The 10-10-10 Wedding Date (and 1-1-11)

Many people are scrambling to make their wedding dates as memorable as possible. It’s no surprise that the wedding date trend started and got firey hot back in 2007 when the planets aligned on July 7th, 2007 (aka the 7-7-7 wedding).  The wedding favor market fell into absolute bliss and brides scrambled for their Vegas themed favors and internet marketers everywhere screamed with glee.  Newlywed husbands were also ecstatic since it was improbable that they’d forget their anniversary.  For now.  Well, it’s that time again.

October 10, 2010 wedding dateNow the planets are aligned again (kind of) as brides that would like to marry on a memorable date have a Sunday wedding to look forward to on October 10th, 2010 (aka the 10-10-10 wedding).  Since 10 is the perfect number and it’s also a great opportunity for brides to get a good deal on a wedding ceremony since Saturdays are a more typical day to hold weddings.  Churches will be out though since they will normally be in session (except Seventh Day Adventists), so there may be yet another opportunity for brides to push their agenda on the upcoming special day.

Too soon or is Sunday not a good day for you?  You have another shot coming up next year on January 1st, 2011 (aka the 1-1-11 wedding) and that falls on a Saturday.  Or if you like Sunday weddings, but 10-10-10 is too close, hold out until February 2, 2022 (aka the 2-2-22 wedding). That’s only 12 years away. He should be ready to commit by then.  Or if they’re a couple of computer geeks, they could always have a chuckle and get married on Saturday October 1st, 2011 (10-01-11).  Get it?  A bunch of zeros and ones…. forget it.

My personal wedding date is a bit of a bizarre emotional rollercoaster. We got married on 9/11/1999. Two years later on 9/11, there was that fateful day and ever since then, we see the “Never Forget” signs everywhere.  It definitely makes my anniversary hard to forget, but to make matters even crazier for us, we gave birth to my now 7 year old daughter on, wait for it,…. 9/11/2002.  So, 9/11 is definitely a strange day for my household. A time of remembrance, an anniversary and a birthday all on the same day.

Do you have any unusual stories surrounding your wedding dates? Share them!

10 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Planner

Bride-stressedChoosing a wedding planner is one of the most important decisions to make on your checklist of things to do for your big day. They can be invaluable, and make your event more amazing than you could have imagined (and most importantly, more stress free!).  So when selecting your second most important partner in the wedding, know the answers to ten important questions. Ask before hiring and feel that much more confident that this is a marriage made in heaven.

1. What do you get for your price?

Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting for your money: what is included; different package options; how they bill (hourly, deposits, payment plans, billing, etc). This will help to ensure that there are no surprising costs that will pop up unexpectedly during or after the wedding planning process. Perhaps you don’t need help with every little element, or you have an hour cap that you need to keep in mind. Does the fee include the cost of assistants on the wedding day, and how many? Know what you are paying for.

2. Do you understand my vision?

A planner could have done every celebrity and high-end wedding in the world, but if they don’t share your understanding of the style and vision, you might be unhappy with the final outcome. Some planners can create one fabulous look, but if that look isn’t you, then be sure their portfolio reflects many styles – look for the personality of the couple to shine through in the events, not the same likes of the planner over and over again. Talk with your planner and bounce ideas off each other to make sure you’re on the same page before you begin.

3. Referrals

As obvious as it may seem, make sure to ask for and check your planner’s references. Know their experience level, how long they have been in business, the size, scope, and budgets of the weddings they have done to make sure they have enough experience in the type of wedding you want and can afford. Check with past clients they refer you to, but also do your web and chat room research. Make sure there are no outstanding issues out there.

4. Are they familiar with your venue and vendors?

Most wedding planners are well connected with other professionals in the wedding industry, and can help give you reliable options that they know of or have worked with before. If, however, you chose some of your own vendors, make sure they are willing and able to work together so that everything goes smoothly on the day of and egos stay out of the way. Ask if the event planner takes a referral fee from vendors and if so, be sure you’re seeing the selection you want. If one company is heavily pushed on you over all others, that can be a sign of a backend financial agreement. This is very common and often industry standard, so don’t be too put off by it, just be smart about your selection.

5. How involved will you both be?

Find out how often you will meet, if they will come to your vendor meetings, how much planning you will do on your own. Think of things that you really would want to do on your own, if any. Make sure both of your jobs are clearly discussed and understood.

