Planning A Beach Wedding

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He proposed!  The ring is on your finger, your mom used up an entire box of tissue crying happy tears, and you have already bought up every bridal magazine you could find at your local bookstore.  You have always dreamed about getting married on a beach with your beloved beaming at you like the tropical sun while your contented guests sip cold drinks from coconut shells and slip their sandals off to wiggle their toes in the sand.  Beach weddings are the stuff of fairytales.  Fairytales, however, can be fraught with peril.  You may not have any dragons to slay or evil witches to combat, but to avoid the magic from turning tragic, there are a few important issues to keep in mind.  With a little planning and foresight, your wedding story will end with you and your handsome prince strolling blissfully into the sunset, hand in hand at the end of the day. 

 The first thing you need to do when planning a beach wedding is to select a destination.  There are many beautiful places all around the world, but not all of them are as accessible or affordable as you might imagine.

 If you are planning a destination wedding with guests, you must make every consideration to keep their costs to a minimum (and not be upset if some decline to attend or be in your wedding party).  Even if you are paying for their travel, consider your guests’ other costs, such as loss of income while away from work (if unable to line up your wedding plans with their vacation policy) and childcare if you book a childfree resort.  Therefore, you may want to skip the remote, floatplane access island and opt for one that offers all-inclusive deals. 

When selecting a destination, also consider your personal style.  If you are not into working out the many details necessary for a wedding (even small, laid back weddings require official paperwork!), check out resorts that have wedding packages, like Sandals (www.sandals.com).  These packages can include cake, flowers, photography, and a small reception.  If your location of choice does not have a package, you will need to do some long distance planning.  Unless you have someone on location to act as your eyes and ears for selecting your cake, flowers, and other details, ask the concierge at your accommodations to provide the name of a trustworthy and reputable wedding planner.  To keep costs and frustration levels down, you will want to use as many local resources as possible.  The thought of shipping a mult-tired cake and a fresh bouquet in a cargo hold is a little daunting!

 Check your local government or airline’s websites for travel advisories.  With the outbreak of pandemics such as H1N1, travel to some locations is not advised.  Also, check to see if certain immunizations or other health precautions are necessary and if so, do not forget to inform your guests.  Make sure you passport is valid.  Nothing kills the romance of your beach wedding faster than your lack of attendance due to an expired passport!

 Once you have settled on a destination, it is time to make the booking.  Whether you go through a travel agent or book online, it is worth the small extra charge to insure your trip.  Tropical storms, natural disasters, illness, or family emergencies may cause you to postpone your plans and you certainly do not want to loose the large sums of money paid to secure your trip.  While rescheduling is inconvenient, paying for a trip you can no longer take is inconceivable. 

 Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series where we discuss how to Dress for Success.  Did you really think you could rent those tuxedos for two weeks and ship them out on the airplane?  Just what kind of dress should you wear on the beach anyway? You will learn all this and more as we discuss what to keep in mind when planning a beach wedding.

Check out part 2

Etsy Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations can be extremely expensive!! So we have a solution for you. Check out Etsy Wedding Invitations. Many of the designers vary in prices and designs. This specific orchid wedding invitation set is a set and is $3.80 for the invitation. This may be a  great idea if you are trying to cut back on your wedding expenses. These invitations are beautiful, professional, and budegt friendly. Check more out at Etsy Wedding.

Honeymoons on a Budget

Here is a list of the top ten places to visit within the U.S. that won’t put a hole in your pocket.

1. The Florida Keys: Romantic, sandy beaches, and crystal clear blue waters. The chain of islands have so man activities you won’t know what to do first. It’s like vacationing in Hawaii, without paying the fees.

2. Napa Valley, California: Nothing is more romantic than enjoying some alone time  in the hills of California. You can go on wine tastings and tours, have access to beautiful  beaches, and dine at some of the most incredible restaurants.

3. Lake Tahoe: Depending on what year you visit this popular vacation spot, there is always something to do. Hiking, Skiing, Biking, and many more outdoor activities. If you love the outdoors this honeymoon is for you any time of the year.

4. Niagara Falls: Famous for its boat tour around the largest waterfall in the nation, this site is breath taking.

5. Miami, Florida: If you love the night life, warm weather, and beaches, you will enjoy Miami.

6. New Orleans: Between the great music, good Cajun food, and night life, New Orleans has so much to offer.

7. New York City: The Big Apple is famous for good reason. The shopping and food is an experience in itself. After a day of shopping you can head to Trump Towers where you can eat at two of their five star restaurants.

8. Grand Canyon: Visit the Grand Canyon, have a picnic in the park and enjoy a honeymoon of quiet solitude.

9. Las Vegas: Enjoy shows, food, and some gambling all times of the day/night. This city doesn’t sleep, remember?

10. Washington, D.C.: If you like history and art than this the honeymoon hot spot. You can enjoy being newlyweds and get a lesson in history all at the same time.

Wedding Transportation Ideas

Transportation is important and we want you to know all the ways possible for you to arrive and exit in style. Here is a breakdown if what you can rent and what it will cost.

Limo: Ideally this is the most popular means of transportation. They seat about 8-10 people and cost about $75-$150 an hour.

Vintage Automobile: Classic and elegant, this has been another popular choice by many couples. Private and intimate and makes great pictures. Cost is about $125-$200 an hour.

Horse and Carriage: This is perfect for our vintage themed weddings. Cost is about $650-$1000 for around three hours.

Town Car: Very cost effective and affordable, yet still classy and elegant. Cost is about $35-$60 an hour.

Stretch Limo or Hummer: Carries the largest of crews, especially if you have a large wedding party. Cost is around $100-$300 an hour.

Designer Weddings on a Budget

 

Weddings can be a very expensive event for any bride and groom. With our money saving tips, you can have a beautiful wedding even on the smallest of budgets.

Largest Money Saving Tip: Think about having your wedding on a day other than Saturday. Having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday can literally save you thousands. If a Saturday wedding is non-negotiable than have it in the morning or around lunch.

Tip 1: Create the wedding invitations yourself. You can download many templates or buy pre-prepared invitations and envelopes at places like Michaels. Then you just print from home. Savings: $450 or more

Tip 2: Favors don’t have to be lavish and expensive. As long as they serve a purpose and guests remember the occasion than they have done their job. Try baking mini sugar cookies and putting them in a clear cellophane bag. Tie the bag with a ribbon and printed tag. Savings $100 and up

Tip 3: Transportation can be pricey. So borrow a friends car. Maybe they have an old Mustang or Chevelle that you can ride in style. Savings: $600 or more

Tip 4: To save on flowers, have a florist create the bouquets. Buy the flowers for the centerpieces the morning or night before the wedding at your local grocery store or florist. Have a bridesmaid or friend cut them and arrange the flowers in vases. Savings: $500 and up

Tip 5: Catering can really add up so instead of having dinner and drinks, have a brunch wedding. Guests can enjoy breakfast and lunch while you keep money in your pocket. You don’t have to worry about alcohol, hors d’oeuvres, or desserts other than the cake. Savings: $700 and up

Tip 6: DJ’s are less expensive than bands. If a DJ is out of the question, create a 3-4 hour playlist on your IPOD, rent high quality speakers, and have your playlist do the work for you. Soft music can be played during dinner or eating, and then another playlist can be created for dancing. Savings: $650 or more

Tip7: When it comes to photography there is not much room to skrimp. Your photos are a lasting impression of your big day. You want to look back and love your memories. When making adjustments try to be reasonable. Spend the money on the photogrpaher, but instead of having them create the album, you create it. Many online stores such as Kodak will create photo albums for you. They even having wedding themes. Savings: $300 and up

The Happy Couple

Your wedding day was perfect and you are officially a newlywed. The excitement has settled in and now you’re not quite sure what to do. Well here are a few tips to keep that romance and excitement going.

Be patient (although it’s not always easy)

Be a good listener

Discuss major decisions and don’t act on them alone

Make time for one another (this one is key)

Set goals and talk about the future so that there are no surprises

Understand one another and your differences

Forgive and don’t hold a grudge (no one is perfect)

Have fun

Set date nights

Support your spouse

Use words of encouragement

Compliment one another

Help each other (chores, dinner, etc.)

Receptions: Country Clubs

Thinking about having your wedding at a country club? Well here are some benefits to having your reception at a club.

1. Great Pictures

2. Great Food

3. Your all in one vendor (food, drinks, set-up included)

4. Ceremony and reception can be held in one place

5. Personalized Service

6. Often the cake can be created by the caterer instead of having the made and delivered elsewhere

7. Servers will be passing food and drinks around to all guests

8. Staff on hand at all time

9. One packaged deal

10. Discounts if you are already a member

11. Don’t have any vendors in mind? They usually have a list of preferred vendors on hand

12. Easy directions, most people know where country clubs are and they are usually easy to locate

13. Fast service you can count on

14. Professionals who are trained in all aspects

15. Only one check to write for all services rendered

Our Favorite Wedding Gown Designers

When it comes to your wedding dress you want what every woman wants, the perfect one. Here is a list of our favorite gown designers.

Simone Carvalli

Nicole Miller (Budget Friendly)

Allure Bridals (Budget Friendly)

St. Pucchi

Kenneth Pool

Priscilla of Boston

Demetrios Bridal (Budget Friendly)

Vera Wang

Bridal Shower Etiquette

If you are planning a bridal shower or are receiving one, here are a few things you should know!

1. A shower is usually thrown by the mother, mother-in-law, sister, or close relative.

2. Showers can be thrown any where from a couple months to a couple of weeks before the wedding.

3. Your guests should be friends and family that you plan on asking to your wedding. It is rude to ask someone to your shower, with no intention on asking them to your wedding.

4. The bride should register for gifts prior to the shower.

5. It is not uncommon for the host to include refistry information within the shower invitation.

6. Showers are usually informal. They are a time for being social, having a few laughs, and gift opening.

7. Games are normally played at showers. For more information on shower games, please visit Martha Stewart Weddings.

8. If you are going with a theme, try and use the same colors as the bride is using for the wedding.

9. Bridal showers tend to have a small favor. They can be small items such as cookie cutters, CD’s, tea, etc.

10. Don’t go overboard with games and activities, the bride needs time to open gifts and socialize.

11. Make sure all guests have a place to sit.

12. Use finger foods for showers; you don’t have to have meals or sides. Showers normally take place between meals.

13. Make sure someone is writing down the gifts when the bride is opening presents.

14. Have all guests sign in a guest book or give the bride a piece of advice on small pieces of card stock. The card stock can then be placed in a vase as decoration.

15. Guests can write their name and address on the face of an envelope. This will save the bride a lot of time when she goes to write her thank you cards.

Printable Wedding Invitations

Purchasing wedding or shower  invitations can cost a fortune. Does the Dress Fit searched for the best invitation deals around. Check out the list of websites where you can purchase and print your invitations from your office chair.

Our Favorite: Pingg is a great website where you can customize your own announcements, manage your guests online, and choose fonts and styles.

Runner-Up: Paper Source has invitations that are sent to you and you fill in the blanks, whether it be by pen or printer.

Great Alternative: Although not printable, Storkie is another great site that offers an assortment of choices. The website even allows you to change things like the color of the brides hair and skin tone on the invite. Their unique announcemnets had to make their way on our list.

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