Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DIY Wedding Favors 2012

Many brides and grooms want to thank all their wedding guests for attending their special day. One way that they do this is by sending home their guests with wedding favors. Unfortunately, many wedding favors fly under the radar and sometimes guests forget to take them home with them. If you are planning to have wedding favors at your wedding, be sure to impress your guests with a favor that will not be soon forgotten. Here are a few DIY wedding favor ideas that will be sure to please you and the rest of your wedding guests as well...

Pre-Packaged S'mores

In clear plastic containers, have separate boxes for the graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate pieces. Package each up individually and have one nest on top of one another. Wrap with a decorative ribbon, for a wedding favor that guests will be sure to enjoy!

Flowers, Plants, or Sunflowers

Send guests home with a token that can be enjoyed for years to come. Pre-packaged sunflower seeds or even bulbs placed in special packaging would be an ideal favor, as guests can take these gifts home and have them grow with love. You could have blooms that are already established, planted in decorative containers with a special note from you to your guests decoratively attached to the container.

Customized Stationary

Leave a lovely stack and beautifully wrapped set of monogrammed stationary at each guests' place setting. Personalize each notecard with your new initials and be sure to include envelopes as well. Guests will be sure to use this thoughtful and personalized gift!

Scented Candles

This favor idea is ideal for those having a beach wedding, but would also be perfect for those couples that enjoy candles as well. Place a scented votive candle into a mini pail. Attach a lovely personalized label on the outside of the pail. Have your name and wedding date prominently displayed on the label. You can even customize the color candle to what color dresses the bridesmaids wear. Or you could even choose a scent that you both enjoy to share with your guests.

Jar Gifts

This idea of giving your wedding guests jar gifts has many possibilities! You can simply jar just about anything. Package cookie mix in a clear Mason jar, make a candle within the jar, insert cupcake mix, granola, homemade jam or even hand salve. Personalize the jar with decorative ribbons, color coordinate the jars with your wedding colors, and event attach a personalized recipe if what you packaged needs directions.

As you can see, there are many wedding favors that aren't quite traditional, but do make a big impression with guests and leave a lasting impression with them as well.

About the author: Amanda Cooper is a freelance writer for Wedding Favours Kingdom, which carries an array of wedding accessories, wedding favors and even Christmas Favors. Amanda is a contributing writer for other wedding, travel and home-related websites. When Amanda is not writing, she enjoys reading.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How To Add Music To Your Wedding Ceremony

The importance of your wedding ceremony music should never be underestimated and it is worth spending some time choosing the right songs and music to fit.

Music is a key part of creating an atmosphere and also to fill in those moments when there is a lull in proceedings. Whether you go for pre-recorded or live music it is a great way to personalize your ceremony and set everyone up for the celebrations to come.

With a religious ceremony it is often traditional to have live music, perhaps from an organist, choir or string quartet. You may find you are restricted more on choice with a religious ceremony than you would be with a civil one so you should always run your ideas past your officiant first. With a civil ceremony they must not be any religious references or themes so do check the lyrics on any songs before you add them to the list.

At a civil ceremony it is usual to have a CD player or set up your MP3 player. A civil ceremony is typically quite short so live music may not really be a cost effective choice unless you book them to play at the reception too. Do consider the size of your venue as well, a small venue may not be able to accommodate several musicians as well as all your guests, whilst a large venue and a CD player combination may leave guests at the back struggling to hear! Ask to check out the acoustics when you visit and talk with the officiant about your options.

Finding your perfect music….

There are many CD’s and downloads out there which have compiled the traditional and popular choices for wedding ceremony music and some couples may find their officiant will present them a list of ‘approved’ music and songs to choose from. However, you do not have to go down the traditional route or keep everything classical – think about how your song choices will personalize your ceremony.

You will need to pick music for when you walk up the aisle (processional), when you go to sign the register (interlude) and when you walk back down the aisle as man and wife (recessional). There maybe time constraints to consider however, particularly with a civil ceremony in a register office so do ask how long each piece of music should be.

On a final point you may have favourite tracks or music that you think will fit perfectly in your ceremony, however many have come unstuck with unsuitable lyrics suddenly becoming immediately obvious the moment a track is played on the day! Always check out the lyrics and any alternate meanings before making your final choices – just in case!

About the author: Georgina Clatworthy is a featured columnist for 1Wedding Source and wedding guru helping brides-to-be with their wedding planning. Although she is not associated with Los Willows, she can recommend them as being a stunning San Diego wedding venue.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DJ Value Tips

10 Tips to Get the Most Value for Your Wedding DJ Dollar

"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." - Warren Buffett

In this economy, brides and grooms want to get the most value for their money when selecting their wedding DJ. Since DJ rates are determined by a DJ's experience, level of service and quality of equipment, there is little value in hiring the least expensive DJ you can find. Phoenix AZ DJ Billy James offers 10 tips to help you get the best value when hiring your wedding DJ.

1. Travel Time - Most DJ's would rather travel minutes rather than hours to get to your reception. Select a DJ who is located close to your venue and then ask if the reduced travel time could result in a reduced rate.

2. Prime Time - Saturdays are prime time for weddings. If your wedding will not take place on a Saturday, your DJ may consider a reduced rate if it is requested.

3. Number of Hours - Most wedding receptions do not last more than 4 or 5 hours. If your cocktail hour will take place on a patio or foyer, the venue's house system can often provide the background music. Hiring your DJ for an hour of dinner music and 3 hours for dancing may be sufficient. A DJ's 4 hour rate is usually less expensive than a 5 or 6 hour rate.

4. Number of Guests - From a DJ's perspective, a low-key reception for 50 guests has less stress and requires less equipment than a high-powered reception for 200. If you are having a small, simple reception, ask if your DJ will factor that into his pricing.

