Sunday, October 21, 2012

10 Cost Savings Tips for Wedding Makeup

The search for a good wedding makeup artist should begin about six months before your wedding day. A good wedding day artist is not that easy to find, it takes special training to be a good wedding day makeup artist. Many makeup artists have not had the training to be a wedding day makeup artist.

Before you meet a wedding makeup artist, try to find and bring pictures of makeup jobs to your appointment of other brides makeup jobs that you like. A professional wedding makeup artist has taken special training, they will have been trained on what makeup looks best on different types of faces such as square, oval, and round. They will know what looks best with skin tones, they can match makeup to coordinate with the wedding dress and wedding dress jewelry. They know what makeup not to use in certain situations. Some makeup causes allergic reations to the skin for certain individuals.

A good professional makeup communicates well with the bride. A good wedding makeup artist also needs to consider what the bride likes and what she is looking for in her wedding day makeup. The communication for wedding makeup needs to be a two way street.

Before your appointment with your wedding makeup artist. The engaged bride should bring along pictures of makeup jobs she likes, if possible, a picture of her wedding dress. She should ask the bride about her wedding makeup training and she should ask for a portfolio of pictures of makeup jobs the makeup artist has created in the past, preferably recently.

The good professional makeup artist will spend the time with the bride to formulate the best makeup products for the bride, the products the bride should get according to the brides budget. If the budget is not too stringent, the engaged bride should look at the best makeup in two different ways, what makeup would be best for the bride's wedding day and what makeup is best for everyday living.

Below are 10 cost saving tips for wedding makeup.

Tip 1 - Note the Wedding Makeup Artist's Routine 
Once you find a good professional wedding makeup artist take note of the makeup artist's routine. Have the makeup artist write down each of the steps. Also have a picture taken after each step and also video record exactly how each application is applied using either a camcorder or a phone that also allows for video. When a bride is going through the makeup procedure, she should also note the amount of time that is needed to apply the wedding day makeup so the time can be applied to her wedding day schedule.

Tip 2 - Practice, Practice, Practice
The bride should practice numerous times applying wedding day makeup. The person applying the makeup should know the procedure early and by heart. The makeup should be applied numerous times so the makeup for the wedding day is second nature, to insure no makeup mistakes are made.

Tip 3 - Keep an Official Beauty List in a Black Book
The bride should create a black book listing all her beauty needs. It should contain the bride's official beauty list. The black book should contain, the best place to buy all her beauty products and their associated costs. The bride should try to only buy products from her official list, many women waste spending money on products they don't need.

Tip 4 - Have Family or Friend Do Your Wedding Day Makeup
In the beginning find a professional wedding makeup artist to lay out a wedding makeup procedure. Have the procedure noted, photographed, and video, then have a family member or friend learn the procedure to prepare your makeup for your wedding day.

Tip 5 - Ask the Makeup Artist to Your Bridal Shower
At the beginning of your bridal shower, have your makeup artist teach the bridemaid's and other bridal party members, how to apply makeup, what makeup would look best for each of them. It's okay for the makeup artist to sell makeup products at the bridal shower, but make sure the makeup artist is not too pushy trying to sell products and don't insist bridal party members must buy beauty products. The bride may consider inviting the makeup artist to the formal bridal shower if everyone is comfortable with the makeup artist attending.

Tip 6 - Sign Up For Store's Rewards Programs
Stores like CVS and Walgreens offer a Rewards Card. Use the rewards cards to get special sales prices, earn rewards, and often you get coupons such as purchase coupons via email. Many reward programs lets you earn points on purchases. The points can be cashed in for gift certificates.

Tip 7 - Buy Beauty Products Online
There are many websites that offer beauty products online. Check out the websites to find the best deals. Below is a list of beauty websites in which you might find good deals.

Tip 8 - Use Beauty Product Store Coupons
Many beauty stores and pharmacy's offer in-store coupons. Find store coupons in weekly circulars, also from their websites, and now stores have scanning devices or have a smartphone app. One can use scanning devices to get additional coupons from the store. Lastly ask sales managers in the stores if they have any upcoming promotions of sales events or bargains in their stores.

Tip 9 - Buy Beauty Products in Bulk for your Bridal Party
Many brides will buy beauty products for their bridal party. Sometimes these products are even bought as bridesmaid's favors or bought for use in their wedding. When buying in bulk whether it be a beauty store, a drugstore, or online from a website. Ask for an additional discount for buying products in bulk. Very often, stores and online businesses will grant you the discount saving you money or getting additional products for free. Always check with any business if it's possible for an additional discount, the bulk discount can end up giving you savings. If you don't ask, you probably will never get the discount. Always ask about bulk deals for savings.

Tip 10 - Look For Youtube Videos on Applying Makeup
There have been many Youtube Videos that have been made to apply makeup and wedding day makeup. Many wedding makeup products need to be applied a certain way. Research on Youtube for the stroking and application techniques that are use to apply makeup. Very often, you may have a beauty product, the trick in putting on makeup is how to apply the product, very often makeup is put on incorrectly. You can learn how to apply the product from Professional Beauty Makeup Artists.

Since you are meeting with a Professional Makeup Artist. It's a good time to learn both applying wedding day makeup and everyday makeup for your skin. Learn from a professional on how to apply makeup. You will learn correctly how to apply makeup for your wedding and for many days of everyday living and learn which makeup products are best for your skin.

See you on the other side!

Monday, October 8, 2012

10 Cost Savings Tips for Wedding Hairstylists

You should start your search for your wedding hairstylists around six months before your wedding. Many hairstylists found in your local hair salons don't have much experience and training to work on wedding day hair. Ask about the experience and training of wedding day hairstylists. Ask for pictures of brides they have worked on the past.

Before meeting with your wedding hairstylist, you should bring along photos and a picture of your wedding dress, for your wedding day hair should compliment the dress.

When you meet a good bridal hairstylist for the very first time, remember he or she does not know your personal tastes, you need to find one that allows you to communicate with each other very well. A decision should be made on the style of hair, whether updo, halfdo, down and whether a veil be worn. Your face shape, body shape, color of hair, your wedding dress, and accessories all go in to determine a good technique to style your hair. The style of hair should also be shared with the bridal party. The bride might want the bridal party to have a similar style of hair for the wedding or wear a similar style of hair ornaments.

You should have practice sessions of working up your wedding day hair, your hairstylist should take notes of each step, take photos, even video tape the process. The wedding hairstylist should set up regular appointments with the major hair cutting session being two weeks before the wedding. Your wedding day hair appointment should consist of just a little trim but the focus is more on setting, styling, and tressing the hair.

Your wedding day hair should not be rushed, the timing should be planned and the appointment should be finished an hour or two before the wedding. You don't wedding hair to be done too far before the wedding, or things like the weather will ruffle the hair.

The following are 10 cost saving tips for wedding hairstylists.

Tip 1 - Have a Consultation with a Professional Hairstylist
Most consultations are free and the meeting should be the perfect opportunity to find out if the hair stylist can create a sensational look for your wedding. For your wedding bring photos of your dress, veil, accessories that you like and show any hairstyles you like. Be sure to wash your hair, the night before your consultation.

Tip 2 - Create Your Own Hair Ornaments
If you are planning on adorning your hair with blissful wedding accessories, you might consider visiting your local craft store to find all sorts of hidden treasures to create your own hair ornaments. Using a little superglue and finding a selection you like of hair pins, ribbins, flowers, and jewels whatever you choose, you will not only save money, but in addition you will have a sentimental ornament to cherish for many years.

Tip 3 - Seek a Friend Hairstylist or Local Cosmotology School
Sometimes if you ask around with friends, classmates, workmates, or clubmembers very often you may find a hairstylist that is not obliged to a salon that will do your hair very cheap. Another solution is to visit your local cosmotogy school, request a student who is nearing graduation, make sure you see some of their work and can practice on your hair far in advance of your wedding day. Work with them to write down steps, pictures of your hair at each step and have them tape a video of the process to benefit both you and them.

Tip 4 - Seek Out Coupons, Discounts, and Promotions for Hair
On the internet you can look for coupons, coupons codes, and discounts. Places to look include , , , , , , www.mapbridal , and . You can request coupons using email too using . Also ask hairstylists about their in-house promotions, make sure you consider styling, weaving, and coloring. Ask ask the salon about discount offerings should you bring a bridal party along, ask about coupon codes or QR codes offered by the hair salon.

A bride should also be eating a special diet during her wedding period to promote healthy hair. A good diet would be drinking plenty of fluids especially water, drink only a cup of coffee daily. She should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, eggs, low calorie cereal, and have a serving of lean meat. The bride should avoid starches, sugars, not much bread, and red meat.

Tip 5 - Invite a Hairstylist to Talk at your Bridal Shower
When you have your bridal shower, see if you can bring along your bridal hairstylist to talk at the beginning of the shower to give advice to bridal party members to do their wedding day hair. If the hairstylists is cool, also have them stay for the party. Some bridal hairstylsts will offer their advice for free, others may charge for the price of an appointment. To defray costs, allow the stylists to bring along hair products, insist though they don't get too pushy, some bridal members may be tight with their money.

Tip 6 - Buy Your Hair Shampoo at Your Local Grocery Store
Buy your shampoo at your local grocery store or a discount department store such as Walmart or Target. Shampoo products come from the same distributors as expensive hair salons. Don't be fooled by the word contaniment. You get the same product but discounted because the product is bought in bulk. Some salon-garde products contain high quality ingredients, but not everyone needs these high quality products. If your hair is damaged or color treated then these products may be worthwhile to buy. If you have split ends, don't waste your money on a product, no product can fix split ends. The only way to fix split ends is to trim them off.

Tip 7 - Create Your Own Deep Conditioning Salon Treatment
Have a deep conditioning salon treatment right in your own home. Invite family and friends over to do each other's hair treatment. Create a concoction, if the money is tight, make your own home remedy. Find oily fruits and mashed up ingredients such as avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil. Massage the concoction into the bridal party members hair.

Tip 8 - Offer Hair Product Bridesmaid Favors 
Find hair products from a beauty salon, pharmacy, cosmetic store, or from a cosmetic online website. Buy products in bulk for your wedding. If you give hair product favors, don't wait until the last minute such as at your rehearsal dinner. You want the products distributed in advance so the bridesmaids know they have the product for their wedding day period. Think about buying hair products, hair sprays, perfume, hair accessories, jewelry, or a carrying container.
Tip 9 - Create Your Own Hairstyling Blackbook
Work with your own wedding hairstylist and buy only the products and accessories you need. What are your personal product needs? Put those product needs in your black book. Buy only products that are in your black book. If the product is not in your black book don't buy it. This includes hair products and things like hair curling irons.

Tip 10 - Learn Styling Techniques Using Youtube
Many professional hairstylists have created Youtube videos on styling and cutting one's hair. Look around for hairstyling techniques that you can learn yourself. Many of these hair professionals have received extensive training and the training online is often free. They offer tips and advice to preparing your wedding day hair.

Did you know that there is a pecking order for preparing your wedding day hair? The bride's hair is suppose to be done very elaborately and is suppose to stand out, the maid of honor's hair is suppose to be done a little elaborate but a little bit more subdued. The bridesmaids hair and family members hair should be done nice, but not so much with twists and curls. You should be able to look at the female bridal party members and tell who is who just by looking at their hair!

See you on the other side!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

10 Cost Savings Tips for Wedding Sweets and Treats

Candies have become a big part of weddings in recent years. Everyone enjoys the great taste of candies. A candy buffet bar or a chocolate fountain always gathers attention at a wedding and becomes a wonderful memory from a wedding.

The following are some cost savings tips for sweets and treats at weddings:

Tip 1 - Buy Loose Candies in Bulk and Get Discounts
Bulk candy stores have become popular, often many of your bigger malls you can find a bulk candy store. Many couples opt to buy candies to match their color scheme or decide to buy candies according to some type of theme. If you order a lot of candy in bulk, ask if you can get a steeper discount, many times to keep your business, you might get a discount saving you money. Listed below are popular candy websites.

Tip 2 - Create a Candy Buffet Bar Table
Candy buffet bar tables have become very popular at weddings in recent years. Many couples will create beautiful looking tables to display their candies. If you create a candy bar using a rectangled table, the key is to elevate the back of the table using boxes or shelves with a linen covering. Use linens to match to your color scheme. Look for bargains for your containers. Use assorted dishes; candy dishes, clear bowls, vases, bins, cookie jars, over sized wine glasses, fountain glasses, and flour, sugar, and tea canisters.

Some couples create a candy bar using a round table. Use some type of elevation in the middle. Some couples will offer the candies as a take home wedding favor. In some bowls with loose candy, provide scoops and tongs. Also provide at the edge of the table, lunch sized bag so your wedding guests can help themselves to a take home wedding favor. Assign a person, for refilling in the event a candy dish gets low. Decorate the table with fun size bars or with glitter or confetti.

Either color scheme, rainbow effect, or serve old time candies to your candy buffet bars. Some popular candies for old time bars include jawbreakers, now & later, bazooka bubble gum, sugar daddy, wax bottle, atomic fireballs, candy cigarettes, bit-o-honey, root beer barrels, necco candies, pop rocks, rock candy, mary janes, lollipops, gummy bears, candy buttons, candy stix, licorice, pixy stix, candy necklace, m&m's, and salt water taffy.

Tip 3 - Make Homemade Chocolates Using Molds
Create a favor bag with assorted chocolates and truffles. Target making chocolate about a week before the wedding. The key in making chocolate is melting chocolate slowly so the chcolate does not end with a burnt taste. Pour the chocolate into molds and then refrigerate.

The following are reputable companies in which you can purchase chocolate molds.

If you want to color scheme your chocolate start with white chocolate in block form. Melt your white chocolate and then mix with flavor extracts, flavor oils, liquors, or powders. If you want to get the color deeper add some food dye. After all is mixed together pour the mixture into assembled molds and refrigerate.

Tip 4 - Make Assorted Liquor Balls for Treats
Many wedding guests have never had liquor balls before. Many recipes can be found online, the secret ingredient is sugar cookie dough or sugar cookies pounded and add great tasting liquor. Some liquor ball recipes you might look up are rum, bourbon, egg nog, chocolate, cherry cordial, anise, creme de menthe, irish creme, pina colada, flavored brandy, peanut butter, strawberry, or vanilla. Place the liquor balls into color papered egg cartons or place them on top of cake pop sticks.

Tip 5 - Bake Homemade Goodies for a Dessert Table
Find a family or close friend that can bake goodies for a wedding. The secret of baking for a wedding is baking goodies that are not common in everyday living. Also bake goodies that aren't too messy, so as not to get spills on wedding dresses and tuxedos. Good recipes include baking cookies with old family recipes, all sorts of recipes such as baked alaska, mousse, tortinis, torts, conolis, chocolate, eclairs, cream puffs, brownies, fudge, cobblers, flan, and various tasty cakes. An ice cream bar is a great idea too.

Tip 6 - Buy Classy Inexpensive Goodies from a Grocery Store
You have to be a little careful on this one. You don't want to come across as buying cheap goodies, goodies that don't look like they are bought from a store. Buy assorted italian cookies, girl scout cookies, or cookies that look homemade. Also consider gourmet mints, pillow mints, square shaped chocolate treats, nonpereils, mini peanut butter cups, or flavored popcorn. Make sure whatever you serve, the goodies are served not in a store container.

Tip 7 - Consider Offering a Chocolate Fountain
Adding a choclate fountain should liven up your wedding reception. You can either lease or buy a chocolate fountain depending on your budget. Make sure you don't get a small one, you want one that gathers attention. Make sure you learn how to operate the chocolate fountain. Stay away from foods that are crumbly such as crumbly cookies or foods with small or loose nuts.

Foods that should be ladled onto chocolate fountains include; wedding cakes, cakes, pastries, cobblers, pies, fruit or vegetable bread, brownies, bread pudding, cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, banana split, ice cream, parfaits, or sundaes.

Fruits that can be dipped into chocolate fountains include; strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, grapes, apples, bananas, marachino cherries, sliced peaches, sliced pears, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, honey dew melon, melon balls, mandarin oranges, mangos, papaya, star fruit, dragon fruit, kumquats, fresh coconut chunks, dried apricots, and sliced watermelon.

Other treats that can be dipped into chocolate fountains include; pretzels, marshmallows, cheesecake squares, angel food cake, frozen twinkies, zingers, rice crispy treats, graham crackers, mint crackers, frozen mini cream puffs, frozen mini chocolate wafers, bugles, donuts, donut holes, frozen candy bars, brownies, mint sticks, biscotti, peanut brittle, popsicles, cookie dough balls, caramel, and fudge.

Cookies that can be dipped into chocolate fountains include; chocolate chip, sugar wafers, vanilla wafers, oreo cookies, coconut macaroons, fig newtons, fruit newtons, gingersnaps, sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies, chocolate cookies, girl scout cookies, shortbread cookies, snicker doodle cookies, peanut butter cookies, pirouette cookies, milano cookies, and italian cookies. Avoid crumbly or nutty cookies for these types can jam up the chocolate fountain machine.

Tip 8 - Fill a Tulle Bag with Jordan Almonds
Jordan Almonds are a wedding tradition. Buy Jordan Almonds in bulk at a discount. Place 5 jordan almonds in each tulle bag for each of your wedding guests, place on each place setting as a wedding favor. The five jordan almonds represent 1) health, 2) wealth, 3) happiness, 4) fertility, and 5) longevity. Personalize the tulle bags with the couple's name and wedding date.

