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This may seem like a simple subject as most of us take the recommendation of the bridal shop as to how to bustle your specific gown. Let me tell you, though, that there are more options than they typically mention and if you are looking to express yourself through your dress, the bustle can make or break it!
Most of us know about the Over Bustle, otherwise known as the Ballroom Bustle. It can be a simple one hook, a three hook, or have as many hooks as needed depending on the detail and magnitude of the train.
Another very popular bustle is the Under Bustle, or the French Bustle. Again this can be anchored in one location or in three or five to accent the back of the gown as desired.
The more details your train has the more creative your bustle may need to be. For a tufted dress, you can keep the details as focal points by making each tuft a bustle point and anchor them just below the tuft above them. This may take a bit more effort, but will keep it visually pleasing. This would be refered to as a Tuft Bustle.
An English Bustle is basically a low ballroom bustle. It works well on gowns that are narrow in the hip area, but have fairly long and wide trains.
A Side Sling Bustle is not only elegant but it is a very simple to do. It is a ballroom bustle that anchors at the side seam. It works very nicely with an asymetrical gown.
Another very non-traditional bustle that looks nothing like a bustle at all is the Train Flip Bustle. Just as the name suggests the train is literally flipped up inside of the skirt of the gow and anchored in multiple locations to secure it in place.
This is probably the least common but a very interesting bustle known as the Austrian Bustle. It is created by making one, two, or three rows of ringlets running down the inside of the back of the skirt and stringing a ribbon through them. The ribbon is pulled to create a look similar to balloon shades.
As you can see, with a variety of bustles to choose from you can add a great deal of style to your wedding gown while making it much easier to get around.
Choose your wedding theme!
The first thing you should do when planning your wedding (besides hire a wedding planner, of course) is choose a theme for your wedding. Yes, even before you choose your dress. decide on a theme that has personal meaning for you and your fiance, that reflects your personal styles. Some examples are:
The Options are endless. For example you can have a bohemian beach wedding or you can have a bohemian wedding on an open prairie and get a completely different feel.
Your theme will pull all the individual elements together to tell your story. Every tiny detail should be a reflection of your vision.
Consider working with a wedding planner. It's their job to take your theme bring it to life. Be inspired by it, by incorporating elements of things you love and cherish. Keep this in mind and you will succeed in creating the day of your dreams.
"Why do I need a wedding planner if my venue has one?"
Let me start by saying, when a venue says they have a wedding planner or coordinator on their staff, what they are really saying is that they have a venue coordinator. What most brides don’t know is that the venue coordinator works for the venue, NOT for the bride. While a venue coordinator is responsible for making your wedding day run as smoothly as possible, her responsibilities are limited to the venue and their staff. She/he is directed to keep the bride happy, but only to the extent that it does not cause the venue any extra work or expense. And believe me, they will make sure that you, the bride, are charged for any extras. With the exception of possibly giving you a preferred vendor list, the venue coordinator will not help you choose vendors, find good deals, and make sure you are protected in each contract. They will not help you find the perfect wedding gown, headpiece, shoes, and jewelry. They will not help you create and work with in a budget. As for a time line, they will only assist with the portion of the time line that includes them and they will do so with the venues best interest at the forefront of their minds.
A wedding planner/coordinator, on the other hand, is chosen and hired by you. They work for you, and no one else. Your wedding planner, depending on what you have included in your agreement, will be by your side throughout the entire planning process. She/he will help you with every last minute detail of your wedding. Your wedding planner will help you choose all of your wedding professionals and because they have built good working relationships with many local vendors they can often secure discounts that you can not obtain on your own. Your planner will also review your vendor contracts to make sure that you are protected. Your wedding planner will help you create both a planing time line and a wedding day time line and assure that everyone involved has a copy of the time line. They also will help you create a working budget and help you to stay within it.
On your wedding day, your wedding planner will stay by your side from the time you start the day until you and your new husband leave the reception. They will make sure everything is to your specifications through out the day, that everything happens in accordance to the time line, and they will handle any and all issues that may arrive from Aunt Sue needing Tylenol to a vendor not showing up on time. Your wedding planner will make your day seem to flow with perfection. Once you have left the reception and the night has wound down, your wedding planner will stay behind to gather any belongings left behind by you, your bridal party, or your guests and deliver them to a designated location.
Simply put, hiring a wedding planner will help make your wedding day stress free and full happy memories!
Did you hire a wedding planner? Please share your story... how did your wedding planner save the day or make it less stressful?
