Friday, August 9, 2013

Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner (The Basics)

Many people still think that hiring a wedding planner is only for the wealthy and those throwing huge events.  However, that simply isn’t the case anymore.  Wedding planners are available for a huge range of weddings from the intimate to the extravagant, from the budget conscious to the limitless credit line.  In fact, there are several very good reasons you should hire a wedding planner for your big day.  Following, I will briefly go over ten reasons you should hire a wedding planner, then later in the series I will address each reason in more detail.  Let the planning begin!

  1. Handling the planning yourself often takes away from your being able to enjoy the process of being engaged and planning your big day.
  2. Venue coordinators generally have very little, if any, involvement in helping you with any other aspects of planning your wedding outside of the specific services their venue provides.
  3. Wedding planner are also your mediators.  They help with disagreements between the bride and groom; as well as family and friends who may be over stepping.
  4. Hiring a wedding planner is a great idea for DIY couples who want to make a lot of the décor/details for the wedding themselves, because the planner can focus on the logistics of the wedding while the couple can focus on the arts and crafts.
  5. A planner can often help you save money and can even sometimes help you save enough to cover their rate.
  6. A wedding planner will also help you stay on budget and keep you from over spending, and thus help you recover their rate as well.
  7. A wedding planner can save you time and streamline the process by helping you to more quickly narrow down your options.  Many already have connections with vendors which helps further with this, helping you save time and possibly money.
  8. When planning a wedding, staying on schedule is vital, and a wedding planner will help you do just that, saving you stress and possible money.
  9. Hiring a Day-of planner can help defuse disasters and potential disasters, often without you even needing to know about them so that you can fully enjoy your day.
  10. According to different surveys, between 15 and 25% of couples plan destination weddings.  A wedding planner can help make sure that you have all the necessary requirements met to be legally married in the area you plan to have the wedding, otherwise you find out later your marriage wasn’t legal and end up going down to city hall to be legally married.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you should hire a planner, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have a stressful and/or time consuming job?
  2. Are you bad with money and/or schedules?
  3. Do you get overwhelmed by the details?
  4. Is there drama and/or the potential for drama in your family?
  5. Do you want to have your wedding out of town?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should hire a wedding planner, whether for full service, consultation services, and/or day-of coordination.  When selecting your wedding planner, you should choose someone you feel comfortable with, who listens to you and shows that they understand what your vision for your wedding is, and is organized.  If you don’t feel comfortable with the first planner you meet with, don’t be afraid to say no thank you and look for a different planner; it is easier and more cost effective to work with one planner or one group from start to finish than to start with one and then switch in the middle of the planning because things aren’t going well.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

First I would like to say a heart felt Happy Fathers' Day to all of the Dads out there.  Not just the biological Fathers, but to ALL of the men out there taking responsibility and helping us to raise the next generation.

We want to celebrate the ones we love all the time, but Fathers' Day is a day set aside especially for Dads.  Sometimes we may have a hard time coming up with nice gift ideas for Dad that aren't the same old tie (Though for some Dads getting a new tie every year might be the perfect gift!), so I have come up with a list of items that some may find helpful in planning their Fathers' Day celebration.

As always, you want to keep the person you are getting a gift for in mind, not all Dads are the same.  But don't just look at the obvious things they enjoy, try to think outside the box.  One great gift idea is a massage gift certificate.  People often think of this as more of a gift for Mom, but the reality is that Dads can use the relaxation also.  Think of it this way, many Dads today still take on some of the more traditionally male responsibilities when it comes to the upkeep of a home, such as yard work.  Fathers' Day comes in June, it's the end of the spring/beginning of summer.  If your Father is the type to get out in the yard in the spring to clean out all of the debris from the fall and winter, chances are he has recently finished up this job.  After all of that raking and hauling and cutting and sawing, he may just be in need of a good massage.

Get his car detailed.  Often time, Dad is still the one that helps keep the family fleet running.  Whether it is checking the fluids on a regular basis or running the car to the shop when it is in need of maintenance.  If your Dad falls into this category, it might be a nice gift idea for you to take the reigns and make sure his car is in tip top condition.  Checking the fluids and adding more if necessary is a pretty easy job, but if you aren't sure make sure you ask for help from someone first so you don't inadvertently put in too much or the wrong fluid.  It would also be nice to wash and detail the car.  Again, if you know what you are doing and have the tools, you can do this yourself, but it might be nice to get it professionally done for the occasion to make sure the car is sparkling inside and out!

Help Dad get in shape!  Yep, that's right.  Maybe your Father loves to be active, but he has gotten out of the habit.  A nice Fathers' Day gift could be to get a gym membership for the two of you or sign up for a martial arts class (Galante Martial Arts in Port Jefferson Station is a great place to go).  This is a great way for not just Dad to get moving again, but also for you two to spend some quality time together doing something healthy!  Just be sure your Dad is physically fit enough for the activity you have in mind before hand.

These three gift are just a few out of the box ideas for gifts for Dad.  The possibilities are numerous!  What other uncommon or unusual gift ideas have you used?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy Mother's Day: Some Thoughts on Celebrating That Special Woman in Your Life

This weekend is Mother’s Day; time to celebrate that extra special lady in your life!  Don’t have any clue how to do it…here are a few ideas.  You can go more traditional or a little off the beaten path.

Going out for dinner is always nice.  If you decide to go this route, there are a few things to keep in mind.  First, pick a place that suits not only your Mother’s taste, but her schedule as well.  Mom may not be able to take extra time off, so make sure you plan ahead so the meal is relaxing instead of rushed.  Second, call ahead to see if the location you have chosen is taking reservations.  If they are not, I recommend arriving about 30 minutes earlier than you would like to eat because it may be busy.  I say 30 minutes because you don’t want to get there too much earlier than you want to eat in case the wait is short, and if you do have to wait a little longer, it usually won’t be more than an additional 15 minutes.  Of course, be sure to check the wait time when you arrive to be sure.

Some other more traditional ideas include flowers and chocolate/sweets.  Again, make sure to pick something that your Mother enjoys and isn’t allergic to.
Some less traditional ideas might be a good book, or collection of books, or even hooking her up with a book club.  Maybe she enjoys tours, in which case a nice wine tour or museum visit or historical site tour might be a nice idea.

Whatever you decide on, I am sure your Mother will love it as long as she can tell it came from your heart with love!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pros and Cons to Spring Weddings

So here we are in March and yesterday was the first day of spring! Of course, you wouldn’t know it with the snow falling today! Spring is often associated with being a time of growth, life, and new beginnings. As such, it is a popular time of year for couples to tie the knot. 

For those of you who are spring brides and grooms, there are lots of factors you may want to take into consideration before deciding if a spring wedding is right for you. Think about what your vision for your wedding is. Then take a look at the pros, cons, and tips following. If these are factors you think you can handle, both stress-wise and budget-wise, then perhaps spring is the season for you! 

There are a few pros to having your big day in the spring. One of the first things you start thinking about when actually planning your wedding, other than the date, is the budget (at least it should be). One of the pros of spring weddings is that you can still get some great deals on dates earlier in the season. While the rates generally aren’t as low as during the winter months and holiday seasons, they are still under what you will pay for some peak times May through September and heavy travel holidays like Memorial and Labor Day weekends. 

While a wedding doesn’t have to have flowers, many people who choose a spring wedding do so in part because of the large variety of flowers in bloom. Choosing flowers that are in season and easily accessible is more cost effective, and depending on the part of the season and area you are getting married in, the possibilities are vast. In fact, you might not have to pay much for décor if the area you are having your wedding in is lush, nature may provide the perfect background for your big day! 

The next item on the list can be a pro or a con. That’s right…the weather! The weather during the spring months can be a pro, as generally speaking over the span of the season it isn’t too cold or too hot. However, spring does have its drawbacks when it comes to the weather. Be prepared for rain. Rain, rain, and more rain; and with it mud. If you are having an indoor affair you will have less to worry about when it comes to rain. The biggest concerns here are how will you and your guests get from location to location without getting drenched. There are a few ways to handle this. If the ceremony and reception are in the same building, well it’s even easier. You may want to consider hiring valets to park the cars if the venue doesn’t already have them. This way, you and your guests don’t have to dredge through the rain from the parking lot to the venue(s). Also, if there isn’t some kind of cover over the entryway, you may want to speak to the venue about renting a canopy, nothing is worse than running from your car to the door only to get stuck outside getting drenched while everyone files into the building! If you are having an outdoor affair you have a few more items to think about. Make sure you speak to your venue about a backup space or renting a tent in the event it rains. Keep in mind that there may be additional cost for climate control features in a tent to keep it from getting too damp and sticky and to run the necessary electricity to the tent. Also, you may want to rent hallways for your guests to move from outdoor areas like the tent to the bathrooms inside. 

Many couples do their photo shoot between the ceremony and the reception. If you were planning on taking photos outside, be sure you speak to your photographer about alternatives in the event there is rain. While some rain shots might be nice, those nice pictures verses being wet for your reception and possibly ruining your clothing are options you will have to weigh and decide on. Speaking of ruining your clothing, don’t forget that with rain comes mud! Be prepared with protective covering for your shoes or alternate shoes to wear while outside. It is also a good idea to have some stain remover on hand in case any mud gets on your dress or tux. 

These are just a few thoughts to keep in mind when considering a spring wedding. Check back often for other tips to help you on your big day!