Thursday, June 25, 2009

Location, Location, Location

Week 3 of our wedding planning series and we’re moving along with the planning process. But as always before I begin, let me provide you with the drink for the evening – this one comes courtesy of the Detroit Style Diva (my stylish co-host Robin)

Summertime Cosmo

1 ounce vodka; (omit for mocktail)
1 ounce Cointreau or orange juice concentrate
2 ounces cranberry juice

Suggested Garnish: sugar rimmed glass and curled orange zest

Directions: Place ingredients in shaker with ice; shake well. Pour into sugar rimmed martini glass.


Tonight on the show we discussed selecting the perfect location for wedding and reception. There are many things to consider when selecting a wedding venue. Are you looking for a traditional space (i.e. church, hotel, banquet facility) or are you looking for something that is a bit more non-traditional (i.e. beach, museum, park)? The thing to keep in mind is that the more traditional venues offer couples the experience, security and convenience of having hosted hundreds of weddings. By going with a more non-traditional venue, additional work may be required to transform the space to achieve your vision.

Some things to consider when deciding between a traditional and non-traditional venue;

Advantage of Non-Traditional Venue
  • May be easier to get your desired date – less competition with other couples on your wedding date
  • Lower price to rent – venues that only host a few weddings a year may be more willing to negotiate on the price
  • A unique venue will enhance the guest experience – makes a more memorable experience

Disadvantages of Non-Traditional Venue

  • Less experience in hosting weddings thus may provide less support during the planning
  • May require additional costs for rentals (i.e. tables, chairs, lighting, sound systems, dance floor, security, etc)
If you’re one of those couples that like to think “out of the box” then consider the following venues for your wedding:

Historic Sites
Farms, Ranches, Barns
Art Gallery
Mansion and private homes
Public Gardens

The thing to remember that when selecting any venue, whether traditional or non-traditional, couples need to consider not only what represents their style, but that they can also afford it. (yes, check that budget!)

With a little imagination almost anywhere has the potential to be a unique wedding venue.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Wedding Budget

Tonight was segment #2 of our “Congratulations You’re Engaged…Now What?” wedding planning series and it was all about setting priorities and creating the wedding budget.

Our signature drink for this evening is Oprah’s “Legends Lemon Drop Martini” – this is the same drink that Oprah served at her Legends Ball and it’s also one of her favorites.

Oprah's "Lemon Drop Martini"

Juice of 6 lemons
4 tablespoons of sugar
6 fresh mint leaves
4 shots of vodka
Ice in shaker
Sugar-rimmed martini glass

**this recipe serves 2**

Directions: mix the lemon juice, vodka, and sugar in an ice filled martini shaker. Shake well, strain and pour into your sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with mint and enjoy!


So now that you’ve determined your wedding style it’s now time to move on to the next step which is creating the wedding BUDGET. But before we do that…the first thing I suggest to brides that I’m working with is to start prioritizing the elements of their wedding. Identifying what’s most important first will help you determine how much money you are willing to spend within each category. So first let’s identify the most common elements of a wedding:

Priorities List

You have the:
# of guest
Location (destination weddings)
Time of day
Food and drinks
Ceremony music
Reception music
Tabletop décor and linens
Lighting and mood
Invitations and printing
Fashion (attire)

You can also add some additional elements that we may have forgotten or that are unique to your wedding.

So now that you have created you list with the elements of your wedding the next step is to start prioritizing that list. Look at your priorities list - next to those items that are “most important” place the letter “A”. After you’ve marked all of your A’s now it time to move on to the items that are of medium importance – and put the letter “B” next to it. Then identify all of the other items that are of least importance with the letter “C”

After you've marked all of the A’s B’s and C’s next go through and prioritize each group. So looking at the A’s which one is the most important to you and put #1 next to it...then a 2 next to the second most important item in that group and so on. You will follow the process for the B’s and finally the C’s.

Now that you have prioritized the elements its time to move on to creating your budget.

I think the first mistake couples make when planning their wedding is that they don’t create a budget or their budget isn’t a realistic one.

The thing to remember when creating your budget is this….

Just like every wedding is unique, every wedding budget is unique. The truth is - it’s possible to create a beautiful wedding on any budget. Keep in mind that there is no direct correlation between the amount of money you spend and the beauty of the day. That means you can plan a beautiful wedding on any budget.

The percentages that we have provided below should be considered loose guidelines – remember every wedding is different, so just make sure that your overall costs and your priorities are in line when determining how much you will spend in a certain area.

Note: the average cost for a 150 person wedding is about $25,000 – in some areas this number can be lower or higher.

Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay:

Ceremony: 2-3%
Reception: 48-50%
Attire: 8-10%
Flowers: 8-10%
Entertainment/Music: 8-10%
Photography/Videography: 10-12%
Stationery: 2-3%
Parking/Transportation: 2-3%
Wedding Consultant: 10-15%
Gifts: 2-3%
Miscellaneous: 8%

Some things to keep in mind when creating your budget:
  • Establishing a budget is the most important step in the planning process.

  • Assign a budget amount to your most important priorities first (go back and revisit your priority list – assign a dollar amount to all of your “A’s” items first, then your “B’s” and finally “C’s”.

  • To avoid stress allot 5% of your budget for a “just in case” fund – you know just in case!

  • When talking to vendors give them your budget parameters and request estimates in writing.

  • Keep track of your estimated and actual costs throughout the planning process.

  • Refer back to your priorities list when making decisions.

  • Consider creating a joint wedding account at a central bank to fund your wedding expenses.

Friday, June 12, 2009

~Congratulations You're Engaged...Now What?~

Tonight show was another good one. Robin and I kicked off our 12 week segment series, “Congratulations You’re Engaged…Now What?” where each week you we will step you through the wedding planning process. Tonight’s show we focused on determining your wedding style and creating your inspiration board.

Our signature cocktail for the evening is the…

French Martini

To make this cocktail you will need:
1 ½ oz Vodka (the vodka of your choice)
¼ oz Chambord® raspberry liqueur
¼ oz fresh pineapple juice
1 twist lemon peel

Glass to use: Cocktail Glass

Mixing Instructions: Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Now toast to your fabulousness!
{{clink clink!}}

Starting the wedding planning process….

First determine your wedding style. To get some insight on your particular style try answering the following questions:

1. When envisioning your wedding, do you see a celebration that is modern/contemporary or classic/traditional?

2. Do you imaging a part of your wedding (ceremony or reception) taking place outside?

3. You envision your wedding taking place in the spring, summer, fall or winter?
4. What would be your ideal number of guest at your wedding?

5. Your wedding colors should be:
• deep and passionate
• soft and subtle
• natural and organic
• contemporary and chic
• romantic and bridal
• unusual and fresh
6. Your ideal wedding meal would be:
• buffet dinner
• seated formal dinner
• seated family-style
• cocktail party
• brunch
• lunch
• other
7. At your wedding you want your guests to feel - (fill in the blank)

8. If you had to describe your wedding in a sentence or two, it would be -

9. You don't want your wedding to be - (fill in the blank)

10. Other words that you might use to describe your wedding would be:

The Diva’s suggest…..

This exercise works best if you and your fiancé answer the questions independently and then come together and share your answers with each other. This starts the dialogue on how you both envision your wedding which should aid you when talking to potential vendors and making decisions on the types of products and services you will need in order to make your “dream” wedding a reality.

Taking it to the next level….

To take this exercise one step further, I recommend that you also create an idea/inspiration board. So grab all of bridal magazines that you’ve collected, grab a pair of scissors and start cutting! Cut out dresses you like, cars that you think it would be cool to ride in and centerpieces that inspire you…cut out everything. After you have gathered all of your clippings, start adhering them to a poster board/foam core board. If you’re not into the cutting and gluing thing, then turn to technology. Scour the internet for images that match your wedding style. There are some great tools available to help you create your idea/inspiration board on your computer.
Some of our fav’s are:

MS Word
MS Power Point

You can also check out one of my favorite sites to visit to get “inspired” is Style Me Pretty. Abby has created some amazing inspiration boards that I know will help get your creative energy flowing.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tonight was another great show! Again, I want to welcome Robin AKA “The Detroit Style Diva” aboard. I know we are going to have a BLAST together and can’t wait to see what kind of trouble we are going to get into. {{big smile}}

For some strange reason I have been watching old “Sex in the City” episodes. I just can’t get enough of that show. So in honor of my girls, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte tonight’s featured drink was the Cosmopolitan.


To make this cocktail you will need:

¼ oz Cointrequ
1 ½ oz Lemon Vodka
1 ½ oz Cranberry Juice
1 splash Lime Juice
1 orange twist

Glass to use: Cocktail Glass

Mixing Instructions: Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Now toast to your fabulousness!
{{clink clink!}}

As many of you know June marks the beginning of the “wedding season” and 2009 must be the year that many of my friends are either getting married – part 2 (their second marriage) or they are renewing their marriage vows {{awwwww!}}. So what is a girl to do in regards to a gift?

Tonight, Robin invited Kymm from Travelution Bridal Registry to the studio to talk about her bridal registry service.

If you missed the show, you can listen here:

Next week, we are kicking off our 12 week segment series “Congratulations You’re Engaged…Now What?” Each week we will step you through the planning process to help you create the wedding of your dreams. We will also have some special guests dropping in to keep you up on the latest trends, from cakes to linen and everything in between. So you’re planning your wedding or if you’re helping someone plan their wedding you won’t want to miss this series.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin