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How to Plan a Wedding

Now that you’ve recovered from the delightful shock of your engagement, take a deep breath, grab a notebook and your address book, and then let the countdown to the Big Day begin! Planning a wedding isn’t easy, but with organization, time, focus and vision, you can plan the wedding of your dreams.

Instructions

  1. Envision your wedding from beginning to end. Where and when have you dreamed the wedding would take place? How formal would you like the event to be? What will the wedding party wear? What kind of food would you like to serve?
  2. Pick a date.
  3. Set a budget–one that is functional and provides for some flexibility. Here is where you must combine fantasy with practicality.
  4. Ask friends and family to recommend a reputable jeweler. Order your engagement and/or wedding rings.
  5. Book the wedding and reception sites.
  6. Meet with the officiant of your wedding. Now is the time to be clear about rules and restrictions regarding the ceremony and ceremony site.
  7. Select your wedding attendants–your wedding party can be as big or small as you like.
  8. Choose a dress and wedding attire for the rest of the wedding party.
  9. Make a guest list. You may have to compromise on the number of guests if your budget is limited.
  10. Plan your pre-wedding parties, ceremony, reception and honeymoon–consider menus, decorations, favors and music.
  11. Interview and hire vendors: wedding coordinator, photographer, video professional, caterer, florist and entertainment.
  12. Check state requirements for obtaining a marriage license, and find out how long the license will remain valid.
  13. Take care of the rest of the paperwork, from ordering invitations to signing up with gift registries.

How to Plan a Wedding in Two Weeks

Having a yearlong engagement with plenty of time to plan an elaborate wedding is great but some people do not want to wait so long. If you want to get married in two weeks, it is still possible to have a very nice wedding. Here are some tips you can use to plan a wedding in two weeks.

How to Plan a Wedding in Two Weeks

  1. Get a marriage license. The first thing you need to do when planning a wedding quickly is to get your marriage license. Some states require a certain waiting time after applying for the license for you to get married, so make sure you apply in plenty of time.
  2. Find a wedding official. When you apply for your license you will also want to ask the clerk for a list of judges who will marry you. You can also look online and in the yellow pages for a minister to marry you. Contact someone immediately as you will be a slave to her schedule.
  3. Find a place to get married and have a reception. Because you are having a quick wedding you will have to be flexible with finding a venue. Consider having your wedding in your home, or the home of a relative. Consider using a church chapel and the social hall. Consider an outdoor wedding (provided you are getting married during fair weather season). Call a restaurant and see if you can get married during their off hours or an a day when they are closed.
  4. Send out your invitations quickly. Once you have the first three items set, you can send out invitations. You can mail out invitations, but it will also be wise to send out emails and to follow up with phone calls to people you don’t hear back from.
  5. Arrange for your wedding music. Keep the music simple, and have all of your songs programmed on an MP3 player. Choose a family member to play the important songs at specific times, but other than that, just let the music play.
  6. Plan food for the reception. You have two choices when it comes to planning food for a quick wedding reception. The quickest, and option is to call your favorite restaurant and arrange last minute catering. For a restaurant that normally does high volume, this is not a big deal. If you want a quick and easy menu for an afternoon affair, a supermarket can even supply a large picnic buffet. While you are at it, visit your local supermarket bakery for a simple wedding cake. You will be amazed how pretty supermarket wedding cakes can be. Another option can be to rely on family to prepare the meal. Of course, this may leave them too weary to enjoy the wedding. A combination of the two options may be your best bet.
  7. Choose your wedding wardrobe. You won’t have time to order a custom fit dress, and you may not have time to rent a tuxedo either. However, wedding stores have clearance racks where you can find a wedding dress for a decent price that you can then bring to your dry cleaner for quick alteration. Another option is to purchase a dress off the rack that can pass as a wedding dress. Bridesmaids can get off the rack dresses just as easily. As for the groom, you can purchase an inexpensive tuxedo from a men’s clothing warehouse and have it altered in two days.

How to Start Planning a Wedding

Once the excitement of your engagement subsides a little, beginning to plan your wedding can feel daunting. Knowing where and how to start is one of the hardest parts of wedding planning. Your wedding planning strategy should begin with bigger-picture, more general items, such as the wedding venue and guest list, with more minute details, like flowers and centerpieces, to follow.

Instructions

  1. Get organized. Make a checklist of all the wedding-related items you need to reserve, choose, buy or borrow. Begin with the large and obvious items, including your budget, the date, the wedding venue, the officiant, the reception venue, the guest list and your dress. Further down the list, include photographers, bands or deejays, florists and caterers. Keep a binder or personal organizer specifically dedicated to your wedding planning, so you’ll always have a place to put brochures, business cards and magazine clippings that inspire you.
  2. Enlist the help of your family and friends. Many parents are overjoyed to help with the planning of their children’s wedding, and welcome the opportunity to get involved. You may have more willing volunteers available than you realized. If friends or family members express interest in handling a specific aspect of your wedding planning, such as finding a caterer or a florist, let them, and review their findings together, to choose a vendor that suits your budget and taste.
  3. Join a community of other brides-to-be for tips and information about vendors. Many online communities exist for wedding planning at websites such as The Knot (theknot.com) and One Wed (onewed.com). Hearing about others’ experiences with particular vendors can help you narrow your choice to include only cooperative and honest vendors and salespeople.
  4. Set up a wedding website. Establishing an online presence for your wedding will help remind guests about the date and location of your wedding, as well as guiding guests who wish to give a gift to your wedding registries. Include a guestbook on your wedding website, for visitors to post comments and suggestions for your wedding plans. Free wedding website templates are available through websites like One Wed and The Knot.
  5. Make a wedding-day timeline to help you identify gaps in your wedding plans. In your timeline, include hour-by-hour or minute-by-minute descriptions of exactly how you want the wedding day to proceed, including as much detail as you wish. For example, knowing you need to allow a half-hour for guests to get from the wedding site to the reception venue, shows that you need to arrange transportation with limousines, town cars, trolleys or other vehicles.

How to Plan a Secret Wedding

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. Planning a wedding, however, can be stressful if you face pressure from family members, have those who disapprove or are overwhelmed with unsolicited advice and suggestions. You might want to have a surprise or secret wedding so everyone special in your life can be present but without all the hassle and stress of outside factors in getting to that point. Planning a secret wedding involves lots of careful attention to detail and creating a façade of another party of sorts to get people to attend.

Instructions

  1. Make your guest list. The shorter the list, the easier it will be to keep the event secret because that’s less people who can figure out your plans and spread the word. Only invite those you really want to be there to watch you get married, all others can be informed later and celebrate at a later date if they so choose.
  2. Choose a location and set the date. Come up with an alternate name for the celebration as a cover for your secret. That might be a birthday, anniversary or other celebration. Have everything you plan go under this alternate name to protect your secret even more.
  3. Keep your vendors to a minimum but book the ones you really want and need, such as a photographer and caterer.
  4. Plan the rest of your wedding details as you would any other wedding; do your dress shopping (although alone), make favors and choose a cake and décor.
  5. Send out invitations to your “cover party.” When guests arrive, have the party start off as it would for a normal party.
  6. Once everyone is present, have your wedding officiant come out and make the announcement that a wedding will be taking place.
  7. Quickly get dressed as the officiant directs guests to the specific location and asks them to take their seats.
  8. Get married. Then enjoy your after party as you gush about how you kept everything secret.

How to Cascade Roses on a Wedding Cake

If you have always dreamed of having a waterfall of roses on a three-tier wedding cake, you can create the look with baker supplies and some decorating know-how. Give yourself at least two days to design and create the cascade of roses and to place them on the cake. Be sure to factor in the decorating time as part of your wedding cake preparations.

Instructions

  1. Sketch your wedding cake design. Start the cascade design toward the left side of the top tier of the cake, and have the roses flow toward the right over the middle and bottom tiers.
  2. Create the main flowers. Fill a pastry bag with frosting the color of the flowers. Using tip number 2 and a rose nail, pipe five to eight small roses onto a sheet of wax paper. Switch to tip number 103 to pipe two to four medium roses. Then switch to tip number 124 to pipe three to six large roses. Set aside and allow roses to dry for at least 48 hours.
  3. Create drop flowers. Switch to tip number 190 and pipe 35 to 50 drop flowers. Then switch to tip number 225 and pipe 35 to 50 more drop flowers. If desired, accent the drop flowers by piping a dot into the center of each using white frosting and a number 2 tip. Allow the drop flowers to dry for at least 48 hours.
  4. Place the flowers on the cake. Using a pastry bag filled with white frosting and with a number 13 tip, pipe a star on the back of each flower. Starting on the top tier of the cake, place a small cluster of small roses. Surround the cluster with some of the drop flowers. Continue to place drop flowers on the cake at an angle so they cascade over the edge of the top tier onto the layer below. Use your sketch as reference to make sure you’re placing flowers in the right location for your design. Gently press the flowers to secure them in place. Continue the cascade onto the middle and bottom tiers of the cake.
  5. Finish off the cascade on the bottom tier. Place a small cluster of medium-size roses on the bottom tier and surround the cluster with drop flowers. Cascade the drop flowers over the bottom of the cake onto the cake plate or cake holder. Gently press the flowers to secure them in place.
  6. Decorate the plate or cake board. Place a cluster of large roses at the bottom of the cake and continue the cascade onto the cake holder. Place drop flowers so that they surround the large roses. Gently press flowers into place.
  7. Create flower leaves. Using a pastry bag filled with green frosting and a number 352 tip, pipe leaves onto the sides of the roses. Angle the leaves in a downward direction to create a realistic look and to keep in line with the flow of the cascade design.

A top job by brave wedding photographer

Bridezillas and unrealistic expectations can make weddings scary for any photographer but wedding snapper Brian Rueb had to take fear conquering to new heights during one assignment.

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Image Credit

If you’re a wedding photographer in Bournemouth, Hanover or Hanoi, take heed; make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for before taking on a job. Read Rueb’s story at http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/yosemites-mountains-make-most-breath-6200190 and http://metro.co.uk/2015/08/05/couple-pose-for-breathtaking-wedding-photos-thousands-of-feet-above-yosemite-national-park-5327963/ and you’ll understand why.

A lofty problem

Californian snapper Rueb had no idea when he agreed to cover the wedding of Elina and Endijs Perkons that this would entail being thousands of feet over Yosemite National Park. What’s the problem with that, you may ask? The problem was that Rueb was afraid of heights.

He’d signed up for what would turn out to be a 4,500-feet, 8.2-mile hike. The 42-year-old said he hadn’t really got any details about the trek or considered the height when he agreed to do the shoot. He said the fear arrived after he’s already said yes to the job.

It’s not the sort of everyday request experienced by the likes Bournemouth Wedding Photographer nickrutterphotography.co.uk of but it serves as a warning to all wedding photographers; always expect the unexpected and only say yes if you are sure you can deliver.

A mammoth task

Not one to disappoint, Rueb set off with the couple, co-photographer Philip Nicolas, and a wedding officiant on July 15 at 5.30pm with the wedding dress, suit, a bottle of champagne and the bride’s bouquet in a backpack. With the hike, the ceremony and the shoot, the day didn’t end until 7.30pm – 14 hours after the party first set off.

The couple have certainly got the perfect photographic record of their big day but Rueb got plenty out of it as well. Not only has he got some great snaps for his portfolio and had his name spread across the globe by the press, he can also celebrate a very personal achievement. He was ecstatic to reach the summit of his climb and even sent his wife a photo from the top.

Rueb said that he had no time to celebrate his personal achievement at the time, however. It was Endijs and Elina’s day, he said, and so he simply got on with the job. Now that’s the height of professionalism!

Learn More about Catering Companies

A lot of people have heard about catering companies from friends or relatives. They have become common in social circles because of the convenience that they provide to their customers. However, a lot of people only know the general description of a catering company. Very few people are aware of all the functions of a catering company including how the company is set up. Understanding the makeup as well as the products and services that a catering company provides will enable one appreciate their role in the society. The following are a few key facts about catering companies.

Services

The first thing that one should know about catering companies is the kind of services that they offer. Catering companies offer a wide range of service. The most common service they provide is to make different kinds of food for different kinds of events. When one has an event with a fairly large number of guests, it would be very difficult for the person to be able to make enough food for all the guests. By hiring a catering company, one can ensure that there will be enough food for all the guests and he or she can use the time that would have been used to prepare the food to do other things.

