony.
If you don’t have a wedding planner or just have a vague idea of what you want for the most important day of your life, there are many venues in the region that offer wedding packages that include the services of a planner. They can help you make all the arrangements for your wedding, as well as plan the menu for the reception. These packages may help you save money when you are holding a smaller ceremony and reception.
Local Dining Options
While catering is often included in wedding packages, you may wish to hold the ceremony at the venue and then go to one of the fine dining establishments in the area for your reception. You can choose from a variety of dining options if you don’t wish to have a catered event and, of course, you can request that your meals be accompanied with local wines from the Hunter Valley region.
If you do have a smaller wedding, you may wish to book accommodations for your guests in the area. There are many venues that offer rooms for both the couple and their guests, so you can hold the wedding, retire to your rooms and then enjoy touring the area the next day. The Hunter Valley area is perfect for holding weddings and then enjoying the sights with family and friends.
- Define the scope of your business: Wedding Cake Decorator, Wedding Florist, or a more general Wedding Decorator. This will help establish your services as well as target your customers and help you figure out what supplies and resources will be necessary.
- Register your business and obtain a tax ID number. This can be done using several online sites or legal services, such as http://www.business.gov/register/incorporation or www.legalzoom.com, or through your state’s government website.
- Create a website. This will be one of the most important tools for marketing for your business. The website should contain all your contact information (name, number, address, email, business hours). Spend extra time to make sure your website represents your work and your tastes; you want the site to be welcoming representative of your work and your business model. Show some samples of your past work on the site, if possible.
- Put together a portfolio to display your past work. If you do not have good photos of past work, volunteer to do some events for your family or friends, or offer to do a couple of free or reduced-fee gigs to build your portfolio. This is an important step to landing potential clients, so make sure you have the right pictures that show off your work, as well as testimonials from previous clients that promote your work. Your portfolio should be in digital format on your website as well as printed in hard copy in a portfolio notebook to show potential clients in person. Perhaps you can make arrangements with a wedding photographer to use some of her images on your website in return for promotional credits and a link to her site.
- Establish a location to host meetings with potential clients. This can be at a home office, a rented office, or an appropriate restaurant. Make sure the location is welcoming and it enables you to show your work effectively. Many clients like to preview the decor that will be displayed at their wedding, so choose your meeting space carefully and pick something that will give you the most flexibility in terms of demonstrating your work.
- Find efficient and affordable marketing tools. Get your service out by printing fliers or coupons, advertise on line on wedding sites and social media sites, and encourage your previous clients to spread the word to their friends, family, and coworkers. It is important to establish a reliable reputation.
- Research all the potential decoration supplies you will need. The decoration possibilities are endless, so plan ahead by drawing some designs out and making a list of all the supplies you will need for your vision, style, and versatility. Set your budget appropriately; supplies can be very costly and expenses can be wasteful if the research and planning is not done carefully. It helps to start small and expand your offerings only when you can afford to.
- Plan your design. You can work free-hand, from a pattern or use the lace that covers the dress as your template. If using a pattern or working free-hand, use the seams and darts in the dress as a starting point. They will give you a straight line to work from. Sketch what you wish to do on a piece of paper first. Decide where you want the beads, pearls or crystals to be placed.
- Order your beads, crystals and pearls. Order more than you think you will need so you’ll be sure to have a sufficient supply. Keep in mind the strength of the dress fabric; the heavier it is, the more beads, pearls and crystals it can hold. Delicate fabrics, such as chiffon or silk, require a light touch with adornments.
- Sew your beads onto the dress starting at the hemline. Thread the beading needle with the beading thread and bring it up through the dress material from the back. Place a bead on the thread and gently push the bead down until it nestles against the material. Bring the needle down through the material just next to the original hole. Bring the needle back up through the dress in the same spot, pass it through the bead and back down. Tie a knot using the loose end of the thread. Bring the needle back up through the material right next to the bead and continue sewing the beads onto the dress according to the pattern. Be sure to tie a knot at every other bead to prevent them from falling off. The double stitching will also help to keep them from becoming loose.
- Sew crystals and pearls onto the dress per the pattern using the same technique explained in Step 3. Sew crystals onto edges of ruffles for added sparkle. Pieces of lace can be embellished in the same manner. Steam wrinkles out of the dress after the entire design has been completed.
- Purchase your dress at an outlet or discount bridal store. Many discount bridal stores have elegantly well made wedding dresses that will make any “bride to be” look beautiful on her wedding day.
- Have a relative, friend or dress maker make your dress. Make sure it’s someone who is known for creating beautiful wedding gowns and someone you sincerely feel you can trust.
- Rent a wedding dress. If you’re not a bride who wants to keep your dress for centuries or pass your dress down to your daughter, renting a wedding dress is a very economical choice and will definitely keep your costs down. You can find bridal rental options online.
- Have your bridesmaids to rent their dresses just as the groom’s men do. This can be less costly than buying a dress that they may never wear again.
- Ask various family members and/or friends who are known for their superb good cooking skills to cook the food for your wedding. This will cut down on the costs. You will have to buy the food for them to cook, of course. It should also cost you much less to pay them to cook the food for you than to hire a professional caterer. You may also be surprised; your family and friends may cook your food as a wedding gift to you.
- Decorate your church and have your wedding and the reception also at your church. The costs should be much less to have your reception at your church. Some may not charge anything and especially if you’re a member of the church.
- Decorate the area for the traditional Indian style “asirbad,” or blessing ceremony, with lots of flowers–bright red and golden jasmine, roses and orchids. These flowers are used as anchor colors and are thrown all around the ground.
- Light the wedding area with Indian lanterns and candles to add ethnic character to the décor. Predominantly earthy colors are used for the Indian wedding decorations. Place white baby roses around the candles and lanterns.
- Stage the traditional Hindu wedding in the “mandap”–a four-pole canopy with a stage. The mandap is made of red, yellow and silver flowers and herbs. These flowers are attached to the poles and canopy using small straight pins.
- Place netted drapes over the wedding area, above the reception tables. Add silver colors and fresh flowers such as lilies, orchids, carnations and baby roses for decorating the nets.
- Decorate the garlands for the bride and groom with a variety of flower colors mixed with colorful ribbons and netted cloths. Use roses the color of the season blended with similar colors of ribbons to create beautiful neck ornaments.
A gorgeous addition to a wedding gown, the long train can, however, put a damper on spirited activity such as dancing at the wedding reception. A seamstress will lift the long train and attach it to the back of the gown with a cloth-covered button and loop to give the bride more freedom of movement. This is known as a bustle. There are several different types of bustles, but the easiest is one button and loop. With this method, you can still see the intricacies of the train.
The bustle is usually not included in the cost of the wedding dress; it is one of the alterations done after the gown is purchased. You can save money by doing it yourself.
- Put the wedding dress on the bride-to-be or a dress form that is the same height she is.
- Find the middle back on the waist of the dress and mark the spot with a straight pin.
- Pinch a small spot of fabric about halfway down the train; lift it up to the straight pin, and adjust the train so the hem falls the way you want it to. It may take several tries to determine exactly the spot on the train to use to get the drape and length right. Once you find the spot on the train, mark the location with a straight pin.
- Sew a covered button where the straight pin is on the waist of the dress.
- Sew one loop of matching ribbon about 1 inch in length in the spot where the straight pin is on the train.
- Put the dress on the bride-to-be and, grasping the loop of ribbon, bring it up and attach it to the button on the dress. Check to be certain the train is falling where you want it.
- Look at the wedding plans before you start decorating. Discuss colors, flowers and themes. Most people want a coordinated wedding and this should include the venue and buffet. Take notes of all the colors and ask for color samples if available. Make a plan once you have all the necessary information. Sketch how you envision the buffet, and make a list of what you will need to fulfill you plan.
