Archive for November, 2011

How To Make Your Wedding Chic Using Floral Decor

Creating a romantic and comfortable setting for your guests is as important as your vows. Most of your guests are people that you love and admire, so you want to show gratitude for their presence with a lovely time.

 

Flowers that can go anywhere

 

In the first stages of planning a wedding, you may be concerned about where you need flowers. And this is a good question to ask.

 

So let’s start with the itinerary for most wedding days and you can determine what applies to you. Most of the wedding days start with the bride and bridesmaids going off to the salon for beauty time while the groom and his groomsmen enjoy a more lax day.

Church-wedding-flowers

At this point, the flowers should be arriving to decorate the chapel or the church where you two will be married. Flowers can be placed on the pews or alongside the seats, in vases at the altar, and at the entryway. These will need to be larger arrangements as determined by the size of the church. If you have too small of flowers, no one will be able to see them.

 

During the ceremony, you will need bouquets for each of the bridesmaids, as well as the bride. Small corsages are nice for the mothers of the couple, as well as grandmothers. Next in line are the boutonnières for the groom and his groomsmen, as well as fathers and grandfathers.

Images_2

The reception hall can be lined with flowers as well on tables and around buffet areas or appetizer arrangements.

Wedding-table-settings

Decorating in nature

 

Most wedding use flowers as the mainstay of their decoration plan, but what if you are looking to be outside for your vows? Are flowers necessary then?

Picnic_table_reception

In many cases, a beautiful setting has no need for extraneous flowers or ornamentation. Of course, the wedding party will still need something to carry, but it’s really much simpler this way.

 

In terms of other decorations that are well-liked, candles are the next most popular things at receptions and wedding ceremonies. Pick a color that complements the other used colors, and then light multiple candles (safely please). The overall effect is breathtaking.

103369-creative-rustic-wedding-centerpieces-2

When decorating your wedding and you reception, you can use anything that suits you. Flowers and candles seem to be the most popular, but don’t feel that you need to have them. Some receptions are now incorporating rock gardens and small water fountains into the design.

Diyordont-blogspot-com

So however you want to decorate is up to you.

 

 

 

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How to Choose Your Wedding Planner

You may be ultra busy. You may accept that you’re not the most organized person in the world. You may simply want to avoid stress. Or, you may be planning a wedding so large that no single person can pull it off unaided.

 

Whatever the reasons, a professional wedding planner is often a very wise choice.

 

Note, the word ‘professional’. That doesn’t mean your mother or sister or good friend, no matter how skilled they may be. Individuals – variously called Bridal Consultants or Wedding Planners, or other terms – do this for a living. Many get awards for doing it well. They know what needs to be done, whom to contact and how to organize all the elements of a wedding while keeping their (and your) sanity.

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They’ll discuss their services and fees in a calm, professional way and try to give you a realistic picture of what to expect. At the same time, they can help you maintain enthusiasm for a project that is both highly personal and emotional, as well as being full of possible practical pitfalls.

 

They know what can go wrong when you’ve set a specific date and the wedding or reception venue or caterer suddenly becomes unavailable. They know how to react in order to keep things on track.

 

Wedding planners have many contacts throughout the business community. Those long-term relationships help you get good deals, while helping ensure that commitments are kept. When they book a caterer, for example, the caterer will often be more inclined to keep a promise than they otherwise might. After all, you are only one client. But their livelihood depends in part on keeping the wedding planner happy in the future.

 

The same is true for vendors responsible for the wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses, as well as clothing for the groom’s side. It’s true of printers who take care of invitations. It’s true of all the other things that lead up to your big day. Wedding planners know whom to contact and how to deal with them. Then they contact and deal with them, not you.

 

A wedding planner may take on the whole effort, or only a part. They may subcontract some aspects. They may rely on you and your friends or family to take on certain things. The arrangements differ from wedding to wedding. So, do the fees, naturally.

 

Since their role can be so critical to the success of your special event, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask. Don’t be shy or nervous. Like any professional, they expect to have to demonstrate their experience and ability. At the same time, as with any business arrangement, courtesy is expected on both sides. You’re interviewing a prospective guide, not a servant.

Wedding-table-settings

You’ll want to know:

 

1. How long have you been in business?

2. What size of weddings do you typically plan?

3. Do you work on more than one at a time? How many right now?

4. Can you provide some references I could contact?

5. What are your fees? What do they cover?

6. What should I expect over the next month/six months/year leading up to the big day?

7. When I need to get in touch, how long is it normal to wait for a reply? How quickly am I expected to return emails or phone calls?

