Category Archives: Wedding

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.

How to Choose a Wedding Dress and Suitable Bridal Accessories

As soon as you’ve said “yes” to the big question, your mind will start thinking of how you want your wedding day to be and choosing a wedding dress. Of course, you’ve probably been thinking of this since you were a little girl and so the style and location of your wedding day will already be clear in your mind. Once you have agreed this with the groom-to-be, mum, etc, you’ll have a huge amount of things to begin planning.

Planning a wedding is no small undertaking but usually you will have great support from family and friends; but the one decision that it likely to be yours alone will be choosing a wedding dress. Choosing a dress design can be quite difficult and the different materials and colours available multiply the choices plus all of the complementary bridal accessories, so getting a second opinion from family and friends is a great idea..

The time of year for your wedding will be one of the deciding factors when choosing a wedding dress; a summer wedding will mean needing a lighter fabric (you do not want to be passing out because of the heat) and, likewise, colder times of the year might mean choosing a wedding dress in a heavier fabric to keep you warmer.

Naturally, if you are getting married in Britain then planning for a change in weather conditions is never a bad idea; August in the UK does not always mean lovely sunshine and heat. Of the many bridal accessories to choose from, a wedding cloak is a great idea for any time of the year as even a lovely summers day can turn cold in the evening. If the location of your wedding means walking outside then a wedding cloak will help you stay warm and you’ll still look gorgeous.

Other bridal accessories include a wedding wrap or stole. A wedding wrap or stole is also a perfect idea for keeping your shoulders warm should it turn a bit chilly and is a practical idea that keeps you looking glamorous. Of course, on a good summers day you wont need them but as wedding accessories go they are not too expensive and, therefore, are an excellent idea to have on standby just in case. Other wedding accessories to think about might be wedding and bridal umbrellas or parasols.

If you are getting married on the beach then choosing a wedding dress that is shorter will be necessary but other locations will open up other choices for you. A traditional church or historic building can be the perfect setting for a traditional, formal wedding gown whereas a civil ceremony might determine choosing a wedding dress that is more modest. It’s your big day so choosing a wedding dress that you love is your final decision but input from others will always help.

When choosing a wedding dress the right fabric is a most important decision for planning your perfect wedding. Your style of wedding gown and bridal accessories will help set the theme for your wedding. Remember that you will be wearing the dress for hours; that you may have to go up and down stairs; you will be sat down for a long period and you will end the day dancing in it!

The colour of your wedding dress is another element that contributes to the style and theme of your wedding day. White is the traditional colour that has been popular since the 1700’s and denotes purity but more recent times have seen many stronger colours become fashionable. Many online wedding dress stores will have a colour chart that guide you to how the colour and fabric can change the look of a wedding dress; so try them for ideas. Once you have made the decision on the colour of your wedding dress, think of a complementary colour for the chief bridesmaid and flower girls. Do make sure too that they are all comfortable with your choice!

Very important wedding accessories include your shoes. You are going to be on your feet for a long part of the day so being comfortable is really important. Finally, bridal accessories complete the look with perhaps a veil, tiara, gloves and your wedding day lingerie.

So there is much to think about when choosing a wedding dress and wedding accessories with your budget being a strong determining factor. You do not necessarily need to spend a fortune on a wedding dress or bridal accessories. Spending a large amount of money does not guarantee the perfect dress and neither does buying cheap wedding dress mean poor quality. There are many online stores supplying wedding dresses and bridal accessories. These online wedding dress stores may just save you lots of money when choosing a wedding dress.

Have fun choosing, keep the surprise from your husband-to-be and enjoy your wedding day!

To summarise, our top ten tips for choosing a wedding dress are:

1. Think about the time of year and choose the fabric accordingly

2. Think about wedding accessories. Have a wedding and bridal cloak, bridal stole or wrap, bridal umbrellas or wedding parasols on standby for a change in the weather

3. Consider the location venue of your wedding, a beach means a shorter dress whereas a church or historic setting can influence for a traditional gown and train

4. Choose the right fabric for the time of year

5. See how different colours suit your skin colour and get samples of fabrics in different colours

6. Get support and advice from friends as to what style suits you best

7. Make sure the chief bridesmaid and bridesmaids are comfortable with your selection for the dresses

8. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a wedding dress or bridal accessories; shop around various online bridal boutiques – they can be excellent value

9. Try to keep the surprise from your husband-to-be until the big day

10. And have fun!

Jason R Dempsey is an author for the Wedding & Bridal Boutique who have a large selection of wedding dresses online, bridesmaid dresses and bridal accessories.

Ideas of Wedding Planning

Your wedding day should be the happiest day of your life. Ensuring that things go smoothly on this day should be the priority of every bride. The key to a flawless wedding day is proper wedding planning. What is wedding planning? This all-encompassing term simply means that you plan for everything that should happen on your wedding day, and you plan to avoid everything that should not happen. There are thousands of things to consider, from the color theme of your wedding to the travel arrangements of your guests. Some brides thrive on actively participating in every aspect of the planning of their wedding, while others prefer to delegate many tasks to a professional wedding planner.

Wedding Planning Checklist

Regardless of whether you intend to plan every aspect of your nuptials, or whether you wish to use the services of a wedding planner, you should at least be aware of the key elements that need to be planned for your wedding day. Here is a checklist for wedding planning and a guide for selecting necessary wedding vendors.

Stationary

From wedding invitations to napkins, there are many pieces of stationary that will need to be matched to your wedding color theme or printed with your nuptial details. Following are some of the important stationary you need to plan for your special day.

  • Announce Engagement and “Save the Date” cards. Proper engagement announcement etiquette dictates that the groom should inform the parents of the bride in person of an engagement before anyone else discovers your intentions. Thereafter, announce to everyone your intentions to become married with engagement announcement cards and “Save the Date” cards. Engagement announcing cards can also invite your loved ones to an engagement party. Save the date cards are for when you have decided on the date of your wedding.
  • Wedding Invitations. What is the difference between a wedding invitation and save the date cards? Often times, you will decide on the date of your wedding long before you have decided upon all the details of your big day. Once you have the date of your wedding nailed down, it is appropriate to immediately send “Save the Date” cards. This lets everyone set aside your wedding day so that conflicts in schedule do not happen. Later on, when you know the location of your wedding, the reception and all other necessary details is when you send your wedding invitation.
  • Place cards, napkins and programs. To let your guests know their seating arrangements at the reception, place cards must be printed. Customized napkins are an excellent way to accent the celebration and provide a keep-sake for those attending. Programs notify your guests of the flow of activities at your wedding and reception, allowing for a celebration that is more ordered.

Wedding Vendors

There are many elements that comprise a successful ceremony, and many professionals are required to help you pull off your big day. Following is a list of wedding vendors that should be arranged for your wedding day.

  • Cake. The cake is a memorable centerpiece for your reception celebration. Select the right bakery who will make a cake that tastes as good as it looks. Most wedding cake vendors will have a portfolio of photographed wedding cakes for you to examine their past work, and to select a cake that matches your tastes.
  • Catering. Locate the professionals you feel confident can prepare exceptional food for your guests. Consider special diet requirements that any of your wedding guests may have, such as vegetarian or other dish preferences and whether your intended caterer can accommodate these requests.
  • Dress. Whether having a custom wedding dress sewn, or choosing from a selection of pre-made bridal gowns, it is important to find a bridal shop that features quality dresses and can custom fit a bridal gown professionally.
  • DJs and Musicians. Dance and music are elements of happy wedding celebrations. Locate the band, DJ or musicians you feel best suit your tastes in advance to secure their services at your celebration.
  • Flowers. From bridal bouquets to corsages, flowers are an integral part of wedding celebrations. Book your flower arrangements far in advance, including the bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, centerpieces, headpieces, corsages, the “throw away” bouquet and other decorative flowers for your wedding.
  • Limousine Service. Schedule a limousine in advance to make certain they can be available for your wedding day.
  • Photographer. Selecting the best wedding photographer is extremely important, as they will capture the special moments of your wedding for you to remember always. Interview several wedding photographers and review their portfolio of work to ensure they are skilled photographers, and that the style of their photography reflects your own personal tastes.
  • Videographer. Wedding videos are as important as photos when it comes to remembering the most important day of your life. A skilled wedding videographer will not only take exceptional video of your wedding, they will be able to edit the recorded segments into an appealing single movie experience that will appear professional and of excellent quality.