- Decorate the tables. Always start with your base by laying out the tablecloths. Wedding buffets can be more formal and more lavish than standard buffets. Consider draping silk or other material to give a regal feel. If you have excess material, create a bow or a ruffle.
- Mark out where the dishes are going to go. Once the tablecloths are down, work out where the food is going to be positioned. Place dishes so they compliment each other. For example, alternate chocolate desserts with fruit desserts, or cluster similar looking things like cookies together.
- Link the platters with your chosen decorations. Once all the platters are in place, make them look like they are all part of the same display. Get your ribbons, flowers or foliage and start at one end of the buffet and work your way to the other end. Swirl the ribbons or foliage around one dish and onto the next so they look like they join. If necessary, secure the decorations with some double sided tape.
- Make edible decorations to help the food blend with the display. Get some Marzipan, color it according to the theme, and use a cutter to make hearts, flowers, animals or stars. Make the same thing but in different sizes and colors. Place the decorations on the display, so the buffet looks fluid and coordinated. If you’re not the chef, check and make sure it’s ok to add detail to the platters and dishes.
- Sprinkle leaves, petals or sparkles over the table once you have completed the display. If you plan add sparkle to the dishes make sure you have edible sparkles. If you are using flowers petals make sure they are not poisonous. Check with the bride and groom or wedding planner to make sure they are happy with the result.
- Measure the tables that you’ll be using at your venue. Make sure to add as many inches as you want to hang down over the table. Typically, around 8 inches is the norm. Count how many tables you’ll need so you’ll know how many yards of fabric to buy.
- Decide what colors and types of fabric you’d like to use, or poke around your local fabric store to see what they have. You could even do a different fabric for each table if you find some unique ones in the sale bin.
- Cut the fabric to fit your tables with pinking shears to avoid having to sew. The effect is fun, and the effort is minimal. You can also use iron-on fabric tape to create a hem without using a needle and thread. If you want to sew, it will just take a few minutes to do a simple stitch for the hem.
- Lay tulle or organza over a solid colored piece of fabric for an elegant look. You could even skip purchasing fabric and use the white tablecloths your venue will provide and add pizzazz with tulle or organza for an even cheaper approach. You can also do a ribbon border with a few added stitches, or use stamps to make a pattern or design.
- Write a rough outline ahead of time. Think of all of the wonderful things you could say about the bride and groom and put all of these points down on paper. Search your memory for the earliest recollections you have of the two of them, and include some more recent points, as well.
- Flesh out your outline into a full speech, then mercilessly edit it to keep it within 3 to 5 minutes in length. When editing, make sure you retain the most sentimental parts of the speech, as sentimentality is what a wedding reception speech is all about.
- Throw in a few humorous anecdotes. The speech will be more interesting to your audience if they have a few opportunities to laugh. Three to four points of humor are usually adequate in a wedding reception speech.
- Pause from time to time. This will give your audience time to absorb what you’re saying and reflect on pertinent points. It will also help to keep you from sounding like a robot that’s talking too fast.
- Rest your hands on a lectern or keep them at your sides while you speak. Waving your hands about during a speech is distracting for the audience.
- Look your audience members in the eye as you speak. A good rule of thumb is to move your eye contact from person to person in the audience, never retaining any one person’s gaze for longer than 3 seconds at a time.
- Keep a notecard of the bullet points of your speech in one hand and refer to it, if necessary. If you need to look at the card, only glance at it long enough to remember what you want to talk about, then go back to looking at your audience.
Pearls are timelessly elegant jewels. They add a touch of sophistication to any occasion. If you are considering using pearls as a theme for your wedding, there are a number of ways they can be added to your decor. Fake or real, from the ceremony to the reception, pearls will add that special something to your wedding that will help to make it a classy and stylish affair.
Pearl-Lined Aisle Runner
- A runner is used to line the aisle the bride will walk down. Using an aisle runner is a regal way to make your entrance to your future husband. An aisle runner that is lined with pearls, either real or fake, is not only regal, but it also adds ambiance to the wedding site.
Pearl Touches to Bouquets
- Pearls can be added as an accent to your floral arrangements, both the bouquets that will be carried and the blooms that may decorate your ceremony and reception. They complement any flower and give the bouquet a special look. The pearls that are used in floral arrangements are typically fake, but if you do not have to adhere to a budget, you can certainly use real pearls.
Escort and Seating Cards
- Pearls can adorn your escort and seating cards, adding a special touch to your tables. You can either make these cards yourself or you can purchase the cards at a wedding wholesale or stationary shop and a supply of fake pearls from a craft store. You can attach the pearls around the edges of the cards, or you can make a design, such as a monogram, on the card.
Added to Your Cake
- The cake is one of the focal points of the wedding. If you are using pearls as a decorative element, you can have them adorn your cake or your cake topper. Edible pearls are made of sugar and can look so real that your guests will assume that they are.
- Strings of real or fake pearls can be hung from the ceiling to add a stylish look to your reception site. They can be made to look like snow falling or like stars dancing on the ceiling. They will also help to add a unique glow to your reception as the light bounces off of them.
- If you are having the chairs at either your ceremony or reception draped with linen, you can use a string of pearls as a tieback. This will add an eye-catching look to your decor.
- Keep laughing and smiling, no matter what happens. An outdoor wedding reception isn’t for the faint-hearted or the worrier, but if you can remember that it isn’t how the day turns out but rather about the love that you and your future spouse share, there’s no way to ruin your day.
- Choose a place that means something to you as a couple, like your own backyard, a favorite park, beach or vineyard. It could even be the place where your fiancé proposed to you. If the venue means something to you, having the reception there is the perfect way to show that to your guests.
- Forget about the rules for a typical wedding reception. You can have a completely informal affair where you have a barbecue and a simple luncheon, or go for a formal affair with a sit down dinner. Let your reception reflect the two of you as a couple.
- Give the worries of the day to someone else. If you don’t have a wedding planner, have a close friend act as one for the day. Give her all the details of the wedding reception and let her be in charge. This eases your stress and allows you to have a completely worry-free, enjoyable day.
- Have a backup plan in case of weather issues. You don’t want to plan for your wedding reception to be rained out of for snow to fall, but you should have a plan B just in case. You can rent a backup site or simply rent a tent for everyone to sit or eat under in case of rain.
- Let guests know ahead of time that you’re having an outdoor reception. This allows them to plan their outfits according to the weather.
- Plan for parking. If your guests have to walk a great distance from the parking place to the reception site, consider hiring a horse-drawn carriage to give them a lift.
Wedding Etiquette Tips
- The website Wedding Etiquette Tips offers a free basic wedding planning course. This self-paced online course covers basic topics such as wedding budgets, time lines, wedding themes, finding wedding venues and interviewing vendors. The basic wedding planner course from Wedding Etiquette Tips is designed for do-it-yourself type brides but can be used for anyone who is interested in wedding planning.
- The E Learners website offers a mini-guide to becoming a wedding planner. This guide is a basic and straightforward starting point for those who are interested in becoming a wedding planner. Facts and questions covered by the mini-guide include how online bridal consultant certification programs work and what bridal consultants do on the job.
American Academy of Wedding Professionals
- The American Academy of Wedding Professionals is one of the go-to websites for information, courses and freebies for those interested in becoming a wedding planner. Learn the AAWP’s 10 Commandments of Wedding Professionals and receive a free wedding planning book by becoming a member. The AAWP charges for its particular course, but you can register to win one of its monthly giveaways for a free course.
The Wedding Planning Institute
- The Wedding Planning Institute provides a free wedding planning service. According to the website, “The program is designed to help aspiring and existing wedding planners start or grow their career while boosting local wedding businesses and reducing costs for brides and grooms.”