Tip 9 - Create a Large Candy Bowl with Old Time Candies
You can either leave a large candy bowl filled with bulk candy or old time candies on a dessert table. Or you can leave smaller bowls filled with candies somewhere on each wedding guest table. Leave each bowl with assorted candies so all the guests are likely to find a candy they like.

Tip 10 - Create an Ice Cream Bar
Contact an ice cream place in your area to see if you can rent a machine for an ice cream bar. Make sure you create an area for various toppings, a container with sprinkles, chocolate, butterscotch, bananas, fruit toppings, whipped cream, and marachino cherries. Consider leaving brownies, blondies or cake nearby too. You also may consider offering root bear or cherry coke or vanilla coke. You might also consider adding a soda bar. Create a many flavored soda stream bar with many different flavors.

Don't forget to assign a person to oversee the sweet and treat stations. Whatever sweet station you desire, because you are buying in bulk, it never hurts to ask for a further discount, and shop around to find a vendor that provides with the best service and discount.

See you on the other side!

Friday, September 7, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Wedding Favors

Many of your wedding guests will travel great distances to attend your wedding and bestow you with lavish gifts, the American tradition stipulates that a wedding favor is in order to show your gratitude to thank them for making the effort to join you on the day of your nuptuals.

The best wedding favors are ones that make a good representation of the newlyweds personalities, however finding the perfect wedding favors sometimes becomes a big burden on your budget. When deciding on a wedding favor, try your best to give something of value. A good wedding favor is a good token and a little reminder from your special day. Try to find a wedding favor your guests will keep in their home at least for five years or something that has sentimental value.

Attached are 10 cost savings tips for finding wedding favors to give away at your wedding.

Tip 1 - Shop Online from a Wedding Favor Website
There are dozens of wedding websites to choose from. Search for the type of wedding favor that you are interested in giving. Check the wedding favor website that has a good ranking using , the lower number the better, put the wedding website address in the search line of alexa. Popular wedding websites are listed below.

Tip 2 - Find a Low Cost Popular Favor
The key is finding a low cost wedding favor that adds value that your wedding guests will use. Examples are as follows:

1-Bottle Openers
2-Bottle Stoppers
5-Key Chains
6-Luggage Tags
7-Scented Soaps
8-Shot Glasses
9-Votive Candles
10-Wedding Music CD

Tip 3 - Shop at Online Marketplaces 
Buy wedding favors from online marketplaces. Look for wedding favors on eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and look online for wedding favor companies that are near where you live. Comparison shop with wedding vendors to find the best deal.

Tip 4 - Buy in Bulk and Ask for an Extra Discount
Most wedding favor companies offer you a discount when you buy in bulk. Even on top of the bulk discounts, you very often can even negotiate an even better deal by asking for a steeper discount. Many wedding favor companies don't want to lose your business, so they will agree to a bigger discount.

Tip 5  - Ask About Being Discontinued Items 
Sometimes dealing with wedding favor websites or wedding favor stores, very often those businesses have items being discontinued. The business often would like the favor to be off the books, the business will be more than happy to give you a big discount. Ask about if the business has got any product being discontinued and you might find a nice wedding favor at a good price.

Tip 6 - Hook Up With Other Brides when Ordering Favors
Very often you meet up with other brides before your wedding. Sometimes you can combine forces and order wedding favors together and because of the bulk order you get a bigger discount. You may meet other brides through your officiant, from your venue, at a bridal show or expo, or from a bridal bootcamp, or from a wedding vendor.

Tip 7 - Do It Yourself (DIY) Wedding Favor
Travel to your arts and supply store and look for ideas, a sales manager might even give you ideas. Create a printable, create a minibook on whatever you are into. Create a recipe book of family recipes, a poem book, the words to your favorite music or how about a music CD. You can also create woodworking projects, a sculpted setting with a candle, some type of craft, some type of knitting project or a little painting with neat scenery or saying for a wall. Use your imagination.

Tip 8 - Buy Bulk Mini Cosmetics & Jewelry from Pharmacys
Many discount pharmacys sometimes have a bin section of cosmetics and jewelry. Search out cosmetics, jewelry and perfume that you can use as wedding favors. Also check out stores after certain Holidays such as Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day.

Tip 9 - Use the Place Card as a Favor
Place cards are a surprising keepsake. Many wedding guests surprisingly love them as a keepsake and they become handy to wedding guests for special occasions. Place cards can be used to slip in a piece of paper to inform what's in a caserole dish or where people should be seated. They are keepsakes often seen where family pictures and heirlooms are kept. Some couples use place cards and offer five Jordan Almonds in a little tulle or organza bag. Five jordan almonds signify five wishes for the bride and groom: 1) health, 2) wealth, 3) happiness, 4)fertility, and 5) longevity. Don't forget to personalize the bag with the couple's name and wedding date.

Tip 10 - Find Good Deals on Wrappings
There are some wedding favor companies that offer wrapping materials and don't be afraid to ask for a discount for buying wrapping material in bulk. Buy rolls of cellophane from a local wedding florist or from a local candy or chocolate store. Also look at pretty bags from these type of stores. Look for ribbons, bows and colored strings from either an arts and supply store or from a local dollar store.

Make sure you leave plenty of time to wrap your wedding favors, try to have them arrive a month in advance of your wedding and have them all wrapped prior to 3 days before the wedding, you also want time to tackle any time should you have mixups with your order. It's better to deal with companies that have a customer service phone number, to handle any problems with the order. You can have your bridal party help you wrap your wedding favors. Make a fun evening of it, a couple of fun games and coffee and dessert. Keep the wedding favors hidden, put them in a back bedroom or storage room, it's better that wedding favors are a surprise to your wedding guests, tell the bridal party to please keep it a secret.

See you on the other side!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Wedding Gifts and Bridal Registries

Tradition states that if you are invited to a wedding, you should purchase the wedding couple a gift about equivalent in value what the wedding couple will pay for the wedding guests at the wedding reception. If the guests are close family members or very close friends, a little more should be spent. If someone is invited in which their finances are very tight, an inexpensive gift is appropriate but the gift should be one of value to the wedding couple. An example would be coasters, glasses, a serving dish or a toaster.

If wedding guests don't have a good idea what to buy as a wedding gift, often couples are registered to bridal registries and the registry can give a clue of what gifts the couple are looking for. It is a good idea to buy a gift from a couple's bridal registry for when the registry is finally over, the couple can buy a gift they want at a significant discount.

Some well known department stores that have good bridal registries include; Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdales, Crate & Barrel, Kohl's, Macy's, and Pottery Barn.

Here are 10 cost savings tips for wedding gifts and bridal registries.

Tip 1 - Understand How to Run Your Bridal Registry
If the size of the wedding is under 300 wedding guests, a couple should sign up with two bridal registries of their favorite stores, if over 300 wedding guests then they should sign up with three stores. This is done so the wedding couple can gain a significant discount of gifts they want. If the amount of stores is too spread they won't gain the significant discount.

The registry should be signed up for about two to three months before the wedding, gifts should be signed up for all different price ranges because your guests will buy gifts in all different price ranges. On each Thursday or Friday the month before your wedding, the couple should check in with their Bridal Registry to be sure the items they have chosen are still available. If the item has been registered find a replacement item at about the same value. It is much better to check out the status of your bridal registry in person to verify the items are still on display and available.

It is wise to run the bridal registry up to a week after your honeymoon, for a few of your gifts might be picked up after your wedding day and help you to get a bigger discount.

Tip 2 - Give the Wedding Couple a Gift Card
You might consider getting the couple a gift card and better yet, give them a gift card for their favorite store or a store in which they are registered to a bridal registry in order for them to get a bigger discount for a gift they want.

Tip 3 - Make a Homemade Gift
Very often a homemade gift becomes very special, it often is a unique gift that can't be found in any store. Some great homemade wedding gifts could be an oil painting, a woodwork gadget, ceramic pottery, a quilt, a unique sculpture, or a pretty glass blowing. An inscription might be included with the couple's initials or date of the wedding.

Tip 4 - Find a Unique Gift Online
If you look for gifts online or using your smart sphone you can find great gifts from EBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or from a hobbyist's website. Shop around for a good deal.

Tip 5 - Buy a Group Gift
Group gifts sometimes make great gifts. The group can be the high school gang, the sorority sisters, the people you work with. Great group gifts could be a patio set, a dining table set, or living room set. Group gifts are great because a furniture set bought by some special friends will last a long time and often you will be reminded of the old gang when you use the furniture.

Tip 6 - Find Coupons, Coupon Codes, and Store Discount Sales
The latest trend in coupons are the new scanners called QR codes short for "Quick Response" codes, you scan these codes using your smart phones which are in reality mobile coupons. These coupons in reality are little black and white squares with smaller squares within the larger ones.

