Monthly Archives: August 2017

Have you Ordered these Nine Arrangements for Your Wedding Day?

Why is it important to organize your fresh wedding flowers for your wedding day?

After all, planning a wedding involves lots of details. There are rings to buy. You need to make a list of friends and family to invite. A wedding dress to order. A marriage license to apply for. Showers, parties, and much, much more.

And, you have so many people to keep track of. Bridesmaids and a maid of honor to select. Ushers, groomsmen, your mom and dad, the groom’s mom and dad. Grandma and Grandpa. Oh yes, your husband to be. A flower girl and ring bearer.

Why Flowers are Important to Your Wedding Party
Each of these people are important to you and take a visible role in your wedding. They march down the aisle at church. They attend your reception. They are in your wedding photos.

Each of your special guests wears a special arrangement of fresh wedding flowers to celebrate your day with you. Wedding flowers are a sign of a fresh new life. The oldest story of a man and woman joined in marriage is Adam and Eve in a garden, the Garden of Eden.

As a brand new bride, you want your wedding party to feel a part of the wedding. And, you don’t want to be embarrassed at the last minute by forgetting to give a corsage to your mother-in-law to be.

Carrying or wearing flowers is a sign of belonging. It is like wearing a badge. When your guests see your wedding party wearing flowers, they know who belongs.

How to Remember Your Wedding Party with Fresh Wedding Flowers
There are nine types of wedding flower arrangements that you can honor your wedding party, depending on who is in your wedding. Let’s review each type.

The Bridal Bouquet
This wedding flower arrangement is your signature bouquet that you carry throughout your wedding ceremony. You may match your wedding gown with white roses, or use another color that goes along with your wedding theme. You can select a simple bouquet of daisies, an elaborate bouquet of mixed flowers including calla lilies. Bridal bouquets can be small or large with 10 to 15 flowers to 50 or more flowers.

Maid of Honor Bouquet
Your maid (or matron) of honor is your special friend who walks with you through your engagement and wedding planning. She is an official witness to your marriage when she signs your marriage certificate. She holds your bouquet at different times during your wedding, and she carries her own bouquet, too.

Bridesmaid’s Bouquets
Depending on the size of your wedding party, you may have several friends serve as your bridesmaids. Each of them should carry their own bouquet, that reflects your own bridal bouquet. A smaller, simpler bouquet that matches their dresses and your color scheme looks lovely at your wedding and in your photographs.

Toss Bouquet
Many modern brides use a small bouquet to toss to the women at their wedding reception. A toss bouquet serves this purpose. Normally, a toss bouquet is made of the same flowers as your bridal bouquet. By using a toss bouquet, you can keep your bridal bouquet and preserve it.

Mother’s Petite Hand Tied
Your mom has stood by you for many years and this is a special day for her, too. You can order a petite hand-tied bouquet, with lacy ribbons that matches your own bouquet. Imagine the love and joy your mom will have as she walks down the aisle with her own bouquet, remembering her own wedding day and being happy in your special day.

Flower Girl Petal Bouquet
If you have a flower girl in your wedding procession, she may spread rose petals or simply carry a petal bouquet to walk with you during your wedding day. Your flower girl may be a member of your family, like a young cousin or a niece, who is special to you. She will look darling and be absolutely thrilled to carry her own little bouquet in your wedding.

Boutonnieres
Your groom, the groomsmen, your father and the father of your husband, grandfathers, ushers, and other special men wear a simple flower pinned to the lapel of their tuxedos or suits. This boutonniere is like a badge that they are an official part of the wedding. They are like your company of knights who escort the queen to the altar on her wedding day. Make sure to honor them.

Pin Corsages
The special women in your wedding party, your special aunts, mother of the groom, grandmothers often wear a corsage pinned to their dresses. These corsages match both the type and color of your fresh wedding flowers.

Wrist Corsages
You may wish to offer the mother of the groom and grandmothers a wrist corsage, a small display of flowers that are tied to the wrist. Wrist corsages are more popular these days, because they don’t have pins that poke through a dress. These corsages look elegant and offer your special women a way to celebrate your wedding with you.

How to Order Your Wedding Flower Arrangements So That Everyone Belongs
Now that you know carries or wears what type of flower arrangement, it is time to plan your flower order. Simply count up who is in your wedding party, and which flowers you need for each of them.

For the bride, you will need a bridal bouquet and you may desire to have a toss bouquet.

-Order a bouquet for your maid of honor.
-One bouquet for each of your bridesmaids.
-A petite hand tied bouquet for your mom.
-Boutonnieres for your groom, dads, grandpas, groomsmen, ushers.
-Corsages for grandmas, your groom’s mom, any aunts or other special women.
-The junior bouquet for your flower girl.

Make sure to match the color of your wedding theme and coordinate the same type of flowers for each person. Ordering fresh wedding flowers may seem challenging, but it is a lot easier when you know that everyone is covered. By including everyone, and helping them feel they belong, your wedding party will share in the joy of your wedding day for years to come.

Would you like an easy way to order fresh wedding flowers for your wedding party? Fresh Wedding Flowers in a Box is a collection of every type of flower arrangement that you need for your wedding. You can choose from eight different professionally designed wedding flower packages, and three to 40 pieces. Each package includes free overnight express shipping.

Tips on Choosing a Photographer for Your Wedding

Getting married is an amazing experience. It is a day filled with emotion, joy, happiness and sometimes a little sadness when a family member or friend who is no longer with us is not there to share our special day.

As professional wedding photographers we know how stressful arranging your wedding day can be. With so many photographers around, where do you start? What do you need to know when looking for a wedding photographer? With prices ranging from a few hundred pounds to many thousands, how do you know if they are right for you?

It is a simple fact of life that with the arrival of digital cameras, many people now call themselves a “photographer”. Over recent years there has been an explosion of people offering their services as wedding photographers, many of who have never received any training, have no insurance, do not use professional equipment and do not have sufficient backups in place to cater for any eventuality.

A professional photographer will have all of the above and this post is a quick “Help Guide” to the things to look for and the questions we recommend you ask when choosing a wedding photographer. Grab yourself a cuppa and get comfy. This is not a definitive guide, merely a general overview of what to look for.

Looking for a Photographer:

Personal Recommendations: Have you been to a wedding recently? What did your friends think of their photographer? As a Yorkshire wedding photographer the majority of our clients come from personal recommendations from either Bride and Grooms who have used us, or from Venues that know the quality of the work we produce and the fantastic value for money we offer.

Google And Other Search Engines:

A quick search on any of the major search engines will produce a mind numbing amount of choices. For example, if you type into Google the search terms “Wedding Photographer” it will return millions results. Simply going through each result would take you years, so as a general rule of thumb, stick with those on page 1 or page 2. The reason for this is simple: If they are on page 1 or 2 then they have taken the time to ensure that their website is well designed, optimised and placed, to ensure that their products or services are easy to find for prospective Bride and Grooms.

Choosing A Photographer

As soon as you have decided on a date, have booked your wedding venue and received confirmation then book all other services required for your wedding day as quickly as possible. Leaving it to the last minute to book your wedding photographer is not a good idea.

Many Bride and Grooms start looking for their photographer the day they get engaged.

Websites:

The first thing to do is look at a photographers website but do NOT be fooled into thinking this is the be all and end all. Always concentrate on the images and not the website design. These days for a few hundred pounds you can have a real classy looking website designed. Never forget that a website only shows the content that the photographer WANTS you to see. You will only generally see the best images, the ones they want to use to showcase their abilities so take a good look around the website. Have a look and see how many different weddings you can see. If there is only one or two, have they only photographed a few weddings? Also how much information does the photographer give you? Are they up front about their prices or do you have to go in and see them to find out how much they charge? Do they give you specific detailed information about their services?

Also be VERY wary if they say they are a member of a “Professional Trade Organisation”. Some trade organisations only require photographers to pay an annual subscription fee to join then allow the photographer to use the Organisations logos on their website. Indeed some organisations have absolutely no joining requirements, you do not even have to own a camera and your Granny, who has no idea about photography, could join if she wanted. Do your homework and check out Trade Organisations carefully as they are not all the same.

Some are for full time professionals only and Members are required to undergo evaluation, inspection and have insurance documents checked, others simply let you pay a nominal amount and declare you to be a “Professional Photographer”. Remember that the photography industry is not regulated and anyone can claim to be a “photographer”.