- Take classes in event planning through a bridal association. While there are no state or federal requirements to become a wedding planner, these classes will provide you with essential skills you will need to be successful in the industry. Many of these classes are available online and will teach you how to organize, negotiate and coordinate every detail of a wedding.
- Create a name and logo for your business. The name can be something simple, such as your name, or can be something catchy involving weddings. Your logo should be elegant and simple, with an easy to read font.
- Register your business name and logo through your local Chamber of Commerce and apply for a business license. This will ensure that you conform to all legalities involving your business and will also establish your credibility and professionalism with potential clients.
- Set up an office where you can run your business. When first starting out, it is acceptable for this to be a well-organized home office. As your career advances however, it is best to lease an office. This will give you space to keep all of your contracts and files organized, as well as a place to meet with clients.
- Join at least one wedding planner association. This will give you an affiliation with some of the top planners in the industry and will make you look authoritative and professional to clients. Associations also offer lessons that can help you stay up-to-date on wedding trends and changes in the industry.
- Set up a website for your business. The website should look professional and should be easy to navigate, so you may consider investing money into hiring a professional web designer. Essential details to include on your site are your name, qualification or associations you are affiliated with and your contact information. As your career progresses, you should also include photographs of events you have planned, as well as testimonials from clients you have worked with.
- Post advertisements in local bridal magazines and set up booths at bridal fairs. It is important that you put yourself out there to draw in clients, as wedding planners rely heavily on word-of-mouth business for their clientele.
- Visit bridal retailers, florists, bakers and other professionals in your area and try to establish a professional and friendly relationship with them. This will make it easier for you to negotiate deals with these vendors for your clients. Clients will want to contract with a planner that can save them money, so this will also increase the number of clients that want to work with you. Leave your business cards with vendors, if possible, so that they can pass your information on to their customers.
- Hire more planners for your business if necessary. If your customer base becomes so large that you cannot keep up with the demand, having a staff of planners is very important. This will ensure that each customer gets the attention they need and that none of your clients are given poor service in their planning process.
- Look for a lesser known wedding photographer in your area. While the big names can afford to charge the most, a shutterbug who’s just getting started often charges more reasonable rates. Ask to review a portfolio to ensure that the photographer you hire does quality work.
- Shop around for a studio whose work you admire and book one of its associate photographers rather than the lead photographer. You can expect the studio’s stamp of quality without paying the huge price associated with the lead photographer.
- Compare apples to apples. While one photographer may charge less for her time, she may charge more when it comes to items like reprints, albums and frames. Obtain a price list from each of the photographers you are considering and determine an approximate total cost for each.
- Hire a student photographer. Contact your local college and ask the head of the photography program for recommendations of particularly talented students. Interview a couple, view their portfolios and select the one you prefer.
- Get your foot in the door. This may mean working in a wedding-related field at first (like a florist or a dress shop) to get to know the industry. Cosmo Girl Online suggests joining an organization like Association of Bridal Consultants to meet wedding planners and make them aware of your interest in the industry (see Reference 1).
- Get aualified. Wedding planners look to hire assistants who are detail-oriented, self-motivated, friendly, smart and always one step ahead. Other qualifications include having a great phone manner and being very organized. It is also necessary to dress professionally (pant or skirt suit) for the interview and the job itself and always be sure to take notes you can refer back to later on.
- Know what you are in for. Assistant wedding planners’ specific duties will depend on level of experience and the preference of the planner. Some planners prefer to be involved in every aspect of the planning process, including the small details; these planners may simply rely on an assistant to complete administrative work in her office such as answering phones, checking up on orders, filling out paperwork, billing, checking emails, etc.
- Go above and beyond: Other planners hire assistants to work very closely with them to ensure the brides’ needs are being met. They may ask assistants to scout out locations, pick out and put together ideas for colors, dresses, flowers and cake that the bride can sift through or even go meet with vendors or the bride herself in place of the planner when she cannot make it.
- Look for a mentor. The transition for an assistant to become a wedding planner herself comes after years of experience learning how to properly service brides individually, establishing contacts with vendors in the area you plan to work, and developing a system for doing business. The best way to gain this kind of experience is through an apprenticeship or working under a planner who is willing to serve as a sort of professional mentor.
- Take on more responsibility. Assistant wedding planners who aspire to a career in planning weddings usually benefit most from working under a planner who is willing to act as a mentor, giving her assistant as much responsibility as possible. The assistant may need to work to learn the planner’s style and taste for a certain amount of time before the planner will fully trust her assistant to accomplish important tasks on her own. A successful and busy wedding planner may eventually give a sharp assistant a wedding account of her own to plan.
- Obtain cardboard carpet or linoleum tubes from a local carpet or hardware store. Depending on the policy of the store, they will either give them to you or charge you a small fee.
- Use a handsaw to cut away any damage from both ends of the tube, leaving both sides flat and even. Measure the tube from top to bottom and keep this measurement for the 2-inch by 4-inch (2×4) board.
- Measure two 9-inch by 9-inch pieces of plywood. Mark your lines with a pencil and use a table saw to cut them out.
- Lay the plywood on a flat surface. Place the ruler along the top of the plywood and mark the center. Repeat at the bottom. Use the ruler to draw a straight line down the center of the plywood connecting both marks. Do this for both pieces of plywood.
- Place the ruler on the side of the plywood and mark the center. Repeat on the other side. Use the ruler to draw a straight line through the middle of the plywood from mark to mark. Do this for both pieces of plywood. The point where the two lines meet is the center.
- Use an electric drill and pilot bit to drill a hole through the center of each piece of plywood.
- Use a table saw to cut a 2×4 to the length of the carpet tube.
- Place the cut 2×4 on a table with one end hanging off the edge of the table. Use a 1-inch wood screw and electric drill to attach one of the pieces of plywood to the bottom of the 2×4. Screw through the hole you drilled into the center of the 2×4.
- Slide the carpet tube over the top of the 2×4.
- Use a 1-inch wood screw and electric drill to attach the second piece of plywood to the top of the column. Screw through the hole you drilled into the center of the 2×4.
- Place the column on a flat surface with a drop cloth underneath. Apply a liberal coating of joint compound to the tube and all exposed areas of the plywood. Use your hands for more-even coverage. Allow the joint compound to dry.
- Roll the column over and coat the exposed plywood in joint compound. Inspect the tube for any uncoated areas and apply joint compound. Allow the joint compound to dry completely according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Use 220-grit sandpaper to sand the joint compound to a smooth finish.
- Wipe the column down with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust.
- Place the column on a drop cloth in a well-ventilated area. Apply spray paint in the color of choice to all exposed areas of the column. Allow the spray paint to dry according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Roll the column over and apply spray paint to any uncoated areas.
- Become a wedding planner. No training or formal education is required. Nevertheless, there are classes available for wedding planning. Gain experience by attending weddings, helping friends and family plan their weddings, attending bridal shows, studying wedding magazines, interviewing brides and talking with businesses that serve weddings. These businesses include caterers, florists, DJs and various faith ministers.
- Interpersonal and organization skills are important. These traits might be natural or learned. A wedding planner schedules cake tastings for the couple, helps plan the reception menu and finds DJs for the couple’s review. Create checklists and carry a binder to record details for each couple and to store paperwork.
- Listen to what the couple wants. Try to fulfill their wishes as well as steer them toward a decision that might work for them. Present the couple with a portfolio of wedding ideas or previous weddings. Take photos at each wedding you’ve planned and show these to the couple.
- Start a wedding-planning business or work for one, depending on your preference.
- Consider having a specialty. A wedding planner provides many services, but some specialize in consultation or ensuring wedding day preparations go according to the schedule.