A new trend is emerging, many couple will create a seperate card in their wedding invitation package and on these cards will show the store's name of their bridal registry and will show QR codes. With wedding guest's smart phones they can scan the code and get information on the couple's bridal registry including URL links, GEO coordinates, text, pictures, and promotional material.

Also, you could search for coupons using your laptop or smart phone. Today their are thousands of coupons that can be found to get discounts on gifts. Some reputable websites that offer coupons include , , , , and .

You also might go to your favorite store in person and ask if that store has an e-newsletter or visit their website. When they have promotions, they may send you their information or send you a coupon or coupon code.

Tip 7 - Find a High Quality Regift
Sometimes you may have received a prior gift that's really not you. A family member may also have gifts they don't won't. Be sure that any regifts are in perfect condition and that nobody at the wedding knows that the gift is a regift. Look around in your apartment, and at your parents house or close relative's house. Look in attics, storage areas, garages, and basements. Good regifts might be china sets, extra unused appliances, furniture, and beautiful artwork.

Tip 8 - Find a Unique Gift from an Estate Sale or Moving Sale
Great gifts can often be found at estate sales, moving sales, yard sales, and garage sales. Look for upcoming sales in newspapers, and on online resources. Sometimes beautiful heirlooms can be found or a beautiful living room, dining room, or bedroom set. Also you may come across beautiful jewelry. Situations arise where people need to downsize, need to find money quickly or there is a death in the family. Great deals can be found at some of these estate sales and you can pick up a great gift thats a bargain, sometimes even at a great discount such as 80% off what the item is worth, quick money may be needed.

Tip 9 - Buy Gifts Out of Their Season
Study the gift you are interested in buying using Google Trend. Certain times of the year you will see a significant drop in the search for a product. Many outdoor products show a significant drop after the summer season such as a patio set, televisions show a significant drop after the Super Bowl, many items drop in price after the Christmas Holidays. At certain times of the year when demand is less, the prices of products are lowered to stimulate demand.

Tip 10 - Offer Your Services and Time Instead
If you don't have much money to buy a wedding gift, offer your services. You could bake a cake, help wrap wedding favors, paint a room in the wedding couple's new home, be a handyman or handywoman, offer your services for a day, be available for landscaping, help the wedding couple move, do the lawn while the couple are on their honeymoon, help create a photo album, ask how you can help the couple.

The important thing about buying wedding gifts, formulate a budget and keep to your budget, you can buy a special gift another time when you have some extra money.

Also it's important for the wedding couple to buy a special meaningful gift for each other, it could be jewelry, a gadget, or a picture of you framed. Buy something that has meaning.

Other gifts that are good is a gift of special wine, liquor that you know the couple likes and for the out-of-towners buy them a local area gift basket of specialties in your area, as a token of your appreciation for coming to your wedding.

See you on the other side!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Wedding Invitations

Wedding tradition states that wedding invitation features hand-engraved and fine calligraphy to create a rich, elegant look. The paper you should use should last a lifetime so the newlyweds have them as keepsakes to show to future generations.

When deciding on a calligrapher make sure you have checked out their training and ask for examples of their work and make sure you like their calligraphy style. You will need to decide on size and style of paper and envelopes, what type of ink to use, what type of font to go with, the amount of invitations that will be needed, by what date the invitations will be needed by and finally the total costs.

The following are 10 cost saving tips for wedding invitations.

Tip 1 - Use a Great Calligrapher Just for the Design
You want to create your beautiful wedding invitation and possibly other items such as thank-you notes, directional maps, place cards, and wedding programs. A great way to save on costs is have a professional calligrapher create a master copy of all the printing needs you want for your wedding. Then take the master copies and have all your wedding printing needs handled by a print shop at less cost. Make sure you talk to both parties before proceeding. For example, gain ideas for designer artwork and that the printer can match the work to your wedding theme or color scheme. The only part that will have to be handled by the wedding couple is the recipients address which will need to be written out on each of the envelopes one by one. Make sure you use ink appropriate for wedding invitations.

Tip 2 - Pick Up a Major Retailer Wedding Invitation Box Kit
Today some major retailers sell wedding invitation box kits that allow you to print your own wedding invitations at home. There are many styles to choose from to suit your tastes. You can find kits in a number of places, at gift shops, at office supply stores, at Kinkos, at Staples, at Costco, and other discount and warehouse stores. Invitation kits can also be ordered online, here are some reputable websites , , , , and . Many of these kits include ribbon and other extras. You also might consider purchasing a custom embosser to add initials, names, or custom designs embeeded into the invitations.

Tip 3 - Have Your RSVPs Responded to using Social Media
Over the last few years there are many more ways to respond to your wedding invite. RSVPs can be done many different ways then snail mail. RSVPs can be done over your IPhone (some wedding apps can directly put your guests into a wedding list) (check out or RSVPs can be gathered on a couple's wedding website, on a couple's Facebook page, a blog, a twitter tweet, or with a response using text message. Use the Social Media device that you are into and leave instructions to your guests how to respond with what you are using.

Tip 4 - Learn the Art of Calligraphy and Create Invitations Yourself
If you've really got good handwriting and steady hands and plenty of time, you might consider learning calligraphy and create your own wedding invitations. Make sure you take a calligraphy class or learn how to stroke Calligraphy characters from Videos or Youtube. It is very helpful to watch somebody, how they stroke characters visually. Make sure you find good paper to use and a good ink set. Also order about 20% of extra papers for oops mistakes, and for late additions. Some websites you might check out include , , , , and .

Tip 5 - Send a Wedding CD Invitation
With today's technology, impress your guests with a wedding invitation CD. Not only are CDs easy to make and very affordable these days, they also provide an interactive multimedia experience that goes well beyond a paper invitation. Start off with you and your honey inviting important people in your lives to your wedding. Next inform them of all the details of the wedding ceremony and how to get there and to the wedding reception location, next include a slideshow of the each of you growing up and a little about how each of you came together, include some favorite music, and lastly how to RSVP.

Tip 6 - Go Vintage Wedding Invitations
Wedding Invitations can be made of non-traditional materials that can give your wedding a vintage appeal. You might consider printing wedding details on vintage scarfs, handkerchiefs, scraps of silk, or on Chinese fans. Pick up an inkset fabric printer which will allow you to print details on many of these products using your computer at home and providing significant savings. Use lace dollies, old photographs, vintage pictures and stamps to complete the vintage look.

Tip 7 - Create a Video Wedding Invitation
You can create a video wedding invitation using a webcam or camcorder. You can create of video of both of you inviting guests to your wedding. You again want to state that you would be privileged to have invited guests to come to your wedding. Provide specifics of the date, time and important venue locations of your wedding day, make sure in your video you dress up or dress down similar to what people should be wearing for your wedding day whether formal or beach wear. You could send a video to each invite using email or create a CD to send in the mail. Make sure you have all guests email addresses and home addresses. Make sure you include how guests should respond RSVP.

Tip 8 - Use a Post Card for RSVP and Save the Date Magnet
When you ask to respond using RSVP use a post card instead of a return stamped envelope and you will save on postage especially if you have hundreds of respondents, a post card stamp is a little cheaper. Also a Save the Date Magnet is great to send for wedding guests could keep the magnet on their refrigerator, give your guests plenty of advance notice so they don't forget the weekend of your wedding and act as reminders. A business card sized magnet will do.

Tip 9 - Destination Based Wedding Invitation
Maps are a perfect choice if you are planning a destination wedding. Look for vintage maps for your wedding locale online or buy modern folding maps with attractive printing. You also might consider using maps or landmark sites as a border to frame your written invitation details. Cut and paste appropriate map sections to accent a standard invitation. Create a map highlighting the bride's preparation location, the ceremony site, a photo shoot spot, the wedding reception location and directions to hotels and the airport. Create pictures of landmarks on appropriate locations on the maps. Find someone with strong drawing skills to create your map.

Tip 10 - Create Wedding Invitations Using a Home Computer
Creating wedding invitations is so much easier these days. You do need to shop around for good deals on paper. Look for inexpensive off white paper such as ecru. Check out translucent, metallic paper, and linen paper. You might check out thermography and laser printing. Avoid expensive extras such as bows, embellishments, jackets, and multiple layers of paper. Make sure you proof read all your printing for proper english and spelling mistakes. Some websites to check out to create wedding invitations using your home computer include , , and .
Lastly when working with a calligrapher add in some extra time. Don't rush a calligrapher, their work is meticulous. Also, a calligrapher might not tell you about other clients that they have, and they don't want to lose extra business that comes their way. You also don't want to rush them for oops or alignment or spelling mistakes. Add an extra week in your head from a quoted date. Many calligraphers will tell you for every 100 invitations they work on might take a week. If the calligrapher is not too far away, arrange for pickup in person and double check all invitations for spelling. It is also wise to bring along a second pair of eyes to check spelling and all recipients names are spelled correctly and with the proper Mr., Mrs., Ms and other titles such as Doctor or Judge.

See you on the other side!

Monday, July 30, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Rehearsal Dinners

Rehearsal Dinners have two purposes, first, it is an opportunity for the bride's and groom's family to get together and to get to know each other a little bit and second, it is also a thank-you celebration for all the participants that are partaking in the wedding.

The participants in the rehearsal dinner include, the bride and groom, the bride's immediate family, the groom's immediate family, the maid of honor and bridesmaids, the best man and groomsmen, generally the parent's of the flower girl and parent's of the ring bearer, it is a good idea to have the flower girl and ring bearer too but it is not required.

Usually, siblings that are close in age should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. These other participants are optional, siblings that are not close in age, the grandparents and any special aunts and uncles, the spouses of bridal members that aren't part of the bridal party, officiants of the wedding and their spouses, also out of town guests, also very close friends to the bride and groom that aren't part of the wedding. Which members to invite, should all depend on your wedding budget.

Most couples tend to have their rehearsal dinner right after the final rehearsal practice for the wedding. Protocol states that the groom's parents generally cover the cost of a rehearsal dinner. If the groom's parent's can't afford the rehearsal dinner, other possibilities include the bride's family to help out, the wedding couple helps out, or check with other close relatives such as a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or sometimes a boss from a company could help defray the costs.

It's a good idea to find a rehearsal dinner location that's not too far from the wedding ceremony practice site. The site is recommended to be within fifteen minutes drive of the wedding ceremony practice site and highly recommended not to be more than 30 minutes from the ceremony site.

Some families include special activities at the rehearsal dinner. Sometimes family have a little roast and toast of the wedding couple, members of the family and bridal party may say a couple of words about the wedding couple at the rehearsal dinner, sometimes little games are played to see how well the guests know things about the wedding couple and how well the couple knows each other. The important thing though, is to not go too far, you don't want to embarass the couple or wedding guests, the event should be geared to good first impressions.

The last thing to note, you don't want to have the bride and groom out late or getting drunk. You want to be sure they are well rested for their very special day, don't plan any activities that will keep them out late. It's important for their marriage to get off to a great start!

The following are 10 cost savings tips for the rehearsal dinner:

Tip 1 - Consider a Restaurant for a Rehearsal Dinner Site
Depending on your budget, you could find a restaurant for a rehearsal dinner site, if the budget is really tight you might want to low key the occasion, do not mention the occasion as a rehearsal dinner or wedding to the restaurant staff and have everyone order off the menu, you can reserve an area as a party, some restaurants jack up the price if they know the event is a rehearsal dinner or wedding.

Tip 2 - Order Less Expensive Entrees, Have Hors d'ouevres Instead, or Have a Buffet Table 
Instead of having a dinner, make it a cocktail hour and have hors d'oeuvres instead, hors d'ouvres are a lot cheaper. Another option is have a buffet table instead, order less expensive entrees, make sure you have assorted entrees though. Have the food mostly served from a buffet table of chafing dishes and salad bar. A buffet table is generally less expensive than meals ordered from an entree menu.

Tip 3 - Consider an Outing Instead of a Formal Rehearsal Dinner
You might consider having a barbeque, a beach party, having a bowling night, a dinner theater, wine and cheese party or a ballgame night. Instead of having a formal affair, have the occasion geared to an interest. Just be sure whatever activity is chosen, the family and wedding guests would be also interested in following along.

Tip 4 - Consider a Rehearsal Dinner in a Family or Friend's Home
If a family member or friend have a beautiful home, have the rehearsal dinner in someone's home. The occasion could be a pool party, poker party, or party games surrounding the wedding couple. You can even have an outdoor theater featuring the lucky couple. There are many food options too, you can have pot luck dinner, hire a chef, order take out food from a specialty restaurant, pick up assorted hors d'ouevres and appetizers, or pick up a bunch of pizzas, sub sandwiches, or italian food.

Tip 5 - Have the Bride or Groom's Mother Bake a Groomsman Cake
Groomsman cakes have become popular for rehearsal dinners over the past decade. Groomsman cakes are cakes made to the groom's liking, served at the rehearsal dinner usually made to one of the groom's favorite flavors such as chocolate or chocolate fudge and the top of the cake is decorated to one or more of the groom's hobbies. Instead of ordering a groomsman's cake at a local baker, if the bride or mother of the groom like to bake cakes, have one of them bake and decorate a groomsman cake for the groom. Use a little imagination, the guests at the rehearsal dinner will be impressed.

Tip 6 - No Need to Decorate at a Rehearsal Dinner
A lot depends on a wedding couple's budget. Decorations or centerpieces are acceptable to not have at a rehearsal dinner, the event is more for close family and the bridal party. No one will be offended if you don't have decorations at your rehearsal dinner. The rule of thumb, if you can afford it, decorate, if the money is very tight, don't decorate.

Tip 7 - Rehearsal Dinner Invitations are not a Requirement
If you are looking to save a little money, it's not necessary to send out rehearsal dinner invitations. Rehearsal dinner invitations can be done in many different informal ways, rehearsal dinner invitations can be done by phone, can be done by email, can be done by informal mail, can be done using a couple's website, any way that is a convenient way to communicate. Rehearsal Dinner invitations don't have to be fancy, they don't have to be formal like the wedding and wedding reception, but however they are done make sure it's not in a sloppy way, you need to be leaving a good first impression.

Tip 8 - Find a Vanilla Banquet Hall for your Rehearsal Dinner
You might look for a banquet hall that is not a regularly functioning venue space. You might check out church halls, community centers, retreat centers, classroom complexes, empty banquet halls, VFW halls, retirement clubhouses, empty office spaces, Knights of Columbus Buildings, dining areas at less glamorous golf clubs, or private areas at restaurants. The rehearsal dinner areas you can take a vanilla area and just hire a caterer to drop off food. A quiet venue area might even be better than a formal venue area, this way you can have plenty of privacy for roasts, toasts, and wedding couple games.

Tip 9 - Have Everyone Order off the Menu instead of Ordering Entrees
Many restaurants will charge a lot more money if you order food off an entree menu instead of a restaurant menu. Instead of ordering food from an entree menu, have all the rehearsal dinner guests order off the regular menu instead, restaurants and special banquet facilities tend to have higher prices on their entree menus for rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions. Order the food off of their normal menu, you probably will save some money on tip money too.

Tip 10 - BYOB for your Rehearsal Dinner
Bring Your Own Booze, Bring Your Own Bartender, Bring Your Own Beer, and Bring Your Own Wine. If the venue allows you to, handle as much alcohol costs as you can. A venue will charge you a lot more for alcohol than if you brought alcohol to the venue yourself. A bottle of wine might cost you $25, you can get just as good wine that you like from a winery or local liquor store for $5. You can save a lot a lot of money from using a keg of beer or use wine carafes instead of bottle of wines. Bring your own bartender, if you use a venue's bartender, the venue may charge twice or three times for the same bartenders, they keep some money for overhead, if you brought your own bartender, the venue is less likely to charge overhead. You also can gear the liquor to the drinks your guests enjoy. If you can BYOB, you can save yourself a lot of money.

Make sure you check the Rehearsal Dinner location in person yourself before booking. Make sure the venue has an area that can be kind of private, you don't want outsiders to be intruding into your private celebration, you don't want speeches, toasts, or wedding rehearsal games or distribution of bridesmaid or groomsmen gifts to be intruded by other restaurant patrons. You don't want gawkers or be disturbed by others. Make sure you find a space that can be geared to the type of rehearsal dinner that you are looking for.

Also, no one says that a rehearsal party has to be the day before the wedding. If your wedding is on a Saturday, if a Thursday is a lot cheaper than a Friday wedding reception at a particular restaurant, consider one day earlier if it means saving significant money. A morning rehearsal dinner brunch is an option too.

See you on the other side!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Using Hotels for your Wedding

As you begin to plan your wedding, you might check out upscale hotels in the area where you plan to get married. You might think the price of using hotels might be beyond your price range, but upon further inspection you might be pleasantly surprised to find out you can really afford it.

With upscale hotels you are usually assigned a hotel wedding coordinator, a person that's generally highly experienced at planning weddings, a person that can help you plan an extraordinary wedding, a person that can help you in planning your wedding and save you money in many different ways. For instance, you may save in transportation costs, you many no longer need a limo to transport wedding guests from the ceremony location to the wedding reception. The hotel may offer shuttle service free of charge from the airport and from other locations and back again.

