Win a Wedding Dress Or A Honeymoon

One of the craziest things I’ve seen is the cost of weddings. So why is it that Get Married has a literal laundry list of gift certificates and honeymoon vacations on their wedding contest pages there for the taking? And why are there barely any brides signing up to win them? Hundreds of thousands of visitors every month to the site and the brides are thinking to themselves, ‘”I never win anything.” and they don’t sign up! It’s like crazy town.

“Most brides simply walk away from opportunities that seem like there’s no chance they could win. Most websites don’t even get participation in the single percentage digits of what they’re traffic is primarily because it’s either not well represented on the main site or people have just become numb to giveaways because of the mass amounts of spam and scams online. But reputable companies like these are typically itching to give this stuff away, so avoiding opportunities like this is almost like leaving money on the table.”

Right now as we speak, Get Married is offering a $500 gift certificate from David’s Bridal, a dream vacation to Honduras for 7 days on the island of Roatán, a honeymoon package to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, another one to Turtle Island in Fiji, and even two sets of dinnerware. They’re right there for the taking, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense why more brides aren’t taking advantage of it.

Enough said.  Go get it; http://www.getmarried.com/contests/

Thousands of Gulf Beach Weddings Canceled

Regardless of whether or not you throw the perfect beach wedding, some things are completely out of your control. Especially oil washing up on the shore or bad odors wafting through the air of your picture perfect day.  Such is the case with people’s beach weddings that happen to take place in the Gulf. While most places are still relatively unscathed, oil is now showing up on the shores of Panama City Beach essentially ruining plans for a lot of brides while some are holding tight to their dreams and hoping for the best. MSN did an interesting piece today asking brides about how they feel about how the oil spill is affecting them personally.

Reports are showing that thousands of weddings have been canceled although local businesses in Louisiana, Alabama and now Florida are furious about those reports claiming that while the situation is serious, it’s way too soon to change plans and overreact.  Most brides jumped ship on their plans primarily concerned about there being a problem with dead sea life washing up on shore or the potential for bad odors due to the oil. Nothing ruins a wedding faster than dead fish or bad odors.  While there’s a second camp that say everyone should continue supporting the locals, those businesses also understand that the aforementioned problems would certainly take away from the ambiance of a wedding day, but stand by their claims that it’s not as bad as people think it is on the shore and there is a lot of truth to the fact that not all areas are affected by this.  BP has already dished out over 2 billion dollars fighting the problem and supporting those local businesses affected by the catastrophe.

Are you a bride that has had their gulf beach wedding affected by the oil spill? Tell us you story in the comments or simply chime in on what you think about the whole fiasco.

Ipods Kill Two More Weddings

Ipod weddings are simply disastrous.  I spent some time up in North Carolina where I was witness to not one, not two, but three beach weddings. Yes, three weddings.  Two of which decided to go the Ipod route and both of those weddings were disastrous from an audio perspective, but Wedding 3 opted for a ceremony guitarist and live DJ through a PA and it went flawlessly.  I understand the desire for brides to cut corners and save money on their weddings, but the beach brings additional elements that people just don’t understand and seem to be oblivious to.

The first thing to know about a beach wedding is that it’s the one place in the world that can be loud and relaxing at the same time.  You will almost never use those two words in the same sentence and the beach is the only place where it certainly rings true.  The waves crashing on the beach can be very loud, very relaxing, but also create an audio nightmare.

Wedding One
The bride decided to use an Ipod and instead of a PA to patch it through, she used one of those bedside units that you put your Ipod into and set on your nightstand for your listening pleasure.  She expected to bring that to a beach and have a crowd of 50 people hear it over the crashing waves and also the additional element of playing it against the wind.   Yes, that happened.  I watched it.   To make matters worse, the bride gave the responsibility of running it to someone who had no idea how to operate an Ipod.  As you can imagine, it went badly and the rest of the ceremony went without music.  The death of wedding number one. Beautiful couple, nice as can be, but I’m sure she would want you to learn from her bad experience.

Wedding Two
For Wedding Two, a hired DJ who goes by the name of a farm animal thought enough to make sure that there was a PA for the Ipod to play through.  However, it stopped working mere minutes before the ceremony was to start, but then magically started working again seconds before the wedding party proceeded down the beach path.   There were 3 songs to play during the ceremony entrances; one for the parents/grandparents, one for the bridal party, and one for the bride.