- Join the Disney wedding planning team as a consultant by looking online at disney.go.com/DisneyCareers/ to look for openings. If there are no openings, contact wedding services and ask for any openings that might be coming available. Send in a resume even if no positions are presently available.
- Meet with the bride and groom before the wedding as far in advance as possible. Ask them to list their favorite artists, as well as any singers or bands they specifically do not like. This will give you a good sense of the type of music they enjoy and are likely to be happy hearing at their wedding reception.
- Prepare a CD of both slow and upbeat songs you would recommend to be played during the wedding, and give it to the bride and groom. Include songs that the bride and groom are likely to be familiar with, but feel free to add less popular songs you think they might enjoy based on your previous discussion. This will showcase your flexibility, as well as your range.
- Create playlists of the songs that the bride and groom specially request and have them prepared well before the wedding. Make extra copies of the CDs that hold each playlist so that you will have a backup in the event of an emergency. Be sure to review each playlist with the bride and groom before the wedding to confirm that you have the right version of each song.
- Make sure you have all the necessary equipment to DJ the wedding reception. You will most likely need to provide your own CDs, turntables or mixers, laptop computer and other basic equipment. If the wedding reception is being held at a venue that regularly hosts this type of event, the venue will most likely provide the speaker system–but be sure to confirm this well in advance.
- Agree to an appropriate amount of payment for your DJ services. You should base this amount on the number of hours you will be asked to play music. Include any additional expenses for travel and overnight accommodations. Be sure to sign an agreement upfront that explains all of these fees, and allow for unexpected expenses, such as purchases of requested songs or last-minute rentals of equipment.
- The first place you need to look for containers for your cheap wedding candy buffet is your own home. Scour your cupboards, basement, and attic for jars and containers. Look at large vases and decorative bowls you may have packed away. You might be using them for flowers or decorations but ask yourself, if they can be washed out thoroughly can they be used for your cheap wedding candy buffet?
- Your kitchen may have a wealth of options, if you’re creative. As an example, notice our picture which is a custard dish with candy. If you have four of these, you can place them strategically around the table for a nice decoration.
- Drinking glasses can work for things like tall suckers or items that won’t need a scoop such as Tootsie Rools. Wrap a ribbon around them to dress them up. Notice our picture.
- Another possible container for your cheap wedding candy buffet is a mason jar, as you can see in our picture. They’re usually wide enough at the mouth for a scoop to fit. You might be using them on your counter tops to store pasta or flour, so consider emptying them and washing them out thoroughly.
- If you’ve gotten all the containers you can from your home, it’s time to shop the dollar store. While you may typically opt for glass jars, remember that silver or white tins can work well for a cheap wedding candy buffet as well. Think of how you can decorate them with a wide and festive ribbon.
- You can also check secondhand stores and flea markets as well. Often these places are getting in new items all the time, so start early before your wedding and visit them more than once. You may find a lot of options for your cheap wedding candy buffet for much less money than if you bought these containers new from a department store or party supply store.
- Be prepared to dress up your containers for your cheap wedding candy buffet with festive ribbon. Also, dress up your buffet table with a nice cloth or fancy scrapbook paper underneath the containers. Add candles, fresh or silk flowers, and framed photos of the bride and groom. These things will go a long way toward making your cheap wedding candy buffet really WOW your guests.
- Here are some additional suggestions for containers you can use for your cheap wedding candy buffet: ice buckets, clear or tin beverage tubs, salad and other serving bowls, wide mouth vases, fish bowls, the dome to a cake plate if turned upside down, chip and dip bowls, decorative bowls.
- You can also make up your own candy bar wrappers and wrap some Hershey bars for an added touch to your cheap wedding candy buffet.
A wedding planner takes technical and creative input from the bride and groom and turns it into a beautiful and memorable event. Your career as a wedding planner in Ontario starts with observing all of the components that make up a successful wedding. Learn every possible job performed at a wedding so you can create an experience that runs smoothly and stays within budget.
- Attend as many weddings as you can in Ontario. Do not “crash” weddings of strangers, but ask family and friends if you can observe their weddings. Some wedding planning companies in Ontario may have internship positions available in your local classifieds. Ask wedding planners if you can watch them work. Read wedding and bridal magazines to get an idea of current industry trends.
- Form a habit of organizing your life. As a wedding planner, you will need to create and adhere to strict dates to make sure your planned weddings go smoothly. Get used to keeping a planner and staying punctual.
- Search job listings for paid positions in wedding companies. As a wedding planner, you will need a basic understanding of every aspect of a wedding. You will acquire valuable tools that help you with the catering, design, decoration and other aspects of successful weddings. Look to Ontario country clubs, cruises, resorts and hotels for possible wedding planning positions.
- Ask your engaged family members and friends if you can be their wedding planner. If possible, do not perform the service for a fee. Use the opportunity to add material to your wedding planner portfolio. Take as many pictures as you can of the wedding to showcase your abilities to others.
- Create a wedding planning business. Contact the Canada-Ontario Business Service Centre for start-up information for small businesses. You will need to register your business name, apply for any necessary permits and file documents with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. You can find a link to the Business Service Centre in Resources below.
- Create business cards and promotional pamphlets with all of your business contact information. You will need material to pass out to potential clients. Design the materials yourself at a printing company, or hire a company that specializes in logos and business cards to make your documents.
- Network with vendors and advertise your services to print and online publications. For example, buy flowers from a particular vendor and talk to the owner. Give the owner your card and talk about a possible partnership where the owner suggests your services to clients. Advertise your services in local Ontario classifieds so the community knows you exist.
- Choose your wedding planner fee. You can charge either a flat rate or an hourly rate. The budget for the wedding, as well as the total planning time, will help you to decide your rate structure. You will need to talk to potential clients about the number of guests and the type of wedding they want to form a total cost estimate.
- Visit your local farmers market and begin making connections with local farmers and gardeners. You can find out which flowers are in season during your wedding months and what will be available. The grower will be able to help you decide which colors or flowers you want to work with. These types of sellers will be much cheaper than any florist. Put in a bulk order with the local gardener.
- Go to flea markets and thrift stores searching for beautiful old vases. You don’t need everything to match. In fact, it will appear more cohesive if none of the vases are the same. You want a relaxed vibe. If you are having trouble finding vases you can always find Mason jars at large stores like Wal-Mart.
- Select embellishments. You can always jazz up your centerpieces a little bit without going way over budget. Visit local craft stores and glance at feathers, beads, pearls, decorative butterflies or birds, and sparkling wire. You can incorporate some of these elements into your floral arrangements for a more fanciful look.
- Prep the flowers the morning of the wedding. Cutting the flowers too early could mean that they wilt or lose their petals. Arrange to have the flowers cut and picked up the morning of your wedding.
- Ask your friends for help. Arrange the flowers in the vases or jars. Describe how you want to use your embellishments and arrange them with the wildflowers. You can pin the decorative birds or butterflies to the sparkly wire and wrap it around the mouth of the vase, or intertwine the wire with the flowers. Make your vision come to life.
- Display the centerpieces on every table.
- Create labels for your section dividers. Labels may include budget, payment tracker, guest list, equipment rentals, floor plan, flowers, photographer, tux rentals, dress rentals, hair and make-up, cake, rings, stationary, honeymoon, gifts and thank you note list and favors. Make your own labels of things that apply to your wedding.
- Put at least one page protector behind each divider. Use the page protector to hold receipts for each category. This makes them easy to find and readily available if you need to return something or check the price.
- Print off some calendar pages and place them behind a divider marked “Calendar.” Use this area to keep track of vendor appointments.
- Place the notebook, pencil/pen, sticky notes and calculator in the front pocket of the binder for easy access.
- Punch holes in any vendor bids, contracts or correspondence and place them behind the appropriate tab.
- Punch holes in any pictures of dresses or hairstyles that you have collected and place them behind the appropriate dividers.
- As you create a guest list and begin to receive RSVPs, keep track of them in the appropriate section of your planner.
- Keep a list of gifts you received in your planner, so you’ll have easy access when you’re ready to write thank you notes.
- On your wedding day, hand your binder over to you “wedding planner” for the day. It will help her make sure all payments are made to vendors, tips given to the appropriate people and everything from flower and cake placement to the wedding ceremony go off according to plan.
- Do a little research. Most women have at least thought about what they would like for a wedding dress, and some have been dreaming about it since they were little girls. When you think of the perfect dress, what do you see? Get a few bridal magazines, a pen and some paper, and start taking notes. Write down some descriptive words about dresses that you like, such as slinky, romantic, flowing, lacy, simple, form-fitting, etc. Note the styles that you seem to gravitate toward, for example, A-line, ball gown, drop waisted, low-cut, etc. Tear out pictures of dresses that appeal to you and that you can envision being able to wear on a beach. Your final dress may not look anything like these dresses, but it’s a good place to start.
- Choose a formality level. You can base the formality of your wedding on your perfect wedding gown — if you find the perfect dress and have to have it. However, it’s probably easier to choose how formal the setting is going to be and buy a dress accordingly. A wedding featuring a sit-down lobster dinner has a completely different feel than a wedding featuring a clam bake picnic.
- Choose a flattering fit. You want to feel like your most beautiful self, and to do that, you need a dress that you feel comfortable and confident in. You probably already know what types of dresses flatter you body type, so try to choose wedding dresses that fit your type. For example, if you’re pear-shaped, A-line dresses tend to work well; fuller waisted ladies may prefer a drop-waisted dress; and those with fuller arms can use off-the-shoulder straps to hide their problem area.
- Choose an appropriate material. There is at least one restriction when it comes to choosing a dress for a beach wedding. You have to be particular about material. Choose materials that are light, flowing and don’t wrinkle. Stay away from thick, heavy materials such as velvet or brocade. Some materials to consider include crepe (thin, delicate and crinkly), charmeuse (soft and light with a slight sheen) and chiffon. Also consider fabric such as damaske, duchesse satin, batiste and illusion nets. These materials are light and will do well in the beach wind.
- Consider the practicality of the dress. The beach is not a controlled environment, and you will have to contend with wind, walking in sand and posing near the water. Dresses with a large train may get caught up in the sand, and a long veil may become out of control with the wind. Some women opt for a shorter gown for a beach wedding dress so they can pose near the water and walk freely. And keep in mind your footwear, as well. You can opt to go barefoot, but if you choose shoes, choose something that will allow you to walk comfortably in the sand.
- This tree will be filled with wishes of hope from family and friends. Gather all the messages and place them into decorative frames. Tie a ribbon or wire to the frame and attach each one to the individual tree branches. Keep the notes brief — one or two sentences. In addition to wishes, place pictures of family members or friends inside the frames and add messages to the back. To make this a surprise for the wedding couple, hide the hope tree until the wedding day.
- This is a tree filled with favorite photos of the bride and groom from their childhood years to the present. Create a heart-shaped paper frame for each photo. You will need at least 10 photos. Place newborn pictures at the bottom with the other photos ascending the tree up to the present to represent change over the years. At the top, place a large photo of the bride and groom. To complete the look, write a story about how the wedding couple met and were destined to be together. Arrange this framed story at the front of the destiny tree.
Ribbons of Love Tree
- For a larger tree that is indoors or outdoors, create a ribbon theme. Rainbow-colored ribbons cascade down this tree with loving messages from the bride and groom to each other. Tie the ribbons individually to a tree branch. At the end of the ribbons, place the special message inside a small bottle or attach it to a candle. Turn a love note into an origami animal to hang from the ribbon. These messages will reflect the many ways the bride and groom love each other.
Fortune Cookie Tree
- Fortune cookies are a simple way to add a little fun to the reception. They transform your tree into an edible piece of art. Place personalized messages of good fortune and hope inside each one for your guests. Tie the fortune cookies individually to the tree limbs. For one last token of your wedding, place several bowls of fortune cookies around the tree so that guests can take some home.
- Design specialized business cards that you can hand out to potential clients and current customers. Basic business cards tend to be forgettable, so be sure to add something special to feature your wedding decor business: a checklist with essential decor items or a calendar with a countdown to the wedding. By making the business card useful to clients, you will also ensure that your business name stays in their sight.
- Accessorize sales with small gifts for customers. Small gifts can cost you very little, but they can be a reminder to customers that you appreciate their business. Adding a small flower or a sachet of bath salts to a bag of purchases can be a little extra something that customers remember about you and the way you run your business. Additionally, since your business will be focused on the romance of weddings, gifts such as these let the customer know that you remember the important details of ambiance and elegance in wedding decor.
- Send out a newsletter to customers. Traditional newsletters arrive by mail, but electronic newsletters are popular and certainly less costly. Compile an email list from customers and potential clients, and keep them updated–monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly–with what is going on in your business and in the world of weddings. Be sure to feature your business and any important sales or special deals that you are offering, but take the time to add other details as well: current wedding trends, popular honeymoon destinations and so forth.
- Create a website, or hire a website designer to create one for you. Regardless of the scope of your business–whether you work locally or provide decor for clients in other parts of the country–a website is an invaluable tool for reaching out to customers. People who are uncomfortable picking up the phone to ask questions will check websites to find out about businesses. Be sure to provide all of the essential information about the wedding décor options that you offer. Because a wedding decor business is largely visual, be sure to include an image gallery and even videos of your merchandise and how it has been used in weddings.
When planning your wedding, you may envision guests marveling at all of the sparkling decorations as they enter your ceremony and reception venues. However, your budget is limited and you don’t want to break the bank to get the look you desire. Fortunately, you can complete many DIY projects that are both pretty and cheap.
- Invest in several bolts of tulle. Bolts of the fabric come at a very affordable price when bought in bulk. Use the tulle everywhere. Hang it from the ceiling, wrap it around pillars, create swags between the pews at your ceremony site and run it down the middle of your tables.
- Stock up on white lights after Christmas, or ask friends and relatives if they can lend you lights from their own supply. Options vary from enclosing white lights in tulle and wrapping around the bridal table under the linens to lining your walkway with luminaries. Place candles around your reception venue for a romantic glow. Make miniature lanterns by cleaning out old baby food jars, filling with sand or decorative stones, placing a votive candle inside and stringing the jar to a hanging branch with sturdy wire.
- You can create a unique centerpiece for less than $10. Make a topiary out of a recycled pot, Styrofoam ball, moss, dowel rod, moss, ribbon and silk flowers. Make candy bouquets and place in a bright basket. Place a tiered cupcake stand in the middle of each table and fill with bright cupcakes. Place a row of pillar candles down the middle of the table and surround by moss or flower petals. Take decorative butterflies on a stem, wrap them together and place in a decorative container for a butterfly bouquet. Use several bud vases with a single flower stem in each one for a fresh look. Place several tulips in a vase and weight them down with fishing sinkers. Fill the vase with water for a submerged floral arrangement.
- Favors add a decorative touch and help to fill up the table. You can also place the favors in a basket or hang them from a small tree in place of a centerpiece. Make edible treats and place them in a pretty satchel. Make your own body scrub from sugar, body oil, aloe vera and olive oil, and place in decorative containers. Wrap mints in tulle and tie with a colorful ribbon.
- An easy and cheap way to add a splash of color to your wedding decorations is to make your own seating cards in bold colors. Write each guest’s name and table number on a bright piece of paper. Cut out, fold and add ribbon to the side of the card. Press flowers in a book and glue them around your table numbers. Paint a cheap picture frame with a distressed look for a vintage feel. Place the table number inside the frame.