6. How busy are they?

See how often your planner has a wedding on a calendar, especially for the month, week, and even your same day. If you feel like they are trying to overbook there is a good chance that you won’t get the personal attention that you need and deserve. You want to be the only bride she or he tends to that day. You might also ask if wedding planning is their full time job or if it is a side hobby as that can also lead to scheduling conflicts.

7. Emergency situations

Although hopefully you won’t have any last minute emergencies to deal with, such things do happen and you need to be prepared. Ask what would happen if your wedding planner was suddenly not able to make the wedding, if someone in the wedding party got sick, bad weather affecting out of town arrivals and the event itself, etc. Find out if they have had any situations like this in the past, and how they did, or would, deal with them – in case of an unforeseen occurrence, does the planner have staff and/or a backup plan if they cannot make the day.

8. Budget?

This may be an assumed task for the wedding planner to oversee, but you can never be too cautious. A wedding can quickly go over budget, so make sure you find a planner who makes your budget limit their top priority.

9. Is it a real business?

Ask your planner if they have a business license, insurance, education. See if they belong to a professional organization like the ABC, ACPWC, Weddings Beautiful, June Weddings, WIPA and ISES, all of which are respectable bridal consultant groups. Also ask if the group they belong to requires them to have training every year or simply pay an annual fee.

Happy-Bride10. Honeymoon!

Don’t forget that after the party is over, you want to have an amazing relaxing honeymoon with your new spouse! Ask if your wedding planner has travel contacts or resources for you to use. Perhaps they can even help to plan your special vacation or destination wedding.

But above all the rules, paperwork, and fine print, most of all, make sure you really like your wedding planner, because you will be spending a lot of time together in the coming months!

Top 10 Wedding Trends of 2010

Engaged over Valentine’s Day and getting ready to set your date and start the wedding planning? As you begin to plan you 2010 nuptials keep in mind these top trends you’ll see next spring. Buttercream, organic green, backyard weddings – all great ideas to help get you down the aisle.

1. Back to Basics
Events will focus on the attention to the details, the foundation of the event, not the drama or grandeur of the evening. Consider spending more on the lasting memories than the showmanship of the event. Spend a bit more than the average budget allotment on photography mediums rather than abundant floral. Or consider a bit of a longer stay on your honeymoon and a little less of a party at the reception and you’ll be grateful for your decision in the end.

2. Home Weddings Hit Home
Intimate and personal affairs in the backyard are bigger than ever. Going home incorporates the continued trend of personalizing the wedding day experience. Smaller size guest lists, more intimate settings, grass roots weddings, elegant and detail driven, but in no way small on what counts.

3. Buttercream on the Big Day
Fondant is falling behind, buttercream corners the market. Tools and techniques now allow for buttercream to look as smooth as fondant when applied by a skilled artist. You have the option of better flavor, more natural ingredients, and less costly cakes that no longer suffer or lack in design.

wedding-favor-flower-bookmark4. Favor Comeback
Personalized appreciation is back. The effect that an event has on the guests is more noticeable than ever before so the importance of wedding favors is felt more than ever. Be sure to appreciate to those in attendance – it’s not just an afterthought, omission, or generic item. Think local artisans, locally grown products, personal mementos, and on-the-spot print outs.

5. Nearby Destinations
Nearby destination weddings are taking flight over the exotic and far off locales. The ever popular destination wedding will remain but guests will get out of town by car (within driving distance) so couples can create a weekend, guests get an escape, but no one breaks the bank. Enjoying the US destination locations, spend within your own local economies, create a greener effect, experience undiscovered backyards, and stay sensible about cost while you’re at away.

6. Colors
Monochromatic palettes – this doesn’t mean muted colors, just single color bunches. Vibrant Colors: Orange, green, yellow, and pink. Metal Colors: Gold, silver, copper, and pewter. And black is definitely the new black. Break the rules and show off the darker side of your event.

7. Greener Conscience
Emerging will be the newest phase of eco-conscience: A better understanding of the gray shades of green. You will see more emphasis on the smaller changes that are less recognizable to the guest (i.e. cleaning green, composting, solar and LED lighting, no more oasis in floral arrangements, less catering waste). It’s no longer about making the event appear “organic” – it’s about understanding how things are made, disposed of, and where/when events take place. Learning to make better choices that are unseen by the guest are just as important as those tree-free invitations everyone is talking about.

wedding-videos8. Video Integration into Events
We’ve all seen the photo montages of your childhoods during dinner but the next phase in video at your event comes in several different forms. Video DJ’s are emerging, allowing your dance party to dance to the visuals of the music videos; ceremonies are being broadcast on screens for better viewing from the back; and time lapse photography is being shot and integrated into video for current day montages of you and your fiancé. Love to party? Set up crane camera and project the event as it unfolds on screens around the dance floor (budget permitting of course).

9. HD Video
Videographers have already gone hi-def. But next year all or most will make such a transition, making HD and even Blu Ray the norm in wedding videography. Upgrade now and appreciate the quality later. This also means smaller cameras on site and less intrusion into your event, all around a better (though more costly) option on the big day.

10. Visual Combinations
Professional grade still photo cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II DSLR are being released with HD video capabilities included. It is recommended to have both a videographer and a photographer at your wedding to capture every moment of the big day. Tech-savvy brides looking for a new experience, may like to experiment with a visual professional (videographer or photographer) who has this technology. In the future, you will begin to see an emergence of two-in-one companies.

The Knot’s Big Problems

bride-noose

Photo by Graham Minchkin and obtained via Flickr

I’m pretty sure that we’re all familiar with TheKnot.com and its many branches of government. However, it appears that The Knot has been on a downward spiral with brides and now wedding vendors.  Their release of “The Knot’s Best of Wedding Guide 2009” had some major issues and it became glaringly obvious that it wasn’t based on feedback, but greenbacks.  The Knot’s Editors Pick of DJ companies was a company that had 50 complaints on Ripoff.com, multiple complaints filed against them from the Better Business Bureau who also graded them with an F, and additionally had a few negative news stories on them on television including Inside Edition.  Great advice, Knottie.  Just wow.

Then to make matters worse, posts ordained by The Knot informed people to not choose local bakers over the venue’s in-house bakers to avoid cake cutting costs.  Really?  This along with other suggestions that kick the local vendors to the curb entirely. Not to mention their wealth of bad advice that people seem to be getting downright agitated about.

Truth be told, it appears as The Knot has become a victim of themselves and appear to have lost focus.  Either that or they don’t have time to properly manage their resources which has been consistently sending out bad advice pretty much all of 2009.  And with the presence of competitors on the horizon like Get Married at GetMarried.com that just announced a wedding magazine to further compliment their online presence and their already popular daily television show on Lifetime, The Knot may be a little too comfortable with their lead.

stockxpertcom_id26013461_jpg_1422eacbdf7fb8203dc02c53b1e553b8Brides are a fickle bunch and once you give them bad information, you’re hard pressed to get a second chance with the amount of resources available to them online.  I’ll be very curious to see how GetMarried’s offerings align with The Knot’s efforts once the Get Married magazine launches in September and especially since there are major changes that are sure to come with it.  Maybe The Knot should start looking for a good moat digger.

Top 20 Worst Wedding Photos

It’s amazing how many weddings are held in a year.  And among those weddings are some pretty awful wedding moments.  Luckily, people post them on the web for all to see.  These are easily some of the worst wedding photos we could find.

The 20 Worst Wedding Photos


#20 – The Arranged Marriage
Nothing says, ‘This is not the person I want to marry.” quicker than the scowl of a groom and an arranged marriage between two unhappy adults.

arranged-mariage-2


#19 – The Bride’s Number One
Believe it or not, brides have to go potty too.  However, there normally isn’t documentation of the event.

bride-bathroom


#18 – Disdain
Not sure what happened previous to this shot, but we’re guessing the groom simply isn’t happy about something.  Considering that he’s carrying her, maybe it’s a cry for help?

disgusted-groom


#17 – Destination Wedding
Destination wedding on nudist beaches aren’t complete without the innocent glimpses of beach combers passing by.  Hey, at least his eyes aren’t wandering.

nudist-wedding


#16 -Wedding of Death
While it’s understood that this photo is intentional, it doesn’t make it right.  The bride’s father must be thrilled about signing a check to pay for fake blood and dry cleaning.  Just awesome.

goth-wedding


#15 – The Knife Lick
It’s just a elbow jerk away from being a hospital stay.