8. What happens the day before the wedding and on the big day? What about the day after when there are clean up or post-wedding tasks to do?

 

Many more questions may occur to you to ask. So long as you are respectful and patient any wedding planner should be happy to entertain them. Keep in mind, though, that they have other clients (hopefully, since it’s better for you). Even hiring a wedding planner takes some planning and investigation. Be patient and respectful with yourself as well.

Wedding-planner-planning-wedding-trp1

About Nicole Chireau  of  Memoires D’ Amour LLC

 

Nicole-chireau2b_sm

I have 10 years of event planning experience. I received my planning background in music and television industry and with the professional background friends and family were always requesting assistance with planning their event especially weddings. After many years of being the “unofficial” wedding planner I found my calling to start my own company. I absolutely love planning weddings.  My unique focus is serving busy career couples; and that includes students. I’m the perfect match for couples that are finding it difficult to get free time for all the specifics that go into planning  a fabulous wedding, yet don’t want to miss out on throwing the event of their life.

 

Because of my tremendous strengths in the area of organization and time management, I liberate in-demand brides and grooms from the worry and stress that can take away the fun of planning a wedding. I allow them to spend more time developing their tastes and preferences, while I handle the details that will make it all come together.

 

Go to  www.memoiresdamour.com and get your FREE report,

 8 Secrets for Letting your “Inner Designer” Plan your Wedding, While Still Keeping the Details In Check

 

 

How to Include Your Personality In Your Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are as ancient a tradition as weddings themselves. As simple as candies or as elaborate as miniature golden carriages filled with rose petals, these token gifts for those who attend a wedding have become a big industry. These gifts, gestures, really, of appreciation to the guests from the marrying couple, are such a small detail, but can make such a large impact on those who receive them. In the past wedding favors were, on the whole, simpler objects, but as our cultures changed, so did all the things that comprise our culture…down to the details of wedding favors. Nowadays, there is an ever-growing range of wedding favors available for couples to give their guests, and it’s not just an American phenomenon: From country to country, wedding favors have become big business.

 

 

The concept of wedding favors has long been there in the human civilization and changes have occurred as times changed. The wedding favors in the older times were far simpler but they did have that unique touch to them which made the favor a special thing for the guests who attended the weddings. The wedding favors are a gesture of gratitude towards the guests, friends, and relatives who attend the wedding ceremonies and grace the occasion. Today there is a wide range of wedding favors available for couples to give to their guests and the sheer demand for them has given birth to the wedding favor industry in the world. Although the wedding favors vary from culture to culture, the idea behind it is common across all cultures.

Personalized-small-wine-bottle-wedding-favors-bride-groom-silhouette-207280988

The Tradition of Wedding Favors

 

The tradition of wedding favors dates at least as far back as the aristocracy of the Europeans in medieval times. These rich Europeans aristocrats lavished their guests with fancy wedding favors called bonbonnieres. Bonbonniere is a French word that means a bauble or a small box with attractive ornamentations on it, and this little box was generally made of porcelain, crystal, or even precious stones.  The aristocracy would then place little gifts within these ornate boxes, often sugar cubes or other such confections.

Images_1

Since sugar was a rare and expensive item in those times it symbolized the status of aristocracy.  By giving a gift of sugar to their guests, the message was clear: We are well-off, look at what we can give away. Of course, as sugar become a common household commodity, it lost favor amongst the aristocrats, who then began favoring almonds and other expensive nuts. Later, confetti became popular. It’s interesting to note that modern weddings often make a nod to their aristocratic past by giving sugared almonds as a wedding favor.

 

If there’s one key difference between past and present wedding favors, it’s one of personalization. The aristocrats’ goal was to impress people with their wealth. The trend among modern couples, however, is the custom creation of gifts that bear the personal touch of the families and the couples. What better way to truly say thank you for thinking of us, than to give out thoughtful, meaningful gifts. It makes all the difference.

Personalized-natural-cotton-party-favor-bags-beach-500

Personalized Wedding Favors

 

The centuries old tradition of the wedding favor has now been transformed into personalized, custom-made wedding favors. Although these personalized favors can be expensive, it’s not done to impress, but simply to show gratitude through personalization. First and foremost, these personalized wedding favors come with the name of the happy couple, often engraved somewhere. The date is also included, along with a short phrase summarizing the love of the couple, and their feelings for the guests. Inevitably, the gifts themselves are structured around a photo of themselves. Interesting to note, too, how many couples include their pets in the photo. A personal touch indeed!