Wedding Ideas

Planning a wedding is more than selecting the right wedding vendors. There are a myriad of wedding ideas that you can pursue which will make your wedding day a memorable and joyous occasion. From researching wedding day traditions, to following proper etiquette, it is a good idea to research ideas for your wedding by reading wedding magazines and visiting blogs that are centered on ideas for your wedding day. Do you need some wedding ideas? See if you already know the answer to the following questions.

  • Maid of Honor duties. What are the required activities of the maid of honor? What about the best man?
  • Wedding speeches. Can you use any ideas on what to say during your vows? What members of your wedding party should give speeches?
  • Hair Styles. Do you already know the hair style you wish to use at your wedding?
  • Wedding fashion. Perhaps you could use some ideas on the wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, groomswear and other members of your wedding party?

The answers to all these questions, and other questions you haven’t even thought of yet, can be discovered through researching proper wedding ideas. Researching wedding ideas is an important part of proper wedding planning.

6 Luxury and Best Wedding Places

When it comes to the top 10 luxury wedding venues to hold a 5 star wedding there is probably a location somewhere in the world to fulfill every bride’s wedding dream. The ones I have chosen here are representative of a wide range of choices, each offering a unique perspective on the classic wedding ceremony. The top 10 luxury wedding venues to hold a 5 star wedding that I have chosen include:

1. Hamwari Game Reserve. South Africa
2. Quebec’s Ice Hotel
3. Leipig Dome, New Zealand
4. Tobago’s Plantation Beach
5. The Great Wall of China
6. The Intercontinental, Hong Kong

Shamwari Game Reserve. South Africa

Enjoy a true Africa wedding reception in an enclosure made from reeds, known as a boma. Take a game drive and meet up with the minister who will perform your wedding service at the top of a hill with nothing around you but the sights and sounds of Africa. The happy couple and their wedding guests stay at Longlee Manor on the Shamwari Private Game Reserve in South Africa. Certainly, of all the top 10 luxury wedding venues to hold a 5 star wedding, this Game Reserve in South Africa comes out top for being totally unique. You can organize this wedding venue from Thomas Cook Signature at a cost of £2,407 per couple for a three-night stay, or UD$3,624.70.

Quebec’s Ice Hotel

The Ice Hotel in Quebec puts a whole new connotation on a white wedding! This location is only open each year from January to April, making the Ice Hotel a particularly exclusive location and fully fitting to be included as one of the top 10 luxury wedding venues to hold a 5 star wedding – if you like ice, that is! As its name indicates, this wedding venue is completely sculpted out of the ice. The luxury wedding location this might be, but it is far from an expensive option. Of course, there is going to be the cost of accommodation for your guests plus the cost of a wedding reception and the cost of flights. However the cost to get married at the Ice Hotel is just £750, equivalent to $1,129.41 USD; plus £213, or $320.76 USD to pay for the registrar.

Leipig Dome, New Zealand

We can’t quite arrange to marry you on top of Mount Cook, but you can have the very next best thing! The World Heritage site amidst the Southern Alps of New Zealand is where you will find the Leipig Dome, a snowfield of surreal beauty. You are up to 6 guests are transported to this southern winter wonderland by helicopter where you can be married at the top of the southern world. The wedding package includes the cost of the helicopter flight and the registrar to marry you. Included in the price is your wedding night at the Hermitage Hotel: this includes a package of beauty spa, manicures and massage as well as breakfast and dinner. This sumptuous location costs from £3,785 per couple, or $5,700 USD. This is truly fit to be included in the top 10 luxury wedding venues to hold a 5-star wedding.

Tobago’s Plantation Beach

The next place in our top 10 luxury wedding venues to hold a 5 star wedding is the complete opposite, featuring turquoise clear waters warm from the sun, soft sand underfoot and palm trees providing a bit of shade overhead. This is the wedding package arranged at Stonehaven Bay. Your wedding package does not include accommodation in the Plantation Beach Villas that sleeps 6, with its three-bedrooms complete with three bathrooms. This accommodation costs extra: for a week’s rental it will cost you £1,235, or $1,859.15 USD. The wedding package includes the ceremony, bridal bouquet, two-tier wedding cake, photographs and champagne, all for the cost of £510, or $767.75 USD.

The Great Wall of China

The Kempinski Hotel Group are offering wedding packages beside the Shiguan section of the Great Wall of China, on top of the roof of the Commune, followed by your reception at the Club House which has room to seat up to 500 guests. You can, however, hold a smaller reception in one of the villas belonging to the Commune. Aside from the cost of travel to Beijing and then internal travel the 50km from Beijing to Shiguan, the accommodation, including breakfast, costs £248 per night per person, the equivalent of $373.53 USD. The wedding package costs £134 per person, or $201.87 USD.