Apart from food, catering companies offer a wide range of services to their clients. For example, if one needs help serving all of the guests at an event, a catering company would be in a position to do so. The catering company would also be in a position to provide items like chairs, tables, tablecloths, napkins and the likes. Some catering companies have been known to provide onsite cookouts. This is where one hires a catering company to make the food at the event. The main advantage of an onsite cookout is that it gives the guests a chance to have their meals made exactly how they want them.

Yet another service that is offered by most, if not all catering companies is the setting up of the venue and provision of beverages. A lot of people are not aware that catering companies not only provide food but they are also in a position to provide beverages for an event. When one has an event, chances are one has to find enough beverages for all the guests. This will require one to purchase these drinks in bulk. If one does this purchase through a catering company, there is a good chance that he or she will be able to save a good amount of money because they can negotiate for a discount. One will not have this advantage if he or she buys different kinds of drinks in small amounts through retail stores. Catering companies can also help one set up for the event that is being planned for which enables one to save time and resources.

Occasions

There are a number of occasions where catering companies provide their services. It may be a birthday party, a family event, a corporate event, a funeral and the likes. In a nutshell, catering companies are not biased towards the kind of events. As long as their services are needed, they will be there.

In conclusion, catering services are not one-dimensional. They provide a number of services for many different kinds of occasions. These catering companies have become popular because of the kind of convenience that one enjoys after hiring them. They will be in a position to provide all the catering services for the event and be there to ensure that everything goes according to plan.

Ryan Davis is the owner of Argyle Catering the best company for catering Jefferson City, MO has to offer.

 

How to calculate wedding cake servings

Wedding cakes are generally custom-ordered in various shapes and sizes. The size of the cake usually depends on the number of guests attending the wedding. Each serving of wedding cake should measure 1 inch across, 2 inches deep and 4 inches tall, according to Wilton, the renowned cake supply company. Most bakeries will calculate the number of servings you need when you order the cake. However, you can calculate the amount of cake you need by consulting a serving chart or by completing a mathematical formula.

Instructions

  1. Visit EarlenesCakes.com and consult the serving chart provided to determine the number of wedding cake servings that apply to your cake. Find the pan size in the left column and match it to the appropriate circumference. When you have found your cake’s size, read the number highlighted in yellow directly to the right of the pan size and circumference; that is the number of servings your cake will yield.
  2. Use the online serving calculator provided at ShinyMetalObjects.com if you cannot find the number on a premade serving chart. Enter the width, length and height of your cake in the calculator and click “Continue.” Choose the cake’s dimensions on the next screen by checking the appropriate box with your mouse. Click “Calculate.” The calculator will supply the appropriate number of servings that match the size of your cake.
  3. Write down the width, length and height of your square or rectangular cake if you are unable to find the number easily on a serving chart or by using the serving calculator. Use a handheld or computer-based calculator and enter the width. Multiply the width by the length of your cake. Multiply that total by the height of your cake. The number you get will be the cubic inches of your cake. Divide that number by 8, since each serving will total 8 cubic inches, and the final number will reflect the number of servings your cake will yield.

    For example, a 9-inch-by-13-inch cake that is 4 inches tall requires you to multiply 9 by 13. Then multiply the total, which is 117, by 4. The result is 468. Divide 468 by 8 on your calculator and it will display 58.5. This means your cake will provide 58 guests with an appropriate portion.

  4. Write down the diameter and height of your round cake. Using your calculator, enter the radius of your cake. The radius is half the diameter. Multiply the radius times the radius. For example, if you are baking with a 14-inch round pan, multiply 7 by 7. Multiply the answer by pi. Round pi to 3.14. Multiply that result by the height of your cake. Finally, divide that number by 8 to determine the number of servings your cake will yield.

    For example, a 14-inch round pan that bakes a 4-inch-tall cake requires you to first multiply 7 by 7. The answer, 49, must be multiplied by 3.14. Press the “Equals” symbol on your calculator and it will display the number 153.86. Multiply that total by 4 and your calculator will display the number 615.44. To determine the number of guests your cake will serve, divide that number by 8. A cake that size will serve 76 people.

How to Draw Floor Plans for Weddings

Before you can finalize centerpieces and decor to fit your wedding-reception theme, you need a table count, which depends on the space layout and any designated activities such as dancing. Preparing a wedding floor plan lets you determine the ideal placement of tables and event areas to ensure guests enjoy themselves.

Space Restrictions

  • A drawing of the room shell with doorways, windows, columns and other architectural features indicated serves as the base of a wedding floor plan. The site manager or event coordinator may provide one; if not, you can draw your own on a computer or graph paper. An easy scale is to consider each square on the graph paper as 1 square foot of space. Note the location of bathrooms, emergency exits and any room characteristics that could hinder guest movement. A sketch for an outdoor reception might include trees, walkways and fountains.

Focal Points

  • The seating arrangement centers around activity stations, or focal points. For example, you may prefer to sit with your bridal party at a head table instead of at a sweetheart table. Other focal points to consider include a wedding-cake table, dessert station, gift table, bar or photo booth. The size of the dance floor and your band or DJ’s space and electrical requirements affect the floor plan as does accommodating guest-book signing and seating-card pick-up. Your caterer or event coordinator can advise how many tables to allow for the buffet stations. Once you have a list of focal-point requirements, make scaled-to-size templates using another piece of graph paper. Draw a square for the dance floor plus different sizes and shapes of tables.

Table Placement

  • According to the book “Wedding Plans, Wedding Crafts,” keeping several key measurements in mind ensures guest comfort. Allow 24 inches of space behind chairs for room to move, which means you may need to place tables 5 feet apart. When deciding whether to seat six or eight at a table, remember the average place setting requires a space that is 24 inches wide and 18 inches deep. You may mix large round tables with smaller ones, different sizes of banquet and square tables, or combine squares with rounds as long as the end result suits the space.

Special Circumstances

  • Arrange focal points and guest tables on your sketch. You may need several attempts to get the right combination that lets guests find their seats and move easily throughout the room without creating bottlenecks. Double check for tables too close to the music before finalizing your layout. Review the plan with the venue staff or owner then begin seat assignments. In addition to relatives who don’t get along and single friends, your seating plan should accommodate guests with physical challenges or special needs who may want easy access to the bathrooms, or guests with children who may prefer being seated near the exit.

How to Make a Large Wedding Altar Flower Arrangement

When it comes to weddings, the altar flower arrangement is one of the key decorations. The flower colors and overall display can add beauty and provide an elegant centerpiece for the ceremony. Since many weddings are already expensive enough, many people wish to save money by creating their own altar flower arrangement. Following seven steps should help most people create a large and attractive arrangement without spending a fortune in the process.

Instructions

  1. Cut your florist foam so that it fits snugly into the large vase or container. Leave approximately two inches of florist foam protruding from the top of the vase. This will provide an easy means of arranging ferns and flowers later on.
  2. Fill your vase with two gallons of water so that the florist foam soaks up much of the water. Add flower preservative if you want the flowers to stay alive for a considerable time after the wedding.
  3. Place some large ferns around the outer circumference of the vase. Stabilize the ferns by placing the stems firmly into the florist foam and make the leaves face slightly downward. In general, you will want to use five or six ferns for the first layer.
  4. Place three or four additional ferns into the center of the florist foam. The leaves should be facing upward at approximately a 45-degree angle. Doing so should hide most of the florist foam and provide a backdrop for the rest of your flowers.
  5. Place 25 long stemmed flowers in random spots in the vase. In general, it’s best to use two or three different types of flowers with an appropriate color contrast. For example, you could use red roses for one flower and white lilies for the other. The exact types of flowers aren’t that important as long as they look pleasing to you.
  6. Add five to seven ribbons that match the flowers’ colors in random spots of the arrangement. This should provide some extra flair that balances out the look of the arrangement.
  7. Keep the flower arrangement in a cool location until the wedding event. Add more water if necessary.

How to Decorate a Long Table With Centerpieces for a Wedding

Decorating a long table with centerpieces for a wedding presents unique obstacles. A large centerpiece will not have the same visual impact on a long table as it will on the center of a smaller round table, so decorations should focus on creating a dramatic statement that continues down the entire table. Layering decorations with texture and color, then accenting them with several small centerpieces creates a sophisticated look with practical benefits for a wedding reception.

Instructions

  1. Cover tables with long tablecloths to build a colorful, textured base for your decorations. Table cloths do not have to be rented table linens; long lengths on fabric purchased from a craft store can be hemmed for a custom table covering. Unconventional fabrics make creative table cloths as well; rustic country wedding tables can be decorated with long pieces of burlap or unbleached cotton, while plastic table cloths at a beach or garden wedding can be upgraded when layered with swaths of ethereal tulle that billow in the breeze.
  2. Layer a runner over the center of the table to provide another level of visual interest. A runner is typically a narrow strip of fabric, roughly 6 to 8 inches smaller than the width of the table on both sides. You can layer one wedding color as the table cloth and the other as a runner, but unique materials can be spread down the center of the table as a creative runner alternative. Silk rose petals make a luscious runner when scattered down the center of a long table, while smooth, round river stones are elegant and sculptural additions to a long table at a mountain wedding. Seasonal touches are appropriate for weddings throughout the year.
  3. Accent your tablecloths and runners with flowers, candles and other romantic touches. Keep arrangements low to avoid blocking guests’ views of their table mates and the proceedings on the dance floor. Float blossoms or votive candles in shallow glass bowls filled with water for an inexpensive, elegant and guest-friendly centerpiece. Votive holders running the length of a long table fill the reception hall with light and are far easier for guests to see past than tall, ornate candelabras. If your wedding flowers incorporate tall blossoms like gladiolas, calla lilies and irises, ask your florist to design arrangements where the flowers can be laid on long tables instead of standing upright.
  4. Place centerpieces at regular intervals down the center of the table. For tables that seat eight, one medium-sized centerpiece in the center of the table is sufficient, but for tables that seat 10 or more, consider placing smaller centerpieces every three seats for a coherent look. Take a seat behind your centerpieces before the wedding begins to ensure that sight lines are not compromised by your arrangements, then adjust if necessary.

How to Make a Wedding Flower Arrangement for the Top of an Arbor

When planning a garden wedding, you want the setting to be as beautiful as possible. Wedding arbors provide a gorgeous centerpiece for outdoor weddings, as they give couples a unifying frame for their ceremony and photos. However, the effect can fall flat if the trellis isn’t garnished to suit the rest of the decor. Avoid this by adding a spectacular flower arrangement to the apex of the arch, wiring the flowers over the arbor to make it seem as though they are floating above you.

Instructions

  1. Select greenery to act as a base for your floral arrangement. If your wedding arbor is sizable, use greenery that will cover a large amount of space without looking fussy. Good options for this type of arbor are magnolia leaves and evergreen boughs. If you are using a small trellis, delicate greenery such as ivy is more appropriate.
  2. Measure the plateau of the arbor and arrange the greenery into a symmetrical spray slightly larger than the the measurement you took. Keep the cut edges of the branches in the center of the arrangement. The ends of the greenery should cascade naturally off the front and sides of the arch, so cut the boughs with this in mind. Wire the boughs together with the floral wire when you are happy with the greenery’s appearance, connecting all the branches to one another. Use as much wire as the spray needs to keep it secure, as it will be invisible on top of the arbor.
  3. Arrange the flowers into a spread on top of your greenery, keeping the blossoms facing out. To add height to the arrangement, wire a block of floral foam onto the greenery and stick the flower’s stems into the foam. Not only will this make the flowers more visible to your guests, but it will also allow you to create more shapes and layers with your arrangement. Secure the flowers and greenery together with the floral wire.
  4. Place the floral arrangement on top of the arbor and connect using heavy floral wire. Be thorough when attaching the two so the flowers do not blow away with the breeze. Spruce up the arrangement with versatile artificial flowers such as baby’s breath or wisteria to give it a fuller look.

How to Plan a Wedding on a Small Budget

When facing such scenarios as an ever-growing guest list, reserving a large enough venue and the price tag of a designer gown, at times it seems virtually impossible to plan a wedding on a small budget. In fact, according to a 2012 study by the Knot website, the average wedding in the United States costs approximately $27,000. Thankfully, couples can still take cost-cutting measures to keep from putting them in the red while simultaneously planning a wedding that fits their overall style.