- Quickly decorate your church by using pew bows. Cut tulle or satin fabric and tie in the shape of a bow. Tie the bows around the pew. Another option is to create a kissing ball. Stick flowers through Styrofoam so they make a round arrangement. Attach ribbon and hang from the pew.
- Scour flea markets, thrift stores and your own supply of secondhand items for candlestick holders, stemware, china, vases, candles and other decorations. Use a decorative bird cage in place of a wedding card box. Set the tables with sparkling glasses and white dinner plates. Borrow a couple of pieces of furniture to make a comfortable lounge area. Place photographs in old picture frames around the reception venue and near the guest book.
- You do not need to decorate every area of your venue to achieve an elegant look. Concentrate instead on a few focal points. For example, place the bridesmaids’ bouquets in vases on your bridal table for a lush look. Frame a cake table with a pretty canopy. Use a garden arch at your entrance, and cover it with tulle, flowers and ribbon. Use garden trellis against a wall and string flowers through the holes. Stack decorative hat boxes to give the illusion of a cake. Place coordinating flowers on the edges of the boxes.
- An easy and cheap way to add decor to your venue is to make signs. Make a large sign pointing to the reception venue. Make it decorative by adding graphics or a stylish font. Make a reminder sign beside the guest book. Make a banner featuring with the couple’s name.
- Turn the iron on the rayon, delicate or warm setting. Allow the iron to warn up for a few minutes.
- Place the organza from the dress over the ironing board or on the flat surface so that it is completely flat and taught.
- Lightly spray the towel with water or place the damp white towel on the organza fabric
- Run the iron over the damp towel and press down to iron the wrinkles out of the dress.
- Repeat Steps 2 through 4 for each piece of the organza on the gown that you need to iron.
The wedding industry is composed of many different types of services and products. The Knot, a resource site for future brides, recommends that brides spend approximately 5.5 percent of their total wedding budget on decorations for the ceremony and reception. Your goal as the owner of a wedding decorations company is to be the company that brides choose for their wedding decorations needs. Secure your spot in the industry by developing a business plan and marketing your products and services in the appropriate places to your target demographic.
- Create samples. Make or purchase samples of your decorations in different styles and colors. Look at wedding blogs and other websites that show wedding decorations. Select styles and colors that are attractive to prospective brides.
- Take pictures of your work. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your wedding decorations. Take multiple digital photographs of your decorations at different angles, zoom levels and colors.
- Set prices. Select price levels for your products that reflect the quality of the materials, the labor spent making the decorations and knowledge of average retail rates for said products.
- Create a business name. Entrepreneur, an advice site for business owners, notes that the best company names are those that reinforce the key aspects of the business. Select a name that instantly tells potential customers what you are selling. Include buzz words like “wedding,” “decorations” and “bridal.”
- Create a website. Hire a professional web designer to create an online store for your wedding decorations. Make the domain name your business name. If that is not available, use wedding related words for the domain name. Include photographs of the wedding decorations on the site as well as prices, contact information and a system that allows online payments.
- Hire a printer. Create flyers and business cards that list your company name, your services and contact information. Use high quality paper stock.
- Leave flyers and business cards at wedding related businesses. Talk to local owners of bridal salons, hair salons, tailor shops and other businesses that cater to brides and grooms. Gain their approval to leave flyers and business cards on the counters and bulletin boards for their clientele.
- Participate in bridal expos. Fill out the appropriate paperwork and pay the required fees to participate in local bridal expos. Bridal expos are large events typically held in convention centers or ballrooms that feature dozens of wedding vendors and hundreds or thousands of future brides. Every Expo, a company that hosts bridal expos, notes that a vendor can cover the costs of booth rental and more with vigorous sales during the event.
- One cheap wedding gift that will mean a lot to the happy couple is a memory basket. This gift will only work if you know the couple well. Include items like a cd with songs that played the night they met and a nicely framed picture of the two of them together. Hand-write a nice card, letting them know how happy you are for them, and how grateful you are to share their special day.
- A cheap wedding gift that is sure to thrill the happy couple is a video recording of pre-wedding moments. Shopping for a wedding dress, scoping out wedding locations, and even the reception dinner and bridal shower are all great clips to add. Having a couple of other friends of the couple re-enact the proposal will add a dash of humor to this cheap wedding gift.
- Another cheap wedding gift can be put together on the spot, at the wedding. Take a small basket, some tulle, a small bag of rice, and a card with details about the wedding. At the wedding, put one wedding favor, a flower or two, and any other small items that qualify as memories, into the basket. Place the basket on a large circle of tulle, and gather at the top of the basket. Tie with some white ribbon, and you’re done!
- First, start collecting your jars and tell your friends and family to do the same. Your cheap wedding centerpieces will be unique and memorable if you use a variety of sizes, shapes, and heights, so save everything from mayonnaise jars to baby food jars! Glass is preferable as it looks nicer than plastic.
- Second, you’ll need to peel off the labels. Try a solution that’s half vinegar and half water, or purchase some product from your home improvement store – it’s usually very affordable. Spray it on the label, let it soak for several minutes, and then use a straight edge to peel off the glue.
- Third, you want to wrap the neck of the jar with some wide and festive ribbon or trim. Try your fabric supply store for the best choices. You want your cheap wedding centerpieces to look as professional as possible, so use ribbon that’s wide enough to cover the entire neck. Also, make sure that the length of the ribbon flows to the table.
- Fourth, you’ll need to fill the jars with chocolate kisses, colorful candies, or fresh flowers. Flowers are best to dress up cheap wedding centerpieces but they can be pricey, so consider using “filler” items such as baby’s breath, ferns, and other stems. If you use flowers, you should probably transport them to the reception area empty and then fill them with the water and flowers.
- Fifth, practice grouping your jars before your wedding. Play with the different heights and sizes to see what looks better, and make sure that you coordinate your flowers and greens between the jars so everything looks pulled together.
Make It Magical
- The reception may start in the afternoon and last into the night, requiring lighting to make it magical. Outdoor dusk/dawn sensors plug into outlets and turn on the lights when the sun goes down. String twinkle lights overhead in tree branches or under a patio cover to add stars to the darkening sky. Candle lanterns hanging from shepherd’s hooks or from the trees add a flickering, romantic ambiance to the landscape.
Add rope lights for pathways, keeping guests safely out of the flowerbeds as they admire the landscape. Upward-pointing landscape lights highlight the trees and shrubs around the perimeter of the garden. Change the bulbs to green or blue to soften the lighting.
Add Scent and Color
- Day or night, adding additional flowers and greenery to the garden brings out the beauty of a simple backyard. Tuck potted plants around the patio or under the trees. White gardenias add their sweet scent to the air, while fragrant salvias attract hummingbirds and butterflies during the day to charm your guests. A pair of potted trees placed on each side of the backyard’s entry gate and entwined with twinkle lights lead guests into the reception.
If you are planning the reception several months in advance, plant a mixture of morning glories and moonflowers along a bare wall, on which the vines can climb to enchant guests during the day with the bright faces of the morning glories and the luminous white of moonflowers in the evening. Plant bright annual flowers in the garden’s borders to add color. If time is short, transplant annuals, such as cheerful pansies or petunias, into sparse corners of the garden.
Keep It Comfortable
- Keep your guests comfortable with padded chairs, portable fans or propane heaters. Patio umbrellas or canopies shade guests from sun and unexpected drizzles, while a rental tent protects them from wind and rain. Colorful draperies hung around the perimeter of a patio cover provide shelter from the elements while evoking an exotic Moroccan influence. A large plush rug laid over a concrete patio softens the hard surface. Add additional lighting, such as Oriental lamps, over tables and the buffet to preserve the romantic atmosphere.
Decorate the Tables
- Layer the reception and buffet tables with white linens overlaid with tablecloths in the wedding colors. Crisp white napkins folded into fans, laid flat on the table and anchored by wedding favors, such as jars of local honey or organic jams, keep the napkins from blowing away on a breezy day. Floral centerpieces of bright and cheerful flowers, such as gerberas or zinnias, or exotic flowers, such as gardenias, birds of paradise or orchids mixed with peacock feathers and gold-painted corkscrew willow branches, add color and height to the tables. Pillar candles or votive candles in glass candleholders add light to the tables.
Dance the Night Away
- A portable dance floor on the grass allows your guests to dance the night away to your favorite tunes. A DJ or band can provide music ranging from classical to the latest hits. Shelter the artists with a portable canopy and add an extra heater if the night is cool. A rope light suspended from shepherd’s hooks or around the edge of the dance floor defines its edges, keeping guests from stumbling on the grass as they enter and leave the area.
- Select a vase design for your centerpieces. The top of the vase needs to be large enough to accept a floating candle. Before you buy your centerpieces, know the number of reception tables you must decorate, and purchase two or three extra vases in case one breaks.
- Clean the vases to ensure that they are free of dirt and debris. You do not want a piece of dirt floating around in a vase while your guests eat.
- Fill each vase about a quarter full with glass stones. Choose colors that match your wedding theme, or stick with clear stones.
- Pour water into the vases, leaving 1 inch of space at the top.
- Place a floating candle in each vase. Match the candles to the color of your stones, or choose candles that accent the wedding decor, such as floating flower candles.
- Position each centerpiece on a mirror. The mirrors can be circular or square and need to be slightly larger than the base of the vases.
- Place the wedding centerpieces in the center of each reception table. Sprinkle flower petals, plastic wedding rings or extra glass stones around them to add visual interest.
- Pick a theme for the anniversary party and incorporate the table decorations as part of the overall decor. Consider the time of the year in your theme, as inexpensive natural items make for creative centerpieces. Other theme ideas include the number of years of the anniversary, a hobby or interest of the couple, or a location that is special to the couple.
- Select the colors for the party. If the anniversary is a “big” one, such as the 25th or 50th, you may want to use traditional colors, such as silver for 25 or gold for 50. Other options are the couples’ favorite colors, or colors to match with the time of year.
- Use candles. Surround large pillar candles in the center of the table with ribbon or tree boughs. Fill small glass bowls with a center candle and fresh flowers or colored marbles. Large pillar candles look beautiful inside hurricane glass domes.
- Make a memory lane on the table. Place a wide strip of theme-colored ribbon across the table. Mount copies of photos of the couple and their children and family on colored card stock. Glue the photos on the ribbon. Each table can be different, perhaps highlighting children and grandchildren, vacations the couple have taken, or jobs and hobbies.
- Fill colorful balloons with helium. Tie pretty ribbons to the balloons and candies at the bottom to hold them down.
- Make tissue-wrapped jars that will stand out on the table. To wrap canning jars with tissue paper, lay out tissue paper in two or three shades of your theme color, with the darkest color on top and white on the bottom. Place a canning jar down in the middle and gather the four corners at the top of the jar. Tie matching ribbons around the neck of the jar.
- Create a natural setting by using seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits. For example, if the anniversary is in the fall, use carved out and cleaned pumpkins as pot holders for mums or other fall flowers, and lean the pumpkin lid against the arrangement. Fill glass vases or bowls with colorful seasonal fruit or nuts that add fresh color to the table.
- Scatter confetti all over the tables. Purchase confetti in a myriad of shapes and themes from party stores, or create your own with hole punchers. Confetti colors the table quickly and guests enjoy tossing it.
- Place your wedding dress on a flat surface, with the front of the dress facing up. Determine which areas of the dress you want to bead. Popular areas include the bodice, the waistline and the sleeves of the dress. Follow the seams of the wedding dress to determine where adding beads will embellish the dress. You can sew beads along vertical and horizontal seams.
- Repeat Step 1 for the back of the dress. Popular areas to add beads to the back of the dress include the back, waistline and train of the dress.
- Thread the needle. Slide the needle and thread through the center of a bead and then through the fabric to attach the bead to the dress. Repeat with each bead you have chosen to sew onto your dress. Double-stitch each bead to the dress for added security.
- Tie off each bead with a knot on the underside of the fabric. This way, if the thread breaks, you will lose only one bead and the other beads will not fall off the dress.
- Envision your wedding from beginning to end. Where and when have you dreamed the wedding would take place? How formal would you like the event to be? What will the wedding party wear? What kind of food would you like to serve?
- Pick a date.
- Set a budget–one that is functional and provides for some flexibility. Here is where you must combine fantasy with practicality.
- Ask friends and family to recommend a reputable jeweler. Order your engagement and/or wedding rings.
- Book the wedding and reception sites.
- Meet with the officiant of your wedding. Now is the time to be clear about rules and restrictions regarding the ceremony and ceremony site.
- Select your wedding attendants–your wedding party can be as big or small as you like.
- Choose a dress and wedding attire for the rest of the wedding party.
- Make a guest list. You may have to compromise on the number of guests if your budget is limited.
- Plan your pre-wedding parties, ceremony, reception and honeymoon–consider menus, decorations, favors and music.
- Interview and hire vendors: wedding coordinator, photographer, video professional, caterer, florist and entertainment.
- Check state requirements for obtaining a marriage license, and find out how long the license will remain valid.
- Take care of the rest of the paperwork, from ordering invitations to signing up with gift registries.
- Possess a passion for detail. Wedding planners are detail-oriented people that take pride in doing the small things that most people never even notice. Treating each party or wedding like it’s your own is an essential part of becoming a wedding planner.
- Take some event-planning courses. You’ll probably be able to find event-planning courses at your local community college or as part of an adult education curriculum. Take some business classes to gain valuable insight into running a business.
- Register as a wedding planner. Create a name for your company and register it with the local courthouse. Choose a name that is clever and explains what you do, but make sure it’s a name that potential clients will take seriously.
- Get an umbrella insurance policy. This will protect your business against lawsuits and other things that can occur when emotions are running high.
- Advertise your wedding planning services. Look through your local newspaper for newly engaged couples and send them brochures about your business. Hang up flyers and always have business cards with you in case you run into somebody who needs a wedding planner.
- Create an attractive website, or hire a professional to design your website. Many times, this will be the first impression that potential customers get of your business. Make sure that the services you provide stand out, and include all of your contact information on the site.
- There are no federal licensing or certification requirements necessary to become a wedding decorator. You could choose to complete a certification course, however, to learn more about wedding and event planning. Not only will a certification help set you apart from the crowd, but courses can teach you new and innovative techniques and approaches you can apply to your wedding decorating.
Join an Association
- You do not have to be in an association to be a wedding decorator, but membership can help boost your reputation. New wedding decorators may also benefit from the support, resources, information and networking an association offers members. A variety of organizations cater to wedding decorators, such as the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, National Association of Wedding Professionals and the Wedding Industry Professionals Association.
Follow the Licensing Requirements
- Wedding decorators are often self-employed, but you could also choose to work for a wedding planning company as the decorator. Although you do not need a license to be a wedding decorator, you may need a license to operate as a business owner. Even if you run the business from your home office, your city or state may require business tax registration and licensing.
Market Your Services
- You can create a portfolio to show your work to potential clients or employers. To reach a broad range of potential clients, you can create a website displaying your information and previous events you have decorated. If you are not tech savvy or want to keep costs down, blogs are often free and do not require any web design skills. If you do not have experience and want to gain exposure, you might want to volunteer your services to decorate an event thrown by a local charity or organization.