The Intercontinental, Hong Kong

If you have £18,430, the equivalent of $27,756.34 USD, put away to pay for the top-most of top 10 luxury wedding venues to hold a 5 star wedding then where else could you marry but the Presidential Suite of the Intercontinental Hotel, with its unrivalled views across Victoria Harbor? This is just for the hire of the wedding location; accommodation is extra. You will also be charged an extra 13% tax on top! However, if you can afford the Presidential Suite, you will appreciate why, in the sumptuous opulence of your surroundings, this location has been noted as being the most luxurious in Asia.

5 reasons to have a Maui Wedding

1. Year Round Great Weather

Having a Maui wedding any time is easy when the average temperature is in the 80’s ‘Year Round’. Just imagine yourself having a breathtaking beach wedding with blue water in the background and golden sand at your feet, while escaping below freezing temperatures and snow at home. Get married and get a tan, all while others are scraping their car windows and building snow men.

2. A Wedding You and Your Guests Will Never Forget

Having a Maui wedding is and extremely memorable experience for all involved. Because of having to travel to the island, you feel like it is really an occasion created on your behalf, making you feel as special as you are when all your friends and family show up to take part in your special day.

3. Fun Activities

Maui is a great place to have a wedding because you can also enjoy all the island has to offer. From whale watching, helicopter rides, zip lines through the forest, snorkeling with sea turtles, para-sailing, hiking, surfing and just relaxing on the beach. Maui has it all for a fun and amazing wedding.

4. Include Your Honeymoon

Having a Maui Wedding is great because you can bundle your honeymoon, saving on additional costs. In addition you don’t have to travel to a new location saving precious honeymoon time. To make your Wedding night even more special, if staying at a hotel, you can have one night of an upgraded room for extra honeymoon fun.

5. Skilled Wedding Professionals

Maui is one of the top places in the world for destination weddings and the island is full of amazing wedding professionals. You can assure you will get a quality wedding if you do your research. If you go for a wedding package in the $1500-$2000 range you can usually get great quality and get everything you need for the perfect Maui beach wedding.

The Secret of Choosing Wedding Photography Style

What is Wedding Photography?

For most couples, this may sound an odd question to ask, most would answer that wedding photography is the kind of photography done during weddings. That is partly correct. But that over simplifies the meaning of wedding photography. The art of wedding photography has change tremendously in the past twenty years. Today it may even have a different meaning for each couple.

In the past, wedding photographers are technicians behind a black box almost mystical that very few would even try to operate it. Back then, wedding couples are hiring wedding photographers to produce wedding pictures of their big day. It is to simply record the event. And the one they chose might be doing six weddings a day.

In 2010, almost all wedding guests have their own digital camera that could produce well-exposed pictures at very minimal cost. What it means is that the professional wedding photographers must have something more to offer to their wedding couples. At the same time, the digital revolution also allowed wedding photographers the new technologies to offer something different. This is one of the reasons why wedding photography has improved compared to what it was years ago. It also attracted people who would never venture into wedding photography if not for the new technology of digital photography. Wedding photographers who at their prime offer beautiful and stunning photos that record the wedding in an artistic and narrative, sometimes evocative and most of the time in a flattering manner.

But it also means that being a wedding photographer today; one has to be able to offer something not seen before. True to the complexities of wedding photography today, it would not be true anymore that all wedding photographers are the same and that all wedding couples desire the same kind of photography.

Here is a Guide to Photographic Methods

The good thing about the Internet is it makes it easy to research the work of a big number of wedding photographers. Check some photographers’ website and you will be amazed by the different photographic styles.

Reportage photography is also known as documentary or photojournalism photography; it is best described to have an approach which simply covers and document the event without directing the wedding couple or its guests. Instead it tries to capture the event as it happens in the most natural and creative way possible.

Traditional wedding photography is use to describe the old fashioned way of lining up the wedding couple, their guests and family for traditional photos.

Contemporary wedding photography can be described as glossy which can be trendier than traditional wedding photography.

My humble advice is to look beyond the labels of wedding photography. It can be more confusing than being helpful in deciding which kind of wedding photography suites you as a wedding couple. Another reason is that the style often times is a combination of several photography styles anyway. Third, it implies that wedding photographers offer just one style of photography during their wedding coverage.

