Link to An Article About Eco-Friendly Jewelry

July 25th, 2009

I ran across this blog post and thought it was of interest:  Turns out there is a lot to think about when planning an eco-friendly wedding.  By the way, I second the author’s comment about vintage jewelry.  There is nothing quite as special as wearing an heirloom ring.

Wedding rings.  Photo by MWD Photography.

Wedding rings. Photo by MWD Photography.

Becoming the Grown-Up (Part Three)

July 19th, 2009
This bride asked only her sisters to be her bridesmaids--a wise choice!  Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

This bride asked only her sisters to be her bridesmaids--a wise choice! Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

In addition to the stories I know about dealing with parents and fiancés, I have heard some horror stories about bridesmaids, too. A wedding is a good time to think very hard about your friendships. When you ask someone to be a bridesmaid, you are pretty much asking for her life-long friendship. You are also asking them to do quite a bit of work and to shell out a lot of money for you. A good rule of thumb is to ask people to be in your wedding if they are close family, friends of the family, or people you have been close to for a long time. Someone you have known for a year or two may or may not turn out to be bridesmaid material. It is better to be safe than to be sorry. Wanting to have a big bridal party is not a good reason to ask someone. Ask yourself: Who are you close to? Who do you trust? Who would you do anything for? Would they do anything for you in return? Who do you think you will be close to in your married life? Those are the people you want around you on such an important occasion.

Also, discuss with your wedding party your expectations for them. Don’t assume that they know what you want. Make sure they know what they are getting into before they agree, including a specific discussion of who will pay for what and how much it will cost. This will save many headaches later.

If you make an effort to deal well with your parents, your fiancé, your friends and your family, you will have lots of help with your planning and a minimum of conflict.

Event Planning on a Budget – Part Four: Will You Have a Drink?

July 7th, 2009

One way to control costs at your event is by considering the beverages.

Non-alcoholic beverages are relatively inexpensive and may be included in your food package. Bar service can either be very expensive or relatively inexpensive, depending on your venue and the way you procure it. Many venues have bar packages: beer, wine, and soda; mid-price open bar; and top shelf, among others. I have not generally found that it is possible to negotiate these prices with a venue that has standard pricing. But, if you are on a budget, the beer, wine, and soda option is generally affordable. If you’re on a really tight budget, you might have to forego alcohol entirely, or just do a champagne toast. One way to liven up a beer and wine package is to add a signature cocktail to the package. This can often be done without a large additional cost.

Champagne toast.  Photo courtesy of Artisan Events.

Champagne toast. Photo courtesy of Artisan Events. Inc.

If your venue allows you to provide the alcohol, you have even more options. The least expensive of these is to purchase the alcohol yourself at a liquor store. Be sure to choose a store with good prices that allows returns of unopened bottles. This option also gives you maximum flexibility in your choice of what to serve. There are even a few liquor stores that provide event service. They will sell you the liquor, deliver it to the venue, provide glassware at no extra charge, and pick up anything left the next day to give you a refund or credit. These establishments are becoming a rarity, however, so don’t be surprised if you need to do the heavy lifting yourself.

One thing I do not recommend for keeping costs under control is to have a cash bar. As the host of the party, it is your job to provide food and drink. If your resources dictate a limited supply of alcohol, your guests will live with the restriction. The quantity of alcohol served is not a measure of how good the party is.  Serve what you can afford and you will have enough left over to do whatever else is important to you at your event.