Many upscale hotels offer your wedding, a luxurious and memorable experience and keeps all your wedding guests together, so there is more time for your guests to enjoy themselves. Your wedding guests can have a good time and reminisce of days gone by and spend time to be entertained and enjoy a great meal and enjoy a few drinks, and also enjoy the hotel's luxurious accommodations.

The following are 10 cost saving tips for using hotels for your wedding.

Tip 1 - Search for Hotels that Bundle Services
The major savings you get for having your hotel is the bundling of services. A lot of wedding categories are grouped together and often are discounted saving you quite a bit of money. By booking your wedding at a hotel or resort and by the hotel bundling many wedding category services, the hotel saves you effort, the vendors are vetted and usually top notch, you may no longer have to worry about finding many wedding vendors yourself. The services bundled include the services of a wedding coordinator, a reception hall, the caterer and the food and the bartenders and the drinks and the wait staff that serve and clear the tables, you also save on the decorations and table centerpieces, the wedding cake and desserts, and for all the chairs and tables, all the plates and dishes. The wedding couple may also save on the wedding musicians or the disc jockey, on a photographer, possibly a wedding officiant, and possibly transportation and providing your wedding guests more time to spend together.

Some hotels even have salons and spas in house, whereby the bridal party can get their hair done and makeup applied. About the only thing that wedding couples have to focus on is who to invite to their wedding and what outfits the bridal party should wear.

Tip 2 - Block a Set of Rooms to get Discounts for Wedding Guests
Most upscale hotels will offer a wedding couple a group discount for blocked rooms. If enough rooms are booked, the wedding couple may even be offered a luxurious honeymoon suite for free. A simple phone call and a little foresight could end up saving you and your wedding guests quite a lot of money. You need to plan in advance at many upscale hotels. The more popular hotels get booked far in advance, sometimes even a year or two in advance. Generally, at least 10 rooms would need to be booked and the cut off for booking is usually about one month prior to the booking date.

When you enter into a booking plan with the hotel, the hotel will inform you how your guests should get signed up with the discount plan. Some hotels use a coding system whereas others may book under the wedding couple's or family names. About a month before the wedding date, the hotel will have a cutoff date and the hotel will open rooms to the general public. You will need to be in contact with the hotel to find out how many guests have been booked and what date is the cutoff. If there are still empty rooms, you might want to touch base with some of your wedding guests to see if you can book enough guests to warrant a discount or a honeymoon suite.

It's a good idea to book rooms at multiple hotels and encourage like minded individuals to use the same hotel. It might not be a good idea to book conservative older generation guests with your fraternity brothers and sorority sisters or divorcees staying together at the same hotel. Check on shuttle service between different hotels.

Tip 3 - Find a Hotel that can Double as your Ceremony Site
In the past decade, many upscale hotels have created a beautiful ceremony space at their hotel. You should check the hotel's ceremony site, the hotel just might have a beautiful location for a wedding ceremony. Check the location out in person though, some hotels have outstanding sites and some hotels offer a very vanilla site. Also check out what chairs and decorations are offered for the wedding ceremony, at some venues you might find chairs and decorations from a rental store to be cheaper than from the hotel. The thing that is great about having a wedding ceremony at your hotel is that you keep all your wedding guests together giving you more time for partying and mingling.

Tip 4 - Check Out Local 2 or 3 Star Hotels for Guests with a Tight Budget
If you have some out-of-towner wedding guests with a tight budget, you might be better off including a hotel in the area that is a lot less expensive, maybe even a 2 or 3 star hotel in the vicinity of the wedding hotel. Don't just book rooms at a 2 or 3 star hotel until they are checked out in person. Many 2 and 3 star hotels are very nice, but just as many of these hotels have issues. The hotel room may be run down or have no air conditioning or have substandard plumbing or in a bad location. Check out any hotel in person before recommending it to wedding guests.

Tip 5 - Rent Linens from a Hotel, Ask for at Least a 10% Discount 
Check out what other area hotels might be able to offer you for your wedding, it does not have to be your wedding hotel. Many wedding hotels might be able to rent you linens for your wedding. You might even be able to order a wedding cake, desserts, hors d'oeuvres, decorations, or furniture. Many wedding couples never even think to check with what other hotels can offer in wedding planning, they might be close by your wedding location and provide you with wedding needs and save you quite a bit of money.

Tip 6 - Work with the Wedding Coordinator and Hotel Manager in Ways to Save you Money
As you are planning your wedding, talk to the wedding coordinator or hotel manager and tell them you are looking for ways to save on expenses. Many of the hotels first try to up-sell you, they try to get you to go for the more expensive packages. They may find you cost savings, cheaper linens, less expensive dishes, less expensive wedding decorations or maybe you can bring your own bartenders, wait staff, and allow you to bring in your own alcohol or wedding wine and champagne. You don't always have to go with what the hotel's brochure advertises. Talk things over with the head staff at the hotel, they may offer options to make the wedding more affordable. Make sure you go through the contract in detail before signing and look for savings.

Tip 7 - Look for Wedding Dates that Offer Lower Booking Prices
For many upscale hotels, booking weddings and rooms are cheaper at different times of the year. Before booking a hotel you might want to study the booking costs for different dates. Hotel rates tend to be cheaper in November, January, February, and March. Hotel rates are often varied, with higher rates during holidays and the wedding season such as May and June. Also the day of the week and time of day offer different rates. Saturday night weddings tend to be most expensive and a week day may be less expensive, but sometimes things depend if the hotel is geared toward business clientele. Study a chart of the hotel's open dates booking costs before deciding on a date to book your wedding and wedding guest accommodations.

Tip 8 - Check out Accommodation Alternatives to the Hotel
If you look around the area, there may be an estate house available for your wedding. The estate house may offer many rooms that wedding guests can stay. The estate house sometimes with many wedding guest could end up costing you less than staying at a hotel and possibly be a more beautiful location. Also check out area time shares and bed & breakfasts. Check out other options in the area, you just never know you might have found a beautiful manor that costs just a much or even less than a luxurious hotel and a beautiful place for hotel guests to spend the night and have a beautiful brunch the day after your wedding and an exciting wedding experience for your wedding guests.

Tip 9 - Use to Help Find you a Great Deal is a great resource to find hotel accommodations. is a website that analyzes hundreds of different hotel, airplane, and auto rental websites in an area you are looking and finds you the best deal within your budget. There is a little secret though in booking with Kayak. First find a great hotel deal using , but before booking call the hotel and tell them you are looking at a room from a hotel website. You ask the hotel can they find you a better deal or at least a matching deal than was quoted from Kayak. Often the hotel will give you a better or matching deal. The reason to go with the hotel, the hotel keeps better locations for themselves and the guests that sign up personally gets more attention. If the hotel doesn't match or give you a better deal, then revert back and book using kayak. Also check out .

Tip 10 - Look for Hotels using Google Maps, Mapquest, or Yelp
First look for a Hotel area that features nice upscale hotels in an area. Then from that area, look for hotels that don't advertise. Some upscale hotels don't advertise and are in an area of other upscale hotels. Because the hotel doesn't advertise, the hotel passes the savings to their customers and charges cheaper hotel fees. After finding an area that shows upscale hotels, look at other hotels in the same area either by using google maps, mapquest, or yelp, find other hotels that show up on the map and don't advertise such as wedding directories or does not have a website. Look up the phone number of these un-advertised hotels and see what their rates are and negotiate better deals. It's a sneaky way to sometimes find great deals.

There is a lot to cover in a contract for a wedding hotel. Make sure you get a walk-through before signing a contract, check out the reception area, holding rooms, the kitchen, other areas such as the hotel grounds and lobbies, and check out the hotel rooms and all the bathrooms that go with your wedding space. Also check out transportation situations, valet parking, parking spaces, shuttle use, and bus and train stops. Review the contract thoroughly to be sure everything is understood and understand all restrictions such as the time the venue has to be shut down, decoration restrictions, music restrictions, and what can and cannot be done at the hotel. Make sure all your wedding guests and wedding vendors understand all the restrictions. Make sure you have at least another set of eyes looking with you through the contract.

See you on the other side!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Bed and Breakfasts

Bed & Breakfasts are a wedding couple's little secret and can help out a wedding period in many different ways. Some bed & breakfasts are designed for weddings and can provide significant cost savings, some are a good place to stay for the out-of-town groom, some are good for your honeymoon night before a couple is off to their honeymoon, and they are a great place for out-of-town guests that come into town for your wedding day period.

Many bed & breakfasts are run by the owner or an innkeeper who put out a lot of effort to make the b&b a wonderful place to stay, many rooms are designed with character, provided with plush bedding, fluffy robes, and assorted toiletries. The bed & breakfasts lobby may be decorated with antiques and other unique items such as from a landlord's hobby. Many have an entertainment room or a den library.