Price:

If it seems too good to be true, chances are it is! Many photographers just starting out tend to charge really low prices and only cover their costs. Many see your wedding as a way of building a portfolio of wedding images. Now this will not apply to all budget priced photographers but as a general rule of thumb, if the price seems really low, then there is a reason for it, so try and find out what it is.

For many Bride and Grooms, price ends up being the determining factor. You spend hundreds, if not thousands on the dress, the venue charges a small fortune, then there are the cars, the Grooms attire, Bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers – cutting costs on your wedding photography can result in poor wedding photographs resulting in huge disappointment and photographs of the day that you simply do not want to look at.

Remember it is a one shot event – to get everyone back to retake the photographs will be time consuming and very expensive.

Make An Appointment:

Until you go meet the photographer, you will not be fully informed if they are the right person for the job. At the meeting ask to see photographs from AT LEAST five recent weddings. Ask if the photographer has worked at your venue before and if so ask if you can see some images from that wedding. Ask to see the demo albums – is there a good range to choose from? Does the photographer have letters of recommendation from previous clients, if so ask to see them. Does the photographer work from home or from a Studio?

During this meeting there are some really important questions to ask, a few are detailed below:

Q. How long have you been trading and how many weddings have you photographed? If the answer is “6 months and 2 weddings, both of them friends of the family who I did not charge because I need the experience and the images for my portfolio” – is this the right photographer for you?

Q. Are you insured?

All professional photographers should carry Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance. If they do not then tread carefully.

Q. What are your prices, and what do I get in my package?

Seems a silly question to ask right? Well no! There is nothing worse than handing over your hard earned cash only to find that after the wedding you are not getting what you thought you were. Is there an album in the package? How many hours coverage do you get? What additional products are included in the price? Does the price include image editing? Do you have an overtime fee if we run over?

Q. Do you contract out your wedding photography service?

Picture this scene….. you spend months researching photographers, finally decide on one, get them booked then on the wedding day, someone you have never met before turns up to photograph your big day. How are you going to feel? Angry?

Make sure that the person you book with is the person who will attend and take your wedding photographs. Sounds simple I know but you will be surprised just how many photographers sub contract out their work to other, often inexperienced and uninsured, photographers.

Q. Is this your full time job?

Many photographers have full time jobs and photograph weddings on a part time basis so may not necessarily be available to answer your questions or emails during normal working hours. If you have a last minute question, it may take some time to get a response or you may not be able to schedule meeting times that are convenient to you.

Q. Do you provide a written contract?

It is absolutely critical that you receive a written contract detailing your exact expenditure and what products/services you are getting.

Q. How many weddings do you cover per day?

If the answer is anything other than ONE – be careful. Many photographers will cover more than one wedding a day and this can lead to problems at YOUR wedding. What if the first wedding runs late? This will mean that the photographer may be late to yours.

Q. Can I see some of your work / view the demo albums?

Make sure you have a good look at the photographers work. Look at image quality, look at album quality. Looking at images of babies, sunsets, buildings or family portraits will not give you any idea of their abilities as a wedding photographer. Also ask the question “Is this from a real wedding?”. You will be amazed just how many photographers use images taken on training days in their portfolios. They attend a training session where a Trainer sets up the shot then tells the photographer how to take it. The image may be amazing but can they reproduce it during a real wedding with all the pressure and stresses involved?

Q. What backup equipment do you bring to the wedding?

It never fails to amaze me that photographers still attend a wedding with only ONE camera! If that camera breaks down what are they going to do? Pop out their mobile phone and carry on shooting?

Q. Do you do a pre-wedding site visit?

Have you ever been to a wedding and when it comes to having the photographs taken, it is absolute chaos? Uncle John has gone to check in, Aunty Flo has nipped to the loo, your Best Man has popped to the bar. Surely the Bride and Groom should have been a bit more organised shouldn’t they? Well actually no!

This is down to the photographer and not the happy couple. Site visits allows photographers to create a plan for the day and are a critical component to the overall planning of the day.