Venues

  • The venue sets the tone for your wedding and its subsequent budget. Look for venues that match your style, of course, but when counting pennies, you should also consider sites that offer a host of inclusive perks, such as linens, tables and chairs. Remember, the more items you have to rent, the more costs start to add up. Search for locations that do not require a lot of decorations as well. Although you may long for a Saturday evening wedding in mid-July, many venues offer discounted rates for weddings held during the winter, on Friday or Sunday nights or on holidays.

Wedding Dress

  • Setting a strict budget will not necessarily keep you from buying your dream wedding dress. Brides may find discount deals on designer gowns on websites specializing in previously-worn wedding dresses. You can also search for dresses with significantly reduced price tags on auction sites. Add a vintage and personal touch to your wedding by wearing your mom or grandmother’s bridal gown. If you are determined to buy a new dress, keep an eye out for trunk shows — events at which designers bring a host of their gowns to local boutique shops. Often times, designers sell their dress at a discounted price at trunk shows.

Food

  • While sit-down five-course meals create an elegant setting, they can easily break the bank. Meet with caterers to discuss budget-friendly alternatives, such as an all-hors d’oeuvres or all-dessert buffet. Depending on the time of your ceremony, you may also consider a breakfast or lunch buffet, which usually costs less than dinner service. If you really have your heart set on dinner, talk to your friends and family about providing the food. You can buy the food in bulk at discount club stores and rent chafing and serving dishes from party rental businesses. Some couples with casual, backyard affairs will ask each guest to bring a dish.

Invitation and Favors

  • Do-it-yourself projects add a personal touch to any wedding and help save money in the process. Start by asking a design-gifted friend to help make your own invitations, or purchase an online template and print the invites at home. Make your way to discount or party stores in search of bulk items like candles and frames. Let the candles double as table decor and a take-home favor. Similarly, you can fill the frames with your guests’ names and use them not only as table settings but as personal wedding favors. Do not be shy in asking your friends, family or bridal party for help assembling these projects. In fact, you can turn the event into a casual craft party.

Flowers

  • Speak candidly to your florist regarding your budget. Save on costs by requesting flowers that will be in season during your wedding. You can also meet budgetary demands by renting vases from your florist instead of purchasing them. Just make certain you return the vases to your florist in the required time frame to avoid penalty fees. Some florists allow you to use your own vases as well. Look for unique and cost-efficient items like mason jars or tin pails found at discount stores. If you have the time and skills, arrange your own centerpieces. Many bulk warehouse stores sell flowers at a discounted rate for this very purpose.

Inexpensive Flowers for Weddings

Trying to throw a wedding on the cheap can be difficult, especially if you want a lot of flowers. Choosing inexpensive flowers is one way to cut costs. The easiest way to do this is to always choose flowers that are in season. That way your florist won’t have to have them shipped from another country, so the cost is cut dramatically. There are also some flowers that are inexpensive all year long.

Carnations

  • No matter what month your wedding is scheduled for, the carnation is an inexpensive flower choice. Carnations produce medium-sized blooms with several layers of petals. They come in a variety of shades, so your florist should be able to match the flowers with your wedding colors. If you want to use a more expensive flower for your bouquets, consider pairing them with some carnations to create a larger bouquet that costs less money.

Baby’s Breath

  • Baby’s breath is a common flower that is used as filler in wedding bouquets, centerpieces and other arrangements. This flower produces lots of small, white blooms on long stems. Use it in combination with another inexpensive wedding flower to create an attractive, but inexpensive, floral design. Baby’s breath is in season all year.

Chysanthemums

  • Although they are most commonly seen in the fall, chrysanthemums are actually in season year round. Most varieties produce blooms with lots of layers of petals, although the size and color depends on the variety you choose. Talk to your florist about color choices and whether you should go with a large or small chrysanthemum.

Stock

  • The stock plant produces small, colorful flowers that are often used as fillers in wedding bouquets and arrangements. The blooms look like small clusters of flowers on a single stem. Most have a yellow or green center. These flowers are available in many different colors, such as pink, yellow and white. They are also in season year round.

Peruvian Lilies

  • While lilies are often expensive wedding flowers, you can trick everyone into thinking you have lilies if you use the Peruvian lily, which is also known as the alstromeria. This flower produces lily-like flowers in white, pink, orange, purple and yellow shades, so it can suit many different wedding color schemes. These flowers are available and in season all year long.

How to Make Cheap Wedding Centerpieces Using Jars

You can use everyday jars to make cheap wedding centerpieces that are unique and beautiful if you follow these simple steps.

Instructions

  1. First, start collecting your jars and tell your friends and family to do the same. Your cheap wedding centerpieces will be unique and memorable if you use a variety of sizes, shapes, and heights, so save everything from mayonnaise jars to baby food jars! Glass is preferable as it looks nicer than plastic.
  2. Second, you’ll need to peel off the labels. Try a solution that’s half vinegar and half water, or purchase some product from your home improvement store – it’s usually very affordable. Spray it on the label, let it soak for several minutes, and then use a straight edge to peel off the glue.
  3. Third, you want to wrap the neck of the jar with some wide and festive ribbon or trim. Try your fabric supply store for the best choices. You want your cheap wedding centerpieces to look as professional as possible, so use ribbon that’s wide enough to cover the entire neck. Also, make sure that the length of the ribbon flows to the table.
  4. Fourth, you’ll need to fill the jars with chocolate kisses, colorful candies, or fresh flowers. Flowers are best to dress up cheap wedding centerpieces but they can be pricey, so consider using “filler” items such as baby’s breath, ferns, and other stems. If you use flowers, you should probably transport them to the reception area empty and then fill them with the water and flowers.
  5. Fifth, practice grouping your jars before your wedding. Play with the different heights and sizes to see what looks better, and make sure that you coordinate your flowers and greens between the jars so everything looks pulled together.

How to Make an Easy Wedding Cake

If you don’t have much time, have never made a wedding cake before and are operating on a limited budget, but you still want to create a beautiful wedding cake, you’ve come to the right place. Rather than tackle the high-rise, tiered wonders you’ve seen at weddings in the past, bake three 4-layer cakes and display them on cake plates with pedestals of staggered heights.

Instructions

  1. Bake 12 cakes. You need six boxes of white cake mix, since each box make two 9-inch round cakes. Each of the three cakes will have four layers. Coat each pan with one-step cake release before pouring the batter so you can easily remove the cake from the pan after it cools.
  2. Once the cakes have cooled to room temperature, remove them from the cake pans and move them to a cooling rack. Place the cakes on the cooling rack in the refrigerator to firm them for frosting.
  3. While the cakes are getting nice and cold, make a triple batch of homemade buttercream frosting. This simple, yet classic, frosting is perfect for wedding cakes. Look online if you don’t have a recipe. Homemade frosting makes the cakes taste delicious, and you have more control over the thickness and consistency of the frosting than with store-bought frosting.
  4. Remove the cakes from the refrigerator. Stack the cakes into three tall cakes of four layers each onto the cake plates. Spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting between each layer to “paste” them together. If the cakes are rounded on top rather than flat, use a large knife or cake leveler to trim the top off and make it flat. You should now have three tall cakes.
  5. Place the cakes in the refrigerator to allow them to harden again. This keeps them from slipping around when you spread the next layer of frosting.
  6. After the cakes have had a chance to firm up again, remove them from the refrigerator and apply the “crumb” layer of icing. Use a heavy hand with the frosting: this layer traps all the crumbs so you can apply a second smooth, even layer of frosting without disturbing the actual cake. Don’t worry about making it perfect. Return the cakes to the refrigerator. If you are in a hurry, place them to the freezer instead.
  7. Add the final layer of frosting to the chilled cakes before decorating them. This time, apply a thin layer of frosting, but be careful to make this layer very smooth. Use a large spatula and work slowly in a circle around the cake. While you are working on one cake, leave the other two in the refrigerator.
  8. Cut a piece of colored ribbon to the circumference of the cake and wrap it around the base of the cake, carefully pressing it into the frosting to keep it in place.
  9. Using an icing bag and decorative tip, pipe swirls of buttercream frosting around the whole cake above the ribbon.
  10. Add artificial flowers as an additional embellishment if desired. Display the three varied-height cake plates with completed cakes close to one another.

How to Make Floating Candle Centerpieces for a Wedding

Floating candle wedding centerpieces are simple to make, yet they can create a breathtaking scene when lit up on your reception tables. Candles are typically associated with romance, which makes them ideal for wedding decor. The candles provide low lighting and can create a romantic ambiance without costing you much time or money on your centerpieces. Take a few home to utilize in your home decor when the wedding is over to remind you of your special day, or give them to guests after the reception.

Instructions

  1. Choose your containers for the floating candles. Tall cylinder containers in varying heights are one option, or shallow bowls with wide openings are another. Taller centerpieces are typically more dramatic, though shallow centerpieces allow for easy conversation across the table and provide and intimate ambiance. Choose clear containers for the best results.
  2. Fill the bottom portion of the containers with decorative objects. Sink flowers or greenery and hold them in place with heavy stones, pebbles or sea glass. Sand and seashells are an option for a beach or beach-themed wedding. Rhinestones or faux jewels are another option that can sparkle and reflect the flickering candlelight.
  3. Add water. Fill the container with water, leaving enough room for the candles to float along the top of the water without being exposed. If the candle is higher than the edges of the container a slight breeze could blow out the flame. Color the water with a few drops of food coloring or colorful LED lights hidden in the decorative objects if you want colored water.
  4. Decorate around the main container with small votive candles or combine a few different cylinders or containers. Long tables can include a few of the floating candle centerpieces with an abundance of votive candles filling the gaps between the larger containers. Silk flower petals, seashells, pearls, beads, ivy or faux jewels and rhinestones can be sprinkled around the arrangements like confetti. Add mirrors under the candle arrangements for a dramatic look.

Flower Ideas for a Gold Wedding

Using the color gold at a wedding represents luxury and elegance. However, an excess of gold may appear gaudy and inappropriate. Instead of inundating your wedding with gold items, place the color in strategic places. For example, when held next to a white wedding gown, a gold wedding bouquet is sure to look brilliant. A variety of techniques can be used to create a gorgeous wedding bouquet for your gold wedding.

Flowers

  • Only one flower is naturally available in a true gold color, astrantia. The astrantia flower features an interesting shape that resembles a starburst. The bloom consists of bunches of tightly packed florets, which are held in place by an edge of petals. They have a casual, yet modern appearance and are relatively inexpensive. Astrantia blooms are slightly small with a light gold color.

    As an alternative to gold flowers, consider using yellow flowers. There are a wide variety of yellow flowers available, although you will likely want to choose blooms that most closely match your color scheme. Popular choices include daffodils, Gerbera daisies, calla lilies and roses. If there is a specific flower that you would like to use, that is not available in gold or yellow, consider using floral spray. Gold floral spray can be sprayed directly on fresh flowers, giving them a metallic gold color.

    Be careful not to overdo the gold color scheme. Instead of focusing entirely on gold, mix your gold or yellow flowers with white flowers; this should allow for an understated, yet elegant, gold wedding bouquet.

Accessories

  • A variety of gold accessories can be added to your wedding flowers to incorporate your gold theme into the bouquet, as demonstrated on Afloral’s Inspirational Bridal Boards. Curly sticks of gold Ting Ting can be easily added into your bouquet to provide color and sparkle. Ting Ting is a natural plant that has been preserved and dyed. Often covered in sparkly glitter, Ting Ting adds flair and interest to any floral arrangement. Add gold Ting Ting to a bouquet of white flowers for a simple and elegant gold bouquet. Additionally, wrap chic gold ribbon around the stems of your flowers to hold them together. Or, for added flair, wrap the stems in white or black ribbon, but secure the ribbon with a sparkly gold pin.

Considerations

  • Oftentimes, a wedding scheme will consist of two colors, rather than just one. If you are having a gold wedding, consider the second color on which you plan to focus. In many cases, gold is combined with white, black, dark brown, hunter green, navy blue or burgundy. These colors provide a subtle contrast to the color, while allowing the sparkle of gold to shine through. If you are using a second color for your wedding scheme, incorporate that color into your wedding flowers as well.