knife-lick


14 – You Still Love Me, Right?
Either he just got done sharing what he did at the Bachelor party last night or he’s trying to cover up saying something stupid with a kiss. Either way, she’s ticked.

what-happened-bachleor-night


#13 – Arranged Marriage #2

One common thread with arranged marriages is that the couple will never be featured in any beauty magazines.

arranged-marriage


#12 – Death of a Prankster
I love these photos.  A brief moment captured on film where a brides glance says it all.  Whatever he did, he probably will never get the chance to do it again.

if-you-mess-this-up


#11 -You What?
I’m not sure who forgot to do what, but I’m glad I’m not that person.

you-what





Yes folks, it’s the top 10. The worst of the worst. Proceed.


#10 – The Wahhh-ding photo

Not sure if this was an intentional pose for his buddies, but his bride is not amused.

groom-crying


# 9 – The College Bride

The photo that spawned a million punchlines. I’ll let you create your own, because mine will get me fired.

wedding-kegstand


#8 – Yikes
This dress won the Top 10 Sluttiest Wedding Dress award, but also is very fitting for one of the worst photos thanks to her, “They have booze in the limo” pose. Limo – $1000, Champagne – $100,  look on her new mother in law’s face when she gets out of the limo – priceless.

boobed-wedding-dress


#7 – Lesbian Nudist Wedding
The photo that set equal rights back an entire decade.

lesbian-nudist-wedding


#6 – MINE!
If this doesn’t set off red flags for the groom, nothing will.

hold-that-bottle


#5 – Opposites Attract
Sometimes a couple is so perfectly matched that it’s impossible to tell who the lucky one is.  While these two may not be perfectly matched, the latter still holds true.

the-couple


#4 – The Clown Wedding
If you didn’t have an unnatural fear of clowns, you do now.

wedding-clowns


#3 – I Can’t Quit You
The bride wasn’t concerned about infidelity, until….

groom-kisses


#2 – Ghetto Fabulous
She didn’t like the bridesmaid outfits at first, but it grew on her.  And she worked it.

ghetto-fabulous


And here we are folks!

The winner of the worst wedding photo award.

#1 – Duck, Duck, Goose

This picture is still by far my all time favorite because it says so much.  Just, oh my.

groom-butt-pinch

And there you have it. The 20 worst wedding photos I could find.  Hopefully when you go to hire your wedding photographers or other wedding vendors, you’ll make sure that you look at each photo before they end up on my list.  Do you have ones to share that I didn’t post here?  Post them!

Want More Awful photos? Yes, we made a Part 2!! View it here!

5 Spring Wedding Ideas from Colin Cowie

spring-weddingSpring is the start of the wedding season, and a time when brides have additional options for every element of their celebration. From an abundance of flowers and fresh, seasonal foods, to moving the wedding outside and shortening the hemline, brides’ options spring into high gear with the bright colors, smells, tastes and fashions of the season. Get Married unveils the latest spring wedding trends that exemplify an organic blending of styles and exude creativity, good taste and the true sense of the season.

For brides seeking the latest trends for their spring wedding, Get Married’s show on Lifetime Television and http://www.GetMarried.com provide unique wedding ideas from the industry’s leading wedding experts who offer season-specific advice, ideas and inspirations that fit any budget and personal style.

Get Married teamed with Colin Cowie of Colin Cowie Lifestyle, internationally known as the arbiter of style, to offer the latest wedding trends to the springtime bride. “Spring is a thrilling time of the year – it represents growth and new beginnings – a perfect metaphor for a wedding,” said Colin, lifestyle expert, celebrity wedding designer and host of Get Married on Lifetime Television and http://www.GetMarried.com. “The gift of a spring wedding is that it gives everyone a chance to revel in nature.”

Colin Cowie and Get Married offer 5 Spring Wedding Trends for the Fashionable Bride who wants to merge personal and seasonal styles while capturing the essence of spring in her wedding.

colin-cowie-wedding-table-d1. Extract electric colors from nature: Lift colors straight from spring leaves, flowers and shoots of grass, and bring them to the reception tables and the bridal dresses. Grass green, canary yellow and chaparelli pinks, accented with gold or pewter, are exciting and fresh.

2. Fuse youthful flavors in a sophisticated spirit: Capture the popping colors of spring by serving lollipops at a candy station, popcorn at valet, or other tasty treats to satisfy your palette.

