Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Choosing The Perfect Reception Site

Don't waste a trip to see the location if it cannot meet the basic criteria

The three best ways to search for wedding reception sites are through local publications, the Yellow Pages, local bridal shows and wedding web sites. You can also ask friends about sites they think will appeal to you.

Once you’ve identified several appealing sites, learn the details by calling them:

• Available on the date you want
• Large enough to accommodate your estimated guest count
• Pricing to fit your budget

Once these stipulations are met, if you remain interested in seeing the location, schedule an appointment to view the site. Obtain contact names when setting up your appointments and schedule thirty to forty minutes at each facility you will visit. Then draft a list of questions relative to your reception requirements.

Site selection visits

Bring along your list and a camera or video recorder to document the site. This will come in handy when it comes to decision time, especially if others participating in the decision are unable to accompany you.

An important objective of the appointment is determining what is included in the price quote, e.g., tables and chairs. If a specific amount of time is allotted, are there possible overtime charges? Do they provide catering, require that you use an approved caterer, or can you bring in your own caterer? Moreover, if you want to have the ceremony onsite, verify that is possible and the added costs. Will yours be the only wedding that day or will other events go on simultaneously?

Tour the site to look for adequate guest parking, bride and groom changing areas, restroom facilities and wheelchair accessibility. Inquire during the meeting about liability insurance, music restrictions, access for taking pictures and whether setup and cleanup times are included in the allotted time on the contract.

If you want to consider a Sunday, mid-week or off-season wedding, ask if there are discounts at those times, as well as for prepayment. Be sure to understand when final payments are due, and if there are any hidden or extra charges that are not listed in any of the contracts. Before leaving, request an event packet that will include costs, contracts, rules and regulations.

Finalizing your decision

Review contracts carefully to be sure you understand the language before signing on the dotted line. Most deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. Should you decide to move your wedding date, facilities generally will not transfer the deposit to that date, so pay close attention to disclaimers, deposit requirements and payment schedules.

It is important to remember that signing a site contract means that you’ve agreed to all the rules and conditions stipulated by the site. Make sure all specific details for your reception are written into the contracts before you sign. If it isn’t specifically addressed in writing, you can’t expect it to be covered.

The site staff prepares for numerous weddings and have knowledge of what works well on their site—and most aim to please. During your site evaluations, ask yourself whether the staff seems to enjoy what they do and whether they seem interested in helping you create special memories that will last your lifetime. If not, don’t hesitate to move on to another site.

“Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding. Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.”

Submitted by Robbin Montero,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

8 Wedding Hairstyles Ideas

If ever there was time to make the most of your hair, it is for your wedding. Your bridal hairstyle can look like a million with imagination and the skills of a good hairdresser. Wedding hairstyles range from a more coiffed version of your everyday hair to an elaborate and dramatic style.

Perfect wedding hairstyles flatter your face, your wedding gown, and your veil. They suit your personality while accentuating your best features and minimizing your weak ones. Here are some suggestions for different kinds of hair.

- Hair swept back or up shows more of your face and profile. This style can be especially nice for formal or evening weddings.

- A wedding up-do will accentuate your neck. This look can range from a simple French twist to a stylish mass of ringlets.

- Hair worn down or loose has a more casual look, perfect for daytime, outdoor, and informal weddings.

- Long hair can be worn back, loose, braided, or entwined with beading or fabric that matches your gown.

- Medium-length hair is nearly as versatile as long. It can be curled, straightened, tucked behind your ears, or brushed loosely down.

- Even brides with short hair can have a long, thick wedding day hairstyle. Clip on hairpieces and extensions are available in a variety of colors and styles.

- Short hair can be versatile, from sleek styles to curly. Tiaras, decorative bobby pins, combs, and hair clips all look stunning worn in short hair.

- Bangs can be worn several ways: soft, fringy, angled, or textured. If you’ve never had bangs, experiment with them well in advance. If you’ve always had them, this is not the time to sweep them aside and bare your forehead.

Current styles are important, but should be secondary to what is right for you. Something may be "in" but all wrong for you or your dress. Whatever style you choose, have practice sessions in the week before your ceremony. Do this and your wedding day will most certainly be a fabulous hair day.

Bobette Kyle-Wagner is publisher at, a Website helping engaged couples get the most use from Internet wedding resources. The site includes online wedding tips, original articles, and tutorials. Read more about wedding hairstyles and beauty at

Submitted by Bobette Kyle-Wagner,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hold The Microphone For Wedding Speeches

As a DJ since the mid 1980's, I've been to well over 1,000 weddings. Unfortunately, time and time again, I always run into the inexperienced microphone users.

You can find it all over the internet. Pre-written wedding speeches, what to say, what not to say, when to say it, say it in Chinese, etc. But, even more important, is how to properly hold the microphone while making your speech or toast. More than 80% of the time, the person making the speech has no idea how to handle a microphone. Very understandable since most of you have very limited experience using a mic. In most cases I see, people hold the microphone way too far away from their mouths.

The mic should be held approximately 1 - 4 inches away from the mouth at a 45-degree angle while you are speaking. If the microphone is more than a hand's width away from your mouth, it is way too far. Don't scream into the microphone, but project your voice a bit higher than you would speak to someone during a normal conversation. Hold the mic at a constant distance so the volume of your voice doesn’t keep changing. Don't touch the microphone to your chin or lips. Holding the microphone too closely to your mouth will produce muffling and popping.

Submitted by DJ Joey Tee