How to Get Starting in Wedding Photography

Wedding photography can be a lucrative and fun income but it’s not as easy as it seems. Even if you’re an experienced photographer, shooting weddings can be a challenge. But once you get the knack of it, photographing weddings can be a flexible way to earn extra cash in the competitive field of photography.

Instructions

  1. Market yourself. List yourself as a vendor on wedding sites like sandiegoweddings.com and create portfolio on your website that displays weddings you’ve photographed.
  2. Choose a small wedding until you really know what you’re doing or can hire assistants to help you. Smaller weddings with lower budgets don’t seem as glamorous but it’s often easier to manage the wedding party and thus easier to get those key shots (group photos, wedding kiss, posed couple shots).
  3. Every couple’s first question is “So, how many weddings have you done?” If this is your first wedding, you might consider doing it for free or for the cost of your expenses (mileage, film, etc.) until you build a stronger wedding portfolio.
  4. Get prepared. Ask your couple to provide a “shot list” or timeline of events like: cake cutting; bouquet toss; garter toss; first dance. Make sure to arrive early to take pictures of the bride as she is getting ready. Also, establish how many hours they will need you and discuss how you will deliver the photos. Will the couple have access to the photos online, via CD, a photo album with prints?

How to Shoot Wedding Photography on the Beach in Harsh Sun

Beach weddings, whether domestic or international, are a popular choice for couples who want to exchange vows surrounded by nature. Wedding photographs are meant to capture special moments from getting dressed to the ceremony to the reception. If a beach ceremony is held in the afternoon, the sun can “wash out” photographs through underexposure. A beach wedding photographer can save the pictures by being aware of the sun at all times and taking lots of shots from different angles.

Instructions

  1. Find the sun. The angle of sunlight is the most important part of beach photography. For the majority of shots the sun should be at an angle behind the photographer unless the photographer is shooting a silhouette shot. Then the sun should be behind the focal point.
  2. Turn on the fill flash. When taking portraits in harsh sunlight, there will often be shadows cast across people’s faces or the white of the wedding dress. Turning on the fill flash evens out the lighting.
  3. Use a polarizing filter. Polarizing filters filter out polarized light which reduces reflections and increases contrast. Harsh sunlight will be filtered into deep, rich colors rather than washing out the photograph in a haze of light.
  4. Shoot manually. The harsh sunlight of the beach will often lead to underexposure when shooting in Auto mode. Digital Photography School recommends checking what exposure at which the camera would automatically shoot and then overexposing it by a stop or two.

How to Change Wedding Plans

Planning a wedding involves making numerous detailed decisions and plans. Unfortunately, life happens and plans have to change on occasion. Perhaps a family or work emergency requires you to postpone your wedding date, or your venue suddenly goes out of business. Take action immediately if you have to change any wedding plans once you have spread the word about your big day, sent out your wedding invitations or committed to anything.

Instructions

  1. Secure another venue, vendor or wedding date, if applicable. If you’re postponing the wedding indefinitely, notify your family, friends and potential guests.
  2. Inform your wedding planner, officiant, bridal party and families of your changes right away if the changes affect them. Update your wedding website, if you have one, or call the people involved.
  3. Send postcards to inform guests of venue changes, such as if your ceremony or reception location have changed. The postcards should have some wording that make them stand out from the invitations so your guests know it’s important to pay attention to them. Let your guest know exactly what the change is, such as “We just wanted to inform you that the ceremony location has changed, but the reception location is the same” and list the details.
  4. Call each of your guests, starting with those who live out of town, if you are changing your wedding date or canceling the wedding altogether. Enlist the help of your parents and bridal party if your guest list is overwhelmingly long.
  5. Follow up your phone calls with new invitations, preferably with a different design, that list all the new details. Send new invitations that look different; they are more likely to draw attention.

Inexpensive Flowers for Weddings

Trying to throw a wedding on the cheap can be difficult, especially if you want a lot of flowers. Choosing inexpensive flowers is one way to cut costs. The easiest way to do this is to always choose flowers that are in season. That way your florist won’t have to have them shipped from another country, so the cost is cut dramatically. There are also some flowers that are inexpensive all year long.

Carnations

  • No matter what month your wedding is scheduled for, the carnation is an inexpensive flower choice. Carnations produce medium-sized blooms with several layers of petals. They come in a variety of shades, so your florist should be able to match the flowers with your wedding colors. If you want to use a more expensive flower for your bouquets, consider pairing them with some carnations to create a larger bouquet that costs less money.

Baby’s Breath

  • Baby’s breath is a common flower that is used as filler in wedding bouquets, centerpieces and other arrangements. This flower produces lots of small, white blooms on long stems. Use it in combination with another inexpensive wedding flower to create an attractive, but inexpensive, floral design. Baby’s breath is in season all year.

Chysanthemums

  • Although they are most commonly seen in the fall, chrysanthemums are actually in season year round. Most varieties produce blooms with lots of layers of petals, although the size and color depends on the variety you choose. Talk to your florist about color choices and whether you should go with a large or small chrysanthemum.

Stock

  • The stock plant produces small, colorful flowers that are often used as fillers in wedding bouquets and arrangements. The blooms look like small clusters of flowers on a single stem. Most have a yellow or green center. These flowers are available in many different colors, such as pink, yellow and white. They are also in season year round.

Peruvian Lilies

  • While lilies are often expensive wedding flowers, you can trick everyone into thinking you have lilies if you use the Peruvian lily, which is also known as the alstromeria. This flower produces lily-like flowers in white, pink, orange, purple and yellow shades, so it can suit many different wedding color schemes. These flowers are available and in season all year long.

How to Conduct a Wedding Cake Consultation

Before meeting with your client, you need to be prepared to assist with the decision-making process of the wedding planner or the bride and groom to be. A potential customer may have a general idea of what flavors and designs are liked or disliked, but it is up to you help her decide on a specific cake, filling and decoration that fits the theme of the wedding. Ensure the success of your consultation by bringing everything to the table to make the meeting productive.

Setup

  1. Being prepared is the name of the game when it comes to a wedding cake consultation. Prior to the meeting, have several different types of cake flavors and filling combinations ready for your client to taste. Make sure there are enough samples for the wedding planner, bride, groom or anyone else who is planning to attend.
  2. Put together a portfolio. Gather the photographs of past work you have done on wedding cakes. Place them in a binder for easy viewing. Organize the binder with basic offerings to more elaborate, custom designs.
  3. Make a list. Write a list of things your bakery can do to make the cake more special. Fresh flowers, gum paste creations or specialty memorabilia to add to a cake’s decor can help seal the deal for a client.
  4. Prepare refreshments and clear a meeting space. Once your client has made an appointment, make sure you have a quiet area to conduct your meeting, away from other customers and out of the kitchen. Make coffee or tea and have water available for the client to sip between tastings. Place a notepad with several pens on a table nearby for your client to make notes with.

Conducting the Meeting

  1. Introduce yourself. When the client and entourage first walk in the door, don’t assume they know who you are. Say your name, ask for theirs and show them where to sit. Offer them a beverage.
  2. Give a brief history. Talk a bit about your bakery and how long you have been creating wedding cakes. A few minutes covering the basics of your establishment helps your guest get an idea of who you are and what you can do.
  3. Ask about the date and time of the wedding. Make sure you have ample time and equipment to prepare and deliver the cake.
  4. Take notes. Set out the tastings, and let the clients try everything. Make notes about what was enjoyed and what was not appealing.
  5. Show them your portfolio. While you show them your portfolio, ask questions about the type of cake they are interested in. Discuss the differences between fondant, buttercream and ganache. If you have a specialty, tell them about it.
  6. Discuss and advise. If the client wants something you know will not look or taste good, tactfully advise her about what you believe might work best within the parameters of the her wedding decor.
  7. Talk about a backup plan. In the event that someone trips and falls into the cake or some other misfortune happens, find out what the client expects from you to fix it and what they plan to pay. A backup plan can save the wedding day and make your bakery look professional.
  8. Quote a price. If the clients like what you offer and have a solid design in mind, talk about prices. Find out how large you need to make the cake and discuss the time and effort that it will take to customize their design. Give clients a sheet of general prices for various sizes of cakes, or quote them a hard number they can plan around before they walk out of the door.

How to Plan a Wedding in 5 Months

The majority of wedding planning books and magazines will swear you need at least a year to plan a wedding. But you can plan a wonderful wedding in 5 months or less. Yes, you’ll have to act quickly. And if you’ve got your heart set on a princess affair complete with horse-drawn carriages and twittering bluebirds, you’ll probably have to tone things down a bit. Still, as long as you’re organized and keep a realistic outlook, you can have the wedding of your dreams 5 months from the day you said yes.

Instructions

  1. Start setting priorities with your fiance 5 months before the wedding. Discuss your visions for the event: how formal it will be, how many guests you want, the location, the music, the flowers, the food and, of course, the wedding date. Once these issues are settled, start looking for your wedding venue and dress. Ask potential bridesmaids and groomsmen if they will participate.
  2. Book your wedding venue 4 months before the wedding. Your guest list should be final. Send out save-the-date cards (emails are faster) so your guests don’t make other plans for that day. Keep scouting for your wedding dress. Start thinking about your ceremony: Who will your officiant be? Will you write your own vows? What rituals would you like to include? What kind of music will there be?
  3. Design and order your wedding invitations 3 months before the wedding. Decide how your event will be catered, and pick a menu (don’t forget about the cake). If you are having bridesmaids, choose their dresses, or tell them what you would like them to wear. Confirm your officiant. Pick a photographer/videographer.
  4. Contact your favorite florist 2 months before the wedding. Make sure the flowers you want will be in season and available from your florist. Create a wedding registry, and book the musicians that will be playing during the ceremony and reception (ask for a demo tape, or attend one of their performances). Address and mail your wedding invitations.
  5. Research your state and county’s marriage license requirements 1 month before the wedding. Fulfill all the criteria. Follow up with guests who have not responded to your invitation. Create a seating plan for the wedding dinner (if you’re having a sit-down dinner). Buy gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Decide upon and buy wedding favors. Start planning your honeymoon, and make sure your passport/visa is current. Pick up your rings, and go for that final dress fitting.
  6. Relax a week before the wedding: go to the spa, exercise and eat healthy. If you’re relaxed, you’ll be able to handle those last-minute minor crises that pop up, such as “Who is picking Grandpa up at the airport?” and “Why didn’t anyone tell me earlier that Clara’s husband was vegan?” Pick up your dress and your marriage license.

How to Find a Cheap Wedding Photographer

After all the confetti is swept up, your wedding dress is preserved and stored and you’ve sent out thank you notes, your memories and the wedding photos are all you’ll have left to remember one of the most important days in your life. While everyone wants quality photographs, budget considerations often take precedence. You don’t have to hire the most expensive photographer in town, however, to obtain photos that will make you smile each time you see them.

Instructions

  1. Look for a lesser known wedding photographer in your area. While the big names can afford to charge the most, a shutterbug who’s just getting started often charges more reasonable rates. Ask to review a portfolio to ensure that the photographer you hire does quality work.
  2. Shop around for a studio whose work you admire and book one of its associate photographers rather than the lead photographer. You can expect the studio’s stamp of quality without paying the huge price associated with the lead photographer.
  3. Compare apples to apples. While one photographer may charge less for her time, she may charge more when it comes to items like reprints, albums and frames. Obtain a price list from each of the photographers you are considering and determine an approximate total cost for each.
  4. Hire a student photographer. Contact your local college and ask the head of the photography program for recommendations of particularly talented students. Interview a couple, view their portfolios and select the one you prefer.

How to Become a Wedding Photographer

If you love taking pictures or are the person everyone hands the camera to at a wedding, consider a career as a wedding photographer. This is a fun and creative career that utilizes your photography skills. Since no two weddings are exactly alike, being a wedding photographer isn’t just another day at the office. Say “I do” to an exciting career and become a wedding photographer.

Instructions

  1. Take courses at a photography school. Check for a photography school near you at the Photography Schools website (see Resources below). Become an expert. The wedding day is no place to learn your craft; your clients expect a professional photographer on their special day.
  2. Develop your photographic vision. Take a fresh approach, and separate yourself from other wedding photographers. Stand out and people will remember–and most likely utilize–your services.
  3. Participate in wedding photography competitions. This is a chance for peers to evaluate your work and gives you the chance to see the work of others in your field, which helps develop your craft.
  4. Concentrate on the details and emotions on the wedding day. Wedding photographers don’t just take pictures of the event–they capture the feelings and special touches of each wedding.
  5. Focus on the business side of wedding photography as well. It’s not just about taking pictures and capturing moods. Enroll in business courses and seminars. Figure costs for each job, and make sure you turn profits.