Spread the Word
- Word of mouth is an effective and free form of advertising for new wedding decorators. Your reputation is essential to a successful wedding decorating career. If you have any experience decorating for weddings or any other events, such as birthday parties or baby showers, share the photos and encourage others to share them as well. You can visit local bridal shops and florists to inquire about displaying your business cards. Attending bridal shows or expos also gives you the opportunity to market your services directly to future brides and other vendors.
- Develop a mini-marketing plan.
Your first step is to develop a 3-5 page mini-marketing plan. In your plan, you’ll need to write down your business overview, what sets you apart from other wedding planners, target audience, marketing budget, current marketing methods (online-offline or a combination of both), etc.
- Scope out your competition.
Figure out how your competitors are marketing their services. Do they use print advertisement, word of mouth or viral advertising, full color brochures, business cards, or something else? Whatever your competitors use, you need to write down their advertising methods and then plan to add those same methods to your arsenal of marketing methods.
- Set up a basic website.
You’ll need to set up a basic wedding planner website. Your basic website doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a simple 1to 5 page site will do fine. Make sure that you include an About Me page, price list, contact information and FAQs. If you are not technically savvy, you can hire a designer off Elance or Get a Freelancer to create one for you.
- Market your wedding planner site and services.
Now that you have your website, make sure that you market it on a regular basis. To do so, you should include your site URL on any business cards, brochures, etc. Draft up tee-shirts with your URL and pass them out to friends and family members. Write articles and blog posts and place them online. In essence, do what you have to do to get targeted traffic to your wedding planner site.
- Contact wedding halls.
Visit local wedding halls and introduce yourself to the owners. Tell them that you are offering a referral fee to any banquet halls that make a valid referral. By doing this, you will attract a steady stream of clients.
- Partner up with photographers.
Another great way to market your wedding planner business is to pair up with wedding photographers. Often times, they meet clients that also need a wedding consultant. Therefore, by pairing up with them, you can get more clients and can cross-promote their photography services as well. Two great sources to find local photographer partners is Wedding Photo USA or Wedding Photography Directory. See “Resources” for link.
- Advertise to other wedding planners.
Many wedding planners get booked and need help. Therefore, by marketing yourself to them, you can ensure that you have a steady flow of business. You can meet them at conferences and other weddings. Always be willing to pass out your card and offer your services at a discount so that they can make a profit off your services.
Decorate a Tent for a Wedding Reception
- Choose the flooring for your wedding tent. Many wedding tent rental companies offer checkered dance floors, faux wood flooring or plastic flooring as options. Select a flooring that matches your wedding motif and helps guests keep their shoes and dresses clean and dry.
- Decide on your guest tables and chairs. Most wedding supply rental companies offer white folding chairs and standard 71-inch round tables for seating guests. Decorate the tables with tablecloths in your wedding colors and tie tulle (soft, fine silk, cotton or nylon) ribbons on the backs of every other chair in the shape of a bow facing outward.
- Use a tree-inspired look to create height in the reception tent and on individual tables. Take branches and remove the leaves. Spray paint the branches to match your wedding colors, or create a metallic look with gold or silver spray paint. Bundle 14- to 20-inch high branches with ribbon. Use fishing line to attach and hang plastic jewels from each bundle and seat them in pots with spray-painted peat moss or colored marbles to create interesting centerpieces. Use longer, thicker branches and do the same to create magical trees three to four feet tall in a monochrome color, potted and placed at varying heights throughout the tent.
- Add lighting for pictures and ambience. Speak to the wedding tent rental company about the options for main and secondary sources of lighting for photographs. Consider using plastic colored filters on the primary light sources to create ambience. String spirals of small white lights around tent poles and corners to camoflauge the tent supports. Hang electric lanterns or place luminaria throughout the tent to create more color and romantic lighting effects.
- Create candle-inspired warmth. Fill shallow, round glass bowls with water and place tea light candles in each with stemless whole flowers such as African daisies, plumerias or gardenias. Light the candles before the ceremony. Place the decorative glass bowls on guest and buffet tables.
- Introduce varying heights. Take several stools or pillars of different heights and place them around the perimeter of the wedding tent. Drape each pedestal with a soft or shiny fabric, such as satin, silk or velvet. Cut pieces of fabric with decorative scissors, ensuring the fabric can hit the floor when draped over each pedestal. Place decorations such as plants, photographs of the bride and groom growing up, or floral arrangements on each pedestal to add visual interest.
- Create decorations at great heights with fabric flowers. Select fabric flowers that match your wedding colors and motifs. Run a ceiling liner across the tent’s ceiling and hang or adhere fabric flowers to it.
- Introduce a sense of whimsy with bubbles or balloons. Use balloons in wedding colors and fill them with air from a helium tank. Ask your wedding planner about creating a balloon arch behind the wedding party’s table or elsewhere for picture-taking. Release balloons to the tent ceiling to create a festive blanketed look overhead. Rent a bubble machine to gently blow bubbles throughout the tent.
- Wind strands of white Christmas lights around the edge of the ceilings, around doorways and over any arches. Use tacks or electrical tape in a color that blends with the wall to help keep the lights in place. Sparkling Christmas lights create a whimsical feel especially appropriate for a winter wedding.
- Wrap white Christmas lights around trees at the entrance way to the wedding venue, or throughout the space if it is an outdoor wedding.
- Hang paper lanterns from the ceiling of the wedding reception. For an outdoor reception, the lanterns can also be hung from the trees. Choose white lanterns for a simple and elegant look or colors that coordinate with your wedding color palette for bright bursts of color.
- Place candles in hanging candle holders. Substitute battery operated candles instead of candles with actual flames if you are concerned about them being a fire hazard. Hang the candle holders from ceiling rafters or from the branches of trees.
- Mount LED lights on the ceiling or around the border of the room, following the instructions on the light packaging, to create a sleek, modern look.
- Choose beads that match or enhance the fabric and lines of the dress. You may want small, white pearls for elegance, cut faux glass or small, clear beads for shine, or small beads in a color that enhances the fabric. For example, if your dress is a pale pink taffeta, you might choose pale pink pearls to blend in or white pearls to draw attention to the lines.
- Decide where you want to sew beads. Obvious places would be along princess seams to call attention to the elegance of the bodice, around the neckline to create a delicate effect, along the length or width of the sleeve for graceful movement and along the hemline for shimmer.
- Sew beads onto the dress one at a time. This may sound tedious, but if a thread breaks or snags loose on the big day, you will lose only one bead, rather than a whole line or cluster. Thread your needle, knot the thread, and poke it through the fabric, starting from the wrong side. Place the bead on the needle and poke back through the fabric in the opposite direction, from right side to wrong side. Make sure you don’t pull the thread too tightly and pucker the fabric. Knot the thread again from the wrong side of the fabric. If the bead is heavy or the fabric is thin enough to rip, place a drop of glue on the knot.
- Create a line of beads by sewing the second bead next to the first, lining up the beads so that the tops and sides are consistent. Your line of beads will look much less impressive if they aren’t straight, so take the time to poke the needle carefully along the same line as the previous bead so that the beads are straight.
- Enhance a feature of your dress by sewing a drop of beads. If your dress comes to a “V” at the neck or waist, sew a drop of several beads to hang from the “V.” Begin as you would to sew on a single bead, but thread three to five beads on instead, knotting the thread after the last bead so that your drop can move freely. You may want to knot in between beads in case the final knot fails. Choosing a bell-shape for your final bead in the drop allows you a place for glue to make the drop more secure after you knot the thread.
- Sew beads onto lace for dramatic sparkle, or if you cannot bring yourself to stick a needle through your beautiful fabric. Choose very light beads for lace so you don’t cause the lace to sag.