 

These personalized wedding favors can reflect the wedding themes, for example the beach, or spring, as well as reflect the colors of the wedding itself. Couples can have wedding favors personalized for their beach wedding with products called Adirondack chairs, which feature tealite candles or a personalized heart-shaped bottles decorated with sand and seashells. Couples can also personalize their summer or spring wedding with favors that feature wild daisy flowers or cute flower hearts. Couples can also give edible wedding favors. Tiny bags of coffee or even chocolate bars can be personalized, now, as wedding favors. How about a wine bottle with personalized label? In that vein, glass wedding favors, or customized champagne chutes have also become a mainstay in personalized wedding favors.

 

Yes, personalizing one’s wedding favors can become an expensive ordeal, but when done right, the gifts can be a treasured memento.

Personalized-fall-cookies-wedding-favors

Why Give Wedding Favors to Guests 

 

Although the aristocrats gave wedding favors merely as symbols of their wealth and power, that isn’t to say that wedding favors today still can’t carry with them some symbolism. They do.   There is, of course, the inherent symbol of gratitude that all gifts carry. But beyond that, wedding favors such as the giving of five Jordan almonds are symbolic of things like health, wealth, long life, fertility, and happiness which are the most important things in a happy marriage. Giving sugared almonds can be construed as recognizing that in marriage there can be bitterness and sweetness. 

Personalized-tins-as-wedding-favors

 

Beyond the purely symbolic level, wedding favors often have practicality to them. Whether its a bottle of wine, or a box of candles, these gifts are to be used, not just admired. Though there certainly are wedding favors which are purely decorational. Still, that’s a function, isn’t it? Couples have given beautiful framed pictures of the beach where they had their first date, or a vase from the glass-blower at the county fair where they first met. Wedding favors are ultimately about the memories.

Caramel-corn-beach-wedding-favors

Wedding favors are also a great ice-breaker. Often there are guests at a wedding who know only a few or even just one of the other guests. But a creative wedding favor can open people up, and have guests mingling. Imagine giving, say, five different photos to each person at the wedding. People would then approach one another excitedly, “Let me see the ones you got!” Or how about giving different candied nuts to the guests. People will mingle and share.

 

Truly the bottom line in wedding favors is to give a thoughtful Thank You to all the guests who took the trouble to attend your wedding. Give a touch of symbolism, a dash of practicality, a touch of personality and love, and your guests will remember your wedding for a lifetime.

 

 

Nicole-chireau2b_sm

I have 10 years of event planning experience. I received my planning background in music and television industry and with the professional background friends and family were always requesting assistance with planning their event especially weddings. After many years of being the “unofficial” wedding planner I found my calling to start my own company. I absolutely love planning weddings.  My unique focus is serving busy career couples; and that includes students. I’m the perfect match for couples that are finding it difficult to get free time for all the specifics that go into planning  a fabulous wedding, yet don’t want to miss out on throwing the event of their life.

 

Because of my tremendous strengths in the area of organization and time management, I liberate in-demand brides and grooms from the worry and stress that can take away the fun of planning a wedding. I allow them to spend more time developing their tastes and preferences, while I handle the details that will make it all come together.

 

Go to  www.memoiresdamour.com and get your FREE report,

 8 Secrets for Letting your “Inner Designer” Plan your Wedding, While Still Keeping the Details In Check

 

 

 

 

 November 23, 2011  Madame Chireau   Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

How to Include Your Personality In Your Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are as ancient a tradition as weddings themselves. As simple as candies or as elaborate as miniature golden carriages filled with rose petals, these token gifts for those who attend a wedding have become a big industry. These gifts, gestures, really, of appreciation to the guests from the marrying couple, are such a small detail, but can make such a large impact on those who receive them. In the past wedding favors were, on the whole, simpler objects, but as our cultures changed, so did all the things that comprise our culture…down to the details of wedding favors. Nowadays, there is an ever-growing range of wedding favors available for couples to give their guests, and it’s not just an American phenomenon: From country to country, wedding favors have become big business.

 

 

The concept of wedding favors has long been there in the human civilization and changes have occurred as times changed. The wedding favors in the older times were far simpler but they did have that unique touch to them which made the favor a special thing for the guests who attended the weddings. The wedding favors are a gesture of gratitude towards the guests, friends, and relatives who attend the wedding ceremonies and grace the occasion. Today there is a wide range of wedding favors available for couples to give to their guests and the sheer demand for them has given birth to the wedding favor industry in the world. Although the wedding favors vary from culture to culture, the idea behind it is common across all cultures.

Personalized-small-wine-bottle-wedding-favors-bride-groom-silhouette-207280988

The Tradition of Wedding Favors

 

The tradition of wedding favors dates at least as far back as the aristocracy of the Europeans in medieval times. These rich Europeans aristocrats lavished their guests with fancy wedding favors called bonbonnieres. Bonbonniere is a French word that means a bauble or a small box with attractive ornamentations on it, and this little box was generally made of porcelain, crystal, or even precious stones.  The aristocracy would then place little gifts within these ornate boxes, often sugar cubes or other such confections.

Images_1

Since sugar was a rare and expensive item in those times it symbolized the status of aristocracy.  By giving a gift of sugar to their guests, the message was clear: We are well-off, look at what we can give away. Of course, as sugar become a common household commodity, it lost favor amongst the aristocrats, who then began favoring almonds and other expensive nuts. Later, confetti became popular. It’s interesting to note that modern weddings often make a nod to their aristocratic past by giving sugared almonds as a wedding favor.

 

If there’s one key difference between past and present wedding favors, it’s one of personalization. The aristocrats’ goal was to impress people with their wealth. The trend among modern couples, however, is the custom creation of gifts that bear the personal touch of the families and the couples. What better way to truly say thank you for thinking of us, than to give out thoughtful, meaningful gifts. It makes all the difference.

Personalized-natural-cotton-party-favor-bags-beach-500

Personalized Wedding Favors

 

The centuries old tradition of the wedding favor has now been transformed into personalized, custom-made wedding favors. Although these personalized favors can be expensive, it’s not done to impress, but simply to show gratitude through personalization. First and foremost, these personalized wedding favors come with the name of the happy couple, often engraved somewhere. The date is also included, along with a short phrase summarizing the love of the couple, and their feelings for the guests. Inevitably, the gifts themselves are structured around a photo of themselves. Interesting to note, too, how many couples include their pets in the photo. A personal touch indeed!

 

These personalized wedding favors can reflect the wedding themes, for example the beach, or spring, as well as reflect the colors of the wedding itself. Couples can have wedding favors personalized for their beach wedding with products called Adirondack chairs, which feature tealite candles or a personalized heart-shaped bottles decorated with sand and seashells. Couples can also personalize their summer or spring wedding with favors that feature wild daisy flowers or cute flower hearts. Couples can also give edible wedding favors. Tiny bags of coffee or even chocolate bars can be personalized, now, as wedding favors. How about a wine bottle with personalized label? In that vein, glass wedding favors, or customized champagne chutes have also become a mainstay in personalized wedding favors.

 

Yes, personalizing one’s wedding favors can become an expensive ordeal, but when done right, the gifts can be a treasured memento.

Personalized-fall-cookies-wedding-favors

Why Give Wedding Favors to Guests 

 

Although the aristocrats gave wedding favors merely as symbols of their wealth and power, that isn’t to say that wedding favors today still can’t carry with them some symbolism. They do.   There is, of course, the inherent symbol of gratitude that all gifts carry. But beyond that, wedding favors such as the giving of five Jordan almonds are symbolic of things like health, wealth, long life, fertility, and happiness which are the most important things in a happy marriage. Giving sugared almonds can be construed as recognizing that in marriage there can be bitterness and sweetness. 

Personalized-small-wine-bottle-wedding-favors-bride-groom-silhouette-207280988

Beyond the purely symbolic level, wedding favors often have practicality to them. Whether its a bottle of wine, or a box of candles, these gifts are to be used, not just admired. Though there certainly are wedding favors which are purely decorational. Still, that’s a function, isn’t it? Couples have given beautiful framed pictures of the beach where they had their first date, or a vase from the glass-blower at the county fair where they first met. Wedding favors are ultimately about the memories.

Caramel-corn-beach-wedding-favors

Wedding favors are also a great ice-breaker. Often there are guests at a wedding who know only a few or even just one of the other guests. But a creative wedding favor can open people up, and have guests mingling. Imagine giving, say, five different photos to each person at the wedding. People would then approach one another excitedly, “Let me see the ones you got!” Or how about giving different candied nuts to the guests. People will mingle and share.