Wedding Centerpiece Ideas With Orchids

Orchids, those once-rare, exotic and fragile blooms, are tougher than they look. The colorful petals and graceful stalks hold up well without wilting, and they lend themselves to a variety of wedding colors and centerpiece configurations. Even a few orchids, mixed with less expensive flowers, add an elegant touch to reception decor. Feature them, in inventive ways, as the stars of your wedding centerpieces.

Wedding-Friendly Choices

  • Some of the most suitable blooms for wedding centerpieces are also the most widely available orchids. According to American University, there are more than 25,000 different species of orchids and about 60,000 types of known orchid hybrids. Commercial growers focus on the ones most likely to sell, which has the happy side effect of lowering the cost for those orchids. “Bridal Guide” says the three most popular wedding choices are the wide-blooming “moth” orchid, or phalaenopsis, usually white; the dendrobium, which features smaller blooms clustered on stalks; and cymbidium, with its contrasting colorful throat.

Air Plants

  • Orchids are epiphytes — they draw their sustenance from the air around them. So lift the reception centerpieces high — high enough so they don’t interfere with guests’ sightlines for table conversation — and create tall, flowing pedestals of flowers in their natural element, like a waterfall of blossoms. A 2-foot tall or higher silver or crystal flute might hold a pastel explosion of hydrangeas, roses and orchids. Phalaenopsis can be trained to trail as can several types of vanda orchid hybrids. The full, rounded top of the tall display, with its varied and fragrant flowers, should spill over in trailing strands of orchids that reach halfway to the tablecloth.

Wide and Wild

  • The phalaenopsis is a regular guest at the wedding. The wide wings of the open flowers look like a giant moth in flight, so the plant acquired its popular name from its appearance. Moth orchids are showy and substantial enough for the medium-height centerpieces that are the focal points of buffet tables, sign-in tables, and some head tables that seat the bridal party. A curving strand of phalaenopsis is a spare and elegant contemporary counter to traditional flowers such as roses, stephanotis, peonies and hydrangeas. One or more stalks of creamy white blossoms can rise up from a crowded bowl or urn of mixed flowers. Individual moth orchids may be wired to low silver- or white-painted forked branches like an eclipse of moths momentarily alight.

Ground Cover

  • Keep the centerpieces on the bistro-size guest tables low to encourage conversation and remain visible in the midst of buffet snacking and table-hopping. A serene wood or copper-clad platform, mounded with tiny balls of florists’ moss, has room for a few swirling grapevine strands stuck into the moss and one or two orchids nestled low in the centerpiece. Go for color, especially if your wedding is a vibrant fall or traditional holiday affair. Tangerine and sunset-orange cattleyas are startling against the green moss, reddish-brown platform and brown curling vine. A low round glass bowl with one lady slipper, moth orchid or cattleya floating in it is anchored by clear glass pebbles in the water that reflect candlelight. The flickers of light glimmer over the gently moving orchid.

How to Plan a Catholic Destination Wedding

It’s not surprising why so many couples opt for a destination wedding nowadays. Romance. Adventure. Exotic locales. But what about couples who want both a Catholic ceremony and a destination wedding?
Planning a Catholic destination wedding may seem like a tough endeavor, but it’s much easier than it sounds. With careful planning and organization, a couple can have the Catholic destination wedding of their dreams.

Instructions

  1. Choose a wedding date and location. Decide with your fiance when and where you would like to get married. If possible, give yourself at least 9 months to book the flight and travel accommodations, speak with your priest, and to complete the premarital preparation course required by the Roman Catholic Church. You should also take into consideration the budgets of your wedding guests. If you choose a far-off wedding location on the other side of the world, then some of your guests may not be able to attend your wedding.
  2. Check local marriage laws in your wedding location. Contact the embassy or tourism bureau to see what requirements you must meet to get married legally. You will need to bring your passport and you may need to show your birth certificate and any court divorce decrees (if applicable). In some countries, you must apply for a marriage license in person or meet a residency requirement. Make sure to arrive at your wedding destination a couple days early to complete any necessary paperwork and procedures.
  3. Make an appointment with your local priest. Tell your priest about your plans for a destination wedding, and have him arrange for you and your fiance to attend your parish’s required premarital course. Fill out the necessary paperwork the priest will provide you.Once the paperwork is approved, your priest must send the documents to his Chancery office. Then, the Chancery must forward the papers to the office of canonical affairs in your wedding location. The paperwork should arrive at the proper office at least 3 months before your wedding date.
  4. Contact a priest who resides in your wedding location. Locate a priest in your wedding destination who can officiate your wedding ceremony. Search for Catholic churches on the Internet, or ask your local priest if he has the contact information for priests in your wedding location. The priest will help you select your ceremony structure and choice of readings.
  5. Book a flight and secure travel accommodations. Check on travel sites like Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia to find the best deals. You should try to find a hotel that has enough room to accommodate your family, wedding party and other guests.
  6. Send out save-the-date cards. Once you have a set date and location for your wedding, send out save-the-date cards to your guests. These cards are especially important for destination weddings, since guests will have to book a flight and hotel to attend your big day.
  7. Attend the premarital preparation course with your fiance. Class lengths vary from parish to parish, but you will need to complete the course before you can marry in a Catholic church.
  8. Plan your ceremony and reception. Research and hire a caterer, florist, ceremony musicians and DJ or band. Choose your wedding party and finalize your wedding invitations. You may want to hire a wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings to help you make all of your arrangements.
  9. Have a fabulous destination wedding!

Salary for Wedding Cake Decorators

The salary of the wedding cake decorator is based upon many factors, including the experience of the decorator, the location of the bakery and the design of the cake. Wedding cake decorators may or may not have formal training in the art of cake design and decorating. Wedding cake design is an art, blending culinary skills with engineering. Wedding cakes are not just two or three layers of white cake and frosting, but a unique display of flavors and color.

Training

  • Wedding cake decorators train as bakers and pastry chefs, either in culinary school or on the job. Many grocery store bakeries pay their employees by the hour, and the pay scale ranges from minimum wage to a national average of more than $13 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary in a professional bakery is more than $11 per hour. The salaries vary based upon time on the job and experience.

Location

  • The salary for wedding cake decorators is also influenced by where the bakery is located. Larger cities, such as Atlanta, Georgia, or Dallas, Texas, offer yearly salaries of over $24,000. Some private wedding cake decorators work for catering companies and wedding planners. These private artisans develop combinations of fillings and cake flavors to create a personalized dessert experience instead of just a cake. The cake decorators may also be known as pastry chefs and create the bachelor cake, as well as smaller pastries for the reception. A pastry chef in New York City may earn as much as $64,000 a year.

Experience

  • The beginning cake decorator earns between $18,000 and $34,000 per year. As the decorator gains experience, the salary increases. The average salary of a decorator with 10 to 19 years experience is between $26,000 to $42,000 annually. Experience includes working with customers and learning about their likes and dislikes. The wedding cake decorator also learns how to create the wedding cake to match the theme of the wedding. A cake decorator with 20 years experience or more can expect an annual income of between $27,000 and $40,000.

Design

  • Larger cakes are more expensive than smaller and the simpler designs are also less expensive. A wedding cake decorator may take two months or more to create a wedding cake design. The more intricate the design, the more expensive the cake. A wedding cake decorator may charge accordingly for the cake. Generally, the cake is priced per piece, and the cost increases with the type of frosting, filling and decorations. The expense of the cake may run into the thousands, with the decorator receiving a portion of the cost.

Luxury Transportation for Your Wedding Day Is a Must

When you are planning your wedding day, there is no doubt that you are going to want to have everything just perfect. After all, this is a day that happens once in a lifetime! There are a lot of details to be taken care of in the time leading up to your nuptials, and one of them is transportation for you and your wedding party in the day you get married.

Hire a Trusted Limo Company

One of the best ways to assure that you and your wedding party get to your celebrations on time is by using the best wedding limousine hire available. Not only will you be driven to your venues by a friendly, skilled and insured professional driver to get you to your destinations in style. They should have a selection of different cars and vehicles to suit wedding parties of all sizes. This means they can accommodate your travel needs whether you have an intimate wedding ceremony with only a couple select people in your wedding party, or you have an extravaganza with a large wedding party.

Entertainment on Board

While you are being transported to and from your wedding venues, including your reception hall and wedding photo locations, having entertainment on board makes all the difference. These days, hired limos come equipped with surround sound stereos with preloaded pop music and videos to keep you and your wedding party entertained along the way. Other features onboard include fibre-optic and laser lighting so you have the experience of your lifetime. Depending on the style of limo that you hire, it might also come with a dance floor so that you can party and have fun while you are being transported around town. Some limo hire companies may offer special packages for newlyweds that include chilled champagne on board, complimentary soft drinks and water for everyone on board, white satin ribbon trim and wheel covers, so everyone notices you as you drive by. Do not forget to bring your still and video cameras to capture all the special moments that you are about to have while enjoying your special day in a luxury limo. This will be a time you do not want to forget!

Book Early

In order to assure that the limo that you want to hire is available on your wedding day, it is always a good idea to book your hire as soon as possible. This gives you the ability to choose the style, colour and model of limo that you prefer. Since limousines are always in high demand, especially during the warmer months of the year, a booking reservation is the only way to assure that you have a car for your special day at the times when you need it. In some cases, you might even be able to get a slight discount for booking far ahead of time or for reserving it for an entire day, instead of just needing it for a few hours.

 

How to Plan a Marine Wedding

Marine weddings can be an ideal way to display your mutual commitment to the armed services and your future spouse. Additionally, If you or your future spouse is part of the military currently or you have retired from the military, the marine wedding allows you to invite other officers in your unit and demonstrate your respect for marine traditions. However, many marine traditions exist regarding the invitations, ceremony and reception. Familiarize yourself with the protocol before you have your marine wedding.

Instructions

  1. Ask your commanding officer for permission to marry. In many cases this may not be necessary, but it is a sign of respect. If you will be having your wedding on base, you should also ask for permission to use the area for your wedding as well as any restrictions on the use of the grounds.
  2. Talk to a military chaplain about your interest in having a marine wedding. Retain his services. Military chaplains do not charge a fee for their services.
  3. Decide upon your ceremony location. You can book the military chapel on your base or have your ceremony at another church or chapel. Be sure to ask if the chaplain can perform your service if desired. Ask permission to include marine traditions such as the arch of swords. Discuss any limitations on photography or music. Many churches will limit the type of music you can play during your wedding ceremony. You will usually need to restrict your photographer from clicking during somber moments in the ceremony. The emphasis should be on the religious ceremony, rather than on the marine traditions.
  4. Decide upon a reception location. You can opt for a military affiliated location, such as a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) building or on a typical civilian reception location. Reserve the reception location as far in advance as possible.
  5. Order your invitations. Include the rank and marine service of the groom and bride if applicable when referring to them. Mention the type of dress that you will be having on the invitation or in an enclosure inside the invitation. For example, state whether it will be a formal black tie event or white tie event. Begin addressing your invitations. The ranking of each military personnel should be included on the invitation. Include an invitation for the reception to the military chaplain and his spouse.
  6. Arrange for your bridal party to wear appropriate clothing depending on the time and formality of your wedding. The bride, groom and other members of the bridal party usually wear their uniforms, although the bride may opt for a wedding dress even if she is a marine as well. White or blue uniforms are worn if the wedding is very formal like a white tie affair. Ask the bridal party to dress in dinner uniform for a black tie event. Ask your bridal party to dress in whites or blues for an informal wedding. Other wedding guests not in the bridal party may wear their uniforms as well.
  7. Order your wedding flowers from a local florist. Do not order boutonnieres with your wedding flower order because they are not permitted to be worn on marine uniforms.
  8. Arrange for an arch of swords recessional. In this tradition several officers place their swords in a row in an upside-down V shape. The bride and groom pass underneath. It is also customary that the last marine tap the bride with the sword after she passes through to welcome her to the marine corps. Ask members of your bridal party to complete this tradition if they are officers. Otherwise, other guests who are officers can be asked ahead of time to complete this tradition. Ask your chaplain or honor guard to reserve the use of the swords.
  9. Order your wedding cake. Become familiar with the tradition of the groom slicing the first piece of cake with his sword and feeding the cake to the bride. The bride will then place her hand on the sword as the groom places his hand over hers to cut the piece of cake for the groom. She then feeds him the cake in return.
  10. Inform your ushers of specific seating arrangements during the ceremony and reception. The bride and groom’s commanding officers should be seated as near to the couple as possible. Other officers should be seated immediately behind the families’ seating. You should also make sure that officers are shown to their reception seats before the civilian guests.

