Monthly Archives: August 2017

How to Create Your Own Wedding Timeline

Congratulations on your new engagement. Now what? When should you set a date? What are all the things you have to do prior to the big day? This is now the time to create a wedding timeline. The average time it takes to plan a wedding is approximately eight to sixteen months, this gives the bride and groom plenty of time to sort out all of the necessary details. Unfortunately not everyone can afford to spend that much time on planning their wedding. Sometimes you’re in a crunch and need to get married in less time than usual for specific reasons or maybe you’re just too busy and cannot divide up enough time to spend on wedding preparations.

Everyone’s wedding timeline will be slightly different, therefore it’s important to prioritize. You don’t have to follow the exact same timeline as other couples, choose the things that you find are important and try to get them accomplished early on. As the old saying goes, time is money. You can save time by spending money on a professional wedding planner, they have the expertise and connections to help you get what you want without requiring you to do all the work. If you don’t have the money and plan on doing it yourself then it’s important for you to become more flexible and not expect everything to be perfect.

To make your wedding planning easier, you should divide up your wedding timeline into different time intervals. Decide for yourself how many months or weeks before the wedding and how much time to assign to each interval. The first interval takes place as soon as you get engaged. This is a critical part of the wedding planning process, you will need to announce your engagement, set a budget, get organized, and piece together everything that needs to be done before the wedding. You will be spending most of your time in the initial wedding planning stages doing research. To budget your own wedding, find out what others have spent and if it’s within your price range. Then flip through wedding magazines and go over wedding related websites to get ideas for wedding themes, wedding dresses, cakes, floral arrangements, etc. Compile together everything that you like so that you can start coming up with a theme for your wedding. Make a schedule of all of your wedding preparations so you can remind yourself of the order in which things need to be done. You will also need to start researching vendors in the area if you plan on having a ceremony nearby. Last but not least, set a date and book a venue for your ceremony and reception.

The second time interval on your wedding timeline is all about actively getting things accomplished. There is so much that needs to be done during this time, so it’s important to coordinate all of your activities wisely. By now you should have already narrowed down a couple of vendors for catering, entertainment, photography and videography. Begin to meet with them to discuss your vision for the wedding, but do not do so until you settle on a theme. Have your food tasting sessions and settle on desirable menu options for the big day. This is also the time to start looking for the perfect wedding dress. You will need to start early, because it’s difficult to find one you will fall in love with right away. Make a list of all the things you would like to receive and begin creating a gift registry during this stage. After getting all of the hard work out of the way, it is highly recommended that you build a wedding website. This is a great solution for communicating with and managing your wedding guests, which you will inevitably need to deal with as the big day gets closer. Having a website to act as an information gateway for your wedding will reduce the amount of time spent on answering questions when you really need to be focusing on more pressing matters.

The next time interval is a continuation of the previous one on your wedding timeline. By this time, you will need to decide on a design for your wedding invitations. If you created a wedding site, you can either add the url of your wedding site on the invitation itself or on a separate card to be mailed with your invitation. This way guests can respond online and it provides you with a way to manage all of the RSVPs, have guests select from the reception menu, guide them to your gift registry and much more. This is also when you should start to meet with florists to choose a floral arrangement, meet with the officiant and begin shopping around for bridesmaids dresses. You will need to book your honeymoon months in advance so this is the perfect time to figure out the best place to go.

The invitations should be sent out anywhere from 4 months before to 2 months before the wedding, depending on how much time you have to plan it. After all the invitations have gone out, it is time for you to focus on the more intricate details of your look for the big day as well as the reception. You will be spending a lot of time with dress fittings and if you choose to have a makeup artist and hairstylist, you will have to start meeting with them to decide on the perfect look for your wedding. Reception details include decorations, ordering the wedding cake, and choosing the music. By the next interval, you should have a good idea of the exact number of guests who will be attending the event. This is when you can finalize the menu with the caterer, order your wedding favors, print the menu cards and arrange transportation for your wedding guests if it is necessary. By now you should also be able to come up with an entire schedule of the day’s events and have them sent to your vendors. Finally, don’t forget to purchase your rings.

The final couple of time intervals on your wedding timeline takes place as you get closer and closer to the big day. It is important for you to meet with your photographer and videographer to go over exactly how you want them to shoot the entire wedding and reception. Make last minute arrangements with all vendors and don’t forget to explain every detail of what you want so there is little room for error. Apply for your marriage license, sort out all of the RSVP’s, assign the seating and start writing your vows. There is also some planning involved for the rehearsal dinner, but try not to spend too much time on this. Your wedding dress should be ready, all that is left to complete your look is hair and makeup so remember to have a final appointment with your makeup artist and hairstylist if you hired one. Keep in mind that your wedding party is there to help, think of little errands you can delegate to them for the big day. Last but not least relax, this should also be scheduled into your wedding timeline. Go get a spa treatment or do something else you enjoy to calm your nerves before the main event. Packing for your honeymoon will also help get your mind off the stressful stuff so you can look forward to being a newlywed.