Once the Ipod started working again, the DJ began the song for the parents/grandparents entrance, but neither he (or the wedding planner) accounted for the fact that a couple of the grandparents had to trudge through 15 feet of soft white sand with canes and walkers to get to their seats.  So as their song came to an end, the bridal party song began to play before the grandparents were even seated.  The DJ then proceeded to holler (no joke) up to the bride on the dune to ask what he should do and the bride hollered back (no joke) that he should play the parent song again.  The DJ clicked the back button once which then started to play the bridal party song from the beginning again (and not the parent song which was the track before it).  Three seconds in, the DJ realized it was still the bridal party song and, yet again, clicked the back button only one time which again started the bridal party track over.  He then realized that he must click the button twice and on that third try, the parents song started again.  Less than 10 seconds later, the parents and grandparents were all seated.  And there was yet one more instance as the wedding came to a close and the newly married bride and groom walked back down the aisle…to the bridal party entrance song.  The death of wedding #2.

Forget The Ipods
When I first heard the ramblings of wedding DJ’s and bands discussing how bad Ipod weddings were, your first gut reaction is to assume monetary reasons.  And while that may be true, I personally watched 2 out of 3 weddings die a very painful and embarrassing death at the hands of Ipods and quickly realized that out of all of the corners you can cut, this should not be one of them.  Most people will say to themselves, “Oh, but I’ll make sure that the person running it knows what they’re doing.” and I can guarantee that little to almost no thought was put into the music at the first two weddings I attended.   People who opt for an Ipod wedding not only expect to save money, but also time in their wedding planning when the exact opposite is true.  If you opt for an Ipod wedding, expect the worst, because it’s much better to have a band or DJ thinking about the music and not you as the bride.  While there was a DJ involved in the second wedding, his utter lack of professionalism created an audio fiasco and great embarrassment for the bride.

If you’re a bride planning a wedding, please opt for a wedding DJ or band instead of an Ipod.  There are ALWAYS mistakes that happen and it’s just a matter of how noticeable they are. And if you hire a DJ, find out what he/she will be doing for each moment of the event and how they’ll be doing it. A professional wedding DJ will know how to handle a difficult situation as it occurs and won’t need to involve you or your guests in doing their job.  Just stay away from Ipods in your weddings, because they are simply an awful choice.  This is your big day, so don’t leave it in the hands of technology that’s designed for personal use.

Vera Wang & David’s Bridal Join Forces

Photo from WikipediaIn huge wedding fashion news, the wedding dress mega superstar Vera Wang has agreed to work with wedding dress megastore David’s Bridal to make a line of budget wedding dresses. Vera Wang’s wedding dresses are some of the most sought after fashions in the industry and she’s created dresses worn by Jennifer Lopez and Ivanka Trump to drop a couple names.  But Vera is typically known for being the priestess of the higher end wedding dress pricing, so this seems to be a brilliant move in a time where Google web searches for “budget weddings” and “cheap wedding dresses” are at an all time high.

The arrangement is still behind close doors since there are trademark negotiations in play right now, but the timeline appears to be for Spring 2011 and the dresses will be in the ballpark of $600-$1500 which is certainly in the realm of affordability for most brides.  Even though Vera Wang seems impervious to harm regardless of what the brides are doing, the increased exposure to the everyday bride that she will achieve with this partnership is well beyond her current reach.  According to NBC, David’s Bridal currently accounts for over 30% of bridal business and that size of audience should prove immensely lucrative to the Vera Wang line.

Wedding Guru David Tutera Sued for $200K

wedding planning

David Tutera

Wedding planner David Tutera, current host of the TV show My Fair Wedding on WeTV, is apparently being sued for $200,000 by a very angry couple.  Couple Melissa Chin and Steve Choi got married in Singapore and agreed to pay David $200,000 to appear at their wedding and make their day at the super extravagant Shangri-La Hotel as memorable as possible.

The couple not only agreed to pay him $200K to appear,  but also gave David $100,000 as a deposit, four round trip tickets from New York to Paris, paid for 6 nights at the Shangri-La, and even pledged to commission an orchid in Singapore and name it after him.

Tutera is a party and wedding planner whose clients have included Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and many more.  Tutera tried to reach the bride regarding the final payment deadlines and wasn’t able to contact the bride and decided to contact the father of the bride.  He was then instructed by the father not to come.  Representatives say that the father scoffed at the skyrocketing price of the affair and told Tutera not to bother getting on the plane because there was no more money to pay for the wedding.  So Tutera did as he was instructed.