3. Combine deep colors with lighter papers: Keep wedding invitations, table cards and programs fresh with light papers like tissue and vellum. Incorporate spring colors like white ink on rich green paper or shocking pink ink on lime green paper. Reverse the formula with green inks on white paper.

4. Shorten the hemlines and heighten the style: Stand out from the crowd but blend with the event intention by wearing a shorter dress with an eye-catching pair of heels. Create a chic retro look with a short birdcage wedding veil and a set of short gloves.

5. Create an at-home atmosphere with backyard elegance: Create a quality backyard wedding that is intimate and organic with your garden being the aesthetic to inspire your décor. Spring weather is unpredictable so have heaters and a back-up plan of moving inside or under a gorgeous canopy.

“Springtime embodies a unique charm and is a theme in itself when it comes to weddings and celebrations,” said Stacie Francombe, CEO and founder of Get Married and http://www.GetMarried.com. “The possibility of a spring wedding is endless, and Get Married offers brides all the latest seasonal trends and styles for brides on any budget.” About Get Married Get Married is the only multi-channeled wedding planning resource with platforms online (www.GetMarried.com) and on television every weekday that connects local and national wedding professionals and industry experts with brides through entertainment and news.

Picking the Perfect Engagement Ring

wedding-ring-setLet’s not go into planning a wedding just yet, but let’s at least by hypothetical. When your significant other presents you with your engagement ring, it should represent you and your relationship perfectly, something you couldn’t have done a better job had you picked it out yourself.  In an ideal world that is exactly the scenario that would take place, but how to do you know that you will get the ring that you want?  To ensure that when you open up that little square box you will find a ring you are truly excited about, take the time to lay a little bit of groundwork – chances are he’ll appreciate the help.

Your personal style should be reflected in the ring end up with, so if you’re a sleek, chic businesswoman perhaps a simple solitaire is for you, or if you are spontaneous and fun, then maybe a colored stone is your thing.  Keep in mind your lifestyle as well as your personal style while you ponder over your options.  If you are very active or work with your hands, make sure you subtly hint for a ring that won’t get in the way of your daily activity.

Since your ring should be a reflection of who you are, you need to make it clear who you are not.  Try to be a bit more coy than leaving out a wedding magazine with pictures of engagement rings circled and crossed out.  Instead, drop hints about rings you’ve seen and what your friends are wearing.  Though this can be a tricky situation, so consider aiming for more straightforward ways of going about getting the ring you want.

Some couples couple talk openly about an engagement even before an official proposal; thus making the ring conversation a natural progression.  If you are this kind of couple, then picking out rings together alleviates any potential disaster and ensures a happy outcome.  If you still want some element of surprise you can always walk up to jewelry windows wherever you are and point to ones you like or sketch out ideas for him in order to point him in the right direction.

Many women, in an attempt to foolproof their perfect plan, enlist the help of a trustworthy friend or family member. Tell them exactly what you want and let them tastefully reiterate your likings or shop with your almost-betrothed.  He may ask for the help from your friend without you even knowing, so be prepared and share your dream ring with a few close loved ones to keep all your bases covered.

If all of this fails, and you still end up with a ring you are less than crazy about, don’t be afraid to talk about it.  Though it might be a sensitive situation, he will want you to have a ring that you love instead of something you are unhappy with.  After all, you don’t want to start your marriage off on the wrong foot (or ring!).

Familiarize yourself with the variety of shapes, sizes, cuts and colors out there.  Explore the process together if he’s willing.  Perhaps suggest in conversation that should you be wed, you love the idea of designing a ring together, something special that really is an expression of each of you (while your hidden agenda is carefully secured).

If you find yourself happily engaged but unhappily decorated, approach the idea of an exchange. Smart shoppers are always clear on exchange or refund policies. If return or exchange is not an option, for example you find yourself being presented with a family ring that just doesn’t suit your taste, consider reworking the jewels into a varied setting. Oftentimes couples collaborate on a custom design, so it can be equal parts of both of them and have a unified outcome. Keep in mind that custom work can take a few months to complete. But something so unique is well worth the wait.

However you decide to symbolize your love and devotion to one another, make it special. Whether that means having the perfect stone or including a simple engraving in a ring he selected for you – make it you and make it personal.

Now all you have left to do is pick out the wedding favors and bridesmaid gifts, right? yeahhh…..

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