Your wedding timeline is an important schedule that should be strictly followed if you want to reduce the feelings of stress and overwhelm as your wedding day approaches. To make your job easier, you should create a wedding website that provides your guests with all of the necessary information they are looking for. Learn how you can easily build a wedding website in just 10 easy steps. Choose from professionally designed wedding themes and learn how to use specific wedding widgets and plugins for added functionality and customization.

Planning a Wedding That Doesn’t Kill Your Budget or Your Relationship

If you’re planning a wedding and you’re concerned about your wedding budget, there are several ways to save. The keys to successfully planning a budget-conscious wedding are having the abilities to be creative, flexible, and opportunistic.

Think of this scenario: You wake up in the middle of the night with a craving for ice cream. All grocery stores are closed, so you run through the options in your head. You can go to the all-night convenience store or coffee shop and pay a premium price for this craving or you can settle for the granola bar in the back of your pantry. Then the thought occurs that you could have planned ahead while grocery shopping earlier that week and had your ice cream at a fair price. The same shopping options exist for every part of your wedding. Do you pay premium prices? Do you plan ahead? Or do you simply do without? There are no wrong answers, but planning ahead can almost always offer the most bang for the bucks.

The key trick in saving money for your wedding is flexibility. Think about your wedding date. It’s probably a mild Saturday evening in late Spring or early Fall. I’m no Nostradamus, it’s just a fact that the vast majority of couples choose the same dates for their weddings. You can slash your overall wedding costs significantly by changing your wedding date away from Saturday evenings in May, June, September, or October. Go crazy and avoid Saturdays altogether and have a raging Friday night wedding or a relaxing Sunday afternoon wedding. You might not think these date/time adjustments matter, but vendors’ schedules are much less likely to be full on a Sunday afternoon in August or a Friday night in March. This availability can translate into staggering deals if you shop around. I’ve seen $10,000-$15,000 weddings (combined vendor cost) reduced to $2,000-$3,000 with every component of the wedding staying exactly the same, including the venue. The difference? An 11am ceremony time on a Saturday in June versus a 5pm wedding the EXACT SAME DAY. An unexpected perk to avoiding Saturday evenings goes to your guests who can now plan a weekend after your Friday night bash or before the Sunday nuptials. That Saturday night wedding breaks everyone’s weekend in half. Having schedule flexibility is huge for all vendors, but specific savings can also be found for each part of your big day.

Wedding venues: The venue is usually the costliest of the wedding investments, but that only means it is also the biggest opportunity to save money. If you want elegance, maybe avoid the country clubs and golf courses and find a shady park or beach and spend a fraction of your budget on elegant tables, string lighting, and candle-lit centerpieces. If you’re quirky and fun, bypass a regular venue and rent an old theater or local art gallery. Think outside the box. Depending on the size of your guest list, you can find venues that aren’t considered traditional, but will more than fit your needs. Private residences and local restaurants might fit your needs perfectly. With any non-traditional venue, be sure to get all the details. Some places may require additional insurance or have restrictions on attendance, food/drink, etc, so be sure to be thorough in your interviews. If you are looking for a traditional venue, many times finding a location that can host both the wedding and reception is ideal. For both convenience and cost, this option almost always is preferable to separate locations. If you opt for a church wedding, keep in mind that some churches offer weddings a low or even no cost. Call around and you might find a great deal

12 Amazing Las Vegas Elvis Wedding Packages Under $299

“Viva Las Vegas!” sang Elvis Presley in 1964, as Lucky Jackson in his 1964 movie Viva Las Vegas. While the legendary singer/movie star may have moved on, there’s no shortage of ordained Vegas ministers that look remarkably like him! Couples wanting to be married by the King himself have a variety of wedding options to choose from, including 12 complete packages all for under $299.

1. $177 – “Love Me Tender Elvis Package” available from the Wee Kirk O’ the Heather Wedding Chapel

For over 70 years, the Week Kirk O’the Heather Wedding Chapel has been marrying lovebirds in Las Vegas. Up to eight guests of your choice can watch as Elvis walks the bride down the aisle and performs two songs. The package also includes a CD with five candid photos (including the copyright), the use of a bouquet, music, witness and a souvenir wedding scroll.

2. $185 – “Elvis Memories” Special available from The Elvis Wedding Chapel

Boasting the “friendliest service, the best value, and the best “Elvis” in Vegas”, the Elvis Wedding Chapel has been featured on “The Girls Next Door”, “Wild Weddings”, CNN, PBS, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and other television shows. This wedding package includes limo transportation to and from your hotel, a fresh rose presentation for the Bride, two songs performed by Elvis and a DVD of the ceremony to capture the memory of your special “Elvis Vows”.