Things got even uglier when Tutera reportedly began “sabotaging” their wedding and not only failed to appear, but also instructed sub-contractors in Singapore not to show up either.   See, the way this works is that you pay Tutera and then Tutera pays the subcontractors.  But if you don’t pay Tutera, then he can’t pay the subcontractors and therefore it’s his obligation to contact the subcontractors and tell them not to come because he won’t be able to pay them.  Isn’t that funny how that works?

Any-who, before the fiasco, Tutera had told the couple “This is your wedding, not mine, and I promise to make it about you and Steve – that is very important to me.”  Tutera was to provide the bride’s bouquet, the dance floor, the decor of the floor, decorate the VIP table, provide linens, and a white roll out carpet for their arrival.  None of which happened.

Regardless, the suit was filed in Manhattan and is seeking damages for the couple’s “severe emotional distress,” because of his “blatant and malicious actions”. It also claims that they had to go through their wedding trying to figure out what to do about dance floors, bouquets, and make a host of last minute arrangements. Wedding photos show the couple with bouquet, dance floor and insanely huge, extravagant table centerpieces.

While I’m not clear as to what Tutera commands for an appearance, if you had an all expense paid trip for 6 days to Singapore and were paid $100,000, would you not go?  Even if it was $100K short of what was discussed? Trust me. This is at least $100K worth of bad press.

As for the couple, what exactly were you thinking? 90% of people have no idea who David Tutera even is and you were planning on paying him almost a quarter of a million dollars, paying expenses for his entire visit and commissioning to have an orhcid named after him?

Assuming that all of the details are accurate, whose side are you on?

Black Friday Wedding at Best Buy

Photo & Story obtained from WMBFNews.com

When most people do their wedding planning, it normally doesn’t involve standing in line in the freezing cold at a retail store on Black Friday.  But for Michigan couple Edward Burbo and his bride to be Jennifer, that’s exactly how they planned it.

Edward and Jennifer met two years ago online in November of 2007 and 2 days later, they were shopping for good deals together.  The couple has a blended family of 4 children between the ages of 8 and 14 and Christmases have been tough at full price.  So they, like most Americans, hit the streets early in the morning to get the best deals on Black Friday and this year it was at Best Buy where they camped out for a whopping two entire days to be first in line!

Then the idea struck them two weeks before that big day that they would be married in line at Best Buy.  While they wanted to have a big wedding, they just couldn’t afford it.  “We are saving money standing in line for Black Friday, and we’re not really spending much on the wedding,” Jennifer said.  So she dressed in a winter white wedding dress and he in a tuxedo and the two exchanged vows on Black Friday 2009.

I’m envisioning the I Do’s followed by the trampling of innocent bystanders to get into the store, cursing, a few stiff elbows, and the crush of overcrowded mayhem.  Let’s just hope the honeymoon was taken elsewhere.

For more on this story, check out WMBF’s website at http://www.wmbfnews.com/Global/story.asp?S=11582046.

2 Bride Magazines Shut Their Doors

elegant-brideCondé Nast, a major magazine publisher has decided to permanently shut the doors of four of their magazines including Gourmet magazine, parenting magazine Cookie, and 2 bridal magazines Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. The unfortunate demise of printed media has sunk its talons into newspapers around the country and now taking many magazines into the abyss with them.

In an almost bizarre coincidence, wedding website Get Married launches their premiere issue of their wedding magazine Get Married.  With what some may see as a bold move to enter into a crumbling industry, Get Married took many tremendous strides to insure that the magazine vaulted onto the scene with sure footing.

get-married-microsoft-tag

They set up a solid foundation starting with naming Stephanie Davis Executive Editor of the new publication who has written for GQ, Self, Brides and the now foiled Gourmet magazine which had been on news stands since 1941.

Then to solidify the positioning, Get Married entered into the technology arena by being the first bridal publication to incorporate Microsoft tags into its magazine so that readers can take a photo of the tag and watch more in depth content on products and other items of interest right on their camera phones.

wedding-magazineRegardless of how you view Get Married’s risky venture into the territory, the overall plan was very well executed and very timely in order to pick up the scattered brides left by Condé Nast’s unfortunate decision to shut its doors on 4 of its more prestigious titles.

Brides are even being offered a free issue of the new wedding magazine at http://www.getmarried.com/magazine to take it out for a trial run.

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