Planning a Honeymoon Part 1

southern-wedding-cotton-candy

 

 

A honeymoon can be fun. and adventurous. To make it easier and take the hassle out of planning here are a few tips:

Start by considering the weather. There’s nothing to dampen the mood like bad weather during your honeymoon. Make sure you get the most out of your honeymoon by going when the weather is best. The Knot recommends certain locations by month:

July & August

Bermuda, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Central & South Africa, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Ireland, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Seychelles, Thailand, USA (Alaska, Northeast)

September

Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Central & South Africa, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Spain, Thailand, USA

October

Australia, Bali, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Central & South Africa, Egypt, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Italy, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Seychelles, Spain, USA

November

Australia, Bahamas, Bali, Belize, Brazil, Canada (ski destinations), Central & South Africa, Egypt, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Seychelles, Spain, USA (ski destinations, Southeast, Southwest)

December

Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bali, Belize, Brazil, Canada (ski destinations), Caribbean, Central & South Africa, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, the Florida Keys, USA (ski destinations)

To see the full list go here.

Consider a Travel Agent. They can plan everything for you while considering everything you want and need. Plus if something goes wrong you will have a pro to help you through it. You can book your honeymoon online but the savings may be small and you’ll miss out on personalized service a travel consultant can provide. All inclusive resorts can be a good deal, but buyer beware: some have hidden fees that add up. Make sure you know ahead of time what’s included and what’s not. Be careful of hidden fees. A travel consultant can help you save time and money. More tips can be found here.

Stick to a spending plan and take more cash than you need. A handy honeymoon planning checklist is just the thing to stay organized.

 

 

5 Outdoor Wedding Ideas

There are so many great venues to have a wedding in Austin. Here are five noteworthy wedding ceremony venues.

Allen House

Guests happily munched on a family-style dinner by Royal Fig Catering and enjoyed cake prepared by Simon Lee Bakery, which tasted just as great as it looked. It was nothing but a party for the rest of the night, with the bride and groom dancing away to music by Greenbelt DJ with their guests. Special thanks to ILD Lighting for illuminating the night with festoon lights. Becky from Pearl Events pulled it all together.

allen house   allenhouse2   photos by Caroline + Ben Photography 

 

Tuscan Hall

Tuscan hall austin tuscan hall 2 photos by keepsake images

 

Take your wedding guests to Tuscany. Stand on this side of the archway and you’re on a limestone parking lot on a plateau that rises 900 feet above Austin. Step through that archway and you’re in Tuscany. Water falls to your left. Massive stone steps lead across a pool that is constantly changing color. Fire leaps atop the surface. Step through those tall, double doors. Old wooden shutters and windowboxes adorn windows high on the second floor. Grapevines twist through a huge iron chandelier. An overhead catwalk leads to a dazzling art gallery.

 

Chapel Dulcinea

Chapel Dulcinea is a romantic, open-air Wedding Chapel located on the Wizard Academy campus.  Donations continue to make it possible for the owners to offer the Chapel at no charge.

dulcinea

 

Barr Mansion

Barr Mansion is a family-owned business that has been in Austin for over 20 years. Get married in the intimate rose garden or the elegant Artisan Ballroom, of which the entire front is 40 feet of glass. Groups up to 75 can fit in the Victorian mansion, which was built in 1898 and features gingerbread porches.

 

barr_mansion

 

The Inn at Rose Hall

This rustic outdoor wedding venue in South Austin was voted as a Best of Weddings 2008/2009 pick by The Knot, a leading wedding Web site. The venue is essentially a ranch home with a laid-back Hill Country vibe, and it features a rolling green lawn adorned with 100-year-old oak trees. After the ceremony, you can dance and eat either under the covered veranda or inside the roomy home. You can also spend your first evening as a married couple together in the bridal suite. You can also rent the home for the full weekend if you have guests in town, as it has five large bedrooms and three bathrooms. This is a great place if you want a wedding under the stars!

rosehall

photo by Pressman Studio

rosehall2

photo by matt montalvo photography

 

Complete Guide to Save the Date Cards

What is the deal with save the dates? You may wonder why you need them since formal invites are sent out later. Save the dates are a good idea because it helps to set the date for everyone and solidify the planning process; you’ll likely get more positive RSVPs. Guests can plan far in advance, since save the dates are sent out 6-9 months prior to the wedding date. And most guests enjoy receiving a save the date.

 

complete-guide-to-savethedate-cards_5029189f80ca6

infographic by digby & rose

Wedding Costs Checklist

The cost of a wedding can induce sticker shock. It’s best to prepare, and hopefully avoid any financial surprises, by having a wedding spending plan. This handy wedding costs checklist will help you plan your affair whether large or small, elaborate or simple.

wedding cost checklist

infographic by aussie

Some things to keep in mind (let’s recap!)

Rings

This can be a significant expense, you’ll want to include it.

Bridal Attire

you’ll want to keep tabs on expenses from the dress to hair and makeup, accessories and shoes.

Grooms Attire

expenses often include a morning suit, dinner suit, shoes and cufflinks and other accessories. Don’t forget the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearers and flower girls.

Ceremony

Ceremony fees often include the venue fees, officient fees, marriage license, marque and chair rentals, ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket and transportation.

Reception

Reception fees include the venue fee, catering, table and chair rental, table centerpieces, toasting flutes, rented linen, glassware and tableware, wedding cake and cake knife.

Drinks

Don’t forget to include drinks: ceremony drinks, reception drinks, corkage fee, and the bar fee.

Entertainment

Entertainment expenses include the ceremony band and reception band/DJ

Flowers

Fees for flowers often include the bridal bouquet, ceremony and reception flowers, bridesmaids flowers, groomsmen’s boutonnieres, delivery and set up.

Photography

Photography expenses often include wedding day photographs, formal portraits, photo albums, and videography. You may consider additional prints and albums.

Stationary

Stationary is nice and is also an expense. Save the date cards, invitations, ceremony programs, menu cards, place cards, thank you notes, table numbers, seating plan, calligrapher and postage.

Gifts

Gifts are an expense too! Wedding favors, bridesmaids, groomsmen, readers, for the bride, for the groom.

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous expenses may include First dance lessons, Wedding Coordinator, Bridesmaids luncheon, bachelor and bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, Prenuptial agreement, dry cleaning, wedding insurance.

Honeymoon

This expense varies, so be sure to include it!

The Wedding Planner

Wedding planning can be complicated and time consuming. Try to avoid putting it off because you don’t want to be in a situation where you’re rushed making decisions. With the help of this 12 month wedding planning schedule you’ll have it planned the way you want it in no time.

 

Image

source: Shane Co | visual.ly

Planning Tip # 1: Planning Tip # 1: Haven’t quite stowed away $20,000 for your dream wedding? Start saving now. Open a savings account with your fiance that can directly deposit a set amount, perhaps 10-20% of your income into the account each month.

Planning Tip # 2: Create a collage of wedding dress style you like before you go shopping (Pinterest is a great tool for this). Do your make up and hair similar to how you’ll want it for the big day so you will get a better idea of what you will look like walking down the aisle.

Planning Tip # 3: If your chosen venue doesn’t provide everything needed for the celebration, check out the International Special Events Society. You can search more than 5,000 professionals and you’ll find experts in every area.

Planning Tip # 4: If you aren’t sure of the proper way to word your invitations, or are dealing with a situation like divorced or deceased parents, consult Crane’s Wedding Blue Book for invitation guidelines.

Planning Tip # 5: The groom can wear anything of his choice as long as he can be distinguished from the groomsmen. The three most common choices are a tuxedo for formal late afternoon, a morning suit with cutaway jacket, or a standard business suit in black gray or brown. (And I would add military dress uniform for military weddings).

Planning Tip # 6: If you are writing your own vows use a tone that fits you. Don’t include deep passages just because you think it’s how it’s supposed to sound. Feel free to add a touch of human “I vow to become less cranky in the morning.”

Planning Tip # 7: When you have your final fitting, bring along your undergarments, shoes, jewelry, veil and any other accessories you plan to wear. If you’re deciding between a few different sets of accessories bring along a camera as well.

Planning Tip # 8: To ensure your photographer gets the best shot, give him good and bad photos of both of you prior to the wedding so he or she knows which angles work for you and which don’t. (And I would add: do an engagement shoot with your wedding photographer).

Planning Tip # 9: You and your fiance should sit down and select not only the first dance song but the tone of the party with all your favorite tunes. Make sure to include a “do not play” list so the “Electric Slide” doesn’t pop out of nowhere.

Planning Tip # 10: Ideas for figuring out the order of your wedding party without causing any tension: by height, by alphabetical order, by how long you have known them without regard to how close you are, or leave the decision up to the wedding coordinator and have nothing to do with it!

Planning Tip # 11: The rehearsal dinner can be less formal than the wedding reception, so have fun with it! Invite your close family, your wedding party, their dates as well as out-of-town guests who have traveled a long way to be with you. It’s a great way to introduce everyone before the actual ceremony.

Planning Tip # 12: After a year of planning and prepping the little details won’t seem to matter because by the end of it you married the person you love. Try to take in and remember how you felt over everything else.

The Disney Princess Craze hits Adults with Disney Wedding Dresses

 

As the Disney princess themes take hold in the hearts and minds of little girls all over the world, just when you think it couldn’t go any further, the craze has received attention by brides-to-be looking for a unique, yet elegant Disney touch.

Disney wedding dresses have taken the wedding industry by storm as a new ‘norm’ amongst newly engaged brides. Many traditionalist might scoff at the idea of showcasing a Disney themed dress on their special day. However, these dresses aren’t as you might think. They aren’t littered with patterns of assorted Disney princesses on them. They aren’t colored in bright pink and yellow like the toys in the stores. Each dress has been expertly crafted to look like actual princess dresses. As pictured above, you see that these dresses are legitimately made dresses. Therefore, maybe having a Disney dress for your wedding wouldn’t be such a bad thing. If you have a children that you plan to have involved in your wedding, this might add a fun little component for them, knowing it’s a ‘princess’ dress. Remember your special day is a magical time, fit to your detailed specifications. And if you are looking for an added little secret, beautiful, and unique aspect to your wedding consider looking into the Disney princess wedding dress.

 

Top Three Wedding Planning Tips

Whether you are a wedding planner or a bride looking to select a wedding planner. Make sure you have these three core essentials for a smooth and fun wedding. Brides: Be sure to ask the wedding planner you call if they have these three in their skill set. This will safe you time and money. Planners: Make sure you invite some of these ideas into your regular wedding procedures. Tell your brides that you have them available. They will feel more at ease with going with you as their wedding day guide. 

 

Organization 

One of the most valuable traits of a good wedding planner is organization. Organization is the one aspect that keeps each wedding running smoothly. Successful wedding planners use large three-ring binders for each individual wedding to keep everything in check and organized.

 

Guest Relations

Don’t always assume that the guests know how to get to the wedding location. Be sure to include a map to the ceremony/reception site(s) for every guest that is presumed coming. You can do this by sending a nice email to everyone or by including it with each invitation. This will also give he bride one less thing to worry about.

 

Safety First
A wedding is also a party. A celebration of the love of two people that are special in our lives. When you get a big group of people together there is always an issue of safety. Select a direct emergency plan that will offer a a safe plan for your guest to rely on in the event of an emergency. Make sure you have a emergency kit with all of the essentials; needle and thread, scissors, safety pins, tissues, medicine(pain killers), etc.

 

 

 

Top Five Ways to Stay Within Your Wedding Budget

In this publication, we will explore ways in which you can have an amazing wedding and save money along the way. Some of the tips discussed might seem trivial or elementary. Nevertheless, the small changes we make in our budget effects our over spending outcome.

  1.  Math Never Lies. Consider how many people are going to likely show up at your wedding reception to eat. If a plate costs $50, by cutting 10 people from your invitation list you will save $500. That can be a big savings by making some simple and honest adjustments to your guest list. 
  2. Be honest with yourself about who you want at your wedding. I have often thought that a wedding a live production that can get more complicated the more people you get involved. So let’s be honest, who do you want at your event? It would be more cost effective all around if you were to focus in on the top #1 people you want at your wedding. This would mean less chairs, tables, catering, wine, etc. This would also lessen the all around stress level when the actual day happens.
  3. Make up a classy backyard scene for your reception. We can all agree that the wedding venue is incredibly important. Both for presentation of the wedding but also for memories. We all love to enter a grand cathedral or small country church for the joining of true love. Following this special event we find ourselves at yet another venue/connection to the wedding venue building celebrating with our friends and family. If we look around and ask around, we can find a quaint backyard of a local family members that can serve as a perfect environment for the reception. If we are having an out of town wedding, post an post on craigstlist asking for a large backyard and what you are willing to pay. Even by paying a small amount for someone else’s backyard use we will save money. By doing this will we also create more ease for set up, break down, and end result costs.
  4. Do you deliver? When you are looking at companies that will be employed through your wedding, make sure you understand their delivery fee policies. Fees for delivering can range from $50-$600, depending on what they are delivering and how big your wedding is. This might envolve: chairs, tables, people, food, couches, flowers, and so on. Step back and take a look at things that you can have delivered by family and friends. This could completely cut your delivery costs. Another way to get around this to look for a venue that offers things you might need delivered already with the venue. Things you could ask you venue manager about would be: Tables, chairs, displays, and lighting.
  5. Wedding Day Selection. From a recent poll done by an online wedding website found that only 44% of couple know the date they want for their wedding. When you select the date you want your wedding on, look ahead and see what day of the week it falls on. Dates that fall on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays are dates that are in high demand. Therefore, venues could(and do)raise their prices during those peak days. You could cut your venue costs by up to 50% by choosing a weekday instead of a weekend – i.e. less in demand days.