 

Truly the bottom line in wedding favors is to give a thoughtful Thank You to all the guests who took the trouble to attend your wedding. Give a touch of symbolism, a dash of practicality, a touch of personality and love, and your guests will remember your wedding for a lifetime.

 

 

Nicole-chireau2b_sm

I have 10 years of event planning experience. I received my planning background in music and television industry and with the professional background friends and family were always requesting assistance with planning their event especially weddings. After many years of being the “unofficial” wedding planner I found my calling to start my own company. I absolutely love planning weddings.  My unique focus is serving busy career couples; and that includes students. I’m the perfect match for couples that are finding it difficult to get free time for all the specifics that go into planning  a fabulous wedding, yet don’t want to miss out on throwing the event of their life.

 

Because of my tremendous strengths in the area of organization and time management, I liberate in-demand brides and grooms from the worry and stress that can take away the fun of planning a wedding. I allow them to spend more time developing their tastes and preferences, while I handle the details that will make it all come together.

 

Go to  www.memoiresdamour.com and get your FREE report,

 8 Secrets for Letting your “Inner Designer” Plan your Wedding, While Still Keeping the Details In Check

 

 

 

 

 November 20, 2011  Madame Chireau   Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

How to Plan a Wedding on a Budget.

A significant task in planning a wedding, among so many, has to be developing and maintaining a wedding budget. Even those skilled in the use of spreadsheets or other tools can’t get around the fact that there are simply a lot of details to track. If they’re not tracked accurately, it can cost thousands of dollars extra.

 

Fortunately, taken one step at a time, it is possible to create and keep a budget under control. Just devote a little time every day, or at least once a week, to doing what’s necessary.

 

And what is that?

 

First, it’s necessary to list a year or more in advance everything you can imagine that will have to be paid out. Don’t worry that there are many items you’ll forget or not be aware of. You’ll revise the budget many times over the course of that year. But you have to start somewhere.

9284881-group-of-business-people-saving-money-on-the-piggy-bank

Keep that list in a spreadsheet or a wedding budget tool of your choosing, whatever makes it easy to you to account for everything in one spot. With the average cost of a wedding at around $27,000 today, things can quickly spiral out of control. Using tools is one way to help prevent that.

Msw_spring06_pompom_l

It can help to make more than one budget. Different items are traditionally paid for by the bride and her family, and others by the groom and his family. At the same time, it’s helpful to be able to combine or merge them to see the overall costs.

 

The bride’s portion usually includes such things as a wedding band and gift for the groom, the wedding venue and reception, the gown, photographs and less costly items. The groom’s part typically includes the bride’s engagement ring and wedding band, and a gift, along with a tuxedo, gifts for the best man and groomsmen, bride’s bouquet, the marriage license fee and blood tests, and the honeymoon.

 

Each side can easily spend thousands. To keep the figure down to within budget all of those items (and many more) need to be recorded and updated. Even the smaller items that are not expensive individually can add up to a substantial amount.

 

For the bride, 40% of her side’s budget can often be taken up by the caterer. Include food and drinks and the figure can run anywhere from $200 to $20,000 depending on the size of the wedding and the type of catering. About 15% for clothing is not unusual between a gown and a reception dress.

 

The photographer alone can consume 5% or more. $1,000-$3,000 is normal, which includes his or her time all day plus post-wedding development, mailing and more. Another 2-3% for wedding invitations has been traditional. Costs are dropping, though, thanks to the Internet. It is helping to reduce printing costs, eliminate some mailing where emailing is sometimes substituted.

 

Entertainment can be anywhere from virtually free – a few music CDs played on a portable or built-in stereo system – to 10% or several thousand for live entertainment. A good 5-piece jazz band, for example, can easily cost $2,000 for the evening and that’s a bargain. Of course, it never hurts to have musician friends who will play for free. Provided they get free food and drink, at least!

Adrien-table

Costs can be kept lower, obviously, by having a smaller wedding. Fewer guests means less food and drink, a smaller venue and other savings. A cash bar, rather than free unlimited drinks, is one way to cut down. At least one free glass of champagne for everyone should be included, however, to toast the bride and groom.

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Setting a date for off-season can result in big savings. Most wedding and reception venues are booked in the summer months, especially the traditional June. Getting married in January can lower costs quite a bit. Even a non-Saturday date can help a lot.

 

And, oh, by the way. Don’t forget to pay the preacher. You don’t want him to forget to sign the license!

Intimate1

 November 14, 2011  Madame Chireau   Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized