Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wedding Flowers for Destination Weddings

Flowers can easily be one of the most expensive and headache-inducing parts of the wedding. It's not just a question of what kind and how many, but what's in season, what will last the length of the ceremony or reception, what's right for the location and more.

More often than not, having a destination wedding makes these questions a little bit simpler because most of the decoration and ambiance comes from the location. The other good (maybe?) news is that certain flowers are extremely difficult to get in the islands, so your choices are narrowed for you. Plus, there are typically a wide variety of beautiful indigenous flowers available, so you can incorporate the flavor of your location relatively inexpensively.

For our wedding, we spent numerous hours combing through photos on The Knot and elsewhere looking for beautiful bouquets that incorporated a little bit of blue to fit with the color of the wedding. In the end, we decided that nothing was completely perfect but it was all likely to turn out well anyway. We gave a few pictures to the wedding planner and crossed her fingers. Once again, the planner came through with two beautiful bouquets for the bride and maid of honor and lovely boutonnieres as well.

For people having a destination wedding in the US, there are nearly unlimited options for variety, price and number of flowers. Two relatively simple and budget-conscious options are Costco and Proflowers.com. Most people think of bulk mayonnaise and giant vats of tomato sauce when they think of Costco, but the truth is that the warehouse chain has slowly but surely been becoming more upscale, and the flowers are quite beautiful (they even offer bulk and special occasion options). Proflowers offers an even wider assortment of colors and varieties for bouquets and centerpieces. If the quality is at all comparable to their normal flower service, they're likely to be very nice.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Venting on Wedding Etiquette

There’s the tendency for the wedding couple to become so self-absorbed and consumed with the details that skip on etiquette. This is bad form…

We were recently invited to a wedding that starts at 4:00pm on a Saturday. The reception starts at 6:30pm and there is NO dinner! Only appetizers. Now we can graze with the best of them, but it really is bad form not to have a dinner.

To top it off, we only received the wedding invitation three weeks before the actual wedding. (We’d received a save the date about 6 months out)

Folks, have some courtesy. Think about your wedding as if you are attending it as a guest. Think about what you would expect. Your guests are giving up a lot to be there with you and share in your special day. Show them some respect.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

10 Things Your Wedding Planner Won’t Tell You

An article by Renee DeFranco in Smart Money called “10 Things Your Wedding Planner Won’t Tell You” really caught our eye!

You can read the full article, but here are the 10 things with our commentary:

  1. “Something old, something new – and everything over the top.”—This is the bigger-is-better idea. Although, the article seems to paint the need for a wedding planner as a negative. We don’t see it that way. We’re busy professionals and needed the help.
  2. “You say you need a reference? Well, you’re looking at her.”—This one is true. We found a number of self-proclaimed wedding planners. Some seemed great. Others just seemed clueless.
  3. “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you calm, cool and oblivious.”—This is the best. A good wedding planner can insulate you from the drama. Chances are good, there will be enough drama (between families, etc.)…you really don’t need any more.
  4. “I won’t necessarily be there on your big day.”—And this is a big mistake. If your planner intends to phone it in, find another planner. And “venue coordinators” were completely worthless for us. Venue coordinators were the whole reason we hired a planner in the first place. We were going to a luxury destination thousands of miles away, we couldn’t hold their hand.
  5. “Congratulations, Gloria and Bill…um, I mean Marcia and Tom”—There’s no getting around the revolving door, especially at destination resorts. However, you planner should absolutely focus on you and make sure the resort does. Again, another vote against venue coordinators and for wedding planners.
  6. “Mixed marriage? Ka-ching!”—This is interesting, but wasn’t really relevant. We are from very different religious backgrounds, but religion wasn’t very important to us. However, it may be different for you.
  7. “The early bride gets the worm.”—This is where traditional weddings and destination weddings differ. In the destination world, planners and venues don’t really want to work with you over a year in advance. We found one that did. We were worried when she seemed a little unresponsive a few months out, but needed to take a few deep breaths and realize she does this all the time. We’re glad we relaxed!
  8. “Getting married in Hawaii? I’ll bring the suntan lotion!”—Destination weddings are big business. This one discusses hiring planners local to you to plan the destination event—not really a good idea. Find a planner that is local to the destination since they will have the contacts. Also, there is a flawed premise here that destination weddings are somehow more expensive. We could not disagree more!
  9. “Custom silk wedding fans, anyone?”—Sure there are vendors who will try to push stuff on you. There always are. You still need to make the event your own.
  10. “You don’t really need me.”—True, you don’t NEED a wedding planner. But it sure made our lives easier.

This short little article is well worth the read!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Wedding Toast, Part II

The wedding toast is an integral part of the wedding reception. The toast is the opportunity for all guests to raise their glasses, join with you and extend their wishes to you for a long, happy and prosperous life.

In The Wedding Toast, Part I, we discussed the various beverages that could be used for a destination wedding toast.

However, the couple will also have to make the decision who they want to do the wedding toast. Traditionally, the toast is usually done by the Maid of Honor and the Best Man. For us, our wedding was a bit less traditional. We had toasts from the grandmother of the bride, the father of the bride, the sister of the bride, the brother of the groom and the best man. Five toasts are a bit much. You really should try to only have two or three.

However, it is best if you let those who will be making the wedding toast know well in advance. We did not do this and had some interesting toasts! (more like a roast!)

Do not underestimate the importance of the wedding toast, since it will be one of the most memorable parts of your wedding day!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Wedding Toast, Part I

The wedding toast, traditionally with champagne, leaves other options for couples having destination weddings. Sure, you can stay traditional and have a champagne toast. Or you can spice things up a bit.

At our destination wedding, guests could choose between Bahama Mamas, Pina Coladas or Goombay Smashes. These proved to be wildly successful. Most of the guests made a full tour, sampling each of the three specialty cocktails.

If you want a more traditional toast with bubbly, but without the bite or dry taste of champagne, another suggestion could be Italian Prosecco or Franciacorta (which are both white sparkling wines, but are milder than French champagne). We became big fans of Franciacorta when we toured the Berlucchi winery in northern Italy in May.

You can also do both—have specialty cocktails throughout the reception and dinner, while saving a nice Prosecco for a formal toast.

A final word on wedding toasts – Regardless of which beverage you chose for your wedding, please use crystal or real glass. Nothing says tacky like those plastic champagne flutes. Yes, even if you are having a beach wedding, use real glass. Most caterers can accommodate glass for the wedding toast and use plastic for everything else.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Back Online

We’ve been terribly negligent in keeping up with the blog with our trips to Europe and the beach. But we will be getting back on track now. Thanks for sticking with us.