Email Address

One unexpected aspect of wedding planning that people don’t think of is the amount of emails that you get. We all do this even outside of wedding planning, we go to a website a box pops up and says ‘Save 10% by giving your email below’ and we give our email. Most times you don’t even buy anything from the site, but the ‘what if’ factor is always there and saving 10% here and there especially at wedding time, can really add up and save.

One big way to combat this is by creating a new email account for just your wedding alone. Don’t think of this as your new married email, this is purely so you don’t get spammed from every bridal company around to your personal email. This email should be ‘Nickiesplanningawedding@gmail.com’ ‘Bridalcrap@yahoo.com’. Because once you really start the planning process you will get so much bridal and wedding stuff thrown your way, your head will spin. This is especially helpful if you go to bridal conventions and shows, a lot of these places will give out your email address to third parties, and before you know it you’ll get over 100 emails a day just for wedding stuff.

This will allow you to keep your personal email for your daily important emails so that you don’t miss a credit card bill or an email from your favorite aunt. Because trust me once you sign up once for a bridal email they won’t stop sending you stuff once your wedding is over. And this will allow you to not have to spend half your day unsubscribing from every email you get, just to clear room in your email.

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Honeymoon

Honeymoons are an essential part of the planning process of weddings. People use them to unwind after the stress of planning the event or as a chance of a lifetime to go to a bucket list destination. Each one is personal to the couple and should not be something that is over looked.

Traveling as newlyweds could be the start of a lifetime of adventure together not just the start of the marriage. Traveling can be a stressful experience for some so following these Do’s and Don’t’s allow you to focus on what matters…or doesn’t.

Do’s & Don’t’s:

  • Do plan this adventure together. One person monopolizing this trip is not how a marriage should start out.
  • Don’t expect not to be tired…you just planned one of the most stressful experiences. Don’t expect to have all the energy to run around.
  • Do plan off days on your honeymoon if you plan on traveling around the destination, having down time is the reason behind a honeymoon after all
  • Don’t use you married name on travel documents if you have not legally changed it yet. Make sure all travel documents state what is on your government ids.
  • Do something you haven’t done before…a honeymoon is great place to start checking off some of your marriage bucket list items.
  • Don’t buy family souvenirs… it’s great thought but no one really wants a dancing coconut, focus on yourselves.
  • Do plan it months after the wedding. There is no hard and fast rule saying you have to leave the day after your wedding, take time to enjoy the aftermath and if your destination isn’t in season with your wedding doesn’t mean you have to skip it.
  • Don’t go bankrupt… make sure you plan your honeymoon along with your wedding and add it into the budget so there are no surprise costs.
  • Do involve family and friends, nothing like a trip to solidify a new family.
  • Don’t involve family and friends…this is the time to get away from everyone and enjoy the newlywed lift
  • Do relax and enjoy it, after all it is still a vacation!

Phone Etiquette

One of my biggest ‘Pet Peeves’ at any event is how people do not put their phones down and enjoy the moment. This is happening across the board everything from wedding to concerts, people don’t know how to live in the moment without capturing it on their phones.

With the advancement of technology there needs to be a universal rule to phone etiquette at events, and it needs to be the same one as being in a theater. Silence the phone and put it away till the show is over.

This rule only applies to the part of the event where you (the guest) are sitting still, in silence, facing the same direction. There is nothing worse than looking at professional photos or videos after an event and seeing half the guests faces blocked because their phones are where the faces should be… or worse an IPAD! If the hosts of the event wanted your photographic skills they would have asked for them before hand.

Receptions are fair game, this is where you should take photos, be loud, have fun and show it all off on social media and where that carefully crafted hashtag comes into play. But not a moment sooner!

One other aspect of the phone etiquette that I wish I didn’t have to state but see far too often is: stay seated at events especially weddings and baptisms. There have been far too many times that I see people get out of their seats and stand in the altar or aisle to get the ‘best photo’. And this happens throughout the entire event! not just the beginning or end, but in the middle of the bridesmaids walking down. People are oblivious that they are literately standing in the way of the event and usually the people who the hosts paid thousands of dollars to take photos.

Weddings Dress Shopping

What Lola Wants Lola Gets”

Wedding dress shopping is one of the first items that brides check off their list. Wedding dresses can take anywhere from four to six months to be delivered, so many brides want to get in early to find the right dress with time to spare for alterations.

Be mindful of what your wants and needs are when going wedding dress shopping. Look at bridal mags to see the shapes and styles that you like, and this will help you form a budget for your dress. Also dresses do not have to be white and from a bridal shop, if this is not your style don’t go with it. First and foremost you have to be comfortable on your wedding day and if that means you get it off the rack from a local department store or consignment shop, then go for it.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie “Monster-in-Law” staring Jennifer Lopez is, “I’m making the dress to fit my body, not the other way around”. This quote is great because it reminds women to love the body that they have and to know that you don’t have to go on fad diets and extremes to ‘fit’ into the perfect dress for your wedding day. I’ve heard horror stories of women who went to extremes for their weddings only for the dress to not fit right on the day of because of amount of weight they loss between fittings. Remember all dresses can be altered but not to a different design.

Another aspect of dress shopping is to think about who you are bringing to the dress shop to see you try on dresses. Heavily opinionated people should be left at home, you don’t need to cry or be upset on this day, because your Great-Aunt Betty makes mean comments with each dress you try. Bring the people who will lift you up and give honest but constructive comments. And if that means that you go alone on a few excursions to try on dresses till you find the right one, so be it.

Remember you are Lola and Lola gets what she wants.

Themes

One of my favorite aspect of planning events, is the theme. I think it is the first step in planning a good party is to lock down the theme.  After that everything from the food, to the decor to the favors, will fall into place.

The theme is the key to a good time. It sets the mood for the entire event and the better the theme the more your guests and you will enjoy it.

Many people feel that they need to have a “fresh” theme, something new and exciting so that people don’t get bored.  I say screw “fresh” and go with the classics:

Black and white: This is classic and simple.  You and your guests won’t have to go out and buy ridiculous costumes or spend thousands on new clothing.  Everything from the decorations to the decor will be simple and easy to find.  And if you really want to throw in a curve ball add one item to have color.

Back Yard BBQ: Simple and fun, who doesn’t love BBQ. Throw some burgers on the grill, add some patch work table cloths and you’ve got yourself a great time.  And for the twist do it in the winter. Grab your friends hang in the house and enjoy the best part of the summer in the cold.

Decade themes: Now everyone has been to 80’s night, or Disco night, but one way to keep it fresh is to center it around an icon movie of the time.  Pretty in Pink for classic 80’s nostalgia or Clueless for revamping the 90’s at it’s finest.  You’ll get extra points for playing music from those soundtracks, or keeping the film on in the background.

Top 5 tips to planning a good party

1) Date and Time: Do this first above all other aspects, doing so will allow you to choose the location and get first dibs on what you really want. Allow yourself to have an alternate date if you must have a specific venue.  If you do not book far enough in advance many places can be booked up especially during peek event seasons.

2) Venue: If you don’t have a specific venue in mind already, choose up to 3 venue’s for an event.  This will allow you to broaden you themes and not get stuck if your first venue doesn’t work out. Also this will help you find something that you may have not thought of originally.

3) Theme: The theme to an event will make or break an event.  It is hands down one of the most important aspects to any good event.  This will allow not only you to focus your party but will set the mood for all of your guests. The theme will allow guests to get excited for the event, and the most fun will be seeing your guests show up in their party outfits.

4) Food and Beverage: Coming from a big Mediterranean family, the first question that is asked before our events, is what are we going to be eating? Food and Beverage are the two main focal points to any and all great events.  People want to enjoy the food and drink and you want to dazzle your guests with how creative you are.  The same ole chip and dip, and cheese and cracker displays are out. In are innovative hors d’oeuvres, main entree’s and specialty drinks. Food and beverage are also the biggest expense that people will deal with at events.  One way to cut the cost of having an open bar is to do beer and wine, or create your own signature cocktail.

5) Music: Whether you have a DJ, a band or just a good ole fashioned boom box, music is a requirement for a party.  People want to dance, shake off the stress of the work week and let loose.  There is nothing worse than going to an event when you want to dance and the music is horrible.  Word of advice do not play the music that you like, if you like 50’s rat pack GREAT! If you love East Coast Rap WONDERFUL! But do not play them solely at your party, play top 40’s, throw in some old school line dancing, and your guest will have a great time.  People will not always love your taste in music, and the best stuff to dance to has a good beat to it and something people can follow along with….And please for the sake of all things good in this world…Don’t do a conga line.

 

Candles at Events

My public service announcement of the week to every and all party planners out there: Use Unscented Candles or Flame less Candles at events.

Unscented Candles allow you the option of having the ambiance that you want while not making your guests sick.  When you use a scented candle during a party the smell can be over whelming for many people and it could start to give people headaches.  So between the smells, lights, and noise you guests could start dropping like flies.

Another thing with scented candles they will change the flavor of the food.  If you make/ serve a delicious three course meal, you want your guests to smell those flavors and not the pumpkin pie candle in front of them.

If you must have a scented candle at your event make it only ONE scent, and use it sparsely, this will allow you to have the scent without making people overwhelmed by it.

Flame less candles are another great alternative to real candles.  These are cheaper in bulk and if you search around you can find some with different colors, shapes and sizes.  Also remember many places do not allow real candles due to safety hazards, so flame less is your only option. But it does not have to be dull or boring if you get the right kind and if you jazz them up with your holders and centerpieces.

Also people will get to take them home without the fear of getting wax all over them.