3. $199 – “Love Me Tender Elvis Wedding” available from Mon Bel Ami Chapel

Although not available on Saturdays, this wedding package does offer great value to couples wanting to tie the knot in front of Elvis. Included in the price is your favorite Elvis Hit sung by the King himself, a long stem rose for the bride, a boutonniere for the groom and a complementary ceremony photograph with Elvis on a CD. In addition to Sunday through Friday availability, a maximum of ten guests are permitted.

4. $199 – “Viva Las Vegas Elvis Wedding” available from Graceland Chapel

Be serenaded by Elvis as he sings the famous “Love Me Tender” melody, and then dance away to the classic “Viva Las Vegas” theme song after exchanging your vows at the Graceland Chapel. A long stem rose and boutonniere are included in the package, as is professional photography (prints sold separately). In addition, not only will you leave with your own wedding license, but you’ll get a copy of Elvis and Pricilla’s too! English, Spanish and French ceremonies are available at Graceland Chapel.

5. $199 – “Viva Elvis Package” available from The Las Vegas Wedding Chapel

Providing excellent value for the price, this wedding package actually includes the minister’s fee! (A $60 value), as well as a generous digital image package (13 professional prints, including copyrights), a six-rose fresh flower bouquet and courtesy limo service for up to eight. As if this wasn’t enough, Elvis will perform two songs and you’ll also receive a copy of Elvis and Pricilla’s marriage certificate.

6. $267 – “Burning Love Elvis Package” available from the Wee Kirk O’ the Heather Wedding Chapel

The bride and groom and up to 12 of their guests will enjoy a mini-concert of three Elvis songs after a beautiful wedding ceremony. Literally translated from Scottish, as “The Little Chapel of the Lucky Flowers,” Wee Kirk O’the Heather is Las Vegas’ original wedding chapel and is a historical landmark in the city. Also included are eight candid photos on a CD (with copyrights), a fresh three-rose bouquet for the bride, a souvenir wedding scroll and a witness, if needed.

7. $269 – “It’s Now or Never Elvis Package” available from Vegas Adventure Wedding Chapel

When it comes to your wedding, Vegas Adventure Weddings promises to “take all the stress out and put all the adventure in!” and this package does not disappoint. After arriving in a courtesy 2007 Superstretch Limousine (transportation provided for the bride, groom and up to four guests), Elvis will walk the bride down the 27 foot chapel aisle for the ceremony. Post “I-do”s, the newlyweds and their guests will enjoy three songs performed by Elvis. A single fresh rose presentation and boutonniere, as well as 12 photo images of the event on a CD (with copyrights) are also included. The best part of this package is the option to add on the lighting of 50 candles for an incredibly romantic atmosphere for only $40 more.

8. $275 – “The Elvis Wedding Special Package” available from Loveland Wedding Chapel

This Vegas wedding package perfectly merges the beauty and elegance of the hotel chapels with the affordability of the “Las Vegas strip chapels”. Not only will you enjoy a hearing Elvis perform three songs, you’ll also get to watch the performance time and time again with the video of the event which is included in this package! Also included are 25 digital photos, a silk bouquet for the bride and a boutonniere for the groom, and the use of the chapel for up to 20 guests.

9. $288 – “Elvis Wedding Package” available from Lily of the Valley Wedding Chapel

Located immediately across the street from the Las Vegas Marriage License Bureau, the Lily of the Valley Wedding Chapel believes in blessing your marriage, family, friends and associates. With 70 pictures and video, this wedding offers the most generous photo and video package of the “Under $299 Elvis Wedding Packages” of the group. In addition to hearing Elvis sing three songs, you’ll also get to dance with Elvis as well as receive gifts and pictures signed by Elvis. A bridal bouquet and boutonniere round out the floral package, and if you need a witness the chapel can provide one, too. Notary, planning, and pre-marital counseling upon request and both Romantic religious and civil ceremonies are offered. Please note that the minister’s fee is an additional $250 on top of the above listed wedding package fees.

10. $295 – “Elvis “Hound Dog” Wedding Package” available from the Elvis Chapel

As if enjoying Elvis perform three songs of his choice isn’t enough of a treat, you’ll get two pairs of Elvis sunglasses presented by Elvis while exchanging special “Elvis Vows”… and it will all be caught on the DVD video included in the package price! Also included are 35 high resolution digital photos on a CD and the option for a live Web Cam to capture all of the hip-shakin’, Hound Dog action for those at home. Other package amenities include a six rose bouquet for the bride and a copy of Elvis and Pricilla’s marriage certificate and complementary round-trip limousine service for up to six people. While gratuities extra, taxes are included in the listed package price.