This is one of the biggest decisions you will have to make regarding your wedding day! Do we have alcohol or not? Open bar? Cash bar? A combination bar?
Here are somethings to consider in making this decision. How well do you know your guest? How will alcohol affect my budget?
Are you inviting a lot of twenty-somethings who will likely drink as much as they can simply because they can, or do you have that crazy alcoholic uncle who gets drunk at every family function and never fails to strip down to his skivvies? If you can say yes, you may be wise to have a cash bar or maybe even no alcohol at all (a dry wedding). Having a cash bar does help to deter some guests from getting completely drunk because they either don't want to spent the money or they are not carrying much cash on them. If you choose to have a dry wedding, be prepared for some of your guests to leave the reception earlier than you might expect. Right or wrong, weddings with open bars often keep people partying longer. Both of these options cost you nothing except for maybe a fee for the bartenders.
If you can say that most of your guests will only have a few drinks and you find it rude to ask your guests to buy their own drinks, by all means you should have an open bar. Just to be safe though, if you have an open bar, you should offer a shuttle service to and from a local hotel and encourage your drinking guests to stay the night there. Nothing can destroy a joyful wedding memory more than having a guests get into a fatal or even a small drunk driving accident on the way home from your wedding. Having an open bar ca be very expensive, but many venues and caterers include a cash bar in their packages automatically.
The last option is to offer a combination of an open bar and cash bar. You can do this a few different ways. You can say the first hour or two is an open bar and the remainder of the night is a cash bar, or you can place a poker chip or two at each place setting for free drinks and then if they chose to have more drinks they can buy them. This option allows you to give the gift of limited free drinks while keeping the cost under control.
What are your plans regarding alcohol for your wedding?
Any Tom, Dick, Harry, or Jane can pop the question, but not everyone can make it a proposal that will be talked about for years to come by everyone!
You may think to yourself, what is the big deal? Won't it be memorable enough just because it is our marriage proposal? Some will say yes, but most will honestly say that they feel a sense of envy when one of their friends receives an over the top romantic proposal vs a typical run-of-the-mill one!
Whether you want to take your significant other to a romantic location or you would like to come up with creative wording or a fun and exciting way to express your words... we can help!
We gather information from you about you and your sweetie, including how you met and what types of activities you enjoy together. From that information we provide you with various proposal ideas. We guide you in your decision and help you plan it out, working through all the details. Depending on your needs we may help with making the arrangements, setting up the location, or connecting you with a photographer or videographer to capture your special moment.
Creating a unique marriage proposal will make your sweetheart feel like the most loved person in the world! We will make you feel like it was effortless!
I have heard it said that we live in a throw away society.
I mean, we use paper plates, plastic cups, plastic-ware, cardboard boxes, disposable diapers... the list goes on and on. The question is, do we have this same mentality when it comes to our relationships.
I don't understand how people who have been together longer than they were apart can just end it. Now I am not advocating or even suggesting staying with someone who is abusive. What I am saying is, if you are fighting over things like money, sex, and children, you should realize that this is perfectly normal. If you ever meet a couple who doesn't fight... they are great deceivers!
Marriage is not easy, but nor is life. If you go into it with the mind set that you will just get a divorce if it doesn't work out, then maybe you shouldn't get married. It is hard on everyone around you when you end a marriage. Your friends, family, and most of all children suffer from your decisions to just throw it away.
Maybe I am just a hopeful romantic, hopeful that everyone can have a life-long relationship with someone they call their best friend. Maybe I am old-fashion or out-dated. I don't know. As a wedding planner I find great joy in helping two people who love each other deeply celebrate their special day, but it puts a damper on my joy when I realize that the rate of divorce is higher than ever and that at least half of every wedding I plan will end far too soon.
What is your opinion on this? Did you go into your marriage with the idea that if it don't work, you will just get a divorce? Do you find my ideals to be old-fashion and irrelevant in today's world? Please be honest... tell me what you think.
This is one for the books. I was speaking to a catering sales manager at a top-notch venue we work with last night when she told me that she had a call from a man wanting to plan a surprise wedding for his fiance. What?!?! Are you serious? My venue contact said she asked him if she at least has a wedding dress picked out and fitted. He replied that she didn't but that she would be wearing a sun dress most likely. Most likely?!? To make it worse, they are traveling from out of state and he has less than two months until the date he has chosen to do this.
So let me recap, you are flying with your fiance to the east coast in less than two months and you want to "throw" together a wedding at an elite venue to surprise her?!?! Do you think that maybe she might want to plan her own wedding?
I don't know about you but I would be furious if my fiance did this to me. My thought is that he must be attempting to be romantic, but honestly, this is not the way to do it. If you want to be romantic, plan an amazing honeymoon beyond her dreams or buy a thoughtful gift to give her on your wedding day.
I suppose there are brides out there who are so laid back that they would be perfectly fine with this, but I hope he knows his bride well enough to be sure that she is one of them. I also hope that the family members who are helping him pull this off have asked him, are you sure she will be okay with this?
There are also the logistic problems with this. Though it is not impossible to pull a wedding together in less than two months, it is incredibly difficult. Then add in the long distance factor and it makes it almost impossible. You also need to know the laws in the state you intend to marry. The state he is flying into requires the bride and groom to apply in person for a marriage license at least 3 days, but not more than 30 days prior to the wedding day. How are you going to do this and still keep it a surprise?
Dear readers, what do you think? Do you find this romantic or a bit insane? How would you react if your fiance gave you a surprise wedding?
Are you a Bride on a Budget?
You are not alone.
All bride's are on some kind of a budget. The question is... how do you handle that budget. It is often hard to match your dream wedding with the amount you have to spend on it. I have heard it said of some bride's, "She has Cinderella dreams and a shoestring budget!" Let me be clear... while you may have to make some very difficult decisions, you CAN have your Cinderella dream wedding on a shoestring budget. It is all about prioritizing and making the cuts where they will be less obvious.
Many venues offer all-inclusive packages, but are they really all inclusive? Some of them are, but they are normally outrageously priced to accommodate for all the extras they throw in. Also, they normally do "cookie-cutter" weddings. Choosing a venue that is not all-inclusive is not only more cost effective, but it allows you to create a wedding unlike any you have ever been to.
If you would like to consider an "all-inclusive" venue for your wedding, you will be looking at a bill of between $10,000 and $29,000 for 100 guests, but keep in mind that even though we refer to these venues as all-inclusive they do not normally include your musicians, photographer & videographer, or florists. They do sometimes offer fake floral centerpieces, but they are very generic and you may not like them at all. These additional vendors
will likely run you between $800 and $3,000 each. Add that in and you are looking at a wedding cost (minus wedding attire) of at least $15,000 and likely as much as $40,000 at an "all-inclusive" venue. On a good note, all-inclusive venues give you the convenience of one stop shopping. Though they do not include your musicians, photographer & videographer, or florists, they often have relationships with some who they will gladly recommend to you.
On the other hand, to have your wedding at an "a la carte"
venues, depending on your style and some smart decision making can run you (minus wedding attire) as low as $5,000 and likely as much as $22,200 for 100 guests. Because you are able to pick each and every detail of your wedding from a wide variety of quality, quantity, and cost there is a lot more flexibility for money savings! You can personally hand pick each vendor, paying less for things that are not a priority and incorporating DIY (do it yourself) ideas where you can. You even have the flexibility with some a la carte venues of having family and friends DJ, Cater, make the cake, take the pictures, and decorate. If you chose to have a bar at your wedding it is also cheaper to buy your own bottles and any that are not opened can be returned for a refund. Tons of savings there!
The down side of a la carte wedding venues is that you have to do much more of the actual research and planning yourself. This is where a wedding planner becomes very valuable. Not only do we have experience in planning weddings, but we have unlimited resources and lists of vendors and venues for which we can recommend or steer you away from if we have evidenced a problem with them. We can go with you to meet the vendors and venues, walk you through all the decision making, and review the contracts. We help you incorporate DIY ideas and find the best deals on everything. We remain by your side through the entire process from the start of planning through the end of your wedding day.
Although most all-inclusive venues have their own wedding planner/consultant, it is wise to hire your own. While their wedding planner will be a great asset on your wedding day, when it comes to making package decisions and agreeing on a contract, you have to remember they work for the venue and will be looking out for their best interest, not yours. It would be wise to have a professional in your corner. Also, when it comes to shopping for a wedding dress, tuxes, gifts for your bridal party, and other such things, they will not be by your side making sure you are getting the best deal possible. We would be.
What kind of wedding venue are you using? What is your preference? More expense, less work? or Less expense, more work?
No one wants to consider that their wedding day may have to be cancelled or that something could go wrong, but...
disasters can happen. From a sudden cancellation to stolen gifts to a damaged gown, wedding insurance can help protect you against the unforseen, and can also afford you great peace of mind.
Here are the top 20 Wedding Mishaps according to the claims department at Wedsure.
- A tornado rendered the venue uninhabitable. $35,000
- The rings were stolen out of the groom's home. $15,352
- The seamstress lost the bridal gown. $3,412
- The tuxedos were double rented. $2,278
- A drunk guest got into an auto accident. $500,000
- The photographer's car was stolen with the camera and wedding photos. $15,000
- The reception venue went out of business. $8,500
- The DJ went out of business. $1,257
- The wedding gifts were stolen at the reception. $12,300
- Bridesmaid left a candle burning in the dressing room and the facility caught fire. $150,000
- The bride's father had a heart attack. $50,000
- The bride got cold feet. $15,897
- The flower girl hid the wedding ring in her princess purse. Scary but not expensive!
- The guests got food poisoning. $56,221
- The groom's previously approved military leave was revoked. $32,528
- An elderly guest was knocked over and broke both of her hips. $352,000
- Only 1/4 of the guests showed due to an ice storm. $43,625
- The caterer failed to show. $15,350
- The minister failed to show. $8,350
- The groom was laid off and the couple could no longer afford the wedding. $6,500
Weddings are quite expensive. After taking a look at these top wedding mishaps, I'm sure you agree that Wedding Insurance is just plain smart. But what exactly is wedding insurance and how does it work? Wedding insurance protects a couple's investment from circumstances beyond their control, and reimburses expenses incurred. Consider these scenarios
How Much Does Wedding Insurance Cost?
- Andrew and Stephanie spend months planning their winter wedding. But on wedding day, their reception site is made inaccessible by an ice storm. With the right wedding insurance policy, the couple can postpone their wedding and receive every penny they lost (less the deductible) including money for the invites, cake, catering, attire, and non-refundable deposits for ceremony musicians, floral designer, and other vendors.
- The bride's father is injured in a car accident just before the wedding and cannot travel. If the couple has to postpone their wedding, with wedding insurance they could be paid back their expenses to enable them to have the wedding when the father recovers.
- Right before the ceremony, the bride's gown catches a gust of wind. Unfortunately, the tulle dances right over to the end of her dad's cigar and the dress instantly goes up in flames. Fortunately, the right insurance policy covers the replacement of the veil and gown.
A basic insurance policy that covers loss of photos, videos, attire, presents, rings, and deposits usually costs anywhere between $155 and $550, depending on the amount of coverage you want. General liability insurance, which covers up to $1,000,000 for accidents, costs around $185.
Do You Really Need Wedding Insurance? Before you buy wedding insurance, check with your each of your vendors to see how well they are covered. Your reception site or your caterer may already have their own insurance, so you wouldn't want to pay for overlapping coverage out of your own pocket. Ask your vendors for a copy of their policy, and then figure out where you aren't fully covered.
When Should You Get Wedding Insurance? The sooner the better. Most insurance companies do have limitations on how far in advance you can purchase insurance, but it is wise to get it as soon as you are able. Let's say you put a deposit on your 12 months prior to your wedding date and then it burns to the ground a few weeks before the big day. With wedding insurance, you'll be sure to get your deposit back. But if it burns down only a few weeks after you paid your deposit and you have not gotten your insurance yet, you will likely lose your deposit.
What Does Wedding Insurance Cover? There is usually a specified maximum amount, which can be claimed under each section below, and a deductible also applies. Be sure to find out the details of your specific insurance plan.
- Venue: Check to see if your ceremony and reception site is already insured. If it's not, wedding insurance can cover the cost arising out of unavoidable cancellation, if your reception hall is unable to honor your reservation because it has burned in a fire, experienced an electrical outage, or just plain closed down. Sometimes this policy covers the rehearsal dinner site, too.
- Weather: Any weather conditions which prevent the bride, groom, any relative whose presence at the wedding is essential, or the majority of the guests from reaching the premises where the wedding is to take place. Insurance covers rescheduling the wedding and all the details involved such as ceremony flowers, tent rental, and reception food.
- Vendor No-show: What if essential wedding people such as the caterer or the officiant fail to show up? A wedding insurance policy usually covers cancellation or postponement of the wedding for these reasons.
- Sickness or Injury: Wedding insurance may also include sickness or injury to the bride, groom, or anyone essential to the wedding.
What Are Somethings Wedding Insurance Doesn't Usually Cover?
- Military or Job: Wedding insurance can cover postponement of the wedding due to the bride or groom suddenly getting called to military duty. This can also apply to a last-minute corporate move, for example: the bride's company suddenly relocates her to another city.
- A change of heart/cold feet.
- Watches, jewelry, or semi-precious gemstones or pearls may not be covered.
- While your wedding rings may be covered by the policy, your engagement ring probably will not.
What Additional Coverage Should Be Considered?
Couples can take out supplemental policies to defend against damages incured by other wedding-related items such as photography, videography, and gifts.
- Photography: Some policies pay to retake the photographs after the fact if the photographer fails to appear or the original negatives are lost, damaged, stolen, or not properly developed. Some policies will pay to re-stage the event with the principal participants so that pictures can be retaken. A policy may also pay costs for rehiring a photographer, buying a new wedding cake, and new flowers.
- Videographer: When a videotape produced by a professional videographer is damaged , a policy usually pays a certain amount to have either a video montage created, a video compilation made of the photographs and other wedding memorabilia, or, if possible, a retaking of the official video at a restaging.
- Gifts: Gift coverage pays to repair or replace non-monetary gifts that are lost, stolen, or damaged. A police report is usually required for stolen gifts. The damage or theft generally has to take place within a limited time period (ranging from 24 hours to seven days depending on the specific policy) before or after the wedding, in order to be covered.
- Attire: This coverage pays to repair or replace the bridal gown or other special attire when it is in your possession and is lost, stolen, or damaged (including financial failure of the bridal store). Special attire usually includes the clothing and accessories bought or rented that are to be worn by the bride, the groom, and attendants at the ceremony.
- Personal Liability: Personal liability covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an accident that occurs during the course of the wedding.
- Honeymoon: Your honeymoon can be very expensive, but before buying travel insurance see if your credit card and/or homeowner's policy covers you if your luggage gets lost or stolen, your trip is delayed, or you have to cancel. If not, you can a buy separate, trip-only policy. Ask your travel agent for details. Also, certain wedding insurance packages include optional travel insurance for your honeymoon.
There are multiple reputable Wedding Insurance providers out there. Wedsure & Wedsafe are two of the best known. Check around for one that fits your needs and budget.
My question for you is...
What is the worst disaster you have ever heard of happening to or during a wedding? Do you know if the bride & groom had wedding insurance?
This is not your mother's or grandmother's traditional wedding...
Most likely when your parents and grandparents got married they had a simple church wedding and a small reception in their parent's back yard or in a fire hall, but times have changed. Now there are so many more options than there have ever been before. While many are still starting their lives together with a church wedding, there are almost as many people who are choosing to have their wedding ceremony at the same venue as their reception. In our business we have had the opportunity to see some of the most amazing venues. They vary from the "one stop shopping" wedding venues to the the most unique piece-together venues you could ever imagine. Here are just a few our favorites.
Imagine having your dance floor in a planetarium chamber with stars above your head, fireworks, an underwater scene, or whatever you can imagine... If you can get it on video you can use it for you dance floor ceiling dome. This may be the venue for you! Reasonably priced even for a sweet 16 or anniversary party! This venue not only offers a planetarium, but it also includes an arboretum, an atrium, and a museum.
This venue is a beautiful horticultural center. They have a room for ceremonies, which flows into a space for cocktails, and a very large room for your reception. All of the indoor spaces are decorated with lush green and floral gardens. They also have several outside gardens for good weather ceremonies. There are multiple fountains and statues indoor and out. This is a great place to have your garden wedding during off seasons! They are closed during July and August.
If you are looking more for rustic charm, this may be the perfect venue for you. It consists of three different reception locations. One being the upstairs of a barn which is huge with a very high cathedral ceiling and glass doors with a view of the farm. The second location is the downstairs level of the same barn. The stone and wood combination is a match made in heaven. The third is another whole barn. The downstairs is set up as a great cocktail hour space with the upstairs being where the reception would take place. They also have an outside ceremony pergola and a bed and breakfast on the property. One of the most unique things about this venue is that because it is at an actual working farm, they provide and prepare their own food right their on the premises. Looking for a fairy-tale wedding venue? This one took my breath away. You can have your ceremony in the garden courtyard within the stone ruins or by the river by the bamboo and floral gardens. They also have a great outdoor tented patio for cocktail hour. Inside there is an enormous ballroom with a cathedral ceiling. The ballroom is a complimentary combination of stone, wood, and white walls. The tower is lit in the evening to put off a beautiful romantic glow.
This is only a small sampling of the venues we love. Please contact for more information on these and other venues.
What I would like to know is Have you chosen your venue(s) yet? What kind of venue are you using or looking for? Do you have a few favorites? Would you please share them with us? We are always looking for new ideas. Thank you!