Why it Pays to Ride in Style

Most people assume that just about anything can get you where you want to go and it doesn’t matter what you chose to get you there. In other words, the ride you choose doesn’t matter. Some might go as far as to say that the ride doesn’t matter when the vehicle you choose is a very cheap one, too. Sure, you may have managed to skate by with an inferior service in the past, but eventually, it will catch up to you.

It’s very common in times of desperation to choose the easiest and most affordable option, and while this is a popular choice for some people, it’s not always advisable. In the long run, choices such as these will only do more harm, that’s why it’s very important to consider options that are not only affordable but also of great quality. One of the best ways to get a balance of value and quality is by choosing a high-grade limo service.

Most people assume that limo services are only for the rich and exclusively luxury rides, but thanks to affordable limo options, it’s never been easier to ride limousines to get where you want to go without breaking the bank.

Get Where You Want

Unlike other options, limo drivers are able to take you directly to where you’re trying too without much trouble at all. Rather than spending minutes chit-chatting and wasting time, a limo driver will curtly take you on your way without drama or any time-wasting. This is especially important for those of you that are business professionals or people with very busy schedules. A limo hire in Perth is easy to schedule, and it will help you get where you need to be without interfering with your schedule. The fact of the matter is that these people don’t have time to waste, and being swift and professional only aids in ensuring that you get where you need to be without making a huge spectacle out of everything.

Drivers You Can Trust

Unlike other driving services like cabs & shuttles, they cannot tell you how their drivers perform. Sure you could try asking, but good luck getting an honest answer. Unlike shadier driving services or online applications, you can find out exactly who’s driving you and you get can a personalized review of the driver’s performance as well their ability as a driver. This is very important keep in mind when choosing a private limo service because you’re not just paying for the ride from point A to point B; you’re paying for an experience. Hands down, no other service is going to give you a better driving experience a limo service. If you’re still sceptical, try a limo hire in Perth and then decide from there on out whether it’s a good option or not.

If you’re still unsure as far as what service to choose from specifically, most limo services offer specific information regarding what they provide to clients. Aside from that, you can even see reviews and hear actual customer testimonials. That will allow you to plan out in advance how much you should expect to pay when the time comes to pay for your services. There’s no doubt that you’ll finally find what you’re looking for with one of these limousine services. Check out www.Bellagiolimousines.com.au for the best limo services on the market.

 

How to Make Wedding Centerpieces With Branches

For a nature-inspired wedding, the right centerpieces will really help you create a one-of-a-kind, lovely space. Consider using branches, either real or synthetic, to make unique centerpieces to adorn the tables in your reception area. These branches are considerably more affordable than other floral arrangements, and they create a very earthy, earth-friendly look.

Instructions

  1. Choose branches that will fit with your wedding design scheme. You can arrange bare branches to look like trees in the center of your table, decorated with items to enhance your wedding theme. Or, you can choose branches with colorful flowers that match your color scheme.
  2. Consider painting your branches. You may choose to leave your branches looking as natural as possible, or you can add polyurethane or even paint that match your wedding color scheme. Paints and varnishes will give your branches a more polished look.
  3. Arrange your branches according to your desired fullness. For a sparser look, you can trim branches to make them look thinner. Or, you can cluster your branches to look fuller. Trim as needed with pruning shears.
  4. Attach your branches to a piece of floral foam. This foam will be the base of your centerpiece. Push your branches into the piece of foam. For extra stability, add hot glue around the base to better hold your branches in place. Cover your base with paper, leaves, fabric or any other desired material to make your centerpiece look complete.
  5. Consider arranging your branches in a glass dish. If you don’t want to use floral foam for your centerpiece, you can create a lovely centerpiece effect by simply placing your branches inside a large glass vase or candy dish. Branches with colorful blooms work best for this look.
  6. Add any desired decorative items to your branches. You can add tea lights placed inside delicate candleholders hanging from the branches. Or, you can add beads, moss or other decorative items. Consider making birds or flowers out of paper or fabric scraps and placing atop the branches. Hang ornaments or table numbers from the branches to help your guests find their seats.

How to Charge for Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is a profitable business for an individual because weddings take up only one day from a time standpoint, and generally have a higher profit than in-studio portrait work. It also holds great responsibility, because the photographer gets no other time to make up for any bad portraits or mistakes. People breaking into this side of the business need to keep their pricing competitive, but still based on their experience and several other factors.

Instructions

  1. Compare local competitors’ pricing and industry pricing. Look online at area photographers who do wedding photography. Write down their prices and their conditions. Ideally, you’ll need to find at least three other photographers to compare. If possible, those photographers should have a wide range of experience. More experienced photographers will be able to charge more for their services because of reputation. Also check online for photographers in different geographic areas that are similar to your own area.
  2. Determine what you can offer and devise several wedding packages that include a set number of poses, portrait prints and proofs. Include a budget package along with moderate and deluxe packages. Also include the amount of time you can devote to that day and costs for extra time. Most photographers stay for the entire ceremony and part — if not all — of the reception. Create your fee policy, including the percentage you’ll want as a deposit.
  3. Determine how much the cost of film processing will be (if film is used instead of digital) and any transportation costs you will incur. If doing any edits to digital photos taken, factor in the time in hours it will take. Also include how much you’d like to charge per hour of your time. Multiply the time taken for edits by the cost per hour you’ll charge. Alternatively you can charge by the printed sheet instead of an hourly rate. A sheet generally is one 8-by-10 portrait, two 5-by-7 portraits or eight wallet-sized photos. If you will provide keepsake albums, and many photographers do not, factor the cost and preparation of those into the figure as that by the profit margin percentage you’d like to make.
  4. Add all costs together and multiply by the profit margin percentage you’d like to make. Check your competitors’ prices for similar packages. Tweak this pricing by raising or lowering it until it is competitive with other photographers in the area. Inexperienced photographers should charge less than experienced ones, but still be competitive to make sure possible clients don’t doubt the quality of the newer photographer’s work.

The Average Cost of a Photographer for a Wedding

The cost of a wedding photographer will vary greatly depending on the skill of your photographer, how long you want him to stay and the prints or albums you want to order. The location and date of your wedding will also have an impact on the price of photography; summer weddings are more expensive because photographers are busier, and some regions or cities will also be more expensive.
PackageThe most important factor in the price of your wedding photographer is the package you choose. In general, average costs for wedding photography run from $1,500 to $3,000, but very basic packages often cost less. Ask your photographer what his most basic option includes, but expect lower-cost packages to include proofs or images on a CD rather than prints or albums. For more expensive packages, expect more hours of coverage, more photographers and more prints.

LocationPhotographers set their prices based on the cost of similar services in the area. In small towns where there are fewer photographers, it’s common for prices to be fairly uniform and fixed. In bigger cities you will find more variety in skill and price, from budget options to luxury packages. If you are planning a destination wedding you will also need to pay for the photographer’s transportation to the ceremony, unless you plan to hire a local photographer at your destination.

DatePhotographers often lower their prices in the off-season, especially if wedding photography is their specialty. If you are planning a fall, winter or spring wedding, ask about discounts for off-season business. Some photographers also offer discounts for weekday weddings, when there is less demand.

ExperienceAnother important factor in the price of your photographer is their level of expertise. Newer, less experienced photographers may charge under $1,000, but their work can lack consistency and sophistication. Luxury photographers will be more experienced, and may bring a team of people to shoot your wedding, but can cost $5,000 to $10,000.

Add-OnsAdditional time, prints, and effects can all add to the cost of your wedding photos. Some photographers offer add-ons to your photos like sepia tones, multiple exposures or special effects. Others will re-touch your photos for an additional price, or include an engagement photo session. Costs for these extras will vary by photographer; more expensive packages will probably include some of these services in their base price.

 

How to Find a Wedding Cake at the Last Minute

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4135/4783137170_d33d7abc74.jpgThe ins and outs of the wedding industry can be difficult to negotiate, especially on a limited schedule. Unless the bride and groom have a raging sweet tooth finding a wedding cake often falls to the bottom of the list of priorities. Unfortunately, bakeries often have stringent requirements regarding wedding cake orders. With a little creative planning, however, you can usually find a wonderful cake in record time.

Instructions

  1. If you go to a bakery that specializes in wedding and specialty cakes it’s most important to drop the word wedding from all negotiations. Many bakeries want people to place wedding cake orders months in advance. If you say that the cake is for an anniversary celebration or a similar party you can get a similar style and quality cake in a fraction of the time. This will also bring your price down. For example, many wedding cakes are $5 a slice. You can easily find a cake that feeds 100 guests for under $200 if you do not specify it is for a wedding.
  2. Getting a single tier cake. They take less time and bakers are more open to taking orders for them last minute.
  3. Check out the bakery section of upscale supermarkets. You can find a perfectly good cake and add some extra decorations or fresh cut flowers.
  4. If you get desperate call around to bakeries to see if they have a leftover wedding cake stored in their freezer. Make sure you do this at least 4-5 days in advance to allow you time to locate the cake and give it time to thaw.
  5. Worse comes to worse, forget the cake. Not all of the guests eat wedding cake anyway. Cupcakes, brownies and sorbet have become increasingly popular wedding deserts.

How to Shoot Wedding Photography on the Beach in Harsh Sun

Beach weddings, whether domestic or international, are a popular choice for couples who want to exchange vows surrounded by nature. Wedding photographs are meant to capture special moments from getting dressed to the ceremony to the reception. If a beach ceremony is held in the afternoon, the sun can “wash out” photographs through underexposure. A beach wedding photographer can save the pictures by being aware of the sun at all times and taking lots of shots from different angles.

Instructions

  1. Find the sun. The angle of sunlight is the most important part of beach photography. For the majority of shots the sun should be at an angle behind the photographer unless the photographer is shooting a silhouette shot. Then the sun should be behind the focal point.
  2. Turn on the fill flash. When taking portraits in harsh sunlight, there will often be shadows cast across people’s faces or the white of the wedding dress. Turning on the fill flash evens out the lighting.
  3. Use a polarizing filter. Polarizing filters filter out polarized light which reduces reflections and increases contrast. Harsh sunlight will be filtered into deep, rich colors rather than washing out the photograph in a haze of light.
  4. Shoot manually. The harsh sunlight of the beach will often lead to underexposure when shooting in Auto mode. Digital Photography School recommends checking what exposure at which the camera would automatically shoot and then overexposing it by a stop or two.

Dessert Bar vs. Wedding Cake

Planning a wedding means making a lot of decisions, but once the gown is picked out, the venue booked and the couple is ready, there is the issue of the food. Traditional wedding cakes are both beautiful and practical: they feed guests. A dessert bar can do the same thing, only instead of a single cake, wedding guests have a choice of treats. Each has its pros and cons.

Cost

  • Price might be the deciding factor for most couples. According to CNN, couples spent an average of $560 on their wedding cakes in 2012. This average, of course, can vary depending on where you live. A couple in a busy metropolitan areas is likely to spend more on a wedding cake than a couple in a more rural area. A dessert bar’s cost can vary depending on the desserts you choose. Plated desserts at a buffet could cost up to $15 per plate, while a self-serve dessert bar can go as low as a few dollars per guest. Dessert and catering prices averaged $63 per person in 2012, but menu items certainly impact how much you’ll spend. Even a buffet at $5 per person adds up quickly when you have more than 100 guests.

Selection

  • A wedding cake provides limited choices. You can select different cake, filling and frosting combinations for each tier, but some wedding cake designers and bakeries charge extra for this. In addition, you’ll be limited on fillings and cake flavors based on the season. For example, a cream filling could not be used for an outdoor wedding in summer due to spoilage risks. Dessert buffets can give your guests more selection and can range from an all-chocolate bar to candy buffet to a full dessert assortment or ice cream station. You will be limited by the dessert items the caterer or venue offers in its dessert buffet menu.

DIY

  • If you’re a do-it-yourself-type, you might save more time and money with a dessert buffet. This is because you, friends and family can buy or make desserts, such as puffed rice treats, cookies, brownies and cupcakes. This helps save on the cost of a professionally catered dessert buffet. While you can also make a wedding cake at home, it requires experience and skill, especially if you’re creating a multi-tiered cake. Making the items for a dessert bar may take a few hours, while a wedding cake usually takes several days to make.

Alternatives

  • If you can’t decide, there’s always the option of both. To save on costs, consider using a faux wedding cake — a set of foam tiers that look and are decorated like a wedding cake. The top tier can be real or fake. Serve guests sheet cakes so they still get some cake. A simple dessert buffet can be used to supplement the cake. Or, create a tower of cupcakes instead of a wedding cake to have the grand look of a wedding cake, but at a lower cost.

Best Wedding Limo Hire St Albans

wedding limo

It was an amazing feeling to witness someone close to me getting hitched, but the fact that it was none other than my younger sister who has been the family’s sweetheart, was even better. So here I was the elder sister along with our mother and a few cousins working almost all day to get everything right. I was allotted the task of looking for the best limo hire Hemel Hempstead. We had figured that having a limo to make the grand entry would add a perfect touch to the occasion while even being a little surprise for my sister.

I had travelled in a limo on a few occasions before but hadn’t ever hired one myself, so I was aware of the kind of luxury and royalty that the premium automobile offered. However, the model was not the only thing to look for. From the service to the interiors, everything had to be perfect. After all, this was a wedding and the pressure of keeping on schedule as well as managing everyone properly was high.

Without further ado, I got down to looking for the perfect limo hire St Albans or Hempstead. The vows were going to be taken in a church while the ceremony was to be held at a premium banquet, so finding a providing service could prove quite tricky. I shortlisted a handful of car rental services after looking through them online. However, one hire company caught my attention for the experience and undoubtedly the best range of cars they had. From a stretched hummer to a stretched Chrysler, the fleet was impressive. My heart especially melted at the site of the sleek and stunning Chrysler 300c limousine.

The car was a dazzler with a glossy silver finish. The pictures of its interiors were no less than stunning. Armed with all the information I needed, I quickly got down to looking at its capacity and amenities inside. We were supposed to transport a wedding party of 13 and had a set schedule, so I got in touch with the service and the customer support they provided was awesome right from the word go. The representative patiently listened to my needs and the schedule details and I could tell he genuinely wanted to provide me the best service. Thankfully they had the package that was perfect for weddings. The representative told me about their flexible hourly rates as well as day charges and recommended me to go for full day package, as weddings never follow a set schedule.

I am positive that I chose the best limo hire Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hemstead has to offer. The chauffeur coordinated with us very well and got us to our destination on time. He had come well prepared and offered a truly lavish service. From navigating and pre deciding the right routes to get to the venue early, to his friendly demeanour. Everything was just perfect. My sister was very flustered and visibly excited when she realised she was really going to have her grand entry to her wedding in a sleek beast of a vehicle. Everything went better than imagined and, from the bottom of my heart, I would recommend this limo service to everyone.

Contact
Absolute Style Limousines
786 St Albans Road
WD25 9FH, United Kingdom
01923 672676
info@aslhire.com

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How to Start a Photography & Videography Business

If you are a creative individual, having a good deal of business sense can help you become an entrepreneur. Owning a photography and videography business gives you creative control over your work. You don't need to answer to anyone else; you are in charge of finding and keeping clients. Talent is important to starting a photography and videography business. All the business sense in the world cannot improve the innate talent and technical skills that you have. Knowing that your skills are on a professional level is a hint that you are ready to begin your photography and videography business.

Instructions

  1. Buy or rent professional equipment that provides quality results. The videography equipment you need might include an external microphone and lighting equipment. You should also look into buying editing software, including Final Cut Pro, Avid or Adobe Premiere. While any high definition camera might be OK, major productions may call for familiarity using a Red One camera. The Red One is a 10-pound camera with a 35mm lens mount that provides 4K, which means quality resolution. Major productions have been shot on the Red One, including director Peter Jackson's film “The Lovely Bones.” Another camera that might be a good deal includes the Canon 5D, which has clear definition for photos and movies. It has 1080p recording abilities. Your photography equipment should include a professional camera and lighting equipment. You also need photo-editing software such as Photoshop. Using the lens that comes with the camera is not acceptable for professional shoots. You do not have to buy a $1,000 lens; you can typically rent them as needed.
  2. Build a portfolio of the work that you and your company have completed. If you have a partner, use his videography work with yours to edit together a company reel. Do a few photo and video shoots for cheap if you are starting out. Getting your name out there is important; people hire you if you seem experienced. A bigger, higher quality portfolio typically correlates to a higher demand for your work.
  3. Market your business. Having a website and business e-mail address is important. It allows people to see that you are a professional contact. Put links to your reel and Internet Movie Database account on it. Also, getting an advertisement in a local magazine might bring in clients who otherwise would not have found you. Keep a record of people who contact you and are seriously interested in hiring you. E-mail them and update them occasionally about major awards you win or large jobs you complete.
  4. Network with ad agencies and any small business that might need a professional photo or video shoot. Perhaps offer to do entry level work for them as a photo assistant or production assistant. If they like you, show them your portfolio. You can also join The Ad Club to socialize with advertising professionals. Getting your name out there to professional clients is important. Individuals might hire you for single-day projects, including weddings and births. They may hire you again, although work from individuals may be scarce. Connecting with professional clients may bring in regular work if an ad agency or a small business needs commercials or print ads. Make sure that what they expect and need is clear before beginning any work. You want to keep a good reputation by delivering what people want.

How to Make a Manzanita Tree Wedding Centerpiece

Manzanita branches are a versatile and elegant alternative for wedding reception table centerpieces with their many twisty yet sturdy thin branches that come in several colors. Their shape is compact yet open, making them ideal for displaying small objects, such as photos, or being left bare. Manzanita branches also are ideal as centerpieces because they will not block the view of guests seated at the table and can be decorated to suit any wedding theme or style.

Instructions

  1. Cut the manzanita branches to the height you’d like the centerpieces; generally 18 to 24 inches will be ideal. Select a vase shape and size that will support the branch and anything that will be hung from it. One manzanita branch and one vase will be needed for each table.
  2. Fill the vase with gel beads and water according to the package instructions. Place the manzanita branch in the vase. Make sure the branch is secure. If it is not secure, add more beads or use a larger vase.
  3. Determine the number of photo frames to be hung from each branch. Insert photos of the bride and groom into the miniature photo frames. For each frame cut a three-inch length of satin ribbon. Make a loop and tie or attach the ribbon to the back of the frame with hot glue.
  4. Embellish the centerpiece. Spray paint the manzanita branches silver, gold or white or weave battery-operated strings of lights on to the branches.
  5. Hang the picture frames from the manzanita branches. Make sure the branch can support the weight of the frame.

The Best Cameras for Wedding Photography

You never get a second chance to shoot a couple’s big day. This is why camera quality matters. For weddings, consider single reflex lens (SLR) cameras that will allow you to change lenses. Your camera choice should also deliver exceptional picture quality and shoot quality photographs in low-light areas.

Canon EOS 7D

  • The Canon 7D features a rugged body and a cropped sensor. Its magnesium-alloy body enhances its resistance to different types of weather. Canon equipped the EOS 7D with an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor. This camera has an ISO range from 100 to 6400, a range that expands the camera’s sensitivity to light. The Canon EOS 7D offers an option to expand the ISO to 12,800. As of January 2011, Canon’s EOS 7D retails around $1,699 for the body.

Nikon D300S

  • As of January 2011, the D300S body is available for $1,699. Nikon’s D300S has a 12.3 megapixel cropped sensor. The Nikon D300S features an ISO range from 200 to 3200 with expandable settings of 100 and 6400. The D300S also offers dual media slots, allowing you to use CompactFlash and SD/SDHC cards. Both cards can be used to expand memory. Alternatively, one card can be used for the main pictures while the other card can be used as a backup. This comes in handy when shooting weddings. To enhance durability, Nikon also constructed this camera with a magnesium-alloy body.

Nikon D700

  • Full-frame cameras have many advantages over cropped-sensor cameras such as the Canon 7D and Nikon D300Ss. Full-frame cameras offer better performance and lower noise levels when taking photographs in low-light areas such as churches. These cameras often deliver better color and a better ability to shoot extra-wide shots, a plus when photographing an entire wedding party in one shot. The D700 features an ISO range of 200 to 6400. Plus, the camera can be expanded to 25,600. For ruggedness, it offers a magnesium-alloy body. As of January 2011, the Nikon D700 (body only) retails from $2,699.

Canon 5D Mark II

  • An alternative to the Nikon D700 is the Canon 5D Mark II. A full-frame camera like the Nikon D700, Canon’s 5D Mark II features 21.1 megapixels. Its ISO ranges from 100 to 6400 with the option to expand to 50 at low and up to 25,600 at high. Unlike the Nikon D700, the Canon 5D Mark II is capable of recording full high-definition video. As of January 2011, the retail price for the body is around $2499.

Nikon D3S

  • If you have a bit more money to spend, consider the Nikon D3S. The Nikon’s D3S has a high ISO, ranging from 100 to 102,400. It also features superior color accuracy. Popular Photo rated the color accuracy of the Nikon D3S as excellent. As of January 2011, the Nikon D3S retails for around $5,199.

How to Arrange Fresh Flowers on a Wedding Cake

 

Master cake decorators can craft flowers from gum paste and sugar that look like real flowers, but fresh flower decorations look just as beautiful and are much easier for beginner cake decorators to arrange. While suitable for any occasion, real flowers are often used to make wedding cakes stand out as the wedding reception centerpiece. Arrangement options vary from small accents to bold arrangements on each tier.

Decorating With Flowers

  • Edible flowers that can be served and eaten with the cake include day lilies, roses, lavender and hibiscus, but you can use inedible flowers and remove them just before serving. Poisonous flowers should never be used, and you must be cautious to avoid pesticides that might have been sprayed on the flowers. Make a longer stem with florist’s wire so you don’t have to insert the flower stem in the cake if the flower must be anchored. Place a piece of wax paper between the flowers and cake so the flowers don’t actually touch the cake. Small plastic covers on the stem ends prevent water in the stems from leaking onto the cake. Flowers lose freshness quickly, so wait as long as possible to arrange the flowers before displaying or serving the cake. Cakes for weddings or other occasions that use fresh flowers for decorations should display the same flowers as used throughout the event. Ask the florist to set aside the freshest flowers for cake decor.

Accent Flowers

  • A few accent flowers placed on a cake add subtle color and texture while keeping the design simple. Group three to five flowers together in a cluster at each accent point. A single accent works best on top of a single-tier cake, but you might use two or three accents on multiple-tier cakes. For a four-tier cake, for example, start with a cake topper on the top tier and add a total of three accent flower groups on alternating sides of each tier. Put some of the flowers on the tops of the tiers with some pushed into the side of the cake for a cascading effect. Similarly, you can arrange flowers in a spiral around the cake, making it appear like a ribbon of continuous flowers.

Flowers on Tiers

  • Make a bold statement with a cake centerpiece by arranging flowers around all sides of each tier. This type of decoration looks best when the flowers are placed on their sides so the openings face out, away from the cake. Decorate with a single flower type on the entire cake; use a different type of flower for each tier; or arrange three to five flower types together on each tier. Place the largest flowers around the cake tier first, spacing them evenly for visual balance. If the ledges created by the cake tiers are too short for the flowers to rest in place, push the stems into the sides of the cake with floral wire. Fill in the spaces between the larger flowers with progressively smaller flower varieties, finishing with fillers such as baby’s breath or fern.

Flowers Between Pillars

  • Multiple-tier cakes with pillars have openings between the tiers where you can arrange the fresh flowers. This is the best option if you want to make certain the flowers don’t actually touch the cake. A small board is placed on top of the cake tier to support the pillars, providing a frosting-free location for displaying flowers. Cut out a dome-shaped piece of foam block roughly half the diameter of the pillar board. Push the flower stems into the foam with floral wire to make a small arrangement. When assembling the cake tiers for display, place the board on top of a cake tier and set the pillars in place around the outside of the board. Center the foam block flower arrangement on the board before setting the next cake tier on the pillars.

Late Summer Wedding Flowers

Many couples like to match their wedding flowers to the season to incorporate natural-occurring colors, as well as to save money on their florist bill. Late summer weddings can benefit from summer and fall flowers since it’s between the two seasons. Choose the flowers that best suit your personalities, the type of wedding you’re having, and the color scheme you wish to use.

Tropical Flowers

  • Summer often brings thoughts of a tropical paradise, warm beaches and gentle breezes. Incorporate that into your wedding by using tropical flowers in bright bursts of color. Birds of Paradise is a larger flower that commands attention and comes in an array of bright colors. Snapdragons are another large tropical flower that’s available in white, pinks and yellows. Another popular tropical flower choice is orchids, which come in bright colors such as orange and fuchsia.

Summer Flowers

  • Flowers that are found in abundance during the summer are typically still readily available at the end of the season. Consider alstroemerias, delphiniums, irises, lilies, calla lilies, gerberas, daisies, asters, dahlias, geraniums, Jacobs Ladder or Queen Anne’s lace. These flowers are available in an array of colors and thrive during the summer. The exact flower you choose will depend on the fullness of the bouquet you’re looking for, how strong of a scent you want the flowers to give off, and your preference in color choices.

Summer or Fall Flowers

  • Opt for flowers that thrive during the summer and fall if you’re concerned about your wedding date being too late in the summer to take advantage of summer blooms. For example, roses are available almost year round and tend to be a classic choice for weddings as they come in almost any color imaginable. Other flowers that work for summer and fall weddings are hydrangeas, mini calla lilies and sunflowers.

Colors

  • One advantage you’ve given yourself by choosing a late summer wedding date is that you can use typical summer colors or fall colors. Your flowers should ultimately complement the theme, formality, style and color scheme of your wedding. Summer wedding colors typically include bright tropical colors or soft summer pastels such as peach or pink. Fall colors are usually deeper, darker and richer shades such as yellow, burnt orange and deep reds. Mix it up by using summer flowers in fall colors or fall flowers in summer colors. Or you can combine fall and summer flowers in fall and summer colors. For example, pastel pink roses could work with burgundy and white alstroemerias. You could also, for example, pair burnt orange roses with peach-colored roses.

Other Factors

  • Use your wedding venue, the location, the usual temperature, the time of day, and the length of the wedding to help you decide which flowers will work best. If you’re getting married outside, the temperature could be a huge factor determining which flowers will survive the wedding and which ones might not. Talk to your florist and ask for pictures of bouquets they’ve done for late summer weddings with the flowers you’re considering.

How to Make Budget Wedding Centerpieces

If you are planning your wedding on a budget, making your own decorations is a good way to cut costs. Making your own centerpieces for your reception tables is easy and inexpensive. Follow these simple steps to create elegant, yet budget conscious centerpieces.

Instructions

  1. Buy clear glass bowls in a variety of shapes and sizes from the dollar store. Also purchase tealight candles in bulk. Place one bowl on the center of each table and fill it with water. Float three tealights in the water.
  2. Purchase flowers from the grocery store instead of from a florist. Pick low cost flowers such as carnations.
  3. Cut the stems off the carnations and float the flowers in the bowl with the tealights.
  4. Get confetti or silk flower petals from your local craft store. Sprinkle the confetti or petals on each table to add a little color and drama to the tables.
  5. Place a disposable camera on each table with a note for your guests to take pictures at the reception, then leave the camera. This way you will get a lot of candid photos from your wedding reception, but eliminate the cost of a professional photographer.
  6. Buy inexpensive potted plants from your local gardening shop to use as another option for budget centerpieces. Tie a ribbon around each of the pots, and place one in the middle of each table. You can take the plants home or give them to guests.
  7. Use a big bowl of fruit as a centerpiece. Buy whatever fruit is on special at your local grocer. Guests can eat the fruit during the reception.
  8. Purchase inexpensive picture frames from a discount or drug store. Print pictures of the bride and groom and put one in each frame. Place a framed picture in the middle of each table with a note of thanks to the guests from the bride and groom.

How to Lower Wedding Cake Price

Professionally prepared wedding cakes are priced by the slice. Add fresh flowers, a cake topper and set-up and delivery fees, and the cost of the cake alone can easily exceed a moderate budget for a wedding. There are many expenses and details to tend to, saving money on the price of the wedding cake is a good way to ease the budget.

Trim the Cost of the Wedding Cake

  1. Calculate how much cake is needed for the reception. Figure on one small slice for about 2/3 of the guests (see Resources below).
  2. Ask friends and family for references for in-home bakers who specialize in wedding cakes. Make contact early to secure a place on an often limited schedule of commitments.
  3. Visit the bakeries of local grocery stores and discount stores. Review the available wedding cake options, including information about delivery and set up. Find out if anyone in the family or among close friends bakes wedding cake.
  4. Limit the cake to one type and the icing to a simple butter cream, especially if multiple cake types and various icings add to the cost. Find out if charges are added for decorating the cake.
  5. Order a small, decorated wedding cake that’s three layers high. Set it on an elevated cake stand surrounded by a few smaller sheet cakes.
  6. Rent a cake topper, as opposed to purchasing one. Borrow a cake topper from a friend or top the cake with a small nosegay of flowers.
  7. Save on delivery and set-up fees. Ask the baker to show a friend or family member how to transport the cake and set it up on site.

Bake Your Own

  1. Bake 5 or 7 rounds cake layers using different size pans. Allow each layer to cool and turn it out onto a white cake circle (coated cardboard) available at any cake decorating shop (see Resources below).
  2. Frost each layer with white butter cream frosting, which holds up well in most temperatures. The morning before reception, decorate the sides and tops of the layers with flower petals and a few fresh flowers that match the wedding color scheme.
  3. Set up a cake table. Use boxes of varying heights and cover all with a large satin tablecloth that coordinates with the wedding theme.
  4. Arrange each cake layer on the elevated platforms or cake pedestals created by the boxes under the tablecloth. Keep the largest layers down low. Set the smallest layer on the highest platform and finish it off with a small bouquet of fresh flowers or a cake topper.

How to Use Mirrors in a Wedding Centerpiece

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How to Use Mirrors in a Wedding Centerpiece. Using mirrors is a beautiful touch when decorating your wedding reception tables. If you are making your own wedding centerpieces, use mirrors to make your centerpieces appear larger and more dramatic. Here is how you do it.

Instructions

  1. Purchase one-foot-square mirror tiles from your local craft store or home improvement center. These affordable mirrors come in a variety of styles, including smoked glass. (See Resources below.)
  2. Place several mirrors on each table to form a base for your wedding centerpiece. You can use as many mirrors as you like. Depending on the size of the table, four mirrors usually works best, creating a 2 x 2-foot square.
  3. Put a bowl of fruit or vase of flowers in the center of the mirrors. Use colorful fruit and flowers that will reflect nicely off the mirrors.
  4. Sprinkle flower petals, glitter or confetti on the mirrors. You can stick to the color theme of the wedding or go for something neutral like gold or silver.
  5. Place a tea light on each corner of the mirror base. These candles’ reflections create a dramatic effect for an evening wedding.
  6. Use large, framed antique mirrors as a base instead of mirror squares. Place one large mirror on each table and cover the mirror with loose flowers or flower petals.

Wedding Photography Picture Check List

Every bride and groom wants a day to remember, and photographs of the event ensure that the special day stands the test of time. Go over the wedding photography checklist with your photographer prior to the big day and advise them of any special photos or moments that you would like to capture. Your wedding photographer should provide you with an action plan that details what shots will be taken before, during and after the ceremony.

Before the Wedding

  • Before the ceremony begins, family photographs and close-ups should be taken of both the bride and groom separately.

    The groom should be photographed separately with the best man, each of the groomsmen and the ring bearer. A photograph of the entire group should be taken. Detail photographs should be taken of the tuxes, boutonnieres and grooming essentials. Candid preparation photographs can also be taken during this time.

    The bride should be photographed with the maid or matron of honor as well as with each bridesmaid and the flower girl. Group photographs should also be taken. The bridal glamour photos should be taken prior to the ceremony. The bride’s accessories such as the dress, shoes and bouquets should be photographed.

During the Wedding

  • During the wedding ceremony, pivotal moments should not be missed. The photographer should catch candid photos of the ushers seating the guests and the processional. Photographs should be taken of the bride coming down the aisle and of the groom waiting at the altar. An intimate picture of the bride being given away is important as well as candid photos of the ring and vow exchange. The first kiss is a wedding photograph that should not be missed.

After the Wedding

  • After the wedding, pictures should be taken of the bride and groom signing the marriage license as well as posed formals of the happy couple with the wedding officiant. Formal images should be taken of the bride and groom together at the front of the church and with all members of the wedding party.

    Photographs should be taken of the bride and groom outside the church with the wedding party and with guests. Detail portraits should be taken of the bride and groom’s hands with the wedding rings on.

    The photographer should capture images of the bride and groom exiting the church and leaving in the limo or getaway car.

At the Reception

  • At the reception, the photographer should capture pictures of the bride and groom arriving at the venue and talking with guests in the receiving line. Images of the first dance, cutting the cake and the toast should be highlighted events. Candid dancing photographs should be obtained of the entire wedding party.

    Detail photos should be taken of the wedding cake, food and desert tables, the venue and decorations.

How to Use Mirrors in a Wedding Centerpiece

How to Use Mirrors in a Wedding Centerpiece. Using mirrors is a beautiful touch when decorating your wedding reception tables. If you are making your own wedding centerpieces, use mirrors to make your centerpieces appear larger and more dramatic. Here is how you do it.

Instructions

  1. Purchase one-foot-square mirror tiles from your local craft store or home improvement center. These affordable mirrors come in a variety of styles, including smoked glass. (See Resources below.)
  2. Place several mirrors on each table to form a base for your wedding centerpiece. You can use as many mirrors as you like. Depending on the size of the table, four mirrors usually works best, creating a 2 x 2-foot square.
  3. Put a bowl of fruit or vase of flowers in the center of the mirrors. Use colorful fruit and flowers that will reflect nicely off the mirrors.
  4. Sprinkle flower petals, glitter or confetti on the mirrors. You can stick to the color theme of the wedding or go for something neutral like gold or silver.
  5. Place a tea light on each corner of the mirror base. These candles’ reflections create a dramatic effect for an evening wedding.
  6. Use large, framed antique mirrors as a base instead of mirror squares. Place one large mirror on each table and cover the mirror with loose flowers or flower petals.

How to Make a Wildflower Wedding Centerpiece Cheap

Weddings can be an extravagant and expensive affair. The dress, the venue, the food and the flowers can all cost you an arm and a leg. But with a little creativity you can have a beautiful, welcoming affair that everyone will enjoy. If you are having a spring wedding consider making your own centerpieces. Wildflowers provide the perfect atmosphere and can add a light, whimsical tone to the wedding.

Instructions

  1. Visit your local farmers market and begin making connections with local farmers and gardeners. You can find out which flowers are in season during your wedding months and what will be available. The grower will be able to help you decide which colors or flowers you want to work with. These types of sellers will be much cheaper than any florist. Put in a bulk order with the local gardener.
  2. Go to flea markets and thrift stores searching for beautiful old vases. You don’t need everything to match. In fact, it will appear more cohesive if none of the vases are the same. You want a relaxed vibe. If you are having trouble finding vases you can always find Mason jars at large stores like Wal-Mart.
  3. Select embellishments. You can always jazz up your centerpieces a little bit without going way over budget. Visit local craft stores and glance at feathers, beads, pearls, decorative butterflies or birds, and sparkling wire. You can incorporate some of these elements into your floral arrangements for a more fanciful look.
  4. Prep the flowers the morning of the wedding. Cutting the flowers too early could mean that they wilt or lose their petals. Arrange to have the flowers cut and picked up the morning of your wedding.
  5. Ask your friends for help. Arrange the flowers in the vases or jars. Describe how you want to use your embellishments and arrange them with the wildflowers. You can pin the decorative birds or butterflies to the sparkly wire and wrap it around the mouth of the vase, or intertwine the wire with the flowers. Make your vision come to life.
  6. Display the centerpieces on every table.