The bed & breakfasts also feature their namesake, a very hearty breakfast, featuring all sorts of breakfasty things, including egg dishes, pancakes, french toast, waffles, muffins, lox & bagels, toast & jelly, sausage, bacon, cereal, a great cup of coffee and a fruit juice.

There are some keys when dealing with bed & breakfast to get great deals. Make sure you get a brochure of all the amenities that the bed & breakfast has to offer, let the bed & breakfast know you are getting married you might just get a special gift or a room upgrade, don't be afraid to try to negotiate a better deal, and try to book them far in advance. The following are 10 cost savings tips.

Tip 1 - Consider a Bed & Breakfasts That Handle Weddings
If you are having a small wedding, you might consider checking out bed & breakfasts that are in your area first that handle weddings. The bed & breakfasts can possibly save you significant money and many have connections or items on premise and possibly a beautiful yard for your wedding. Some have special spots for a wedding ceremony, and they have a lot of connections with wedding vendors, may have a small area for a wedding reception area or might provide a wedding tent at no extra cost. The connections might handle wedding decorations, provide floral arrangement, provide a wedding cake, provide a photographer, and recommend wedding musicians or disc jockeys, and provide a wedding officiant.

Tip 2 - Book Many of your Wedding Guests at the Bed & Breakfast 
When you negotiate with your bed & breakfast, ask the innkeeper, if you convince many of your wedding guests to stay at the bed & breakfast can you get a discount for you and maybe also for your wedding guests. Many bed & breakfasts will oblige you for bringing them additional business.

Tip 3 - Check Out Wedding Supplies a Wedding Bed & Breakfast Has
Even if you are not staying at the bed & breakfast, many b&b's have supplies for weddings. They may have a wedding tent, chairs and tables, linens, dishes, serving dishes, serving utensils. Their supplies may be available for your wedding and the items may be less expensive to rent than from a rental services store saving you some money.

Tip 4 -Check Out the Less Expensive Rooms at the Bed & Breakfast
Many bed & breakfasts offer more expensive rooms and less expensive rooms. Sometimes the difference is square footage in the room or a beautiful view or more lush bedding, or a bath in the room. Check out the rooms before booking, a less expensive room is often just as good as the more expensive rooms, just don't book any room at a bed & breakfast, ask for a walk-through of all the rooms that you might consider.

Tip 5 - Talk to the Innkeeper About Area Amenities
The innkeepers of bed & breakfasts take pride of their business, most can answer many questions of the area. You can often get what the best and cheapest restaurants are in the area. Also the innkeepers gather discounts or coupons of Things To Do in the area. Maybe there is a festival, a winery, a museum, an art gallery, an amusement park, a dinner show, or a quiet place in the park. Good innkeepers can find activities for you to do and get you a discount, ask and often then can help you.

Tip 6 - Sign Up for Offers by the Bed & Breakfast 
When inquiring about what a bed & breakfast has to offer, give the innkeeper your email and home address. Often you may get a newsletter or ecard online or a post card in the mail of special deals. You'll be the first to hear about a bed & breakfast special. You might receive packages and/or incentives offered by the b&b or be informed of an event in the area, and perhaps take home a good recipe or two.

Tip 7 - Sign Up on the Bed & Breakfast Facebook Page 
Become a fan of the Bed & Breakfast, sign up as a fan to bed & breakfasts that you are interested in. You will get in on Promo Codes and Coupons. You might very well get in on a drawing offered by the B&B and win a free stay or get a significant discount. You will be the first to know of happenings, be informed of cancellations, and kept abreast of events, plus you will stay in touch with the B&B innkeeper.

Tip 8 - Visit B&B Directories for Packages, Specials, and Gift Certificates
Go online on the internet. investigate bed & breakfasts in your area. Visit directories like, , , and Search for extensive listings for packages, specials, and gift certificates. Sign up to receive a weekly b&b newsletter, look for hot deals or promotional offers for free via email.

Tip 9 - Understand the Phone Service or Internet Arrangement
Understand exactly what is included in the the land lines of a bed & breakfast. Don't get caught with paying additional charges. Use your cell phone instead of the b&b's land line and understand what the situation is with using your lap top. Some b&b's might surprise you with a charge for lap top usage.

Tip 10 - Check B&B Associations and Guilds
Find out what other patron experience's were with the bed & breakfast, also check them out with the better business bureau. Also check out if the bed & breakfast has different costs in different seasons, what are there costs during slow and peak seasons, comparison shop of different b&b's and see what b&b's get you the better deals.

The better bed & breakfasts get booked months in advance. Check in with the b&b's to find out far in advance you must book to insure you get a room. Always check out the rooms in person before booking, a picture over the internet can be sometimes be deceiving. Always review the rules of the b&b before booking, also check out the neighborhood and parking. The place may look beautiful but then you get their and you find yourself in a noisy neighborhood. Most reputable b&b's are pretty good, for they also want future business, their success is often dependent on word of mouth.

Check out bed & breakfasts, some leave one with a lasting memory of their experience. See you on the other side!

Monday, July 2, 2012

10 Cost Savings Tips for Wedding Cakes

The centerpiece of the wedding reception is the wedding cake. The wedding cake tends to be second most talked about topic at weddings after the bride and her wedding dress. Many couples are surprised at the cost of a wedding cake, it often is a lot more expensive than they were expecting. Couples often go overboard in designing their wedding cake, their dream is to have their wedding cake as a showpiece for their wedding.

Below are some tactics on saving money on your wedding cake. Bakers determine size by using guest count as a starting point and from there, add a few more slices to account for wedding guests who sneak an extra slices and late additions. The baker determines the size of the wedding cake by calculating pan sizes that are needed for the wedding cake. For instance, a 6 inch pan yields 12 slices of cake, a 10 inch pan yields 36 slices of cake, a 16 inch pan yields 92 slices of cake and a 20 inch pan yields 120 slices of cake.

The key in creating your wedding cake, be honest with your baker about your wedding cake budget. Don't go to your baker with a picture of an extravagant cake from a magazine then expect to pay rock bottom prices unless you have a strong budget for your wedding cake. It's better to let the baker know what the budget you are working with and then let the baker sketch a design in which you like the style and come up with a design that meets your budget.

The following are 10 cost saving tips for creating your wedding cake.

Tip 1 - Create Different Flavored Tiers on your Wedding Cake
All your wedding guests have different taste buds. Many of your wedding guests like different flavors over other flavors. Your wedding cake will be more of a hit if your wedding guests have a choice of flavors. It's a good idea to create different flavored tiers, so your wedding guests can choose a flavor they love. If the wedding cake is all one flavor, such as vanilla, there are some guests that might not be crazy about the flavor chosen, you increase the chances of more of the wedding cake to be eaten if their are more flavor options. If the opportunity exists for offering different flavored tiers, more guests will eat more of the cake.

Tip 2 - Create a Smaller Wedding Cake and Offer Cupcakes on the Side
If you want to see significant savings on your wedding cake. Create a beautiful smaller wedding cake then surround the wedding cake with cupcakes. The cupcakes can be made with various flavors so your wedding guests have a few different choices. An elaborate wedding cake can be created but because it's a smaller it's not so expensive.

Tip 3 - Order a Plain Cake and Decorate the Cake Yourself
For significant savings, the major costs of a wedding cake are cake decorations. Instead of a baker icing and decorating the cake, have the baker bake the cake and then you take over decorating the cake yourself. The baker has the large pans and a good oven for baking the cake. Contract with the baker to bake the cake, and then you pick up the cake from the baker and then you take over decorating the cake from there. Your guests will be impressed you decorated your own cake and you may save yourself a couple of hundred dollars.

Tip 4 - Cut Down on Elaborate Decorations for Your Wedding Cake
Many bakeries will push for elaborate decorations when designing wedding cakes, resist the temptation. A few decorations are just fine, but don't go for so many extras. Go for less wedding cake decorations and you don't need to go fancy. Go for decorations that aren't as expensive, price each different decoration idea out, go with gum paste flowers and don't go with fondant icing. Go with flower petals that doesn't stain. Price out decorations to be sure they fit to your budget.

Tip 5 - Order a Large Cake with Filler in Some Tiers
Many bakers could build you a large wedding cake but instead of a baked cake in some of the tiers they use styrofoam or plastic in some of the tiers. The cake looks impressive, but because of the hidden layers, the making of the cake is not so expensive.

Tip 6 - Use a Fancy Cupcake Tree in Place of a Wedding Cake
Cupcake trees are now available on the market, you can buy a cupcake tree stand and it looks almost as beautiful as a wedding cake. Instead of paying the cost of a wedding cake, instead bake cupcakes instead. You can bake cupcakes in many different flavors and different flavors of icing providing your wedding guests with lots of different choices. The cupcake tree is similar to the wedding cake, so it doesn't take too much away from the wedding cake look and can save you a lot of money from not having to make a wedding cake.

Tip 7 - Hire an Individual Over a Bakery
In almost every city and community you can find bakers that create wedding cakes out of their home instead of a bakery. The person that creates wedding cakes from home often charges a lot less than it would cost from a bakery, the baker at a business has a lot of more overhead, they pay for equipment, they pay more for utilities, they pay their boss, they pay an extra mortgage or a lease. The person that bakes your wedding cake at home, tends to be more focused on you, they are allowed to be more creative in wedding cake design, it costs them less to bake and make the cake and the cost savings is passed onto you.

Tip 8 - Use a Dummy Cake and Serve from a Sheet Cake
Some bakers have a dummy cake that looks like a real wedding cake. The real cake is a sheet cake that is kept in the kitchen. Your wedding guests will never guess that your wedding cake was served from a sheet cake instead allowing you to save lots of money from not having to make a wedding cake.

Tip 9 - Save on Cutting the Cake and Cake Pillars
Many businesses will provide a hostess and charge you a "cake cutting fee". Find a couple of volunteers, one that will cut the cake and another or others to serve the wedding cake. This will save you in not having to pay the "cake cutting fee". Many bakers will use crystal pillars and have a charge for that. You can pick up disposable pillars instead from a local baker or rental company. You might inquire with a different baking company than the one that baked your cake, if you get any push back. Don't let a venue nickel and dime you for serving your wedding cake.

Tip 10 - Check Out your Local Culinary School
Allow a young cooking student that is nearing graduation have a chance to bake your wedding cake. You do have to be a little careful because of the experience factor. Approach the culinary teacher at the school and ask for one of their best students. Arrange for a taste testing of the cake and make sure the teacher oversees the student's preparing of the cake. You can save a lot of money on the price of your wedding cake and you give a student an opportunity to pad their resume. It is important though, to meet the student and keep in close communication often during the period before your wedding to be sure no problems arise.

The rule of thumb, a wedding cake should be baked no more than two weeks before a wedding and the cake should be iced and decorated no more than three days before the wedding. The time table is important so the cake does not taste stale and decorations start to disintegrate after about three days. Often cakes need to be patched up some after cake transporting to the wedding reception. Keep wedding cakes away from the dance floor and make sure it's placed on a table that is away from a wall in order to get a good cake cutting and cake eating picture with the groom and the bride.

If there is cake left over after the wedding reception make sure the delicious cake does not go to waste. If there are not any volunteers to take the cake home, see if someone can drop the cake off at a senior center, a rehabilitation center, or a food shelter and offer someone less fortunate a little treat to add a little joy to their hearts.

That's cost savings tips for wedding cakes, see you on the other side!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

10 Cost Savings Tips for Wedding Decorations

Decorations help transform an ordinary wedding ceremony or wedding reception into an extraordinary event. To help decorate a wedding space, bride's may recruit wedding decorators, florists, event planners, balloon specialists, or use a wedding planner from a wedding venue. By using a little creativity, a bride or wedding couple can manage to pull together a very stylish and beautiful wedding celebration and save themselves quite a bit of money.

The following are 10 cost saving tips for wedding decorations.

Tip 1 - Incorporate Water Beads into your Wedding Decorations
One of the newest things seen at weddings are water beads especially used for wedding reception table centerpieces. First you start out with glass bowls, glass vases, or glass tower vases. These glass containers are filled water beads, water bead crystals are mixed with water and they form beautiful water beads. Up through the bottom, floralytes may be used to add a beautiful glow to the beads. On top you might add ostrich feathers, flowers, floral bouquets, or some kind of plant. Many brides will use the color beads geared to their color scheme. The water beads very often create a stunning visual and if they are created yourself or by a dear friend, they aren't that expensive to create. You might find these products at flea markets or arts and craft stores. Websites that offer some of these products are as follows: , , , , , .

Tip 2 - Use Candles for your Wedding Decorations
You can either make a trip to a candle outlet store of check for candles and candle holders in dollar stores. You have a number of options when it comes to decorating with candles. Candles come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, colors, and fragrances. You can fill a large wine glass, glass bowl, glass vase, or glass container with water and float candles on the water for a dazzling effect. Spread glitter, confetti, or flower petals around the decoration. You also might place a pillar candle inside a vase colored to your wedding scheme. Purchase candles in bulk and many vendors will offer you a bulk discount. Many little candle lights gives your event a fairy-like brightness that creates a mystical atmosphere. You also might think of using votive or tea light candles.

Tip 3 - Use Christmas Lights for Wedding Decorations
Buy many Christmas lights right after Christmas to take advantage of after holiday sales. Buy either white, clear, or color schemed Christmas lights. Use Christmas Lights for wedding center pieces, for poles, for railings, for bushes, or in trees to decorate your wedding space. Christmas Lights help make your space sophisticated, attention gathering, beautiful, and are rather inexpensive.

Tip 4 - Do It Yourself Wedding Decorations
Many wedding decorations you can create them yourself. If you use creativity, you may be really surprised with what you really can come up with. Look in dollar stores, arts and craft stores, and look online, look for vases, bowls, containers, colored stones, colored marbles, mirrors, plastic plants, silk plants, napkin holders, colored ribbons, colored string, and when looking you may come up with other ideas. You might try brainstorming ideas with a store manager. You may gain some ideas on wedding decorations by viewing Youtube videos on your computer, laptop, or IPad. Just go to Youtube and plug in a wedding decoration topic that might interest you and see what ideas you can come up with.

Tip 5 - Buy Colored Fabrics instead of Linens
Very often businesses markup the price of linens. You might save yourself of bundle of money by buying fabrics at an Arts and Supply store or from a Sewing Store. Sometimes, you might even find a fabric that is perfect for your color scheme. Many fabric stores can cut the fabric to the size you need. Consider fabric to create swag to your decor or use fabric to add a little color to your table linens. You might also use fabric to create a hanging effect or use for an eyesore such as an ugly pole.

Tip 6 - Recruit Bridesmaids to Help Prepare Wedding Decorations
Very often bridesmaids get almost excited about the wedding as the bride does and many times are happy to help out in wedding decorations. If there is a need, recruit your bridesmaid to help create your wedding reception table centerpieces, they may help in place cards, wreaths, wall decorations, create flower pieces, wrap wedding favors. You may recruit them for brainstorming and tinkering to come up with a beautiful wedding decorations.

Tip 7 - Collect Greenery and Photos of your Past
The months leading up to the wedding, keep your eyes out for greenery and other nature items. Collect eye appealing greenery, sea shells, sea glass, plants, flowers, or any type of items that may be geared to your wedding theme. Maybe your having a beach wedding, be on the lookout for beach items, look for inexpensive items, that will add to the theme of your wedding day. Just be on the lookout when you go out to places. Also gather pictures of you and your beau of when you were growing up and of the time you met. You might take some wedding theme items and photos and put frames around them.

Tip 8 - Decorate with Balloons
Today, many balloon places have come along way in the world of wedding decorations. It may be worth a trip to your local balloon or party store to investigate what type of decorations can be created for your wedding. Balloons can be created into pillars, some balloons are made into different shapes, and balloons come in many colors. Then there is the balloon drop. Check what your local balloon company can come up with to decorate your wedding, they night come up with a dazzling display and save you significant money.

Tip 9 - Rent Wedding Decorations
Check out rental stores, party stores, event rental businesses, hotels, and florists. Many of these businesses will rent out wedding decorations enabling you to save money. You might rent table centerpieces, linens, decoration pieces for your wedding ceremony, or some type of decorations for your walls, lights, hanging fabrics, or potted plant or floral decorations. Try to pick up a rental brochure to review what items are for rent and their cost. Renting instead of buying can save you sometimes a third of the cost of buying the item.

Tip 10 - Find a Venue with a Clean Palette and Really Decorate
Many couples will see a venue that is quite inexpensive and will think the place will never do. The thing to remember, many vanilla venues, can be elaborately decorated and will still cost much less than a beautiful reception hall. The key is decorate using a color scheme, add hanging fabrics, updraft lighting, colored linens, beautiful flowers, beautiful table settings, and beautiful centerpieces. Some of the most beautiful banquet halls and wedding tents started with a blank palette and transformed into a stunning venue. It all started out on the cheap and with much of the cost savings applied to wedding decorations, a beautiful reception venue was created, by using creativity thinking.

Cost savings can be found other ways too, for instance, a florist might provide a significant discount by bundling floral needs. A bride may get her bouquet, bouquets for the bridesmaids, boutonnieres for the groomsmen, flowers for other bridal members. A couple may get a significant discount for decorating the wedding ceremony and for wedding table centerpieces. Investigate if florists might offer you a discount for decorating your venues. Family members, friends, churches, or community centers might offer you decorating helpers, ideas, or decorating items, so check them out too.

See you on the other side!