Q. What “style” do you photograph in?

There are different styles such as Traditional, Reportage, Photojournalistic, Fashion, Glamour – does the photographer photograph in the style YOU are wanting? Do they do it weekend in, weekend out, or are they trying to photograph in a way they may not necessarily do on a regular basis. Get this bit right and you will love your wedding photographs as you will receive what you expected. Get it wrong and you could end up hating them.

Choosing your Marriage Budget

Your wedding is one of the most important days in your life. You would obviously want it to be special and memorable. That however does not imply that you can afford to empty the savings from your bank balance on it. As a smart bride to be, you can plan your wedding in such a way that you cut down on unnecessary expenditure. Presetting a budget will help ensure that you don’t overspend and regret it later. If your folks are paying for a part of the wedding, ask them to specify the budget they have in mind. If you and your fiancé are paying for the wedding without any financial assistance, take a hard look at your savings, and come up with an amount which both of you would feel comfortable spending. Avoiding unrealistic demands and being practical in certain aspects is the key to managing the budget.

It wouldn’t hurt to fix a budget, even if you can afford to spend lavishly. You can gift each other an extended honeymoon or have a holiday with the amount saved. A low cost wedding does not mean compromising on style and comfort. Sticking to a budget requires you to use your imagination and think outside the box. You can always ask friends and family to pitch in with ideas, while you do your own research. With the combined efforts of everyone, your wedding can be an occasion to remember for all.

Ways to be constructive in your spending:.

List the various expenses and assign a priority to each item on the list. Categorise the items in your wedding wish list into what you must have, what would be good to have and what you can do without. Allocate a percentage of your expenses to each important aspect, which should be a defined amount. Be prepared to reallocate funds if you overshoot expense in a category and spread it out over the other categories.

The smartest move would be to start planning early. As an early bird, you can easily get the worm. When you have considerable time at hand, you can browse multiple options, compare shops and negotiate till you get the best deals.

Wedding planner

Right at the beginning, opt for the services of a professional wedding planner. Discuss your wedding budget with them. Planners have contacts and expertise which can prove to be immensely useful in getting you get discounts that will keep your expenses under control. Your planner will help you save effort as well as money by helping you get in touch with a network of service providers within the budget you specify.

Wedding date

The date of your wedding also needs to be factored in as part of your wedding expenditure. A technique that is most commonly used is to get married in an off season. Another option is to get married on a weekday if you choose to get married during the wedding season This will make it easier to book a venue and negotiate prices. The service providers and vendors will also be more attentive and accommodating considering you will be one of their few clients at that time.

Wedding invitations

When selecting wedding invitations look for those which serve the purpose and are cost effective. Alternatively, you can design your own invitations by purchasing blank stationary in the desired colour and personalise the words. Response cards and thank you cards also need to be considered when setting your wedding budget. You can design these along with your invitation cards. It is good manners to acknowledge presents and those who have taken the time to attend your wedding.

Guest list

The number of guests is directly proportional to the expense of your wedding. It is the biggest piece in your wedding expense pie. Cut down on your guest list if you would like to save some costs. Share the day with your nearest and dearest ones. Avoid inviting those who are acquaintances and haven’t spoken to you in a long while. Remember, while you may want everyone to share your happiness, each additional guest adds a definitive figure to your wedding budget.

Travel and Accommodation

Rent all the cars for the wedding from the same individual or company so as to get a good deal. Request your close friends who have cars to pick up family and friends if required, to further curtail costs.

You may have dreams of going in a limousine; however you can consider renting out a slightly smaller car. Still better, you could decorate the most luxurious car available in the family and put it to good use. After all, you will use the car for only about an hour or so and this alone can help release the burden on your wedding budget..

Wedding dress

Dresses can cost you a bomb, if you don’t take care in making a choice keeping your wedding budget in mind. Keep an eye out for clearance sales, which will help you pick stuff that you like at discounted prices. You can purchase a plain gown and use your ideas to accessorise it with lace, sequins, beads, etc. If you have your heart set on being draped in the most gorgeous looking designer wedding gown, consider renting one of these. If you are working with a budget and don’t wish to settle on an off the rack dress, this option could work out well for you. Even if you do not have a budget in mind, don’t purchase a dress instantly after trying it on. Visit different stores to get a better idea and compare the dress styles, fabrics and prices before selecting one. A little extra effort taken here will ensure that you look like a princess without burning a hole through your pocket.

The Venue

The ceremony and reception venue is the second vital factor, after the guest list, which contributes to your wedding expense. The venue is usually chosen depending on the number of guests invited to your wedding. A home wedding can be the key driver in lowering the cost of your wedding. So, make sure you use the space if you have it. Select a venue after ensuring it has all the necessary facilities such as tables, chairs, in house venue decorator, etc. Having everything under one roof will save the cost of searching for each of these separately and negotiating their hire cost. Make sure you are not paying more for the venue because it is in demand on a particular date or during a season. Consider an alternative date, if the venue is available at a more cost effective rate.

Floral Decoration

A grandiose entrance, fancy table centrepieces, a beautiful backdrop for the couple, the bouquets carried by the bride and bridesmaids; all contribute to the cost of decoration. Using flowers that are in season and purchasing them in bulk will help to save a chunk of your expense. Alternatively consider using balloons which are just as colourful and look festive as well.

Theme

Wedding themes are designed to stand out and add a personal touch to the event. This in turn means it would add to your expenses. However, that does not mean your wedding would be any less memorable if you do not have a theme.

Food and Drinks

Along with the venue, comes the expense of the wedding meal and drinks. The meal servings should be adequate in quantity and sumptuous in nature. It is not essential to have an elaborate layout of multi-cuisine delicacies; a meal served gracefully with the right combination of delicacies will by and large be appreciated if it suits the taste buds of your guests. When it comes to the wedding alcohol, you need to make sure that the guests have adequate options; look at a combination of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. Arrange for a mix of beer, wine and champagne for toasting. Consider serving limited number of drinks, instead of having a full bar at the wedding. You can include a personalised cocktail to match the wedding theme, which will be highly appreciated.

Tips and Tricks to Make Your Wedding Day Perfect

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. You have probably been dreaming and thinking about your very own wedding day from adolescence, and now you have found the partner of your dreams and it is all coming true! You want your wedding day to be the most perfect day ever, so we have compiled a few handy hints to think about to make sure your wedding day is exactly what you are dreaming of.

Firstly,

Make a Folder

Make a folder for all the multitudes of wedding information you will gather. Pick up a concertina style file from any office stationery shop and label the sections according to the different aspects of your wedding. Eg. Make a section for venues, one for invitation samples, one for flowers, one for cakes, one for dresses, one for cars, photographers, bonbonniere ideas etc. etc. Place any quotes, information or clippings you collect from magazines, advertisements, etc into sections for easy reference later on in the planning process. Planning everything early, leaves you less stressed, stops you from becoming a ‘bridezilla‘, and allows you to enjoy the experience of organizing your own wedding.

Save the Date cards

Sending Save the Date cards early are an excellent way to ensure all your family and friends will be available to attend your wedding day. Send them to all intended guests as soon as you choose a date, even before your have your Invitations and Stationery printed.

Keep a Wedding diary

By writing everything down including appointments and deadlines in a wedding planner or diary, you will not forget to do anything and not miss any appointments.

Then,

Wedding Stationery

Include with your Wedding Invitation all the information your guest will need to attend your wedding. Items such as Wishing Well cards, Gift registry information, handy returnable R.S.V.P. cards, accommodation information and directions to the various venues you have chosen for your special day. Using Invitation accessories saves you money and time without having to make a multitude of phone calls to inform guests of important this information. Theme your wedding stationery to match your venue or favourite colour, or flower. Your theme can be used in many aspects of your wedding. From the invitation, to the wedding attire, cake decorations, reception table décor, and post wedding thank you’s.

Guest accommodation

If the wedding is out of town, or you have people coming from a long way to celebrate with you, many guests may need overnight accommodation so when booking accommodations for your self, many hotels or motels will allow you to make a block booking to be confirmed later.

Guests will appreciate the help with these arrangements and the details can be included on a specially printed card that can be included with the wedding invitation

Some handy Emergency items for the day.

Make sure some one close to the bride (probably Mum or a bridesmaid) has an emergency kit on them with, band aids, paracetemol or head ache medication, a spare inhaler for asthmatics, or spare insulin or special medications that may be required in an emergency by anyone in the bridal party, a needle and thread, scissors, tape, extra button for wedding dress and extra panty hose for bride and bridesmaids. Clear nail polish is great for stopping runs in panty hose. A bottle of water for bride & groom to drink is also a good idea.

Baby Wipes are great for the bride to use, as they are excellent to remove makeup and other marks from your wedding dress without leaving stains. Include a Crochet Hook for the bridesmaids or Groom to help you with your Wedding dress buttons and hooks. Some wedding dresses can be very tricky to get in and out of, with plenty of tiny buttons and hooks, so send a crochet hook along so someone can help you undo the buttons on the wedding dress if required. Wedding shoes can become very uncomfortable very quickly so wear your wedding shoes a few times before the wedding around home, and try to scruff the soles a little so they are not slippery on smooth surfaces, even wear socks so they will stretch a little. Scotch guard shoes so they do not get marks and can be easily cleaned.

Disposables cameras

Your guests will love disposable cameras placed on the reception tables. They will pick them up, snap away and capture all those unforgettable candid moments of fun and laughter that you will miss when you are busy talking to other guests. Using good quality disposable cameras will even save money on professional photos.

Signing of a Photo board.

Instead of having a guest book, have a large photo surround board that will surround a large professional photographer photo of the bride and groom for all the guests to sign. It then can be then hung on your wall with all the well wishes from your closest family and friends, making a unique and priceless memento for years to come.

Weather Watch

Watch the weather forecasts carefully for your wedding day weather. While is it totally out of your control, it could pay to be prepared with large umbrellas and towels in the boot of some of the wedding cars. Check with your Wedding reception venue as to wet weather options for you and your guests arrival and parking. If you have chosen an ‘Al Fresco’ style wedding reception, you may need to check your options and availabilities in case of a wet day.

Your Wedding Photos

Your Wedding Photos are going to be a lifetime memory and this is a one-of special event, so you should be careful on your choice of wedding photographer. Make sure you look through photographers portfolios to see the type of work he can do. Make your wishes and choices clear and precise and make sure you have confirmed your costs before you sign any contracts. If the time of year suits, formal photographs taken in a park or beautiful garden or by the ocean can look spectacular, but make sure you have another location in mind if it rains.

Don’t forget to ask any loved ones if they would like to purchase some of the formal professional photos as well, as quantity may lower your prices. A popular style recently is to have some photos produced in Black and White, this gives a timeless and classic stylish addition to your Wedding Photo Collection.

Your Flowers

Your wedding flowers have probably cost you a lot of money. They will be beautiful and should last quite well if they have been supplied from a reputable florist. It is a shame to leave them behind just for the cleaners to throw out! Organise family members or friends to take them home after the reception, or if you will be staying around have them taken back to your own home. If you would like to keep your bouquet, but still would like to throw one, have a small replica made especially for the bouquet throw at the reception. While they are still fresh, take some blooms from your bouquet and dry them and have them framed or press them, laminate them to make a bookmark etc. for a lovely memento to cherish.

Your Wedding Gown

Your Wedding Gown is no doubt is the most special memento of your wedding day, so you may want to keep it for any number of reasons, to give to a daughter or grand daughter, or just to see if you can still fit into it on your 10th Wedding anniversary! You should have your dress professionally cleaned first to remove perfumes, perspiration, wine etc that can leave yellow stains with time. You should store it in either a good quality tightly closing cardboard box or in a dress bag for hanging. For the box use only acid-free white tissue to line the box and layer between each fold of your dress, use crumpled tissue in the bodice and sleeves and finish with a layer of tissue and tightly close the lid to keep out dust and insects.

For a garment bag, make a tissue cover, or make one with a white linen sheet to put the dress in first, then put the dress within the garment bag so that there is tissue or sheet between the fabric and the garment bag. You can buy specialty boxes and bags from wedding suppliers and bridal shops for storage of wedding gowns. Store in a dark, dry cool place with a moisture collector satchel nearby.

Of course, I have only touched on some of the aspects of anyone’s wedding day, and everyone’s day will be different, so you should consider all aspects of your day, think about anything that may go wrong on the day, and try to minimise beforehand any impact a hiccup may cause. Be prepared for anything is a great moto to have.