5. Venue Access - Experienced DJ's love venues with easy access to load their heavy equipment in and out. If your reception venue does not involve parking garages, stairs or elevators, ask your DJ if that advantage can be reflected in his rate.

6. Agencies - Some excellent wedding disc jockeys are represented by agencies. However, when you hire a wedding DJ through an agency, the rate you are quoted will be used to compensate several people. Dealing with a DJ directly, rather than through an agency, may better your chances of getting more entertainment value for your money.

7. Upselling - Some DJ services charge extra for dance floor lighting, wireless microphones, extra speakers, etc. This is called up-selling. You will get more value if you hire a DJ who includes these extras at no additional charge or is willing to give you a lower rate by eliminating these extras.

8. Credit Card Processing - Most professional DJ services accept major credit cards. However, it costs the DJ money to process a credit card. Ask about a discount if you are willing to pay by check or cash.

9. Feeding Your DJ - Catering Directors will often ask if you'd like to provide a meal for your DJ. If you feel that's appropriate, ask for a vendor discount (or box) rather than including the DJ as part of your guest list. A professional DJ will not have time to sit down to a full course dinner and you'll save $$.

10. Don't Be a Bridezilla! - If you are a fun person and easy to work with, then ask for the "I'm not a Bridezilla" discount. You may get one :)

About the author: Phoenix Wedding DJ Billy James is an experienced musician, professional DJ and Master of Ceremonies

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Wedding Date To Remember 11/11/11

Vegas weddings and weddings around the world skyrocket on 11/11/11

It's a day that comes only once every 100 years - 11/11/11. And in Vegas, that means throngs of lovebirds are flocking to chapels to get hitched Friday. "We're surrounded by hundreds of couples who want to get married on 11/11/11," said the Rev. Charlotte Richards, owner of Little White Wedding Chapel on the Las Vegas Strip. The chapel has 200 brides and grooms who are either getting hitched for the first time or are renewing their vows. In addition to a beautiful ceremony, Richards said she is offering bridal flowers and dog tags that have the 11/11/11 date inscribed on them. Many couples booked their special day two years in advance. At least 75 additional staff members were needed to accommodate the demand at Little White Wedding Chapel. "We have 17 ministers, limousine drivers, greeters, videographers," Richards said. In 30 of the weddings, an Elvis impersonator will serenade the couple. Closer to downtown, the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel is equally abuzz. It has 190 weddings booked, with the first starting at midnight. That means about four weddings every 30 minutes throughout the day, with only a couple of hours of down time for a break. General Manager Brian Mills calls his establishment "The Fun Chapel." Couples can have Blues Brothers or Marilyn Monroe impersonators as officiators. They can also have a Camelot-themed wedding or one with an Elvis impersonator, complete with a 1964 pink Cadillac convertible that drives the couple down the aisle. The couples include 18- and 19-year-olds; military personnel who are about to get deployed and want a quick wedding; and some who are renewing their vows. "Part of the thrill is that it'll be a day the couple won't forget -- as in it will be easy to remember your anniversary," Mills said. He said he's already looking forward to 12/12/12.

These unique wedding dates became popular at the turn of the century with 1/1/2001. The most popular was 7/7/2007. If you would like to have your wedding on a unique date that comes only once every century, next year will be your last chance! Start planning your 12/12/2012 wedding today...

Newsfeed, MSNBC

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Appreciation Gifts For Your Bridal Party

When a newly engaged couple begins to plan out their wedding, typically they choose a few close family members or friends to stand by them while exchanging their vows. The bridal party can be as large or small depending on what the couple prefers. No matter the size of the bridal party, their assistance and support with the wedding is priceless. To show how much you appreciate them participating in your wedding day, give them a gift that they will truly never forget. Here are a few fabulous ideas for the entire wedding party.

Gifts for the Entire Wedding Party

Personalized Beverage Coozies - Have your bridal party drink in style with their name and their role in your wedding displayed on the outside part of the coozie. This is a perfect gift and it can be used well after the wedding is over.

Personalized Shot Glasses - Cheers! Personalize beautiful shot glasses with your bridal party's name and your wedding date. Make them feel extra special by getting Bridesmaid, Groomsman, Maid of Honor or Best Man engraved on the shot glass as well.

Bridal Party Baseball Caps - Are you really in to sports and want to try and incorporate that into your wedding festivities? Shower your bridal party and family members with baseball caps! From the Father of the Bride to your Best Man, these bridal party baseball caps will surely get everyone's spirit soaring!

Engraved Key Chains - Have your bridal party remember how appreciate you are of them every time they get into their car with a engraved key chain depicting their name and a personalized message from you.

Monogrammed Stemless Wine Glasses - Surprise your bridal party by giving them a beautiful set of monogrammed stemless wine glasses. Perfect for both the bridesmaids and the groomsmen!

Gifts Just For The Bridesmaids

Monogrammed Compacts - Show those special ladies in your bridal party that they mean so much to you, by gifting them with a beautiful compact! Every time your bridesmaids search through their purse for their compact mirror, they will be sure to think of you!

Wedding Day Accessories - Give your bridesmaids something that they will cherish for years to come, a beautiful jewelry set, which they can wear on your wedding day. Earrings, necklace and a bracelet would be a thoughtful and gorgeous way to say thank you to your bridesmaids.

About the author: Amanda Cooper is a freelance writer for Wedding Favours Kingdom, which carries an array of wedding accessories, Wedding Favours, and candle wedding favours. Amanda is also a writer for other travel and wedding-related websites. When Amanda is not writing, she enjoys cooking for friends and family.