In reality, weddings offer a chance for wedding photographers to show different photography styles. Wedding photographers sometimes just can’t ask the couple to move to a spot where there is a better light during the wedding ceremony. Also, it is quite often that couples expect to have formal photographs which show them at their best. Even the most modern weddings will require having traditional and formal family shots.

Many photographers excel in one style of wedding photography and emphasize their skill and it may even be part of their marketing strategy. Some would describe their kind of wedding photography as a mix of classical and modern. It may be a mix of reportage and contemporary. It is quite necessary to have a time with the wedding couple wherein they will be directed to be at their best. It will give them the kind of photographs that can be described as fine art. The limited time of weddings make it important for wedding photographer to be a good director.

Choosing Your Photographer

For couples, the best way would be to decide which wedding photographer is right for you is to decide together what kind of wedding pictures you expect You may want something traditional which means you like a professional account of the wedding day without having too much interruptions.

You may be a photography enthusiast as well, and desire to have a creative set of wedding pictures. You may be looking at high end and contemporary photography style.

Once you both as a couple decide on what type of wedding photographs you desire, you can start examining different galleries of photography for quality. Be warned that galleries represent the best work of photographers, so it is quite important to see a sample of a whole wedding to be sure of consistency.

Awards of excellence can help you decide which photographer could be best suited for your wedding. A membership to well know professional body is also something to consider.

It is of utmost importance that you as a wedding couple can communicate with the photographer and have the rapport to be able to share your wedding photography goals. As much as photography style is an important factor, you and your wedding guests would expect to have a high level of professionalism, organization and experience on your wedding day. Finally you need to consider the wedding packages being offered by the photographer.

Budgeting For Photography

There is no such thing as an appropriate budget for weddings. What can be more helpful is the percentage in terms of value to the total wedding cost.

Professional wedding photography will be what will define the memories of your wedding day. You are going to entrust a photographer to use his skills to document your wedding as if it was taken through your eyes. Discuss with your wedding planner what you think is the best budget for your wedding photography. A good wedding planner would be able to help you with the right budget and if you need to allocate more to get the kind of photography you desire.

The price of a good wedding photographer sometimes comes as a surprise to wedding couples. But quality wedding photography comes at a price. The better skilled a photographer is the higher the fees he can command. One should note that it is not a one day event for wedding photographers but it takes days to plan, shoot the wedding, and spend time on post processing the images and designing the wedding album Ultimately you as a couple must have to make the final decision on how important having a high quality of wedding photographer and if it the price is worth paying for.

Wedding Planning Tutorial

Some might say that one’s wedding day is the most important day of their lives. It is a union that is only surpassed by the birth of one’s children. The key to a happy and well organized wedding is preparation and organization. That is the goal of this step by step wedding planning guide. Some may think that all the hype about wedding planning is just overplay; however that is not the case. Planning your wedding can be one of the most complicated things to do; especially if you don’t prepare yourself for the long list of things that need to be done. This quick little wedding checklist should help you get all aspects of your wedding moving in the right direction.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- The Breakdown

Let’s break down planning your wedding into 3 sections. First we will talk about the budget, location, guest list and theme for the wedding. Once we have a direction on the where; we will move to the when. Those are the first and foremost things that need to be considered and decided before any further steps are taken.

Then we will move over to all the booking and reservations that are involved with wedding planning. This would include aspects like catering, the band and the photographer. The last thing that we will cover in this wedding checklist will be the maid of honor and the bridesmaids; the best man and the groomsmen; the ushers, the ring bearer and the flower girls.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- Section One

The first thing to consider when you begin planning your wedding is the budget. This is usually a touchy subject; as it is traditionally the parents of the bride who will foot the bill. However; now that we have entered the 21st century; just like many other common traditions; the parents are no longer expected to carry all of the financial weight. The funds can come from anywhere; but the most important thing is getting a realistic estimate of what you will have to spend. Once you know how much you can spend; you know how much you can afford.

The next thing on the wedding checklist in this step by step wedding planning guide is the guest list. Many think that this is the hardest part of wedding planning because it has to be based around the budget. Deciding how many are going to be on your guest list does take presentence, to most people, over the location and theme. This is because of how special this day is. It all revolves around how many close friends and family members you want to share your special day with. Some may want to decide the location, theme and guest list all at once; as these will be the major contributors to the overall expense. Either way; the guest list is a crucial factor when considering the realistic budget you have to divvy up for the other aspects of your wedding.

Now the wedding checklist comes to the location and theme. The further ahead that you book the place in which you want to have the wedding ceremony; the cheaper it will be. Some people are very traditional and want to be married in a church; but for those who want to choose another special place; there are many alternate locations to consider when planning your wedding.

Here are some ideas for planning your wedding location:

  • The Park
  • The Beach
  • A Place of Historical Significance
  • A Place of Personal Significance
  • At A Family or Friends Home
  • Overseas

Once you have decided on the location; the theme is next on the wedding checklist. The theme and location sometimes go hand in hand. For example; if you choose to have a beach wedding; then the theme will most likely be based around a luau of some sort. After choosing a theme to match your budget, location and guest list; you can move onto the more intricate pieces of planning your wedding; like the actual reservations and bookings. (See section two of this step by step wedding planning guide)

The final aspect covered in this wedding planning section is all about the when. Ask yourself: When do I want to have my wedding? There are 12 months every year. Some are warm; some are cool; some are hot; some are cold. You may want to choose a special time of year that is significant to you both when planning your wedding date. This could be a reminder of when you met, based around a special holiday that you shared, or just simply your favorite time of the year.

People come in all different likes and dislikes; meaning the groom may want to have the wedding in the dead of winter; while the bride may want the flowers to be blooming while she walks down the aisle. Coming to a compromise on the time of year to have the wedding is only one of the many compromises that will need to be made throughout the wedding planning stages.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- Section Two

This part of the wedding checklist covers the reservations and booking of all the fine details of a wedding; this includes everything from the caterer to the band; from the wedding location to the photographer.

When planning your wedding; if one thing is not reserved or booked correctly it could throw the whole wedding off course. Double checking and then triple checking again can never hurt. The last thing anyone would want is to show up at their wedding location and there be nothing there set up. For the most part; booking and scheduling your wedding activities months prior to the actual wedding will save lots of money. Last minute weddings always tend to cost more than ones that are scheduled way ahead of time.

This next section basically consists of the more intricate and detailed tasks that are outlined in this step by step wedding planning guide. This is instrumental to the overall flow of the wedding in general. You will need to choose a caterer for the reception meal. The catering company needs to be reliable, professional at what they do and most importantly offer quality of service and great food. Caterers can provide testing samples during your decision stages to assure that the proposed menu will meet the tastes of the bride and groom.

Coordinating the music is usually a pretty easy aspect of planning your wedding. All that is really needed is a musician, band or DJ that can be versatile enough to meet the music likings of the bride and groom. It is important to seek out a semi professional band; as one of the worst things would be if they never even showed up. You would also want to look for someone who has experience with weddings; as they will need to entertain the guests and keep the mood and events of the reception flowing; leading your guests through a series of predesigned reception events.

So at this point of the wedding checklist; one must first look at the type of music that the married to be couple enjoys together. This same logic applies to choosing your photographer; as this is an important decision because the pictures taken will be wedding keepsakes forever.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- Section Three

This is the final section in this wedding checklist and it covers the wedding party. This part of wedding planning may just be the toughest. Choosing the actual wedding party is very important; not only to the bride and groom; but to the ones who are chosen.

It is a great honor for most to be chosen as a best man or maid of honor; that’s a given; but it is also an honor to just be chosen to participate as a bridesmaid, groomsmen, flower girl and/or ring bearer. This is usually what makes up the wedding party; though additional roles and positions can be added or removed depending on the bride and grooms wishes.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- In Review

Though there are other aspects of planning your wedding that should be on your wedding checklist; this Step By Step Wedding Planning Guideshould get you well on your way to making the appropriate arrangements and decisions. The key thing to remember when planning your wedding is the budget. Once you know how much you have to spend; everything else will fall into place.

3 Tricks to Avoid The Most Common Wedding Photography

When a person is about to get married or have their engagement photos taken, they generally have expectations of their wedding photographer. We all have expectations and that’s ok. The issue is does your photographer know what you want, what you like and how to get it to you? Doesn’t that sound like a relationship? It is. You have to develop a trusting relationship with your wedding photographer so that you can get exactly what you want – great engagement and wedding pictures. Just like most relationships, communication is one of the key elements to getting the great wedding photos you’ve dreamed about. Using these wedding photography tips will help you avoid the 3 most common wedding photography pitfalls.

Did You Clearly Define Your Wedding Photography Goals? Your wedding photographer needs to know exactly what you want and what will make you happy. That’s right, it’s important for you to clearly spell out what you want in your wedding photography. This is your dream wedding day and you need to make sure that the photographer knows exactly what you want. Are you interested in tons of formals or are you more interested in creative bridal images? Do you want engagement pictures or do you just want to focus on your wedding images?

One of the best ways to show your wedding photographer what you want is by using examples. I know you’ve heard it before, but it’s true. A picture is worth a thousand words and surfing the web is free. Spend some time looking at wedding photography and decide on a style that you like. Once you find it, you can easily send the photographer an email with links to the images you want him to review. After that, make sure you explain why you like those particular images so the photographer can duplicate the style in your wedding photos.

Tell Your Wedding Photographer What You Expect. Does your wedding photographer know who you are? Obviously, you’re a client but does the photographer know the real you? If the photographer doesn’t really get to know you then how is he or she going to get unique images that represent your personality. The answer is actually simpler than you may believe. Tell the photographer about your basic information like, how you first met, how long you’ve been together, how your proposal occurred, and what do you like to do. Only by being completely honest and open with your wedding photographer, can you hope to get the type of images you’ve been dreaming of.

Create a Wedding Photography Checklist. To avoid any type of misunderstandings during your wedding photography, get together a list of “must have” photos. This is going to take some time on your part but it will definitely pay off when you see that you have all the images you wanted. If you ask your photographer, you’ll find that most already have a list and will be happy to give it to you. A common wedding photography list could include things like the bride and groom getting ready before the ceremony, the wedding cake, the details of the venue, the rings, signing the marriage license, the formals, etc. Remember, it’s up to you to make sure the photographer knows what shots you want and that list changes for them with each client.

Schedule Specific Blocks of Time for Specific Wedding Photos. Another common pitfall is to schedule a generic time slot for “wedding photos”. A better way to do the wedding schedule and prevent misunderstandings is to set aside specific blocks of time for specific groups. By tweaking your schedule you’ll be able to better manage your time and avoid having the entire wedding party or family hanging around for several hours. Your wedding photographer will thank you for being more organized and creating a schedule of what pictures will be taken and when.

When creating your wedding schedule, most people aren’t well versed in wedding photography timelines and don’t know how much time to put aside. As a general rule of thumb, you should probably allow about 1 ½ hours for the bride and groom alone, ½ hour for the wedding party, and about an hour for family portraits. Since your wedding pictures are the only tangible thing left after your wedding, it’s a great idea to leave your wedding photographer plenty of time to get all the shots you’ve been dreaming of and put down on your checklist. Don’t forget to give a copy of your schedule to the photographer, your wedding party and your family members.

Everyone has expectations and getting married is no different. The bride, groom, wedding planner, and the wedding photographer all have their own expectations to consider your event a success. The key is to get everyone on the same page and make sure that they know what you want, what you like and how to get it to you. Only by creating a trusting relationship with your wedding photographer and vendors can you get exactly what you want – great engagement pictures, great wedding pictures and a great wedding. Remember that like most relationships, communication is one of the key elements to success and getting the great wedding photos you’ve dreamed about. By using these wedding photography tips, you’ll likely avoid the 3 most common wedding photography pitfalls.

Best California Wedding Locations

Planning a wedding in California is like planning a wedding at Disneyland — do you want it to be in the Magic Castle or Pirates of the Caribbean or Tomorrowland? There are so many magical choices all with complete wedding services. A California wedding in any of the Golden State’s breathtaking regions promises to be the most romantic event of your life while played out against a backdrop of towering redwoods in Northern California, sun-tinged vineyards beyond Monterey Bay in Central California, crimson sunsets at the beaches along Southern California, and traditional music and festivities along the cobalt Sea of Cortez in Baja.

Northern California Wedding Locations — Emerald Lake Tahoe to the Redwoods of Santa Cruz

Planning a wedding is hard enough without the bride and groom having to choose among such rarefied California wedding locations for their big day. Fortunately, complete wedding services, from a wedding planner to a florist, can be found at any of these California wedding locations no matter how deep into the Big Sur cliffs you want to toss the bouquet, or how far out to sea you want your chartered yacht to sail from the Port of San Francisco. A San Francisco, California wedding stuns even the locals. The Golden Gate Bridge parading over the glistening blue Bay, the Victorian dotted hills overlooking this dazzling city with her endless gardens and parks, luxurious and intimate hotels and spas, a seaside so bustling and exciting everyday — all here to give you the best, biggest day of your life.

A wedding in California just doesn’t get any prettier than Sonoma wine country and miles of pristine open pastures that Henry James would envy. Lakes and rivers meander through this unspoiled Eden providing magnificent views all around your wedding ceremony.

The Napa Valley vineyards stretch into yellow-fringed hillsides above the Golden Gate where pastoral California weddings are celebrated. Private villas and mansions are available for the whole day so you and your guests can linger in this golden heaven where the bride and groom play bocce ball between champagne toasts. Noteworthy chefs serve delicious fare of the highest quality putting Napa at the top of the list of most unforgettable California wedding locations.

Lake Tahoe is one of California’s most awe-inspiring natural resources, its blue green sparkles providing a serene view from any of the lovely hotels where you can exchange your wedding rings. The lake, edged with sky-piercing pines and the mountains, is a perfect spot for a wedding when everything is white with snow or in spring when there are too many shades of green to count in this California wedding wonderland.

California weddings in Santa Cruz are cozy and elegant at the same time, their ceremonies balanced in beautifully appointed hotels and spas among the redwoods along a staggering coastline. It’s hard to believe that full wedding services are available in these treetops, but you can add it to the wonders of this aerie. Nobody ever wants to leave heaven’s playground. Nobody has to, at least not until the honeymoon is over.

Central California Wedding Locations — the Monterey Peninsula to the Santa Barbara Riviera

A wedding in California celebrated at any of the lovely hotels, spas and golf courses in the seaside village of Carmel or Carmel Valley is tough to top. Vintage hotels that entertained Hollywood royalty in the day still roll out the red carpet for the lucky bride and groom. Ocean views through Monterey Pines create a stunning picture postcard behind the newlyweds. The Monterey Peninsula gives you the best of two worlds in a California wedding: rolling golden hillsides of vineyards beyond the rugged, aspen-lined coast. Delightful hotels, spas and vineyards cater complete wedding services to indoor and outdoor wedding celebrations.

Of all the California wedding locations, Santa Barbara, the “American Riviera,” just keeps on giving. Santa Barbara is like Camelot where “the rain may never fall ’till after sundown.” This charming beach town, nested between the mountains and the sea, shines like a jewel after every rain. But it rarely rains so you can plan on a delightful California wedding year round at one of the ocean-view hotels and spas here, Rincon, and all the way to Ventura. Or pop over the mountain to the Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang for more grapevines and horse ranches where you can enjoy wine tasting, hiking and horseback riding after you can stand on your pampered dancing feet the day after the big day.

Southern California Wedding Locations – A Malibu Beach Wedding to San Diego Vintage Hotels

You don’t have to be a star to have a Malibu beach wedding, but you still get treated like one at some of the most gracious and luxurious spas and resorts here in this idyllic California wedding location. From oceanfront, canopied verandas to a garden odyssey with waterfalls and lakes, Malibu provides you with exceptional choices for California weddings. Complete wedding services and so much more are available for Malibu beach weddings and flower garden nuptials.

There’s more to Palm Springs than golf courses — rose petal aisles lead to lakeside weddings, fairy tale terraces overlook acres of gardens, classic hotels provide rejuvenating spa treatments to you and your guests. It’s no wonder that Palm Springs has become one of the most sought-after locations for California weddings.

Celebrating your vows at a San Diego vintage hotel is about the most traditional Southern California wedding because of the architecture, history, charm and grace of these grand dames. All these lovely aspects of places like The Del in Coronado or The Abbey on Fifth shower your celebration with more than rice. Their exquisitely tended rooms and tinted windows bestow their best wishes from weddings past.

Baja California Weddings — Dip your Toes into the Sea of Cortez

Baja California wedding locations along the turquoise seashore offer a great escape for you and your wedding guests. Most people don’t think of Baja as a Southern California wedding destination so these resorts are not too crowded. They are fun, provide great music and unbelievable food in addition to complete wedding services. The hotels in Baja are a breathtaking getaway for everybody while still being conveniently located near San Diego.