11. $299 – “All Shook Up Elvis Package” available from Vegas Adventure Wedding Chapel

This Vegas Adventure Wedding Chapel package includes all of the amenities in the “Now or Never Elvis Wedding Package” listed above (including courtesy limousine transportation for up to six and three songs performed by Elvis), with the added romance of walking down a 27 foot aisle covered in rose petals and a two fresh rose presentation for the bride (and a matching boutonniere for the groom). Double the amount of photos are included on a CD (24 images in total) which alone makes this package worth the upgrade. You can also add on the lighting of 50 candles to create an incredibly romantic atmosphere for an additional $40.

12. $299 – “Blue Suede Shoes Elvis Package” available from The Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas

Elvis vows, a three song mini-concert and a first dance to an Elvis song of your choice truly epitomize the Vegas wedding experience! You’ll be able to relive this entertaining wedding experience again whenever you choose with the high quality DVD of your ceremony, 25 Professional Digital Images (including copyrights) and the five 4×6 prints included in the “Blue Suede Shoes Elvis Package”. Also included is a six rose fresh flower bouquet, a copy of Elvis and Pricilla’s marriage certificate, a live Web Cam of the event, and courtesy limo service for up to eight people. And best of all, the minister’s fees are included in the package price!

All of these 12 Elvis Vegas wedding packages offer great value, low-stress and an all-inclusive option for couples wanting to exchange vows in front of the King.

When choosing an Elvis wedding package in Vegas, however, you should be aware that many packages do not include taxes or gratuities. The minister’s gratuity is typically around $60, while performers, limo drivers and photographers will also expect a tip. Your tip, of course, should reflect the level of service you feel you received and take into consideration the overall price paid for your wedding package.

Prior to confirming a wedding package you should always ask the wedding coordinator what the final price is for the package after taxes, and what he/she recommends as an appropriate gratuity.

You should also remember that wedding packages and pricing are subject to change without notice so it’s best to contact the chapel directly for the most up-to-date wedding package information.

What To Look For In A Wedding Videographer?

Recently, my cousin became engaged, and I will be his best man. Naturally, the subject of who will be his wedding videographer came up. His answer was simple: what should I look for in a wedding videographer? Being in the business myself, I would like to shed some light on the subject.

Experience

When you look for a wedding videographer, look for someone who is constantly shooting weddings. On average, a busy wedding cinematographer will record about 20-35 weddings per year. Above 35 weddings could be overkill.

First of all, make sure that your videographer has done more than thirty weddings. If s/he has done more than fifty wedding, it could be easily considered an experienced videographer.

I wouldn’t really put much weight if the videographer says that he or she has two, three or five years of experience. It does not really matter. What matters is how many wedding he or she has done. The more the merrier.

Why is experience so important to me? Because in DSLR video, focusing is extremely important and difficult, and practice makes master. Unless your taste is for video that goes in and out of focus, you should look for a videographer what will keep your video in focus.

One vs Multiple videographers

Ask if the videographer can show you videos that he or she has done alone in a wedding. And then work that they have done with 2 or 3 videographers. This is really important.

Depending on your budget you may want to go with only one wedding videographer instead of multiple ones. Watch samples of his or her work while shooting a wedding video alone. Ask what is the best position he or she adopts during the ceremony and the reception.

Ask to see work while working with several videographers as well. How they position each camera during the ceremony and reception.

Ask to watch excerpts of a wedding video more than a highlight. Many wedding videographers emphasize in the highlight more than the wedding video itself. I have seen videographers missing important parts of the ceremony because they are working to get an exotic angle down from the aisle floor or with the slider. They do this just to create more production value to their highlight to show future clients.

DSLR

Another important matter to discuss is their equipment. If you are paying a wedding videographer, let say more than 2000 dollars, check that they are using DSLR cameras, preferably canon cameras.

There are many, but many videographers still using regular HD cameras, which give you acceptable image, but not cinematic look like DSLR cameras would give you.

Lights

Ask about lighting. Discuss about the lighting at the ceremony. Churches usually have good lighting, but if the church it not well illuminated, ask the wedding videographer how they deal with low light situations.

It’s really important to ask about lighting for the reception. How do they plan to use them and what type of lighting equipment they use?

Reception halls are usually very dark, which makes wedding videography very challenging because you have to manage good lighting while not killing the mood. Confirm that your wedding videographer will have enough lighting for introductions, first dance, dance with parents, speeches, cutting the cake – the all the important moments of the reception.

Ask about lighting while dancing. Check that they do not use too much lighting that could kill the mood of the reception, or the lighting the dj or lighting specialist are using for your wedding. But, make sure they use a good source of lighting to illuminate your guests dancing.